By Emily Bary
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. shares have surged more than 50% in the past three months, but a Bank of America analyst sees more upside ahead for the red-hot chip company.
AMD’s stock /zigman2/quotes/208144392/composite AMD +0.41% gained 3.8% to $110.55 in Friday trading after Bank of America’s Vivek Arya outlined five reasons why he remains bullish on the name, including that the company has room to continue expanding its gross margins and has a path to double its earnings per share over the next two to three years.
The company’s story fits nicely into what Arya calls “rule #1, 2, and 3 in semi stock picking,” which is that investors should “follow the [gross margin.].” He expects that AMD’s gross margins could expand by 350 basis points to an estimated 48% this calendar year before reaching 50% in the next two years, which could place the company’s gross margin expansion among the top three in the semi space.
Arya is also upbeat about an opportunity for AMD to double its EPS to $5 over the next two to three years. While his current estimates imply that AMD would have about 20% revenue share of the microprocessor market by calendar 2023, which would mean about $4 in EPS, he sees “no reason why AMD cannot attempt to go after 30-35% share, which could push EPS towards $5+.”
AMD had not produced even $1 a share in annual profit since 2006 until it posted $2.06 a share in its most recent fiscal year, according to FactSet records that only date to 2006. Analysts on average expect AMD to produce $2.45 a share in profit this year, and $3.02 a share in 2022, according to FactSet.
AMD has capitalized on rival Intel Corp.’s /zigman2/quotes/203649727/composite INTC -11.68% recent stumbles, and Arya thinks the company could continue to benefit as Intel’s new road map “carries high execution risk” that could prompt customers to move more share over to AMD.
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Further, even though the PC market isn’t expected to deliver the same half-over-half growth in the latter part of this year that it normally sees on a seasonal basis thanks to a boom in PC sales that appears to be fading , Arya argued that AMD’s PC exposure is “derisked” for the period and highlighted that the company “is not exposed to large projected falloff in Chromebooks or Apple /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL -0.53% insourcing that rival Intel is exposed to.”
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Finally, he calculates that there are only nine out of 74 stocks in the S&P 500 Informational Technology group that are projected to increase revenues at a 20%-plus compound annual growth rate from calendar 2020 to 2023. AMD is one of them, but it’s “trading at an unjustified ~40% discount to this group,” he wrote.
Arya has a $135 price objective on the stock, which has gained about 22% in the past month as the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.11% has risen 8.6%. The $135 price objective implies more than 22% upside from current levels.