AMD Sales Slump, Losses Mount

Chipmaker loses $845 million in Q4, aims to reduce expenses by more than $300 million this year.

Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. lost more than $845 million in the fourth quarter, much of that related to charges such as $331 million related to job cuts.

Without those charges, the Sunnyvale, Calif., company would have lost more than $235 million, according to AMD officials.

AMD also is trying to cut more than $300 million in expenses this year, including cutting more than 4,300 jobs.

The company on Thursday reported fourth quarter sales of more than $686 million, a 28 percent drop from the same period last year but a 35 jump from the third quarter. For the full year 2002, AMD lost $1.3 billion, on $2.7 billion in sales.

Despite the difficult fiscal year, AMD officials said they were optimistic about 2003, particularly with the introduction of its new 64-bit processor architecture. Next month the company will roll out its Athlon XP desktop chip—one time code-named Clawhammer—and in April will release its server and workstation Opteron processor. By the end of the year, AMD also expects to be producing chips via a 90-nanometer process, which will reduce the companys production costs.

Given the increased product mix—from the Hammer products to recently introduced desktop and mobile chips—AMD officials said they expect processor revenue to increase. Also, the company should begin realizing the benefits of its aggressive cost-reductions plan, they said.