LRAD Corp. — which produces mass-communication devices for militaries and police agencies worldwide — reported a net loss of $813,000 on revenue of $2.9 million in the first quarter, which ended Dec. 31. In the quarter that ended in December 2015, LRAD reported a net loss of $380,000 on revenue of $2.8 million.
The company said the loss was due to smaller margins because of a change in product mix. Also driving up the loss was the departure of the company’s prior CEO, Tom Brown, which contributed to $307,000 in non-cash share-based compensation expenses in the quarter. Activist shareholders who were unhappy with LRAD (Nasdaq: LRAD)’s performance threatened a proxy fight in early 2016. Brown stepped down on June 30 and received severance. The entire experience, including legal fees, cost the company $1.1 million.
LRAD, based in 4S Ranch, makes an acoustic hailing device that can send sound for a very long distance — one product has a 3-mile range — yet maintain voice clarity. Since its devices are loud, police and military agencies see an option in using them against protesters or adversaries before escalating to lethal force. The company calls its systems “an essential component in communication and escalation of force protocols for defense and law enforcement agencies.”
The San Diego business also produces mass-notification devices for authorities responding to natural or industrial disasters. First quarter bookings for mass notification products exceeded 2016 revenue for mass notification products, CEO Richard Danforth said in a prepared statement.