AMD has published its fourth quarter and financial year 2017 report, and it appears that the company's fortunes are finally shifting with an impressive and above-projections $61 million net income for the quarter.

Following years of poor financial performance - to the point where the company's quarterly reports renamed the 'net income' row of the table to the pessimistic but accurate 'net loss' - AMD is fianally making a sustained profit. While its fourth-quarter revenue of $1.48 billion and net income of $61 million is down from the $1.64 billion revenue and $71 million profit of the third quarter, it shows sustained profit and a big shift from the $1.11 billion revenue and $51 million loss of the same quarter a year prior.

For the full year AMD finally finished in overall profit with $43 million net income on revenue of $5.33 billion, up from a whopping $497 million loss on $4.27 billion of revenue in its 2016 financial year - a particularly parlous report caused by the need to pay $340 million to former manufacturing subsidiary GlobalFoundries to revise its wafer supply agreement. The growth, AMD claims, came primarily from stronger-than-hoped sales of its Radeon graphics and Ryzen processor products, while the quarter-on-quarter dip is due to 'seasonally lower' sales of parts from its enterprise, embedded, and semi-custom silicon division - the latter responsible for the chips that power Microsoft and Sony's respective games consoles.

'2017 marked a key inflection point for AMD as we reshaped our product portfolio, delivered 25 percent annual revenue growth, expanded gross margin and achieved full-year profitability,' crowed Dr. Lisa Su, AMD president and chief executive, during the company's earnings call. 'We are even more excited about 2018 as we launch our next wave of high-performance products and continue to position AMD as one of the premier long-term growth companies in the technology industry.'

During the same call, Dr. Su admitted that the company's Zen+ products will not include design changes to mitigate against the Spectre speculative execution vulnerability but will ship with microcode protections instead with true hardware protection due for the Zen 2 release expected in 2019. Dr. Su also confirmed plans to 'replenish [the graphics] channel environment [by] ramping up production' of the company's gaming-oriented graphics products, describing the current boom in GPU-powered cryptocurrency mining as a 'good part of our business' while admitting it has resulted in increased retail pricing and stock shortages for gamers.

Based on projections of further growth up to 30 percent for the first quarter of its 2018 financial year, AMD's stock price rose 2.72 percent in after-hours trading following a pre-report slump of 3.38 percent.

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October 14 2021 | 15:04