Is AMD Finally Back Again?

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Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) is often the forgotten processor company in the world of semiconductors. But with earnings from it and rival Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) coming soon, and with Intel getting two key analyst upgrades in two days, we cannot help but wonder if AMD if finally back. Or better yet, is it back again?

To get excited about AMD requires excitement around Intel, which means that you likely have to get excited about the PC market too. Both companies have not been players in mobile demand products like tablets and smartphones. The difference adding to AMD is that its design was chosen for both the Sony PS4 and the Microsoft Xbox One.

We would caution that the bulk of the excitement around the Xbox and PlayStation seems to have been factored in, but a GameStop outlook report from Sterne Agee (not on AMD) signaled that some 40 million of the new consoles could be in homes by the end of 2014 and a total of 50 million could be in homes by the end of 2015.

If AMD can use the momentum from the games to focus on the lower-end PC market and the server market, then there can be some continued gains. The big problem is that AMD is still not very present in the currently hotter sectors. It also has been losing money. On the flip side, AMD is expected to have operating earnings of $0.14 per share in 2014. AMD also has new graphic chips out, and it recently named a new former Motorola executive as chief executive of its GlobalFoundries.

So, another thing to consider is that Intel received two key analyst upgrades this week. That might not mean much on most weeks, but this was ahead of the processor giant’s earnings report on Thursday after the close. Intel also hit a 52-week high.

In a comparison, AMD is also close to hitting a 52-week high. This seems hard to imagine, but AMD shares are at $4.50 after 4.5% gain on Wednesday. AMD’s 52-week trading range is $2.26 to $4.65, with the high being back on July 18, 2013.

AMD has always been hard to get behind because it has had problems year in and year out. That being said, AMD’s market valuation is close to 0.6 times revenues, versus about 2.5 times for Intel. Sales are expected to be down by the single-digits for the 2013 year in reverse, followed by close to 11% revenue gains in 2014. If AMD ever gets any real traction, it can still have some serious room to run higher. Again, IF.