Sluggish overall PC sales, Intel's stifling desktop dominance and a tardy transition to the mobile arena have created a sour-tasting combination for AMD of late. Disastrous quarter after disastrous quarter and the announcement of massive layoffs have sent AMD's stock price plummeting more than 60 percent since the beginning of the year, but the plucky chip-maker's shares actually managed to surge as much as 18 percent yesterday afternoon.
What did it take to bring a smile back to the faces of investors? A Reuters report claiming that AMD has hired J.P. Morgan to help the company "explore options," including the possibility of selling the company completely. The company is also considering selling off pieces of its valuable technology IP portfolio, the report claims, citing "three sources familiar with the situation."
AMD, however, strongly disagrees with the assertion, responding with a statement saying point-blank that "AMD is not actively pursuing a sale of the company or significant assets at this time." Rory Read, AMD's CEO, also took the time to send around a memo telling AMD employees not to sweat the Reuters report. From The Verge:
Within the past couple of hours, a major media outlet wrote a piece speculating about the sale of AMD. As you know, articles such as this periodically surface in the media. I want you to know exactly how we are responding to this speculative piece, as we expect some additional media outlets to inquire. Our official response is below, along with the original news article.
But let me personally reinforce to you: we are not actively pursuing the sale of AMD or any of our significant assets. It's full steam ahead with our strategy … we absolutely are on the right path.
Reading between the lines, it seems as though AMD is open to the possibility of selling off some of its lesser-utilized patents, but the company doesn't appear to be ready to part ways with any major divisions.
AMD definitely needs to make some major changes to right its ship, and the company is already beginning to transfer its focus away from traditional PCs as the market stutters and stalls. AMD recently announced a new, low-power Z-60 “Hondo” APU for Windows 8 tablets, and it's starting to deviate from its x86-based routes, licensing ARM CPU architectures for enhanced Fusion APU security. The company also unveiled plans for 64-bit, ARM-based Opteron server CPUs, though they aren't expected to launch until sometime in 2014.