NVIDIA's Q3 Earnings Beat Estimates

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Semiconductor behemoth NVIDIA (NAS: NVDA) reported third-quarter earnings ahead of analysts' estimates following the market close today. Let's take a closer look.

The numbers
For the quarter, the Santa Clara, Calif., powerhouse recorded $1.07 billion in revenue, a 4.9% increase over its Q2 2012 earnings, and slightly ahead of analysts' expected revenue of $1.06 billion. GAAP net income totaled $178.3 million for the quarter, or $0.29 a share. Gross margin also increased during the quarter to 52.2%, a fifth consecutive record, up from 51.9% last quarter. This seems pretty solid, and the numbers as a whole underscore a pretty impressive growth story taking place here.

Compared with the same quarter last year, NVIDIA grew revenue by a much more striking 26.3% while also expanding its gross margin from 46.8%. These numbers demonstrate NVIDIA's strong position in the burgeoning mobile semiconductor sector. CEO Jen-Hsun Huang echoed the same. "NVIDIA's strategy is coming into its own as the world becomes increasingly visual and mobile," he said, adding, "we're expecting strong growth in the year ahead."

The quarter saw the launch of several new products, including its Tegra 3 processor. The first quad-core processor to reach the mass market promises PC-level performance for wireless devices and should help continue the company's position in the exploding mobile semi market.

Going forward
The company also advised on its fourth-quarter outlook. NVIDIA expects relatively flat revenue growth of 2% to 3%, and margins should also remain about the same as in the quarter just announced. The company also anticipates operating expenses of around $372 million and tax rates in the ballpark of 14% to 16%.

Foolish bottom line
Although this solid growth remains impressive, keep in mind that the entire industry enjoys some pretty heady tailwinds. Last week, Qualcomm (NAS: QCOM) led the way, growing its revenue by 40% and its bottom line by 22.1%. British heavyweight ARM Holdings (NAS: ARMH) also grew its top line well into the double digits, with 19.7% revenue growth this quarter, and it also saw an explosive 119.3% growth in its bottom line. Texas Instruments (NYS: TXN) , however, beat earnings but saw its top line shrink by 7.3% compared with last year. And Intel (NAS: INTC) missed analysts' expectations but still grew revenue at a commendable 28.2%.

NVIDIA seems to be rolling along just fine. Better yet, it seems prepared to challenge for a spot in the next generation of mobile devices. However, we're still relatively early in the storyline here. Many of the main players in the space have their sights set directly on the high-margin and undeniably massive opportunity that mobile presents. While the future for mobile remains uncertain, The Motley Fool compiled a special report detailing companies best poised to win big on the mobile revolution. It's absolutely free for our readers. I invite you to pick up your free copy today.

At the time this article was published Andrew Tonner holds no financial position in any of the companies mentioned in this article.Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of and writing puts in NVIDIA and creating a bull call spread position on Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel, Texas Instruments and Qualcomm and has adisclosure policy.

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