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Chipmaker Nvidia beats but stock slips on lack of forecast

(Adds shares, background, analyst comments)

By Lehar Maan and Abhirup Roy

May 6 (Reuters) - Nvidia Corp reported quarterly results well above analysts' expectations as it sold more graphic cards for use in high-performance computers and gaming consoles.

But the company's shares fell more than 2 percent, which analysts said was due to the lack of a forecast for the current quarter. Nvidia usually provides forecasts when it reports results.

"On the company's specifics there is no doubt the quarter was better ... but the absence of an outlook leaves the stock vulnerable to trading with the market today," B. Railey & Co analyst Craig Ellis told Reuters.

Nividia, which is scheduled to report its results on May 8, released some key numbers on Tuesday after a preliminary draft was accidentally emailed to an internal distribution list of about 100 individuals.

The Santa Clara, California-based company said it expected net income to double to $136.5 million, or 24 cents per share, for the first quarter ended April 27.

Excluding items, it expected to earn 29 cents per share.

It expects revenue to rise 16 percent to $1.10 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 17 cents per share on revenue of $1.06 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

A modest recovery in PC trends, overall strength in its graphic cards business and a foray into the automobile markets are some of the factors that helped Nvidia, JMP Securities analyst Alex Gauna said.

The company is heavily promoting its graphics technology for a wider range of applications, including cars and data centers, as the personal computer industry loses steam and competition in the mobile chips market intensifies.

"Nvidia has had product refresh and has clear performance dominance over key rival Advanced Micro Devices," Gauna said.

Nvidia's shares, which have gained 18 percent in the last three months, were down 1.5 percent at $18.34 in early afternoon trading on the Nasdaq. AMD shares were down about a percent at $4.05.

(Reporting by Lehar Maan and Soham Chatterjee in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)