AMD shocks the world by only losing $16m

Ryzen gets desktops back in the black

AMD wasn't able to turn a profit this quarter, but analysts are bullish on the chipmaker's solid Ryzen CPU sales.

The world's other x86 chipmaker topped estimates with a 21 per cent jump in revenues, but still couldn't quite manage to get into the black. For the FY2017 Q2 period, ended July 1:

  • Revenues of $1.22bn were up 19 per cent from $1.03bn in Q2 2016, and topped analyst estimates of $1.16bn.
  • Net loss was $16m GAAP, thanks to restructuring and stock expenses. (Non-GAAP accounting has AMD turning a $19m net income for the quarter. Last year's quarter saw a non-GAAP loss of $40m.)
  • Earnings per share (non-GAAP) were $0.02, topping analyst estimates of zero.
  • Ryzen processor sales helped the Computing and Graphics segment log revenues of $659m, up 51 per cent from last year's quarter and good enough for a $7m operating income. Ryzen is AMD's new Zen architecture in desktop form: the Ryzen 7 and 5 families launched in March, with the Pro group following at the end of June.
  • Enterprise, Embedded and Semi-Custom segment revenues of $563m were down five per cent year-over-year. This was blamed on low semi-custom (games console) sales. Meanwhile, AMD's Epyc server chips, also based on Zen, have only just launched.

Computing and Graphics segment returns were a particular point of pride for AMD, which says the $7m operating income was the group's first quarterly profit in some three years. By contrast, in fiscal year 2016 Computing and Graphics lost $81m in Q2.

"Our Ryzen desktop processors, Vega GPUs, and EPYC data center products have received tremendous industry recognition," said AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su.

"We are very pleased with our improved financial performance, including double-digit revenue growth and year-over-year gross margin expansion on the strength of our new products."

Su also noted that the graphics hardware business saw a boost from sales to crypto-currency miners, and that in some places the demand is leading to dwindling inventories.

As a result, Su said, AMD is focusing on getting more GPU chips to companies that make graphics cards in hopes of keeping its core gaming markets awash with chips, lest they all be bought up by crypto-miners.

AMD believes the revenue boost won't be limited to this quarter, either. The chipmaker is updating its full-year guidance from "low double digits" growth to "high teens" year-over-year improvement.

Investors took a shine to the news, as shares in AMD were up 7.8 per cent in after-hours trading at $15.22 per share. ®

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