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 health-care information technology provider Allscripts Healthcare Solutions rose as much as 15% after the company reported its fourth-quarter earnings results.

So what: Consider this one a complete head-scratcher because Allscripts results continued an ongoing theme of not being particularly good. For the quarter, Allscripts earned $0.16 per share as revenue fell 5% to $368 million. Wall Street estimates had called for a profit of $0.21 and revenue of $367.1 million. Total bookings grew 11% from the sequential third quarter, but fell by 45% from the year-ago period. According to Allscripts' CEO, Paul Black, "Our fourth quarter and 2012 financial results did not meet our expectations."


Now what: And Allscripts is rallying because...? Feel free to enlighten me, because this appears as confusing a move on a pretty bad earnings report as I've seen. Allscripts' strategic review didn't amount to a sale of the company, and I can only imagine that was because the interested parties didn't like what they saw with recent booking trends. Given Allscripts' struggles, I would strongly suggest looking elsewhere in the health-care IT sector.

Craving more input? Start by adding Allscripts Healthcare Solutions to your free and personalized watchlist so you can keep up on the latest news with the company.

While you can certainly make huge gains in health-care IT names like Allscripts, the best investing approach is to choose great companies and stick with them for the long term. The Motley Fool's free report "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich" names stocks that could help you build long-term wealth and retire well, along with some winning wealth-building strategies that every investor should be aware of. Click here now to keep reading.

The article Why Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Shares Soared originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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