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Nvidia beats earnings expectations, but cryptocurrency chip sales falter

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Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang wearing his usual leather jacket.

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Nvidia reported earnings on Wednesday for its second fiscal quarter that ended on August 1, beating Wall Street estimates because of strong graphics cards sales.

However, Nvidia’s cryptocurrency chip products, CMP, had lower sales at $266 million than the $400 million the company predicted in May. Shares of Nvidia were up over 2% in after-hours trading.

Here’s how the chipmaker did versus Refinitiv consensus estimates:

  • Earnings: $1.04, adjusted, versus $1.01 expected
  • Revenue: $6.51 billion, versus $6.33 billion expected

Nvidia forecast $6.8 billion in revenue in the current quarter, beating Refinitiv expectations of $6.5 billion.

Nvidia is in a period of sustained, massive growth in its business as semiconductors are in short supply worldwide and demand for the kind of processors that the company specializes in skyrockets. Nvidia’s revenue rose 68% annually during the quarter. In the previous quarter, sales grew 84%.

Graphics chips like Nvidia makes are increasingly important for a variety of technologies including gaming, artificial intelligence and types of cryptocurrency mining.

Nvidia’s graphics segment, which is primarily made up of graphics cards, grew 87% to $3.91 billion, growing faster than the compute and network segment, which includes chips for data centers. Compute and network grew 46% to $2.6 billion.

Broken down by market instead of reportable segment, one highlight was gaming, which was up 85% to $3.06 billion. Nvidia has had supply issues since late last year as its latest line of graphics cards has remained mostly sold out in stores, and the company said in May that it expected supply issues through the second half of the year. The company said that it was seeing longer lead-times throughout its supply chain on Wednesday.

Nvidia said that the increase in gaming sales was due to both GeForce graphics cards sales as well as the chips it sells to game console makers, like the processor at the heart of the Nintendo Switch.

Nvidia’s data center business also hit an all time high, growing 35% annually to $2.37 billion, which the company attributed to graphics cards for data centers, both in industrial uses and among cloud providers.

Investors are closely watching how correlated Nvidia’s business is to cryptocurrency prices.

Cryptocurrency revenue fell short of expectations, reporting $266 million in cryptocurrency card sales, over 33% lower than expectations. Nvidia said in May that the dedicated chips it makes for mining cryptocurrency, called CMP, was forecast to have sales around $400 million in the August quarter.

Nvidia says its cryptocurrency cards are an effort to ensure there is enough chip supply for gamers, and it applied software to its GPUs to prevent them from mining cryptocurrencies. Nvidia CFO Colette Kress said that it expects a “minimal contribution” from its CMP sales going forward.

Nvidia’s professional visualization segment, mostly graphics cards for high-end professional workstations, were up 156% annually to $519 million. Its automotive business remains a small portion of the company’s sales, with $152 million in sales, down sequentially from the most recent quarter and up 37% from the same quarter last year, which was in the middle of the global Covid-19 pandemic which snarled auto production.

Last year, Nvidia said it planned to buy Arm, which makes important intellectual property for mobile chips, for $40 billion. The deal is opposed by some of Nvidia’s competitors which worry that they may lose access to important Arm technology.

“Although some Arm licensees have expressed concerns or objected to the transaction, and discussions with regulators are taking longer than initially thought, we are confident in the deal and that regulators should recognize the benefits of the acquisition to Arm, its licensees, and the industry,” Nvidia said in a statement.

Nvidia split its stock 4-1 in June. Shares are up over 57% in the last year.

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