By Asa Fitch 

Graphics-chip maker Nvidia Corp. reported record quarterly sales and a jump in profit, propelled by a pandemic-era boom in home computing and videogaming and the increasing use of its chips in big data centers.

The company on Wednesday posted fiscal third quarter sales of $4.73 billion, up by 57% from the previous year. Earnings per share rose to $2.12 from $1.45 in the same period last year.

The earnings were better than analysts surveyed by FactSet expected. The company's outlook for the current quarter of around $4.8 billion in sales also topped Wall Street's expectations.

Chief Executive Jensen Huang has transformed Nvidia over the past decade from a niche player in graphics-processing chips into a major force in artificial intelligence and data-science computing.

During the pandemic, Nvidia has been one of the leading examples of technology companies that have benefited from people staying home and using their computers and gaming machines more. Nvidia's chips are in Nintendo Switch gaming consoles that have been hot commodities during global lockdowns: almost seven million sold in the third quarter, according to Nintendo.

"Nvidia is firing on all cylinders, achieving record revenues in Gaming, Data Center and overall," Mr. Huang said.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company's shares have more than doubled this year, and Nvidia has surpassed Intel Corp. as the most valuable U.S. semiconductor company.

Leveraging that rise, Mr. Huang wants to expand Nvidia's focus further with the proposed $40 billion acquisition of U.K.-based chip designer Arm Holdings. Arm's circuit designs are in almost all smartphones, and its acquisition would instantly open up a new business line for Nvidia.

Write to Asa Fitch at asa.fitch@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 18, 2020 16:55 ET (21:55 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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