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Opteron carries AMD to banner Q1

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Freed of a money-losing memory business, AMD posted clean first quarter results that reflected gains in the server, desktop and mobile processor markets.

AMD reported first quarter revenue of $1.33bn and a profit of $185m. Those figures compare with revenue of $780m and income of $64m in the same period last year. AMD enjoyed increased sales across the board and noted particular success with its Opteron and Turion processors.

"Servers continued to be the leader here followed by mobile," said Henri Richard, an EVP with AMD.

AMD had "triple-digit growth" year-over-year with the Opteron server chip, Richard said.

The AMD results mentioned earlier from last year's first quarter exclude the memory business that has been spun off as Spansion. The money-losing memory unit weighed on AMD's improving processor results in recent quarters.

Analysts were impressed with AMD's quarter and told executives exactly that during a conference call.

"Congratulations on a great quarter," said Punk, Ziegel & Co. analyst JoAnne Feeney. The fickle Feeney was less thrilled last month when she downgraded AMD.

It always makes us nervous when the analysts cheer a company during these post results conference calls, but it seems to make the Wall Street crowd feel productive.

Much of the analyst attention also focused on how AMD will respond to an improved product lineup from Intel that will arrive in the second half of the year.

"Our competitor's future roadmap has gotten a lot of attention lately," said Dirk Meyer, the Prez and COO at AMD. "Our sales and marketing teams have been very focused on selling our current products."

Once done slapping Intel around, Meyer admitted that AMD expects a more even playing field in the coming months from a processor performance point of view.

AMD has enjoyed about a two-year performance edge over Intel on the server processor front, which has let it secure customers such as IBM, HP and Sun Microsystems.

The company expects second quarter sales to rise 65 per cent year-over-year. ®

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