Ryan Vlastelica (Bloomberg) -- Advanced Micro Devices Inc. shares rallied on Thursday, with the stock hitting an intraday record -- the chipmaker’s first such milestone in nearly two decades.
The stock gained as much as 5.8% to hit $48.53, surpassing what had been its intraday record of $48.50, touched on June 5, 2000, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Shares were also on track for an all-time closing high, also their first since 2000.
The return to record levels is just the latest move higher for AMD, which spiked almost 150% over the course of 2019, making it the biggest percentage gainer among S&P 500 components. Shares have gained more than 70% since a recent low in October.
Thursday’s advance came after Nomura Instinet raised its price target on the stock to $58 from $40, touting the company’s prospects in the new year. Analyst David Wong expects AMD will “continue strengthening its competitive position in 2020,” seeing tailwinds from new products, higher market share and increases in average selling prices.
Nomura is the latest example of growing analyst optimism. Earlier this week, Rosenblatt Securities boosted its own target to a Street-high view of $65 and named AMD its top semiconductor pick for 2020. This year “will continue the early momentum in CPU share gains,” wrote Hans Mosesmann, seeing “limited competitive threats slowing the momentum train.” RBC Capital Markets and Wedbush have also recently touted the company’s prospects.
The average price target stands at nearly $37, up from about $22 in January 2019. Currently, 15 analysts recommend buying the stock, compared with the 23 firms tracked by Bloomberg that have a hold-equivalent rating. Four firms recommend selling the name, the fewest number in more than a year.
AMD’s 2019 rally was due in large part to optimism surrounding new products. It unveiled the latest generation of its Ryzen desktop processor in May, news that was followed by the August announcement of a new server processor. Both were seen as heightening AMD’s competitive edge over Intel Corp. AMD also announced that it would be the main chip vendor for an upcoming Microsoft Corp. video-game console.
A test for AMD shares will come later this month, when it is expected to report its fourth-quarter results. Wall Street is expecting adjusted earnings to nearly quadruple from the year-ago period, while revenue spikes almost 50%, according to Bloomberg data.