Nvidia on Cusp of Record as Bulls Gush Ahead of Earnings Report

(Bloomberg) -- Nvidia Corp. is within reach of another record closing price as Wall Street analysts grow increasingly bullish ahead of the chipmaker’s first-quarter results due Thursday afternoon.

Shares of Nvidia climbed as high as $250.99 after Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Vivek Arya said he expects the company’s earnings and revenue forecast to exceed estimates, led by data center sales. The prior closing high of $250.48 was set in March.

The Santa Clara, California-based company has gained seven-fold in the past two years as demand surged for graphics processors used in everything from personal computers to cryptocurrency mining.

An anticipated "beat-and-raise" earnings report from Nvidia is an important catalyst for the semiconductor group, which is expect to rally into the summer, Evercore ISI analyst C.J. Muse said in a research note. Nvidia is expected to report first-quarter sales growth of 50 percent, according to the average analyst estimate compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with 48 percent growth in the same period a year ago.

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