At the top analysts’ round table today, Wall Street’s best performing financial experts are giving assertive votes in favor of tech stocks Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) and Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW). Let’s dive in to see why Canaccord continues to be confident on AMD’s long-term success, even while acknowledging reasonable reason to be hesitant, and why Palo Alto’s shares are on rapid rise, which has Oppenheimer cheering that the coast is clear of any more execution fumbles:
AMD Has This Top Analyst Bullish, Despite the Naysayers
AMD has its once Naples and now dubbed EPYC server and Vega GPU processors out globally by the end of the month, confirmed at the Computex conference in Taipei by the chip giant’s management team. Moreover, CEO Lisa Su divvied intel behind partnerships with worldwide PC OEM leaders of the likes of Acer, Asus, Dell, Lenovo, and HP, who will utilize Ryzen CPU-based designs by the close of the second quarter.
Jim Anderson of AMD’s C&G group also disclosed information behind the holiday notebooks launch of Ryzen Mobile, which will be an APU product line of portable Ryzen-meets-Vega units. Lastly, Anderson spoke of a Ryzen 9 Threadripper chip that the giant hopes to make the gamers much happier this time around than the last Ryzen. It will be a higher-end product complete with 16 cores and 32 threads.
Top analyst Matt Ramsay at Canaccord goes against the grain, charging cynics who are not ready to hop on the AMD train just yet with optimism for upside in the giant’s future- even despite intense competition in the foreground. Modeling for healthy long-term growth, the analyst reiterates a Buy rating on shares of AMD with a $17 price target, which represents a 56% increase from where the stock is currently trading.
For EPYC revenue, the analyst projects the giant will bring in close to $100 million, however, he adds, “[…] we believe the more important ramp will materialize in 2018 as OEM systems begin shipment and believe a $1B+ server business is achievable by 2020.”
Likewise, part of Ramsay’s bullish case rests upon AMD’s compelling partnerships with top PC OEMs, noting, “We believe these partnerships and channel strength further solidifies our conviction in the Zen core lineup as we look towards 2H’17 to deliver strong sales growth and margin expansion.”
“We believe the Ryzen Mobile adds strategic flexibility to the rapidly growing notebook gaming segment for AMD, but will face tougher competition versus Intel’s 10nm designs in 2H/18,” continues the analyst.
Ramsay concludes with expectations for AMD to beat long-term targets within three years, asserting, “Overall, while some investors remain skeptical, we believe sustained n-node execution across this roadmap can deliver the higher gross margin targets and upside to the $0.75 EPS target for 2020 outlined in the long-term financial model during the recent analyst day. While we recognize roadmap execution and competitive risks remain, we believe risk/reward is still tilted toward the upside and our long-term bullish target of $1.00+ in EPS remains attainable by 2020”
Matt Ramsay has a very good TipRanks score with a 70% success rate and a high ranking of #37 out of 4,567 analysts. Ramsay garners 26.0% in his annual returns. When recommending AMD, Ramsay realizes 36.2% in average profits on the stock.
TipRanks analytics exhibit AMD as a Hold. Out of 18 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 6 are bullish on AMD stock, 9 remain sidelined, and 3 are bearish on the stock. With a return potential of 7%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $11.70.
Palo Alto Shareholders Can Simmer Down and Relax After Stellar FQ3 Earnings
Palo Alto shares are shooting 16% after the security software giant gave investors a big “sigh of relief” with a robust fiscal third quarterly print that outclassed all expectations. For top analyst Shaul Eyal this is especially encouraging following a slew of challenges with execution over the past several quarters. In reaction, the analyst joins the bullish parade, reiterating an Outperform rating on PANW with a price target of $173, which represents a 26% increase from current levels.
For the third fiscal quarter, Palo Alto’s product revenue hit a 1.3% year-over-year rise reaching $164.2 million, a nice beat compared to consensus expectations calling for $146.8 million, which the analyst attributes to “solid traction across new hardware products (PA-5200, PA-800, and PA-220).”
Eyal opines, “Although the sales force reorganization is still in its early innings, we believe F3Q’s improved product execution indicates progress is tracking better than expected. SaaS subscription growth continued its hike upward, growing 55% YoY in F3Q17 representing 33% of total revenues vs. 27% in F3Q16. We believe the quick turnaround from issues arising in F2Q lifts investor confidence and could continue unlock more value in shares as 2017 unfolds (after-hours valued at only 12.3x EV/ FY18E FCF)”
Ultimately, “PANW’s sales reorganization process still has ways to go; however, we believe F3Q results indicate the initiative is progressing better than expected. In addition, discounting efforts decreased sequentially. We believe these are signals suggesting the company is quickly steering the boat in the right direction—which we view positively,” contends the analyst, who predicts not only can investors take a relaxing breath of fresh air, but the company’s rising valuation “could have more value to unlock.”
As usual, we like to include the analyst’s track record when reporting on new analyst notes to give a perspective on the effect it has on stock performance. According to TipRanks, top five-star analyst Shaul Eyal has achieved a high ranking of #69 out of 4,567 analysts. Eyal upholds a 67% success rate and yields 12.5% in his yearly returns. When recommending PANW, Eyal collects 11.3% in average profits on the stock.
TipRanks analytics demonstrate PANW as a Buy. Based on 15 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 9 rate a Buy on Palo Alto stock while 6 maintain a Hold. The 12-month average price target stands at $158.18, marking a nearly 14% upside from where the stock is currently trading.