Athlon Powers turns AMD loss into not-as-big AMD loss

Blames quake for sales slip, but beats analysts' expectations anyway

AMD didn't lose quite as much money in its third quarter as had been expected, turning last Q3's profit of a tad more than $1 million into a loss of $105.6 million. In Q2 of this year, it recorded a loss of $162 million, excluding exceptional items. During Q3 sales dipped by 3.4 per cent from $686 million to $662 million. The period was dominated by the launch of the Athlon chip - the stick with which AMD hopes to give Intel a good hiding. Some 350,000 Athlons were made during the quarter, but only 200,000 were sold. This was blamed on the Taiwan earthquake, which disrupted supplies of motherboards to system builders. Looking ahead to Q4, AMD said it will make around 1 million Athlons, but acknowledges it will sell only around 800,000 - again citing the earthquake as the root of its problems. While the effects of the earthquake have been felt by almost everyone in the PC industry, AMD has other problems to face up to if it is to stop walking in Intel's shadow. The first such problem is what to do if Intel steals back its 'fastest chip on the block' crown before Athlon becomes a source of real profit. Another major headache for AMD is what to do about its money pit Dresden Fab, which is currently bleeding faster than anyone can apply band-aids. ® See related stories: AMD needs cash for the Dresden money pit Motorola mulls over AMD Dresden stake Massive quake hits Taiwan

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