Investors on Wall Street have been on edge for a while. You couldn’t guess it from looking at the scoreboard. Because the S&P 500 broke records once more this morning. Clearly investor confidence is waning, but not their risk appetites. Equities like Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) stock are now miles higher than last year.
This makes it difficult for those who are true fans of the stock. Under the leadership of Lisa Sue, the company has improved its financial situation tremendously.
Investors have consequently rewarded AMD through buying its stock, but therein lies the problem. Today’s note carries a cautionary tone, but not against the company prospects. My concern is about the timing for those looking for new investments.
I have no issues with their fundamental success, since demand for tech is increasing at an exponential rate. There is no doubt that chip company services have a long runway ahead. The pandemic sealed that deal, so there are no more holdouts. Everyone had to embrace tech and the internet.
We now need more computer brains than ever. Just the switch into telecommuting alone is a big boost. This is not to mention all the electronic infrastructure to make it happen. Crypto and NFT are strong trends, and they too are driving demand for smart machines.
Clearly the AMD fundamental thesis is as close to a slam dunk as it gets. The next bit will be evaluating its value.
AMD Stock Is a Bit Too Hot
Spending is not my concern here because they are delivering astonishing growth. They can’t do that while cinching their purses. Price-to-sales is an honest measure of value for growth stocks. AMD’s is now approaching 11, which is 30% more expensive than October. So investor expectations are perhaps growing too fast.
I’m not recommending shorting the stock, because it’s not extravagantly expensive. Fast growers demand higher valuations. But it is getting rich relative to its own self. The stock price needs time to consolidate, so that the P/S metric normalizes a bit.
Among its peers, AMD value is right in the middle of Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC). Its 45 P/E is less than half of NVDA and its P/S is one third. Clearly it’s not an outlier among the bunch. Intel is the cheapest of the three, but for now let’s leave it out of the conversation. INTC value is a low outlier, so we shouldn’t penalize AMD for it.
Let’s put some perspective on how we got to these stratospheric levels. AMD stock went into the pandemic from an all-time high 75% higher than August 2019. Then, after a brief pandemic collapse, investors stepped into it with a vengeance. From the March 2020 low to this November high they rallied 354%. So the latest 20% correction was merely a scratch on the paint job.
Patience Is Important Now
From an investment perspective, I would much rather get into the stock under $122 per share. I realize I may have to wait a bit, but there are plenty of stocks to trade meanwhile. Active traders can make use of the shorter-term trading opportunities within AMD too. Shorter-term profit potential is easy with such momentum stocks. There is support at $130 and resistance above. If it loses footing then I will get my chance.
The small-caps have shown extreme weakness of late. Conversely the S&P and the Nasdaq are ready to rally another 15% from here. This shouldn’t happen unless the small-caps also join the party. So, this week we should focus on that to determine the likelihood of another leg higher in the market. If so, then owning AMD stock now would make short-term sense.
In reality, the markets should meander a bit sideways to consolidate. This would be healthy for AMD and other fast runners. There is no urgency to load up on a full-size positions, even in great stocks like this one.
My intentions today were not to be negative about the company. I am merely trying to avoid the easy mistakes when possible. AMD stock now does not present an obvious point of entry, but it will follow the market up.
On the date of publication, Nicolas Chahine did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Nicolas Chahine is the managing director of SellSpreads.com.