What happened

Shares of Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN) gained 10.3% in May, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The semiconductor veteran didn't have a whole lot of news to share last month, but the stock was able to ride a wave of positive market trends on the heels of a solid earnings report near the end of April.

The classic TI logo featuring a simple Texas map.

Image source: Texas Instruments.

So what

As a reminder, Texas Instruments smashed Wall Street's first-quarter estimates across the board with 11% year-over-year sales growth and 39% higher earnings. The company shrugged off fears that it might suffer from weak sales of Apple iPhones, and the Texans found other ways to deliver rock-solid results. Above all, the company is focusing on industrial and automotive computing opportunities while waiting for the 5G wireless market to take off.

In May, a trade-war spat with China caused mobile communications giant ZTE to essentially go out of business. Many American chipmakers jumped on the news, as ZTE's exit arguably underscored their value to the modern smartphone and telecom equipment markets. Texas Instruments joined that surge with a 7% share price gain in the space of five days.

Now what

In early June, TI boosted its investment case again with a $200 million bond sale at attractive terms. Share prices rose another 3% on the news. The company is going from strength to strength, and investors have enjoyed a 42% return over the last 52 weeks. Even so, the stock still looks affordable at a P/E ratio of just 19 times forward earnings.

Anders Bylund has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple and short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.