Investors in Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) need not worry that the semiconductor firm’s surging share price momentum will soon run out of steam. Rather than take profits on the stock, which has risen nearly 85 percent over the past 12 months, one Wall Street firm argues that investors should keep buying because of the huge potential of the Sunnyvale, California-based company’s recently launched processor and graphics card.
In a research note, reported on by CNBC, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Vivek Arya maintained his price target of $18 on AMD’s stock, representing 41 percent upside from Monday’s close. Arya’s bullishness was mainly due to his observation that AMD’s recently launched Ryzen processor chips are well-placed to gobble up market share from industry rival Intel Corp. (INTC). (See also: AMD versus Intel: Is AMD Catching Up?)
The Wall Street analyst claims that AMD's Ryzen chips, launched March 2, retail at a similar price to Intel’s products, despite offering twice the number of processor cores. Given that Ryzen chips boast “better multi-tasking/productivity" performance, he expects them to continue selling well against rival competitors and feature in an increasing number of desktop PCs, leading to a sharp rise in company revenues.
"Our industry checks show improving mindshare/shelf-space for AMD's new Ryzen desktop-PC processors, including 30-50 percent share at prominent e-tailors, well ahead of AMD's 11 percent current desktop unit share," Arya wrote in a note to clients Monday. "The key conclusion is that AMD has momentum which should gradually translate to share gains."
Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s technology analyst is equally confident that AMD’s newly launched Vega gaming graphics card will prove to be a big success. Early reviews on the Vega cards "are mostly positive and demand appears to be strong as popular online retail site NewEgg sold out of its initial allotment within 15 minutes," Arya wrote in the note.
Arya’s belief that the AMD rally has further to run isn’t shared by several other prominent Wall Street analysts. The company has emerged as one of the best performers across the S&P 500 over the past year, thanks in part to the excitement created by cryptocurrency mining demand, prompting some analysts to caution that AMD’s stock might now be overbought.
Barclays recently published a note warning that AMD’s stock price will fall to $9 a share, driven by its concerns that the company is losing share to rival NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) and that Ethereum mining, a key source of optimism for the stock, is unprofitable. (See also: AMD to Fall 30 Percent: Barclays.)
Meanwhile, Stifel warned that AMD and Intel’s microprocessors are losing clout to memory chips made by companies such as Micron Technology Inc. (MU) and Everspin Technologies Inc. (MRAM). (See also: Buy Micron, Everspin, Sell Intel, AMD: Stifel.)