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: Investors were repossessing shares of Portfolio Recovery Associates (Nasdaq: PRAA) today, sending the financial services company up 15% on a strong earnings report.

So what: Portfolio Recovery, which specializes in debt collection, sped past EPS estimates of $1.64, posting $1.87 for the quarter while revenue jumped 29% to $148 million, also ahead of estimates. Cash collections grew in all segments, and the company set a quarterly record in portfolio acquisitions as well, a key driver of new business. The firm was also able to repurchase 300,849 shares at an average price of $68.62, significantly below the $98 it sits at today, helping to pump earnings per share. No guidance was issued.

Now what: Because of the nature of its business, Portfolio Recovery could be one of the few companies that actually benefit from a slowdown in the economy. The way it sees things, the more distressed debt in the world, the better. With a clean balance sheet, solid future growth, and an average valuation, this looks like a great bet going forward.

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