Nvidia tops earnings forecasts but crypto role unclear - TechCentral

Nvidia tops earnings forecasts but crypto role unclear

Nvidia forecast second quarter revenue above analysts’ estimates on Wednesday, but shares fell 1% after hours as the company could not say for certain how much of its recent revenue rise was driven by the volatile cryptocurrency-mining market.

Demand for Nvidia graphics chips for video gaming boomed through the pandemic. This added several years of rapid sales growth for data centre chips used in artificial intelligence applications such as image recognition.

But on Wednesday investors again seemed put off by a surge in purchases of Nvidia chips for cryptocurrency mining, which tends to occur when the value of the currencies rises. To distinguish volatile demand for crypto-mining chips from its other more stable business lines that investors are tracking closely, Nvidia has tried to use technical changes to steer miners away from its gaming chips and towards purpose-built chips for mining.

Nvidia said those crypto-specific chips brought in US$155-million in its first quarter. The company said crypto miners also gave its much larger gaming chip segment a boost but it was not sure by how much. Crypto-specific chip sales are expected to rise to $400-million in the second quarter, the company said.

CEO Jensen Huang said making gaming chips less suitable for miners helps keep them available for gamers.

“It effectively increases our production and supply” of gaming chips, Huang said.

Scrutiny

Nvidia also said it still expects to close its $40-billion deal to purchase British chip technology firm ARM by March 2022. The deal has drawn scrutiny from regulators in the US and Britain and also needs approval from European and Chinese authorities.

The company expects revenue this quarter of $6.3-billion, plus or minus 2%, compared to analysts’ estimates of $5.5-billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company’s total revenue was $5.66-billion during the first quarter, beating estimates of $5.41-billion, according to Refinitiv data. Adjusted profit was $3.66/share, above analyst estimates of $3.28, according to Refinitiv data.

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang

The company’s closely watched data centre business, which has been eating away at rival Intel’s dominance in the segment, had revenue of $2.05-billion, up 79% year over year and above analyst estimates of $1.88-billion, according to Refinitiv data.

Sales for gaming chips were $2.76-billion, more than double the previous year and above estimates of $2.47-billion, according to Refinitiv data.

Nvidia’s shares were down 1% at $621.95 in extended trading on Wednesday.  — Reported by Stephen Nellis, Tiyashi Datta and Chavi Mehta, (c) 2021 Reuters

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