Considering that its name is ubiquitous and associated with quality surround sound equipment, you couldn't be criticized for not realizing that Dolby Labs (NYSE:DLB) wasn't a publicly traded company until just last year. With much smaller competitors like DTS (NASDAQ:DTSI) (which is equally ubiquitous, though not nearly as well-known) and SRS Labs (NASDAQ:SRSL) nipping at its heels, Dolby has proven able to produce results that continue to reverberate.

In the same way it has escaped much wider market scrutiny, Dolby produced first-quarter revenue and earnings results that are surprising for a company that's been around a few decades: Sales were up 8%, while earnings jumped 66% over the year before. More remarkable still was that these numbers were achieved despite a $6.4 million charge related to installing digital cinema equipment in 100 theaters in 25 top markets for the premiere of Disney's (NYSE:DIS) release of the animated movie Chicken Little. While the movie itself was not critically acclaimed, the advent of Dolby's cinema equipment should lead to further sales and installations down the road.

That goal was realized in the second quarter as MEGAPLEX Theaters agreed to install Dolby's digital cinema equipment in 20 of its theaters in Utah. It had been one of the chains premiering Chicken Little, and as a result decided to expand its commitment to Dolby. Factors like that help explain Dolby's ability to produce total revenues that were 23% higher while earnings rose 172% from the previous year's period.

Revenues were strong once again in the third quarter, rising 16% on the strength of Dolby's licensing division. In its work with computer chip manufacturers, Dolby doesn't charge them for including its technology in their chips, but rather charges the product manufacturers a licensing fee. Those were up 75% in the first nine months of the year and still accounted for 76% of the company's $289 million in total revenues.

On the heels of becoming a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation, Dolby surprised everyone with its fourth-quarter results. Profits came in at $25.2 million, a 50% increase over the year before, and revenues rose 29% to $103 million. Licensing continued to be the growth driver here, particularly in the area of high-definition products like televisions, next-generation DVD players, and game consoles, which made up 79% of revenues in the quarter, while product sales and services came in at 21% of revenues.

In all, Dolby Labs looks like it's ready to shake the walls of Wall Street as it surrounds the future of sound with its technology. Undoubtedly that accounts for Dolby's four-star rating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's new investor intelligence community, where bulls on the stock outnumber bears by a better than 22-to-1 ratio.

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One top-rated CAPS player, StuSegal, notes, "30 years ago they set the recording world on fire . . . then they came to the big screen. Now they're imbedded in every aspect of the entertainment industry, and no one has been able to mount a credible challenge to their noise reduction process in 30 years. And I'm betting no one will anytime soon."

Stock Advisor, which has made Dolby Labs a re-recommendation, underscores that even with the waves that it's been making, there's still more than white noise behind the results. To see what other market-beating picks are recommendations, take a free 30-day trial to the service today.

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Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not own any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.