AMD: Cryptocurrency mining won’t be a ‘long-term growth driver’ (AMD)

AMDAMD released its quarterly earnings after the bell Tuesday and the stock took off.

A beat on earnings and revenue, coupled with a higher than expected forecast for the rest of the year, sent AMD’s stock up about 8%.

In the earnings call following the company’s release, Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, said something surprising.

“Relative to cryptocurrency, we have seen some elevated demand,” Su said. “But it’s important to say we didn’t have cryptocurrency in our forecast, and we’re not looking at it as a long-term growth driver. But we’ll certainly continue to watch the developments around the blockchain technologies as they go forward.”

Su said that despite a boost in graphics processing unit sales due to increased demand from cryptocurrency miners, the company wouldn’t focus on the exploding market.

Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum have grown by headline-setting margins this year. Miners are those who lend their often specially-built computers to the cryptocurrency networks to help with complex computing required to verify payments on the platforms. Miners have been buying up lots of GPUs recently in an attempt to make their computers faster and grab a larger portion of the growing cryptocurrencies.

“If you look at GPUs across the world, the inventory in the channel is actually quite lean. And so we’re working on replenishing that inventory,” Su said. “Our priority, though, really is on our core market, which is the gaming market.”

Nvidia, AMD’s biggest competitor, is taking the opposite approach. The company is developing a mining specific chip that directly addresses the growing market. A product page for an unreleased Nvidia-based card says a mining-specific chip can increase the hash rate by 36% compared to other general purpose cards.

Cryptocurrencies are notoriously volatile, with hundred dollar moves in the price of Bitcoin the norm, rather than the exception. The currencies have generally been increasing in value but the volatility could greatly affect demand for GPUs as interest wanes with declines prices.

Su addressed this concern, saying that AMD is “doing quite a bit to make sure that [it] protects against any downside as it relates to cryptocurrency,” which could also be a reason AMD isn’t developing a mining specific card. “We’re ensuring that we’re not over-calling the demand,” Su added.

AMD is up 34.66% this year.

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SEE ALSO: AMD spikes after earnings beat

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