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 smart-grid player Echelon (Nasdaq: ELON) were powered up today, gaining as much as 20% in intraday trading on heavier-than-average volume.

So what: After the market's close yesterday, Echelon announced its first-quarter results, and investors liked what they saw. Revenue for the quarter leapt 56% from last year to $28.4 million, which was right in line with Wall Street estimates. The company's $0.15 non-GAAP net loss per share improved on last year's $0.18 loss and also beat the $0.21 loss that analysts had expected.

Now what: Beating earnings estimates is one thing, but if a company wants to get its investors really excited, it needs to raise forward guidance -- and Echelon did just that. For the second quarter, management expects non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.00 to $0.02 on revenue of $42 million to $44 million. Both numbers are well ahead of Wall Street estimates. But even though the numbers are certainly encouraging, investors may still want to tread a bit carefully. Since 2005, the company has been pretty consistently unprofitable and cash-flow negative, which puts it on the speculative end of the spectrum.

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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer has no 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.