Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) was the best performing S&P 500 stock of 2016, posting a share price gain of over 200%. Several recent analyst moves have suggested that investors hold or even sell Nvidia stock.
Pacific Crest, for example, downgraded Nvidia from Sector Weight to Underweight on Tuesday and cut its price target on the stock to $105.15. Canaccord Genuity maintained a Buy rating on the stock this morning but cut its price target by $5 to $125 a share.
Analysts at Mizuho Securities are more optimistic on the stock:
While NVDA’s valuations are steep, we believe current street estimates are conservative, reflect licensing slowdown, so that improving PCs, gaming trends, VR, and datacenter position for upside to estimates. NVDA is also well positioned for the up and coming machine learning, deep learning, and AI markets.
Nvidia’s Titan graphics processing unit (GPU) is a key component of deep learning and artificial intelligence products made by a startup name H2O. The company’s enterprise AI product is being used at several big healthcare companies, including UnitedHealth, HCA, and Kaiser. Other customers include Walgreens, PayPal, and Wells Fargo, among others. In all, nearly 2,000 companies use H2O’s technology and Mizuho’s analysts expect the company to introduce a scalable hardware and software platform this year that offers a 10x to 20x performance boost over traditional CPUs.
Among the risks to Mizuho’s forecast revenue and earnings per share for the next two years is the company’s high valuation:
NVDA has a very high valuation, and investors are risk averse having seen significant resets in equities trading at high valuations such as [Ambarella] and [Mobileye]. We believe where NVDA differs is a significantly diversified revenue base, low customer concentration and conservative estimates. Also its expected catalysts are near-term, compared to longer-term growth objectives that have technology and regulatory risks.
Mizuho’s price target on the stock is $130 compared with a consensus target of $113.68. Nvidia’s stock traded up about 1% Wednesday afternoon at $101.80 in a 52-week range of $34.40 to $120.92.