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What: Shares of outdoor-goods expert Cabela's (NYSE: CAB) were high on life today, gaining as much as 14% in intraday trading after the company reported fourth-quarter results.

So what: What do investors want in a quarterly report? In short, they want better-than-expected earnings, better-than-expected revenue, and an optimistic view of the future. Cabela's fourth-quarter earnings release had all three.

For the fourth quarter, the hunting-and-fishing-gear maven delivered $1.06 in adjusted earnings per share on $984 million in revenue. On a YOY basis, revenue was up 5.4%, while adjusted EPS climbed 23%. Wall Street analysts were looking for just $0.99 in per-share profit and $963 million in sales.

Now what: As for the future, management has decided that business has been good enough and profitability has been strong enough that it's time to hit the gas pedal a bit harder. The company said that it's ramping up growth efforts, targeting a retail-square-footage increase of 10% in 2012 and another 11% to 13% in 2013. Cabela's is also rolling out a new store concept that will allow it enter some smaller markets.

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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not have a 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 Facebook.

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