Despite slow quarter, yearly profits surge for Nvidia


— 4:29 PM on February 15, 2012

Nvidia is one of those companies with funky fiscal quarters that straddle different calendar quarters, so it has only just released its year-end results. For the fiscal year ended January 29, 2012, the GPU and SoC vendor seems to have done quite well for itself. Take a look:

  FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012
Revenue $3.33 billion $3.54 billion $4.00 billion
Net income -$68 million $253.1 million $581.1 million
Gross margin 35.4% 39.8% 51.4%

Profits more than doubled compared to its previous fiscal year, and gross margin surged by almost 12 points. That's impressive, especially for a company that posted a net loss two years back. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang comments in the results announcement:

I am pleased with our achievements last year. Our GPU business grew sharply. And, with the success of Tegra, we established our position in the mobile market. . . . We expect continued growth ahead, as Tegra 3 powers a new wave of quad-core super phones and Kepler, our next-generation GPU architecture, sets new standards in visual and parallel computing."

Today's earnings release also includes figures for the year-end quarter, and those aren't quite as rosy:

  Q4 FY'11 Q3 FY'12 Q4 FY'12
Revenue $886.4 million $1.066 billion $953.2 million
Net income $171.7 million $178.3 million $116 million
Gross margin 48.1% 52.2% 51.4%

Sales, profits, and gross margin all fell compared to the previous quarter, and Nvidia posted lower profits than for the same quarter a year ago, as well. Nvidia did warn last month that its latest quarterly results would disappoint. It blamed the flooding in Thailand and the resulting mechanical hard drive shortage, which purportedly curbed demand both for PCs and for GPUs, since high storage prices "constrained some PC OEMs' ability to include a GPU in their systems."

Nvidia's ongoing fiscal quarter might disappoint, too, with expected revenue of $900-930 million range with a 48.2-50.2% gross margin. In the same time period last year, Nvidia posted $962 million revenue and a 50.4% gross margin.

   
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