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 fiber-optic and solar-power component specialist Emcore (Nasdaq: EMKR) hit the deck today, losing as much as 25% after the company announced fiscal fourth quarter earnings.

So what: For a company that's spent a great many years showing losses and burning cash, an earnings report that shows numbers that are less bad is actually pretty good. And there was definitely some element of that in Emcore's release. Revenue was up 16% sequentially and 33% year-over-year, while a net loss of $0.9 million improved on a $9.2 million loss last quarter and a $16 million loss the prior year. On the concerning side though, gross profit stalled out during the quarter, staying unchanged from the prior quarter despite the revenue gain. The overall gross margin fell from 27.5% to 23.6%.

Now what: But what likely got investors worked up the most today was the fact that management is expecting revenue in a range of $50 million to $53 million in the upcoming quarter. Of course if the years of value destruction hadn't already pushed investors away from the stock, I'm not totally sure why today's report would create such huge waves. Looking at the bigger picture, I'm sure there could be some speculative value for Emcore shares, but until the company figures out how to make money for its shareholders there are much better investments elsewhere.

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Fool contributor
Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of ay 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 @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. The Fool's disclosure policy assures you no Wookiees were harmed in the making of this article.