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: Fool readers got hip to Hypercom's (NYSE: HYC) value way back in June, but this morning, everyone knows the name because this maker of credit card "swipe machines" popped 10% higher on brilliant earnings news.

So what: MasterCard (NYSE: MA) just reported strong profits, American Express (NYSE: AXP) beat estimates, and Visa (NYSE: V) confirmed its 2011 revenue guidance. Clearly, credit cards aren't going out of style any time soon, and that's good news for Hypercom's core product.

Now what: Now that we know Q3 revenues rose 24% and hit a record $125.1 million, everyone's a fan of Hypercom. But true Fools know that the time to buy isn't when everyone else is jumping for joy, but when they're fearful. When I look at Hypercom today, I see massive capital spending, and free cash flow that dropped by more than half in the latest quarter and is running negative for the past nine months. If I were an owner, I'd be thinking now's an especially good time to collect my winnings and exit this stock, stage left.

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American Express is a Motley Fool Inside Value choice, but Fool contributor Rich Smith does not have any position in any company named above. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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