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What You Lost by Not Adding NVIDIA (NVDA) to Your Portfolio

Shares of NVIDIA Corporation NVDA have been gaining solid momentum of late. One of the major reasons behind this could be the company’s better-than-expected fourth-quarter fiscal 2016 results. Also, an encouraging first-quarter fiscal 2017 revenue outlook, solid cash flows and regular product launches drove the shares higher.

Yesterday’s closing price of $35.84 reflects a 30% increase since the earnings announcement.

The company posted fourth-quarter results on Feb 17, wherein both the top line and the bottom line came ahead of the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate. The company posted earnings of 35 cents per share beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 32 cents.

Revenues not only increased 11.9% year over year to $1.401 billion but also surpassed our estimate of $1.311 billion. The year-over-year increase was primarily supported by better-than-expected growth in GPUs gaming platform, high-performance computing, data center and Tegra automotive platforms.

With respect to the earnings surprise, the stock has outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three out of the last four quarters with an average surprise of 49.5%.

Over the last 60 days, 11 out of 13 estimates for NVIDIA were revised upward for the current quarter, while for fiscal 2017, 12 out of 14 analysts raised their estimates. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current quarter increased 10.7% (3 cents) to 31 cents and that for fiscal 2017 went up 5.2% (7 cents) to $1.41.

For the first quarter of fiscal 2017, NVIDIA expects revenues of about $1.26 billion, same as our current consensus estimate. Non-GAAP gross margin is expected in the range of 57.2% to 57.5%. Adjusting operating expenses are likely to be approximately $445 million.

The company has been gaining traction in the gaming industry with the help of its strong line-up of advanced graphics cards such as ‘GeForce GTX 780 Ti’, ‘Maxwell’, the GeForce GT 730, GeForce GT 740 and the new GeForce GTX 750, GeForce GTX 800M, GeForce GTX 980 and 970 that have made it the PC makers’ favorite graphics card provider.

Moreover, according to sources, worldwide PC gaming is growing at a CAGR of 10%. We believe that strong demand for PC gaming will be a tailwind for NVIDIA. The company has always generated substantial revenues from its cards because of higher functionality.

Furthermore, the company is now focusing on deep learning technology, which is currently a hot trend in the tech space as it helps machines analyze data and improve decision making. The graphic chip behemoth recently unveiled a super-fast graphics chip – Tesla P100, for deep learning that promises to make a splash in the artificial intelligence (AI) space.

NVIDIA has been world’s biggest graphic processing hardware provider for PCs over the past several decades. However, after it started supplying chips to autonomous vehicles, it appears that the company intends to become the largest player in the machine learning arena too.

We believe that the company is growing well in the AI business as is evident from the recently reported quarterly results and was one of the very few chip makers that performed well on the stock market. Shares of NVIDIA gained over 60% in the last one year.

NVIDIA currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other stocks worth considering in the broader technology sector are Mentor Graphics Corp. MENT, NCR Corp. NCR and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise HPE. Mentor Graphics and NCR sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Hewlett-Packard carries the same Zacks Rank as NVIDIA.

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