10-K 1 plow-20141231x10k.htm 10-K plow_Current_Folio_10K

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10‑K

 

 

(Mark One)

 

Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014

or

Transition Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

For the transition period from                          to                        

 

Commission File No. 001‑34728

DOUGLAS DYNAMICS, INC.

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(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

Delaware
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)

134275891
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

7777 N 73rd Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
(Address of principal executive offices)

53223
(Zip Code)

 

Registrants telephone number, including area code (414) 354‑2310

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

 

Title of each class

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, $.01 Par Value

New York Stock Exchange

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: NONE

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well‑known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes   No .

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes   No .

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes   No .

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S‑T (232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes   No .

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S‑K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrants knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10‑K or any amendment to this Form 10‑K. 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non‑accelerated filer or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of large accelerated filer, accelerated filer and smaller reporting company in Rule 12b‑2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

 

 

 

 

Large accelerated filer 

Accelerated filer 

Non‑accelerated filer 
(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)

Smaller reporting company 

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b‑2 of the Exchange Act). Yes   No .

At June 30, 2014, the aggregate market value of the voting stock of the Registrant held by stockholders who were not affiliates of the Registrant was approximately $393 million (based upon the closing price of Registrants Common Stock on the New York Stock Exchange on such date). At March 12, 2015, the Registrant had outstanding an aggregate of 22,361,447 shares of its Common Stock.

Documents Incorporated by Reference:

Portions of the Proxy Statement for the Registrants Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on April 29, 2015, which Proxy Statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission no later than 120 days after the close of the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, are incorporated into Parts II and III.

 

 


 

Table of Contents

 

 

 

PART I 

3

Item 1. 

Business

4

Item 1A. 

Risk Factors

10

Item 1B. 

Unresolved Staff Comments

19

Item 2. 

Properties

19

Item 3. 

Legal Proceedings

20

Item 4. 

Mine Safety Disclosures

20

PART II 

21

Item 5. 

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

21

Item 6. 

Selected Consolidated Financial Data

23

Item 7. 

Management Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

25

Item 7A. 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

44

Item 8. 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

45

Item 9. 

Changes In and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosures

45

Item 9A. 

Controls and Procedures

45

Item 9B. 

Other Information

46

PART III 

46

Item 10. 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

46

Item 11. 

Executive Compensation

47

Item 12. 

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Shareholder Matters

47

Item 13. 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

47

Item 14. 

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

47

PART IV 

48

Item 15. 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

48

Signatures 

49

Exhibit Index 

50

Index to Consolidated Financial Statements 

F-1

 

 

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PART I

Forward Looking Statements

This Annual Report on Form 10‑K contains “forward‑looking statements” made within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend,” “estimate,” “expect,” “continue,” “should,” “could,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “will” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward‑ looking statements. In addition, statements covering our future sales or financial performance and our plans, performance and other objectives, expectations or intentions are forward‑looking statements, such as statements regarding our liquidity, debt, planned capital expenditures, and adequacy of capital resources and reserves. Factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward‑looking statements include, but are not limited to:

·

Weather conditions, particularly lack of or reduced levels of snowfall and the timing of such snowfall;

·

A significant decline in economic conditions;

·

Our inability to maintain good relationships with our distributors;

·

Lack of available or favorable financing options for our end‑users or distributors;

·

Increases in the price of steel or other materials necessary for the production of our products that cannot be passed on to our distributors;

·

Increases in the price of fuel;

·

The inability of our suppliers to meet our volume or quality requirements;

·

Inaccuracies in our estimates of future demand for our products;

·

Our inability to protect or continue to build our intellectual property portfolio;

·

The effects of laws and regulations and their interpretations on our business and financial conditions;

·

Our inability to develop new products or improve upon existing products in response to end‑user needs;

·

Losses due to lawsuits arising out of personal injuries associated with our products;

·

Factors that could impact the future declaration and payment of dividends;

·

Our inability to compete effectively against competition; and

·

Our inability to achieve the projected financial performance with the assets of TrynEx, Inc. (“TrynEx”), which we acquired in 2013, or the business of Henderson Enterprises Group, Inc. (“Henderson”) which we acquired in 2014, and unexpected costs or liabilities related to such acquisitions.

We undertake no obligation to revise the forward‑looking statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K to reflect any future events or circumstances. Our actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from the results expressed in, or implied by, these forward‑looking statements. Factors in addition to those listed above that could cause or contribute to such differences are discussed in Item 1A, “Risk Factors” of the Annual Report on Form 10‑K.

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Item 1.  Business

Overview

Home to the best selling brands in the industry, Douglas Dynamics, Inc. (the “Company,” “we,” “us,” “our”) is North America's premier manufacturer of vehicle attachments and equipment. For more than 65 years, the Company has been innovating products that enable end users to perform their jobs more efficiently and effectively, providing opportunities for businesses to increase profitability. Our commitment to continuous improvement enables us to consistently produce high quality products and drive shareholder value. The Douglas Dynamics portfolio includes snow and ice management attachments sold under the BLIZZARD®, FISHER®, SNOWEX® and WESTERN® brands, turf care equipment under the TURFEX® brand, and industrial maintenance equipment under the SWEEPEX® brand.  On December 31, 2014, we completed our acquisition of Henderson by merging a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company with and into Henderson pursuant to a merger agreement. The acquisition provides the Company with Henderson’s diverse product portfolio including ice control equipment, snow plows, dump bodies, muni-bodies, and replacement parts.   Additionally, as a result of the Henderson acquisition, the Company acquired Henderson’s brands, and access to Henderson’s network of authorized dealers. We operate as a single segment.

We offer a  broad product line of snowplows and sand and salt spreaders for light trucks that we believe to be the most complete line offered in the U.S. and Canadian markets. We also provide a full range of related parts and accessories, which generates an ancillary revenue stream throughout the lifecycle of our snow and ice control equipment. As a result of the acquisition of Henderson, we also provide customized turnkey solutions to governmental agencies such as Departments of Transportation (“DOTs”) and municipalities.  We also believe that, with the addition of Henderson, we are now the market leader in the heavy-duty segment of the North American snow and ice control market which includes equipment for class 7 and class 8 truck chassis.  For the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012, 84%, 85% and 88% of our net sales were generated from sales of snow and ice control equipment, respectively, and 16%, 15% and 12% of our net sales were generated from sales of parts and accessories, respectively.

 

We sell our products through a distributor network primarily to professional snowplowers who are contracted to remove snow and ice from commercial, municipal and residential areas. Over the last 50 years, we have engendered exceptional customer loyalty for our products because of our ability to satisfy the stringent demands of our customers for a high degree of quality, reliability and service. As a result, we believe our installed base is the largest in the light truck market with over 500,000 snowplows and sand and salt spreaders in service. Because sales of snowplows and sand and salt spreaders are primarily driven by the need of our core end‑user base to replace worn existing equipment, we believe our substantial installed base provides us with a high degree of predictable sales over any extended period of time.

We believe we have the industry’s most extensive distribution network worldwide, which consists of over 2,200 points of sale including 125 independent truck equipment distributors as  a result of the Henderson acquisition.   Additionally we have added Henderson’s five truck equipment installation facilities located throughout the United States.  Direct points of shipment are predominantly through North American truck equipment and lawn care equipment distributors. Most of our distributors are located throughout the snow belt regions in North America (primarily the Midwest, East and Northeast regions of the United States as well as all provinces of Canada). We have longstanding relationships with many of our distributors. We continually seek to grow and optimize our network by opportunistically adding high‑quality, well‑capitalized distributors in select geographic areas and by cross‑selling our industry‑leading brands within our distribution network.  Beginning in 2005, we have extended our reach to international markets, establishing distribution relationships in Northern Europe and Asia, where we believe meaningful growth opportunities exist.

We believe we are the industry’s most operationally efficient manufacturer due to our vertical integration, highly variable cost structure and intense focus on lean manufacturing. We continually seek to use lean principles to reduce costs and increase the efficiency of our manufacturing operations. During the year ended December 31, 2014 we manufactured our products in three facilities that we own in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Rockland, Maine, and Madison Heights, Michigan. As a result of  the December 31, 2014 acquisition of Henderson, we also have added a manufacturing facility in Manchester, Iowa.  Furthermore, our manufacturing efficiency allows us to deliver desired

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products quickly to our customers during times of sudden and unpredictable snowfall events when our customers need our products immediately.

Our Industry

Both the light truck and heavy duty snow and ice control equipment industries in North America consist predominantly of domestic participants that manufacture their products in North America. The annual demand for snow and ice control equipment is driven primarily by the replacement cycle of the existing installed base, which is predominantly a function of the average life of a snowplow or spreader and is driven by usage and maintenance practices of the end‑user. We believe actively‑used snowplows are typically replaced, on average, every 9 to 12 years.  

We believe that both light and heavy duty snow and ice control equipment are both driven primarily by the replacement cycle of the existing installed base, which is predominantly a function of the average life of a snowplow or spreader and is driven by usage and maintenance practices of the end‑user.   However, we believe that demand for heavy duty trucks is less elastic than light trucks.     Heavy duty truck end users typically are comprised of local governments and municipalities which plan for and execute planned replacement of equipment over time.

The primary factor influencing the replacement cycle for snow and ice control equipment for light trucks is the level, timing and location of snowfall. Sales of snow and ice control equipment in any given year and region are most heavily influenced by local snowfall levels in the prior snow season. Heavy snowfall during a given winter causes equipment usage to increase, resulting in greater wear and tear and shortened life cycles, thereby creating a need for replacement equipment and additional parts and accessories.

While snowfall levels vary within a given year and from year‑to‑year, snowfall, and the corresponding replacement cycle of snow and ice control equipment, is relatively consistent over multi‑year periods. The following chart depicts aggregate annual and ten‑year (based on the typical life of our snowplows) rolling average of the aggregate snowfall levels in 66 cities in 26 snow belt states across the Northeast, East, Midwest and Western United States where we monitor snowfall levels from 1980 to 2014. As the chart indicates, since 1984 aggregate snowfall levels in any given rolling ten‑year period have been fairly consistent, ranging from 2,742 to 3,318 inches.

 

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Note:The 10‑year rolling average snowfall is not presented prior to 1984 for purposes of the calculation due to lack of snowfall data prior to 1975. Snowfall data in this chart is not adjusted for snowfall outside of the 66 cities in the 26 states reflected.

Source:National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service.

The demand for snow and ice control equipment can also be influenced by general economic conditions in the United States, as well as local economic conditions in the snow‑belt regions in North America. In stronger economic conditions, our end‑users may choose to replace or upgrade existing equipment before its useful life has ended, while in weak economic conditions, our end‑users may seek to extend the useful life of equipment, thereby increasing the sales of parts and accessories. However, since snow and ice control management is a non‑discretionary service necessary to ensure public safety and continued personal and commercial mobility in populated areas that receive snowfall, end‑users cannot extend the useful life of snow and ice control equipment indefinitely and must replace equipment that has become too worn, unsafe or unreliable, regardless of economic conditions. While our parts and accessories yield slightly higher gross margins than our snow and ice control equipment, they yield significantly lower revenue than equipment sales, which adversely affects our results of operations.  

Sales of parts and accessories for 2014 were approximately 89% higher than average annual parts and accessories sales over the preceding ten years. The higher than average parts and accessories sales were partially due primarily driven by above average snowfall, in addition to TrynEx parts and accessory sales being sold for a full year in 2014 versus only a partial year in 2013. TrynEx parts and accessories sales contributed approximately 18% of increased parts and accessory sales in 2014 compared to 2013. The remaining 47% increase can be attributed to the timing, location and amount of the snowfall for the six‑month snow season ended March 31, 2014.

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Long‑term growth in the overall snow and ice control equipment market also results from geographic expansion of developed areas in the snow belt regions of North America, as well as consumer demand for technological enhancements in snow and ice control equipment and related parts and accessories that improves efficiency and reliability. Continued construction in the snow belt regions in North America increases the aggregate area requiring snow and ice removal, thereby growing the market for snow and ice control equipment. In addition, the development and sale of more reliable, more efficient and more sophisticated products have contributed to an approximate 2% to 4% average unit price increase in each of the past five years.

Our Competitive Strengths

We compete solely with other North American manufacturers who do not benefit from our extensive distributor network, manufacturing efficiencies and depth and breadth of products. As the market leader in snow and ice control equipment for light trucks and following the Henderson acquisition, heavy duty trucks, we enjoy a set of competitive advantages versus smaller equipment providers, which allows us to generate robust cash flows in all snowfall environments and to support continued investment in our products, distribution capabilities and brand regardless of annual volume fluctuations. We believe these advantages are rooted in the following competitive strengths and reinforces our industry leadership over time.

Exceptional Customer Loyalty and Brand Equity.  Our brands enjoy exceptional customer loyalty and brand equity in the snow and ice control equipment industry with both end‑users and distributors, which have been developed through over 50 years of superior innovation, productivity, reliability and support, consistently delivered season after season. We believe past brand experience, rather than price, is the key factor impacting snowplow purchasing decisions.

Broadest and Most Innovative Product Offering.  We provide the industry’s broadest product offering with a full range of snowplows, sand and salt spreaders and related parts and accessories. We believe we maintain the industry’s largest and most advanced in‑house new product development program, historically introducing several new and redesigned products each year. Our broad product offering and commitment to new product development is essential to maintaining and growing our leading market share position as well as continuing to increase the profitability of our business.

Extensive North American Distributor Network.  With over 2,200 points of sale, we benefit from having the most extensive distributor network in the industry, providing a significant competitive advantage over our peers. Our distributors function not only as sales and support agents (providing access to parts and service), but also as industry partners providing real‑time end‑user information, such as retail inventory levels, changing consumer preferences or desired functionality enhancements, which we use as the basis for our product development efforts.

Leader in Operational Efficiency.  We believe we are a leader in operational efficiency in our industry, resulting from our application of lean manufacturing principles and a highly variable cost structure. By utilizing lean principles, we are able to adjust production levels easily to meet fluctuating demand, while controlling costs in slower periods. This operational efficiency is supplemented by our highly variable cost structure, driven in part by our access to a sizable temporary workforce (comprising approximately 10‑15% of our total workforce during average snowfall years), which we can quickly adjust, as needed. These manufacturing efficiencies enable us to respond rapidly to urgent customer demand during times of sudden and unpredictable snowfalls, allowing us to provide exceptional service to our existing customer base and capture new customers from competitors that we believe cannot service their customers’ needs with the same speed and reliability.

Strong Cash Flow Generation.  We are able to generate significant cash flow as a result of relatively consistent high profitability, low capital spending requirements and predictable timing of our working capital requirements. Our cash flow results will also benefit substantially from approximately $19.0 million of annual tax‑deductible intangible and goodwill expense over the next four years, which has the impact of reducing our corporate taxes owed by approximately $7.3 million on an annual basis during this period, in the event we have sufficient taxable income to utilize such benefit. Our significant cash flow has allowed us to reinvest in our business, pay down long term debt, and pay substantial dividends on a pro rata basis to our stockholders.

Experienced Management Team.  We believe our business benefits from an exceptional management team that is responsible for establishing our leadership in the snow and ice control equipment industry for light trucks.

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Our senior management team, consisting of four officers, has an average of approximately 24 years of weather‑related industry experience and an average of over fourteen years with our company. James Janik, our Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, has been with us for over 22 years and in his role as President and Chief Executive Officer since 2000, and through his strategic vision, we have been able to expand our distributor network and grow our market leading position.

Our Business Strategy

Our business strategy is to capitalize on our competitive strengths to maximize cash flow to pay dividends, reduce indebtedness and reinvest in our business to create stockholder value. The building blocks of our strategy are:

Continuous Product Innovation.  We believe new product innovation is critical to maintaining and growing our market‑leading position in the snow and ice control equipment industry. We will continue to focus on developing innovative solutions to increase productivity, ease of use, reliability, durability and serviceability of our products and on incorporating lean manufacturing concepts into our product development process, which has allowed us to reduce the overall cost of development and, more importantly, to reduce our time‑to‑market by nearly one‑half.

Distributor Network Optimization.  We will continually seek opportunities to continue to expand our extensive distribution network by adding high‑ quality, well‑capitalized distributors in select geographic areas and by cross‑selling our industry‑leading brands within our distribution network to ensure we maximize our ability to generate revenue while protecting our industry leading reputation, customer loyalty and brands. We will also focus on optimizing this network by providing in‑depth training, valuable distributor support and attractive promotional and incentive opportunities. As a result of these efforts, we believe a majority of our distributors choose to sell our products exclusively. We believe this sizable high quality network is unique in the industry, providing us with valuable insight into purchasing trends and customer preferences, and would be very difficult to replicate.

Aggressive Asset Management and Profit Focus.  We will continue to aggressively manage our assets in order to maximize our cash flow generation despite seasonal and annual variability in snowfall levels. We believe our ability is unique in our industry and enables us to achieve attractive margins in all snowfall environments. Key elements of our asset management and profit focus strategies include:

·

employment of a highly variable cost structure, which allows us to quickly adjust costs in response to real‑time changes in demand;

·

use of enterprise‑wide lean principles, which allow us to easily adjust production levels up or down to meet demand;

·

implementation of a pre‑season order program, which incentivizes distributors to place orders prior to the retail selling season and thereby enables us to more efficiently utilize our assets; and

·

development of a vertically integrated business model, which we believe provides us cost advantages over our competition.

Additionally, although modest, our capital expenditure requirements and operating expenses can be temporarily reduced in response to anticipated or actual lower sales in a particular year to maximize cash flow.

Flexible, Lean Enterprise Platform.  We will continue to utilize lean principles to maximize the flexibility, efficiency and productivity of our manufacturing operations while reducing the associated costs, enabling us to increase distributor and end‑user satisfaction. For example, in an environment where shorter lead times and near‑perfect order fulfillment are important to our distributors, we believe our lean processes have helped us to improve our shipping performance and build a reputation for providing industry leading shipping performance.

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Our Growth Opportunities

Opportunistically Seek New Products and New Markets.    On December 31, 2014 the Company completed its acquisition of Henderson, which gave the Company Henderson’s full line of product offerings and access to its network of dealers.   Previously, on May 6, 2013, the Company acquired substantially all of the assets of TrynEx, including its full line of product offerings and access to its network of authorized dealers. We expect to continue to consider external growth opportunities within the snow and ice control industry and other equipment or component markets. We plan to continue to evaluate other acquisition opportunities within our industry that can help us expand our distribution reach, enhance our technology and as a consequence improve the breadth and depth of our product lines. We also consider diversification opportunities in adjacent markets that complement our business model and could offer us the ability to leverage our core competencies to create stockholder value.

Increase Our Industry Leading Market Share.  We plan to leverage our industry leading position, distribution network and new product innovation capabilities to capture market share in the North American snow and ice control equipment market, focusing our primary efforts on increasing penetration in those North American markets where we believe our overall market share is less than 50% and of Henderson, the heavy duty truck market. We also plan to continue growing our presence in the snow and ice control equipment market outside of North America, particularly in Asia and Europe, which we believe could provide significant growth opportunities in the future.  

Employees

As of December 31, 2014, we employed 993 employees on a full‑time basis, including 363 employees at the newly acquired Henderson business.  None of our employees are represented by a union and we are not party to any collective bargaining agreements.

Financing program

We are party to a financing program in which certain distributors may elect to finance their purchases from us through a third party financing company. We provide the third party financing company recourse against us regarding the collectability of the receivable under the program due to the fact that if the third party financing company is unable to collect from the distributor the amounts due in respect of the product financed, we would be obligated to repurchase any remaining inventory related to the product financed and reimburse any legal fees incurred by the financing company. During the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012, distributors financed purchases of $5.6 million, $2.9 million and $1.6 million through this financing program, respectively. At both December 31, 2014 and December 31, 2013, there was $0 of uncollectible outstanding receivables related to sales financed under the financing program. The amount owed by our distributors to the third party financing company under this program at December 31, 2014 and 2013 was $1.9 million and $1.3 million, respectively. We were required to repurchase repossessed inventory of $0, $0, and $0.2 million for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively.

In the past, minimal losses have been incurred under this agreement. However, an adverse change in distributor retail sales could cause this situation to change and thereby require us to repurchase repossessed units. Any repossessed units are inspected to ensure they are current, unused product and are restocked and resold.

Intellectual Property

We maintain patents relating to snowplow mounts, assemblies, hydraulics, electronics and lighting systems, brooms as well as sand, salt and fertilizer spreader assemblies and our patent applications relate to each of the foregoing except for hydraulics. Patents are valid for the longer period of 17 years from issue date or 20 years from filing date. The duration of the patents we currently possess range between two years and 19 years of remaining life. Our patent applications date from 1996 through 2014.

We rely on a combination of patents, trade secrets and trademarks to protect certain of the proprietary aspects of our business and technology. We hold approximately 36 U.S. registered trademarks (including the

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trademarks WESTERN®, FISHER® BLIZZARD®, SNOWEX®, TURFEX®, SWEEPEX®, HENDERSON® and BRINEXTREME®) 11 Canadian registered trademarks, 5 European trademarks, 58 U.S. issued patents, 11 Canadian patents and two Chinese and Mexican trademarks.

Raw Materials

During 2014, we experienced slightly unfavorable commodity costs compared to the slightly favorable prices paid for commodities in 2013. Historically, we have mitigated, and we currently expect to continue to mitigate, commodity cost increases in part by engaging in proactive vendor negotiations, reviewing alternative sourcing options, substituting materials, engaging in internal cost reduction efforts, and increasing prices on some of our products, all as appropriate.

Most of the components of our products are also affected by commodity cost pressures and are commercially available from a number of sources. In 2014, we experienced no significant work stoppages because of shortages of raw materials or commodities. The highest raw material and component costs are generally for steel, which we purchase from several suppliers.

Other Information

We were formed as a Delaware corporation in 2004. We maintain a website with the address www.douglasdynamics.com. We are not including the information contained on our website as part of, or incorporating it by reference into, this report. We make available free of charge (other than an investor’s own Internet access charges) through our website our Annual Report on Form 10‑K, quarterly reports on Form 10‑Q and current reports on Form 8‑K, and amendments to these reports, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish such material to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).

Item 1A.  Risk Factors

The Company operates in an environment that involves numerous known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Our business, prospects, financial condition and operating results could be materially adversely affected by any of these risks, as well as other risks not currently known to us or that we currently consider immaterial. The risks described below highlight some of the factors that have affected, and in the future could affect our operations.

Our results of operations depend primarily on the level, timing and location of snowfall. As a result, a decline in snowfall levels in multiple regions for an extended time could cause our results of operations to decline and adversely affect our ability to pay dividends.

As a manufacturer of snow and ice control equipment for both light and heavy duty trucks, and related parts and accessories, our sales depend primarily on the level, timing and location of snowfall in the regions in which we offer our products. A low level or lack of snowfall in any given year in any of the snow‑belt regions in North America (primarily the Midwest, East and Northeast regions of the United States as well as all provinces of Canada) will likely cause sales of our products to decline in such year as well as the subsequent year, which in turn may adversely affect our results of operations and ability to pay dividends. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Seasonality and Year‑to‑Year Variability.” A sustained period of reduced snowfall events in one or more of the geographic regions in which we offer our products could cause our results of operations to decline and adversely affect our ability to pay dividends.

The year‑to‑year variability of our business can cause our results of operations and financial condition to be materially different from year‑to‑year; whereas the seasonality of our business can cause our results of operations and financial condition to be materially different from quarter‑to‑quarter.

Because our business depends on the level, timing and location of snowfall, our results of operations vary from year‑to‑year. Additionally, because the annual snow season typically only runs from October 1 through March 31, our distributors typically purchase our products during the second and third quarters. As a result, we

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operate in a seasonal business. We not only experience seasonality in our sales, but also experience seasonality in our working capital needs. Consequently, our results of operations and financial condition can vary from year‑to‑year, as well as from quarter‑to‑quarter, which could affect our ability to pay dividends. If we are unable to effectively manage the seasonality and year‑to‑year variability of our business, our results of operations, financial condition and ability to pay dividends may suffer.

If economic conditions in the United States continue to remain weak or deteriorate further, or if spending by governmental agencies is limited or reduced, our results of operations, financial condition and ability to pay dividends may be adversely affected.

Historically, demand for snow and ice control equipment for light and heavy duty trucks has been influenced by general economic conditions in the United States, as well as local economic conditions in the snow‑belt regions in North America. During the last few years, economic conditions throughout the United States have been extremely weak and spending by governmental agencies such as Departments of Transportation (“DOTs”) and municipalities has been constrained. Although conditions improved from 2011 through 2014, they may not become strong in the foreseeable future. Weakened economic conditions and limited or reduced government spending may cause our end‑users to delay purchases of replacement snow and ice control equipment and instead repair their existing equipment, leading to a decrease in our sales of new equipment. Weakened economic conditions and limited or reduced governmental spending may also cause our end‑users to delay their purchases of new light and heavy duty trucks. Because our end‑users tend to purchase new snow and ice control equipment concurrent with their purchase of new light or heavy duty trucks, their delay in purchasing new light or heavy duty trucks can also result in the deferral of their purchases of new snow and ice control equipment. The deferral of new equipment purchases during periods of weak economic conditions or limited or reduced government spending may negatively affect our results of operations, financial condition and ability to pay dividends.

Weakened economic conditions or limited or reduced government spending may also cause our end‑users to consider price more carefully in selecting new snow and ice control equipment. Historically, considerations of quality and service have outweighed considerations of price, but in a weak economy, or an environment of constrained government spending, price may become a more important factor. Any refocus away from quality in favor of cheaper equipment could cause end‑users to shift away from our products to less expensive competitor products, or to shift away from our more profitable products to our less profitable products, which in turn would adversely affect our results of operations and our ability to pay dividends.

Our failure to maintain good relationships with our distributors, the loss or consolidation of our distributor base or the actions or inactions of our distributors could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and our ability to pay dividends.

We depend on a network of truck equipment distributors to sell, install and service our products. Nearly all of these sales and service relationships are at will, so almost all of our distributors could discontinue the sale and service of our products at any time, and those distributors that primarily sell our products may choose to sell competing products at any time. Further, difficult economic or other circumstances could cause any of our distributors to discontinue their businesses. Moreover, if our distributor base were to consolidate or if any of our distributors were to discontinue their business, competition for the business of fewer distributors would intensify. If we do not maintain good relationships with our distributors, or if we do not provide product offerings and pricing that meet the needs of our distributors, we could lose a substantial amount of our distributor base. A loss of a substantial portion of our distributor base could cause our sales to decline significantly, which would have an adverse effect on our results of operations and ability to pay dividends.

In addition, our distributors may not provide timely or adequate service to our end‑users. If this occurs, our brand identity and reputation may be damaged, which would have an adverse effect on our results of operations and ability to pay dividends.

Lack of available financing options for our end‑users or distributors may adversely affect our sales volumes.

Our end‑user base is highly concentrated among professional snowplowers, who comprise over 50% of our end‑users, many of whom are individual landscapers who remove snow during the winter and landscape during the

11


 

rest of the year, rather than large, well‑capitalized corporations. These end‑users often depend upon credit to purchase our products. If credit is unavailable on favorable terms or at all, our end‑users may not be able to purchase our products from our distributors, which would in turn reduce sales and adversely affect our results of operations and ability to pay dividends.

In addition, because our distributors, like our end‑users, rely on credit to purchase our products, if our distributors are not able to obtain credit, or access credit on favorable terms, we may experience delays in payment or nonpayment for delivered products. Further, if our distributors are unable to obtain credit or access credit on favorable terms, they could experience financial difficulties or bankruptcy and cease purchases of our products altogether. Thus, if financing is unavailable on favorable terms or at all, our results of operations and ability to pay dividends would be adversely affected.

The price of steel, a commodity necessary to manufacture our products, is highly variable. If the price of steel increases, our gross margins could decline.

Steel is a significant raw material used to manufacture our products. During 2014, 2013 and 2012, our steel purchases were approximately 13%, 13% and 18% of our revenue, respectively. The steel industry is highly cyclical in nature, and steel prices have been volatile in recent years and may remain volatile in the future. Steel prices are influenced by numerous factors beyond our control, including general economic conditions domestically and internationally, the availability of raw materials, competition, labor costs, freight and transportation costs, production costs, import duties and other trade restrictions. Steel prices are volatile and may increase as a result of increased demand from the automobile and consumer durable sectors. If the price of steel increases, our variable costs may increase. We may not be able to mitigate these increased costs through the implementation of permanent price increases or temporary invoice surcharges, especially if economic conditions remain weak and our distributors and end‑users become more price sensitive. If we are unable to successfully mitigate such cost increases in the future, our gross margins could decline.

If petroleum prices increase, our results of operations could be adversely affected.

Petroleum prices have fluctuated significantly in recent years. Prices and availability of petroleum products are subject to political, economic and market factors that are outside of our control. Political events in petroleum‑producing regions as well as hurricanes and other weather‑related events may cause the price of fuel to increase. If the price of fuel increases, the demand for our products may decline, which would adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

We depend on outside suppliers who may be unable to meet our volume and quality requirements, and we may be unable to obtain alternative sources.

We purchase certain components essential to our snowplows and sand and salt spreaders from outside suppliers, including off‑shore sources. Most of our key supply arrangements can be discontinued at any time. A supplier may encounter delays in the production and delivery of such products and components or may supply us with products and components that do not meet our quality, quantity or cost requirements. Additionally, a supplier may be forced to discontinue operations. Any discontinuation or interruption in the availability of quality products and components from one or more of our suppliers may result in increased production costs, delays in the delivery of our products and lost end‑user sales, which could have an adverse effect on our business and financial condition.

We have continued to increase the number of our off‑shore suppliers. Our increased reliance on off‑shore sourcing may cause our business to be more susceptible to the impact of natural disasters, war and other factors that may disrupt the transportation systems or shipping lines used by our suppliers, a weakening of the dollar over an extended period of time and other uncontrollable factors such as changes in foreign regulation or economic conditions. In addition, reliance on off‑shore suppliers may make it more difficult for us to respond to sudden changes in demand because of the longer lead time to obtain components from off‑shore sources. We may be unable to mitigate this risk by stocking sufficient materials to satisfy any sudden or prolonged surges in demand for our products. If we cannot satisfy demand for our products in a timely manner, our sales could suffer as distributors can cancel purchase orders without penalty until shipment.

12


 

We do not sell our products under long‑term purchase contracts, and sales of our products are significantly impacted by factors outside of our control; therefore, our ability to estimate demand is limited.

We do not enter into long‑term purchase contracts with our distributors and the purchase orders we receive may be cancelled without penalty until shipment. Therefore, our ability to accurately predict future demand for our products is limited. Nonetheless, we attempt to estimate demand for our products for purposes of planning our annual production levels and our long‑term product development and new product introductions. We base our estimates of demand on our own market assessment, snowfall figures, quarterly field inventory surveys and regular communications with our distributors. Because wide fluctuations in the level, timing and location of snowfall, economic conditions and other factors may occur, each of which is out of our control, our estimates of demand may not be accurate. Underestimating demand could result in procuring an insufficient amount of materials necessary for the production of our products, which may result in increased production costs, delays in product delivery, missed sale opportunities and a decrease in customer satisfaction. Overestimating demand could result in the procurement of excessive supplies, which could result in increased inventory and associated carrying costs.

If we are unable to enforce, maintain or continue to build our intellectual property portfolio, or if others invalidate our intellectual property rights, our competitive position may be harmed.

Our patents relate to snowplow mounts, assemblies, hydraulics, electronics and lighting systems, brooms as well as sand, salt and fertilizer spreader assemblies and our patent applications relate to each of the foregoing except for hydraulics. Patents are valid for the longer period of 17 years from issue date or 20 years from filing date. The duration of the patents we currently possess range between two years and 19 years of remaining life. Our patent applications date from 1996 through 2014.

We rely on a combination of patents, trade secrets and trademarks to protect certain of the proprietary aspects of our business and technology. We hold approximately 36 U.S. registered trademarks (including the trademarks WESTERN®, FISHER® BLIZZARD®, SNOWEX®, TURFEX®, SWEEPEX®, HENDERSON® and BRINEXTREME®) 11 Canadian registered trademarks, 5 European trademarks, 58 U.S. issued patents, 11 Canadian patents and two Chinese and Mexican trademarks.    Although we work diligently to protect our intellectual property rights, monitoring the unauthorized use of our intellectual property is difficult, and the steps we have taken may not prevent unauthorized use by others. In addition, in the event a third party challenges the validity of our intellectual property rights, a court may determine that our intellectual property rights may not be valid or enforceable. An adverse determination with respect to our intellectual property rights may harm our business prospects and reputation. Third parties may design around our patents or may independently develop technology similar to our trade secrets. The failure to adequately build, maintain and enforce our intellectual property portfolio could impair the strength of our technology and our brands, and harm our competitive position. Although we have no reason to believe that our intellectual property rights are vulnerable, previously undiscovered intellectual property could be used to invalidate our rights.

If we are unable to develop new products or improve upon our existing products on a timely basis, it could have an adverse effect on our business and financial condition.

We believe that our future success depends, in part, on our ability to develop on a timely basis new technologically advanced products or improve upon our existing products in innovative ways that meet or exceed our competitors’ product offerings. Continuous product innovation ensures that our consumers have access to the latest products and features when they consider buying snow and ice control equipment. Maintaining our market position will require us to continue to invest in research and development and sales and marketing. Product development requires significant financial, technological and other resources. We may be unsuccessful in making the technological advances necessary to develop new products or improve our existing products to maintain our market position. Industry standards, end‑user expectations or other products may emerge that could render one or more of our products less desirable or obsolete. If any of these events occur, it could cause decreases in sales, a failure to realize premium pricing and an adverse effect on our business and financial condition.

13


 

We face competition from other companies in our industry, and if we are unable to compete effectively with these companies, it could have an adverse effect on our sales and profitability. Price competition among our distributors could negatively affect our market share.

We primarily compete with regional manufacturers of snow and ice control equipment for light trucks. While we are the most geographically diverse company in our industry, we may face increasing competition in the markets in which we operate. In saturated markets, price competition may lead to a decrease in our market share or a compression of our margins, both of which would affect our profitability. Moreover, current or future competitors may grow their market share and develop superior service and may have or may develop greater financial resources, lower costs, superior technology or more favorable operating conditions than we maintain. As a result, competitive pressures we face may cause price reductions for our products, which would affect our profitability or result in decreased sales and operating income. Additionally, saturation of the markets in which we compete or channel conflicts among our brands and shifts in consumer preferences may increase these competitive pressures or may result in increased competition among our distributors and affect our sales and profitability. In addition, price competition among the distributors that sell our products could lead to significant margin erosion among our distributors, which could in turn result in compressed margins or loss of market share for us. Management believes that, after ourselves, the next largest competitors in the market for snow and ice control equipment for light trucks are Northern Star Industries, Inc. (the manufacturer of the Boss brand of snow and ice control equipment) and Meyer Products LLC, and accordingly represent our primary competitors for market share.  

We are subject to complex laws and regulations, including environmental and safety regulations that can adversely affect the cost, manner or feasibility of doing business.

Our operations are subject to certain federal, state and local laws and regulations relating to, among other things, the generation, storage, handling, emission, transportation, disposal and discharge of hazardous and non‑hazardous substances and materials into the environment, the manufacturing of motor vehicle accessories and employee health and safety. We cannot be certain that existing and future laws and regulations and their interpretations will not harm our business or financial condition. We currently make and may be required to make large and unanticipated capital expenditures to comply with environmental and other regulations, such as:

·

Applicable motor vehicle safety standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration;

·

Reclamation and remediation and other environmental protection; and

·

Standards for workplace safety established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

While we monitor our compliance with applicable laws and regulations and attempt to budget for anticipated costs associated with compliance, we cannot predict the future cost of such compliance. In 2014, the amount expended for such compliance was insignificant, but we could incur material expenses in the future in the event of future legislation changes or unforeseen events, such as a workplace accident or environmental discharge, or if we otherwise discover we are in non‑compliance with an applicable regulation. In addition, under these laws and regulations, we could be liable for:

·

Product liability claims;

·

Personal injuries;

·

Investigation and remediation of environmental contamination and other governmental sanctions such as fines and penalties; and

·

Other environmental damages.

14


 

Our operations could be significantly delayed or curtailed and our costs of operations could significantly increase as a result of regulatory requirements, restrictions or claims. We are unable to predict the ultimate cost of compliance with these requirements or their effect on our operations.

Financial market conditions have had a negative impact on the return on plan assets for our pension plans, which may require additional funding and negatively impact our cash flows.

Our pension expense and required contributions to our pension plan are directly affected by the value of plan assets, the projected rate of return on plan assets, the actual rate of return on plan assets and the actuarial assumptions we use to measure the defined benefit pension plan obligations. Despite modest recent market recoveries, the funding status of our pension plans, remain impacted by the financial market downturn over the last several years, which had severely impacted the funded status of our pension plans. As of December 31, 2014, our pension plans were underfunded by approximately $12.3 million. In 2014, contributions to our defined benefit pension plans were approximately $1.4 million. If plan assets perform below expectations, future pension expense and funding obligations will increase, which would have a negative impact on our cash flows. Moreover, under the Pension Protection Act of 2006, it is possible that losses of asset values may necessitate accelerated funding of our pension plans in the future to meet minimum federal government requirements.

The statements regarding our industry, market positions and market share in this filing are based on our management’s estimates and assumptions. While we believe such statements are reasonable, such statements have not been independently verified.

Information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K concerning the snow and ice control equipment industry for light trucks, our general expectations concerning this industry and our market positions and other market share data regarding the industry are based on estimates our management prepared using end‑user surveys, anecdotal data from our distributors and distributors that carry our competitors’ products, our results of operations and management’s past experience, and on assumptions made, based on our management’s knowledge of this industry, all of which we believe to be reasonable. These estimates and assumptions are inherently subject to uncertainties, especially given the year‑to‑year variability of snowfall and the difficulty of obtaining precise information about our competitors, and may prove to be inaccurate. In addition, we have not independently verified the information from any third‑party source and thus cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness, although management also believes such information to be reasonable. Our actual operating results may vary significantly if our estimates and outlook concerning the industry, snowfall patterns, our market positions or our market shares turn out to be incorrect.

We are subject to product liability claims, product quality issues, and other litigation from time to time that could adversely affect our operating results or financial condition.

The manufacture, sale and usage of our products expose us to a risk of product liability claims. If our products are defective or used incorrectly by our end‑users, injury may result, giving rise to product liability claims against us. If a product liability claim or series of claims is brought against us for uninsured liabilities or in excess of our insurance coverage, and it is ultimately determined that we are liable, our business and financial condition could suffer. Any losses that we may suffer from any liability claims, and the effect that any product liability litigation may have upon the reputation and marketability of our products, may divert management’s attention from other matters and may have a negative impact on our business and operating results. Additionally, we could experience a material design or manufacturing failure in our products, a quality system failure or other safety issues, or heightened regulatory scrutiny that could warrant a recall of some of our products. A recall of some of our products could also result in increased product liability claims. Any of these issues could also result in loss of market share, reduced sales, and higher warranty expense.

We are heavily dependent on our Chief Executive Officer and management team.

Our continued success depends on the retention, recruitment and continued contributions of key management, finance, sale and marketing personnel, some of whom could be difficult to replace. Our success is largely dependent upon our senior management team, led by our Chief Executive Officer and other key managers. The loss of any one or more of such persons could have an adverse effect on our business and financial condition.

15


 

Our indebtedness could adversely affect our operations, including our ability to perform our obligations and pay dividends.

As of December 31, 2014, we had approximately $190 million of senior secured indebtedness, no outstanding borrowings under our revolving credit facility and $75 million of borrowing availability under the revolving credit facility. We may also be able to incur substantial indebtedness in the future, including senior indebtedness, which may or may not be secured.

Our indebtedness could have important consequences, including the following:

·

We could have difficulty satisfying our debt obligations, and if we fail to comply with these requirements, an event of default could result;

·

We may be required to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to required payments on indebtedness, thereby reducing the cash flow available to pay dividends or fund working capital, capital expenditures and other general corporate activities;

·

Covenants relating to our indebtedness may restrict our ability to make distributions to our stockholders;

·

Covenants relating to our indebtedness may limit our ability to obtain additional financing for working capital, capital expenditures and other general corporate activities, which may limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the industry in which we operate;

·

We may be more vulnerable to general adverse economic and industry conditions;

·

We may be placed at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors with less debt; and

·

We may have difficulty repaying or refinancing our obligations under our senior credit facilities on their respective maturity dates.

If any of these consequences occur, our financial condition, results of operations and ability to pay dividends could be adversely affected. This, in turn, could negatively affect the market price of our common stock, and we may need to undertake alternative financing plans, such as refinancing or restructuring our debt, selling assets, reducing or delaying capital investments or seeking to raise additional capital. We cannot assure you that any refinancing would be possible, that any assets could be sold, or, if sold, of the timing of the sales and the amount of proceeds that may be realized from those sales, or that additional financing could be obtained on acceptable terms, if at all.

Our variable rate indebtedness subjects us to interest rate risk, which could cause our debt service obligations to increase significantly and could impose adverse consequences.

Certain of our borrowings, including our term loan and any revolving borrowings under our senior credit facilities, are at variable rates of interest and expose us to interest rate risk. In addition, the interest rate on any revolving borrowings is subject to an increase in the interest rate if the average daily availability under our revolving credit facility falls below a certain threshold. If interest rates increase, our debt service obligations on the variable rate indebtedness would increase even though the amount borrowed remained the same, and our net income and cash flows would correspondingly decrease.

16


 

Our senior credit facilities impose restrictions on us, which may also prevent us from capitalizing on business opportunities and taking certain corporate actions. One of these facilities also includes minimum availability requirements, which if unsatisfied, could result in liquidity events that may jeopardize our business.

Our senior credit facilities contain, and future debt instruments to which we may become subject may contain, covenants that limit our ability to engage in activities that could otherwise benefit our company. Under the credit facilities as modified most recently in December 2014, these covenants include restrictions on our ability to:

·

incur, assume or permit to exist additional indebtedness or contingent obligations;

·

incur liens and engage in sale and leaseback transactions;

·

make loans and investments in excess of agreed upon amounts;

·

declare dividends, make payments or redeem or repurchase capital stock in excess of agreed upon amounts and subject to certain other limitations;

·

engage in mergers, acquisitions and other business combinations;

·

prepay, redeem or purchase certain indebtedness or amend or alter the terms of our indebtedness;

·

sell assets;

·

make further negative pledges;

·

create restrictions on distributions by subsidiaries;

·

change our fiscal year;

·

engage in activities other than, among other things, incurring the debt under our new senior credit facilities and the activities related thereto, holding our ownership interest in DDI LLC, making restricted payments, including dividends, permitted by our senior credit facilities and conducting activities related to our status as a public company;

·

amend or waive rights under certain agreements;

·

transact with affiliates or our stockholders; and

·

alter the business that we conduct.

Our amended revolving credit facility also includes limitations on capital expenditures and requires that if we fail to maintain the greater of $12,500,000 and 12.5% of the revolving commitments in borrowing availability, we must comply with a fixed charge coverage ratio test. In addition, if a liquidity event occurs because our borrowing availability is less than the greater of $15,000,000 and 15% of the aggregate revolving commitments (or an event of default occurs and is continuing), subject to certain limited cure rights, all proceeds of our accounts receivable and other collateral will be applied to reduce obligations under our amended revolving credit facility, jeopardizing our ability to meet other obligations. Our ability to comply with the covenants contained in our senior credit facilities or in the agreements governing our future indebtedness, and our ability to avoid liquidity events, may be affected by events, or our future performance, which are subject to factors beyond our control, including prevailing economic, financial, industry and weather conditions, such as the level, timing and location of snowfall and general economic conditions in the snowbelt regions of North America. A failure to comply with these covenants could result in a default under our senior credit facilities, which could prevent us from paying dividends, borrowing additional amounts and using proceeds of our inventory and accounts receivable, and also permit the lenders to accelerate the payment of such debt. If any of our debt is accelerated or if a liquidity event (or event of

17


 

default) occurs that results in collateral proceeds being applied to reduce such debt, we may not have sufficient funds available to repay such debt and our other obligations, in which case, our business could be halted and such lenders could proceed against any collateral securing that debt. Further, if the lenders accelerate the payment of the indebtedness under our senior credit facilities, our assets may not be sufficient to repay in full the indebtedness under our senior credit facilities and our other indebtedness, if any. We cannot assure you that these covenants will not adversely affect our ability to finance our future operations or capital needs to pursue available business opportunities or react to changes in our business and the industry in which we operate.

Provisions of Delaware law and our charter documents could delay or prevent an acquisition of us, even if the acquisition would be beneficial to you.

Provisions in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control or changes in our management. These provisions include:

·

the absence of cumulative voting in the election of our directors, which means that the holders of a majority of our common stock may elect all of the directors standing for election;

·

the ability of our Board of Directors to issue preferred stock with voting rights or with rights senior to those of our common stock without any further vote or action by the holders of our common stock;

·

the division of our Board of Directors into three separate classes serving staggered three‑year terms;

·

the ability of our stockholders to remove our directors is limited to cause and only by the vote of at least 662/3% of the outstanding shares of our common stock;

·

the prohibition on our stockholders from acting by written consent and calling special meetings;

·

the requirement that our stockholders provide advance notice when nominating our directors or proposing business to be considered by the stockholders at an annual meeting of stockholders; and

·

the requirement that our stockholders must obtain a 662/3% vote to amend or repeal certain provisions of our certificate of incorporation.

We are also subject to Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which, subject to certain exceptions, prohibits us from engaging in any business combination with any interested stockholder, as defined in that section, for a period of three years following the date on which that stockholder became an interested stockholder. This provision, together with the provisions discussed above, could also make it more difficult for you and our other stockholders to elect directors and take other corporate actions, and could limit the price that investors might be willing to pay in the future for shares of our common stock.

Our dividend policy may limit our ability to pursue growth opportunities.

If we continue to pay dividends at the level contemplated by our dividend policy, as in effect on the date of this filing, or if we increase the level of our dividend payments in the future, we may not retain a sufficient amount of cash to finance growth opportunities, meet any large unanticipated liquidity requirements or fund our operations in the event of a significant business downturn. In addition, because a significant portion of cash available will be distributed to holders of our common stock under our dividend policy, our ability to pursue any material expansion of our business, including through acquisitions, increased capital spending or other increases of our expenditures, will depend more than it otherwise would on our ability to obtain third party financing. We cannot assure you that such financing will be available to us at all, or at an acceptable cost. If we are unable to take timely advantage of growth opportunities, our future financial condition and competitive position may be harmed, which in turn may adversely affect the market price of our common stock.

18


 

Security breaches and other disruptions could compromise our information and expose us to liability, which would cause our business and reputation to suffer.

In the ordinary course of our business, we collect and store sensitive data, including our proprietary business information and that of our customers, suppliers and business partners, as well as personally identifiable information of our customers and employees, in our data centers and on our networks. The secure processing, maintenance and transmission of this information is critical to our operations and business strategy. Despite our security measures, our information technology and infrastructure may be vulnerable to malicious attacks or breached due to employee error, malfeasance or other disruptions, including as a result of rollouts of new systems. Any such breach could compromise our networks and the information stored there could be accessed, publicly disclosed, lost or stolen. Any such access, disclosure or other loss of information could result in legal claims or proceedings and/or regulatory penalties, disrupt our operations, damage our reputation, and/or cause a loss of confidence in our products and services, which could adversely affect our business.

We may be unable to identify, complete or benefit from strategic transactions.

Our long‑term growth strategy includes building value for our company through a variety of methods. These methods may include acquisition of, investment in, or joint ventures involving, complementary businesses. We cannot assure that we will be able to identify suitable parties for these transactions. If we are unable to identify suitable parties for strategic transactions we may not be able to capitalize on market opportunities with existing and new customers, which could inhibit our ability to gain market share. Even if we identify suitable parties to participate in these transactions, we cannot assure that we will be able to make them on commercially acceptable terms, if at all.

In December 2014, we acquired Henderson.   In May 2013, we acquired substantially all of the assets of TrynEx. We may not be able to achieve the projected financial performance or incur unexpected costs or liabilities as a result of either transaction.   In addition, if in the future we acquire another company or its assets, it may be difficult to assimilate the acquired businesses, products, services, technologies and personnel into our operations. These difficulties could disrupt our ongoing business, distract our management and workforce, increase our expenses and adversely affect our operating results and ability to compete and gain market share. Mergers and acquisitions are inherently risky and are subject to many factors outside our control. No assurance can be given that any future acquisitions will be successful and will not materially adversely affect our business, operating results, or financial condition. In addition, we may incur debt or be required to issue equity securities to pay for future acquisitions or investments. The issuance of any equity securities could be dilutive to our stockholders. We also may need to make further investments to support any acquired company and may have difficulty identifying and acquiring appropriate resources. If we divest or otherwise exit certain portions of our business in connection with a strategic transaction, we may be required to record additional expenses, and our estimates with respect to the useful life and ultimate recoverability of our carrying basis of assets, including goodwill and purchased intangible assets, could change.

Item 1B.  Unresolved Staff Comments

Not applicable.

Item 2.  Properties

We are headquartered in Milwaukee, WI and currently have manufacturing facilities in Milwaukee, WI, Rockland, ME and Madison Heights, MI. Additionally, we operate a sourcing office in China. As a result of the Henderson acquisition on December 31, 2014, we also own a manufacturing facility in Manchester, Iowa and lease five truck equipment distribution locations in Illinois, Iowa, New Jersey, New York and Ohio.   We operate as a single segment.

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Item 3.  Legal Proceedings

In the ordinary course of business, we are engaged in various litigation primarily including product liability and intellectual property disputes. However, management does not believe that any current litigation is material to our operations or financial position. In addition, we are not currently party to any environmental‑related claims or legal matters.

Item 4.  Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

Executive Officers of the Registrant

Our executive officers as of December 31, 2014 were as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name

Age

 

Position

James Janik

 

 

58 

 

 

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Robert McCormick

 

 

54 

 

 

Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Secretary

Mark Adamson

 

 

56 

 

 

Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Keith Hagelin

 

 

54 

 

 

Senior Vice President, Operations

 

James Janik has been serving as our President and Chief Executive Officer since 2000 and as a director since 2004. Since 2014, Mr. Janik also has served as our Chairman of the Board.  Mr. Janik was General Manager of our Western Products division from 1994 to 2000 and Vice President of Marketing and Sales from 1998 to 2000. Prior to joining us, Mr. Janik was the Vice President of Marketing and Sales of Sunlite Plastics Inc., a custom extruder of thermoplastic materials, for two years. During the 11 prior years, Mr. Janik held a number of key marketing, sales and production management positions for John Deere Company.

Robert McCormick has been serving as our Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer since September 2004 and as our Secretary since May 2005. Mr. McCormick served as our Assistant Secretary from September 2004 to May 2005 and as our Treasurer from September 2004 through December 2010. Prior to joining us, Mr. McCormick served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Xymox Technology Inc. from 2001 to 2004. Prior to that, Mr. McCormick served in various capacities in the Newell Rubbermaid Corporation, including President from 2000 to 2001 and Vice President Group Controller from 1997 to 2000. While Mr. McCormick served as President, he was responsible for Newell’s Mirro / Wearever Cookware, and as Vice President Group Controller, he was responsible for worldwide strategic and financial responsibilities for 12 company divisions with sales of over two billion dollars.

Mark Adamson has been serving as our Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing since 2013. Prior to becoming our Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing he had served as our Vice President, Sales and Marketing since 2007. Prior to joining us, Mr. Adamson held numerous senior level management positions with industry leaders in the grounds care industry, including John Deere Company from 1980 to 2002 and Gehl Corporation from 2002 to 2007. From 2003 to 2005, he was the Manager, Regional Sales & Distribution of Gehl Company, directing the sales and marketing activities of certain sales field managers in the northeastern United States responsible for Gehl product sales and rental, and from 2005 to 2007, he was the Director, Training and Customer Support, where he directed the aftermarket and training activities of five departments and thirty‑two individuals responsible for Gehl

20


 

and Mustang products worldwide. From 1980 to 2002, Mr. Adamson held several senior level management positions with John Deere Company.

Keith Hagelin has been serving as our Senior Vice President, Operations since September 2013. Prior to becoming our Senior Vice President, Operations, he had served as our Vice President, Operations since 2009, having previously spent twelve years in progressive roles with us, including Plant Manager and General Manager—Rockland and most recently Vice President of Manufacturing from 2007 to 2009. Prior to joining Douglas, Mr. Hagelin spent 13 years at Raytheon Corporation in various manufacturing, production and new product development roles.

Executive officers are elected by, and serve at the discretion of, the Board of Directors. There are no family relationships between any of our directors or executive officers.

PART II

Item 5.  Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Our Common Stock has been traded on the New York Stock Exchange since the second quarter of 2010 under the symbol “PLOW.” The prices in the table set forth below indicate the high and low sales prices of our Common Stock per the New York Stock Exchange Composite Price History for each quarter in 2014 and 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014

 

2013

 

 

Price Range

 

Price Range

 

 

High

 

Low

 

Dividends

 

High

 

Low

 

Dividends

Fourth Quarter

 

$

24.90 

 

$

18.40 

 

$

0.22 

 

$

17.45 

 

$

14.41 

 

$

0.21 

Third Quarter

 

 

21.21 

 

 

16.43 

 

 

0.22 

 

 

15.30 

 

 

13.14 

 

 

0.21 

Second Quarter

 

 

18.28 

 

 

16.45 

 

 

0.22 

 

 

14.55 

 

 

12.72 

 

 

0.21 

First Quarter

 

 

18.55 

 

 

14.12 

 

 

0.22 

 

 

14.86 

 

 

12.65 

 

 

0.21 

At March 12, 2015, there were 23 record holders of our Common Stock.

In accordance with the Company’s dividend policy, dividends are declared and paid quarterly at the discretion of the board of directors. Additionally, special dividends may be declared and paid at the discretion of the board of directors. In the first, second and third quarters of 2013, the Company both declared and paid a dividend of $0.2075 per share. In the fourth quarter of 2013, the Company increased its annual implied dividend from $0.83 to $0.85 and both declared and paid a dividend of $0.2125 per share.   In the first quarter of 2014, the Company increased its annual implied dividend from $0.85 to $0.87 per share and both declared and paid a dividend of $0.2175 per share.   In the second, third and fourth quarters of 2014, the Company both declared and paid a dividend of $0.2175 per share.

The Company’s senior credit facilities include certain negative and operating covenants, including restrictions on its ability to pay dividends, and other customary covenants, representations and warranties and events of default. The senior credit facilities entered into and recorded by the Company’s subsidiaries significantly restrict its subsidiaries from paying dividends and otherwise transferring assets to Douglas Dynamics, Inc. The terms of the Company’s revolving credit facility specifically restrict the Company from paying dividends if a minimum availability under the revolving credit facility, the greater of $15.0 million and 15% of the aggregate revolving commitments at the time of determination, is not maintained. Additionally, both senior credit facilities restrict the Company from paying dividends above certain levels not to exceed $6.0 million in any fiscal quarter of 2014, $6.25 million in any fiscal quarter of 2015 and $6.5 million in any fiscal quarter of 2016 and thereafter or at all if an event of default has occurred. These restrictions would affect the Company indirectly since the Company relies principally on distributions from its subsidiaries to have funds available for the payment of dividends.

21


 

Securities Authorized for Issuance under Equity Compensation Plans

The following table sets forth information with respect to compensation plans under which equity securities of the Company are authorized for issuance as of December 31, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equity Compensation Plan Information

 

 

 

 

Plan Category

Number of securities to be issued upon exercise of outstanding options, warrants and rights (a)

Weighted - average exercise price of outstanding options, warrants and rights (b)

Number of securities remaining available for future issuance under equity compensation plans (excluding securities reflected in column (a))

Equity Compensation plans approved by security holders (1):

 

 

 

2010 Stock Incentive Plan (2):

71,981 

 -

1,352,209 

2004 Stock Incentive Plan

37,240 

$                                                4.21

 -

Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders

 -

 -

 -

Total (3)

109,221 

$                                                4.21

1,352,209 

(1)

Includes the Company’s 2010 Stock Incentive Plan and 2004 Stock Incentive Plan, both of which were approved by our stockholders prior to our initial public offering, or IPO.

(2)

Excludes 180,570 shares of restricted stock previously granted under the 2010 Stock Incentive Plan.

(3)

Calculated excluding the 71,981 securities shown as to be issued upon exercise of outstanding options, warrants and rights under the 2010 Stock Incentive Plan in column (a), which are subject to performance share awards and have no exercise price.

The following information in this Item 5 of this Annual Report on Form 10‑K is not deemed to be “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the SEC or subject to Regulation 14A or 14C under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 or to the liabilities of Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and will not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any filing under the Securities Act of 1933 or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, except to the extent we specifically incorporate it by reference into such a filing.

The graph set forth below compares the cumulative total stockholder return on our common stock between May 5, 2010 (the date of our IPO) and December 31, 2014, with the cumulative total return of The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Russell 2000 Index. This graph assumes the investment of $100 on May 5, 2010 in our

22


 

common stock at our IPO offering price of $11.25 per share, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Russell 2000 Index, and assumes the reinvestment of dividends.

Picture 4

We did not sell any equity securities during 2014 in offerings that were not registered under the Securities Act of 1933.

Item 6.  Selected Consolidated Financial Data

The following table sets forth our selected historical consolidated financial data for the periods and at the dates indicated. The selected historical consolidated financial data as of December 31, 2013 and 2014 and for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012 are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements.

The selected historical consolidated financial data as of December 2010, 2011 and 2012 and for the years ended December 31, 2010 and 2011 is derived from our historical financial statements not included in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K.

23


 

 

The selected consolidated financial data presented below should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this document.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As of December 31,

 

 

2010

 

2011

 

2012

 

2013

 

2014

 

 

(in thousands)

Selected Balance Sheet Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

$

20,149 

 

$

39,432 

 

$

24,136 

 

$

19,864 

 

$

24,195 

Total current assets

 

 

88,972 

 

 

103,462 

 

 

89,582 

 

 

98,372 

 

 

142,521 

Total assets

 

 

348,043 

 

 

359,017 

 

 

338,371 

 

 

364,339 

 

 

480,443 

Total current liabilities

 

 

15,976 

 

 

32,611 

 

 

16,670 

 

 

36,098 

 

 

45,694 

Total debt

 

 

121,154 

 

 

122,937 

 

 

111,966 

 

 

123,994 

 

 

188,100 

Total liabilities

 

 

178,550 

 

 

195,628 

 

 

184,639 

 

 

209,018 

 

 

307,154 

Total shareholders' equity

 

 

169,493 

 

 

163,389 

 

 

153,732 

 

 

155,321 

 

 

173,289 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the year ended December 31,

 

 

2010

 

2011

 

2012

 

2013

 

2014

 

 

(in thousands, except per share data)

Consolidated Statement of Operations Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total sales

 

$

176,795 

 

$

208,798 

 

$

140,033 

 

$

194,320 

 

$

303,511 

Gross profit

 

 

60,301 

 

 

71,817 

 

 

43,963 

 

 

65,650 

 

 

116,326 

Income from operations

 

 

21,408 

 

 

40,181 

 

 

18,869 

 

 

27,506 

 

 

72,217 

Income tax expense

 

 

872 

 

 

11,332 

 

 

4,144 

 

 

7,378 

 

 

22,036 

Net income

 

 

1,662 

 

 

19,040 

 

 

6,012 

 

 

11,639 

 

 

39,961 

Net income per basic share

 

$

0.09 

 

$

0.87 

 

$

0.27 

 

$

0.52 

 

$

1.78 

Net income per diluted share

 

$

0.09 

 

$

0.85 

 

$

0.26 

 

$

0.51 

 

$

1.77 

Cash dividends paid per common share

 

$

0.38 

 

$

1.18 

 

$

0.82 

 

$

0.84 

 

$

0.87 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the year ended December 31,

 

 

2010

 

2011

 

2012

 

2013

 

2014

 

 

(in thousands)

Other Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA

 

$

47,345 

 

$

52,461 

 

$

29,732 

 

$

44,569 

 

$

87,932 

Capital expenditures

 

$

3,009 

 

$

2,373 

 

$

1,446 

 

$

2,775 

 

$

5,254 

 

24


 

Item 7.  Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2012, 2013 and 2014 should be read together with our audited consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K. Some of the information contained in this discussion and analysis or set forth elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K, including information with respect to our plans and strategies for our business, includes forward‑looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. You should review the “Risk Factors” section of this Annual Report on Form 10‑K for a discussion of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results described in, or implied by, the forward‑looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K.

Results of Operations

Overview

In assessing our results of operations in a given period, one of the primary factors we consider is the level of snowfall experienced within the prior snow season. We typically compare the snowfall level in a given period both to the snowfall level in the prior season and to those snowfall levels we consider to be average. References to “average snowfall” levels below refer to the aggregate average inches of snowfall recorded in 66 cities in 26 snow‑belt states in the United States during the annual snow season, from October 1 through March 31, from 1980 to 2014. During this period, snowfall averaged 3,047 inches, with the low in such period being 1,794 inches and the high being 4,502 inches.

During the six‑month snow season ended March 31, 2014, snowfall was 4,352 inches, which was 142.8% higher than average. Meanwhile, during the six‑month snow season ended March 31, 2013, we experienced snowfall that was 9.0% higher than average.  In contrast, during the six-month snow season ended March 31, 2012, we experienced historically below average snowfall (approximately 40% below average).  We believe the historically high snowfall levels for the six‑month snow season ended March 31, 2014, was the largest driver that positively impacted our business in 2014.  Additionally, we believe that other factors had a positive impact as well. These additional factors included the timing and location of snowfall in the snow season ended March 31, 2014, positively trending light truck sales in 2014 and the early snowfall experienced in many of our key markets in our fourth quarter ended December 31, 2014.

Sales of parts and accessories for 2014 and 2013 were $49.3 million and $29.9 million, respectively, or approximately 89% and 14% higher than annual parts and accessories sales over the preceding ten years, respectively. Sales of equipment unit sales for 2014 and 2013 were $254.2 million and $164.5 million, respectively. In 2014, equipment unit sales increased 47.9% as we sold 67,383 equipment units in 2014 as compared to 45,560 equipment units in 2013. We believe that the increase of both parts and accessories sales and equipment unit sales in 2014 as compared to the prior calendar year is a direct result of the significantly higher than average snowfall of 2014. Meanwhile, we believe that pent up demand due to deferred new equipment purchases started to release in the year ended December 31, 2014 in the marketplace and could continue to be released in or following another year of average or better snowfall that is accompanied by stronger macro‑economic conditions.

The following table shows our sales of snow and ice control equipment and related parts and accessories as a percentage of net sales for the periods indicated. During the years ended December 31, 2012, 2013 and 2014, we sold 34,457, 45,560 and 67,383 units of snow and ice control equipment, respectively.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

2012

 

2013

 

2014

Equipment

 

88% 

 

85% 

 

84% 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parts and accessories

 

12% 

 

15% 

 

16% 

25


 

The following table sets forth, for the periods presented, the consolidated statements of income of the Company and its subsidiaries. All intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation. In the table below and throughout this “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” consolidated statements of income data for the years ended December 31, 2012, 2013 and 2014 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements. The information contained in the table below should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the year ended December 31,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

 

 

2013

 

 

2014

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

 

$

140,033 

 

$

194,320 

 

$

303,511 

Cost of sales

 

 

 

96,070 

 

 

128,670 

 

 

187,185 

Gross profit

 

 

 

43,963 

 

 

65,650 

 

 

116,326 

Selling, general, and administrative expense

 

 

 

19,895 

 

 

31,872 

 

 

38,239 

Intangibles amortization

 

 

 

5,199 

 

 

5,625 

 

 

5,803 

Loss recognized on assets held for sale

 

 

 

 -

 

 

647 

 

 

67 

Income from operations

 

 

 

18,869 

 

 

27,506 

 

 

72,217 

Interest expense, net

 

 

 

(8,393)

 

 

(8,328)

 

 

(8,129)

Loss on extinguishment of debt

 

 

 

 -

 

 

 -

 

 

(1,870)

Other expense, net

 

 

 

(320)

 

 

(161)

 

 

(221)

Income before taxes

 

 

 

10,156 

 

 

19,017 

 

 

61,997 

Income tax expense

 

 

 

4,144 

 

 

7,378 

 

 

22,036 

Net income

 

 

$

6,012 

 

$

11,639 

 

$

39,961 

 

26


 

The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, the percentage of certain items in our consolidated statement of income data, relative to net sales:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the year ended December 31,

 

 

2012

 

2013

 

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

100.0% 

 

100.0% 

 

100.0% 

Cost of sales

 

68.6% 

 

66.2% 

 

61.7% 

Gross profit

 

31.4% 

 

33.8% 

 

38.3% 

Selling, general, and administrative expense

 

14.2% 

 

16.4% 

 

12.6% 

Intangibles amortization

 

3.7% 

 

2.9% 

 

1.9% 

Loss recognized on assets held for sale

 

0.0% 

 

0.3% 

 

0.0% 

Income from operations

 

13.5% 

 

14.2% 

 

23.8% 

Interest expense, net

 

(6.0%)

 

(4.3%)

 

(2.7%)

Loss on extinguishment of debt

 

0.0% 

 

0.0% 

 

(0.6%)

Other expense, net

 

(0.2%)

 

(0.1%)

 

(0.1%)

Income before taxes

 

7.3% 

 

9.8% 

 

20.4% 

Income tax expense

 

3.0% 

 

3.8% 

 

7.2% 

Net income

 

4.3% 

 

6.0% 

 

13.2% 

 

Year Ended December 31, 2014 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2013

Net Sales.    Net sales were $303.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to $194.3 million in 2013, an increase of $109.2 million, or 56.2%. This increase was driven by increases of $89.8 million in sales of snow and ice control equipment and $19.4 million in parts and accessories sales. The increase in sales of snow and ice control equipment for the year ended December 31, 2014 was attributable to an increase in sales volume of snow and ice control equipment of $78.8 million, or 47.9%, as compared to the prior year, and by price increases that we implemented beginning in the third and fourth quarters of 2013 and an additional price increase that was effective in the third and fourth quarters of 2014.    The increase in sales volume was largely a result of the above average snowfall in the markets we serve during the snow season ended March 31, 2014. Net sales of parts and accessories increased in the year ended December 31, 2014 from the year ended December 31, 2013 by 65.0%, from $29.9 million to $49.3 million. Net sales of parts and accessories remained comparatively high in 2014, above the preceding ten-year average by approximately 89%. As discussed above, the higher sales of parts and accessories was due in large part to the above average amounts of snowfall in the markets that our products are sold.  Sales related to TrynEx products of $12.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2013 increased to $26.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2014 which also contributed to the increase in net sales for the period.   Increase in TrynEx products was the result of both a full year of sales in 2014 as compared to eight months in 2013 due to the timing of our acquisition and due to above average snowfall in the markets we serve.

 

Cost of Sales.    Cost of sales was $187.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to $128.7 million in 2013, an increase of $58.5 million, or 45.5%. This increase was driven primarily by increased volume of products sold. Cost of sales as a percentage of net sales decreased from 66.2% for the year ended December 31, 2013 to 61.7% for the year ended December 31, 2014 as a result of higher volumes to absorb fixed spending in the year ended December 31, 2014 as compared to the year ended December 31, 2013. Additionally, in 2013, inflationary commodity experience was slightly favorable, while commodity costs in 2014 were slightly unfavorable. As a percentage of cost of sales, fixed and variable costs were approximately 14% and 86%, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2014, compared to approximately 18% and 82%, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2013.

Gross Profit.    Gross profit was $116.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to $65.7 million in 2013, an increase of $50.7 million, or 77.2%, due to the increase in net sales volume described above under “—Net Sales” and “—Cost of Sales.” As a percentage of net sales, gross profit increased from 33.8%

27


 

for the year ended December 31, 2013 to 38.3% for the corresponding period in 2014, as a result of the factors discussed above under “—Net Sales” and “—Cost of Sales.”

Selling, General and Administrative Expense.  Selling, general and administrative expenses, including intangible asset amortization, were $44.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to $37.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2013, an increase of $6.5 million, or 17.5%, primarily driven by higher incentive based compensation of $3.3 million and incremental sales and marketing expenses of $2.6 million, due to better operating results.   As a percentage of net sales, selling, general and administrative expenses, including intangibles amortization, decreased from 19.3% for the year ended December 31, 2013 to 14.5% for the corresponding period in 2014 due to sales leverage.

Impairment of Assets Held for Sale.  We recorded assets held for sale on our balance sheet in conjunction with the closure of the Johnson City, Tennessee location in 2010. The land and building had been held for sale since the closure. In an effort to stimulate sales activity, we lowered the listed sale price which caused us to reassess the fair value of the assets held for sale. Consequently, we recorded an impairment charge of $0.6 million in the year ended December 31, 2013. On February 26, 2014, we entered into an agreement for the sale of the land and building at an amount approximating the carrying amount.   We closed on the sale of the Johnson City assets on April 30, 2014 with a sales price of $1.1 million and closing costs of $0.1 million.    Consequently, we incurred a $0.1 million loss recognized on the disposal of assets held for sale in the year ended December 31, 2014.

Interest Expense.    Interest expense was $8.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to $8.3 million in the corresponding period in 2013.

Loss on extinguishment of debt.  Loss on extinguishment of debt was $1.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to zero in the corresponding period in 2013.   The loss on extinguishment of debt in 2014 was entirely driven by our amendment to our term loan facility resulting in a significant modification of our debt for a portion of our creditors which resulted in the write off of unamortized capitalized deferred financing costs of $0.7 million, write off of unamortized debt discount of $0.6 million and the expensing of certain fees of $0.6 million.

Income Taxes.  Deferred income taxes reflect the net tax effects of temporary differences between the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities for financial reporting purposes and the amounts used for income tax purposes. The largest item affecting deferred taxes is the difference between book and tax amortization of goodwill and other intangibles amortization. Our effective combined federal and state tax rate for 2014 was 35.6% compared to 38.8% for 2013. The effective tax rate for the year ended December 31, 2014 is lower than 2014 due to a  greater domestic manufacturing deduction in 2014 driven by better operating results..

Net Income.  Net income for the year ended December 31, 2014 was $40.0 million compared to net income of $11.6 million for the corresponding period in 2013, an increase of $28.4 million. This increase was driven by the factors described above.

Year Ended December 31, 2013 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2012

Net Sales. Net sales were $194.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to $140.0 million in 2012, an increase of $54.3 million, or 38.8%. This increase was driven by increases of $41.2 million in sales of snow and ice control equipment and $13.1 million in parts and accessories sales. The increase in sales of snow and ice control equipment for the year ended December 31, 2013 was attributable to an increase in sales volume of snow and ice control equipment of $39.7 million, or 32.2%, as compared to the prior year, and by price increases that we implemented beginning in the third and fourth quarters of 2012 and an additional price increase that was effective in the third and fourth quarters of 2013. The increase in sales volume was largely a result of the timing of late snowfall for the snow season ended March 31, 2013 causing the snow season to be slightly above average in most of the markets we serve. Net sales of parts and accessories increased in the year ended December 31, 2013 from the year ended December 31, 2012 by 78.5%, from $16.7 million to $29.9 million. Net sales of parts and accessories remained comparatively high in 2013, above the preceding ten-year average by approximately 31.1%. The comparatively higher sales of parts and accessories were due in large part to the timing of snowfall in the markets in which our products are sold. Additionally, equipment sales were lower (5% below the immediately preceding ten-

28


 

year average), mainly due to the timing of snowfall. Sales related to TrynEx products of $12.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2013 also contributed to the increase in net sales for the period.

Cost of Sales. Cost of sales was $128.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to $96.1 million in 2012, an increase of $32.6 million, or 33.9%. This increase was driven primarily by increased volume. Cost of sales as a percentage of net sales decreased from 68.6% for the year ended December 31, 2012 to 66.2% for the year ended December 31, 2013 as a result of higher volumes to absorb fixed spending in the year ending December 31, 2013 as compared to the year ending December 31, 2012. Additionally, in 2013, inflationary commodity experience was slightly positive. As a percentage of cost of sales, fixed and variable costs were approximately 18% and 82%, respectively, for both of the years ended December 31, 2013 and December 31, 2012.

Gross Profit. Gross profit was $65.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to $44.0 million in 2012, an increase of $21.7 million, or 49.3%, due to the increase in net sales volume described above under "—Net Sales" and "—Cost of Sales." As a percentage of net sales, gross profit increased from 31.4% for the year ended December 31, 2012 to 33.8% for the corresponding period in 2013, as a result of the factors discussed above under "—Net Sales" and "—Cost of Sales."

Selling, General and Administrative Expense. Selling, general and administrative expenses, including intangible asset amortization, were $37.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to $25.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2012, an increase of $12.4 million, or 49.4%, driven by higher incentive based compensation of $3.2 million due to better operating results. Additionally in 2013 we recorded $4.0 million of earnout compensation expense related to the TrynEx acquisition and $2.2 million in selling, general and administrative expenses related to TrynEx after the date of acquisition. The remaining increase in 2013 is a result of management returning to normal discretionary spending which was significantly cut back in 2012 in order to preserve profitability in a low sales volume year. As a percentage of net sales, selling, general and administrative expenses, including intangibles amortization, increased from 17.9% for the year ended December 31, 2012 to 19.3% for the corresponding period in 2013 due to items discussed above.

Impairment of Assets Held for Sale. We recorded assets held for sale on our balance sheet in conjunction with the closure of the Johnson City, Tennessee location in 2010. The land and building have been held for sale since the closure. In an effort to stimulate sales activity, we lowered the listed sale price which caused us to reassess the fair value of the assets held for sale. Consequently, we recorded an impairment charge of $0.6 million in the year ended December 31, 2013. On February 26, 2014, the Company entered into an agreement for the sale of the land and building, which the Company anticipates closing within seventy-five days of the sale agreement, subject to closing conditions.

Interest Expense. Interest expense was $8.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to $8.4 million in the corresponding period in 2012.

Income Taxes. Deferred income taxes reflect the net tax effects of temporary differences between the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities for financial reporting purposes and the amounts used for income tax purposes. The largest item affecting deferred taxes is the difference between book and tax amortization of goodwill and other intangibles amortization. Our effective combined federal and state tax rate for 2013 was 38.8% compared to 40.8% for 2012. The effective tax rate for the year ended December 31, 2013 is lower than 2012 due to the 2012 and 2013 Federal research and development credit recognition in 2013 due to retroactive legislation passed in January 2013.

Net Income. Net income for the year ended December 31, 2013 was $11.6 million compared to net income of $6.0 million for the corresponding period in 2012, an increase of $5.6 million. This increase was driven by the factors described above.

29


 

Non‑GAAP Financial Measures

This Annual Report on Form 10‑K contains financial information calculated other than in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”).

These non‑GAAP measures include:

·

Free cash flow;

·

Adjusted net income; and

·

Adjusted EBITDA.

These non‑GAAP disclosures should not be construed as an alternative to the reported results determined in accordance with GAAP.

Free cash flow (as defined below) for the year ended December 31, 2014 was $48.5 million compared to $29.5 million in 2013, an increase in free cash flow of $19.0 million, or 64.4%. The increase in free cash flow is primarily a result of $21.5 million more cash provided by operating activities, as discussed below under Liquidity and Capital Resources. In addition to the changes in cash provided by operating activities, capital expenditures increased by $2.5 million. In 2014, there were higher capital expenditures due to some facility improvements and investments in equipment.

Free cash flow is a non‑GAAP financial measure, which we define as net cash provided by operating activities less capital expenditures. Free cash flow should be evaluated in addition to, and not considered a substitute for, other financial measures such as net income and cash flow provided by operations. We believe that free cash flow represents our ability to generate additional cash flow from our business operations.

The following table reconciles net cash provided by operating activities, a GAAP measure, to free cash flow, a non‑GAAP measure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the year ended December 31,

 

 

2012

 

2013

 

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net cash provided by operating activities

 

$

15,619 

 

$

32,248 

 

$

53,747 

Acquisition of property and equipment

 

 

(1,446)

 

 

(2,775)

 

 

(5,254)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free cash flow

 

$

14,173 

 

$

29,473 

 

$

48,493 

Adjusted net income represents net income as determined under GAAP, excluding loss on extinguishment of debt incurred in 2014 and a loss recognized on impairment of assets held for sale in 2013. We believe that the presentation of adjusted net income for the years ended December 31, 2012, December 31, 2013 and December 31, 2014 allows investors to make meaningful comparisons of our operating performance between periods and to view our business from the same perspective as our management. Because the excluded items are not predictable or consistent, management does not consider them when evaluating our performance or when making decisions regarding allocation of resources.

30


 

The following table presents a reconciliation of net income, the most comparable GAAP financial measure, to adjusted net income for the years ended December 31, 2012, December 31, 2013 and December 31, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years Ended

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 31,

 

 

December 31,

 

 

December 31,

(in millions)

 

 2012

 

 

2013

 

 

2014

Net income - (GAAP)

$

6.0 

 

$

11.6 

 

$

40.0 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Addback expenses, net of tax of 35.6% and 38.8% for 2014 and 2013, respectively:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- Loss on extinguishment of debt 

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

1.2 

- Loss recognized on impairment of assets held for sale

 

-

 

 

0.4 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjusted net income - (non-GAAP)

$

6.0 

 

$

12.0 

 

$

41.2 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA represents net income before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, as further adjusted for certain charges consisting of unrelated legal and consulting fees, as well as management fees paid by us to affiliates of our former principal stockholders, stock based compensation, payment of cash bonuses under our liquidity bonus plan, loss on extinguishment of debt, impairment on assets held for sale, certain purchase accounting expenses and offering costs. We use, and we believe our investors benefit from the presentation of Adjusted EBITDA in evaluating our operating performance because it provides us and our investors with additional tools to compare our operating performance on a consistent basis by removing the impact of certain items that management believes do not directly reflect our core operations. In addition, we believe that Adjusted EBITDA is useful to investors and other external users of our consolidated financial statements in evaluating our operating performance as compared to that of other companies, because it allows them to measure a company’s operating performance without regard to items such as interest expense, taxes, depreciation and amortization, which can vary substantially from company to company depending upon accounting methods and book value of assets and liabilities, capital structure and the method by which assets were acquired. Our management also uses Adjusted EBITDA for planning purposes, including the preparation of our annual operating budget and financial projections. Management also uses Adjusted EBITDA to evaluate our ability to make certain payments, including dividends, in compliance with our senior credit facilities, which is determined based on a calculation of “Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA” that is substantially similar to Adjusted EBITDA.

Adjusted EBITDA has limitations as an analytical tool. As a result, you should not consider it in isolation, or as a substitute for net income, operating income, cash flow from operating activities or any other measure of financial performance or liquidity presented in accordance with GAAP. Some of these limitations are:

·

Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect our cash expenditures or future requirements for capital expenditures or contractual commitments;

·

Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect changes in, or cash requirements for, our working capital needs;

·

Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect the interest expense, or the cash requirements necessary to service interest or principal payments, on our indebtedness;

·

Although depreciation and amortization are non‑cash charges, the assets being depreciated and amortized will often have to be replaced in the future, and Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect any cash requirements for such replacements;

31


 

·

Other companies, including other companies in our industry, may calculate Adjusted EBITDA differently than we do, limiting its usefulness as a comparative measure; and

·

Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect tax obligations whether current or deferred.

Adjusted EBITDA for the year ended December 31, 2014 was $87.9 million compared to $44.6 million in 2013, an increase of $43.4 million, or 97.3%. As a percentage of net sales, Adjusted EBITDA increased from 22.9% for the year ended December 31, 2013 to 29.0% for the year ended December 31, 2014. Adjusted EBITDA for the year ended December 31, 2013 was $44.6 million compared to $29.7 million in 2012, an increase of $14.9 million, or 49.9%. As a percentage of net sales, Adjusted EBITDA increased from 21.2% for the year ended December 31, 2012 to 22.9% for the year ended December 31, 2013.    In addition to the specific changes resulting from the adjustments, the changes to Adjusted EBITDA for the periods discussed resulted from factors discussed above under “—Results of Operations.”

The following table presents a reconciliation of net income, the most comparable GAAP financial measure, to Adjusted EBITDA, for each of the periods indicated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the year ended December 31,

 

 

2010

 

2011

 

2012

 

2013

 

2014

 

 

(in thousands)

Net income

 

$

1,662 

 

$

19,040 

 

$

6,012 

 

$

11,639 

 

$

39,961 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest expense—net

 

 

10,943 

 

 

8,918 

 

 

8,393 

 

 

8,328 

 

 

8,129 

Income taxes

 

 

872 

 

 

11,332 

 

 

4,144 

 

 

7,378 

 

 

22,036 

Depreciation expense

 

 

5,704 

 

 

2,975 

 

 

2,819 

 

 

3,068 

 

 

3,422 

Amortization

 

 

6,001 

 

 

5,201 

 

 

5,199 

 

 

5,625 

 

 

5,803 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EBITDA

 

 

25,182 

 

 

47,466 

 

 

26,567 

 

 

36,038 

 

 

79,351 

Management fees

 

 

6,383 

 

 

46 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stock based compensation

 

 

4,029 

 

 

1,873 

 

 

2,166 

 

 

2,587 

 

 

2,868 

Loss on extinguishment of debt

 

 

7,967 

 

 

673 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,870 

Management liquidity bonus

 

 

1,003 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Offering costs

 

 

 

 

1,342 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TrynEx purchase accounting (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4,506 

 

 

945 

Other charges (2)

 

 

2,781 

 

 

1,061 

 

 

999 

 

 

1,438 

 

 

2,898 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA

 

$

47,345 

 

$

52,461 

 

$

29,732 

 

$

44,569 

 

$

87,932 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


(1)

Reflects $3,951 and $555 in earn out compensation and inventory that was written up for purchase accounting and sold in the year ended 2013 and $945 in earn out compensation in the year ended 2014.

(2)

Reflects severance and one‑time, non‑recurring expenses for costs related to the closure of our Johnson City facility $1,435 for the year ended 2010, $2,013, $1,061, $999, $791 and $2,898 of unrelated legal and consulting fees for the years ended 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively, a $667 gain on other post- employment benefit plan curtailment related to the Johnson City plant closure for the year ended 2010 and a write down of asset held for sale of $647 for the year ended 2013.

32


 

Discussion of Critical Accounting Policies

Our consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with GAAP. The preparation of these consolidated financial statements requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues, costs and expenses, and related disclosures. These estimates and assumptions are often based on judgments that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances at the time made, but all such estimates and assumptions are inherently uncertain and unpredictable. Actual results may differ from those estimates and assumptions, and it is possible that other professionals, applying their own judgment to the same facts and circumstances, could develop and support alternative estimates and assumptions that would result in material changes to our operating results and financial condition. We evaluate our estimates and assumptions on an ongoing basis. Our estimates are based on historical experience and various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances.

The most significant accounting estimates inherent in the preparation of our financial statements include estimates used in the determination of liabilities related to pension obligations, recovery of accounts receivable, impairment assessment of goodwill and other indefinite‑lived intangible assets, as well as estimates used in the determination of the lower of cost or market value of inventory and liabilities related to taxation and product warranty.

We believe the following are the critical accounting policies that affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Defined Benefit Pension Obligation

As discussed in Note 12 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K, the pension benefit obligation and related pension expense or income of our pension plans are calculated in accordance with Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 715‑30, Defined Benefit Plans‑Pension, and are impacted by certain actuarial assumptions, including the discount rate and the expected rate of return on plan assets. Rates are evaluated on an annual basis considering such factors as market interest rates and historical asset performance. Actuarial valuations for 2014 used a discount rate of 4.9% and 4.8% for our hourly and salary pension plans, respectively, and an expected long‑term rate of return on plan assets of 7.25%. Meanwhile, actuarial valuations for 2013 used a discount rate of 4.1% and an expected long‑term rate of return on plan assets of 7.25%. Our discount rate reflects the expected future cash flow based upon our funding valuation assumptions and participant data at the beginning of the plan year. The expected future cash flow was discounted by the Principal Financial Group’s yield curve for the month preceding the 2014 year end.

In estimating the expected return on plan assets, we analyze historical and expected returns for multiple asset classes. The overall rate for each asset class was developed by combining a long‑term inflation component, the risk‑free real rate of return, and the associated risk premium. A weighted average rate was then developed based upon those overall rates and the target asset allocation of the plan. Changes in the discount rate and return on assets can have a significant effect on the funded status of our pension plans, shareholders’ equity and related expense. We cannot predict these changes in discount rates or investment returns and, therefore, cannot reasonably estimate whether the impact in subsequent years will be significant. The funded status of our pension plans is the difference between the projected benefit obligation and the fair value of its plan assets. The projected benefit obligation is the actuarial present value of all benefits expected to be earned by our employees’ service adjusted for future wage increases. At December 31, 2014, our pension obligation funded status was $12.3 million underfunded.

Our funding policy for our pension plans is to contribute amounts at least equal to the minimum annual amount required by applicable regulations. We contributed approximately $1.4 million to our pension plans in 2014 and expect to make approximately $1.1 million in contributions to our pension plans in 2015. See Note 12 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K for a more detailed description of our pension plans.

33


 

Revenue Recognition and Allowance for Doubtful Accounts

We recognize revenues upon shipment to the customer, which is when risk of loss passes and all of the following conditions are satisfied: (1) persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists; (2) the price is fixed or determinable; (3) collectability is reasonably assured; and (4) the product has been shipped and we have no further obligations. Customers have no right of return privileges. Historically, product returns have not been material and are permitted on an exception basis only.

We offer a variety of discounts and sales incentives to our distributors. The estimated liability for sales discounts and allowances is recorded at the time of sale as a reduction of net sales. The liability is estimated based on the costs of the program, the planned duration of the program and historical experience.

We carry our accounts receivable at their face amount less an allowance for doubtful accounts. On a periodic basis, we evaluate our accounts receivable and establish an allowance for doubtful accounts based on a combination of specific distributor circumstances and credit conditions taking into account the history of write‑offs and collections. A receivable is considered past due if payment has not been received within the period agreed upon in the invoice. Accounts receivable are written off after all collection efforts have been exhausted. We take a security interest in the inventory as collateral for the receivable but often do not have a priority security interest. See Note 2 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K for further information regarding our allowance for doubtful accounts.

Impairment of Long‑Lived Assets

Long‑lived assets are reviewed for potential impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the asset may not be recoverable. Recoverability of assets to be held and used is measured by comparison of the carrying value of such assets to the undiscounted future cash flows expected to be generated by the assets. If the carrying value of an asset exceeds its estimated undiscounted future cash flows, an impairment provision is recognized to the extent that the carrying amount of the asset exceeds its fair value. Assets to be disposed of are reported at the lower of the carrying amount or the fair value of the asset, less costs of disposition. Our management considers such factors as current results, trends and future prospects, current market value, and other economic and regulatory factors in performing these analyses. We determined that no long‑lived assets were impaired as of December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012.

Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets

We perform an annual impairment test for goodwill and indefinite lived trade names and more frequently if an event or circumstances indicate that an impairment loss has been incurred. Conditions that would trigger an impairment assessment include, but are not limited to, a significant adverse change in legal factors or business climate that could affect the value of an asset. The analysis of potential impairment of goodwill requires a two‑step process. The first step is the estimation of fair value of the applicable reporting unit. We have determined we have one reporting unit, and all significant decisions are made on a companywide basis by our chief operating decision maker. The fair value of the reporting unit is estimated by using a market approach. The estimated fair value is compared with our aggregate carrying value. If our fair value is greater than the carrying amount, there is no impairment. If our carrying amount is greater than the fair value, then the second step must be completed to measure the amount of impairment, if any.

The second step calculates the implied fair value of the goodwill, which is compared to its carrying value. The implied fair value of goodwill is calculated by valuing all of the tangible and intangible assets of the reporting unit at the hypothetical fair value, assuming the reporting unit had been acquired in a business combination. The excess of the fair value of the entire reporting unit over the fair value of its identifiable assets and liabilities is the implied fair value of goodwill. If the implied fair value of goodwill is less than the carrying value of goodwill, an impairment loss is recognized equal to the difference. Annual impairment tests conducted by us on December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012 resulted in no adjustment to the carrying value of our indefinite‑ lived intangibles and goodwill.

34


 

Our goodwill and trade name balances could be impaired in future periods. A number of factors, many of which we have no ability to control, could affect our financial condition, operating results and business prospects and could cause actual results to differ from the estimates and assumptions we employed. These factors include:

·

a prolonged global economic crisis;

·

a significant decrease in the demand for our products;

·

the inability to develop new and enhanced products and services in a timely manner;

·

a significant adverse change in legal factors or in the business climate;

·

an adverse action or assessment by a regulator; and

·

successful efforts by our competitors to gain market share in our markets.

Inventory Valuation

Inventories are stated at the lower of cost or market. Market is determined on the basis of estimated realizable values. Cost is determined using the first‑in, first‑out basis. We periodically review our inventory for slow‑moving, damaged and discontinued items and provide reserves to reduce such items identified to their recoverable amounts.

Income Taxes

Our estimate of income taxes payable, deferred income taxes and the effective tax rate is based on an analysis of many factors including interpretations of federal and state income tax laws, the difference between tax and financial reporting bases and liabilities, estimates of amounts currently due or owed in various jurisdictions, and current accounting standards. We review and update our estimates on a quarterly basis as facts and circumstances change and actual results are known.

We have generated significant deferred tax assets as a result of goodwill and intangible asset book versus tax differences as well as state net operating loss carryforwards. In assessing the ability to realize these deferred tax assets, we consider whether it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. The ultimate realization of deferred tax assets is dependent upon the generation of future taxable income during the years in which those temporary differences become deductible. We consider the scheduled reversal of deferred tax liabilities, excluding those relating to indefinite lived intangible assets, projected future taxable income and tax planning strategies in making this assessment. As a result of this analysis, we have recorded a valuation allowance against certain of these deferred tax assets.

Accruals for uncertain tax positions, if any, are provided for in accordance with the requirements of ASC 740—Income Taxes. See Note 10 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K for further information regarding our accounting for income taxes.

Warranty Cost Recognition

We accrue for estimated warranty costs as sales are recognized and periodically assess the adequacy of the recorded warranty liability and adjust the amount as necessary. Our warranties generally provide, with respect to our snow and ice control equipment, that all material and workmanship will be free from defect for a period of two years after the date of purchase by the end‑user, and with respect to our parts and accessories purchased separately, that such parts and accessories will be free from defect for a period of one year after the date of purchase by the end‑user. Certain snowplows only provide for a one year warranty. We determine the amount of the estimated warranty costs (and our corresponding warranty reserve) based on our prior five years of warranty history utilizing a formula driven by historical warranty expense and applying management’s judgment. We adjust our historical

35


 

warranty costs to take into account unique factors such as the introduction of new products into the marketplace that do not provide a historical warranty record to assess.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

Our principal sources of cash have been and we expect will continue to be cash from operations and borrowings under our senior credit facilities.

Our primary uses of cash are to provide working capital, meet debt service requirements, finance capital expenditures, pay dividends under our dividend policy and support our growth, including through potential acquisitions, and for other general corporate purposes. For a description of the seasonality of our working capital rates see “—Seasonality and Year‑To‑Year Variability.”

Our Board of Directors has adopted a dividend policy that reflects an intention to distribute to our stockholders a regular quarterly cash dividend. The declaration and payment of these dividends to holders of our common stock is at the discretion of our Board of Directors and depends upon many factors, including our financial condition and earnings, legal requirements, taxes and other factors our Board of Directors may deem to be relevant. The terms of our indebtedness may also restrict us from paying cash dividends on our common stock under certain circumstances. As a result of this dividend policy, we may not have significant cash available to meet any large unanticipated liquidity requirements. As a result, we may not retain a sufficient amount of cash to fund our operations or to finance unanticipated capital expenditures or growth opportunities, including acquisitions. Our Board of Directors may, however, amend, revoke or suspend our dividend policy at any time and for any reason.

As of December 31, 2014, we had liquidity comprised of approximately $24.2 million in cash and cash equivalents and borrowing availability of approximately $75.1 million under our revolving credit facility. Borrowing availability under our revolving credit facility is governed by a borrowing base, the calculation of which includes cash on hand. Accordingly, use of cash on hand may also result in a reduction in the amount available for borrowing under our revolving credit facility. Furthermore, our revolving credit facility requires us to maintain at least $15.0 million of borrowing availability. We expect that cash on hand, cash generated from operations, as well as available credit under our senior credit facilities will provide adequate funds for the purposes described above for at least the next 12 months.

Cash Flow Analysis

Set forth below is summary cash flow information for each of the years ended December 31, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year ended December 31,

Cash Flows (in thousands)

2012

2013

2014

Net cash provided by operating activities

$

15,619 

$

32,248 

$

53,747 

Net cash used in investing activities

(1,366)
(29,509)
(90,929)

Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities

(29,549)
(7,011)
41,513 

 

 

 

 

Increase (Decrease) in cash

$

(15,296)

$

(4,272)

$

4,331 

 

Sources and Uses of Cash

During the three‑year periods described above, net cash provided by operating activities was used for funding capital investment, paying dividends, paying interest on our senior credit facilities, and funding working capital requirements during our pre‑season shipping period. Additionally, cash from operations was used to fully fund the acquisition of the TrynEx business and to fund a portion of the acquisition of Henderson.

36


 

The following table shows our cash and cash equivalents and inventories at December 31, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 31,

 

2012

2013

2014

 

 

(in thousands)

Cash and cash equivalents

$

24,136 

$

19,864 

$

24,195 

Inventories

 

30,292 

 

27,977 

 

48,248 

Year Ended December 31, 2014 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2013

We had cash and cash equivalents of $24.2 million at December 31, 2014 compared to cash and cash equivalents of $19.9 million at December 31, 2013. The table below sets forth a summary of the significant sources and uses of cash for the periods presented.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year ended December 31,

Cash Flows (in thousands)

2013

2014

Change

 

Net cash provided by operating activities

$

32,248 

$

53,747 

$

21,499 
66.7% 

Net cash used in investing activities

 

(29,509)

 

(90,929)

 

(61,420)
(208.1%)

Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities

 

(7,011)

 

41,513 

 

48,524 
692.1% 

 

 

 

 

 

Increase (Decrease) in cash

$

(4,272)

$

4,331 

$

8,603 
201.4% 

Net cash provided by operating activities increased $21.5 million from the year ended December 31, 2013 to the year ended December 31, 2014. The increase in cash provided by operating activities was due to a $16.6 million increase in net income adjusted for reconciling items and  $4.9 million in working capital changes. Negatively impacting cash flow was a $4.2 million increase in accounts receivable, net of acquisitions, due to increased sales in the year ended December 31, 2014 as compared to December 31, 2013. Also, negatively impacting cash flow was an increase in inventory balances of  $4.0 million, net of acquisitions. Offsetting this negative impact was an increase in accrued expenses by $6.6 million, driven primarily by increased accrued incentives and warranty reserves.  Additionally, positively impacting cash flows in 2014 was a  net decrease to income tax receivable (payable) balance of $3.3 million.    

Net cash used in investing activities increased $61.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, compared to the corresponding period in 2013. This increase was due to the $86.7 million in cash outflow in 2014 to complete the Henderson acquisition,  compared to the $26.7 million acquisition of the TrynEx business in 2013.   Additionally, cash used in investing increased as a result of an increase in capital expenditures in 2014 as compared to 2013 by $2.5 million due to facility remodels and large expenditures related to equipment.

Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities increased $48.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2014 as compared to the corresponding period in 2013.    The increase in cash provided by financing activity was largely due to $77.5 million net increase resulting from borrowing and payments of long term debt.    This increase was a result of the Company amending and restating its senior credit facility in 2014 to fund the Henderson acquisition, which included borrowings of long term debt of $188.1 million, partially offset by repayment of existing debt of $111.8 million compared to 2013, when we made $1.2 million in repayments of long term debt. In conjunction with amending the Company’s senior credit facility, $2,129 in financing costs were paid in 2014.    We also paid dividends of $18.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2013, compared to dividends paid of $19.6 million in the year ended December 31, 2014. Lastly, we had $13.0 million of outstanding borrowings under our revolving credit facility at December 31, 2013 while we had no outstanding borrowings under our revolving credit facility at December 31, 2014.

37


 

Year Ended December 31, 2013 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2012

We had cash and cash equivalents of $19.9 million at December 31, 2013 compared to cash and cash equivalents of $24.1 million at December 31, 2012. The table below sets forth a summary of the significant sources and uses of cash for the periods presented.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year ended December 31,

Cash Flows (in thousands)

2012

2013

Change

 

Net cash provided by operating activities

$

15,619 

$

32,248 

$

16,629 
106.5% 

Net cash used in investing activities

 

(1,366)

 

(29,509)

 

(28,143)
2,060.2% 

Net cash used in financing activities

 

(29,549)

 

(7,011)

 

22,538 
(76.3%)

 

 

 

 

 

Increase (Decrease)  in cash

$

(15,296)

$

(4,272)

$

11,024 
(72.1%)

 Net cash provided by operating activities increased $16.6 million from the year ended December 31, 2012 to the year ended December 31, 2013. The increase in cash provided by operating activities was due to a $13.8 million increase in net income adjusted for reconciling items. The remaining increase in cash provided by operating activities of $5.0 million is attributable to working capital changes. Negatively impacting cash flow was a $16.9 million increase in accounts receivable driven by better results in the year ending December 31, 2013 as compared to December 31, 2012. Offsetting this increase was a decrease to income tax receivable balance of $2.2 million. Also, positively impacting cash flow were increases in accrued liability balances by $3.8 million driven by increased accrued incentives. Inventory balances decreased $2.3 million as a result of higher sales volumes in 2013 positively impacting cash flows. Accounts payable increased $2.3 million also positively impacting cash flows.

Net cash used in investing activities increased $28.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2013, compared to the corresponding period in 2012. This increase was due to the $26.7 million acquisition of the TrynEx business in 2013 and increased capital expenditures in 2013 as compared to 2012 due to preserving cash flow in a historically low snowfall year in 2012.

Net cash used in financing activities decreased $22.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to the corresponding period in 2012. In 2012, we made $11.2 million in repayments of long term debt, including a $10 million voluntary prepayment, refinanced our revolving line of credit and capitalized $0.2 million in deferred financing costs. Meanwhile, in 2013 we made $1.2 million in repayments of long term debt. We also paid dividends of $18.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2013, compared to dividends paid of $18.2 million in the year ended December 31, 2012. Lastly, we had $13.0 million of outstanding borrowings on the revolver at December 31, 2013 while we had no outstanding revolver borrowings at December 31, 2012.

38


 

Future Obligations and Commitments

Contractual Obligations

We are subject to certain contractual obligations, including long‑term debt and related interest. We have net unrecognized tax benefits of $0.6 million as of December 31, 2014. However, we cannot make a reasonably reliable estimate of the period of potential cash settlement of the underlying liabilities; therefore, we have not included unrecognized tax benefits in calculating the obligations set forth in the following table of significant contractual obligations as of December 31, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Dollars in thousands)

 

Total

 

 

Less than 1 year

1 - 3 years

 

3 - 5 years

 

 

More than 5 years