10-K 1 tpic-10k_20181231.htm 10-K tpic-10k_20181231.htm

 

 

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, 2018

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 Number 001-37839

 

TPI Composites, Inc.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its Charter)

 

 

Delaware

 

20-1590775

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification Number)

8501 N. Scottsdale Rd.

Gainey Center II, Suite 100

Scottsdale, AZ 85253

(480) 305-8910

(Address, including zip code, and telephone number,

including area code, of registrant’s principal executive offices)

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

 

Title of each class

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, par value $0.01

 

NASDAQ Global Market

 

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 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 every Interactive Data File required to be submitted 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 such files). Yes  No 

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of Registrant’s 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, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company”, and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer

 

 

Accelerated filer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-accelerated filer

 

  

 

Small reporting company

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging growth company

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the Registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

 

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

 

The aggregate market value of the shares of common stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant, based on the closing price of the shares of common stock on June 29, 2018 as reported by the NASDAQ Global Market on such date was approximately $589 million. Shares of the Registrant’s common stock held by each executive officer, director and holder of 5% or more of the outstanding common stock have been excluded in that such persons may be deemed to be affiliates. This calculation does not reflect a determination that certain persons are affiliates of the Registrant for any other purpose.

As of January 31, 2019, the Registrant had 34,914,385 shares of common stock outstanding.

Documents Incorporated by Reference

Portions of the Registrant’s Definitive Proxy Statement relating to the Annual Meeting of Stockholders, scheduled to be held on May 14, 2019, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Report.   

 

 

 

 


 

Table of Contents

 

 

 

 

 

Page

PART I

 

 

 

 

Item 1.

 

Business

 

3

Item 1A.

 

Risk Factors

 

15

Item 1B.

 

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

42

Item 2.

 

Properties

 

42

Item 3.

 

Legal Proceedings

 

42

Item 4.

 

Mine Safety Disclosures

 

43

 

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

 

 

Item 5.

 

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

 

44

Item 6.

 

Selected Financial Data

 

46

Item 7.

 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

49

Item 7A.

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

74

Item 8.

 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

75

Item 9.

 

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

75

Item 9A.

 

Controls and Procedures

 

75

Item 9B.

 

Other Information

 

76

 

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

 

 

Item 10.

 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

77

Item 11.

 

Executive Compensation

 

77

Item 12.

 

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

 

77

Item 13.

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

77

Item 14.

 

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

 

77

 

 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

 

 

Item 15.

 

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

 

78

Item 16.

 

Form 10-K Summary

 

78

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities law. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including statements regarding our future results of operations and financial position, business strategy and plans and objectives of management for future operations, are forward-looking statements. In many cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “may,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “could,” “intends,” “target,” “projects,” “contemplates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential” or “continue” or the negative of these terms or other similar words. Forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K include, but are not limited to, statements about:

 

growth of the wind energy market and our addressable market;

 

the potential impact of the increasing prevalence of auction-based tenders in the wind energy market and increased competition from solar energy on our gross margins and overall financial performance;  

 

our future financial performance, including our net sales, cost of goods sold, gross profit or gross margin, operating expenses, ability to generate positive cash flow, and ability to achieve or maintain profitability;

 

changes in domestic or international government or regulatory policy, including without limitation, changes in trade policy;  

 

the sufficiency of our cash and cash equivalents to meet our liquidity needs;

 

our ability to attract and retain customers for our products, and to optimize product pricing;

 

our ability to effectively manage our growth strategy and future expenses, including our startup and transition costs;

 

competition from other wind blade and wind blade turbine manufacturers;

 

the discovery of defects in our products;

 

our ability to successfully expand in our existing wind energy markets and into new international wind energy markets;

 

our ability to successfully expand our transportation business and execute upon our strategy of entering new markets outside of wind energy;

 

worldwide economic conditions and their impact on customer demand;

 

our ability to maintain, protect and enhance our intellectual property;

 

our ability to comply with existing, modified or new laws and regulations applying to our business, including the imposition of new taxes, duties or similar assessments on our products;

 

the attraction and retention of qualified employees and key personnel;

 

our ability to maintain good working relationships with our employees, and avoid labor disruptions, strikes and other disputes with labor unions that represent certain of our employees; and

 

our ability to procure adequate supplies of raw materials and components to fulfill our wind blade volume commitments to our customers.

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These forward-looking statements are only predictions. These statements relate to future events or our future financial performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to materially differ from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. We have described under the heading “Risk Factors” included in Part 1, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K the principal risks and uncertainties that we believe could cause actual results to differ from these forward-looking statements. Because forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, some of which cannot be predicted or quantified, you should not rely on these forward-looking statements as guarantees of future events.

The forward-looking statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K represent our views as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. We anticipate that subsequent events and developments will cause our views to change. However, while we may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or developments after the date on which the statement is made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events except to the extent required by applicable law. You should, therefore, not rely on these forward-looking statements as representing our views as of any date after the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Our forward-looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of any future acquisitions, mergers, dispositions, joint ventures, or investments we may make.

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PART I

Item 1. Business

Description of Business

TPI Composites, Inc. is the holding company that conducts substantially all of its business operations through its direct and indirect subsidiaries (collectively, the Company or we). The Company was founded in 1968 and has been producing composite wind blades since 2001. The Company’s knowledge and experience of composite materials and manufacturing originates with its predecessor company, Tillotson Pearson Inc., a leading manufacturer of high-performance sail and powerboats along with a wide range of composite structures used in other industrial applications. Following the separation from the boat building business in 2004, the Company reorganized in Delaware as LCSI Holding, Inc. and then changed its corporate name to TPI Composites, Inc. in 2008.

Overview

We are the largest and only independent manufacturer of composite wind blades for the wind energy market with a global manufacturing footprint. We enable many of the industry’s leading wind turbine original equipment manufacturers (OEM), who have historically relied on in-house production, to outsource the manufacturing of some of their wind blades through our global footprint of advanced manufacturing facilities strategically located to serve large and growing wind markets in a cost-effective manner. Given the importance of wind energy capture, turbine reliability and cost to power producers, the size, quality and performance of wind blades have become highly strategic to our OEM customers. As a result, we have become a key supplier to our OEM customers in the manufacture of wind blades and related precision molding and assembly systems. We have entered into long-term supply agreements pursuant to which we dedicate capacity at our facilities to our customers in exchange for their commitment to purchase minimum annual volumes of wind blade sets, which consist of three wind blades. This collaborative dedicated supplier model provides us with contracted volumes that generate significant revenue visibility, drive capital efficiency and allow us to produce wind blades at a lower total delivered cost, while ensuring critical dedicated capacity for our customers. For a further discussion regarding our wind blade and precision molding and assembly system businesses, refer to the discussion in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Results of Operations” included in Part II, Item 7 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

We also leverage our advanced composite technology and history of innovation to supply high strength, lightweight and durable composite products to the transportation market.  In November 2017, we signed a five- year supply agreement with Proterra Inc. (Proterra) to continue to supply Proterra Catalyst® composite bus bodies from our existing Rhode Island facility and also from a new manufacturing facility in Newton, Iowa which commenced operations in the second quarter of 2018. In February 2018, we entered into an agreement with Navistar, Inc. (Navistar) to design and develop a Class 8 truck comprised of a composite tractor, trailer and frame rails. This collaborative development project was entered into in connection with Navistar’s recent award under the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Super Truck II investment program, which is designed to promote fuel efficiency in commercial vehicles. In November 2018, we announced a capital investment of approximately $11.5 million in 2019 to develop a highly automated pilot manufacturing line for the electric vehicle market. We plan to locate this pilot line adjacent to our second Newton, Iowa location where we manufacture composite bus bodies for Proterra. We expect this investment will enable us to further develop our technology, create defensible product and process IP and demonstrate our capability to manufacture composite components cost effectively at automotive volume rates. We also expect this pilot line will also help our current and potential customers to de-risk the decision-making process to commit to TPI for high-volume manufacturing programs in the future.

Our wind blade and precision molding and assembly systems manufacturing businesses accounted for approximately 95%, 96%, and 97% of our total net sales for each of the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively.  As of February 28, 2019, our long-term wind and transportation supply agreements provide for minimum aggregate volume commitments from our customers of approximately $4.0 billion and encourage our customers to purchase additional volume up to, in the aggregate, a total contract value of approximately $6.8 billion through the end of 2023.  

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Public Offerings and Stock Split

In July 2016, we completed an initial public offering (IPO) of 7,187,500 shares of our common stock at a price of $11.00 per share, which included 937,500 shares issued pursuant to the underwriters’ over-allotment option. Certain of our existing stockholders, a non-employee director and executive officers purchased an aggregate of 1,250,000 shares of our common stock in the IPO included in the total issuance above. The net proceeds from the IPO were $67.2 million after deducting underwriting discounts and offering expenses. Immediately prior to the closing of the IPO, all shares of the then-outstanding redeemable preferred shares converted into an aggregate of 21,110,204 shares of our common stock and the redeemable preferred share warrants converted on a net issuance basis into 120,923 shares of our common stock. In addition, concurrent with the closing of the IPO, certain subordinated convertible promissory notes in the aggregate principal and interest amount of $11.9 million were converted into 1,079,749 shares of our common stock at the public offering price of $11.00 per share.

Prior to the IPO, in July 2016 we amended our amended and restated certificate of incorporation to effect a 360-for-1 forward stock split of our common stock. As a result of the stock split, we have adjusted the share amounts authorized and issuable under the share-based compensation plans. All share and per share common stock information (including the share-based compensation plans) referenced throughout the consolidated financial statements and notes thereto have been retroactively adjusted to reflect this stock split. The stock split did not cause an adjustment to the par value of the authorized shares of our common stock.

In May 2017, we completed a secondary public offering of 5,075,000 shares of our common stock at a price of $16.35 per share, which included 575,000 shares issued pursuant to the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares. All of the shares were sold by existing stockholders and certain of our executive officers. The selling stockholders received all of the net proceeds of $78.8 million from the secondary public offering. We did not sell any shares and did not receive any of the proceeds from the offering and the costs paid by us in connection with the offering of $0.8 million were recorded in general and administrative costs in the accompanying consolidated income statement.  

Financial Information about Segments and Geographic Areas

We divide our business operations into four geographic operating segments—the United States (U.S.), Asia, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India (EMEAI) as follows:

 

Our U.S. segment includes (1) the manufacturing of wind blades at our Newton, Iowa plant, (2) the manufacturing of precision molding and assembly systems used for the manufacture of wind blades at our Warren, Rhode Island facility, (3) the manufacturing of composite solutions for the transportation industry, which we also conduct at our existing Rhode Island facility as well as at our Fall River, Massachusetts facility and at a second manufacturing facility in Newton, Iowa which commenced operations in the second quarter of 2018, (4) wind blade inspection and repair services in North America, (5) our advanced engineering center in Kolding, Denmark, which provides technical and engineering resources to our manufacturing facilities and (6) our corporate headquarters, the costs of which are included in general and administrative expenses.

 

Our Asia segment includes (1) the manufacturing of wind blades at our facilities in Taicang Port, China; Dafeng, China and Yangzhou, China, the latter of which we expect to commence operations in the first quarter of 2019, (2) the manufacturing of precision molding and assembly systems at our Taicang City, China facility and (3) wind blade inspection and repair services.

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Our Mexico segment manufactures wind blades from three facilities in Juárez, Mexico and a facility in Matamoros, Mexico, at which we commenced operations in the third quarter of 2018. In November 2018, we entered into a new lease agreement with a third party for a new precision molding and assembly systems manufacturing facility in Juárez, Mexico and we expect to commence operations at this facility in the first quarter of 2019. This segment also performs wind blade inspection and repair services.

 

Our EMEAI segment manufactures wind blades from two facilities in Izmir, Turkey and also performs wind blade inspection and repair services. In February 2019, we entered into a new lease agreement with a third party for the construction of a new manufacturing facility that will be built near Chennai, India and we expect to commence operations at this facility in the first half of 2020.

For additional information regarding our operating segments and geographic areas, see Note 17 – Segment Reporting of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Business Strategy

Our long-term success will be driven by our business strategy. The key elements of our business strategy are as follows:

 

Grow our existing relationships and develop new relationships with leading industry OEMs. We plan to continue growing and expanding our relationships with existing customers who, according to data from Wood Mackenzie (WoodMac), represented approximately 54% of the global onshore wind energy market, approximately 90% of that market excluding China, and 99.8% of the U.S. onshore wind turbine market over the three years ended December 31, 2017, based on megawatts (MWs) of energy capacity installed, as well as developing new relationships with other leading industry OEMs. We expect to be presented with opportunities to expand our existing relationships and develop new relationships with industry OEMs as they seek to capitalize on the benefits of outsourced wind blade manufacturing while maintaining high quality customization and dedicated capacity. In March 2018, we entered into a multiyear supply agreement with Vestas Wind Systems A/S (Vestas) to supply wind blades from a new manufacturing facility in the Yangzhou Economic & Technical Development Zone in Yangzhou, China and we expect to commence operations at this facility in the first quarter of 2019. In May and July 2018, Vestas exercised its option for a total of four additional wind blade manufacturing lines under an existing multiyear supply agreement at our Matamoros, Mexico location and we commenced operations in the third quarter of 2018. In May 2018, we entered into a multiyear supply agreement with ENERCON GmbH (ENERCON) to supply wind blades from our second manufacturing facility in Izmir, Turkey and we commenced operations in the fourth quarter of 2018. In August 2018, General Electric International, Inc. and its affiliates (GE Wind) agreed to extend our existing multiyear supply agreement in one of our Mexico plants by two years to 2022 and increased the number of wind blade manufacturing lines in that facility from three to five.  In addition, GE Wind has agreed to transition to a larger blade model in our Newton, Iowa plant in early 2019 and to eliminate its option to terminate their supply agreement at this location prior to its December 2020 expiration. In December 2018, we entered into a multiyear supply agreement with Vestas to supply wind blades from a new manufacturing facility that will be built near Chennai, India and we expect to commence operations at this facility in the first half of 2020.

 

Expand our footprint in large and growing wind markets, capitalize on the continuing outsourcing trend, evaluate building wind turbine blades for the offshore market and evaluate strategic acquisitions. As the wind energy market continues to expand globally and many wind turbine OEMs continue to shift towards increased outsourcing of wind blade manufacturing, we believe we are well-positioned to continue the expansion of our global footprint. We utilize our strengths in composites technology and manufacturing, combined with our collaborative dedicated supplier model to provide our customers with an efficient solution for their expansion in large and growing wind markets. Our quality, reliability and total delivered cost reduce sourcing risk for our customers. In addition, our demonstrated ability to expand into new markets and the strength of our manufacturing capabilities afford us the optionality to build new factories or grow through strategic acquisitions.

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Continue to drive down costs of wind energy. We continue to work with our customers on larger size wind blade models that maximize the capture of wind energy and drive down the levelized cost of energy (LCOE). We also continue to utilize our advanced technology, regional manufacturing facilities strategically located to cost effectively serve large and growing wind markets and ability to source materials globally at competitive costs to deliver high-performing, composite wind blades. Our collaborative engineering approach and our advanced precision molding and assembly systems allow us to integrate our customer’s design requirements with cost-efficient, replicable and scalable manufacturing processes. This collaborative engineering approach with our customers also allows us to reduce manufacturing cycle times and new blade model transition times. We also continue to work with our customers to drive down the cost of materials and production, the benefit of which we typically share with our customers contractually in a manner that reduces LCOE for customers, further strengthens our customer relationships and improves our margins.

 

Expand our transportation business and expand into other strategic markets. We leverage our advanced composite technology and history of innovation to supply high strength, lightweight and durable composite products to the transportation market. As the vehicle electrification trend continues, reducing the weight of these vehicles is critical to expanding range and/or providing more room for additional batteries or reducing the number of batteries. As a result, we believe there is an increasing demand for composites products for electric vehicles. In addition, we believe there is a potential demand in other strategic markets for composites as to replace aluminum or other more expensive composite materials such as carbon.

 

Focus on continuing innovation. We have a history of innovation in advanced composite technologies and production techniques and use several proprietary technologies related to wind blade manufacturing. With this culture of innovation and a collaborative “design for manufacturability” approach, we continue to address increasing physical dimensions, demanding technical specifications and strict quality control requirements for our customers’ most advanced wind blades. We also invest in ongoing simplification and selective automation of production processes for increased efficiency and precision. In addition, we plan to leverage our history of composite industry-first innovations to grow our business in the transportation market, in which we believe there is a demand for high precision, structural composites manufacturing.

Wind Blade Manufacturing Operations and Process

We have developed significant expertise in advanced composite technology and use high performance composite materials, precision molding and assembly systems including modular tooling, and advanced process technology, as well as sophisticated measurement, inspection, testing and quality assurance tools, allowing us to produce over 45,000 wind blades since 2001 with an excellent field performance record in a market where reliability is critical to our customers’ success. We manufacture or have manufactured wind blades ranging from 30 meters to over 70 meters across our global facilities, and have the capability to manufacture wind blades of greater lengths as required by existing or new customers. In combination with our advanced technologies, we seek to create manufacturing processes that are replicable and scalable in our manufacturing facilities located worldwide, regardless of cultural or language barriers. Our integrated manufacturing process, the TPI Integrated Production System (TIPS) allows us to customize each manufacturing step, from raw materials to finished products. TIPS also allows us to systematically design for the entire manufacturing process so that we can achieve better quality control and increase production efficiencies. We believe that our focus on simplifying and, where feasible, automating production processes is critical to manufacturing high-precision, lightweight and durable products at a reasonable cost to our customers. We produce high unit volumes of near-aerospace grade products at industrial costs.

Raw Materials

The key raw materials for the wind blades we manufacture include highly advanced fiberglass fabrics, select carbon reinforcements, foam, balsa wood, resin, adhesives for assembly of molded components, gel coat or paint for preparation of cosmetic surfaces and attachment hardware including steel components. Most of these materials are available in multiple geographic regions and in reasonably close proximity to our manufacturing facilities. Our agreements for the supply of raw materials are designed to guarantee volumes that we believe will be required to

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fulfill our customers’ wind blade commitments. A portion of our raw materials are subject to price volatility, such as the resins used in our manufacturing processes. Although the majority of materials incorporated into our products are available from a number of sources, certain materials are available only from a relatively limited number of suppliers. We seek multiple suppliers for our raw materials and continually evaluate potential new supplier relationships.

Precision Molding and Assembly Systems

Over the last decade, we have produced hundreds of precision molding and assembly systems, ranging from 30 meters to over 70 meters in length, to support our global operations. We began these operations in our tooling technology center in Warren, Rhode Island. In 2013, we expanded our precision molding and assembly system production capabilities to a facility in Taicang City, China, which serves customers around the globe. While capable of cost-effectively delivering precision molding and assembly systems across all of our facilities, our Rhode Island tooling technology center primarily serves the North American market. We are currently in the process of transitioning our North American precision molding and assembly system production capabilities from Warren, Rhode Island to a new facility in Juárez, Mexico, which can serve customers globally. We expect this transition to be completed by the end of 2019. Our precision molding and assembly systems have been used to build tens of thousands of wind blades worldwide.

Our tooling solutions include precision wind blade patterns, precision molding and assembly systems, including modular tooling techniques. We believe that our technological and production expertise are key factors in our continued competitiveness, as we address continually increasing physical dimensions, demanding technical specifications, and strict quality control requirements for wind blades.

Wind Blade Production Process

Production of wind blades requires adherence to the unique specifications of our customers, who design their wind turbines and wind blades to optimize performance, reliability and total delivered cost. With our culture of innovation and a collaborative “design for manufacturability” approach, we have the capability and expertise to manufacture wind blades of different designs, utilizing fiberglass, carbon or other advanced composite materials to meet unique customer specifications. We also have the flexibility to quickly transition our manufacturing facilities to produce different wind blade models and sizes using our precision molding and assembly systems, including modular tooling techniques.

We have developed a highly dependable method for making high-quality wind blades. In conjunction with our TIPS process, we design our proprietary manufacturing processes to be replicable, scalable and transferable to each of our advanced manufacturing facilities worldwide. As a result, we can repeatedly move a product from its design phase to volume production while maintaining quality, even in developing regions of the world. Similarly, we have developed the manual portions of our manufacturing processes based on proven technologies and production methods that can be learned and implemented rapidly by line personnel. We focus on consistency and quality control across our facilities, using hands-on training methods and employing repeatable manufacturing processes.

We use an advanced form of vacuum-assisted resin transfer tooling process to pull liquid resin into a dry lay-up, resulting in light, strong, and reliable composite structures. In our manufacturing process, fiber reinforcements and core materials are laid up in a mold while dry, followed by a vacuum bag that is placed over the layup and sealed to the mold. The wind blade component is then placed under vacuum. The resin is introduced into the wind blade component via resin inlet ports and then distributed through the reinforcement and core materials via a flow medium and a series of channels, saturating the wind blade component. The vacuum removes air and gases during processing, thereby eliminating voids. Pressure differentials drive resin uniformly throughout the wind blade component, providing a consistent laminate. By using a variety of reinforcement and core materials, the structural characteristics of the wind blade can be highly engineered to suit the custom specifications of our customers. Although only occasionally required by our customers, we are also capable of employing additional composite fabrication processes, such as pre-impregnated laminates, in addition to our vacuum infusion process.

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Wind Blade Long-Term Supply Agreements

Our current wind blade customers, which include GE Wind, Vestas, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy S.A. (Siemens Gamesa), Nordex SE (Nordex), Senvion S.A. (Senvion) and ENERCON, are some of the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers. According to data from WoodMac, our customers represented approximately 54% of the global onshore wind energy market, approximately 90% of that market excluding China, and 99.8% of the U.S. onshore wind turbine market over the three years ended December 31, 2017, based on MWs of energy capacity installed. In our collaborative dedicated supplier model, our customers are incentivized to maximize the volume of wind blades purchased through lower pricing at higher purchase volumes. As of February 28, 2019, our existing wind blade supply agreements provide for minimum aggregate volume commitments from our customers of approximately $4.0 billion and encourage our customers to purchase additional volume up to, in the aggregate, a total contract value of approximately $6.8 billion through the end of 2023, which we believe provides us with significant future revenue visibility and helps to insulate us from potential short-term fluctuations or legislative changes in any one market. Our supply agreements generally contain liquidated damages provisions in the event of late delivery, however, we generally do not bear the responsibility for transporting the wind blades we manufacture to our customers.

GE Wind

In 2007, we entered into multiple supply agreements to build two facilities and manufacture wind blades for GE Wind in Taicang Port, China and Newton, Iowa. Based on the success of these manufacturing arrangements, we expanded our relationship with GE Wind through additional supply agreements for a manufacturing facility in Turkey and two manufacturing facilities in Mexico. Each of the supply agreements with GE Wind provide for a minimum number of wind blade sets to be purchased by GE Wind each year during the term, the schedule for which is established at the outset of the agreement. In return, we commit to dedicate a specific number of manufacturing lines to GE Wind for each of the years under the supply agreements. Additionally, we create model-specific tooling for GE Wind. For the year ended December 31, 2017, we recorded sales under these supply agreements with GE Wind of $426.1 million, $198.6 million of which was for the portion of 2017 that GE Wind was considered a related party. In 2017, GE Wind announced that they would not renew or extend the Turkey and Taicang Port, China supply agreements, which both expired on December 31, 2017. In August 2018, GE Wind did agree to extend our existing supply agreement in one of our Mexico plants by two years to 2022 and increased the number of wind blade manufacturing lines in that facility from three to five. In addition, GE Wind has agreed to transition to a larger blade model in our Newton, Iowa plant in early 2019 and to eliminate its option to terminate their supply agreement at this location prior to its December 2020 expiration. Unless otherwise terminated or renewed, our supply agreements with GE Wind are in effect until the end of 2020 for our Iowa and one of our Mexico facilities and until the end of 2022 for our other Mexico facility. GE Wind may terminate the Mexico supply agreements with no advance notice and paying us termination fees as set forth in the applicable agreement. In addition, either party may terminate these supply agreements upon a material breach by the other party which goes uncured for 30 days after written notice has been provided.

In 2017, General Electric Company (GE) completed its acquisition of LM Wind Power (LM), our largest competitor. We expect that GE Wind will utilize LM for a substantial percentage of its wind blade production in the future and may reduce the volumes of wind blades it purchases from us or not extend any of our supply agreements beyond 2022, which may materially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Wind Blade Business—GE’s acquisition of LM Wind Power, our largest competitor, may materially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations and may cause the price of our common stock to decline” included in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for further discuss on the GE’s acquisition of LM and its potential effects on us.  

See Note 4 – Related Party Transactions of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information regarding our related party transactions with GE Wind.

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Other Long-Term Supply Agreements

We have entered into other long-term supply agreements in China, Mexico, Turkey and India. With respect to these supply agreements, we agree to dedicate capacity for a set number of wind blades for each calendar year during the term of the agreement in exchange for commitments to purchase minimum annual volumes of wind blade sets. Unless otherwise terminated, these supply agreements generally remain in effect for a period of five years and either party may terminate their respective supply agreements upon a material breach by the other party which goes uncured. Some of these supply agreements contain provisions that allow for our customers to purchase less volume in later years of these supply agreements, reduce the number of dedicated manufacturing lines or to terminate the supply agreement upon notice for reasons such as our failure to deliver the contracted wind blade volumes or our failure to meet certain mutually agreed upon cost reduction targets. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Wind Blade Business—Our long-term supply agreements with our customers are subject to termination on short notice and our failure to perform our obligations under such agreements, and termination of a significant number of these agreements would materially harm our business” included in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Research and Development

We have a long history of developing composite products as well as the development of new and advanced materials, tooling, manufacturing processes and inspection methods. Our knowledge and experience of composite materials and manufacturing originates with our predecessor company, Tillotson Pearson Inc., a leading manufacturer of high-performance recreational sail and powerboats along with a wide range of composite structures used in other industrial applications. Leveraging our knowledge and experience, we realized the opportunity to specialize in wind energy and other industrial end-markets where there was a demand for high precision composite manufacturing capabilities.

We conduct extensive research and development in close collaboration with our customers on the design, development and deployment of innovative manufacturing processes, including automation, advanced materials and sophisticated product quality inspection tools. We have partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), government laboratories, universities and our customers to innovate through cost sharing Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Initiative programs. In 2015, we received a $3.0 million award from the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy to lead a team of industry and academic participants to design, develop and demonstrate an ultra-light composite vehicle door for high volume manufacturing production in conjunction with other industry and university participants. In February 2018, we entered into an agreement with Navistar to design and develop a Class 8 truck comprised of a composite tractor, trailer and frame rails. This collaborative development project was entered into in connection with Navistar’s recent award under the DOE’s Super Truck II investment program, which is designed to promote fuel efficiency in commercial vehicles.  Incorporating composite materials into a Class 8 truck offers multiple potential performance and efficiency advantages compared to traditional metals in terms of weight savings, reduced part counts, and non-corrosion.

We employ a highly experienced workforce of engineers in various facets of our business, from discrete research and development projects, to the ongoing, real-time development and implementation of incremental manufacturing and material improvements. Our research and development effort places a priority on improving quality through process and procedure improvement, in addition to reducing cost through specification changes and sourcing of more cost-effective suppliers. Other areas of emphasis include composite design, in-house fabrication of precision molding and assembly systems, prototyping, testing, optimization and volume production capabilities. We also encourage our employees to invent and develop new technologies to maintain our competitiveness in the marketplace. In addition to our internal research and development activities, from time to time, we also conduct research and development activities pursuant to funded development arrangements with our customers and other third parties, and intend to continue to seek opportunities for product development programs that could create recurring revenue and increase our overall profitability over the long term.

For financial statement purposes, research and development performed is reflected in general and administrative expenses in our consolidated income statements.

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Competition

The wind blade market is highly concentrated, competitive and subject to evolving customer needs and expectations. In 2017, GE Wind, our largest customer, completed its acquisition of LM, our largest competitor. We also compete primarily with other independent wind blade manufacturers such as Sinoma Science & Technology Co. Ltd., Shanghai Aeolon Wind Energy Technology Development (Group) Co., Ltd., Aeris Industria E Comercio De Equipamentos Para Geracao De Energia S.A. and ZhongFu Lianzhong Composites Group Co., Ltd., as well as regional wind blade suppliers in geographic areas where our current or prospective manufacturing facilities are located.

We also compete with, and in a number of cases supplement, vertically integrated wind turbine OEMs that manufacture their wind blades. We believe that a number of other established companies are manufacturing wind blades that will compete directly with our offerings, and some of our competitors, including LM, Sinoma Science & Technology Co. Ltd., Aeris Industria E Comercio De Equipamentos Para Geracao De Energia S.A. and ZhongFu Lianzhong Composites Group Co., Ltd. may have significant financial and institutional resources.

The principal competitive factors in the wind blade market include reliability, total delivered cost, manufacturing capability, product quality, engineering capability and timely completion of wind blades. We believe we compete favorably with our competitors on the basis of the foregoing factors. Our ability to remain competitive will depend to a great extent upon our ongoing performance in the areas of manufacturing capability, timely completion and product quality.

Transportation Products

We seek to create additional recurring revenue opportunities through the supply of other composite structures outside the wind energy market. We believe transportation products, including buses, trucks, electric vehicles and high performance automotive products, are ideally suited for our advanced composite technology because of the benefits derived from weight reduction, corrosion resistance, strength and durability. These benefits should allow us to develop structural composite solutions to assist our customers in developing electric vehicles as well as buses with clean propulsion systems or in meeting new and developing fuel economy standards including the 2025 U.S. Government Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards that are pushing automakers to develop lighter, more fuel efficient vehicles with lower emissions. President Trump, however, issued an executive order in March 2017 requiring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review the implementation timing and mileage targets of these standards.

In addition, by producing a range of composite structures, we are able to leverage the materials and manufacturing process technology and expertise developed through one project to maximize production quality, improve performance and minimize costs across our other manufacturing efforts, including our wind blade business. Our projects for customers in the transportation market have historically generated project-related revenues for a specific duration. We intend to seek collaborations with additional customers in these markets that will provide recurring revenue and business opportunities for us, in addition to the opportunities provided by our existing customers and relationships, and contribute to our overall profitability over the long term.

Our facilities in Warren, Rhode Island and Newton, Iowa manufacture products for customers in the transportation market using a similar proprietary and replicable manufacturing processes that we use to produce wind blades. Our projects for customers in the transportation market include, or have included, the supply of all-composite bodies for electric buses and automated people mover systems for airports.

Our current principal competitors in the transportation market include suppliers of conventional steel and aluminum products and non-structural automotive fiberglass and other advanced composites-based manufacturers for transportation applications.

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Intellectual Property

We have a variety of intellectual property rights, including patents (filed and applied-for in a number of jurisdictions, including the United States, the European Union and China), trademarks and copyrights, but we believe that our continued success and competitive position depend, in large part, on our proprietary materials, tooling, process and inspection technologies and our ability to innovate. Accordingly, we take measures to protect the confidentiality and control the disclosure of our proprietary technology. We rely primarily on a combination of patents, know-how and trade secrets to establish and protect our proprietary rights and preserve our competitive position. We also seek to protect our proprietary technology, in part, by confidentiality agreements with our customers, employees, consultants and other contractors. Trade secrets, however, are difficult to protect. These agreements may be breached, and we may not have adequate remedies for any breach. In addition, our trade secrets may otherwise become known or be independently discovered by competitors. To the extent that our customers, employees, consultants or contractors use intellectual property owned by others in their work for us, disputes may arise as to the rights in related or resulting know-how and inventions.

Backlog

As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, our backlog for wind blades and related products totaled $514.8 million and $555.8 million, respectively. Our backlog includes purchase orders issued in connection with our long-term supply agreements. We generally record a purchase order into backlog when the following requirements have been met: a signed long-term supply agreement or other contractual agreement has been executed with our customer, a purchase order has been issued by our customer and we expect to ship wind blades to or produce the related products for such customer in satisfaction of any purchase order within 12 months. Backlog as of any particular date should not be relied upon as indicative of our revenue for any future period.

Regulation

Wind Energy

Our operations are subject to various foreign, federal, state and local regulations related to environmental protection, health and safety, labor relationships, general business practices and other matters. These regulations are administered by various foreign, federal, state and local environmental agencies and authorities, including the EPA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor and comparable agencies in China, Mexico, Turkey, India and individual U.S. states. In addition, our manufacturing operations in China, Mexico, Turkey and India are subject to those countries’ wage and price controls, currency exchange control regulations, investment and tax laws, laws restricting our ability to repatriate profits, trade restrictions and laws that may restrict foreign investment in certain industries. Some of these laws have only been recently adopted or are subject to further rulemaking or interpretation, and their impact on our operations, including the cost of complying with these laws, is uncertain. We believe that our operations currently comply, in all material respects, with applicable laws and regulations. Further, as a U.S. corporation, we are subject to The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA), which generally prohibits U.S. companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or keeping business.

In addition, our business has been and will continue to be affected by subsidization of the wind turbine industry with its influence declining over time as wind energy reaches grid parity with traditional sources of energy. In the United States, the federal government has encouraged capital investment in renewable energy primarily through tax incentives. Production tax credits for new renewable energy projects were first established in 1992. The Production Tax Credit for Renewable Energy (PTC) provided the owner of a wind turbine placed in operation before January 1, 2015 with a 10-year credit against its U.S. federal income tax obligations based on the amount of electricity generated by the wind turbine.

The PTC was extended in 2015 for wind power projects through December 31, 2019, and is currently contemplated to be phased down over the term of the PTC extension. Specifically, the PTC will be kept at the same rate in effect at the end of 2014 for wind power projects that either commenced construction or met certain safe harbor requirements by the end of 2016, and thereafter will be reduced by 20% per year in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively.

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In 2015, the EPA announced a final rule adopted pursuant to the Clean Air Act, known as the Clean Power Plan, which establishes national standards for states to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. Specifically, the Clean Power Plan requires states to reduce carbon emissions from power plants 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. The Clean Power Plan also provides for interim state-level compliance reduction targets beginning in 2022 through 2030 based on individualized targets for each of the states utilizing 2012 historical carbon emissions data and three building blocks for emissions reduction including: increasing generation from new zero-emitting renewable energy sources such as wind. In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of the EPA’s implementation of the Clean Power Plan until the D.C. Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals decides upon the merits of multiple lawsuits challenging the legality of the Clean Power Plan. In 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that requires, among other things, that the EPA review the Clean Power Plan and publish a rule to either suspend, revise or rescind it.

At the state level, as of December 31, 2018, 29 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have implemented renewable portfolio standard (RPS) programs that generally require that, by a specified date, a certain percentage of a utility’s electricity supplied to consumers within such state is to be from renewable sources (ranging from 10% to 100% and from between the present and 2045).

In addition, there are also increasing regulatory efforts to promote renewable power. China is implementing its 13th 5-Year Plan with a goal of 15% total primary energy from non-fossil fuel sources and targeting 210 gigawatts (GWs) of grid-connected wind capacity by 2020 according to its National Development and Reform Commission, and employs preferential feed-in tariff schemes, in addition to local tax-based incentives. Mexico has established strict targets, aiming for 35% renewable energy by 2024 and 50% by 2050, according to WoodMac, which it is facilitating through tax incentives. Large European Union members have renewable energy targets for 2020 of between 13% and 49% of all energy use derived from renewable energy sources, according to WoodMac. Additionally, Turkey enacted Law No. 5346 in 2005 to promote renewable-based electricity generation within their domestic electricity market by introducing tariffs and purchase obligations for distribution companies requiring purchases from certified renewable energy producers. The World Bank also provided Turkey with an aggregate of $600 million of loan proceeds to encourage investors to construct generation plants with renewable energy resources.

Employees

As of December 31, 2018, we employed over 10,600 full-time employees, approximately 1,300 of whom were located in the United States, 2,400 in China, 4,100 in Mexico and 2,800 in Turkey. Certain of our employees in Turkey and at our manufacturing facility in Matamoros, Mexico are represented by a labor union. We believe that our relations with our employees are generally good.

In January 2019, thousands of workers employed in dozens of manufacturing facilities in Matamoros, Mexico, went on strike.  In general, these workers, who were represented by several different labor unions, demanded a twenty percent increase in their wage rate and an annual bonus of approximately $1,700. On February 15, 2019, our manufacturing production employees in Matamoros, Mexico, who are represented by a labor union, went on strike also demanding a 20 percent increase in their hourly wage rate and the payment of an annual bonus of approximately $1,700 even though our collective bargaining agreement does not provide for an annual bonus. During this strike, our Matamoros manufacturing facility stopped production from February 15, 2019 until March 2, 2019. On March 2, 2019, we reached an agreement with the labor union to end the strike and we reopened our Matamoros manufacturing facility on March 3, 2019.    

Available Information

Our website address is www.tpicomposites.com. All of our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including this Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, statements of changes in beneficial ownership and amendments to those reports, are available free of charge on our website as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with, or furnished to, the SEC. The information contained on our website is neither a part of, nor incorporated by reference into, this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The SEC also maintains an Internet website that contains reports, proxy and information

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statements, and other information regarding issuers, like us, that file electronically with the SEC. The address of that website is www.sec.gov.

Our investor relations website address is www.tpicomposites.com/investors and includes key information about our corporate governance initiatives, including our Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee charter, charters of the Audit and Compensation committees and our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.

 

Executive Officers

The following table sets forth certain information regarding our Executive Officers as of February 28, 2019:

 

Name

Age

 

Position

Steven C. Lockard

57

 

President, Chief Executive Officer and Director

Joseph G. Kishkill

54

 

Chief Commercial Officer

William E. Siwek

56

 

Chief Financial Officer

Thomas J. Castle

47

 

Senior Vice President—U.S. and Transportation Operations

Steven G. Fishbach

49

 

General Counsel and Secretary

 

Steven C. Lockard. Mr. Lockard became our President and Chief Executive Officer in 2004 and has served as a member of our board of directors since 2004. Prior to joining us in 1999, Mr. Lockard was Vice President of Satloc, Inc., a supplier of precision GPS equipment, from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, Mr. Lockard was Vice President of marketing and business development and a founding officer of ADFlex Solutions, Inc., a NASDAQ-listed international manufacturer of interconnect products for the electronics industry, from 1993 to 1997. Prior to that, Mr. Lockard held several marketing and management positions including Business Unit Manager, Corporate Market Development Manager and Marketing/Applications Engineer at Rogers Corporation from 1982 to 1993. Mr. Lockard serves as the Chairman of the board of directors for the American Wind Energy Association. Mr. Lockard holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University.

Joseph G. Kishkill. Mr. Kishkill joined us as our Chief Commercial Officer in August 2017. Prior to joining us, Mr. Kishkill provided general consulting services to various clients in the solar and oil and gas industries from July 2016 to July 2017. Prior to that, Mr. Kishkill served as President, International of First Solar, Inc. from July 2015 until June 2016, and as Chief Commercial Officer from August 2013 to June 2015, where he had responsibility for global business development, sales and international public affairs. Prior to joining First Solar, Inc., Mr. Kishkill was President, Eastern Hemisphere Operations, for Exterran Energy Solutions, L.P. and Senior Vice President of Exterran Holdings, Inc., a global provider of natural gas, petroleum and water treatment production services from 2009 to 2013. Prior to that, he led Exterran’s business in the Latin America region. Prior to joining Exterran’s predecessor company in 2002, Mr. Kishkill held positions of increasing responsibility with Enron Corporation from 1990 to 2001, advancing to Chief Executive Officer for South America. Mr. Kishkill holds an M.B.A. degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Brown University.

William E. Siwek. Mr. Siwek joined us as our Chief Financial Officer in August 2013. Prior to joining us, Mr. Siwek previously served as the Chief Financial Officer for T.W. Lewis Company, an Arizona-based real estate investment company, from September 2012 to September 2013. From May 2010 until September 2012, he was an independent consultant assisting companies in the real estate, construction, insurance and renewable energy industries. Prior to that, Mr. Siwek was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Talisker Mountain, Inc., from January 2009 to April 2010. Prior to that, he was President and Chief Financial Officer of the Lyle Anderson Company from December 2002 to December 2008. Prior to that, Mr. Siwek spent 18 years, from September 1984 to May 2002, with Arthur Andersen where he became a Partner in both Audit and Business Consulting Divisions. Mr. Siwek holds B.S. degrees in Accounting and Economics from University of Redlands and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Thomas J. Castle. Mr. Castle joined us in November 2015 as our Senior Vice President—North American Wind Operations and Global Operational Excellence. In February 2019, Mr. Castle was named our Senior Vice President—U.S. and Transportation Operations. Prior to joining us, Mr. Castle was with Honeywell Aerospace from 2007 to 2015. Mr. Castle served as the Vice President of Integrated Supply Chain, Americas Electronics Operations Center from 2014 to 2015. From 2012 to 2014, he was the Global Vice President of the Honeywell Operating System for Aerospace. Prior to that, Mr. Castle held various positions at the Americas Services Organization from

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2007 to 2012. From 1996 to 2007, Mr. Castle was with GE Aviation in roles of increasing responsibility, most recently as the Managing Director of a manufacturing facility in Thailand from 2005 to 2007. Mr. Castle holds a B.S. degree in Aeronautics from St. Louis University.

Steven G. Fishbach. Mr. Fishbach has served as our General Counsel since January 2015. Prior to joining us, Mr. Fishbach served as Deputy General Counsel of Global Cash Access Holdings, Inc. from 2011 to 2015 and Associate General Counsel from 2009 to 2011. Prior to that, Mr. Fishbach served in various senior roles in the legal department of Fidelity National Information Services, Inc./eFunds Corporation from 2005 to 2008. Mr. Fishbach also practiced corporate and securities law at Squire Sanders (now Squire Patton Boggs) from 2000 to 2005. Mr. Fishbach holds a B.A. degree in American Studies from Georgetown University and a J.D. degree from William & Mary Law School.

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Item 1A. Risk Factors

You should carefully consider the following risk factors. If any of the events contemplated by the following discussion of risks should occur, our business, results of operations, financial condition, growth prospects and cash flows could suffer significantly. Additional risks that we currently do not know about or that we currently believe to be immaterial may also impair our business. Certain statements below are forward-looking statements. See “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.  

Risks Related to Our Wind Blade Business

A significant portion of our business is derived from a small number of customers, and two wind blade customers in particular, therefore any loss of or reduction in purchase orders, failure of these customers to fulfill their obligations or our failure to secure long-term supply agreement renewals from these customers could materially harm our business.

Substantially all of our revenues are derived from four wind blade customers. Two customers, GE Wind and Vestas, accounted for 31.7% and 32.0%, respectively, of our total net sales for the year ended December 31, 2018, 44.6% and 27.9%, respectively, of our total net sales for the year ended December 31, 2017, and 48.4% and 22.2%, respectively, of our total net sales for the year ended December 31, 2016. In addition, two customers, Nordex and Siemens Gamesa accounted for 19.0% and 11.2%, respectively, of our net sales for the year ended December 31, 2018, 16.0% and 9.7%, respectively, of our net sales for the year ended December 31, 2017, and 18.0% and 10.2%, respectively, of our net sales for the year ended December 31, 2016. Accordingly, we are substantially dependent on continued business from our current wind blade customers, and GE Wind and Vestas in particular. If one or more of our wind blade customers were to reduce or delay wind blade orders, file for bankruptcy or become insolvent, fail to pay amounts due or satisfactorily perform their respective contractual obligations with us or otherwise terminate or fail to renew their long-term supply agreements with us, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially harmed.

Defects in materials and workmanship or wind blade failures could harm our reputation, expose us to product warranty or other liability claims, decrease demand for wind blades we manufacture, or materially harm existing or prospective customer relationships.

Defects in the wind blades we manufacture, whether caused by a design, engineering, materials, manufacturing or component failure or deficiencies in our manufacturing processes, are unpredictable and an inherent risk in manufacturing technically advanced products. Under our supply agreements, we warranty the materials and workmanship of the wind blades while our customers are responsible for the fitness of use and design of the wind blades. We have, in the past, experienced wind blade testing failures and defects at some of our facilities during the startup manufacturing phase of new products, and we may experience failures or defects in the future. We have also experienced wind blade failures in the field. Any such customer qualification and wind blade testing failures or other product defects in the future could materially harm our existing and prospective customer relationships. Specifically, negative publicity about the quality of the wind blades we manufacture or defects in the wind blades supplied to our customers could result in a reduction in wind blade orders, increased warranty claims, product liability claims and other damages or termination of our long-term supply agreements or business relationships with current or new customers. In addition, we have recently started wind blade production at a new facility in Mexico and plan to start wind blade production at a new facility in Yangzhou, China in the first quarter of 2019 and at a new facility near Chennai, India in the first half of 2020 which may expose us to greater risk of warranty claims as these facilities ramp up to serial production levels.

We may determine that resolving potential warranty claims through a negotiated settlement may be in the best interest of the business and long-term customer relationships. Wind blades may also fail due to lightning strikes or other extreme weather, which could also result in negative publicity regarding our wind blades and wind energy in general. In addition, product defects may require costly repairs or replacement components, a change in our manufacturing processes or recall of previously manufactured wind blades, which could result in significant expense and materially harm our existing or prospective customer relationships. Further, defects or product liability claims, with or without merit, may result in negative publicity that could harm our future sales and our reputation in the industry. Any of the foregoing could materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

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We have experienced, and could in the future experience, quality or operational issues in connection with plant construction or expansion, wind blade model transitions and wind blade manufacturing, which could result in losses and cause delays in our ability to complete our projects and may therefore materially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We dedicate most of the capacity of our current wind blade manufacturing facilities to existing customers and, as a result, we may need to build additional manufacturing capacity or facilities to serve the needs of new customers or expanded needs of existing customers. Since the third quarter of 2016, we have commenced operations at three new manufacturing facilities in Mexico, one in Turkey and one in Iowa. In March 2018, we signed a lease for the construction of a new manufacturing facility in the Yangzhou Economic & Technical Development Zone in Yangzhou, China and we expect to commence operations at this facility in the first quarter of 2019. Also, in February 2019, we signed a lease for a new manufacturing facility that will be built near Chennai, India and we expect to commence operations at this facility in the first half of 2020. The construction of new plants and the expansion of existing plants involves significant time, cost and other risks. We expect our plants to generate losses in their first 12 to 24 months of operations related to production startup costs. Additionally, numerous factors can contribute, and have in the past contributed, to delays or difficulties in the startup of, or the adoption of our manufacturing lines to produce larger wind blade models, which we refer to as model transitions, in our manufacturing facilities. These factors include permitting, construction or renovation delays, the engineering and fabrication of specialized equipment, the modification of our general production know-how and customer-specific manufacturing processes to address the specific wind blades to be tested and built, changing and evolving customer specifications and expectations and the hiring and training of plant personnel. If our production or the delivery by any third-party suppliers of any custom equipment is delayed, the construction or renovation of the facility, or the addition of a production line would be delayed. Any delays or difficulties in plant startup or expansion may result in cost overruns, production delays, contractual penalties, loss of revenues, reduced margins and impairment of customer relationships, which could materially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Some of our long-term supply agreements with our customers are subject to early termination and our failure to perform our obligations under these agreements or the termination of these agreements would materially harm our business, financial condition and results of operation.  

Our current long-term supply agreements expire between the end of the second quarter of 2020 and the end of 2023. Some of our long-term supply agreements contain provisions that allow for the early termination of these agreements upon the customer providing us with advance written notice and paying an early termination fee.  Additionally, our long-term supply agreements contain provisions allowing our customers to terminate these agreements upon our failure to deliver the contracted wind blade volumes or our failure to meet certain mutually agreed upon cost reductions. Our customers may not continue to maintain long-term supply agreements with us in the future. If one or more of our customers terminate, or reduce the number of lines or fail to renew their long-term supply agreements with us, it would materially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our long-term supply agreements and our backlog are subject to reduction within contractual parameters and we may not realize all of the expected revenue.

Our current long-term wind blade supply agreements generally establish annual purchase requirements on which we rely for our future production and financial forecasts. However, the timing and volume of purchases, within certain parameters, may be subject to change by our customers.  In addition, the amount of the annual purchase requirements typically decline in the later years of our long-term supply agreements. In some instances, our customers have the contractual right to require us to reduce the number of manufacturing lines committed to them and correspondingly reduce their minimum annual purchase requirements. Additionally, our minimum annual purchase commitments could potentially understate the forecasted net sales that we are likely to generate in a given period or periods if all of our long-term supply agreements remain in place and pricing remains materially unchanged. Such minimum annual purchase requirements could also potentially overstate the forecasted net sales that we are likely to generate in a given period or periods if one or more of our long-term supply agreements were to be terminated by our customers for any reason. As a result, we may not realize the forecasted net sales we expect under our long-term supply agreements or pursuant to our backlog, which we define as the value of purchase orders received less the revenue recognized to date on those purchase orders. In addition, fulfillment of our backlog may not result in profits.

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Many of our long-term supply agreements contain liquidated damages provisions, which may require us to make unanticipated payments to our customers.

Many of our long-term supply agreements contain liquidated damages provisions in the event that we fail to perform our obligations thereunder in a timely manner or in accordance with the agreed terms, conditions and standards. Our liquidated damages provisions generally require us to make a payment to the customer if we fail to deliver a product or service on time. We generally try to limit our exposure under any individual long-term supply agreement to a maximum penalty. Nevertheless, if we incur liquidated damages, they may materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

Our wind turbine OEM customers are facing increasing competition and pricing pressure due to the increasing prevalence of auction-based tenders in wind energy markets, and correspondingly our margins and results of operations may be adversely affected.

Many governments are shifting from feed-in tariffs to auction-based tenders as a means of promoting the development and growth of renewable energy sources such as wind energy.  As a result of this shift, our wind turbine OEM customers are experiencing intense pricing pressure with respect to the sale of their turbines. As a result of this pricing pressure, we will be required to further reduce the costs we incur to manufacture wind blades to remain competitive.  We typically share the benefit of cost reductions related to manufacturing wind blades with our customers pursuant to the terms of our long-term supply agreements.  If these pricing pressures continue, we may choose to reduce our margins or pass on a greater percentage of the savings to our OEM customers obtained from manufacturing cost reductions than required under our supply agreements to remain competitive, each of which may materially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Although a majority of our manufacturing facilities are located outside the United States, our business is still heavily dependent upon the demand for wind energy in the United States and any downturn in demand for wind energy in the United States could materially harm our business.

We have developed a global footprint to serve the growing wind energy market worldwide and have wind blade manufacturing facilities in the United States, China, Mexico, Turkey and India. Although a majority of our manufacturing facilities are located outside of the United States, historically more than half of the wind blades that we produced were deployed in wind farms located within the United States. Our Iowa and Mexico manufacturing facilities manufacture wind blades that are generally deployed within the United States. In addition, we export wind blades from our China and Turkey manufacturing facilities to the United States and wind blades that will be produced at our India manufacturing facility could be exported by our customers to the United States as well. Consequently, demand for wind energy and our wind blade sales in the United States could be adversely affected by a variety of reasons and factors, and any downturn in demand for wind energy and our wind blade sales in the United States could materially harm our business.

We could experience shortages of raw materials or components critical to our manufacturing needs, which may hinder our ability to perform under our supply agreements.

We rely upon third parties for raw materials, such as fiberglass, carbon, resins, foam core and balsa wood, and various components for the wind blades we manufacture. Some of these raw materials and components may only be purchased from a limited number of suppliers. For example, balsa wood is only grown and produced in a limited number of geographies and is only available from a limited number of suppliers. Additionally, our ability to purchase the appropriate quantities of raw materials is constrained by our customers’ transitioning wind blade designs and specifications. As a result, we maintain relatively low inventory and acquire raw materials and components as needed. Due to significant international demand for these raw materials from many industries, we may be unable to acquire sufficient quantities or secure a stable supply for our manufacturing needs. If shortages or delays occur, we may be unable to provide our products to our customers on time, or at all. In some instances, our customers directly control the purchase of certain key raw materials and components and if they are unable to procure and provide us with such raw materials and components, it could cause delays and disruptions with respect to our business and operations. In addition, a disruption in any aspect of our global supply chain caused by transportation delays, customs delays, cost issues or other factors could result in a shortage of raw materials or components critical to our manufacturing needs. Any supply shortages, delays in the shipment of materials or components from third party suppliers, or changes in the terms on which they are available could disrupt or materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

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We operate in an industry characterized by changing customer demands and associated transition costs, which could materially harm our business.

The wind energy industry is competitive and is characterized by evolving customer demands. As a result, we must adapt quickly to customer requests for changes to wind blade specifications, which increases our costs and can provide periods of reduced revenue and margins. For instance, during 2018 and into 2019, we have undertaken and will undertake model transitions at several of our facilities for various customer demands. In 2018 we had 15 manufacturing lines in transition which impacted our revenue growth. We currently expect to have 10 manufacturing lines in transition during 2019 which could adversely affect our revenue growth and profitability in 2019. We are generally able to share transition costs with the customer in connection with these changing customer demands, but any sharing is the subject of negotiation and the amount is not always contractually defined. If we do not receive transition payments from our customers sufficient to cover our transition costs or lost margins, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially harmed.

The concentration of customers in our wind business could enable one or more of our customers to attempt to substantially influence our policies, business and affairs going forward, or adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations if one or more of our customers experience financial difficulties, become insolvent or file for bankruptcy.

Our dependence on six wind blade customers for substantially all of our revenues could encourage these customers to attempt to impose new or additional requirements on us that reduce the profitability of our long-term supply agreements with them or otherwise influence our policies, choice of and arrangements with raw material suppliers and other aspects of our business. Our customers could also attempt to influence the outcome of a corporate transaction if the transaction benefits a customer’s competitor or is otherwise perceived as not advantageous to a customer, which could have the effect of delaying, deterring, or preventing a transaction that could benefit us. In addition, consolidation of some of our customers may result in increased customer concentration and the potential loss of customers. For example, Nordex completed its acquisition of Acciona in 2016 and Gamesa completed the merger of Siemens’ Wind Power with Gamesa in 2017. Although we are not constrained by any exclusivity agreements with any of our existing wind blade customers, they may resist our development of new customer relationships, which could affect our relationships with them or our ability to secure new customers.

 

In addition, if one or more of our customers experience financial difficulties, demand for the wind blades we manufacture could decline significantly. In such a circumstance, we could also be at risk of collecting accounts receivable amounts owed from such customers as well as realizing the value of inventory balances for such customers. Similarly, if one or more of our customers becomes insolvent or files for bankruptcy, the demand for the wind blades we manufacture from the affected customers could be eliminated altogether.  If any of our customers experience financial difficulties, they also may seek pricing concessions, extended payment terms, reduced minimum purchase commitments and other changes to the key terms of our supply agreements that could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.    

Demand for the wind blades we manufacture may fluctuate for a variety of reasons, including the growth of the wind industry, and decreases in demand could materially harm our business and may not be sufficient to support our growth strategy.

Our revenues, business prospects and growth strategy heavily depend on the continued growth of the wind industry and our customers’ continuing demand for wind blades. Customer demand could decrease from anticipated levels due to numerous factors outside of our control that may affect the development of the wind energy market generally, portions of the market or individual wind project developments, including:

 

general economic conditions;

 

the general availability and demand for electricity;

 

wind energy market volatility;

 

cost-effectiveness, availability and reliability of alternative sources of energy and competing methods of producing electricity, including solar and non-renewable sources such as natural gas;

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foreign, federal and state governmental subsidies and tax or regulatory policies;

 

delays or cancellations of government tenders or auctions for wind energy projects;

 

the availability of financing for wind development projects;

 

the development of electrical transmission infrastructure and the ability to implement a proper grid connection for wind development projects;

 

foreign, federal and state laws and regulations regarding avian protection plans, noise or turbine setback requirements and other environmental laws and regulations;

 

administrative and legal challenges to proposed wind development projects; and

 

public perception and localized community responses to wind energy projects.

In addition to factors affecting the wind energy market generally, our customers’ demand may also fluctuate based on other factors beyond our control. Any decline in customer demand below anticipated levels could materially harm our revenues and operating results and could delay or impede our growth strategy.

Changes in customers’ business focus and strategy could materially harm our business and results of operations.

Changes in our customers’ business focus could significantly reduce their demand for wind blades. For instance, GE, the parent corporation of GE Wind, is a highly diversified company that operates in a number of different industries and could decide to devote more resources to operations outside of wind energy or cease selling wind turbines altogether. In addition, we expect that GE Wind will utilize LM for a substantial percentage of its wind blade production in the future. If any of our customers change their business focus, including a strategic shift to insource a material portion of its wind blade production requirements, it could materially harm our business and results of operations.

We have experienced in the past, and our future wind blade production could be affected by, operating problems at our facilities, which may materially harm our operating results and financial condition.

Our wind blade manufacturing processes and production capacity have in the past been, and could in the future be, disrupted by a variety of issues, including:

 

production outages to conduct maintenance activities that cannot be performed safely during operations;

 

prolonged power failures or reductions;

 

breakdowns, failures or substandard performance of machinery and equipment;

 

our inability to comply with material environmental requirements or permits;

 

inadequate transportation infrastructure, including problems with railroad tracks, bridges, tunnels or roads;

 

supply shortages of key raw materials and components;

 

damage or production delays caused by earthquakes, fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, extreme weather conditions such as windstorms, hailstorms, drought, temperature extremes, typhoons or other natural disasters or terrorism; and

 

labor unrest.

The cost of repeated or prolonged interruptions, reductions in production capacity, or the repair or replacement of complex and sophisticated tooling and equipment may be considerable and could result in damages under or the termination of our long-term supply agreements or penalties for regulatory non-compliance, any of which could materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

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We operate a substantial portion of our business in international markets and we may be unable to effectively manage a variety of currency, legal, regulatory, economic, social and political risks associated with our global operations and those in developing markets.

We currently operate manufacturing facilities in the United States, China, Mexico and Turkey, and we are expanding our operations to India to meet customer demand in India. Since 2016, we have commenced operations at three new manufacturing facilities in Mexico, one in Turkey and one in Iowa. In March 2018, we signed a lease to construct a new manufacturing facility in the Yangzhou Economic & Technical Development Zone in Yangzhou, China and we expect to commence operations at this facility in the first quarter of 2019. Also, in February 2019, we signed a lease to construct a new manufacturing facility that will be built near Chennai, India and we expect to commence operations at this facility in the first half of 2020. For the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, approximately 84%, 80% and 75%, respectively, of our net sales were derived from our international operations and we expect that a substantial portion of our projected revenue growth will be derived from those operations. Our overall success depends, in part, upon our ability to succeed in differing legal, regulatory, economic, social and political conditions. The global nature of our operations is subject to a variety of risks, including:

 

difficulties in staffing and managing multiple international locations;

 

increased exposure to foreign currency exchange rate risk or currency exchange controls imposed by foreign countries;

 

the risk of import, export and transportation regulations and tariffs on foreign trade and investment, including boycotts and embargoes;

 

taxation and revenue policies or other restrictions, including royalty and tax increases, retroactive tax claims and the imposition of unexpected taxes;

 

the imposition of, or rapid or unexpected adverse changes in, foreign laws, regulatory requirements or trade policies;

 

restrictions on repatriation of earnings or capital or transfers of funds into or out of foreign countries;

 

limited protection for intellectual property rights in some jurisdictions;

 

inability to obtain adequate insurance;

 

difficulty administering internal controls and legal and compliance practices in countries with different cultural norms and business practices;

 

the possibility of being subjected to the jurisdiction of foreign courts in connection with legal disputes and the possible inability to subject foreign persons to the jurisdiction of courts in the United States;

 

the misinterpretation of local contractual terms, renegotiation or modification of existing long-term supply agreements and enforcement of contractual terms in disputes before local courts;

 

the inability to maintain or enforce legal rights and remedies at a reasonable cost or at all; and

 

the potential for political unrest, expropriation, nationalization, revolution, war or acts of terrorism in countries in which we operate.

In particular, our operations in China are subject to a variety of specific risks, which may adversely affect our business, including:

 

 

the recent imposition by the United States of proposed tariffs on wind turbines and certain wind turbine components, including wind turbine blades, being imported into the United States;

 

the deterioration of the diplomatic and political relationships between the United States and China resulting from such factors as the opposition of the United States to censorship and other policies of the Chinese government, China’s growing trade surpluses with the United States and the introduction by the United States of trade restrictions that would impact Chinese imports and any retaliatory measures that could ensue;

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the uncertainty of the Chinese legal regime generally, and in particular in protecting intellectual property and contractual rights, in securing future land use rights, and the recent adoption of new labor, environmental and tax laws, the impacts of which are not yet fully understood; and

 

various restrictions on our ability to repatriate profits from China to other jurisdictions. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to our Business as a Whole—We may have difficulty making distributions and repatriating earnings from our Chinese manufacturing operations, which may also occur in some of our other locations.”

We also operate in developing markets, which have, in the past, experienced, and may in the future experience, social and political unrest. For example, Turkey has experienced problems with domestic terrorist and ethnic separatist groups and attempted military coups. The issue of civil rights for Kurdish citizens remains a potential source of political instability, which may be exacerbated by continuing instability in the Middle East.

In addition, the locations of our manufacturing facilities in Juárez, Mexico and Matamoros, Mexico are, and have been in the past, subject to violence related to drug trafficking, including kidnappings and killings. This could negatively impact our ability to hire and retain personnel, especially senior U.S. managers, to continue to work at these facilities, or disrupt our operation in other ways, which could materially harm our business.

As we continue to operate our business globally, our success will depend, in part, on our ability to anticipate and effectively manage these and other related risks. We may be unsuccessful in developing and implementing policies and strategies that will be effective in managing these risks in each country where we do business or conduct operations. Our failure to manage these risks successfully could materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

We may not achieve the long-term growth we anticipate if wind turbine OEMs do not continue to shift from in-house production of wind blades to outsourced wind blade suppliers and if we do not expand our customer relationships and add new customers.

Many wind turbine OEMs rely on in-house production of wind blades for some or all of their wind turbines. Our growth strategy depends in large part on the continued expansion of our relationships with our current wind blade customers, and the addition of new key customers. All of our customers possess the financial, engineering and technical capabilities to produce their own wind blades and many source wind blades from multiple suppliers. Our existing customers may not expand their wind energy operations or, if they do, they may not choose us to supply them with new or additional quantities of wind blades. Our collaborative dedicated supplier model for the manufacture of wind blades is a significant departure from traditional vertically integrated methods. As is typical for rapidly evolving industries, customer demand for new business models is highly uncertain. Although we have entered into long-term supply agreements with customers that also produce wind blades for their wind turbines in-house, we may not be able to maintain these customer relationships or enter into similar arrangements with new customers that produce wind blades in-house in the future. In addition, although GE Wind historically outsourced all of their wind blade production requirements prior to its acquisition of LM, we expect that GE Wind will utilize LM for a substantial percentage of its wind blade production in the future. Our business and growth strategies depend in large part on the continuation of the trend toward outsourcing manufacturing. If that trend does not continue or we are unsuccessful in persuading wind turbine OEMs to shift from in-house production to the outsourcing of their wind blade manufacturing, we may not achieve the long-term growth we anticipate and our market share could be limited.

A drop in the price of energy sources other than wind energy, or our inability to deliver wind blades that compete with the price of other energy sources, may materially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We believe that the decision to purchase wind energy is, to a significant degree, driven by the relative cost of electricity generated by wind turbines compared to the applicable price of electricity from the utility grid and the cost of traditional and other renewable energy sources. Decreases in the prices of electricity from the relevant utility grid or from renewable energy sources other than wind energy, such as solar, would harm the market for wind energy. In particular, a drop in natural gas prices could lessen the appeal of wind-generated electricity.

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Technological advancements or the construction of a significant number of power generation plants, including nuclear, coal, natural gas or power plants utilizing other renewable energy technologies, government support for other forms of renewable energy or construction of additional electric transmission and distribution lines could reduce the price of electricity produced by competing methods, thereby making the purchase of wind energy less attractive. For example, in 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that is intended to promote the domestic coal industry, which may make the cost of electricity generated from coal more cost competitive. The ability of energy conservation technologies, public initiatives and government incentives to reduce electricity consumption or support other forms of renewable energy could also lead to a reduction in the price of electricity, which would undermine the attractiveness of wind energy and thus wind turbines, and, ultimately wind blades. If prices for electricity generated by wind turbines are not competitive, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially harmed.

If any precision molding and assembly systems needed for our manufacturing process contains a defect or is not fabricated and delivered in a timely manner, our ongoing manufacturing operations, business, financial condition and results of operation may be materially harmed.

We custom fabricate many of the precision molding and assembly systems used in our facilities. Our customers also have the option of using third-party manufacturers to produce their custom tooling. If any piece of equipment fails, is determined to produce nonconforming or defective products or is not fabricated and delivered in a timely manner, whether produced by us or a third party, our wind blade production could be interrupted and we could be subject to contractual penalties, warranty claims, loss of revenues and damage to our customer relationships, among other consequences.

The long sales cycle involved in attracting new customers may make the timing of our revenue difficult to predict and may cause our operating results to fluctuate.

The complexity, expense and long-term nature of our supply agreements generally require a lengthy customer education, evaluation and approval process. It can take us from several months to years to identify and attract new customers, if we are successful at all. This long sales cycle for attracting and retaining new customers subjects us to a number of significant risks that may materially harm our business, results of operation and financial condition over which we have limited control, including fluctuations in our quarterly operating results. In addition, we may incur substantial expenses and devote significant management effort to develop potential relationships that do not result in agreements or revenue and may prevent us from pursuing other opportunities.

We encounter intense competition for limited customers from other wind blade manufacturers, as well as in-house production by wind turbine OEMs, which may make it difficult to enter into long-term supply agreements, keep existing customers and potentially get new customers.

We face significant competition from other wind blade manufacturers, and this competition may intensify in the future. The wind turbine market is characterized by a relatively small number of large OEMs. In addition, a significant percentage of wind turbine OEMs, including most of our current customers, produce some of their own wind blades in-house. As a result, we compete for business from a limited number of customers that outsource the production of wind blades. We also compete with a number of wind blade manufacturers in China, who are growing in terms of their technical capability and aspire to expand outside of China. Many of our competitors have more experience in the wind energy industry, as well as greater financial, technical or human resources than we do, which may limit our ability to compete effectively with them and maintain or improve our market share. Additionally, our long-term supply agreements dedicate capacity at our facilities to our customers, which may also limit our ability to compete if our facilities cannot accommodate additional capacity. If we are unable to compete effectively for the limited number of customers that outsource production of wind blades, our ability to enter into long-term supply agreements with potential new and existing customers may be materially harmed.

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We could be affected by increasing competition from new and existing industry participants and industry consolidation.

The markets in which we operate are increasingly competitive and any failure on our part to compete effectively on an ongoing basis could materially harm our business, results of operations or financial condition. The key factors affecting competition in the wind energy industry are the capacity and quality of products, technology, price, the ability to fulfill local market requirements and the scope, cost and location of manufacturing facilities.

Competition in the wind energy industry has intensified in recent years as a result of a number of factors, including international expansion by existing industry participants exploiting new markets, particularly as political will around the issues of global warming and the environment become more prominent to the political agenda in those new markets. There has also been increasing pressure from Asian manufacturers improving the quality and reliability of their technologies, and considering moving out of their local markets and into international cross border transactions. Western wind turbine OEMs have now started using Asian manufacturers for a portion of their wind blades. Market entry by certain large industrial groups, including those previously unconnected to the wind energy market, through acquisitions and license agreements and numerous greenfield establishments in certain markets, also poses a competition risk.

The competitive environment in the wind energy industry may become more challenging in the years ahead, particularly in the event of greater consolidation in the industry, leading to greater market power and “economies of scale” by such market players which translate into being able to offer greater “cost of energy” savings to wind power plant customers. For example, GE completed its acquisition of LM in 2017 and also acquired Alstom S.A.’s power business in 2015; Nordex completed its acquisition of Acciona in 2016 and Gamesa merged with Siemens’ Wind Power in 2017. These transactions or further consolidation in the wind energy industry may have an adverse impact on our business in the future, including, without limitation, reduced demand for our products and services, product innovation, changes in pricing and similar factors, including any competitor’s attempt to duplicate our collaborative dedicated supplier model. Such events could materially harm our business, results of operations, financial condition or prospects.

Significant increases in the prices of raw materials or components that cannot be reflected in the price of our products could negatively affect our operating margins.

The prices of our raw materials and components are subject to price fluctuations resulting from volatility of supply and demand in world markets. Under our long-term supply agreements, our customers generally commit to purchase minimum annual volumes and prices for wind blades are generally set as of the date of our supply agreements and adjusted quarterly, for the cost of raw material and our operating expenses in certain cases. As a result, the competitive nature of the wind blade market and our long-term supply agreements with our customers may delay or prevent us from passing cost increases in raw materials and components on to our customers. Significant increases in the price of raw materials or components used in our manufactured wind blades that cannot be reflected in the price of our products, could negatively affect our operating margins and materially harm our business, operating results or financial condition.

GE’s acquisition of LM Wind Power, our largest competitor, may materially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations and may cause the price of our common stock to decline.

In 2017, GE completed its acquisition of LM Wind Power, our largest competitor. By the end of 2016, we had entered into five supply agreements with GE Wind providing for the supply of wind blades from our Iowa, Mexico, Turkey and our Taicang Port, China facilities. In 2016, we entered into (i) an amended and restated supply agreement for the continued supply of wind blades from our Iowa facility through December 31, 2020, (ii)  an amendment to our existing supply agreement for the continued supply of wind blades from our original Juárez, Mexico facility through December 31, 2020 and (iii) a new supply agreement with GE Wind for the supply of incremental wind blades from our second manufacturing facility in Juárez, Mexico through December 31, 2020. GE Wind elected not to renew or extend the Turkey and Taicang Port, China supply agreements, which both expired on December 31, 2017. We expect that GE Wind will utilize LM for a substantial percentage of its wind blade production in the future. As such, GE Wind may not continue to purchase wind blades from us at similar volumes or on as favorable terms in the future. In August 2018, GE Wind did agree to extend our existing supply agreement in

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one of our Mexico plants by two years to 2022 and increased the number of wind blade manufacturing lines in that facility from three to five. In addition, GE Wind has agreed to transition to a larger blade model in our Newton, Iowa plant in early 2019 and to eliminate its option to terminate their supply agreement at this location prior to its December 2020 expiration. Unless otherwise terminated or renewed, our supply agreements with GE Wind are in effect until the end of 2020 for our Iowa and one of our Mexico facilities and until the end of 2022 for our other Mexico facility. GE Wind may terminate the Mexico supply agreements with no advance notice and paying us termination fees as set forth in the applicable agreement. In addition, either party may terminate these supply agreements upon a material breach by the other party which goes uncured for 30 days after written notice has been provided. If GE Wind elects to utilize LM or another supplier for more of its wind blade production, reduce the volumes of wind blades it purchases from us or terminates any of our supply agreements, it may materially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Certain of our long-term supply agreements are highly dependent upon a limited number of suppliers of raw materials.

Our ability to perform under certain of our long-term supply agreements is currently, and may continue to be in the future, highly dependent on a limited number of suppliers of raw materials. For instance, our agreements with certain customers require us or our customers to purchase raw materials from a single supplier unless additional suppliers are evaluated and found to satisfy the requirements set out in those agreements. In 2015, for example, our ability to supply wind blades to one of our customers was constrained because our customer, who under our agreement was required to procure a sufficient supply of a specific type of material, was unable to procure the material from a single source supplier. Should any of these suppliers of raw materials experience production delays or shortages, have their operations interrupted or otherwise cease or curtail their operations, this may disrupt or materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

Significant increases in the cost of transporting the wind blades we manufacture could negatively affect the demand for our products.

A significant portion of our customers’ costs relate to the costs necessary to transport the wind blades we manufacture to their customers’ wind farms. Demand for our products could be negatively affected if the costs our customers bear to transport the wind blades we manufacture materially increase.

The nature of our manufacturing processes and unanticipated changes to those processes could significantly reduce our manufacturing yields and product reliability, which could materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

The manufacturing of our wind blades involves highly complex and precise processes which may be dictated by our customers’ requests requiring production in highly controlled environments. Changes in our manufacturing processes or that are required by our customers could affect product reliability. Furthermore, many of our processes are manual to facilitate production flexibility and compliance with customer requirements. A manually dependent manufacturing process can limit capacity and increase production costs. In some cases, existing manufacturing techniques may be insufficient to achieve the volume or cost targets of our customers. For example, our manufacturing processes may at times require a quantity of raw materials greater than the quantity for which we have contracted, making it difficult for us to achieve the targeted cost levels negotiated with our customers. In order to achieve targeted volume and cost levels, we may need to increase the quantity of raw materials for which we contract or develop new manufacturing processes and techniques. While we continue to devote substantial efforts to the improvement of our manufacturing techniques and processes, we may not achieve manufacturing volumes and cost levels in our manufacturing activities that will fully satisfy customer demands, which could materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

Our reserves for warranty expenses might not be sufficient to cover all future costs.

We provide warranties for all of the wind blades and precision molding and assembly systems we produce, including parts and labor, for periods that typically range from two to five years depending on the product sold. If a wind blade is found to be defective during the warranty period as a result of a defect in workmanship or materials, or if we are required to cover remediation expenses or other potential remedies, in addition to our regular warranty

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coverage we may need to repair or replace the wind blade (which could include significant transportation, installation and erection costs) at our sole expense. Our estimate of warranty expense requires us to make assumptions about matters that are highly uncertain, including future rates of product failure, repair costs, shipping and handling and de-installation and re-installation costs at customers’ sites. Our assumptions could be materially different from the actual performance of our products and these remediation expenses in the future. The expenses associated with wind blade repair and remediation activities can be substantial and may include changes to our manufacturing processes. If our estimates prove materially incorrect, we could incur warranty expenses that exceed our reserves and be required to make material unplanned cash expenditures, which could materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

We may not be able to meet our customers’ future wind blade supply demands, which may hinder our customer relationships and reputation.

Historically, our existing customers’ demand and MW capacity goals have mirrored the anticipated growth of the wind energy industry. Given the importance of wind energy capture, turbine reliability and cost to power producers, the size, quality and performance of wind blades have become highly strategic to our OEM customers. If we are unable to maintain future manufacturing capacity at levels that meet our customers’ increasing demands, including with respect to volume, technical specifications, or commercial terms, our existing customers may seek relationships with, or give priority to, other wind blade manufacturers or may use or develop their own internal manufacturing capabilities to meet their increased demand, which could materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition. In addition, our reputation could be materially harmed if we are unable to satisfy the requirements of our customers.

We rely on our research and development efforts to remain competitive, and we may fail to develop on a timely basis new wind blade manufacturing technologies that are commercially attractive or permit us to keep up with customer demands.

The market for wind blades is subject to evolving customer needs and expectations. Our research and development is invested in developing faster and more efficient manufacturing processes in order to build the new wind blades designed by our customers that more effectively capture wind energy and are adaptable to new growth segments of the wind energy market. Research and development activities are inherently uncertain and the results of our in-house research and development may not be successful. In addition, our competition may adopt more advanced technologies or develop wind blades that are more effective or commercially attractive. We believe that our future success will depend in large part upon our ability to be at the forefront of technological innovation in the wind energy industry and to rapidly and cost-effectively adapt our wind blade manufacturing processes to keep pace with changing technologies, new wind blade design and changing customer needs. If we are unable to do so, our business, operating results, financial condition and reputation could be materially harmed.

We depend on third parties for certain construction, maintenance, engineering, transportation, warehousing and logistics services, and failures of those third parties to perform their obligations may in turn impede our ability to perform our obligations.

We contract with third parties for certain services relating to the design, construction and maintenance of various components of our production facilities and other systems. If these third parties fail to comply with their obligations:

 

we may experience delays in the completion of new facilities or expansion of existing facilities;

 

the facilities may not operate as intended;

 

we may be required to recognize impairment charges; or

 

we could experience production delays, which could cause us to miss our production capacity targets and breach our long-term supply agreements, which could damage our relationships with our customers and subject us to contractual penalties and contract termination.

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Any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results or financial condition. Our customers also contract with third parties for the transportation of the products we manufacture. In particular, a significant portion of the goods we manufacture are transported to different countries, which requires customized shipping cradles, sophisticated warehousing, logistics and other resources. If our customers fail to contract with third parties for certain construction, maintenance, engineering, transportation, warehousing and logistics services, or there are any disruptions, delays or failures in these services, this could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results or financial condition.

Various legislation, regulations and incentives that are expected to support the growth of wind energy in the United States and around the world may not be extended or may be discontinued, phased out or changed, or may not be successfully implemented, which could materially harm wind energy programs and materially decrease demand for the wind blades we manufacture.

The U.S. wind energy industry is dependent in part upon governmental support through certain incentives including federal tax incentives and RPS programs and may not be economically viable absent such incentives. Government-sponsored tax incentive programs including the PTC, and to a lesser extent, the Investment Tax Credit, are expected to support the U.S. growth of wind energy. The PTC provided the owner of a wind turbine placed in operation before January 1, 2015 with a ten year credit against its U.S. federal income tax obligations based on the amount of electricity generated by the wind turbine.

Although the PTC was extended in December 2015 for wind power projects through December 31, 2019, as currently contemplated, the PTC rate is being phased out over the term of the PTC extension. Specifically, as currently contemplated, the PTC will remain at the same rate in effect at the end of 2014 for wind power projects that commence construction by the end of 2016, and thereafter will be reduced by 20% per year in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Tax Reform) legislation preserved the PTC, which was a positive outcome for the wind industry. However, while the tax equity market continues to function, Tax Reform has created some near-term uncertainty around the amount of available tax equity financing as financial institutions fully evaluate the impacts of the new tax law.

In 2015, the EPA enacted the Clean Power Plan, which is also intended to promote the growth of renewable energy. However, in 2016, the U. S. Supreme Court issued a stay of the EPA’s implementation of the Clean Power Plan until the D.C. Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals reviews the merits of multiple lawsuits challenging the legality of the Clean Power Plan. If the Clean Power Plan is not successfully implemented, demand for the wind blades we manufacture may be materially decreased. In addition, in 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that requires, among other things, that the EPA review the Clean Power Plan and publish a rule to either suspend, revise or rescind it.

In addition, many state governments have adopted measures designed to promote wind energy. For example, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), at the state level, as of December 31, 2018, 29 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have implemented RPS programs that mandate that a specific percentage of electricity sales in a state come from renewable energy within a specified period. However, some RPS programs have been challenged and all of them may not continue going forward. These programs have spurred significant growth in the wind energy industry in the United States and a corresponding increase in the demand for our manufactured wind blades. However, although the U.S. government and several state governments have adopted these various programs that are expected to help drive the growth of wind energy, they may approve new or additional programs that might hinder the wind energy industry and therefore negatively impact our business, operating results or financial condition.

China is implementing its 13th 5-Year Plan with a goal of 15% energy from non-fossil fuel sources and targeting 210 GWs of grid-connected wind capacity by 2020, according to its National Development and Reform Commission, and employs preferential feed-in tariff schemes, in addition to local tax-based incentives. Mexico has established strict targets, aiming for 35% renewable energy by 2024 and 50% by 2050, according to WoodMac, which it is facilitating through tax incentives. Large European Union members have renewable energy targets for 2020 of between 13% and 49% of all energy use derived from renewable energy sources, according to WoodMac. Turkey enacted Law No. 5346 in 2005 to promote renewable-based electricity generation within its domestic electricity market by introducing tariffs and purchase obligations for distribution companies requiring purchases

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from certified renewable energy producers. The World Bank also provided to Turkey an aggregate of $600 million of loan proceeds to encourage investors to construct generation plants with renewable energy resources. These programs have spurred significant growth in the wind energy industry internationally and a corresponding increase in the demand for our manufactured wind blades. However, although foreign governments have adopted various programs that are expected to drive the growth of wind energy, they may approve new or additional programs going forward that might hinder the wind energy industry and therefore negatively impact our business as a result. For example, foreign governments may decide to reduce or eliminate these economic incentives for political, financial or other reasons. They may also favor other forms of energy, including current and new sources of energy such as solar, nuclear and hydropower. Foreign governments may also cancel or delay scheduled tender offers or auctions for wind energy projects.  For example, the Mexican government recently canceled the country’s fourth energy tender which was in the final stages to contract a minimum 5% of national power by 2021.

Because of the long lead times necessary to develop wind energy projects, any uncertainty or delay in adopting, extending or renewing these incentives beyond their current or future expiration dates could negatively impact potential wind energy installations and result in industry volatility. There can be no assurance that the PTC, the Clean Power Plan, tender offers, auctions or other governmental programs or subsidies for renewable energy will remain in effect in their present form or at all, and the elimination, reduction, or modification of these programs or subsidies could materially harm wind energy programs in the United States and international markets and materially decrease demand for the wind blades we manufacture and, in turn, materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

We may not be able to obtain, or agree on acceptable terms and conditions for, government tax credits, grants, loans and other incentives for which we have in the past applied or may in the future apply, which may materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

We have in the past and may in the future rely, in part, on tax credits, grants, loans and other incentives under U.S. and foreign governmental programs to support the construction of new plants and expansion of existing manufacturing facilities. We may not be successful in obtaining these tax credits, grants, loans and other incentives, and the tax and other incentives that have already been approved may not be continued in the future. Our ability to obtain funds or incentives from government sources is subject to the availability of funds under applicable governmental programs and approval of our applications to participate in these programs. The application process for these funds and other incentives is and will be highly competitive. We may not be able to satisfy the requirements and milestones imposed by the granting authority as conditions to receipt of the funds or other incentives, the timing of the receipt of the funds may not meet our needs, and, even if obtained, we may be unable to successfully execute on our business plan. Moreover, not all of the terms and conditions associated with these incentive funds have been disclosed to us, and once disclosed, there may be terms and conditions with which we are unable to comply or that are commercially unacceptable to us. Further, participation in certain programs may require us to notify the federal government of certain intellectual property we develop and comply with applicable regulations in order to protect our interests in that intellectual property. In addition, these federal governmental programs may require us to spend a portion of our own funds for every incentive dollar we receive or are permitted to borrow from the government and may impose time limits during which we must use the funds awarded to us that we may be unable to achieve. If we are unable to obtain or comply with the terms of these tax credits, grants, loans or other incentives, our business, operating results and financial condition may be harmed.

Adverse weather conditions could impact the wind energy industry in some regions and could materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

Our business may be subject to fluctuations in sales volumes due to adverse weather conditions that could delay the erection of wind turbines, the installation of wind blades and the ability of wind turbines to generate electricity efficiently. Moreover, any remediation efforts we could be required to undertake pursuant to wind blade warranties could be delayed or otherwise adversely impacted by poor weather. Although our customer base and manufacturing footprint is geographically diversified, enduring weather patterns or seasonal variations may impact the expansion of the wind energy industry in certain regions. A resulting reduction or delay in demand for the wind blades we manufacture for our customers could materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

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Our long-term growth and success is dependent upon retaining our senior management and attracting and retaining qualified personnel.

Our growth and success depends to a significant extent on our ability to attract and retain highly qualified research and development, management, manufacturing, marketing and other key personnel including engineers in our various locations. In addition, we rely heavily on our management team, including Steven C. Lockard, our Chief Executive Officer; Joseph G. Kishkill, our Chief Commercial Officer; William E. Siwek, our Chief Financial Officer; and other senior management. The inability to recruit and retain key personnel or the unexpected loss of key personnel may materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition. Hiring those persons may be especially difficult because of the specialized nature of our business and our international operations. If we cannot attract and retain qualified personnel, or if we lose the services of Messrs. Lockard, Kishkill or Siwek, other key members of senior management or other key personnel, our ability to successfully execute our business plan, market and develop our products and serve our customers could be materially and adversely affected. In addition, because of our reliance on our management team, our future success depends, in part, on its ability to identify and develop talent to succeed its senior management. The retention of key personnel and appropriate senior management succession planning will continue to be critical to the successful implementation of our future strategies.

Risks Related to our Transportation Business

Our efforts to expand our transportation business and enter into other strategic markets may not be successful.

While our primary focus has been to manufacture composite wind blades, our strategy is to expand our transportation business and to enter into other strategic markets. In 2018, we expanded our relationship with Proterra and began supplying bus bodies from a new manufacturing facility in Newton, Iowa in addition to our manufacturing facility in Warren, Rhode Island. We experienced start up challenges in connection with the supply of bus bodies to Proterra from our Newton, Iowa manufacturing facility.  The expansion of our transportation business and our entry into other strategic markets will require improved execution in terms of our start up activity and ongoing manufacturing performance as well as significant levels of investment. There can be no assurance that our transportation business or other strategic markets will develop as anticipated or that we will have success in any such markets, and if we do not, we may be unable to recover our investment, which could adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations, including potentially impairing the value of our goodwill.

We may incur material losses and costs as a result of product liability and warranty claims, litigation and other disputes and claims.

We are exposed to warranty and product liability claims if our transportation products fail to perform as expected. We may in the future be required to participate in a recall of these products or the vehicles incorporating our products. If public safety concerns are raised, we may have to participate in a recall even if our products are ultimately found not to be defective. Vehicle manufacturers have experienced increasing recall campaigns in recent years. Our customers may look to us for contribution when faced with recalls and product liability claims. If our customers demand higher warranty-related cost recoveries, or if our transportation products fail to perform as expected, our business, financial condition and results of operations could materially suffer.

We may also be exposed to product liability claims, warranty claims and damage to our reputation if our transportation products actually or allegedly fail to perform as expected or the use of our products results, or is alleged to result, in bodily injury or property damage. Recalls may also cause us to lose additional business from our customers. Material product defect issues may subject us to recalls of those products and restrictions on bidding on new customer programs.

Risks Related to Our Business as a Whole

We may not be able to manage our future growth effectively, which may materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

We expect to continue to expand our business significantly to meet our current and expected future contractual obligations and to satisfy anticipated increased demand for our products. To manage our anticipated expansion, we believe we must scale our internal infrastructure, including establishing additional facilities, improve our operational systems and procedures and manufacturing capabilities, continue to enhance our compliance and quality assurance systems, train and manage our growing employee base, and retain and add to our current executives and

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management personnel. Rapid expansion of our operations could place a significant strain on our senior management team, support teams, manufacturing lines, information technology platforms and other resources. Difficulties in effectively managing the budgeting, forecasting and other process control issues presented by any rapid expansion could materially harm our business, prospects, results of operations or financial condition. Our inability to implement operational improvements, generate and sustain increased revenue and manage and control our cost of goods sold and operating expenses could impede our future growth and materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

Our financial position, revenue, operating results and profitability are difficult to predict and may vary from quarter to quarter, which could cause our share price to decline significantly.

Our quarterly revenue, operating results and profitability have varied in the past and are likely to vary significantly from quarter to quarter in the future. For example, our quarterly results have ranged from an operating profit of $21.0 million for the three months ended September 30, 2017 to an operating loss of $3.6 million for the three months ended December 31, 2018. The factors that are likely to cause these variations include:

 

operating and startup costs of new manufacturing facilities;

 

wind blade model transitions;

 

differing quantities of wind blade production;

 

unanticipated contract or project delays or terminations;

 

changes in the costs of raw materials or disruptions in raw material supply;

 

scrap of defective products;

 

warranty expense;

 

availability of qualified personnel;

 

employee wage levels;

 

costs incurred in the expansion of our existing manufacturing capacity;

 

volume reduction requests from our customers pursuant to our customer agreements;

 

general economic conditions; and

 

the complexity of the financial assumptions we must use for forecasting our revenue, profitability and operating results under ASU 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606), the recently enacted new accounting standard for revenue recognition and the impact that unanticipated blade transitions have on those estimates.  

As a result, our revenue, operating results and profitability for a particular period are difficult to predict and may decline in comparison to corresponding prior periods regardless of the strength of our business. It is also possible that in some future periods our revenue, operating results and profitability may not meet the expectations of securities analysts or investors. If this occurs, the trading price of our common stock could fall substantially, either suddenly or over time, and our business, operating results and financial condition would be materially harmed.

The fluctuation of foreign currency exchange rates could materially harm our financial results.

Since we conduct a significant portion of our operations internationally, our business is subject to foreign currency risks, including currency exchange rate fluctuations. The exchange rates are affected by, among other things, changes in political and economic conditions. For example, an increase in our Turkey sales and operations will result in a larger portion of our net sales and expenditures being denominated in the Euro and Turkish Lira. Significant fluctuations in the exchange rate between the Turkish Lira and the U.S. dollar, the Turkish Lira and the Euro or the Euro and the U.S. dollar may adversely affect our revenue, expenses, as well as the value of our assets and liabilities. Similarly, an increase in our sales within China may result in a larger portion of our net sales and expenditures being denominated in Chinese Renminbi. The Chinese government controls the procedures by which

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the Chinese Renminbi is converted into other currencies, and conversion of the Chinese Renminbi generally requires government consent. As a result, the Chinese Renminbi may not be freely convertible into other currencies at all times. If the Chinese government institutes changes in currency conversion procedures, or imposes restrictions on currency conversion, those actions may materially harm our business, liquidity, financial condition and operating results. In addition, significant fluctuations in the exchange rate between the Chinese Renminbi and U.S. dollars may adversely affect our revenues, expenses as well as the value of our assets and liabilities. However, in Mexico, since all of our net sales and some of our expenditures are denominated in U.S. dollars, an increase in our Mexico sales and operations will result in a larger portion of our cost of goods sold being denominated in the Mexican Peso.  Significant fluctuations in the exchange rate between the Mexican Peso and the U.S. dollar may adversely affect our expenses, as well as the value of our assets and liabilities. To the extent our future revenues and expenses are generated outside of the United States in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, including the Euro, the Turkish Lira, the Chinese Renminbi, Mexican Peso or India Rupee, among others, we will be subject to increased risks relating to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations which could materially harm our business, financial condition and operating results.

Our manufacturing operations and future growth are dependent upon the availability of capital, which may be insufficient to support our capital expenditures.

Our current wind blade manufacturing activities and future growth will require substantial capital investment. For the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, our capital expenditures were $74.7 million and $51.0 million, respectively, including assets acquired under capital lease in 2018 and 2017 of $22.0 million and $6.2 million, respectively. We have recently entered into lease agreements with third parties to lease new manufacturing facilities in China, India and Mexico. Major projects expected to be undertaken include purchasing equipment for our new manufacturing facilities in Yangzhou, China, Chennai, India, Matamoros, Mexico and Juarez, Mexico, and the expansion of our Mexico and Turkey facilities as well as costs to enhance our information technology systems. Our ability to grow our business is predicated upon us making significant additional capital investments to expand our existing manufacturing facilities and build and operate new manufacturing facilities in existing and new markets. We generally estimate that the startup of a new six-line manufacturing facility requires cash for net operating expenses and working capital of between $20 million to $25 million and additional capital expenditures primarily for machinery and equipment of between $30 million to $35 million. In addition, we estimate our annual maintenance capital expenditures to be between $1.0 million to $2.0 million per facility. We may not have the capital to undertake these capital investments. In addition, our capital expenditures may be significantly higher if our estimates of future capital investments are incorrect and may increase substantially if we are required to undertake actions to comply with new regulatory requirements or compete with new technologies. The cost of some projects may also be affected by foreign exchange rates if any raw materials or other goods must be paid for in foreign currency. We cannot assure you that we will be able to raise funds on favorable terms, if at all, or that future financings would not be dilutive to holders of our capital stock. We also cannot assure you that completed capital expenditures will yield the anticipated results. If we raise additional funds by obtaining loans from third parties, the terms of those financing arrangements may include negative covenants, or other restrictions on our business that could impair our operational flexibility, and would require us to fund additional interest expense. If we are unable to obtain sufficient capital at a reasonable cost or at all, we may not be able to expand production sufficiently to take advantage of changes in the marketplace or may be required to delay, reduce or eliminate some or all of our current operations, which could materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

As a U.S. corporation with international operations, we are subject to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, which could impact our ability to compete in certain jurisdictions.

As a U.S. corporation, we are subject to the FCPA, which generally prohibits U.S. companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or keeping business. We have or will soon have manufacturing facilities in China, Mexico, Turkey and India, countries with a fairly high risk of corruption. Those facilities are subject to routine government oversight. In addition, a number of our raw materials and components suppliers are state-owned in China. Moreover, due to our need to import raw materials across international borders, we also routinely have interactions, directly or indirectly, with customs officials. In many foreign countries, under local custom, businesses engage in practices that may be prohibited by the FCPA or other similar laws and regulations. Additionally, we continue to hire employees around the world as we continue to expand. Although we have implemented certain procedures and controls designed to ensure compliance with the

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FCPA and similar laws, there can be no guarantee that all of our employees and agents, as well as those companies to which we outsource certain of our business operations, have not taken and will not take actions that violate our policies and the FCPA, which could subject us to fines, penalties, disgorgement, and loss of business, harm our reputation and impact our ability to compete in certain jurisdictions. In addition, these laws are complex and far-reaching in nature, and, as a result, we may be required in the future to alter one or more of our practices to be in compliance with these laws or any changes in these laws or the interpretation thereof. Moreover, our competitors may not be subject to the FCPA or comparable legislation, which could provide them with a competitive advantage in some jurisdictions.

We may have difficulty making distributions and repatriating earnings from our Chinese manufacturing operations, which may also occur in some of our other locations.

A material portion of our business is conducted in China. As of December 31, 2018, our China operations had unrestricted cash of $28.9 million, most of which will be used to fund our future operations in China. Our ability to repatriate funds from China to the United States is subject to a number of restrictions imposed by the Chinese government. We repatriate funds through several technology license contracts and corporate/administrative service agreements. We are compensated quarterly based on agreed upon royalty rates for such intellectual property licenses and quarterly fees for those services. Certain of our subsidiaries are limited in their ability to declare dividends without first meeting statutory restrictions of the People’s Republic of China, including retained earnings as determined under Chinese-statutory accounting requirements. Until 50% ($21.6 million) of registered capital is contributed to a surplus reserve, our Chinese operations can only pay dividends equal to 90% of after-tax profits (10% must be contributed to the surplus reserve). Once the surplus reserve fund requirement is met, we can pay dividends equal to 100% of after-tax profit assuming other conditions are met. At December 31, 2018, the amount of the surplus reserve fund was $6.5 million. Any inability to make distributions, repatriate earnings or otherwise access funds from our manufacturing operations in China, if and when needed for use outside of China, could materially harm our liquidity and our business.

Effective internal controls are necessary for us to provide reliable financial reports and effectively address fraud risks.

We maintain a system of internal controls to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The process of designing and implementing effective internal controls is a continuous effort that requires us to anticipate and react to changes in our business and the economic and regulatory environments and to expend significant resources to establish and maintain a system of internal controls that will be adequate to satisfy the reporting obligations of a public company. The effectiveness of our internal controls depends in part on the cooperation of senior managers worldwide.

Any system of controls, however well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable, and not absolute, assurance that the objectives of the system are met. Any failure to maintain that system, or consequent inability to produce accurate financial statements on a timely basis, could increase our operating costs and harm our business, and lead to our becoming subject to litigation, sanctions or investigations by The NASDAQ Global Market (NASDAQ), the SEC or other regulatory governmental agencies and bodies. Furthermore, investors’ perceptions that our internal controls are inadequate or that we are unable to produce accurate financial statements on a timely basis may harm our stock price.

We have in the past experienced material weaknesses. While we have successfully remediated those material weaknesses, we could experience control deficiencies in the future or identify areas requiring improvement in our internal control over financial reporting.

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The state of financial markets and the economy may materially harm our sources of liquidity and capital.

There has been significant recent turmoil and volatility in worldwide financial markets. These conditions have resulted in a disruption in the liquidity of financial markets, and could directly impact us to the extent we need to access capital markets to raise funds to support our business and overall liquidity position. This situation could affect the cost of such funds or our ability to raise such funds. If we were unable to access any of these funding sources when needed, it could materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

Our ability to use our net operating loss carry forwards may be subject to limitation and may result in increased future tax liability.

Sections 382 and 383 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the Code), contain rules that limit the ability of a company that undergoes an “ownership change” to utilize its net operating loss and tax credit carry forwards and certain built-in losses recognized in years after the “ownership change”. An “ownership change” is generally defined as any change in ownership of more than 50% of a corporation’s stock over a rolling three-year period by stockholders that own (directly or indirectly) 5% or more of the stock of a corporation, or arising from a new issuance of stock by a corporation. If an ownership change occurs, Section 382 generally imposes an annual limitation on the use of pre-ownership change net operating losses (NOLs), credits and certain other tax attributes to offset taxable income earned after the ownership change. The annual limitation is equal to the product of the applicable long-term tax exempt rate and the value of our common stock immediately before the ownership change. This annual limitation may be adjusted to reflect any unused annual limitation for prior years and certain recognized built-in gains and losses for the year. In addition, Section 383 generally limits the amount of tax liability in any post-ownership change year that can be reduced by pre-ownership change tax credit carryforwards. This could result in increased U.S. federal income tax liability for us if we generate taxable income in a future period. Limitations on the use of NOLs and other tax attributes could also increase our state tax liability. The use of our tax attributes will also be limited to the extent that we do not generate positive taxable income in future tax periods. As a result of these limitations, we may be unable to offset future taxable income (if any) with losses, or our tax liability with credits, before such losses and credits expire. Accordingly, these limitations may increase our federal income tax liability.

We experienced an “ownership change” in June 2018, and it remains possible that future transactions may cause us to undergo one or more ownership changes. As of December 31, 2018, we have U.S. federal NOLs of approximately $25.8 million and state NOLs of approximately $118.5 million. The pre-ownership change NOLs existing at the date of change of $47.7 million are subject to annual limitation.  We do not believe that the Section 382 and 383 annual limitation will materially impact our ability to utilize the tax attributes that existed as of the date of the ownership change.

We have U.S. federal and state NOLs. In general, NOLs in one country cannot be used to offset income in any other country and NOLs in one state cannot be used to offset income in any other state. Accordingly, we may be subject to tax in certain jurisdictions even if we have unused NOLs in other jurisdictions. Also, each jurisdiction in which we operate may have its own limitations on our ability to utilize NOLs or tax credit carryovers generated in that jurisdiction. These limitations may increase our federal, state, and/or foreign income tax liability.

Comprehensive tax reform legislation could adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition.              

On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law Tax Reform, which significantly revised U.S. tax law by, among other things, lowering the statutory federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, eliminating certain deductions, imposing a mandatory one-time transition tax on certain accumulated earnings and profits of foreign corporate subsidiaries (the Transition Tax), introducing new tax regimes, and changing how foreign earnings are subject to U.S. tax. Tax Reform also includes many new provisions, such as changes to bonus depreciation, changes to deductions for executive compensation, interest expense limitations, net operating loss deduction limitations, a tax on global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI) earned by foreign corporate subsidiaries, a base erosion anti-abuse tax (BEAT), and a deduction for foreign-derived intangible income (FDII).

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At December 31, 2018, we completed the accounting for the enactment-date income tax effects of Tax Reform, which resulted in an immaterial impact to our financial statements. Upon further analyses of certain aspects of Tax Reform, and refinement of calculations during 2018, we increased our provisional amount of previously untaxed foreign earnings by $13.8 million to $88.1 million. This resulted in no change to U.S. federal income tax expense due to the impact of foreign tax credits. In addition, the provisional net tax expense, which was estimated to be approximately $0.1 million, primarily attributable to the reduction in the federal tax rate, was unchanged. In addition, we have made a policy election to account for any impacts of GILTI tax in the period in which it is incurred.  

Our current revolving credit facility with JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Capital One, N.A. and Bank of America N.A. contains, and any future loan agreements we may enter into may contain, operating and financial covenants that may restrict our business and financing activities.

We have a $150.0 million revolving credit facility (the Credit Facility) with JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Capital One, N.A. and Bank of America N.A., consisting of a $125.0 million revolving credit facility and a $25.0 million letter of credit sub-facility. As of December 31, 2018, the aggregate outstanding balance under the Credit Facility was $90.4 million. The Credit Facility is secured by substantially all of our assets. In addition, from time to time, we enter into various loan, working capital and accounts receivable financing facilities to finance the construction and ongoing operations of our advanced manufacturing facilities and other capital expenditures. The Credit Facility contains various financial covenants and restrictions on our and our operating subsidiaries’ excess cash flows and ability to make capital expenditures, incur additional indebtedness and pay dividends or make distributions on, or repurchase, our stock. The operating and financial restrictions and covenants of the Credit Facility, as well as our other existing and any future financing agreements that we may enter into, may restrict our ability to finance our operations, engage in business activities or expand or fully pursue our business strategies. Our ability to comply with these covenants may be affected by events beyond our control, and we may not be able to maintain appropriate minimum leverage ratio and fixed charge coverage ratio requirements in the future. A breach of any of these covenants could result in a default under the applicable loan facility, which could cause all of the outstanding indebtedness under such facility to become immediately due and payable by us and/or enable the lender to terminate all commitments to extend further credit. In addition, if we were unable to repay the outstanding indebtedness upon a default, our lenders could proceed against the assets pledged as collateral to secure that indebtedness.

Our indebtedness may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our indebtedness could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition by, among other things:

 

requiring us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to pay principal and interest on our debt, which would reduce the availability of our cash flow to fund working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, execution of our growth strategy and other general corporate purposes;

 

limiting our ability to borrow additional amounts to fund debt service requirements, working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, execution of our growth strategy and other general corporate purposes;

 

making us more vulnerable to adverse changes in general economic, industry and regulatory conditions and in our business by limiting our flexibility in planning for, and making it more difficult to react quickly to, changing conditions;

 

placing us at a competitive disadvantage compared with those of our competitors that have less debt and lower debt service requirements;

 

making us more vulnerable to increases in interest rates since some of our indebtedness is subject to variable rates of interest; and

 

making it more difficult for us to satisfy our financial obligations.

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In addition, we may not be able to generate sufficient cash flow from our operations to repay our outstanding indebtedness when it becomes due and to meet our other cash needs or to comply with the financial covenants set forth therein. If we are not able to pay our debts as they become due, we could be in default of the Credit Facility or other indebtedness. We might also be required to pursue one or more alternative strategies to repay indebtedness, such as selling assets, refinancing or restructuring our indebtedness or selling additional debt or equity securities. We may not be able to refinance our debt or sell additional debt or equity securities or our assets on favorable terms, if at all, and if we must sell assets, it may negatively affect our ability to generate revenues.

Much of our intellectual property consists of trade secrets and know-how that is very difficult to protect. If we experience loss of protection for our trade secrets or know-how, our business would be substantially harmed.

We have a variety of intellectual property rights, including patents, trademarks and copyrights, but much of our most important intellectual property rights consists of trade secrets and know-how and effective intellectual property protection may be unavailable, limited or outside the scope of the intellectual property rights we pursue in the United States and in foreign countries such as China where we operate. Although we strive to protect our intellectual property rights, there is always a risk that our trade secrets or know-how will be compromised or that a competitor could lawfully reverse-engineer our technology or independently develop similar or more efficient technology. We have confidentiality agreements with each of our customers, suppliers, key employees and independent contractors in place to protect our intellectual property rights, but it is possible that a customer, supplier, employee or contractor might breach the agreement, intentionally or unintentionally. For example, we believe a key former employee may have shared some of our intellectual property with a competitor in China and this former employee or the competitor may use this intellectual property to compete with us in the future. It is also possible that our confidentiality agreements with customers, suppliers, employees and contractors will not be effective in preserving the confidential nature of our intellectual property rights. The patents we own could be challenged, invalidated, narrowed or circumvented by others and may not be of sufficient scope or strength to provide us with any meaningful protection or commercial advantage. Once our patents expire, or if they are invalidated, narrowed or circumvented, our competitors may be able to utilize the inventions protected by our patents. Additionally, the existence of our intellectual property rights does not guarantee that we will be successful in any attempt to enforce these rights against third parties in the event of infringement, misappropriation or other misuse, which may materially and adversely affect our business. Because our ability to effectively compete in our industry depends upon our ability to protect our proprietary technology, we might lose business to competitors and our business, revenue, operating results and prospects could be materially harmed if we suffer loss of trade secret and know-how protection or breach of our confidentiality agreements.

If the transfer pricing arrangements we have among our subsidiaries are determined to be inappropriate in one or more jurisdictions, our tax liability may increase.

In many countries, including the United States, we are subject to transfer pricing and other tax regulations designed to ensure that appropriate levels of income are reported as earned in each jurisdiction in which we operate. These regulations require that any international transaction involving associated enterprises be on substantially the same basis as a transaction between unrelated companies dealing at arms’ length and that contemporaneous documentation be maintained to support the transfer prices. We have transfer pricing arrangements among our subsidiaries in relation to various aspects of our business. We consider the transactions among our subsidiaries to be substantially on arm’s-length terms. If, however, a tax authority in any jurisdiction reviews any of our tax returns and determines that the transfer prices and terms we have applied are not appropriate, or that other income of our affiliates should be taxed in that jurisdiction, we may incur increased tax liability, including accrued interest and penalties, which would cause our tax provision to increase, possibly materially. In addition, if the jurisdiction from which the income is reallocated does not agree with the reallocation, both jurisdictions could tax the same income, resulting in double taxation. If tax authorities were to allocate income to a higher tax jurisdiction, subject our income to double taxation, or assess interest and penalties, it would increase our consolidated tax liability, which could materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

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Our insurance coverage may not cover all risks we face and insurance premiums may increase, which may hinder our ability to maintain sufficient coverage to cover losses we may incur.

We are exposed to risks inherent in the manufacturing of wind blades and other composite structures as well as the construction of our facilities, such as natural disasters, breakdowns and manufacturing defects that could harm persons and damage property. We maintain insurance coverage with licensed insurance carriers that limits our aggregate exposure to certain types of catastrophic losses. In addition, we self-insure for a portion of our claims exposure resulting from workers’ compensation and certain events of general liability. We accrue currently for estimated incurred losses and expenses, and periodically evaluate and adjust our claims accrued liability amount to reflect our experience. However, our insurance coverage may not be sufficient to cover the full amount of potential losses. In addition, there are some types of losses such as from warranty, hurricanes, terrorism, wars, or earthquakes where insurance is limited and/or not economically justifiable. If we were to sustain a serious uninsured loss or a loss exceeding the limits of our insurance policies, the resulting costs could have a material adverse effect on our business prospects, results of operations and financial condition. Further, our insurance policies provide for our premiums to be adjusted annually. If the premiums we pay for our policies increase significantly, we may be unable to maintain the same level of coverage we currently carry, or we will incur significantly greater costs to maintain the same level of coverage, including through higher deductibles.

We may be subject to significant liabilities and costs relating to environmental and health and safety requirements.

We are subject to various environmental, health and safety laws, regulations and permit requirements in the jurisdictions in which we operate governing, among other things, health, safety, pollution and protection of the environment and natural resources, the handling and use of hazardous substances, the generation, storage, treatment and disposal of wastes, and the cleanup of any contaminated sites. In June 2018, Iowa OSHA, a division of the Iowa Department of Labor, issued a citation and notification of penalty to us alleging that certain of our workplace practices and conditions at our Newton, Iowa wind blade manufacturing facility had violated the Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Act. Specifically, the citation cited us for multiple alleged violations and proposed that we pay an aggregate penalty of $0.2 million. In June 2018, we notified Iowa OSHA that we were contesting all of the alleged violations and proposed penalties. In June 2018, the Labor Commissioner of the Iowa Department of Labor subsequently filed a complaint with the State of Iowa Employment Appeal Board, petitioning the appeal board to affirm the citation and notification of penalty that Iowa OSHA issued to us. In July 2018, we then filed a response with the appeal board denying the substantive allegations of the complaint. A hearing date has been set for June 2019 and the matter remains pending.

We have incurred, and expect to continue to incur, capital and operating expenditures to comply with such laws, regulations and permit requirements. While we believe that we currently are in material compliance with all such laws, regulations and permit requirements, any noncompliance may subject us to a range of enforcement measures, including the imposition of monetary fines and penalties, other civil or criminal sanctions, remedial obligations, and the issuance of compliance requirements restricting our operations. In addition, the future adoption of more stringent laws, regulations and permit requirements may require us to make additional capital and operating expenditures. Under certain environmental laws and regulations, liabilities also can be imposed for cleanup of currently and formerly owned, leased or operated properties, or properties to which we sent hazardous substances or wastes, regardless of whether we directly caused the contamination or violated any law. For example, we could have future liability relating to any contamination that remains from historic industrial operations by others at our properties. Additionally, some of our facilities have a long history of industrial operations and, in the past, contaminants have been detected and remediated at one of our facilities in Izmir, Turkey.

There can be no assurance that we will not in the future become subject to compliance requirements, obligations to undertake cleanup or related activities, or claims or proceedings relating to environmental, health or safety matters, hazardous substances or wastes, contaminated sites, or other environmental or natural resource damages, that could impose significant liabilities and costs on us and materially harm our business, operating results or financial condition.

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Claims that we infringe, misappropriate or otherwise misuse the intellectual property rights of others could subject us to significant liability and disrupt our business.

Our competitors and third party suppliers of components and raw materials used in our products protect their intellectual property rights by means such as trade secrets and patents. In the future we may be sued for violations of other parties’ intellectual property rights, and the risk of this type of lawsuit will likely increase as our size, geographic presence and market share expand and as the number of competitors in our market increases. Any such claims or litigation, whether meritorious or not, could:

 

be time-consuming and expensive to defend;

 

divert the attention of our technical and managerial resources;

 

adversely affect our relationships with current or future customers;

 

require us to enter into royalty or licensing agreements with third parties, which may not be available on terms that we deem acceptable;

 

prevent us from operating all or a portion of our business or force us to redesign our manufacturing processes or products, which could be difficult, time-consuming and expensive;

 

limit the supply or increase the cost of key raw materials and components used in our products;

 

subject us to significant liability for damages or result in significant settlement payments; and

 

require us to indemnify our customers or suppliers.

Any of the foregoing could disrupt our business and materially harm our operating results and financial condition. In addition, intellectual property disputes have in the past arisen between our customers which negatively affected such customers’ demand for wind blades manufactured by us. If such intellectual property disputes involving, or between, one or more of our customers should arise in the future, our business could be materially harmed.

We may form joint ventures, or acquire businesses or assets, in the future, and we may not realize the benefits of those transactions.

We have, in the past, entered into joint ventures with third parties for the manufacture of wind blades. For example, we entered into joint ventures with third parties in both our Mexico and Turkey locations. We may create new or additional joint ventures with third parties, or acquire businesses or assets, in the future that we believe will complement or augment our existing business. We cannot assure you that, following any such joint venture or acquisition, we will achieve the expected synergies to justify the transaction. We may encounter numerous difficulties in manufacturing any new products resulting from a joint venture or acquisition that delay or prevent us from realizing their expected benefits or enhancing our business. If we enter into joint ventures or acquire businesses or assets with respect to promising markets, we may not be able to realize the benefit of those joint ventures or acquired businesses assets if we are unable to successfully integrate them with our existing operations and company culture.

Work disruptions resulting from our collective bargaining agreements could result in increased operating costs and materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

Certain of our employees in Turkey and Matamoros, Mexico, which in the aggregate represented approximately 35% of our workforce as of December 31, 2018, are covered by collective bargaining arrangements.  In 2016, we entered into a three-year collective bargaining agreement with certain of our Turkish employees at our first Turkey facility. The agreement resulted in an average increase in pay of approximately 20% for employees covered by the agreement. In addition, beginning in 2017, these collective bargaining arrangements also covered similarly situated employees at our second Turkey facility. In March 2018, we entered into a collective bargaining agreement with a labor union for certain of our employees in our Matamoros, Mexico facility. In January 2019, thousands of workers employed in dozens of manufacturing facilities in Matamoros, Mexico, went on strike. In general, these workers, who were represented by several different labor unions, demanded a twenty percent increase

36


 

in their wage rate and an annual bonus of approximately $1,700. On February 15, 2019, our manufacturing production employees in Matamoros, Mexico, who are represented by a labor union, went on strike also demanding a 20% increase in their hourly wage rate and the payment of an annual bonus of approximately $1,700 even though our collective bargaining agreement does not provide for an annual bonus. During this strike, our Matamoros manufacturing facility stopped production from February 15, 2019 until March 2, 2019. On March 2, 2019, we reached an agreement with the labor union to end the strike and we reopened our Matamoros manufacturing facility on March 3, 2019.

Additionally, our other employees working at other manufacturing facilities may vote to be represented by a labor union in the future. There can be no assurance that we will not experience labor disruptions such as work stoppages or other slowdowns by workers at any of our facilities. Should significant industrial action, threats of strikes or related disturbances occur, we could experience further disruptions of operations and increased labor costs in Turkey, Mexico or other locations, which could materially harm our business, operating results or financial condition. Any such work stoppage or slow-down at any of our facilities could also result in additional expenses and possible loss of revenue for us.

Our information technology infrastructure could experience serious failures or disruptions, the failure of which could materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

Information technology is part of our business strategy and operations. It enables us to streamline operation processes, facilitate the collection and reporting of business data, and provide for internal and external communications. There are risks that information technology system failures, network disruptions and breaches of data security could disrupt our operations. Any significant disruption or breach may materially harm our business, operating results or financial condition.

We will incur significant increased costs as a result of operating as a public company, and our management will be required to devote substantial time to compliance initiatives.

As a public company, we incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company. In addition, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, as well as rules subsequently implemented by the SEC and NASDAQ, impose various requirements on public companies, including requiring establishment and maintenance of effective disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting and changes in corporate governance practices. Our management and other personnel will need to devote a substantial amount of time to these compliance initiatives. Moreover, these rules and regulations will increase our legal and financial compliance costs and will make some activities more time-consuming and costly. For example, we expect these rules and regulations to make it more difficult and more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance. We estimate that we will incur approximately $3.0 million to $4.0 million in expenses annually in response to these requirements.

Section 404(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires annual management assessments of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting, starting with the second annual report that we file with the SEC. However, as long as we remain an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 (the JOBS Act), we intend to take advantage of certain exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to other public companies that are not emerging growth companies including, but not limited to, not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. We will take advantage of these reporting exemptions until we are no longer an emerging growth company and will incur additional expense and time related to these efforts at that time. We will remain an emerging growth company until the earliest of (i) the last day of the fiscal year in which we have total annual gross revenues of $1.07 billion or more; (ii) the last day of our fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the date of the completion of our IPO; (iii) the date on which we have issued more than $1.0 billion in nonconvertible debt during the previous three years; or (iv) the date on which we are deemed to be a “large accelerated filer” under SEC rules.

Our testing, or the subsequent testing by our independent registered public accounting firm, may reveal deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting that are deemed to be material weaknesses. Our management and other personnel will need to devote a substantial amount of time to these compliance initiatives, diverting their attention away from the day-to-day management of our business, and we may not successfully or efficiently manage our transition into a public company. We may also need to upgrade our financial and operating

37


 

systems, implement additional financial and management controls, reporting systems and procedures, and add additional accounting, auditing and financial staff with appropriate public company experience and technical accounting knowledge. We have or will soon have operations in China, Mexico, Turkey and India and may have difficulty hiring and retaining employees in these countries who have the experience necessary to implement the kind of management and financial controls that are expected of a U.S. public company. In this regard, for example, China has only recently begun to adopt management and financial reporting concepts and practices like those in the United States. If we are not able to comply with these requirements in a timely manner or if we or our independent registered public accounting firm identify deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting that are deemed to be material weaknesses, the market price of our stock could decline, and we could be subject to sanctions or investigations by NASDAQ, the SEC or other regulatory authorities, which would require additional financial and management resources.

We are faced with increasingly complex tax issues in many jurisdictions, and we could be obligated to pay additional taxes in various jurisdictions.

We may be subject to taxation in many jurisdictions in the United States and around the world with increasingly complex tax laws, the application of which can be uncertain. The amount of taxes we pay in these jurisdictions could increase substantially as a result of changes in the applicable tax laws, including increased tax rates or revised interpretations of existing tax laws and precedents, which could harm our liquidity and operating results. In addition, the taxing authorities in these jurisdictions could review our tax returns, or authorities in jurisdictions in which we do not file tax returns could assert that we are subject to tax in those jurisdictions, and in either case could impose additional tax, interest and penalties. Further, the authorities could claim that various withholding requirements apply to us or our subsidiaries or assert that benefits of tax treaties are not available to us or our subsidiaries, any of which could have a material adverse impact on us and the results of our operations.

Risks Related to Ownership of Our Common Stock

The price of our common stock may fluctuate substantially and your investment may decline in value.

The market price of our common stock is likely to be highly volatile and may fluctuate substantially due to many factors, including:

 

actual or anticipated fluctuations in our results of operations;

 

our ability to provide products due to shipments subject to delayed delivery and deferred revenue arrangements;

 

loss of or changes in our relationship with one or more of our customers;

 

failure to meet our earnings estimates;

 

conditions and trends in the energy and manufacturing markets in which we operate and changes in estimates of the size and growth rate of these markets;

 

announcements by us or our competitors of significant contracts, developments, acquisitions, strategic partnerships or divestitures;

 

availability of equipment, labor and other items required for the manufacture of wind blades;

 

changes in governmental policies;

 

additions or departures of members of our senior management or other key personnel;

 

changes in market valuation or earnings of our competitors;

 

sales of our common stock, including sales of our common stock by our directors and officers or by our other principal stockholders;

 

the trading volume of our common stock; and

 

general market and economic conditions.

38


 

In addition, the stock market in general, including NASDAQ, as well as the market for broader energy and renewable energy companies in particular, have experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have often been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of particular companies affected. These broad market and industry factors may materially harm the market price of our common stock, regardless of our operating performance. In the past, securities class-action litigation has often been instituted against a company following periods of volatility in the market price of that company’s securities. Securities class-action litigation, if instituted against us, could result in substantial costs or damages and a diversion of management’s attention and resources, which could materially harm our business and operating results.

A significant portion of our total outstanding shares may be sold into the public market in future sales, which could cause the market price of our common stock to drop significantly, even if our business is doing well.

Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market can occur at any time. These sales, or the market perception that the holders of a large number of shares intend to sell shares, could reduce the market price of our common stock. As of December 31, 2018, we had 34,678,084 shares of common stock outstanding. All shares can now be sold, subject to any applicable volume limitations under federal securities laws.

In addition, as of December 31, 2018, there were: (i) 2,600,694 shares subject to outstanding options, or 7.5% of our outstanding shares; (ii) 425,876 restricted stock units, or 1.2% of our outstanding shares; (iii) 249,249 performance stock units, or 0.7% of our outstanding shares; and (iv) 5,980,605 shares reserved for future issuance, or 17.2% of our outstanding shares under the Amended and Restated 2015 Stock Option and Incentive Plan (the 2015 Plan) that will become eligible for sale in the public market to the extent permitted by any applicable vesting requirements and Rules 144 and 701 under the Securities Act. We also filed a shelf registration statement in September 2017 for the resale of up to 19,774,751 shares of common stock by certain of our common stockholders. We also have registered all shares of common stock that we may issue under our employee equity incentive plans. These shares can be freely sold in the public market upon issuance and subject to the restrictions imposed on our affiliates under Rule 144.

In the future, we may also issue our securities in connection with investments or acquisitions. The amount of shares of our common stock issued in connection with an investment or acquisition could constitute a material portion of our then-outstanding shares of our common stock. Any issuance of additional securities in connection with investments or acquisitions may result in additional dilution to you and may cause the market price of our common stock to drop significantly.

The exercise of options and warrants and other issuances of shares of common stock or securities convertible into common stock under our equity compensation plans will dilute your interest.

Under our existing equity compensation plans, as of December 31, 2018, we had outstanding options to purchase 2,600,694 shares of our common stock, 425,876 restricted stock units and 249,249 performance stock units to our employees and non-employee directors. From time to time, we expect to grant additional options and other stock awards in accordance with the 2015 Plan. The exercise of options and warrants at prices below the market price of our common stock could adversely affect the price of shares of our common stock. Additionally, any issuance of our common stock that is not made solely to then-existing stockholders proportionate to their interests, such as in the case of a stock dividend or stock split, will result in dilution to each stockholder by reducing their percentage ownership of the total outstanding shares. If we issue options or warrants to purchase our common stock in the future and those options or warrants are exercised or we issue stock, stockholders may experience further dilution.

Our executive officers, directors and their affiliated entities may be able to exercise substantial control over us and could limit the ability of other stockholders to influence the outcome of key transactions, including changes of control.

Our executive officers, directors and their affiliated entities, in the aggregate, beneficially own approximately 24% of the outstanding common stock, based on 34,914,385 shares of common stock outstanding as of January 31, 2019. Our executive officers, directors and their affiliated entities, if acting together, may be able to control or significantly influence all matters requiring approval by our stockholders, including the election of directors and the

39


 

approval of mergers or other significant corporate transactions. The concentration of common stock ownership could have the effect of delaying, preventing, or deterring a change of control of our company, could deprive our stockholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their common stock as part of a sale of our company, and could negatively affect the market price of the common stock.

If equity research analysts issue unfavorable commentary or downgrade our common stock, the price of our common stock could decline.

The trading market for our common stock relies in part on the research and reports that equity research analysts publish about us and our business. We do not control the work performed by these analysts. The demand for our common stock could decline if one or more equity analysts downgrade our stock or if those analysts issue unfavorable or inaccurate commentary. If such analysts cease publishing reports about us or our business, we could lose visibility in the market, which in turn could cause our share price and trading volume to decline.

We do not currently intend to pay dividends on the common stock, which may hinder your ability to achieve a return on your investment.

We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our common stock. The continued operation and expansion of our business will require substantial funding and thus we currently intend to retain any future earnings and do not expect to pay any dividends in the foreseeable future. Accordingly, you are not likely to receive any dividends on common stock in the foreseeable future, and your ability to achieve a return on your investment will therefore depend on appreciation in the price of the common stock.

Provisions of Delaware law or our charter documents could delay or prevent an acquisition of our company, even if the acquisition would be beneficial to our stockholders, and could make it more difficult for you to change management.

Provisions of Delaware law and our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated by-laws may discourage, delay or prevent a merger, acquisition or other change in control that stockholders may consider favorable, including transactions in which stockholders might otherwise receive a premium for their shares. These provisions may also prevent or delay attempts by stockholders to replace or remove our current management or members of our board of directors. These provisions include:

 

a classified board of directors;

 

limitations on the removal of directors;

 

advance notice requirements for stockholder proposals and nominations;

 

the inability of stockholders to act by written consent or to call special meetings;

 

the ability of our board of directors to make, alter or repeal our amended and restated by-laws; and

 

the authority of our board of directors to issue preferred stock with such terms as our board of directors may determine.

The affirmative vote of the holders of at least 75% of our shares of capital stock entitled to vote, and not less than 75% of the outstanding shares of each class entitled to vote thereon as a class, is necessary to amend or repeal the above provisions that are contained in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation. In addition, absent approval of our board of directors, our amended and restated by-laws may only be amended or repealed by the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 75% of our shares of capital stock entitled to vote.

In addition, we are subject to the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which limits business combination transactions with stockholders of 15% or more of our outstanding voting stock that our board of directors has not approved. These provisions and other similar provisions make it more difficult for stockholders or potential acquirers to acquire us without negotiation. These provisions may apply even if some stockholders may consider the transaction beneficial to them.

40


 

As a result, these provisions could limit the price that investors are willing to pay in the future for shares of our common stock. These provisions might also discourage a potential acquisition proposal or tender offer, even if the acquisition proposal or tender offer is at a premium over the then current market price for our common stock.

We are an “emerging growth company” and will be able to avail ourselves of reduced disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies, which could make our common stock less attractive to investors.

We are an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the JOBS Act, and we intend to take advantage of certain exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to other public companies that are not emerging growth companies including not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements, and exemptions from the requirements of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved. We cannot predict whether investors will find our common stock less attractive because we may rely on these exemptions. If they do, there may be a less active trading market for our common stock and our stock price may be more volatile. We may take advantage of these reporting exemptions until we are no longer an emerging growth company. We will remain an emerging growth company until the earliest of (i) the last day of the fiscal year in which we have total annual gross revenues of $1.07 billion or more; (ii) the last day of our fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the date of the completion of our IPO; (iii) the date on which we have issued more than $1.0 billion in nonconvertible debt during the previous three years; or (iv) the date on which we are deemed to be a “large accelerated filer” under the rules of the SEC.

Under the JOBS Act, emerging growth companies can also delay adopting new or revised accounting standards until such time as those standards apply to private companies. We have irrevocably elected not to avail ourselves of this exemption from new or revised accounting standards and, therefore, we are subject to the same new or revised accounting standards as other public companies that are not emerging growth companies.

41


 

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.

None.

Item 2. Properties

Our headquarters is located in Scottsdale, Arizona, and we own or lease various other facilities in the United States, China, Mexico, Turkey, India and Denmark. We believe that our properties are generally in good condition, are well maintained and are generally suitable and adequate to carry out our business at expected capacity for the foreseeable future. The table below lists the locations and square footage for our facilities as of February 28, 2019:

 

 

 

Year

 

Leased or

 

Approximate

 

 

 

Location

 

Commenced

 

Owned

 

Square Footage

 

 

Description of Use

Newton, IA, United States

 

2008

 

Leased

 

 

337,922

 

 

Wind Blade Manufacturing Facility

Newton, IA, United States

 

2018

 

Leased

 

 

106,121

 

 

Transportation Manufacturing Facility

Dafeng, China

 

2013

 

Leased

 

 

392,000

 

 

Wind Blade Manufacturing Facility

Dafeng, China

 

2015

 

Leased

 

 

446,034

 

 

Wind Blade Manufacturing Facility

Taicang Port, China

 

2007

 

Owned

 

 

226,542

 

 

Wind Blade Manufacturing Facility

Yangzhou, China

 

2018

 

Leased

 

 

934,133

 

 

Wind Blade Manufacturing Facility

Juárez, Mexico

 

2013

 

Leased

 

 

345,984

 

 

Wind Blade Manufacturing Facility

Juárez, Mexico

 

2016

 

Leased

 

 

358,796

 

 

Wind Blade Manufacturing Facility

Juárez, Mexico

 

2017

 

Leased

 

 

339,386

 

 

Wind Blade Manufacturing Facility

Juárez, Mexico

 

2018

 

Leased

 

 

150,000

 

 

Precision Molding Manufacturing Facility

Matamoros, Mexico

 

2017

 

Leased

 

 

527,442

 

 

Wind Blade Manufacturing Facility

Izmir, Turkey

 

2012

 

Leased

 

 

343,000

 

 

Wind Blade Manufacturing Facility

Izmir, Turkey

 

2015

 

Leased

 

 

397,931

 

 

Wind Blade Manufacturing Facility

Fall River, MA, United States

 

2008

 

Leased

 

 

70,000

 

 

Composite Solution Manufacturing and Research and Development Facility

Warren, RI, United States

 

2004

 

Leased

 

 

91,387

 

 

Precision Molding Development and Manufacturing and Research and Development Facility

Santa Teresa, NM, United States

 

2014

 

Leased

 

 

503,710

 

 

Wind Blade Storage Facility

Scottsdale, AZ, United States

 

2015

 

Leased

 

 

22,508

 

 

Corporate Headquarters

Kolding, Denmark

 

2018

 

Leased

 

 

2,583

 

 

Advanced Engineering Center

Taicang City, China

 

2013

 

Leased

 

 

69,750

 

 

Precision Molding Manufacturing Facility

Chennai, India

 

2019

 

Leased

 

 

776,280

 

 

Wind Blade Manufacturing Facility

 

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

From time to time, we may be involved in disputes or litigation relating to claims arising out of our operations.

In March 2015, a complaint was filed against us in the Superior Court of the State of Arizona (Maricopa County) by a former employee, alleging that we had agreed to compensate the employee upon any future sale of the Company. We filed a motion to dismiss the complaint in April 2015, which was denied. We subsequently filed an answer to the complaint in July 2015 denying the substantive allegations of the complaint. The parties completed court-ordered mediation in December 2015 but were not able to reach a settlement. We filed a motion for summary judgment to dismiss the complaint in April 2016 and the court denied the motion in August 2016. The court has set a trial date for June 2019. We continue to deny the substantive allegations of the complaint and intend to vigorously defend this lawsuit; however, we are currently unable to determine the ultimate outcome of this case.

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In August 2015, we entered into a transition agreement with our former Senior Vice President – Asia, pursuant to which that individual transitioned out of this role at the end of 2015 and was to serve in a consulting capacity in 2016 and 2017. In January 2016, following our discovery that the individual had materially violated the terms of the transition agreement, we terminated the consultancy for cause. In April 2016, an arbitration claim was filed in China by the individual with the Taicang Labor and Personnel Dispute Arbitration Committee alleging that we improperly terminated the transition agreement. The individual is demanding that we honor the terms of the transition agreement and pay compensation and fees under the transition agreement, which in the aggregate totals approximately $2.6 million. In addition, the individual is also challenging the validity of our termination of an option to purchase 164,880 shares of our common stock and 77,760 restricted stock units awarded under the 2015 Plan, which were canceled in January 2016 when the consultancy was terminated. The Taicang Labor and Personnel Dispute Arbitration Committee awarded damages to the individual of approximately $1.2 million but rejected the claims regarding the termination of the stock option and restricted stock unit awards. We subsequently appealed the arbitration award in favor of the individual to the Taicang Municipal People’s Court, which affirmed the arbitration award in June 2018. We appealed this judgment to an appellate level court in the Jiangsu Province and the appellate court affirmed the judgment of the Taicang Municipal People’s court and we paid the judgement award in the fourth quarter of 2018. We currently are evaluating whether to further appeal this matter.

In June 2018, Iowa OSHA, a division of the Iowa Department of Labor, issued a citation and notification of penalty to us alleging that certain of our workplace practices and conditions at our Newton, Iowa wind blade manufacturing facility had violated the Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Act. Specifically, the citation cited us for multiple alleged violations and proposed that we pay an aggregate penalty of $0.2 million. In June 2018, we notified Iowa OSHA that we were contesting all of the alleged violations and proposed penalties. In June 2018, the Labor Commissioner of the Iowa Department of Labor subsequently filed a complaint with the State of Iowa Employment Appeal Board, petitioning the appeal board to affirm the citation and notification of penalty that Iowa OSHA issued to us. In July 2018, we then filed a response with the appeal board denying the substantive allegations of the complaint. A hearing date has been set for June 2019 and the matter remains pending.

From time to time, we are party to various lawsuits, claims, and other legal proceedings that arise in the ordinary course of business, some of which are covered by insurance. Upon resolution of any pending legal matters, we may incur charges in excess of presently established reserves. Our management does not believe that any such charges would, individually or in the aggregate, have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

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PART II

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

Market Information

On July 22, 2016, our common stock began trading on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol “TPIC.” Prior to that time, there was no public market for our stock.

Stock Performance Graph

The following graph and table illustrate the total stockholder return from July 22, 2016 through December 31, 2018, on our common stock, the Russell 2000 Index, the S&P Small Cap 600 Energy (Sector) Index and the NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index, assuming an investment of $100.00 on July 22, 2016 including the reinvestment of dividends.  

 


 

 

 

Base Period

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7/22/16

 

 

12/30/16

 

 

6/30/17

 

 

12/29/17

 

 

6/29/18

 

 

12/31/18

 

TPI Composites, Inc.

 

$

100.00

 

 

$

118.29

 

 

$

136.28

 

 

$

150.88

 

 

$

215.63

 

 

$

181.27

 

Russell 2000

 

$

100.00

 

 

$

111.89

 

 

$

116.69

 

 

$

126.60

 

 

$

135.47

 

 

$

111.19

 

S&P Small Cap 600 Energy (Sector)

 

$

100.00

 

 

$

133.11

 

 

$

84.00

 

 

$

97.60

 

 

$

107.35

 

 

$

55.64

 

NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy

 

$

100.00

 

 

$

102.59

 

 

$

119.52

 

 

$

134.16

 

 

$

128.63

 

 

$

116.50

 

 

Holders

As of January 31, 2019, there were five stockholders of record of our common stock, although there is a much larger number of beneficial owners.

Dividends

We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on shares of our capital stock. We currently intend to retain earnings, if any, to finance the development and growth of our business and do not anticipate paying cash dividends on the common stock in the future. Any payment of any future dividends will be at the discretion of the board of directors, subject to compliance with certain covenants in our loan agreements, after taking into account various factors, including our financial condition, operating results, capital requirements, restrictions contained in

44


 

any future financing instruments, growth plans and other factors the board deems relevant. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Liquidity and Capital Resources” included in Part II, Item 7.

Certain of our subsidiaries are limited in their ability to declare dividends without first meeting statutory restrictions of the People’s Republic of China, including retained earnings as determined under Chinese-statutory accounting requirements. Until 50% ($21.6 million) of registered capital is contributed to a surplus reserve, our Chinese operations can only pay dividends equal to 90% of after-tax profits (10% must be contributed to the surplus reserve). Once the surplus reserve fund requirement is met, we can pay dividends equal to 100% of after-tax profit assuming other conditions are met. At December 31, 2018, the amount of the surplus reserve fund was $6.5 million. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations— Liquidity and Capital Resources” included in Part II, Item 7.

Securities Authorized for Issuance under Equity Compensation Plans

The information required in response to Item 201(d) of Regulation S-K is set forth in Part III, Item 12 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K which is incorporated herein by reference.

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

None

Use of Proceeds from Registered Securities

On July 21, 2016, our Registration Statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-212093) was declared effective by the SEC for our IPO whereby we registered an aggregate of 7,187,500 shares of our common stock, including 937,500 shares of our common stock registered for sale by us upon the full exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares. On July 27, 2016, we completed our IPO and sold 7,187,500 shares of our common stock at a price to the public of $11.00 per share. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC acted as the managing underwriters. The total gross proceeds from the offering to us were $79.1 million. After deducting underwriting discounts and commissions of $4.6 million and offering expenses of $7.3 million, we received $67.2 million in net proceeds. There has been no material change in the planned use of proceeds from our IPO as described in our final prospectus filed with the SEC on July 22, 2016 pursuant to Rule 424(b) of the Securities Act. We invested the remaining funds received in registered money market funds.

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

None

 

45


 

Item 6. Selected Financial Data

The following selected consolidated financial data should be read in conjunction with the information contained in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included in Part II, Item 7 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and the consolidated financial statements and related notes included in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, in order to understand the factors that may affect the comparability of the financial data presented below.  

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2018

 

 

2017 (1)

 

 

2016 (1)

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

 

(in thousands, except per share data)

 

Consolidated Income Statement Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

$

1,029,624

 

 

$

955,198

 

 

$

769,019

 

 

$

585,852

 

 

$

320,747

 

Cost of sales

 

 

882,075

 

 

 

804,099

 

 

 

664,026

 

 

 

528,247

 

 

 

289,528

 

Startup and transition costs

 

 

74,708

 

 

 

40,628

 

 

 

18,127

 

 

 

15,860

 

 

 

16,567

 

Total cost of goods sold

 

 

956,783

 

 

 

844,727

 

 

 

682,153

 

 

 

544,107

 

 

 

306,095

 

Gross profit

 

 

72,841

 

 

 

110,471

 

 

 

86,866

 

 

 

41,745

 

 

 

14,652

 

General and administrative expenses

 

 

48,123

 

 

 

40,373

 

 

 

33,892

 

 

 

14,126

 

 

 

9,175

 

Income from operations

 

 

24,718

 

 

 

70,098

 

 

 

52,974

 

 

 

27,619

 

 

 

5,477

 

Other income (expense):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest income

 

 

181

 

 

 

95

 

 

 

344

 

 

 

161

 

 

 

186

 

Interest expense

 

 

(10,417

)

 

 

(12,381

)

 

 

(17,614

)

 

 

(14,565

)

 

 

(7,236

)

Loss on extinguishment of debt

 

 

(3,397

)

 

 

 

 

 

(4,487

)

 

 

 

 

 

(2,946

)

Realized loss on foreign currency

   remeasurement

 

 

(13,489

)

 

 

(4,471

)

 

 

(757

)

 

 

(1,802

)

 

 

(1,743

)

Miscellaneous income

 

 

4,650

 

 

 

1,191

 

 

 

238

 

 

 

246

 

 

 

539

 

Total other expense

 

 

(22,472

)

 

 

(15,566

)

 

 

(22,276

)

 

 

(15,960

)

 

 

(11,200

)

Income (loss) before income taxes

 

 

2,246

 

 

 

54,532

 

 

 

30,698

 

 

 

11,659

 

 

 

(5,723

)

Income tax benefit (provision)

 

 

3,033

 

 

 

(15,798

)

 

 

(3,654

)

 

 

(3,977

)

 

 

(925

)

Net income (loss)

 

 

5,279

 

 

 

38,734

 

 

 

27,044

 

 

 

7,682

 

 

 

(6,648

)

Net income attributable to preferred

   stockholders(2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5,471

 

 

 

9,423

 

 

 

13,930

 

Net income (loss) attributable to

   common stockholders

 

$

5,279

 

 

$

38,734

 

 

$

21,573

 

 

$

(1,741

)

 

$

(20,578

)

Weighted-average common shares outstanding:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic(3)

 

 

34,311

 

 

 

33,844

 

 

 

17,530

 

 

 

4,238

 

 

 

4,238

 

Diluted(3)

 

 

36,002

 

 

 

34,862

 

 

 

17,616

 

 

 

4,238

 

 

 

4,238

 

Net income (loss) per common share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

$

0.15

 

 

$

1.14

 

 

$

1.23

 

 

$

(0.41

)

 

$

(4.86

)

Diluted

 

$

0.15

 

 

$

1.11

 

 

$

1.22

 

 

$

(0.41

)

 

$

(4.86

)

46


 

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2018

 

 

2017 (1)

 

 

2016 (1)

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

Other Financial Information:

 

(in thousands, except other operating information)

 

Total billings(4)

 

$

1,006,541

 

 

$

941,565

 

 

$

764,424

 

 

$

600,107

 

 

$

362,749

 

EBITDA(4)

 

$

42,308

 

 

$

88,516

 

 

$

65,641

 

 

$

37,479

 

 

$

8,768

 

Adjusted EBITDA(4)

 

$

68,173

 

 

$

100,111

 

 

$

76,300

 

 

$

39,281

 

 

$

13,457

 

Capital expenditures

 

$

52,688

 

 

$

44,828

 

 

$

30,507

 

 

$

26,361

 

 

$

18,924

 

Free cash flow(4)

 

$

(55,946

)

 

$

29,772

 

 

$

29,335

 

 

$

4,932

 

 

$

(52,141

)

Total debt, net of debt issuance costs and discount

 

$

137,623

 

 

$

121,385

 

 

$

123,155

 

 

$

129,346

 

 

$

120,849

 

Net cash (debt)(4)

 

$

(53,155

)

 

$

24,557

 

 

$

(6,379

)

 

$

(90,667

)

 

$

(87,547

)

Other Operating Information:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sets(5)

 

 

2,423

 

 

 

2,736

 

 

 

2,154

 

 

 

1,609

 

 

 

966

 

Estimated megawatts(6)

 

 

6,560

 

 

 

6,602

 

 

 

4,920

 

 

 

3,595

 

 

 

2,029

 

Dedicated manufacturing lines(7)

 

 

55

 

 

 

48

 

 

 

44

 

 

 

34

 

 

 

29

 

Total manufacturing lines installed(8)

 

 

43

 

 

 

41

 

 

 

33

 

 

 

30

 

 

 

22

 

Manufacturing lines in startup(9)

 

 

16

 

 

 

9

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

9

 

Manufacturing lines in transition(10)

 

 

15

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

11

 

 

 

8

 

 

(1)

Reflects the impact of the adoption of Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, (Topic 606) effective January 1, 2018. See Note 1 - Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements - Revenue from Contracts with Customers of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a further discussion. Prior period information for 2015 and 2014 has not been restated and is, therefore, not comparable to the 2018, 2017 and 2016 information.

(2)

Represents the accrual of dividends on our convertible and senior redeemable preferred shares, the accretion to redemption amounts on our convertible preferred shares and warrant fair value adjustments. Immediately prior to the closing of the IPO, all preferred shares were converted into shares of our common stock and as a result, the accrual of dividends ceased.  

(3)

For the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, the weighted-average diluted shares outstanding include the conversion on a net issuance basis of our common warrants and the stock options issued under the 2015 Plan and the 2008 Stock Option and Grant Plan. For the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, the weighted-average common shares outstanding are the same under the basic and diluted per share calculations as we incurred a net loss in those years.

(4)

See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Key Metrics Used By Management to Measure Performance” included in Part II, Item 7 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for more information and the reconciliations of total billings, EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, free cash flow and net cash (debt) to net sales, net income (loss), net income (loss), net cash provided by operating activities and total debt, net of debt issuance costs and discount, respectively, the most directly comparable financial measures calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP.

(5)

Number of wind blade sets (which consist of three wind blades) invoiced worldwide in the period. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Key Metrics Used By Management to Measure Performance” included in Part II, Item 7 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for more information.

47


 

(6)

Estimated megawatts of energy capacity to be generated by wind blade sets invoiced in the period. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Key Metrics Used By Management to Measure Performance” included in Part II, Item 7 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for more information.

(7)

Number of manufacturing lines that are dedicated to our customers under long-term supply agreements at the end of the period. For the year ended December 31, 2017, includes seven manufacturing lines for GE Wind that were not extended beyond 2017. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Key Metrics Used By Management to Measure Performance” included in Part II, Item 7 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for more information. Dedicated manufacturing lines may be greater than total manufacturing line capacity in instances where we have signed new supply agreements for manufacturing facilities that are under construction or have not yet been built.

(8)

Number of manufacturing lines installed and either in operation, startup or transition at the end of the period. For the year ended December 31, 2017, includes four manufacturing lines for GE Wind that were not extended beyond 2017.  See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Key Metrics Used By Management to Measure Performance” included in Part II, Item 7 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for more information.

(9)

Number of manufacturing lines in a startup phase during the pre-production and production ramp-up period. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Key Metrics Used By Management to Measure Performance” included in Part II, Item 7 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for more information.

(10)

Number of manufacturing lines that were being transitioned to a new wind blade model during the period. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Key Metrics Used By Management to Measure Performance” included in Part II, Item 7 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for more information.

 

 

 

December 31,

 

 

 

2018

 

 

2017 (1)

 

 

2016 (1)

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:

 

(in thousands)

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

$

85,346

 

 

$

148,113

 

 

$

119,066

 

 

$

45,917

 

 

$

43,592

 

Total assets

 

 

604,855

 

 

 

545,737

 

 

 

436,833

 

 

 

329,920

 

 

 

273,704

 

Total debt, net of debt issuance costs and discount

 

 

137,623

 

 

 

121,385

 

 

 

123,155

 

 

 

129,346

 

 

 

120,849

 

Total liabilities

 

 

383,898

 

 

 

325,183

 

 

 

265,433

 

 

 

322,287

 

 

 

271,448