AMD Squeaks By Q1 Earnings Estimates, No New CEO in Sight

The No. 2 chip maker is encouraged by strong demand for accelerated processing units; its board is still interviewing CEO candidates.

Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices barely edged past Wall Street projections in its first-quarter earnings report, released April 21, and declared that demand appears strong for its accelerated processing units.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD also said it expects second-quarter revenue to be "flat to slightly down sequentially."

The company reported earnings of $510 million (68 cents per share) on revenue of $1.61 billion, which was up 2 percent from Q1 2010. Non-GAAP (not based on generally accepted accounting principles) earnings were 8 cents a share-3 cents over Wall Street projections.

AMD's stock was down a few cents per share in after-hours trading at $8.68.

"First-quarter operating results were highlighted by strong demand for our first generation of AMD Fusion Accelerated Processing Units," Thomas Seifert, CFO and interim CEO, said during AMD's earnings conference call. "APU unit shipments greatly exceeded our expectations, and we are building on that momentum now that we are shipping our -Llano' APU."

Seifert said the board of directors, which is interviewing CEO candidates, is "pleased with the progress we are making and with the candidates we have."

Seifert said that as far as a time frame to get a new chief executive is concerned, "we are more concerned about making the right choice than about any timeline."

After two years in the job, Dirk Meyer, resigned from the post last January following a disagreement with AMD's board of directors over the direction of the company regarding products for mobile devices. Seifert has been running the company ever since.

Brian G. Alexander, managing director of Equity Research at Raymond James & Associates, said in an advisory that "without strategic direction, it's difficult to overcome an increasingly likely 2011 in which the company is set to lose both CPU and GPU market share. There is no formalized tablet/smartphone strategy at AMD."

AMD is a distant No. 2 in the worldwide processor market, which Intel dominates. According to analyst accounts, AMD has about 19 percent of the market while Intel owns more than 80 percent.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...