What happened

Shares of FormFactor (NASDAQ:FORM) gained 32.4% in May 2017, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

So what

The maker of test and measurement systems for the semiconductor manufacturing industry reported first-quarter results in early May, and its share prices surged 27% higher in the next two days. Sales increased by 140% year over year to land at $129 million, helped by the acquisition of sector peer Cascade Microtech, which closed at the end of June 2016. The bottom line swung from a $0.11 loss per share to $0.24 of adjusted earnings per share. Both results were comfortably ahead of analyst projections.

Semiconductor wafer manufactured and tested in a cleanroom.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

FormFactor's management followed up on this strong slate of results with an equally rosy set of projections for the second quarter.

"Here in the first half of 2017, FormFactor is experiencing strong demand for both probe cards and engineering systems to test the microprocessors and memory chips that are the heart of today's data centers," CEO Mike Slessor said in the first-quarter earnings call. "In addition, we're excited about the opportunities for our Foundry and Logic RF probe card business, given new millimeter wave sensing and 5G communication requirements being contemplated to support autonomous driving."

So FormFactor's strong results also serve as a barometer for the chip industry as a whole, and it looks like sunny days ahead in several key subsectors. If you worry that FormFactor shares might be running out of steam after doubling in 52 weeks, you could look around for strong growth opportunities in other segments of the semiconductor food chain.