SAN FRANCISCO (04/12/2000) - U.S. chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) today posted bullish fiscal first-quarter results, boosted in part by strong sales of its Athlon processors.
For the quarter ended April 2, 2000, AMD reported net income of US$189.3 million, or $1.15 per diluted share. The earnings compared with a net loss of $128.4 million, or 88 cents per share, in the same period last year. In the prior sequential quarter, AMD reported net income of $65 million, or 43 cents per share.
AMD posted record sales of $1.09 billion, a 73 percent jump in sales from $631.6 in the year-ago quarter.
The chip maker's quarterly results bested Wall Street expectations by a long shot. A consensus of 15 analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial predicted AMD would post earnings per share of 57 cents.
The quarter was the best in the company's history, Jerry Sanders, AMD's chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement issued today.
Sales of Athlon processors increased by 50 percent to 1.2 million units, Sanders said. PC-related revenues grew 14 percent sequentially and by more than 65 percent over the first quarter of 1999, Sanders said in the statement. Total unit sales reached a record of 6.5 million units.
AMD reported sales of flash memory devices at $327 million, an increase of 19 percent from the prior quarter and a more than 150 percent increase from the same quarter last year, the chip maker said.
Sales in AMD's Communications Group increased 7 percent over the immediate prior quarter and 59 percent over the year-ago quarter due to strong sales of telecommunications line-card circuits and devices for physical-layer Ethernet products.
AMD's rivalry with Intel Corp. heated up during the quarter, as AMD released a 1GHz Athlon processor just two days ahead of Intel's Pentium III Coppermine 1GHz processor.
One analyst said today's earnings report vindicates the fiery Sanders, a vocal AMD promoter and Intel baiter.
"In the past, people gave his (Sanders') plans zero chance of success," Keith Diefendorff, editor-in-chief of Microprocessor Report, said in a telephone interview today. "Today, he's profitable, with a growing market share."
The Athlon processor "continues to be a very credible microprocessor, at least a far more competitive microprocessor against Intel than the previous K-6 line (of AMD microprocessors)," Diefendorff said.
AMD's report came after the close of financial markets today, too late to help the technology-heavy Nasdaq exchange, which dropped 7 percent to 3,769 after analysts decreased their revenue outlook for Microsoft Corp. The software giant's share price dropped to $79.3, down $4.5, or 5.3 percent.
AMD shares closed at $76, up $5.3, or 7.6 percent.
Another technology company, computer memory designer Rambus Inc., also posted healthy gains against the backdrop of a volatile Nasdaq market.
For the quarter ending March 31, 2000, Rambus posted operating income of $4.9 million, or 15 cents per share, compared to income of $1.6 million and earnings per share of 8 cents, for the same period last year, an 88 percent per-share increase.
Earnings per share were one penny better than the predictions of analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial.
Rambus reported revenue of $15.7 million, up 59 percent from $9.8 million in the year-ago quarter.
However, Rambus shares on the Nasdaq exchange closed at $213.8, down $32, or 13 percent.
AMD is based in Sunnyvale, California, and can be reached at +1-408-732-2400 or on the Web at http://www.amd.com/. Rambus, in Mountain View, California, can be found on the Web at http://www.rambus.com/.