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Nvidia Aims for Growth Amid Slowdown

SAN FRANCISCO -- Nvidia (NVDA - Get Report) offered investors the first glimpse of a comeback Thursday, even as the chipmaker reported that its profit tumbled 74% in the fiscal third quarter.

With a slew of new products hitting the market, and its chip production now moved to a more cost-efficient process, Nvidia executives said the company was well-positioned for the competitive and economic challenges ahead.

While warning that consumer spending in this holiday season is likely to be weak, Nvidia executives pointed to various initiatives that the company expect to nonetheless deliver growth in 2009.

Shares of Nvidia, which are down 80% in the past 12 months, jumped 10%, or 78 cents, to $8.40 in extended trading Thursday.

Nvidia ignited one of its new growth engines in the recently ended fiscal third quarter, with the release of the integrated graphics processor adopted by Apple (AAPL - Get Report) in its MacBook Pro and Air notebooks.

The new chip boosted sales in Nvidia's integrated graphics division up 19% sequentially and should allow the company to play a much larger role in the market for notebooks -- the fastest growing segment of the PC market -- as more PC makers adopt the chip.

"We now have exposure to the growth notebook market like we've never had before," said CEO Jen-Hsun Huang in a post-earnings conference call.

Overall, Nvidia's revenue in the three months ended Oct. 26 declined 20% year over year to $897.7 million, though the results came in slightly ahead of the $890 million expected by Wall Street analysts.

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