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Wall Street Is Warming Up to Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) Stock

Wayne Duggan

Analysts say Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMD) is well-positioned to take market share away from data center and PC processor market leader Intel Corporation ( INTC), now that Intel delayed the launch of its 10 nanometer processors until 2019.

On Friday, Goldman Sachs simultaneously downgraded INTC and upgraded AMD stock and said AMD market share gains may not just be temporary.

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According to analyst Toshiya Hari, AMD has a golden opportunity to win over business from Intel customers. "We believe Intel's struggles will provide a reason for customers to adopt, or at least investigate, AMD's product," Hari says.

He says the delays may be indicative of larger problems for Intel.

"The delay in Intel's new products will allow AMD to gain share in not only client CPUs, but also in the lucrative server CPU market.," Hari says.

Bank of America analyst Vivek Arya says AMD's ability to gain market share may come down to Intel customer's willingness to diversify suppliers.

AnandTech recently published what it claims is Intel's server roadmap, which indicated Intel's new 10nm "Ice Lake" server chips will not launch until at least the second quarter of 2020.

"This puts INTC 9-plus months behind AMD's comparable 7nm Rome, which is sampling now and will ramp in 2019," Arya says.

Arya says AMD's execution, which has historically been subpar, coupled with Intel's recent stumble has put AMD in-line or ahead of Intel's manufacturing technology for the first time in history.

"We acknowledge INTC's incumbency/product breadth, but if AMD can take advantage of its TSMC foundry partnership, and its differentiated feature list, we see headroom to 15 to 20 percent market share by 2020-21," Arya says.

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Arya estimates Intel's current share of the server ship market is about 98 percent, but AMD has achieved peak market share of as high as 26 percent in the distant past. Hari says AMD's server chip market share could grow to 5.1 percent in 2019 and 9.4 percent by 2020.

Both Goldman and Bank of America now have higher ratings for AMD stock than INTC stock. Goldman Sachs has a "neutral" rating and $21 price target for AMD. Bank of America has a "buy" rating and $25 target for AMD stock.

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