AMD posts net loss for the holiday quarter

Compared to Apple's whopper of a news release, AMD's quarterly results announcement is a bit of a downer. After the bell yesterday, the chipmaker posted a net loss of $177 million on revenue of $1.69 billion—the company, it seems, was back in the red last quarter:

   Q4 2010 Q3 2011 Q4 2011
Revenue $1.65 billion $1.69 billion $1.69 billion
Net income  $375 million $97 million   -$177 million
Gross margin 45%  45%   46%

Now, AMD does point out that its non-GAAP net income was actually in the black: $138 million. What's the difference, you ask?

Fourth quarter non-GAAP net income excludes an impairment of AMD's investment in GLOBALFOUNDRIES of $209 million, restructuring charges of $98 million, the loss from discontinued operations of $4 million, the amortization of acquired intangible assets of $3 million and a loss on debt repurchase of $1 million.

For those not well-versed in corporate accounting jargon, GAAP stands for Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. In any case, it sounds like charges related to the spin-off of GlobalFoundries continue to affect the company's official bottom line.

AMD says its Computing Solutions business saw growth of 2% compared to the previous quarter and 7% over the same quarter a year back. Interestingly, the sequential increase was purportedly "driven by double digit growth in Server and Chipset revenue." (Higher mobile revenue accounted for the 7% year-over-year jump.) Meanwhile, AMD's graphics business saw declines all around: 5% sequentially and 10% year over year. The smaller drop was due to lower mobile GPU shipments, the company claims, while the year-over-year decline had to do with lower shipments of discrete graphics cards.

Compared to its Q4 results, AMD says it expects revenue to decrease by 5-12% this calendar quarter.

In related news, here's how AMD's results for 2011 as a whole compare to financials for prior years:

   2009 2010 2011
Revenue $5.40 billion $6.49 billion  $6.57 billion
Net income $304 million $471 million   $491 million
Gross margin 42% 46%   45%

Things don't look so bad there, especially as far as net income goes. That said, AMD still managed to lose a point of gross margin over 2010.

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