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Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD)

  • Jul. 15, 2014, 5:13 PM
    • A month after Intel hiked its Q2 guidance, the company has beat Q2 estimates and issued healthy Q3 and full-year guidance. Intel's gross margin figures were also a little better than expected.
    • AMD is getting a lift from the news. Its own Q2 report arrives on Thursday.
  • Jul. 9, 2014, 5:29 PM
    • Global PC shipments fell only 1.7% Y/Y in Q2 to 74.4M, says IDC. That's much better than the firm's forecast for a 7.1% drop, and smaller than the 4.4% and 5.6% declines respectively seen in Q1 and Q4. Gartner is even more positive, estimating shipments rose 0.1%, thus ending a long string of declines.
    • Unsurprisingly (especially given INTC's Q2 guidance hike), IDC thinks business PC upgrades stemming from Microsoft's (MSFT) ending of Win. XP support helped out. But it also says consumer demand was better than expected, with sales of low-end PCs (inc. Chromebooks) improving amid slowing tablet growth.
    • Sales in the U.S. and EMEA (two high-ASP regions) rose, while Asia-Pac (exc. Japan) still fell by nearly double digits. IDC now thinks full-year industry growth "could get closer to flat, rather than the May projection of -6%."
    • IDC's Q1 share data points to industry leaders gaining at the expense of smaller players: Lenovo (LNVGY) 19.6% share, +270 bps Y/Y. H-P (HPQ) 18.3%, +190 bps. Dell 14%, +180 bps. Acer (ACEIY) 8.2%, -10 bps. Asus (ASUTY) 6.2%, +30 bps. Everyone else 33.6%, -690 bps.
    • HPQ +0.6% AH. Other names with strong PC exposure: AMD, NVDA, MU, STX, WDC, HTCH.
  • Jun. 23, 2014, 9:58 AM
    • Pac Crest has downgraded GPU archrivals AMD (AMD -3%) and Nvidia (NVDA -2%) to Underperform. The firm cites checks that point to weak motherboard production and a major Q/Q drop in high-end graphics card shipments.
    • Digitimes recently reported global graphics card shipments (not the same as end-user demand) were set to fall 30%-40% Q/Q in Q2 due to high inventories, and that AMD/Nvidia were responding by cutting shipments rather than prices.
    • Separately, AMD has unveiled the FirePro W8100, a workstation card that support 8GB of GDDR5 RAM and 2.1 teraflops of double precision compute performance. A flagship card (the FirePro W9100) supporting 2.62 teraflops of double precision compute performance was launched in April.
    • The W8100 launch comes shortly after AMD said it would direct more resources towards FirePro going forward. Nvidia's Quadro GPU line currently towers over the workstation market.
    • BofA/Merrill downgraded Nvidia last week.
  • Jun. 16, 2014, 5:12 PM
    • Global graphics card shipments are expected to fall 30%-40% Q/Q in Q2 due to high inventories, industry sources (likely at Taiwanese OEMs) tell Digitimes.
    • Weak Bitcoin-related demand is said to be taking a toll, and AMD and Nvidia (NVDA) have reportedly been pressured to cut GPU prices to boost demand. But both firms are instead opting to focus on cutting GPU shipments.
    • Litecoin miners have been a boon for AMD's high-end GPU sales. Nvidia posted a 14% Y/Y GPU sales increase during the April quarter thanks to a mixture of high-end PC, server, and HPC strength.
    • The report comes 4 days after Intel hiked its Q2 and full-year guidance, while citing stronger-than-expected business PC demand. However, a large percentage of business PC sales involve systems with integrated GPUs rather than standalone cards.
  • Jun. 12, 2014, 4:26 PM
    • Citing stronger-than-expected business PC demand, Intel (INTC) now expects Q2 revenue of $13.4B-$14B, better than prior guidance of $12.5B-$13.5B and a $13B consensus.
    • Moreover, the chip giant now expects "some revenue growth" for the whole of 2014, after previously guiding for flat sales; the consensus is for 0.7% growth.
    • Full-year R&D/MG&A spending guidance has been upped by $300M to $19B-$19.4B.
    • The guidance hike follows several quarters of narrowing PC shipment declines, thanks in large part to healthy corporate demand. Windows 7 system purchases tied to Microsoft's decision to end Windows XP support have played a key role.
    • Other PC industry names are up in sympathy: MSFT +1% AH. AMD +1.4%. HPQ +0.8%. NVDA +0.7%.
  • Jun. 12, 2014, 11:14 AM
    • Lisa Su, until now AMD's (AMD +1.6%) SVP of global business units, has been appointed to the new position of COO. Su will oversee a new organization "responsible for all aspects of product strategy, product execution, sales and operations."
    • AMD, which has been working hard to lower its PC dependence, is also restructuring its business units: One will contain the company PC CPU/GPU ops, and the other everything else (served, embedded, console, etc.).
    • Sales chief John Byrne has been named the SVP of the PC unit, and Su will be "the acting lead" for the non-PC unit. Notably, Byrne will report to Su.
    • AMD's decision to appoint a COO breaks with a broader trend to scrap the COO position (as Twitter did today). Only ~1/3 of S&P 500/Fortune 500 firms now have a COO, down from over 45% in '07.
  • Jun. 12, 2014, 4:50 AM
    • Europe's second-highest court has upheld a €1.06B ($1.44B) fine levied in 2009 on Intel (INTC) by the EU's antitrust regulators.
    • Intel was accused five years ago of blocking AMD's (AMD) market share by giving rebates to PC makers. The result led them to buy most of their computer chips from Intel.
    • The company can still appeal the case to Europe’s highest court, the European Court of Justice.
  • Jun. 10, 2014, 2:14 PM
    • Imperial Capital's Ashok Kumar (formerly at Raymond James at Piper, among other places) has launched coverage of AMD (AMD +2.9%) with an Outperform and $5 PT.
    • Like other bulls, Kumar is a fan of AMD's diversification efforts, and sees them yielding "more consistent margins and cash flows."
    • Meanwhile, Canaccord has launched coverage on two ARM server CPU peers - AppliedMicro and Cavium - with bullish ratings, and predicts the market will be worth $3.8B in 2018 (based on a 20% share).
    • AMD plans to ship its Seattle ARM server CPUs in Q4. Last month, the company said it would enable (starting in 2015) "ambidextrous" hardware platforms that can use both ARM and x86 CPUs, and also build a custom ARM core (codenamed K12, due in 2016).
    • In a talk with Barron's, VP Saeid Moshkelani suggests K12, under the purview of ex-Apple CPU chief Jim Keller, will have a major performance/power efficiency edge of other custom ARM cores. He also says AMD's custom CPU partnerships (such as the ones for the PS4/Xbox One) only make sense for projects producing $100M+/year in revenue.
  • Jun. 3, 2014, 1:19 PM
    • AMD (AMD -0.6%) has upsized its offering of senior notes due 2024 (announced yesterday) by $100M to $500M, and priced them at 7%.
    • Net proceeds are expected to total $490M. As previously announced, AMD plans to use the funds to buy back 8.125% senior notes due 2017.
  • Jun. 2, 2014, 2:43 PM
    • AMD (AMD -0.9%) is issuing $400M worth of senior notes due 2024. The chipmaker will use the proceeds to repurchase outstanding 8.125% senior notes due 2017 through a tender offer.
    • AMD has $982M in cash/investments at the end of Q1, and $2.06B in debt. The company raised $590M in debt in February to repurchase up to $200M of its 8.125% notes, along with up to $425M of its 6% convertible senior notes due 2015.
  • May 5, 2014, 4:00 PM
    • Having just unveiled its Seattle ARM (ARMH -0.6%) server CPUs (they're set to ship in Q4), AMD (AMD -0.8%) has announced it's taking out a costly ARM architecture license (it allows AMD to build custom ARM cores), and will use it to create CPUs for "ambidextrous" hardware platforms that can run on either ARM or x86 CPUs.
    • Leveraging a design framework codenamed SkyBridge, AMD plans to roll out pin-compatible, 20nm, ARM and x86 APUs and SoCs in 2015; the ARM chips will use the off-the-shelf Cortex-A57 core. AMD's first custom ARM core, codenamed K12, is expected in 2016. Former Apple mobile processor chief Jim Keller (previous) will head the effort.
    • Analyst Patrick Moorhead notes AMD's solution could yield hardware R&D savings for OEMs. AnandTech: "I don't expect we'll see standard socketed desktop boards that are compatible with both ARM and x86 SoCs, but a pin compatible design will have some benefits for embedded, BGA solutions."
    • The list of companies taking out ARM architecture licenses has been steadily growing, boosting ARM's licensing revenue (+37% Y/Y in Q1) in the process. In addition to AMD, the list includes Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Apple.
  • Apr. 21, 2014, 2:32 PM
    • We believe [AMD's] 'under the radar' transition story is a key driver of value, although potentially messy," writes FBR's Chris Rolland, reiterating an Outperform and upping his PT to $6. "While structural PC headwinds are discouraging, we believe that AMD’s (AMD +12.6%) non-PC segments will more than replace lost PC revenue over the next few years."
    • Nomura (Neutral) is pleased with the pace of next-gen console sales - Sony and Microsoft have announced 12M sales between them - and notes prior-gen console sales only totaled 7M-9M at a similar point in time.
    • Bernstein is staying bearish: The firm estimates AMD's core PC/console EPS power is around $0.20, and doesn't see revenue from ARM server CPU sales and new semi-custom wins ramping until 2016.
    • AMD mentioned on its CC (transcript) it now expects global PC shipments to fall 7%-10% in 2014 vs.a prior 10%; IDC and Gartner think a smaller decline was seen in Q1. The company also mentioned its first ARM server CPUs (codenamed Seattle) will begin shipping in Q4. AppliedMicro, Marvell, and Cavium will be among the chipmakers providing competition.
    • 19% of the float was shorted as of March 31. Only 7 of the 26 analysts covering AMD are currently bullish; 13 are neutral, and 6 bearish.
    • Q1 results, guidance/details
  • Apr. 21, 2014, 12:46 PM
  • Apr. 21, 2014, 9:13 AM
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  • Apr. 17, 2014, 5:38 PM
    • Top gainers, as of 5:15 p.m.: AMD +5.7%. MACK +4.0%. M +3.2%. FRAN +3.2%. PBCT +2.7%.
    • Top losers, as of 5:15 p.m.: TPLM -9.2%. KNL -8.0%. MPO -6.9%. ACTG -6.2%. PVTB -5.8%.
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  • Apr. 17, 2014, 4:39 PM
    • AMD expects Q2 revenue to be flat to up 6% Q/Q; that's better than a consensus for a 3% decline.
    • Due to desktop weakness, Computing Solutions (PC/server CPU) sales fell 8% Q/Q and 12% Y/Y in Q1; they were down 13% Y/Y in Q4, and 15% in Q3.
    • Graphics & Visual Solutions (GPUs, console/embedded designs) sales fell 15% Q/Q and rose 118% Y/Y. Console-related sales fell Q/Q, but GPU sales rose.
    • CPU ASPs were flat Q/Q and down slightly Y/Y. GPU ASPs rose Q/Q and Y/Y due to Radeon R7/R9 demand (some of it from Litecoin miners).
    • Gross margin (a point of concern lately) was 35%, flat Q/Q, down 600 bps Y/Y, and in-line with guidance. GM is expected to remain at 35% in Q2.
    • R&D spend fell 11% Y/Y to $279M, MG&A spend fell 13% to $156M. AMD ended Q1 with $982M in cash, down from $1.19B at the end of Q4 thanks to a GlobalFoundries payment. Debt fell by $43M to $2.06B.
    • Q1 results, PR, CFO commentary (.pdf)
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Company Description
Advanced Micro Devices Inc is a semiconductor company with facilities around the world. It operates in two segments: Computing Solutions and Graphics and Visual Solutions.