When a stock goes into an earnings report trading at 46 times its expected earnings for this fiscal year, markets are prone to demand perfection. It's not enough to beat sales/EPS estimates and issue strong guidance; every major business unit probably needs to meet or beat expectations, and there can't be any financial line item that gives investors pause.
That's the bind that Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) finds itself in post-earnings. There's nothing wrong with the GPU giant's latest numbers at first glance, and while some minor issues -- some related to production transitions -- pop up at second glance, there's isn't anything to suggest the company's core franchises are facing major challenges. But in the absence of perfection, a selloff has arrived.
With cryptocurrency miners providing a healthy sales boost, Nvidia reported July quarter (fiscal second quarter) revenue of $2.23 billion (up 56% annually) and adjusted EPS of $1.01 (up 91%), topping consensus analyst estimates of $1.96 billion and $0.81. It also guided for October quarter revenue of $2.35 billion, plus or minus 2%, above a $2.14 billion consensus.
But with shares up around 70% since mid-April going into earnings, Nvidia is down 7% to $153.33 as of the time of this article. There appear to be two or three culprits.
The largest of these: Nvidia's Datacenter revenue, which covers products featuring its Tesla server GPUs, came in at $416 million, below a $423 million consensus. Though the segment's sales still rose 175% annually (close to the April quarter's 186% growth), they only grew 2% sequentially.
On the earnings call, management hinted that some Tesla GPU clients delayed making purchases ahead of the arrival of Nvidia's Tesla V100, its next-gen flagship server product and the first GPU based on the company's new Volta architecture. Though announced on May 10th to much fanfare, customers didn't start receiving V100s until late July. In the interim, some of them appear to have held off on buying cards or systems featuring Nvidia's prior flagship GPU, the Tesla P100, which is based on the Pascal architecture launched last year.
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