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AMD's Athlon strategy pays off

Company bounces back with Intel-busting quarter

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Semiconductor firm Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) made a net profit of $189.3 million on a turnover of $1.09 billion for its latest financial quarter, and attributed the profit surge to strong sales of both flash memory and its x86 Athlon microprocessor. The profit came in a quarter that is usually not the best for semiconductor firms, but was helped by Intel's inability to ship as many of its x86 processors as it would have liked. Jerry Sanders III, CEO of AMD, described the results as the best quarter in the firm's history, with sales in its three product groups all growing by as much as 89 per cent compared to the same quarter last year. Sales of the Athlon grew 50 per cent in the quarter, totting up at 1.2 million units, he said. AMD shipped a total of 6.5 million microprocessors, when the K6 family is taking into account. Sanders also revealed that the current quarter was showing good signs of growth. This will be aided by its further microprocessor introductions, codenamed Thunderbird and Spitfire, expected to arrive in late May or early June. Deals AMD made with firms like Cisco and Alcatel for flash memory also contributed to the pot, with AMD forecasting that demand will exceed supply for some time. Sanders said this quarter sales of x86 chips will be "modestly higher" than the last. AMD expects to ship 1.8 million Athlons and that average selling prices will hold up in the quarter. Like other technology stocks, AMD saw its share price falter during yesterday's training on Wall Street, but it closed at $76, up by over $5. ®

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