In advance of its earnings report on May 21, Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) stock was generating significant interest from investors. The Covid-19 pandemic forced Americans to shelter in place. As a result, demand for video games — and the devices that power them — soared. And investors expected this trend would create surging demand for the company’s graphic processing units (GPUs).
Nvidia did not disappoint. The chip maker delivered results that should continue to power NVDA stock well into the second half of 2020 and beyond. For the second consecutive quarter, Nvidia’s year-over-year growth was being powered by its artificial intelligence data-driven platform.
This important development shows the company is seeing interest in its GPUs that cut across a broad spectrum of applications. In other words, a bet on Nvidia is no longer just about fun and games. It’s about artificial intelligence and the applications that will be part of our connected future.
Nvidia Is a Three-Headed Monster of a Company
Nvidia has three core businesses. First, it manufactures chips for gaming consoles. But the company is also beginning to compete with Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) in data centers. And finally, the same chips that Nvidia is using to build data centers are powering the emerging autonomous vehicle segment.
At the moment, the automotive segment of the business is on hold as automakers try to navigate cratering demand from the global pandemic. This means that, for now, research in the autonomous vehicle segment is stalled. There is some concern about how strong that demand will come back. However, Nvidia CFO Colette Kress believes that automakers will have no choice but to invest in the technology. “They have to. Or they’ll be extinct,” said Kress.
Growth in Data Centers Is Catching Up on Gaming
Rather than just slugging it out with Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) in the gaming space, Nvidia is making a direct push into the realm of data centers and as the company calls it “Smart Everything.” In this new environment, Nvidia’s signature GPUs are going to have new applications centering around 5G technology. These will include advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, and autonomous vehicles.
One obstacle that Nvidia has been facing is the acceptance of its GPUs in data center solutions. Intel uses traditional central processing units (CPUs). This is still the more popular choice among business clients to the tune of $23 billion in revenue for Intel. And while both Nvidia and AMD are chipping away at Intel, they still only have a small fraction of the market.
But according to Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang, graphic chips are now being seen as a core component in server architecture. “The notion of accelerating deep learning and machine learning using our GPUs is now common sense,” according to Huang. The executive went on to state that data centers are now expecting a significant part of their operations being accelerated with GPUs.
Work-From-Home Is an Additional Catalyst for NVDA Stock
For years, there was a theory that the only thing keeping more workers from working at home was that the investment in equipment was too great. But due to the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses had no choice but to make that investment.
But while those companies get the headlines, a recent Gartner survey predicts that work-from-home is not going away. The company surveyed 229 Human Resource leaders on April 2. Almost half of the organizations surveyed reported 81% or more of their employees are working remotely during the pandemic. And approximately 15% of employers said that between 61% and 80% are working remotely.
And according to Brian Kropp, chief of research for the Gartner HR practice, 41% of employees are likely to work from home part time. Said Kropp, “Ultimately, the COVID-19 pandemic has many employees planning to work in a way that they hadn’t previously considered.”
For Nvidia this provides another opportunity to provide employees with computers that have the power to handle the demands of working from home. But this is really just the cherry on top of a very appealing sundae. While NVDA stock sports a gaudy price-earnings (P/E) ratio compared to its industry peers, the current catalysts should be sufficient to drive the stock higher.
Chris Markoch is a freelance financial copywriter who has been covering the market for over five years. He has been writing for InvestorPlace since 2019. As of this writing, Chris Markoch did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.