The graphics giant reported a net income of $173 million, or 31 cents per share (statement).
Non-GAAP earnings were 39 cents per share on a revenue of $1.23 billion, up 16 percent year-over-year.
Wall Street was looking for earnings of 28 cents per share with revenue of $1.20 billion.
For the year to date, Nvidia has produced $3.43 billion in revenue for the first three quarters, up 15 percent from a year earlier.
In prepared remarks, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang attributed the much better-than-expected results to Nvidia's focus on "creating visual computing platforms for datacenter, mobile and PC" clients. He continued:
Growth drivers have kicked in for us on several fronts. High-performance computing, virtualization and web service providers have created demand for our GPU-accelerated datacenter platforms. Automakers are using Tegra to help reinvent the driving experience. And our new Maxwell architecture is a giant leap forward that has triggered a major upgrade cycle by PC gamers.
Connected cars will definitely play a role in Nvidia's long-term roadmap as the company's processors are now powering "infotainment systems" running in more than six million cars on the road. Honda is already planning to included Tegra-based systems in at least three of its models (the Civic, Civic Tourer and CR-V) in the European market.
Nvidia CFO Colette Kress cited in separate remarks that Tegra processor sales alone grew 51 percent year-over-year thanks to "by automobile infotainment systems, mobile devices, embedded systems, and the onset of Shield tablet sales," while automobile infotainment system revenue nearly doubled year-over-year.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-headquartered company is also diving deeper into the enterprise market, tapping into big data with a stalwart tech giant that is inking deals left and right these days: IBM. Big Blue is preparing to support Nvidia GPU acceleration in its DB2 with BLU database software.
Kress further touted data center platform revenue "increased sequentially, as well, driven by continued strength in GPU acceleration opportunities."
For the current quarter, Wall Street expects earnings of at least 27 cents per share and revenue of $1.19 billion. Nvidia responded with a Q4 revenue guidance target of $1.20 billion, plus or minus two percent.