AMD ends nine straight quarters of losses in Q4

For the first time since the second quarter of 2001, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) is in the black as strong revenue growth brought the company back to profitability in the fourth quarter, AMD announced Tuesday.

For the period ended Dec. 28, 2003, AMD reported net income of US$43 million on revenue of US$1.2 billion. This compares to a net loss of US$855 million on revenue of US$686 million in the fourth quarter of 2002.

The fourth quarter results included a US$14 million benefit related to restructuring charges and accounting for the introduction of the company's FASL LLC flash memory joint venture with Fujitsu Ltd, AMD said.

AMD's Computation Products Group led the company's improvement over last year's fourth-quarter results, recording revenue of US$581 million, up 38 percent from the fourth quarter of 2002. This group manufactures and sells the company's microprocessors, including the Opteron and Athlon 64 processors introduced in 2003.

Sales of both 64-bit processors were strong, AMD said in a press release. Demand for the company's Athlon XP processors also increased in the fourth quarter as compared to last year, AMD said.

Flash memory sales increased 161 percent from the fourth quarter of 2002 to US$566 million for this year's fourth quarter. AMD believes it gained market share in flash memory during the quarter, it said.

For the full year, AMD posted revenue of US$3.5 billion and a net loss of US$274 million. This compares favorably to revenue of US$2.7 billion and a net loss of US$1.3 billion in 2002.

AMD provided a cautionary outlook for the first quarter. It declined to provide numeric targets and said sales of its products will likely drop in the first quarter due to seasonal patterns. The fourth quarter is generally a strong quarter for semiconductor and PC companies due to the holiday season.

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