NVIDIA Corporation
NVIDIA CORP (Form: 10-K, Received: 03/12/2015 06:09:36)
Table of Contents

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
____________________________________________________________________________________________
FORM 10-K
[x]
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
For the fiscal year ended January 25, 2015
OR
[_]
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Commission file number: 0-23985
   
NVIDIA CORPORATION
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware
94-3177549
(State or other jurisdiction of
(I.R.S. Employer
Incorporation or Organization)
Identification No.)
2701 San Tomas Expressway
Santa Clara, California 95050
(408) 486-2000
(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of principal executive offices)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $0.001 par value per share
The NASDAQ Global Select Market
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes ý No o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.     Yes o No ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.        Yes ý No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes ý No o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§ 229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. o
 Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one)
Large accelerated filer    x               
Accelerated filer o                         
Non-accelerated filer o  (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
       Smaller reporting company o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).     Yes o No ý  
The aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of July 25, 2014 was approximately $9.38 billion (based on the closing sales price of the registrant's common stock as reported by the NASDAQ Global Select Market on July 25, 2014). This calculation excludes approximately 25,531,565 shares held by directors and executive officers of the registrant. This calculation does not exclude shares held by such organizations whose ownership exceeds 5% of the registrant's outstanding common stock that have represented to the registrant that they are registered investment advisers or investment companies registered under section 8 of the Investment Company Act of 1940.

The number of shares of common stock outstanding as of March 6, 2015 was 549,840,211 .
 
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
 
Portions of the registrant's Proxy Statement for its 2015 Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Regulation 14A not later than 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this Annual Report on Form 10-K are incorporated by reference into Part III, Items 10-14 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.


Table of Contents

NVIDIA CORPORATION

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WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

Investors and others should note that we announce material financial information to our investors using our investor relations website, press releases, SEC filings and public conference calls and webcasts. We also use the following social media channels as a means of disclosing information about the company, our products, our planned financial and other announcements and attendance at upcoming investor and industry conferences, and other matters and for complying with our disclosure obligations under Regulation FD:
 
NVIDIA Twitter Account (https://twitter.com/NVIDIA)

NVIDIA Company Blog (http://blogs.nvidia.com/)
 
NVIDIA Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/NVIDIA)
 
NVIDIA LinkedIn Page (http://www.linkedin.com/company/nvidia?trk=hb_tab_compy_id_3608)

In addition, investors and others can use the Pulse news reader to subscribe to the NVIDIA Daily News feed and can view NVIDIA videos on YouTube.
              
The information we post through these social media channels may be deemed material. Accordingly, investors should monitor these accounts and the blog, in addition to following our press releases, SEC filings and public conference calls and webcasts. This list may be updated from time to time. The information we post through these channels is not a part of this annual report on Form 10-K. These channels may be updated from time to time on NVIDIA's investor relations website.

Forward-Looking Statements

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which are subject to the “safe harbor” created by those sections. Forward-looking statements are based on our management's beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to our management. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “goal,” “would,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “project,” “predict,” “potential” and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause our actual results, performance, time frames or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, time frames or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. We discuss many of these risks, uncertainties and other factors in this Annual Report on Form 10-K in greater detail under the heading “Risk Factors.” Given these risks, uncertainties and other factors, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Also, these forward-looking statements represent our estimates and assumptions only as of the date of this filing. You should read this Annual Report on Form 10-K completely and with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from what we expect. We hereby qualify our forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.

All references to “NVIDIA,” “we,” “us,” “our” or the “Company” mean NVIDIA Corporation and its subsidiaries, except where it is made clear that the term means only the parent company.

© 2015 NVIDIA Corporation. All rights reserved. NVIDIA, the NVIDIA logo, GeForce, Quadro, Tegra, Tesla, CUDA, GTX, ICERA, Kepler, Maxwell, Pascal, NVIDIA SHIELD, NVIDIA DRIVE, NVIDIA GRID, NVLink and Pascal are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of NVIDIA Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. Other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.


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PART I
 
ITEM 1. BUSINESS

Our Company

NVIDIA is dedicated to advancing visual computing. We enable individuals to interact with digital ideas, data and entertainment with an ease and efficiency unmatched by any other communication medium.

Our business model has three elements: creating NVIDIA-branded products and services, offering our processors to original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, and licensing our intellectual property. NVIDIA-branded products and services are visual computing platforms that address four large markets: Gaming, Enterprise, High Performance Computing (HPC) & Cloud, and Automotive.

From our inception, we have been known for bringing computer information to life through computer graphics. Our invention of the GPU introduced the world to the power of programmable graphics. Our subsequent invention of CUDA has enabled the massively parallel processing capabilities of GPUs to be harnessed to accelerate general purpose computing. We have invested more than $10 billion in research and development since our inception, yielding some 7,000 patent assets, including inventions essential to modern computing.

NVIDIA GPUs are chosen by gamers to enjoy immersive, beautiful fantasy worlds. They are used by professional designers to create visual effects in movies and design products ranging from soft drink bottles to commercial aircraft. And they are used by scientists and researchers to accelerate a wide range of important applications, from simulations of viruses to deep learning and global oil exploration.

GPUs, the engines of visual computing, are among the world's most complex processors. Our GPU product brands aimed at specialized markets include GeForce for gamers; Quadro for designers; Tesla for researchers, deep learning and big-data analysts; and GRID for cloud-based visual computing users.

We also integrate our GPUs into tiny mobile chips called system-on-a-chip (SOC) processors, which power tablets, and automotive infotainment and safety systems. Our Tegra brand integrates an entire computer onto a single chip, incorporating GPUs and multi-core CPUs with audio, video and input/output capabilities. They can also be integrated with baseband processors to add voice and data communication. Tegra conserves power while delivering state-of-the-art graphics and multimedia processing.

Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, NVIDIA was incorporated in California in April 1993 and reincorporated in Delaware in April 1998.

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Our Businesses

Our two reporting segments - GPU and Tegra Processor - are based on a single underlying graphics architecture. From our proprietary processors, we have created platforms that address four large markets where our visual computing expertise is critically important: Gaming, Enterprise, HPC & Cloud, and Automotive.
Businesses
 
 
NVIDIA Visual Computing Platforms and Brands
 
 
 
 
GPU
 
GeForce  for PC gaming
 
 
Quadro  for design professionals working in computer-aided design, video editing, special effects and other creative applications
 
 
Tesla  for deep learning and accelerated computing, leveraging the parallel computing capabilities of GPUs for general purpose computing
 
 
GRID  to provide the power of NVIDIA graphics through the cloud and datacenters
 
 
 
 
Tegra Processor
 
Tegra  processors are primarily designed to enable our branded platforms - DRIVE and SHIELD. Tegra is also sold to OEMs for devices where graphics and overall performance is of great importance
 
 
DRIVE  automotive computers that provide supercomputing capabilities to make driving safer and more enjoyable
 
 
SHIELD  composed of a family of devices designed to harness the power of mobile-cloud to revolutionize gaming

Our Markets

We focus on specializing in markets in which visual computing and accelerated computing platforms are important, including:

Gaming

By focusing on open platforms and end-to-end experiences, we bring high fidelity and quality to gaming devices.

Our GPUs enhance the gaming experience by improving the visual quality of graphics, increasing the frame rate for smoother gameplay and improving realism by replicating the behavior of light and physical objects. These can be enjoyed independently or together to extend the gaming experience across platforms.

Our gaming platforms utilize sophisticated 3D software and algorithms - including our GameWorks investment in real-time graphics and simulation. These enable us to deliver realism and immersion, even when playing games remotely from the cloud. We further enhance gaming with GeForce Experience, our application for the gaming ecosystem that optimizes the PC user’s settings for each title and enables players to record and share their victories. It has been downloaded by more than 50 million users.

Our products for the gaming market include GeForce GTX GPUs for PC gaming, the SHIELD family of tablet and portable devices for mobile gaming, and GRID for cloud-based streaming on gaming devices.

Enterprise

We serve the Enterprise market by working closely with independent software vendors to optimize their offerings for NVIDIA GPUs. Our visual computing solutions enhance productivity for critical parts of the workflow of such major industries as automotive, media and entertainment, oil and gas, and medical imaging - where our GPUs improve productivity and introduce new capabilities. For example, an architect designing a building with a computer-aided design package can interact with the model in real time, view the model in greater detail, and generate photorealistic renderings for the client.


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Visual computing is vital to productivity in many environments:

Design and Manufacturing  - including computer-aided design, architectural design, consumer-products manufacturing, medical instrumentation and aerospace

Digital Content Creation  - including professional video editing and post production, special effects for films and broadcast-television graphics

Enterprise Graphics Virtualization - including enterprises that virtualize their IT infrastructure using software from companies such as VMware, Inc. and Citrix Systems, Inc., which are significantly improved by NVIDIA GRID hardware and software

NVIDIA brands for this market are Quadro GPUs for workstations and GRID for virtualizing enterprise graphics. Quadro GPUs enhance the productivity of designers by improving performance and adding functionality, such as photorealistic rendering, high color fidelity and advanced scalable display capabilities. GRID makes it possible to run graphics-intensive applications remotely on a server in the datacenter, instead of locally on a PC or workstation. Applications include accelerating virtual desktop infrastructures and delivering graphics-intensive applications from the cloud.

HPC & Cloud

The NVIDIA Tesla accelerated computing platform applies the parallel-processing capability of GPUs and enabling software to general-purpose computing problems, greatly increasing performance and power efficiency over CPU-only solutions. Tesla-based servers and supercomputers increase the speed of applications used in such fields as aerospace, bio-science research, mechanical and fluid simulations, energy exploration, deep learning, computational finance and data analytics.

The fastest supercomputers in the U.S. and in Europe are powered by Tesla GPU accelerators. The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced that its next generation of supercomputers will be based on Tesla GPU accelerators.

Tesla has had a significant impact on scientific discovery, ranging from better understanding the HIV virus to enabling heart surgery on beating hearts. Consumer web and mobile companies like China’s Baidu use Tesla GPU accelerators to provide voice assistants, translation services and image analytics.

Automotive

As technology gets increasingly important in the automotive market, the car is on its way to becoming each individual’s most powerful computer. Cars will feature a multitude of devices, driven by sophisticated software algorithms. These devices are designed to ensure our safety and the safety of those around us, enhance our comfort and enjoyment, and search and navigate. They will use the tools of deep learning to sense their environment, ultimately driving themselves.

NVIDIA has the potential to own the entire stack of technology that makes this possible, including computing vision, deep learning and natural-language processing.

Beyond Automotive, we see the opportunity for Tegra in other embedded areas where visual computing is valued. Examples include robots that respond to voice and gesture commands, drones that process enormous amounts of visual-based data and smart monitors powered by Android that make a PC optional.

Business Strategies

NVIDIA’s key strategies that shape our overall business approach include:

Extending our technology leadership in visual computing. We believe that visual computing is fundamental to the continued expansion and evolution of computing. We apply our research and development resources to extending our leadership in visual computing, enabling us to enhance the user experience for consumer entertainment and professional visualization applications.


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Extending our visual computing leadership into mobile and cloud-computing platforms. We believe that visual computing will remain a key component in the computing paradigm circumscribed by mobile, cloud and software as a service. We enable interactive graphics applications - such as games, movie and photo editing and design software - to be accessed by any device, anywhere. We believe that the user experience in virtual desktop infrastructures should be indistinguishable from physical environments and, accordingly, leverage our research and development resources to create differentiated devices and products that deliver this capability.

Revolutionizing computing with the GPU’s parallel processing capability. We believe that the massively parallel processing capabilities of NVIDIA GPUs can solve complex computational problems in significantly less time and with less power consumption than a CPU. We work with developers worldwide who write programs for the CUDA platform using various high-level programming languages. Developers are able to accelerate applications in areas ranging from molecular dynamics to image processing, derivatives modeling for financial risk analysis and big-data analytics.

Protecting our intellectual property, and using it to enter into license and development contracts. We believe our intellectual property portfolio is a valuable asset that can be monetized by licensing our technology to customers that desire to build such capabilities directly into their own products. Such license and development arrangements can further enhance the reach of our graphics and mobile technology.

Enabling visual computing platforms in key focus areas. We believe that we are well positioned to use our expertise in visual and parallel computing to make contributions in four key markets where our visual computing expertise is valued:

- Gaming : Our strategy is to use advanced graphics technologies to create a range of gaming platforms, stretching across PCs, mobile devices and the cloud.
- Enterprise : Our strategy is to serve as our customers' most trusted graphics partner, working closely with independent software vendors to optimize their offerings for NVIDIA GPUs.
- HPC & Cloud : Our strategy is to serve growing demand for deep learning, big-data analytics and scientific computing.
- Automotive : Our strategy is to utilize Tegra’s visual computing capabilities and extreme efficiency, as well as our significant computing software assets, to augment the driving experience.
Sales and Marketing

Our worldwide sales and marketing strategy is key to our objective of providing markets with our high-performance and efficient GPUs and mobile SOC products. Our sales and marketing teams work closely with each industry's respective OEMs, original design manufacturers, or ODMs, system builders, motherboard manufacturers, add-in board manufacturers, or AIBs, retailers/distributors and industry trendsetters, collectively referred to as our Channel, to define product features, performance, price and timing of new products. Members of our sales team have a high level of technical expertise and product and industry knowledge to support the competitive and complex design win process. We also employ a highly skilled team of application engineers to assist our Channel in designing, testing and qualifying system designs that incorporate our products. We believe that the depth and quality of our design support are keys to improving our Channel's time-to-market, maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction within our Channel and fostering relationships that encourage customers to use the next generation of our products.

As a result of our Channel strategy, a small number of our customers represent the majority of our revenue. However, their end customers consist of a large number of OEMs and system builders throughout the world. Sales to our largest customer accounted for 11% of our total revenue for fiscal year 2015. 

Additionally, to encourage software title developers and publishers to develop games optimized for platforms utilizing our products and enterprise applications optimized for our GPUs, we seek to establish and maintain strong relationships in the software development community. Engineering and marketing personnel interact with and visit key software developers to promote and discuss our products, as well as to ascertain product requirements and solve technical problems. Our developer program makes certain that our products are available to developers prior to volume availability in order to encourage the development of software applications and game titles that are optimized for our products.


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Backlog

Our sales are primarily made pursuant to standard purchase orders. The quantity of products purchased by our customers as well as our shipment schedules are subject to revisions that reflect changes in both the customers' requirements and in manufacturing availability. The semiconductor industry is characterized by short lead time orders and quick delivery schedules. In light of industry practice and experience, we believe that only a small portion of our backlog is non-cancelable and that the dollar amount associated with the non-cancelable portion is not significant.

Seasonality

Our GPU and Tegra processor products serve many markets from consumer PC gaming to enterprise workstations to government and service provider cloud datacenters; however, a majority of our revenue is consumer focused. Our consumer products have typically seen stronger revenue in the second half of our fiscal year. However, there can be no assurance that this trend will continue.

Manufacturing

We do not directly manufacture semiconductor wafers used for our products. Instead, we utilize what is known as a fabless manufacturing strategy for all of our product-line operating segments whereby we employ world-class suppliers for all phases of the manufacturing process, including wafer fabrication, assembly, testing and packaging. This strategy uses the expertise of industry-leading suppliers that are certified by the International Organization for Standardization in such areas as fabrication, assembly, quality control and assurance, reliability and testing. In addition, this strategy allows us to avoid many of the significant costs and risks associated with owning and operating manufacturing operations. Our suppliers are also responsible for procurement of most of the raw materials used in the production of our products. As a result, we can focus our resources on product design, additional quality assurance, marketing and customer support.

We utilize industry-leading suppliers, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, to produce our semiconductor wafers. We then utilize independent subcontractors, such as Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, Inc., BYD Auto Co. Ltd., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., JSI Logistics Ltd., King Yuan Electronics Co., Ltd. and Siliconware Precision Industries Company Ltd. to perform assembly, testing and packaging of most of our products. We purchase substrates from IbidenCo., Ltd., Nanya Technology Corporation, and Unimicron Technology Corporation.

We typically receive semiconductor products from our subcontractors, perform incoming quality assurance and then ship the semiconductors to contract equipment manufacturers, or CEMs, distributors, motherboard and AIB customers from our third-party warehouse in Hong Kong. Generally, these manufacturers assemble and test the boards based on our design kit and test specifications, and then ship our products to retailers, system builders or OEMs as motherboard and add-in board solutions.

Working Capital
 
We focus considerable attention on managing our inventories and other working-capital-related items. We manage inventories by communicating with our customers and then using our industry experience to forecast demand on a product-by-product basis. We then place manufacturing orders for our products that are based on forecasted demand. The quantity of products actually purchased by our customers as well as shipment schedules are subject to revisions that reflect changes in both the customers' requirements and in manufacturing availability. We generally maintain substantial inventories of our products because the semiconductor industry is characterized by short lead time orders and quick delivery schedules. A substantial amount of our inventories are maintained as semi-finished products that can be leveraged across a wide range of our processors to balance our customer demands.

Our existing cash and marketable securities balances decreased by 1.0% to $4.62 billion at the end of fiscal year 2015 compared with the end of fiscal year 2014. We believe that these balances and our anticipated cash flows from operations will be sufficient to meet our operating, acquisition, capital purchases and intended capital return to shareholders needs for at least the next twelve months.
 

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Research and Development
 
We believe that the continued introduction of new and enhanced products designed to deliver leading visual computing technology including 3D graphics, HD video, audio, ultra-low power consumption and SOC architectures is essential to our future success. Our research and development strategy is to focus on concurrently developing multiple generations of GPUs and Tegra Processors, including GPUs for high-performance computing, and Tegra SOCs for SHIELD and other mobile products using independent design teams. Our research and development efforts are performed within specialized groups consisting of software engineering, hardware engineering, very large scale integration design engineering, process engineering, architecture and algorithms. These groups act as a pipeline designed to allow the efficient simultaneous development of multiple generations of products.
 
A critical component of our product development effort is our partnerships with leaders in the computer-aided design industry. We invest significant resources in the development of relationships with industry leaders, often assisting these companies in the product definition of their new products. We believe that forming these relationships and utilizing next-generation development tools to design, simulate and verify our products will help us remain at the forefront of the 3D graphics market and develop products that utilize leading-edge technology on a rapid basis. We believe this approach assists us in meeting the new design schedules of PC OEMs and other manufacturers. We believe in leveraging our significant research and development depth and scale to create differentiated products.
 
As of January 25, 2015 , we had 6,658 full-time employees engaged in research and development. During fiscal years 2015 , 2014 and 2013, we incurred research and development expense of $ 1.36 billion , $1.34 billion and $ 1.15 billion , respectively.

Competition
 
The market for our products is intensely competitive and is characterized by rapid technological change, evolving industry standards and declining average selling prices. We believe that the principal competitive factors in this market are performance, breadth of product offerings, access to customers and distribution channels, software support, conformity to industry standard Application Programming Interfaces, manufacturing capabilities, processor pricing and total system costs. We believe that our ability to remain competitive will depend on how well we are able to anticipate the features and functions that customers will demand and whether we are able to deliver consistent volumes of our products at acceptable levels of quality and at competitive prices. We expect competition to increase from both existing competitors and new market entrants with products that may be less costly than ours, or may provide better performance or additional features not provided by our products. In addition, it is possible that new competitors or alliances among competitors could emerge and acquire significant market share .

A significant source of competition comes from companies that provide or intend to provide GPUs and mobile SOC products. Some of our competitors may have greater marketing, financial, distribution and manufacturing resources than we do and may be more able to adapt to customer or technological changes.
 
Our current competitors include:

suppliers of discrete and integrated GPUs, including supercomputers and chipsets that incorporate 3D graphics functionality as part of their existing solutions, such as Advanced Micro Devices, or AMD, and Intel Corporation, or Intel;

suppliers of SOC products that are embedded into smart devices such as televisions, monitors, set-top boxes, gaming devices and automobiles, such as AMD, Apple, Inc., Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., Fuzhou Rockchip Electronics Co., Ltd., Intel, Marvell Technology Group Ltd., Mediatek, Mobileye N.V., Qualcomm Incorporated, Samsung, ST Microelectronics, and Texas Instruments Incorporated; and

licensors of graphics technologies, such as ARM Holdings plc, or ARM, and Imagination Technologies Group plc.


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Patents and Proprietary Rights

We rely primarily on a combination of patents, trademarks, trade secrets, employee and third-party nondisclosure agreements and licensing arrangements to protect our intellectual property in the United States and internationally. Our currently issued patents have expiration dates from April 2015 to December 2034. We have numerous patents issued, allowed and pending in the United States and in foreign jurisdictions. Our patents and pending patent applications primarily relate to our products and the technology used in connection with our products. We also rely on international treaties, organizations and foreign laws to protect our intellectual property. The laws of certain foreign countries in which our products are or may be manufactured or sold, including various countries in Asia, may not protect our products or intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. This decreased protection makes the possibility of piracy of our technology and products more likely. We continuously assess whether and where to seek formal protection for particular innovations and technologies based on such factors as:

the location in which our products are manufactured;

our strategic technology or product directions in different countries;

the degree to which intellectual property laws exist and are meaningfully enforced in different jurisdictions; and

the commercial significance of our operations and our competitors' operations in particular countries and regions.

We have also licensed technology from third parties for incorporation in some of our products and for defensive reasons, and expect to continue to enter into such license agreements.

Employees
 
As of January 25, 2015 , we had 9,228 employees, 6,658 of whom were engaged in research and development and 2,570 of whom were engaged in sales, marketing, operations and administrative positions.

Environmental Regulatory Compliance

To date, we have not incurred significant expenses related to environmental regulatory compliance matters.

Financial Information by Reporting Segment and Geographic Data

The information included in Note 16 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including financial information by reporting segment and revenue and long-lived assets by geographic region, is hereby incorporated by reference. For additional detail regarding the risks attendant to our foreign operations see “Item 1A. Risk Factors - Risks Related to Our Business, Industry and Partners - We are subject to risks and uncertainties associated with international operations which may harm our business.

Executive Officers of the Registrant

The following sets forth certain information regarding our executive officers, their ages and positions as of March 6, 2015 :
Name
 
Age
 
Position
Jen-Hsun Huang
 
52
 
President, Chief Executive Officer and Director
Colette M. Kress
 
47
 
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Ajay K. Puri
 
60
 
Executive Vice President, Worldwide Field Operations
David M. Shannon
 
59
 
Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and Secretary
Debora Shoquist
 
60
 
Executive Vice President, Operations
 
Jen-Hsun Huang co-founded NVIDIA in April 1993 and has served as its President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors since its inception. From 1985 to 1993, Mr. Huang was employed at LSI Logic Corporation, a computer chip manufacturer, where he held a variety of positions including as Director of Coreware, the business unit responsible for LSI's “system-on-chip”. From 1983 to 1985, Mr. Huang was a microprocessor designer for Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., a semiconductor company. Mr. Huang holds a B.S.E.E. degree from Oregon State University and an M.S.E.E. degree from Stanford University.

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Colette M. Kress joined NVIDIA in September 2013 as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to NVIDIA, Ms. Kress most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Business Technology and Operations Finance organization at Cisco Systems, Inc., a networking equipment company, since 2010. At Cisco, Ms. Kress was responsible for financial strategy, planning, reporting and business development for all business segments, engineering and operations. From 1997 to 2010 Ms. Kress held a variety of positions at Microsoft Corporation, a software company, including, beginning in 2006, Chief Financial Officer of the Server and Tools division, where Ms. Kress was responsible for financial strategy, planning, reporting and business development for the division. Prior to joining Microsoft, Ms. Kress spent eight years at Texas Instruments Incorporated, a semiconductor company, where she held a variety of finance positions. Ms. Kress holds a B.S. degree in Finance from University of Arizona and an M.B.A. degree from Southern Methodist University.

Ajay K. Puri joined NVIDIA in December 2005 as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales and became Executive Vice President, Worldwide Sales (subsequently renamed to Worldwide Field Operations) in January 2009. Prior to NVIDIA, he held positions in sales, marketing, and general management over a 22-year career at Sun Microsystems, Inc., a computing systems company. Mr. Puri previously held marketing, management consulting, and product development positions at Hewlett-Packard Company, an information technology company, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., a management and technology consulting company, and Texas Instruments. Mr. Puri holds a B.S.E.E. degree from the University of Minnesota, an M.S.E.E. degree from the California Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School.
 
David M. Shannon serves as Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and Secretary of NVIDIA. In this role, he is responsible for NVIDIA’s legal and human resources functions, as well as intellectual property licensing. Mr. Shannon joined NVIDIA in August 2002 as Vice President and General Counsel. Mr. Shannon became Secretary of NVIDIA in April 2005, a Senior Vice President in December 2005 and an Executive Vice President in January 2009. In January 2013, Mr. Shannon also became the head of Human Resources. Mr. Shannon was promoted to the role of Chief Administrative Officer in January 2014. From 1993 to 2002, Mr. Shannon held various counsel positions at Intel, most recently the position of Vice President and Assistant General Counsel. Mr. Shannon also practiced for eight years in the law firm of Gibson Dunn and Crutcher, focusing on complex commercial and high-technology related litigation. Mr. Shannon holds B.A. and J.D. degrees from Pepperdine University.
 
Debora Shoquist joined NVIDIA in September 2007 as Senior Vice President of Operations and became Executive Vice President of Operations in January 2009. From 2004 to 2007, Ms. Shoquist served as Executive Vice President of Operations at JDS Uniphase Corporation, a provider of communications test and measurement solutions and optical products for the telecommunications industry. From 2002 to 2004, Ms. Shoquist served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Electro-Optics business at Coherent, Inc., a manufacturer of commercial and scientific laser equipment. Ms. Shoquist’s experience includes her role at Quantum Corporation, a data protection company, as the President of the Personal Computer Hard Disk Drive Division. Ms. Shoquist’s experience also includes senior roles at Hewlett-Packard. Ms. Shoquist holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Kansas State University and a B.S. degree in Biology from Santa Clara University.

Available Information
 
Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and, if applicable, amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, are available free of charge on or through our web site, http://www.nvidia.com , as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC. Our web site and the information on it or connected to it are not a part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

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ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

In evaluating NVIDIA and our business, the following factors should be considered in addition to the other information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Before you buy our common stock, you should know that making such an investment involves risks including, but not limited to, the risks described below. Any one of the following risks could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations, which could cause our stock price to decline. Additional risks, trends and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also harm our business.

Risks Related to Our Business, Industry and Partners

If we are unable to successfully compete in our target markets, our revenue and financial results will be adversely impacted .

NVIDIA-branded products and services are visual computing platforms that address four large markets: Gaming, Enterprise, High Performance Computing & Cloud, and Automotive. Our GPUs and Tegra processors are designed to meet the evolving needs of these markets; however, these markets remain extremely competitive, and we expect competition to intensify as current competitors expand their product and/or service offerings, industry standards continue to evolve and new competitors enter these markets. Our success depends to a significant extent on our ability to identify and develop new products, services and technologies, and enhancements to our existing products, services and technologies, in a timely and cost-effective manner and to achieve consumer and market acceptance of our products, services and technologies.

If we are unable to successfully compete in our target markets, including in significant international markets, such as China, demand for our products, services and technologies could decrease which would cause our revenue to decline and our financial results to suffer. In addition, if we fail to anticipate the changing needs of our target markets and emerging technology trends, our business will be harmed. 

Our competitors’ products, services and technologies may be less costly, or their products, services and technologies may offer superior functionality or different features than ours. In addition, many of our competitors operate and maintain their own fabrication facilities and have longer operating histories, greater name recognition, larger customer bases, and greater financial, sales, marketing and distribution resources than we do. These competitors may be able to more effectively identify and capitalize upon opportunities in new markets, quickly transition their semiconductor products to increasingly smaller line width geometries and obtain sufficient foundry capacity and packaging materials, which could harm our business.

If we fail to achieve design wins for our products our business will be harmed.

For our products that we do not sell directly to consumers, achieving design wins is an integral part of our future success. Our OEM, ODM, and AIB and motherboard manufacturers' customers typically introduce new system configurations as often as twice per year, typically based on spring and fall design cycles or in connection with trade shows. If OEMs, ODMs, and AIB and motherboard manufacturers do not include our products in their systems, they will typically not use our products in their systems until at least the next design configuration. In order to achieve design wins, we must:

anticipate the features and functionality that customers and consumers will demand;
incorporate those features and functionalities into products that meet the exacting design requirements of our customers; and
price our products competitively.

In general, we are limited in our ability to introduce new products and enhancements to our customers' design cycles and we must maintain compliance with evolving industry standards. Unanticipated changes in industry standards could render our products incompatible with products developed by major hardware manufacturers and software developers. If our products are not in compliance with prevailing industry standards, our customers may not incorporate our products into their design strategies.


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If our intellectual property licensing strategy is not successful, our licensing revenues may decline.

We intend to license our GPU cores and visual computing patent portfolio to device manufacturers who offer products in markets such as mobile. The extent of the demand to license our GPU cores or other elements of our visual computing patent portfolio is unknown and may be limited. In addition, we may not be able to renew our existing license agreements. In January 2011, we entered into a patent cross licensing agreement under which Intel agreed to pay us an aggregate of $1.50 billion over six years. The final $200.0 million payment under this agreement is scheduled to be received in January 2016, and recognized as revenue into the first quarter of fiscal year 2018. If we are unable to enter into new licensing agreements or renew our existing agreements, and these agreements are not offset by other growth in income, our financial results may be adversely affected.

If our products contain significant defects, we could incur significant expenses to remediate such defects, our reputation could be damaged and we could lose market share.

Our products are complex and may contain defects or experience failures or unsatisfactory performance due to any number of issues in design, fabrication, packaging, materials and/or use within a system. Our products are used by a variety of industries, including the automotive industry. Failure of our products to perform to specifications, or other product defects, could lead to substantial damage to the products we sell directly to customers, the end product in which our device has been integrated by OEMs, ODMs, AIBs and Tier 1 automotive suppliers, and to the user of such end product. Any such defect may cause us to incur significant warranty, support and repair or replacement costs, cause us to lose market share, and divert the attention of our engineering personnel from our product development efforts to find and correct the issue. In addition, an error or defect in new products or releases or related software drivers after commencement of commercial shipments could result in failure to achieve market acceptance or loss of design wins and harm our relationships with customers. Also, we may be required to reimburse customers, including our customers' costs to repair or replace products in the field. A product recall, particularly an automotive recall, or a significant number of product returns could be expensive, could damage our reputation, could result in the shifting of business to our competitors and could result in litigation against us such as product liability suits. If a product liability claim is brought against us, the cost of defending the claim could be significant and would divert the efforts of our technical and management personnel, and harm our business.

System security and data protection breaches, as well as cyber-attacks, could disrupt our operations, reduce our expected revenue and increase our expenses, which could adversely affect our stock price and damage our reputation.

Security breaches, computer malware and cyber-attacks have become more prevalent and sophisticated in recent years. These attacks have occurred on our systems in the past and may occur in the future. Experienced computer programmers, hackers and employees may be able to penetrate our security controls and misappropriate or compromise our confidential information, or that of our employees or third parties. These attacks may create system disruptions or cause shutdowns. These hackers may also develop and deploy viruses, worms and other malicious software programs that attack or otherwise exploit security vulnerabilities in our products. For portions of our IT infrastructure, including business management and communication software products, we rely on products and services provided by third parties. These providers may also experience breaches and attacks to their products which may impact our systems. Data security breaches may also result from non-technical means, such as actions by an employee with access to our systems.
 
Actual or perceived breaches of our security measures or the accidental loss, inadvertent disclosure or unapproved dissemination of proprietary information or sensitive or confidential data about us, our partners, our customers or third parties could expose us, our partners, our customers, third parties or the individuals affected, to a risk of loss or misuse of this information, resulting in litigation and potential liability, damage to our brand and reputation or other harm to our business. Our efforts to prevent and overcome these challenges could increase our expenses and may not be successful. We may experience interruptions, delays, cessation of service and loss of existing or potential customers. Such disruptions could adversely impact our ability to fulfill orders and interrupt other critical functions. Delayed sales, lower margins or lost customers as a result of these disruptions could adversely affect our financial results, stock price and reputation.


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We depend on third parties and their technology to manufacture, assemble, test and/or package our products, which reduces our control over product quantity and quality, development, enhancement and product delivery schedule and could harm our business .

We do not manufacture the silicon wafers used for our GPUs and Tegra processors and do not own or operate a wafer fabrication facility. Instead, we are dependent on industry-leading foundries, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., to manufacture our semiconductor wafers using their fabrication equipment and techniques. Similarly, we do not assemble, test or package our products, but instead rely on independent subcontractors, such as Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, Inc., BYD Auto Co., Ltd., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., JSI Logistics, Ltd., King Yuan Electronics Co. and Siliconware Precision Industries Co. Ltd. We do not have long-term commitment contracts with these foundries or subcontractors. As a result, we face several significant risks which could have an adverse effect on our ability to meet customer demands and/or negatively impact our business operations, gross margin, revenue and/or financial results, including:

a lack of guaranteed supply of wafers and other components and potential higher wafer and component prices due to supply constraints;
a failure by our foundries to procure raw materials or to provide or allocate adequate manufacturing or test capacity for our products;
a failure to develop, obtain or successfully implement high quality, leading-edge process technologies, including transitions to smaller geometry process technologies, needed to manufacture our products profitably or on a timely basis;
loss of a supplier and additional expense and/or production delays as a result of qualifying a new foundry or subcontractor and commencing volume production or testing in the event of a loss of or a decision to add or change a supplier;
a lack of direct control over delivery schedules or product quantity and quality; and
delays in product shipments, shortages, a decrease in product quality and/or higher expenses in the event our subcontractors or foundries prioritize our competitors orders over our orders or otherwise.

We also rely on third-party software development tools to assist us in the design, simulation and verification of new products or product enhancements. To bring new products and enhancements to market in a timely manner, we utilize sophisticated and technologically advanced software development tools to complete our design, simulations and verifications. In the past, we have experienced delays in the introduction of products and enhancements as a result of the inability of then available software development tools to fully simulate the complex features and functionalities of our products. In the future, the design requirements necessary to meet consumer demands for more features and greater functionality from our products may exceed the capabilities of available software development tools. If we miss design cycles or lose design wins due to the unavailability of such software development tools, we could lose market share and our revenues could decline.

If our products fail to achieve expected manufacturing yields, our financial results could be adversely impacted and our reputation with our customers may be harmed.

Manufacturing yields for our products are a function of product design, which is developed largely by us, and process technology, which typically is proprietary to the foundry. Low yields may result from either product design or process technology failure. We do not know whether a yield problem will exist until our design is actually manufactured by the foundry. When a yield issue is identified, the product is analyzed and tested to determine the cause. As a result, yield problems may not be identified until well into the manufacturing process and require us and the foundry to cooperate to resolve the problem. Because of our potentially limited access to wafer foundry capacity, any decrease in manufacturing yields could result in higher manufacturing costs and require us to allocate our available product supply among our customers. Lower than expected yields could harm customer relationships, our reputation and our financial results.
  

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Business disruptions could harm our business, lead to a decline in revenues and increase our costs.

Our worldwide operations could be disrupted by earthquakes, telecommunications failures, power or water shortages, tsunamis, floods, hurricanes, typhoons, fires, extreme weather conditions, medical epidemics or pandemics and other natural or man-made disasters, catastrophic events or climate change. The occurrence of any of these business disruptions could harm our business and result in significant losses, a decline in revenue and increase our costs and expenses. Any of these business disruptions could require substantial expenditures and recovery time in order to fully resume operations. Our corporate headquarters, and a portion of our research and development activities, are located in California, and other critical business operations and some of our suppliers are located in Asia, near major earthquake faults known for seismic activity. In addition, a majority of our principal IT datacenters are located in California, making our operations vulnerable to natural disasters or other business disruptions occurring in this geographical area. The manufacture of product components, the final assembly of our products and other critical operations are concentrated in certain geographic locations, including Taiwan, China and Korea. Our operations could be harmed if manufacturing, logistics or other operations in these locations are disrupted for any reason, including natural disasters, high heat events or water shortages, information technology system failures, military actions or economic, business, labor, environmental, public health, regulatory or political issues. The ultimate impact on us, our third-party foundries and other suppliers and our general infrastructure of being located near major earthquake faults and being consolidated in certain geographical areas is unknown. In the event of a major earthquake or other natural disaster or catastrophic event, our revenue could decline and our business may be harmed.

We receive a significant amount of our revenue from a limited number of customers and our revenue could decline if we lose any of these customers.

We receive a significant amount of our revenue from a limited number of customers. Revenue from significant customers, those representing 10% or more of total revenue, was  11%  of our total revenue from one customer in fiscal year 2015, 21% of our total revenue from two customers in fiscal year 2014, and 13% of our total revenue from one customer in fiscal year 2013. The percentage of revenue we receive from our largest customers has fluctuated significantly from period to period primarily due to the timing and number of design wins with each customer, as well as the continued diversification of our customer base as we expand into new markets, and will likely continue to fluctuate in the future. Our operating results in the foreseeable future will continue to depend on sales to a relatively small number of customers, as well as the ability of these customers to sell products that incorporate our GPUs and Tegra processors. In the future, these customers may decide not to purchase our products at all, purchase fewer products than they did in the past, or alter their purchasing patterns in some other way, particularly because:

substantially all of our sales are made on a purchase order basis, which permits our customers to cancel, change or delay product purchase commitments with little or no notice to us and without penalty;
our customers may develop their own solutions;
our customers may purchase products from our competitors; or
our customers may discontinue sales or lose market share in the markets for which they purchase our products.

The loss of any of our large customers or a significant reduction in purchases by them would likely harm our financial condition and results of operations and any difficulties in collecting accounts receivable could harm our operating results and financial condition.

We maintain an allowance for doubtful accounts for estimated losses resulting from the inability of certain of our customers to make required payments and obtain credit insurance over the purchasing credit extended to these customers. In the future, we may have to record additional provisions or write-offs and/or defer revenue on certain sales transactions which could negatively impact our financial results and we may not be able to acquire credit insurance on the credit we extend to these customers or in amounts that we deem sufficient.

Our gross margin depends on a number of factors and changes in any of these factors could adversely affect our gross margin.

Our gross margin for any period depends on a number of factors, including the mix of our products sold, average selling prices, introduction of new products, product transitions, sales discounts, pricing actions by our competitors, the cost of product components and the yield of wafers produced by the foundries that manufacture our products. We are focused on improving our gross margin and if we are not able to control or estimate the impact of the above factors or other factors we do not foresee, our gross margins may be negatively impacted. In addition, gross margins for our Tegra processors are lower than our overall corporate gross margins. If Tegra processors comprise a higher percentage of our future revenue, or if we continue to enter into new business areas with comparatively lower margins, our overall gross margins may decline.

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If we fail to estimate customer demand properly our financial results could be harmed.

We manufacture our GPUs and Tegra processors based on estimates of customer demand. In order to have shorter shipment lead times and quicker delivery schedules for our customers, we may build inventories for anticipated periods of growth which do not occur, or may build inventory anticipating demand for a customer’s product that does not materialize. In estimating demand, we make multiple assumptions any of which may prove to be incorrect. Situations that may result in excess or obsolete inventory include:

changes in business and economic conditions, including downturns in our target markets and/or overall economy;
changes in consumer confidence caused by changes in market conditions, including changes in the credit market;
a sudden and significant decrease in demand for our products;
a higher incidence of inventory obsolescence because of rapidly changing technology or customer requirements;
our introduction of new products resulting in lower demand for older products ; or
increased competition, including competitive pricing actions.

In addition, the cancellation or deferral of customer purchase orders could result in our holding excess inventory, which could adversely affect our gross margins. In addition, because we often sell a substantial portion of our products in the last month of each quarter, we may not be able to reduce our inventory purchase commitments in a timely manner in response to customer cancellations or deferrals. We could be required to write-down our inventory to the lower of cost or market or write-off excess inventory, and we could experience a reduction in average selling prices if we incorrectly forecast product demand, any of which could harm our financial results.

Conversely, if we underestimate our customers' demand for our products, our foundry partners may not have adequate lead-time or capacity to increase production and we may not be able to obtain sufficient inventory to fill customers' orders on a timely basis. Even if we are able to increase production levels to meet customer demand, we may not be able to do so in a cost-effective or timely manner. If we fail to fulfill our customers' orders on a timely basis, or at all, our customer relationships could be damaged, we could lose revenue and market share and our reputation could be damaged.

We are subject to risks and uncertainties associated with international operations which may harm our business.

We conduct our business worldwide and we have offices in various countries outside of the United States. Our semiconductor wafers are manufactured, assembled, tested and packaged by third parties located outside of the United States and Other Americas. We also generate a significant portion of our revenue from sales to customers outside the United States and Other Americas. Revenue from sales to customers outside of the United States and Other Americas accounted for  75%  of total revenue for both fiscal year 2015 and 2014 and  74%  of total revenue for fiscal year 2013. The global nature of our business subjects us to a number of risks and uncertainties, including:

international economic and political conditions, such as political tensions between countries in which we do business;
unexpected changes in, or impositions of, legislative or regulatory requirements;  
differing legal standards with respect to protection of intellectual property and employment practices;
local business and cultural factors that differ from our normal standards and practices, including business practices that we are prohibited from engaging in by the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other anticorruption laws and regulations;
exporting or importing issues related to export or import restrictions, tariffs, quotas and other trade barriers and restrictions; 
financial risks such as longer payment cycles, difficulty in collecting accounts receivable and foreign exchange rate fluctuations; and
increased costs due to imposition of climate change regulations, such as carbon taxes, fuel or energy taxes, and pollution limits.

If sales to any of our customers outside of the United States and Other Americas are delayed or cancelled because of any of the above factors, our revenue may be negatively impacted.


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We may not be able to realize the potential financial or strategic benefits of business acquisitions or strategic investments and we may not be able to successfully integrate acquisition targets, which could hurt our ability to grow our business, develop new products or sell our products.

We have in the past and intend to continue to acquire and invest in other businesses that offer products, services and technologies that we believe will help expand or enhance our existing products and business. Any of the following risks associated with past or future acquisitions or investments could impair our ability to grow our business, develop new products or sell our products, and ultimately could have a negative impact on our growth or our financial results:

difficulty in combining the technology, products, operations or workforce of the acquired business with our business;
diversion of capital and other resources, including management's attention;
assumption of liabilities;
incurring amortization expenses, impairment charges to goodwill or write-downs of acquired assets;
potential failure of our due diligence processes to identify significant issues with product quality, architecture and development, or legal and financial contingencies, among other things; and
impairment of relationships with employees, vendors and customers, or the loss of any of our key employees, vendors or customers or our target's key employees, vendors or customers, as a result of our acquisition or investment.
  
Risks Related to Regulatory, Legal, Our Common Stock and Other Matters

Actions to adequately protect our intellectual property rights, such as litigation to defend against alleged infringement of intellectual property rights or to enforce our intellectual property rights, could result in substantial costs to us and our ability to compete could be harmed if we fail to take such actions or are unsuccessful in doing so.

We rely primarily on a combination of patents, trademarks, trade secrets, employee and third-party nondisclosure agreements, licensing arrangements, and the laws of the countries in which we operate to protect our intellectual property in the United States and internationally. The laws of certain foreign countries may not protect our products or intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. This makes the possibility of piracy of our technology and products more likely. We continuously assess whether and where to seek formal protection for existing and new innovations and technologies, but cannot be certain whether our applications for such protections will be approved, and, if approved, whether we will be able to enforce such protections.

We have in the past and may in the future become involved in lawsuits or other legal proceedings alleging patent infringement or other intellectual property rights violations by us, our employees or parties that we have agreed to indemnify for certain claims of infringement. An unfavorable ruling in any such intellectual property related litigation could include significant damages, invalidation of a patent or family of patents, indemnification of customers, payment of lost profits, or, when it has been sought, injunctive relief.

We may commence litigation or other legal proceedings in order to protect our intellectual property rights. Such proceedings may increase our operating expenses, which could negatively impact our operating results. Further, we could be subject to countersuits as a result of our initiation of litigation. For example, in September 2014, we filed complaints against Qualcomm, Inc. and various Samsung entities with both the ITC and the United States District Court for the District of Delaware for infringement of seven patents relating to graphics processing. In November 2014, various Samsung entities filed a complaint against us and Velocity Micro for alleged infringement of Samsung’s patents. If infringement claims are made against us or our products are found to infringe a third parties' patent or intellectual property, we or one of our indemnitees may have to seek a license to the third parties' patent or other intellectual property rights. However, we may not be able to obtain licenses at all or on terms acceptable to us particularly from our competitors. If we or one of our indemnitees is unable to obtain a license from a third party for technology that we use or that is used in one of our products, we could be subject to substantial liabilities or have to suspend or discontinue the manufacture and sale of one or more of our products. We may also have to make royalty or other payments, or cross license our technology. If these arrangements are not concluded on commercially reasonable terms, our business could be negatively impacted. Furthermore, the indemnification of a customer or other indemnitee may increase our operating expenses which could negatively impact our operating results.


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Our operating results have in the past fluctuated and may in the future fluctuate, and if our operating results are below the expectations of securities analysts or investors, our stock price could decline.

Our operating results have in the past fluctuated and may in the future continue to fluctuate due to numerous factors. For example, our operating expenses represent a significant portion of total revenue and are largely independent of revenue in any particular period. In particular, our research and development expenses reflect multi-year commitments to the development of new products and enhancements that will not result in revenue, if any, until future periods. Therefore, investors should not rely on quarterly comparisons of our results of operations as an indication of our future performance.

Factors that could affect our results of operations in the future include:

demand and market acceptance for our products and/or our customers’ products;
the successful development and volume production of our next-generation products;
our inability to adjust spending to offset revenue shortfalls due to multi-year development cycle for some of our products and services;
new product announcements or product introductions by our competitors;
our introduction of new products in accordance with OEMs’ design requirements and design cycles;
changes in the timing of product orders due to unexpected delays in the introduction of our customers’ products;
the level of growth or decline of the PC industry in general;
seasonal fluctuations associated with the PC and consumer products market;
contraction in automotive and consumer end-market demand due to adverse regional or worldwide economic conditions;
slower than expected growth of demand for new technologies;
fluctuations in the availability of manufacturing capacity or manufacturing yields;
our ability to reduce the manufacturing costs of our products;
competitive pressures resulting in lower than expected average selling prices;
product rates of return in excess of that forecasted or expected due to quality issues;
rescheduling or cancellation of customer orders;
the loss of a significant customer;
substantial disruption in the operations of our foundries or other third-party subcontractors, as a result of a natural disaster, equipment failure, terrorism or other causes;
supply constraints for and changes in the cost of the other components incorporated into our customers’ products, including memory devices;
costs associated with the repair and replacement of defective products;
unexpected inventory write-downs or write-offs;
legal and other costs related to defending intellectual property and other types of lawsuits;
availability of software and technology licenses at commercially reasonable terms for the continued sale or development of new products;
customer bad debt write-offs;
changes in our effective tax rate as a result of changes in the mix of earnings in countries with differing statutory tax rates, applicable tax laws or interpretations of tax laws;
any unanticipated costs associated with environmental liabilities;
unexpected costs related to our ownership of real property;
costs to comply with new government regulations, such as the SEC’s conflict mineral regulations, and regulatory enforcement actions;
costs to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting;
our inability to forecast changes in financial accounting standards or interpretations of existing standards; and
general macroeconomic events and factors affecting the overall semiconductor industry.

Any one or more of the factors discussed above could prevent us from achieving our expected future financial results. Any such failure to meet our expectations or the expectations of our investors or security analysts could cause our stock price to decline or experience substantial price volatility and, as a result, investors may suffer losses.

In the past, securities class action litigation has often been brought against a company following periods of volatility in the market price of its securities. We have been in the past, and may be in the future, the target of securities litigation. Such lawsuits generally result in the diversion of management's time and attention away from business operations, which could harm our business. In addition, the costs of defense and any damages resulting from litigation, a ruling against us, or a settlement of the litigation could adversely affect our cash flow and financial results.


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We have a substantial amount of indebtedness which could adversely affect our financial position and prevent us from implementing our strategy or fulfilling our contractual obligations .

In December 2013, we issued $1.5 billion of 1.00% Convertible Senior Notes due 2018, or 1.00% Notes. Our substantial indebtedness may:

limit our ability to use our cash flow or borrow additional funds for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions and general corporate and other purposes;  
make it difficult for us to satisfy our financial obligations;
place us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our less leveraged competitors; and
increase our vulnerability to the impact of adverse economic and industry conditions.

The exercise of warrants issued to Goldman, Sachs & Co. concurrently with our 1.00% Notes would, and the conversion of our 1.00% Notes could, dilute the ownership interest of our existing shareholders .

The warrants issued concurrently with our 1.00% Notes will be deemed to be automatically exercised on certain dates between March 2019 and June 2019, unless Goldman, Sachs & Co. notifies us otherwise. Any issuance by us of additional shares to Goldman, Sachs & Co. upon exercise of the warrants will dilute the ownership interest of our existing shareholders. In addition, the conversion of our 1.00% Notes will dilute the ownership interests of our existing shareholders and could have a dilutive effect on our net income per share to the extent that the price of our common stock exceeds the conversion price of the 1.00% Notes. Any sales in the public market by Goldman, Sachs & Co. of our common stock upon exercise of the warrants or sales in the public market of our common stock issuable upon conversion of the 1.00% Notes could adversely affect prevailing market prices of our common stock.

Delaware law and provisions in our certificate of incorporation, our bylaws and our agreement with Microsoft Corporation could delay or prevent a change in control.

Our status as a Delaware corporation and the anti-takeover provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law may discourage, delay, or prevent a change in control by prohibiting us from engaging in a business combination with an interested shareholder for a period of three years after the person becomes an interested shareholder, even if a change of control would be beneficial to our existing shareholders. In addition, our certificate of incorporation and bylaws contain provisions that could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire a majority of our outstanding voting stock. These provisions include the following:

the ability of our Board of Directors to create and issue preferred stock without prior shareholder approval;
the prohibition of shareholder action by written consent;
advance notice requirements for director nominations and shareholder proposals;
the ability of our Board of Directors to increase or decrease the number of directors without shareholder approval;
a super-majority voting requirement to amend some provisions in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws;
the inability of our shareholders to call special meetings of shareholders; and
the ability of our Board of Directors to make, amend or repeal our bylaws.

On March 5, 2000, we entered into an agreement with Microsoft in which we agreed to develop and sell graphics chips and to license certain technology to Microsoft and its licensees for use in the Xbox. Under the agreement, if an individual or corporation makes an offer to purchase shares equal to or greater than 30% of the outstanding shares of our common stock, Microsoft may have first and last rights of refusal to purchase the stock. The Microsoft provision and the other factors listed above could also delay or prevent a change in control of NVIDIA. These provisions could also discourage proxy contests and make it more difficult for shareholders to elect directors of their choosing and to cause us to take other corporate actions they desire.

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
 
Not applicable.
 

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ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

Our headquarters complex is located in Santa Clara, California. It includes eight leased commercial buildings totaling 887,993 square feet and real property that we own, which consists of twelve commercial buildings on 36 acres of land. We expect to eventually build a new corporate headquarters campus on this owned property. However, during fiscal year 2014 we leased and occupied an office building within the boundaries of our Santa Clara campus that balanced the workspace needs for our Santa Clara staff and provided us the opportunity to delay the start of the new campus building and refine our design to further optimize for functionality and cost. In addition, we also lease datacenter space in Santa Clara.

Outside of Santa Clara, we lease space in Austin, Texas and a number of regional facilities in other U.S. locations, which are used as research and development centers and/or sales and administrative offices. Outside of the United States, we own a building in Hyderabad, India, which is being used primarily as a research and development center. We also lease facilities in various international locations as research and development centers and/or sales and administrative offices. These leased facilities are located primarily in Asia and Europe.
 
We believe that we currently have sufficient facilities to conduct our operations for the next twelve months. For additional information regarding obligations under leases, see  Note 12 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K under the subheading “Lease Obligations,” which information is hereby incorporated by reference.

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
 
Please see Note 12 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a discussion of our legal proceedings.

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not Applicable.

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PART II

    
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
 
Our common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol NVDA. Public trading of our common stock began on January 22, 1999. Prior to that, there was no public market for our common stock. As of March 6, 2015, we had approximately 349 registered shareholders, not including those shares held in street or nominee name. The following table sets forth for the periods indicated the high and low sales price for our common stock as quoted on the NASDAQ Global Select Market:
 
High
 
Low
Fiscal year ending January 31, 2016
 
 
 
First Quarter (through March 6, 2015)
$
22.90

 
$
18.94

Fiscal year ended January 25, 2015
 
 
 
Fourth Quarter
$
21.25

 
$
18.27

Third Quarter
$
20.15

 
$
16.77

Second Quarter
$
19.73

 
$
17.71

First Quarter
$
19.46

 
$
15.32

Fiscal year ended January 26, 2014
 
 
 
Fourth Quarter
$
16.44

 
$
14.52

Third Quarter
$
16.10

 
$
13.11

Second Quarter
$
15.48

 
$
13.37

First Quarter
$
13.50

 
$
12.04


Dividend Policy  

On November 8, 2012, we announced the initiation of a quarterly cash dividend program. The initial quarterly dividend was $0.075 per share, or $0.30 per share on an annual basis, which was subsequently increased on November 7, 2013 by 13% to a quarterly dividend of $0.085 per share, or $0.34 per share on an annual basis. In fiscal years 2015 and 2014, we paid $186.5 million and $181.3 million , respectively, in cash dividends to our common shareholders.

Our cash dividend program and the payment of future cash dividends under that program are subject to continued capital availability and our Board of Directors' continuing determination that the dividend program and the declaration of dividends thereunder are in the best interests of our shareholders and are in compliance with all laws and agreements of NVIDIA applicable to the declaration and payment of cash dividends. In fiscal year 2015, based upon our earnings and profits, 50% of our dividend payments were considered qualified dividends and 50% of our dividend payments were considered to be a return of capital for U.S. federal income tax purposes. It is possible that a portion of our dividend payments in fiscal year 2016 may be considered a return of capital for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Beginning August 2004, our Board of Directors authorized us, subject to certain specifications, to repurchase shares of our common stock. Most recently, in November 2013, the Board extended the previously authorized repurchase program through January 2016 and authorized an additional $1.00 billion for an aggregate of $3.70 billion under the repurchase program. Through January 25, 2015, we have repurchased an aggregate of 205.6 million shares under our share repurchase program for a total cost of $3,265.2 million. As of January 25, 2015, we are authorized, subject to certain specifications, to repurchase shares of our common stock up to $434.8 million through January 2016. In November 2014, we announced our intention to return approximately $600.0 million to shareholders in fiscal year 2016 in the form of share repurchases and cash dividends.

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The repurchases will be made from time to time in the open market, in privately negotiated transactions, or in structured share repurchase programs, and may be made in one or more larger repurchases, in compliance with Rule 10b-18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, subject to market conditions, applicable legal requirements, and other factors. The program does not obligate NVIDIA to acquire any particular amount of common stock and the program may be suspended at any time at our discretion. As part of our share repurchase program, we have entered into, and we may continue to enter into, structured share repurchase transactions with financial institutions. These agreements generally require that we make an up-front payment in exchange for the right to receive a fixed number of shares of our common stock upon execution of the agreement, and a potential incremental number of shares of our common stock, within a pre-determined range, at the end of the term of the agreement.
The following table presents details of our share repurchase transactions during the three months ended January 25, 2015 (in millions, except per share amounts):
Period
 
Total Number of Shares Purchased
 
Average Price Paid per Share
 
Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs
 
Approximate Dollar Value of Shares that May Yet Be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs
October 27, 2014 - November 23, 2014
 
 
 
 
$438.4
November 24, 2014 - December 21, 2014
 
0.2
 
$19.86
 
0.2
 
$434.8
December 22, 2014 - January 25, 2015
 
 
 
 
$434.8
Total
 
0.2
 
$19.86
 
0.2
 
 
In December 2014, we repurchased in the open market 0.2 million shares for $3.6 million at an average price of $19.86 per share.

In addition to our share repurchase program, we withhold common stock shares associated with net share settlements to cover tax withholding obligations upon the vesting of restricted stock unit, or RSU, and performance stock unit, or PSU, awards under our equity incentive program.  During fiscal year 2015, we withheld approximately 2.3 million shares at a total cost of $43.7 million through net share settlements.  Please refer to Note 2 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Form 10-K for further discussion regarding our equity incentive plans.

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Stock Performance Graphs  
The following graph compares the cumulative total shareholder return for our common stock, the S&P 500 Index and the S&P Semiconductors Index for the five years ended January 25, 2015 . The graph assumes that $100 was invested on January 31, 2010 in our common stock and in each of the S&P 500 Index and the S&P Semiconductors Index. Total return assumes reinvestment of dividends in each of the indices indicated. Total return is based on historical results and is not intended to indicate future performance.

*$100 invested on 1/31/10 in stock and in indices, including reinvestment of dividends.
The S&P 500 index and S&P Semiconductor Select Industry index are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by S&P Opco, LLC (a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC), its affiliates and/or its licensors and has been licensed for use. S&P® and S&P 500®, among other famous marks, are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC, and Dow Jones® is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. © 2015 S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, its affiliates and/or its licensors. All rights reserved.
 
1/31/2010
 
1/30/2011
 
1/29/2012
 
1/27/2013
 
1/26/2014
 
1/25/2015
 
NVIDIA Corporation
$
100.00

 
$
154.39

 
$
96.88

 
$
81.12

 
$
103.61

 
$
139.28

 
S&P 500
$
100.00

 
$
122.18

 
$
127.34

 
$
148.70

 
$
180.70

 
$
206.41

 
S&P Semiconductors
$
100.00

 
$
130.50

 
$
138.76

 
$
124.79

 
$
160.36

 
$
207.78

 


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The following graph compares the cumulative total shareholder return for our common stock, the S&P 500 Index and the S&P Semiconductors Index for the ten years ended January 25, 2015 . The graph assumes that $100 was invested on January 30, 2005 in our common stock and in each of the S&P 500 Index and the S&P Semiconductors Index. Total return assumes reinvestment of dividends in each of the indices indicated. Total return is based on historical results and is not intended to indicate future performance. 
     

*$100 invested on 1/30/05 in stock or in indices, including reinvestment of dividends.
The S&P 500 index and S&P Semiconductor Select Industry index are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by S&P Opco, LLC (a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC), its affiliates and/or its licensors and has been licensed for use. S&P® and S&P 500®, among other famous marks, are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC, and Dow Jones® is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. © 2015 S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, its affiliates and/or its licensors. All rights reserved.
 
1/30/2005

 
1/29/2006

 
1/28/2007

 
1/27/2008

 
1/25/2009

 
1/31/2010

 
1/30/2011

 
1/29/2012

 
1/27/2013

 
1/26/2014

 
1/25/2015

NVIDIA Corporation
$
100.00

 
$
202.14

 
$
275.09

 
$
327.14

 
$
101.09

 
$
201.79

 
$
311.54

 
$
195.50

 
$
163.70

 
$
209.07

 
$
281.05

S&P 500
$
100.00

 
$
110.37

 
$
126.39

 
$
123.46

 
$
75.77

 
$
100.88

 
$
123.26

 
$
128.46

 
$
150.02

 
$
182.30

 
$
208.23

S&P Semiconductors
$
100.00

 
$
115.62

 
$
108.86

 
$
101.45

 
$
60.82

 
$
95.46

 
$
124.59

 
$
132.46

 
$
119.13

 
$
153.09

 
$
198.36



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ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA  

The following selected financial data should be read in conjunction with our financial statements and the notes thereto, and with Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” The consolidated statements of operations data for the fiscal years ended January 25, 2015 , January 26, 2014 and January 27, 2013 and the consolidated balance sheet data as of January 25, 2015 and January 26, 2014 have been derived from and should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included in Part IV, Item 15 in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. We operate on a 52- or 53-week year, ending on the last Sunday in January.  Fiscal years 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 were 52-week years.
 
Year Ended
 
January 25,
2015
 
January 26,
2014
 
January 27,
2013
 
January 29,
2012
 
January 30,
2011 (A,B)
 
(In thousands, except per share data)
Consolidated Statement of Operations Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenue
$
4,681,507

 
$
4,130,162

 
$
4,280,159

 
$
3,997,930

 
$
3,543,309

Income from operations
$
758,989

 
$
496,227

 
$
648,239

 
$
648,299

 
$
255,747

Net income
$
630,587

 
$
439,990

 
$
562,536

 
$
581,090

 
$
253,146

Net income per share:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
$
1.14

 
$
0.75

 
$
0.91

 
$
0.96

 
$
0.44

Diluted
$
1.12

 
$
0.74

 
$
0.90

 
$
0.94

 
$
0.43

Weighted average shares used in per share computation:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
552,319

 
587,893

 
619,324

 
603,646

 
575,177

Diluted
563,068

 
594,517

 
624,957

 
616,371

 
588,684

 
 
Year Ended
 
January 25,
2015 (C)
 
January 26,
2014 (C,D)
 
January 27,
2013 (C)
 
January 29,
2012 (E)
 
January 30,
2011
 
(In thousands, except per share data)
Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities
$
4,623,339

 
$
4,671,810

 
$
3,727,883

 
$
3,129,576

 
$
2,490,563

Total assets
$
7,201,368

 
$
7,250,894

 
$
6,412,245

 
$
5,552,928

 
$
4,495,246

Long-term debt
$
1,384,342

 
$
1,356,375

 
$

 
$

 
$

Capital lease obligations, less current portion
$
14,086

 
$
17,500

 
$
18,998

 
$
21,439

 
$
23,389

Total shareholders’ equity
$
4,417,982

 
$
4,456,398

 
$
4,827,703

 
$
4,145,724

 
$
3,181,462

Cash dividends declared and paid per common share
$
0.340

 
$
0.310

 
$
0.075

 
$

 
$

 
(A)
We recorded a net warranty charge of $193.9 million during fiscal year 2011 towards the repair and replacement of products arising from a weak die/packaging material set used in certain versions of our previous generation MCP and GPU products.

(B)
In fiscal year 2011, we entered into a six-year cross licensing agreement with Intel and also mutually agreed to settle all outstanding legal disputes. We valued the settlement portion at $57.0 million, which was recorded within income from operations in fiscal year 2011.

(C)
On November 8, 2012, we initiated a quarterly dividend payment of 7.5 cents per share, or 30 cents on an annual basis. On November 7, 2013, we increased the quarterly cash dividend to 8.5 cents per share, or 34 cents on an annual basis.

(D)
On December 2, 2013, we issued $1.5 billion aggregate principal amount of 1.00% Convertible Senior Notes due 2018.

(E)
On June 10, 2011, we completed the acquisition of Icera, Inc. for total cash consideration of $352.2 million, and recorded goodwill of $271.2 million.

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ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS  

The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with “Item 1A. Risk Factors”, “Item 6. Selected Financial Data”, our Consolidated Financial Statements and related Notes thereto, as well as other cautionary statements and risks described elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, before deciding to purchase, hold or sell shares of our common stock.  

Overview

Our Company and Our Businesses

NVIDIA is dedicated to advancing visual computing, enabling individuals to interact with digital ideas, data and entertainment with an ease and efficiency unmatched by any other communication medium.

Our business model has three elements: creating NVIDIA-branded products and services, offering our processors to original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, and licensing our intellectual property. NVIDIA-branded products and services are visual computing platforms that address four large markets: Gaming, Enterprise, High Performance Computing & Cloud, and Automotive.

Our two business segments - GPU and Tegra Processor - are based on a single underlying graphics architecture. In addition to the two reporting segments, the “All Other” category primarily includes licensing revenue from our patent cross licensing agreement with Intel, which we expect to recognize through March 2017.

GPUs, the engines of visual computing, are among the world's most complex processors. Our GPU product brands aimed at specialized markets include GeForce for gamers; Quadro for designers; Tesla for researchers, deep learning and big-data analysts; and GRID for cloud-based visual computing users.

We also integrate our GPUs into tiny mobile chips called system-on-a-chip (SOC) processors, which power tablets, and automotive infotainment and safety systems. Our Tegra brand integrates an entire computer onto a single chip, incorporating GPUs and multi-core CPUs with audio, video and input/output capabilities. They can also be integrated with baseband processors to add voice and data communication. Tegra conserves power while delivering state-of-the-art graphics and multimedia processing.

Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, NVIDIA was incorporated in California in April 1993 and reincorporated in Delaware in April 1998.

Recent Developments, Future Objectives and Challenges

GPU Business

During fiscal year 2015, we announced and shipped GeForce GPUs based on our new Maxwell architecture and we surpassed fifty million installations of our GeForce Experience client, which provides game-ready drivers, optimized play settings, and streaming and sharing of gameplay. We also disclosed the first details of our Pascal GPU architecture, which will succeed Maxwell. Pascal is expected to feature 3D memory and NVLink interconnect technology.

Quadro professional graphics continue to maintain market leadership. We refreshed our Quadro product lineup during fiscal year 2015 and also extended our product lineup to include Maxwell-based GPUs.

We extended our reach in accelerated datacenter computing, with the world’s fifteen most highly-efficient supercomputers all utilizing our Tesla GPUs. We continued to expand our reach in the big data analytics market, with IBM announcing future support for GPU acceleration in its IBM DB2 with BLU acceleration. We launched our Tesla K80 dual-GPU accelerator, which is designed to power a wide range of machine learning, data-analytics and high performance computing applications. In addition, we announced that our Tesla GPUs will power the U.S. Department of Energy’s next-generation supercomputers in conjunction with our NVIDIA NVLink high-speed interconnect technology. These systems are to be deployed at Oak Ridge and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories and will serve scientists to accelerate their research.


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We announced that NVIDIA GRID technology will be available on the VMware Horizon DaaS Platform to deliver 3D graphics on virtualized desktops and applications delivered through the cloud, partnered with VMware on a customer access program for NVIDIA GRID with companies like Airbus, CH2M Hill, MetroHealth and Halliburton, and announced that the new version of VMware’s virtualization suite, VMware Horizon 6, includes the capability to deliver scalable, virtualized 3D graphics enabled by NVIDIA GRID vGPU. NVIDIA GRID graphics virtualization continued to gain momentum as more companies come forward to experience cloud-based GPU-accelerated virtual desktops through our “Try GRID” online demonstration.

Tegra Processor Business

During fiscal year 2015, we expanded our SHIELD family of gaming devices, adding the SHIELD tablet and SHIELD wireless controller to the product family that also includes the SHIELD portable. We also launched our GRID On-Demand Streaming Service, providing it free for SHIELD users through June 30, 2015.

We announced the NVIDIA Tegra X1 mobile processor, a 256-core Maxwell architecture-based mobile super chip with over one teraflops of computing power. Our Tegra K1 processor was featured in Google’s Nexus 9 and Project Tango tablets, in NVIDIA's SHIELD tablet and in Chromebooks made by Acer and HP, and was one of the first processors to support Android TV. Tegra K1 was also included in our launch of Jetson TK1, a development platform aimed at automotive, robotics, defense and embedded applications.

In automotive, we launched NVIDIA DRIVE automotive computers - a computing platform for advanced driver assistance systems and digital cockpits that could enable auto-piloted cars and run state of the art infotainment systems. NVIDIA DRIVE is powered by the Tegra X1. We also announced that many automobile manufacturers were shipping various new models with infotainment systems powered by NVIDIA, including the BMW i8 and i3, the Volkswagen Golf and Passat, and the Honda Civic, Civic Tourer and CR-V.

Capital Return to Shareholders

During fiscal year 2015, we repurchased 44.4 million shares of our common stock for $813.6 million and paid $186.5 million in cash dividends. As a result, we returned $1.00 billion to shareholders during fiscal year 2015 in the form of share repurchases and dividend payments.

On November 6, 2014 we announced our intention to return approximately $600.0 million to our shareholders in fiscal year 2016 through a combination of share repurchases and cash dividends. On February 11, 2015, we declared that we would pay our next quarterly cash dividend of $0.085 per share on March 19, 2015, to all shareholders of record on February 26, 2015.

Please refer to Note 14 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for further discussion.

Litigation

In September 2014, we filed lawsuits against Qualcomm, Inc. and various Samsung entities in the United States International Trade Commission, or ITC, and the United States District Court for the District of Delaware for using our GPU patents without a license. On November 10, 2014, Samsung filed a complaint against NVIDIA and Velocity Micro, Inc., in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The complaint alleges that NVIDIA infringed six patents and falsely advertised that the Tegra K1 processor is the world’s fastest mobile processor. On December 19, 2014, Samsung filed an amended, longer complaint but asserting the same claims against NVIDIA.

Please refer to Note 12 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for further discussion.


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Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

Management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations are based upon our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, or U.S. GAAP. The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue, cost of revenue, expenses and related disclosure of contingencies. On an on-going basis, we evaluate our estimates, including those related to revenue recognition, inventories, income taxes, goodwill, cash equivalents and marketable securities, stock-based compensation, and litigation, investigation and settlement costs and other contingencies. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities.

We believe the following critical accounting policies affect our significant judgments and estimates used in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements. Our management has discussed the development and selection of these critical accounting policies and estimates with the Audit Committee of our Board of Directors. The Audit Committee has reviewed our disclosures relating to our critical accounting policies and estimates in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Revenue Recognition

Product Revenue

We recognize revenue from product sales when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, the product has been delivered, the price is fixed or determinable and collection of the related receivable is reasonably assured.

For sales to certain distributors with rights of return for which the level of returns cannot be reasonably estimated, our policy is to defer recognition of revenue and related cost of revenue until the distributors resell the product and, in some cases, when customer return rights lapse.

Our customer programs primarily involve rebates, which are designed to serve as sales incentives to resellers of our products in various target markets. We account for rebates as a reduction of revenue and accrue for 100% of the potential rebates and do not apply a breakage factor. While we have a long history of rebate arrangements with OEMs, we believe we are unable to apply our historical experience to reliably estimate the amount of rebates that will eventually be claimed by individual OEMs. In such cases, the OEMs may not be our direct customers and therefore the quantity and mix of demand they place on their CEMs/ODMs may shift as we introduce new generations and iterations of products and as we experience changes in new competitor offerings. In addition, we typically find that approximately 95% of the rebates we accrue each year are eventually claimed, which is substantially close to 100%, and that this percentage varies by program and by customer. We recognize a liability for these rebates at the later of the date at which we record the related revenue or the date at which we offer the rebate. Rebates typically expire six months from the date of the original sale, unless we reasonably believe that the customer intends to claim the rebate. Unclaimed rebates are reversed to revenue, the amount of which typically represents approximately 0.5% of total revenue.
 
Our customer programs also include marketing development funds, or MDFs. MDFs represent monies paid to retailers, system builders, OEMs, distributors, add-in card partners and other channel partners that are earmarked for market segment development and expansion and typically are designed to support our partners’ activities while also promoting NVIDIA products. Depending on market conditions, we may take actions to increase amounts offered under customer programs, possibly resulting in an incremental reduction of revenue at the time such programs are offered. We account for MDFs as a reduction of revenue and apply a breakage factor to certain types of MDF program accruals for which we believe we can make a reasonable and reliable estimate of the amount that will ultimately be unclaimed. 

We also record a reduction to revenue by establishing a sales return allowance for estimated product returns at the time revenue is recognized, based primarily on historical return rates. However, if product returns for a particular fiscal period exceed historical return rates we may determine that additional sales return allowances are required to properly reflect our estimated exposure for product returns.


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License and Development Revenue

For license arrangements that require significant customization of our intellectual property components, we generally recognize the related revenue over the period that services are performed. For most license and service arrangements, we determine progress to completion based on actual direct labor hours incurred to date as a percentage of the estimated total direct labor hours required to complete the project. We periodically evaluate the actual status of each project to ensure that the estimates to complete each contract remain accurate. Revenue recognized in any period is dependent on our progress toward completion of projects in progress. Significant management judgment and discretion are used to estimate total direct labor hours. Any changes in or deviations from these estimates could have a material effect on the amount of revenue we recognize in any period.

For license arrangements that do not require significant customization but where we are obligated to provide further deliverables over the term of the license agreement, we record revenue over the life of the license term, with consideration received in advance of the performance period classified as deferred revenue.

Please refer to Note 1 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information.

Inventories

Inventory cost is computed on an adjusted standard basis, which approximates actual cost on an average or first-in, first-out basis. We charge cost of sales for inventory provisions to write down our inventory to the lower of cost or estimated market value or to completely write off obsolete or excess inventory. Most of our inventory provisions relate to the write-off of excess quantities of products, based on our inventory levels and future product purchase commitments compared to assumptions about future demand and market conditions.

Situations that may result in excess or obsolete inventory include changes in business and economic conditions, changes in consumer confidence caused by changes in market conditions, sudden and significant decreases in demand for our products, inventory obsolescence because of rapidly changing technology and customer requirements, failure to estimate customer demand properly for older products as newer products are introduced, or unexpected competitive pricing actions by our competition. In addition, cancellation or deferral of customer purchase orders could result in our holding excess inventory. Also, because we often sell a substantial portion of our products in the last month of each quarter, we may not be able to reduce our inventory purchase commitments in a timely manner in response to customer cancellations or deferrals.

Charges to cost of sales for inventory provisions totaled $59.4 million, $50.1 million and $89.9 million for fiscal years 2015, 2014 and 2013, unfavorably impacting our gross margin by 1.3%, 1.2% and 2.1%, respectively. Sales of inventory that was previously written-off or written-down totaled $32.4 million, $43.4 million and $53.7 million for fiscal years 2015, 2014 and 2013, favorably impacting our gross margin by 0.7%, 1.1% and 1.3%, respectively. As a result, the overall net effect on our gross margin from inventory provisions and sales of items previously written down was an unfavorable impact of 0.6%, 0.1% and 0.8% in fiscal years 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively.

During fiscal years 2015, 2014 and 2013, the charges we took to cost of sales for inventory provisions were primarily related to the write-off of excess quantities of GPU and Tegra Processor products whose inventory levels were higher than our updated forecasts of future demand for those products. As a fabless semiconductor company, we must make commitments to purchase inventory based on forecasts of future customer demand. In doing so, we must account for our third-party manufacturers' lead times and constraints. We also adjust to other market factors, such as product offerings and pricing actions by our competitors, new product transitions, and macroeconomic conditions - all of which may impact demand for our products.

Please refer to the Gross Profit and Gross Margin discussion below in this Management's Discussion and Analysis for further discussion.

Income Taxes

We recognize federal, state and foreign current tax liabilities or assets based on our estimate of taxes payable or refundable in the current fiscal year by tax jurisdiction. We recognize federal, state and foreign deferred tax assets or liabilities, as appropriate, for our estimate of future tax effects attributable to temporary differences and carryforwards; and we record a valuation allowance to reduce any deferred tax assets by the amount of any tax benefits that, based on available evidence and judgment, are not expected to be realized.


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United States income tax has not been provided on a portion of earnings of our non-U.S. subsidiaries to the extent that such earnings are considered to be indefinitely reinvested.

Our calculation of current and deferred tax assets and liabilities is based on certain estimates and judgments and involves dealing with uncertainties in the application of complex tax laws. Our estimates of current and deferred tax assets and liabilities may change based, in part, on added certainty or finality to an anticipated outcome, changes in accounting standards or tax laws in the United States, or foreign jurisdictions where we operate, or changes in other facts or circumstances. In addition, we recognize liabilities for potential United States and foreign income tax contingencies based on our estimate of whether, and the extent to which, additional taxes may be due. If we determine that payment of these amounts is unnecessary or if the recorded tax liability is less than our current assessment, we may be required to recognize an income tax benefit or additional income tax expense in our financial statements accordingly.

As of January 25, 2015, we had a valuation allowance of $261.0 million related to state and certain foreign deferred tax assets that management determined are not likely to be realized due, in part, to projections of future taxable income and potential utilization limitations of tax attributes acquired as a result of stock ownership changes. To the extent realization of the deferred tax assets becomes more-likely-than-not, we would recognize such deferred tax asset as an income tax benefit during the period.

Goodwill

Goodwill is subject to our annual impairment test during the fourth quarter of our fiscal year, or earlier if indicators of potential impairment exist, using either a qualitative or a quantitative assessment.  Our impairment review process compares the fair value of the reporting unit in which the goodwill resides to its carrying value.  We have identified two reporting units, GPU and Tegra Processor, for the purposes of completing our goodwill analysis. Goodwill assigned to these reporting units as of January 25, 2015 was $209.7 million and $408.5 million , respectively. Determining the number of reporting units and the fair value of a reporting unit requires us to make judgments and involves the use of significant estimates and assumptions. We also make judgments and assumptions in allocating assets and liabilities to each of our reporting units. We base our fair value estimates on assumptions we believe to be reasonable but that are unpredictable and inherently uncertain.

During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015, we elected to use the quantitative assessment to test goodwill for impairment for each reporting unit. In applying the fair value based test of each reporting unit, the results from the income approach and the market approach were equally weighted. These valuation approaches consider a number of factors that include, but are not limited to, prospective financial information, growth rates, terminal or residual values, discount rates and comparable multiples from publicly traded companies in our industry and require us to make certain assumptions and estimates regarding industry economic factors and the future profitability of our business.

When performing an income approach valuation, we incorporate the use of projected financial information and a discount rate that are developed using market participant based assumptions to our discounted cash flow model. Our estimates of discounted cash flow were based upon, among other things, certain assumptions about our expected future operating performance, such as revenue growth rates, operating margins, risk-adjusted discount rates, and future economic and market conditions. Our estimates may differ from actual cash flow due to, among other things, economic conditions, changes to our business model or changes in operating performance. Additionally, certain estimates of discounted cash flow involve businesses with limited financial history and developing revenue models, which increases the risk of differences between the projected and actual performance. The long-term financial forecasts that we utilize represent the best estimate that we have at this time and we believe that its underlying assumptions are reasonable. Significant differences between our estimates and actual cash flow could materially affect our future financial results, which could impact our future estimates of the fair value of our reporting units.

During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015, we concluded that there was no impairment of our goodwill. The fair value of our GPU reporting unit significantly exceeded its carrying value and the fair value of our Tegra Processor reporting unit exceeded its carrying value by 21%. As such, even if we applied a hypothetical 10% decrease to the fair value of each reporting unit, it still would not have resulted in the fair value of our reporting units being less than their carrying values. As an overall test of the reasonableness of estimated fair values of our reporting units, we reconciled the combined fair value estimates of our reporting units to our market capitalization as of the valuation date. The reconciliation confirmed that the fair values were relatively representative of the market views when applying a reasonable control premium to the market capitalization. However, any significant reductions in the actual amount of future cash flows realized by our reporting units, reductions in the value of market comparables, or reductions in our market capitalization could impact future estimates of the fair values of our reporting units. Such events could ultimately result in a charge to our earnings in future periods due to the potential for a write-down of the goodwill associated with our reporting units.


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In particular, the fair value of our Tegra reporting unit exceeded its carrying value by approximately 21%. The fair value of this reporting unit was assessed using a combination of income and market approaches. The underlying assumptions we used in assessing the fair value of the Tegra reporting unit include, but are not limited to, assumptions around future revenue growth rates, gross margins, operating expense investment levels, overall market growth rates, our market share of the overall market, and the appropriate discount rates to apply to future cash flows. If the actual future results of the Tegra reporting unit do not achieve the levels we estimated in assessing its fair value, the fair value of the Tegra reporting unit could decline. A future decline in the fair value of the Tegra reporting unit could result a charge to our earnings as a result of a write-down of the value of the goodwill associated with that reporting unit.

Our next annual evaluation of the goodwill by reporting unit will be performed during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2016, or earlier if indicators of potential impairment exist. Such indicators include, but are not limited to, challenging economic conditions, such as a decline in our operating results, an unfavorable industry or macroeconomic environment, a substantial decline in our stock price, or any other adverse change in market conditions. Such conditions could have the effect of changing one of the critical assumptions or estimates we use to calculate the fair value of our reporting units, which could result in a decrease in fair value and require us to record goodwill impairment charges.

Cash Equivalents and Marketable Securities

Cash equivalents consist of financial instruments which are readily convertible into cash and have original maturities of three months or less at the time of acquisition.  Marketable securities consist primarily of highly liquid investments with maturities of greater than three months when purchased.  

We measure our cash equivalents and marketable securities at fair value. The fair values of our financial assets and liabilities are determined using quoted market prices of identical assets or quoted market prices of similar assets from active markets. Our Level 1 assets consist of our money market funds. We classify securities within Level 1 assets when the fair value is obtained from real time quotes for transactions in active exchange markets involving identical assets. Our available-for-sale securities are classified as having Level 2 inputs. Our Level 2 assets are valued utilizing a market approach where the market prices of similar assets are provided by a variety of independent industry standard data providers to our investment custodian. Most of our cash equivalents and marketable securities are valued based on Level 2 inputs. We did not have any investments classified as Level 3 as of January 25, 2015 .

All of our available-for-sale investments are subject to a periodic impairment review. We record a charge to earnings when a decline in fair value is significantly below cost basis and judged to be other-than-temporary, or have other indicators of impairments.

If the fair value of an available-for-sale debt instrument is less than its amortized cost basis, an other-than-temporary impairment is triggered in circumstances where (1) we intend to sell the instrument, (2) it is more likely than not that we will be required to sell the instrument before recovery of its amortized cost basis, or (3) a credit loss exists where we do not expect to recover the entire amortized cost basis of the instrument. In these situations, we recognize an other-than-temporary impairment in earnings equal to the entire difference between the debt instruments’ amortized cost basis and its fair value. For available-for-sale debt instruments that are considered other-than-temporarily impaired due to the existence of a credit loss, if we do not intend to sell and it is more likely than not that we will not be required to sell the instrument before recovery of its remaining amortized cost basis (amortized cost basis less any current-period credit loss), we separate the amount of the impairment into the amount that is credit related and the amount due to all other factors. The credit loss component is recognized in earnings.

We performed an impairment review of our investment portfolio as of January 25, 2015. We concluded that our investments were appropriately valued and that no other than temporary impairment charges were necessary on our portfolio of available-for-sale investments as of January 25, 2015.

Stock-based Compensation

Our stock-based compensation expense is associated with stock options, restricted stock units, or RSUs, performance stock units, or PSUs, and our employee stock purchase plan, or ESPP.

During fiscal year 2015, we shifted away from granting stock options and toward granting RSUs and PSUs to reflect changing market trends for equity incentives at our peer companies. The number of PSUs that will ultimately vest is contingent on the Company’s level of achievement compared with the corporate financial performance target established by our Compensation Committee in the beginning of each fiscal year. The number of shares of our stock to be received at vesting ranges from 0% to 200% of the target amount.


31

Table of Contents

We use the closing trading price of our common stock on the date of grant, minus a dividend yield discount, as the fair value of awards of RSUs and PSUs. The compensation expense for RSUs is recognized using a straight-line attribution method over the requisite employee service period, while compensation expense for PSUs is recognized using an accelerated amortization model. We estimate the fair value of shares to be issued under our ESPP using the Black-Scholes model at the commencement of an offering period in March and September of each year. Stock-based compensation for our ESPP is expensed using an accelerated amortization model.

Our RSU and PSU awards are not eligible for cash dividends prior to vesting; therefore, the fair value of RSUs and PSUs is discounted by the dividend yield. Additionally, we estimate forfeitures annually based on historical experience and revise the estimates of forfeiture in subsequent periods if actual forfeitures differ from those estimates. If factors change, the compensation expense that we record under these accounting standards may differ significantly from what we have recorded in the current period.

Litigation, Investigation and Settlement Costs

From time to time, we are involved in legal actions and/or investigations by regulatory bodies. We are aggressively defending our current litigation matters. However, there are many uncertainties associated with any litigation or investigations, and we cannot be certain that these actions or other third-party claims against us will be resolved without costly litigation, fines and/or substantial settlement payments. If that occurs, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. If information becomes available that causes us to determine that a loss in any of our pending litigation, investigations or settlements is probable, and we can reasonably estimate the loss associated with such events, we will record the loss in accordance with U.S. GAAP. However, the actual liability in any such litigation or investigation may be materially different from our estimates, which could require us to record additional costs.

Results of Operations
 
The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, certain items in our consolidated statements of operations expressed as a percentage of revenue. 
  
Year Ended
 
January 25, 2015
 
January 26, 2014
 
January 27, 2013
Revenue
100.0
 %
 
100.0
 %
 
100.0
 %
Cost of revenue
44.5

 
45.1

 
48.0

Gross profit
55.5

 
54.9

 
52.0

Operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
Research and development
29.0

 
32.3

 
26.8

Sales, general and administrative
10.3

 
10.5

 
10.1

Total operating expenses
39.3

 
42.8

 
36.9

Income from operations
16.2

 
12.1

 
15.1

Interest income
0.6

 
0.4

 
0.5

Interest expense
(1.0
)
 
(0.3
)
 
(0.1
)
Other income (expense), net
0.3

 
0.2

 
(0.1
)
Income before income taxes
16.1

 
12.4

 
15.4

Income tax expense
2.6

 
1.7

 
2.3

Net income
13.5
 %
 
10.7
 %
 
13.1
 %


32


Revenue
 
Year Ended
 
Year Ended
 
January 25,
2015

January 26,
2014
 
$
Change
 
%
Change
 
January 26,
2014
 
January 27,
2013
 
$
Change
 
%
Change
 
(In millions)
 
(In millions)
GPU
$3,838.9
 
$3,468.1
 
$370.8
 
11
%
 
$3,468.1
 
$3,251.7
 
$216.4
 
7
 %
Tegra Processor
578.6

 
398.0

 
180.6

 
45
%
 
398.0

 
764.4

 
(366.4
)
 
(48
)%
All Other
264.0

 
264.0

 

 
%
 
264.0

 
264.0

 

 
 %
Total
$4,681.5
 
$4,130.1
 
$551.4
 
13
%
 
$4,130.1
 
$4,280.1
 
$(150.0)
 
(4
)%

Revenue was $4.68 billion , $4.13 billion and $4.28 billion for fiscal years 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively. A discussion of our revenue results for each of our reporting segments and the All Other category is as follows:

GPU Business. GPU business revenue increased by 11% in fiscal year 2015 compared to fiscal year 2014. This increase was due primarily to higher revenue from GeForce GTX GPUs and associated memory for gaming, reflecting a combination of continued strength in PC gaming and increased sales of our Maxwell-based GPU products. Revenue from Tesla for accelerated datacenter computing increased due to large project wins with cloud service providers and revenue from our NVIDIA GRID virtualization products also increased as this platform gained momentum. Revenue from GPU products for mainstream PC OEMs declined compared to last year.

GPU business revenue increased by 7% in fiscal year 2014 compared to fiscal year 2013. This increase was largely attributable to strength in our high-end GeForce GTX GPUs driven by gaming market segment demand. The GPU business also benefited from higher sales of Tesla accelerated datacenter computing and Quadro enterprise products in fiscal year 2014. Offsetting these growth areas were declines in the overall market for mainstream desktop PCs and notebooks, which contributed to lower unit volumes of our mainstream GeForce GPUs.

Tegra Processor Business.   Tegra Processor business revenue increased by 45% in fiscal year 2015 compared to fiscal year 2014 . This increase was driven by higher sales of Tegra products serving automotive infotainment systems, smartphones and tablet devices, and the onset of SHIELD tablet sales in fiscal year 2015.

Tegra Processor business revenue decreased by 48% in fiscal year 2014 compared to fiscal year 2013. This decrease was primarily due to lower sales of our previous generation Tegra 3-based products for smartphones and tablet devices. Additionally, sales of our embedded products for entertainment devices and revenue from license fees related to game consoles also decreased during fiscal year 2014. These decreases were partially offset by increased sales of Tegra 4-based products for smartphones and tablet devices, as well as for automotive infotainment systems.

All Other. License revenue from the patent cross licensing arrangement we entered into with Intel in January 2011 was flat at $264.0 million for fiscal years 2015, 2014 and 2013.

Concentration of Revenue

Revenue from sales to customers outside of the United States and Other Americas accounted for  75%  of total revenue for both fiscal years 2015 and 2014, and  74%  of total revenue for fiscal year 2013. Revenue by geographic region is allocated to individual countries based on the location to which the products are initially billed even if the revenue is attributable to end customers in a different location.

Revenue from significant customers, those representing 10% or more of total revenue for the respective dates, is summarized as follows: 
 
Year Ended
 
January 25,
2015
 
January 26,
2014
 
January 27,
2013
Revenue:
 
 
 
 
 
Customer A
11
%
 
11
%
 
13
%
Customer B
9
%
 
10
%
 
9
%
 

33


Gross Profit and Gross Margin
 
Gross profit consists of total revenue, net of allowances, less cost of revenue. Cost of revenue consists primarily of the cost of semiconductors purchased from subcontractors, including wafer fabrication, assembly, testing and packaging, board and device costs, manufacturing support costs, including labor and overhead associated with such purchases, final test yield fallout, inventory and warranty provisions and shipping costs. Cost of revenue also includes development costs for license and service arrangements and stock-based compensation related to personnel associated with manufacturing.

Gross margin is the percentage of gross profit to revenue. Our gross margin can vary in any period depending on the mix of types of products sold. Our gross margin is significantly impacted by the mix of products we sell, which is often difficult to estimate with accuracy. Therefore, if we experience product transition challenges, if we achieve significant revenue growth in our lower margin product lines, or if we are unable to earn as much revenue as we expect from higher margin product lines, our gross margin may be negatively impacted.

Our overall gross margin was 55.5% , 54.9% and 52.0% for fiscal years 2015 , 2014 and 2013 , respectively. The increase over these fiscal years was driven primarily by a richer product mix in our GPU business, partially offset by lower Tegra business margins.

Charges to cost of sales for inventory provisions totaled $59.4 million, $50.1 million and $89.9 million for fiscal years 2015, 2014 and 2013, unfavorably impacting our gross margin by 1.3%, 1.2% and 2.1%, respectively. Sales of inventory that was previously written-off or written-down totaled $32.4 million, $43.4 million and $53.7 million for fiscal years 2015, 2014 and 2013, favorably impacting our gross margin by 0.7%, 1.1% and 1.3%, respectively. As a result, the overall net effect on our gross margin from inventory provisions and sales of items previously written down was an unfavorable impact of 0.6%, 0.1% and 0.8% in fiscal years 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively.

A discussion of our gross margin results for each of our reporting segments is as follows:

GPU Business . The gross margin of our GPU business increased during fiscal year 2015 when compared to fiscal year 2014 due to richer product mix resulting from strong sales of high-end GeForce GTX GPU products based on our Maxwell architecture and the volume increase in our Tesla accelerated computing products. The increase in fiscal year 2014 when compared to fiscal year 2013 was primarily due to a combination of a richer product mix of our high-end GeForce GTX GPU, Tesla high performance computing, and Quadro professional workstation products. Lower inventory provisions for excess inventory in fiscal year 2014 also contributed to the increase.

Tegra Processor Business.  The gross margin of our Tegra Processor business decreased during fiscal year 2015 when compared to fiscal year 2014, and during fiscal year 2014 when compared to fiscal year 2013. These decreases were driven primarily by a combination of an overall decline in margins of our Tegra products and a less rich mix between tablet products, which have had higher gross margins, and smartphone and automotive module products, which have had comparably lower gross margins.


34


Operating Expenses
 
Year Ended
 
Year Ended
 
January 25,
2015

January 26,
2014
 
$
Change
 
%
Change
 
January 26,
2014
 
January 27,
2013
 
$
Change
 
%
Change
 
(In millions)
 
(In millions)
Research and development expenses
$
1,359.7

 
$
1,335.8

 
$
23.9

 
2
%
 
$
1,335.8

 
$
1,147.3

 
$
188.5

 
16
%
Sales, general and administrative expenses
480.8

 
435.7

 
45.1

 
10
%
 
435.7

 
430.8

 
4.9

 
1
%
Total operating expenses
$
1,840.5

 
$
1,771.5

 
$
69.0

 
4
%
 
$
1,771.5

 
$
1,578.1

 
$
193.4

 
12
%
Research and development as a percentage of net revenue
29.0
%
 
32.3
%
 
 
 
 
 
32.3
%
 
26.8
%
 
 
 
 
Sales, general and administrative as a percentage of net revenue
10.3
%
 
10.5
%
 
 
 
 
 
10.5
%
 
10.1
%
 
 
 
 
 
Research and Development

Research and development expenses remained relatively flat during fiscal year 2015 compared to fiscal year 2014. Compensation and benefits increased by $56.5 million resulting from employee additions, employee compensation increases and related costs, including stock-based compensation expense. Offsetting this increase was a $38.9 million decrease in engineering development expenses.

Research and development expenses increased by 16% in fiscal year 2014 compared to fiscal year 2013. Compensation and benefits increased by $101.9 million resulting from employee additions, employee compensation increases and related costs. The growth in engineering employees also drove an increase in facilities and IT support expense of $34.6 million, purchases of computer and software supplies of $14.1 million and depreciation and amortization of $11.0 million. In addition, engineering development expenses increased by $23.2 million, primarily related to the ramp up of Tegra products.

Sales, General and Administrative

Sales, general and administrative expenses increased by 10% in fiscal year 2015 compared to fiscal year 2014. Compensation and benefits increased by $53.7 million resulting from employee additions, employee compensation increases and related costs, including stock-based compensation expense. Facilities costs increased by $10.3 million as we expanded our offices internationally and leased an office building within the boundaries of our main Santa Clara campus. Offsetting these increases were a decrease in outside professional fees of $8.8 million as well as more favorable international taxes and government subsidies.

Sales, general and administrative expenses remained relatively flat during fiscal year 2014 compared to fiscal year 2013. Compensation and benefits increased by $37.9 million resulting from employee additions, employee compensation increases and related costs. Offsetting this increase were the absence of both a $20.1 million charge for a charitable contribution and a charge of $3.1 million for a class action settlement that we recorded in fiscal year 2013.


35


Interest Income and Interest Expense

Interest income consists of interest earned on cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. Interest expense is primarily comprised of coupon interest and debt discount amortization related to the convertible notes issued in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2014.

Interest income was $28.1 million , $17.1 million and $19.9 million in fiscal years 2015 , 2014 and 2013 , respectively. The increase in fiscal year 2015 compared to fiscal year 2014 was primarily due to higher average cash balances as we invested the proceeds from the convertible notes we issued in December 2013 in interest bearing securities. The decrease in fiscal year 2014 compared to fiscal year 2013 was primarily due to the result of lower average cash balances as we liquidated a portion of our investment portfolio to fund an accelerated share repurchase transaction during the second quarter of fiscal year 2014.

Interest expense was $46.1 million , $10.4 million and $3.3 million in fiscal years 2015 , 2014 and 2013 , respectively. The increases in fiscal years 2015 and 2014 compared to fiscal years 2014 and 2013, respectively, were primarily due to coupon interest and debt discount amortization related to the convertible notes we issued in December 2013.

Other Income and Expense

Other income and expense primarily consists of realized gains and losses from the sale of marketable securities, sales or impairments of investments in non-affiliated companies, and the impact of changes in foreign currency rates.

Net other income (expense) was $ 13.9 million , $ 7.4 million and $ (2.8) million in fiscal years 2015 , 2014 and 2013 , respectively. The increase for fiscal year 2015 compared to fiscal year 2014 was primarily due to a gain from the sale of a non-affiliated investment, partially offset by the recognition of an impairment loss of a non-affiliated investment during the second quarter of fiscal year 2015 and losses from foreign currency remeasurement. The increase in other income for fiscal year 2014 compared to fiscal year 2013 was primarily due to an increase in gains from foreign currency remeasurements and a gain from the sale of a non-affiliated investment.
  
Income Taxes
 
We recognized income tax expense of $ 124.2 million , $ 70.3 million and $ 99.5 million during fiscal years 2015 , 2014 and 2013 , respectively. Income tax expense as a percentage of income before taxes, or our annual effective tax rate, was 16.5% , 13.8% , and 15.0% in fiscal years 2015 , 2014 and 2013 , respectively. The difference in the effective tax rates amongst the three years was primarily due to an increase in the amount of earnings subject to United States tax in fiscal year 2015 and a higher percentage of research tax credit benefit in fiscal year 2014.

Our effective tax rate on income before tax for the fiscal years was lower than the United States federal statutory rate of 35% due to income earned in jurisdictions, including British Virgin Islands, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and United Kingdom, where the tax rate is lower, favorable recognition of the U.S. federal research tax credit and release of tax reserves as a result of the expiration of statutes of limitations in certain non-U.S. jurisdictions for which we had not previously recognized related tax benefits.

Please refer to Note 13 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information.


36


Liquidity and Capital Resources  
 
January 25, 2015
 
January 26, 2014
 
(In millions)
Cash and cash equivalents
$
496.7

 
$
1,151.6

Marketable securities
4,126.7

 
3,520.2

Cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities
$
4,623.4

 
$
4,671.8


 
Year Ended
 
January 25,
2015
 
January 26,
2014
 
January 27,
2013
 
(In millions)
Net cash provided by operating activities
$
905.7

 
$
835.1

 
$
824.2

Net cash (used in) investing activities
$
(727.0
)
 
$
(805.9
)
 
$
(744.0
)
Net cash (used in) provided by financing activities
$
(833.5
)
 
$
389.6

 
$
(15.3
)

As of January 25, 2015 , we had $4.62 billion in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, a decrease of $48.5 million from the end of fiscal year 2014 . Our portfolio of cash equivalents and marketable securities is managed on our behalf by several financial institutions which are required to follow our investment policy, which requires the purchase of high grade investment securities, the diversification of asset types and includes certain limits on our portfolio duration.
  
Cash provided by operating activities increased in fiscal year 2015 compared to fiscal year 2014 primarily due to higher net income from revenue growth and contained operating expenses, partially offset by an increase in inventories resulting from the introduction of newly launched Maxwell-based GPUs and certain Tegra SOCs and SHIELD devices, and an increase in accounts receivable. Cash provided by operating activities increased slightly in fiscal year 2014 compared to fiscal year 2013 primarily due to a decrease in operating assets offset by a decrease in net income. The decrease in operating assets was driven mainly by a combination of a decrease in accounts receivable, resulting from strong collections and linear monthly shipments in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2014, and a decrease in inventories.

Cash used in investing activities for fiscal year 2015 decreased from fiscal year 2014 primarily due to lower purchases of property and equipment and intangible assets. Cash used in investing activities for fiscal year 2014 increased from fiscal year 2013 driven primarily by capital expenditures in fiscal year 2014 for new technology licenses and leasehold improvements at our facilities in various locations.

Cash used in financing activities in fiscal year 2015 resulted primarily from our repurchase of $ 813.6 million of shares of our common stock and our cash dividend payments totaling $186.5 million . These uses of cash were offset by cash proceeds of $153.5 million from common stock issued under our employee stock plans. Cash provided by financing activities increased in fiscal year 2014 due primarily to the net proceeds of $1.48 billion we received from the convertible note offering that was completed during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2014, as well as cash proceeds of $70.2 million from common stock issued under our employee stock plans. Concurrent with the convertible note offering, we used net proceeds of $108.0 million to fund the related note hedge and warrant transactions. During fiscal year 2014, we also used $887.3 million to repurchase shares of our common stock and paid $181.3 million of cash dividends to shareholders.


37


Liquidity

Our primary source of liquidity is cash generated by our operations. Our investment portfolio consists principally of cash and cash equivalents, debt securities of corporations and United States government and its agencies, asset-backed securities, mortgage-backed securities issued by government-sponsored enterprises, money market funds and foreign government bonds. These investments are denominated in United States dollars. As of January 25, 2015 , we did not have any investments in auction-rate preferred securities.

Please refer to Note 7 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information.

As of January 25, 2015 and January 26, 2014 , we had $ 4.62 billion and $ 4.67 billion , respectively, in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. Our investment policy requires the purchase of high grade investment securities and the diversification of asset types and includes certain limits on our portfolio duration, as specified in our investment policy guidelines. These guidelines also limit the amount of credit exposure to any one issue, issuer or type of instrument. As of January 25, 2015 , we were in compliance with our investment policy. As of January 25, 2015 , our investments in U.S. government agencies and U.S. government sponsored enterprises represented 35% of our total investment portfolio, while the financial sector accounted for 30% of our total investment portfolio. All of our investments are with A/A3 or better rated securities.

We performed an impairment review of our investment portfolio as of January 25, 2015 .  Based on our quarterly impairment review, we concluded that our investments were appropriately valued and did not record any impairment during fiscal year 2015 .   

Net realized gains were $ 0.1 million , $ 2.4 million and $ 0.5 million for fiscal years 2015 , 2014 and 2013 , respectively.  As of January 25, 2015 , we had a net unrealized gain of $ 8.4 million , which was comprised of gross unrealized gains of $ 11.0 million , offset by $ 2.6 million of gross unrealized losses.  As of January 26, 2014 , we had a net unrealized gain of $ 4.8 million , which was comprised of gross unrealized gains of $7.2 million , offset by $ 2.4 million of gross unrealized losses. 

Our accounts receivable are highly concentrated.  Two customers accounted for 30% of our accounts receivable balance at January 25, 2015 . We maintain an allowance for doubtful accounts for estimated losses resulting from the inability of our customers to make required payments. This allowance consists of an amount identified for specific customers and an amount based on overall estimated exposure.

Our cash balances are held in numerous locations throughout the world, including substantial amounts held outside of the United States. As of January 25, 2015, we had cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $1.72 billion held within the United States and $2.90 billion held outside of the United States.  Most of the amounts held outside the United States may be repatriated to the United States but, under current law, would be subject to U.S. federal income taxes, less applicable foreign tax credits.  Further, repatriation of some foreign balances may be restricted by local laws. As of January 25, 2015, we have not provided for U.S. federal and state income taxes on approximately $2.27 billion of undistributed earnings of non-United States subsidiaries, as such earnings are considered indefinitely reinvested outside the United States.  Although we have no current need to do so, if we repatriate foreign earnings for cash requirements in the United States, we would incur U.S. federal and state income tax, less applicable foreign tax credits, and reduced by the current amount of our U.S. federal and state net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards.  Further, in addition to the $1.72 billion of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities held within the United States and available to fund our U.S. operations and any other U.S. cash needs, we have access to external sources of financing if cash is needed in the United States other than by repatriation of foreign earnings where U.S. income tax may otherwise be due.  Accordingly, we do not reasonably expect any material effect on our business, as a whole, or to our financial flexibility with respect to our current cash balances held outside of the United States.

Dividend payments and any share repurchases must be made from cash held in the United States. For fiscal year 2015, we made total cash dividend payments of $186.5 million and repurchased $813.6 million of our common stock, utilizing a significant amount of our U.S. cash balance previously taxed as of January 25, 2015 .


38


Convertible Notes

On December 2, 2013, we issued $1.50 billion of 1.00% Convertible Senior Notes, or the Notes, due in 2018 and concurrently entered into separate note hedge and warrant transactions and used $14.3 million to repurchase shares of our common stock from purchasers of the Notes in privately negotiated transactions. The Notes will mature on December 1, 2018 unless earlier repurchased or converted in accordance with their terms prior to such date. As of January 25, 2015, none of the conditions allowing holders of the Notes to convert had been met. Please refer to Note 11 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for further discussion.
 
Capital Return to Shareholders

Our Board of Directors has authorized us to repurchase up to $3.70 billion of our common stock through January 2016. As of January 25, 2015 , we had repurchased $3,265.2 million of that amount, leaving up to $434.8 million available under this authorization through January 2016. During fiscal year 2015, we repurchased 44.4 million shares of our common stock for $813.6 million and paid $186.5 million in cash dividends - equivalent to $0.085 per share on a quarterly basis, or $0.34 per share on an annual basis - to our common shareholders. As a result, we returned $1.0 billion to shareholders during fiscal year 2015 in the form of share repurchases and dividend payments.

On November 6, 2014 we announced our intention to return approximately $600.0 million to our shareholders in fiscal year 2016 through a combination of share repurchases and cash dividends. On February 11, 2015, we declared that we would pay our next quarterly cash dividend of $0.085 per share on March 19, 2015, to all shareholders of record on February 26, 2015.

Our cash dividend program and the payment of future cash dividends under that program are subject to continued capital availability and our Board's continuing determination that the dividend program and the declaration of dividends thereunder are in the best interests of our shareholders and are in compliance with all laws and agreements of NVIDIA applicable to the declaration and payment of cash dividends. Please refer to Note 14 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for further discussion.

Operating Capital and Capital Expenditure Requirements
 
We believe that our existing cash balances and anticipated cash flows from operations will be sufficient to meet our operating, acquisition, share repurchase, cash dividend and capital requirements for at least the next twelve months. However, there is no assurance that we will not need to raise additional equity or debt financing within this time frame. Additional financing may not be available on favorable terms or at all and may be dilutive to our then-current shareholders. We also may require additional capital for other purposes not presently contemplated. If we are unable to obtain sufficient capital, we could be required to curtail capital equipment purchases or research and development expenditures, which could harm our business. Factors that could affect our cash used or generated from operations and, as a result, our need to seek additional borrowings or capital include:
 
decreased demand and market acceptance for our products and/or our customers’ products;
inability to successfully develop and produce in volume production our next-generation products;
competitive pressures resulting in lower than expected average selling prices; and
new product announcements or product introductions by our competitors.

We expect to spend approximately $150.0 million to $200.0 million for capital expenditures during fiscal year 2016, primarily for facilities, emulation equipment, computers and engineering workstations.  


39


Contractual Obligations

The following table summarizes our contractual obligations as of January 25, 2015 :
 
Payment Due By Period
Contractual Obligations
Total
 
Less than
1 Year
 
1-3 Years
 
4-5 Years
 
More than
5 Years
 
All Other
 
(In thousands)
 
 
1.00% Convertible Senior Notes due 2018 (1)
$
1,560,000

 
$
15,000

 
$
30,000

 
$
1,515,000

 
$

 
$

Inventory purchase obligations
456,000

 
456,000

 

 

 

 

Operating leases (2)
241,311

 
76,741

 
100,312

 
36,781

 
27,477

 

Uncertain tax positions, interest and penalties (3)
120,961

 

 

 

 

 
120,961

Capital purchase obligations
51,000

 
51,000









Capital lease
22,156


5,303


11,060


5,793





Retention program (4)
3,521

 
3,521

 

 

 

 

Total contractual obligations
$
2,454,949

 
$
607,565

 
$
141,372

 
$
1,557,574

 
$
27,477

 
$
120,961


(1)
Represents the aggregate principal amount of $1.50 billion and anticipated interest payments of $60.0 million of the Notes. See Note 11 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
(2)
Includes facilities leases as well as non-cancelable obligations under certain software licensing arrangements in the operating lease category.
(3)
Represents unrecognized tax benefits of $121.0 million which consists of $106.6 million plus the related interest and penalties of $14.4 million recorded in non-current income tax payable as of January 25, 2015.  We are unable to reasonably estimate the timing of any potential tax liability or interest/penalty payments in individual years due to uncertainties in the underlying income tax positions and the timing of the effective settlement of such tax positions.
(4)
Represents the remaining portion of a retention program totaling approximately  $61.5 million that we initiated in fiscal year 2012 in connection with our acquisition of Icera. As of January 25, 2015 , we have made payments of $58.0 million in connection with this program. The remaining payments will be paid out within the next year.
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

During fiscal years 2015 , 2014 and 2013 , we had no material off-balance sheet arrangements as defined in Regulation S-K 303(a)(4)(ii).

Adoption of New and Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements

Please see Note 1  of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a discussion of adoption of new and recently issued accounting pronouncements.
 

40


ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

Investment and Interest Rate Risk
 
As of January 25, 2015 and January 26, 2014 , we had $4.62 billion and $4.67 billion , respectively, in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. We invest in a variety of financial instruments, consisting principally of cash and cash equivalents, debt securities of corporations and United States government and its agencies, asset-backed securities, mortgage-backed securities issued by government-sponsored enterprises, money market funds and foreign government bonds. As of January 25, 2015 , we did not have any investments in auction-rate preferred securities. All of our investments are denominated in United States dollars.

As of January 25, 2015 , we performed a sensitivity analysis on our floating and fixed rate financial investments. According to our analysis, parallel shifts in the yield curve of both plus or minus 0.5% would result in changes in fair values for these investments of $26 million - $28 million . Please refer to Note 7 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information.
 
Other income and expense could also vary materially from expectations depending on gains or losses realized on the sale or exchange of financial instruments; impairment charges related to debt securities as well as equity and other investments; interest rates; and cash, cash equivalent and marketable securities balances. Volatility in the financial markets and economic uncertainty increases the risk that the actual amounts realized in the future on our financial instruments could differ significantly from the fair values currently assigned to them. As of January 25, 2015 , our investments in government agencies and government sponsored enterprises represented 35% of our total investment portfolio, while the financial sector accounted for 30% of our total investment portfolio. Substantially all of our investments are with A/A3 or better rated securities. If the fair value of our investments in these sectors was to decline by 2% - 5%, the fair values of these investments could decline by approximately $57 million - $144 million

On December 2, 2013, we issued $1.50 billion of 1.00 % Convertible Senior Notes due 2018, or the Notes. The Notes are unsecured, unsubordinated obligations of the Company, which pay interest in cash semi-annually at a rate of 1.00% per annum. We carry the Notes at face value less unamortized discount on our consolidated balance sheets. Since the Notes bear interest at a fixed rate, we have no financial statement risk associated with changes in interest rates. However, the fair value of the Notes changes primarily when the market price of our stock fluctuates.

Exchange Rate Risk
 
We consider our direct exposure to foreign exchange rate fluctuations to be minimal. Gains or losses from foreign currency remeasurement are included in “Other expense, net” in our Consolidated Financial Statements and to date have not been significant. The impact of foreign currency transaction gain (loss) included in determining net income for fiscal years 2015 , 2014 and 2013 was $0.5 million , $4.7 million and $(1.5) million, respectively.  

Sales and arrangements with third-party manufacturers provide for pricing and payment in United States dollars, and, therefore, are not subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Increases in the value of the United States’ dollar relative to other currencies would make our products more expensive, which could negatively impact our ability to compete. Conversely, decreases in the value of the United States’ dollar relative to other currencies could result in our suppliers raising their prices in order to continue doing business with us. Additionally, we have international operations and incur expenditures in currencies other than U.S. dollars. Our operating expenses benefit from a stronger dollar and are adversely affected by a weaker dollar.
 
We may enter into certain transactions such as forward contracts which are designed to reduce the future potential impact resulting from changes in foreign currency exchange rates. There were no forward exchange contracts outstanding at January 25, 2015 .

ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA
 
The information required by this Item is set forth in our Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
ITEM 9. CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

None.
 

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ITEM 9A. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES
 
Controls and Procedures
 
Disclosure Controls and Procedures
 
Based on their evaluation as of January 25, 2015 , our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, has concluded that our disclosure controls and procedures (as defined in Rule 13a-15(e) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act) were effective to provide reasonable assurance.
 
Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
 
Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting, as such term is defined in Exchange Ac t Rule 13a-15(f). Under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, we conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of January 25, 2015 based on the criteria set forth in Internal Control - Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. Based on our evaluation under the criteria set forth in Internal Control — Integrated Framework , our management concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was effective as of January 25, 2015 .
 
The effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of January 25, 2015 has been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, as stated in its report which is included herein.
 
Changes in Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
 
There were no changes in our internal control over financial reporting during our last fiscal quarter that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.
 
Inherent Limitations on Effectiveness of Controls
 
Our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, does not expect that our disclosure controls and procedures or our internal controls, will prevent all error and all fraud. A control system, no matter how well conceived and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the objectives of the control system are met. Further, the design of a control system must reflect the fact that there are resource constraints, and the benefits of controls must be considered relative to their costs. Because of the inherent limitations in all control systems, no evaluation of controls can provide absolute assurance that all control issues and instances of fraud, if any, within NVIDIA have been detected.
 
ITEM 9B.  OTHER INFORMATION
 
None.

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PART III
 
Certain information required by Part III is omitted from this report because we will file with the SEC a definitive proxy statement pursuant to Regulation 14A, or the 2015 Proxy Statement, no later than 120 days after the fiscal year ended January 25, 2015 , and certain information included therein is incorporated herein by reference.

ITEM 10. DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
 
Identification of Directors
 
Reference is made to the information regarding directors appearing under the heading “Proposal 1 - Election of Directors” in our 2015 Proxy Statement, which information is hereby incorporated by reference.
 
Identification of Executive Officers
 
Reference is made to the information regarding executive officers appearing under the heading “Executive Officers of the Registrant” in Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, which information is hereby incorporated by reference.
 
Identification of Audit Committee and Financial Experts
 
Reference is made to the information regarding directors appearing under the heading “Report of the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors” and “Information About the Board of Directors and Corporate Governance” in our 2015 Proxy Statement, which information is hereby incorporated by reference.
 
Material Changes to Procedures for Recommending Directors
 
Reference is made to the information regarding directors appearing under the heading “Information About the Board of Directors and Corporate Governance” in our 2015 Proxy Statement, which information is hereby incorporated by reference.
 
Compliance with Section 16(a) of the Exchange Act

Reference is made to the information appearing under the heading “Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance” in our 2015 Proxy Statement, which information is hereby incorporated by reference.
 
Code of Conduct
 
Reference is made to the information appearing under the heading “Information About the Board of Directors and Corporate Governance - Code of Conduct” in our 2015 Proxy Statement, which information is hereby incorporated by reference. The full text of our “Code” and “Financial Team Code” are published on the Investor Relations portion of our web site, under Corporate Governance, at www.nvidia.com . The contents of our website are not a part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
   
ITEM 11. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION
 
The information required by this item is hereby incorporated by reference from the sections entitled “Executive Compensation”, “Compensation Committee Interlocks and Insider Participation”, “Director Compensation” and “Compensation Committee Report” in our 2015 Proxy Statement.


43

Table of Contents

ITEM 12. SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

Ownership of NVIDIA Securities
 
The information required by this item is hereby incorporated by reference from the section entitled “Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management” in our 2015 Proxy Statement.

Equity Compensation Plan Information
           
Information regarding our equity compensation plans, including both shareholder approved plans and non-shareholder approved plans, will be contained in our 2015 Proxy Statement under the caption ”Equity Compensation Plan Information,” and is hereby incorporated by reference.

ITEM 13. CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE
 
The information required by this item is hereby incorporated by reference from the sections entitled “Review of Transactions with Related Persons” and “Information About the Board of Directors and Corporate Governance - Independence of the Members of the Board of Directors” in our 2015 Proxy Statement.

ITEM 14. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTING FEES AND SERVICES
 
The information required by this item is hereby incorporated by reference from the section entitled “Fees Billed by the Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm” in our 2015 Proxy Statement. 

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PART IV
 
ITEM 15.                      EXHIBITS, FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULE
             
 
 
 
 
Page
(a)
1.
 
Consolidated Financial Statements
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2.
 
Financial Statement Schedule
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3.
 
Exhibits
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Table of Contents

REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM  

To the   Stockholders and Board of Directors of NVIDIA Corporation:

In our opinion, the accompanying consolidated financial statements listed in the index appearing under item 15(a)(1) present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of NVIDIA Corporation and its subsidiaries at January 25, 2015 and January 26, 2014 , and the results of their operations and their cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended January 25, 2015 in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. In addition, in our opinion, the financial statement schedule listed in the index appearing under item 15(a)(2) presents fairly, in all material respects, the information set forth therein when read in conjunction with the related consolidated financial statements. Also in our opinion, the Company maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of January 25, 2015 , based on criteria established in Internal Control - Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO). The Company's management is responsible for these financial statements, and financial statement schedule, for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, included in Management's Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting appearing under Item9A. Our responsibility is to express opinions on these financial statements, on the financial statement schedule, and on the Company's internal control over financial reporting based on our integrated audits. We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audits to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement and whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects. Our audits of the financial statements included examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements, assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, and evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. Our audit of internal control over financial reporting included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, and testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk. Our audits also included performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinions.

A company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (i) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (ii) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (iii) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

/s/ PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
San Jose, California

March 11, 2015


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NVIDIA CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
(In thousands, except per share data)

 
Year Ended
 
January 25,
2015
 
January 26,
2014
 
January 27,
2013
Revenue
$
4,681,507

 
$
4,130,162

 
$
4,280,159

Cost of revenue
2,082,030

 
1,862,399

 
2,053,816

Gross profit
2,599,477

 
2,267,763

 
2,226,343

Operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
Research and development
1,359,725

 
1,335,834

 
1,147,282

Sales, general and administrative
480,763

 
435,702

 
430,822

Total operating expenses
1,840,488

 
1,771,536

 
1,578,104

Income from operations
758,989

 
496,227

 
648,239

Interest income
28,090

 
17,119

 
19,908

Interest expense
46,133

 
10,443

 
3,294

Other income (expense), net
13,890

 
7,351

 
(2,814
)
Income before income tax
754,836

 
510,254

 
662,039

Income tax expense
124,249

 
70,264

 
99,503

Net income
$
630,587

 
$
439,990

 
$
562,536

 
 
 
 
 
 
Net income per share:
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
$
1.14

 
$
0.75

 
$
0.91

Diluted
$
1.12

 
$
0.74

 
$
0.90

 
 
 
 
 
 
Weighted average shares used in per share computation:
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
552,319

 
587,893

 
619,324

Diluted
563,068

 
594,517

 
624,957

 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash dividends declared and paid per common share
$
0.340

 
$
0.310

 
$
0.075

  
See accompanying notes to the consolidated financial statements.


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Table of Contents

NVIDIA CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
(In thousands)
 
 
Year Ended
 
 
January 25, 2015
 
January 26, 2014
 
January 27, 2013
Net income
 
$
630,587

 
$
439,990

 
$
562,536

Other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net change in unrealized gains (losses) on available-for-sale securities, net of taxes of $(747), $134 and $(126) in fiscal years 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively
 
3,061

 
(3,555
)
 
(303
)
Reclassification adjustments for net realized gains on available-for-sale securities included in net income, net of taxes of $51, $834 and $178 in fiscal years 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively
 
(94
)
 
(1,549
)
 
(330
)
Other comprehensive income (loss)
 
2,967

 
(5,104
)
 
(633
)
Total comprehensive income
 
$
633,554

 
$
434,886

 
$
561,903


See accompanying notes to the consolidated financial statements.


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Table of Contents

NVIDIA CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In thousands, except per share data)

 
January 25, 2015
 
January 26, 2014
ASSETS
 
 
 
Current assets:
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
$
496,654

 
$
1,151,587

Marketable securities
4,126,685

 
3,520,223

Accounts receivable, less allowances of $16,982 as of January 25, 2015 and $14,959 as of January 26, 2014
473,637

 
426,357

Inventories
482,893

 
387,765

Prepaid expenses and other current assets
70,174

 
70,285

Deferred income taxes
63,254

 
68,494

Total current assets
5,713,297

 
5,624,711

Property and equipment, net
557,282

 
582,740

Goodwill
618,179

 
643,179

Intangible assets, net
221,714

 
296,012

Other assets
90,896

 
104,252

Total assets
$
7,201,368

 
$
7,250,894

LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY
 
 
 
Current liabilities:
 
 
 
Accounts payable
$
293,223

 
$
324,391

Accrued liabilities and other current liabilities
602,807

 
621,105

Total current liabilities
896,030

 
945,496

 
 
 
 
Long-term debt
1,384,342

 
1,356,375

Other long-term liabilities
488,928

 
475,125

Capital lease obligations, long-term
14,086

 
17,500

Commitments and contingencies - see  Note 12

 

Shareholders’ equity:
 
 
 
Preferred stock, $.001 par value; 2,000 shares authorized; none issued

 

Common stock, $.001 par value; 2,000,000 shares authorized; 758,872 shares issued and 544,913 outstanding as of January 25, 2015; 735,242 shares issued and 567,997 outstanding as of January 26, 2014
754

 
732

Additional paid-in capital
3,855,092

 
3,483,342

Treasury stock, at cost (213,959 shares in 2015 and 167,246 shares in 2014)
(3,394,585
)
 
(2,537,295
)
Accumulated other comprehensive income
7,844

 
4,877

Retained earnings
3,948,877

 
3,504,742

Total shareholders' equity
4,417,982

 
4,456,398

Total liabilities and shareholders' equity
$
7,201,368

 
$
7,250,894

 
See accompanying notes to the consolidated financial statements.


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Table of Contents

NVIDIA CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY
(In thousands)
 
Common  Stock
Outstanding
 
Additional
 
Treasury
 
Accumulated Other Comprehensive
 
Retained
 
Total Shareholders'
 
Shares                                      
 
Amount
 
 Paid-in Capital
 
 Stock
 
 Income
 
 Earnings
 
 Equity
Balances, January 29, 2012
612,191

 
$
700

 
$
2,900,896

 
$
(1,496,904
)
 
$
10,614

 
$
2,730,418

 
$
4,145,724

Other comprehensive loss

 

 

 

 
(633
)
 

 
(633
)
Net income

 

 

 

 

 
562,536

 
562,536

Issuance of common stock from stock plans 
14,801


20


90,721







 
90,741

Tax withholding related to vesting of restricted stock units
(1,836
)





(25,805
)




 
(25,805
)
Share repurchase
(8,400
)





(100,000
)




 
(100,000
)
Cash dividends declared and paid ($0.075 per common share)










(46,866
)
 
(46,866
)
Tax benefit from stock-based compensation  




64,905







 
64,905

Stock-based compensation




137,101







 
137,101

Balances, January 27, 2013
616,756


720


3,193,623


(1,622,709
)

9,981


3,246,088

 
4,827,703

Other comprehensive loss








(5,104
)


 
(5,104
)
Net income










439,990

 
439,990

Issuance of common stock from stock plans 
15,089