AMD stock has been on a tear all year long, rocketing upward by more than 280% this year, and more and more analysts are caving to the pressure from the markets and upgrading it… assuming that they were wrong. Last week at least two more firms upgraded AMD stock, but not everyone is convinced that the chip maker is a good play in semis.
AMD stock price target raised by Jefferies
In a research note dated Dec. 16, Jefferies analyst Mark Lipacis said he boosted his price target on AMD stock from $9 to $13 per share and reiterated his Buy rating on the stock. He made adjustments to his model after the company revealed its new Zen MPU. He has felt for some time that the chip maker’s intellectual property is undervalued as the company is in the midst of a turnaround.
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Last week Advanced Micro Devices showed off its Zen-based MPUs running high-performance applications like games or video transcoding. The company also said again that it still expects the desktop version of the MPU to be available in the first quarter and the notebook version to be ready in the second half of 2017. Lipacis expects enthusiasts to react favorably to the new Zen MPUs, and he said it was “interesting” that AMD pitted it against the Intel Core i7 MPU, which was an even more difficult comparison than his own tests against Intel’s Core i5.
He also noted that the Zen will be AMD’s first performance MPU “in recent history,” which should boost average selling prices and margins.
AMD stock price target also raised by Canaccord
In his own research report dated Dec. 13, Canaccord Genuity analyst Matthew Ramsay raised his price target on AMD stock from $8.75 to $13 per share and maintained his Buy rating. Although the stock has soared already, he feels that it may take a while for “significant” growth to materialize on the top line, as he looks out to the new products launching in 2017 and 2017. However, he also feels that even if the growth is modest, the chip maker should outperform consensus numbers for revenue and gross margins because it currently has small shares of the GPU and CPU markets.
He is still impressed with CEO Lisa Su and feels that under her guidance, AMD can quickly recover to “solid profitability given lower expense levels necessitated by the company’s recent struggles.”
Not all are convinced about AMD stock
Seeking Alpha contributor Research & Investment notes that AMD posted a $446 million net loss for the first three quarters of this year and has accumulated about $1.6 billion in losses over the last four years. Further, the chip maker had approximately $3.6 billion worth of assets and $3.2 billion in debt, leaving its debt to asset ratio at 89%, versus the much larger Intel’s debt to asset ratio of around 44%. The writer also feels that AMD stock has been riding merely on rumors and speculations.
Andrew Tonner of The Motley Fool offered up two names he feels are better buys than AMD stock: NVIDIA and Intel. Of course Intel needs no introduction, but NVIDIA has been just about as hot of a stock this year as AMD has, rising by about 208% year to date. Apparently investors are starting to feel that the two smaller chip makers, AMD and NVIDIA, are beginning to stand up to the behemoths Intel and Qualcomm.
Shares of AMD stock rose 2.72% to $10.95 on Monday.