No time to question the choices I make
I've got to follow another direction -- accelerate!
-- From "Accelerate," by R.E.M., 2008

Earlier this month, I told you to watch out for Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq: CRUS). This unsung hero looked like a great way to profit from the iPad craze. The results are in and let me just say: I told you so.

Among many other things, Cirrus sells sound chips (on the seashore) with high audio quality to high-end consumer electronics firms. Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) uses Cirrus audio components in its iPads and iPhones. Sony (NYSE: SNE) likes Cirrus chips, and so does audiophile brand Harman Kardon parent Harman International Industries (NYSE: HAR). And Cirrus audio chips and software go into all kinds of noise-making gadgets, from home entertainment centers to MP3 players and everything in-between -- but the hot segment that's driving the Cirrus truck right now is portable audio.

And this truck is burning some serious rubber. Fourth-quarter sales for Cirrus gained 87% year over year to $62.6 million, and $0.31 of GAAP earnings per share was a reversal of last year's $0.12 net loss per share. Cirrus is out talking to prospective new customers about using custom-built audio chips, including giants of the automobile industry who want better entertainment systems in their cars.

Cirrus is by no means the only player in the portable audio market; every design win is the result of bloody battles (metaphorically speaking) against bigger and richer rivals like Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN), National Semiconductor (NYSE: NSM), and Maxim Integrated Technologies (Nasdaq: MXIM). But Cirrus is certainly the hot ticket in this market at a time of humongous growth for the smartphone and personal entertainment gadget sectors where the chips end up doing their work.

It's perfect timing and if you bought Cirrus when I shone the spotlight on it in early April, you'd be sitting on a 38% return that leaves the market and even mighty Apple eating its dust. The company's model is to build differentiated chips that knock the socks off its customers' expectations, then leverage that success to sign more custom design contracts -- lather, rinse, repeat. Right now, the company is sitting pretty on Apple wins, and I see the virtuous cycle playing out again as we speak.

Did you miss the boat on Cirrus or are the best days still ahead? I lean toward the second option, but feel free to discuss in the comments below.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund goes ga-ga over National Poetry Month, but he holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.