What happened

Shares of microchip maker NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) closed Thursday's trading session 12.1% higher. In the process of getting over the failed merger with larger rival Qualcomm, this leader in automotive-computing solutions stunned the Street with a great third-quarter report.

So what

NXP's third-quarter sales rose 2.4% year over year, to land at $2.45 billion. Analysts had been looking for a slightly milder $2.42 billion result. On the bottom line, GAAP earnings per share surged from $1.69 to $5.60, with the caveat that these figures might not be comparable to the year-ago period or to analyst expectations. Indeed, your average analyst would have settled for $1.90 per share.

A piece of plier-like equipment installing a small microchip on a circuit board.

Image source: Getty Images.

The company did not publish an adjusted earnings figure, but if you work out the tax effects of this quarter's massive one-time gain -- a $2 billion deal termination fee from Qualcomm -- and apply that to NXP's adjusted operating profits, you'll end up with an adjusted earnings figure somewhere near $2.25 per share.

If that looks like too much financial hand waving for your taste, NXP set the midpoint of its adjusted operating income guidance at $171 million. The actual result on that line -- which backs out unusual items like the Qualcomm payment -- was $733 million.

Now what

Without the Qualcomm fee, NXP breezed by analyst expectations and its own guidance. The presence of a cool $2 billion -- minus $330 million of taxes on that windfall -- on top of an already strong report only underscores my high hopes for NXP's long-term prospects. This ticker is going places, and the stock's big jump should come as no surprise.