AMD reports fourth straight quarter of net losses

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Still carrying the weight of costs related to last year’s acquisition of graphics vendor ATI, Advanced Micro Devices recorded its fourth straight quarter of net losses Thursday.

The company reported a net loss of US$396 million, or $0.71 per share, for the third quarter, compared to net income of $136 million for the year-earlier quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had estimated a loss of $0.62 per share. The loss included a $120 million charge related to its acquisition of ATI Technologies last year.

AMD recorded third-quarter revenue of $1.632 billion for the quarter ending Sept. 29, an 18 percent year-over-year increase.

The company sold a record number of microprocessors during the quarter, AMD said in a news release. Microprocessor unit shipments increased 19 percent year-over-year and mobile processor shipments increased 68 percent, AMD said.

After months of delays, AMD finally released its latest quad-core Barcelona processor in September. AMD is locked in a quad-core chip battle with Intel Corp., which shipped more than 2 million quad-core processors during the quarter, Intel said in its earnings call on Tuesday.

AMD has already lost ground in the market for server chips to Intel Corp. in recent quarters. AMD’s quad-core Opteron processor, also called Barcelona, opened up a revenue stream for company during the quarter, the company said.

Quad-core processors from AMD will be broadly available in the fourth quarter, and the company hopes to ship thousands of units, said Dirk Meyer, AMD President and Chief Operating Officer. Barcelona didn’t provide substantial revenue this quarter.

A quad-core 2.5Ghz Barcelona processor will ship in the middle of the fourth quarter, Meyer said.

AMD will also launch Phenom, a quad-core chip for desktop PCs, in November. It will deliver the Spider platform, which will include Phenom chips and high-end graphics processors to provide users with the “ultimate visual experience” in computing, Meyer said.

Phenom will compete in the desktop market with Intel’s Core 2 Quad quad-core processor.

AMD is already using a 45-nanometer manufacturing process for chips, and chips made with that process will start shipping in systems in the first half of next year, Meyer said.

AMD executives shied away from providing fourth-quarter earnings estimates but said the quarter’s results would be in line with typical trends for the season. The fourth quarter is usually better for sales of client PCs than for servers, said Bob Rivet, AMD’s chief financial officer.

This story, "AMD reports fourth straight quarter of net losses" was originally published by PCWorld.

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