Earnings

Nvidia shares pass $1,000 for first time on AI-driven sales surge

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Jensen Huang, co-founder and chief executive officer of Nvidia Corp., during the Nvidia GPU Technology Conference (GTC) in San Jose, California, US, on Tuesday, March 19, 2024. 
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Nvidia reports fiscal first-quarter earnings on Wednesday after the bell.

Here’s what Wall Street expects, per LSEG consensus estimates:

  • Earnings Per Share: $5.59, adjusted
  • Revenue: $24.65 billion

The chipmaker, which a decade ago was a niche developer of 3D gaming hardware, has found itself at the center of the action in technology.

Nvidia’s report comes about a year after the company first signaled to investors that it was about to embark on a stretch of torrid growth powered by demand for artificial intelligence chips from companies such as Google, Microsoft, Meta, Amazon and OpenAI.

Revenue has increased by more than 200% in each of the past two quarters, and Wall Street is expecting that trend to continue, with estimates showing a 243% surge in the first quarter from a year earlier. Net income is expected to be up more than fivefold from a year ago.

Nvidia shares have more than tripled since the company reported fiscal first-quarter earnings last year and provided surprisingly strong guidance for the second quarter.

The company’s current generation of AI graphics processing units (GPUs), called Hopper, are required by the top AI scientists to develop chatbots, translators, and image generators. For the past year, customers have been buying them up in droves, with the top cloud and internet companies spending billions of dollars on the technology to build out their infrastructure.

But questions are swirling about the sustainability of Nvidia’s meteoric growth as many customers have to start showing a profit from all their hefty expenditures. AI software costs significantly more to run than traditional software, partially due to the outlay necessary for Nvidia GPUs.

Nvidia is also starting to ship its next-generation AI GPUs, called Blackwell. Some businesses may be eyeing the upcoming chips, causing a possible lull in sales of the existing technology.

Starting in the fiscal second quarter, Nvidia will bump up against tough year-over-year comparisons to the initial days of AI-driven growth. Analysts expect expansion to dip below 100% in the July quarter and decelerate significantly over the following two periods.

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