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Cloud Computing: : Nvidia data center sales top $1 billion for first time, earnings beat expectations

Cloud Computing:

Quarterly results and outlook top Street view following run of record closes

Cloud Computing:

The Nvidia A100 graphics processing unit.


Nvidia

Nvidia Corp.’s data-center sales topped $1 billion for the first time at the start of 2020 and beat expectations for earnings and sales, but shares were sluggish in late trading Thursday following nearly a week of record closes.

Nvidia
NVDA,
-2.17%

reported first-quarter net income of $917 million, or $1.47 a share, compared with $394 million, or 64 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were $1.80 a share, compared with 88 cents a share in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $3.08 billion from $2.22 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of $1.65 a share on revenue of $2.97 billion. Nvidia had forecast revenue of $2.94 billion to $3.06 billion, which had factored in a $100 million headwind from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shares, which had declined about 1% immediately after the release, were last up 0.2% in after-hours trading, after a 2.2% decline in the regular session to close at $351.01. Thursday’s regular session was the first decline for Nvidia’s stock after a run of four consecutive closes at record highs.

Business in the Age of COVID-19: Nvidia should dodge coronavirus effects thanks to data centers and videogames

Nvidia’s two largest segments are chips for gaming and data centers, both of which seem safe from negative effects from the coronavirus pandemic after emerging from a year of struggle at the end of 2019. Data-center operators continue to push new chips into their servers to increase machine-learning capabilities for cloud customers and their own usage, while videogames have enjoyed a strong surge amid shelter-in-place requirements.

Nvidia launched new data-center products like its A100 graphics-processing unit last week as part of its annual GTC event, introducing a new architecture for its GPUs, dubbed Ampere. Chief Executive Jensen Huang said then that the new chips were already being shipped to customers, including the largest cloud-computing offerings such as Amazon.com Inc.’s
AMZN,
-2.05%

Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Corp.’s
MSFT,
-1.20%

Azure and Alphabet Inc.’s
GOOGL,
-0.17%

GOOG,
-0.27%

Google Cloud.

For more: Nvidia unveils Ampere GPU architecture for AI boost, and the first target is coronavirus

Nvidia reported gaming revenue of $1.34 billion, up from $1.06 billion in the year-ago period. Data center revenue came in at $1.14 billion, up from $634 million a year ago. Analysts had expected a 24% rise in gaming sales to $1.3 billion from a year ago, and a 62% surge in data-center sales to $1.03 billion.

“Our data-center business achieved a record and its first $1 billion quarter,” said Jensen Huang, Nvidia founder and chief executive, in a statement. “Nvidia is well positioned to advance the most powerful technology forces of our time — cloud computing and AI.”

Nvidia expects second-quarter revenue of $3.58 billion to $3.72 billion, while analysts had forecast revenue of $3.25 billion.

Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, called the quarter “phenomenal” given the pandemic.

“The A100 data-center training/inference product appears to be off on a rocket-ship start, a very good sign,” said Moorhead in emailed comments. “Gaming and workstation growth are directly tied to competitive products and the need to work, govern and school from home.”

Nvidia shares are up 49% for the year. In comparison, the PHLX Semiconductor Index
SOX,
-2.70%

is down 3% in 2020, the S&P 500 index
SPX,
-0.77%

is down 9%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index
COMP,
-0.96%

is up nearly 4%.

Of the 40 analysts who cover Nvidia, 32 have buy or overweight ratings, five have hold ratings, and three have sell ratings, along with an average price target of $325.18, according to FactSet data.

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