The recession wasn't all bad. Some companies learned fiscal discipline when times were hard, and now they look better than ever. Such is the case with Vishay Intertechnology (NYSE: VSH).

Three months ago, Vishay promised up to $690 million in fourth-quarter sales with margins at least as strong as in the terrific third quarter.

The results are in, and Vishay delivered on its promises. Sales improved by 13.4% year-over-year to $689 million, just shy of the very top of that guidance range. Take out the $46.9 million that Vishay Precision Group (NYSE: VPG) contributed last year, before its spinoff, and you're looking at a more impressive 23% improvement.

Gross and operating margins stayed within shouting distance of their third-quarter cousins, far above year-ago levels, and one-time tax gains took net margins to a whole new level. The tax effects aren't sustainable, but Vishay seems to have reached a comfortable level of operating efficiency.

That doesn't necessarily make the company best in class; head-to-head rivals ON Semiconductor (Nasdaq: ONNN) and AVX (NYSE: AVX) both have fatter operating margins than Vishay, though neither can match Vishay's growth. But in the end, it's tough to find an electronics-component supplier of Vishay's caliber at anywhere near the stock's deep-discount valuation.

This stock has more than doubled over the last year but still looks like a tremendous value. There's gold in them thar capacitors and analog chips, and the stock should catch up with Vishay's efficient operations in due time. It's a four-star CAPS stock (out of five) for a reason, and Vishay surely belongs on your watchlist.