AMD Rises to Highest in 12 Years, Bucking Rest of Chip Stocks

(Bloomberg) -- Advanced Micro Devices Inc. rose to its highest price in 12 years on Wednesday, bucking an overall decline in semiconductor stocks.

Speaking at the Deutsche Bank Technology conference in Las Vegas, Chief Financial Officer Devinder Kumar said AMD’s latest graphics chip have him optimistic for the future. The 7-nanometer chip will make AMD more competitive, he said. AMD’s next-generation chip is coming to market almost a year before rival Intel Corp., which won’t release its product until late 2019.

The time difference will allow AMD to “catch up to Intel for the first time in decades and take market share as a result of that," said Susquehanna analyst Christopher Rolland.

Still, AMD is one of the smallest companies in a very large chip market that is dominated by Intel and Nvidia Corp. Intel chips account for 95 percent of processor sales.

On Tuesday, AMD Chief Executive Officer Lisa Su told CNBC the company was also working with Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. on graphics chips for the next-generation gaming platforms and Rosenblatt Securities analyst Hans Mosesmann raised his price target on the stock to $40 from $30.

AMD has more than tripled this year and gained as much as 6.3 percent Wednesday, to $31.98, its highest since May 2006. The Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index was down 1.6 percent.

Wolfe Research analyst Rob Ginsberg said AMD is “overbought and due for a breather,” sending the shares off their highs.

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