Nvidia Forecasts Show Gamers Continue to Help It Dodge PC Slump

Nvidia Corp., the biggest maker of graphics chips used in high-end gaming computers, predicted sales that may exceed analysts’ estimates, demonstrating again how its enthusiast customers are protecting it from the worst of the PC slump.

Revenue in the quarter ending in April will be $1.26 billion, plus or minus 2 percent, the company said Wednesday in a statement. That compares with analysts’ average estimate of $1.23 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Nvidia’s high-performance graphics chips continue to attract consumers who want the best gaming experience and are willing to pay for the latest technology. That’s helping make up for a four-year slump in sales of personal computers and giving Chief Executive Officer Jen-Hsun Huang time to push the use of graphics into new areas such as data centers and cars.

Shares of the Santa Clara, California-based company rose as much as 8.1 percent in extended trading following the announcement. They had earlier increased 2.5 percent to $27.66 at the close in New York.

Net income in the fiscal fourth quarter, which ended in January, was $207 million, or 35 cents a share, compared with $193 million, or 35 cents, a year earlier. Profit, excluding certain costs, was 52 cents a share, compared with analysts’ estimates of 43 cents. Sales rose 12 percent to $1.4 billion, against estimates of $1.31 billion.

In January, market researchers said worldwide PC shipments dropped in 2015, ending the year at fewer than 300 million units for the first time since 2008. PC makers sold 75.7 million machines in the fourth quarter, a decline of 8.3 percent from a year earlier, according to Gartner Inc., failing to get a boost from holiday sales as more consumers opt to purchase smartphones and tablets.

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