Nvidia stock rallies toward record after revenue outlook raised

Nvidia Corp.’s stock rallied toward record highs Monday after the chip maker’s annual conference kicked off with a rosy revenue outlook and product announcements.

Nvidia’s
NVDA,
6.35%

stock surged more than 6%, touching an intraday high of $613.16, putting it within a hair of its all-time closing high of $613.21.

Nvidia shares gained after Chief Executive Jensen Huang announced at its annual GTC developers conference Monday morning that the chip maker was launching its first data-center central processing unit, or CPU — as opposed to its core graphics processing unit, or GPU, product — based on Arm Holdings PLC technology, upping its competition against rivals Intel Corp.
INTC,
-4.23%

and Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
AMD,
-5.23%

Don’t miss: Nvidia steps up competition with Intel and AMD with first data-center CPU, based on Arm

Gains accelerated later in the day, after the company revealed that fiscal first quarter revenue is tracking above its $5.3 billion forecast. In late February, Nvidia had forecast revenue between $5.19 billion and $5.41 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect $5.32 billion. Nvidia Chief Financial Officer Colette Kress said that revenue was “tracking above the $5.30 billion outlook provided during our fiscal year-end earnings call,” but did not provide a specific new target.

“Within Data Center we have good visibility, and we expect another strong year. Industries are increasingly using AI to improve their products and services,” Kress said in a statement. “We expect this will lead to increased consumption of our platform through cloud service providers, resulting in more purchases as we go through the year. “

Nvidia also said it expects first quarter revenue of $150 million for its cryptocurrency mining chips, up from a previously expected $50 million.

Most of the chip sector was trading lower Monday, as the PHLX Semiconductor Index
SOX,
-1.16%

down 1.3% as the S&P 500 index
SPX,
-0.05%

was down 0.1%. Over the past 12 months, Nvidia stock is up 131%, while the SOX index is up 103% and the S&P 500 is up 48%.