Those who caught my quick take last week already know why I had my eye on Portfolio Recovery Associates (NASDAQ:PRAA).

For those who didn't, I'll recap briefly. The Motley Fool CAPS service is a free community where nearly 28,000 investors have gathered to share thoughts on more than 4,400 different stocks. The most recent feature added to CAPS was a daily "Stock of the Day" suggestion. Every day at the crack of midnight, using a secret formula more closely guarded than the Bush's baked beans recipe, CAPS offers up a stock suggestion to every CAPS player.

A week ago, Portfolio Recovery was my Stock of the Day, so I looked into it further. The business and valuation looked interesting, so I started following the stock.

And one week later ...

Portfolio Recovery reported first-quarter earnings per share of $0.80, up 20% over the prior year. The results also continued the company's streak of beating Wall Street earnings estimates, this time by $0.03.

The company's press release also contained this statement from Portfolio Recovery's CFO:

Portfolio Recovery Associates' strong first-quarter performance underscores our Company's ability to turn in impressive results in varying market conditions. Such performances over time prompted us to examine our capital structure, and we have determined that some financial leverage would be advantageous at this point. Our $1.00 per share special dividend, one million share repurchase program, and planned credit line expansion represent a continuation of our ongoing efforts to exploit the Company's operational and financial strengths with a goal of rewarding shareholders over the long term.

That's right, the company announced a special dividend of $1 and the repurchasing of 1 million shares. The results prompted a 13.4% jump in the stock (as of this writing).

Granted, not every Stock of the Day suggestion is going to be a winner, but it sure is a great way to get introduced to stocks that you may not have otherwise stumbled on. So if you haven't set yourself up on CAPS yet, take five minutes to create your CAPS portfolio.

And I'll see you at midnight (that's Eastern Time) hitting the refresh button to get that next Stock of the Day pick.

Jokes, thoughts, insults? Bring them here.

More quick-takin' Fools:

Portfolio Recovery Associates is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can visit Matt on the Fool's CAPS service here, or check out his blog here. The Fool's disclosure policy always has its Fool cap on. Do you?