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Nvidia, Mellanox soar on deal; Snap jumps on upgrade

Nvidia Corp.'s acquisition of networking component supplier Mellanox Technologies Ltd. aimed at helping the chipmaker expand into the higher-margin enterprise market — drove the shares of both companies upward for the week ended March 15. Elsewhere, an analyst upgrade and earnings results fueled movement for other major technology stocks.

Nvidia on March 11 announced its $6.9 billion purchase of Israel-based Mellanox Technologies Ltd., making the deal Nvidia's largest to date. Nvidia CFO Colette Kress said on a call with analysts this week that the acquisition of Mellanox is a "financially compelling transaction" and should enable Nvidia to significantly widen its portfolio of offerings.

"Mellanox's customer base and channel partners have significant overlap with our own, and customers include large hyperscale and cloud service providers as well as many of the world's largest supercomputing centers," Kress said on the call.

Angelo Zino, a technology-focused equity analyst at CFRA Equity Research, wrote in a research report this week that Mellanox provides greater diversification away from the volatile gaming business, and it expands Nvidia's networking and storage presence to address a $60 billion-plus addressable data center market.

Fitch Ratings analysts also see the company gaining a richer sales mix going forward. "Nvidia will benefit from strong positions in markets with long-term secular demand attributes, including gaming, [data center] and automotive," the Fitch analysts wrote.

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However, the analysts cautioned that Nvidia's gross profit margins could degrade over time with increased competition in deep learning and autonomous driving.

As of midday March 15, Nvidia stock was trading up 12.71% for the week to $169.78. Mellanox shares were trading at $117.94, up 7.83%.

Snap Inc. shares also jumped this week after an analyst expressed optimism about the social media giant's advertising growth trends.

BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield in a March 14 research note upgraded Snap stock to "buy" from "neutral," saying that Snap is a good bet for advertisers who are looking to capture a strong return on investment.

"Performance advertisers are laser focused on ROI and spend (and spend more) where they see a compelling ROI," Greenfield wrote. "The good news for Snapchat is that performance advertising can scale rapidly, enabling meaningful revenue beats."

Snap shares were up 19.20% around midday March 15, trading at $11.30 apiece.

Continuing with the upward trend, shares in Broadcom Inc. jumped this week after the semiconductor giant provided a promising outlook in its latest quarterly earnings report.

Broadcom on March 14 delivered fiscal first-quarter results that indicated the company should get a revenue boost from semiconductors in the second half of fiscal 2019. The company is projecting total fiscal 2019 revenue to be $24.50 billion, slightly above the consensus estimate of $24.48 billion as of March 15, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The revenue jump will also be driven by "strong product cycles in both wireless and networking, coupled with a recovery in broadband," Broadcom CEO Hock Tan said on the company's earnings call.

Tan added on the call that Broadcom is looking to acquire companies in other technology areas beyond semiconductors as the company looks to diversify operations to expand revenue models.

The executive cited the example of CA Inc., a software company acquired by Broadcom in a nearly $19 billion deal that closed in November 2018. Weakness in China and Broadcom's wireless business brought down semiconductor revenue in the fiscal first quarter of 2019, but revenue from CA's operations helped make up for some of that decline.

Broadcom's semiconductor revenue in the first quarter was $4.37 billion, falling from $4.96 billion in the year-ago quarter. Software was a bright side for the company, however, with quarterly revenue reaching $1.4 billion, growing from $328 million a year earlier. The software revenue includes integration of operations of CA.

Broadcom stock was trading at $294.90 midday March 15, up 11.62% for the week.