Bloomberg News

AMD Sales Forecast Tops Some Estimates on Laptop Chip Demand

October 27, 2011

(Updates with comment from CEO in fourth paragraph.)

Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Advanced Micro Devices Inc., the second-largest maker of processors for personal computers, forecast fourth-quarter sales that may top some analysts’ estimates on strong demand for laptops in emerging markets.

Revenue in the current period will increase as much as 5 percent from the third quarter, Sunnyvale, California-based AMD said in a statement today. That indicates sales as high as $1.77 billion. Analysts on average had projected $1.71 billion, according to Bloomberg data. The company’s shares rose 5.1 percent in extended trading.

AMD’s new Fusion product line, which combines the functions of processors and graphics chips, helped the company gain laptop market share, particularly in developing countries such as China and India, Chief Executive Officer Rory Read said on a conference call. That helped alleviate the impact of a shortfall in chip supply caused by production glitches at Globalfoundries Inc., an AMD spinoff that makes most of the company’s chips.

“We took share” in laptop PCs, Read said. In manufacturing, “we are already seeing steady improvements. But we are not out of the woods yet.”

AMD shares advanced to $5.82 in late trading following the report. They had gained 8.7 percent to $5.54 at the close in New York. The stock has declined 32 percent this year.

The company’s bullish forecast mirrored that of larger rival Intel Corp., which last week reported stronger-than- estimated third-quarter sales and fourth-quarter projections, citing laptop PC demand in markets outside the U.S. and Europe.

Third Quarter

AMD’s third-quarter net income was $97 million, or 13 cents a share, compared with a loss of $118 million, or 17 cents, a year earlier. Analysts had predicted profit of 9 cents, the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Sales were $1.69 billion, 4.4 percent higher than a year earlier and up 7.4 percent from the prior period, AMD said. The company had predicted a revenue increase of 10 percent from the second quarter before discovering the production problems. Analysts on average had projected $1.65 billion in sales.

“They were able to beat their conservative expectations,” said Suji De Silva, an analyst at ThinkEquity LLC in San Francisco. “Now we’re seeing the actual ability to get product out of Globalfoundries.”

The company said it expects fourth-quarter revenue to increase 3 percent, plus or minus 2 percent, from the previous three months.

Today’s earnings report is AMD’s first under Read, a former Lenovo Group Ltd. and International Business Machines Corp. executive. Read was appointed in August, after a search following the ouster of Dirk Meyer in January.

--Editors: Jillian Ward, Nick Turner

To contact the reporter on this story: Ian King in San Francisco at ianking@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles@bloomberg.net.


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