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 Nanometrics Incorporated (NASDAQ:NANO) rose more than 14% Tuesday after the process control systems specialist announced better-than-expected fourth quarter results.

So what: Quarterly revenue fell 14% year over year to $39.7 million, which translated to an adjusted net loss of $3 million, or $0.12 per diluted share. However, analysts were expecting a wider $0.15-per-share loss on lower sales of $37.9 million.

Now what: Nanometrics CEO Dr. Timothy Stultz stated "2014 was a year of successful execution in gaining market share and expanding our customer footprint to every major customer for semiconductor wafer fab equipment." He also noted Nanometrics' sales outperformed the overall industry, and that they expect to enjoy continued growth in their served markets. This should lead to "another year of revenue growth, industry outperformance, improved financial performance, and profitability for 2015."

To be sure, Nanometrics expects first-quarter 2015 revenue of $47 million to $51 million, which should result in adjusted net income in the range of $0.00 per share to $0.09 per share. Analysts, on average, were expecting revenue at the low end of that range to result in roughly the same earnings of $0.05 per share.

All things considered, while Nanometrics' fourth-quarter results may not seem all that impressive at first, I can't blame the market for bidding up the stock today given the company's promise of continued outperformance going forward.

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.