The Future is Uncertain for These 3 Chipmakers

Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) is up about 3.5 percent in afternoon trading on Thursday. The company announced the launch of AMD AppZone, “an online showcase for applications and games accelerated by AMD Radeon graphics processing units and AMD accelerated processing units.” AMD’s new APU designed around graphics performance, called Trinity, was announced in conjunction with the AppZone. The company is also losing long-time CFO Thomas Seifert on September 28. Despite the good news, many think that AMD’s days are numbered, given poor direction and small market share.

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In the microprocessor business, AMD is a distant second to Dow Jones component Intel (NASDAQ:INTC). Shares of Intel are down 7.70 percent this year to date. They took a blow from investors who were not pleased when the company lowered their third quarter revenue expectations from $13.8 – 14.8 billion down to $13.2 billion. Craig Ellis of Caris & Co. cut his price target by $3 to $26 per share because of general slowdown in the PC business worldwide, coupled with particular problems in Europe. Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) October 26 released of Windows 8 could cause PC sales to increase, but recent news about the OS suggest it’s not quite ready yet.

Intel’s $375 million cash aquisition of 1,700 patents from InterDigital (NASDAQ:IDCC) has expanded the company’s breadth a little bit. The patents give Intel some access to 3G and other mobile tech, but competitor ARM Holdings (NASDAQ:ARMH) controls the mobile chip space, having designed the architecture for the chips used in Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones. However, ARMH has seen a very rocky year to date, with shares falling 2.53 percent through Wednesday. ARMH has been plagued by a recent bout of investor pessimism.

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