Revenue down 24 per cent year-on-year at Nvidia as crypto-boom hangover continues

Revenue down 24 per cent year-on-year at Nvidia as crypto-boom hangover continues

Graphics specialist Nvidia saw its revenue dip almost a quarter year-on-year.

In its financial report for Q4, the GPU giant revealed revenue of $2.21bn for the quarter ending January 27th, 2019. That's down 24 per cent year-on-year, while quarter-for-quarter revenue dipped 31 per cent.

For this three month period, revenue was down 45 per cent for Nvidia's games business year-on-year.

Nvidia's full 2019 fiscal year results make for more positive reading, with its games business clocking in $6.25bn in revenue, representing a 13 per cent rise year-on-year.

Overall, revenue rose 21 per cent year-on-year to $11.7bn, while net income hit $4.1bn, a 36 per cent increase.

“This was a turbulent close to what had been a great year,” CEO and founder Jensen Huang (pictured) said.

“The combination of post-crypto excess channel inventory and recent deteriorating end-market conditions drove a disappointing quarter.

“Despite this setback, Nvidia's fundamental position and the markets we serve are strong. The accelerated computing platform we pioneered is central to some of world’s most important and fastest growing industries – from artificial intelligence to autonomous vehicles to robotics. We fully expect to return to sustained growth."

Speaking to investors, CFO and EVP Colette Kress said that the hangover felt in the wake of the crypto boom was still affecting its GPU business.

The exec reckons channel inventory will clear in Q1; massive expectations in the GPU and retail space off the back of massive demand for graphics cards for cryptocurrency mining - a boom that has since ended - means that the retail channel is currently flooded with this hardware.

This has slowed down sales of Nvidia's new RTX cards - which did not hit the firm's expectations - as it's often been cheaper to buy an older GPU that retailers are currently trying to flog.

"Post crypto inventory of GPUs in the channel caused us to reduce shipments in order to allow excess channel inventory to sell through," Kress said, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha.

"We expect channel inventory to normalise in Q1 in line with one to two quarter timeline we had outlined on our previous earnings call."

She continued: "The significant volatility in our gaming business over the last few quarters has been challenging to model.

"Crypto mining demand and its after effects have distorted the quarter-to-quarter trends in the gaming business and obscured its underlying trend line."

The company was asked why the new RTX 2070 and 2080 cards failed to hit expectations with Huang explaining that it was partly price, but also a lack of games that made use of the new raytracing technology.

"When we launched the 2070 and 2080, it was the first time we've ever launched a new generation where the only available SKUs were very high end," the Nvidia boss said.

"And in addition to that, the early boards that came out into the marketplace were the special edition and the over clocked versions. And the MSRP versions didn't show up for some short time after, couple of months after. And so the conditions weren't ideal, if you will."

He continued: "It is true that everybody was hoping to see more games with RTX on day one. But it's such a new technology with ray-tracing and AI for image processing that it's only really possible to make available with new games, which is tied to the schedules of new games. And now they're starting to come out."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.