Little TTM Technologies (Nasdaq: TTMI) has grown up to become a global powerhouse. Investors have been rewarded with a market-beating 44% return over the last 12 months. Does TTM deserve to soar even higher?

TTM's first-quarter report was brilliant. Sales jumped 148% year-over-year, mostly thanks to the acquisition of Asian rival Meadville. GAAP earnings more than tripled from $0.10 per share to $0.33 per share as economies of scale kicked in. Gross margins stood at 19.5% a year ago; this time, they landed on 23.9% and the net margin more than doubled.

All of this compares favorably with TTM's industry rivals:

Company Gross Margin EPS Growth (YOY) CAPS Rating (out of 5)
TTM Technologies

23.9%

230% ****
Flextronics (Nasdaq: FLEX)

5.6%

156% ****
Sanmina-SCI (Nasdaq: SANM)

7.4%

33% ****
DDi (Nasdaq: DDIC)

21.3%

26% ****

Margin and growth data for each company's most recent quarter come from Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.

Yet the market didn't take kindly to TTM's results at all, sending the share price down by as much as 10.3% in Friday trading before recovering to a more modest 7.1% drop. The earnings tally came in a penny short of analyst estimates.

TTM remains a relative minnow next to diversified giants Flextronics and Sanmina-SCI. Though lots and lots of Fools have added TTM to their watchlists, only four Wall Street analysts follow this stock, and their estimates vary widely. Look up "underfollowed" in a dictionary, and you'll find TTM's logo.

How the company pulls that off, I'm not sure. After all, TTM supplies circuit boards to perennial market darling Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL); look at Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq: CRUS) and TriQuint Semiconductor (Nasdaq: TQNT) for recent examples of how intensely investors like to focus their attention on Cupertino's suppliers. And yet, TTM remains unknown to most investors and analysts.

Don't make the same mistake. Add TTM Technologies to My Watchlist, and you'll get a steady stream of updates as the company flies under the radar at super-sonic speeds. In time, you'll understand why Tom Gardner recently rerecommended TTM, some seven years after its original introduction to Stock Advisor subscribers.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Apple and TTM Technologies are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Motley Fool Options has recommended a bull call spread position on Apple. The Fool owns shares of Apple, Cirrus Logic, and TriQuint Semiconductor. 

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