Many an intrepid investor has been scared away from Advanced Micro Devices
Speaking at AMD's annual analyst day yesterday, AMD CFO Tom Seifert said the company is aiming for gross margins between 44% and 48% next year, up from the targeted range of 40% to 45% in 2010. CEO Dirk Meyer underscored the profitable trajectory: "AMD's business model has consistently delivered operating profits this year."
Indeed, AMD's margins have been on a tear lately. After gross margins bottomed out at 37.4% in fiscal 2007 alongside a -19.7% operating margin, the trailing 12 months have seen a rebound to 45.5% and a positive 7.3%, respectively. Yes, AMD is executing better than management expected in terms of gross margins.
Mind you, the company still lags a fair distance behind archrival Intel
Seifert and Meyer made their comments between introducing its first Fusion products ahead of schedule and drawing up a highly competitive road map for 2012.
Under Meyer, AMD is building a history of delivering on its promises, often ahead of schedule and below budget. It's a refreshing change from the previous regime under Hector Ruiz, and I believe that Meyer's highly technical engineering background gives him a deeper understanding of what chips can and should do, as well as of the resources you need to get the darn things designed and manufactured. It's the same ground-level thinking that helped Reed Hastings make a technical and business marvel out of Netflix
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