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: After suffering sell-off after sell-off over the past quarter, Riverbed Technology (Nasdaq: RVBD) is finally rewarding the faithful today. Shares of the company, which specializes in equipment for moving data faster across a network, rallied more than 11% in early trading on heavy volume.

So what: Recent pessimism seemed linked to dour reports from rivals such as Blue Coat Systems (Nasdaq: BCSI). Last night, Riverbed left little doubt that it's in a different class than those peers. Third-quarter revenue soared 29% to $191 million, while adjusted profits rose 41% to $0.24 a share. Analysts had been calling for $185.3 million and $0.21, respectively, according to data aggregated by Yahoo! Finance.

Now what: Riverbed also expanded its share of the market for application acceleration equipment to 51.7% -- an 11.4-percentage-point gain over the past year, according to data from Gartner. And during last night's earnings call, business development chief Eric Wofford told analysts that more than 50% of Riverbed's sales during the quarter were "unopposed," meaning neither Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) nor Blue Coat were considered. Combine the two metrics and you've got a business that's apparently so far ahead of peers that customers ignore alternatives. A true Rule Breaker, in other words. Do you agree? Would you buy shares of Riverbed Technology at current prices? Please weigh in using the comments box below.

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