Comstock Resources Shares Plunged: 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 explorer Comstock Resources (NYS: CRK) fell as much as 16% today after the company was downgraded by an analyst.

So what: Yesterday after the close Comstock released earnings, and they surpassed expectations. Revenue for the third quarter was $119.4 million and earnings per share of $0.03 easily surpassed the $0.09 analysts expected the company to lose.

But an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus rained on the parade and slashed a 2012 earnings estimate to $0.71 in profit from $1.39 and downgraded the stock.

Now what: The analyst cited a lower capital budget for 2012 and potentially slower growth as the reason for the downgrade. To put that "slower" growth in perspective, Comstock is expecting to drill 71 wells in 2012, up from 23 in 2011. I think the move is overdone, especially considering the consensus estimate for 2012 is only $0.69 so Stifel Nicolaus was probably overoptimistic to start with.

Interested in more info on Comstock Resources? Add it to your watchlist byclicking here.

At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Travis Hoium does not have a position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.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.

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