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 enterprise software maker Progress Software (Nasdaq: PRGS) regressed today, falling as much as 12.2% on heavy volume.

So what: The company just reported third-quarter results with surprisingly strong earnings but a bleak outlook for the coming quarter. Management explained that the shaky economy caused several large customers to delay their software orders, thus halting Progress' progress.

Now what: I'd buy that explanation at face value if Progress' rivals were seeing the same transaction pattern develop, but that's not the case. TIBCO Software (Nasdaq: TIBX) and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) recently reported their own equivalent results and outlooks with none of that delay nonsense. IBM (NYSE: IBM) will do the same in just a couple of weeks. Granted, all of these competitors are materially larger than Progress, making them less susceptible to uneven performance. Still, I smell execution problems here, and management doesn't want to own up to it.

Interested in more information about Progress Software? Add it to My Watchlist.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.