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: Just one quarter after thoroughly disappointing analysts, shares of Monolithic Power Systems (Nasdaq: MPWR) surged as much as 12% on better-than-expected earnings.  

So what: Profit checked in $0.18 per share on a Non-GAAP basis, $0.04 better than the consensus estimate, according to Yahoo! Finance. Management also announced a $20 million increase in its active stock repurchase program.

Now what: Buybacks have had the desired effect. Diluted shares outstanding dipped to 36.7 million in Q4, from 37.4 million the prior-year quarter, adding needed juice to the bottom line. Future repurchases will be paid from Monolithic’s war chest, which included $177 million in cash and short-term investments as of Dec. 31.

That’s the good news. The bad is that Monolithic Power has experienced a massive dropoff in revenue growth, which hasn’t yet tarnished direct competitors Analog Devices (NYSE: ADI) and Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN). Revenue growth will have to return for investors to realize healthy returns from here.