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Shares of AMD were battered during Tuesday's trading after the company warned that its fourth quarter earnings would not likely please investors.

At the time of this report, AMD's shares were down more than 20 per cent to $15.57. This drop erases a late 2004 run in which AMD's stock hit a high of $24.95 per share. Investors were reacting to AMD's revelation made Monday evening that its flash memory business has slumped during the fourth quarter to the point that AMD's income will be "significantly down" from the third quarter's $68.4m.

AMD reports its fourth quarter results on Jan. 18,, while rival Intel reports its results for the same period after the market close today.

AMD's shares shot up during the second half of 2004, as investors speculated that its processor business would take increasing share from Intel. AMD's line of 64-bit processors with x86 extensions have been warmly received by both desktop and server customers.

The reality, however, of AMD's slumping flash memory business has proven tough for investors to stomach. AMD's memory unit was blamed last quarter as well, when another revenue warning was issued, which also punished AMD's shares. ®

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