All three companies reported stellar sales and earnings far above analyst expectations, but then all three stocks fell through the floor. AMD is down more than 10% today after showing fourth-quarter sales of $1.65 billion, 42% above the year-ago figure. Thanks to the $1.25 billion settlement payment from Intel, AMD broke its streak of 12 straight quarters of negative earnings. Moreover, even if you back out that one-time windfall, AMD's loss was a measly $0.05 per share, and management expects to report positive operating income and free cash flows in 2010.
Another substantial positive reported last night is that the GlobalFoundries manufacturing arm won't be giving AMD’s balance sheet a black eye anymore. Starting next quarter, GlobalFoundries will show up as a line item on AMD's income statement, reported under the equity method. Whether that venture grows up to seriously challenge Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing
Lastly, manufacturing issues at Taiwan Semi have been holding back the supply of next-generation graphics chips. AMD has been "constrained" by this supply problem, and could otherwise have sold many more graphics chips. Since the same Taiwan Semi process also cranks out graphics chips for NVIDIA
So it's all good news, really. AMD probably deserved a share-price boost this week, but got a swift kick in the pants instead. The same is true for Intel and Google, too. My best guess: Investors have been spooked by the rumors of a market pullback and are swift to take profits right now. I don’t see other plausible explanations for AMD's share-price moves in particular.
If you have a better theory, feel free to enlighten me in the comment box below.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in AMD, Google, and Taiwan Semi, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Intel is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. NVIDIA is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Motley Fool Options has recommended buying calls on Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.