AMD beats revenue forecast, still posts a loss

Hot on Intel's heels, AMD has posted its earnings for the first quarter of 2013. Although the underdog posted a net loss of $146 million, Reuters says its revenue came in above analyst predictions. Also, AMD lost less money than it did last quarter and a year ago, which I suppose is better than losing more. See for yourself:

  Q1 2012 Q4 2012 Q1 2013
Revenue $1.59 billion $1.16 billion $1.09 billion
Net income -$590 million -$473 million -$146 million
Gross margin 2% 15% 41%

(Yes, those gross margin figures for Q1 2012 and Q4 2012 are correct. They were both due to special charges related to AMD's manufacturing partnership with GlobalFoundries. Excluding the charges, AMD's gross margins for those quarters would have been 46% and 39%, respectively.)

AMD's earnings release also includes figures for the chipmaker's business units. Apparently, the Computing Solutions business didn't fare so well: it saw revenue drop 9% compared to last quarter and 38% compared to last year. (AMD blames lower shipments for the decline.) The Graphics business enjoyed a modest 3% sequential increase, but its revenue fell short of last year's figure by 12%.

Oh, and AMD discusses average selling prices, too. It says processor and graphics ASPs were both up sequentially in Q1 2013, and GPU ASPs were also up year-over-year. However, processor ASPs shrank compared to a year ago. The fact that AMD's fastest desktop CPU now costs less than $200 probably has something to do with that.

Here's what AMD CEO Rory Read had to say about the numbers:

Our first quarter results reflect our disciplined operational execution in a difficult market environment . . . We have largely completed our restructuring and are now focused on delivering a powerful set of new products that will accelerate our business in 2013. We will continue to diversify our portfolio and attack high-growth markets like dense server, ultra low-power client, embedded and semi-custom solutions to create the foundation for sustainable financial returns.

For the ongoing second quarter, AMD expects revenue to "increase 2 percent, plus or minus 3 percent, sequentially." Translation: revenue might go up or down slightly. Even in a best-case scenario with a 5% revenue increase, though, AMD would fall short of the $1.41 billion revenue it posted for Q2 2012. I'm curious to see how next-gen consoles will affect the chipmaker's bottom line, but we may not find out for at least another couple of quarters. The PlayStation 4 isn't due out until the holiday season, and the next Xbox, which is rumored to have a similar custom AMD APU, will probably turn up around the same time.

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