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 energy efficiency solution company Ameresco Inc (NYSE:AMRC) fell 18% today after reporting earnings.

So what: Fourth-quarter revenue rose 12% to $176.1 million and slightly exceeded analysts' expectations. But net income fell from $5.1 million a year ago to $1.6 million last quarter, which, at $0.03 per share, was well below the $0.21 estimate.  

Now what: Management blamed a mix of low-margin projects for the earnings miss, and it looks like that will continue in 2014. Management expects just $7 million to $12 million in net income, which, at most, would be $0.26 per share, well below the $0.35 estimate. The low margins are certainly disappointing, and a highly competitive market with little competitive advantage will keep me out of shares today.

A few better growth picks
Ameresco may not be living up to expectations but Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner has proven the ability to pick growth stocks time and time again with stock returns like 926%, 2,239%, and 4,371%. In fact, just recently one of his favorite stocks became a 100-bagger. And he's ready to do it again. You can uncover his scientific approach to crushing the market and his six carefully chosen picks for ultimate growth instantly, because he's making this premium report free for you today. Click here now for access.

Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Ameresco. 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.