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 specialty financial services company PHH (NYSE: PHH) spiked today, gaining as much as 13% in intraday trading before closing with a 7.9% gain.

So what: The spark for PHH's big jump was the release of the company's fourth-quarter earnings. For the quarter, the company saw revenue shrink nearly 30% from the prior year, to $649 million. However, profits surged, increasing from $0.31 in the fourth quarter of 2010 to $0.98. The bottom line easily beat the expectations of Wall Street analysts, which called for just $0.66 per share.

Now what: While the company didn't give a specific forecast for 2012, CEO Glen Messina did note that some of the company's plans for deleveraging and increasing liquidity could hurt the bottom line this year. However, the company's hope is that its focus on the long term -- which it believes will be served by a stronger and more liquid balance sheet, as well as other ongoing initiatives such as a more focused growth strategy -- will provide the best results for shareholders in the end.

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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer has no financial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter, @KoppTheFool, or on Facebook. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.