Last quarter, chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) reported results that were largely in-line but issued guidance that was below consensus. Company's management blamed this weak guidance on higher channel inventories that needed to be burned off.
AMD CEO Lisa Su said on the company's last earnings call that it would take action to correct this inventory situation "quickly." Su also seemed optimistic that such "corrective actions" would "position [AMD] well" when it starts ramping next generation products.
Let's take a closer look at analyst (and by extension, investor) expectations are going into AMD's earnings report, which is expected to arrive after market close on April 16.
Expectations for the March and June quarters
For the most recently ended quarter, analyst consensus calls for AMD to deliver $1.05 billion in sales and a loss of $0.05 per share; these seem to be aligned with the guidance that AMD gave for the quarter. Given that AMD didn't preannounce downside to these numbers, I'd say there's a reasonable chance that AMD won't miss these estimates.
For the coming quarter, it seems that analysts expect AMD to guide to $1.14 billion in sales (an 8.6% sequential increase, but a 21.2% year-over-year decline). They're also expecting the company to lose a penny per share.
What's going to drive results for the rest of the year?
The two businesses that AMD investors likely want to see improvement in are the PC processor and discrete graphics businesses. AMD seems to be banking on its new Carrizo family of chips to try to regain share against Intel (NASDAQ:INTC). That said, I think those chips will face very stiff competition from the latter's 14-nanometer Broadwell and Skylake processors.
In the stand-alone graphics market, it is well known that AMD is losing share against rival NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA), which has seen its market segment share grow with its Maxwell family of products. On AMD's last earnings call, company CFO Devinder Kumar had the following to say with respect to potentially gaining back share:
There was a product that came up from the competition that was pretty competitive. And we have a response for that coming out in this year whereby we would introduce our next generation graphics. And I think we are confident that as we get into the second half of 2015 with the launch of that product, we will gain back the market share which is low from my standpoint in terms of this product where we need to be significantly higher than where we are right now.
It'll be interesting to see if AMD's next generation products will be able to actually take back share as Kumar expects.
Finally, a big part of AMD's business now comes from its semicustom processor division which currently supplies chips into both Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox One and Sony's (NYSE:SNE). Kumar says that game console chip unit sales should be up in 2015 from 2014 levels, which should help the company's semicustom business this year.
How will AMD's year turn out?
Analysts expect that AMD's full-year revenue will be down about 15.10% from 2014 levels to $4.67 billion. Analysts are also expecting the company to earn just one cent per share this year -- down from $0.06 last year.
AMD hasn't given full year guidance itself, so these estimates are probably subject to revision by the analysts as things play out.