Vital narrows Q1 losses with cost-cutting measures

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Advanced visualization software developer Vital Images saw a revenue downturn yet managed to trim its losses in results reported for the firm's fiscal 2009 first quarter, which ended March 31.

For the period , the company has reported a decline in revenue: $14.8 million from the $17.3 million posted for the first quarter of 2008. However, the Minneapolis-based company cut its net losses by more than 50 percent to  $251,000, compared with a net loss of $594,000 for the same quarter last year.

"The economic downturn has had a significant impact on our customers, causing delays in hospital capital equipment purchases that continue to affect our revenue," said Michael H. Carrel, Vital's president and CEO. However he added that "Vital is financially strong, with $1.5 million in both cash from operations and adjusted EBITDA [a non-GAAP measure] this quarter, and $145 million in cash and investments."

During the 2009 first quarter, the company experienced lower compensation costs, compared to the same period in 2008, resulting primarily from its 11 percent work force reduction in November 2008. Other cost-control measures also contributed to decreased expense across all operating expense categories.

Sales and marketing expense was $6 million for the 2009 first quarter, compared with $8.1 million for the same period in 2008. Vital said that the decrease was due primarily to lower compensation costs and reduced commissions expense associated with a decrease in sales.

Research and development expense was $3.3 million for the 2009 first quarter, compared with $4.3 million for the first quarter of 2008, which Vital attributes to lower compensation costs and a reduction in the utilization of consultants contributed to the expense decrease. General and administrative expense was $3 million for the first quarter of 2009, compared with $3.7 million for the 2008 first quarter, also due primarily to lower compensation costs and other cost-control measures.