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AMD mocks the Street with bumper Q1

'Modest increase' for Q2

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Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) surged past analyst expectations in its first quarter with strong sales across the board helping it post a profit for the second quarter in a row.

AMD reported $1.24bn in sales for the first quarter and net income of $45m. This marks a 73 per cent increase in sales compared to the same period a year ago. In last year's Q1, AMD reported sales of just $715m and a net loss of $146m. Cheers all around for an improving economy.

In this year's Q1, AMD posted earnings per share of $0.12. This shattered the always observant street's consensus estimate of $0.03 per share. AMD also posted a profit in its fourth quarter, breaking a more than two year run in the red.

"Our performance in the first quarter of 2004 was driven by record sales, solid growth and strong execution," said Bob Rivet, AMD's chief financial officer. "Our Flash memory and microprocessor businesses delivered solid sales results in a seasonally down quarter and both business lines were profitable. Sales were especially strong in Asia Pacific and Latin America."

Rival Intel enjoyed year-over-year gains as well, when it reported first quarter results yesterday.

AMD's flash memory business boomed in the first quarter with sales of $628m - a 188 per cent jump over the same period last year. AMD attributed the gains to strong demand from the wireless and embedded markets.

Processor sales also rose to $571m versus $470m in last year's Q1. During the quarter, AMD signed up HP as an Opteron seller with the vendor joining IBM and Sun Microsystems as backers of the 64-bit chip.

AMD was fairly muted about expectations for the coming quarter. It expects memory sales to "increase modestly" in Q2 and for processor sales to "decline modestly." Oh, go on, don't be modest.

In total, AMD expects second quarter sales to be flat. ®

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