PetroQuest Shares Popped: What You Need to Know


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 independent energy company PetroQuest Energy (NYS: PQ) were spouting up today, gaining as much as 12% in intraday trading on heavier-than-average volume.

So what: Though PetroQuest reported its second-quarter results before the market opened yesterday, it may be that today's gains are a delayed reaction to that release. For the second quarter, PetroQuest reported total revenue that fell short of expectations and showed a headline loss per share of $0.05. However, the second quarter included a $13 million "ceiling-test" writedown, which is the type of hit analysts might exclude from their calculations. Backing out that writedown, PetroQuest's earnings would have likely topped the $0.09 Wall Street estimate.

Now what: Between the writedown-affected bottom line and the panic in the market yesterday, investors may just now be showing their optimism over PetroQuest's results.

Looking ahead, the company left its production volume estimate the same for the full year; it did step up its estimated capital spending. This could suggest that management is feeling confident and sees good reason to deploy more capital in the company's projects. In the earnings press release, CEO Charles Goodson made special note of the success of the company's La Cantera discovery in the Gulf Coast basin.

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