What happened

Shares of semiconductor company Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) popped a little higher today after the company beat Wall Street's expectations for the third quarter of its fiscal 2020. It also offered guidance for the fourth quarter that was ahead of expectations.

As of 11:30 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, Micron stock was up 6%.

A hand holding a pen plots an arrow higher on a chart.

The cyclical semiconductor industry could be headed up. Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Micron reported Q3 revenue of $5.4 billion for 14% growth year over year. This exceeded the high end of its previous revenue guidance of $4.6 billion to $5.2 billion. Last quarter, the company didn't give guidance according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), but provided adjusted earnings-per-share guidance of $0.55. Micron blew this away with EPS of $0.82. It also earned $0.71 per share on a GAAP basis. 

For the upcoming Q4, Micron's guidance was upbeat. It forecast revenue of $5.75 billion to $6.25 billion, representing 23% year-over-year growth. It also gave GAAP EPS guidance of $0.78 to $0.98, and adjusted EPS guidance of $0.95 to $1.15.

Now what

Beyond the numbers, Micron's quarter and guidance are noteworthy because of the cyclical industry that the company operates in. Both shipments and the average selling price (ASP) of its products increased in Q3. Higher shipments indicate strong demand, while increased ASP signals low supply. In other words, Micron's results suggest the semiconductor industry is entering a fresh bull cycle, which is encouraging news for shareholders of this semiconductor stock.