AMD sees huge gains in Q1, crypto impact unclear

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AMD just held its Q1 2021 earnings call, wherein lots of success was paraded. The company managed $3.45 billion in revenue in the first quarter, up 93% from last year. Net income hit $555 million, which translates to a meteoric 243% increase year-over-year. In other words, AMD is doing well for itself — even with the lingering specter of cryptocurrency looming in the background.

As can be seen in the transcripts (via PC Gamer), the mood of the call was generally positive. However, a Bank of America Securities analyst did pull out a crypto question, which resulted in a brief pause from AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su.

The analyst’s question asked which products or markets were causing increased profits and whether there was any crypto impact. Dr. Su responded with the following:

You asked about crypto. We do not — we have negligible crypto in here. So this is really the foundational business, really, the new products and just seeing the customers adopt and ramp quickly.

Not only was this mention of crypto scrunched into the tail-end of Su’s response, but it also involved a pause that seemed to pivot the direction of the comment. Was she about to say something more definitive, or did she not want to reveal that cryptocurrency miners remain an unquantified element in the pool of who’s buying AMD products?

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Questions abound. We know AMD has been crushing it lately, via releasing big software updates for its hardware and scoring noteworthy product integrations such as having Ryzen in the Surface Laptop 4, so there’s no shortage of reasons to assume that the majority of the market for AMD’s products truly are just average consumers and gamers. But that’d be an assumption.

Actually quantifying which buyers are crypto-focused would be quite a difficult task. Still, AMD must have some idea if Su was willing to drop a “negligible” after a brief pause but unwilling to drop any hard statistics or estimates. So what do those secret figures look like? It’s anybody’s guess at this point.

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