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Nvidia reported revenues of $5.66 billion for its first fiscal quarter ended May 2, up 84% from a year earlier. Gaming revenue grew 106% to $2.76 billion. The numbers were above Wall Street’s expectations.
A year ago, Nvidia reported non-GAAP earnings per share of $1.89 on revenues of $3.1 billion. The Santa Clara, California-based company makes graphics processing units (GPUs) that can be used for games, AI, and datacenter computing. While many businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic, Nvidia has seen a boost in those areas. The company saw record revenue in its gaming, datacenter, and professional visualization platforms.
GAAP earnings per diluted share for the quarter were a record $3.03, up 106% from a year ago and up 31% from the previous quarter. Non-GAAP earnings per diluted share were $3.66, up 103 % from a year earlier and up 18% from the previous quarter. In after-hours trading, Nvidia’s stock is down slightly at $626.10 a share.
Analysts expected to report earnings per share of $3.31 on revenues of $5.41 billion, while the company guided for revenues of $5.3 billion. Gaming was expected to be $2.69 billion in revenues in the quarter, while datacenter revenues were expected to be $2 billion. As mentioned, gaming came in at $2.76 billion and datacenter revenues were $2.05 billion, up 79%.
Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, said in a statement that it was a fantastic quarter with strong demand for products.
“Our datacenter business continues to expand, as the world’s industries take up Nvidia AI to process computer vision, conversational AI, natural language understanding and recommender systems,” Huang said. “Nvida RTX has reinvented computer graphics and is driving upgrades across the gaming and design markets. Our partners are launching the largest-ever wave of Nvidia-powered laptops. Across industries, the adoption of Nvidia computing platforms is accelerating.”
Nvidia has seen a boom in both gaming and datacenter revenues as users go online during the pandemic. Gamers have been snatching up graphics cards to play PC games, but a shortage of semiconductors has hurt companies like Nvidia, and cryptocurrency miners are also buying the graphics cards in competition with the gamers.
Nvidia itself predicted in February that revenue would be $5.3 billion for the first fiscal quarter, but then on April 12 it said it expected it would exceed that number. It said that it expected its cryptocurrency division to hit $150 million in the quarter, up from the previously estimated $50 million.
Nvidia had also said that the first fiscal quarter’s GAAP gross margins would be 63.8% and non-GAAP gross margins would be 66%. The GAAP margin came in at 64.1%, and non-GAAP came in at 66.2%.
Last year, Nvidia completed its $7 billion acquisition of Mellanox, which makes key technologies for connecting chips in datacenters. Mellanox revenue is included in the CPU and networking segment. But Nvidia is still waiting on regulatory approval for its $40 billion acquisition of Arm.
“Mellanox, one year in, has exceeded our expectations and transformed Nvidia into a data-center-scale computing company,” Huang said. “We continue to make headway with our planned acquisition of Arm, which will accelerate innovation and growth for the Arm ecosystem. From gaming, cloud computing, AI, robotics, self-driving cars, to genomics and computational biology, Nvidia continues to do impactful work to invent a better future.”
Datacenter revenues were $2.05 billion, up 79% from a year earlier and up 8% from the previous quarter. During the quarter, Nvidia held its GPU Technology conference with more than 200,000 registrations from 195 countries and 14 million views for its opening keynote. It introduced Nvidia Grace, an Arm-based datacenter central processing unit (CPU).
Nvidia said growth came from its Mellanox networking products and demand for Ampere-based GPUs for datacenters. Collette Kress, chief financial officer, said that Nvidia was extremely pleased with the performance of Mellanox in its first full year after Nvidia acquired it. In a call with analysts, Huang said, “We are seeing strength across the board in datacenters.”
The first-fiscal quarter saw record revenue of $2.76 billion, up 106%, and up 11% from the previous quarter. Nvidia launched second-generation RTX graphics including its 3060 and 3060 Ti graphics cards during the quarter. Those chips went into laptops, and 3050 GPUs also debuted for low-cost laptops. Nvidia’s RTX platform is now supported by more than 60 games.
To prevent the cards from being scooped up only by crypto enthusiasts, Nvidia reduced the Ethereum hash rate on newly manufactured RTX 3080, 3070 and 3060 Ti graphics cards — which carry a “Lite Hash Rate,” or “LHR,” identifier — in addition to previous steps to lower the RTX 3060’s hash rate. And GeForce Now has 10 million members in 70 countries, with 1,000 games in the library of the cloud gaming service. In a statement, Nvidia said, “We believe gaming also benefited from cryptocurrency mining demand, although it is hard to determine to what extent.”
In original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and Other revenue, Nvidia said revenue was up 137 percent from a year ago and up 114 percent sequentially, primarily reflecting the addition of cryptocurrency mining processors (CMP), which generated revenue of $155 million.
As for gaming, Huang said gaming is no longer just gaming. He said it is infused into art, culture, and social matters, so it’s here for a long time to come.
Professional Visualization saw record revenues of $372 million, up 21% both from a year earlier and the previous quarter. During the quarter, Nvidia launched Omniverse Enterprise, a metaverse for engineers, in collaboration with companies like BMW Group, Foster+Partners, and WPP.
First-quarter automotive revenue was $154 million, down 1% from a year earlier and up 6% from the previous quarter. During the quarter, Nvidia unveiled Nvidia Drive Atlan, an AI processor for autonomous vehicles.
On May 21, 2021, the company’s board of directors declared a four-for-one split of Nvidia’s common stock payable in the form of a stock dividend, with the additional shares expected to be distributed on July 19, 2021. The stock dividend is conditioned on obtaining stockholder approval.
Revenue for the second fiscal quarter that closes at the end of July is expected to be $6.30 billion. GAAP and non-GAAP gross margins are expected to be 64.6 percent and 66.5 percent, respectively, plus or minus 50 basis points.
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