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AMD avoids a red-ink-stained quarter for once, market says 'meh'

Increase in desktop CPU revenue and console boost can't excite Wall Street

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Perennial chip challenger Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has posted a profit for the third quarter of 2013, a turnaround that has failed to excite investors.

The good news is that AMD hauled $US1.46bn through the door during the quarter, which means it was in the black by $95m, or 0.06 per share, according to generally-accepted accounting principles. There's $1.2bn of cash kicking around in the kitty, $100m more than AMD feels is optimal, and sales of GPU-related kit kicked up “110 percent sequentially and increased 96 percent year-over-year”. That rise can probably be attributed to all those PS4s and XBOX 360s being assembled ready for arrival in stores for pre-Christmas.

On the downside, “decreased notebook and chipset unit shipments” contributed to a six per cent dip in revenue from “computing solutions”, although the company reported its desktop kit did a little better than expected. Desktop sales even grew a little, a nice counter-trend win for for the company.

The results are decent given the nicest thing we were able to say about the previous quarter's results was that they represented a smaller-than-expected loss.

So why did the market push the company's shares down seven per cent, with most of the fall coming in after-hours trading? Financial types worry that AMD's wagon is still hitched to the PC business, which is in trouble worldwide, and that its plans to get into embedded devices with both x86 and ARM kit will take time and are not guaranteed to succeed.

AMD itself feels better times are around the corner, reporting that customers are starting to adopt its recently-released new GPUS and expressing optimism the recently-revealed R7 and R9 Series graphics cards will excite software developers. SeaMicro's win powering Verizon's cloud is also cited as a good thing. ®

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