I'm riding, I'm shining up my saddle;
I'm riding, this snake is gonna rattle.
I'm back in the saddle again --
I'm back!
-- "Back in the Saddle," by Aerosmith, 1977

Silicon Image (Nasdaq: SIMG) fell hard last month when noted analyst firm Needham & Co. downgraded the stock to the "hold" column. Today, the stock is back in the saddle again, rising as much as 19.7% on a terrific earnings report that struck down all of Needham's quibbles.

In the first quarter, Silicon Image saw sales jump 43% year-over-year to $49 million while last year's $0.05 non-GAAP loss per share turned into $0.03 of profit per share. Both of the analysts who follow the stock (yes, only two) had expected adjusted earnings of $0.01 per share on sales around $48 million.

So the company has started to grow into its sky-high valuation, which was the main reason for that hurtful downgrade to begin with. Moreover, the recent success of Silicon Image's MHL connectors for mobile media devices increases the company's chances of delivering strong growth in coming quarters, and Silicon Image even squeezed in a materially positive acquisition in this quarter. Not bad for three months of work.

Three months ago, I waxed poetic about the ubiquity of Silicon Image's bread-and-butter HDMI technology, noting that I'd be "shocked" if Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) shipped its iPad 2 without it. The tablet does lack HDMI port, and I'm suitably flabbergasted, but even so, Apple released an HDMI add-on that brings hi-def TV signals to the iPad as well as recent-model iPhones and iPod Touches. There's a small amount of royalty gold in those adapters for Silicon Image.

Simply put, nobody builds a consumer gadget with any kind of display nowadays without making sure that an HDMI cable can carry its signal to your big-screen TV. The technology isn't perfect -- I, for one, have recycled my old component cables for the living room DVD player because the DRM portion of my HDMI setup sometimes decided that my TV set wasn't allowed to access my DVDs. But it is close to ubiquitous, which means rising sales for Silicon Image as long as the mobile media boom still has legs.

Interested in more info on Silicon Image and its HDMI hegemony? Add the stock to your Foolish watchlist and we'll take it from there.