Nvidia Breaks Wall Streetby@sheharyarkhan
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Nvidia Breaks Wall Street

by Sheharyar KhanMarch 6th, 2024
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Nvidia, the arms dealer of generative AI (as someone recently put it), may have quite literally broken Wall Street with its recent earnings that propelled the company to an even higher market value.
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No, that is not hyperbole. Nvidia, the arms dealer of generative AI (as someone recently put it), may have quite literally broken Wall Street with its recent earnings that propelled the company to an even higher market value; this has implications for both investors and consumers.

On the consumer side of things, it's becoming more and more evident that Nvidia is shifting its business model from business-to-customer (B2C) to business-to-business (B2B) because it's so damn profitable to do so. How profitable? We'll let the numbers speak for themselves: for the most recent quarter, Nvidia's revenue in the Data Center business segment was a record $18.4 billion, up 409% year over year. Full-year revenue rose 217% to a record $47.5 billion.

"Our Data Center platform is powered by increasingly diverse drivers — demand for data processing, training, and inference from large cloud-service providers and GPU-specialized ones, as well as from enterprise software and consumer internet companies," Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said of the results.

By comparison, fourth-quarter gaming revenue was $2.9 billion, up 56% year over year. Full-year revenue rose 15% to $10.4 billion, results showed.

So what does this mean for consumers? Nothing good, we're afraid. Since the math never lies, it's clear that gaming is less and less relevant to Nvidia's overall bottomline, which means the company can continue to produce graphic cards that are functionally not that great, and still get away with it.

Case in point: the 40-series graphic card 'refresh'. The 'super' cards are anything but, yet Nvidia thinks it's okay to essentially rebrand the same hardware and call it a day. Not to mention the fact that the company has essentially set a villainous precedent of charging exorbitantly high prices for RTX graphic cards that fail to move the needle forward in terms of performance. Oh how wish for the days of the 10 series 😞

For businesses, the picture isn't all that rosy either. Nvidia has a monopoly on the hardware essential to make generative AI possible and the company knows it. And so do the enterprises throwing billions at the problem.

Unfortunately, Nvidia's competitors Intel and AMD haven't been able to catch up to the company (perhaps why they're so much further down in the market cap food chain). Intel needs to desperately reinvent itself because of competition from ARM, Nvidia and AMD, while AMD, which does produce graphic cards that can go head-to-head with Nvidia's hardware, is struggling to produce products that can eat Nvidia's market share in the generative AI space.

However, all that's beside the point because Nvidia is still so massively valuable that it's hard not to feel bad for everyone else that's trying to play catch up. And after the company's quarterly results, Nvidia just got all the more valuable, so much so, that it hit $2 trillion in market cap less than a year after gaining its first trillion. WHEW!

Now, what goes up, must come down. And as with the dot-com bubble, there are plenty of signs that Nvidia's stock may have to course correct eventually. As Axios recently wrote: Investors who bought Nvidia a while ago are very happy. Those who buy it today may not be.

As for when that course correction happens: only time will tell.

Tech Heavyweights Investing in Robot Startup Figure AI 🤖

Having already placed their bets on generative AI, the who's who of Silicon Valley are now seeking new ventures to funnel their money into, and they just might have found their answer: Figure AI, a startup developing human-like robots.

A recent report from Bloomberg highlighted that multiple tech companies including Nvidia, Amazon, and Microsoft were investing millions of dollars in the company which is looking to raise $675 million at a pre-money valuation of $2 billion. That's a loooot of money, but what's millions of dollars to these corporations anyway?

In fact, Microsoft has agreed to chip in $95 million while Nvidia and a fund affiliated with Amazon will be providing $50 million each, the report said.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has committed an additional $100 million through his firm Explore Investments, while Intel will be funneling $25 million through its venture capital arm.

Not to be left out, Microsoft-backed OpenAI is investing $5 million. The only ones missing from the list are probably Meta and Google, but who knows what they have up their sleeves.

That said, robots just might very well be the next, next frontier now that generative AI is all the rage. Just don't think too hard about the dystopian scenarios!

Microsoft ranked #2 on HackerNoon's __Tech Company Rankings__this week. Google was #4; Facebook #5; while Amazon was #11.

Siri, Where's that Damn Apple Car!?🚗

If you were hoping to drive an electric car with Apple's logo on it, we have some bad news for you. The company is no longer working on one, shifting its focus instead towards generative artificial intelligence.

Now, Apple working on an electric car may come as a surprise to you (it certainly surprised us!), but the company has been working on developing its own vehicle for almost a decade now, employing about 2,000 people as of this year to make it a reality.

Well.. not anymore. Most of those individuals will either be shifted to the company's artificial intelligence division or have to apply for jobs elsewhere in the company. There could also be layoffs.

Apple's ambition to build a fully autonomous electric vehicle was marred with struggles nearly from the start, with the company changing the team's leadership and strategy multiple times. Even if the car had seen the day of light, it would have cost a cool $100,000, not an affordable sum when electric vehicles from other manufacturers can be gotten for much, much cheaper.

Apple ranked #7 on HackerNoon's Tech Company Rankings.

In Other News.. 📰

  • Bitcoin Hit a Record High. Here's What Might Happen Next — via CoinDesk
  • Why VCs are investing in startups that help other startups shut down — via TechCrunch
  • Sony to lay off 900 at PlayStation as tough times for the video games industry persist — via CNN
  • Google working to fix Gemini AI as CEO calls some responses "unacceptable" — via Reuters
  • Lightricks' AI movie maker generates entire movies — via Axios
  • Biden to issue executive order aimed at protecting Americans’ sensitive data from China, other ‘hostile countries’ — via CNBC

And that's a wrap! Don't forget to share this newsletter with your family and friends! See y'all next week. PEACE! ☮️

— Sheharyar Khan, Editor, Business Tech @ HackerNoon

*All rankings are current as of Monday. To see how the rankings have changed, please visit HackerNoon's Tech Company Rankings page.