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.

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