|The market was anticipating a strong result from AMD after Intel confessed to losing market share to its smaller revival, but what AMD posted was a mixed bag of goodies. AMD reported its largest profit in more than five years in the first quarter of $184.5 mln, or 38 cents per share, up from a loss of $17.4 mln or 4 cents per share in the prior year. The per share profit figure surpassed expectations by nine cents. Revenues rose 8.6% year/year to $1.33 bln, as units declined 7%, while average selling prices rose the same. |
Gross margins came in at 58.5% versus the street's expectation of 54.5% due in part to lower than expected depreciation. According to CSFB, gross margins widened by only 30 basis points to 57.6% after stripping out lower incentives and depreciation. Looking ahead, pricing pressures will start to rear their ugly head as Intel, which commands 80% of the marketplace, has vowed it will cut prices on some products by as much as 50%. AMD's CEO Hector Ruiz stated he is "cautious" about the second quarter, but states over the longer-term, "We still believe we are going to outpace the growth of the competition and gain share."
Shares traded down in extended trading after the chip maker forecasted revenues below what the market had been anticipating. For the second quarter, AMD forecasted revenues to be flat to down sequentially, despite an extra week, from $1.33 bln in Q1 and versus the consensus estimate of $1.34 bln. The fierce battle between Intel and AMD will play on throughout the year and, at this point, it's Intel that has the most to lose. While AMD will most likely continue to gain share in the server market, while Intel gains in notebooks, the biggest question remains what will happen in the desktop segment with the delay of Vista. For our part, we think Intel, a Dow Industrial and suggested holding in our Active Portfolio, offers a strong investment on a risk/reward basis trading at 13.4x current earnings versus its 10-year average of 28x.
--Kimberly DuBord, Briefing.com