Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of natural gas technology company Westport Innovations (NASDAQ:WPRT) jumped as much as 11% in early trading after the company announced first-quarter earnings.
So what: After the market closed yesterday, Westport Innovations announced that first-quarter revenue fell 30% to $28.0 million and net loss showed a 28% improvement to $17.2 million, or $0.27 per share.
The results were short of analysts' estimates, but it was the long-term view investors are looking at today. Management said they expect 2015 revenue to come in between $110 million and $125 million, at the high end of Wall Street's $113.1 million estimate.
On the conference call, management also said they were focusing on launching products with OEM partners and would defer investment in projects where commercialization or revenue timing was uncertain. On top of that, they've identified $50 million in assets they can sell, which could help fund operations until the company reaches operating cash flow breakeven, which is projected in 2016.
Now what: The drop in oil prices really hurt the short-term prospects for Westport Innovations last fall and early in 2015. That's why management's commitment to a strong guidance was key and is something investors are pointing to as a bullish sign today.
It's also encouraging for the company's very survival that management is focusing on potential revenue streams rather than R&D projects that may not pay off. It's a tough balancing act for a potential growth company, but with losses expected through 2016, it's the right thing to do. I'm not ready to jump into shares yet, but that may change if oil prices rise further and the focus on commercial products leads to real traction in the market.