10-K 1 ccf-20180831x10k.htm 10-K ccf_Current folio_10K

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10‑K

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15 (d)

OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended August 31, 2018

Commission File Number: 1‑9852

CHASE CORPORATION

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

Massachusetts

11‑1797126

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation of organization)

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

 

295 University Avenue, Westwood, Massachusetts 02090

(Address of Principal Executive Offices, Including Zip Code)

(781) 332-0700

(Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code)

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

 

 

Title of Each Class:

Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered

Common Stock
($0.10 Par Value)

NYSE American

 

Securities registered pursuant to section 12(g) of the Act: None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well‑known seasoned issuer (as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act). YES ☒  NO ☐

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange 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, 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 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 checkmark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non‑accelerated filer or a smaller reporting 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 ☐ 

Smaller 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 checkmark 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 common stock held by non‑affiliates of the registrant, as of February 28, 2018 (the last business day of the registrant’s second quarter of fiscal 2018), was approximately $608,967,000.

As of October 31, 2018, the Company had outstanding 9,402,134 shares of common stock, $0.10 par value, which is its only class of common stock.

Documents Incorporated By Reference:

Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for the Annual Meeting of Shareholders, which is expected to be filed within 120 days after the registrant’s fiscal year ended August 31, 2018, are incorporated by reference into Part III hereof.

 

 

 


 

CHASE CORPORATION

INDEX TO ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K

 

For the Year Ended August 31, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page No.

Cautionary Note Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

 

2

 

 

 

 

PART I 

 

 

 

Item 1 

Business

 

3

Item 1A 

Risk Factors

 

9

Item 1B 

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

12

Item 2 

Properties

 

13

Item 3 

Legal Proceedings

 

14

Item 4 

Mine Safety Disclosures

 

14

Item 4A 

Executive Officers of the Registrant

 

14

 

 

 

 

PART II 

 

 

 

Item 5 

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

 

15

Item 6 

Selected Financial Data

 

17

Item 7 

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

 

18

Item 7A 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

36

Item 8 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

37

Item 9 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

94

Item 9A 

Controls and Procedures

 

94

Item 9B 

Other Information

 

95

 

 

 

 

PART III 

 

 

 

Item 10 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

96

Item 11 

Executive Compensation

 

96

Item 12 

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

 

96

Item 13 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

96

Item 14 

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

 

96

 

 

 

 

PART IV 

 

 

 

Item 15 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

 

97

Item 16 

Form 10-K Summary

 

100

 

 

 

SIGNATURES 

 

101

 

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Cautionary Note Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

 

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements, including without limitation forward-looking statements made under the caption “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” involve risks and uncertainties. Any statements contained in this Annual Report that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements as to our future operating results; seasonality expectations; plans for the development, utilization or disposal of manufacturing facilities; future economic conditions; our expectations as to legal proceedings; the effect of our market and product development efforts; and expectations or plans relating to the implementation or realization of our strategic goals and future growth, including through potential future acquisitions. Forward-looking statements may also include, among other things, statements relating to future sales, earnings, cash flow, results of operations, use of cash and other measures of financial performance, as well as statements relating to future dividend payments. Other forward-looking statements may be identified through the use of words such as “believes,” “anticipates,” “may,” “should,” “will,” “plans,” “projects,” “expects,” “expectations,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “targets,” “forecasts,” “strategy,” and other words of similar meaning in connection with the discussion of future operating or financial performance. These statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about the industries in which we operate, and the beliefs and assumptions made by management. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they are subject to inherent risks, uncertainties and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. Accordingly, the Company’s actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Investors, therefore, are cautioned against relying on any of these forward-looking statements. They are neither statements of historical fact nor guarantees or assurances of future performance. Readers should refer to the discussions under Item 1A “Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

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PART I

 

Item 1 – Business

 

Primary Operating Divisions and Facilities and Industry Segments

 

Chase Corporation, a global specialty chemicals company founded in 1946, is a leading manufacturer of protective materials for high-reliability applications.  Our strategy is to maximize the performance of our core businesses and brands while seeking future opportunities through strategic acquisitions.  We are organized into two reportable operating segments, an Industrial Materials segment and a Construction Materials segment.  The segments are distinguished by the nature of the products we manufacture and how they are delivered to their respective markets. The Industrial Materials segment includes specified products that are used in, or integrated into, another company’s product, with demand typically dependent upon general economic conditions.   The Construction Materials segment is principally composed of project-oriented product offerings that are primarily sold and used as "Chase" branded products.  Our manufacturing facilities are distinct to their respective segments with the exception of our O’Hara Township, PA and Blawnox, PA facilities, which produce products related to both operating segments.  A summary of our operating structure as of August 31, 2018 is as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS SEGMENT

 

 

 

 

 

 

Primary

 

 

 

 

Manufacturing

 

 

Key Products

 

Locations

 

Background/History

Specialty tapes and related products for the electronic and telecommunications industries using the brand name Chase & Sons®.

Insulating and conducting materials for the manufacture of electrical and telephone wire and cable, electrical splicing, and terminating and repair tapes, which are marketed to wire and cable manufacturers selling into energy-oriented and communication markets, and to public utilities.

 


PaperTyger®, a trademark for laminated durable papers sold to the envelope converting and commercial printing industries.

 

Oxford, MA

 

In August 2011, we relocated our manufacturing processes that had been previously conducted at our Webster, MA facility to this location.

In December 2012, we relocated the majority of our manufacturing processes that had been previously conducted at our Randolph, MA facility to this location.  Our Randolph facility was one of our first operating facilities, and had been producing products for the wire and cable industry for more than fifty years.

We acquired the Paper Tyger, LLC assets in 2003.


Chase BLH2OCK®, a water-blocking compound sold to the wire and cable industry.

 


Blawnox, PA

 


In September 2012, we relocated our Chase BLH2OCK® manufacturing processes that had been previously conducted at our Randolph, MA facility to this location.


Protective conformal coatings under the brand name HumiSeal®, moisture protective electronic coatings sold to the electronics industry including circuitry used in automobiles, industrial controls and home appliances.

 

 


O'Hara Township, PA

 


The HumiSeal business and product lines were acquired in the early 1970's.

Advanced adhesives, sealants, and coatings for automotive and industrial applications that require specialized bonding, encapsulating, environmental protection, or thermal management functionality.

 

 

Woburn, MA

Newark, CA

 

 

In September 2016, we acquired certain assets and the operations of Resin Designs, LLC, and entered leases in their existing manufacturing facilities in Massachusetts and California.

 

Laminated film foils for the electronics and cable industries and cover tapes essential to delivering semiconductor components via tape and reel packaging.

Pulling and detection tapes used in the installation, measurement and location of fiber optic cables, and water and natural gas lines.

Cover tapes essential to delivering semiconductor components via tape and reel packaging.

 

Pawtucket, RI
Lenoir, NC

Granite Falls, NC


Suzhou, China

 

In June 2012, we acquired all of the capital stock of NEPTCO Incorporated, which operated facilities in Rhode Island, North Carolina and China.

In October 2013, we moved the majority of our manufacturing processes that had been conducted at our Taylorsville, NC facility to our Lenoir, NC location.

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Key Products & Services

 

Primary
Manufacturing
Locations

 

Background/History

Protective conformal coatings under the brand name HumiSeal®, moisture protective electronic coatings sold to the electronics industry including circuitry used in automobiles, industrial controls and home appliances.

 

Winnersh, Wokingham, England

 

In October 2005, we acquired all of the capital stock of Concoat Holdings Ltd. and its subsidiaries.  In 2006 Concoat was renamed HumiSeal Europe. 

In March 2007, we expanded our international presence with the formation of HumiSeal Europe SARL in France. HumiSeal Europe SARL operates a sales/technical service office and warehouse near Paris, France.  This business works closely with the HumiSeal operation in Winnersh, Wokingham, England allowing direct sales and service to the French market.

In June 2016, we further expanded our international presence through the purchase of Spray Products (India) Private Limited, located in Pune, India. This business enhances the Company’s ability to provide technical, sales, manufacturing, chemical handling and packaging services in the region and works closely with our HumiSeal manufacturing operation in Winnersh, Wokingham, England.
 In December 2016, Spray Products (India) Private Limited was renamed HumiSeal India Private Limited. 


Polymeric microspheres, sold under the Dualite® brand, which are utilized for weight and density reduction and sound dampening across varied industries.


Water-based polyurethane dispersions utilized for various coating products.

 


Greenville, SC

 


In January 2015, we acquired two product lines from Henkel Corporation. They, along with the Superabsorbents business acquired in December 2017, comprise our specialty chemical intermediates product line.

The Company currently contracts with manufacturing partners to produce its water-based polyurethane dispersions.

 

Superabsorbent polymers, sold through our Zappa Stewart division, which are utilized for water and liquid management, remediation and protection in diverse markets including wire and cable, medical, environmental, infrastructure, energy and consumer products.

 

Hickory, NC
McLeansville, NC

 

In December 2017, we acquired Stewart Superabsorbents, LLC ("SSA, LLC") and its Zappa-Tec business (collectively “Zappa Stewart”).

 

 

 

 

 

4


 

CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS SEGMENT

 

 

 

 

 

 

Primary

 

 

 

 

Manufacturing

 

 

Key Products

 

Locations

 

Background/History

Protective pipe coating tapes and other protectants for valves, regulators, casings, joints, metals, concrete, and wood which are sold under the brand name Royston®, to oil companies, gas utilities and pipeline companies. 

 

Rosphalt50® is a polymer additive that provides long-term cost-effective solutions in many applications such as waterproofing of approaches and bridges, ramps, race tracks, airports and specialty road applications.

 

 

Blawnox, PA

 

The Royston business was acquired in the early 1970's.


Waterproofing sealants, expansion joints and accessories for the transportation, industrial and architectural markets.

 


O'Hara Township, PA

 


In April 2005, we acquired certain assets of E-Poxy Engineered Materials.  Additionally, in September 2006, we acquired all of the capital stock of Capital Services Joint Systems.  Both of these acquisitions were combined to form the expansion joints business.

 

Technologically advanced products, including the brand Tapecoat®, for demanding anti-corrosion applications in the gas, oil and marine pipeline market segments, as well as tapes and membranes for roofing and other construction-related applications. 

 

 


Evanston, IL

 


In November 2001, we acquired substantially all of the assets of Tapecoat, previously a division of T.C. Manufacturing Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

Specialized high-performance coating and lining systems used worldwide in liquid storage and containment applications. 

 

Houston, TX

 

In September 2009, we acquired all of the outstanding capital stock of C.I.M. Industries Inc. (“CIM”). 

 

 

 

 

 

Waterproofing and corrosion protection systems for oil, gas and water pipelines, and a supplier to Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

 

 

 

 

The ServiWrap® product offering complements the portfolio of our pipeline protection tapes, coatings and accessories to extend our global customer base. 

 

 

Rye, East Sussex, England

 

In September 2007, we purchased certain product lines and a related manufacturing facility in Rye, East Sussex, England through our wholly-owned subsidiary, Chase Protective Coatings Ltd. This facility joins Chase's North American-based Tapecoat® and Royston® brands to broaden the protective pipeline coatings product line and better address global demand. 

 

In December 2009, we acquired the full range of ServiWrap® pipeline protection products (“ServiWrap”) from Grace Construction Products Limited, a U.K.-based unit of W.R. Grace & Co.  

 

Other Business Developments

On June 25, 2018, the Company announced to its employees the planned closing of its Pawtucket, RI manufacturing facility effective August 31, 2018. This is in line with the Company’s ongoing efforts to consolidate its manufacturing plants and streamline its existing processes. The manufacturing of products previously produced in the Pawtucket, RI facility was moved to Company facilities in Oxford, MA and Lenoir, NC during a two-month transition period. The Company expensed $1,272,000 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 related to the closure, including: (a) cash-related employee-related, logistics and uncapitalized facilities improvement costs of $590,000; and (b) non-cash-related accelerated depreciation expense of $682,000. Future costs related to this move are not anticipated to be significant to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

On April 20, 2018, Chase finalized an agreement with an unrelated party to sell all inventory, operational machinery and equipment and intangible assets of the Company’s structural composites rod business, as well as a license related to the production and sale of rod, for proceeds of $2,232,000, net of transaction costs and following certain working capital adjustments. This business, which was part of the structural composites product line within the Industrial Materials segment, had limited growth and profitability prospects as part of the Company, and was outside the areas Chase has identified for strategic emphasis. The resulting pre-tax gain on sale of $1,480,000 was recognized in the third quarter of fiscal 2018 as a gain on sale of businesses within the consolidated statement of operations. Chase received $2,075,000, net of transaction costs, in the third quarter of fiscal 2018, with the remaining $157,000 received in the fourth quarter of

5


 

fiscal 2018 as a result of a working capital true-up. Chase will provide certain transitional manufacturing and administrative support to the purchaser for which the Company will receive additional consideration upon the performance of services.  The purchaser also entered into a royalty agreement with the Company. The purchaser will make royalty payments to Chase based on future sales of certain structural composite material manufactured by the purchaser. 

On December 29, 2017, Chase entered an agreement to acquire Stewart Superabsorbents, LLC (“SSA, LLC”), an advanced superabsorbent polymer (SAP) formulator and solutions provider, with operations located in Hickory and McLeansville, NC. The transaction closed on December 31, 2017. In the most recently completed fiscal year, SSA, LLC, and its recently-acquired Zappa-Tec business (collectively “Zappa Stewart”) had combined revenue in excess of $24,000,000. This acquisition proved to be immediately accretive to the Company’s earnings in the period of acquisition, after adjusting for nonrecurring costs associated with the transaction and financing cost. The business was acquired for a purchase price of $73,469,000 after final working capital adjustments and excluding acquisition-related costs.  As part of this transaction, Chase acquired all assets of the business, and entered multiyear leases at both locations. The Company expensed $393,000 of acquisition-related costs during the second quarter of fiscal 2018.  The purchase was funded from a combination of Chase’s existing revolving credit facility and available cash on hand. Zappa Stewart’s protective materials technology complements Chase’s current specialty chemicals offerings. This acquisition is aligned with the Company’s core strategies and extends its reach into growing medical, environmental and consumer applications. The Company is currently in the process of finalizing purchase accounting, with regard to a final allocation of the purchase price to tangible and identifiable intangible assets assumed and anticipates completion within the first quarter of fiscal 2019. Following the effective date of the acquisition the financial results of Zappa Stewart’s operations have been included in the Company’s financial statements in the specialty chemical intermediates product line, contained within the Industrial Materials operating segment.  

On April 3, 2017, Chase executed an agreement with an unrelated party to sell all inventory, machinery and equipment and intangible assets of the Company’s fiber optic cable components product line for proceeds of $3,858,000 net of transaction costs and following certain working capital adjustments. The resulting pre-tax gain on sale of $2,013,000 was recognized in the third quarter of fiscal 2017 as gain on sale of businesses within the consolidated statement of operations.  Further, the purchaser entered a multiyear lease for a portion of the manufacturing space at the Company’s Granite Falls, NC facility. Chase will provide certain transitional manufacturing and administrative support to the purchaser for which the Company will receive additional consideration upon the performance of services. The Company’s fiber optic cable components product line was formerly a part of the Company’s Industrial Materials operating segment.

On September 30, 2016, the Company acquired certain assets of Resin Designs, LLC (“Resin Designs”), an advanced adhesives and sealants manufacturer, with locations in Woburn, MA and Newark, CA. The business was acquired for a purchase price of $30,270,000 after final working capital adjustments and excluding acquisition-related costs. As part of this transaction, Chase acquired all working capital and fixed assets of the business, and entered multiyear leases at both locations. The Company expensed $584,000 of acquisition-related costs during the first quarter of fiscal 2017 associated with this acquisition. The purchase was funded entirely with available cash on hand. Resin Designs is a formulator of customized adhesive and sealant systems used in high-reliability electronic applications. The acquisition broadens the Company’s adhesives and sealants product offering and manufacturing capabilities, and expands its market reach. Since the effective date of the acquisition, the financial results of Resin Designs’ operations have been included in the Company’s financial statements within the electronic and industrial coatings product line, contained within the Industrial Materials operating segment.

On June 23, 2016, the Company acquired all the capital stock of Spray Products (India) Private Limited for $1,161,000, net of cash acquired. This acquired business works closely with our HumiSeal® coating manufacturing operation in Winnersh, Wokingham, England. The acquisition in India enhances the Company’s ability to provide technical, sales, manufacturing, chemical handling, and packaging services in the region. Since the effective date for this acquisition, the financial results of the business have been included in the Company's financial statements within the Company’s Industrial Materials operating segment in the electronic and industrial coatings product line. Effective December 2016, Spray Products (India) Private Limited was renamed HumiSeal India Private Limited.

6


 

In November 2015, the Company sold its RodPack® wind energy business, contained within its structural composites product line, to an otherwise unrelated party for proceeds of $2,186,000. The Company’s structural composites product line is a part of the Company’s Industrial Materials operating segment. 

 

Products and Markets

 

Our principal products are specialty tapes, laminates, adhesives, sealants, coatings and chemical intermediates which are sold by our salespeople, manufacturers' representatives and distributors.  In our Industrial Materials segment, these products consist of: 

 

(i)

insulating and conducting materials for the manufacture of electrical and telephone wire and cable, electrical splicing, and terminating and repair tapes, which are marketed to wire and cable manufacturers;

 

(ii)

laminated film foils, including EMI/RFI shielding tapes used in communication and local area network (LAN) cables;

 

(iii)

moisture protective coatings, which are sold to the electronics industry for circuitry manufacturing, including circuitry used in automobiles, industrial controls and home appliances;

 

(iv)

laminated durable papers, including laminated paper with an inner security barrier used in personal and mail-stream privacy protection, which are sold primarily to the envelope converting and commercial printing industries;

 

(v)

pulling and detection tapes used in the installation, measurement and location of fiber optic cables, water and natural gas lines, and power, data, and video cables for commercial buildings;

 

(vi)

cover tapes with reliable adhesive and anti-static properties essential to delivering semiconductor components via tape and reel packaging;

 

(vii)

advanced adhesives, sealants, and coatings for automotive and industrial applications that require specialized bonding, encapsulating, environmental protection, or thermal management functionality;

 

(viii)

polymeric microspheres utilized by various industries to allow for weight and density reduction and sound dampening;

 

(ix)

water-based polyurethane dispersions utilized for various coating products; and

 

(x)

superabsorbent polymers, which are utilized for water and liquid management, remediation and protection in diverse markets including wire and cable, medical, environmental, infrastructure, energy and consumer products.

 

In our Construction Materials segment, these products consist of:

 

(i)

protective pipe coating tapes and other protectants for valves, regulators, casings, joints, metals, concrete and wood, which are sold to oil companies, gas utilities, and pipeline companies for utilization in both the construction and maintenance of oil and gas, water and wastewater pipelines;

 

(ii)

waterproofing membranes for highway bridge deck metal-supported surfaces, and high-performance polymeric asphalt additives, which are sold to municipal transportation authorities;

 

(iii)

fluid-applied coating and lining systems for use in the water and wastewater industry; and

 

(iv)

expansion and control joint systems designed for roads, bridges, stadiums and airport runways. 

 

7


 

There is some seasonality in selling products into the construction market. Higher demand is often experienced when temperatures are warmer in most of North America (April through October), with lower demand occurring when temperatures are colder (typically our second fiscal quarter).  Other than the acquisition of Zappa Stewart, we did not introduce any new products requiring an investment of a material amount of our assets during fiscal year 2018.

 

Employees

 

As of September 30, 2018, we employed approximately 769 people (including union employees).  We consider our employee relations to be good.  In the U.S., we offer our employees a wide array of company-paid benefits, which we believe are competitive relative to others in our industry. In our operations outside the U.S., we offer benefits that may vary from those offered to our U.S. employees due to customary local practices and statutory requirements.

 

Backlog, Customers and Competition

 

As of October 31, 2018, the backlog of customer orders believed to be firm was approximately $21,825,000.  This compared with a backlog of $19,719,000 as of October 31, 2017.  The increase in backlog from the prior year amount is primarily due to current period inclusion of the fiscal 2018 acquired Zappa Stewart business. During fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016, no customer accounted for more than 10% of sales.  No material portion of our business is subject to renegotiation or termination of profits or contracts at the election of the United States Federal Government.

 

There are other companies that manufacture or sell products and services similar to those made and sold by us.  Many of those companies are larger and have greater financial resources than we have.  We compete principally on the basis of technical performance, service reliability, quality and price. 

 

Raw Materials

 

We obtain raw materials from a wide variety of suppliers, with alternative sources of most essential materials available within reasonable lead times.

 

Patents, Trademarks, Licenses, Franchises and Concessions 

 

We own the following trademarks that we believe are of material importance to our business: Chase Corporation®, C-Spray (Logo), a trademark used in conjunction with most of the Company’s business segment and product line marketing material and communications; HumiSeal®, a trademark for moisture protective coatings sold to the electronics industry; Chase & Sons®, a trademark for barrier and insulating tapes sold to the wire and cable industry; Chase BLH2OCK®, a trademark for a water-blocking compound sold to the wire and cable industry; Rosphalt50®, a trademark for an asphalt additive used predominantly on bridge decks for waterproofing protection; PaperTyger®, a trademark for laminated durable papers sold to the envelope converting and commercial printing industries; DuraDocument®, a trademark for durable, laminated papers sold to the digital print industry; Defender® a trademarked and patent-pending RFID protective material sold to the personal accessories and paper industries; Tapecoat®, a trademark for corrosion preventive surface coatings and primers; Maflowrap®, a trademark for anti-corrosive tapes incorporating self-adhesive mastic or rubber-backed strips, made of plastic materials;  Royston®, a trademark for a corrosion-inhibiting coating composition for use on pipes; Ceva®, a trademark for epoxy pastes/gels/mortars and elastomeric concrete used in the construction industry; CIM® trademarks for fluid-applied coating and lining systems used in the water and wastewater industry; ServiWrap® trademarks for pipeline protection tapes, coatings and accessories; NEPTCO®, a trademark used in conjunction with most of NEPTCO’s business and product line marketing material and communications; NEPTAPE®, a trademark for coated shielding and insulation materials used in the wire and cable industry; Muletape®, a trademark for pulling and installation tapes sold to the telecommunications industry; Trace-Safe®, a trademark for detection tapes sold to the telecommunications and water and gas utilities industries; Dualite®, a trademark for polymeric microspheres utilized for density and weight reduction and sound dampening by various industries; 4EvaSeal®, a trademark for adhesive-backed tape utilized in various industries; Resin Designs®,  a trademark for adhesives and sealants sold into the microelectronics and semiconductor industries; SlickTape®, a trademark for a lubricated shielding tape sold to the wire and cable industry; and HighDraw®, a trademark for a highly extensible shielding tape sold to the wire and cable

8


 

industry.  We do not have any other material trademarks, licenses, franchises, or concessions.  While we do hold various patents, as well as other trademarks, we do not believe that they are material to the success of our business.

 

Working Capital

 

We fund our business operations through a combination of available cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments and cash flows generated from operations.  In addition, our revolving credit facility is available for additional working capital needs or investment opportunities.  We have historically funded acquisitions through both available cash on hand and additional borrowings and financing agreements with our bank lenders.

 

Research and Development

 

Approximately $3,940,000, $3,696,000 and $2,792,000 was expensed for Company-sponsored research and development during fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively, and recorded within selling, general and administrative expenses.  Research and development increased by $244,000 in fiscal 2018 due to continued focused development work on strategic product lines, including eight months of operations related to the established research and development department of Zappa Stewart, acquired in second quarter of fiscal 2018, and twelve months of operations related to the established research and development department of Resin Designs, acquired in the first quarter of fiscal 2017.

 

Available Information

 

Chase maintains a website at http://www.chasecorp.com.  Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to such reports filed or furnished pursuant to section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as well as section 16 reports on Form 3, 4, or 5, are available free of charge on this site as soon as is reasonably practicable after they are filed or furnished with the SEC.  Our Code of Conduct and Ethics and the charters for the Audit Committee, the Nominating and Governance Committee and the Compensation and Management Development Committee of our Board of Directors are also available on our internet website.  The Code of Conduct and Ethics and charters are also available in print to any shareholder upon request.  Requests for such documents should be directed to Paula Myers, Shareholder and Investor Relations Department, at 295 University Avenue, Westwood, Massachusetts 02090.  Our internet website and the information contained on it or connected to it are not part of nor incorporated by reference into this Form 10-K. Our filings with the SEC are also available on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov and at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549. The public may obtain information on the operations of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330.

 

Financial Information regarding Segment and Geographic Areas

Please see Notes 11 and 12 to the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements for financial information about the Company’s operating segments and domestic and foreign operations for each of the last three fiscal years.

 

Item 1A – Risk Factors 

 

The following risk factors should be read carefully in connection with evaluating our business and the forward-looking information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. We feel that any of the following risks could materially adversely affect our business, operations, industry, financial position or our future financial performance. While we believe that we have identified and discussed below the key risk factors affecting our business, there may be additional risks and uncertainties that are not presently known or that are not currently believed to be significant that may adversely affect our business, operations, industry, financial position and financial performance in the future.

9


 

We currently operate in mature markets where increases or decreases in market share could be significant.    

 

Our sales and net income are largely dependent on sales from a consistent and well-established customer base.  Organic growth opportunities are minimal; however, we have used and will continue to use strategic acquisitions as a means to build and grow the business.   In this business environment, increases or decreases in market share could have a material effect on our business condition or results of operation.  We face intense competition from a diverse range of competitors, including operating divisions of companies much larger and with far greater resources than we have.  If we are unable to maintain our market share, our business could suffer.

 

Our business strategy includes the pursuit of strategic acquisitions, which may not be successful if they happen at all.    

 

From time to time, we engage in discussions with potential target companies concerning potential acquisitions.  In executing our acquisition strategy, we may be unable to identify suitable acquisition candidates.  In addition, we may face competition from other companies for acquisition candidates, making it more difficult to acquire suitable companies on favorable terms. 

 

Even if we do identify a suitable acquisition target and are able to negotiate and close a transaction, the integration of an acquired business into our operations involves numerous risks, including potential difficulties in integrating an acquired company’s product line with ours; the diversion of our resources and management’s attention from other business concerns; the potential loss of key employees; limitations imposed by antitrust or merger control laws in the United States or other jurisdictions; risks associated with entering a new geographical or product market; and the day-to-day management of a larger and more diverse combined company. 

 

We may not realize the synergies, operating efficiencies, market position or revenue growth we anticipate from acquisitions, and our failure to effectively manage the above risks could have a material adverse effect on our business, growth prospects and financial performance.

 

Our results of operations could be adversely affected by uncertain economic and political conditions and the effects of these conditions on our customers’ businesses and levels of business activity. 

 

Global economic and political conditions can affect the businesses of our customers and the markets they serve. A severe or prolonged economic downturn or a negative or uncertain political climate could adversely affect, among others, the automotive, housing, construction, pipeline, energy, transportation infrastructure and electronics industries. This may reduce demand for our products or depress pricing of those products, either of which may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. Changes in global economic conditions or foreign and domestic trade policy could also shift demand to products for which we do not have competitive advantages, and this could negatively affect the amount of business that we are able to obtain. In addition, if we are unable to successfully anticipate changing economic and political conditions, we may be unable to effectively plan for and respond to those changes and our business could be negatively affected. 

 

General economic factors, domestically and internationally, may also adversely affect our financial performance through increased raw material costs or other expenses and by making access to capital more difficult.

 

The cumulative effect of higher interest rates, energy costs, inflation, levels of unemployment, healthcare costs, unsettled financial markets, and other economic factors (including changes in foreign currency exchange rates and changes and application/enforcement practices of federal, state, local and international tax law) could adversely affect our financial condition by increasing our manufacturing costs and other expenses at the same time that our customers may be scaling back demand for our products.  Prices of certain commodity products, including oil and petroleum-based products, are historically volatile and are subject to fluctuations arising from changes in domestic and international supply and demand, labor costs, competition, weather events and climate change, market speculation, government regulations and periodic delays in delivery. Rapid and significant changes in commodity prices may affect our sales and profit margins. These factors can increase our cost of products and services sold and/or selling, general and administrative expenses, and otherwise adversely affect our operating results. Disruptions in the credit markets may limit our ability to access debt

10


 

capital for use in acquisitions or other purposes on advantageous terms or at all.  If we are unable to manage our expenses in response to general economic conditions and margin pressures, or if we are unable to obtain capital for strategic acquisitions or other needs, then our results of operations would be negatively affected.

 

Fluctuations in the supply and prices of raw materials may negatively impact our financial results. 

 

We obtain raw materials needed to manufacture our products from a number of suppliers. Many of these raw materials are petroleum-based derivatives. Under normal market conditions, these materials are generally available on the open market and from a variety of producers. From time to time, however, the prices and availability of these raw materials fluctuate, which could impair our ability to procure necessary materials, or increase the cost of manufacturing our products. If the prices of raw materials increase, and we are unable to pass these increases on to our customers, we could experience reduced profit margins.

 

If our products fail to perform as expected, or if we experience product recalls, we could incur significant and unexpected costs and lose existing and future business.

 

Our products are complex and could have defects or errors presently unknown to us, which may give rise to claims against us, diminish our brands or divert our resources from other purposes. Despite testing, new and existing products could contain defects and errors and may in the future contain manufacturing or design defects, errors or performance problems when first introduced, or even after these products have been used by our customers for a period of time. These problems could result in expensive and time-consuming design modifications or warranty charges, changes to our manufacturing processes, product recalls, significant increases in our maintenance costs, or exposure to liability for damages, any of which may result in substantial and unexpected expenditures, require significant management attention, damage our reputation and customer relationships, and adversely affect our business, our operating results and our cash flow.

 

We are dependent on key personnel.

 

We depend significantly on our executive officers including our President and Chief Executive Officer, Adam P. Chase, and our Executive Chairman, Peter R. Chase, and on other key employees. The loss of the services of any of these key employees could have a material impact on our business and results of operations. In addition, our acquisition strategy will require that we attract, motivate and retain additional skilled and experienced personnel. The inability to satisfy such requirements could have a negative impact on our ability to remain competitive in the future. 

 

If we cannot successfully manage the unique challenges presented by international markets, we may not be successful in expanding our international operations.

 

Our strategy includes expansion of our operations in existing and new international markets by selective acquisitions and strategic alliances. Our ability to successfully execute our strategy in international markets is affected by many of the same operational risks we face in expanding our U.S. operations. In addition, our international expansion may be adversely affected by our ability to identify and gain access to local suppliers as well as by local laws and customs, legal and regulatory constraints, political and economic conditions and currency regulations of the countries or regions in which we currently operate or intend to operate in the future. Risks inherent in our international operations also include, among others, the costs and difficulties of managing international operations, adverse tax consequences, domestic and international tariffs and trade policies and greater difficulty in enforcing intellectual property rights. Additionally, foreign currency exchange rates and fluctuations (such as those experienced following the June 23, 2016 “Brexit” referendum vote in the United Kingdom) may have an impact on future costs or on future cash flows from our international operations.

 

11


 

We may experience difficulties in the redesign and consolidation of our manufacturing facilities which could impact shipments to customers, product quality, and our ability to realize cost savings.

 

We currently have several ongoing projects to streamline our manufacturing operations, which include the redesign and consolidation of certain manufacturing facilities in order to reduce overhead costs. Despite our planning, we may be unable to effectively leverage assets, personnel, and business processes in the transition of production among manufacturing facilities. Uncertainty is inherent within the facility redesign and consolidation process, and unforeseen circumstances could offset the anticipated benefits of these streamlining projects, disrupt service to customers, and impact product quality.

 

Financial market performance may have a material adverse effect on our pension plan assets and require additional funding requirements.

 

Significant and sustained declines in the financial markets may have a material adverse effect on the fair market value of the assets of our pension plans.  While these pension plan assets are considered non-financial assets since they are not carried on our balance sheet, the fair market valuation of these assets could impact our funding requirements, funded status or net periodic pension cost.  Any significant and sustained declines in the fair market value of these pension assets could require us to increase our funding requirements, which would have an impact on our cash flow, and could also lead to additional pension expense.  

 

Failure or compromise of security with respect to an operating or information system or portable electronic device could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition or the effectiveness of our internal controls over operations and financial reporting.

 

We are highly dependent on automated systems to record and process our daily transactions and certain other components of our financial statements.  We could experience a failure of one or more of these systems, or a compromise of our security due to technical system flaws, data input or record keeping errors, or tampering or manipulation of our systems by employees or unauthorized third parties.  Information security risks also exist with respect to the use of portable electronic devices, such as laptops and smartphones, which are particularly vulnerable to loss and theft. We may also be subject to disruptions of any of these systems arising from events that are wholly or partially beyond our control (for example, natural disasters, acts of terrorism, epidemics, computer viruses, cyber-attacks and electrical/telecommunications outages). All of these risks are also applicable wherever we rely on outside vendors to provide services.  Operating system failures, disruptions, or the compromise of security with respect to operating systems or portable electronic devices could subject us to liability claims, harm our reputation, interrupt our operations, or adversely affect our business, results from operations, financial condition, cash flow or internal control over financial reporting.

 

Item 1B – Unresolved Staff Comments

 

Not applicable.

12


 

 

Item 2 – Properties  

 

The principal properties of the Company as of August 31, 2018 are situated at the following locations and have the following characteristics:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Square

    

Owned /

    

 

Location

 

Feet

 

Leased

 

Principal Use

Westwood, MA

 

20,200 

 

Leased

 

Corporate headquarters, executive office and global operations center, including research and development, sales and administrative services

Blawnox, PA

 

44,000 

 

Owned

 

Manufacture and sale of protective coatings and tape products

Evanston, IL

 

100,000 

 

Owned

 

Manufacture and sale of protective coatings and tape products

Granite Falls, NC

 

108,000 

 

Owned

 

Manufacture and sale of pulling and detection tapes, as well as research and development services

Greenville, SC

 

34,600 

 

Leased

 

Manufacture and sale of polymeric microspheres, as well as research and development

Hickory, NC

 

180,000

 

Leased

 

Manufacture and sale of superabsorbent polymer products, as well as research and development

Houston, TX

 

45,000 

 

Owned

 

Manufacture of coating and lining systems for use in liquid storage and containment applications

Lenoir, NC

 

110,000 

 

Owned

 

Manufacture and sale of laminated film foils and cover tapes

McLeansville, NC

 

41,000

 

Leased

 

Sales/technical service office and warehouse for superabsorbent polymer products

Mississauga, Canada

 

2,500 

 

Leased

 

Distribution center

Newark, CA

 

32,500 

 

Leased

 

Manufacture and sale of sealant systems

O’Hara Township, PA

 

109,000 

 

Owned

 

Manufacture and sale of protective electronic coatings, expansion joints and accessories

Oxford, MA

 

73,600 

 

Owned

 

Manufacture of tape and related products for the electronic and telecommunications industries, as well as laminated durable papers

Paris, France

 

1,900 

 

Leased

 

Sales/technical service office and warehouse allowing direct sales and service to the French market 

Pawtucket, RI

 

70,400 

 

Owned

 

Manufacture and sale of laminated film foils for the electronics and cable industries (through August 2018, when operations were relocated to Oxford, MA and Lenoir, NC facilities), and offices for sales and administrative services

Pune, India

 

4,650 

 

Owned

 

Packaging and sale of protective electronic coatings

Randolph, MA

 

      -

 

Owned

 

Ceased manufacturing products at this location in 2012. During fiscal 2016, we demolished the building and classified the property as an asset held for sale

Rotterdam, Netherlands

 

2,500 

 

Leased

 

Distribution center

Rye, East Sussex, England

 

36,600 

 

Owned

 

Manufacture and sale of protective coatings and tape products

Suzhou, China

 

48,000 

 

Leased

 

Manufacture of packaging tape products for the electronics industries

Winnersh, Wokingham, England

 

18,800

 

Leased

 

Manufacture and sale of protective electronic coatings, as well as research and development

Woburn, MA

 

34,000 

 

Leased

 

Manufacture and sale of adhesive systems, as well as research and development

 

The above facilities vary in age, are in good condition and, in the opinion of management, adequate and suitable for present operations.  We also own equipment and machinery that is in good repair and, in the opinion of management, adequate and suitable for present operations.  We believe that we could significantly add to our capacity by increasing shift operations.  Availability of machine hours through additional shifts would provide expansion of current production volume without significant additional capital investment.

13


 

 

Item 3 – Legal Proceedings 

 

The Company is involved from time to time in litigation incidental to the conduct of its business. Although the Company does not expect that the outcome in any of these matters, individually or collectively, will have a material adverse effect on its financial condition, results of operations or cash flows, litigation is inherently unpredictable. Therefore, judgments could be rendered, or settlements agreed to that could adversely affect the Company’s operating results or cash flows in a particular period. The Company routinely assesses all its litigation and threatened litigation as to the probability of ultimately incurring a liability and records its best estimate of the ultimate loss in situations where we assess the likelihood of loss as probable.

item 4 – mine safety disclosures

Not applicable.

Item 4a – Executive Officers of the Registrant

The following table sets forth information concerning our Executive Officers as of October 31, 2018.  Each of our Executive Officers is selected by our Board of Directors and holds office until his successor is elected and qualified.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name

    

Age

    

Offices Held and Business Experience during the Past Five Years

Adam P. Chase

 

46 

 

President of the Company since January 2008, Chief Executive Officer of the Company since February 2015.  Adam Chase was the Chief Operating Officer of the Company from February 2007 to February 2015.

Peter R. Chase

 

70 

 

Chairman of the Board of the Company since February 2007, and Executive Chairman of the Company since February 2015. Peter Chase was the Chief Executive Officer of the Company from September 1993 to February 2015. Peter Chase is the father of Adam Chase.

Kenneth J. Feroldi

 

63 

 

Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of the Company since September 2014.  Previously Director of Finance for the Company, prior to which he served as Vice President – Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of NEPTCO, Inc. from 1992 until 2012, when NEPTCO was acquired by the Company.

Christian J. Talma

 

45 

 

Chief Accounting Officer of the Company since August 2018. Previously, Vice President Operations Finance and Strategy for Haemonetics Corp. from 2016 to 2018. Prior to that, Mr. Talma was employed at Siemens A.G., since 2002, most recently as Head of North America Service Sales Finance.

 

14


 

PART II

Item 5 – Market for the Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Our common stock is traded on the NYSE American under the symbol CCF.  As of October 31, 2018, there were 303 shareholders of record of our Common Stock and we believe there were approximately 4,775 beneficial shareholders who held shares in nominee name.  On that date, the closing price of our common stock was $107.84 per share as reported by the NYSE American.

 

The following table sets forth the high and low daily sales prices for our common stock as reported by the NYSE American (formerly the NYSE MKT) for each quarter in the fiscal years ended August 31, 2018 and 2017:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiscal 2018

 

Fiscal 2017

 

 

    

High

    

Low

    

High

    

 Low

 

First Quarter

 

$

129.55

 

$

91.95

 

$

82.10

 

$

61.75

 

Second Quarter

 

 

126.75

 

 

95.01

 

 

93.75

 

 

76.55

 

Third Quarter

 

 

122.90

 

 

101.65

 

 

108.35

 

 

90.40

 

Fourth Quarter

 

 

131.70

 

 

115.70

 

 

116.15

 

 

83.35

 

 

 

Single annual cash dividend payments were declared and scheduled to be paid subsequent to year end in the amounts of $0.80, $0.80, and $0.70 per common share, for the years ended August 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively.  Our revolving credit facility contains financial covenants which may have the effect of limiting the amount of dividends that we can pay.

15


 

Comparative Stock Performance

 

The following line graph compares the yearly percentage change in our cumulative total shareholder return on the Common Stock for the last five fiscal years with the cumulative total return on the Standard & Poor's 500 Stock Index (the “S&P 500 Index”), and a composite peer index that is weighted by market equity capitalization (the “Peer Group Index”). The companies included in the Peer Group Index are Henkel AG & Co KGaA, H.B. Fuller Company, Intertape Polymer Group, Rogers Corporation and RPM International, Inc.  Cumulative total returns are calculated assuming that $100 was invested on August 31, 2013 in each of the Common Stock, the S&P 500 Index and the Peer Group Index, and that all dividends were reinvested.

Picture 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

2013

    

2014

    

2015

    

2016

    

2017

    

2018

 

Chase Corp

 

$

100

 

$

121

 

$

137

 

$

227

 

$

333

 

$

445

 

S&P 500 Index

 

$

100

 

$

125

 

$

126

 

$

142

 

$

165

 

$

197

 

Peer Group Index

 

$

100

 

$

114

 

$

112

 

$

143

 

$

148

 

$

152

 

 

The information under the caption “Comparative Stock Performance” above is not deemed to be “filed” as part of this Annual Report, and is not subject to the liability provisions of Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such information will not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any filing we make under the Securities Act of 1933 unless we explicitly incorporate it into such a filing at the time.

16


 

Item 6 – Selected Financial Data

 

the following selected financial data should be read in conjunction with “Item 7 – Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Item 8 – Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiscal Years Ended August 31,

 

 

    

2018

    

2017

    

2016

    

2015

    

2014

 

 

 

(In thousands, except per share amounts)

 

Statement of Operations Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue

 

$

284,188

 

$

252,560

 

$

238,094

 

$

238,046

 

$

224,006

 

Net income

 

$

43,143

 

$

42,014

 

$

32,807

 

$

26,413

 

$

26,523

 

Add: net (gain) loss attributable to noncontrolling interest

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

(95)

 

 

108

 

Net income attributable to Chase Corporation

 

$

43,143

 

$

42,014

 

$

32,807

 

$

26,318

 

$

26,631

 

Net income available to common shareholders, per common and common equivalent share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income per common and common equivalent share

 

$

4.60

 

$

4.49

 

$

3.55

 

$

2.87

 

$

2.92

 

Diluted:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income per common and common equivalent share

 

$

4.56

 

$

4.44

 

$

3.50

 

$

2.82

 

$

2.86

 

Balance Sheet Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

 

$

316,469

 

$

254,738

 

$

262,819

 

$

255,642

 

$

245,545

 

Long-term debt, including current portion

 

 

25,000

 

 

 —

 

 

43,400

 

 

51,800

 

 

58,800

 

Total stockholders' equity

 

 

246,756

 

 

210,929

 

 

174,089

 

 

154,342

 

 

137,490

 

Cash dividends paid per common and common equivalent share

 

$

0.80

 

$

0.70

 

$

0.65

 

$

0.60

 

$

0.45

 

 

 

 

17


 

Item 7 – Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following discussion provides an analysis of our financial condition and results of operations and should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and notes thereto included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. 

 

Selected Relationships within the Consolidated Statements of Operations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years Ended August 31,

 

 

    

2018

    

2017

    

2016

 

 

 

(Dollars in thousands)

 

Revenue

 

$

284,188

 

$

252,560

 

$

238,094

 

Net income

 

$

43,143

 

$

42,014

 

$

32,807

 

Increase in revenue from prior year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amount

 

$

31,628

 

$

14,466

 

$

48

 

Percentage

 

 

13

%  

 

 6

%  

 

*

%  

Increase in net income from prior year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amount

 

$

1,129

 

$

9,207

 

$

6,394

 

Percentage

 

 

 3

%

 

28

%

 

24

%  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Percentage of revenue:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue

 

 

100

%  

 

100

%  

 

100

%  

Cost of products and services sold

 

 

62

 

 

58

 

 

61

 

Selling, general and administrative expenses

 

 

18

 

 

19

 

 

19

 

Other (income) expense, net

 

 

(*)

 

 

(1)

 

 

(*)

 

Income before income taxes

 

 

20

%

 

24

%

 

21

%

Income taxes

 

 

 5

 

 

 7

 

 

 7

 

Net income                         

 

 

15

%  

 

17

%  

 

14

%  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* denotes less than one percent

 

Overview

 

While revenue growth, both organic and inorganic, has helped to define fiscal 2018, so too have rising raw material costs and a less favorable sales mix as compared to the prior year.  Sales price increases have gone into effect for many impacted product lines, with additional future increases possible, as we address increasing inflationary pressures from higher commodity prices, supply and demand imbalances and tariffs across the business. The Company has remained committed to its core strategies: growing through both acquisition and market and product development efforts, and making major steps forward in its facility consolidation and rationalization initiative and in its divesting of non-core businesses.

 

In December 2017, we completed the acquisition of Zappa Stewart, an advanced superabsorbent polymer (SAP) formulator and solutions provider. This acquisition proved to be immediately accretive to the Company’s earnings in the period of acquisition, after adjusting for nonrecurring costs associated with the transaction and financing cost. In April 2018, the Company divested its structural composites rod business, which operated outside the areas Chase has identified for strategic emphasis. In June 2018, we announced the closure of our cable materials-focused Pawtucket, RI facility, effective August 31, 2018, with operations housed there moving to our Oxford, MA and Lenoir, NC plants.

 

Revenue from the Industrial Materials segment increased over the prior year on greater demand for our pulling and detection, electronic and industrial coatings, specialty products, structural composites, specialty chemical intermediates, and electronic materials product lines. The segment’s organic increases in these legacy product lines were complemented by the December 2017 acquisition of Zappa Stewart, which is now included within the specialty chemical intermediates product line. Fiscal 2018 also benefited from an additional month of sales from the operations of Resin Designs,

18


 

obtained in the first quarter of the prior year. The segment’s overall revenue increase was negatively impacted by decreased sales of our cable materials products and the divestiture of our fiber optic cable components product line in the third quarter of the prior year.

 

Our Construction Materials segment obtained revenue growth over the prior year, primarily on increased demand for both our U.K.- and U.S.-produced pipeline coatings products, as well as our bridge and highway products. The overall increase in sales experienced by the segment was partially offset by decreased sales of our coating and lining systems and building envelope products.

 

Through mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, our marketing and product development efforts and our ability to rationalize and consolidate our operations to lower fixed costs, the Company remains focused on its core strategies for sustainable growth.  At August 31, 2018, the Company’s cash on hand was $34,828,000 and there was a $25,000,000 balance outstanding under the Company’s $150,000,000 revolving debt facility.

 

The Company has two reportable operating segments summarized below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Segment

    

Product Lines

    

Manufacturing Focus and Products

Industrial Materials

 

Cable Materials
Electronic and Industrial Coatings
Specialty Products
Pulling and Detection
Electronic Materials
Structural Composites
(1)
Fiber Optic Cable Components (2)
Specialty Chemical Intermediates

 

Protective coatings and tape products, including insulating and conducting materials for wire and cable manufacturers; moisture protective coatings and customized sealant and adhesive systems for electronics; laminated durable papers, packaging and industrial laminate products and custom manufacturing services; pulling and detection tapes used in the installation, measurement and location of fiber optic cables and water and natural gas lines; cover tapes essential to delivering semiconductor components via tape and reel packaging; composite materials elements; glass-based strength elements designed to allow fiber optic cables to withstand mechanical and environmental strain and stress; polyurethane dispersions, polymeric microspheres and superabsorbent polymers.

 

 

 

 

 

Construction Materials

 

Coating and Lining Systems
Pipeline Coatings
Building Envelope
Bridge and Highway

 

Protective coatings and tape products, including coating and lining systems for use in liquid storage and containment applications; protective coatings for pipeline and general construction applications; adhesives and sealants used in architectural and building envelope waterproofing applications; high-performance polymeric asphalt additives and expansion and control joint systems for use in the transportation and architectural markets.


(1)

Product line was substantially divested with the sale of the structural composites rod business on April 20, 2018. Custom manufacturing performed for the purchaser of the structural composites rod business subsequent to the sale is included within the specialty products product line.

(2)

Results of product line included for period prior to its April 3, 2017 sale by the Company.

19


 

Results of Operations

 

Revenue and Income Before Income Taxes by Segment are as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income Before

 

% of

 

 

    

Revenue

    

Income Taxes

    

Revenue

 

 

 

(Dollars in thousands)

 

 

 

Fiscal 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Industrial Materials

 

$

232,288

 

$

66,076

(a)

28

%

Construction Materials

 

 

51,900

 

 

18,178

 

35

%

 

 

$

284,188

 

 

84,254

 

30

%

Less corporate and common costs

 

 

 

 

 

(27,289)

(b)

 

 

Income before income taxes

 

 

 

 

$

56,965

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiscal 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Industrial Materials

 

$

202,956

 

$

67,561

(c)

33

%

Construction Materials

 

 

49,604

 

 

18,205

 

37

%

 

 

$

252,560

 

 

85,766

 

34

%

Less corporate and common costs

 

 

 

 

 

(24,874)

(d)

 

 

Income before income taxes

 

 

 

 

$

60,892

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiscal 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Industrial Materials

 

$

181,728

 

$

53,530

(e)

29

%

Construction Materials

 

 

56,366

 

 

19,967

 

35

%

 

 

$

238,094

 

 

73,497

 

31

%

Less corporate and common costs

 

 

 

 

 

(23,387)

(f)

 

 

Income before income taxes

 

 

 

 

$

50,110

 

 

 


(a)

Includes $1,070 of expense related to inventory step-up in fair value attributable to the December 2017 acquisition of Zappa Stewart, $1,085 gain on sale of license related to the structural composites product line recorded in the second quarter of fiscal 2018, $1,480 gain on sale of business related to the April 2018 sale of the structural composites rod business and $1,272 of expense related to the exit of our Pawtucket, RI location in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018

(b)

Includes $393 in acquisition-related expense attributable to the December 2017 acquisition of Zappa Stewart

(c)

Includes a $2,013 gain on sale of our fiber optic cable components business and $190 of expense related to inventory step-up in fair value attributable to the September 2016 acquisition of certain assets of Resin Designs

(d)

Includes $584 in acquisition-related expense attributable to the September 2016 acquisition of certain assets of Resin Designs, facility exit and demolition costs of $70 related to the Company’s Randolph, MA location, a $792 gain related to the November 2016 sale of the Company’s Paterson, NJ location, a $68 gain related to the December 2016 sale of the Company’s former corporate headquarters in Bridgewater, MA and $14 of pension-related settlement costs due to the timing of lump-sum distributions

(e)

Includes a $1,031 gain on sale of our RodPack wind energy business contained within our structural composites product line and a $365 write-down on certain other structural composites assets based on usage constraints following the sale, both recognized in November 2015

(f)

Includes $935 in Randolph, MA facility exit and demolition costs, a $877 gain on the write-down of an annuity and $13 of pension-related settlement costs due to the timing of lump-sum distributions

 

20


 

Total Revenue

 

Total revenue in fiscal 2018 increased $31,628,000 or 13% to $284,188,000 from $252,560,000 in the prior year.

 

Revenue in our Industrial Materials segment increased $29,332,000 or 14% to $232,288,000 for the year ended August 31, 2018 compared to $202,956,000 in fiscal 2017.  The increase in revenue from our Industrial Materials segment in fiscal 2018 was primarily due to: (a) increases in revenue from our specialty chemical intermediates product line totaling $17,383,000, which included sales of $16,324,000 related to the first eight months of operations from the acquired Zappa Stewart business; (b) sales increases of $6,510,000, predominantly on volume, from our pulling and detection products, with large scale infrastructure build and repair work from the utility and telecommunication industries fueling growth; (c) sales increases of $5,374,000 for our electronic and industrial coatings product line reflecting mainly sales volume increases, with some positive growth related to price, from the automotive, industrial controls and appliance manufacturing industries, along with increased sales from the Resin Designs business acquired in early fiscal 2017, and with an increased royalty received from our licensed manufacturer in Asia; (d) sales volume increases of $3,902,000 for our specialty products, which, subsequent to the sale of our fiber optic cable components business in April 2017 and our structural composites rod business in April 2018, includes revenue from the manufacturing services provided by the Company to the common purchaser of the divested businesses (totaled $2,186,000 for fiscal 2018); (e) sales volume increases of $1,998,000 from our structural composite products, on sales into the wind energy market (following the Company’s divestiture of the structural composites rod business in April 2018, product sales revenue for wind energy products is anticipated to be significantly lower, since post-third-quarter-2018 the Company began recognizing wind-energy-related revenue, including royalty revenue and revenue for transitional custom manufacturing services performed for the buyer, in our specialty products product line); and (f) an entirely volume-driven sales increase of $472,000 in our electronic materials product line. These increases were negatively impacted by: (a) decreased sales of $4,340,000 from our fiber optic cable components product line, which the Company sold in April 2017 (no revenue was recorded within the fiber optic cable components product line following its divestiture early in the third quarter of 2017, including all of fiscal 2018); and (b) a net decrease in revenue from our cable materials products of $1,967,000, with decreases in sales volume more than offsetting pricing increases obtained.

 

Revenue from our Construction Materials segment increased $2,296,000 or 5% to $51,900,000 for the year ended August 31, 2018 compared to $49,604,000 for fiscal 2017.  The increased revenue for our Construction Materials segment in fiscal 2018 was primarily due to an increase in sales volume and prices totaling $2,853,000 in our pipeline coatings products, with both our U.K.-produced water and wastewater pipeline products and U.S.-produced oil and gas pipeline products achieving increases over the prior year. Our bridge and highway products achieved a year-over-year increase in sales totaling $145,000, on both volume and price, with large bridge infrastructure work in the eastern U.S. continuing in fiscal 2018. Partially countering the overall increase in revenue for the segment were: (a) a $629,000 decrease in our building envelope product sales, driven predominantly by a decrease in sales volume; and (b) coating and lining systems products, which had a net revenue decrease of $73,000 on decreased sales volume offsetting increased sales prices.

 

Royalties and commissions in the Industrial Materials segment were $5,226,000, $4,683,000 and $3,664,000 for the years ended August 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively.  The increase in royalties and commissions in fiscal 2018 over both fiscal 2017 and 2016 was primarily due to increased sales of electronic and industrial coatings products by our licensed manufacturer in Asia. Chase also began earning two additional royalty streams in 2018 both related to the licensing of our structural composites rod technology; future growth of these additional royalty streams is dependent on the future performance of the third parties we entered into the arrangements with.

 

Export sales from domestic operations to unaffiliated third parties were $42,883,000, $36,719,000 and $28,826,000 for the years ended August 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively.  The increase in export sales in fiscal 2018 against both fiscal 2017 and 2016 resulted from increased export sales into China and Europe.

 

In fiscal 2017, total revenue increased $14,466,000 or 6% to $252,560,000 from $238,094,000 in fiscal 2016. Revenue in our Industrial Materials segment increased $21,228,000 or 12% to $202,956,000 for the year ended August 31, 2017 compared to $181,728,000 in fiscal 2016.  The increase in revenue from our Industrial Materials segment in fiscal 2017 was primarily due to: (a) our electronic and industrial coatings product line having total increases in revenue of

21


 

$20,108,000, which included sales of $14,868,000 related to the acquired Resin Designs operations and reflected increased sales volume from the automotive and appliance manufacturing industries, along with an increased royalty received from our licensed manufacturer in Asia;  (b) sales volume increases of $2,674,000 for our specialty products, which, subsequent to the sale of our fiber optic cable components business on April 3, 2017, includes revenue from the manufacturing services provided by the Company to the purchaser of the fiber optic cable components product line (totaling $740,000 for fiscal 2017); (c) sales volume increases of $2,072,000 from our structural composite products, on sales into the wind energy market; (d) sales volume increases of $1,056,000 from our pulling and detection products, as we continued to meet the utility and telecommunication industries’ high demand for our products; (e) a sales volume increase of $450,000 for our electronic materials; (f) sales growth of $321,000 for our cable materials products on strong demand from manufacturers of communication and server cables in the third and fourth quarters of fiscal 2017; and (g) our specialty chemical intermediates product line, which had $24,000 in increased sales volume.  These increases were partially offset by decreased sales of $5,477,000 from our fiber optic cable components product line, which the Company sold in April 20l7. No revenue was recorded within the fiber optic cable components product line following its divestiture early in the third quarter. Revenue from our Construction Materials segment decreased $6,762,000 or 12% to $49,604,000 for the year ended August 31, 2017 compared to $56,366,000 for fiscal 2016.  The decreased sales from our Construction Materials segment in fiscal 2017 was primarily due to a net decrease in sales volume of $7,409,000 in pipeline coatings products. Delayed project work and general weakness in the region continued to affect Middle East water infrastructure project demand for pipeline coatings products produced at our Rye, U.K. facility. Conversely, sales for our domestically-produced pipeline products, which sell predominantly into the North American oil and gas markets, increased compared to fiscal 2016. Our building envelope products saw a year-over-year sales volume decrease of $382,000. Partially offsetting the overall decrease in sales for the segment, were: (a) a $974,000 increase in our bridge and highway products sales volume, resulting from increased bridge work in the New York metro region; and (b) coating and lining systems products, whose sales volume increased by $55,000 over fiscal 2016.

 

Cost of Products and Services Sold

 

Cost of products and services sold increased $29,100,000 or 20% to $175,136,000 for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2018 compared to $146,036,000 in fiscal 2017.  As a percentage of revenue, cost of products and services sold increased to 62% in fiscal 2018 compared to 58% for fiscal 2017. 

 

The following table summarizes the relative percentages of cost of products and services sold to revenue for both of our operating segments:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiscal Years Ended August 31,

 

Cost of products and services sold

 

    

 

 

 

2018

    

2017

    

2016

 

Industrial Materials

 

 

 

 

 

63

%  

59

%  

61

%

Construction Materials

 

 

 

 

 

57

%  

54

%  

59

%

Total

 

 

 

 

 

62

%  

58

%  

61

%

 

Cost of products and services sold in our Industrial Materials segment was $145,742,000 for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2018 compared to $119,109,000 in fiscal 2017.  As a percentage of revenue, cost of products and services sold in this segment increased to 63% for fiscal 2018 compared to 59% in fiscal 2017. Cost of products and services sold in our Construction Materials segment was $29,394,000 for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2018 compared to $26,927,000 in fiscal 2017.  As a percentage of revenue, cost of products and services sold in this segment increased to 57% in fiscal 2018 compared to 54% for fiscal 2017.   As a percentage of revenue, cost of products and services sold in both segments increased primarily due to: (a) the effects of international and domestic trade policy on raw material costs, which most acutely rose in the latter half of fiscal 2018; (b) the rising costs of petroleum-based inputs;  (c) an unfavorable  product mix, most prominently in our Construction Materials segment, as our lower margin products constituted a comparatively higher portion of total sales in the current year; and (d) in the case of our Industrial Materials segment the inclusion of $1,070,000 in cost of sale of inventory step-up, related to inventory purchased as part of our second quarter acquisition of Zappa Stewart. We purchase a wide variety of commodity items, including petroleum-based solvents, films, yarns, polymers and nonwovens, along with base metals (aluminum and copper), as well as many other substrates. To facilitate control of our margins, we closely monitor the pricing of our commodities-based raw materials across all product lines, as their price volatility can have short- and long-term effects on both our customers’ demand for our products and the margins at which we are able to sell them.

22


 

 

In fiscal 2017, cost of products and services sold in our Industrial Materials segment was $119,109,000 for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2017 compared to $111,424,000 in fiscal 2016.  As a percentage of revenue, cost of products and services sold in this segment decreased to 59% for fiscal 2017 compared to 61% in fiscal 2016. Cost of products and services sold in our Construction Materials segment was $26,927,000 for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2017 compared to $33,014,000 in fiscal 2016.  As a percentage of revenue, cost of products and services sold in this segment decreased to 54% in fiscal 2017 compared to 59% for fiscal 2016.   As a percentage of revenue, cost of products and services sold in both segments decreased primarily due to product mix, as our lower margin products constituted a comparatively lower portion of total sales in fiscal 2017 compared to fiscal 2016.

 

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses

 

Selling, general and administrative expenses increased $4,561,000 or 10% to $52,297,000 during fiscal 2018 compared to $47,736,000 in fiscal 2017.  As a percentage of revenue, however, selling, general and administrative expenses decreased to 18% of total revenue in fiscal 2018 compared to 19% for fiscal 2017.  The year-over-year increase in expenses is primarily attributable to: (a) increased amortization expense of $2,680,000, primarily related to intangible assets acquired in our December 31, 2017 acquisition of Zappa Stewart, and a full twelve months of amortization related to our September 30, 2016 acquisition of certain assets of Resin Designs; (b) increased selling and commission expense of $773,000, principally related to sales growth on our highest commissionable products in the current year, coupled with the addition of the established sales force of Zappa Stewart and a full twelve months of  the established sales force of Resin Designs; and (c) increased research and development expense of $244,000, principally related to the current year addition of the established research and development department of Zappa Stewart and a full twelve months of operation of  the established research and development department of Resin Designs. The Company continues to closely monitor spend with an emphasis on controlling costs and leveraging existing resources.

 

During fiscal 2017, selling, general and administrative expenses increased $3,162,000 or 7% to $47,736,000 compared to $44,574,000 in fiscal 2016.  As a percentage of revenue, selling, general and administrative expenses were consistent at 19% of total revenue in both fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2016.  The year-over-year increase in expenses was primarily attributable to: (a) increased amortization expense of $1,291,000, primarily related to intangible assets acquired in our September 30, 2016 acquisition of certain assets of Resin Designs; (b) increased research and development expense of $904,000, principally related to the addition of the established research and development department of Resin Designs; (c) increase of $879,000 in stock-based compensation expenses; and (d) the fiscal 2016 $877,000 gain on the write-down of an annuity previously owed to a related party which did not recur in fiscal 2017. Partially offsetting these increases was a $1,200,000 reduction in cash incentive compensation expense, predominantly based on the fiscal 2017 change in our Executive Chairman’s compensation plan.

 

23


 

Exit Costs Related to Idle Facility

 

On June 25, 2018, the Company announced the planned closing of its Pawtucket, RI manufacturing facility effective August 31, 2018. This is in line with the Company’s ongoing efforts to consolidate its manufacturing plants and streamline its existing processes. The manufacturing of products previously produced in the Pawtucket, RI facility was moved to Company facilities in Oxford, MA and Lenoir, NC during a two-month transition period. The Company expensed $1,272,000 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 related to the closure, including: (a) cash-related employee-related, logistics and uncapitalized facility improvement costs of $590,000; and (b) non-cash-related accelerated depreciation expense of $682,000. Future costs related to this move are not anticipated to be significant to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

In fiscal 2017 and 2016, the Company recognized $70,000 and $935,000, respectively, in expenses to raze its Randolph, MA facility, which had been idle regarding production for several years. No expense related to this project was recognized in fiscal 2018. The Company began marketing the site for sale during the second quarter of fiscal 2016. The carrying value of the property is not material, and is included within Prepaid expense and other current assets on the Consolidated Balance Sheets at both August 31, 2018 and 2017. These actions were taken as part of the Company’s on-going facility consolidation and rationalization initiative. The Company substantially completed the demolition of the structure in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2016, and completed other environmental aspects of the project during fiscal 2017. The sale of the property is anticipated to follow in a subsequent period, and any future expenses related to the project are not anticipated to be material.

 

Acquisition-Related Costs

 

In fiscal 2018, the Company incurred $393,000 of costs related to our acquisition of Zappa Stewart.  This acquisition was accounted for as a business combination in accordance with applicable accounting standards, and all related professional service fees (including banking, legal, accounting and actuarial fees) were expensed as incurred within the second fiscal quarter of 2018.

 

In fiscal 2017, the Company incurred $584,000 of costs related to our acquisition of certain assets of Resin Designs.   This acquisition was accounted for as a business combination in accordance with applicable accounting standards, and all related professional service fees (including banking, legal, accounting, and actuarial fees) were expensed as incurred during the year ended August 31, 2017.   

 

Write-down of Certain Assets Under Construction

 

In fiscal 2016, the Company recorded a $365,000 charge related to the full write-down of certain structural composites tangible assets (construction in progress) located in its Granite Falls, NC facility. The fiscal 2016 sale of our RodPack wind energy business (and related intangible assets), contained within the structural composites product line, placed a limitation on the Company’s ability to sell certain other goods produced for the same product line, resulting in our determination to fully write-down certain assets under construction during the year.

 

Interest Expense

 

Interest expense increased $333,000 or 40% to $1,172,000 in fiscal 2018 compared to $839,000 in fiscal 2017.  Interest expense decreased $215,000 or 20% to $839,000 in fiscal 2017 compared to $1,054,000 in fiscal 2016.  The increase in interest expense in fiscal 2018 is the result of the increased average outstanding balance of Chase’s revolving debt facility, following the $65,000,000 draw on the facility in December 2017 to substantially fund the Company’s acquisition of Zappa Stewart.

   

In the second, third and fourth quarters of 2018, subsequent to the December 2017 borrowing, the Company made a total of $40,000,000 in payments against the principal, bringing the balance to $25,000,000 at August 31, 2018. In September 2018, subsequent to fiscal 2018, Chase made an additional $10,000,000 principal payment.

 

24


 

Gain on Sale of Real Estate

In November 2016, the Company finalized the sale of its Paterson, NJ property for proceeds of $1,382,000. This transaction resulted in a gain of $792,000 which was recorded during the year ended August 31, 2017.

In October 2016, Chase entered an agreement to sell its former corporate headquarters and executive offices in Bridgewater, MA. In December 2016, the sale was finalized for gross proceeds of $740,000, resulting in a gain on sale of $68,000 recognized during the year ended August 31, 2017.

 

Gain on Sale of License

   

In November 2017, the Company entered an agreement with an unrelated party to sell a license, including certain intellectual property, and sell certain construction in process assets, both related to the manufacturing of certain structural composite materials. In the second fiscal quarter of 2018, the transaction was finalized for gross consideration of $1,111,000 comprising cash proceeds of $1,000,000 and foreign tax consideration paid by the purchaser on Chase’s behalf of $111,000. This transaction resulted in a gain of $1,085,000, which was recorded as a gain on sale of license during the fiscal quarter ended February 28, 2018.

 

In relation to this transaction, the purchaser also entered into a royalty agreement with the Company. The purchaser will make royalty payments to Chase based on the volume of future sales of certain structural composite material manufactured by the purchaser. Royalty revenue recognized in 2018 related to this agreement was not material.

 

Gain on Sale of Businesses

On April 20, 2018, Chase finalized an agreement with an unrelated party to sell all inventory, operational machinery and equipment and intangible assets of the Company’s structural composites rod business, as well as a license related to the production and sale of rod, for proceeds of $2,232,000, net of transaction costs and following all working capital adjustments. This business, which was part of the structural composites product line within the Industrial Materials segment, had limited growth and profitability prospects as part of the Company, and was outside the areas Chase has identified for strategic emphasis.  The resulting pre-tax gain on sale of $1,480,000 was recognized in the third quarter of fiscal 2018 as a gain on sale of businesses. Chase received $2,075,000, net of transaction costs, in the third quarter of fiscal 2018, with the remaining $157,000 received in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 as a result of a working capital true-up. Chase will provide certain transitional manufacturing and administrative support to the purchaser for which the Company will receive additional consideration upon the performance of services.

In relation to this transaction, the purchaser entered into a royalty agreement with the Company. The purchaser will make royalty payments to Chase based on future sales of certain structural composite material manufactured by the purchaser. Royalty revenue recognized in 2018 related to this agreement was not material.

On April 3, 2017, Chase executed an agreement with an unrelated party to sell all inventory, machinery and equipment and intangible assets of its fiber optic cable components product line for proceeds of $3,858,000, net of transaction costs and following all working capital adjustments. The fiber optic cable components product line had been a part of our Industrial Materials segment. Given its low-growth and low-margin prospects, and a customer, supplier and equipment base separate from our other businesses, the product line was determined to not be part of Chase’s long-term strategy. The resulting pre-tax gain on sale of $2,013,000 was recognized during the year ended August 31, 2017. Further, the purchaser entered a multiyear lease for a portion of the manufacturing space at the Company’s Granite Falls, NC facility. Chase will provide certain transitional manufacturing and administrative support to the purchaser for which the Company will receive additional consideration upon the performance of services.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2016, the Company sold the RodPack wind energy business formerly contained within its structural composites product line, part of the Industrial Materials segment. This transaction resulted in a pre-tax book gain of $1,031,000, which was recorded in fiscal 2016.

 

25


 

Other Income (Expense)

 

Other income was $482,000 in fiscal 2018 compared to other income of $724,000 in fiscal 2017, a decrease of $242,000.  Other income (expense) primarily includes foreign exchange gains (losses) caused by changes in exchange rates on transactions or balances denominated in currencies other than the functional currency of our subsidiaries, interest income, rental income and other non-trade/non-royalty/non-commission receipts.  The decrease in total other income (expense) in fiscal 2018 compared to fiscal 2017 was largely due to the decrease in foreign exchange gains seen year-over-year, from $307,000 in fiscal 2017 to $85,000 in fiscal 2018.

 

Other income was $724,000 in fiscal 2017 compared to other income of $2,351,000 in fiscal 2016, a decrease of $1,627,000.  Other income (expense) in 2017 was largely net foreign exchange gains resulting from sales made from our U.K.-based operations and denominated in U.S. dollars and euros. British pound exchange volatility was lower in 2017 than that observed in 2016, ultimately resulting in lower net foreign exchange gains recognized. Also included in fiscal 2017 was a $300,000 gain on the settlement of a claim and the release of an escrow related to a prior acquisition.

 

Income Taxes

 

Our effective tax rate for fiscal 2018 was 24.3% as compared to 31.0% and 34.5% in fiscal 2017 and 2016, respectively. 

 

The current year effective tax rate was most prominently affected by: (a) the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”) in December 2017, including provisional and reasonable adjustments recorded in the second, third and fourth quarters of fiscal 2018 to account for the new rules and a Federal corporate tax rate of 21% enacted by the Tax Act; and (b) our early adoption of Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”)  No. 2016-09 at the beginning of the prior year.

   

As a result of the new 21% Federal tax rate enacted by the Tax Act, Chase has adjusted its Federal statutory rate for fiscal 2018 to be a blended rate of 25.7%, based on a combination of four months of operations under the old 35% corporate income tax rate, and eight months at the new 21% rate. Provisional transitional adjustments were made in the second, third and fourth fiscal quarters of fiscal 2018 to revalue, and in certain cases reclassify, our existing net U.S deferred tax assets and uncertain tax positions resulting in a net tax expense of $681,000 for the year ended August 31, 2018. See Note 7 — “Income Taxes” to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion of the effects of the Tax Act.

   

The Company early adopted ASU No. 2016-09, “Compensation – Stock Compensation (Topic 718), Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting”, during the first fiscal quarter of 2017 (the prior year). During the fiscal years ended August 31, 2018 and 2017, the Company recognized excess tax benefits from stock-based compensation of $1,921,000 and $1,917,000, respectively  (with no such excess benefit recognized in the year ended August 31, 2016), within income tax expense on the Consolidated Statements of Operations. The Company anticipates the potential for increased periodic volatility in future effective tax rates based on the continued application of ASU No. 2016-09. See Note 1 – “Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion of the effects of ASU No. 2016-09.

 

26


 

Net Income

 

Net income in fiscal 2018 increased $1,129,000 or 3% to $43,143,000 compared to $42,014,000 in fiscal 2017.  The increase in net income in 2018 was primarily due to: (a) increase in gross profit on sales, positively impacted by our second quarter acquisition of Zappa Stewart, along with increased royalties and commissions revenue; (b) a gain on sale of license and a gain on sale of business, both related to the structural composites rod business; (c) the recognition of a lower Federal statutory tax rate; and (d) the excess tax benefit recognized related to our early adoption of ASU No. 2016-09. These gains were negatively impacted by increased amortization expense, as well as one-time acquisition-related and inventory step-up costs, recognized in fiscal 2018, related to our December 2017 acquisition of Zappa Stewart.

 

Net income in fiscal 2017 increased $9,207,000 or 28% to $42,014,000 compared to $32,807,000 in fiscal 2016.  The increase in net income in 2017 was primarily due to: (a) an increased sales volume, including increases in revenue and earnings provided by the acquired operations of Resin Designs; (b) gains on the sales of our fiber optic cable components product line and our Paterson, NJ and Bridgewater, MA real estate; and (c) the recognition of excess tax benefit related to our early adoption of ASU No. 2016-09. These gains were partially offset by increased amortization expense recognized related to our September 30, 2016 acquisition of certain assets of Resin Designs.

 

27


 

Other Important Performance Measures

 

We believe that EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow are useful performance measures.  They are used by our executive management team to measure operating performance, to allocate resources, to evaluate the effectiveness of our business strategies and to communicate with our Board of Directors and investors concerning our financial performance. The Company believes EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow are also useful to investors. EBITDA is useful in comparing the core operations of the business from period to period by removing the impact of the Company’s capital structure (through interest expense), asset base (through depreciation and amortization) and tax rate, and in evaluating operating performance relative to others in the industry.  Adjusted EBITDA allows for comparison to the Company’s performance in prior periods without the effect of items that, by their nature, tend to obscure the Company’s core operating results due to the potential variability across periods based on their timing, frequency and magnitude. Free Cash Flow provides a means for measuring the cash generated from operations that is available for mandatory obligations, including interest payments and debt repayment, and discretionary investment opportunities such as funding acquisitions, product and market development and paying dividends. As a result, management believes these metrics, which are commonly used by financial analysts and others in the industries in which the Company operates, enhance the ability of investors to analyze trends in the Company’s business and evaluate the Company’s performance relative to peer companies and the past performance of the Company itself. EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow are non-U.S. GAAP financial measures.

   

We define EBITDA as net income before interest expense from borrowings, income tax expense, depreciation expense from fixed assets, and amortization expense from intangible assets.  We define Adjusted EBITDA as EBITDA excluding costs and (gains) losses related to our acquisitions and divestitures, costs of products sold related to inventory step-up to fair value, settlement (gains) losses resulting from lump sum distributions to participants from our defined benefit plans, and other significant items. We define Free Cash Flow as net cash provided by operating activities less purchases of property, plant and equipment.

   

The use of EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow has limitations and these performance measures should not be considered in isolation from, or as an alternative to, U.S. GAAP measures such as net income and net cash provided by operating activities.  None of these measures should be interpreted as representing the residual cash flow of the Company available solely for discretionary expenditures or to invest in the growth of our business, since we have certain non-discretionary expenditures that are not deducted from these measures, including scheduled principal and (in the case of Free Cash Flow) interest payments on outstanding debt. Our measurement of EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow may not be comparable to similarly-titled measures used by other companies.

28


 

The following table provides a reconciliation of net income, the most directly comparable financial measure presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP, to EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA for the periods presented (dollars in thousands):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years Ended August 31,

 

 

    

 

 

2018

    

2017

    

2016

 

Net income

 

 

 

$

43,143

 

$

42,014

 

$

32,807

 

Interest expense

 

 

 

 

1,172

 

 

839

 

 

1,054

 

Income taxes

 

 

 

 

13,822

 

 

18,878

 

 

17,303

 

Depreciation expense

 

 

 

 

5,817

 

 

5,130

 

 

5,606

 

Amortization expense

 

 

 

 

11,807

 

 

9,127

 

 

7,836

 

EBITDA

 

 

 

$

75,761

 

$

75,988

 

$

64,606

 

Gain on sale of businesses (a)

 

 

 

 

(1,480)

 

 

(2,013)

 

 

(1,031)

 

Cost of sale of inventory step-up (b)

 

 

 

 

1,070

 

 

190

 

 

 —

 

Acquisition-related costs (c)

 

 

 

 

393

 

 

584

 

 

 —

 

Gain on sale of license (d)

 

 

 

 

(1,085)

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

Exit costs related to idle facility (excluding depreciation) (e)

 

 

 

 

590

 

 

70

 

 

935

 

Gain on sale of real estate (f)

 

 

 

 

 —

 

 

(860)

 

 

 —

 

Pension settlement costs (g)

 

 

 

 

 —

 

 

14

 

 

13

 

Annuity settlement (h)

 

 

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

(877)

 

Write-down of certain assets under construction (i)

 

 

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

365

 

Adjusted EBITDA

 

 

 

$

75,249

 

$

73,973

 

$

64,011

 


(a)

Represents gain on sale of the structural composites rod business in April 2018 (fiscal 2018), the fiber optic cable components product line in April 2017 (fiscal 2017) and the RodPack wind energy business contained within the structural composites product line in November 2015 (fiscal 2016)

(b)

Represents expenses related to inventory step-up in fair value related to the December 2017 (fiscal 2018) acquisition of Zappa Stewart and the September 2016 (fiscal 2017) acquisition of certain assets of Resin Designs

(c)

Represents costs related to the December 2017 (fiscal 2018) acquisition of Zappa Stewart and the September 2016 (fiscal 2017) acquisition of certain assets of Resin Designs

(d)

Represents fiscal 2018 second quarter gain on sale of a license related to the structural composites product line

(e)

Represents Pawtucket, RI facility closure costs in the fourth quarter of  fiscal 2018, excluding accelerated depreciation expense recognized, and the Randolph, MA facility exit and demolition costs incurred in both 2017 and 2016

(f)

Represents gain on November 2016 sale of the Company’s Paterson, NJ location, and December 2016 sale of the Company’s former corporate headquarters in Bridgewater, MA

(g)

Represents pension-related settlement costs due to the timing of lump sum distributions

(h)

Represents the gain recognized on write-down of an accrued annuity previously owed by the Company

(i)

Represents a write-down of certain structural composites assets under construction based on usage constraints recognized following the sale of the RodPack wind energy business in November 2015

 

The following table provides a reconciliation of net cash provided by operating activities, the most directly comparable financial measure presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP, to Free Cash Flow for the periods presented (dollars in thousands):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years Ended August 31,

 

    

 

 

2018

    

2017

    

2016

Net cash provided by operating activities

 

 

 

$

46,071

 

$

51,932

 

$

48,833

Purchases of property, plant and equipment

 

 

 

 

(3,488)

 

 

(3,199)

 

 

(2,046)

Free Cash Flow

 

 

 

$

42,583

 

$

48,733

 

$

46,787

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29


 

The following table provides a summary of net cash used in investing activities and net cash provided by (used in) financing activities, presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP, for the periods presented (dollars in thousands):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years Ended August 31,

 

    

 

 

2018

    

2017

    

2016

Net cash used in investing activities

 

 

 

$

(73,766)

 

$

(25,102)

 

$

(612)

Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities

 

 

 

$

14,423

 

$

(52,796)

 

$

(15,299)

 

Liquidity and Sources of Capital 

 

Our cash balance decreased $12,526,000 to $34,828,000 at August 31, 2018 from $47,354,000 at August 31, 2017. The decreased cash balance is primarily attributable to: (a) the $73,469,000 acquisition of Zappa Stewart, partially offset by a $65,000,000 utilization of our all-revolving debt facility; (b) $40,000,000 in subsequent debt repayments; (c) cash dividend payment of $7,497,000; and (d) $3,488,000 in purchases of machinery and equipment throughout fiscal 2018. The overall decrease was positively impacted by: (a) cash from operations of $46,071,000; (b) cash proceeds from the sale of our structural composites rod business of $2,232,000; and (c) cash proceeds from the sale of a license related to our structural composites business of $1,000,000.  Of the above noted amounts, $28,521,000 and $31,756,000 were held outside the U.S. by Chase Corporation and our foreign subsidiaries as of August 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively. Given our cash position and borrowing capability in the United States and the potential for increased investment and acquisitions in foreign jurisdictions, prior to the second quarter of fiscal 2018, we did not have a history of repatriating a significant portion of our foreign cash. With the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”) in the second fiscal quarter, significant changes in the Internal Revenue Tax Code (the “IRC”) were enacted, changing the U.S. taxable nature of previously unrepatriated foreign earnings. In fiscal 2018 and subsequent to December 2017, the Company repatriated a total of $10,499,000 in U.K. foreign earnings. Consistent to prior to the passage of the Tax Act, we do not currently take the position that undistributed foreign subsidiaries’ earnings are considered to be permanently reinvested. See Note 7 — “Income Taxes” to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Report for further discussion of the effects of the Tax Act.

 

Our cash balance decreased $26,057,000 to $47,354,000 at August 31, 2017 from $73,411,000 at August 31, 2016. The decreased cash balance was primarily attributable to: (a) the repayment of $43,400,000 of debt principal, (b) the $30,270,000 in net cash paid for the September 2016 acquisition of certain assets of Resin Designs, LLC; and (c) the payment of our annual dividend totaling $6,532,000. The overall decrease was positively impacted by: (a) cash from operations of $51,932,000; (b) cash proceeds from the sale of our fiber optic cable components product line of $3,458,000; (c) cash proceeds from the sale of our Paterson, NJ and Bridgewater, MA real estate totaling $2,122,000; and (d) cash reimbursement related to the release of claims to a life insurance policy of $1,504,000. 

 

Cash provided by operations was $46,071,000 for the year ended August 31, 2018 compared to $51,932,000 in fiscal 2017.  Cash provided by operations during fiscal 2018 was primarily due to operating income and increased accounts payable, which rose on increased inventory balances. Partially offsetting the overall amount of cash provided by operations were increased inventory (as the Company made opportunistic purchases on non-perishable materials to take advantage of current costs, which were believed to be lower than future costs), increased accounts receivable (following a stronger fourth quarter sales in fiscal 2018) and decreases in accrued income taxes (as cash payments for taxes exceeded the amount of income tax expense recognized during the period).

 

Cash provided by operations was $51,932,000 for the year ended August 31, 2017 compared to $48,833,000 in fiscal 2016.  Cash provided by operations during fiscal 2017 was primarily due to operating income and increased accounts payable. Increased accounts payable resulted from the timing of payments. Partially offsetting the overall amount of cash provided by operations were increased accounts receivable (based on increased fourth quarter sales) and decreased accrued compensation and other expenses (based on certain payouts from the Company’s non-qualified deferred savings plan in fiscal 2017 totaling $1,131,000).

 

The ratio of current assets to current liabilities was 4.4 as of August 31, 2018 compared to 4.2 as of August 31, 2017.  The increase in our current ratio in fiscal 2018 was primarily attributable to increased inventory and accounts receivable; this was partially offset by the decrease in cash and cash equivalents during fiscal 2018.

 

30


 

Cash used in investing activities was $73,766,000 for the year ended August 31, 2018 compared to $25,102,000 in fiscal 2017.  During fiscal 2018, cash used in investing activities was primarily due to the acquisition of Zappa Stewart in December 2017 and our purchases of machinery and equipment throughout fiscal 2018.  Partially offsetting these uses of cash were; (a) cash proceeds from the sale of our structural composites rod business; and (b) cash proceeds from the sale of a license related to our structural composites business of $1,000,000.

 

During fiscal 2017, cash used in investing activities was $25,102,000 compared to $612,000 in fiscal 2016.  During fiscal 2017, cash used in investing activities was primarily due to our acquisition of certain assets of Resin Designs, LLC in September 2016, in addition to cash paid for purchases of machinery and equipment at our manufacturing locations. These uses were partially offset by cash received from the sale of our fiber optic cable components business and both our Paterson, NJ location and our former corporate headquarters in Bridgewater, MA, as well as in relation to a life insurance policy.

 

Cash provided by (used in) financing activities was $14,423,000 provided by financing activities for the year ended August 31, 2018 compared to $52,796,000 used in financing activities in fiscal 2017 and $15,299,000 used in financing activities in fiscal 2016. During fiscal 2018, Chase borrowed $65,000,000 on its revolving debt facility to substantially fund its purchase of Zappa Stewart, and subsequently made $40,000,000 in payments against the loan principal. Chase also paid an annual dividend of $7,497,000 in 2018.  During fiscal 2017 and 2016 cash used in financing activities was primarily due to our annual dividend payment, payments made on the term debt used to finance our fiscal 2012 acquisition of NEPTCO and, after December 15, 2016, payments made on the Company’s revolving credit facility, described in more detail below.

 

On November 13, 2018, we announced a cash dividend of $0.80 per share (totaling approximately $7,520,000) to shareholders of record on November 23, 2018 and payable on December 5, 2018. 

 

On October 30, 2017, we announced a cash dividend of $0.80 per share (resulting in payment of $7,497,000) to shareholders of record on November 9, 2017 and payable on December 6, 2017. 

On November 1, 2016, we announced a cash dividend of $0.70 per share (resulting in payment of $6,532,000) to shareholders of record on November 11, 2016 and payable on December 7, 2016. 

On December 15, 2016, we entered an Amended and Restated Credit Agreement (the “Credit Agreement”) with Bank of America, acting as administrative agent, and with participation from Citizens Bank and JPMorgan Chase Bank (collectively with Bank of America, the “Lenders”). The Credit Agreement is initially an all-revolving credit facility with a borrowing capacity of $150,000,000, which can be increased by an additional $50,000,000 at the request of the Company and the individual or collective option of any of the Lenders. The Credit Agreement contains customary affirmative and negative covenants that, among other things, restrict our ability to incur additional indebtedness and require certain lender approval for acquisitions by us and our subsidiaries over a certain size.  It also requires us to maintain certain financial ratios on a consolidated basis, including a consolidated net leverage ratio (as defined in the facility) of no more than 3.25 to 1.00, and a consolidated fixed charge coverage ratio (as defined in the facility) of at least 1.25 to 1.00. We were in compliance with our debt covenants as of August 31, 2018. The applicable interest rate for the Credit Agreement is based on the effective LIBOR plus an additional amount in the range of 1.00% to 1.75%, depending on our consolidated net leverage ratio or, at our option, at the bank’s base lending rate.  At August 31, 2018, the applicable interest rate was 3.25% per annum and the outstanding principal amount was $25,000,000.  The Credit Agreement was used to refinance our previously existing credit facility, which consisted of a $70,000,000 five-year term loan entered into in June 2012 in connection with our acquisition of NEPTCO, together with a $15,000,000 revolving line of credit, each bearing interest at LIBOR plus an additional amount in the range of 1.75% to 2.25%, depending on our leverage ratio. The Credit Agreement also provides for additional liquidity to finance potential acquisitions, working capital, capital expenditures, and other general corporate purposes. 

 

We have several on-going capital projects, as well as our facility rationalization and consolidation initiative, which are important to our long-term strategic goals. Further, machinery and equipment will be added as needed to increase capacity or enhance operating efficiencies in our other manufacturing plants. 

 

31


 

During fiscal 2018, the Company announced the planned closing of its Pawtucket, RI manufacturing facility effective August 31, 2018. This is in line with the Company’s ongoing efforts to consolidate its manufacturing plants and streamline its existing processes. The manufacturing of products previously produced in the Pawtucket, RI facility has been moved to Company facilities in Oxford, MA and Lenoir, NC. This was done as part of our continued facility rationalization and consolidation plan.

 

We may acquire companies or other assets in future periods which are complementary to our business.  We believe that our existing resources, including cash on hand and the Credit Agreement, together with cash generated from operations and additional bank borrowings, will be sufficient to fund our cash flow requirements through at least the next twelve months.  However, there can be no assurance that additional financing, if needed, will be available on favorable terms, if at all.

 

To the extent that interest rates increase in future periods, we will assess the impact of these higher interest rates on the financial and cash flow projections of our potential acquisitions. 

 

We have no material off-balance sheet arrangements.

 

Contractual Obligations

 

The following table summarizes our contractual cash obligations at August 31, 2018 and the effect such obligations are expected to have on our liquidity and cash flow in future periods (dollars in thousands):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payments Due

 

Payments Due

 

Payments Due

 

Payments After

 

Contractual Obligations

    

Total

    

Less than 1 Year

    

1 - 3 Years

    

3 - 5 Years

    

5 Years

 

Long-term debt including estimated interest

 

$

27,857

 

$

825

 

$

1,732

 

$

25,300

 

$

 —

 

Operating leases

 

 

11,777

 

 

2,144

 

 

3,919

 

 

2,412

 

 

3,302

 

Purchase obligations

 

 

18,835

 

 

18,835

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

Total (1) (2)

 

$

58,469

 

$

21,804

 

$

5,651

 

$

27,712

 

$

3,302

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


(1)

We may be required to make payments related to our unrecognized tax benefits. However, due to the uncertainty of the timing of future cash flows associated with these unrecognized tax benefits, we are unable to make reasonably reliable estimates of the period of cash settlement, if any, with the respective taxing authorities.   Accordingly, unrecognized tax benefits of $1,889,000 as of August 31, 2018 have been excluded from the contractual obligations table above.  See Note 7 — “Income Taxes” to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information. 

(2)

This table does not include the expected payments for our obligations for pension and other post-retirement benefit plans.   As of August 31, 2018, we had recognized an accrued benefit plan liability of $12,306,000 representing the unfunded obligations of the pension benefit plans.  See Note 9 — “Benefits and Pension Plans” to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information, including expected pension benefit payments for the next 10 years.

 

Recently Issued Accounting Standards

 

For discussion of the newly issued accounting pronouncements see “Recently Issued Accounting Standards” and “Recently Adopted Accounting Standards” in Note 1 — “Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Report.

32


 

Critical Accounting Policies, Judgments, and Estimates

 

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) requires companies to provide additional disclosure and commentary on their most critical accounting policies. The SEC has defined the most critical accounting policies as the ones that are most important to the portrayal of a company’s financial condition and operating results, and requires management to make its most significant estimates and judgments in the preparation of its consolidated financial statements.  Our critical accounting policies are described below.

 

Accounts Receivable

 

We evaluate the collectability of accounts receivable balances based on a combination of factors. In cases where we are aware of circumstances that may impair a specific customer’s ability to meet its financial obligations to us, a specific allowance against amounts due to us is recorded, and thereby reduces the net recognized receivable to the amount we reasonably believe will be collected. For all other customers, we recognize allowances for doubtful accounts based on the length of time the receivables are past due, industry and geographic concentrations, the current business environment and our historical experience. If the financial condition of our customers deteriorates or if economic conditions worsen, additional allowances may be required in the future, which could have an adverse impact on our future operating results.

 

Inventory

 

We value inventory at the lower of cost or net realizable value using the first in, first out (FIFO) method.  Management assesses the recoverability of inventory based on types and levels of inventory held, forecasted demand and changes in technology. These assessments require management judgments and estimates, and valuation adjustments for excess and obsolete inventory may be recorded based on these assessments.  We estimate excess and obsolescence exposures based upon assumptions about future demand, product transitions, and market conditions, and record adjustments to reduce inventories to their estimated net realizable value.  The failure to accurately forecast demand may lead to additional excess and obsolete inventory and future charges.

 

Business Combinations  

 

We assign the value of the consideration transferred to acquire a business to the tangible assets and identifiable intangible assets acquired, and liabilities assumed on the basis of their fair values at the date of acquisition.  We assess the fair value of assets, including intangible assets, using a variety of methods, and each asset is measured at fair value from the perspective of a market participant.  The method used to estimate the fair values of intangible assets incorporates significant assumptions regarding the estimates a market participant would make in order to evaluate an asset, including a market participant’s use of the asset and the appropriate discount rates for a market participant.  Assets recorded from the perspective of a market participant that are determined to not have economic use for us are expensed immediately.  Any excess purchase price over the fair value of the net tangible and intangible assets acquired is allocated to goodwill. Transaction costs and restructuring costs associated with a transaction to acquire a business are expensed as incurred.

 

33


 

Goodwill, Intangible Assets, and Other Long-Lived Assets

 

Long-lived assets consist of goodwill, identifiable intangible assets, trademarks, patents and agreements and property, plant, and equipment.  Intangible assets and property, plant, and equipment, excluding goodwill, are amortized over their estimated useful life. We review long-lived assets and all intangible assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying amount of such assets may not be recoverable. 

 

Goodwill is also reviewed at least annually for impairment.  We perform our annual goodwill impairment assessment during the fourth fiscal quarter of each year. In fiscal 2017, we early adopted Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”)  No. 2017-04 “Intangibles - Goodwill and Other Topics (Topic 350): Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment.” We assess goodwill for impairment by comparing the fair value of the reporting unit to its carrying amount. If the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying value, an impairment loss, limited to the amount of goodwill allocated to that reporting unit, is recorded. Fair values for reporting units are determined based on the income approach (discounted cash flow method).

 

Revenue

 

We recognize revenue when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, performance of our obligation is complete, our price to the buyer is fixed or determinable, and we are reasonably assured of collecting.  These four transaction elements are typically met at the time of shipment or upon receipt by the customer based on contractual terms.  If a loss is anticipated on any contract, a provision for the entire loss is made immediately.  Revenue recognition involves judgments and assessments of expected returns, and the likelihood of nonpayment by customers.  We analyze various factors, including a review of specific customer contracts and shipment terms, historical experience, creditworthiness of customers and current market and economic conditions in determining when to recognize revenue.  Changes in judgments on these factors could impact the timing and amount of revenue recognized with a resulting impact on the timing and amount of operating income.  For certain products, consigned inventory is maintained at customer locations, and revenue is typically recognized in the period that the consigned inventory is consumed.  Royalty revenue is recognized based on licensee production statements received from the authorized manufacturers. Billed shipping and handling fees are recorded as sales revenue with the associated costs recorded within cost of products and services sold.

 

For discussion of ASU No. 2014-09, “Revenue from Contracts with Customers,” which will replace most of the existing revenue recognition guidance under U.S. GAAP and the Company’s planned adoption of the ASU in fiscal 2019 see “Recently Issued Accounting Standards” in Note 1 — “Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Report.

 

Uncertain Tax Positions

 

We are subject to routine income tax audits that occur periodically in the normal course of business.  Our contingent income tax liabilities are estimated based on the methodology prescribed in the guidance for accounting for uncertain tax positions.  The guidance prescribes a minimum recognition threshold a tax position is required to meet before being recognized in the financial statements.  Our liabilities related to uncertain tax positions require an assessment of the probability of the income-tax-related exposures and settlements. Our assessment is based on our historical audit experiences with various state and federal taxing authorities, as well as by current income tax trends.  If circumstances change, we may be required to record adjustments that could be material to our reported financial condition and results of operations. See Note 7 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Report for more information on our accounting for uncertain tax positions.

 

Deferred Income Taxes

 

We evaluate the need for a valuation allowance to reduce our deferred tax assets to the amount that is more likely than not to be realized.  We have considered future taxable income and ongoing prudent and feasible tax planning strategies in assessing the need for a valuation allowance.  Should we determine that we would not be able to realize all or part of our net deferred tax asset in the future, an adjustment to the deferred tax asset would be charged to income in the period such determination was made.

34


 

 

Stock-Based Compensation

 

We measure compensation cost for share-based compensation at fair value and recognize the expense over the period that the recipient is required to provide service in exchange for the award, which generally is the vesting period.  We use the Black-Scholes option pricing model to measure the fair value of stock options.  This model requires significant estimates related to the award’s expected life and future stock price volatility of the underlying equity security. Historically, in determining the amount of expense to be recorded, we were required to estimate forfeiture rates for awards, based on the probability that employees will complete the required service period. We estimated the forfeiture rate based on historical experience.  In fiscal 2017, we early adopted ASU No. 2016-09, “Compensation – Stock Compensation (Topic 718), Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting.” Following the adoption of the new standard, the Company has elected to account for forfeitures as they occur.

 

Pension Benefits

 

We sponsor a non-contributory defined benefit pension plan covering employees of certain divisions of the Company.  In calculating our retirement plan obligations and related expense, we make various assumptions and estimates.  These assumptions include discount rates, benefits earned, expected return on plan assets, mortality rates, and other factors.  While we believe that the assumptions used are appropriate, differences in actual experience or changes in assumptions may affect our pension obligations and future expense.

 

Effective December 1, 2008, the Chase defined benefit pension plan was amended to include a “soft freeze” whereby any employee hired after the effective date of December 1, 2008 will not be admitted to the plan.  The only exception related to employees who are members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Union whose contract was amended to include a soft freeze whereby any employees hired after the effective date of July 15, 2012 will not be admitted to the plan.  All eligible participants who were previously admitted to the plan prior to the applicable soft freeze dates will continue to accrue benefits as detailed in the plan agreements.

 

Through our wholly-owned subsidiary NEPTCO, we have another defined benefit pension plan covering substantially all of our union employees at our Pawtucket, RI plant. This plan was frozen effective October 31, 2006, and as a result, no new participants can enter the plan and the benefits of current participants were frozen as of that date. The benefits are based on years of service and the employee’s average compensation during the earlier of five years before retirement, or October 31, 2006. 

 

We account for our pension plans following the requirements of ASC Topic 715, “Compensation – Retirement Benefits” (“ASC 715”).  ASC 715 requires an employer to: (a) recognize in its statement of financial position the funded status of a benefit plan; (b) measure defined benefit plan assets and obligations as of the end of the employer’s fiscal year (with limited exceptions); and (c) recognize as a component of other comprehensive income, net of tax, the gains or losses and prior service costs or credits that arise but are not recognized as components of net periodic benefit costs pursuant to prior existing guidance.

 

Impact of Inflation

Inflation has not had a significant long-term impact on our earnings.  In the event of significant inflation, our efforts to recover cost increases would be hampered as a result of the competitive nature of the industries in which we operate.

35


 

 

 

Item 7a – Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

 

We limit the amount of credit exposure to any one issuer.  At August 31, 2018, other than our restricted investments (which are restricted for use in a non-qualified retirement savings plan for certain key employees and members of the Board of Directors), all of our funds were either in demand deposit accounts or investment instruments that meet high credit quality standards such as money market funds, government securities, or commercial paper.

 

Our domestic operations have limited currency exposure since substantially all transactions are denominated in U.S. dollars.  However, our European and Asian operations are subject to currency exchange fluctuations. We continue to review our policies and procedures to control this exposure while maintaining the benefit from these operations and sales not denominated in U.S. dollars. The effect of an immediate hypothetical 10% change in the exchange rate between the British pound and the U.S. dollar would not have a material effect on the Company’s overall liquidity. As of August 31, 2018, the Company had cash balances in the following foreign currencies (with USD equivalents):