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Why Advanced Micro Devices Stock Popped Nearly 20% in February

By Chris Neiger - Updated Mar 10, 2017 at 8:13PM

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The chipmaker once again showed it could expand its market share and improve revenue.

What happened

Advanced Micro Devices(AMD 5.64%) stock jumped 19.9% in February, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, mainly on the company's strong fourth-quarter 2016 earnings and full-year 2016 report.

Picture of stock price chart going up.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

AMD said its revenue hit $1.11 billion for the quarter, up 15% year over year, due to strong sales of the company's GPUs. Investors were also likely pleased to see the AMD's gross margin improve to 32%, a year-over-year increase of 2 percentage points.

Adding to the excitement was AMD's full-year revenue of $4.27 billion, up 7% from 2015. Net losses for the year subsided from $419 million in 2015 to just $117 million for the full-year 2016.

AMD managed to increase sales across all of its major segments in the fourth quarter, bumping up its revenue from its computing and graphics segment by 28% and improving enterprise, embedded and semi-custom revenue by 4%, both on a year-over-year basis.

On the company's earnings call, AMD CEO Lisa Su said, "As we look back on 2016, we successfully accomplished our key priorities, including growing discrete graphic share led by Polaris GPU adoption [and] regaining client compute share led by our seventh generation APUs," and added that the company also reduced debt and increased its cash.

Su went on to say that as the company heads into 2017 it's seeing "strong revenue growth and margin expansion opportunities" from its Zen-based CPUs and Vega GPUs."

Now what 

AMD's stock has been riding very high as of late -- it's up 490% over the past 12 months -- and investors are still looking for more. Whether they'll get it or not remains to be seen. AMD's management said that for the first quarter of 2017, the company expects revenue to decrease by roughly 11% sequentially, though it would be an 18% year-over-year increase at the midpoint.

But AMD's full-year outlook still remains strong. Su said on the call, "[B]ased on our current market expectations and the strength of our upcoming products, we are confident we can grow annual revenue, expand gross margin, and deliver non-GAAP net income in 2017."

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