NVIDIA’s (NVDA) CEO Jen-Hsun Huang on Q2 2015 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

Source: Seeking Alpha

NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA)

Q2 2015 Earnings Conference Call

August 7, 2014 5:00 pm ET

Executives

Chris Evenden – IR

Colette Kress – EVP and CFO

Jen-Hsun Huang – Co-Founder, President and CEO

Analysts

Gabriela Borges – Goldman Sachs

Vivek Arya – Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Harlan Sur – J. P. Morgan

Ross Seymore – Deutsche Bank Securities

Blayne Curtis – Barclays Capital

Matt Ramsay – Canaccord Genuity

David Wong Wells Fargo

Rajvindra Gill – Needham & Company

Doug Freedman – RBC Capital Markets

Operator

Good afternoon. My name is Colin and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the NVIDIA Financial Results Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers’ remarks, there will be a question-and-answer period. (Operator Instructions)

I would now turn the call over to Mr. Chris Evenden, Senior Director for Investor Relations with NVIDIA. Sir, you may begin your conference.

Chris Evenden – IR

Thanks, Colin. Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to NVIDIA’s conference call for the second quarter of fiscal 2015. With me on the call today from NVIDIA are Jen-Hsun Huang, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Colette Kress, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. After our prepared remarks, we’ll open up the call to a question-and-answer session. Please limit yourself to one initial question with one follow-up.

Before we begin, I would like to remind you that today’s call is being webcast live on NVIDIA’s Investor Relations Web-site and is also being recorded. A replay of the conference call will be available via telephone until August 14, 2014, and the webcast will be available for replay until our conference call to discuss our financial results for our third quarter of fiscal 2015. The content of today’s conference call is NVIDIA’s property and cannot be reproduced or transcribed without our prior written consent.

Beginning in September, we will start to use our Company blog and Twitter to inform investors about our participation in upcoming investor and industry conferences. The next conference for NVIDIA will be the Oppenheimer Conference next week on August 12.

During the course of this call, we may make forward-looking statements based on current expectations. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of significant risks and uncertainties and our actual results may differ materially. For a discussion of factors that could affect our future financial results and business, please refer to the disclosure in today’s earnings release, our Form 10-Q for the fiscal period ended April 27, 2014, and the reports we may file from time to time on Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

All our statements are made as of today, August 7, 2014 based on information available to us as of today, and except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update any such statements. Unless otherwise noted, all references to market research and market share numbers throughout the call come from Mercury Research or Jon Peddie Research.

During this call, we will discuss non-GAAP financial measures. You can find a reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to GAAP financial measures in our financial release, which is posted on our Web-site.

So let’s begin. Revenue was $1.1 billion, up 13% year-on-year and in line with our outlook. Gross margin was a record 56.1% and we delivered EPS up 38% year-on-year. The quarter’s gross margins and overall profitability were better than we had anticipated, driven by strength in PC gaming GPUs and in datacenter and cloud platforms.

PC gaming continued to deliver year-on-year growth in an expanding industry. GeForce sits at the center of the PC gaming ecosystem, now powering close to 100 million gaming PCs around the world. Our new entry-level GeForce GTX GPU delivers the performance of the latest generation consoles, making the GeForce gaming PC the largest target for developers of latest generation games. There’s no better place to look for evidence of the strength in PC gaming than eSports.

Last month’s DOTA 2 Tournament in Seattle was televised on ESPN and carried total prize money of over $10 million, more than the British Open Golf Championship. The number of players playing League of Legends rose to about 67 million and they accumulated over 1 billion hours of playtime under the strong pipeline of AAA games launching on PC this fall, including new versions of Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and Call of Duty.

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In the workstation market, Adobe continue to push the use of GPUs with the addition of acceleration to Adobe Illustrator CC. Illustrator have millions of users worldwide. They could get up to a 10x performance boost by adding Quadro making the experience silky smooth.

Tesla had a record quarter and demonstrated continued momentum in big data analytics and machine learning with some high volume purchases from consumer Web companies for image and voice proc4essing. Tesla sales for high-performance computing also grew and several OEMs announced they will ship Tesla-based servers combined with ARM64 SoCs. ARM64 server processors were initially targeted at micro Web service but GPUs expanded their market opportunity by providing them muscle to tackle HPC workloads.

NVIDIA Tesla GPUs now power the world’s 15 most energy-efficient supercomputers as listed in the Green500 list. Tesla also powers the faster computer in the U.S., the fastest in Europe and the world’s fastest enterprise supercomputer.

GRID sales continue to ramp in Q2, and also during the quarter we launched wrinkles we launched GRID Test Drive to help enterprise IT professionals experience the benefits that GRID can bring to their virtual desktop infrastructures. The services attracted more than 10,000 users in its first eight weeks.

Companies are realizing quantifiable benefits by adopting GRID to virtualize demanding PC and workstation applications. GRID enabled Turkish Aerospace to rapidly scale its design team. Roger Williams University is providing students access across its vast campus to architecture and engineering applications 24×7, and Daewoo Shipbuilding is doubling the number of engineers who can collaborate live on their cloud based system.

Moving now to mobile computing, this quarter we saw some major development. We launched the next member of the SHIELD family, the SHIELD tablet. Powered by Tegra K1, the SHIELD tablet is the highest performance tablet on the market. From top to bottom, processor, tablet, software and peripherals, the SHIELD tablet is designed to be the ultimate tablet for gamers.

To understand the market for the SHIELD tablet, consider that Newzoo, a research company, estimates there are 1.6 billion gamers in the world today. Many of them are looking to buy a tablet, an idea supposed by the fact that 90% of Google Play revenue is generated by gaming.

Press reaction has been great. Gizmodo described it as a gaming beast and so much more. AnandTech said that it’s incredibly important to get the controller right for gaming devices and NVIDIA has nailed it. SlashGear said that it’s the new high watermark for a well-rounded tablet.

There are 400 plus games optimized today for touch and controller on Tegra and more and more are leveraging the power of Tegra K1. For example, the SHIELD tablet comes with Frozenbyte’s Trine 2, a hit game on PlayStation 4. And Portal and Half Life 2, both from Valve software, have been optimized to Tegra K1. Half-Life 2 is the highest rated PC game in history having won over 50 Game of the Year awards and multiple Game of the Decade awards.

An interesting new development is cross-platform multiplayer. War Thunder to be launched on SHIELD this fall by Gaijin Entertainment will offer massively multiplayer combat across Tegra, PC and PlayStation 4. As with GeForce on Windows, our strategy with SHIELD is to build the best game platform on Android, now one of the largest gaming platforms in the world. The SHIELD tablet is one more important element of our gaming strategy.

Google used its annual developer conference, Google I/O, to announce the Android extension package for its next version of its operating system, Android L. It brings, in the company’s words, desktop class gaming to Android, and they leveraged Tegra K1 to demonstrate its capabilities with Epic’s start-of-the-art Unreal Engine 4. Tegra K1 also runs many other desktop-class engines including Source, Unity, CryEngine and id Tech. Supporting these game engines makes it much easier for developers to bring games to Android on Tegra K1.

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Android TV was also launched at I/O and Google gave every attendee a development platform based on Tegra. Finally, Google used I/O to launch Android Auto and demonstrated it with a Tegra powered infotainment system in Audi S3.

Our automotive business grew more than 70% year-on-year. Volkswagen announced that the upcoming Passat will use Tegra to power its infotainment system following on from the Golf which is already shipping with Tegra. The new GT which features two Tegra chips has started production in Europe and Audi has upgraded the A7’s infotainment system to include Tegra, evidence of the faster cycles possible with the use of our Visual Computing Module. Separately, BMW has started shipping the i3 and announced its i8, both powered by Tegra.

Xiaomi’s Mi Pad with the Tegra K1 started shipping in Q2 with the first 50,000 units selling out in four minutes. We expect the first Tegra K1 Chromebooks to start shipping this quarter and IDC expects the Chromebook market to triple over the next three years.

In conclusion, our investments in differentiated platforms are delivering success in gaming, HPC, professional visualization design and in automotive markets. We’ve leveraged our visual computing IP to set the stage for accelerated growth. And with that behind, over to Colette.

Colette Kress – EVP and CFO

Thanks, Chris. Hello everyone. Let me provide some details on the second quarter of fiscal 2015. Revenue of $1.10 billion grew 13% year-over-year. Growth was driven by Tegra Processor sales, GeForce GPUs for gaming, Tesla and GRID for datacenter and cloud workloads.

Revenue from GeForce GPUs for gaming desktops and notebooks grew 10%, fueled by continued strength in the gaming market, including the recently released GeForce GTX 750 and GTX 750 Ti, Maxwell-based GPUs. Tesla and GRID for datacenter and high performance computing increased significantly from VDI deployments and large project wins with cloud service providers, as well as high-end education and government customers. Quadro revenue increased, with particularly strong growth in mobile workstations.

Tegra processor sales grew 200% from a year ago led by mobile devices and automobile infotainment systems. Revenue from Tegra processors for automobiles grew 74% year-over-year. All key platforms for growth, gaming, datacenter and cloud, and mobile showed strong growth this quarter. Our transformation into visual computing systems and solutions allows us to realize the continued success in consumer PC and mobile gaming, as well as realize the growth in cloud datacenters, supercomputers, professional design and automobiles.

The GPU business declined 2% sequentially as we executed well during the seasonal decline of consumer desktop GPUs. We believe we outperformed the market for consumer PCs led by our overall performance and ecosystem supporting PC gaming. Quadro, Tesla and GRID, all grew sequentially as well.

Moving to gross margins, GAAP gross margin was 56.1%, up 130 basis points sequentially. Non-GAAP gross margin was 56.4%, up 130 basis points sequentially. These margins were both a record and better than our outlook. The increases reflected continued strength in our GPU margins for PC platforms, datacenter and cloud, and partially offset by the increased volume in Tegra processors. Compared to our outlook, the higher gross margin levels were driven by strong absolute average selling prices for consumer GPUs and aided by our record quarter for Tesla and datacenter solution.

GAAP operating expenses for the second quarter were $456 million, in line with our outlook and essentially flat from the prior quarter’s $453 million. Non-GAAP operating expenses were $411 million, flat from the prior quarter. With continued management of our investments through alignment to a single unified architecture, we produced a third consecutive quarter of flat operating expenses. Operating expenses grew slightly year-over-year due to employee additions, employee compensation increases and related costs, partially offset by lower engineering development costs.

GAAP operating income was $163 million, up 55% from the prior year’s second quarter, reflecting strong revenue growth from higher margin GPUs and contained operating expenses. GAAP net income was $128 million, up 33% from a year earlier, driven by increased operating profit from strong revenue and margins. GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.22 increased 38% from $0.16 per diluted share in the year-ago quarter, reflecting net income growth and share repurchases.

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Now turning to some key balance sheet items, during the second quarter we paid $47 million in cash dividends and received 6.8 million shares under the $500 million structured repurchase agreement we entered into in the first quarter. During the first quarter, we had paid $47 million in cash dividends and received 20.6 million shares under the agreement. As a result, during the first half, we have returned $594 million of the $1 billion we intend to return to shareholders in fiscal 2015.

Accounts receivable at the end of the quarter were $470 million, up $74 million from the prior quarter. The increase was primarily due to less linear second quarter shipments compared to the first quarter. DSO at the quarter-end was 39 days, up from 33 days in the prior quarter, and flat from the second quarter of fiscal 2014.

Inventory at the end of the quarter was $387 million, down $6 million from the prior quarter. The sequential decrease includes the ramping of Tegra processor products and products based on new GPU architectures, which were more than offset by decreases in products based on our previous-generation architectures. DSI at the quarter-end was 73 days, up from 72 days in the prior quarter.

Cash flow from operating activities was $96 million, down from $151 million in the prior quarter and flat from $96 million a year earlier. The sequential decrease was primarily due to higher levels of accounts receivable and lower payables than the prior quarter. Compared to the year ago quarter, the operating cash flow reflected higher net income from improved gross profit and contained operating expenses, offset by lower payables outstanding.

Free cash flow was $74 million in the second quarter. Depreciation and amortization expense amounted to $56 million. Capital expenditures were $23 million, lower than our outlook of $40 million.

Now turning to the outlook for the third quarter of fiscal 2015, following our $1.1 billion in second quarter, we expect revenue for the third quarter to be $1.2 billion, plus or minus 2%. The sequential revenue growth of 9% is reflective of our continued strength in gaming for PC and mobile platforms, datacenter and cloud solutions, and automobiles. We expect our consumer GPU business to be up seasonally in the third quarter. Our Tegra business is also expected to grow sequentially.

Our GAAP and non-GAAP gross margins are expected to be 55.2% and 55.5% respectively, plus or minus 50 basis points. The gross margin outlook reflects higher expected Tegra processor revenue which has overall lower margins than our Company total, a greater mix of devices versus SoCs with Tegra compared to the second quarter, and expected growth in volumes of consumer GPUs.

GAAP operating expenses are expected to be approximately $463 million and non-GAAP operating expenses are expected to be approximately $416 million, nearly flat with expense levels for Q2. Our operating expenses in the third quarter will reflect an onset of our annual compensation increases and expenses associated with our higher revenue. We will continue to manage through our fourth consecutive quarter of maintaining operating expense levels.

GAAP and non-GAAP tax rates for the third quarter and annual 2015 are both expected to be 19%, plus or minus 1%. This estimate is 1 percentage point lower than our previous outlook and is consistent with our tax rate in the second quarter excluding any discrete tax events.

With that, I’m going to turn it back to Chris and we’ll open up for questions.

Chris Evenden – IR

Thanks. That concludes our prepared remarks and we’ll take questions. Please limit yourself to one question and one follow-up. Colin, over to you please.

Question-and-Answer Session

 

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