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Friday, May 11, 2012
NVIDIA Reports Financial Results, Eyes Tegra 3 Ramp, Windows 8 on ARM

Nvidia's quarterly revenue and outlook topped estimates on better-than-expected sales of its latest graphics chips.

The company today reported revenue of $924.9 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 ended Apr. 29, 2012.

"Kepler GPUs are accelerating our business," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer of NVIDIA. "Our newly launched desktop products are winning some of the best reviews we've ever had. Notebook GPUs had a record quarter. And Tegra is on a growth track again, driven by great mobile device wins and the upcoming Windows on ARM launch.

"Graphics is more important than ever. Look for exciting news next week at the GPU Technology Conference as we reveal new ways that the GPU will enhance mobile and cloud computing," he said.

The company said its profitability and revenue were being hurt by a manufacturing capacity shortage for its 28 nanometer computer graphics chips.

"Supply is still constrained," Nvidia CFO Karen Burns told analysts, noting that Nvidia and its manufacturing partner TSMC had not planned for enough 28 nanometer capacity. "Our manufacturer is working their hearts out to catch up to our demand but at the moment he demand still continues to exceed supply and we expect that to happen for throughout the year," he added.

Nvidia has invested heavily to expand into the market for mobile device chips. Chris Evenden, director of investor relations, said that Tegra 3 phones are shipping with 22 carriers so far. Tegra 3 lacks LTE, but Evenden said that limitation is only an issue for the U.S.

"Tegra 3 is ramping as we talked about before. Although we don't have LTE at the moment, LTE is predominantly a US-centric phenomenon. Outside of the United States, the big super phone upgrade is quad core. And Tegra 3 is the world's first quad core and it's even a special quad core at that with four plus one and it's got NVIDIA's branded graphics. Tegra 3 is the next major upgrade for super phones in Europe and in China and elsewhere and then towards the end of the year we hope to bring Tegra 3 with LTE phones to the United States," Evenden said.

On Windows 8 on ARM, Evenden said that he expected the Tegra 3 mix to move from 50/50 smartphones and tablets to more the latter. "My expectation is that phones would exceed tablets, but towards the end of the year, latter half of the year, the question is how does Windows and ARM do," said Evenden.

Nvidia forecast a second-quarter gross margin of 51.2 percent, plus or minus one percentage point, compared with 50.1 percent in the first quarter.

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