Why MicroStrategy Incorporated Shares Popped

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 MicroStrategy Incorporated (NASDAQ: MSTR  ) jumped more than 10% during intraday trading Tuesday after the company turned in better-than-expected fourth quarter results.

So what: Quarterly sales rose 6% to $165.9 million, which translated to earnings of $1.43 per diluted share. By contrast, analysts were expecting earnings of just $1.15 per share on sales of $162.74 million.

Now what: Today's results were solid, but it's sure hard to blame analysts for getting this one wrong, considering MicroStrategy's notorious reluctance for providing forward guidance. In the end, with shares not looking terribly underpriced at around 17 times last year's earnings, I still prefer a bit more clarity in identifying great long-term investments for my portfolio.

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