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Nvidia’s Upcoming Earnings: A Crucial Moment for AI Enthusiasm and Market Dynamics

ByDayne Lee

Feb 19, 2024

As the artificial intelligence (AI) sector continues to captivate the market, Nvidia stands at the forefront, with its shares soaring by an impressive 46% since the beginning of the year. This surge has propelled the company’s market capitalization by over US$570 billion, dwarfing the valuation of traditional tech giant Intel. In 2023 alone, Nvidia’s stock catapulted nearly 240%, making it a cornerstone of the AI revolution and a significant contributor to the S&P 500’s growth, which has seen a nearly 5% increase year-to-date, following a 24% uplift in the previous year.

Nvidia’s ascension to the third most valuable company on Wall Street, trailing only behind behemoths like Apple and Microsoft, has not only solidified its status as a tech titan but also as a pivotal player in the burgeoning AI industry. This has sparked a rally in other AI-centric stocks, with Super Micro Computer Inc and Arm Holdings witnessing substantial gains.

Keith Lerner of Truist Advisory Services highlights Nvidia’s central role in the tech sector’s performance, pointing out the critical nature of its upcoming earnings in maintaining the momentum. “The excitement within AI is palpable, and any shortfall in Nvidia’s earnings could quickly dampen market sentiment,” Lerner notes, emphasizing the high stakes involved.

Anticipated Earnings and Market Impact

With Nvidia’s quarterly earnings announcement scheduled for February 21, the market is on edge, expecting earnings of US$4.56 per share and a significant jump in quarterly revenue to US$20.378 billion, up from US$6.05 billion a year earlier. These expectations, derived from a consensus of 33 analysts, underscore the company’s pivotal role in the AI narrative and its potential to influence broader market sentiment.

Kevin Landis of Firsthand Capital remarks on the psychological impact of Nvidia’s performance, recalling his own decision to sell shares last year with a tinge of regret. “Nvidia seems to be at the heart of the current market rally, driving the overall psychology,” he observes, highlighting the anticipation and anxiety surrounding the earnings report.

Options traders are bracing for volatility, with expectations of an 11% swing in Nvidia’s stock post-earnings, marking the largest anticipated movement in three years and significantly above the average earnings movement of 6.7%.

The Magnificent Seven and Market Concentration

Tom Hainlin from US Bank Wealth Management suggests that positive developments in Nvidia’s corporate outlook could spur further AI optimism, bolstering a rally that has largely been focused on a select group of megacap stocks, including Nvidia. However, the performance of other members of the “Magnificent Seven” group, such as Meta Platforms and Tesla, varies, reflecting the diverse challenges and opportunities within the tech sector.

Ryuta Makino of Gabelli Funds cautions that Nvidia’s high market expectations pose a risk of a sharp decline if the company merely meets, rather than exceeds, these expectations. Despite this, Makino remains optimistic about Nvidia’s prospects, citing increasing capital expenditures from major clients like Amazon.com and Microsoft in their cloud operations, which rely heavily on Nvidia’s chips.

Michael Purves of Tallbacken Capital Advisors warns of the potential for market saturation among the largest stocks, noting that investor allocations to the tech sector are at their highest since August 2020. “While Nvidia represents the pinnacle of growth within the index, there’s a limit to how much fuel can sustain this growth,” Purves remarks, hinting at possible recalibrations ahead.

Nvidia’s forthcoming earnings report is not just a financial checkpoint for the company but a litmus test for the AI-driven enthusiasm that has captivated the U.S. stock market. The outcomes could either validate the bullish sentiment surrounding AI and tech or prompt a reconsideration of the sustainability of current valuations. As Nvidia goes, so may go the broader sentiment, making this earnings report one of the most closely watched events in the financial world.


Featured image credit: BING-JHEN HONG via iStock

Dayne Lee

With a foundation in financial day trading, I transitioned to my current role as an editor, where I prioritize accuracy and reader engagement in our content. I excel in collaborating with writers to ensure top-quality news coverage. This shift from finance to journalism has been both challenging and rewarding, driving my commitment to editorial excellence.