The recovery took a little while, but growth is finally returning to RF Micro Devices (NASDAQ:RFMD). So says management in its recent fiscal first-quarter 2008 earnings report, announcing income of $25.3 million on $211.6 million in revenue. While much of the bottom line came from a $21 million tax benefit, and revenue was even lighter than management's guidance, the results still exceeded some observers' expectations.

Over the past few quarters, RF Micro has been fermenting in a bath of declining sales, thanks to the woes of one its top customers, Motorola (NYSE:MOT). As the handset vendor has struggled to follow the RAZR with another hit product, declining demand has squeezed RF Micro's top line, leading to a 17.8% revenue decline in this quarter alone. RF is still smarting from this, but it expects the impact to be worked out by next quarter, thanks to increasing sales from other customers such as Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and Samsung, and new products coming to market.

Management is citing good progress in design wins and sales of its next-generation products, which go into devices for 3G wireless broadband networks. In fact, the company has already booked 50% sequential growth in both wireless LAN (local area network) and W-CDMA (wideband code division multiple access) revenue in the third quarter.

This proves that RF Micro can move beyond its traditional cellular revenue streams, stepping squarely into the markets of competitors such as Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN), Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM), and Skyworks (NASDAQ:SWKS). The company also cites good progress in forging into GPS products -- a domain dominated by SiRF Technology (NASDAQ:SIRF) -- though volume shipments aren't expected until 2009.

With investors feeling the last few quarters' hangover behind them, the market hoisted its glasses this morning, toasting RF Micro shares with a nearly 10% boost. Management's projections of sequential revenue growth between 9% and 16% helped spike that enthusiasm. Investors apparently believe that top-line growth is back in style.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock grew up smelling buckets of wine fermenting in his kitchen. He owns shares of Motorola. Dave is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. The Fool's disclosure policy is the ultimate designated driver.