The large stock repurchase program by Nvidia Corp. has investors worried. Although it leaves it short of funds for essential research and development, the chipmaker’s increasing free cash flow should be encouraging.
Nvidia is profiting so greatly from the rise of artificial intelligence that it will have more than enough money to purchase new processors and distribute profits to shareholders. In Nvidia’s second fiscal quarter, free cash flow and R&D spending both reached new highs, and the business still had almost $1 billion left over after paying $3 billion for share repurchases.
Some investors interpret the trend of IT businesses paying ever-increasing amounts for dividends and share buybacks as a sign that management believes there are fewer opportunities worth investing in and that growth may be stalling.
As a result, some investors were concerned when Nvidia said last month that it would commit $25 billion to the buyback of shares. This is because the sum, which Nvidia is not required to pledge, is more than five times the profit the firm achieved in the previous fiscal year.
Nvidia may, however, spend as much as or even more than potential rivals like Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Intel Corp., which helps the business produce products earlier than rivals and retain order flow.