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AMD loses $157 million on $1.27 billion revenue in Q3, will lay off 15 percent of workers

AMD loses $157 million on $1.27 billion revenue in Q3, will lay off 15 percent of workers

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AMD processor chip silicon stock 1024

We'd heard AMD would have bad news this quarter, and here it is: a quarterly loss of $157 million, revenues down 10 percent, and a 15 percent workforce reduction. Today, AMD reported Q3 2012 revenue of $1.27 billion, a 10 percent decrease since last quarter and 25 percent since this time last year.

As a result, AMD's announcing a restructuring plan today, letting go of approximately 15 percent of the company's workforce this quarter. That should translate to about 1,700 fewer employees, as the company employed 11,813 workers as of September. Last November, the company laid off 1,400 employees, and has lost many executives as of late. AMD CFO Thomas Seifert departed just last month. The company says it hopes to save $20 million in Q4 and $190 million in 2013 due to the restructuring.

For employees, things could be worse. Reports last week suggested AMD could lay off up to 30 percent of its workforce.

AMD CEO Rory Read issued a statement alongside the earnings report, blaming the PC industry's rapid changes for the decline:

The PC industry is going through a period of very significant change that is impacting both the ecosystem and AMD. It is clear that the trends we knew would re-shape the industry are happening at a much faster pace than we anticipated. As a result, we must accelerate our strategic initiatives to position AMD to take advantage of these shifts and put in place a lower cost business model. Our restructuring efforts are designed to simplify our product development cycles, reduce our breakeven point and enable us to fund differentiated product roadmaps and strategic breakaway opportunities.

AMD isn't the only chipmaker feeling the pain, but things are indeed moving faster than AMD would care to see. The company's taking a $100 million write-down primarily due to its last-gen Llano chip design. As we discussed last quarter, the company's stuck with a surplus of the older processors now that newer, more desirable models are on the market. Llano isn't AMD's only worry, though. Laptop and tablet manufacturers don't seem to have fully warmed to the newer Trinity and Hondo processors for thin laptops and tablets, either. AMD's hoping Windows 8 will shake things up.

AMD also says it is erecting a new business model that it hopes will help it break even by this time next year. For now, though, the company says that revenue will continue to decline, forecasting a 9 percent decrease (plus or minus 4 percent) next quarter.

We'll be listening in on AMD's conference call shortly, and we'll let you know right here if any other salient information is brought to light.

Update: AMD CEO Rory Read had a lot to discuss on the call. He says that due to the recent decline of the PC industry, AMD will be looking elsewhere for its growth.

"We intend to divert 40 to 50 percent of our portfolio to faster growing markets where our IP is a key differentiator," he said, fingering embedding computing in particular. Read says he expects the embedded business to contribute 20 percent of AMD's total revenue starting in the fourth quarter of next year, up from 5 percent currently. Communications, industrial and gaming applications, said Read, "will outpace the PC industry growth for the foreseeable future." The chief executive stressed that the company has value in its reusable IP blocks, which it can use to help develop semi-custom chips for other companies and streamline AMD's own development cycles.

That doesn't mean putting processors into laptops and desktops won't be important, though. AMD expects its chips to feature in more than 125 systems with Windows 8, "including tablets and several new ultrathins," and the company will continue to "focus on driving down to portable and ultraportable form factors." In particular, Read says that the company's 28nm Kabini APU, a successor to its Brazos low-power laptop platform, and the company's first true system-on-chip, is currently working in AMD's labs, and is on track to launch in the first half of next year. Read promises "a new breed of entry-level notebooks."