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 biotechnology company Emergent BioSolutions (NYSE: EBS) experienced heavy volatility in early trading after reporting its quarterly results.

So what: After yesterday's close, Emergent posted a fourth-quarter profit of $26.2 million, or $0.76 per share, versus the average analyst estimate of just $0.68 per share. Curiously enough, the stock opened Friday down 16%, only to spike quickly back up. At the time of publication, Emergent shares are off only about 2% on more than triple the average volume.  

Now what: I wouldn't read too much into today's wacky trading. Fundamentally, sales of Emergent's anthrax treatment BioThrax are booming, with management forecasting solid full-year earnings of $35 million to $45 million on a top line of $320 million to $340 million -- largely in line with analyst estimates. Wild, seemingly nonsensical price swings just come with the small-cap biotech territory, and investors would do well to keep this one in proper perspective.

Interested in more info on Emergent? Add it to your watchlist.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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