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AMD thinks things will turn around in the second half of 2009

AMD has posted its financial information for Q2 2009 and has reported yet another loss. The silver lining to the quarterly loss cloud is that the financials showed some improvement over the previous quarter. AMD also remains optimistic about Q3 and the rest of 2009.

AMD will be releasing new platforms before the end of the year that the chipmaker hopes will help turn its fortunes around. The company will be releasing its new Opteron processor servers, a market that AMD is still very competitive in, and will releases new notebook platforms.

According to EWeek, CEO Dirk Meyer notes that AMD worked on controlling costs in the first half of 2009 and that the cost controlling methods are expected to pay dividends in the second half of the year. Perhaps the largest of those cost-controlling methods was the spinoff of AMD's foundry operations into an independent company.

Meyer said during a call with financial analysts, "With a strong flow of new products and a leaner cost structure, coupled with assumption of modest seasonal growth, we are positioned for a stronger financial performance in the second half of this year."

Among the new platforms for notebooks that AMD intends to let loose onto the market in Q3 2009 are the Tigris platform for mainstream notebooks and an unnamed platform that is aimed at thin and light notebooks.

AMD reported a loss of $330 million for Q2 2009 amounting to $0.49 per share with revenue for the quarter of $1.18 billion. Analysts on Wall Street had predicted a loss for AMD of $0.47 per share with revenue of $1.13 billion. Despite the loss for the quarter, the numbers AMD posted looked better compared to a year ago.

Analyst John Spooner told eWeek, "The chip maker, like its rival Intel, showed sequential improvement in revenue," Spooner wrote. "Unit shipments fared reasonably well, with some improvement in the server space. Thus there are signs that point to AMD's business improving and the company marching toward its goal of becoming profitable (at least on a quarterly operating basis) in the second half of the year."

AMD rival Intel did well for the quarter until the massive EU fine was deducted making for $398 million loss.



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RE: Eeep
By Motoman on 7/22/2009 11:43:11 AM , Rating: 3
Yup. The balance swings back and forth...the way AMD caught Intel with their pants down in the Athlon era was pretty awesome. AMD's current offerings are pretty good choices, when comparing price-for-performance. I would naturally love to see them take the all-out performance crown again at some point, but the fact of the matter is that vendors make very little sales, and very little profit, from "halo" items...the vast majority of revenue comes from mainstream parts, and AMD is looking really good there.


RE: Eeep
By hyvonen on 7/22/2009 4:13:03 PM , Rating: 1
Correction: in mainstream parts, AMD is looking good for the consumer, but really really bad for AMD. Sure, you can sell chips if you cut price, but how do you make profits then?

End game is near; Clarkdale/Arrandale will be unleashed soon, and cost savings from 32nm will pound AMD to oblivion.


RE: Eeep
By Motoman on 7/22/2009 5:06:53 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, we've all heard the oblivion part before.

AMD needs to get enough marketshare to actually generate net profit by gaining volume. They aren't selling enough volume to cover their costs at this point...and they can't raise prices, because Intel doesn't have to and they have to remain competitive from a price/performance standpoint. The need for marketshare is what's driving AMD, and gaining marketshare will grant them the opportunity to become profitable.


RE: Eeep
By hyvonen on 7/22/2009 11:20:38 PM , Rating: 2
I'd say market share is almost a pointless metric, since either party can manipulate it simply by changing prices. But, whoever has the best product, as measured by performance/cost (NOT performance/price), controls the game.

Right now it's Intel, and has been since Conroe was released. This, together with very high volumes, has given Intel enough cash to extend its performance/cost lead (through more design and technology R&D). I don't see how AMD could possibly break this vicious cycle.


RE: Eeep
By Operandi on 7/23/2009 12:55:59 AM , Rating: 3
Intel would have to make a mistake (like the P4), become complacent, or AMD would have to have a major break through to have a chance at really breaking that cycle. Most likely they would need a combination of both.

Athlon and Athlon64 were great but AMD missed their chance and failed to answer Core2. Only now with the PhenII do we really have a strong competitor but much of the damage has already been done and AMD has a lot of catching up to do.

Hopefully they can do it, PhenII is a great CPU but AMD needs to consistently and continually improve. they don't have the resources to pull of PhenI and easily recover from it.


RE: Eeep
By Targon on 7/23/2009 7:45:14 AM , Rating: 2
People point to an Intel roadmap and assume that AMD is stagnant and not working on their own developments. People continually assume that Intel will be the first to get to a new manufacturing process node as well, and for the new node to operate well. The problem is that things don't always work out the way people expect.

People looked at the original Phenom, saw it wasn't competitive, and saw AMD fading away due to not having a competitive product in really any price range. The Phenom 2 came out, and poof, AMD could at least compete again. And, people did not expect the Phenom 2 to be able to scale upwards quickly enough to stay in the game.

I am not saying that Intel won't have a better part, or that it won't be faster or anything like that. I am just saying that there have been many times when people have said that the new Intel chip would kill AMD, and yet, AMD has come up with new chips and has found a way to survive.

Intel does not have a great track record for real innovation outside of making better CPUs. The integrated memory controller, x86-64 aka AMD64 instruction set, HyperTransport(point to point bus design implemented with the K8 to allow the CPU to talk directly to other processors or even other devices). These all came from AMD, and it took until the i7 before the integrated memory controller and point to point bus were finally adopted by Intel.

When has Intel really come out with anything REALLY different? Oh, HyperThreading...that is the only CPU technology that is really innovative besides improvements in their CPU designs which is why Intel has the faster chips these days. Virtualization came from both AMD and Intel, so I wouldn't say that either company had the lead there.

The key is, AMD looks at performance from a total platform perspective, and Intel looks at it from the individual component perspective. From time to time, AMD comes back with something that really kicks butt as a result.

Now, if you look at it, Intel has a big hole in their product lines for where they compete. Intel can't make a decent graphics chip. They keep claiming that they are going to, but they just can't do it. Year after year, Intel releases new graphics for their chipsets(not standalone video cards), and each time, people look at what they have made, and find it years behind the Geforce and Radeon products in terms of features and performance.

If NVIDIA fails, AMD would be in the position to cripple Intel in those markets where graphics performance is considered important, and it isn't just gaming computers either.


"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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