Avid Q1 Growth of 20%, Offset by Bookings Shortfall

Posted by Josh Stinehour
May 11 2016

Avid Technology announced Q1 2016 GAAP revenue of $143.5 million, an increase of 20% versus Q1 2015 revenue of $119.6 million. Avid Logo_ white background

Approximately 75% of the year-over-year growth is attributable to a change in the accounting treatment of revenue recognized for the release of the latest Pro Tools version 12.5 during the first quarter.  The ability to more quickly recognize revenue reflects Avid’s progress over the past two years of eliminating the practice of implied support for products and transitioning to explicit support and recurring revenue models.

Absent the revenue acceleration, management indicated Avid for the quarter would have been within the original guidance of $120 million to $125 million on a non-GAAP basis.

Avid’s public filings did not disclose the amount of the growth attributable to revenue contribution from Orad, purchased in the third quarter of 2016.  Orad had $10.4 million of revenue during Q1 2015.

Product revenue for the quarter was $84.5 million, an increase of 5.6% against year-earlier quarter.  Products represented 58.9% of overall revenue in the quarter, a decrease versus the 67% contribution during the first quarter of 2015.  Services revenue was $59.0 million, an increase of 49.2% versus the year-over-year period.  Services contributed 41.1% of total revenue for Q1 2016, an increase versus the 33% contribution from Q1 2015.

Q1 2016 net income was $20.9 million or $0.53 per share.  This compares to Q1 2015 net income of ($0.2) million, which was $0.00 per share.

Gross margins for the quarter were 69.7%, a substantial improvement over the 60.3% from Q1 2015.  Backing on the accelerated Pro Tools revenue recognition would have resulted in a gross margin of approximately 67%.  The remaining increase in gross margin was primarily due to lower non-variable costs of sales resulting from Avid’s ongoing efficiency programs.

Operating income for Q1 2016 was $25.7 million, a more than 20-fold increase over the operating income of $1.1 million in Q1 2015.

R&D expense for the quarter were $21.4 million, a 7.3% decline against Q1 2015 R&D levels.  As a percentage of revenue R&D expenses were 15.0% for the quarter, compared to 19.3% of total revenue in Q1 2015.

Sales and marketing costs for Q1 2016 were $31.6 million, representing a 12.8% rise versus Q1 2015 sales and marketing levels.  Sales and marketing expenses were 22.0% of Q1 2016 revenue, a decline versus 23.4% of total revenue from the first quarter of 2015.

G&A expense was $17.7 million for Q1 2016, a decline of 8.6% versus the year earlier quarter.  Expressed in terms of total revenue G&A expense was 12.3% of sales in Q1 2016 versus 16.2% in Q1 2015.

When considering the comparable period Q1 2015 figures do not include Orad’s operations (purchased in Q3 2015), the decline in R&D and G&A further illustrates the impact of Avid’s recent restructuring initiatives.

During the first quarter of 2016, Avid announced a $68 million (annualized) efficiency initiative.  The full $68 million savings are expected beginning in 2017.  During the earnings presentation for the quarter, management indicated $33 million of the goal has been completed through the first quarter activities.  $5 million was reflected in first quarter results.

There are many one-time expenses and non-cash items in Avid’s income statement results.  To provide a more normalized view of profitability Avid cites adjusted EBITDA, which is defined as operating income plus expense add backs for costs attributed to amortization, restructuring, restatements, stock-based compensation, acquisitions, integration activities, and efficiency program costs.  Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $38.5M, a substantial increase of 227% over Q1 2015.

Given the complexity of Avid’s financial statements, it is useful to review the impact on the Company’s cash balance.  Cash used in operations for the quarter was $11.2 million.  This compares to cash generated in operations of $4.6 million during the first quarter of 2016.

Cash generation in the quarter was negatively impacted by a build out of inventory for the recently announced Nexis storage platform.

Avid ended the quarter with $87.8 million of cash.  Avid had started the quarter with $17.9 million of cash.  The increase in the cash balance is attributable to the Company’s $100 million debt offering during the first quarter. 

Several factors have combined to make Avid’s financial disclosures difficult to comprehend, most notably the restatement in late 2014, which introduced a considerable amount of amortized revenue from prior financial periods.  Though this revenue is now recognized in Avid’s income statement, it does not represent any actual cash received from clients.  In other words, it is non-cash revenue with 100% gross margins.  In aggregate, changes in deferred revenue represented a negative cash adjustment (versus net income) of $40 million in Q1 2016 and $2.1 million in Q1 2015.

The negative deferred revenue dynamic also creates a revenue headwind for the future since this component of deferred revenue will decline with time. Management has indicated the impact is between $25 million and $30 million a quarter.

Adding to this complexity are the effects of recent restructuring initiatives, the impact of the Orad acquisition, and the ongoing transition to a subscription model.

In an effort to better communicate the results of Avid’s ongoing transformation, management references several new metrics.

Update on Transformation:

Below is a chart from Avid’s investor presentation for Q1 2016 illustrating several areas of progress on the market adoption of Avid’s Everywhere Platform.


Commenting on the transformation progress, Avid CEO Louis Hernandez, Jr. stated, “Our work so far in 2016 demonstrates the continued momentum of the Avid Everywhere strategy, the increased adoption of the Avid MediaCentral Platform by our global base of customers and strong progress as we move steadily towards completing the transformation.”

Business Outlook:

Bookings for the quarter were $98 million on a constant currency basis, a decline of 18% versus Q1 2015.  The original guidance for Q1 2016 bookings was for $108 million to $118 million.

Management attributed the shortfall to market volatility created by the ongoing industry transition and delayed buying decisions related to the anticipated release of the Nexis storage platform, which will ship during Q2 2016.

The declining in bookings resulted in a lower end of quarter accounts receivable balance (approximately $15 million).  Management expects the lower accounts receivable balance to negatively impact Q2 2016 free cash flow.  Because of this management is anticipating a material use of adjusted free cash flow in the upcoming quarter of $27.5 million to $32.5 million.  Adjust free cash flow includes the impact of capital expenditures and excludes the cash impact of restructuring activities.

For Q2 2016, management provided guidance of bookings between $99 million and $115 million on a report basis (as opposed to constant currency).  Bookings for the second quarter of 2015 were $118 million.  The full backlog (post impact of restatement) was $480 at the end of first quarter, a 4% increase over the backlog at the end of the first quarter of 2015.

Avid is expecting to begin generating adjusted free cash flow in the second half of 2016.  As part of the earnings release, Avid reaffirmed earlier full year guidance for 2016.

During the earnings call, Louis Hernandez, Jr. added, “We’re probably most excited about the attractive financial model post transformation. We’ve a clear path to completion, the non-marketed products that we’re rolling off and are completed as expected, the efficiency gains are on track and then the accounting adjustments will end towards the end of this year early next year, leaving us with an adjusted EBITDA and free cash  flow, which are expected to increase dramatically post transformation.”


Related Content:

Press Release: Avid’s Q1 2016 Earnings Release

Presentation: Avid Q1 2016 Earnings Presentation



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