Advanced Micro Devices Inc. is still looking like a second-half story — and then some — as new chips for the data center sit on the horizon like the North Star.


AMD, -0.22%

 reported a slightly better-than-expected first quarter Tuesday, as revenue declined slightly less than expected. Revenue came in at $1.27 billion, above Wall Street’s expectations of $1.26 billion, down from $1.65 billion in the year-ago period. The chip maker faced a tough comparison from 2018 due to a big jump in sales of chips for cryptocurrency mining last year.

In after-hours trading, shares jumped around 4%, falling back slightly as the company’s conference call progressed, with many of the questions focused on the company’s efforts in the data center so far. One analyst asked Chief Executive Lisa Su if she could remind them of the opportunities and market-share gains that the company expects from its entry into that market.

“As we looked at the server market, we know very well that the data-center market takes time to ramp with any new product,” Su said. “We’d expect that over the next four to six quarters, we would continue to ramp our server market share with the goal of getting to double-digit percentage share.”

Investors have been looking to AMD’s new chips for data centers to provide some additional upside and revenue, since it has been mostly absent from that fast-growing market until it introduced a new family of chips based on its Zen architecture in 2017. The next chip for data centers coming from that family is code-named Rome and is expected to launch in the third quarter of this year.

Read more: How AMD believes it can challenge Intel in servers

Still, Su’s longer view of the data-center market may not have been as immediately bullish as some investors wanted to hear. At one point, she also said, “It is a multi-year, multi-generational roadmap,” referring to multiple product generations. She also said that AMD’s Rome chips would be able to address about 80% of the workloads for cloud computing. During the call, AMD’s shares slipped back from a high of $29.75 to finish the extended session around $28.75. AMD’s shares are up nearly 50% this year so far, compared with the S&P 500 Index

SPX, +0.10%

, which is up 17.5%.

One analyst asked what kind of pushback AMD was seeing from any potential enterprise customers. Su said that while she wouldn’t really call it pushback, bigger enterprise customers move more slowly than cloud-computing firms.

“There are longer qualification cycles because their qualification cycles [include] both the OEM side as well as the end-customer side,” she said.

Don’t miss: The promise of a magical rebound for tech comes with little evidence to back it up

AMD Chief Financial Officer Devinder Kumar reiterated the company’s previous outlook for the rest of the year, noting that for the full-year 2019, “AMD continues to expect high single-digit percentage revenue growth and non-GAAP gross margin to be greater than 41%.” According to FactSet, the current analyst consensus for AMD is 2019 revenue of $6.8 billion, up 5.25%.

“The key near-term controversy hinges upon the achievability of that outlook,” Stacy Rasgon, a Bernstein Research analyst, said in his preview on AMD.

Investors have been waiting for a while to see the benefits of AMD’s new chip family spill over into the bigger, more profitable market. Indeed, AMD is seeing some benefits, with stronger sales in PCs amid troubles at Intel Corp.

INTC, -0.14%

 , but chips for data centers and enterprise servers may take a bit longer to ramp up to the growth that some investors expect.

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A federal judge on Monday approved a settlement — which had first been reported Friday — between Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk and the Securities and Exchange Commission stemming from their latest Twitter beef.

According to a court filing, the two sides agreed to amend the original settlement to be more specific about exactly what types of statements Musk must have approved by lawyers before tweeting them. Previously, the settlement said that any potentially material statements had to be viewed by an experienced securities lawyer before Musk tweeted them, but Musk argued in filings for an SEC complaint about a subsequent tweet that the original settlement gave him the ability to determine if statements could be material before showing them to a lawyer.

In the reworked settlement, the SEC left no wiggle room in that regard. It has now replaced the materiality baseline with a long list of specific Tesla metrics that must be shown to a lawyer before they can be shared. Among that list is production or delivery forecasts that have not been shared or that are not the same as what had previously been shared, which is what started the latest kerfuffle, along with potential mergers, financial condition or performance, new product lines, nonpublic filings and other topics.

Even with the list of topics Musk must have cleared before mentioning, a footnote still said that it was not meant to be the only topics that could be material.

In a statement Monday, SEC commissioner Rob Jackson said he was not on board with the deal. “As a policy matter, those who settle cases with the SEC must be held to the bargain they struck. Given Mr. Musk’s conduct, I cannot support a settlement in which he does not admit what is crystal clear to anyone who has followed this bizarre series of events: Mr. Musk breached the agreement he made last year with the Commission — and with American investors.”

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


TSLA, -1.15%

 stock was flat in after-hours trading Monday after the settlement was confirmed. Shares fell 14% last week to $235.14, their lowest close in more than two years, after Tesla reported large losses in the first quarter.

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The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will allow Wynn Resorts to retain its gaming license but will fine the company $35 million, the commission announced Tuesday evening.

In a written statement, MGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein said: “Ensuring public confidence in the integrity of the gaming industry and the strict oversight of the gaming establishments through rigorous regulation is our principal objective.” But “with that comes an equally significant duty of fairness.”

The decision clears the path for the global casino company to open its $2.6 billion property Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, Massachusetts, in June.

Wynn Resorts said in a statement that it had “received a copy of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s decision on suitability late today.” The company added that it is “in the process of reviewing that decision and considering the full range of our next steps.”

Regulators had tackled serious questions about the company’s suitability after investigators determined the company repeatedly and over years had turned a blind eye to employees’ accusations of rape, sexual harassment and other misconduct against founder and then-CEO Steve Wynn. He has said he had romantic relationships with workers but has consistently denied any coercion.

Jeffries gaming analyst David Katz says, “In terms of what expectations were for potential outcomes, this is at the positive end of the range. On the other end of the range — where Wynn couldn’t keep the license, the building or its executive team — would have been more disruptive to the company and the stock.”

On April 7, Jeffries upgraded Wynn Resorts to a buy rating with a price target of $170. “Our thesis is: this is the last big project they have. They go through a capital pivot where the spending stops and the cashflow goes up and the leverage goes down and it accretes to the equity value,” Katz said.

Harry Curtis, gaming analyst at Nomura/Instinet, says the commission’s decision “has long-term, positive implications for Wynn’s ability not only to compete, but to succeed, in larger scale, global destination markets.”

The company had defended itself by saying that it separated from its CEO shortly after the allegations were made public in The Wall Street Journal in January 2018. Wynn resigned on Feb. 6 that year and sold his entire stake by mid-March.

Wynn Resorts had contended the company is no longer about a single man. Executives and board members argued strenuously the company had reinvented itself, with new leadership, a new board with three new women as directors, new policies and a new commitment to transparency with regulators.

The MCG decision spares Wynn resorts from the much more damaging fate of losing its gaming license. The commission acknowledged all the internal changes and said, “Wynn is likely to be a successful operator in Everett.”

The commission also reviewed the suitability of CEO Matt Maddox and co-founder Elaine Wynn, Steve’s ex-wife, the only two individual qualifiers remaining from the original license application, and decided they are suitable.

Gaming regulators have voted to fine Maddox $500,000 for what they called his failures in enforcing company policy.

Also the commission is requiring the board to hire an executive coach for Maddox to focus on leadership development and will require the roles of chairman and CEO to remain separated for the 15-year term of the license.

Maddox was the longtime protege of Steve Wynn — and his appointed successor. In a three-day hearing in March, after investigators presented their report, regulators grilled Maddox about why he didn’t know about multiple settlements, complaints or mishandling of allegations.

In its post-hearing brief, Wynn Resorts responded: “… the settlements were known to very few within the Company who worked in silos, meaning that some individuals became aware of certain settlements, but not others.”

Wynn Resorts fiercely defended its CEO in the brief, arguing the commission applied the standard of suitability as “one that judges his leadership, which is not a statutory criterion in the Gaming Act.”

Regulators had pressed Elaine Wynn in the March hearing about why, as a board member, she hadn’t revealed to the board or to gaming regulators the existence of a 2005 multimillion-dollar settlement between Steve Wynn and a former employee. She testified in a hearing in February that she had fulfilled her responsibility by informing then-General Counsel Kim Sinatra.

Sinatra is among a number of former executives named and blamed by gaming regulators in both Nevada and Massachusetts for systemic failures to enforce company policy. The company says those employees are no longer with the company.

In February, the Nevada Gaming Commission fined Wynn Resorts a record $20 million for failing to protect employees and apply its own policies to Steve Wynn. But it followed up that decision with a letter to Wynn Resorts confirming that in Nevada, Maddox was determined to have met suitability requirements.

Wynn Resorts had held off announcing a date for its first-quarter earnings release and call while it waited on the decision in Massachusetts.

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TRI Pointe Group CEO Douglas Bauer on Tuesday told CNBC he saw a “momentum shift” in the first quarter of 2019.

“The consumer is definitely more engaged,” he said in a one-on-one interview with “Mad Money’s” Jim Cramer.

An amalgamation of local housing companies, TRI Pointe has surged more than 19% this year along with the homebuilding sector, which is up more than 25%. Lower mortgage rates have helped return buyers to the housing market, Cramer noted.

TRI Pointe lags in the home construction group in part because the stock fell about 8% after reporting mixed first-quarter results on Thursday, delivering a top-line beat but a bottom-line miss.

Revenue from home sales was down 15% compared to the first quarter of 2018, which could be attributed to a 12% decrease in new house construction.

However, Bauer expressed positive sentiment about the rest of the year. He said first-quarter results reflected weakness in the housing market in the second half of 2018 when the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF slumped nearly 20%.

“We’ve got about a 23% margin in our backlog, and we’ve got a good runway for the rest of the year,” he said. “A lot of wood to chop, but the market’s looking good.”

If job and wage growth remains strong, Bauer thinks demand will continue to pick up for housing in the long run. The industry has also been helped in the interim by the Federal Reserve’s decision to stop raising interest rates in 2019, he added.

The regulatory environment in California is still tough, but TRI Pointe’s 11,000 lots in the state give the company “great runway” to pull margins, Bauer said.

Now in its 10th year of business, the CEO said they’re focused on the southeast part of the country to continue to grow its market share. TRI Pointe wants to build in the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee, he said.

“It’s our 10 year anniversary. We went from zero to $3.2 billion [in 2018 home sales revenue]. Our goal for the next 10 [years] is double that,” Bauer said. “So those are great markets for us to grow in, in addition to Texas and the rest of the Southwest.”

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