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Nvidia bucks industry trend, profits rise

But forecast misses expectations

Nvidia reported a fourth-quarter profit of $173.97 million on Wednesday, up from $116.03 million a year earlier. Revenue rose to $1.11 billion from $953.19 million, beating analysts’ expectation by a few million.

However, Nvidia’s revenue outlook for the next quarter fell short of expectations. The chipmaker estimates its revenue in the current quarter will be $940 million, not even close to $1.067 billion expected by analysts.

Chief Executive Officer Jen-Hsun Huang told analysts that he expects a dip in mobile processor sales in the first quarter of 2013 as manufacturers start to phase out designs based on Tegra 3. Nvidia was forced to respin the Tegra 4, delaying the new chip by several months and costing Nvidia some design wins.

Analysts fear Tegra 4 will not be as successful as originally expected. The chip is late and Nvidia is already facing stiff competition from Qualcomm and Samsung. The lack of integrated LTE doesn’t help, either. According to Reuters,  Huang said it is necessary to move beyond tablets and take on Qualcomm in the smartphone space. This is where LTE makes a big difference.

"We're working around the clock," Huang said. "We'll have some phone success this year but we're not expecting to have a whole lot of phone design wins until we have, until we engage the market, with LTE."

In other words, Nvidia will not have “a whole lot” of phone designs with this Tegra generation, which comes as no surprise.

Last modified on 14 February 2013
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