Nvidia close to becoming first trillion-dollar chip firm

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Nvidia Corp soared about 25% on Thursday to near a market value of $1 trillion after its stellar forecast showed that Wall Street has yet to price in the game-changing potential of AI spending.

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The surge added to an over two-fold rise in the stock this year and was set to increase the chip designer’s value by about $190 billion to nearly $945 billion. That is just shy of the largest one-day value gain for a U.S. firm, a record currently held by Apple Inc’s $190.90 valuation jump on Nov. 10.

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Nvidia’s rosy earnings also sparked a rally in the chip sector and AI-focused firms, lifting stock markets from Japan to Europe. In the U.S., companies including Alphabet Inc, Microsoft Corp and AMD rose between 3% and 10%.

Analysts rushed to raise their price targets on Nvidia stock, with 27 lifting their view on the idea that all roads in AI lead to the company as it provides the chips used to power ChatGPT and many similar services.

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The mean price target has more than doubled this year. At the highest view, a $600 price target from Rosenblatt Securities and HSBC, Nvidia will have a value of $1.48 trillion, more than Amazon.com Inc, the fourth-most valuable U.S. company.

“In the 15+ years we have been doing this job, we have never seen a guide like the one Nvidia just put up with the second-quarter outlook that was by all accounts cosmological, and which annihilated expectations,” Stacy Rasgon of Bernstein said.

Nvidia, the fifth-most valuable U.S. company, on Wednesday projected quarterly revenue more than 50% above the average Wall Street estimate and said it would have more supply of AI chips in the second half to meet a surge in demand.

CEO Jensen Huang said $1 trillion worth of current equipment in data centers would have to be replaced with AI chips, as generative AI is applied into every product and service.

The results bode well for Big Tech companies, which have shifted focus to AI in hopes the technology would help attract demand at a time their profit engines of digital advertising and cloud computing are under pressure from a weak economy.

“This Nvidia (forecast) changes the whole narrative around AI and demand looking ahead in the enterprise. Historical inflection point possibly in AI Revolution, with Nvidia the key barometer,” said Dan Ives of Wedbush.

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