Nvidia Inc. (NVDA) shares edged higher Friday after the chipmaker topped analysts' forecasts with solid first quarter earnings, although gains were tempered by questions over its predictions for a second-half sector rebound as it backed away from full-year revenue guidance.
Nvidia said adjusted earnings for the three months ending on April 28, the group's fiscal first quarter, came in at 88 cents per share, down more than 57% from the same period last year but still 7 cents ahead of the consensus Street estimate. Group revenues, as well, beat analysts' forecasts even as they fell 31% to $2.22 billion.
Nvidia's current quarter outlook for sales was also modestly ahead of estimates, with the group pegging revenues at $2.55 billion at the mid-point, at 15% quarter-on-quarter gain, as it looks to grow its share of markets for data center and artificial intelligence semiconductors alongside its flagship video game chips. Gaming revenues, in fact, topped forecasts at $1.06 billion, while data center revenues slipped 7% from the previous quarter -- and 10% from last year -- to $664 million.
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"We are still experiencing I think the uncertainty as a result of the pause with the overall hyperscale data centers. And we do believe that's going to extend into Q2," CFO Colette Kress told investors on a conference call late Thursday. "The core dynamics of our business at every level is exactly what we expected. Just that said though, we're going to return to just quarterly guidance at this time."
"So, at this time, we don't plan on giving a full year overall guidance," she added later in the call. "I think our look in terms of gaming all of the still drivers that we thought about earlier in the quarter and we talked about our Investor Day and we have continued to talk about are still definitely in the line. While the drivers of our gaming business and Turing RTX for the future are still on track. But, we're not providing guidance at this time for the full year."
Nvidia shares were marked 0.7% higher at the opening bell to change hands at $161.33 each, a move that would extend the stock's year-to-date gain to around 20% and value the Santa Clara, California-based tech group at just under $100 billion.
The shares pared gains from last night's after-hours session, however, after Nvidia declined to confirm its 2020 fiscal year revenue guidance, which has previously estimated flat to modestly negative growth from 2019 levels, casting doubt on the company's -- and the broader semiconductor sector's -- hopes for a second half turnaround.
"If we are keeping the right score, semi companies are 0-3 with reference to either the bottom or the strong back-half recovery. We suspect the '0's might have an edge here longer. NVIDIA has backed out of its FY guidance," said BMO Capital Markets analyst Ambrish Srivastava, who has a $140 price target for Nvidia shares. "Visibility into 2Q appears incrementally worse, for both the Gaming and the Datacenter businesses. Our estimates are going lower and we remain 'market perform' rated on the shares."