Wednesday, 18 October 2017
News Tech

3 Catalysts That Could Push AMD Higher


Shares of Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) have rocketed to 10-year highs after the company reported stellar second-quarter results that comfortably trumped Wall Street estimates. Not surprisingly, the chipmaker soared on the stock market after reporting results, but panic soon set in after certain analysts expressed concerns regarding future growth.

BMO Capital, for instance, downgraded AMD stock from outperform to market perform, while the likes of Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse believe that the stock is fairly valued given its remarkable run over the past year. But investors shouldn’t get disheartened by the bearish arguments as AMD has got enough catalysts in the bag to propel its multi-year growth trajectory.

Ryzen logo.

Image Source: AMD 

AMD can get stronger in CPUs

AMD has been giving Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) sleepless nights as its Ryzen central processing unit (CPU) chips are eating into the latter’s market share. But AMD isn’t done yet as the company is still to launch its complete Ryzen CPU line-up. The chipmaker has so far completed the launch of the Ryzen desktop processors, with the latest Ryzen 3 CPUs going on sale late last month.

The Ryzen 3 product lineup will target the budget PC segment with a starting price of $109 — which is much cheaper than Intel’s competing products — and could help AMD win more market share. But AMD’s CPU lineup isn’t complete yet as the company is still to bring out CPUs for laptops and notebooks, which are set to be launched in the first half of 2018. This could further boost AMD’s performance as mobile notebook demand is expected to exceed that of desktops.

Additionally, AMD is also targeting Intel in the high-end processor market with the launch of its latest Threadripper CPUs. The specs of the Threadripper exceed that of Intel’s current line-up at competitive prices. For instance, AMD’s TR 1900X CPU with 8 cores and 16 threads is $50 cheaper than Intel’s Core i7-7820X. Therefore, AMD can continue gaining more CPU market share thanks to its strategy of providing cheap products that either match or surpass the performance of rivals.

AMD’s entry into high-end GPUs is another positive

AMD will start selling its Vega line of GPUs (graphics processing units) this month, targeting the high-end PC gaming market with its value-for-money offerings. The company has priced the cheapest Vega GPU variant at $399 and hopes to use it to gain access to gamers who prefer playing games at 60 frames per second.

AMD’s survey indicates that there are 600,000 gamers who play games using this frame rate, but there is a huge untapped market for another 4 million gamers who aspire for the same experience but at a budget. The chipmaker has made a smart move by targeting this segment as sales of GPUs priced more than $350 exceed a million units each quarter.

As it turns out, AMD has already made gains in the GPU space this year, thanks mainly to its dominance in the budget segment. Now, the company’s ploy of offering budget solutions as compared to NVIDIA in the high-end space could tilt the balance further in its favor.

Server chips could be the next big thing

AMD once controlled  26% of the server chip market but has lost tremendous ground to Intel and its market share has dropped to zero. But the chipmaker has trained its sights on this market once again, with its EPYC server chip that was launched in June this year.

AMD has unveiled a wide range of server chips that will cater to different server workloads, and the company is quite confident that they will be able to beat the performance of Intel’s Xeon server chips. As it turns out, AMD’s internal benchmarks have already established the superiority of the EPYC platform over Intel, though investors should wait for third-party reviews for an unbiased understanding.

Intel, however, is a big fish in the data center space with revenue of over $17 billion last year, and it wants to get bigger, as evidenced by its “data center first” strategy. AMD, therefore, will find it difficult to shake Chipzilla’s dominance until, and unless, its server chips can perform better in real-world applications.

But investors should note that AMD needs to carve out just a small slice of the $20 billion server chip market pie in order to substantially boost revenue. For instance, a 5% share the market could add $1 billion to AMD’s annual revenue, which is substantial considering that the company has generated  $4.6 billion in revenue over the past twelve months.

The Foolish takeaway

AMD hasn’t played all of its cards yet. Some of its products have hit the market just recently while more are set to come, so investors can expect a stronger top line performance in subsequent quarters that could extend the company’s momentum.

 

Harsh Chauhan has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Nvidia. The Motley Fool recommends Intel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.



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