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AMD Revenues Hit by Supply and Demand Issues

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It was a tough quarter for chip vendor AMD (NYSE:AMD). AMD reported fourth quarter fiscal 2011 results late Tuesday that showed just how tough things have been.

For the fourth quarter, AMD reported revenues of $1.69 billion for a two percent year-over-year gain. For the full year, AMD’s revenues came in at $6.57 billion, which is flat, year-over-year. For the fourth quarter, AMD suffered a net loss of $177 million and for the full year. Net Income was reported at $491 million.

Moving forward, AMD provided guidance for revenues to decrease 8 percent plus or minus 3 percent sequentially for the first quarter of 2012.

“Revenue was impacted by lower-than-expected GPU demand and a one-time issue that limited supply of the 45-nanometer desktop processors,” Rory Read, AMD President and Chief Executive Officer said during the company’s earnings call. “Working closely with our strategic foundry partner, we believe the 45-nanometer issues have been corrected, and we will see supply rebound in the first quarter.”

Read added that overall progress in 2011 was tempered by execution challenges that impacted their supply. He noted that AMD has take steps to correct the issues and over the last two quarters, 32-nanometer yields and performance have steadily improved at their foundry partner Global Foundries.

“As a result of the focus on improved execution, 32-nanometer unit shipments increased by more than 80 percent from third quarter to fourth quarter and now represent a full third of our overall processor mix,” Read said. “And our Server business has regained momentum as adoption of the new Bulldozer-based CPUs continued to accelerate. As a result, we believe we gained overall microprocessor unit share for the year, and we are positioned well for growth as we continue to strengthen our differentiated product offerings.”

AMD’s server CPU business is also showing growth due to the ramp up of AMD’s new Opteron 6200 and 4200 processors.

“These new Bulldozer-based processors accounted for more than 1/3 of our total server unit shipments in the quarter,” Read said. “Continued adoption in the high-performance computing market was bolstered by the introduction of several HP and Dell servers powered by the Opteron 6200 processor.”

On the horizon in 2012 is also the launch of Microsoft’s Windows 8, which could help AMD as well.

“Our perspective is that Windows 8 is an interesting and important launch of technology,” Read said. “We think that it’s going to drive interest and demand in the overall marketplace.”

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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