Semiconductor ETFs Strengthen on Nvidia, AMD Outlook

Semiconductor sector-related exchange traded funds received a boost Thursday from Nvidia Corp. (NasdaqGS: NVDA) and AMD (NasdaqGS: AMD) after analysts upgraded their outlooks on the two chipmakers.

On Thursday, the iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF (NasdaqGS: SOXX) advanced 1.5% and the VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) increased 1.1%.

Meanwhile, Nvidia shares jumped 5.7% and AMD shares surged 6.0%.

Strengthening the segment, Raymond James upgraded its outlook on Nvidia to a strong buy from outperform, with a price target to $750 from $700, TheStreet reports.

“Our call is not really new, as we’ve been positive on NVDA for some time,” Raymond James analyst Chris Caso wrote in a note.

“Our call today rather is meant to express our conviction in both the short and long term. In the short term, we think results will be more dependent on supply than demand given widespread shortages. And we do expect incremental supply to become available as the year progresses,” he added.

Along with a return to normal supply streams, Raymond James argued that further office supply demand could contribute to increased sales ahead.

“We think improvement in enterprise, driven by a return to the office as well as the A10 launch, could drive better data-center growth in the second half of the year, which is important for the stock,” Caso said.

“Our longer-term conviction is driven by the fact that NVDA has more shots on goal than anyone else in our coverage, and their success in [artificial intelligence]has earned them a permanent seat at the table in both hyperscale and enterprise computing.”

Meanwhile, AMD shares strengthened on the company’s relative strength as compared to its competitor, Intel (NasdaqGS: INTC). Raymond James upgraded AMD to outperform with a $100 price target, Business Insider reports.

Caso cited AMD’s “durable technical advantage” over Intel and growing server business as key reasons for the more bullish view. On the other hand, Intel’s decision to stick with internal manufacturing has cemented AMD’s technology lead through 2024.

“We think the stock’s pullback has been driven by improved sentiment that Intel will solve their manufacturing challenges, which will reverse AMD’s successes. We’re taking the other side of that view,” Caso said.

“Now that Intel has committed to internal manufacturing, we think it’s unlikely that Intel ever regains a transistor advantage vs. AMD,” he added.

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