Intel's poor performance in the last three months of 2005 turned out to be good news for rival chipmaker AMD, which yesterday reported better-than-expected financial results for the period. With sales of AMD's microprocessor division increasing nearly 80 percent from the previous year, the company reported revenue of $1.84bn (about £1.04bn).

AMD's fourth quarter 2005 revenue was up 45 percent year-on-year, and the company went from losing $30m (£17m) during Q4 2004 to reporting a profit of $96m (£54m), or $0.24 per share, during this most recent quarter. Excluding $110m (£62m) in costs related to the initial public offering of AMD's Spansion flash memory division, the company's profit was $205m (£116m) or $0.45 per share.

The revenue numbers were well ahead of Wall Street expectations. Analysts had expected revenue for the quarter to total $1.67bn (£946m), according to a survey of 29 analysts by Thomson First Call.

Investors had been expecting good things from AMD. While Intel's stock was down more than 11 percent yesterday, closing at $22.60, AMD shares rose by nearly 4 percent on the day, closing at $34.15, and continued to rise in after-hours trading following the announcement of AMD's results.