Nvidia Q3 tops expectations driven by gaming, hyperscale strength

Nvidia said gaming revenue increased 26% compared to last quarter to $1.66 billion.

Nvidia published better-than-expected third quarter financial results after the bell on Thursday, posting solid sequential gains in its gaming unit. The graphics chip maker reported a net income of $899 million, or $1.45 per share.

Non-GAAP earnings were $1.78 per share on a revenue of $3.01 billion, down 5% year-over-year but up 17% from last quarter. Wall Street was looking for earnings of $1.57 per share with $2.91 billion in revenue.

Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said revenue in the third quarter was driven by the company's gaming business and demand from hyperscale customers. Hinting at Nvidia's long-term strategy going forward, Huang said Nvidia is looking to expand its reach in markets that will rely on GPU-accelerated servers.

"This quarter, we have laid the foundation for where AI will ultimately make the greatest impact. We extended our reach beyond the cloud, to the edge, where GPU-accelerated 5G, AI and IoT will revolutionize the world's largest industries. We see strong data center growth ahead, driven by the rise of conversational AI and inference."

Nvidia said GPU business revenue was $2.56 billion, down 8% from the year ago period. Breaking down business segments, Nvidia said gaming revenue declined 6% from a year ago to $1.66 billion, but increased 26% compared to last quarter. The company said the sequential increase reflects growth in GeForce desktop and gaming GPUs. 

Meanwhile, data center revenue declined 8% year over year $726 million. The company says demand from cloud customers grew during the quarter but that revenue was offset by lower enterprise sales, including for DGX systems.

Revenue from Nvidia's automotive business came to $162 million and its professional visualization segment reached $324 million, up 6%.

For the current quarter, Wall Street is looking for non-GAAP earnings of $1.70 per share with $3.06 billion in revenue. Nvidia followed up with a Q4 revenue projection of $2.95 billion, plus or minus 2%.

Shares of Nvidia were up close to 2% after hours.