By Asa Fitch 

This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of articles that also appeared in the U.S. print edition of The Wall Street Journal (February 14, 2020).

Graphics chip-making giant Nvidia Corp. reported recovering earnings, buttressed by strong gaming revenues and record sales to big data centers that are using its hardware in artificial intelligence calculations.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company on Thursday said fiscal fourth-quarter sales rose 41% to $3.11 billion. Adjusted earnings per share more than doubled to $1.89, ending a streak of four quarters of weaker year-over-year results.

The results bested Wall Street forecasts. Analysts expected Nvidia to generate sales of $2.96 billion and $1.67 in adjusted earnings per share, according to a FactSet survey.

Nvidia's shares rose more than 6% in after-hours trading.

The chip--maker gave a positive outlook for the current quarter, which ends in April. Revenues are expected at $3 billion, above what analysts had forecast.

The outbreak of the coronavirus in China, the company said, was difficult to estimate. It resulted in a $100 million reduction to expected sales in the current quarter, the company said. Nvidia generated around 24% of sales last fiscal year in China, according to regulatory filings.

Despite widespread concerns the virus could disrupt vital Chinese supply chain links for tech companies, chip-makers so far been relatively unscathed because their customers, including computer manufacturers and electronic parts suppliers, typically place orders months in advance. But the impact could start to be felt this quarter, industry officials have said. Analysts at Northland Securities on Tuesday predicted a 10% to 20% quarter-on-quarter downturn in semiconductor demand, followed by a slow recovery through the rest of the year.

Nvidia has recently benefited from growing interest in artificial intelligence, another computational challenge where its graphics processors excel. Big cloud-computing players like Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google unit use Nvidia chips to satisfy their customers' demand for more AI computing power.

Nvidia has also long been a leading player in gaming, which remains its largest revenue source. Nvidia chips are used in Nintendo Co.'s Switch gaming consoles. Nintendo said it had sold 10.81 million Switch devices in the final three months of last year.

The company also has made a splash with a so-called ray-tracing technology that facilitates more realistic depictions of light and shadow in videogames. Early this month, Nvidia launched a cloud-based gaming service called GeForce Now that allows gamers to play their favorite titles, some with ray-tracing enabled, without having a souped-up computer at home.

Nvidia said its gaming revenue rose 56% in the quarter to $1.49 billion, Nvidia said. Data center revenue rose 43% to $968 million. Sales grew in all the company's other segments except for its automotive business, which sells technologies used in autonomous driving, where revenues were flat at $163 million.

The quarter's earnings jump partly reflected poor performance in Nvidia's year-earlier period, when the company was grappling with a slump in cryptocurrency markets. Nvidia's graphics processors are well-suited to solving the complex mathematical calculations that go into cryptocurrency mining, driving demand for the chips while the market remained hot in 2018 but causing a lull when it softened thereafter.

Write to Asa Fitch at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 14, 2020 02:47 ET (07:47 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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