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Nvidia Mistakenly Announces Quarterly Earnings, Full Report Tomorrow

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Someone inside of Nvidia’s [NASDAQ:NVDA] investor relations is probably having a really bad day today, following yesterday’s mistake regarding their earnings release where they mistakenly released the company’s preliminary earnings release internally to a group of 100 people, which potentially violates regulations set forth by the SEC that require any knowledge of earnings to be made public immediately if there is a possibility of that information going public. In order to be compliant, Nvidia wanted to prevent any of this preliminary earnings knowledge from reaching people before it reached the public. Nvidia did not actually email anyone outside of the company prior to a public release, but since I assume many of these people were outside of the financial structure of Nvidia they were forced to go public with the information that had been made known internally. While we don’t know who was responsible for yesterday’s earnings cockup, there’s no doubt that this is a HUGE mistake for a major semiconductor company and there will be a lot of questions asked once Nvidia releases their full earnings tomorrow along with an earnings call which may explain what happened, exactly.

In terms of Nvidia’s earnings themselves, the company reported for their fiscal first quarter of 2015, which is actually the first calendar quarter of 2014, earnings of $136 million on $1.1 billion in revenue, which is down sequentially from the fourth quarter where Nvidia is traditionally their strongest. As a result, it is expected to see that their revenue was down 4% quarter over quarter and profit down the same amount. In fact, it is actually really good to only take a 4% quarter over quarter reduction from your strongest quarter, most companies generally see a much larger decrease because of how big their third and fourth quarters are for their business. So, then, it comes as no surprise that when compared to the same quarter a year ago, Nvidia was actually up 16% in terms of revenue ($954 million last year vs. $1,102 this year) and 85% in terms of profitability, which is HUGE. Nvidia took in $77.9 million in profit in their first quarter last year, compared to $136 million this year which accounts for the 85% GAAP increase. Now, if you look at their non-GAAP EPS, then you’ll see that it is a slightly more moderated 61% increase, but even so, it indicates Nvidia is strong as ever, even with a fairly weak Tegra business.

GAAP EPS were $0.24, up 85% from $0.13 a year ago and down 4% from $0.25 in the previous quarter, and non-GAAP earnings were $0.29, up 61% from $0.18 and down 9% from $0.32 in the previous quarter. Nvidia also saw their gross margin grow to 54.8 % from the previous quarter’s 54.1 % to the same quarter a year ago’s 54.3.

Nvidia stated, “This press release is being issued because a preliminary draft of the company’s financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2015 was inadvertently emailed to an internal distribution list of about 100 individuals. Because of this error, these results are being provided to the market in advance of trading in NVIDIA stock today as a precaution.”

While we do not yet have the CFO commentary or any information from the earnings call since neither have actually happened yet, we will have to leave our analysis of Nvidia’s individual business units until those happen or are released. NVIDIA will provide its full results for the first quarter, along with additional commentary and a financial outlook, on Thursday, May 8, 2014, as initially scheduled. Perhaps, then, Nvidia’s stock will do a little better even though yesterday’s preliminary mistaken release pretty much beat most people’s expectations and drove t stock up about 1% during trading. However, the stock gave up most of that over the course of the trading day yesterday and only earned back a few pennies today. Such has been the case for Nvidia’s stock in the past and perhaps tomorrow’s earnings call and full earnings release and outlook will help the stock to finally break $20 for the first time in over 3 years.