NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA) surprised investors with an earnings beat in the first quarter resulting in the stock surging above 5% after the bell. The strong earnings growth was aided by a rebound in the gaming market resulting in higher GPU sales. Revenue came in line with estimates.
Adjusted earnings came in at $0.88 per share, an increase of 9 cents compared to $0.79 per share expected by the street. However, this is much lower than $2.05 EPS reported last year.
Revenue fell 31% to $2.2 billion primarily impacted by lower GPU sales compared to the prior year period. But the top line numbers came in line with estimates. Last quarter, the company guided Q1 revenues of $2.20 billion, plus or minus 2%.
Commenting on the rebound in the first quarter, CEO Jensen Huang said: “NVIDIA is back on an upward trajectory. We’ve returned to growth in gaming, with nearly 100 new GeForce Max-Q laptops shipping.”
Gaming Market Rebound
It’s a no-brainer that the high-end GPUs used by the gamers has been the money spinner for NVIDIA. Sequentially, gaming market sales grew 10.5%, which is a good sign for investors as the increase in GPU chip sales would bring back the mojo to the chipmaker.
NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPU) demand tapered off due to muted demand from cryptocurrency miners which has piled up huge inventories. In order to clear the inventory, the company lowered its prices for its high-end GPUs which were used for bitcoin mining and gaming.
Strong Q1 results should come as a relief for the company and investors as the company has been facing multiple headwinds since November 2018 due to weaker demand for its graphics cards resulting in muted top and bottom line numbers.
Looking ahead, for the second quarter, revenue is anticipated to come in at $2.55 billion, plus or minus 2%. Adjusted gross margins are expected to be 59.5%, plus or minus 50 basis points. Analysts are expecting Q2 revenue at $2.54 billion and adjusted EPS of $1.11.
The chipmaker’s stock has recovered 29% since late December where it touched a 52-week low level of $124. However, when comparing to today’s market price, shares have plunged 45% since last October when it was trading at $292 levels.
Powering Data Center
In March this year, NVIDIA acquired Israeli-based chipmaker Mellanox Technologies for $6.9 billion, which is the biggest deal done till date. The buyout is expected to augment its data center offerings. The company clinched the deal from Intel which was also on the race to buy Mellanox. This acquisition would give a fillip to the top line in the near future.
Last month, Intel (INTC) reported flat revenues and a modest increase in adjusted earnings. The company’s results were hurt by weak demand from the data center and memory divisions. However, the stock fell 9% post the announcement as the fiscal year outlook failed to impress the street.
NVIDIA’s rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) reported better-than-expected numbers, but its gaming segment saw a significant drop in sales, which explains the demand weakness the industry is facing. However, AMD’s Q2 outlook was positively backed by improved demand expected in the remaining period of 2019.
When it comes to headwinds for the rest of the year, US-China trade wars, data center performance and increasing competition from AMD would be impacting NVIDIA. The GPU-chip pioneer has a tough task to tackle these issues to sustain growth for the rest of the year.
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