Tech Earnings Move the Market: Google Pops and AMD Drops

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) is trading largely sideways today. But that doesn't mean the Friday markets are boring. A number of tech stocks outside the Dow just reported earnings and big news, driving the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite index as much as 1% higher overnight. Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) took the Nasdaq higher, and the 12% drop in Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD  ) couldn't hold the tech index back -- AMD trades on the New York Stock Exchange.

Why did the Dow skip this party?
Before diving into the juicy tech action, let me explain why the Silicon Valley action didn't move the Dow Jones today. The four tech stocks on the Dow did not move in unison; three of them dipped slightly, while Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO  ) jumped more than 1%, more or less pacing the Nasdaq.

But Cisco's modest share price of roughly $23 per stub means the stock must jump or plunge by extraordinary amounts in order to to affect the Dow at all. . Cisco's mini-spike just didn't matter much to the Dow, as it's currently the lowest-priced stock on the 30-member index. Each one of the six highest-priced Dow stocks carries more than five times the weight of Cisco thanks to the Dow's price-weighted nature. All told, the Dow's four tech musketeers ended up slicing three points off the index.

So that's why the Dow isn't joining in today's tech party. With that confusing issue settled, let's get back to the big tech action.

Google lights up the markets thanks to a strong third-quarter report.

Big G lives up to its nickname
Google is Friday's biggest market-driver. The search and online-advertising giant's market cap was a muscular $300 billion last night, and today's 13% jump puts the stock over $330 billion in market value. Not only that, but Google's stock just broke the $1,000 share price benchmark for the first time.

In the third quarter, Google's non-GAAP earnings soared 21% higher year over year on 12% higher revenue. Both earnings and sales put Wall Street's estimates to shame. The strong performance was driven by Google-owned properties such as the Google search engine and the Gmail service. Paid ad clicks are rising faster than the cost per click is declining.

In short, Google's numbers are soothing the nerves of many investors and analysts, who worried that Google's falling ad rates might put a real dent in the company's financial performance. Google has proven that notion wrong many times before, and it just did it again.

As a Google shareholder, I'm happy to see the arbitrary but psychologically important $1,000 barrier breached, but I'm in no hurry to lock in my gains. Google is an extremely promising long-term story to my eyes -- the kind of nimble giant that will change with the times and remain relevant a hundred years from now.

AMD looks more "micro" than "advanced"
AMD took a modest leap earlier this week when archrival Intel (NASDAQ: INTC  ) reported mixed results. Intel's modest sales combined with relatively positive PC-market reports from independent research firms, adding up to potentially strong chip sales for AMD.

The company didn't exactly disappoint. AMD's third-quarter report last night included slightly stronger earnings and sales than expected, but it wasn't enough to support AMD's recent share-price gains.

Instead, the stock has plunged more than 12%. Analysts from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch downgraded AMD shares from a "buy" to a "hold," and Goldman Sachs reiterated its "sell" rating on the stock.

Goldman notes that AMD has been losing market share to Intel again, rather than stealing it, and that the share loss should continue. That's never good news when the PC market itself is shrinking. Moreover, Goldman thinks AMD shares are wildly overvalued, as a generous multiple of 15 times next year's expected earnings only supports a $2 share price. That's about half of last night's closing price.

And that's how AMD became the worst performer on both the Nasdaq Composite index and the wider S&P 500 today. The chip market is changing fast, and AMD is far less equipped to handle the shifting sands than the much larger and always profitable Intel.

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  • Report this Comment On October 18, 2013, at 2:46 PM, idiotIM wrote:

    I like AMD and Rory Read, he has started the big turn around everyone can see it's well under way, the big boys are trying to downgrade the price so they can fill up on AMD stock.

    They see what Rory Read has done, AMD has become very diversified to reflect a ever changing market from it's Sea Micro server purchase and sales of AMD micro servers newly added, all the Console Sales this holiday season will have a AMD processors in them Cha' Ching', AMD APU and graphic cards dominate the market, AMD's future embedded businesses and low power cloud processors. They downgraded Tesla before it's big run and the big boys know that Rory Read is doing

    for AMD what Andy Grove did for Intel.

    I hope at some point AMD can re-start the free

    laptops project with the humanitarian group they

    were working with, the laptops ran on pull cords and were water proof, for kids in area's where there was no electric, it was a wonderful invention they said Intel sabotaged it. AMD was the big stock winner of the mid 1990's and early 2000's, it's going to happen again soon they are picking up markets not just marker share.

  • Report this Comment On October 18, 2013, at 3:13 PM, idiotIM wrote:

    I like AMD and Rory Read, he has started the big turn around everyone can see it's well under way, the big boys are trying to downgrade the price so they can fill up on AMD stock.

    They see what Rory Read has done, AMD has become very diversified to reflect a ever changing market from it's Sea Micro server purchase and sales of AMD micro servers newly added, all the Console Sales this holiday season will have a AMD processors in them Cha' Ching', AMD APU and graphic cards dominate the market, AMD's future embedded businesses and low power cloud processors. They downgraded Tesla before it's big run and the big boys know that Rory Read is doing

    for AMD what Andy Grove did for Intel. AMD was the big stock winner of the mid 1990's and early 2000's, it's going to happen again soon they are picking up markets not just marker share.

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