Nvidia, already leading tech stocks, expects more big AI earnings

Wall Street is watching chipmaker Nvidia closely this week, awaiting an earnings call on Wednesday that could help set the tone for tech stocks this year.

Nvidia forecast revenues of around $20 billion for the quarter, and analysts expect it could beat them again, as it has for 19 of the last 20 quarters.

Nvidia is a key player in the burgeoning generative AI space. Its computer chips help run AI language models, data analytics, cybersecurity and other AI-related fields.

In the last two years, revenue from these applications has exploded. Until partway through the 2023 fiscal year, standalone computer graphics cards were Nvidia’s best-known single earner, frequently accounting for the biggest chunk of the company’s quarterly revenue. Last quarter, Nvidia says its data center and AI business was five times bigger than its graphics cards.

Demand is high: Facebook owner Meta says it will invest heavily in Nvidia chips for its AI datacenter needs, where it’s expected to spend billions of dollars on expansion this year.

Meanwhile, competitors like AMD, Intel and even automaker Tesla are all developing their own versions of AI chips — suggesting the market could remain strong for some time.

The demand has helped push Nvidia’s stock up more than 44% this year, making it the hottest stock on the S&P 500. In recent days the company has briefly had a higher market capitalization than Amazon or Alphabet, the parent company of Google.