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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