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What: Shares of oil and gas contract driller Unit Corporation (NYSE:UNT) jumped as much as 27% after reporting third-quarter earnings. 

So what: Revenue plunged a whopping 47% in the third quarter to $212.4 million and the company's net loss was $205.3 million, or $4.18 per share. Those numbers are terrible, but analysts expected just $204.8 million in revenue and a $0.28-per-share loss, which compares to a reported adjusted profit of $0.03 per share.  

The difference between the adjusted and non-adjusted numbers was a $329.9 million writedown of the company's oil and gas properties, which shows how quickly the industry is losing value.

Now what: The fact that Unit Corporation eked out a small profit, even on an adjusted basis, is impressive given the weakness in drilling right now. But the company is barely breaking even and there's no sign that drilling activity will pick up significantly in 2016. The pop in shares today is nice for existing shareholders, but it's not one I'm going to buy into.

Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.