Chipmaker gets boost from crypto mining, gaming

Published: April 26, 2018
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Visitors look at motherboards being displayed at the AMD booth during the 2012 Computex exhibition at the TWTC Nangang exhibition hall in Taipei June 6, 2012.
PHOTO: REUTERS

Visitors look at motherboards being displayed at the AMD booth during the 2012 Computex exhibition at the TWTC Nangang exhibition hall in Taipei June 6, 2012. PHOTO: REUTERS

Advanced Micro Devices quarterly profit and revenue topped Wall Street targets as the chipmaker benefited from higher prices and demand for graphics chips used in personal computers, gaming consoles, and cryptocurrency mining.

The chipmaker’s forecast for current-quarter revenue also exceeded expectations, and AMD’s shares jumped more than 9 per cent in after-hours trading on Wednesday.

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The stock has climbed over 250 per cent in the past two years as the Santa Clara, California-based company benefits from demand for graphics chips used in computers, video game consoles and for a variety of other applications.

To tap rising demand for chips from data centers, AMD has also developed newer editions of server processors.

Demand for AMD’s Radeon series of graphics products remained strong in the first three months of the year as new high-quality video games were released, Chief Executive Lisa Su said on a call with analysts.

“Our financial progress in the first quarter is attributable to the ongoing strength of Radeon and Ryzen products as well as continued early contributions from our EPYC products,” Chief Financial Officer Devinder Kumar said, referring to AMD’s EPYC line of server products and Ryzen PC processors.

AMD has also continued to benefit from last year’s boom in cryptocurrencies, as graphics chips provide the high computing ability required for mining popular virtual currencies such as bitcoin and ethereum.

Cryptocurrency mining accounted for some 10 per cent of AMD’s overall revenue in the first quarter, Kumar said.

Still, gaming would continue to be a “top priority” for the company, Su said.

AMD reported a net income of $81 million in the three months ended March 31, compared with a net loss of $33 million a year earlier.

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Excluding one-time items, AMD earned 11 cents per share, ahead of analysts’ average estimate of 9 cents, according to Reuters.

Revenue jumped 40 per cent to $1.65 billion, topping expectations of $1.57 billion as sales at its key computing and graphics business nearly doubled.

AMD expects current-quarter revenue of $1.73 billion, give or take $50 million, while analysts were expecting revenue of $1.57 billion.

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