Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) has had a wild ride in 2018. AMD stock soared during the summer, as Wall Street began to shrug off the demise of its crypto business and the company started to beat Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) in many areas.
However, this fall’s tech decline has hurt Advanced Micro Devices stock. It’s tumbled by over 40% from the peak it reached late in the summer, putting AMD stock in a trading range that accurately reflects its fair value. I expect AMD stock to do well over the long-term, but it’s difficult to determine a good price at which to buy Advanced Micro Devices stock in the near-term.
AMD Becomes Respectable
AMD has existed since 1969, but I think 2018 will go down in history as the year that it finally became respectable
Though it spent the majority of its history playing second fiddle to Intel, AMD has finally moved ahead of INTC in many respects, particularly when it comes to developing 7nm technology. AMD has also become a full-fledged competitor to Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), which is regarded as the current chip technology leader.
The performance of Advanced Micro Devices stock in 2018 has reflected that change in sentiment. It fell to a low in the $9 per share range in April. However, by September, Advanced Micro Devices stock was trading above $34 per share, although it has since fallen back to the $20 per share range.
My view of AMD stock has shifted almost as much as the shares have. In April, when AMD was reeling from the crypto decline, I recommended that investors buy AMD stock. By September, my viewpoint had changed, and I urged investors not to buy the shares. Now I believe that Advanced Micro Devices stock is fairly valued.
AMD Stock Remains in No-Man’s Land
My colleague James Brumley considers the momentum of AMD stock to be a problem, and I agree. Moreover, with Intel stock trading at a price-earnings ratio of just 11, INTC has become the value play of this sector.
As Brumley says, AMD has become a victim of its headlines in recent weeks. AMD rallied about 20% at the end of November, only to give the entire gain back in December.
Investing in Advanced Micro Devices stock is currently difficult for two reasons. First of all, it will need a catalyst to break out of its current range. However, identifying this catalyst when it appears will be difficult because many positive and negative headlines now move AMD stock a great deal. By the time investors are sure that the momentum of Advanced Micro Devices stock has become positive, they will have to pay a much higher price for it.
Secondly, thanks to the leadership of AMD CEO Lisa Su, AMD has become a true force in the industry. As a result, the company’s profits will rebound over the long-term, causing Advanced Micro Devices stock to rise meaningfully at some point. Still, this prognosis doesn’t help investors much if they cannot determine a good point at which to buy AMD stock.
The Bottom Line on AMD Stock
Advanced Micro Devices stock isn’t worth buying at its current valuation. If the stock falls back to the levels at which it traded in April, I would again urge investors to buy shares.
On the other hand, the stock recently rallied 20% in a short time, only to give back the entire gain. For this reason, it will be difficult to identify a meaningful, positive catalyst. By the time investors know that the equity has true momentum, AMD stock will trade at a much higher price.
For now, AMD remains in no-man’s land. Until a clear buy indicator emerges, investors should stay away from AMD stock.
That said, AMD’s business is firing on all cylinders. It will challenge or beat both Intel and Nvidia in many areas, lifting Advanced Micro Devices stock over the long-term. Thus, if investors can find a good entry point in the name, AMD stock will be profitable for them.
As of this writing, Will Healy did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. You can follow Will on Twitter at @HealyWriting.