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Gamers save Nvidia's bacon in storming fourth quarter

Gamers still sold on GPUs and Tegra 4 coming on strong

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Nvidia has reported better-than-expected fourth quarter financial results, with revenues of $1.14bn over the three months ending January 26, up 9 per cent on the last quarter and 3 per cent on the year-ago period.

"Quarterly revenue came in well above our outlook, driven by PC gaming, capping an outstanding year for our GPU business," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer of Nvidia in a statement.

"Tesla and Quadro both achieved record annual revenue. GRID cloud technology is being evaluated at hundreds of large enterprises worldwide. And Tegra K1 is disrupting the auto industry, paving the way to self-piloted cars. The groundbreaking work we are doing in visual computing is expanding the opportunities for our GPUs."

Profits for the quarter were down 16 per cent from the year-ago period to $147m, yet Nvidia reported earnings of $0.25 per diluted share, handily beating analysts' estimates.

Nvidia's CFO Colette Kress reported that the company's GPU business was up 8 per cent on the quarter and 14 per cent on the year, thanks to reasonable sales in the PC and desktop space and strong demand from gamers for high-end kit. Sales of its super-fast GeForce GTX GPU were up over 50 per cent on the year, she noted.

The firm's Tesla GPU accelerator for the supercomputing space fared well, she said, with revenues up 20 epr cent on the year.

On the mobile side, it was a good quarter for Nvidia's Tegra 4 processor line, with units worth $131m sold and revenues up 18 per cent from the previous sequential quarter. The automotive sector bought a lot more Tegras this quarter, but demand fell in the embedded and gaming markets, Kress reported.

In a conference call with analysts the company said that Audi was building a very close relationship with Nvidia and it expected its chips to be used in everything from automotive systems to self-driving cars. Rob Csongor will be heading up the firm's moves in this area.

The firm's expenses grew slightly, largely down to increases in employee remuneration. Margins were also up, and Nvidia repurchased $37m of its own stock and paid a dividend of $0.085 per share. ®

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