AMD posts another loss but beats Wall Street forecast

AMD's first-quarter numbers are in, and the chipmaker is back in the red—although Wall Street still seems upbeat about the numbers.

For the first quarter of 2014, AMD has posted revenue of $1.40 billion, a 28% increase from last year, and a net loss of $20 million. Reuters reports that AMD's revenue came in above analysts' expectations, as did the company's forecast for the ongoing quarter. The chipmaker's stock price reportedly rose on the news.

  Q1 2014
Q4 2013
Q1 2013
Revenue $1.40 billion $1.59 billion $1.09 billion
Operating income $49 million $135 million -$98 million
Net income -$20 million $89 million -$146 million
Gross margin 35% 35% 41%

That 28% revenue growth was driven largely by strong sales of GPUs and "semi-custom SoCs" (i.e. chips for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4), which were up 118% year-over-year. Average selling prices for GPUs were also up. However, AMD says its Computing Solutions business (i.e. microprocessors) saw sales flag 12% year-over-year because of "decreased client unit shipments." Average selling prices for processors were down "slightly" compared to last year, but AMD doesn't seem to blame those for the sales decline.

Oh, and AMD says it "made the final $200 million cash payment to GLOBALFOUNDRIES related to the reduction of the 'take or pay' wafer obligation commitments for 2012." So that probably contributed to the net loss.

In any case, AMD CEO Rory Read seems to be confident about the company's direction. "We are well positioned to continue to grow profitably as we diversify our business and enable our customers to drive change and win," he says in the press release. As Reuters points out, Read's plan is to have AMD derive half of its revenue from new businesses by the end of next year.

In the nearer term, AMD says it expects its revenue to "increase 3 percent, plus or minus 3 percent, sequentially." In other words, Q2 revenue should fall between $1.40 and $1.48 billion—higher, Reuters says, than the $1.36 billion Wall Street analysts had forecast.

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