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 U-Haul owner Amerco (Nasdaq: UHAL) surged more than 10% after the company reported a surprisingly strong fourth-quarter profit last night.

So what: Amerco is a diversified company whose operations include life insurance and real estate, and of course the U-Haul truck rental business. Revenue grew 10% to $488.4 million in Q1 while per-share profit reversed from a $0.43 per share loss to a $0.52 per share gain. Analysts were expecting $466 million and a $0.77 per share net loss.

Now what: Much as I'd like to call this an inexcusable miss by one analyst who follows Amerco, the conference call transcript shows neither shock nor awe at the beat. Instead, it's just a friendly back-and-forth about the economy, metrics in the U-Haul business, and cash flow. Investors could very well be bidding up the stock on an earnings surprise that wasn't at all surprising to the analyst following the company.

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

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out his portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

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