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Wednesday, January 23, 2013
AMD's Revenue Tops Estimates

AMD's quarterly revenue topped estimates but its forecast for the current quarter fell short as it struggles with falling PC sales and consumers' growing preferences for smartphones and tablets.

Like rival Intel, AMD is trying to refocus its business.

AMD posted fourth-quarter revenue of $1.16 billion, compared to $1.69 billion in the year-ago quarter.

In its report on Tuesday, AMD estimated revenue in the current first quarter would fall 9 percent from the fourth quarter, plus or minus 3 percent. The mid-point of AMD's revenue forecast is about $1.056 billion.

Rory Read, president and CEO of AMD, said Tuesday that the company continues to make progress on its strategy for returning to profitability after the company reported fourth quarter sales that beat analysts' expectations but said it expects first quarter sales to be below estimates.

"We made progress in the fourth quarter delivering on our commitments, managing expense and cash, and beginning to transform AMD for long term growth and profitability," Read told analysts on a conference call following the fourth quarter report. Read said AMD increased its cash flow, reduced excess inventory and lowered operating expenses in the fourth quarter "in the face of a difficult market."

But Read acknowledged that AMD's full-year results fell short of expectations as a tough economy hurt PC sales. AMD 's goal is to reduce its operating expenses by 25 percent from early 2012 levels by the third quarter, and to return to profitability and positive cash flow by the second half of this year, he said.

The company expects to PC market to remain slugish in the first half of 2013.

AMD plans to introduce several new graphics chips and processors in the first half of 2013, Read said. "We have the right strategy and a new set of products coming to market in 2013," Read said.

Read added AMD enjoyed significant growth in sales of SeaMicro dense servers in the fourth quarter, driven by large-scale cloud data center wins.

Read also highlighted AMD's recent design wins at a new customer, Vizio, which he said were based on the graphics performance and long battery life of AMD's accelerated processing units (APUs), which combine graphics and microprocessing capability. The first Vizio products featuring AMD APUs will be two touch-based ultrathin notebook PCs and one tablet, he said.

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