Rob Csongor, Vice President, Investor Relations
Blayne Curtis – Barclays Capital
NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA) Barclays Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference Call May 22, 2013 2:55 PM ET
Blayne Curtis – Barclays Capital
Thank you for joining. I’m Blayne Curtis, Semiconductor Analyst here at Barclays. Happy to have NVIDIA and from the Company Rob Csongor, VP of Investor Relations to give you a presentation and if there is any time after we’ll do a little Q&A in the breakout rooms upstairs 403. Thanks. Rob?
Okay, thank you. I’ll start by first of all please note our Safe Harbor. I’m going to go through, I’ll take a couple of the key investment messages and I’ll try to tie them back in a way that isn’t just about motherhood and apple pie but kind of explains a little bit of the core of our most recent strategies. So currently NVIDIA is, we consider ourselves the world leader in visual computing that used to mean something, a long time ago when I joined the company and it means something very different today. And that’s led to the fact that visual computing is increasingly more critical across more markets and more users.
So I want to talk about that and explain how that translates into some opportunities for us. Basically, what we believe we are doing as our key strategy is to take visual computing and extend them into large opportunities for a defensible growth. And some of these are pretty obvious and some of these take a little bit of work to show it, so I’ll do my best to explain what some of those strategies are.
The other thing that we’ve been focusing on is at the same time as we’re doing is, I believe that NVIDIA has the ability to make disciplined investments for growth by leveraging our core R&D. So there is a lot of common functionality in visual computing that you can imagine we have to build regardless of which market that we have go after. And as a result what we’re doing is with some incremental investment, we can go after a much larger opportunity but the incremental investment is there for much, much smaller.
And then finally, we’re increasingly committed to returning cash to shareholders and we think that adds to the value of our message today. So in terms of our strategy, our strategy for growth and returns, first of all many people associate NVIDIA with the PC market and we’ve done presentations in the past to show that we don’t address the entire PC market, we address a subsection of the PC market, what we call specialty PCs which include gaming and they include a professional workstations.
And one of the reasons that there is some disconnect potentially with NVIDIA is not just that we do this but that the disruptions that are occurred into the PC market actually are things that we view as opportunities and we have strategies that we’re going through to go drive the very disruptions that are happening into the PC market. So I’ll talk about that. But the net effect of all of this with mobile and cloud disrupting the PC, we believe this has created enormous opportunities for NVIDIA. Essentially by 2015, we believe there will be over 3 billion HD devices in other words imagine any device that’s high definition becomes an opportunity for NVIDIA to extend its GPU into. Okay, the use to just [PC] but now it’s a lot more, so I’ll walk through what our strategies there are.
Number two, we’re leveraging our leadership in visual computing to capture differentiated positions in new markets. So for us one of the common questions we get is how can we compete against in many cases companies that are much larger than us? For those of you who know NVIDIA, we’ve been competing for example against Intel for many, many years, it just so happens that 3D graphics and visual computing is extremely difficult and hard to do, but one of the key fundamental components of what we’re doing in taking this technology and then extending it for example into mobile, is that when someone we compete with is looking to get into this business, they have to do an enormous amount of research and development to develop graphics capabilities.
The visual computing fundamental technology that we have already developed and have been developing over the last 10 years. So what I’m illustrating there on the second point is that over last 10 years, we’ve spent over $6 billion in R&D for visual computing, but what we can do as an incremental investment for us to go into say the mobile market this only requires an incremental investment of $320 million. So when we develop a Tegra processor to go and target the mobile market, we’re leveraging a lot of R&D investments that we’ve done in GPU. Does that make sense?
These new opportunities and where we’ve extended are into areas like our server GPU and new computing devices, these are ramping very rapidly. So last year for example, Tesla and Tegra combined was about $850 million in new revenue in FY2013 and we combined believe that we’re just at the beginning of this opportunity. Combine we believe this opportunity is over about $20 billion in new TAM.
In the process of leveraging our core R&D and doing incremental investments, we also have been focusing on operational excellence. We believe that we’ve been investing the right amount to give ourselves the opportunity to go after these large opportunities. But in the process, we’ve also managed to drive gross margins up. We’ve managed to control OpEx. We’ve managed to generate a lot of cash. And at this point, we’re now increasingly returning that cash and capital back to the shareholders. So I’ll talk about that.
Okay, first of all when we say we’re the world leader in visual computing, what we really based on is first of all a history of creating technology innovation. We were the creators of the GPU. We created the first programmable GPUs aside from packings and all of this kind of things. We extend that leadership into mobile. We created the first dual core app processor for the mobile market. We created the world’s first quad core. And we created the world’s first server based graphic solution and we have some new news today, I’ll update you on that breaking news from about an hour ago. What we did with that is we leverage that and turned it into transforming applications with than what people do. So within the PC gaming world, this is a $16 billion market. In one of my meetings today someone described it doesn’t niche, so it’s a $16 billion niche market.
The number one PC gaming brand is NVIDIA. The number one professional designed GPU brand is NVIDIA, the number one compute GPU in the top 500 super computers. So we measured leadership in visual computing by these types of metrics. Other types of things, probably the aeroplane that you blew here are the car you drove was designed even using NVIDIA GPUs. And all the special effects in the Oscar nominated movies were all done on NVIDIA. So these are some of the backgrounds and the basis by which we measure visual computing.
We deliver visual computing to market in a range of solutions. So from one end, we have technology that we can license, we have processors and components in the form of processors and modules and then recently what we’ve started doing is building entire systems. So we have a complete system that’s branded. We just also recently launched or introduced a new product this is the SHIELD gaming device. I think three people tried this field as for me today in the meetings that I had. So this is just announced this week preorders have just been announced for this device, and this is built-in branded buying video.
So this is a little bit of an evolution of how we bring our products to market. We have a number of different brands, and we target what we believe our large opportunities. So again, earlier I mentioned that we don’t target the PC market as a whole. We target [sub segments]. So first of all the gaming market, within the gaming market we have two brands GeForce, which is our card and then GRID, which is a new product, which allows you to deliver interactive gaming over the Internet streaming.
Together the combination of these markets of today is about $6 billion. We target the enterprise market, so this is our professional work stations. Our high performance computing, and then GRID, and then finally new computing devices, and this is called Tegra. We use to by the way called as mobile. Tegra, we don’t actually refer to, Tegra is a mobile business anymore, because Tegra is now increasingly going into more and more of the different businesses within in video. So whether it’s our next generation servers, whether it’s taking, we can take Tegra, we can put it on to a module, we can put Linux software on top of it, and now its goes into a card. And it’s now supplying the navigation system infotainment for Audi, BMW, the Tesla cars, so this is an increasing business. So Tegra as a product you’re increasingly going to see Tegra going into a lot more new types of devices.
In the process of us transforming from just being a PC graphics company, we’ve managed to achieve some pretty good financial results over the last couple years. Last year was arguably one of the worst markets, worst years ever for the PC market and we had record revenues, record profits this past quarter. We were down in terms of revenue, but we are up from the previous quarter, but we had a record quarter in terms of gross margins. So we’ve managed to drive our revenue 20% CAGAR in last several years, record gross margins as I mentioned and EPS of 38% CAGAR.
Now one of the things that we believe is fundamental to our opportunities going forward is visual computing. I think one of the things that people have realized is that you can license an ARM core or graphics core integrated into an apps processor, but it doesn’t mean that you’re world-class. But what has become clear I think to many people is that there is an entire world of new types of devices that are increasing out there where visual computing matters.
If you look at other companies launches you look at the launch of iPad last year, Apple spends a significant portion of their time talking about graphics. And I think you see a lot of other companies starting and talking about visual computing. Even the way that this particular pictures drawn, I have two devices up at the top that look like notebooks. One of them is Windows x86 where we sell it for this three GPU. The other one is the new HP SlateBook that was announced last week. They look similar on the slide.
The only difference is that the one on the rate doesn’t have an x86, it has a Tegra 4 from in video and the screen detaches, but the screen becomes a tablet and the bottom portion is a keyboard and an extra battery. The line is blurring, a part to tell now increasingly what is a personal computer, and what isn’t, but what we do know is that all of these devices demand world-class visual computing. What we do is, we take the visual computing, we delivered in the form of a GPU, and this GPU is delivered to this world of devices either in the form of a discrete GPU or in the form of a Tegra device and the line is blurring.
Now what we’ve done is focused on taking this visual computing another way to represent the previous slide is that you’ve got the segments of the PC market that we focus on that we are growing, and by the way the reason they’re growing is because PC gaming is growing. And we’re now looking at taking it beyond the PC.
So in terms of what that represents, if you look at this chart on the right. The GPU component there the $6 million GeForce and Quadro represents our PC. So that’s our PC business. Tesla is taking GPU and moving it into super computer, moving it into a high performance computers. What we’ve done is then take that GPU and move it into a new product group called GRID, which we believe represents a $10 billion opportunity in both enterprise, as well as consumer gaming.
And then the final component is taking our GPU putting it into a Tegra and then targeting new types of devices, android devices, new types of win PCs, automotive and a variety of other devices that I think you’ll see coming out that are going to be based on Android. So collectively all of these represents what we believe are a unique opportunities for NVIDIA where visual computing matters.
I mentioned I talked about the great opportunity. One of things that we did in our latest generation of GPU is we created the ability to virtualize the GPU. So the way that GPU is used to work before is that if you had GPU it was in a PC or it was in your laptop and it was connected to one display and you were looking at it and interactive with it.
With our last generation of GPUs, we created the ability to virtualize it which means that one GPU can service for example 10 different requests for visual information. And what we started working on was to take that capability and then put graphics and visual computing into the server room and where you can interact with it.
Now, why would you do that? One way to look at it is that NVIDIA’s opportunity just went from a PC to any display that’s connected to the internet. Imagine in the demos that we’ve done, we are able to show high performance workstation applications running on an iPad in other words there is no way that iPad could have that kind of capability, but its connected to a server and then the interactive graphics component goes through the internet and then you interact with it on your iPad or on your MacBook. So this creates an enormous amount of opportunity.
Now, there is one component of this business and there is three different segments of GRID we’re going after, but one of the components is the entire VDI market, all right. So you guys know that there are companies out there, companies like Citrix, VMware people like that who have virtual desktop solutions out on the market. So earlier I mentioned that there is some interesting news today, so the one thing we just announced I think about an hour ago, right now Citrix is holding the big show in Southern California, Citrix synergy the Citrix CEO and NVIDIA CEO got on stage and announced NVIDIA GRID VGPU and what this says is the ability to GPU accelerate all of Citrix’s Zen desktop and Zen App application.
So just imagine, the entire world of PLM today you know a project lifecycle management everything from design, conceptual all of these enterprise companies that are trying to use virtual desktop for security reasons, for centralized reasons all of these things, a lot of these applications have been limited by graphics intensive demand, in other words the promise of NVIDIA is you can run it anywhere on any device, but in many cases the performance of this has been lacking, what we announced today together with Citrix is that we are GPU accelerating all of Citrix’s products.
We also today announced that Cisco has announced a new server, which is using GRID, which you can use to accelerate this; we also announced that we are endorsed by the M7 consortium, this is a group of Citrix’s top platinum resellers and they are taking this to market. So there is information on this online if you want to take a look and get more information but this is a very exciting announcement for us today.
Overall we look at the GRID opportunity as a $10 billion TAM opportunity and as I mentioned it’s broken really into three opportunities, the first is gaming; the gaming opportunity is going to take the longest and the reason and one way to imagine what this opportunity looks like is you can check in to the Crowne Plaza next year, go up to your hotel room, turn on the television and then you would see an option to either watch a movie or else play Call of Duty Black Ops II and there is no game console in the room, there is no PC in the room, there is no set-top box in the room, you’re just simply screaming and somewhere in Manhattan. You have GRID Gaming Servers that are allowing you to interactively play the game over the internet. So now again, you have the opportunity potentially to be able to have GPU acceleration for applications in virtually any display and in this case the display is here, the television in your hotel room.
Now that’s going to take time to setup and get out because you have to also collocate servers, you have to work together with service providers to make sure that you maintain a good quality of service across a wide geographic area. So this is something that we view as a good opportunity, but it’s going to take a while. However, the enterprise applications NVIDIA is actively engaged with right now, so the visual computing appliance we’ve already announced; we’ve engaged the top resellers of Adobe, SolidWorks and Autodesk. We believe there is 10 million creative designers out there, 50% of them are in small to medium business and this product is a reseller type of product is branded by NVIDIA and we’re taking it out to the market. Some of the early indicators of future success of that are that we’ve assigned the top resellers for each one of those applications already and we’re in the process of taking that to market.
And then finally enterprise VDI, I talked about some of this, but we believe there is a class of workers out there, 700 million enterprise workers, 160 million knowledge workers. Applications that people use that have a level of graphics requirement and by GPU accelerating the VDI we believe that creates a big opportunity for us.
The other growth area when I talked about these are the growth areas were focusing on to grow beyond the PC, the other growth area for us is Tegra. So the best articulation I can think for Tegra is that Tegra brings in NVIDIA visual computing advantage to a new large world of computing devices.
Now the first and most obvious thing that people think of is phones and tablets, all right and within the phones and tablets world that’s primarily android today. So currently today our opportunity this about 430 million tablets that are forecast to be out there by 2016, the forecast currently is that tablets are going to pass PCs within the next couple of years in terms of the number of units, in essence they become our new PC expect in this new world if not a requirement that you have to have x86 CPU. The new HP SlateBook that was announced last week has no CPU, it just simply as a Tegra-4 system-on-a-chip and that chip does everything on there and that’s from NVIDIA. So that’s obviously an opportunity for us.
Within the phone market there is a very large, there is 450 million LTE phones forecast by 2016, we made a strategic decision to acquire a company called Icera and develop the modem technology ourselves. We also made a decision this year to accelerate the time-to-market of that product, we actually moved that schedule up and at the expenses of our Tegra-4 product which cost our short-term revenue in the first quarter and the second quarter, but we believe it was absolute the right thing to do, I think the way that in fact one of you guys described it to me, having the LTE modem is important. It’s kind of the hunting license. You can’t talk about your visual computing expertise until you can actually get in and have an LTE modem. So the LTE modem is a required component and we’re working very, very hard. We were working on getting certification and validation of that this year and then first device is coming out in Q1.
WinRT is something else that we were in. We obviously have a lot of expertise in windows. I think Microsoft is committed to WinRT, I think the first base of WinRT was a limited number of devices. And I know there has been a lot of feedback on WinRT one way or the other. To those of you I think if you remember the original launch of android, android had a lot of issues on the first launch but I believe the Microsoft is committed to Windows RT, it’s too important. And I think that will be something that that is in the part of our addressable market.
We also have automotive in here. It’s actually interesting one of the things that I don’t think many people are aware off, one of the largest backlog that we have in terms of orders and the company is actually from automotive, the bad news on automotive is that it takes a long time to get a design win, but the good news is when you get a design win its sticky and it stays for quite a while. So we actually have orders going out many years into the future and actually our actual backlog right now in automotive for Tegra is $2 billion in revenue, it is really outstanding.
I think one of things that we have mentioned to people in terms of milestones if you’re looking at Tegra, what are the things that you can look for. I think we’re starting now to see the beginning of Tegra 4 announcements, this our new apps processor, so we had pushed it out normally we would have been ramping it in Q2, we’re now ramping it in Q2. We’re now ramping it in Q3, but the announcements are starting to come. So last week I think you saw – I mentioned it already, the announcement of the HP SlateBook, I also mentioned a SHIELD device this is Tegra 4, this is now being preordered and an availability of this device is in August. One of the things I mentioned earlier about leveraging, one of the questions you might say is how does your core expertise help you in a Tegra market?
If you were to take a look and this is data that just recently came out. 76% of the revenue that Google gets from apps is games, 76%, 76% of the revenue was games. Two-thirds of the time that consumers spend on a tablet is games. So when we talk about a lot of little experience, the work that we do in games, it goes far beyond just creating a GPU, we understand the gaming market very, very much. We work with the developers, we work with gamers, we have a direct relationship with the gaming community and these are all things that we think are very important.
I think one of the things that’s also very important is the amount of developer attention on this market. So when you look at Android and this is data that came out of GDC. This is the recent show, GDC is one of the top shows for gaming developers, 55% of developers said that mobile devices was been our major focus, and when they say major devices – mobile devices what they really mean is ARM. In other words ARM as a component of iPhone or Android is the top focus. Their next focus is PC, you notice both of these are open platforms, these are open platforms, and then far distant is the traditional closed platform game consoles.
So we believe that one of the important opportunities for NVIDIA we’re focused on Android, we’re focused on gaming, and bringing Tegra into this market, I think is a key leverage of our core competency. I mentioned the SHIELD device, one of the things that we decided we already have developed the Tegra device. We already have game expertise and core competencies for an incremental $10 million that’s what the R&D expense was for us an incremental $10 million investment. We developed a device ourselves, and we put it, we just announced pre-orders for this device. This is the SHIELD gaming device, it has a Tegra 4.
It allows you to play any game in the Android market. So and the Android market is roughly 600 million gamers, any game and in addition to that you can have physical controls and you can project this and play it on your TVs, the second thing you can do it is you can stream from your PC, let’s say you have a GeForce in your PC, you could now stream, connect your PC wirelessly and then start playing on your PC, but its streaming to your controller and then display on a TV. By the way just that feature by itself has caused an enormous amount of excitement within the gaming community.
So the PC gaming market is a 100 million users. So between those two, we believe this is something that we have an opportunity for, we haven’t given any kind of guidance or revenue expectations for SHIELD, we just simply wanted to build this device and it leverages a lot of the work that we’re already doing. We’re very excited about it, and we’re looking forward to see how it does.
When I talked about our leverage core R&D investments and this is really what we’re referring to. So for example if I took SHIELD as an example, if I took some of the Tegra devices that we build.
Everyone of those have a GPU in it, that GPU had to be developed it have to have software developed for it, it have to have VLSI, so have to be content technology team assigned and there is a process R&D that we go through. In the case of whether it’s GPUs and whether that GPU goes out as a discrete or whether it goes to Tegra, we still build and do that core R&D.
And so when we say that we are able to leverage this core R&D investment the net result of that is that it allows us with a very small incremental investment to go after new opportunities and new markets. So that’s what I was referring to, in the case of GRID it’s about $10 million, for Tegra and when I say Tegra it includes every opportunity in Tegra. Automotive, phones, tablets, clamshells, new types of devices that’s about 300 million and then SHIELD as I mentioned is $10 million.
For any case that we think we believe that this is a core ability, a unique ability that allows NVIDIA to go out and compete against some bigger companies. From last year to this year we made an enormous amount of progress from last year at the beginning of last year we had a flood we had supply issues with TSMC we didn’t have a modem working yet, we didn’t have design winds in Nexus 7 and a number of other devices.
From last year to this year we believe our position has become much stronger. And in line with that and inline with the fact that we’ve been generating a lot of cash over the years, we feel very comfortable and confident that we announced a policy to start returning cash to the shareholders we announced a dividend back in November. We got authorization from the board to do a $1.2 billion return of capital to the shareholders, and we recently announced an accelerated share repurchase program, as well as the commitment to continue those, to continue those programs we expect to continue the dividend we expect to continue share repurchase. And so one of the things that I think is key is that that we have an increasing commitment to return capital back of the shareholders. For NVIDIA upcoming milestones, first of all, I already talk today about the announcement with Citrix.
I think this is an important milestone at this point. Right now, we are working together with Citrix, IBM, Cisco, Dell, HP a number of these people and bringing GRID to market, I think the announcement of the VGPU product today opens up the entire virtual desktop market for NVIDIA and this is very exciting. Other things that you could look for, I mentioned Tegra 4 devices announcement starting now and ramping in Q3, between now and the next several weeks, comp going into computex, I think you can expect to hear some more news. So look for that, I mentioned SHIELD pre-orders started this week and they’re on the store shelves in June.
So production we’re ramping for production, and in June they show up on the shelf, GRID virtual this is a VCA that the server product I mentioned, that’s basically starting sales revenue starting in Q3, and then Tegra 4i, Tegra 4i is the product with our integrated LTE modem by the way of the one of things we demonstrated this week at CPIA is our Tegra modem running Cat 4, so for those of you familiar Cat 4 is the next generation LTE modem? Now in and off itself you’d say well Qualcomm showed that at Mobile World Congress, so you are basically saying you did it too, which is true.
However, there is one key difference the Cat 4 modem that we showed and that, and now showing it running at max performance was done using the same chip, this is something I think made a very big impression on our customers on the press and on everybody who saw this. In other words the architecture of our modem is a software modem, so for us to get Cat 4 running was just to take the same chip we had before to load a new software algorithm on it and then to run with new capabilities. So anybody else that would have required a re-spinning of the chip, they would have had to go back and create a new silicon and of course you have a lot longer time-to-market.
So, this is probably our first real demonstration of the power and flexibility of our unique software to find modem, we think this will be in a, a very key differentiator for us in this market. Other than that demonstration, we continue to work on Tegra certification, that the big thing we’re working on throughout this year. We expect final certification to happen in Q4 and in our first devices to ship in Q1.
In terms of our outlook, the outlook that we’ve gave in Q1, we had 950, our Q2 outlook is to go up we’re roughly 2%, currently the underlying pieces of our business to PC and GPU business continues to be very strong, robust we anticipate notebook business to be, to decline somewhat, overall I think the notebook business will be more or less stable for us, we ship into the high end of the market, but in general the major portions of our business are that the high end GPU products are doing well. Quadro and Tesla are doing very well. [GRID] is starting to ship and Q2 represents essentially the trough quarter for us in terms of Tegra in other words this is the point at which Tegra 3 winds down and then we begin to ramp at Tegra 4 in the second half of the year.
Our OpEx was up slightly in Q2 from Q1 mostly due to R&D expenses. We take out three major chips in the quarter and we expect to hold our OpEx throughout the year similarly to what we did last year, last year we said we would spend $1.4 billion non-GAAP and we spent what we said we’re going to spend and we expect to do the same this year, $1.6 billion non-GAAP.
So I think the key things just in summary drawing the PC and beyond. Number one, we believe visual computing is more important than ever. We believe it applies to more markets and more users and more devices than ever before. And we believe that aside from our saying it there were a lot of supporting indicators in the markets that reinforce that. We continue to drive our visual computing leadership as evidenced by our GPU growth. We’re extending GPU computing into the server and the datacenter, so now moving beyond the PC. I think the announcement today is a good indicator of the level of success that we’re having, we’re doing that.
Tegra leverages our GPU strength into smart devices. We’re working hard on the modem certification and we have our next generation apps processor in the process of rolling out. And we have a commitment to long-term profitable growth in capital return based on the announcements, announcements we made our accelerated stock repurchase and our ongoing commitment to dividends and repurchases.
Okay, we now try to keep it within the time limit. I think we have time for maybe one or two questions and we have a breakout sessions afterwards. I covered everything, there is no need.
Blayne Curtis – Barclays Capital
Exactly, maybe it was actually…
You had a question, yeah.
What happen the game console business, I mean clearly you guys didn’t get any business in all the three big gaming consoles. Are you guys are not focusing on that business at all now.
I would say that it’s not a major focus area for us. Whenever you do a console it’s, we’ve done two consoles and each time it’s not an easy decision. So instead of doing console we developed Tegra, we developed GRID, we developed Tesla and the other thing is that we are very much believers in the open platform.
The open gaming platform market now between the PC and android market, we think there is a lot of opportunity I joined NVIDIA in 1995 at that time the first Saturn and the first Sega, sorry PlayStation were coming out and at that time the console was roughly a 100 times more powerful than the PC, if you wanted to have a 3D graphic experience the only way you could do it was on a console.
Today that situation has changed. I think today PC is the 100 times more powerful than the console. So it’s a little different of strategy, so the console is still, its still a viable game platform, there is certain classes of games that I think you play on a console, but from our perspective its just simply a matter of where do we prioritize our R&D investments.
Yeah, you mentioned computing with Intel, they claim to have a significant manufacturing advantages that I’m sure of you know…
Do you buy that and if so how will you be competitive on cost long-term?
Yeah, I buy it; I think Intel has fabulous manufacturing capabilities, I just think that manufacturing capability only matters if you have a product that is more or less the same, and if you are building an x86 and then you have another x86 that’s similar and one has an advance progress and the other doesn’t then that’s going to be ugly for the guy who doesn’t have the advanced progress, but architecture trumps manufacturing process every time.
I mean logically otherwise, you know they would have replaced us a long time ago, their GPUs architecturally do something so much better for certain applications than anything else out there but it doesn’t matter with that something else is. If you want an apple you are going to buy an apple, it doesn’t matter how good the orange is, how well the orange are made. Does that make sense? Okay, yeah.
Blayne Curtis – Barclays Capital
I think we are out of time, but thanks Rob.
Okay. You were going to say something real quick. All right, that’s all right. Hey, thank you very much.
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