Nvidia reckons Sandy Britches gives it a boost

Graphics chip outfit Nvidia has upped its forecast numbers for Q2 of this year, claiming that Intel's new Sandy Bridge processor is boosting demand for higher-powered PCs which has the knock-on effect of helping shift gas-guzzling, high-end graphics boards.

Nvidia claims sales revenue for the its second fiscal quarter of 2012 could be up by between four and six per cent over Q1 - to as much as $1.02 billion. Analysts had suggested the outfit would fail to break the billion-buck barrier.

The firm yesterday reported revenue of $962.0 million for its first quarter of fiscal 2012 which ended May 1, 2011. This was up 8.5 per cent from the prior quarter, but down 4.0 per cent from $1.0 billion from Q1, 2010. The firm made a proift of $135.2 million, down from $171.7 million in the previous quarter.

But CEO Jen-Hsun Huang seems to have told Bloomberg that Sandy Bridge is helping to boost demand for higher-end PCs while other sectors of the PC market are stagnant.

"The PC marketplace is softish. However, there are several segments of opportunities. The tablet is a factor in some lower parts of the marketplace." he said.

In a conference call to explain its numbers, Huang claimed its Tegra mobile offering had kicked in during the quarter and said he reckoned Nvidia's recent acquisition of British baseband chip outfit Icera would give it a further boost in the mobile and tablet space.

"Our core GPU businesses are solid," he said, "with expanding revenues and margins. And this quarter, our Tegra mobile business took off. With the Tegra super chip and the Icera wireless communication processor, we will offer our customers the two most important processors of the mobile computing revolution. We look forward to completing the Icera acquisition shortly."

During the call investor relations veep Michael Hara claimed: "The X11 GPUs continues to experience good growth, driven by a wave of great new games, such as the recent release of Crysis 2, and we still have many highly-anticipated titles yet to be released this year. In the 3D notebook GPUs, we expect to increase share on the Sandy Bridge platform. We felt this growth as Sandy Bridge started to ramp in April. The Sandy Bridge transition is expected to reach the 75% crossover point exiting in the second quarter and should drive another increase in both our revenue and share in the notebook GPU segment as a result."

Despite the firm's bullish prognostications, Nvidia shares fell 61 cents to $19.89 in extended trading after the report. The stock remains 33 per cent up this year, however.