When technology sector bellwether Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) announced earlier this month that it was seeing strong demand for flash memory chips, it gave many semiconductor stocks a needed boost. Smaller, lesser-known semiconductor company Standard Microsystems (NASDAQ:SMSC) received a momentary push, but its shares have since fallen below where they were trading prior to Intel's pre-announcement.

Judging by Standard Micro's first-quarter earnings release, the company has created some good news of its own. Standard Micro reported earnings of $0.15 per share this morning, which outpaced both the analysts' expectations of $0.13 and the $0.11 it earned last year. The company also produced a 24% revenue increase, as notebook device sales rose 20% and network and connectivity products jumped 50%.

Standard also notified the investment community that its second-quarter revenues would most likely be in the $56 million to $60 million range, which is at the upper end of Wall Street's expectations of $57 million. For its second quarter, Standard Micro was expecting $0.18 per share, but the company upped the ante when it adjusted the estimate slightly higher to a range of $0.17 to $0.21.

Standard Micro would love to begin riding a Detroit Piston-like surge of strength in the near future. With no long-term debt and an attractive book value of more than $14 per share, the company has positioned itself to be recognized for its outstanding operating performance.

Standard Micro's shares are trading at 20 times next year's earnings estimate of $1.12 per share; the shares look relatively inexpensive when compared to the company's earnings per share growth estimates of more than 40% for the next two years. If Standard Micro and the Pistons can teach us one lesson, it is to be aware of the underdog.

Fool contributor Phil Wohl spent more than 12 years on Wall Street and now concentrates his writing on more fictional characters. He has no stake in any firm mentioned above.