AMD suffers falling revenue, announces 7% staff cut

Last quarter's strong PC shipments may have helped Intel's bottom line, but by the looks of it, they didn't do much for AMD's. While the underdog's third-quarter financials show a modest net income of $17 million, they also outline revenue declines both for the company as a whole and for its Computing and Graphics business unit in particular.

On top of those lackluster numbers, AMD has announced a 7% reduction in its global workforce, which it expects to complete by the end of next quarter.

  Q3 2014 Q2 2014 Q3 2013
Revenue $1.43 billion $1.44 billion $1.46 billion
Operating income $63 million $63 million $95 million
Net income (loss) $17 million $(36) million $48 million
Gross margin 35% 35% 36%

Speaking about the results, newly minted AMD CEO Lisa Su explains, "Our Enterprise, Embedded and Semi-Custom segment results were strong; however, performance in our Computing and Graphics segment was mixed based on challenging market conditions that require us to take further steps to evolve and strengthen the financial performance of this business."

Indeed, revenue for AMD's Computing and Graphics unit fell by 6% compared to Q2 2014 and by 16% compared to last year. AMD blames the sequential decline on "lower chipset and GPU sales," and it attributes the year-on-year slump to "decreased notebook processor and chipset sales." All in all, the Computing and Graphics business suffered a $17-million operating loss. That's compared to a $6-million loss last quarter and a $9-million loss in Q3 2013.

"Strong" is an apt word for the performance of AMD's Enterprise, Embedded and Semi-Custom business unit, though. Buoyed by "increased sales of semi-custom SoCs," that unit enjoyed 6% sequential and 21% annual revenue growth. (Semi-custom AMD SoCs include the chips inside the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.) Operating income was $108 million, up from $97 million last quarter and $92 million a year ago.

In spite of the usual holiday-season surge, AMD expects Q4 2014 revenue to be down 10-16% compared to the previous quarter. That range is below analyst forecasts, according to Reuters.

Today's results may indicate why AMD announced an abrupt change of CEO last week. On October 8, former COO Lisa Su was promoted to CEO, while former chief executive Rory Read stepped down. Read plans to remain in an "advisory role" until the end of 2014.

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