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 National Instruments (Nasdaq: NATI) rose as much as 12% on heavy trading after setting a new record for quarterly revenue in Q4. The company also announced a 3-for-2 stock split.

So what: Investors appear to be excited by both events, but it's the financials that I find most impressive. Revenue for this specialist supplier of test and measurement equipment rose 24% year-over-year and 13% sequentially. Per-share earnings more than quadrupled on a non-GAAP basis. Both results beat estimates.

Now What: When the Great Recession tempted chief rival Agilent Technologies to slash research and development spending, National Instruments' management resisted. We're now seeing the benefits of executives' intestinal fortitude during those trying times. Well done.

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

National Instruments is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader. 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 Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy is at least 10% better than other disclosure policies.