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 storage specialist Xyratex (Nasdaq: XRTX) wilted to the tune of 13% today as investors reacted to a disappointing earnings report.

So what: Fourth-quarter earnings season doesn't officially kick off until next week, but Xyratex got in ahead of the rush (its fiscal year ended Nov. 30). The drop was a pretty cut-and-dried reaction to results that missed Wall Street's expectations. Xyratex reported $397 million in revenue against expectations for $420 million, while earnings per share (excluding unusual items) registered $0.69 versus estimates of $0.74.

Now what: Is today's drop a good reason to jump in and buy? My fellow Fool Anders Bylund isn't so sure, and that's despite the fact that he saw value in the shares back in September when they took a similar dip. What the news from Xyratex may be, however, is a reason to keep an eye on other storage players like EMC (NYSE: EMC) and NetApp (Nasdaq: NTAP) as we wait to hear fourth-quarter earnings results from them. Volterra Semiconductor (Nasdaq: VLTR), a semiconductor company that sells into the storage market, underscored the results from Xyratex today by lowering its own fourth-quarter revenue guidance.

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