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 health-care services company Skilled Healthcare Group (NYSE: SKH) spiked as much as 14% in intraday trading on heavier-than-average volume.

So what: "Exploring strategic alternatives." It's a phrase that's often music to investors' ears -- particularly shorter-term investors looking for a quick gain. While those three words can mean many things, they often mean a company is looking to sell itself, which seems to be the direction that Skilled Healthcare's strategic alternatives are aimed. In its press release, the company cited "current favorable market conditions," which is a likely head nod toward the HCP (NYSE: HCP) purchase of HCR ManorCare's real-estate assets as well as the more recent acquisition of Genesis Healthcare's real-estate assets by Health Care REIT (NYSE: HCN).

Now what: According to Reuters, both Jefferies and RBC have a $17 price target on Skilled Healthcare, which implies another 10%-plus in upside if a buyer pays at full price. However, it's important to keep in mind that this isn't an announced transaction, nor is it a disclosure of discussions with any particular party -- it's just an acknowledgement that the company will start entertaining potential suitors. Current investors may want to temper their excitement a bit until there's talk of a potential takeout price, while those on the sidelines may want to be careful about trying to chase the stock in hopes of a quick buyout gain.

Want to keep up to date on these stocks?

Health Care REIT is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not have a financial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.