Petroleum Development Shares Gush Higher: 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 oil and natural gas exploration company Petroleum Development (NAS: PETD) gushed higher by as much as 11% earlier in the trading day after the company reported fourth-quarter results.

So what: All I can say is that you should prepare to be confused! The company reported that its adjusted EPS loss was $0.25 in the fourth quarter with sales rising 79% to $99.4 million. These figures missed the side of the barn by a mile with Wall Street looking for a profit of $0.20 and revenue of $108.2 million. One bright spot: PDC ended its fiscal year with 18% more in provable reserves than it began the year with. PDC is also one of the few oil and gas companies that is anticipating its natural gas output will increase this year.

Now what: PDC is aggressively pursuing joint ventures, and has closed the divesting of its Permian Basin assets this week. In short, the company expects its capital expenditures to remain high and is seeking ways to shore up its cash balance. It's a smart move that will likely contribute to rapid revenue growth, but it also means that earnings growth will remain constrained in the near term. For now, I'm happy being an innocent bystander and waiting for PDC to prove that it's worth a spot on my radar.

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At the time this article was published Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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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