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 ITT Educational Services (NYSE: ESI) surged 11% after the for-profit college reported better-than-expected quarterly results.

So what: ITT's new student enrollment fell 9.4% in October-December, its first drop in a decade, but with the sector still under intense government scrutiny, investors are obviously relieved it wasn't a whole lot worse. For example, industry leaders Apollo Group (Nasdaq: APOL) and Strayer (Nasdaq: STRA) posted student start declines earlier this month of 42% and 20%, respectively.

Now what: I'd be cautious about ITT's market-topping results. With still so much uncertainty about looming regulation, ITT offered a very wide 2011 earnings target of $8.50-$10.50 , representing a profit decline of 6%-25% from 2010. So unless you're an investor who just craves volatility and a wide-range of outcomes, it's probably best to stay on the sidelines for now.


Interested in more info on ITT? Add it to your watchlist.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. 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 Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.