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Here’s where the battle lines are drawn on Nvidia


It just keeps getting better for Nvidia shareholders.

Soaring to a fresh record on Tuesday, the white-hot semiconductor stock is now up 181 percent during the past year, and an incredible 1,021 percent in the past three.

What makes the run even more impressive is that the stock has essentially only gone in one direction. The stock hasn’t fallen by more than 8 percent in a calendar month since January 2016.

At this point, views on the stock might to come down to how one cares to view stocks in general. Those who pore over income statements, valuation comparisons and analyst estimates in search of value might tend to turn a sharp eye to the stock — which is now trading at nearly 50 times the earnings expected over the next 12 months.

For those who put their faith in price alone, the fact that the shares have risen in the past might serve as evidence enough that they will rise in the future.

“With a stock that’s up 182 percent over the past year, you don’t need a trend-following technician to tell you to buy Nvidia,” Rich Ross, head of technical analysis at Evercore ISI, quipped Tuesday on CNBC’s “Power Lunch.” “What you need me for is to tell you not to sell it — and by all means, don’t short the stock.”

Breaking down a one-year chart of the stock, Ross noted that “if you look back to November of last year, that third-quarter earnings release, it set the stage for a one-month surge, from that release in November to that peak in December, of 64 percent.”

“I’m not telling you we’re going up 64 percent before year-end, but I’m not not telling you that can happen,” Ross added coyly.

Erin Gibbs, portfolio manager at S&P Global, sees the stock a bit differently.

“This is definitely a pop, and we’ve seen just a huge increase in Nvidia’s valuations compared to the semi industry,” Gibbs said Tuesday on “Power Lunch.”

“One thing that investors have to be wary of is that going forward, they’re going from about 35 percent growth down to about 7 in the next year. So that’s a big drop in the rate of growth, and at these prices, they’re just looking really expensive,” Gibbs said.

Indeed, she points out that the stock has even managed to run ahead of Wall Street analysts’ expectations. While the average research analyst rates the stock buy or overweight, the median price target, according to FactSet data, is actually $180 — 5 percent below the stock’s Tuesday closing price of $188.93.

“The train has already left the station for NVDA,” Gibbs said.

Of course, to Ross’ point, that doesn’t mean that those betting against the stock won’t continue to get run over.



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