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AMD earnings: Lowering expectations

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  • Q1 revenue: $1.79 billion (+40% YoY, -16% QoQ vs. $1.78 billion expected)
  • Q1 earnings: $162 million (+$146m YoY, -$8m QoQ, in line with estimates)
  • Q2 guidance: $1.85 billion, plus or minus $100 million (slightly below expectations)

The big number: AMD's largest business unit, its computer and graphics segment, saw revenue in the quarter jump 73%year-over-year, driven in part by strong Ryzen processor sales.

People are talking: "We expect some softness in consumer demand in the second half of the year, depending on how overall macroeconomic conditions evolve," AMD President and CEO Lisa Su said on a call with analysts, but emphasized: "Our long-term strategy and growth drivers remain unchanged."

Opportunities: As the world shifts to working from home, AMD is benefitting from accelerated demand for server processors and increased PC sales, the company said. COVID-19 environment has been "positive for the data center market," Su added on the call. "We've seen some of our largest customers accelerate some of our deployments and we look forward to continuing to ramp our server business."

Threats: While there's been an initial boost in the need for cloud power and laptops, that demand could take a dip in the second half of the year. "The biggest question in my mind is the shape of the PC market this year," Su said. "We are expecting some weakness in the PC [and] notebook business in the second half of the year." AMD slightly lowered its revenue expectations for the full year in light of that risk.

The power struggle: AMD still doesn't have anywhere near the market power of rival Intel (which posted a resilient earnings report last week) when it comes to the server business. Su said server unit shipments more than tripled since last year, but analysts on the call said they thought AMD would do even better.
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