Street Smiles on Avid

NEW YORK: Shares of Avid Technology were elevated in today’s trading on an assessment that the adoption of HDTV would accelerate in 2010. JPMorgan deemed the stock overweight, or having greater value than other stocks in the same sector. Avid ended last Friday at just above $13 a share and moved to around $14.50 today. The company hit its low along with most of the rest of the market in early March, when shares traded for as low as $8.40.

Avid, long considered the leader in high-end video editing, unveiled an identity overhaul at the NAB show in Las Vegas last month. The company was traditionally an agglomeration of acquired brands, including Pinnacle, Digidesign, M-Audio and Sibelius, in addition to Avid. The new model fuses the businesses and thus speeds the development of interoperability between the disparate systems. The effort was underscored at Avid’s NAB exhibit, where equipment was displayed in an integrated, rather than compartmentalized, fashion.

Avid’s outlook for fiscal 2009 is revenues of $665 million and a “modest” non-GAAP operating profit, the company said in late April. The non-GAAP result will exclude restructuring charges, stock-based compensation and amortization of intangibles. GAAP operating loss is expected to come in at $35 million to $40 million. – Deborah D. McAdams