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 Chinese solar manufacturer Trina Solar (NYSE:TSL) dropped as much as 15% today after the company released first-quarter earnings.

So what: Revenue was down 4% in the quarter to $260.2 million, which was below analyst's estimate of $292.8 million. The company lost $63.7 million in the quarter, or $0.90 per share, which was lower than an estimated $0.71 loss.  

Now what: Trina Solar gave guidance a few weeks ago for shipments and gross margin and both numbers met expectations. The bottom line, however, can be difficult to guess. I don't see any major surprises when you factor in guidance, but the company is making strong predictions about the rest of the year. Management still expects to ship between 2.0 and 2.1 GW of modules this year, massive growth considering it shipped 392.6 MW in the first quarter. I'd still stay away from Chinese solar because it's a long uphill battle to profitability, but keep an eye on the second half of the year for signs of progress in margins.

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Fool contributor Travis Hoium and The Motley Fool have no position in any stocks mentioned. 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.