Go figure. Here I was, ready to deal with a boom/bust reaction to II-VI (NASDAQ:IIVI) earnings, and the market threw a change-up by behaving pretty rationally when it got the news.

Results for this laser optics maker were both respectable and above published analyst estimates. Sales climbed nearly 33% for the quarter, but that includes the contribution of the Marlow Industries acquisition. Taking out the Marlow contribution, revenue still climbed about 13% over the prior year.

Margins basically held steady for the quarter, but that's a bit misleading. There was a lot more going on behind the scenes than was visible to spectators. The acquired Marlow business actually has lower margins, so despite the fact that the company looks like it made no progress, margins in the pre-existing business would have had to improve.

Revenue growth was pretty consistent across the optics businesses, with mid-teens revenue growth in all cases. Revenue from the compound semiconductor group more than tripled as reported, though all of that growth came from Marlow (and the unit posted a moderate revenue decline without that acquisition).

Overall, the picture on bookings was not quite so appealing. Total bookings only grew about 10%. Bookings in infrared optics were respectable (up 16%), but military bookings were up just 9%, and near-infrared optics bookings were down 36%. The good news, such as it is, is that the infrared optics business is nearly 60% larger than those two other business combined. In the semiconductor group, bookings were mixed, as nearly $7 million in Marlow business was offset by nearly $2 million in cancellations from other business.

Although the bookings numbers aren't stellar, I believe the outlook for this company is still pretty good. Not only did the company offer in-line guidance for the next year, but the market for laser optics in general should remain a growth market.

Higher-energy lasers consume more components, and there is still a drive to introduce lasers into new markets and applications (like laser marking for pharmaceuticals and produce). So as long as laser makers like Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation Rofin-Sinar (NASDAQ:RSTI) and Coherent (NASDAQ:COHR) stay on track and the semiconductor equipment business revives, the company will be fine.

Looking ahead, investors might want to keep an eye on the balance sheet. Accounts receivable and inventory both grew faster for the entire fiscal year than did revenue. That doesn't constitute a red flag just yet, but investors should keep an eye on those numbers over the next couple of quarters. Sometimes rising inventory is a sign of future growth, but it can likewise be a sign of future trouble.

Further focused Foolishness:

Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).