AMD shares surge as analysts see demand for ASIC with blockchain prospects

Advanced Micro Devices reported better-than-expected earnings results and gave strong sales guidance Tuesday

Ramy Caspi
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Advanced Micro Devices recently released quarterly earnings that highlighted the growth on chip sales to providers of blockchain technology, a digital ledger that is set for explosive growth as it moves beyond cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain is the technology behind bitcoin and ethereum, and cryptocurrency miners use fast graphic processing units (GPUs) to solve complex mathematical problems and get new digital currencies as a reward.

AMD are also expected to see further increases in sales across the globe as the company's looking to unveil plans to support the bitcoin industry or blockchain technology.

Investors are excited about the future. Reuters has reported that AMD shares have increased by six percent on Wednesday.

Wells Fargo Securities reiterated its outperform rating on AMD shares, predicting strong sales for its latest chips.

"With a solid lineup of new products that significantly improves AMD's competitive position in desktop, notebook and server processors and graphics processor units (GPUs), we think AMD is positioned to show consistent market share gains through 2018," analyst David Wong wrote in a note to clients Wednesday.

Another analyst, Kevin Cassidy from Stifel said, "We see the bigger category of blockchain as a sustainable market for GPUs and eventually an application specific chip (ASIC) for blockchain applications. We see a potential for both AMD and Nvidia to benefit from at least supplying the intellectual property for the ASIC."

Credit Suisse analyst John Pitzer said, "While some will argue upside from crypto should be discounted, we see blockchain as more sustainable than most."

Pitzer estimated that AMD sold about $320 million in chips to blockchain companies in 2017, but it was a fraction of AMD's full-year revenue of over $5 billion.

While blockchain was a fluid and dynamic market, AMD saw strength in December and going into the first quarter, AMD Chief Executive Lisa Su said on a post-earnings call on Tuesday.

AMD's bigger rival Nvidia, which reported more than $100 million in quarterly revenue from blockchain in October, will release fourth-quarter results on Feb. 8.