What happened

Shares of Axcelis Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:ACLS) rose 30.9% in September, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the semiconductor solutions specialist announced significant orders for its Purion H and Purion XE systems.

That's not to say Axcelis stock popped all at once, as is so often the case with promising small-cap tech companies. Rather, its impressive rise last month was gradual as investors digested the news of multiple separate order wins.

Man on ladder drawing a rising yellow line graph indicating business success


So what

To be sure, Axcelis started to climb on Sept. 7, when the company announced it had received orders for its 200mm and 300 mm Purion H high current systems from "multiple leading chip manufacturers." The company also noted those orders included a new foundry penetration and the successful tool evaluation with follow-on business to the same memory customer. Axcelis states that all systems have shipped and will support high-volume DRAM and mature device production.

Axcelis executive VP, customer operations John Aldeborgh expressed excitement for the potential of the wins and momentum of the Purion platform, noting the DRAM and mature device segments were being driven by growth in data storage and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Then, after drifting higher for the next two-and-a-half weeks, Axcelis stock surged another 6.5% on Sept. 27 when the company announced multiple follow-on orders and two new fab penetrations for its 200mm and 300mm Purion XE high-energy implanter. These orders -- all of which have shipped -- came from several leading chip manufacturers in China and the Asia Pacific region, and will support high-volume production of 3D NAND, mature logic, and image sensor devices.

"We're pleased to support our customers as they invest in additional manufacturing capacity to support the rapidly growing IoT, mobile and data storage markets," added Aldeborgh. "We are proud of our leadership position in high energy implant, which we have achieved by addressing the industry's evolving needs with superior technology, manufacturing flexibility and cost of ownership."

Now what

As it stands, Axcelis is slated to report its third-quarter 2017 results in early November. But if its recent order wins are any indication -- and with the caveat that the exact financial terms of those orders weren't released -- it seems safe to assume investors will be looking for strong top- and bottom-line results when that report hits the wires.

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.