Nvidia Corp. headed toward market-capitalization gains of nearly $200 billion in after-hours trading Wednesday, which could put the chip maker within sight of becoming only the seventh U.S. company to top a valuation of $1 trillion.
Nvidia shares NVDA,
Nvidia ended Wednesday’s session with a market cap — the total value of all shares in existence — of roughly $754.3 billion, according to FactSet. A 25% increase would add nearly $189 billion to that total, putting the company within striking distance of $1 trillion. Only six U.S. companies have ever attained a $1 trillion market cap: Apple Inc. AAPL,
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Nvidia’s market cap was ahead of both Meta and Tesla as of Wednesday’s close, with both worth less than $650 billion, showing the potential fleeting nature of such a valuation. Nvidia’s record market cap is $834.4 billion, established on Nov. 29. 2021, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
If Nvidia’s gains hold through Thursday’s trading session, the company could challenge for the largest one-day market-cap gain in history. The biggest currently on record was Amazon’s $191.2 billion increase on Feb. 4, 2022, according to Dow Jones Market Data, followed closely by a $190.9 billion gain by Apple on Nov. 10, 2022. Nvidia also stands to gain more than rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. AMD,
Nvidia is closing in on the rare $1 trillion plateau because of huge gains in its stock this year, as hopes and hype about generative AI have flooded the tech sector. After OpenAI debuted its ChatGPT AI offering, and investor Microsoft quickly integrated the chatbot into many of its services, expectations for the technology have exploded.
Despite the hype, most companies have avoided providing hard figures for revenue gains expected from AI. Nvidia’s fiscal second-quarter forecast — which calls for roughly $11 billion in sales, nearly 33% higher than Nvidia’s previous quarterly record of $8.28 billion — could be seen as the first sign of a wave of fresh spending coursing through the tech sector.
Other companies have indicated that they will be forced to spend to develop their technology before reaping large financial rewards from it. Microsoft, for example, disclosed to investors last month that capital expenditures are increasing as it builds AI capabilities into its Azure cloud-computing platform — spending that is largely going toward Nvidia.
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That is a rather typical path for large jumps in tech spending: Companies that make the necessary hardware see gains before the companies that use that gear can develop offerings that take advantage of it. Other gear makers joined Nvidia in the sharp move higher in after-hours trading Wednesday, including AMD, which gained more than 10%; chip maker Marvell Technology Inc. MRVL,
Alphabet and Microsoft stocks both increased around 2% in after-hours trading, and software companies that have made AI a core part of their offerings also saw gains. Palantir Technologies Inc. PLTR,