Nvidia close to becoming first trillion-dollar chip firm after stellar forecast

(Reuters) – For Nvidia Corp, the boom in generative artificial intelligence (AI) is everything, everywhere, all at once.

The chip designer’s shares extended their rally this year on Thursday, soaring 25% after a stellar forecast showed that Wall Street has yet to price in the AI potential of the company that has already doubled in value in 2023.

Nvidia, whose stock hit an all-time high in premarket trading, was set to swell its market valuation by about $189 billion to $945 billion.

The 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 2% and 8%.

Analysts rushed to raise their price targets on Nvidia stock, with 21 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.

“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,” said Stacy Rasgon of Bernstein.

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

CEO Jensen Huang said a $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.

(Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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