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AMD pumps out a profit in Q4

Athlon and flash up

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It took awhile, but AMD is back in the black thanks to a strong fourth quarter.

AMD reported sales of $1.21 billion and net net income of $43 million for the quarter ended December 28. These fourth quarter figures blow past the $686 million in revenue and $855 million net loss posted in the same period a year ago.

The fourth quarter push, however, was not enough to offset a loss for the entire fiscal year. AMD posted sales of $3.5 billion for the year and a net loss of $274 million. In 2002, AMD reported sales of $2.7 billion and a net loss of $1.3 billion, so things are on the mend.

"Fourth quarter profitability was driven by solid sales growth across all business lines," said Robert Rivet, AMD's chief financial officer. "Sales increased in all regions, and we saw continued penetration in emerging markets, highlighted by record sales in China and Latin America. We continued to achieve high yields across all product lines based on our leading-edge processes and award-winning fabs."

AMD's Athlon XP chip was a particularly strong performer during the quarter. Athlon64 and Opteron also contributed. Overall, the computation products group churned out $581 million in sales - up 38 percent year-on-year.

Flash memory sales surged 161 percent year-on-year to $566 million. The business posted a $3 million loss in the fourth quarter.

Overall, AMD ended up well ahead of analyst expectations in the quarter, but investors appeared rather unmoved by the results in the after-hours markets. At the time of this report, AMD shares were down almost 3 percent at $16.90. ®

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