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Nvidia rides Kepler, Tegra to big Q2

Nvidia bounced back from a ho-hum first quarter with sales and profits rising across the board in its most recent fiscal period, the graphics chip maker reported this week.

Second-quarter revenue of $1.04 billion (£663.8 million) was up 12.9 per cent from the previous quarter, net income of $119 million (£76m) increased a whopping 97 per cent. The earnings equated to a 90 per cent better return for investors, according to the firm.

(Ed. note: all pound sterling conversions are based on today's exchange rate)

Nvidia introduced its well-received new Kepler architecture for discrete laptop, desktop, and workstation GPUs towards the end of the first quarter and reaped the benefit in the second, the company said. Nvidia also attributed its big quarter to the further penetration of its Tegra products in the mobile device market.

"Our investments in mobile computing and visual computing are both paying off. Tegra has achieved record sales as tablets come into their own. Our GPU business made strong gains in a weak market, boosted by our breakthrough Kepler architecture," Nvidia president and chief executive Jen-Hsun Huang said in a statement.

"Looking ahead, we're optimistic, as our investments position us right at the center of the fastest growing segments of computing," he added.

Nvidia is forecasting third-quarter sales in the $1.15 billion to $1.25 billion (£734m to 798m) range with gross margins remaining flat relative to the second quarter at around 52 per cent.

Patrick Moorhead, head analyst for Moor Insights & Strategy, described Nvidia's second-quarter performance as "a great quarter." He pointed to more good times ahead as Kepler is rolled out for more products and Tegra 3-based tablets like Microsoft's in-house Surface tablet running its next-gen Windows RT operating system come to market.

"Nvidia had a great quarter. The new Kepler-based architectures for graphics cards kicked in, with an improved margin structure and improved competitiveness," Moorhead said. "Plus, they saw a 36 per cent boost from Tegra 3 driven by the success of tablets like the Google's Nexus 7. Nvidia is well positioned as they enter the back-half of the calendar year as Kepler moves down the stack and Microsoft's Surface tablet starts to ship."