Nvidia posts third-quarter results, talks up Tegra 3

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Nvidia reported revenue of $1.07 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 ended October 30, 2011, up 4.9% from the prior quarter and 26.3% from $843.9 million in the same period last year. Higher revenues were driven by a 9.5% sales increase in the firm's professional solutions unit, which includes Quadro graphics cards for workstations and Tesla supercomputing processors, as well as a 14% sequential increase in sales of chips for smartphones and tablets.

When it came to its consumer focused discrete GPU business, sales only rose 1% quarter over quarter, while it lost some share to AMD in the notebook GPU segment. Nevertheless, the company believes a new cycle of revival for PC gaming products is at hand because PC graphics are racing ahead of the five or six-year-old game consoles on the market.

On the profitability front, gross margin rose slightly to 52.2% from 51.7% in the fiscal second quarter. The company reported a net income in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) of $178.3 million, or 29 cents per diluted share, up 17.6% from the previous quarter and 110% from the year-ago quarter.

During the earnings conference call with analysts, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang talked up the company’s Tegra 3 quad-core mobile processor, but also noted its disappointment that the company lost a design win with the new Motorola smartphones as well as Amazon's Kindle Fire -- both of which have gone with TI's OMAP processors. He still noted that Tegra processors are currently found on eleven smartphones and twenty-three tablets.

Nvidia said it expects sales for the current quarter to be roughly flat sequentially, plus or minus 2 percent. This means the company's revenue could be between $1.05 billion and $1.09 billion, in line with analysts' expectations.

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