For NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) shareholders, the past year has been fantastic. The stock has soared 190%, with all of the company's segments firing on all cylinders. The core graphics card business is booming, with PC gaming proving to be a bright spot in an otherwise dismal PC market. Enterprise use of NVIDIA's products is growing fast, with cloud computing companies turning to NVIDIA's Tesla GPUs to enable deep learning and artificial intelligence applications. Sales to the automotive industry are rising as well, with NVIDIA's automotive platforms gaining momentum.
Much as the steam engine helped power the Industrial Revolution, semiconductors are in many ways the backbone that power today's information revolution. A semiconductor is a microchip that allows any computing device to carry out the instructions a program sets forth. The size of the semiconductor industry should continue to climb with the levels of technology in our daily lives, though the growth won't be evenly distributed. This is a diverse industry, but for now let's focus on some of the more compelling opportunities for investors in the semiconductor space today. QCT, the chip business, dominates revenue production, having generated between 68% and 71% of Qualcomm's total sales in each of the past three fiscal years.
Though it's just reaching the radar of mainstream investors, eSports have quietly risen to become a global phenomenon over the past several years. In fact, eSports revenues are expected to rise from $463 million last year to nearly $1.1 billion by 2019, according to market research firm Newzoo. However, it's important to remember that most companies involved in the budding eSports ecosystem are largely tech and media companies, which traditionally do not pay dividends. As such, I included both pure-play eSports names, as well as their suppliers, in the stock screen to research this piece. Now that this quick bit of housekeeping is out of the way, let's examine why game designer Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) and chipmaker NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) are two of the best income investments across the eSports landscape.
Shares of graphics chip company NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) rocketed 224% higher in 2016, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. Impressive growth in all of its major businesses -- including gaming, data center, and automotive -- in addition to optimistic growth expectations led investors to pile into the stock throughout 2016. Shares of NVIDIA bottomed out in February, followed by a steady rise over the next eight months. NVIDIA handily beat revenue and earnings estimates when it reported earnings in February, May, and August, with its gaming business in particular proving resilient despite a weak PC market. The launch of NVIDIA's Pascal graphics cards, which currently includes the high-end GTX 1080 and GTX 1070, and the more mainstream GTX 1060, GTX 1050 Ti, and GTX 1050, was by all indications a major success.