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Nvidia Falls as Disk Decline Hits Sales: San Francisco Mover

Nvidia Corp., a maker of graphics processors, fell less than 1 percent after cutting its fourth-quarter sales projection, saying disk-drive shortages have crimped orders from personal-computer makers.

The stock declined 9 cents to $14.85 at the close in New York after a drop earlier today of as much as 5.5 percent. The shares fell 10 percent last year.

Nvidia follows other PC chipmakers in reporting lower-than-anticipated sales, hurt by last year’s flooding in Thailand. The disaster shut down production of disk drives, leading to a decline in computer shipments. Increases in drive prices also prompted some PC makers not to include graphics cards in their systems, aiming to keep costs down, Nvidia said.

The Santa Clara, California-based company now expects to report revenue of $950 million, plus or minus 1 percent, according a statement yesterday. That compares with Nvidia’s prediction in November for $1.066 billion, plus or minus 2 percent. Analysts in a Bloomberg survey had estimated $1.056 billion on average.

The company, which is trying to branch out into microprocessors for phones, said its mobile business declined more rapidly than expected. Customers may have held off on orders in anticipation of a new version of Nvidia’s Tegra product, which is coming out this quarter.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc., which competes with Nvidia in the market for chips that provide high-end graphics in desktop and laptop computers, reported that its graphics business declined 9.9 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier.

AMD Chief Executive Officer Rory Read said the shortages of disk drives hurt sales of graphics cards in the period and would continue to limit shipments in the current quarter.

Nvidia plans to report its full fourth-quarter results on Feb. 15 after the market closes.

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