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: Brocade Communications Systems (Nasdaq: BRCD) popped 14% in intraday trading today after first-fiscal-quarter non-GAAP ("before bad stuff") EPS of $0.12 beat the $0.10 consensus, and guidance for the current quarter was a penny above the consensus estimate.

So what: Brocade competes with Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), which disappointed investors on its earnings call last week. Brocade's better-than-expected results and guidance suggest market conditions may not be as weak as Cisco suggested and Brocade is improving its operations.

Now what: Brocade's 2008 acquisition of Foundry Networks has been troubled and its earnings are a small fraction of the highs achieved that year. Earnings forecasts are likely to rise, but not enough to generate non-GAAP EPS growth in 2011. What's more, GAAP EPS of $0.06 for the quarter was half of non-GAAP EPS, with stock option expense accounting for 39% of the difference and amortization of intangible assets accounting for 60%.

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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.