National Semiconductor (NYSE: NSM) just released slightly disappointing first-quarter results with a very conservative outlook for the next quarter. None of this should surprise investors who pay attention to the semiconductor industry, because Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) and Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) have already told us that this is where the market is leaning. It did surprise Mr. Market, however: National's stock is down around 7% today and exploring new 52-week lows.

I don't think that's fair. Yes, $412 million of first-quarter revenue was a bit less than the average analyst expected, but earnings landed at $0.36 per share, which was pretty much exactly in line with expectations. Management pointed out that National's fiscal quarter ends several weeks after most of its direct competitors', which amplifies the effect of a slowdown at the end of the quarter, which is what is going on here. Hence, National's second-quarter outlook seems a fair bit less optimistic than the competition, but for explainable reasons.

But put on your long-term goggles and National suddenly looks a lot more attractive. The company is a powerhouse in the narrowly defined end market of power control chips. These products are very important to a broad range of end-user gadgets including smartphones, LED lights, and medical ultrasound machinery. All of these product categories are set up for serious growth over the next few years.

If National does no more than keep pace with the growth of these markets in tight lockstep with main rivals Maxim Integrated Products (Nasdaq: MXIM), Analog Devices (NYSE: ADI), TI, and Intersil (Nasdaq: ISIL), that's still plenty good enough to make the stock look ridiculously cheap today. And since all of these competitors are less laser-focused on power controllers than National is, I think it's a safe bet that the company will increase its market share along the way.

So enjoy a deep-discount on National's shares while it lasts. If nothing else, this would be a good time to start an "outperform" CAPS rating on National Semiconductor.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Intel is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. The Fool owns shares of and has written puts on Intel. Motley Fool Options has recommended buying calls on Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.