AMD: Computer Sales Slump Not Over

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print


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In AMD's Q1 earnings call, AMD's CEO says computer hardware sales have yet to hit bottom, and that netbooks are driving down ASPs. AMD's statement counters the optimism rival company Intel's CEO provided during Intel's earnings call.

Computer hardware resellers looking for chipmakers to signal an end to their slumping sales will have to just keep looking.

Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) CEO Dirk Meyer dashed the hopes that Intel had raised last week saying that there's no way that the computer hardware business had hit bottom yet. AMD, like its larger rival Intel, makes the processors that are the brains in PCs, laptops, notebooks, desktops and servers.

Meyer made the comments during a conference call with Wall Street analysts following AMD's release of its Q1 earnings.

"I don't see how anybody can say that we've hit the bottom," Meyer said, responding to a question during the conference call.

Just last week Intel's CEO Paul Otellini told analysts in Intel's earnings conference call that Intel believed the industry had hit bottom.

IBM's earnings, announced earlier this week seemed to favor the AMD perspective. Hardware sales declined 23 percent while software and services experienced less sharp declines.

AMD reported Q1 revenue of $1.18 billion, sequentially flat and a decrease of 21 percent compared to Q1 2008. AMD's net loss came in at $416 million or 66 cents per share compared to Q4 2008's net loss of $1.44 billion and a Q1 2008's net loss of $351. AMD completed its spin off of its chip manufacturing foundry business GlobalFoundries in Q1, removing what had been a big contributor to the company's continuing losses.

Looking ahead AMD says it expects its product revenue to be down for Q2 2009, but provided no further details, and calling the visibility "murky."

Analysts said AMD's model remained in transition as the company completed its spin out of GlobalFoundries.

"AMD reported 1Q revenues that were better than expected as customers replenished some inventory late in 1Q," said analyst firm FBR Research in a brief report that followed the earnings announcement. "However, pro forma earnings per share was worse than the consensus estimate due to low gross margins...Clearly, the AMD financial model is in transition as the firm spins out its manufacturing assets into GlobalFoundries, the Abu Dabi financed AMD foundry." 

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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