Nvidia Quarterly Profit Rises 68% On Strong Chip Sales

Graphics chipmaker Nvidia announced quarterly earnings above Wall Street expectations, fueled by strong sales growth for mobile computing products.

Nvidia announced fourth-quarter earnings of 53 cents a share on revenue of $879 million. Analysts expected earnings of 42 cents per share on revenue of $866 million, according to a survey taken by Thomson Financial.

Including charges related to stock options and the company's recent acquisition of PortalPlayer, Nvidia reported quarterly earnings of 41 cents a share.

During a conference call with analysts after markets closed Tuesday, the company said it expects first-quarter revenue to decline 5% on a sequential basis, which translates to quarterly revenue of about $835 million. The First Call consensus estimate currently forecasts revenue of $848 million.

Nvidia shares turned lower in post-market trading after initially rising almost 3%.

CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said in a prepared statement Tuesday that the company expects growth in fiscal 2008 to be driven, in part, by higher sales of new company products in Intel-based systems.

Last Friday Bear Stearns said a ramp in the Intel chipset business could provide upside to Wall Street estimates in the second half of the calendar year.

"We believe in the long run the Intel chipset business should more than offset share loss in AMD chipsets," said analyst Gurinder Kalra, in a client note.