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AMD losses top $3bn in 2008

Present "crummy," future "murky"

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AMD has released its financial report for the fourth quarter of 2008, along with totals for the full year. The numbers aren't pretty, but the company seems reasonably confident about its future.

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That confidence was expressed during a conference call this afternoon with analysts and journalists - though the company's president and CEO Dirk Meyer referred to uncertain product demand as "the real wild card" when forecasting 2009 and his multi-hatted EVP, COO, CAO, and acting CFO Robert Rivet referred to the future as "murky."

Meyer and Rivet avoided most hard numbers when describing the company's prospects for 2009, but they offered a guardedly optimistic goal of reaching a $1.3bn break-even point at the end of Q2.

A lot of work will need to be done to make 2009 an improvement over 2008. Last year, today's report revealed, AMD had a net loss of $3.098bn on revenues of $5.808bn. While falling into a $3.098bn hole must be painful, AMD is better off than it was in 2007, when it lost $3.379bn on revenues of $5.858bn.

The fourth quarter of 2008 was particularly bad. AMD lost $1.424bn in Q4, a period that Meyer described as "usually the year's strongest quarter." Still, that's an improvement over the same quarter in 2007, when the net loss was $1.772bn.

Naturally, Meyer blamed those loses on "the Q4 meltdown," which caused microprocessor sales to be "down across the board."

Meyer said that the company is responding to the fiscal strain by being "laser-focused" on "preserving and generating cash" as well as "protecting current investment." Rivet added that AMD plans to "hold our roadmap intact and service our customers."

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