Nvidia's upbeat current-quarter revenue forecast on Thursday underscored surging demand for its graphics chips used in data centres, gaming devices and cryptocurrency mining, sending its shares up as much as 12 percent in extended trading.
The company, which also reported better-than-expected quarterly results, is reaping the benefits from the launch of its Volta chip architecture last year. Volta processors power a range of technologies such as artificial intelligence and driverless cars.
"Virtually every internet and cloud service provider has embraced our Volta GPUs," Nvidia's Chief Executive Officer Jensen Huang said in a statement.
Graphic chips were initially developed to handle graphics for high-end video games and other computers. These chips help share the processing load from the main chip, making it easier and faster to run high-end applications.
These chips are now being widely used in new technologies, like artificial intelligence, machine learning.
Revenue from Nvidia's widely watched data centre business, which counts Microsoft Corp's Azure cloud business as its customer, more than doubled to $606 million (roughly Rs. 3,900 crores).
That trounced analysts' average estimate of $541.1 million.
Data centre should continue to grow pretty nicely into calendar 2018 and beyond, Morningstar analyst Abhinav Davuluri said.
"Strong demand in the cryptocurrency market exceeded our expectations," Chief Financial Officer Colette Kress said on a conference call.
"While the overall contribution of cryptocurrency to our business remains difficult to quantify, we believe it was a higher percentage of revenue than the prior quarter."
The company said inventory levels of its gaming GPUs throughout the quarter was lower than historical channel inventory levels due to surging demand from cryptocurrency miners.
The price of Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, rose more than 1,300 percent in 2017. Prices have, however, dropped about 40 percent this year.
Nvidia's revenue from gaming, for which it is best known, rose 29 percent to $1.74 billion (roughly Rs. 11,200 crores), accounting for a more than half of its total revenue in the fourth quarter, and also beating analysts' estimate of $1.59 billion.
The company forecast current-quarter revenue of $2.90 billion, plus or minus 2 percent, well above the analysts' average estimate of $2.47 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.
Net income rose to $1.12 billion, or $1.78 per share, in the fourth quarter ended January 28 from $655 million, or 99 cents per share, a year earlier.
Results include a $133 million gain related to the new US tax law.
Total revenue rose 34 percent to $2.91 billion, topping estimate of $2.69 billion.
Excluding items, the company said it earned $1.72 per share.
Nvidia earned $1.57 per share, excluding the tax benefit, according to Thomson Reuters, beating estimate of $1.17.
The company's shares were trading at $233 in extended trading. They have surged about 83 percent in the past 12 months.
© Thomson Reuters 2018