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 Ford (NYSE: F) fell off a 12% cliff in intraday trading Friday after the auto giant's quarterly results came in much lower than expected.

So what: Ford's profit in 2010 was its biggest in more than a decade, but increasing costs and an unexpected loss in Europe led to a surprise drop in fourth-quarter earnings to $190 million (versus $886 million a year ago). Ford's sales, along with its share price, have surged on successful new products over the past year, but today's results are naturally prompting investors to lower their expectations for 2011.

Now what: I'd take this plunge as a prime opportunity to pounce. It was only a matter of time before the high-speeding Ford hit a bump in the road, but for patient investors, management continues to strengthen the balance sheet and focus on, according to Ford CFO Lewis Booth, "long-term profitable growth." And with Ford currently trading at a clear forward P/E discount to foreign auto giants Honda Motor (NYSE: HMC) and Toyota (NYSE: TM), the shares seem like a relatively smart bet, as well.

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

Ford Motor is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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