Nvidia pops after hours, giving some life to a beaten-down market

Key Points
  • Nvidia exceeded analysts' expectations for income and revenue.
  • The company had a provisional benefit of $133 million because of tax reform.
Nvidia gives strong Q1 revenues guidance

Nvidia shares jumped more than 14 percent Thursday after the company reported better-than-expected earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter. After the earnings call ended the stock was more than 9 percent higher than the closing price of $217.52 per share.

The after-market rally more than made up for Nvidia's 4.9 percent drop in regular trading, as the broad market swoon brought down 97 percent of stocks in the S&P 500.

  • Earnings: $1.78 per share, vs. $1.17 per share as expected by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters.
  • Revenue: $2.91 billion, vs. $2.69 billion as expected by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters.

Revenue for the quarter jumped 34 percent from a year earlier, and Nvidia's revenue of the full fiscal year of $9.71 billion was up 41 percent, according to a statement.

Nvidia exceeded analysts' expectations in four of its five markets. The biggest category, gaming, produced $1.74 billion in revenue, above the FactSet estimate of $1.54 billion, according to StreetAccount. The second largest area, data center, came up with $606 million in revenue, above the consensus estimate of $552.1 million.

Cryptocurrency demand contributed to sales growth for Nvidia's Pascal-generation graphics processing units for gaming, the company said, and it was indeed above Nvidia's expectations, CFO Colette Kress said on a conference call with analysts after the earnings release.

Kress said sales of the Nintendo Switch gaming console contributed to Nvidia's growth in the quarter. Nvidia's Tegra processor revenue, which totaled $450 million, was up 75 percent year over year.

Nvidia said it's expecting $2.9 billion in revenue, plus or minus 2 percent, for the first quarter of its 2019 fiscal year. Analysts were expecting guidance of $2.46 billion in revenue for the quarter.

Nvidia said it had a benefit of $133 million in the quarter as a result of recently enacted U.S. tax reform. The company expects to have a tax rate of 12 percent, plus or minus 1 percentage point, for the quarter. That's down from around 17 percent previously, Kress said.

In the fourth quarter, Nvidia introduced the Titan V graphics processing unit for desktop PCs, and it also changed the licensing terms for some of its GPUs.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the result of the tax change. Nvidia recorded a benefit tied to tax reform.

Analyst: We want to see sustained growth story for Nvidia