AMD EPYC’s Gain, Intel’s Loss

AMD processors seen as threat to Intel in the data center

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The shares of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) are climbing after the company announced the launch of its EPYC series data center processors.

Analysts were upbeat on the processors, as research firms Canaccord and Craig-Hallum raised their price targets on AMD and Bank of America Merrill Lynch said the processors could create a positive “turning point” for the company.

Meanwhile, Merrill Lynch downgraded Intel (INTC) to Neutral from Buy, citing increased competition from AMD and Nvidia (NVDA).

AMD TARGETS HIKED 

Craig-Hallum analyst Christian #Schwab raised his price target on AMD to $17 from $16, stating that the company’s list of customers and partners, which includes Microsoft (MSFT), Baidu (BIDU) and Dell, is “strong.”

AMD emphasized that #EPYC offers better performance and lower prices than competing chips from Intel, according to Schwab, who said he’s more confident in AMD’s data center business following the product launch. He reiterated a Buy rating on the stock.

Meanwhile, Canaccord’s David Evanson said AMD has “built the foundation to re-emerge as a solid competitor in the enterprise, cloud and storage tiers of the server market. Evanson, who raised his price target on AMD shares to $20 from $17, said the “unique” combination of CPU and GPU technologies embodied in AMD’s processors add value to customers’ deep learning and AI endeavors. He kept a Buy rating on the shares.

TURNING POINT

BofA analyst Vivek Arya says that EPYC could be a “turning point” for the company’s data center business, as the product appears to provide “significantly better price per performance” compared to competing products from Intel. It seems that the product will enable AMD to gain market share in the server market, added Arya, who kept a $16.50 price target and a Buy rating on AMD. Increased competition from AMD in servers and market share gains by Nvidia in accelerators and artificial intelligence could limit Intel’s ability to raise prices in the future as it has done historically, wrote Arya, who downgraded Intel to Neutral from Buy.

Over the last five years, about a third of Intel’s revenue growth from data center companies has been derived from price increases, Arya noted.

Meanwhile, Intel has had to raise its operating spending to cater to large cloud customers and has been forced to increase its investments in memory products, according to the analyst, who trimmed his price target on Intel to $38 from $42.

PRICE ACTION

In Wednesday trading, AMD rose nearly 8% to $13.63 while Intel fell 1.5% to $34.33.

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Oil Stocks Downgraded

Oil entered the first bear market since August as concerns worsen over a global supply glut

The number of downgrades may, from a contrarian point, signal oil’s bottom

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A number of oil related stocks are down this morning after brokers downgraded several oil related stocks. Oil entered the first bear market since August as concerns worsen that OPEC is failing to ease a global supply glut.

Adding to an oversupplied market are Libya, which is pumping the most in four years, and shale drillers that are staging the longest drilling ramp-up on record. Meanwhile traders are hoarding an increasing amount of oil in tankers. All that crude is hindering efforts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies to reduce stockpiles to the five-year average.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a draw of 2.72 million barrels in United States crude oil inventories, compared to analyst expectations that the EIA would report a 2.0-million barrel draw for the week ending June 16. This week’s inventory draw almost completely offsets last week’s API-reported crude inventory build of 2.75 million barrels.

Gasoline inventories rose this week by 346,000 barrels, as refiners continue to take crude oil out of inventory and turn it into gasoline. Surveyed analysts were close on gasoline predictions this week, expecting a 400,000-barrel build for the fuel, but even though the API report was close to projections, the three-week rise in inventories mean that demand for the fuel is not sufficient to cut into inventories as one would expect this time of year.

The Energy Department reports its inventory data at 10:30 a.m. today.  Based on the number of downgrades, it may be a bottom for oil prices!

Crude oil last traded at $43.70 per barrel.

Here is a list of oil stocks downgraded today:

Downgrades

AON Aon plc to Neutral from Buy at Janney Capital
APA Apache to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
AREX Approach Resources to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
AXAS Abraxas Petroleum to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
AXTA Axalta Coating to Underperform from Buy at BofA/Merrill
BAS Basic Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
BBG Bill Barrett to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
BHI Baker Hughes to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
BP BP to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie
CHK Chesapeake to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie
CIR CIRCOR to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
CLR Continental Resources to Sell from Buy at Seaport Global
CPE Callon Petroleum to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
CRZO Carrizo Oil & Gas to Sell from Buy at Seaport Global
CRZO Carrizo Oil & Gas to Sell from Buy at Seaport Global
CVE Cenovus Energy to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie
CVX Chevron to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie
CXO Concho Resources to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
DO Diamond Offshore to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
DOV Dover to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
DVN Devon Energy Neutral at Seaport Global
E Eni SpA to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie
ECA Encana to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie
ECR Eclipse Resources to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
EGN Energen to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
ESES Eco-Stim Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
ESTE Earthstone Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
ESV Ensco to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
FI Frank’s International to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
FI Frank’s International to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
GST Gastar Exploration to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
HAL Halliburton to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
HK Halcon Resources to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
HP Helmerich & Payne to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
HP Helmerich & Payne to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
ICD Independence Contract Drilling to Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
JONE Jones Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
KEG Key Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
LONE Lonestar Resources to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
LPI Laredo Petroleum to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
MRC MRC Global to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
MRO Marathon Oil to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
NBL Noble Energy to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
NBR Nabors Industries to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley
NBR Nabors Industries to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
NE Noble Corp. to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
NFX Newfield Exploration to Sell from Buy at Seaport Global
OAS Oasis Petroleum to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
OII Oceaneering to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
OII Oceaneering to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
OIS Oil States to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley
PDCE PDC Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
PDS Precision Drilling to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley
PES Pioneer Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
PQ PetroQuest to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
PTEN Patterson-UTI to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
RDC Rowan Companies to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
RDS.A Royal Dutch Shell to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie
REPYY Repsol to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie
RES RPC, Inc. to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
RICE Rice Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
SD SandRidge Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
SM SM Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
SN Sanchez Energy to Sell from Buy at Seaport Global
SNDE Sundance Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
SPN Superior Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
SRCI SRC Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
WFT Weatherford to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
WLL Whiting Petroleum to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
WLL Whiting Petroleum to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie
WPX WPX Energy to Sell from Buy at Seaport Global
XEC Cimarex Energy to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global

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The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.

CA Could Be Taken Private

Companies have approached banks to finance a BMC purchase of CA

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BMC Software Inc. and CA Inc. are considering a potential deal that would see the software companies combine as part of a transaction to take CA private, reports Bloomberg.

CA, Inc. provides software and solutions that help organizations to plan, develop, manage, and secure applications and enterprise environments in the United States and internationally.

The companies have approached banks about putting together a debt package to finance a BMC purchase of CA, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Talks are at an early stage and there is no guarantee a deal will be reached, the people said.

BMC was taken private by Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital in 2013 in a deal valued at about $6.9 billion. The firms, which took a $750 million dividend from the company in 2014, may also put in new equity to help finance the deal, the people said.

RBC Capital analyst Matthew Hedberg says “a deal is unlikely given its scale.” However, he adds that a deal “could make sense” for CA, ” given a challenging multi-year mainframe renewal portfolio, struggle for organic growth and pending 606 adoption.” The analyst adds that ” there could likely be significant cost synergies as the businesses are similar.”

CA closed at $31.58. The issue has a 52-weeks trading range of $30.01 – $34.99.

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The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.