What happened

Shares of Electro Scientific Industries (NASDAQ:ESIO) soared on Thursday after the provider of laser-based manufacturing solutions reported solid first-quarter results. ESI beat analyst estimates for both revenue and earnings, and it provided guidance that was ahead of analyst expectations. As of 12:10 p.m. EDT, the stock was up about 20.8%.

So what

ESI reported first-quarter revenue of $110.6 million, up 52.1% year over year and about $6 million higher than the average analyst estimate. Systems revenue jumped 56% to $96.9 million, while services revenue rose 30% to $13.8 million. Total orders were $82.3 million, up 7.4% year over year, with demand for MLCC testing tools offsetting cyclical weakness in new demand for flexible circuit laser drills.

A rising stock chart.

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Non-GAAP earnings per share came in at $0.96, up from $0.38 in the prior-year period and $0.11 better than analysts were expecting. Non-GAAP gross margin rose 1.6 percentage points to 48.7%, while operating expenses declined slightly due to the completion of restructuring activities.

"The technology trends toward the need for precision laser processing and component test within the consumer electronics and automotive markets have enabled us to post a strong start to our fiscal year with 52% year on year revenue growth and excellent overall financial performance," said CEO Michael Burger.

Now what

ESI expects to produce second-quarter revenue between $80 million and $90 million, along with non-GAAP EPS between $0.52 and $0.62. Analysts were expecting revenue of $80.2 million and non-GAAP EPS of $0.51. In the second quarter of last year, ESI produced revenue of $71 million and non-GAAP EPS of $0.39.

While the rapid-fire growth during the first quarter will give way to slower growth in the second quarter, the market clearly likes what it sees.

Timothy Green has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.