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: Today, shares of Shuffle Master (Nasdaq: SHFL) are screaming "winner, winner, chicken dinner!" They're up by as much as 12% after the company reported better than expected earnings last night.

So what: Fourth-quarter revenue totaled $65.8 million, with earnings per share of $0.18. Both figures bested the consensus estimates of $61.9 million in sales and $0.17 per share in profit.

Now what: Shuffle Master CEO Gavin Isaacs called it a "sensational year" that ended with a "blockbuster quarter." He also noted that almost every financial metric that the company uses to gauge performance were record breakers. As the economy slowly recovers, gamblers tend to open their wallets more, and Shuffle Master will be there behind the scenes to profit as an important supplier to the gaming industry.

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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.