Image source: Flotek Industries.

What: Flotek Industries Inc. (NYSE:FTK) reported earnings on Tuesday and the market was pleased with what it saw, sending shares as much as 18% higher in trading Wednesday. As of 12:50 p.m. ET, shares had settled to an 8.5% gain.

So what: First-quarter revenue fell 12.2% to $72.3 million, but when you consider the 57.8% decline in drilling rig count, that's not all bad. In addition, CnF revenue jumped 138% from a year ago, so the company's products are resonating with customers.  

The bottom line didn't look great with a $4.6 million loss from continuing operations, or $0.08 per share, but it's tough for anybody to make money in the energy business these days. The fact that loss from continuing operations weren't even bigger may be a good sign long term.

Now what: What had investors excited were the revenue number and CnF outperforming the market as a whole. That bodes well for the company if the energy industry ever picks up again.

Speculating on shares today is a big bet that demand will pick up in the shale space long term. That's a risky bet, but if it does, Flotek looks like it will be one of the biggest winners for investors.