Cable Confusion by Eric, on Flickr.

What: Shares of QLogic (NASDAQ:QLGC) rose as much as 21.3% on Friday, lifted by an impressive earnings surprise in a freshly published second-quarter report.

So what: In the second quarter, Qlogic's sales declined 19% year over year to land at $103.4 million, right in line with Wall Street's consensus target. On the bottom line, adjusted earnings fell 32% to $0.17 per diluted share, but analysts had been expecting a leaner profit near $0.14 per share.

Looking ahead, Qlogic's management expects to deliver earnings of roughly $0.26 per share in the third quarter, culled from revenues of roughly $118 million. Here, the Street would currently have settled for earnings of $0.22 per share and something like $114.5 million in top-line sales.

Now what: The maker of high-speed data networking components delivered these strong results and rosy projections thanks to solid demand for its next-generation fiber networking components.

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

Following sharp on the heels of fellow fiber components specialist Oclaro 's (NASDAQ:OCLR) equally encouraging results, this report helps investors sketch out a rising demand picture for truly high-performance networking gear.

Looking further up the networking food chain, strong component orders should translate into good market conditions for builders of actual long-haul routeres and switches, who in turn must be preparing to fill large orders from the large telecoms and cable companies of the world.

Keep this narrative in mind as you watch networking companies and telecoms reporting results over the next couple of weeks. This quarter may become a positive turning point for these highly cyclical industries, but we have only just begun to collect market data to support that theory.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.