What happened

Shares of semiconductor leviathan Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) are surging on Friday, rising as much as 8.1% on heavy trading volume. The surge was triggered by a strong third-quarter earnings report.

So what

Intel's adjusted earnings rose 1% year over year, landing at $1.42 per diluted share. Revenue held perfectly steady at $19.2 billion. The analyst consensus had been calling for earnings near $1.24 per share on sales in the neighborhood of $18.1 billion. Those far too modest analyst targets stuck closely to Intel's own guidance figures, so it looks like the solid performance also caught the company's management by surprise.

Robotic etching tools are turning an unfinished silicon wafer into dozens of computer chips.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Heading into this report, I was concerned that a weak showing from Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN) earlier this week was pointing to an industrywide swoon with the power to drag Intel down as well. As an Intel shareholder myself, I'm relieved to see that I was very wrong.

"Q3 2019 was the best quarter in our Company's history," CFO Bob Swan said on the earnings call. "We've achieved record revenue both overall and in our data-centric businesses while making continued progress on our strategic priorities. Simply put, our ambitions have never been greater. We are growing share in a large and expanding $300 billion market opportunity, fueled by the exponential growth of data, which is reshaping computing."

I'll just eat my hat and watch my Intel holdings soaring today. TI and Intel are sending mixed messages about the current health of the semiconductor industry, so the rest of this young earnings season should be interesting. As for Intel, the chip giant just reminded us all what a rock-solid blue chip it can be even in these uncertain market conditions.