So much for a bull run in shares of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) this year. As of Monday’s close, the stock is in negative territory for 2017 and is the worst performer on the S&P 500 thanks in part to fresh concerns about its growth prospects.

Earlier in the year, investors couldn’t get enough of the chip maker, betting its fortunes would grow as demand for graphics cards thanks to PC gaming and cryptocurrency surged. But Morgan Stanley poured some cold water on that theory after the chip maker reported quarterly earnings last week, cutting its price target to $8 from $11 a share and lowering the rating to underweight from inline. The reason: skepticism about AMD’s ability to grow in a meaningful way next year.  (See more: AMD Could Rise 10% Despite Results, Trades Indicate.)

“We are now roughly in line with consensus, and in some respects the fundamental outlook is not quite as robust as microprocessor momentum has been slow to build, offset by cryptocurrency gains,” wrote Morgan Stanley analyst Joseph Moore in a research report to clients, which was covered by MarketWatch. “We expect cryptocurrency to gradually fade from here, consoles to decline, and graphics to be flattish; we think that the core microprocessor business would have to grow by $880 mm just to hit Street numbers in CY18.”

Last week, the Sunnyvale, Calif. chipmaker reported better-than-expected third quarter adjusted earnings that came in at $0.10, higher than the $0.08 analysts were looking for. Its forecast for the fourth quarter, including less-than-expected sale growth and lower than modeled gross margins, pressured the stock. The company expects fourth-quarter revenue to be $1.34 billion on the low end, representing a sequential decline of 15%. (See more: AMD Tanks on Forecasts of 1st Revenue Drop in 7 Qs.)  

As of last week, the stock was 27% higher for the year and as of Monday’s close at $10.89 was down nearly 4% from the beginning of 2017. During a conference call to discuss quarterly earnings, Chief Executive Lisa Su spooked investors when she warned there would be “some leveling off of some of the cryptocurrency demand.”

Morgan Stanley’s Moore said he had been questioning AMD’s valuation ahead of earnings and the results confirmed it would take a lot for the company to make up for issues with digital currency and gaming demand. The analyst is forecasting videogame console revenue to dip 5.5% next year and cryptocurrency mining chip sales to fall 50%. Those two make up 36% and 9% respectively of total sales at the chip maker, noted the analyst. As for gaming graphic card sales, Moore said it should be flat with this year. “To be clear, we admire what the company has accomplished on a fraction of its competitors’ budgets in both microprocessors and graphics—our cautious view is based entirely on the current stock price, and the limited potential for upside in 2018 and beyond,” wrote Moore.


 

 

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