AMD Rises After Beating Estimates - TheStreet

Updated from Oct. 16

Microprocessor outfit

Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Report

was higher Friday morning after posting solid upside surprises in its third-quarter sales and bottom-line numbers.

AMD posted third-quarter sales Thursday of $954 million, up 48% from last year's levels and well above analyst expectations for $859 million.

Net loss amounted to $31 million, or 9 cents a share, well above analyst expectations for 36 cents. The shares were recently up 28 cents, or 2%, to $14.24.

"We delivered strong sales growth in our microprocessor and flash memory business lines while tightly managing our expense structure," said CFO Robert Rivet. "Sales were up on a global basis reflecting increased demand in each of our major businesses and all geographic regions."

AMD had forecast a sequential sales rise in the third quarter based on flash memory demand and seasonal trends. Last month, CEO Hector Ruiz told


he'd seen evidence of a seasonal uptick in the third quarter related to back-to-school demand and strong consumer-electronics sales.

AMD said it expects fourth-quarter sales to grow, with microprocessor sales up based on normal seasonality and growing demand for the company's 64-bit processors. It expects flash sales to also rise based on seasonal trends and increased customer acceptance of its MirrorBit technology.

In June, AMD teamed up with Fujitsu in a

joint flash memory-making operation called FASL. The two ranked as the fourth- and fifth-biggest flash vendors, respectively, in 2002, but their combined revenue would have pushed them into second place, just behind Intel. As of the June quarter, flash memory accounted for about a third of AMD's total sales, with processors accounting for most of the rest.

In another big event for AMD, in September it

rolled out the Athlon 64, its new 64-bit desktop microprocessor, with much fanfare. But in contrast to a previous AMD product debut, none of the big hardware makers showed up for the Athlon 64 event, which has led some analysts to regard its prospects with some caution.

However, Rivet said today that demand for the high-end version of the chip, known as the Athlon 64 FX, has been "very strong." Demand for the companion Opteron processor for servers and workstations, introduced last spring, has also been robust, he said.