The year 2023 marks the first episode of decline since 2015 for the microprocessor and graphics card manufacturer. This episode is less violent than the previous one, with sales down by just 4%, compared with a 20% air pocket eight years ago.

Moreover, this slowdown was not completely unexpected at the end of a five-year sequence of supercharged growth. After two decades of stagnation, AMD managed to quadruple its sales between 2018 and 2023.

However, the impact on profitability is more violent, with operating profit falling by 68% between 2022 and 2023, and earnings per share down by 37%. Margins are being squeezed above all by inflation in R&D spending.

Management has also issued an extremely cautious forecast for the next quarter, with sales expected to reach $5.4 billion - compared with $6.2 billion for the quarter just ended - and stagnating sales in the data center segment.

By 2023, the equipment manufacturer's operating margin will be down to 1.7%. Far, far from the stratospheric levels reached between 2019 and 2021, pandemic and taming difficulties be damned. Is this return to the historical average set to last, or can AMD really enter a "new normal" of double-digit margins in the age of supercomputing?

The market, in any case, has clearly chosen its camp: despite the slowdown in business in 2023, AMD shares are still trading at over two hundred times earnings.