What happened

Shares of Ultra Clean Holdings (UCTT -0.30%) closed Thursday's trading 19.2% higher. The maker of cleaning and filtration systems used in semiconductor manufacturing posted a fantastic earnings report on Wednesday evening.

So what

Ultra Clean's third-quarter sales landed at $553.7 million, 52% above the year-ago period's reading. Adjusted earnings rose 47% to $1.07 per diluted share. The analyst consensus had called for earnings near $1.01 per share and revenue in the neighborhood of $542 million.

Management also set up optimistic targets for the ongoing fourth quarter. At the midpoint of the given guidance ranges, Ultra Clean expects Q4 earnings of roughly $1.21 per share and revenue of approximately $610 million. Here, the Street had reached consensus estimates of $1.02 per share and $545 million, respectively.

A chipmaker's immaculately cleaned factory room.

A chipmaker's clean room -- the natural habitat for Ultra Clean's products. Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

It should come as no surprise that Ultra Clean's business is booming at a time when its clients in the semiconductor industry are pouring billions of dollars into expanding their chip-manufacturing capacity. When a chip maker builds a new semiconductor fabrication facility (or upgrades an existing one), Ultra Clean stands to benefit as its products are crucial to the chip-making process.

The stock has nearly doubled in 52 weeks. Even so, Ultra Clean's shares still trade at the eminently affordable ratio of 13.5 times trailing earnings. Owning stock in Ultra Clean looks like a good idea if you're looking for a silver lining to the painful semiconductor shortage cloud.