Nvidia Corp.’s shares surged Friday as analysts practically wrote Valentine’s Day notes for the stock and hiked their price targets as the chip company barreled past expectations in data-center sales after a tough year of revenue declines.
Nvidia NVDA, +6.99% stock surged to an intraday high of $294.97 Friday, and was last up 7.3% at $290.53, on track for its first record close in nearly a year and a half. Nvidia’s stock closed at a record $289.36 on Oct. 1, 2018.
In comparison, the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.12% was down 0.1%, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.10% was down less than 0.1%, and the PHLX Semiconductor Index SOX, -0.58% was down 0.3%.
Of the 39 analysts who cover Nvidia, 28 have buy or overweight ratings, nine have hold ratings and two have sell or underweight ratings. Of those, 21 analysts hiked price targets for an average $297.17, or 13% higher than the previous day’s average of $262.41.
Late Thursday, Nvidia not only beat Wall Street earnings estimates for the quarter but also reported $140 million more in data-center revenue than the Street had expected, reaching a record for that segment as it creeps towards $1 billion in quarterly sales. Additionally, the company’s outlook for the first-quarter also topped the Street view even after Nvidia lowered estimates by $100 million to account for expected headwinds from the coronavirus COVID-19.
Across the board, analysts said they could find little wrong with the quarter except flat automotive sales and were in agreement that data-center sales had “crushed” expectations.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Mitch Steves, who has an outperform rating and a $350 price target, said “we’re struggling to see a negative point in the print” given record data-center revenue, record gross margins,