As Q1 earnings season continues to roll along, on deck today is AMD, who is getting the privilege of reporting some very positive earnings for the first three months of 2021. Firing on all cylinders – CPU, GPU, and semi-custom – AMD’s numerous product launches over the last several months are now paying major dividends for the company, as everything AMD is in high demand. And indeed, AMD is the poster child for the current chip crunch, as the company is making everything it can and even after selling over 3.4 billion dollars’ worth of chips in Q1, it’s still not enough.

For the first quarter of 2021, AMD reported $3.45B in revenue, making for another staggering jump over a year-ago quarter for AMD, when the company made just $1.79B in what was their best first quarter in a decade. For 2021 it’s now all about setting (and beating) records for the company, as evidenced by the 93% leap in year-over-year revenue.

AMD’s big run-up in revenue is also reflected in the company’s other metrics; along with that revenue AMD’s net income has grown by 243% year-over-year, now reaching $555M. And if not for an unusual, one-off tax benefit for AMD last quarter, Q1’21 would be AMD’s most profitable quarter ever – and indeed is on a non-GAAP basis. Meanwhile AMD’s gross margin is holding at 46%, steady versus Q4 and up one percentage point versus the year-ago quarter.

AMD Q1 2021 Financial Results (GAAP)
  Q1'2021 Q1'2020 Q4'2020 Y/Y Q/Q
Revenue $3.45B $1.79B $3.2B +93% +6%
Gross Margin 46% 46% 45% Flat +1pp
Operating Income $662M $177M $570M +274% +16%
Net Income $555M $162M $1781M* +243% -69%
Earnings Per Share $0.45 $0.14 $1.45 +221% -69%

One more the flag bearer for AMD is their Computing and Graphics segment, which encompasses their desktop and notebook CPU sales, as well as their GPU sales. That division booked $2.1B in revenue for the quarter, $662M (46%) more than Q1 2020. Accordingly, the segment’s operating income is (once more) up significantly as well, going from $262M a year ago to $485M this year.

As always, AMD doesn’t provide a detailed breakout of information from this segment, but they have provided some selective information on revenue and average selling prices (ASPs). Overall, client CPU sales were quite strong; according to AMD Ryzen processor sales are up overall, as are ASPs, on both a quarterly and yearly basis. The big wins appear to be coming from premium devices such as ultra-thin laptops and gaming devices, especially as notebook revenue is up once again, setting a sixth consecutive record for AMD. On which note, according to AMD their Ryzen 5000 mobile (Cezanne) revenue has ramped up twice as fast as the mobile 4000 series (Renoir), underscoring AMD’s continuing push into mobile.

Meanwhile the company is reporting similarly good news from their GPU business. Sales and ASPs are up due to the launch and ongoing sales of various Radeon RX 6000 products. Overall, AMD’s Radeon RX 6000 revenue has more than doubled versus Q4, as the company scrambles to make as many GPUs as it can in a very GPU-starved market.

AMD Q1 2021 Reporting Segments
  Q1'2021 Q1'2020 Q4'2020
Computing and Graphics
Revenue $2100M $1438M $1960M
Operating Income $485M $262M $420M
Enterprise, Embedded and Semi-Custom
Revenue $1345M $348M $1284M
Operating Income $277M -$26M $243M

Meanwhile AMD’s Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom segment has seen an explosion of growth of its own over the past year, thanks to the launch of AMD’s third-gen EPYC (Milan) processors, as well as the 9th generation consoles. This segment of the company booked $1.35B in revenue, $997M (286%) more than what they pulled in for Q1’20. It’s such a strong performance that it’s even up on a quarterly basis, more than offsetting the usual seasonal decline in semi-custom sales that occurs in Q1.

The big jump in revenue also means that the segment is well into the black on an operating income basis, a major improvement over Q1’20 where AMD lost money on the segment. $277M on $1345M in revenue is not quite as strong as what AMD’s computing segment pulls off, but this is a long-standing artifact of bundling AMD’s low-margin semi-custom business with its high-margin (and ever increasing) enterprise CPU business.

Overall, semi-custom sales were down slightly for Q1’21 versus Q4’20 (“by a single digit percentage”), which was more than offset by increased EPYC processor sales, thanks to the launch of AMD’s third-generation (Milan) EPYC processors. On the latter, AMD had another record quarter, as EPYC processor sales have more than doubled on a year-over-year basis and a “double-digit percentage” on a quarterly basis.

On a side note, if there’s any single metric in AMD’s latest earnings announcement that underscores just how much things have turned around for a company that nearly went bankrupt half a decade ago, it’s the company’s cash balance: AMD is sitting on $3.1B in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments. Conversely, long-term debt is down to $313M. At this point AMD is in a stronger financial position than they ever have been before.

Looking forward, AMD’s expectations for the quarter and for the rest of the year are as equally lofty as the preceding quarters. Demand for AMD chips still outpaces supply in most segments thanks to the ongoing chip crunch and substrate supply issues, so AMD has yet to fully tap the current market, let alone prepare for any further growth in product demand. Consequently, AMD is projecting some very rosy figures for Q2’21 and for the full year. The company expects to book $3.6B (+/- $100M) in revenue for Q2, which if it comes to pass will be an 86% jump over Q2’20. Meanwhile AMD has revised their full year 2021 projections, and are now expecting total revenue to increase by 50% versus their $9.8B FY2020.

As for AMD’s product lineup, while the company is now decidedly early-to-mid cycle on its CPU products, today’s earnings release does have some interesting GPU news. First up, AMD is still in the middle of launching its complete Navi 2x stack of GPUs and associated video cards. Along with continuing that launch on the desktop, the first mobile Radeon RX 6000 products are slated to launch later this quarter. And in the HPC space, AMD is expecting to ramp their next-generation Radeon Instinct products in the second half of the year, which will be going into the forthcoming Frontier supercomputer, among other projects.

Source: AMD

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  • pogsnet - Thursday, May 6, 2021 - link

    I bought my 6700xt days ago for $1000
  • Qasar - Monday, May 10, 2021 - link

    during the way the world is, and with demand as it is vs supply, you probably paid 200-300 too much.
  • Linustechtips12#6900xt - Thursday, April 29, 2021 - link

    keep in mind they have never had a 3090 class competitor for like A LONG FREAKING TIME
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - link

    Because they're pushing the console scam.

    There is less incentive to not let Nvidia set the prices for the PC gaming platform and push Polaris-forever (plus overpriced half-baked 'high-end' stuff for the 'red team faithful' — and miners more than anything) strategy.

    Nvidia gets to be the 'bad guy' by setting higher and higher prices, while AMD just meekly follows. Meanwhile, gamers never add 2 + 2 to see all of the facets of how they're being squeezed because they refuse to demand adequate market competition.
  • mode_13h - Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - link

    LOL. Never figured you for a tin foil hat type.

    Believe me, if AMD could easily take the GPU crown, they definitely would. I'm sure they'd love to be raking in the kind of revenue on GPUs that Nvidia is making.

    And AMD has been burned several times by mining bubbles. It would be complete folly for them to count on mining to keep prices high. And the only times substandard AMD-powered graphics cards have sold for significant prices is when demand for *all* GPUs has outstripped supply.

    There's a 3rd reason it would be plain dumb for AMD to count on a supply shortage, and it starts with an "I". There's no telling how much production Intel has in the pipeline. With the launch of their gaming cards and a slight deflation of the crypto bubble, graphics card prices could virtually crash, overnight.
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - link

    1. Scalpers didn't craft the GPUs to be attractive for mining.

    2. Scalpers didn't refuse to directly sell GPUs to gamers in quantity.

    3. Scalpers didn't refuse to implement what is long overdue: motherboards that have sockets for GPUs and VRAM (or just GPUs with HBM2), not just CPUs — rather than continuing to push the antique ATX form factor with its absurdly inefficient GPU cooling solutions.
  • mode_13h - Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - link

    > Scalpers didn't craft the GPUs to be attractive for mining.

    GPUs are good at mining, period. It's actually pretty hard to make a GPU that's good at gaming and NOT good at mining.

    > Scalpers didn't refuse to directly sell GPUs to gamers in quantity.

    I don't know what you're talking about, but anyone buying in quantity is probably a miner -- not a gamer.

    > Scalpers didn't refuse to implement what is long overdue: motherboards that have sockets for GPUs

    LOL. They do. It's called a PCIe slot.

    Seriously, lay off the crack pipe. You're not even making sense, here.

    GDDR has to be soldered onto the same PCB as the GPU, and right next to it. That's one of the reasons it can be so much faster than normal DDR memory. And once you have a PCB with a GPU and some GDDR, it makes sense to put the display connectors on there, so that you can add ports and upgrade to newer display standards when you upgrade your GPU. Also, put the VRM on it, so the cheapest motherboard doesn't need 320 W VRMs for a GPU few users would ever pair with it. And voilà! We have a recipe for the modern graphics card!

    Even better: putting GPUs in PCIe slots makes it easy to scale to multi-GPU setups.

    > the antique ATX form factor with its absurdly inefficient GPU cooling solutions.

    How would putting the GPU on the motherboard make them any easier to cool? Keep in mind that GPU cooling solutions also need to cool their GDDR and VRMs.
  • Targon - Wednesday, April 28, 2021 - link

    There are different sides to this. The Radeon 5700XT was a 40CU(Compute Unit) card, which is the same size as the 6700XT. The 6800 is a 60CU card, 6800XT being 72CU, and 6900XT is 80CU. From that point of view, the proper comparison for price would be MSRP of 5700XT to 6700XT. As I recall, the 5700XT did launch with a MSRP of $400.

    Now, the tariffs are a part of the MSRP, since any products made in China and imported into the USA are subject to that higher price. Even globally where the tariffs don't apply, AMD would have to incorporate it into the MSRP or lose a good amount of profitability from selling the reference models.

    It is difficult to pin down exactly how many units of GPUs that AMD is selling, since AMD could theoretically send out more GPUs than the video card makers are able to turn into video cards due to other shortages, and it would still mean more GPU revenue for AMD.
  • Spunjji - Wednesday, April 28, 2021 - link

    Only if they're manufacturing fewer cards now than then - as they seem to be selling everything they make, which I don't think was true then?
  • Silver5urfer - Tuesday, April 27, 2021 - link

    Very good to see AMD reach to good position. I'm however not impressed on how their AM4 socket is with X570 and Vermeer. Many issues still happen to people all over and lack of documentation on their technologies for public disclosure is another thing, where the end user has to scour over the reddit and other forums to get those numbers and voltage readings with tons of software to tune even to DRAM. Their EPYC got all the R&D and tons of polish I bet. Since it moves more along with their custom silicon which is Console market. AMD should put more onto consumer side. I was going to get AM4 with Zen 3 but damn when I see the issues of USB and AGESA I'm very much hesitant.

    Since Xilinx is not fully integrated, I think we have to wait on that front, that would be really top class breakthrough esp when the FPGA and x86 compute combines.

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