Mid-Transformation, Avid Loses $21 Million

Avid Technology Inc. reported revenue of 198.3 million for the quarter ending March 31, a drop of nearly 10 percent from $218.9 million in the same quarter of 2007.

The company posted a loss of $21.1 million (54 cents per share) from the quarter, down from essentially breaking even in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue at the company’s pro video division dropped 14 percent to $94.3 million for the quarter, reflecting a drop in large deals. Its consumer video division saw a 13 percent increase to $30.8 million.

After confessionals from the company late last year that it had been alienating customers, Avid hired new executives, initiated a top-to-bottom review, and promised a new approach to customer relations.

“As a team and as a company, we have already made significant progress toward our goal of becoming a customer–centric business with accelerated growth and improved operating margins,” said Gary Greenfield, the company’s CEO since December, in a conference call with analysts. “We are not looking for quick, onetime, payouts, but rather long-term increases in shareholder value.”

Greenfield said the new executives are continuing the transformation, focusing on “loyal, passionate customers.”

The new approaches included skipping the NAB Show for the first time. “That was a controversial move in some ways, but I’m happy to report that the initial response to our new campaign, which we call ‘New Thinking,’ has been very positive,” Greenfield said.

The company started with a press campaign to bloggers and others and saw 500 to 1,000 customers at launch events in Hollywood and Las Vegas. The company has also upgraded its online support resources.

“We’re getting the message out that this is the new Avid,” said Greenfield.

New Avid products announced in April are expected for shipping late in the second quarter, he said.