Avid Posts Q1 Loss

Cites tough economy
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Editing and storage supplier Avid reported revenues of $151.6 million for the first quarter of 2009, compared to $198.3 million for the same period in 2008, and posted a net loss for the quarter of $17.3 million, or $.47 per share, compared to a net loss of $21.1 million, or $.54 per share, in the first quarter of 2008.

The net loss for Q1 included amortization of intangibles, stock-based compensation, restructuring costs and related tax adjustments, collectively totaling $11.7 million. Excluding these items, the non-GAAP net loss was $5.6 million for the first quarter, or $.15 per share, said the Tewksbury, Mass.-based firm.

"The economic climate continues to be a challenge; however, we are making solid progress executing our strategy to transform Avid," said Gary Greenfield, Avid's chairman and CEO, in a statement. "The steps we've taken to integrate our business have enabled us to begin cultivating deeper partnerships with our customers -- from home enthusiasts to large media enterprises -- helping us to better understand their needs in terms of interoperability, openness, collaborative production and workflow. When the economy enters a period of recovery, we will be well positioned to take advantage of the many opportunities that exist in our markets."

Drilling down into its business segments, Avid's video revenues were off significantly, dropping from $125 million in Q1 2008 to $87.5 million in Q1 2009. Audio revenues held up better, declining from $73.2 million in Q1 2008 to $64.1 million in Q1 2009.

Avid has faced significant competition from Apple, Grass Valley and Adobe on the nonlinear editing front and is also seeing new competition in the shared storage and production server space from vendors that previously focused more on transmission applications, such as Harris and Omneon. Meanwhile, the company no longer has a transmission server product after discontinuing its Pinnacle MediaStream product line, which is a weakness when competing against vendors like Harris and Grass Valley for large system sales.

The decision to scrap the MediaStream line happened before Greenfield joined Avid in December 2007 with the mission of turning the company around. In a press briefing at NAB this week, Greenfield said that discontinuing MediaStream was the right decision for the company at the time, but that he wishes he still had the product in Avid's portfolio.

That's because existing MediaStream customers, who are currently transitioning to server products from SeaChange, Omneon and others, demonstrate "passion for MediaStream" like no other Avid product.

"There is a hole there," said Greenfield. "Clearly, the customers would like it [if we still sold MediaStream]."

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