Why Nvidia Still Trumps AMD, Intel and Other Chip Names at Current Prices

Jon C. Ogg

Analyst reports can still move stocks. Sometimes analysts have strong reports with big Buy ratings that come with big upside to the price targets. Other analyst calls come with Sell ratings because the analyst report sees weakness in the shares ahead. Tuesday’s flow of analyst reports called for a very differing view in the world of processors and graphics within the semiconductor sector.

24/7 Wall St. has highlighted some of the key semiconductor and chip stock calls. Consensus data comes from Thomson Reuters.

Bernstein sees structural cracks at Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC), downgrading the stock to Underperform from Market perform and slashing the price target to $42 from $54 in the call. One issue brought up was the recent Krzanich resignation (firing) from Intel. The firm worries that the CEO replacement process could take six months or longer and could expose some of Intel’s structural problems. The firm noted that official disclosure of 10mm process issues shows that Intel’s process leadership has virtually vanished.

Intel shares were last seen down 2.1% at $49.65. The Dow Jones industrials component has a 52-week trading range of $33.23 to $57.60, a consensus analyst target price of $59.48 and a $231 billion market cap.

Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) has received two positive analyst calls. Benchmark started Nvidia with a Buy rating and a $280 price target. The firm does admit lofty valuations, but it expects upside on estimates from data center demand and from the new Volta product cycle for consumer graphics processing units. The firm also feels that the downside from cryptocurrency mining is relatively contained. Another call, with details not having been seen early on Tuesday, was that FBN Securities started Nvidia with a Buy rating and assigned a $300 price target.

Nvidia was last seen trading up 0.7% at $240.90 on Tuesday. It has a 52-week range of $138.58 to $269.20 and a consensus target price of $280.03. The market cap is $146 billion.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) was started as a Hold rating at Benchmark on Tuesday. AMD shares were up on Tuesday by 1.1% at $15.28, in a 52-week range of $9.04 to $17.34 and with a consensus target price of $14.87.

Lam Research Corp. (NASDAQ: LRCX) was raised to Buy from Neutral at UBS. The $220 price target implies 30% upside if you consider the dividend. The shares have a 52-week range of $139.24 to $234.88 and a consensus target price of $266.00.

Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) was raised to Neutral from Sell at UBS, with a $60 price target, which may not be a huge endorsement but it does remove a big negative rating. Micron shares were up 1.4% at $53.91 on Tuesday in late morning trading. The 52-week range is $26.85 to $64.66 and the consensus target price is $80.14.