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 home health care services provider LHC Group (Nasdaq: LHCG) are lower by 10% today following the release of its fourth-quarter results last night.

So what: LHC Group reported revenue of $168.1 million and a profit of $0.63 for the fourth quarter, which compares to consensus estimates of $166 million in revenue and earnings of $0.66. An even greater drag than its $0.03 earnings miss was its forward earnings guidance that calls for earnings of $2.15 to $2.25 in fiscal 2011. Analyst expectations ranged from a low of $2.40 to as high as $2.83.

Now what: On paper, LHC Group appears fairly inexpensive, but I have serious concerns about its growth prospects. One of the main reasons cited for the 10% year-over-year decline in earnings was a 5% drop in Medicare reimbursements. If Medicare reimbursements continue to fall -- and I'm guessing they will considering the weaker-than-anticipated full-year guidance -- LHC Group will be forced to generate a lot of new admissions in order to make up for the shortfall. Health care services are a highly competitive space, and I'm not confident LHC would be able to grow admissions in double digits for much longer. Until LHC gets its costs under control, I would consider passing, even at these depressed levels.

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Fool contributor Sean Williams does not own shares in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong.

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