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Nvidia topped expectations for the fourth quarter, attributing growth to markets beyond the PC.

The graphics chip firm today reported net income of $31.1 million, or $0.38 per share, for the quarter ended January 28 2001. Analysts were expecting $215 million, and this figure compared to $14.6 million, or $0.19 per share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2000.

Sales for the period were up 70 per cent to $218.2 million - despite the quarter forcing many companies in the IT industry to cut or miss sales forecasts. The US accounted for 12 per cent of revenue, Asia 79 per cent, and Europe nine per cent.

The California-based manufacturer said it was comfortable with sales forecasts for fiscal 2001 - revenue is expected to grow 50 per cent.

In December the company said it would shell out $112 million to buy rival 3dfx.

It is also obviously still grinning from ear to ear over its agreement with Microsoft to provide chips for its Xbox games console - execs said several times they expected this to contribute a "substantial share of revenues" to the company this year. "We will leverage the Xbox architecture to build a family of products for value PCs and Internet appliances," said Jen-Huen Huang, Nvidia president and CEO. Microsoft is expected to start shipping its console in Autumn.

Nvidia was reluctant to play down its desktop PC business - but seems to be pinning its hopes on further growth in sectors outside this sector, especially in mobile computing, Apple products, and workstations.

It also repeated its intention to use the Voodoo brand to increase its retail presence in the next year. ®

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