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Nvidia stock pops 9%, tops $1,000 after earnings beat forecasts, announces stock split and dividend hike

Nvidia (NVDA) stock rose 9.3% on Thursday, closing above $1,000 for the first time and giving the chip giant a market cap north of $2.5 trillion after reporting first quarter earnings that once again blew away forecasts.

Nvidia's first quarter results, released after the bell on Wednesday, showed adjusted earnings per share (EPS) tallied $6.12 on revenue of $26 billion, a jump of 461% and 262%, respectively, from a year ago.

The company also announced a 10-for-1 stock split and an increased dividend, following some of its Big Tech peers in doling out heftier quarterly payments to shareholders.

Analysts were expecting adjusted EPS of $5.65 on revenue of $24.69 billion, according to data from Bloomberg. The company reported adjusted EPS of $1.09 on revenue of $7.19 billion in the same quarter last year.

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In the current quarter, Nvidia expects revenue of $28 billion, plus or minus 2%. That’s better than the $26.6 billion analysts had expected.

“Our data center growth was fueled by strong and accelerating demand for generative AI training and inference on the Hopper platform," Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said in a statement. "Beyond cloud service providers, generative AI has expanded to consumer internet companies, and enterprise, sovereign AI, automotive and healthcare customers, creating multiple multibillion-dollar vertical markets."

Wall Street analysts have previously raised concerns about the share of Nvidia's Data Center revenue that comes from hyperscalers like Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOG, GOOGL), Amazon (AMZN), and other Big Tech names. That's especially true as those companies roll out their own AI accelerator chips.

In an exclusive interview with Yahoo Finance following the company's earnings report on Wednesday, Huang pushed back against concerns the company could face a demand lull as it shifts between its current and next generation of AI chips.

"People want to deploy these data centers right now," Huang said. "They want to put our [graphics processing units] to work right now and start making money and start saving money. And so that demand is just so strong."

Nvidia's Data Center revenue jumped 427% year over year to $22.6 billion, accounting for 86% of the company's total revenue for the quarter. Nvidia's gaming segment, which was previously its most important business, saw revenue of $2.6 billion. CFO Colette Kress said in a statement on Wednesday that large cloud providers accounted for around 45% of the company's Data Center revenue.

In a note to clients published Thursday, JPMorgan analysts led by Harlan Sur wrote Nvidia, "continues to maintain a 1-2 step lead ahead of competitors." JPMorgan raised its price target on Nvidia stock to $1,150 from $850 and reiterated an Overweight rating on shares.

On the company's earnings call, Kress pointed out that revenue out of China was down significantly in the quarter, as the company was forced to halt shipments of its most powerful chips to the country. The company also expects the market in the region to remain very competitive going forward.

The company's stock split — in which shareholders will receive 10 shares for every one share of the company they currently own — will be effective June 7, and its new dividend will be paid June 28 to shareholders as of June 11.

The stock split will likely fuel speculation Nvidia could be added to the price-weighted Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI), joining Big Tech peers like Apple (AAPL), Amazon, and Microsoft.

Nvidia's beefed-up dividend also follows similar moves announced so far this year from the likes of Meta (META) and Alphabet, which both initiated quarterly dividends for the first time, and Apple, which raised its dividend earlier this month.

NVIDIA's CEO Jensen Huang displays products on-stage during the annual Nvidia GTC Artificial Intelligence Conference at SAP Center in San Jose, California, on March 18, 2024. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)
NVIDIA's CEO Jensen Huang displays products on-stage during the annual Nvidia GTC Artificial Intelligence Conference at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., on March 18, 2024. (JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images) (JOSH EDELSON via Getty Images)

Email Daniel Howley at dhowley@yahoofinance.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley.

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