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 real estate investment trust RAIT Financial Trust (NYSE: RAS) dove more than 20% in intraday trading today after the company reported disappointing third-quarter results.

So what: RAIT has been struggling to keep its head above water ever since the financial meltdown began, and its third-quarter results don't make a very convincing case that things are A-OK quite yet. The REIT reported $0.16 in diluted earnings per share, which was much better than the $0.38-per-share loss last year. However, the profit was driven by gains on debt extinguishment and balance sheet mark-ups, not normal operations. In addition, the bottom line badly missed analyst expectations of $0.26 per share.

Now what: Though real estate has taken a pretty broad drubbing, all real estate investment trusts are not built equal. Health Care REIT (NYSE: HCN), for example, invests in stable health-care properties, while fan favorite Annaly Capital (NYSE: NLY) focuses on mortgage paper that has the backing of government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. RAIT, on the flip side, has been mired in red ink, hasn't paid a common dividend since 2008, and has diluted the heck out of shareholders in the meantime. For those reasons -- among others -- RAIT is probably best left for the speculators and day traders.

Interested in more info on RAIT Financial? Add it to your watchlist here by clicking here.

Health Care REIT is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Annaly Capital Management. 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. 

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFoolor on his RSS feed. The Fool's disclosure policy assures you no Wookiees were harmed in the making of this article.