Nvidia’s $25 billion buyback plan, results lift stock to record high

By Susan Mathew, Chavi Mehta and Chibuike Oguh

(Reuters) -Shares of Nvidia rose as much as 6.7% on Thursday, hitting an all-time high, after the company unveiled a $25 billion stock buyback plan and record quarterly revenue powered by strong demand for its artificial intelligence (AI)-focused chips.

Nvidia closed up 0.1% at $471.63 the day after the company beat analyst expectations when it reported second-quarter revenue of $13.51 billion after the bell, and predicted revenue would reach $16 billion in the third quarter.

During the session, Nvidia rose as high as $502.66, which topped a record hit earlier this week. The first trillion-dollar chip maker’s stock is now up 223% year-to-date.

Santa-Clara, California-based Nvidia also said it would buy back $25 billion worth of its shares, one of the largest planned buybacks of the past decade.

Other chipmakers fell as investors focused on Nvidia. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index lost more than 3%. Marvell Technology and Nvidia rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc each tumbled nearly 7%, while Intel dropped 4.1%.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite, buoyed by Nvidia, rose in early trade but finished lower by 1.87%. Some investors took profit after the rally triggered by Nvidia’s earnings report, said Michael James, equity trading managing director at Wedbush Securities.

“The entire market has been in ‘sell the news’ mode, everybody was breathlessly awaiting Nvidia’s print and guide. Clearly it was much better than expectations, but it was an incredibly crowded long, as was technology in general, given that big rally we had yesterday going into the Nvidia print and traders were primed to sell initial up moves,” James said.

More than 20 brokerages raised their target price on Nvidia after the earnings. Among the most bullish were Elazar Advisors with a target of $1,600 and Rosenblatt Securities with a target of $1,100, according to Refinitiv data. The median analyst price target on the stock has nearly doubled to $600 since May when the company forecast a 50% jump in second-quarter revenue.

“The most important thing in what Nvidia said is that there’s trillion-dollar plus of data centers servicing the cloud that are basically converting a lot to their chips and I think that’s a brand new item, which is one of the reasons you’re seeing people jerk up their price targets,” said Tom Plumb, chief executive and lead portfolio manager at Plumb Funds, which owns Nvidia shares.

Investor euphoria for Nvidia is driven by its dominance in the rise of ChatGPT and other generative AI technology, most of which is powered by its high-end graphics chips.

(Reporting by Susan Mathew and Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru and Chibuike Oguh in New York; Additional reporting by Medha Singh, Shreyashi Sanyal, Shristi Achar, and Amruta Khandekar in Bengaluru and Noel Randewich in Oakland, CaliforniaEditing by David Gregorio and Matthew Lewis)