What happened

Shares of IPG Photonics (NASDAQ:IPGP) rose 10.1% in May 2017, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

So what

The fiber-optic laser systems specialist jumped 8% higher on May 2, making for an easy ride to these big monthly gains. That huge single-day return sprung from IPG's first-quarter earnings report, showing earnings of $1.38 per diluted share on $286 million in top-line sales while analysts would have settled for $1.20 and $254 million, respectively.

Fiber laser cutting machine in action.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

IPG enjoyed a sudden surge of laser orders from China and Eastern Europe in the first quarter, with strong gains in both the laser-cutter manufacturing and fiber-optic communications categories.

The fiber optic industry is surging in general this year as telecoms around the world prepare to roll out another round of networking infrastructure upgrades. IPG Photonics shares have gained 42% so far, and some peers are soaring nearly twice as high.

I would not be surprised to see this industrywide surge continuing for several quarters.

Anders Bylund has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends IPG Photonics. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.