Nvidia closes above $3 trillion for the first time and overtakes Apple as the second-largest company. on the American market

Shares of Nvidia (NVDA) soared more than 5% on Wednesday, hitting a record high of $1,224.40, giving the company a market cap above $3 trillion for the first time ever. The stock’s advance pushed Nvidia ahead of Apple, making it the second most valuable company on the U.S. stock market. Microsoft is currently in first place.

Wednesday’s rally comes amid a broader rise in tech stocks, with weaker U.S. economic data and falling Treasury yields boosting markets on hopes the Federal Reserve could cut rates as soon as July.

Nvidia has been the poster child for investor enthusiasm for AI, which accelerated with OpenAI’s release of ChatGPT in late 2022.

The stock is up more than 140% this year and 200% over last year; Nvidia shares have gained more than 3,300% over the past five years. During these same periods, the Nasdaq gained a more modest 14%, 29% and 126%, respectively.

This week’s rally at Nvidia follows an announcement Sunday from its CEO, Jensen Huang, who told an industry conference that the company would launch a high-power version of its Blackwell chip – called Blackwell Ultra – in 2025, followed by of a new AI. chip platform, Rubin, in 2026. The company will launch an Ultra version of Rubin in 2027.

Nvidia is the technology industry’s go-to supplier of AI chips and embedded software.

Tech giants including Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOG), Meta (META), Microsoft, Tesla (TSLA) and others use its hardware to power everything from their cloud-based AI offerings for customers through to their own AI models and services.

In the first quarter, Nvidia reported adjusted earnings per share of $6.12 on revenue of $26 billion, increases of 461% and 262%, respectively, compared to the same period of the year. last year.

Nvidia’s data center revenue last quarter grew 427% year over year to $22.6 billion, representing 86% of the company’s total revenue for the quarter. Nvidia’s gaming segment, previously its largest business, reported revenue of $2.6 billion.

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang arrives at an event at the COMPUTEX forum in Taipei, Taiwan June 4, 2024. (REUTERS/Ann Wang) (Reuters/Reuters)

Nvidia also announced that its shares would be split 10-for-1 on June 7 and that the company would increase its dividend from $0.04 per share to $0.10 per share.

But Nvidia isn’t the only game in town.

AMD (AMD) and Intel (INTC) are moving forward with their own AI chips in an effort to outsmart Nvidia. AMD recently announced that its MI325X and MI350 would hit the market in 2024 and 2025, respectively, and said its next-generation MI400 AI accelerator platform would arrive in 2026.

Intel, meanwhile, said its Gaudi 2 and Gaudi 3 AI accelerators would undercut the price of competing chips. And with companies spending billions on AI chips, any price savings will certainly be welcome.

Nvidia also faces growing competition from its own customers, as Amazon, Google and Microsoft seek to wean themselves off their reliance on the company’s chips and save on…

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