NVIDIA (NVDA -2.50%) investors have been laughing all the way to the bank over the past couple of years, with share prices of the graphics card specialist rising over 240% on the back of tremendous growth in its video gaming and data center businesses.
This year is unlikely to be any different given NVIDIA's latest results and guidance. The company looked all set to deliver blowout numbers in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, and it did. Revenue and earnings soared big time and bested consensus estimates by huge margins. What's more, NVIDIA delivered outstanding guidance for the current quarter that calls for 72% revenue growth over the prior-year period to $5.3 billion, crushing Wall Street's estimate of just $4.51 billion.
The company exited fiscal 2021 with $16.7 billion in revenue, up 53% from the previous year. Its fiscal fourth-quarter revenue increased 61% year over year to $5 billion. So NVIDIA is starting the new fiscal year with a bang, and there are a few solid growth drivers that could help it sustain its impressive run.
NVIDIA's biggest catalyst is booming
The video gaming business turned in a stellar performance for NVIDIA last quarter. Gaming revenue shot up 67% year over year to $2.5 billion, accounting for half of the company's sales. NVIDIA said that it is witnessing incredible demand for its latest RTX 30 series consumer graphics cards based on the Ampere architecture. On the latest earnings conference call, CFO Colette Kress said, "The entire 30 Series lineup has been hard to keep in stock and we exited Q4 with channel inventories even lower than when we started. Although we are increasing supply, channel inventories will likely remain low throughout Q1."
Clearly, NVIDIA expects the huge demand for its gaming graphics processing units (GPUs) to continue. That's not surprising, as the demand for gaming hardware is holding up well after last year's pandemic-driven surge. What's more, NVIDIA's RTX 30 series cards have given its huge installed base of old GPU users a solid reason to upgrade.
The Ampere cards are nearly twice as efficient as compared to the previous-generation Turing cards, delivering a big bump in frame rates while consuming much less power. More importantly, they have been priced aggressively. This has caused a scramble among customers for NVIDIA's latest cards, leading to tight supply.
Additionally, cryptocurrency-related demand is also propping up NVIDIA's gaming business. Citing analyst estimates, the company says that cryptocurrency miners bought graphics cards worth $100 million to $300 million last quarter.
While that is not a big number compared to the company's gaming revenue, it is worth noting that cryptocurrency-related demand has historically contributed toward a shortage of GPUs and higher prices. Additionally, it should be noted that NVIDIA had minted nearly $2 billion in revenue from cryptocurrency-related sales a few years ago, so it could win big from this market yet again due to the increasing interest in digital currencies.
NVIDIA is looking to make the most of the cryptocurrency-related opportunity. It recently released dedicated crypto mining processors (CMPs) that it plans to sell to industrial miners. The company forecasts $50 million in CMP revenue this quarter. Though that won't move the needle significantly for NVIDIA, it could help the company free up supply to help meet demand from actual gamers and push up sales.
Mordor Intelligence estimates that the demand for gaming GPUs could increase at an annual pace of 14% through 2026. This is great news for NVIDIA, as it dominates the discrete gaming GPU market with a share of 80%, according to Jon Peddie Research, and it could capture more share from rival Advanced Micro Devices by improving the supply chain.
The data center business is crushing it
There were concerns of a slowdown in NVIDIA's data center sales three months ago. The company put those concerns to rest last quarter, as data center revenue nearly doubled year over year to $1.9 billion, producing 38% of its total revenue.
Such massive growth was driven by an increase in sales of NVIDIA's A100 data center GPU. The A100 platform has been a hit with top cloud computing companies, and NVIDIA says that it is still in the early stages of adoption. Not surprisingly, the chipmaker anticipates this product will drive "continued growth this year."
CEO Jensen Huang also added that the company's new BlueField-2 data processing unit (DPU) could start gaining traction in the second half of the year, driven by the customer adoption and engagement trends the company has witnessed so far. Huang believes that "every single data center node will be outfitted with a DPU someday." As such, don't be surprised to see this product quickly ramp up and eventually turn into a big revenue opportunity for NVIDIA in a few years.
Analysts expect NVIDIA to deliver just 20% growth in the new fiscal year, but the company could easily surpass that estimate given the way it has started the year. That's why investors who haven't jumped on to the NVIDIA bandwagon yet can still consider buying this high-flying growth stock, as it looks all set to continue its hot streak.