Avid in real trouble

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Avid in real trouble

Postby Chris H » Thu May 12, 2016 9:23 pm

Things are looking pretty shaky for Avid:
http://seekingalpha.com/article/3973496 ... isis-nears

quote from article:
We believe Avid Technology (NASDAQ:AVID) is a compelling short at today's price of $5.60 and has 60% downside.

The CFO announces sudden departure only days after the completion of a troubling Q1, two weeks after providing guidance that now appears wholly unrealistic in the face of bookings falling off a cliff (-17% overall and -28% in Product bookings) and a month or so after securing a new costly $105M credit facility from Cerberus Capital. In Q2, despite aggressive cost cutting, the company said it is facing a significant cash burn, of approximately $30M, partly because they need to pay out bonuses. Still, management (now minus a CFO) is reiterating guidance, implying a massive uptick in bookings and cash flow in H2 of the year inclusive of the increased debt servicing costs. In fact, they are suggesting that the business will somehow generate 2016 FY free cash flow of $7M (at the midpoint) after being in the hole -$40M by the end of Q2.

Not only would that cash flow jump be a major departure from recent H2 history (-$22M would be a reasonable estimate based on 2015 - see chart below), but it also runs counter to management's description of the sluggish macro environment on the earnings call. Furthermore, given the backdrop of deep cost cutting, senior level defections and an upcoming 10% reduction in total headcount, a surge in bookings and cash flow would be a staggering achievement. If, rather than taking management's word for it, we look to either the bookings trajectory or the company's recent cash flow performance as a guide to the second half, AVID is likely a couple of quarters from a liquidity crisis.

The warning bell for us was on April 9, 2016, when John W. Frederick, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer of Avid, announced that he intended to resign, ostensibly for personal reasons, effective immediately following the results for the first quarter of 2016 and its earnings call. Ilan Sidi, VP of Human Resources, has taken over as interim CFO. Given that Avid's recent departures include a Head of Products, a Head of Services and 2 Chief Marketing Officers, the departure of the CFO is not totally shocking. But, the timing is very concerning for a number of reasons:

AVID recognized approximately $18M in deferred, non cash revenue in Q1 that helped the company post misleading top line numbers. However, despite what appears to be 20% yoy sales growth (not organic), free cash flow declined yoy by almost $14M and is worsening materially in Q2. Collapsing bookings means Acct Receivable is down both Q/Q and Y/Y further depressing cash flows. We estimate that the company will burn approximately $30M in cash in Q2 alone (see chart below).
Bookings are an important indicator of the health of the business and have been declining consistently for more than a year, -11% yoy in Q1 2015, -8% yoy in Q2 2015 and now -17% yoy in Q1 2016. Bookings are getting worse, not better.
Management's guidance implies top line growth that is predicated on strong bookings conversion that is a step change better than in 2015. We are not sure how that is expected to happen (see chart below).
2015 company performance is in fact lower quality than the headline would have you believe; New Revenue actually eroded by 26% in the year. Management's 2016 guidance implies that this year the trend will somehow reverse and grow by 19% (see chart below).
AVID is in the midst of a major restructuring. Declining demand for their products, a series of failed acquisitions and collapsing cash flows are forcing the company to cut costs rapidly. The company has promised $68M in cost savings, an ambitious goal for a $3B mkt cap company, let alone a $300M mkt cap company that has already had layoffs for four consecutive years.
To improve its liquidity situation, the company closed on a $105M credit facility with Cerberus Capital at the end of February that includes a $5M revolver and a $100M term-loan. The Financing Agreement includes covenants requiring the Company to maintain a Leverage Ratio (defined to mean the ratio of (A) consolidated total funded indebtedness to (B) consolidated EBITDA) of no greater than 4.35:1.00 for the four quarters ending June 30, 2016, 5.40:1.00 for the four quarters ending September 30, 2016, 4.20:1.00 for the four quarters ending December 31, 2016 and thereafter declining over time from 3.50:1.00 to 2.50:1.00. The Financing Agreement also restricts the Company from making capital expenditures in excess of $20,000,000 in any fiscal year.
These covenants are crucially important because the company now has $225M in consolidated debt and is entering a period of dramatic EBITDA decline and cash burn, which is somewhat reflected in the cadence of the Debt/EBITDA ratios - it expands for the period ending Sept 30th before contracting again, rather significantly.
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Re: Avid in real trouble

Postby Text_Edifice » Thu May 12, 2016 9:39 pm

That's interesting - I had thought something like this had been on the cards for a while now. I could be wrong, but I remember reading something about their 'new' management (a few years back now) having a history of slash and burn acquisitions.
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Re: Avid in real trouble

Postby Sammas » Thu May 12, 2016 11:55 pm

"...partly because they need to pay out bonuses"

????

It seems management simply need to turn up to work each day to get their bonuses. Louis Hernandez Jr, Avid's CEO is on a $700,000 US base salary... but will walk away with $6.5 million US after bonuses.

Its bananas. Hopefully it all goes tits up and Pro Tools and related assets are acquired by a grassroots audio orientated software developer.
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Re: Avid in real trouble

Postby Chris H » Fri May 13, 2016 10:41 am

Sammas wrote:"...partly because they need to pay out bonuses"

????

It seems management simply need to turn up to work each day to get their bonuses. Louis Hernandez Jr, Avid's CEO is on a $700,000 US base salary... but will walk away with $6.5 million US after bonuses.

Its bananas. Hopefully it all goes tits up and Pro Tools and related assets are acquired by a grassroots audio orientated software developer.


.......yep someone will end up with pro tools so the funny thing is it all might work out for the better!
$6.5 mil!! no wonder they're going belly up! How can corporate greed like that be justified to shareholders, and the wage earners of any company? It is all way beyond my understanding.....
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Re: Avid in real trouble

Postby The Tasmanian » Fri May 13, 2016 8:04 pm

Ha - let it sink n burn, its been on the cards for a while,
and it's top echelons have really been the architects of its own demise.
Maybe it can become a half decent company again with new owners ?
- would be great to see Justin from Reaper buy it !
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Re: Avid in real trouble

Postby Drumstruck » Fri May 13, 2016 10:01 pm

[quote="......- would be great to see Justin from Reaper buy it...... ![/quote]

That made me laugh!!!!
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Re: Avid in real trouble

Postby The Tasmanian » Fri May 13, 2016 10:55 pm

...we can only hope :)
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Re: Avid in real trouble

Postby walding » Sat May 14, 2016 3:26 pm

great SW (but I don't use it) crap greedy company...

I have no sympathy, hopefully waves is next...
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Re: Avid in real trouble

Postby mylesgm » Sat May 14, 2016 5:04 pm

I hate AVID corporate.

But what software will replace PT? The ubiquitousness of it is a real problem. I'm happy to learn another program, I've used Digital Performer and been pretty happy with it but can't take my sessions anywhere. I hate Logic and the Apple software development team more than AVID, never really liked cubase/nuendo, use Reaper but find it very frustrating in operation even though it is the most stable platform I think I've ever used, Ableton might be an option but it's the same as DP in that it's rarely in other studios, so where does that leave us for full featured, useable, flexible, and very available software?

I would love to see PT bought by a small company focused on actually delivering to it's customers and not implementing useless features (global collaboration networks or whatever bs that is etc).
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Re: Avid in real trouble

Postby Chinagraf » Sat May 14, 2016 5:40 pm

Pro Trolls isn't going anywhere. Avid maybe, but not PT. That would be the first IP someone would buy.
Too many fingers in too many pies has always been their problem, buy the competition and shelve it rather than make alliances.
Worth noting though that the writer of that 'report' is a company that specializes in shorting companies then talking them down. They have a high interest in Avid stock dropping or they won't make a profit.
Would be good to see someone focused on audio buy the system though.
Worst thing for us all would be it all turns out to be a rouse and Avid keep hold of it.
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Re: Avid in real trouble

Postby rick » Mon May 16, 2016 12:40 pm

I read all the lyrics to the avid song you posted chris .

Its too wordy , has no lift the resolve is unclear and it ended on an imperfect cadence
Clearly the songwriter , never leant anything about choruses

f@#$ avid .
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Re: Avid in real trouble

Postby Chris H » Mon May 16, 2016 1:33 pm

............and here I was thinking it's all about the groove!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWzvBeKE5U0
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Re: Avid in real trouble

Postby Linear » Mon May 16, 2016 4:40 pm

mylesgm wrote:I hate AVID corporate.
...
I hate Logic and the Apple software development team more than AVID...


why?

to me logic is the perfect alternative to PT, without all the bulls!t went with avid constantly making you pay for stuff that comes standard with most DAW's.

and given logic is $400 - and you get everything - and it is perfectly stable - i just don't see how avid can compete with that. and given how they have treated their loyal customers over the years, i couldn't care less if they were to vanish from the planet tomorrow.

the day i paid $800 to get an extra 12 tracks 'unlocked', to find within 6 months that it came 'free' with the next paid upgrade was the ~last~ time i ever handed money over to avid.

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Re: Avid in real trouble

Postby walding » Mon May 16, 2016 6:37 pm

I've never paid avid a cent and I never will.

I find logic illogical to use and the audio side of is a nightmare to edit for me.

It does however come with a lot of goodness.

I bought DP4 years ago, just about to spring for 9, tis where I'll stay.

I'm not a big plugin guy and I've only ever bought trigger and a stillwell EQ.

I don't believe PT will be going anywhere, but avid can go to hell.

My 10 cents.
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Re: Avid in real trouble

Postby heathen » Fri May 27, 2016 6:53 pm

Avid who???? :D
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Re: Avid in real trouble

Postby Drumstruck » Fri May 27, 2016 11:21 pm

a hiccough

they tried to apply a corporate licensing model to a market that epitomises spider in the pocket syndrome due to non-demand

what?
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