Maxim Integrated Products (Nasdaq: MXIM) can be a very sleepy stock at times. With a beta value of 1.13, the stock tracks the broad-based market much more closely than many of its erratic semiconductor peers.

But Maxim has climbed 8% over the last three days, and this terrific growth spurt was helped along by a very good third-quarter report. The $0.40 of adjusted earnings per share on $607 million of revenue was just about what analysts had expected, and management's next-quarter forecast was also in line with the Street.

The disasters in Japan had little effect on Maxim's operations. Given than only 7% of Maxim's orders come from Japan and the company gets most of the production to its automotive segment from Europe, that's hardly surprising. By contrast, Analog Devices (NYSE: ADI) and Linear Technology (Nasdaq: LLTC) collect about 14% of their sales from Japan, giving them much wider exposure to local events than Maxim's.

The stock looks expensive when compared with industry peers, but Maxim's management has a few levers to pull. Perhaps the biggest one is the cash tax rate, which currently lingers around the 35% mark but is expected to reach 25% shortly. Maxim is actively restructuring its financial flows in order to keep the tax man away, and that task is made both easier and more important by the fact that 85% of sales come from abroad.

Will Maxim reach its tax targets in 2011? Learn more about this company by adding Maxim Integrated Products to your watchlist. It's the best way to keep track of the tickers that matter to you.

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