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Q1 98 profit becomes Q1 99 loss

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The release of the long-awaited Voodoo 3 3D acceleration chipset appears to have come a little to late to rescue developer 3dfx's latest quarterly results. For the three months, Q1 1999, to 30 April, 3dfx lost $2.18 million on revenues of $40.4 million. For its previous first quarter, the company recorded profits of $7.46 million on revenues of $50 million. That represents a decline in sales of 23 per cent, so while 3dfx can say the reduction in profitability can be laid at the door of managing its acquisition of board maker STB -- "We believe the numbers we released today demonstrate that we have managed the transition from many customers to an integrated model, and have minimized any adverse impact," said CEO Greg Ballard -- the company has to work harder to rebuild momentum behind its Voodoo brand. That momentum has largely been lost to 3D graphics rival nVidia. Its TNT chipset has won a lot of support not only from buyers but from card vendors peeved at 3dfx's decision to build its own boards. For its fourth quarter, ended 31 January, nVidia made a profit of $7.7 million on revenues of $65.5 million. The company's Q1 figures are expected any day now. ®

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