In my last article on Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), I made the argument that the overall market’s direction would determine NVDA stock’s next move. Today, I hold the same view when it comes to a downturn. If correction fears prove true, shares in this fast-growing chip maker will likely move in tandem.
Of course, you may ask what if the market doesn’t tank? I agree that stocks are not guaranteed to correct soon. The markets could remain resilient and fears could be overblown. Or, current worries could play out as expected while stocks experience more of a soft landing than any severe correction.
That said, don’t assume Nvidia will make its way toward new highs if the markets hold steady. Investors are fatigued when it comes to bidding up this hot stock. That’s mostly due to its possible setbacks ahead, like if Nvidia fails to get its Arm deal approved by European regulators.
The takeaway? Waiting things out looks like the best move with NVDA stock right now. Here’s why.
NVDA Stock and Growing Indifference
As Barron’s reported on Sept. 17, the market doesn’t seem interested in Nvidia as much as it did before. In particular, the article cites uncertainty over the Arm deal as a major contributing factor. But looking at other factors, it’s even easier to see why investors aren’t so keen on sending NVDA stock up above the median of analyst price targets.
For instance, consider Nvidia’s growth deceleration. For the current fiscal year (ending January 2022), the sell-side expects the company to see sales and earnings jump about 55% and 62% respectively year-over-year (YOY). But next fiscal year? Sales growth is expected to slow to less than 13%. Projections for earnings growth are just under 12%.
Low double-digit revenue and earnings growth isn’t something to sneeze at when it comes to a mega-cap stock. Yet, given that it trades for a forward price-earnings (P/E) ratio of 51 times? You could be paying a hefty premium for NVDA when its main rival — Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD), for which analysts project higher rates of growth next year — trades for just 40 times forward earnings.
Granted, analyst estimates may be too conservative. With the chip shortage not set to normalize until mid-2022, demand could continue to outstrip supply. Nevertheless, much of that is factored into the price already. So, investor enthusiasm may cool further, reducing Nvidia’s chances of making another short-term climb.
Many Ways Shares Could Pull Back
If you’re looking at NVDA stock as a long-term play, you may not be as concerned about your entry price. After all, if you believe this winner will stay winning, worrying about getting in at $200 rather than $220 may not matter.
However, given the strong chances this stock has of pulling back, there’s probably little reason to dive in right now. Of course, a market downturn would push down shares. But so could other company-specific factors. For example, if the EU says no dice to the Arm deal, you may be able to buy shares at a much lower price.
Additionally, Nvidia will release its third-quarter results in mid-November. Although it may beat estimates again, shares could still sell off after the numbers hit the street, either from “sell the news” profit taking or negative changes to its outlook.
Yes, these possible outcomes only have a chance of happening. But with investors already pricing in the benefits of an Arm merger — and shares already priced based on above-average earnings growth — it’s debatable whether any incoming good news will do much to send NVDA stock toward $250 by year’s end.
Take Your Time with NVDA Stock
It’s still unclear whether a correction will play out in the next few months or if today’s fears are overblown. But even if stocks remain strong between now and the start of 2022, there’s no rush to go out and buy Nvidia right now.
Don’t get me wrong — there’s no denying this is a high-quality name to own. However, with the odds of a lower price in the near future increasing, it’s probably best to take your time with NVDA stock.
On the date of publication, Thomas Niel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Thomas Niel, contributor for InvestorPlace.com, has been writing single-stock analysis for web-based publications since 2016.