Nvidia close to becoming first trillion-dollar chip firm after stellar forecast

Nvidia Corp soared about 26% on Thursday taking it closer to a market value of $1 trillion after its stellar revenue forecast showed that Wall Street has yet to price in the game-changing potential of AI.

The surge added to a more than two-fold rise in the stock this year and was set to increase the chip designer’s value by about $196 billion to nearly $951 billion, putting Nvidia on course for the largest single-day value gain for a U.S. firm.

That market capitalization makes Nvidia twice the size of the second-largest chip firm, Taiwan’s TSMC. In the United States, it trails only the trillion-dollar value companies Apple Inc, Alphabet Inc, Microsoft Corp and Inc.

The rosy earnings also sparked a rally in the chip sector and for AI-focused firms, lifting stock markets from Japan to Europe. In the U.S., Big Tech companies other than Amazon rose between 0.7% and 3.5%, while Advanced Micro Devices Inc jumped 10%.

Analysts rushed to raise their price targets on Nvidia stock, with 27 lifting their view on the idea that all roads in AI lead to the company as it dominates the market for chips used to power ChatGPT and many similar services.

The mean price target has more than doubled this year. At the highest view, a $644.80 price target from Elazar Advisors, Nvidia will have a value of $1.59 trillion, around that of Alphabet.

“In the 15+ years we have been doing this job, we have never seen a guide like the one Nvidia just put up with the second-quarter outlook that was by all accounts cosmological, and which annihilated expectations,” Stacy Rasgon of Bernstein said.

Nvidia, the fifth-most valuable U.S. company, on Wednesday projected quarterly revenue more than 50% above the average Wall Street estimate and said it would have more supply of AI chips in the second half to meet a surge in demand.

CEO Jensen Huang said $1 trillion worth of current equipment in data centers would have to be replaced with AI chips, as generative AI is applied into every product and service.

The results bode well for Big Tech companies, which have shifted focus to AI on hopes the technology would help attract demand at a time their profit engines of digital advertising and cloud computing are under pressure from a weak economy.

Some analysts said Nvidia’s results show that the generative AI boom could be the next big driver of growth.

“We’re really just seeing the tip of the iceberg. This really could be another inflection point in technological history, such as the internal combustion engine – or the internet,” said Derren Nathan, head of equity analysis at Hargreaves Lansdown.

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