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Why Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Shares Gained 11.5% in June

By Anders Bylund - Jul 7, 2017 at 1:50PM

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The stock jumped on rising Ethereum prices and a strong processor launch, then came back down when a well-respected analyst pointed out that shares were running a bit hot.

What happened

Shares of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD -2.19%) rose 11.5% in June, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

So what

Last month was a roller coaster, much like the rest of AMD's tumultuous year. The stock surged on rising cryptocurrency prices and the launch of a good-looking server chip series under the EPYC brand. And then AMD's shares tumbled when analyst firm Goldman Sachs pointed out that the stock might be overpriced even if everything works out exactly as planned -- in short, all the good news has been priced into the stock already, and then some.

"BUY/SELL" dice on a stock chart

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

The well-received Polaris line of graphics chips and Ryzen CPUs are doing wonders for AMD's stock chart and bottom line, but it's been a really bumpy ride. Share prices have skyrocketed 167% higher over the last 52 weeks, but the year-to-date gains cooled down to just 18%. The stock is as likely to make a sudden jump as it is to come crashing down, and it doesn't take much of a news item to trigger either one of those moves.

AMD Chart

AMD data by YCharts.

AMD was always a volatile stock, but the one-year beta has never been higher than the current reading of 6.3. I mean never, including the unstable periods around the rise of the common PC system, the dot-com bubble inflating and then popping, and the terrific launch of the good old Athlon processor. AMD's stock market moves have simply never been as unpredictable as they are right now.

I wish I could tell you what will happen when the company reports its second-quarter results roughly a month from now, but I can't -- and in all honesty, neither can anybody else. AMD's ticker is a gambler's dream and an investor's worst nightmare nowadays.

Anders Bylund has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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