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Whoops! Nvidia lets slip Q1 earnings early – and they're solid

Revenue and earnings both beat analysts' estimates

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An internal communications cockup forced Nvidia to release its first-quarter 2015 results two days early, surprising Wall Street with revenues and earnings that beat analysts' estimates.

Nvidia had earlier announced that it would release this quarter's earnings report on Thursday, but when a preliminary draft of its results was inadvertently leaked to around 100 people, it decided to post its figures early to avoid spooking investors.

As it turns out, those numbers were nothing to be ashamed of. Revenues for the three months ending on April 27 were $1.10bn, a year-on-year increase of 16 per cent, but down 4 per cent from the previous quarter.

The 29 analysts polled by Yahoo! Finance were expecting revenues of $1.08bn, on average, although the most bullish among them may be slightly miffed at the company's actual results.

Nvidia's profits were even more impressive. It showed net income of $136.5m for the quarter, which was a 7 per cent dip sequentially but a whopping 75 per cent gain over the year-ago period.

Those results translated into earnings of $0.29 per diluted share, or $0.24 per share if you include the effects of items like taxation, amortization, and depreciation. Either way you slice it, the chipmaker soundly stumped the analysts, who were expecting earnings of $0.20 per share, on average.

Nvidia offered no commentary on its results in its press release, but a glance at the accompanying filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission shows that while the company's sales grew by double digits, its total operating expenses were virtually flat, climbing just 4 per cent.

The chipmaker has also been enjoying strong sales growth in its Tesla and Quadro lines of graphics processors in recent quarters, which are used in high-end graphics workstations and in supercomputing. It has also had some success selling its Tegra line of ARM system-on-chips into the automotive industry, despite weakening sales to smartphone and tablet makers.

Nvidia will offer its own take on its results in an earnings call with financial analysts, which is still due to take place on Thursday, May 8 at 2pm Pacific Time (9pm GMT). ®

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