SAN FRANCISCO -- Three months after taking the helm as Advanced Micro Devices' ( AMD) new chief executive, Dirk Meyer is set to provide his first progress report. But Wall Street's attitude toward Meyer's quarterly earnings debut on Thursday is marked more by ambivalence than by great expectations. Investors realize that the real game-changers for AMD -- from new products to a radical new organizational structure -- have yet to take effect. Anything that happens before that is, effectively, history. If there's any reason to be more optimistic about AMD, it's simply that the company no longer appears in imminent danger of going out of business. The chipmaker has found a way to replenish its coffers with $1 billion in cash by hooking up with a pair of Middle Eastern government funds in its long-awaited "asset smart" deal. That transaction will separate AMD's manufacturing assets into a separate organization, a move that will eliminate its massive capital spending burden and, AMD hopes, improve its ability to challenge Intel ( INTC) in the market for PC and server microprocessors. Until the deal closes, though (something AMD hopes will happen in the first quarter of 2009), the company is in a sort of limbo, frittering away its final days in a soon-to-be-obsolete structure. Analysts can't even sketch out the operational contours of the new AMD until November, when the chipmaker is due to host a meeting and provide details about how the new structure will affect key financial metrics. "The
financial models are really for the most part out the window," says Stifel Nicolaus chip analyst Cody Acree, who rates AMD a buy. "There's a lot of impact from the spinoff and not a lot of details just yet."