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Nvidia’s results suggest its gaming business is close to a bottom, analysts say

The latest results from Nvidia suggest a gaming bottom is in sight for the battered semiconductor stock, according to analysts. The chipmaker on Wednesday posted a mixed quarter, with earnings falling slightly below analysts’ expectations . Revenue fell 17% year over year. Nvidia’s gaming division reported a 51% decline in sales as the PC gaming market slows from pandemic-era growth and retailers grapple with a glut of inventory. Despite the troublesome gaming print, Wells Fargo’s Aaron Rakers said the bank is becoming increasingly confident that the division is nearing its bottom, expecting inventory to near “normalized levels” moving out of the fourth quarter. “New product in the gaming segment should return the product segment to sequential growth in the January quarter, a departure from the market clearing action the company had gone through over the past several quarters,” said Morgan Stanley’s Joseph Moore in a note to clients Thursday. “While the rate of recovery remains in question, it’s clear that 2h numbers reflect inventory clearance, and we continue to expect a rebound next year.” Bank of America’s Vivek Arya reflected similar sentiment, viewing the current period as an “inflection quarter” for the chip stock. Arya expects sales and earnings per share growth to reaccelerate following the current fiscal year. Analysts see particular strength in the company’s data center business, which saw sales rise 31% year over year. “In Data Center, the business continues to sustain its Y/Y growth trajectory driven by strong cloud spending from US hyper scalers, continued enterprise/vertical market adoption, and strong Networking growth (supply constraints easing) which more than offset weak China demand,” wrote JPMorgan’s Harlan Sur in a note to clients Thursday. Sur expects continued growth as new product cycles ramp up. The bank adjusted estimates for the stock but reiterated its overweight rating and retained its $220 price target, suggesting shares could jump 38% from Wednesday’s close. To be sure, some challenges and risks persist for Nvidia in the months ahead. That includes softness in China and cost-cutting initiatives that could impact spending plans in the near term, Arya wrote. Nvidia’s stock has plummeted roughly 46% this year. Shares were up more than 1% during Thursday’s premarket. — CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed reporting

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