Company roundup: Nvidia surprises (again) and Liontrust

Nvidia (US: NVDA) continues to exceed the extraordinarily high expectations that have been set for it. In the second quarter, its revenue reached $13.5 billion, up 88 percent quarter on quarter and 101 percent year on year. That figure is also up 20 percent from the FactSet analyst consensus of $11.2 billion.

The world’s biggest tech companies have been spending heavily on Nvidia GPUs as they compete to get ahead in the generative AI race, and there’s no sign of it slowing down. Nvidia expects revenue growth to accelerate in the next quarter, forecasting $16 billion in third-quarter sales, which would represent a 170% year-on-year increase.

Almost all of this growth comes from data centers and cloud computing companies, such as Amazon (US: AMZN), Alphabet (US: GOOGL) And Microsoft (US: MSFT), have shifted their spending to GPUs. Nvidia’s data center revenue grew 141% quarter-over-quarter to $10.3 billion, while gaming grew 11% to $2.5 billion, as they are recovering from the post-pandemic crisis.

Although Nvidia is trading at a price 50 times higher than its forward earnings, its stock price rose 10 percent after hours trading. These results have also boosted semiconductor manufacturing companies such as ASML (NL:ASML), Search Lam (US: LRCX) And TSMC (TW:2330). Much depends on this activity, and for now, it continues to deliver on its promise. AS

Learn more: Is Nvidia worth the hype?

Profits rise at Macfarlane

Macfarlane (MACF) managed to increase its operating profit by 12 per cent to £10.8 million in the first half of 2023, despite slowing customer demand. The packaging distributor negotiated lower input prices with its suppliers, which offset labor and energy inflation.

However, the “rising costs and weak demand” should persist in the second half. JS

Learn more: A small cap packer that ticks all the right boxes

Hays announces special dividend

Recruitment agency Hays (HAS) is plans to reward shareholders with a special dividend despite a difficult 12 months. Fee growth has “slowed sharply” in the year to June 30, with permanent positions particularly under pressure. Headcount at Hays, however, remained strong, leading to a 6 per cent drop in operating profit to £197m.

Despite the challenges, cash generation remained strong and Hays raised its base dividend by 5 per cent to 3p per share. It also announced a special dividend of 2.24p per share. JS

Learn more: Businesses struggle to overcome labor market conundrum

Hunting sales rise despite weak shale

Oil and Gas Equipment Company Hunting (HTG) recorded a strong increase in orders and sales in the first half, driven by higher spending in Asia, the Middle East and South America. Its North American shale business, Hunting Titan, weakened at the same time that falling gas prices and space mergers caused its development to slow.

The company reported cash profit of $48m (£38m), with a 10 per cent margin. Hunting’s long-term goal is to increase this margin to 15 percent. Chief executive Jim Johnson said gross margins on oil country tubular goods (OCTG), meaning pipe and similar products, had already hit record highs.

Despite the progress and good order numbers (Asia-Pacific orders soared to $176 million from $33 million a year ago), investors sent shares of Hunting down 7 percent. ah

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