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 patent play InterDigital (Nasdaq: IDCC) have plunged today, down by 21% at the low, as the company announced preliminary earnings and updates to its business plan.

So what: Fourth-quarter revenue is expected to be $74.2 million, with diluted earnings per share of $0.46. However, the bigger news is that the company has called off the sale of its patent portfolio, which had been one of the more promising aspects of InterDigital.

Now what: With all the hoopla surrounding the value of patents in recent times, it seemed like the time was ripe for InterDigital to sell itself or its patents to any number of technology giants. The idea was kicked off last summer, but the search failed to find a suitor. The prospect of the sale has been helping drive price action over the past six months, and now that a sale is off the table, investors are moving on to bigger and better things.

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Fool contributor Evan Niu holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of InterDigital. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.