The good news for investors in OmniVision Technologies (Nasdaq: OVTI) today: The company beat profit expectations in its first-quarter report last night, turning the year-ago period's $0.08 non-GAAP loss per share into a $0.39 net profit per share and leaving analyst forecasts about $0.04 behind. The bad news? Sales disappointed by merely rising 83% year over year to $193 million. That's $11 million short of Wall Street expectations.

Several factors pushed OmniVision's sales lower than expected, including manufacturing trouble with the company's latest backside illumination camera sensors, "slight push-outs" of new product by some key customers, and generally weak demand for entry-level camera phones across Asia.

OmniVision's management views all of these issues as temporary. Main manufacturing partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (NYSE: TSM) usually does a fine job of cranking out high volumes of advanced semiconductor wafers like those BSI sensors. The Asian weakness was a "blip," according to worldwide sales VP Ray Cisneros. Large customers shift their order patterns around all the time. Nothing to see here, move along.

Most of this may very well be true. The BSI chip architecture sets OmniVision apart from every other competitor, including Sony (NYSE: SNE), Eastman Kodak (NYSE: EK), and former Micron Technology (NYSE: MU) subsidiary Aptina. It's a more efficient way of squeezing digital pixels out of a low-light situation, and only OmniVision seriously went after this technology five years ago when everyone else thought it too expensive to make.

Now the company has a few years of manufacturing experience that nobody else can match, not to mention an attractive all-digital autofocus feature. When rumors arose earlier this summer about Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) possibly using Sony chips instead of Omnivision's incumbent BSI products in next year's iPhone 5 (or 4G, or whatever it'll be named), it was easy to toss them aside due to this technology moat around OmniVision.

Still, indications from elsewhere in the semiconductor and gadget-building industries don't exactly line up with this rosy view of the future. I wouldn't be surprised to see OmniVision's next quarter fall short of expectations again. The stock is sniffing around at three-year highs these days, and the fall from grace may be hard, fast, and painful.

My advice? There will be better times to buy this stock, once we know what's going on with the global market for camera-equipped trinkets. Stay tuned and in focus.

Will momentum override uncertainty and drive OmniVision's stock to even greater heights? Give Anders what-for in the comments below.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services 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.