Avid Investors Begin Their Selloff Of Multimedia Giant

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Occasionally, investors are forced to question the board members of the stocks they hold. This is certainly the case today when it comes to Avid Technology (NASDAQ: AVID). The Burlington, Massachusetts, company offered a sneak peak into third quarter numbers that will be released on October 29, and the results were considerably less than pleasant.

Avid Technology is a company specializing in video and audio production technology, specifically digital non-linear editing (NLE) systems, management and distribution services. While Emmy and Oscar winners and nominees almost invariably use the company’s systems, sales seem to be a problem that Avid can’t cut out of the picture.

Avid now envisions revenue of $125 million to $127 million, and a GAAP loss of $17 million to $19 million. Previous Street consensus was for revenue of $145.2 million and a profit of 14 cents a share. This announcement shocked investors in early trading hours, as this Q3 revenue range included $4 million of revenue from divested businesses, while ongoing businesses had revenue of $121 million to $123 million versus $143 million a year ago.

Avid closed last week at $8.17, a number that will require quite a bit of work in order to be achieved again. Avid shares dropped $1.17, or 14%, to $7.00 in premarket trading. From there, Avid continued its descent. Opening at $6.77, the company never showed signs of interrupting this fall. Shortly after noon, the stock saw the $7.00 mark for the last time before closing the day down $1.48 for a loss of 18.1%.

In July, the company announced that it would be leaving the consumer market. A decision that many analysts believe may be the smartest decision the company has made in some time. This shift can be summed up in a single word: Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL). The Cupertino company’s Final Cut Pro and iMovie provide users with a system that is considerably easier to use for the hobbyist and semi-professional to say nothing of its sheer reach into this market with personal computers, tablets and even the iPhone.

Avid CEO Gary Greenfield seemed nearly ecstatic about the opportunities in front of him on the last earnings call. He said, “Some trends, like the move from analog to digital or from SD to HD, are well understood and have been under way for some time.” Greenfield continued, “Others, such as the switch to online and mobile consumption or the emergence of cloud-enabled technologies, are still relatively new. In all cases, we think an exceptional opportunity exists to lead with innovative solutions that anticipate customer needs and fulfill increased market requirements. We believe that Avid is uniquely positioned to best meet our customers’ needs.”

That may very well be the case, but until Avid shows its ability to capitalize on these emerging technologies and markets, investors will continue to question the viability of these statements and follow-through potential.

Avid is not in a position to be saved (purchased) by Apple, rather the world’s largest company will sit patiently in the hopes that Avid drives itself to bankruptcy. Both the numbers and the company’s explanation on the October 29 will prove vital to Avid’s future.

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