If Linear Technology (NASDAQ:LLTC) had a good quarter this spring, the summer period was outright amazing. Last quarter’s 4% sequential sales growth turned into a 14% quarter-over-quarter leap in yesterday’s first-quarter report, and revenue landed at an impressive $236.1 million. Twenty-seven cents of earnings per diluted share was a $0.02 improvement over last quarter at a gross margin of -- are you sitting down? -- 74.7%.

Linear runs on margins that remind you of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) more than hardware makers like Linear's actual rivals Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN) and Analog Devices (NASDAQ:ADI). It's done by focusing on high-margin opportunities with a laser-like focus; Linear is backing out of the commoditized cell phone market on purpose, for example.

The company has started to reverse the cutbacks and shutdowns that resulted in forced employee vacation time earlier this year, because demand is picking up month by month and Linear's factories are running at about 75%-80% capacity again. The all-important book-to-bill ratio is back over 1.0, which means the company takes in orders faster than it can send out product. And it's doing all of this with industry-leading gross margins and no pricing pressure to speak of.

It's an enviable position to be in, and the future looks bright for this Stock Advisor recommendation. Linear is taking aim at the market for industrial semiconductors, including a plethora of chips designed for battery management and infotainment systems in electric and hybrid cars. Think of Linear the next time you buy a Toyota (NYSE:TM) Prius or the hybrid version of a Honda (NYSE:HMC) Civic -- because Linear is going after Japanese automakers with a vengeance.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Linear Technology is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.