Soaring demand for the chips needed to train the latest wave of generative artificial intelligence systems such as ChatGPT led Nvidia to issue a revenue forecast that was far ahead of Wall Street expectations, prompting a surge in its stock price in after-market trading.
The US chipmaker said on Wednesday that it expected sales to reach $11bn in the three months to the end of July, far ahead of the $7.2bn analysts had been expecting and confirming its position as the biggest short-term beneficiary of the AI race that has broken out in the technology industry.
The forecast fuelled a 20 per cent leap in Nvidia’s shares, which had already more than doubled since the start of the year, and lifted its stock market value to $900bn.
The bullish forecast came as Nvidia reported that revenue and earnings in its latest quarter, to the end of April, had also topped forecasts, thanks to a jump in sales to data centre customers as demand for AI took off.
Jensen Huang, chief executive, said the jump in sales reflected “two simultaneous transitions — accelerated computing and generative AI”. He added that the company was “significantly increasing our supply to meet surging demand” for its entire family of data centre chips, including the H100, a new product launched this year that was designed to handle the demands of so-called large language models such as OpenAI’s GPT-4.
For the latest quarter, revenue reached $7.19bn, up 19 per cent from the preceding three months but down 13 per cent from the year before, as sales of chips for gaming systems dropped.
Earnings per share rose 22 per cent from a year before to 82 cents, or $1.09 on the pro forma basis Wall Street judges the company. The consensus view on Wall Street had been for revenue of $6.52bn and pro forma earnings of 92 cents a share.
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