Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2016
|Accounting Policies [Abstract]|
|Summary of Significant Accounting Policies||
SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Certain amounts have been reclassified in the prior year financial statements to conform to the current year presentation.
Revision to Previously Issued Financial Statements
The Company provides for deferred income taxes based on the expected future tax consequences of differences between financial statement basis and the tax basis of assets and liabilities calculated using the enacted tax rates in effect for the year in which the differences are expected to be reflected in the tax return. In 2016, the Company determined that they did not provide for the deferred tax liability and related income tax provision during the year ended December 31, 2015 related to the outside basis difference in its consolidated investment in the investment fund. The investment fund is discussed in Notes 9 and 10. As a result, the prior period was revised as follows: (i) total long term liabilities increased by $2,133 as of December 31, 2015 as a result of increasing the deferred tax liability and retained earnings decreased by the same amount as of December 31, 2015, (ii) the income tax provision increased by $2,133 for the year ended December 31, 2015 which resulted in an increase to net loss and a decrease of net income attributable to Ameresco, Inc. of the same amount for the year ended December 31, 2015, (iii) the basic and diluted net income per share attributable to Ameresco, Inc. decreased from $0.06 to $0.02, (iv) an increase in comprehensive loss, and comprehensive loss attributable to shareholders of $2,133 for the year ended December 31, 2015, and (v) net loss increased and deferred income taxes decreased within the cash flows from operating activities by $2,133 resulting in no change to cash flows from operating activities for the year ended December 31, 2015. The Company has determined that the impact on its previously issued financial statements was not material.
Principles of Consolidation
The accompanying consolidated financial statements include the accounts of the Company, its subsidiaries in which the Company has a controlling financial interest and an investment fund formed to fund the purchase of solar energy systems, which is consolidated as a variable interest entity (“VIE”). The Company uses a qualitative approach in assessing the consolidation requirement for VIEs. This approach focuses on determining whether the Company has the power to direct the activities of the VIE that most significantly affect the VIE’s economic performance and whether the Company has the obligation to absorb losses or the right to receive benefits that could potentially be significant to the VIE. For all periods presented, the Company has determined that it is the primary beneficiary in all of its operational VIEs. The Company evaluates its relationships with the VIEs on an ongoing basis to ensure that it continues to be the primary beneficiary. All significant intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated. Gains and losses from the translation of all foreign currency financial statements are recorded in accumulated other comprehensive loss, net within stockholders’ equity. The Company prepares its financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”).
Use of Estimates
GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. The most significant estimates and assumptions used in these consolidated financial statements relate to management’s estimates of final construction contract profit in accordance with accounting for long-term contracts, allowance for doubtful accounts, inventory reserves, realization of project development costs, fair value of derivative financial instruments and stock-based awards, impairment of long lived assets, income taxes, self insurance reserves and potential liability in conjunction with certain commitments and contingencies. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
The Company is self-insured for employee health insurance. The maximum exposure in fiscal year 2016 under the plan was $100 per covered participant, after which reinsurance takes effect. The liability for unpaid claims and associated expenses, including incurred but not reported claims, is determined by management and reflected in the Company’s consolidated balance sheets in accrued expenses and other current liabilities. The liability is calculated based on historical data, which considers both the frequency and settlement amount of claims. The Company’s estimated accrual for this liability could be different than its ultimate obligation if variables such as the frequency or amount of future claims differ significantly from management’s assumptions. 5
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents includes cash on deposit, overnight repurchase agreements and amounts invested in highly liquid money market funds. Cash equivalents consist of short term investments with original maturities of three months or less. The Company maintains accounts with financial institutions and the balances in such accounts, at times, exceed federally insured limits. This credit risk is divided among a number of financial institutions that management believes to be of high quality. The carrying amount of cash and cash equivalents approximates its fair value measured using level 1 inputs per the fair value hierarchy as defined in Note 16.
Restricted cash consists of cash and cash equivalents held in an escrow account in association with construction draws for energy savings performance contracts (“ESPC”), construction of project assets, operations and maintenance (“O&M”) reserve accounts and cash collateralized letters of credit as well as cash required under term loans to be maintained in debt service reserve accounts until all obligations have been indefeasibly paid in full. These accounts are primarily invested in highly liquid money market funds. The carrying amount of the cash and cash equivalents in these accounts approximates its fair value measured using level one inputs per the fair value hierarchy as defined in Note 16. Restricted cash also includes funds held for clients, which represent assets that, based upon the Company’s intent, are restricted for use solely for the purposes of satisfying the obligations to remit funds to third parties, primarily utility service providers, relating to the Company’s enterprise energy management services. As of December 31, 2016 and 2015, the Company classified the non-current portion of restricted cash of $19,920 and $13,515, respectively, in other assets on its consolidated balance sheets.
Accounts receivable are stated at the amount management expects to collect from outstanding balances. An allowance for doubtful accounts is provided for those accounts receivable considered to be uncollectible based upon historical experience and management’s evaluation of outstanding accounts receivable. Bad debts are written off against the allowance when identified.
Changes in the allowance for doubtful accounts are as follows:
During the year ended ended December 31, 2016, the Company reserved for certain assets related to a customer who declared bankruptcy. Of this amount, $2,394 was recorded as an allowance for doubtful accounts in accounts receivable, net. In addition, the Company recorded a $476 charge to write-off costs and estimated earnings in excess of billings and a $325 charge for project costs incurred during the first quarter of 2016. The Company has additional exposure of $758 for the remaining receivables. During the year ended December 31, 2016, the Company also reserved for certain assets in its Canada segment totaling $1,934 due to collectability concerns as a result of its previously disclosed restructuring efforts. This reserve included $1,655 for doubtful accounts in accounts receivable, net and $279 reserved against accounts receivable retainage, net.
Accounts Receivable Retainage
Accounts receivable retainage represents amounts due from customers, but where payments are withheld contractually until certain construction milestones are met. Amounts retained typically range from 5% to 10% of the total invoice. The Company classifies as a current asset those retainages that are expected to be billed in the next twelve months. During the year ended December 31, 2015, based upon an evaluation by management, the Company recorded a reserve totaling $1,282 against the accounts receivable retainage balance for amounts determined to be potentially uncollectible. For the year ended December 31, 2016, the Company recorded an additional reserve of $279 against the remaining accounts receivable retainage, net balance.
Inventories, which consist primarily of PV solar panels, batteries and related accessories, are stated at the lower of cost (“first-in, first-out” method) or net realizable value (determined as the estimated selling prices in the ordinary course of business, less reasonably predictable costs of completion, disposal, and transportation). Provisions have been made to reduce the carrying value of inventory to the net realizable value.
Prepaid expenses consist primarily of short-term prepaid expenditures that will amortize within one year.
Federal ESPC Receivable
Federal ESPC receivable represents the amount to be paid by various federal government agencies for work performed and earned by the Company under specific ESPCs. The Company assigns certain of its rights to receive those payments to third-party investors that provide construction and permanent financing for such contracts. Upon completion and acceptance of the project by the government, typically within 24 months of construction commencement, the assigned ESPC receivable from the government and corresponding ESPC liability are eliminated from the Company’s consolidated financial statements.
Project Development Costs
The Company capitalizes as project development costs only those costs incurred in connection with the development of energy projects, primarily direct labor, interest costs, outside contractor services, consulting fees, legal fees and travel, if incurred after a point in time where the realization of related revenue becomes probable. Project development costs incurred prior to the probable realization of revenue are expensed as incurred. The Company classifies as a current asset those project development efforts that are expected to proceed to construction activity in the twelve months that follow. The Company periodically reviews these balances and writes off any amounts where the realization of the related revenue is no longer probable.
Property and Equipment
Property and equipment consists primarily of office and computer equipment, and is recorded at cost. Major additions and improvements are capitalized as additions to the property and equipment accounts, while replacements, maintenance and repairs that do not improve or extend the life of the respective assets, are expensed as incurred. Depreciation and amortization of property and equipment are computed on a straight-line basis over the following estimated useful lives:
Project assets consist of costs of materials, direct labor, interest costs, outside contract services, deposits and project development costs incurred in connection with the construction of small-scale renewable energy plants that the Company owns and the implementation of energy savings contracts. These amounts are capitalized and amortized to cost of revenues in the Company’s consolidated statements of income (loss) on a straight line basis over the lives of the related assets or the terms of the related contracts.
The Company capitalizes interest costs relating to construction financing during the period of construction. Capitalized interest is included in project assets, net, in the Company’s consolidated balance sheets. Capitalized interest is amortized to cost of revenues in the Company’s consolidated statements of income (loss) on a straight line basis over the useful life of the associated project asset. The amount of interest capitalized for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014 was $1,253, $941 and $518, respectively.
Routine maintenance costs are expensed in the current year’s consolidated statements of income (loss) to the extent that they do not extend the life of the asset. Major maintenance, upgrades and overhauls are required for certain components of the Company’s assets. In these instances, the costs associated with these upgrades are capitalized and are depreciated over the shorter of the remaining life of the asset or the period until the next required major maintenance or overhaul. Gains or losses on disposal of property and equipment are reflected in selling, general and administrative expenses in the consolidated statements of income (loss).
The Company evaluates its long-lived assets for impairment as events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying value of these assets may not be fully recoverable. Examples of such triggering events applicable to the Company’s assets include a significant decrease in the market price of a long-lived asset or asset group or a current-period operating or cash flow loss combined with a history of operating or cash flow losses or a projection or forecast that demonstrates continuing losses associated with the use of a long-lived asset or asset group.
The Company evaluates recoverability of long-lived assets to be held and used by estimating the undiscounted future cash flows before interest associated with the expected uses and eventual disposition of those assets. When these comparisons indicate that the carrying value of those assets is greater than the undiscounted cash flows, the Company recognizes an impairment loss for the amount that the carrying value exceeds the fair value.
From time to time, the Company has applied for and received cash grant awards from the U.S. Treasury Department (the “Treasury”) under Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the “Act”). The Act authorized the Treasury to make payments to eligible persons who place in service qualifying renewable energy projects. The grants are paid in lieu of investment tax credits. All of the cash proceeds from the grants were used and recorded as a reduction in the cost basis of the applicable project assets. If the Company disposes of the property, or the property ceases to qualify as specified energy property, within five years from the date the property is placed in service, then a prorated portion of the Section 1603 payment must be repaid.
The Company did not receive any Section 1603 grants during the years ended December 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015. The Company received $3,727 in Section 1603 grants during the year ended December 31, 2014. No further Section 1603 grant payments are expected to be received as the program has expired.
For tax purposes, the Section 1603 payments are not included in federal and certain state taxable income and the basis of the property is reduced by 50% of the payment received. Deferred grant income of $7,739 and $8,291 in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets at December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively, represents the benefit of the basis difference to be amortized to income tax expense over the life of the related property.
Deferred Financing Fees
Deferred financing fees relate to the external costs incurred to obtain financing for the Company. Deferred financing fees are amortized over the respective term of the financing using the effective interest method, with the exception of the Company’s revolving credit facility and construction loans, as discussed in Note 7, for which deferred financing fees are amortized on a straight line basis over the term of the agreement. Deferred financing fees are presented on the consolidated balance sheets as a reduction to long-term debt and capital lease liabilities.
Goodwill and Intangible Assets
The Company has classified as goodwill the amounts paid in excess of fair value of the net assets (including tax attributes) of companies acquired in purchase transactions. The Company has recorded intangible assets related to customer contracts, customer relationships, non-compete agreements, trade names and technology, each with defined useful lives. The Company assesses the impairment of goodwill and intangible assets that have indefinite lives on an annual basis (December 31st) and whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of the asset may not be recoverable. The Company would record an impairment charge if such an assessment were to indicate that the fair value of such assets was less than their carrying values. Judgment is required in determining whether an event has occurred that may impair the value of goodwill or identifiable intangible assets.
Factors that could indicate that an impairment may exist include significant under-performance relative to plan or long-term projections, significant changes in business strategy, significant negative industry or economic trends or a significant decline in the base price of the Company’s publicly traded stock for a sustained period of time. Although the Company believes goodwill and intangible assets are appropriately stated in the accompanying consolidated financial statements, changes in strategy or market conditions could significantly impact these judgments and require an adjustment to the recorded balance.
In August 2014, the Company acquired the energy consultancy and energy project management business of Energyexcel LLP (“EEX”), an independent energy services provider located in Central London, U.K. The Company paid $9,054 to acquire substantially all of the assets of EEX. The purchase price is subject to post-closing adjustments for working capital and for certain indemnity obligations of the seller and its owners. The Company deposited approximately $834 of the initial cash payment with a third-party escrow agent as security for these matters.
Acquired intangible assets other than goodwill that are subject to amortization include customer contracts and customer relationships, as well as software/technology, trade names and non-compete agreements. The intangible assets are amortized over periods ranging from one to fifteen years from their respective acquisition dates.
See Notes 3 and 4 for additional disclosures.
Other assets consist primarily of notes and contracts receivable due to the Company from various customers and non-current restricted cash. Other assets also include the non-current portion of project development costs, accounts receivable retainages, sale-leaseback deferred loss and deferred contract costs.
Asset Retirement Obligations
The Company recognizes a liability for the fair value of required asset retirement obligations (“AROs”) when such obligations are incurred. The liability is estimated on a number of assumptions requiring management’s judgment, including equipment removal costs, site restoration costs, salvage costs, cost inflation rates and discount rates and is credited to its projected future value over time. The capitalized asset is depreciated using the convention of depreciation of plant assets. Upon satisfaction of the ARO conditions, any difference between the recorded ARO liability and the actual retirement cost incurred is recognized as an operating gain or loss in the consolidated statements of income (loss). As of December 31, 2016 and 2015 the Company had no ARO liabilities recorded.
Federal ESPC Liabilities
Federal ESPC liabilities represent the advances received from third-party investors under agreements to finance certain ESPC projects with various federal government agencies. Upon completion and acceptance of the project by the government, typically within 24 months of construction commencement, the ESPC receivable from the government and corresponding ESPC liability is eliminated from the Company’s consolidated balance sheet. Until recourse to the Company ceases for the ESPC receivables transferred to the investor, upon final acceptance of the work by the government customer, the Company remains the primary obligor for financing received.
During the first quarter of 2015, the Company entered into an agreement with an investor which gives the Company the option to sell and contemporaneously lease back solar photovoltaic (“solar PV”) projects. In September 2016, the Company amended its agreement with the investor whereas the investor has committed up to a maximum combined funding amount of $100,000 through June 30, 2017 on certain projects. See below for a summary of solar PV project sales by fiscal year:
As part of the agreement, the Company is a party to a master lease agreement that provides for the sale of solar PV projects to a third-party investor and the simultaneous leaseback of the projects, which the Company then operates and maintains, recognizing revenue through the sale of the electricity and solar renewable energy credits generated by these projects. In sale-leaseback arrangements, the Company first determines whether the solar PV project under the sale-leaseback arrangement is “integral equipment.” A solar PV project is determined to be integral equipment when the cost to remove the project from its existing location, including the shipping and reinstallation costs of the solar PV project at the new site, including any diminution in fair value, exceeds 10% of the fair value of the solar PV project at the time of its original installation. When the leaseback arrangement expires, the Company has the option to purchase the solar PV project for the then fair market value or, in certain circumstances, renew the lease for an extended term. All solar PV projects sold to date under the sale-leaseback program have been determined by the Company not to be integral equipment as the cost to remove the project from its existing location would not exceed 10% of its original fair value.
For solar PV projects that the Company has determined not to be integral equipment, the Company then determines if the leaseback should be classified as a capital lease or an operating lease. All solar PV projects sold to date under the sale-leaseback program have been determined by the Company to be capital leases. For leasebacks classified as capital leases, the Company initially records a capital lease asset and capital lease obligation in its consolidated balance sheet equal to the lower of the present value of the Company’s future minimum leaseback payments or the fair value of the solar PV project. For capital leasebacks, the Company defers any gain or loss, representing the excess or shortfall of cash received from the investor compared to the net book value of the asset in the Company’s consolidated balance sheet at the time of the sale. The Company records the long term portion of any deferred gain or loss in other liabilities and other assets, respectively, and the current portion of any deferred gain and loss in accrued expenses and other current liabilities and prepaid expenses and other current assets, respectively, in its consolidated balance sheet and amortizes the deferred amounts over the lease term in cost of revenues in its consolidated statements of income (loss). Net amortization expense in cost of revenues related to deferred gains and losses was $(24) of net gains for the year ended December 31, 2016.
Other liabilities consist primarily of deferred revenue related to multi-year operation and maintenance contracts which expire at various dates through 2033. Other liabilities also include the fair value of derivatives and the long term portion of sale-leaseback deferred gains. See Note 17 for additional disclosures.
The Company derives revenues from energy efficiency and renewable energy products and services. Energy efficiency products and services include the design, engineering, and installation of equipment and other measures to improve the efficiency, and control the operation, of a facility’s energy infrastructure. Renewable energy products and services include the construction of small-scale plants that produce electricity, gas, heat or cooling from renewable sources of energy, the sale of such electricity, gas, heat or cooling from plants that the Company owns, and the sale and installation of solar energy products and systems.
Revenue from the installation or construction of projects is recognized on a percentage-of-completion basis. The percentage-of-completion for each project is determined on an actual cost-to-estimated final cost basis. Maintenance revenue is recognized as related services are performed. In accordance with industry practice, the Company includes in current assets and liabilities the amounts of receivables related to construction projects realizable and payable over a period in excess of one year. The revenue associated with contract change orders is recognized only when the authorization for the change order has been properly executed and the work has been performed.
When the estimate on a contract indicates a loss, or claims against costs incurred reduce the likelihood of recoverability of such costs, the Company records the entire expected loss immediately, regardless of the percentage of completion.
Billings in excess of cost and estimated earnings represents advanced billings on certain construction contracts. Costs and estimated earnings in excess of billings represent certain amounts under customer contracts that were earned and billable but not invoiced.
The Company sells certain products and services in bundled arrangements, where multiple products and/or services are involved. The Company divides bundled arrangements into separate deliverables and revenue is allocated to each deliverable based on the relative selling price. The relative selling price is determined using third-party evidence or management’s best estimate of selling price.
The Company recognizes revenues from the sale and delivery of products, including the output from renewable energy plants, when produced and delivered to the customer, in accordance with specific contract terms, provided that persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, the Company’s price to the customer is fixed or determinable and collectability is reasonably assured.
The Company recognizes revenues from O&M contracts, consulting services and enterprise energy management services as the related services are performed.
For a limited number of contracts under which the Company receives additional revenue based on a share of energy savings, such additional revenue is recognized as energy savings are generated.
Cost of Revenues
Cost of revenues include the cost of labor, materials, equipment, subcontracting and outside engineering that are required for the development and installation of projects, as well as preconstruction costs, sales incentives, associated travel, inventory obsolescence charges, amortization of intangible assets related to customer contracts, and, if applicable, costs of procuring financing. A majority of the Company’s contracts have fixed price terms; however, in some cases the Company negotiates protections, such as a cost-plus structure, to mitigate the risk of rising prices for materials, services and equipment.
Cost of revenues also include the costs of maintaining and operating the small-scale renewable energy plants that the Company owns, including the cost of fuel (if any) and depreciation charges.
The Company provides for income taxes based on the liability method. The Company provides for deferred income taxes based on the expected future tax consequences of differences between the financial statement basis and the tax basis of assets and liabilities calculated using the enacted tax rates in effect for the year in which the differences are expected to be reflected in the tax return.
The Company accounts for uncertain tax positions using a “more-likely-than-not” threshold for recognizing and resolving uncertain tax positions. The evaluation of uncertain tax positions is based on factors that include, but are not limited to, changes in tax law, the measurement of tax positions taken or expected to be taken in tax returns, the effective settlement of matters subject to audit, new audit activity and changes in facts or circumstances related to a tax position. The Company evaluates uncertain tax positions on a quarterly basis and adjusts the level of the liability to reflect any subsequent changes in the relevant facts surrounding the uncertain positions.
The Company’s liabilities for uncertain tax positions can be relieved only if the contingency becomes legally extinguished through either payment to the taxing authority or the expiration of the statute of limitations, the recognition of the benefits associated with the position meet the “more-likely-than-not” threshold or the liability becomes effectively settled through the examination process.
The Company considers matters to be effectively settled once the taxing authority has completed all of its required or expected examination procedures, including all appeals and administrative reviews; the Company has no plans to appeal or litigate any aspect of the tax position; and the Company believes that it is highly unlikely that the taxing authority would examine or re-examine the related tax position. The Company also accrues for potential interest and penalties, related to unrecognized tax benefits in income tax expense.
In November 2015, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2015-17, which simplifies the presentation of deferred income taxes. The Company elected to early adopt ASU 2015-17 retrospectively in the fourth quarter of 2015. As a result, it has presented all deferred tax assets and liabilities as noncurrent on its consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively.
See Note 8 for additional information on the Company’s income taxes.
The local currency of the Company’s foreign operations is considered the functional currency of such operations. All assets and liabilities of the Company’s foreign operations are translated into U.S. dollars at year-end exchange rates. Income and expense items are translated at average exchange rates prevailing during the year. Translation adjustments are accumulated as a separate component of stockholders’ equity. Foreign currency translation gains and losses are reported in the consolidated statements of comprehensive income (loss). Foreign currency transaction gains and losses are reported in the consolidated statements of income (loss).
Financial instruments consist of cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash, accounts and notes receivable, long-term contract receivables, accounts payable, accrued expenses, short- and long-term debt and interest rate swaps. The estimated fair value of cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash, accounts and notes receivable, long-term contract receivables, accounts payable and accrued expenses approximates their carrying value. See below for fair value measurements of long-term debt. See Note 16 for fair value measurement of interest rate swaps.
Stock-Based Compensation Expense
Stock-based compensation expense results from the issuance of shares of restricted common stock and grants of stock options to employees, directors, outside consultants and others. The Company recognizes the costs associated with restricted stock and option grants using the fair value recognition provisions of accounting standards codification (“ASC”) 718, Compensation - Stock Compensation (“ASC 718”) on a straight-line basis over the vesting period of the awards. Certain option grants have performance conditions that must be achieved prior to vesting and are expensed based on the expected achievement at each reporting period.
Stock-based compensation expense is recognized based on the grant-date fair value. The Company estimates the fair value of the stock-based awards, including stock options, using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model. Determining the fair value of stock-based awards requires the use of highly subjective assumptions, including the fair value of the common stock underlying the award, the expected term of the award and expected stock price volatility.
The assumptions used in determining the fair value of stock-based awards represent management’s estimates, which involve inherent uncertainties and the application of management judgment. As a result, if factors change, and different assumptions are employed, the stock-based compensation could be materially different in the future. The risk-free interest rates are based on the U.S. Treasury yield curve in effect at the time of grant, with maturities approximating the expected life of the stock options.
The Company has no history of paying dividends. Additionally, as of each of the grant dates, there was no expectation that the Company would pay dividends over the expected life of the options. The expected life of the awards is estimated using historical data and management’s expectations. Beginning in the year ended December 31, 2016, the Company uses historical volatility as the expected volatility assumption required in the Black-Scholes model. Prior to the year ended December 31, 2016. because there was no public market for the Company’s common stock prior to the Company’s initial public offering, management lacked company-specific historical and implied volatility information. Therefore, estimates of expected stock volatility were based on that of publicly traded peer companies.
The Company is required to recognize compensation expense for only the portion of options that are expected to vest. Actual historical forfeiture rate of options is based on employee terminations and the number of shares forfeited. This data and other qualitative factors are considered by the Company in determining the forfeiture rate used in recognizing stock compensation expense. If the actual forfeiture rate varies from historical rates and estimates, additional adjustments to compensation expense may be required in future periods. If there are any modifications or cancellations of the underlying unvested securities or the terms of the stock option, it may be necessary to accelerate, increase or cancel any remaining unamortized stock-based compensation expense.
The Company also accounts for equity instruments issued to non-employee directors and consultants at fair value. All transactions in which goods or services are the consideration received for the issuance of equity instruments are accounted for based on the fair value of the consideration received or the fair value of the equity instrument issued, whichever is more reliably measurable. The measurement date of the fair value of the equity instrument issued is the date on which the counterparty’s performance is complete. No awards to individuals who were not either an employee or director of the Company occurred during the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014.
Fair Value Measurements
The Company follows the guidance related to fair value measurements for all of its non-financial assets and non-financial liabilities, except for those recognized at fair value in the financial statements at least annually. These assets include goodwill and long-lived assets measured at fair value for impairment assessments, and non-financial assets and liabilities initially measured at fair value in a business combination.
The Company’s financial instruments include cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash, accounts and notes receivable, long-term contract receivables, interest rate swaps, accounts payable, accrued expenses, capital lease assets and liabilities and short- and long-term borrowings. Because of their short maturity, the carrying amounts of cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash, accounts and notes receivable, accounts payable, accrued expenses and short-term borrowings approximate fair value. The carrying value of long-term variable-rate debt approximates fair value. As of December 31, 2016, the fair value of the Company’s long-term debt exceeds its carrying value by approximately $508. Fair value of the Company’s debt is based on quoted market prices or on rates available to the Company for debt with similar terms and maturities, which are level two inputs of the fair value hierarchy, as defined in Note 16.
The Company accounts for its interest rate swaps as derivative financial instruments in accordance with the related guidance. Under this guidance, derivatives are carried on the Company’s consolidated balance sheets at fair value. The fair value of the Company’s interest rate swaps are determined based on observable market data in combination with expected cash flows for each instrument.
See Note 16 for additional information related to fair value measurements.
Share Repurchase Program
In April 2016, the Company’s Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of up to $10,000 of the Company’s Class A common stock from time to time on the open market in privately negotiated transactions. The timing and amount of any shares repurchased will be determined by the Company’s management based on its evaluation of market conditions and other factors. Any repurchased shares will be available for use in connection with its stock plans and for other corporate purposes. The repurchase program will be funded using the Company’s working capital and borrowings under its revolving line of credit. The Company accounts for share repurchases using the cost method. Under this method, the cost of the share repurchase is recorded entirely in treasury stock, a contra equity account. During the year ended December 31, 2016, the Company repurchased 1,298,418 shares of common stock in the amount of $6,387, including fees of $52.
Derivative Financial Instruments
In the normal course of business, the Company utilizes derivatives contracts as part of its risk management strategy to manage exposure to market fluctuations in interest rates. These instruments are subject to various credit and market risks. Controls and monitoring procedures for these instruments have been established and are routinely reevaluated. Credit risk represents the potential loss that may occur because a party to a transaction fails to perform according to the terms of the contract. The measure of credit exposure is the replacement cost of contracts with a positive fair value. The Company seeks to manage credit risk by entering into financial instrument transactions only through counterparties that the Company believes to be creditworthy.
Market risk represents the potential loss due to the decrease in the value of a financial instrument caused primarily by changes in interest rates. The Company seeks to manage market risk by establishing and monitoring limits on the types and degree of risk that may be undertaken. As a matter of policy, the Company does not use derivatives for speculative purposes. The Company considers the use of derivatives with all financing transactions to mitigate risk.
The Company recognizes cash flows from derivative instruments as operating activities in the consolidated statements of cash flows. The effective portion of changes in fair value on interest rate swaps designated as cash flow hedges are recognized in the Company’s consolidated statements of comprehensive income (loss). The ineffective portion of changes in fair value on interest rate swaps designated as hedges and changes in fair value on interest rate swaps not designated as hedges are recognized in the Company’s consolidated statements of income (loss).
During 2007, the Company entered into two interest rate swap contracts under which the Company agreed to pay an amount equal to a specified fixed rate of interest times a notional principal amount, and to in turn receive an amount equal to a specified variable rate of interest times the same notional principal amount. The swaps cover initial notional amounts of $13,081 and $3,256, each a variable rate note at fixed interest rates of 5.4% and 5.3%, respectively, and expire in March 2024 and February 2021, respectively. These interest rate swaps qualified, but were not designated, as cash flow hedges until April 1, 2010. Since April 2010, they have been designated as hedges.
In March 2010, the Company entered into a fourteen-year interest rate swap contract under which the Company agreed to pay an amount equal to a specified fixed rate of interest times a notional amount, and to in turn receive an amount equal to a specified variable rate of interest times the same notional principal amount. The swap covers an initial notional amount of approximately $27,900 variable rate note at a fixed interest rate of 3.74% and expires in December 2024. This swap was designated as a hedge in March 2013. For the year ended December 31, 2013, the Company recorded an unrealized (gain) loss in earnings of $(266), as other expenses, net in the consolidated statements of income (loss). During the second quarter of 2014 this swap was de-designated and re-designated as a hedge as a result of a partial pay down of the associated hedged debt principal. As a result $566 was reclassified from accumulated other comprehensive loss and recorded as a reduction to other expenses, net in the Company’s consolidated statements of income (loss) during the second quarter of 2014.
In July 2011, the Company entered into a five-year interest rate swap contract under which the Company agreed to pay an amount equal to a specified fixed rate of interest times a notional amount, and to in turn receive an amount equal to a specified variable rate of interest times the same notional principal amount. The swap covered an initial notional amount of $38,571 variable rate note at a fixed interest rate of 1.965% and expired in June 2016. This interest rate swap was designated as a hedge since inception.
In October 2012, the Company entered into two eight-year interest rate swap contracts under which the Company agreed to pay an amount equal to a specified fixed rate of interest times a notional amount, and to in turn receive an amount equal to a specified variable rate of interest times the same notional principal amount. The swaps cover an initial notional amount of $16,750 variable rate note at a fixed interest rate of 1.71%. This notional amount increased to $42,247 on September 30, 2013 and expires in March 2020. These interest rate swaps have been designated as hedges since inception.
In October 2012, the Company also entered into two eight-year forward starting interest rate swap contracts under which the Company agreed to pay an amount equal to specified fixed rate of interest times a notional amount, and to in turn receive an amount equal to a specified variable rate of interest times the same notional principal amount. The swaps cover an initial notional amount of $25,377 variable rate note at a fixed interest rate of 3.70%, with an effective date of March 31, 2020, and expires in June 2028. These interest rate swaps have been designated as hedges since inception.
In September 2015, the Company entered into a seven-year forward starting interest rate swap contract under which the Company agreed to pay an amount equal to a specified fixed rate of interest times a notional amount, and to in turn receive an amount equal to a specified variable rate of interest times the same notional principal amount. The swap covers an initial notional amount of $20,746 variable rate note at a fixed interest rate of 2.19%, and expires in February 2023. The effective date of the interest rate swap was February 29, 2016. The underlying cash flows hedged have an initial principal balance of $20,746 with an effective date of March 30, 2016. This interest rate swap has been designated as a hedge since inception.
In September 2015, the Company also entered into a fifteen-year forward starting interest rate swap contract under which the Company agreed to pay an amount equal to a specified fixed rate of interest times a notional amount, and to in turn receive an amount equal to a specified variable rate of interest times the same notional principal amount. The swap covers an initial notional amount of $14,084 variable rate note at a fixed interest rate of 3.26%, with an effective date of February 28, 2023, and expires in December 2038. This interest rate swap has been designated as a hedge since inception.
See Notes 15, 16 and 17 for additional information on the Company’s derivative instruments.
Earnings Per Share
Basic earnings per share is calculated using the Company’s weighted-average outstanding common shares, including vested restricted shares. When the effects are not anti-dilutive, diluted earnings per share is calculated using the weighted-average outstanding common shares; the dilutive effect of convertible preferred stock, under the “if converted” method; and the treasury stock method with regard to warrants and stock options; all as determined under the treasury stock method.
For the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014, 3,530,220, 1,767,778 and 1,737,261 shares of common stock, respectively, related to stock options were excluded from the calculation of dilutive shares since the inclusion of such shares would be anti-dilutive.
Variable Interest Entities
Certain contracts are executed jointly through partnership and joint venture arrangements with unrelated third parties. The arrangements are often formed for the single business purpose of executing a specific project and allow the Company to share risks and/or secure specialty skills required for project execution.
The Company evaluates each partnership and joint venture at inception to determine if it qualifies as a VIE under ASC 810, Consolidation. A variable interest entity is an entity used for business purposes that either (a) does not have equity investors with voting rights or (b) has equity investors who are not required to provide sufficient financial resources for the entity to support its activities without additional subordinated financial support. Upon the occurrence of certain events outlined in ASC 810, the Company reassesses its initial determination of whether the partnership or joint venture is a VIE.
The Company also evaluates whether it is the primary beneficiary of each VIE and consolidates the VIE if the Company has both (a) the power to direct the economically significant activities of the entity and (b) the obligation to absorb losses of, or the right to receive benefits from, the entity that could potentially be significant to the VIE. The Company considers the contractual agreements that define the ownership structure, distribution of profits and losses, risks, responsibilities, indebtedness, voting rights and board representation of the respective parties in determining whether it qualifies as the primary beneficiary. The Company also considers all parties that have direct or implicit variable interests when determining whether it is the primary beneficiary. When the Company is determined to be the primary beneficiary, the VIE is consolidated. As required by ASC 810, management's assessment of whether the Company is the primary beneficiary of a VIE is continuously performed. See Note 9 for additional disclosures.
Redeemable Non-Controlling Interest
In September 2015, the Company formed an investment fund with a third-party investor which granted the investor ownership interests in the net assets of certain of the Company’s renewable energy project subsidiaries. The Company entered into this agreement in order to finance the costs of constructing the project assets which are under long-term customer contracts. The Company has determined that it is the primary beneficiary in the operational partnership for accounting purposes. Accordingly, the Company will consolidate the assets and liabilities and operating results of the entities in its consolidated financial statements. The Company will recognize the investor’s share of the net assets of the subsidiary as a redeemable non-controlling interest in its consolidated balance sheets.
The Company has determined that the provisions in the contractual arrangement represent a substantive profit-sharing arrangement. The Company has further determined that the appropriate methodology for attributing income and loss to the redeemable non-controlling interest each period is a balance sheet approach referred to as the hypothetical liquidation at book value (“HLBV”) method. Under the HLBV method, the amounts of income and loss attributed to the redeemable non-controlling interest in the consolidated statements of income (loss) reflect changes in the amounts the investor would hypothetically receive at each balance sheet date under the liquidation provisions of the contractual agreement, assuming the net assets of this funding structure were liquidated at recorded amounts. The investor’s non-controlling interest in the results of operations of this funding structure is determined as the difference in the non-controlling interest’s claim under the HLBV method at the start and end of each reporting period, after taking into account any capital transactions, such as contributions or distributions, between the Company’s subsidiary and the investor. The use of the HLBV methodology to allocate income to the redeemable non-controlling interest holder may create volatility in the Company’s consolidated statements of income (loss) as the application of HLBV can drive changes in net income available and loss attributable to the redeemable non-controlling interest from quarter to quarter.
The Company classified the non-controlling interest with redemption features that are not solely within the control of the Company outside of permanent equity on its consolidated balance sheets. The redeemable non-controlling interest will be reported using the greater of its carrying value at each reporting date as determined by the HLBV method or the estimated redemption value in each reporting period.
See Notes 9 and 10 for additional disclosures.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
In May 2014, FASB issued ASU 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606). The guidance in this ASU affects any entity that either enters into contracts with customers to transfer goods or services or enters into contracts for the transfer of nonfinancial assets unless those contracts are within the scope of other standards. The guidance in this ASU supersedes the revenue recognition requirements in ASC 605, Revenue Recognition, and most industry-specific guidance throughout the Industry Topics of the Codification. This ASU also supersedes some cost guidance included in ASC 605-35, Revenue Recognition-Construction-Type and Production-Type Contracts. In addition, the existing requirements for the recognition of a gain or loss on the transfer of nonfinancial assets that are not in a contract with a customer are amended to be consistent with the guidance on recognition and measurement in this ASU. The FASB has approved a one year deferral of this standard, and this pronouncement is now effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017. Entities would be permitted to adopt the standard as early as the original public entity effective date (i.e., annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016 and interim periods therein). Early adoption prior to that date is not permitted. Retrospective application of the amendments in this ASU is required. The new guidance must be adopted using either a full retrospective approach for all periods presented in the period of adoption (with some limited relief provided) or a modified retrospective approach. The Company is currently assessing the impact of this ASU on its consolidated financial statements. The Company expects to have its preliminary evaluation, including the selection of an adoption method, completed by the end of the first half of 2017. The Company is not planning on early adopting and currently expects to adopt the new revenue recognition guidance in the first quarter of 2018. The Company does not currently expect this guidance to have a material impact on its consolidated financial position or results of operations based on the evaluation of its current contracts and revenue streams, most will be recorded consistently under both the current and new standard. The FASB has issued, and may issue in the future, interpretive guidance which may cause the Company’s evaluation to change.
In August 2014, the FASB issued ASU 2014-15, Presentation of Financial Statements — Going Concern (Subtopic 205-40) (“ASU 2014-15”). ASU 2014-15 requires management to assess an entity’s ability to continue as a going concern by incorporating and expanding upon certain principles of current U.S. auditing standards. Specifically, the amendments (1) provide a definition of the term “substantial doubt”, (2) require an evaluation every reporting period, including interim periods, (3) provide principles for considering the mitigating effect of management’s plans, (4) require certain disclosures when substantial doubt is alleviated as a result of consideration of management’s plans, (5) require an express statement and other disclosures when substantial doubt is still present, and (6) require an assessment for a period of one year after the date that the financial statements are issued (or available to be issued). ASU 2014-15 is effective for annual reporting periods ending after December 15, 2016 and interim periods thereafter. The Company adopted ASU 2014-15 as of December 31, 2016, and the adoption did not have an impact on its going concern conclusions.
In February 2015, the FASB issued ASU 2015-02, Consolidation (Topic 810): Amendments to the Consolidation Analysis (“ASU 2015-02”). ASU 2015-02 affects reporting entities that are required to evaluate whether they should consolidate certain legal entities. ASU 2015-02 is effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2015 and interim periods within those annual reporting periods. The Company adopted this guidance in the first quarter of fiscal 2016. This pronouncement did not change the Company’s previous consolidation conclusions, and thus did not have an impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.
In April 2015, the FASB issued ASU 2015-03, Interest — Imputation of Interest (Subtopic 835-03): Simplifying the Presentation of Debt Issuance Costs (“ASU 2015-03”). ASU 2015-03 requires debt issuance costs related to a recognized debt liability to be presented in the balance sheet as a direct deduction from the debt liability rather than as an asset. ASU 2015-03 is effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2015, and interim periods within those annual reporting periods. The Company adopted this guidance in the first quarter of fiscal 2016. As such, deferred financing fees are presented on the Consolidated Balance Sheets as a reduction to long-term debt and capital lease liabilities.
In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842). The guidance in this ASU supersedes the leasing guidance in Topic 840, Leases. Under the new guidance, lessees are required to recognize lease assets and lease liabilities on the balance sheet for all leases with terms longer than 12 months. Leases will be classified as either finance or operating, with classification affecting the pattern of expense recognition in the income statement. ASU 2016-02 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, including interim periods within those fiscal years. The Company is currently evaluating the impact of our pending adoption of the new standard on its consolidated financial statements.
In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-09, Compensation-Stock Compensation-Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting ("ASU 2016-09"). The guidance in this ASU involves several aspects of the accounting for share-based payment transactions, including the income tax consequences, classification of awards as either equity or liabilities, and classification on the statement of cash flows. Under ASU 2016-09, income tax benefits and deficiencies are to be recognized as income tax expense or benefit in the statement of operations and the tax effects of exercised or vested awards should be treated as discrete items in the reporting period in which they occur. Additionally, under ASU 2016-09, excess tax benefits should be classified along with other income tax cash flows as an operating activity. ASU 2016-09 will be effective for the Company on January 1, 2017, with early adoption permitted. Upon adoption of this standard as of January 1, 2017, the Company estimates it will record a $4,000 deferred tax asset and a corresponding credit to retained earnings for excess tax benefits that had not previously been recognized because the related tax deductions had not reduced taxes payable. The Company will not change its accounting policy in regards to forfeitures.
In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-04, Intangibles—Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment (“ASU 2017-04”). Under the new guidance, a reporting entity will no longer be required to perform a hypothetical purchase price allocation to measure goodwill impairment (formerly known as “Step-2” analysis). Instead, impairment will be measured using the difference between carrying amount and the fair value of the reporting unit. ASU 2017-04 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, including interim periods within those fiscal years, with early adoption permitted. The Company is currently evaluating the impact ASU 2017-04 will have on its consolidated financial statements.
The entire disclosure for all significant accounting policies of the reporting entity.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef