Any doubts about Corsair Gaming (NASDAQ:CRSR) sustaining its growth after the massive lockdown-fueled gains it recorded last year were largely put to rest when it released its first-quarter results.
The video gaming hardware and peripherals maker crushed Wall Street's expectations, and management raised full-year guidance. Let's see what's driving Corsair's growth this year after a blockbuster performance in 2020 that led its shares to more than triple just months following its IPO.
Corsair Gaming continues to fire on all cylinders
Corsair finished the first quarter of 2021 with a 72% year-over-year increase in revenue to $529.4 million. Adjusted net income shot up from $0.13 per share a year ago to $0.58 per share. Analysts were expecting just $0.33 per share in earnings on revenue of $449.7 million. These impressive results were driven by robust growth across both of its business segments -- gaming components and systems, and gamer and creator peripherals.
The gaming components and systems business, which accounted for just over two-thirds of total revenue, registered a 52% year-over-year jump to $353.5 million. Corsair credits the segment's impressive growth to market share gains across several product categories. For instance, the company claims that its new 4000 and 5000 series gaming PC cases bumped its market share in this space to 28% in the U.S., opening a nine percentage-point lead over its nearest rival.
Corsair also saw solid demand for high-end gaming systems during the quarter. CEO Andy Paul pointed on the latest earnings conference call that sales of gaming PCs priced at $2,000 and above continued to increase during the quarter. This indicates the video gaming market hasn't lost steam as it was expected to after surging during the pandemic.
The company is going all-out to take advantage of this market's sustained growth, as evidenced by a spate of new product launches. The company has started shipping gaming PCs equipped with NVIDIA's RTX 30 series cards, a smart move considering the short supply of graphics cards and their inflated prices. This new product line should boost sales of Corsair's prebuilt PCs, which are already witnessing high demand.
The gamer and creator peripherals business that accounts for the rest of Corsair's revenue turned in a blazing performance too. Segment revenue soared 132% year over year to $176 million. But the more important thing to note here is the segment's impressive margin profile.
Corsair's peripherals business recorded a gross margin of 39.1% during the quarter, up from 29.2% in the prior-year period. The gaming components and systems business reported a gross margin of 25.9%, up slightly from last year. But the increased contribution of the peripherals segment to gross profit boosted overall gross margin almost five percentage points to 30.3% during the quarter.
Stepping on the gas
Encouraged by the tailwinds, Corsair increased its full-year revenue forecast to $2.0 billion at the midpoint of the range, a jump of nearly 17% over 2020. It wouldn't be surprising to see the company further increase its guidance as the year progresses thanks to the growing demand for gaming components and systems and the boom in sales of peripherals and creator accessories.
The e-sports market, for instance, is expected to clock double-digit annual growth over the next several years, and its popularity has led to an increase in video-game streaming hours. Third-party data estimates 8.8 billion hours of video game livestreams were watched in the first quarter of 2021, compared to just 3.6 billion hours a couple of years ago.
This bodes well for sales of creator accessories, products such as streaming decks, capture devices, and audio devices that help users stream their gameplay to different online platforms. Additionally, the increasing interest in e-sports should also provide a lift to components and systems demand. Gamers are likely to keep their PCs up-to-date to stay competitive in the online gaming world, which would drive multi-year growth in Corsair's largest business.
Investors who have been worrying about the sustainability of Corsair Gaming's momentum should be reassured by the opportunities across its various markets and buy this gaming stock. And the valuation should make this decision even easier -- Corsair trades at less than 19 times forward earnings, making it an especially attractive growth stock.