How to Trade Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) Stock After It Rebounds

When I last checked in on Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) back in late February, the company was on the verge of lifting the embargo period for reviews on its much-hyped new CPU.

Ryzen was supposed to be an Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) killer, both in terms of price and performance. Considering the pre-release hype, the end of the embargo period appeared to be a solid opportunity for bullish AMD options traders.

The reality was a bit different.

AMD Stock
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AMD stock plunged in the following week, as nearly every major PC and review publication essentially said that while Ryzen was impressive for its price point, the new CPU failed to live up to the extreme hype currently in the market.

Furthermore, in a rare move, Intel quickly cut prices on its competing i7 processors to mitigate the damage from AMD’s new price war.

As the analysts reservations piled onto the mounting PC reviews, AMD stock eventually hit a low of $12.38 on March 6. Unfortunately, barring a major development this week, the March $15/$16 bull call spread I talked about on Feb. 27 isn’t going anywhere.

But the AMD stock price appears to have once again found its feet, and the shares are poised to trade north of $14 once again today, making the March $12.50 put sell a winner (well, as long as the shares don’t plunge again this week).

Which begs the question, is AMD once again a potential bullish options play?

The sentiment backdrop certainly seems to suggest so. Yes, AMD had a bad review week when compared with pre-Ryzen release hype, but the CPU is still a major competitor in the market — enough so that Intel was forced to cut prices.

What’s more, despite a few vocal reviews last week, analysts remain largely in wait-and-see mode. According to Thomson/First Call, 11 of the 26 analysts following AMD stock still rate the shares a “buy” or better — the same configuration as before Ryzen was released.

Additionally, the average 12-month consensus price target has risen from $11.79 on Feb. 27 to its current perch at $11.92. It’s a small bump, but still a bullish one, and there is plenty of room for improvement$13.91 on Friday.

Furthermore, there is still a very real threat of a short-squeeze situation for AMD stock. As of the most recent reporting period, roughly 104,000 shares of AMD stock were sold short, representing more than 13% of the stock’s total float. If the shares can bounce back from their post-review selloff, it could create enough doubt for these short sellers to begin buying back their positions.

Finally, AMD options traders remain firmly bullish on the shares. At last check, the April put/call open interest ratio rested at 0.57, with calls nearly doubling puts among short-term options. Once again, more than a few of these calls could be hedges for short positions, but the outlook remains bullish for AMD stock.

Checking in on implieds, April options traders are pricing in a move of about 16% for AMD stock, placing the upper bound at $16.24 and the lower bound at $11.76.

2 Trades for AMD Stock

Put Sell: With implieds inflating short-term options prices for AMD, it makes directional betting a bit more risky. As such, it may be wiser to sell option premiums on AMD at the moment to take advantage of a contraction in implieds as expiration draws nearer. One way to do this is with an April $12 put sell position.

At last check, this option was bid at 37 cents, or $37 per contract. As usual with a put sell, you keep the premium as long as AMD stock closes above $12 when April options expire. On the downside, if AMD trades below $12 prior to expiration, you could be assigned 100 shares for each put sold at a cost of $12 per share.

Call Spread: If you’re a bit more of a risk taker, then an April $14/$15 bull call spread has potential. At last check, this spread was offered at 38 cents, or $38 per pair of contracts. Breakeven rests at $14.38, while a maximum profit of 62 cents, or $62 per pair of contracts, is possible if AMD stock closes at or above $15 when April options expire.

As of this writing, Joseph Hargett did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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