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Nvidia stock falls on revenue and guidance miss

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Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer of Nvidia Corp., holds a Nvidia Volta 125 Teraflops per second (TFLOPS) Tensor Core as he speaks during an event at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer of Nvidia Corp., holds a Nvidia Volta 125 Teraflops per second (TFLOPS) Tensor Core as he speaks during an event at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018.

Nvidia shares tumbled more than 19 percent Friday after missing on revenue and guidance in its third-quarter 2019 earnings report.

The company missed analyst revenue expectations of $3.24 billion per Refinitiv, with the company recording $3.18 billion for the quarter. Guidance for the fourth quarter was $2.70 billion, plus or minus 2 percent, excluding certain items. That compares with the Refinitiv consensus estimate of $3.40 billion.

Surplus inventory weighed heavily on the company’s fourth-quarter guidance. On a call with analysts following the report Thursday, CEO Jensen Huang said it could take up to two quarters to move through the additional inventory.

“Our Q4 outlook for gaming reflects very little shipment in the midrange Pascal segment to allow channel inventory to normalize,” Chief Financial Officer Colette Kress said on the call. Revenue for Nvidia’s biggest segment, gaming, fell below the $1.89 billion FactSet consensus estimate, coming in at just $1.76 billion for the quarter.

In notes Friday, analysts expressed varying degrees of concern over the excess inventory, with some saying it would be a temporary problem. Others, such as Wells Fargo, said “investors will be frustrated”:

“While we can appreciate that NVIDIA’s weak F4Q19 outlook is impacted by a 1-2 quarter work-down of Pascal mid-range gaming card inventory in the channel (~$600M; assuming no sell-in in F4Q19 as crypto-related dynamics flush through the channel), coupled with a seasonal decline in game console builds, we think investors will be frustrated by NVIDIA’s comments exiting F2Q19 that: ‘…we [NVIDIA] see inventory at the lower-ends of our stack…inventory is well positioned for back-to-school and building season that’s coming up on F3Q19…‘ “

Susquehanna, which had predicted a decline in Nvidia’s cryptocurrency-related revenue, said the weak revenue and guidance “appears significantly larger than our sizable expectation.” In the segment containing crypto-related revenue, Nvidia reported a 23 percent year-over-year decline at $148 million, which still beat the FactSet consensus estimate of $102 million. The firm reduced its price target estimates from $230 to $210.

“While we have been the crypto-GPU bears on the Street, admittedly we were not patient enough to let this unwind fully play out, and may have also underestimated the size of this Ethereum GPU bubble,” Susquehanna wrote. “That said, we are long-term bulls on NVDA as we believe in the A.I. inference opportunity, pro-viz upgrade cycle and 7nm refresh coming this fall. While NVDA’s report was unexpectedly bad, there is one thing we know… AMD will likely be worse.”

Nvidia’s revenue and guidance miss appears to have an effect on one of its closest competitors in the computer chip space, Advanced Micro Devices. AMD was down close to 5 percent Friday.

— CNBC’s Jordan Novet contributed to this report.



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Goldman says U.S.-China not likely to reach trade deal by March and more tariffs are coming

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President Donald Trump (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping walk together at the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, April 7, 2017.

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping walk together at the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, April 7, 2017.

Goldman Sachs economists said it’s more likely than not that U.S.-China trade negotiators will not reach a deal in time to head off higher tariffs on March 1, and importers could rush to order their goods in January and February ahead of the deadline.

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to hold off on further tariffs until March 1 so the two sides could negotiate a trade agreement. China also agreed to remove new auto tariffs on U.S. imports, and Washington reported that Beijing is fulfilling another promise to purchase American soybeans, with its first significant order in six months, amounting to 1.13 million tons.

But they have to show some progress by the March 1 deadline in order to delay further action. “While we think it is a close call, we believe it is slightly more likely that negotiations will fall short of what is necessary for a further delay,” wrote the Goldman economists.

Goldman said international trade data reflect the front-loading of goods ahead of the last round of tariffs, and also the fact that soybean purchases had fallen off dramatically.

The October trade data were the first look at what happened after tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods and on $60 billion of U.S. goods went into effect in September. Goldman said imports and exports were both pulled forward before the $200 billion tariff round went into effect Sept. 24, and they both fell after tariffs were implemented, just as they had done after the first round.

Over the summer months, the U.S. had also implemented 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports, and China responded in kind.

The effect was a widening in the U.S. trade deficit. “Declining exports along side modestly increasing imports pushed the trade deficit with China to an all-time high in October,” the economists wrote.

U.S. imports from China are about $5 billion lower on an annualized basis and exports are about $15 billion lower, due to seasonal factors surrounding soybean exports to China. The economists said there have been sizable shifts in a few large categories, which includes the impact from soybeans. About 60 percent of annual exports of soybeans to China are in the fourth quarter, about 25 percent in October alone.

“Excluding soybeans, exports to China are only modestly lower on a seasonably adjusted basis,” they wrote. As for imports, U.S. imports of electronic circuits and memory components rose ahead of the second round of tariffs and fell sharply after they were put in place

If there is no agreement by March 1, tariffs are scheduled to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion in Chinese goods.

WATCH:How big Harley-Davidson is and why it’s a trade-war target



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‘We are tired of people asking us about target prices’  

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In November, Lee cut his price target from $25,000 to $15,000. A key driver for the revision was bitcoin’s “break-even” point, the level at which mining costs match the trading price.

Bitcoin is closing out a miserable trading year. The cryptocurrency is down 75 percent since January, trading near $3,324 on Thursday, according to data from CoinDesk. From its high near $20,000 in December, the cryptocurrency has lost more than 82 percent of its value.

For bitcoin to stage a price rebound, Lee said user adoption needs to increase, and it needs to be embraced as a real asset class.

But looking out longer term, if the amount of bitcoin users approached even 7 percent of Visa’s total 4.5 billion currently, Lee’s regression model would place fair value at $150,000 per bitcoin.

“Hence, the risk/reward is still strong,” Lee said. “Given the steep discounts of [bitcoin] to our fair value models, the excessive bearish sentiment about fundamentals does not seem warranted.”

Still, Lee said technicals remain important in cryptocurrency trading and as long as bitcoin remains below its 200-day moving average, investors will likely still stay bearish.



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Slower IT spending could reveal Cisco’s ‘imperfections,’ analyst says

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While stronger technology spending across Wall Street and a spell of innovation at Cisco have boosted the stock to post-recession highs, shares now look a little expensive, according to Normura Instinet.

The brokerage downgraded Cisco’s stock to neutral from buy on Friday, arguing that the strong stream of IT purchases that has buoyed shares may reverse in 2019 to “reveal imperfections in Cisco’s story.”

“Through 2018, IT spending growth accelerated materially, Cisco’s new Catalyst 9000 series more than tripled its customer count, and Cisco’s software mix hit about 25 percent of sales. These drivers helped Cisco exceed consensus estimates through 2018,” analyst Jeffrey Kvaal wrote in a note to clients.

“However, spending may be wobbling; comments from Dell, HPE, and Broadcom suggest incremental caution in chief investment officer thinking,” Kvaal added. “Cisco’s ongoing product refresh leaves it insulated, though not immune, from a slowdown.”

The analyst reiterated his 12-month price target of $50, which implies just 5.3 percent upside over the next year from Thursday’s close of $47.47. That price target yields a multiple of about 15 times Nomura’s calendar year 2019 earnings per share expectation of $3.33.

Shares of Cisco fell more than 2 percent in premarket trading following the downgrade; shares are up 23.9 percent this year.



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