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DigiTimes: GPU Price-Cut Campaigns to Increase in Duration, Discounts, as Manufacturers Digest Unsold Inventory

According to DigiTimes, NVIDIA and AMD partners are doing their best to digest unsold graphics card inventory via promotions and discounts. The idea here is that they can achieve increased amounts of revenue and move a lot of the graphics card stock they accumulated following (and counting on) the crypto craze. This move will certainly affect their bottom line when it comes to profits, but that's just what these companies have to do. Hardware sold at a tiny profit is always better than that which stays in the warehouse simply deprecating, and these companies know it best.

DigiTimes cites the example of AMD-partner TUL corporation which manages the PowerColor brand, saying that they achieved, via promotions, an increase of 115% in revenues on January (over their December values). This increase in revenue still compares negatively YoY, where it's still 85.7% lower compared to January 2018. And despite the increase revenue, profits declined to the red: the company had net losses of NT$10.31 million in January 2019 and EPS of negative NT$0.31. Some hard times could be coming for AIB partners, who will have to bite the bullet on pricing to move their stockpiles of older generation graphics cards.

EA Stocks Dive 13% With Disappointing Battlefield V Sales, Mobile Revenue

EA stocks today have taken a dive of 12.83% (17% at the worst case scenario, with a slight rebound in the meantime), at the moment of writing, compared to their opening hours. The descent, which represents a dip towards a $80.61 valuation per share compared to the $92.52 at the opening market, followed the release of the company's Q3 FY19 Financial Results, caused by lower than expected sales from Battlefield V and lower than expected revenue from EA's mobile efforts. This is capitalism at its finest - the 7.3 million sales of Battlefield V (an impressive number by any metric) fell close to a cool million short of projected sales by this time, and that is enough for the market to correct their expectations.

EA's mobile business saw a YoY fall of 22%, which did little to assuage investors and provide a positive note for the underperforming Battlefield V. It's interesting to note how interesting the markets can be: on the surprise announcement of the new, Respawn-developed Apex Legends, there was no significant change in EA's stock valuation, despite this launch meaning a new, hopefully rich, revenue source for the publisher. Although considering TechPowerUp's overall sentiment regarding that games' launch (not representative of the entire community), it seems that EA won't be banking much on our users.

NVIDIA Revises Financial Outlook for 2019 by $500 million, Immediately Hit Back by the Stock Market

NVIDIA's stock value has been falling precipitously in the last several months. We reported in December that the company lost some 48.8% in value between October and December, moving from an all-time peak of $289.36 on October 1st, to just under $149 on December 14th. At the time, excess inventories were the cause, alongside a less than glamorous reception to their new RTX series of graphics cards. Now? NVIDIA cites "deteriorating macroeconomic conditions, particularly in China" as harming demand for their gaming GPUs. But this now comes alongside a its datacenter business also falling short of expectations - that's two of NVIDIA's most lucrative markets being put towards the red, or at least, with lower than expected income revenues.

This led the company to revise its financial outlook for the year, lowering revenue estimates by $500 million, down to $2.2 billion from its initial $2.7 billion forecast. Gross margins have been lowered by some 7%, which means lowered earnings for investors. Since the December plunge, NVIDIA's stock had recovered up to around $160 per share, but has now dived 14.52%, down to $136.90 - even lower than before. The company has seen its market valuation shrink by more than 50% inside of four months - while the company is still well in the green side of the limbo, so to speak, these certainly don't serve to improve the company's spirit.

Intel Reports Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2018 Financial Results

Intel Corporation today reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2018 financial results. The company also announced that its board of directors has approved a five percent increase in its cash dividend to $1.26 per-share on an annual basis. The board declared a quarterly dividend of $0.315 per-share on the company's common stock, which will be payable on March 1 to shareholders of record on February 7.

"2018 was a truly remarkable year for Intel with record revenue in every business segment and record profits as we transform the company to pursue our biggest market opportunity ever," said Bob Swan, Intel CFO and Interim CEO. "In the fourth quarter, we grew revenue, expanded earnings and previewed new 10nm-based products that position Intel to compete and win going forward. Looking ahead, we are forecasting another record year and raising the dividend based on our view that the explosive growth of data will drive continued demand for Intel products."

Activision-Blizzard Stock Valuation Falls 10% in Wake of Bungie Split

Whether Activision-Blizzard's split from Destiny and Destiny 2 developer Bungie was caused by an overzealous grip on Bungie's creative vision or not is something that will likely never be clarified. But one thing is for certain: in the stock market, it doesn't really matter how something happened, but really what the effects are of it happening. And Bungie splitting from Activision-Blizzard means that the industry behemoth now finds itself with one less IP under its belt, thus constraining its revenue sources to a couple of high-profile IPs. Less sources of income = less versatility and resilience to market fluctuations, and that is something Activision-Blizzard was immediately hit back for from investors.

The company's stock decreased by as much as 11% in the wake of the Bungie split, from a high of $51.35 down to a low of $45.19, as investors reduced their trust in the company's profit volume and momentum. It has since recovered, but is still some 9% down. Whether Activision actually expected this much of a fall or not only the company knows. It'll be interesting to see the company's next financial report, though.

NVIDIA Faces New Class Action Lawsuit Over Cryptocurrency-related GPU Demand Drop

The new year does not seem to bring good tidings alone for NVIDIA, with yet another class action lawsuit promising to keep their legal team busy. When we first posted about NVIDIA stock prices falling 2.1% following the launch of their Turing microarchitecture cards, there was no warning that just a few days after that post things would get worse. Indeed, as of today, the NVIDIA stock price on the NASDAQ stock market has fallen nearly 54% from the 1-year high that was only this past calendar quarter. California-based Schall law firm believes this drop in price can be attributed to more than just the volatile trading that has been ongoing in general in the stock markets, and has decided to file a class action lawsuit against NVIDIA.

Schall Law believes, and we quote, "the Company made false and misleading statements to the market. NVIDIA touted its ability to monitor the cryptocurrency market and make rapid changes to its business as necessary. The Company claimed to be "masters at managing our channel, and we understand the channel very well." NVIDIA also claimed to the market that any drop off in demand for its GPUs amongst cryptocurrency miners would not negatively impact the Company's business because of strong demand for GPUs from the gaming market. Based on these facts, the Company's public statements were false and materially misleading throughout the class period. When the market learned the truth about NVIDIA, investors suffered damages." These are strong words indeed, as oft is the case with the launch of class action lawsuits, and they have put out a press statement to accompany a link for those wanting to join along which can be seen in the source below.

NVIDIA's Stock Has Been Plunging Since October; Softbank Reported to be Looking for a Way Out

The stock markets are the financial equivalent of a fickle mistress. Just ask NVIDIA. The company has, in recent months, introduced their Turing architecture and derived products - a move NVIDIA deemed such a significant leap over its previous generations that it prompted a change from the GTX of old to a new RTX moniker. The company's latest financial results also reported a 21% increase in revenue YoY, and a 2% increase relative to the last quarter. Despite this and increased cash dividends being delivered to the hands of investors, festive must not be NVIDIA's mind right now.

It's a Cryptic Fall: Discrete Desktop GPU Shipments Fall 16% YoY (Jon Peddie Research)

According to Jon Peddie Research, overall desktop GPU shipments have fallen by 16% YoY - a not unexpected turn of events considering the state of the crypto mining boom then and now (where it's virtually absent). The YoY change means that production volumes planned during the mining boom are now above and beyond the channel's capability to move them through user demand, hence the diminishing prices in graphics cards (aided by the dump of mining-bought graphics cards in the second-hand markets).

Overall, GPU shipments still increased by 10.64% compared to last quarter in the overall market, fueled mostly by Intel - AMD shipments increased 6.5% Nvidia increased 4.3% and Intel increased 13.1% compared to their own previous shipment quotas. Still, AMD's market share from last quarter decreased -0.6%, Intel's increased 1.5%, and Nvidia's market share decreased -0.97%. JPR also cites the US's additional tax on China imported goods, as well as descending stock market values as reasons for consumers (both singular and business) to be holding off on purchases.

AMD Share Price Falls ~28% via Weak GPU Sales; Revenue Share from GPUs Only 30%

Following the release of the Q3 financial results by AMD, the stock market was quick to respond to less-than-expected operating income and market share numbers with a ~9.2% drop in share price before the markets closed. This was then followed by fervent after-hours trading resulting an even bigger drop to a share price of $17.88 at the time of this post, compared to the starting value of $25.04 earlier today. The small hike and drop after-hours also indicates some enterprising parties made use of the lower share values to their profit.

AMD held a teleconference for their investors to go along with the report, and attempted to better explain what was going on. In particular, they attribute the decreased client GPU sales to a big decrease in the blockchain GPU sales market (read GPU mining) relative to the first half of 2018. The lack of competing products to take on NVIDIA Pascal-, and then Turing-based, GPU solutions also does not help. As it stands, AMD shared news that GPUs now contribute to only ~30% of their revenue with the other 70% coming from the Ryzen-based processor division instead. They hinted strongly at new products coming from both segments, including an on-track path for a 7 nm datacenter GPU later this year and new Ryzen+Vega-powered notebooks, but it appears that more needs to be done to appease their investors at this point.

Intel Stocks Jump 5% With First Piece of Good News on 10 nm

The tides at Intel have been blacker than they have been blue due to woes in silicon production - and the slow, sure steps of their rival AMD. It's been a rough, domino-powered ride: Intel has faced delay after delay of their 10 nm fabrication process technology. This, in turn, has constrained their production capacity, leading top shortages and increasing prices of Intel processors, and expensive chipset redesigns, moving them up from Intel's top-of-the-line 14 nm process back to 22 nm. So, yeah, after such a stream of lows, the first high note to be struck leaves a much lasting impact - and this has happened on Intel's stock pricing.

A research report from Steve Mullane, analyst at BlueFin Research Partners, says that Intel could be looking on sooner-than-expected ramp-up of their 10 nm process - slated for a June 2019 timeframe. "Intel's second-half production levels suggest upside to analyst revenue estimates for the fourth quarter and first quarter of 2019," further stating that suppliers believe production of new 10 nm silicon could be pulled forward from the June 2019 timeline by four to six weeks. This news brought about a jump in Intel share price up by 5%, while simultaneously reducing AMD's stock price by some 3.6%. At the end of trade day, these highs and lows converted to a 3.55% increase for Intel and a 7.65% drop for AMD.

AMD Short-Sellers Pwned, Lose $177.5 Million in a Day, $2.67 Billion Over the Year

Not long ago, droves of cybersecurity research-backed short-sellers wrote obituaries of AMD after buying themselves shorting positions against the AMD stock on the backs of "Spectre-rivaling" security vulnerabilities comically named "Ryzenfall," et al. With AMD stock closing at 12-year highs of above $25.26 on Monday, those short-sellers (who now have to cough up interest on their shorting positions), bled $177.5 million in a single day. On Monday's peak stock price, short-sellers were a staggering $370 million down in the gutters. AMD's gains throughout 2018 impoverished short-sellers by over $2.67 billion.

Worldwide Markets Feel Jolt of Tencent's Epic $143 Billion Stock Crash

Tencent Holdings, China's second most valuable tech firm after Alibaba, was mauled at the markets Tuesday (31/07), with its share value dropping 25 percent from its January peak. This translates to a stunning USD $143 billion (yes, billion) in investor wealth being wiped out. The crash has had a domino effect on tech stocks worldwide, as FANG block member Facebook lost an equally stunning $136 billion in market value, over the past three trading sessions. Apparently, buzzwords of the season such as AI and big-data aren't proving enough to keep investors interested in tech stocks as many are beginning to question the stability of the tech industry. All eyes are now on Tencent's August 15 release of its Q2-2018 financial results.

NVIDIA's Next Gen GPU Launch Held Back to Drain Excess, Costly Built-up Inventory?

We've previously touched upon whether or not NVIDIA should launch their 1100 or 2000 series of graphics cards ahead of any new product from AMD. At the time, I wrote that I only saw benefits to that approach: earlier time to market -> satisfaction of upgrade itches and entrenchment as the only latest-gen manufacturer -> raised costs over lack of competition -> ability to respond by lowering prices after achieving a war-chest of profits. However, reports of a costly NVIDIA mistake in overestimating demand for its Pascal GPUs does lend some other shades to the whole equation.

Write-offs in inventory are costly (just ask Microsoft), and apparently, NVIDIA has found itself in a miscalculating demeanor: overestimating gamers' and miners' demand for their graphics cards. When it comes to gamers, NVIDIA's Pascal graphics cards have been available in the market for two years now - it's relatively safe to say that the majority of gamers who needed higher-performance graphics cards have already taken the plunge. As to miners, the cryptocurrency market contraction (and other factors) has led to a taper-out of graphics card demand for this particular workload. The result? NVIDIA's demand overestimation has led, according to Seeking Alpha, to a "top three" Taiwan OEM returning 300,000 GPUs to NVIDIA, and "aggressively" increased GDDR5 buying orders from the company, suggesting an excess stock of GPUs that need to be made into boards.

NVIDIA Joins S&P 100 Stock Market Index

With tomorrow's opening bell, NVIDIA will join the Standard and Poors S&P 100 index, replacing Time Warner. The spot that NVIDIA is joining in has been freed up by the merger of Time Warner with AT&T. This marks a monumental moment for the company as membership in the S&P 100 is reserved for only the largest and most important corporations in the US. From the tech sector the list comprises illustrious names such as Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google Alphabet, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Netflix, Oracle, Paypal, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments.

NVIDIA's stock has seen massive gains over the last years, thanks to delivering record quarter after record quarter. Recent developments have transformed the company from a mostly gaming GPU manufacturer to a company that is leading in the fields of GPU compute, AI and machine learning. This of course inspires investors, so the NVIDIA stock has been highly sought after, now sitting above 265 USD, which brings the company's worth to over 160 billion USD. Congratulations!

CTS Labs Sent AMD and Other Companies a Research Package with Proof-of-Concept Code

CTS Labs, the Israel-based IT security research company behind Tuesday's explosive AMD Ryzen security vulnerabilities report, responded to questions posed by TechPowerUp. One of the biggest of these, which is also on the minds of skeptics, is the ominous lack of proof-of-concept code or binaries being part of their initial public report (in contrast to the Meltdown/Spectre reports that went into technical details about the exploit). CTS Labs stated to TechPowerUp that it has sent AMD, along with other big tech companies a "complete research package," which includes "full technical write-ups about the vulnerabilities," "functional proof-of-concept exploit code," and "instructions on how to reproduce each vulnerability." It stated that besides AMD, the research package was sent to Microsoft, HP, Dell, Symantec, FireEye, and Cisco Systems, to help them develop patches and mitigation.

An unwritten yet generally accepted practice in the IT security industry upon discovery of such vulnerabilities, is for researchers to give companies in question at least 90 days to design a software patch, harden infrastructure, or implement other mitigation. 90 days is in stark contrast to the 24 hours AMD got from CTS Labs. CTS Labs confirmed to TechPowerUp that it indeed shared its research package with AMD (and the other companies) just 24 hours prior to making its report public, but urged those disgruntled with this decision to look at the situation objectively. "If you look at the situation in the following way: right now the public knows about the vulnerabilities and their implications, AMD is fully informed and developing patches, and major security companies are also informed and working on mitigation."

SEC Warns Tech Execs Not to Trade Stock When Investigating Security Flaws

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) came down hard on silicon valley executives trading company stock when their companies were investigating security or design flaws that could potentially bring down stock value; as something like that borders on insider-trading, a felony under US law. This comes in the wake of senior executives of credit rating company Equifax, and chipmaker Intel, dumping company stock while their companies were investigating security flaws in their products or services. Intel CEO Brian Kraznich raised quite a stink when reports emerged that he sold $39 million worth Intel stock while the company was investigating the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities in its processors (which hadn't been made public while he dumped the stock).

The SEC has come up with a far-reaching new guideline to keep tech execs from exhibiting similar borderline-insider-trading behavior. "Directors, officers, and other corporate insiders must not trade a public company's securities while in possession of material nonpublic information, which may include knowledge regarding a significant cybersecurity incident experienced by the company," the new guideline reads. "There is no doubt that the cybersecurity landscape and the risks associated with it continue to evolve," said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. "I have asked the Division of Corporation Finance to continue to carefully monitor cybersecurity disclosures as part of their selective filing reviews. We will continue to evaluate developments in this area and consider feedback about whether any further guidance or rules are needed."

Newegg Confirms Limited Availability of Intel Core 8th Gen Processors

A user from [H]ardOCP has posted on the website's forums an exchange he had with the customer service over at Newegg. If availability of Intel's latest 8th Gen CPUs was rumored to be limited before, this seems to bring some more credence to those reports. Case in point: over at Newegg, orders for the Core i5 8600K processor are currently being put on back-order, with estimated shipping dates of 15 to 20 days. Pore over the i7 8700K processor, though, and you'll find it currently out of stock.

Newegg has apparently ordered over 3000 units of the Core i7 8700K CPU alone, in order to keep pace with demand (these have been well-received chips as you can see on TPU's own reviews). Newegg expects these to come in at around a "3 to 5 weeks" time-frame. What separates this particular availability problem from being simply an issue of overly high demand is that Intel's Coffee Lake processors were already expected to be limited in availability even before they were launched. Remember that while Intel probably had such six-core processors as these taped out well in advance already, they did pull up their launch window so as to better compete with current AMD Ryzen offerings.

MicroCenter Starts Limiting GPU Orders per Customer

Taking a distinct approach towards the whole GPU availability and stock issues that we've been seeing in the past few months - mainly due to the cryptomining craze, partly due to low yields on particular GPUs, MicroCenter has started implementation of hard limits on the amount of graphics cards a single user can purchase. According to the new policy, users can buy up to two graphics cards for the base pricing (varying on model) as-is, but orders including more than two units show each additional graphics card coming in at a staggering $10,000 online. This is true for both NVIDIA and AMD-based graphics cards.

In practice however, things are not as harsh as the pricing here leads one to believe. This is a deterrent to people wanting to purchase more than two GPUs, with a senior level employee needed to be able to add three or more cards for each customers. Once approved, you get to buy the graphics cards at prices that remain between the store and the customer depending on the number of units available and required but the local Microcenter here told TechPowerUp that it is certainly not $10,000/card. Microcenter has made this policy known in person, where most of their sales tend to happen. As such, it is their attempt at limiting access to GPUs for mining conglomerates or particularly affluent individual miners, which would otherwise - as has been the case - buy up the entire inventory. It also marks a particularly strong position from MicroCenter, since usually, for retailers and e-tailers as well as for AMD, a sale is a sale, independent of use or buyer case. The company is likely missing out on some additional orders from miners by going this route, and the fact that they are willing to do so really speaks to how strong their vision is for how the market should be behaving. Likely, it isn't that difficult to circumvent this imposed restriction - but the simple fact that it exists is of note. And while this isn't a new approach (we've seen some retailers do the same around RX Vega 64's launch), this might make it more likely for other retailers to follow suit.

Update: The story initially mentioned that the $10,000 per card from three cards and up was an actual store policy, and it has been updated to reflect its nature as a deterrent instead.

AMD RX Vega Mining Performance Reportedly Doubled With Driver Updates

Disclaimer: take this post with a bucket of salt. However, the information here, if true, could heavily impact AMD's RX Vega cards' stock at launch and in the subsequent days, so, we're sharing this so our readers can decide on whether they want to pull the trigger for a Vega card at launch, as soon as possible, or risk what would seem like the equivalent of a mining Black Friday crowd gobbling up AMD's RX Vega models' stock. Remember that AMD has already justified delays for increased stock so as to limit the impact of miners on the available supply.

The information has been put out by two different sources already. The first source we encountered (and which has been covered by some media outlets solo) has been one post from one of OC UK's staff, Gibbo, who in a forum post, said "Seems the hash rate on VEGA is 70-100 per card, which is insanely good. Trying to devise some kind of plan so gamers can get them at MSRP without the miners wiping all the stock out within 5 minutes of product going live."

AMD Says Vega Delays Necessary to Increase Stock for Gamers

In an interview, AMD's Chris Hook justified Vega's delayed release due to a wish to increase available stock for gamers who want to purchase the new high-performance architecture by AMD. In an interview with HardOCP, Chris Hook had this to say:

"Part of the reason it's taken us a little longer to launch Vega - and I'll be honest about that - is that we wanted to make sure we were launching with good volume. (...) Obviously we've got to compensate for things like coin-miners, they're going to want to get their hands on these. We believe we're launching with a volume that will ensure that gamers can get their hands on them, and that's what's important to us."

It appears that AMD tried their best to increase production and stock volumes so as to mitigate price fluctuations upon Vega's entry to the market due to above normal demand from cryptocurrency miners. The jury is still out on whether Vega will be an option for mining due to its exquisite architecture, however. Still, this sounds as good a reason as any to delay Vega for as long as it has been already. Just a few more days until we see what AMD managed with this one, folks. Check the video after the break.

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