AMD posts $1.18-billion loss for 2012

AMD's fourth-quarter results are now out, and they don't look so good. The chipmaker has posted a $473-million net loss for the quarter and a $1.18-billion net loss for all of 2012. That's the first time since 2008 that AMD has lost more than it's earned throughout a full year. The company also suffered a 32% decline in quarterly revenue (compared to the same quarter a year ago) and a 17% decline in yearly revenue (compared to 2011). On the upside, the company's $1.16-billion quarterly revenue beat Wall Street forecasts slightly, according to Reuters.

Here are the full quarterly figures...

  Q4 2011 Q3 2012 Q4 2012
Revenue $1.69 billion $1.27 billion $1.16 billion
Net income $177 million -$157 million -$473 million
Gross margin 46% 31% 15%

...and the yearly ones:

  2010 2011 2012
Revenue $6.49 billion $6.57 billion $5.42 billion
Net income $471 million $491 million -$1.18 billion
Gross margin 46% 45% 23%

AMD blames the quarterly loss chiefly on a GlobalFoundries-related charge. "Q4 2012 operating loss increased $209 million sequentially primarily due to the impact of a Lower of Cost or Market (LCM) charge related to the GLOBLFOUNDRIES Inc. (GF) take-or-pay obligation of $273 million," it says. "The charge was previously expected to be $165 million."

In any case, it looks like AMD's GPU business weathered the storm better than the CPU unit. Graphics revenue fell 5% sequentially and 15% year-over-year, compared to 11% and 37%, respectively, for AMD's Computing Solutions business. Of course, AMD's Radeons have stayed quite competitive throughout 2012, while FX- and A-series processors have often struggled to keep up with their rivals from the Intel camp.

In the results announcement, AMD CEO Rory Read makes no excuses for the poor results. Instead, he offers upbeat optimism about the company's plans and its product roadmap:

“AMD continues to evolve our operating model and diversify our product portfolio with the changing PC environment,” said Rory Read, AMD president and CEO. “Innovation is the core of our long-term growth. The investments we are making in technology today are focused on leveraging our distinctive IP to drive growth in ultra low power client devices, semi-custom SoCs and dense servers. We expect to deliver differentiated and groundbreaking APUs to our customers in 2013 and remain focused on transforming our operating model to the business realities of today.”

Still, AMD expects a further revenue decline of 6-12% (sequentially) for the first quarter of 2013.

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