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AMD's chip-supply reassessment leads to big quarterly losses

'But if you ignore that charge, we're doing okay'

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AMD has released its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2012, and as expected, the numbers aren't pretty.

In early December, AMD slashed its Wafer Supply Agreement with its chip-baking partner, Globalfoundries, and warned investors that it was going to take a sharp hit due to that action.

They were right. If that expensive move is taken into account, AMD posted an operating loss of $422m and a net loss of $473m, resulting in a loss per share of 63¢ on revenues of $1.16bn.

Without taking those WSA charges into account, however, operating losses were $55m, net losses $102m, with a loss per share of 14¢. As the company pointed out when announcing its results, Wall Street's earnings-per-share loss estimates were around 20¢ per share.

"These estimates best align with our non-GAAP results," the company said, "which primarily exclude the accounting charge for our amended Wafer Supply Agreement with Globalfoundries as well as restructuring charges."

AMD is correct in its analysis of the Wall Street moneymen's low expectations. The average of the 29 analysts polled by Marketwatch predicted a loss of 21¢ per share, while the 27 analysts cited by Yahoo! Finance prognosticated a loss of only slighly less at 20¢ and Bloomberg Businessweek's 25 analysts were marginally more optimistic, saying that AMD would lose 19¢ per share.

Two of those three groups of analysts were also generally consistent with their predictions for AMD's revenues for the quarter, as well, with Yahoo! Finance prognosticating $1.15bn and Businessweek predicting $1.1bn – Marketwatch didn't provide a revenue estimate.

At least AMD managed to exceed those analysts' revenue targets – but for the quarter currently underway, the company expects revenue to decrease another 9 per cent, give or take 3 per cent.

"AMD continues to evolve our operating model and diversify our product portfolio with the changing PC environment," said AMD president and CEO Rory Read in a statement. ®

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