NVIDIAStocks

Nvidia Q1 25 earnings preview – will the Kraken awake?

Chris Weston
Head of Research
14 May 2024
Due to report shortly after market close on 22 May (typically 06:20 AEST / 21:20 UK).

“The most important stock in the world” - That was the label given to Nvidia (NVDA) throughout February as we geared up for its highly anticipated Q424 earnings results. Where, at the time, the sheer number of articles written on the stock was incredible – when you are a momentum stock, you need this sort of attention to fuel the beast. 

Nvidia – story count

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(Source: Bloomberg)

Since March though the hype has settled, and we see reduced news flow. In fact, we’re seeing an increasing number of articles directing traders away from Nvidia and towards other smaller names in the AI-semi space that could potentially see explosive moves. 

With the momentum in NVDA falling away since Nvidia’s last earnings, and with Nvidia lacking a near-term catalyst, amid some concern of an over-supplied chips market, market players have moved their attention towards quality defensive areas of the equity market and value as an investment factor, with utilities, energy, and materials all seeing strong outperformance of late vs the S&P500. 

We can also see this lack of momentum in NVDA’s technical set-up and price action, with shares rallying in a $205 range between $947 to $756, and now finding a fair value around $900. Traders remain buyers of pullbacks, where the trigger for long positions seems to be when the shares fall 10% below the 50-day moving average. 

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Nvidia may not be the hot topic it was in February, is that about to change?

For a short period, absolutely, with the eyes of the trading world falling once again on NVDA’s quarterly earnings. 

The options market is pricing a -/+8.9% on the first day of trade after earnings (i.e. the 23 May), which if priced correctly, from current levels, could see the stock trade into new all-time highs or see it closer to $820. With a current market capitalization of $2.260t, an 8.9% move would equate to $200b in gained/lost market cap in one day, which would essentially be larger than the market cap of 82 companies in the NAS100. 

We can also go back over the past 8 quarterly earnings announcements and that Nvidia has seen an average move of 8.5% on the day of reporting, with shares closing higher in 6 of the past 8 quarters. 

Many will recall the Q424 earnings (reported in February), where the share price closed +16.4% on the day and went on to rally a further 23.4% over the following 11 trading sessions. 

Earnings pedigree – few do it better

Let’s not forget that few companies globally have NVDA’s form at beating analysts’ consensus expectations on earnings-per-share (EPS), revenue, or gross margins. Perhaps the bar is perennially set too low, but NVDA has beaten expectations for revenue for the reporting quarter, as well as on expectations for the upcoming quarter, on all but two occasions since 2018: Q32019 and Q2 2023 being the exceptions. 

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In the past 4 quarterly earnings reports, NVDA has beaten guidance on sales for the upcoming quarter by an average of 14% - remarkable form, especially when they have a CEO (Jensen Huang) who knows how to hit the sweet spot and say exactly what investors want to hear in the post-earnings conference call. 

Earnings expectations for Q1 2025 – will they beat yet again?

Q125 EPS – $5.51 (Q2 25 guidance expectations - $5.96c)

Q125 revenue - $24.58b (Q2 25 guidance expectations - $26.617b)

Data centres revenue - $20.903b (Q2 25 expectations - $22.567b)

Gross Margins – 77.01% (Q2 25 guidance expectations - 75.61%)

Recall in the prior earnings call CEO Jensen Huang suggested AI was at ‘a tipping point, which was a big topic of discussion. Given that NVDA only recently held its GTC conference in March and explored the future across multiple touch points, this time around traders will react on news that isn’t already discounted into the stock - growth opportunities, maintain its monopolistic qualities, levels of capex, and future partnerships. 

Traders have found opportunities outside of AI-related semi and while many feel Nvidia lacks a near-term catalyst, the element of surprise is always there. The idea of ‘as goes Nvidia, as goes the market’ has dissipated, but it could make a return – and with big movement expected, this is a key event for equity and index CFD traders to have on the radar.

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