Graphics chip maker Nvidia Corp. beat Wall Street estimates on Thursday when it posted earnings of US$48 million — 27 cents per share — for its fourth fiscal quarter, which ended Jan. 30, 2005, up from $24.2 million, or about 14 cents per share, for the same quarter a year ago. Nvidia reported revenue of $566.5 million, up from $472.1 million for the same quarter a year ago — a rise of about 20 percent. Nvidia’s quarterly revenue was in line with analysts’ expectations but its earnings were higher by about 3 cents per share.
Nvidia’s chips are used in Apple’s iMac G5 and 12-inch PowerBook G4 models, as well as some Power Mac G5 models. Nvidia’s chief rival, ATI Technologies Inc., makes the chips used in other Mac models.
Revenue for Nvidia’s fiscal year 2005 totaled $2.01 billion, compared to $1.82 billion for FY2004. Net income for the year was $100.4 million, or 57 cents per share, compared to $74.4 million, or 43 cents per share, for FY2004.
Nvidia President and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang called 2004 “a turning point” for his company as it expanded its product offerings beyond just graphic chips used in PCs and Macs to cell phones and consumer electronics. “Our results also reflected a major focus across the company to drive profitable growth and improve gross margins back toward historical levels,” said Huang.
Nvidia scored some some important wins in the fourth fiscal quarter, but perhaps its highest profile success was being chosen by Sony to provide the graphics hardware that will be used in Sony’s forthcoming next-generation PlayStation console. Microsoft, which now uses an Nvidia chip in its Xbox system, has turned to ATI for the graphics chip it will use in its Xbox replacement, expected to make its debut in a few months.
In a conference call on Thursday, the company said its expected revenue for its first fiscal quarter of fiscal 2006 to flat or higher by 5 percent. Nvidia stock closed at 25.51 on Thursday but was up 7.06 percent to 27.31 in pre-market trading on Friday.