I became a Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE:TSM) shareholder a few weeks ago, because I couldn't take my eyes off its 30%-plus net margins, healthy revenue growth, and steady supply of cash-rich customers. The company reported earnings last night, delighting me and other investors with even fatter margins, year over year.

Sales grew 17% in constant currency, the net margin for the quarter clocked in at 39.4%, and the $0.19 of net earnings per ADR was a 36% improvement over last year's $0.14.

Management did temper the rosy results with a downbeat outlook for Q4, saying that demand should decline across all of its major divisions. That makes sense, given the gloomy near-term outlooks issued by chip designers like Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN), STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM), and Silicon Laboratories (NASDAQ:SLAB) -- all, in turn, based on expected weakness in the cell phone business over the next quarter. But that whole trend might be an overreaction, and I wouldn't be surprised to see those doomsday scenarios overturned one by one.

Regardless, woe is the Fool whose investment horizon stretches only as far as the next quarter. You have to keep in mind that TSMC is the dominant player in a very large business, and many of the biggest names in semiconductors use its services to produce state-of-the-art chips to specifications. Graphics specialist NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA), for example, doesn't own any fabrication facilities of its own, depending exclusively on third-party foundries like TSMC, United Microelectronics (NYSE:UMC), and Semiconductor Manufacturing International (NYSE:SMI) for its production needs -- with the lion's share going to TSMC.

When one sector goes into a tailspin, like cell phones might do right about now, another can pick up the slack. Maybe it will be DSP processors for game consoles this time. Maybe it'll be memory chips, or digital camera sensors, or something else entirely. TSMC has a big finger in every semiconductor pie you can think of, and when the next big thing takes off, chances are good that the company will make plenty of the components for it.

So take the dusky outlook with a big grain of salt. Maybe that scenario will indeed materialize exactly as forecast, but even if it does, there's gold in them thar hills on the other side. I'm in for the long haul, and maybe you should be, too.

Further Foolishness:

None of these companies is a formal recommendation of ourMotley Fool Global Gains newsletter -- yet. Find out first when that changes with afree 30-day trial to our newest service, looking for great investments outside U.S. borders. But NVIDIA is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection, and so is Silicon Labs. Our flagship service is also available right at your fingertips for another freemonth-long trial.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund is a TSMC shareholder but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like. Foolishdisclosure comes with a side of bacon -- crispy, but not too crispy.