Shares of top semiconductor outfit Advanced Micro Devices (AMD 0.32%) were down 6% today as of 3:40 p.m. EST. The scrappy chip designer is still up some 33% in the last month, though.
The catalyst for the sell-off seems to be inflation, which hit growth stocks of all sorts today. Specifically, data released by the U.S. Department of Labor showed the consumer price index surged 6.2% year over year in the month of October, ahead of the 5.9% consensus expectation among economists. Inflation can weaken the value of a company's long-term profitability if it can't keep up with increased costs of production, materials, shipping, etc.
The inflation headline actually overshadowed some good news for AMD. Just a few days ago, the company revealed it won a bid for Meta Platforms' (META 3.01%) (formerly known as Facebook) data center plans as it begins to build the infrastructure needed for its metaverse business. And today, AMD said it also expanded on its relationship with IBM (IBM -0.04%) which will be using AMD's EPYC processor for high-end computing systems.
Given AMD stock has rocketed higher since its third-quarter earnings report, it isn't surprising that the market is choosing a scapegoat (inflation) to book some profits on AMD. Inflation is, of course, a concern if it proves more than just transitory as the economy gradually recovers from the pandemic.
But as of right now, AMD's intrepid growth (revenue up 54%, adjusted earnings per share up 78% in Q3) is handily outrunning the rise in costs. A string of positive news indicates the business will remain strong for some time as new semiconductor designs are in high demand. For investors holding AMD for the long haul, today's drop is of little consequence.