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: McGrath RentCorp (Nasdaq: MGRC) popped 11% in intraday trading today after fourth-quarter EPS of $0.52 walloped the consensus estimate of $0.37 and management announced a dividend increase of 2%.

So what: Revenue grew 20% and EPS grew 43% from the year-ago quarter, indicating the company is benefiting from operating leverage as the economy improves. Management guided 2011 EPS to $1.52 to $1.62, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.52.

Now what: Management's comments about the environment were mixed, citing improvements in demand and pricing and additional branches, salespeople, and rental equipment as positives and ongoing weakness in selected areas as challenges. The bias was on the positive side. Guidance calls for EPS growth of only 1% to 8% in 2011, another indication there is potential for more positive earnings surprises.

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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.