Advanced Micro Devices’ (AMD) Bull Case in Servers and Client CPUs is Getting Stronger, But Trajectory of Graphics Remains a Concern: Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley analyst Joseph Moore is out with a mixed research note on shares of Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD), noting that while AMD’s future looks brighter than it has in over a decade, it remains a portfolio of businesses, some growing and some with challenges.

As such, Moore reiterates an Underweight rating on AMD, while raising the price target to $11 (from $8.00), which reflects a potential downside of -35% from last closing price. (To watch Moore’s track record, click here)

Moore commented, “We have been wrong on the stock. While we are impressed by what AMD has accomplished on the technology side in microprocessors, we remain cautious. Cryptocurrency strength has to some degree offset the slow and steady progress establishing momentum in desktop and server microprocessors after several years away from those markets – but thathigher revenue has driven higher operating expense, which further raises the bar for the processor business if crypto momentum should fade.”

“We see 2018 as a very strong year on multiple fronts: strong geographically synchronized economic growth driving good growth in computing, crypto related graphics shortages,and Intel leaving the competitive door open with process technology delays,underwhelming CPU upgrades,and minimal price reaction. That’s good news, but we’re not convinced that in totality those things get better in 2019, which limits our willingness to pay a high multiple on 2018 earnings.35% y/y growth in operating expense in 1q,and operating expense guidance that is given as a percentage of revenues rather than in absolute dollars, clearly implies limited operating leverage as the company understandably spends to expand its microprocessor foothold,” the analyst continued.

TipRanks exhibits the chip giant has Wall Street almost evenly split between the bulls and those choosing to play it safe. Based on 16 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 7 rate a Buy on AMD stock, 6 issue a Hold, while 3 recommend a Sell. Notably, the 12-month average price target stands at $15.47, marking a nearly 7% downside potential for the stock.

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