By Noel Randewich
SAN FRANCISCO Nov 7 Nvidia Corp gave a revenue forecast for the current quarter that was shy of Wall Street's expectations as the graphics chipmaker faces tough competition in tablets and a slow personal computer market.
With the personal computer industry losing steam, Nvidia has expanded its graphics chips into mobile devices, but it is meeting stiff competition from Qualcomm In c and other rivals.
In the third quarter, revenue from Nvidia's Tegra mobile business fell 54 percent and revenue from its PC graphics chip business declined 2 percent.
The company expects its mobile chip business, called Tegra, to remain flat this year as it focuses on integrating Long Term Evolution (LTE) features on upcoming components, making them compatible with high-end carrier networks and more attractive to smartphone makers.
Nvidia's lighter-than-expected revenue forecast follows other chipmakers that have failed to impress analysts. RBC analyst Doug Freedman said a post-earnings gain in Nvdia's stock was likely caused by some investors having expected a lower revenue forecast.
"We've been hard pressed to find anyone to beat numbers for Q4," Freedman said.
Several semiconductor companies, including Texas Instruments Inc, Intel Corp and Qualcomm, have given current-quarter revenue forecasts in recent weeks that disappointed Wall Street, raising concerns that manufacturers of industrial and consumer devices might have overestimated the macroeconomy.
Nvidia's most recent Tegra 4 chips are being used in Microsoft's Surface 2 tablet and a smartphone made by Xiaomi in China.
Nvidia's PC graphics chips are often used in high-end laptop and desktop computers favored by gamers. The move by consumers to tablets has hurt those premium PCs less than cheaper versions, but rivals such as Advanced Micro Devices Inc and Intel are competing heavily in that niche.
Also in its report on Thursday, the company announced a 13 percent increase in its quarterly dividend, and said its board authorized an additional $1 billion for its stock repurchase program.
Revenue was $1.054 billion and net income $119 million, or 20 cents a share, in the third quarter ended in October, compared with $1.204 billion and $209 million, or 33 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted EPS in the third quarter was 26 cents.
It said revenue in the fourth quarter would be $1.05 billion, plus or minus 2 percent.
Analysts on average expected revenue in the third quarter, which ended in October, of $1.052 billion and fourth-quarter revenue of $1.083 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Nvidia shares were up 2.7 percent in extended trading after closing down 2.38 percent at $14.55 on Nasdaq.