AMD CEO Lisa Su says growth is coming from gaming and data centers, not the crypto frenzy

Key Points
  • AMD CEO Lisa Su appeared on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Thursday morning.
  • AMD beat first quarter earnings estimates on Wednesday sending the stock up more than 11 percent in after hours trading.
  • Su said gaming and data centers are core markets moving forward — and that talk about blockchain can be a bit of a distraction.
Lisa T. Su, CEO of Advance Micro Devices.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

AMD president and CEO Lisa Su appeared on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" Thursday morning where Su discussed the company's first quarter and its strategy moving forward.

Gaming and Data Center

"We're very happy with how the quarter went and how the year started. For us it's about our long term strategy paying off," Su said. "We saw a nice ramp across our product lines across our PC, gaming and data center product lines."

"Gaming is a great market, there are lots and lots of gamers -- from casual gamers to real enthusiast gamers -- and we're addressing that entire segment. In data center, everyone needs more power in the cloud, so they're really great market segments."

Su said that AMD added HP, Dell and Lenovo as commercial PC clients, and expects them to help growth during the second half of the year as those computers launch.

Microsoft will also ramp up with AMD's server products, she added, noting there are unannounced customers in the pipeline, too.

Crypto and Blockchain

Su also addressed concerns from trading firm Susquehanna which suggested that Ethereum crypto mining may have helped AMD's revenues.

Su said customers who buy its products for crypto mining represented about 10 percent of revenue for the quarter. "We feel we have a very good idea of what people are using our products for, so it's a nice growth factor but it's not a dominant growth factor."

That's important since crypto mining has driven up the price of enthusiast graphics processing units which are typically used for gaming computers.

"People are watching the day-to-day of what Bitcoin does — and [they think] that relates to our day to day sales and it doesn't."

Su said blockchain is important but that it's not the core focus right now.

"It's a very important technology. The idea you can do all these peer-to-peer transactions and a decentralized market, but it's a bit of a distraction at this point. We want to focus on the core markets."

Looking forward

Su said she expects AMD's products will help drive an increase in market share in the second half.

Addressing NVIDIA and Intel Su said "high performance computing is a $75 billion market. We have an opportunity to address that entire market. We believe our technology is very competitive. The fact is there's a need for many solutions and our customers are saying they like our growth map and they're excited about what we have."

AMD topped earnings estimates on Wednesday reporting 11 cents earnings per share on $1.65 billion in revenue during the first quarter versus Thomson Reuters estimates of 9 cents per share on $1.57 billion in revenue. The beat drove AMD's stock up more than 12 percent in pre-market trading on Thursday morning.

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AMD CEO: Blockchain is here to stay but a bit of a distraction