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: Encore Capital Group (Nasdaq: ECPG) popped 11% in intraday trading today after the company reported fourth-quarter EPS of $0.56, tromping the $0.47 consensus estimate.

So what: Compared to the year-ago quarter, revenue grew 22%, operating income grew 66%, and EPS grew 65%. Encore also beefed up its balance sheet, expanding its revolving credit facility and taking advantage of current low interest rates with the issuance of seven-year senior secured debt.

Now what: This consumer debt recovery firm is likely benefiting from the improved economy. With the consumer and economy generally forecast to strengthen further in 2011, Encore could continue to deliver strong results. At a P/E ratio of 11.8 times, it appears attractively valued relative to its consumer finance peer group, which is trading at a P/E ratio of 16.0 times.

Interested in more info on ECPG? Add it to your watchlist here by clicking here.

Fool contributor Cindy Johnson does not own shares of any company named above. 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 has a disclosure policy.