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C&J Energy Services' Shares Surge, Then Slump on Earnings

By Tyler Crowe - Feb 23, 2016 at 4:11PM

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It looks as though some investors got a little too excited about the company's earnings report to wait and see what management had to say.

What: Shares of C&J Energy Services (NYSE: CJES) have gone on a wild ride following the company's earnings report after the market closed yesterday. C&J's stock was up 25% at the moment the market opened this morning, but since then, the company's stock has slowly declined. As of 3:00 p.m. EST, the stock is down 17%.

So What: Typically, there is only one reason why you see something crazy like this in a single day: A company's stock jumps after posting better-than-expected results, but then starts to decline again after people get a chance to dig deeper into the numbers, or management provides an outlook that doesn't look good. This is pretty much the script that C&J's stock has followed today. The company's earnings -- after stripping out one-time asset impairments -- came in at a loss of $0.45 per share, well above the $0.75 per-share loss that consensus estimates were expecting. The company also beat on revenue and EBITDA.

After getting through that good news, though, management said on its conference call that, so far in the first quarter of this year, the market for its services has declined even further as producers scale back their spending budgets. As a result, the company is scaling back its operations even more so than it already has, and expects to reduce capital spending to only what's needed for maintenance purposes.

Now What: As an oil and gas services company that focuses almost exclusively on land operations in North America, C&J has borne the brunt of the decline in oil and gas activity. Total active rigs across the U.S. are close to the lowest rig count we hit back in 1999. Although the company showed a bit of resiliency this past quarter, C&J Energy Services is still subject to the spending habits of producers, and there aren't a whole lot of companies itching to drill new wells today. With one of the less-robust balance sheets in the space, it's probably best to shy away from C&J before we see an uptick in the market, and the company can clean up its balance sheet.

Tyler Crowe has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him at Fool.com or on Twitter @TylerCroweFool.

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