Saturday, January 19, 2008

AMD Makes $9 Million Loss

Is it true that if you sound happy that you’ll be happy? And that happiness is contagious?

Perhaps that’s the strategy of chip maker AMD, which announced Thursday a net loss of $1.77 billion in the fourth quarter on revenue of $1.77 billion. In the period a year ago, it lost $576 million on revenue of $1.773 million.

But its performance wasn’t as bad as Wall Street expected, prompting JoAnne Feeney, senior research analyst with FTN Midwest Securities Corp., to say:

Obviously, they turned in a truly excellent quarter. … It should assuage the fears of a lot of investors about the company’s ability to execute.

The company’s results for the quarter still were heavily mired in charges from its acquisition of ATI Technologies in 2006, but CEO Hector Ruiz managed to stress that it’s driving down costs and protecting its share of the microprocessor market from Intel, according to an Associated Press story on Just last month, he said of 2007, “We blew it.”

ZDNet blogger Larry Dignan finds some reasons to be cautiously optimistic about the news. AMD said its shipments were at record levels in the quarter and its processor division posted an operating profit. And overall, on an operational basis, AMD it lost only $9 million, according to blogger Tom Krazit. He points out:

You know you’ve had a bad year when financial analysts are congratulating you on only having lost $9 million before interest and taxes.

AMD shares rose 71 cents, or 11.2 percent, to $7.05 in trading Friday morning.