What happened

Shares of Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) climbed 17.3% in October, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the semiconductor solutions company announced better-than-expected fiscal first-quarter 2020 results.

Shares soared almost 14% on Oct. 24 alone, the first trading day after Lam's report hit the wires.

Stock market data and charts on a colorful display.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The pop came even as Lam's headline numbers weren't dropping any jaws. Quarterly revenue declined 7.1% year over year to $2.166 billion, translating to adjusted earnings of $480 million, for $3.18 per share (down from $3.62 a year earlier). But the top and bottom lines arrived near the high end of Lam's guidance, which called for adjusted EPS of $2.80 to $3.20 on revenue of $2.0 billion to $2.3 billion.

Still, Lam's rise wasn't a straight line upward; shares briefly gave up much of their post-earnings pop late in the month before resuming their climb.

Now what

CEO Tim Archer called it a "solid" quarter with "strong profitability." And he offered a light at the end of the tunnel regarding the company's efforts to return to sustained, profitable growth, saying, "Through our unwavering commitment to customer collaboration and technology innovation, Lam has laid a foundation for long-term growth and outperformance."

Assuming Lam Research can indeed maintain its momentum and defend its industry leadership position even in this tough market, I suspect last month's rise will be only the start of an encouraging long-term trend.