Analyst: Buy the Dip on This Chip Stock

Goldman Sachs thinks it's time to sell JNPR stock

by Karee Venema

Published on Apr 18, 2018 at 3:20 PM

The Dow is has erased its earlier gains, as IBM shares sell off on a negative earnings reaction. Among other individual names making big moves on the charts are semiconductor equipment makers Lam Research Corporation (NASDAQ:LRCX) and Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT), as well as network equipment specialist Juniper Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:JNPR). Here's a quick look at what's moving shares of LRCX, AMAT, and JNPR.

Lam Research Sinks on Shipment Miss

Last night, Lam Research reported fiscal third-quarter earnings and revenue beats, but a shipment miss -- its first since 2013, according to Credit Suisse -- is weighing on the shares. At last check, LRCX stock was down 5.2% to trade at $201.24.

Analysts don't seem too swayed, though, with no fewer than three boosting their price targets for the stock -- including Credit Suisse. The most upbeat outlook came from Stifel, though, which raised its LRCX price target to $295 from $260 -- well above the equity's March 13 record high of $234.88. Plus, FBN Securities said to "buy on any weakness," and reiterated its $300 target price.

This is possibly due to the stock's longer-term uptrend, with the shares boasting a nearly 58% year-over-year lead. More recently, the stock's 200-day moving average has served as a springboard, with LRCX bouncing off this rising trendline earlier this month. In fact, all but two of the 17 brokerages covering Lam Research maintain a "buy" rating, and the average 12-month price target stands at $266.55.

Sector Headwinds Pressure Applied Materials Stock

Applied Materials is getting hit, as concerns Lam Research's shipment miss could point to a sector-wide demand slump. At last check, AMAT stock is down 5.4% at $54.73, pulling back near the $55.35 mark -- a 38.2% Fibonacci retracement of the rally from its early February lows to its mid-March record high of $62.40 -- which has served as a magnet in recent weeks.

Longer term, the shares have added almost 44% over the past 12 months, and analysts are all in. Of the 17 brokerages covering AMAT, 15 maintain a "buy" or better rating, with not one "sell" to be found. Echoing this optimism, the average 12-month price target of $70.24 represents a 28% premium to current trading levels.

Juniper Networks Stock Downgraded at Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs cut its rating on Juniper Networks to "sell" from "neutral," and slashed its price target to $21 from $26 -- saying it expects transition issues in the cloud division to weigh on 2018 revenue. After tagging an 18-month low of $23.61 earlier, JNPR stock is down 3.8% to trade at $24.44.

The shares have now shed more than 18% from their late-November highs, with some of the recent technical trouble coming amid increased pressure from shorts. Short interest jumped 15.2% in the most recent reporting period to 16.35 million shares. This accounts for just 4.5% of JNPR stock's available float, meaning there's more room for bears to climb on board.

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