Top Analysts Are Bullish as Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) Is Boomeranging Right Back

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) shares are taking off 10% in pre-market trading following a stellar second-quarterly print showing this chip giant is here to stay in the competitive semi-conductor domain.

To top analyst Matt Ramsay at Canaccord, what matters most is not just that the giant posted robust results for the quarter, but the outlook for third-quarter revenue as well as gross margin outperformed even his forecasts that already shot past consensus confidence. Therefore, it is no wonder that shares skyrocketed after the close. The analyst believes investors took kindly to both C&G as well as EESC profitability, rising gross margins, and encouraging management comments indicating progress is underway for CPU and GPU roadmaps on 7nm.

All this as well as boosted full year revenue guidance and Ramsay sees the company well “on track” for the rest of the year, soaring into the future. Why? Just look at the guidance for the third quarter that shows the AMD team is more than willing to invest in a slate of fresh product launches to keep powering the company’s comeback momentum.

In reaction to a “turnaround gaining steam,” even if in the short-term EPS is affected by escalating expenses to keep the product launches coming, the analyst reiterates a Buy rating on shares of AMD with a $20 price target, which represents a just under 29% increase from where the stock is currently trading.

Ramsay highlights, “Guidance strength came from rapidly ramping Ryzen desktop CPUs, the recent introduction of server EPYC CPUs, near-term crypto-currency demand and new Vega GPU launches coming this quarter and overcame a Y/Y expected decline in gaming console sales […] Some investors voiced concern about the dilutive impact of convertible shares, but we believe management has smartly raised capital to shore up the balance sheet, remove high coupon debt and free up multi-foundry manufacturing options. We continue to believe a host of positive catalysts remain in 2017 and beyond as Ryzen and EYPC CPUs ramp and Vega GPUs launch into PC and datacenter markets. While we recognize 7nm roadmap execution and competitive risks remain, we believe AMD’s new products across the PC, GPU, and server segments should result in gradual market share gains and yield materially higher gross margins versus current levels.”

Matt Ramsay has a very good TipRanks score with a 69% success rate and a high ranking of #42 out of 4,608 analysts. Ramsay realizes 28.1% in his yearly returns. When recommending AMD, Ramsay gains 55.9% in average profits on the stock.

Top analyst Vijay Rakesh at Mizuho echoes Ramsay’s cheers for the giant’s strength exhibited in its second-quarter, seeing fit to maintain a Buy rating on the stock while boosting the price target from $15 to $17, which represents a close to 10% increase from current levels.

For the second quarter, AMD delivered $1.2 billion in revenue, $0.02 in EPS, and a gross margin of 32.8%, aligning with consensus expectations of $1.15 billion, EPS of $0.00, and gross margin of 33.0%. For the third quarter, the giant put forth guidance of roughly $1.5 billion in revenue and a gross margin of 34%, just ahead of consensus of $1.39 billion in revenue and a gross margin forecast of 33.7%.

Notably, the analyst underscores the AMD team’s previous expectations looked for low to double digit surges in year-over-year growth, but now for the rest of 2017, AMD has set expectations for revenue to hit mid to high teens in percentage of growth. For Rakesh, this can be attributed to a gross margin advantage carried on back of strength in a one-two punch of CG mix meets Ryzen.

Clearly, AMD is taking off in as comeback kid of the tech-verse. Rakesh comments, “AMD saw strength with 51% y/y growth in Computing and Graphics, with Radeon GPUs, stronger ASP, and double-digit Client Compute growth with all major PC OEMs using Ryzen desktop systems. […] We believe while AMD is showing computing and graphics share gain and revenue upside, it also needs to show Data Center traction and GM improvement in the mid to L-T.”

Ultimately, Rakesh points to Data Center as the “key” to unlocking market share as well as forward trajectory in gross margin and EPS for AMD to reign as not just a dark horse, but the true king of the chip makers. “Semi-Custom was up 44% q/q, with initial EPYC data center and Radeon Instinct for Deep Learning (DL) shipments. As we noted, GPU ASPs were up q/q, but AMD also noted initial revenue from their EPYC Data Center and DL Radeon Instinct shipments. AMD noted it had 20 customers trying EPYC in the JunQ, expects another 20 in 2H17, and continues to focus on a 10% share of a $10B DC market in the mid-term. Near-term revenue contribution, we believe at 50%+ GM, DC EPYC is still limited. L-T AMD has noted a 2020E 40%+ GM target (current ~34%),” contends Rakesh.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, five-star analyst Vijay Rakesh has achieved a high ranking of #31 out of 4,608 analysts. Rakesh has a 74% success rate and earns 30.4% in his yearly returns. When suggesting AMD, Rakesh garners 55.9% in average profits on the stock.

However, as the chip giant is still mid-turnaround mode, the rest of the Street is less bullish on the stock’s prospects for now, considering TipRanks analytics demonstrate AMD as a Hold. Out of 23 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 9 are bullish on Advanced Micro Devices stock, 10 remain sidelined, and 4 are bearish on the stock. With a loss potential of 11%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $12.53.

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