Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) said strong consumer demand for personal computers helped the company zoom past Wall Street's expectations for its fourth fiscal quarter of 1999, although the chip maker warned of a possible slowdown in the months ahead.
Net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 1999 was $65 million, or 43 cents per diluted share, compared with $22.3 million, or 15 cents per share a year ago, AMD said today in a statement. Financial analysts had expected AMD to profit by just 1 cent per share, according to a poll by First Call/Thomson Financial.
Sales for the quarter, which ended Dec. 26, 1999, were $968.7 million, up 23 percent from $788.8 million a year ago, the company said.
AMD managed to sell 800,000 units of its high-end Athlon processors during the fourth quarter, allowing the company to reach its goal of selling 1 million of the chips during 1999 as a whole. Athlon competes with Intel Corp.'s Pentium III processor, and analysts have said that AMD's success with the chip will be a key determinant of its financial health.
The company sold more than 6 million PC processors altogether in 1999, a 35 percent increase over the previous year and a new record for the chip maker.
In today's statement, William Sanders, AMD's chairman and chief executive officer, called the fourth-quarter results "outstanding."
For the fiscal year 1999 as a whole, AMD reported a loss of $88.9 million, or 60 cents per share, which compares with a loss of $104 million, or 72 cents per share for fiscal 1998. Sales for the full year were $2.8 billion, up 12 percent from $2.5 billion in fiscal 1998, the company said.
AMD's fiscal 1999 results include a one-time gain of $259.2 million after taxes from its sale of Vantis Corp., AMD's programmable logic subsidiary that was sold in the second quarter of last year, the company said.
Looking ahead, sales in the first quarter of 2000 are likely to be to be flat or slightly down from the period just ended, AMD said. The company cited an expected slowdown in the retail market following the exceptionally strong fourth quarter.
AMD's shares on the Nasdaq stock market closed at $41, up $2 from yesterday's close. Today's fourth-quarter results were announced after the markets closed.
The chip maker's flash memory chips also sold in record numbers, the company said, thanks largely to the popularity of cellular telephones. Flash products generated $275 million in sales in the fourth quarter, more than double the sales figure from a year ago. AMD's communications group also enjoyed a successful quarter, the company said.
AMD is based in Sunnyvale, California, and can be reached at +1-408-732-2400 or on the World Wide Web at http://www.amd.com/.