What happened

Shares of NXP Semiconductors (NXPI 1.63%) rose as much as 11.3% on Wednesday, following the company's announcement of preliminary first-quarter results.

So what

In short, the coronavirus pandemic slowed down NXP's production lines and incoming orders more than originally expected. The maker of silicon chips for mobile security solutions and automotive computing now expects first-quarter sales to land near $2.02 billion, 16% below the year-ago period. GAAP operating profits should stop in the neighborhood of $68 million, far below the $179 million guidance midpoint.

A technician in protective eyewear holds up a microchip for a closer inspection.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Your eyes are not deceiving you. NXP's shares are surging despite first-quarter revenue and profit coming in well below guidance. Many investors and analysts had been expecting an even more downbeat guidance update, so this report provided an opportunity to adjust NXP's market value in a hurry. The stock is still trading 33% below its 52-week highs, valued at just 7 times free cash flow.

The full earnings report, scheduled for April 28, will flesh out these bare-bones numbers and provide guidance for the second quarter and beyond. Keep in mind that the COVID-19 crisis didn't really emerge until halfway through the first quarter.