What happened

Shares of NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) gained 19.5% in April 2019, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The lion's share of the embedded-chip maker's jump was powered by a surprisingly solid earnings report at the tail end of the month.

So what

In the first quarter of fiscal year 2019, NXP saw sales fall 8% year over year to $2.1 billion. GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) earnings swung from a $0.94 profit to a $0.07 loss per share, but that shift included several large writedowns of intangible assets -- a noncash line item that has little to do with the company's operating efficiency. NXP didn't provide any adjusted bottom-line figures, but applying tax and interest effects to its adjusted operating income results in non-GAAP earnings near $1.60 per share. Analysts had been looking for adjusted earnings in the neighborhood of $1.55 per share on sales near $2.1 billion.

Close-up rendering of several microchips, with the chip in the center featuring a blue graphic of a car sending out radio signals

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

The solid report arrived with a side of optimistic management comments regarding the rest of 2019. NXP's second-quarter revenue guidance stopped more than 2% above the current Street view, and the company's gross margin is expanding. The rebound could always be undermined by macroeconomic forces but -- fingers crossed -- NXP sees good times ahead in automotive and industrial computing.

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.