AMD has hired JPMorgan to "explore options"

Discussion in 'CPUs and Overclocking' started by Phynaz, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. Olikan

    Olikan Golden Member

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    it's under pressure that we see where a talent is...

    since amd always had pressure, it shows how Sanders did a great work
     
  2. Ferzerp

    Ferzerp Diamond Member

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    They don't have the resources left to try every possible market and see what works. They could have in 2005, but not now.


    edit: You diversify in good times. If you wait until the bad times, it is too late unless you have massive cash reserves.
     
    #152 Ferzerp, Nov 16, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  3. sontin

    sontin Diamond Member

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    With the shares at $1,82 right now, nVidia could buy AMD and pay the long debt with their own money.

    :eek:
     
  4. MrK6

    MrK6 Diamond Member

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    Not sure how you figured that. Nvidia's cash flow is 100M in the red at the moment. Across the board tech companies are getting slammed these past few weeks.
     
  5. mrmt

    mrmt Diamond Member

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    It's hard to predict AMD management's erratic movements, but they seem to be heading to ditch the x86 mass market and put ARM on its place. With x86 they seem to want custom SKUs only, a special server, a niche chip, etc. Nothing that would put them head to head with Intel. This means switching 60-70% of their revenue streams in a five years time frame, not an easy task by all means.

    If this assumption is correct, and I don't think it is too farfetched, AMD isn't strategically unfocused, they are giving up x86 and focusing their resources on ARM.

    In order to do that, they must careful plan how fast they are going to divest from x86 to invest on ARM. They left the top server market, they left the top desktop market, mainstream is almost out of their reach... Part of this is their poor execution, but now I think there is a voluntary component here. It is simply lack of resources to pour on the new projects and keep the old ones going.

    The biggest problem for AMD is that they are not transitioning while their products are in a position of strenght, but from a position of extreme weakness. Their products aren't economic stars, they have already very thin margins, so they don't have too much margin to maneuver on pricing and delaying their already outdated roadmap. To add insult to the injury, the x86 market is dwindling faster than they can afford.

    Even if AMD management is successful on this transition, there are not guarantees that they will be able to make money on those new markets they are pursuing and the company will go bankrupt anyway. I tend to share the bearish opinion, that IF AMD can survive this transition, they are going to be a footnote on some niche market, much like Via, Creative, etc.
     
  6. Rvenger

    Rvenger Elite Member <br> Super Moderator <br> Video Cards
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  7. pablo87

    pablo87 Senior member

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    well done in both respects.

    A while back on s/a (a year ago), I could see the looming meltdown and I identified ATI + Bobcat as the crown jewels and the GF WSA (which caused the inventory overhang) and mgmt (save Lisa Su) as the major liabilities and I argued for a spin-off to shareholders of ATI.

    Still the best course of action. The GPU market overall (incl tablet and smartphones) is growing and has a future. then amd can license the cores and if they go away, so be it, ATI can carry on in other markets. Also best for Intel though they don't seem to know it.

    More debt is suicide, the sp will go to 10cents and customers will lose confidence further.

    If RR and BC had any sense, they'd re-negotiate the WSA, get out of anything fabbed at GF, and focus on GPU and Expand Jaguar product line while getting the cost structure way down. If GF wants to take responsibility for R&D on the 5 sockets, I'd let them at which point AMD sort of becomes the sales agent, making a fixed profit on every part sold with GF keeping the lion's share of the ASP but taking all the risk, packaging facility, R&D burden (via mgmt fee) as well. A different WSA but one that AMD could work with. But they don't.
     
  8. mrmt

    mrmt Diamond Member

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    I tend to agree with this vision now. AMD could have the right product to get the x86 tablet market for themselves if they had developed a 28nm LP version of Brazos 2. AMD missed this opportunity and now they will have to compete with Quad Krait, Silvermont and Tegra 4. Not a nice prospect for their margins.

    I saw this idea floated here and there and I think it is a good idea for shareholders, but only if you consider AMD FUBAR, and if you don't consider making a spin off, but a sale.

    To make a spin off AMD would have to give ATI some cash before parting ways, and cash is something they don't have now, so we would need a buyer, someone to take a majority stake at ATI and pump money in the company.

    The amount isn't exactly small, as ATI is in a very delicate position after entangling itself with AMD. Their GPU revenues are shrinking and too low, operating cash flows are low, their GPU are now overly complex because of the GPGPU burden AMD put in there, and they have no mobile presence, so they would need some serious cash to get back on their feet again, but I think this is feasible.

    The other part of the problem is, how do you keep AMD alive after this spin off? Because right now AMD gets iGPU for free, something unacceptable for an independent ATI. AMD would have to pay royalties to this new ATI if not the costs for CPU + GPU integration at the die level and other specific designs they need for HSA. Given AMD current state, I doubt they could afford those new expenses.

    It's easy to fathom this spin off when AMD goes for chapter 7, but not before that, and I understand you would like to see this spin off well before a chapter 7, so how do you think that this spin off would be feasible and how AMD could live without free iGPU?
     
    #158 mrmt, Nov 16, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  9. pablo87

    pablo87 Senior member

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    I think you would spin ATI off as a public company and as part of the process, raise say $500MM on a pre-funding valuation of $1.5B for example. There would definitely be interest in my opinion, we might be surprised to see who took a position in the IPO...

    I don't know if GF or the long term debt holders could derail such a plan though in Chapter 11 I assume they'd be forced to go along perhaps having part of their debt converted to equity in ATI.

    I think it's a foregone conclusion that with existing mgmt (except for Lisa Su) and BoD who seem in no hurry to leave, AMD is done. They have no vision, have failed to fail fast, and have invariably taken the wrong turn at every fork in the road. So it would be a patent sale and maybe, maybe if DoJ has any brains, an x86 license and I think in such a case, NVIDIA might be unable to resist the x86 temptation.

    But to answer your question on royalties from AMD to the new ATI, A prudent CFO of the new entity wouldn't project any money coming in from AMD nor treat it as a long-term business.

    The problem with all this conjecture of course is there's only one thing for sure: AMD's BOD will take the wrong turn - again. which personally I believe will be to kick the can down the road until the sp is a few pennies, file for chapter 11, sell whatever assets still has value, and then a final chapter 7 liquidation as you say. It's even scary to hold the long-term debt as its not certain you'll be made whole (LOL at those who value the 2015 paper higher than the 2020+ debt - neither will see the maturity date).

    Just look at all the comments on Glassdoor. Clearly employees have no confidence in mgmt and given the alternatives out there, its not difficult to imagine the best talent leaving and AMD not being able to replace them. Any employee acting in their own best interests has either done so or is in the process. So the company is in effect liquidating itself...
     
  10. Ferzerp

    Ferzerp Diamond Member

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    This is more of the fancy math where you take part of the company and claim that it is worth more than the company is as a whole?

    Sorry, I don't believe you can shed debt that way.
     
    #160 Ferzerp, Nov 16, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  11. Idontcare

    Idontcare Elite Member

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    We gin that up by dumbing it down and calling it "unlocking shareholder value" ;)
     
  12. CHADBOGA

    CHADBOGA Golden Member

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    This seems to have become your trademark posting style recently. ;)
     
  13. Rvenger

    Rvenger Elite Member <br> Super Moderator <br> Video Cards
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    I have been hitting the post button too many times without thinking.
     
  14. mrmt

    mrmt Diamond Member

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    I see, treat AMD as a non-revenue customer for a given time frame and treat the costs of the AMD developments as sunk. Fair enough, could work with the right numbers and the right people.
     
  15. mrmt

    mrmt Diamond Member

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    It's an euphemism for "give the business to people who believe in the business and know what they are doing".

    Bring AMD management to Qualcomm or Intel and you'll see the value drop by 50% in a day.
     
  16. Idontcare

    Idontcare Elite Member

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    So true, in fact I was surprised that not many laypeople picked up on the fact that when the market first began to suspect AMD was looking to be sold (when the JPM rumor first broke) AMD stock popped upwards by about 5%.

    Pretty sad when the best way Rory can unlock shareholder value is by announcing someone else might be taking over control of the company :hmm:
     
  17. mrmt

    mrmt Diamond Member

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    AMD stock jumped to 2.30 when the rumor was published, that's 15%, and when the rumor fizzled the stock was gradually falling until closing 5% above the opening price. You can bet that the stock would be among the best performers of the month if they were really pursuing a sale. That's just a glimpse of how much credibility the current management has on the market.
     
  18. Ajay

    Ajay Platinum Member

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    No doubt that JHH hates Intel, but I don't think even he would like to be up against Intel at the present moment. The only way I see this as making sense, is that it could bolster NVs HPC offerings by being able to offer a more complete system including CPU, chipset and GPU. But then the CPU would be limited run, high cost relative to Intel and IBM's small PowerPCs.

    It's interesting that many from AMD were happy to reasonable happy with their experience at AMD, but almost all disprove of the management. I notice a job posting while looking through peoples comments and AMD is looking for a technical Fellow to develop their embedded wireless systems. From reading the posting it looks like AMD has plans for delivering custom SoCs five years from now. They are so far behind that it is ridiculous.

    Edit: Here's the link Technical Fellow

    I imagine that's the only way AMD would accept the sale, if this were to occur b/4 Ch. 11. They would want the development they've already done to be 'Free'.

    Well, strike this based on mrmt's post above.
    Yeah, and it only popped 5%. People on the street must not see a possible sell off as being worth much, that or they only thought JPM was their to do their financial wizardry to improve AMD's short term cash balance.
     
    #168 Ajay, Nov 17, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
  19. pablo87

    pablo87 Senior member

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    Unless the new ATI could secure credit insurance for AMD receivables...

    Overall, spinning off ATI is by far the best option for all - bondholders, employees at ATI, industry as a whole. Current shareholders may not be better off but they certainly won't be any worse off.

    One thing is becoming clear, PC industry desperately needs to differentiate itself from ARM/Tablet. The good enough strategy of the past 15 years no longer works, its been usurped by the tablet good enough. Having competition and innovation in PC graphics is a good thing. More importantly, PC graphics is growing while good enough is not and PC graphics = higher ASPs for everybody.

    Intel is so blind they haven't realized that every discrete graphics sold means more profits for them - theoretically if everything was discrete, they wouldn't have to integrated graphics so their chip cost would be much lower as would their capex while their market would shrink less and their ASPs would be higher. Hmm...sounds like a winning formula.

    Having ATI disappear in a patent sale otoh profits only NVDA.
     
  20. pablo87

    pablo87 Senior member

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    Good find, that's preposterous. These guys are moving the chairs on the titanic.
     
  21. mrmt

    mrmt Diamond Member

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    The problem for me isn't ATI get the money, but AMD agree/afford to pay ATI. ATI could live without the money. They would have a hard time, but they could live. AMD cannot pay for anything.
     
  22. MisterMac

    MisterMac Senior member

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    IDC\Pablo\MrMt:

    Given the great discussions lately on analyzing AMD's behavior and the news surrounding it's strategy - would you accept jobs at AMD?

    Looking at the hiring for a Technical Fellow to lead the wireless IP field - what would really attract the so called fine design talent that AMD has locked in the basement?


    People whom design these things aren't exactly daft simple folk.
    They must see the writing on the wall - even with the limited information availeble.

    So why do people sign up to the boat now?
    Why does that fantastic design talent not jump ship?

    I'm sure Intel has enough - but would it turn away the top 10% of AMD as an example.


    Im perplexed as to how AMD in the given situation stands a chance of landing "talent" and keeping "talent".

    I'm a greedy bastard personally - and i think we all have a certain penance for cash.
    But does AMD have the money to throw million(s) on some design talent(s)?
     
  23. Idontcare

    Idontcare Elite Member

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    If the price is right, as they say ;)

    But no, I'm not looking for employment. Happily running my own business at the moment and gearing up for a relo to Taiwan with the wife and family come spring.

    I may look into seeing if TSMC or UMC is hiring in their R&D division in a year or two if I get bored with forex. That would be strongly dependent on how well my Mandarin came along though, not to mention what the situation was looking like for the kids.

    But a management-level position at AMD? My skills aren't what they need, they need real management and not just another dude who fancies himself as being one (which is about all I'd have to offer unless they put me through about a year's worth of upper management training courses).

    When TI did the same thing with their R&D development team there was an effort made internally to retain top talent, they created new high-profile positions and moved people into them as a sort of career lifeboat of sorts.

    What I remember observing was that there was an incredible resistance by people to get with the program and start the job hunt even when the writing was on the wall. People were very much in denial (the first stage of kubler-ross) and they just stood around (metaphorically) and let the grass grow under their feet.

    You had a mobile segment that quickly got with the program. Then you had the segment of people who saw the writing on the wall but could not convince their spouses and family that they needed to uproot their ties to the local community and relocate for a better more secure job. Those people were damned because they were the bread winners but weren't given executive decision making capabilities to get off the sinking ship until it truly sank.

    Which just goes to say that not everyone is at liberty to make the best decision in the situation, each person has a lot of personal stuff that factors into them staying in a given job. Figure out what that is and you can be the head manager of HR because then you'll know exactly how to low-ball each person's compensation package without worrying about them leaving for it.
     
    #173 Idontcare, Nov 17, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
  24. pablo87

    pablo87 Senior member

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    My understanding is there is some real talent that have left the company so if those brilliant minds left, considering all the bad PR and lack of trust in mgmt, nobody in their right mind would go in right now unless the pay was outrageous, "in trust" or it was a consulting gig and again, paid up front.

    The lack of trust in mgmt and the BoD's "vision" cannot be understated.

    Everything they do makes employees more nervous and less productive, imagine prospective hires.

    Now if they had a clear plan - ok we have 10,000 employees, we're forming 8 divisions and will get out of half of the businesses and those are the people getting laid off not you folks in the good divisions, we're getting rid of all the VP's of Bananas and keeping the people who do the actual work, we're cutting unnecessary head office overhead, complete transparency -here's how we get to breakeven, here's our go forward strategy and our vision for the industry, here's how we settle with global foundries wsa (which is a huge liability in more ways than one), there is an industry track record on the part of top mgmt (which atm only Lisa Su qualifies) then maybe they can hire some real talent because the SP is so low those re-priced options would look very attractive.

    Anecdotally, I remember when WD filed for Chapter 11. SP was $3, market cap was $135MM. Hard drives had transitioned from MFM/RLL to IDE and of course controller vendors like WD (Omti, dtc, ncl) became redundant, as did their semiconductor and PcBA operations. So they bought tandon's 40mb 28ms hard drive operation and while those drives were pieces of crap, they soldiered on. Somehow, they kept all their key talent, cut a lot of fat esp. in the middle as I recall, must have added some along the way, sales guys kept revenue flowing (real important) and they turned the corner. The key: employees had faith in mgmt.
     
  25. IlllI

    IlllI Diamond Member

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    i don't understand most of this, but would not be a advantageous time to invest? i can't imagine the stock would go much lower.
     
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