AMD reached profitability for the first time in three years during the fourth quarter of 2009 -- and it's got Intel to thank for it. The company did benefit from a lift in the computer market, and a change in its business model, but mostly it was the massive $1.25 billion legal settlement in an antitrust battle against Intel which helped them achieve a $1.178 billion profit on revenue of $1.646 billion. In the same quarter last year, AMD lost $1.4 billion.
Not counting the settlement money though, revenue was still up 42 percent, with $1.2 billion coming from microprocessor sales and $427 million from its graphics business. AMD could have shipped more GPUs but supply from its manufacturing partner TSMC was "heavily constrained" during the quarter.
Other signs of a slow but continued turnaround for the company include a higher gross margin compared to previous periods -- 45 percent versus 42 percent in the prior quarter and 23 percent in Q4 2008. Looking ahead AMD expects revenue "to be down seasonally" this quarter, to completely deconsolidate with its former manufacturing operation, and place a renewed focus on the mobile segment.