AMD doesn't pare 4Q loss as much as analysts hoped

Advanced Micro Devices AMD cut its fourth-quarter loss, but not as sharply as Wall Street had hoped, as the chipmaker absorbed a big charge for the falling value of an acquisition.

AMD is suffering, in part, from the same affliction that has caused bigger rival Intel and software titan Microsoft to announce layoffs and post steep drops in quarterly profits. Evaporating sales of personal computers have sapped demand for the chips and software that go into those machines.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD said Thursday that it dialed back its net loss to $1.4 billion, or $2.34 a share, in the latest period. The loss was $1.8 billion, or $3.06 a share, in the fourth quarter of 2007.

AMD keeps paying heavily to write down the value of its 2006 acquisition of ATI Technologies, a maker of graphics chips that AMD bought for $5.6 billion.

After several write-downs, AMD now believes ATI is worth less than half that. AMD took a $684 million charge in the latest period to write down ATI's value. That charge increased AMD's loss by $1.12 per share.

Excluding that and other one-time charges, AMD lost 69 cents a share, which was wider than the 54 cents a share predicted by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Sales fell 33% to $1.16 billion, short of the average analyst estimate for $1.2 billion in revenue.

AMD shares lost 5 cents in extended trading after the results were announced. The stock had fallen 23 cents, or 10.2%, to close at $2.02 during the regular trading session, when AMD shares were hurt by the troubles Microsoft revealed in its earnings announcement.