Nvidia (NVDA -2.55%) stock has been going through a torrid time and the semiconductor giant has lost over 44% of its value since the start of the year. Investors in the stock are hoping for some relief on Wednesday when the company releases its fiscal 2023 first-quarter results (for the three months that ended on April 30).
A situation involving a near-term risk in the graphics processing unit (GPU) market seems to have spooked investors going into Nvidia's upcoming quarterly report. So, should Nvidia investors jump ship before the company releases its results to avoid further potential losses? Or should savvy investors looking for a long-term growth play take advantage of Nvidia's slip and buy the stock given its relatively attractive valuation?
Reasons to sell Nvidia stock
Consumer electronics company Asus recently pointed out that the demand for graphics cards used by cryptocurrency miners is cooling down. Though the company believes that the demand for gaming GPUs continues to remain strong, Nvidia investors should be a worried lot as the chip giant has been hurt badly in the past thanks to weak cryptocurrency GPU demand.
Jon Peddie Research estimates miners accounted for a quarter of GPU sales in the first half of 2021. Additionally, it won't be surprising to see preowned graphics cards used by cryptocurrency miners flood the market. Such a scenario means a nice chunk of GPU sales could disappear and shrink Nvidia's addressable market. Throw in the fact that sales of personal computers are slowing down, and it is easy to see why Nvidia is heading into its quarterly report in a challenging environment.
Market research company IDC estimates sales of PCs were down 5.1% in the first quarter of 2022 following two years of solid growth. Declining PC sales would further restrict sales of graphics cards as Nvidia will have a smaller pool of customers to whom it could sell its GPUs. All of this indicates that Nvidia's video gaming business may be headed for a near-term slowdown.
The company generated $12.5 billion in revenue from its gaming business in fiscal 2022, up 61% from the prior year. So, any weakness on this front could derail the company's impressive growth momentum and cause the stock to lose more ground considering its rich valuation.
Nvidia stock is trading at 44 times trailing earnings, which is expensive when compared to the Nasdaq-100's earnings multiple of 26. As such, Nvidia needs to deliver a solid set of results and back it up with eye-popping guidance if it wants to turn its fortunes around on the stock market.
Reasons to buy before earnings
Nvidia stock is expensive when compared to the index, but investors shouldn't forget that it was trading at 90 times earnings last year. What's more, Nvidia's price-to-earnings ratio is lower than its five-year average multiple of 58. So, savvy investors are getting a relatively good deal on Nvidia stock right now.
They may consider grabbing this opportunity as, despite the headwinds in the gaming GPU market, Nvidia's guidance indicates that it could deliver another quarter of robust growth. The company expects to deliver $8.1 billion in fiscal Q1 revenue along with an adjusted gross margin of 67%.
Nvidia had delivered $5.66 billion in revenue in the year-ago period along with an adjusted gross margin of 66.2%. So, Nvidia's revenue is expected to rise 43% year over year. Analysts expect that robust increase to translate into a year-over-year earnings increase of nearly 42% to $1.29 per share.
It won't be surprising to see Nvidia back up such impressive growth with healthy guidance thanks to its fast-growing data center business, which complements the growth of the gaming segment. The data center segment was Nvidia's second-largest business in fiscal 2022 as it produced 39% of its total revenue. The company's data center revenue increased 58% last fiscal year to a record $10.6 billion. Investors can expect another solid year from the data center business thanks to the growing demand for server GPUs, which is a market Nvidia dominates.
Meanwhile, the automotive business could give Nvidia another shot in the arm. The company sees a $300 billion addressable revenue opportunity in the automotive market, and the good part is that it has already started taking advantage of it. Throw in other emerging opportunities such as the metaverse, and it is easy to see that Nvidia is well placed to overcome any potential weaknesses in one part of its business thanks to the multiple opportunities it is sitting on.
As such, investors looking to buy a semiconductor stock for the long run may think of buying Nvidia stock irrespective of any near-term headwinds. The stock is trading at a relatively attractive valuation now and its long-term growth story remains intact.