Commenting on its 1996 figures, Advanced Micro Devices Inc, Sunnyvale microprocessor, logic and Flash memory chip manufacturer says that orders improved significantly in the fourth quarter. Our book-to-bill ratio exceeded 1:1 for the first time since the second quarter of 1995, the company said. Customers have worked through excess inventories and order patterns currently reflect normal consumption rates. The company still managed to lose $0.15 for the quarter, compared with a profit of $0.07 a share one year ago, but analysts had expected the company to lose $0.19 a share, so were able to put a positive spin on the actual outturn. The company said that an increase in sales from the third quarter coupled with cost control measures helped it curb its operating loss. Fourth quarter sales totaled $496m, up from $456m in the fiscal third quarter ended September 29, but while the sequential figures show an advance, the company reported sales of $595m in the fourth quarter one year ago. Advanced Micro said shipments of its AMD-K5 and AMD-K5-PR133 microprocessors contributed to sales, and it has just launched the AMD-K5-PR166 part.