Nvidia shares surge past $700 as demand for AI chips shows no signs of slowing

Nvidia sign and CEO Jensen Huang
Nvidia sign and CEO Jensen Huang

Chip designer Nvidia shares surged in after-hours trading on Wednesday after the company forecast revenue above estimates, banking on towering demand for its industry-leading artificial-intelligence chips.

Nvidia’s fourth-quarter revenue beat estimates by a 7% margin. But for the first three quarters of 2023, Nvidia had reported quarterly revenue that beat analysts’ estimates by between 10% and 20%.

The company forecast current-quarter revenue of $24 billion, plus or minus 2%. Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $22.17 billion, according to LSEG data.

Shares of the Santa Clara, California-based company jumped more than 9% to $741 in volatile after-hours trading.

Nvidia reported fourth-quarter revenue of $22.10 billion and expects Q1 revenue of $24 billion. AP
Nvidia reported fourth-quarter revenue of $22.10 billion and expects Q1 revenue of $24 billion. AP

Nvidia stock has gained more than 30% so far this year as it jockeys with Amazon and Alphabet for a spot among the most valuable companies.

As of Feb. 20, about $30 billion worth of Nvidia shares changed hands daily on average over the past 30 sessions, pulling ahead of electric vehicle maker Tesla, which averaged $22 billion per day over the same period.

Sales at the data center segment – its largest by revenue share, grew 409% to $18.4 billion in the fiscal fourth quarter, coming in above estimates of $16.8 billion, according to LSEG data. Data center revenue grew close to 280% in the previous quarter.

The already-hefty demand for the company’s data center chips and graphics processing units (GPUs) continues to grow as firms scramble to expand their AI offerings. Nvidia’s silicon dominates the global market for AI chips, where it counts the likes of Microsoft among its customers.

The AI frontrunner’s supply chains, which have been unable to match the soaring demand for Nvidia’s chips, are also improving.

Nvidia stock has gained more than 30% so far this year as it jockeys with Amazon and Alphabet for a spot among the most valuable companies. CEO and co-founder Jensen Huang, above. AP
Nvidia stock has gained more than 30% so far this year as it jockeys with Amazon and Alphabet for a spot among the most valuable companies. CEO and co-founder Jensen Huang, above. AP

Analysts expect major supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s advanced packaging capacity to improve in the first half of the year. This will allow Nvidia to work through the central bottleneck to deliver more chips to customers.

The AI poster child’s revenue has continued to grow despite tightened restrictions on trade with one of its largest markets: China.

Nvidia reported fourth-quarter revenue of $22.10 billion, beating estimates of $20.62 billion. Adjusted for certain items, fourth-quarter earnings were $5.16 a share, compared with estimates of $4.64 a share, according to LSEG data.

Nvidia expects its first-quarter adjusted gross margin to be 77%, plus or minus 50 basis points. Analysts on average forecast gross margin of 75.6%.