Market Overview

Another Executive Jumps Off AMD's Sinking Ship

Yet another executive is bailing on AMD (NYSE: AMD). Shares of the chip maker tumbled on Friday, capping off a bad year for the company. Vice President Michael Goddard is the latest senior employee to leave the company. Goddard left to join Korean tech giant Samsung (OTC: SSNLF).

In July, Corporate VP of Business Development Bob Feldstein resigned to accept an opportunity with NVIDIA (NYSE: NVDA).

In September, Senior VP and CFO Thomas Seifert left the firm. Seifert had also served as interim CEO after former CEO Dirk Meyer walked away in January of 2011. Of important note is that Apple's Tim Cook, Oracle's Mark Hurd and VMWare's Pat Gelsinger reportedly declined the CEO opening at the time, as noted by Computerworld, perhaps indicating AMD's lackluster reputation in the industry.

CIO Mike Wolfe and Corporate VP of R&D/Global Infrastructure Services Trevor Schulze left the firm voluntarily in November. Overall, at least 26 executives have left the firm in recent months, according to All Things D.

Still, the experts aren't abandoning AMD totally. Analyst sentiment on the firm overwhelmingly favors holding this stock. Of 31 analysts, 22 have a “Hold” rating, as noted by Yahoo Finance. This despite the fact that Intel (NASDAQ: Intel) has vastly outperformed the company in both sales and profit.

Still, investors may wish to shy away from this stock. In the past year, it has declined nearly 60 percent, compared to a roughly 13 percent gain in the S&P 500 during that time. The company also has a profit margin (or lack thereof) of nearly -15 percent, suggesting that efficiency must be vastly improved to turn the firm's fortunes around. After reaching a high of $8.35 per share in March, the stock currently trades around $2.27.

One thing appears to be certain -- the immediate aftermath of Goddard's departure has caused the stock to plunge even further. A senior employee leaving every now and then isn't much cause for concern, but the mass exodus at AMD raises bright red flags in every direction. Sure, any time a new CEO takes the helm, as occurred with AMD in 2011, reorganizations and increased turnover are likely. However, the number of departures at AMD may signal a lack of faith in the direction the company is heading -- not a good sign for investors.

Posted-In: News Management Intraday Update Movers Tech Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga

 

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