Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) have become a very hot commodity due to their use in cryptocurrency mining, driving up the average prices over 200% for certain models. The two main players in the space, AMD and Nvidia, saw their stock prices rise an incredible 585 percent and 760 percent respectively, over the last 24 months, largely due to demand for their GPUs from the mining community. However, with growing competition from Chinese manufacturers, analysts are beginning to downgrade both companies’ price targets.
Susquehanna, a market research firm, has reduced its outlook rating to negative from neutral and lowered its price target for AMD shares, citing impending competition from cryptocurrency mining company Bitmain, maker of the popular ASIC mining hardware that outperforms GPU-mining systems. As a result, the lead Susquehanna analyst lowered his price target for AMD shares from $13 to $7.50 and for Nvidia shares from $215 to $200.
It is estimated that Ethereum mining-related sales accounted for about 20 percent of AMD’s sales and 10 percent of Nvidia’s revenue. However, “Nvidia has a stronger and more durable gaming franchise which would help it work through this potential Ethereum-related unwind,” according to the analyst.
Nvidia stated on Monday that it must increase production of GPUs to address a shortage caused by cryptocurrency miners.
“We’re sold out of many of our high-end SKUs, and so it’s a real challenge keeping [graphic cards] in the marketplace for games … we have to build a whole lot more … We’ve got to come closer to the demand of the market. And right now we’re not anywhere near close to that and so we’re just going to have to keep running.”
Regardless of mounting competition, cryptocurrency miners could be losing interest in GPU mining due to low coin prices and rapidly increasing network difficulty. Additionally, to account for the anticipated ASIC market saturation, many projects are actively working to alter their algorithms to limit their effect on the global hash rate, which could impact crypto market demand for GPUs.