AMD Shares Jump Over 10% After Strong Profit Report

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) shares rose more than 10 percent in early trading Thursday, a day after posting a profit for the fourth quarter on a 45 percent boost in revenue as its microprocessor sales hit a new record.

In contrast to archrival Intel Corp.'s (INTC) disappointing results and gloomy forecast on Tuesday, AMD also said after the markets closed Wednesday that it expects revenue in the current quarter to jump as much as 70 percent over the same period last year.

AMD shares rose $3.45, or 10.1 percent, to $37.60 in morning trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

"Our fourth-quarter results underscore the undeniable fact that the AMD growth engine is gathering momentum," said Hector Ruiz, AMD's CEO. "Strong, across-the-board execution led the company to records in total revenue, microprocessor units and revenues across each of our server, mobile and desktop product lines."

For the three months ended Dec. 25, AMD earned $95.6 million, or 21 cents per share, on sales of $1.84 billion. In the fourth quarter of 2004, it lost $30 million, or 8 cents per share, on sales of $1.26 billion.

The results include the results of AMD's flash memory joint venture with Fujitsu Ltd. before the company, Spansion Inc., went public on Dec. 20. AMD's latest numbers also include a $110 million charge associated with the company's reduction in ownership in the money-losing venture.

Excluding one-time items, AMD earned $205 million, or 45 cents per share, compared with a loss of $30 million, or 8 cents per share, in the same period of 2004.

Analysts were expecting the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company to earn 26 cents per share on sales of $1.67 billion, according to a survey by Thomson Financial.

On Tuesday, Intel posted results that disappointed Wall Street and acknowledged its competitor gained market share. For several months, Intel has had trouble meeting demand for its chipsets that act as the central nervous system of computers.

But AMD also has been a roll with a number of technologies that have been applauded for outperforming Intel's chips. AMD also has made inroads in the server business, providing chips to Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW), Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM).

"It was a spectacular end to a year of reinvention for AMD, providing once again a healthy foundation for continue growth and success in 2006" Ruiz said.

Analysts, however, have questioned whether AMD can sustain such a strong momentum as Intel updates its product lines.

"Just because Intel has faltered does not mean the company is now incapable of executing," Merrill Lynch analyst Joe Osha wrote in a recent research note.

AMD said it expects first-quarter sales to be flat to down slightly compared to the fourth quarter. Still, that would be a 70 percent increase over last year, said Robert Rivet, AMD's chief financial officer.

For all of 2005, AMD earned $165.5 million, or 40 cents per share, on sales of $5.85 billion. That compares with a 2004 profit of $91.2 million, 25 cents per share, on sales of $5 billion.