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January 18, 2006

AMD posts profit and snatches market share from Intel

Advanced Micro Devices Inc yesterday said it had reversed a year-ago loss by growing revenue 45% and snatching market share from archrival Intel Corp.

By CBR Staff Writer

e numbers sent its shares up more than 10% to $37.85 in after-hours trading on the Nasdaq yesterday.

We had a fourth quarter that was better than most people expected and, frankly, a little healthier than we expected, said AMD chief executive Hector Ruiz, on a conference call.

The results contrasted Intel’s, which on Tuesday disappointed Wall Street with its lower-than-expected results.

Intel said AMD had taken one point of market share away from it, mostly in desktops, during the fourth quarter. But AMD painted a slightly different picture. AMD grew its market share to 15.3% for its most recent quarter, from a 9.6% share last year and a little more than 11% in the previous quarter, said AMD chief sales and marketing officer Henri Richard, on the call.

Ruiz also pointed out that AMD doesn’t run its business based on what Intel does. We have our own plan, he said.

AMD is on track to reach its 25% to 30% market share goal by 2009, Ruiz said. We still have that as our goal and business model and believe we are steadily making progress, quarter by quarter by quarter.

Still, Intel has an aggressive line-up of new products slated for this year. And AMD revenue remains just a fraction of Intel’s $10.2bn.

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For the fourth quarter, AMD netted a $96.5m profit, or 21 cents a share, after posting a $30m loss last year. Revenue rose to $1.84bn, blowing past analysts’ expectations of about $1.65bn.

Wall Street had hoped for a 27-cent profit, but AMD said excluding a $100m charge associated with the December IPO of its Spansion joint venture with Fujitsu, it would have earned 45 cents.

Processor sales were particularly strong during the quarter in North America, Europe and Greater China, Richard said.

AMD doesn’t break out revenue by product units, but Ruiz said servers were its fastest-growing segment, followed by mobile and then desktop.

Across the board our customers are increasingly showing interest in our products, he said. I think the momentum, as we’ve told you many times before, there is driven by an underestimation in the market of the Opteron [server] platform and its adoption by fortune 500 companies.

Interestingly, we’re also doing extremely well in desktop, and, in particular, the mainstream and high performance segments, Ruiz said.

And while Intel struggled with inventory build during the past quarter, as demand outstripped supply, Ruiz said AMD was not affected.

He also said AMD has not been capacity constrained, despite low inventory levels. Our inventories are fairly even because we have been executing . . . it has not affect any customers, Ruiz said.

AMD also plans to ramp its Fab 36 chip-making facility in Dresden, Germany, in the second half of the year. The new fab would boost capacity by 40% this year alone, Ruiz said.

AMD expects first quarter sales to be flat to slightly down seasonally from the fourth quarter, which would be nearly a 70% increase from a year ago.

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