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AMD beats analysts' bets with profitable quarter

If only they had been able to bake more chips

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AMD beat the Street when reporting its financial results for the third quarter of 2011, with earnings per share of 13¢ on revenues of $1.69bn.

According to Thompson Reuters, the consensus of 29 professional analysts was that AMD would report earnings per share of 10¢ on revenues of $1.65bn.

"Strong adoption of AMD APUs drove a 35 percent sequential revenue increase in our mobile business," said AMD president and CEO Rory Read in a statement. "Despite supply constraints, we saw double digit revenue and unit shipment growth in emerging markets like China and India as well as overall notebook share gains in retail at mainstream price points."

Those supply constraints were caused by manufacturing problems for AMD's "Llano" APU at a GlobalFoundries fab in Germany, which caused AMD to lower earnings forecasts at the end of last month to sequential revenue growth of between 4 and 6 per cent in the quarter.

Thursday's Q3 2011 report, however, came in at a sequential revenue growth of 7 per cent. While seasonality makes sequential growth a relatively weak measure of performance, the good news for AMD fans is that the most recent quarter's revenue performance was a 4 per cent increase when compared with that in the same quarter last year.

Net income was $97 million for the quarter, a decidedly better performance than its a loss of $118 million – 17 cents per share – for the same quarter last year.

And while a 3¢ better-that-expected EPS take may not sound like much in absolute terms, you could also say that it beat expectations by 30 per cent – which is none too shabby.

As with all financial reporting, how you spin the results is as important as the results themselves. This is, after all, the stock market, where perception is king.

As proof of that adage, AMD's stock surged as much as 8 per cent in after-hours trading. ®

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