Sometimes the best person wins. When I read today that Fortune named Jensen Huang, the CEO of Nvidia (NVDA) , its Businessperson of the Year, I rejoiced.
This man is, quite simply, brilliant, and the company he created is a gem, one of the great companies of our time. I want you very much to read the article, which gives you some tremendous background on Huang and the company, including a sense of this company being like Intel (INTC) a very long time ago, when the company was run by the legendary Andy Grove. Now that's high praise as Intel became the dominant force in personal computers and created billions of dollars in market value.
Brian Krzanich is reinventing Intel again and the results have been remarkable, so I am not taking anything away from that fabulous company.
Still, though, under Huang's stewardship, Nvidia has become the driving force in growth areas like gaming, the data center and autonomous vehicles, the hottest trends of this time. The numbers here are remarkable: Its data center business had revenues in this last quarter of $501 million, more than double from last year. Automotive revenue is strong but will just get stronger with its new artificial intelligence computer, Pegasus, for enabling Level 5 driverless vehicles. Pegasus will deliver more than 320 trillion operations per second, according to the last Nvidia conference call. It's the leader in the group. Gaming is a gigantic and growing industry and the best gaming companies, like Take Two (TTWO) , love their chips. I have focused endlessly on the data center; you get much more power from Nvidia's chips than others with a much lower footprint.
That's a remarkable triple play, and I am not even talking about how you need Nvidia chips to mine crypto-currencies like Bitcoin. I am not slighting Advanced Micro (AMD) , but Nvidia is "go-to" in what's actually a small but important market.
I always tell you to listen to the conference calls. I became enamored of this company -- we own shares for the charitable trust, which you can follow at Action Alerts PLUS -- by scrutinizing Huang's fabulous commentary on those calls.
It's been a good company to be enamored of as its stock has gone up 100% in 2017. Nvidia's no flash in the pan as its stock has gone from $25 in February 2016 to $213 now because of these dominant franchises and because people understand that Jensen saw many things coming that others didn't, including artificial intelligence and machine learning. When you open a lot of these devices that talk to you, they are based on Nvidia's chips. When you open the fastest-growing game console, the Nintendo Switch, it is based on Nvidia's chips, too.
So how have the stocks of those named Fortune's Businessperson of the Year done? I know there are always magazine-cover curses, but it hasn't panned out with this award. Last year's winner? Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook (FB) . Since his naming, the stock's up 50.4% vs. 19.2% for the S&P. Nike (NKE) underperformed for the 2015 winner, Mark Parker, with a loss of 11.3% while the S&P was up 24.3%. But before that, Alphabet's (GOOGL) Larry Page saw his stock jump 85.3% while the S&P rallied 26.5%, and before that, the stock of Elon Musk's Tesla (TSLA) zoomed 156% vs. the S&P going up 43%. Finally, Amazon (AMZN) gained 403% since Jeff Bezos was picked as the Businessperson of the Year. No curse there. (Facebook and Alphabet are part of TheStreet's Action Alerts PLUS portfolio.)
At times I have been a little facetious with Nvidia, half-joking that I renamed our rescue mutt Everest Nvidia. He does answer to it if I have a treat in my hand. But I did it with affection and on Twitter I give the mood of the stock, which is highly emotional.
Ultimately, though, I am saying congratulations, Jensen, you deserve it, you have created one of the most fantastic companies of the era and have been the ultimate visionary for this time.