NVidia announces Q4 results and SEC investigation

Graphics-chip supplier NVidia has reported record quarterly and year-end financial results for its 2002 fiscal year.

However the company's good news was overshadowed by the announcement that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has begun an investigation into transactions conducted by the company during its 2000 and 2001 fiscal years.

NVidia reported net income for its fiscal fourth quarter of $73m (£51m), or $0.41 per diluted share, on revenue of $499.9m (£349.2m), an increase of 135% compared to net income of $31m (£22m), or $0.19 per diluted share, on revenue of $218.2m (£152.3m) during the same period last year.

Net income for the year was $177m (£124m), or $1.04 per diluted share, on revenue of nearly $1.4bn (£1.0bn), an increase of 77% over last year, when the company reported net income of $100m (£70m), or $0.63 per diluted share, on revenue of $735.3m (£513.3).

"Fiscal Q4 was our fourteenth consecutive quarter of record revenue," said Jen-Hsun Huang, NVidia's president and chief executive officer. Looking ahead, the company's continued growth is dependent upon further developments in 3D graphics, Huang said, adding that there is plenty of room for future growth in the area.

NVidia's strong financial results were tempered somewhat by the company's announcement of an ongoing SEC investigation into certain transactions carried out during the company's 2000 and 2001 fiscal years. The announcement comes amidst heightened concern in the US over corporate accounting practices following the collapse of energy trader Enron.

In the case of NVidia, the SEC is looking at how the company recorded reserves during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2000 and the first quarter of fiscal 2001. In addition, the SEC is investigating the possibility that product costs amounting to $3.6m should have been recorded by the company during the first quarter of fiscal 2001, but were instead recorded during the second and third quarters of that same year.

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