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AMD Swings To 1Q Loss On Globalfoundaries Charges

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) swung to a first-quarter loss as the chip maker's results continued to be weighed down by costs related to its spun-off foundry business, though core earnings improved. With the company's manufacturing problems now largely resolved, the company said it expects second-quarter revenue to be flat or grow by up to 3% from the first quarter, amounting to $1.59 billion to $1.63 billion. Analysts expected $1.59 billion. AMD has long competed against Intel Corp. (INTC) in the market for chips that serve as the calculating engines in personal computers, and against Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) in chips that supply graphics for PCs and other products. The company has weathered a series of problems lately, particularly chip shortages stemming from manufacturing problems at Globalfoundries, the company formed by the spinoff of AMD's manufacturing operations. AMD last month restructured its relationship with Globalfoundries, triggering a $703 million charge for AMD but giving it more freedom to make some of its products elsewhere. AMD also agreed to give up its remaining 8.8% stake in the manufacturer. AMD is hoping its new chief executive, Rory P. Read, will be able to turn the company around and that last month's roughly $334 million acquisition of server technology company SeaMicro Inc. will give it a boost. AMD reported a loss of $590 million, or 80 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $510 million, or 68 cents a share. The latest period included the restructuring charge, while the year-earlier quarter benefited from a $492 million noncash gain related to the valuation of Globalfoundaries. Excluding those and other one-time items, the company reported income of 12 cents, up from 8 cents a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently forecast earnings of 9 cents a share. Revenue fell 1.7% to $1.59 billion. In January, the company forecast $1.5 billion to $1.61 billion. Gross margin, a closely watched figure in the semiconductor industry, narrowed to 1.7% from 42.8% on the restructuring charge. Sales in the company's computing solutions segment, its core PC-supplying unit, shrank 8.1%. Intel earlier this week said its first-quarter profit declined 13% amid weak revenue growth. But, sales were a bit stronger than the company and analysts had expected, as were the company's predictions about the second quarter. AMD shares closed Thursday at $7.97 and were up 1% after hours. Through the close, the stock was up 48% so far this year, buoyed by fewer manufacturing issues and new leadership. -By Ben Fox Rubin, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3108;

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