Last week, Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) had to push back a special shareholder meeting because there weren't enough ballots cast to make any decisions, one way or another. Another week of voting later, the matter has been settled -- but just barely.

Why do I feel like some major shareholders might not know much about AMD's business?

Just the facts, man
Here are the facts of AMD's voting adventures as we know them:


Round 1

Round 2

Votes in favor



Votes cast



% of all shares in favor



Yep, voting 50.26% of the outstanding shares counts as a quorum, by the skin of the company's teeth. Another recount, and they might as well hold the next meeting in Florida or Minnesota.

Doing the math on the vote, it turns out that 15% of the new votes were cast against the proposal to spin off its chip manufacturing operations into a joint venture with the government of Abu Dhabi. That's hardly a ringing endorsement, when 97% of the original votes were in favor.

The naysayers doubled their vote count in the revoting round while those in favor only added a slight bump to the total. In the end, AMD got its way and can move ahead with the spinoff plan, but only 47.7% of its shares were cast in favor of the plan.

Nearly half of AMD's shares were eerily silent throughout the whole sordid opera. I don't get that at all.

If you own shares but don't like this radical change in AMD's business plan, you'd at least vote against the idea, right? And nobody would buy a substantial stake in a public company only to filibuster an important vote and potentially drive down the value of that large investment. So the only conclusion I can reach is that nearly half of AMD's shareholders either don't know enough about its business to make an informed decision, or that they just don't really care.

Either way, that scares me.

AMD's trouble is your buy-in window
AMD is fighting a never-ending uphill battle against chip giant Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) in the processor market, and a nonstop seesaw war against NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) in graphics chips and system platforms. The asset-light model pioneered by Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN) looks less risky than the old way of funding those expensive manufacturing plants from a shaky balance sheet while relying on technology and manufacturing support from IBM (NYSE:IBM).

Some purists disagree, complaining about stock dilution and lower margins. Well then, go ahead and vote "No"! I understand that AMD can be hard to keep track of if you haven't followed the company's story for very long. But if you don't know it, why do you own the stock? Knowing your investments is half the battle, and it looks like AMD's shares have fallen into the hands of the disinterested and/or the uninformed. Maybe that's what's keeping the share price so obscenely low. Feel free to agree or disagree in our CAPS community.

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Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in AMD, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings or a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.