10-K 1 amsc-10k_20150331.htm 10-K

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

Form 10-K

 

x

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015

OR

¨

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the Transition Period from              to             

Commission file number 000-19672

 

American Superconductor Corporation

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

 

Delaware

 

04-2959321

(State or Other Jurisdiction

of Incorporation or Organization)

 

(IRS Employer

Identification Number)

 

 

 

64 Jackson Road

Devens, Massachusetts

 

01434

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

 

(Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code:

(978) 842-3000

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

Common Stock, $0.01 par value, NASDAQ Global Select Market

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

None

 

Indicate by checkmark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  ¨    No  x

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

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

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

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§ 232.405) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the 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 definition of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act:

 

Large accelerated filer

 o

 

Accelerated filer

 x

 

 

 

 

 

Non-accelerated filer

 o

(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)

Smaller reporting company

 o

Indicate by checkmark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).    Yes  ¨    No  x

The aggregate market value of the registrant’s Common Stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant on September 30, 2014, based on the closing price of the shares of Common Stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on that date ($14.10 per share) was $99.0 million.

Number of shares outstanding of the registrant’s Common Stock, as of May 22, 2015 was 13,863,254.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the definitive proxy statement for the annual meeting of stockholders scheduled to be held on July 31, 2015, to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), are incorporated by reference in answer to Part III of this Form 10-K.

 

 

 

 

 


AMERICAN SUPERCONDUCTOR CORPORATION

INDEX

 

Item

  

 

Page

 

 

  

PART I

 

 

 

1.

  

Business

 

4

 

1A.

  

Risk Factors

 

14

 

1B.

  

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

26

 

2.

  

Properties

 

26

 

3.

  

Legal Proceedings

 

27

 

4.

  

Mine Safety Disclosures

 

29

 

 

  

PART II

 

 

 

5.

  

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

 

30

 

6.

  

Selected Financial Data

 

32

 

7.

  

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

 

33

 

7A.

  

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

52

 

8.

  

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

53

 

9.

  

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

97

 

9A.

  

Controls and Procedures

 

97

 

9B.

  

Other Information

 

97

 

 

  

PART III

 

 

 

10.

  

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

98

 

11.

  

Executive Compensation

 

98

 

12.

  

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

 

98

 

13.

  

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions and Director Independence

 

98

 

14.

  

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

 

98

 

  

PART IV

 

 

15.

  

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules.

 

98

 

 

 

2


 

 

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 (the “Exchange Act”). For this purpose, any statements contained herein that relate to future events or conditions, including without limitation, the statements in Part I, “Item 1A. Risk Factors” and in Part II under “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and located elsewhere herein regarding industry prospects or our prospective results of operations or financial position, may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Without limiting the foregoing, the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements represent management’s current expectations and are inherently uncertain. There are a number of important factors that could materially impact the value of our common stock or cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include: We have a history of operating losses, which may continue in the future. Our operating results may fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter and may fall below expectations in any particular fiscal quarter; We have a history of negative operating cash flows, and we may require additional financing in the future, which may not be available to us; Our Term Loans include certain covenants and other events of default. Should we not comply with these covenants or incur an event of default, we may be required to repay our obligation in cash, which could have an adverse effect on our liquidity; We may be required to issue performance bonds or provide letters of credit, which restricts our ability to access any cash used as collateral for the bonds or letters of credit; Changes in exchange rates could adversely affect our results from operations; If we fail to maintain proper and effective internal controls over financial reporting, our ability to produce accurate and timely financial statements could be impaired and may lead investors and other users to lose confidence in our financial data; Our financial condition may have an adverse effect on our customer and supplier relationships; Our success in addressing the wind energy market is dependent on the manufacturers that license our designs; A significant portion of our revenues are derived from a single customer; Our success is dependent upon attracting and retaining qualified personnel and our inability to do so could significantly damage our business and prospects; We may not realize all of the sales expected from our backlog of orders and contracts; Our business and operations would be adversely impacted in the event of a failure or security breach of our information technology infrastructure; We may not be able to ramp up production at our newly leased manufacturing facility in Romania, and, if we are able to do so, we may have manufacturing quality issues, which would negatively affect our revenues and financial position; We rely upon third-party suppliers for the components and subassemblies of many of our Wind and Grid products, making us vulnerable to supply shortages and price fluctuations, which could harm our business; Many of our revenue opportunities are dependent upon subcontractors and other business collaborators; If we fail to implement our business strategy successfully, our financial performance could be harmed; Problems with product quality or product performance may cause us to incur warranty expenses and may damage our market reputation and prevent us from achieving increased sales and market share; Regulations related to conflict-free minerals may force us to incur significant additional expenses; Our contracts with the U.S. government are subject to audit, modification or termination by the U.S. government and include certain other provisions in favor of the government. The continued funding of such contracts remains subject to annual congressional appropriation which, if not approved, could reduce our revenue and lower or eliminate our profit; Many of our customers outside of the United States, particularly in China, are either directly or indirectly, related to governmental entities, and we could be adversely affected by violations of the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and similar worldwide anti-bribery laws outside the United States; We have had limited experience in marketing and selling our superconductor products and system-level solutions, and our failure to effectively market and sell our products and solutions could lower our revenue and cash flow; We may acquire additional complementary businesses or technologies, which may require us to incur substantial costs for which we may never realize the anticipated benefits; Our success depends upon the commercial use of high temperature superconductor (HTS) products, which is currently limited, and a widespread commercial market for our products may not develop; Growth of the wind energy market depends largely on the availability and size of government subsidies and economic incentives; We have operations in and depend on sales in emerging markets, including India and China, and global conditions could negatively affect our operating results or limit our ability to expand our operations outside of these countries. Changes in India’s or China’s political, social, regulatory and economic environment may affect our financial performance; Our products face intense competition, which could limit our ability to acquire or retain customers; Our international operations are subject to risks that we do not face in the United States, which could have an adverse effect on our operating results; Adverse changes in domestic and global economic conditions could adversely affect our operating results; We may be unable to adequately prevent disclosure of trade secrets and other proprietary information; Our patents may not provide meaningful protection for our technology, which could result in us losing some or all of our market position; There are a number of technological challenges that must be successfully addressed before our superconductor products can gain widespread commercial acceptance, and our inability to address such technological challenges could adversely affect our ability to acquire customers for our products; Third parties have or may acquire patents that cover the materials, processes and technologies we use or may use in the future to manufacture our Amperium products, and our success depends on our ability to license such patents or other proprietary rights; Our technology and products could infringe intellectual property rights of others, which may require costly litigation and, if we are not successful, could cause us to pay substantial damages and disrupt our business; We have filed a demand for arbitration and other lawsuits against our former largest customer, Sinovel, regarding amounts we contend are overdue. We cannot be certain as to the outcome of these proceedings; We have been named as a party in various legal proceedings, and we may be named in additional litigation, all of which will require significant management time and attention, result in significant legal expenses and may result in an unfavorable outcome, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition; and our common stock has experienced, and may continue to experience, significant market price and volume fluctuations, which may prevent our stockholders from selling our common stock at a profit and could lead to costly litigation against us that could divert our management’s attention;.   These and the important factors discussed under the caption “Risk Factors” in Part 1. Item 1A of this Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by forward-looking statements made herein and presented elsewhere by management from time to time. Any such forward-looking statements represent management’s estimates as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. While we may elect to update such forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we disclaim any obligation to do so, even if subsequent events cause our views to change. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any date subsequent to the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

 

 

3


 

PART I

 

Item 1.

BUSINESS

Overview

American Superconductor Corporation (“AMSC®”) was founded on April 9, 1987. We are a leading provider of megawatt-scale solutions that lower the cost of wind power and enhance the performance of the power grid. In the wind power market, we enable manufacturers to field highly competitive wind turbines through our advanced power electronics products, engineering, and support services. In the power grid market, we enable electric utilities and renewable energy project developers to connect, transmit and distribute power through our transmission planning services and power electronics, and superconductor-based products. Our wind and power grid products and services provide exceptional reliability, security, efficiency, and affordability to our customers.

Our company has designed wind turbines for or licensed wind turbine designs to more than 10 wind turbine manufacturing customers including Inox Wind Limited (“Inox”) in India and Beijing JINGCHENG New Energy (“JCNE”) in China. We have also served over 100 customers in the grid market since our inception, including American Electric Power and Long Island Power Authority in the United States, EDF Group in France, Korean Electric Power Corporation in Korea and Ergon Energy in Australia. We serve customers globally through a localized sales and field service presence in our core target markets.

Our wind and power grid solutions help to improve energy efficiency, alleviate power grid capacity constraints and increase the adoption of renewable energy generation. Demand for our solutions is driven by the growing needs for renewable sources of electricity, such as wind and solar energy, and for modernized smart grids that improve power reliability, security, and quality. Concerns about these factors have led to increased spending by corporations as well as supportive government regulations and initiatives on local, state and national levels, including renewable portfolio standards, tax incentives, and international treaties. We estimate that today’s total annual addressable global market for our wind and grid solutions is approximately $10.0 billion.

We segment our operations into two market-facing business units: Wind and Grid. We believe this market-centric structure enables us to more effectively anticipate and meet the needs of wind turbine manufacturers, power generation project developers and electric utilities.

·

Wind. Through our Windtec SolutionsTM, our Wind business segment enables manufacturers to field wind turbines with exceptional power output, reliability, and affordability. We supply advanced power electronics and control systems, license our highly engineered wind turbine designs, and provide extensive customer support services to wind turbine manufacturers. Our design portfolio includes a broad range of drive trains and power ratings of 2 megawatts (“MW”) and higher. We provide a broad range of power electronics and software-based control systems that are highly integrated and designed for optimized performance, efficiency, and grid compatibility.

·

Grid. Through our Gridtec SolutionsTM, our Grid business segment enables electric utilities and renewable energy project developers to connect, transmit and distribute power with exceptional efficiency, reliability, security and affordability. We provide transmission planning services that allow us to identify power grid congestion, poor power quality, and other risks, which help us determine how our solutions can improve network performance. These services often lead to sales of our grid interconnection solutions for wind farms and solar power plants, power quality systems and transmission and distribution cable systems. We also sell ship protection products to the U.S. Navy through our Grid business segment.

Our fiscal year begins on April 1 and ends on March 31. When we refer to a particular fiscal year, we are referring to the fiscal year beginning on April 1 of that same year. For example, fiscal 2014 refers to the fiscal year beginning on April 1, 2014. Other fiscal years follow similarly.

Competitive strengths

We believe our competitive strengths position us well to execute on our growth plans in the markets we serve.

·

Unique Solutions for the Wind and Grid Markets. We believe we are the only company in the world that provides wind turbine manufacturers with an integrated approach of wind turbine design and engineering, customer support services and power electronics and control systems. We also believe we are the only company in the world that is able to provide transmission planning services, grid interconnection and voltage control systems as well as superconductor-based transmission and distribution systems for power grid operators. This unique scope of supply provides us with greater insight into our customers’ evolving needs and greater cross-selling opportunities.

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·

Differentiated Technologies. Our PowerModule™ power converters are based on proprietary software and hardware combinations and are used in a broad array of applications, including our D-VAR® grid interconnection and voltage control systems, as well as our wind turbine electrical control systems. Our proprietary Amperium® superconductor wire was engineered to allow us to tailor the product via laminations to meet the electrical and mechanical performance requirements of widely varying end-use applications, including power cables and fault current limiters for the Grid market.

·

Highly Scalable, Low-Cost Manufacturing Platform. We can increase the production of our proprietary power electronics and superconductor technologies at costs that we believe are low relative to our competitors. Our proprietary manufacturing technique for Amperium wires is modular in nature, which allows us to expand manufacturing capacity at a relatively low incremental cost.

·

Robust Patent Position and Engineering Expertise. As of March 31, 2015, we owned more than 390 patents and patent applications worldwide (including international counterparts to U.S. patents), and had rights through exclusive and non-exclusive licenses to more than 220 additional patents and patent applications worldwide. We believe our technology and manufacturing knowledge base, customer and product expertise and patent portfolio provide a strong competitive position.

Strategy

Building on these competitive strengths, we plan to focus on driving revenue growth and enhancing our operating results through the objectives defined below.

·

Provide Solutions from Power Generation to Delivery. From the generation source to the distribution system, we focus on providing best-in-class engineering, support services, technologies and solutions that make the world’s power supplies smarter, cleaner and stronger.

·

Focus on “Megawatt-Scale” Power Offerings. Our research, product development, and sales efforts focus on megawatt-scale offerings ranging from designs of power electronics for large wind turbine platforms to systems that stabilize power flows, integrate renewable power into the grid and carry power to and from transmission and distribution substations.

·

Pursue Emerging Overseas Markets and Serve Key Markets Locally. We focus our sales efforts on overseas markets that are investing aggressively in renewable energy and power grid projects, and we have been particularly successful in targeting key Asian markets, including India and China. As part of our strategy, we serve our key target markets with local sales and field service personnel, which enables us to understand market dynamics and more effectively anticipate customer needs while also reducing response time. We currently serve target markets such as Australia, China, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

·

Product Innovation. We have a strong record of developing unique solutions for megawatt-scale power applications and will continue our focus on investing in innovation. Recently, our product development efforts have included our Resilient Electric Grid (“REG”) system for the electricity grid.

Market opportunities

Our solutions address two substantial global demands:

·

the demand for renewable sources of electricity, and

·

the demand for modernized, smart power grid infrastructure that alleviates capacity constraints and improves electricity reliability, security, and efficiency.

Wind market overview

According to GlobalData, a research firm, nearly 52 Gigawatts (GW) of wind generation capacity were added worldwide in 2014, as compared to 35 GW in 2013.  GlobalData anticipates that more than 53 GW of additional capacity will be added in 2015.

Several factors are expected to drive the future growth in the wind power market, including substantial government incentives and mandates that have been established globally, technological improvements, turbine cost reductions, the development of the offshore wind market, and increasing cost competitiveness with existing power generation technologies. Technological advances, declining turbine production cost and fluctuating prices for some fossil fuels continue to increase the competitiveness of wind versus traditional power generation technologies.

5


 

Our solutions for the wind market

We address the challenges of the wind power market by designing and engineering wind turbines, providing extensive support services to wind turbine manufacturers and manufacturing and selling critical components for wind turbines.

·

Electrical Control Systems. We provide full electrical control systems or a subset of those systems (“core electrical components”) to manufacturers of wind turbines designed by us. Our electrical control systems regulate voltage, control power flows and maximize wind turbine efficiency, among other functions. To date, we have shipped enough core electrical components and complete electrical control systems to power more than 15,000 MW of wind power. We believe our electrical control systems represent approximately 10% of a wind turbine’s bill of materials. We believe that the total addressable market for electrical control systems was approximately $3.0 billion annually in 2014.

·

Wind Turbine Designs. We design and develop entire state-of-the-art onshore and offshore wind turbines with power ratings of 2 MW’s and higher for manufacturers who are in the business of producing wind turbines or who plan to enter the business of manufacturing wind turbines. These customers typically pay us licensing fees, and in some cases royalties for wind turbine designs, and purchase from us the core electrical components or complete electrical control systems needed to operate the wind turbines.

·

Customer Support Services. We provide extensive customer support services to wind turbine manufacturers. These services range from providing designs for customers’ wind turbine manufacturing plants to establishing and localizing their supply chains and training their employees on proper wind turbine installation and maintenance. We believe these services enable customers to accelerate their entry into the wind turbine manufacturing market and lower the cost of their wind turbine platforms.

Our approach to the wind energy markets allows our customers to use our world-class turbine engineering capabilities while minimizing their research and development costs. These services and our advanced electrical control systems provide our customers with the ability to produce standardized or next-generation wind turbines at scale for their local market or the global market quickly and cost-effectively. Our team of highly experienced engineers works with clients to customize turbine designs specifically tailored to local markets while providing ongoing access to field services support and future technological advances.

Grid market overview

It is widely believed that the electricity grid in the U.S. is in need of modernization through a technology upgrade if it is to maintain reliability and adapt to the changing market needs.  In fact, a recent report written by The White House and titled, “Economic Benefits of increasing Electric Grid Resilience in Weather Outages” found that economic damage from weather-related power outages averaged between $18 and $33 billion per year between 2003 and 2012 – and went as high as $75 billion in 2008 and $52 billion in 2012, as a result of damage caused by Hurricanes Ike and Sandy, respectively.  Furthermore, the electric grid is also vulnerable to equipment failure, acts of terror, and threats to cyber security.  Recent events and the reliance of safety, security, and economy on the electricity grid have prompted broad recognition worldwide of the need to modernize and enhance the reliability and security of power grids.

Power grid operators worldwide face various challenges, including:

·

Stability. Power grid operators are confronting power quality and stability issues arising from intermittent renewable energy sources and from the capacity limitations of transmission and overhead distribution lines and underground cables.

·

Reliability. Traditional transmission lines and cables often reach their reliable voltage stability limit well below their thermal threshold. Driving more power through a power grid when some lines and cables are operating above their voltage stability limit during times of peak demand can cause either unacceptably low voltage in the power grid (a brownout) or risk of a sudden, uncontrollable voltage collapse (a blackout).

·

Capacity. The traditional way to enable increases in power grid capacity without losing voltage stability is to install more overhead power lines and underground cables. However, permitting new transmission and distribution lines can take 10 years or more due to various public policy issues, such as environmental, aesthetic, and health concerns. In urban and metropolitan areas, installing additional conventional underground copper cables is similarly challenging, since many existing underground corridors carrying power distribution cables are already filled to their physical capacity and cannot accommodate any additional conventional cables. In addition, adding new conduits requires excavation to expand existing corridors or create new corridors, which are costly and disruptive undertakings.

·

Efficiency. Most overhead lines and underground cables use traditional conductors such as copper and aluminum, which lose power due to electrical resistance. At transmission voltage, electrical losses average about 7% in the United States and other developed nations, but can exceed 20% in some locations due to the distance of the line, quality of conductor, and the power grid’s architecture and characteristics, among other factors.

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·

Security. Catastrophic equipment failures caused by aging equipment, physical and cyber threats, and weather related disasters can leave entire sections of an urban environment without power for hours or days.  It can be difficult to recover from extended power outages in urban load centers, worsening situations where the personal safety of residents and the economic health of business are threatened.

Our solutions for the grid market

We address these challenges in the Grid market by providing services and solutions designed to increase the power grid’s capacity, reliability, security and efficiency.  We also provide advanced ship protection equipment for the U.S Navy in this segment as each Navy ship can be thought of as having its own power grid.  Our solutions include:

·

Superconductor Wire and Applications. Conventional conductors of electricity, such as aluminum and copper wire, lose energy due to resistance. Using a compound of yttrium barium copper oxide (“YBCO”), we manufacture and provide high-temperature superconductor (“HTS”) wire that can conduct many times more electricity than conventional conductors with no power loss. We have developed full system solutions that we expect to sell directly to customers.  This business model leverages our applications expertise, drives value beyond the wire and enables us to recognize revenue and take ownership over the marketing and sales of the full systems.  These systems include:

o

Resilient Electric Grid Systems. Our REG system has two primary applications that increase the reliability and the capacity of the urban infrastructure.  For applications focused on reliability improvement, the REG cable is best used in a “ring” or “loop” configuration to interconnect nearby urban substations.  This enables urban utilities to share transmission connections and excess station capacity, while controlling the high fault currents that naturally result from such interconnections, providing protection against the adverse effects that follow the loss of critical substation facilities in urban areas.  For applications focused on capacity improvement, the REG cable can be used in a “branch” configuration. In this application, the REG cable connects an existing large urban substation with a new, much smaller, and more simplified substation within the city at a lower cost. The smaller urban substation does not need large power transformers and takes up much less space, thereby significantly reducing real estate, construction, and other related costs in the urban area. The key component to the REG system is a breakthrough cable system that combines very high power handling capacity with fault current limiting characteristics; features that are attributable to our proprietary HTS wire. Assuming all urban substations in major cities in the U.S. could be connected with our REG system, we believe the total annual addressable market is approximately $5.0 billion.

o

Ship Protection Systems.  The primary focus of our ship protection systems (“SPS”) has been degaussing systems. These systems reduce a Naval ship’s magnetic signature, making it much more difficult for a mine to detect and damage a ship.  Traditionally made of heavy copper wire, degaussing is required on all Navy combat ships.  Our HTS advanced degaussing system is lightweight, compact, and often outperforms its conventional counterpart.  This HTS system is estimated to enable a 50 to 80 percent reduction in total degaussing system weight, offering significant potential for fuel savings or options to add different payloads. The core components of a degaussing system are transferable to other applications being targeted for ship implementation. We are also continuing to work on expanding HTS technology into the fleet through a variety of applications for power, propulsion, and protection equipment. We estimate that the total addressable market for HTS-based, SPS systems for the U.S. Navy fleet to be between $75.0 million and $120.0 million per year between the years 2020 and 2025.

·

We are also providing full system solutions through a partnership with industry leader Nexans:

o

Stand-alone Fault Current Limiters.  Used in substations, superconductor fault current limiters (“SFCLs”) act as surge protectors for the power grid.  SFCLs can help protect the grid by reducing the destructive nature of faults, extending the life of existing substation equipment and allowing utilities to defer or eliminate equipment replacements or upgrades.  Together with Nexans, we offer SFCLs for medium voltage alternating current (“AC”) networks.

7


 

·

FACTS Systems. Flexible alternating current transmission system – or FACTS – is a system that consists of power electronics and other static components used for controlling power flow and voltage in the AC transmission system.  FACTS products aim to increase controllability and power transfer ability of a network, which allows more effective utilization of existing assets and reduces the need for new transmission lines, and facilities to increase electricity availability.  Our FACTS sales process begins with our group of experienced transmission planners working with power grid operators, renewable energy developers, and industrial system operators to identify power grid constraints and determine how our solutions might improve network performance.  These services often lead to sales of grid interconnection solutions for wind farms and solar power plants, power quality systems for utilities and heavy industrial operations and transmission and distribution cable systems.  Our transmission planners work with our customers on the following solutions:

o

D-VAR® Systems. The power that flows through AC networks comprises both real power, measured in watts, and reactive power, measured in Volt Amp Reactive (“VARs”). In simple terms, reactive power is required to support voltage in the power network. D-VAR systems can provide the reactive power needed to stabilize voltage on the grid.  These systems also can be used to connect wind farms and solar power plants to the power grid seamlessly as well as to protect certain industrial facilities against voltage swells and sags. GlobalData and AMSC estimate the market for FACTS systems such as D-VAR was more than $1.4 billion in 2014 and that this market could increase to nearly $1.6 billion by 2020.

o

D-SVC Systems. Our D-SVC systems are a cost-effective solution that allow large industrial loads to operate on the AC power system while minimizing the impacts of voltage sags and flicker problems, and also provides dynamic, distribution level voltage regulation and power factor control solutions for utilities.  Our D-SVC system automatically applies VARs on a cycle-by-cycle basis to maintain steady line voltages adjacent to large inductive loads such as motors, welders, arc furnaces and pipeline pumping stations.

Core Technologies

Superconductors

Our second generation (“2G”) HTS wire technology helps us address the smart grid infrastructure market opportunity by providing components and solutions designed to increase the power grid’s capacity, reliability, security and efficiency. Our wire, known as Amperium wire, conducts electricity with zero resistance below about -297 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, our 2G wire has the ability to switch to a resistive state whenever a fault current exceeds a predetermined value.  This characteristic is a key enabler to our REG system. The technology can be used in many applications including electricity transmission cables, superconducting generators, voltage regulators and degaussing systems for naval vessels. Superconductor power cables, which are a class of high-capacity, environmentally-benign, and easy-to-install transmission and distribution cables, address power grid capacity issues by increasing the thermal limit of existing or new corridors.  Superconductor power cables are cylindrically shaped systems consisting of HTS wires (which conduct electricity) surrounded by electrical insulation encased in a metal or polymeric jacket.

Currently, power cables are made primarily using copper wires. Power cables incorporating our Amperium wire are able to carry up to 10 times the electrical current of copper cables of the same diameter. These cable systems also bring efficiency advantages. Traditional cable systems heat up due to the electrical resistance of copper, causing electrical losses. Electrical losses at transmission voltage average about 7% in the United States and other developed nations, but can exceed 20% in some locations due to the distance of the line and the power grid’s architecture and characteristics, among other factors. Conversely, HTS materials can carry direct current (“DC”) with 100% efficiency and AC with nearly 100% efficiency when they are cooled below a critical temperature. As a result, AC HTS power cables lose significantly less power to resistive heating than copper cables, and DC HTS power cables have no energy losses due to resistive heating.

PowerModule Power Converters

Our family of PowerModule power electronic converters incorporates power semiconductor devices that switch, control and move large amounts of power faster and with far less disruption than the electromechanical switches historically used. While today our PowerModule systems are used primarily in wind and power grid applications, they also have been incorporated into electric motor drives, distributed and dispersed generation devices (micro-turbines, fuel cells, and photovoltaics), power quality solutions, batteries, and flywheel-based uninterruptible power supplies.

Our wind turbine electrical control systems and our D-VAR systems incorporate our PowerModule technology.

8


 

Customers

We have designed wind turbines for or licensed wind turbine designs to more than 10 wind turbine manufacturing customers including Inox in India and JCNE in China. We have also served over 100 customers in the grid market since our inception, including American Electric Power and Long Island Power Authority in the United States, EDF Group in France, Korean Electric Power Corporation in Korea and Ergon Energy in Australia. We serve customers globally through a localized sales and field service presence in our core target markets.

Facilities and manufacturing

Our primary facilities and their primary functions are as follows:

·

Devens, Massachusetts — Corporate headquarters, superconductors research, development and manufacturing, FACTS product engineering and manufacturing

·

New Berlin, Wisconsin — Power electronics and controls research and development

·

Klagenfurt, Austria — Wind turbine engineering

·

Suzhou, China — Electrical Control System and PowerModule power converter manufacturing for the Chinese market

·

Timisoara, Romania – Electrical Control System and PowerModule power converter manufacturing for all other markets

Our global footprint also includes sales and field service offices in Australia, Germany, India, and the United Kingdom.

Sales and marketing

Our strategy is to serve customers locally in our core target markets through a direct sales force operating out of sales offices worldwide. In addition, we have begun to utilize manufacturers’ sales representatives in the United States to market our products to utilities in North America.  The sales force also leverages business development staff for our various offerings as well as our team of wind turbine engineers and power grid transmission planners, all of whom help to ensure that we have an in-depth understanding of customer needs and provide cost-effective solutions for those needs.

In fiscal 2014, Inox accounted for approximately 56% of our total revenues, no other customer accounted for more than 10% of our total revenues in fiscal 2014.  In fiscal 2013, Inox and JCNE accounted for approximately 31% and 18%, respectively, of our total revenues. In fiscal 2012, Inox and JCNE accounted for approximately 19% and 13%, respectively, of our total revenues.

The portion of total revenue recognized from customers located outside the United States was 86%, 87% and 85% for fiscal 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively. Of the revenue recognized from customers outside the United States, we recognized 17%, 34% and 24% from customers in China in fiscal 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively, and we recognized 65%, 36% and 23% from customers in India for fiscal 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively. For additional financial information, see the notes to consolidated financial statements included herein, including Note 17, “Business Segment and Geographic Information”.

Our foreign operations, particularly our operations in China, India and other emerging markets, expose us to a variety of risks.  With respect to China, our financial performance may be affected by China’s political, social, and regulatory and economic environment, including the role of the Chinese government in the Chinese economy, Chinese policies toward economic liberalization, and laws and policies affecting foreign companies, currency exchange rates and other matters.  For a discussion of additional risks associated with our foreign operations, see Item 1A, “Risk Factors – We have operations in and that depend on sales in emerging markets, including China and India, and global conditions could negatively affect our operating results or limit our ability to expand our operations outside of these countries.  Changes in China’s or India’s political, social, regulatory and economic environment may affect our financial performance.”

Backlog

We had backlog at March 31, 2015 of approximately $40.7 million from government and commercial customers, compared to $34.7 million at March 31, 2014. Current backlog represents the value of contracts and purchase orders received for which delivery is expected during the next twelve months based on contractually agreed-upon terms.  The year over year increase in backlog is driven primarily by the larger orders received from Inox in fiscal 2014, as well as stronger orders recently for our D-VAR product.

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Competition

We face competition in various aspects of our technology and product development. We believe that competitive performance in the marketplace depends upon several factors, including technical innovation, range of products and services, product quality and reliability, customer service and technical support.

Wind

We face competition from companies offering power electronic converters for use in applications for which we expect to sell our PowerModule products. These companies include ABB, Hopewind, Semikron, Shinergy, Vacon, and Xantrex (a subsidiary of Schneider Electric).

We face competition from companies offering various types of wind turbine electrical system components, which include ABB, Ingeteam, Mita-Teknik and Woodward. We also face indirect competition in the wind energy market from global manufacturers of wind turbines, such as Gamesa, General Electric, Suzlon, and Vestas.

We face competition for the supply of wind turbine engineering design services from design engineering firms such as GL Garrad Hassan, and from licensors of wind turbine systems such as Aerodyn.

Grid

We face competition from other companies offering FACTS systems similar to our D-VAR solutions. These include static var compensators (“SVCs”) from ABB, Alstom, AREVA, Mitsubishi Electric, and Siemens; adaptive VAR compensators and STATCOMs produced by ABB, Siemens, and S&C Electric; Dynamic voltage restorers (“DVRs”) produced by companies such as ABB and S&C Electric; and flywheels and battery-based uninterruptable power supply (“UPS”) systems offered by various companies around the world.

We face competition both from suppliers of traditional utility solutions and from companies who are developing HTS wires. We also face competition for our Amperium wire from a number of companies in the United States and abroad. These include MetOx, Superconductor Technologies and Superpower (a subsidiary of Furukawa) in the United States; Fujikura and Sumitomo in Japan; SuNAM in South Korea; and Bruker, Deutsche Nanoschicht GmbH, and Theva GmbH, in Europe; Innova and Shanghai Creative Superconductor in China; and SuperOx in Russia. With our HTS-based REG product, we are offering a new approach that provides alternatives to utilities for power system design. Therefore, we believe that we compete with traditional approaches such as new full sized substations, overhead and underground transmission, and urban power transformers.

We believe we are currently the only company that can offer HTS based SPS products that have been fully qualified for use aboard Navy surface combatants.  Therefore, the primary competition for our SPS products is currently coming from defense contractors that provide the copper-based systems that our lighter, more efficient HTS versions have been developed to replace.  Companies such as L3, Excelis, Raytheon and Textron have the bulk of the copper-based business today.  However, over time, as the HTS SPS proliferate to the fleet, companies that have the capability to manufacture and/or package HTS wire into robust, turn-key systems will likely attempt to duplicate our products, and thus additional competition is expected from more traditional HTS competitors such as those listed above.

Many of our competitors have substantially greater financial resources, research and development, manufacturing and marketing capabilities than we do. In addition, as our target markets develop, other large industrial companies may enter these fields and compete with us.

Patents, licenses and trade secrets

Patent Background

An important part of our business strategy is to develop a strong worldwide patent position in all of our technology areas. Our intellectual property (“IP”) portfolio includes both patents we own and patents we license from others. We devote substantial resources to building a strong patent position. As of March 31, 2015, we owned (either solely or jointly) 98 U.S. patents and 7 U.S. patent applications on file. We also hold licenses from third parties covering more than 80 issued U.S. patents and patent applications. Together with the international counterparts of each of these patents and patent applications, we own more than 390 patents and patent applications worldwide, and have rights through exclusive and non-exclusive licenses to more than 220 additional patents and patent applications. We believe that our current patent position, together with our expected ability to obtain licenses from other parties to the extent necessary, will provide us with sufficient proprietary rights to develop and sell our products. However, for the reasons described below, we cannot assure you that this will be the case.

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Despite the strength of our patent position, a number of U.S. and foreign patents and patent applications of third parties relate to our current products, to products we are developing, or to technology we are now using in the development or production of our products. We may need to acquire licenses to those patents, contest the scope or validity of those patents, or design around patented processes or applications as necessary. If companies holding patents or patent applications that we need to license are competitors, we believe the strength of our patent portfolio will significantly improve our ability to enter into license or cross-license arrangements with these companies. We have already successfully negotiated cross-licenses with several competitors. We may be required to obtain licenses to some patents and patent applications held by companies or other institutions, such as national laboratories or universities, not directly competing with us. Those organizations may not be interested in cross-licensing or, if willing to grant licenses, may charge unreasonable royalties. We have successfully obtained licenses related to HTS wire from a number of such organizations with royalties we consider reasonable. Based on historical experience, we expect that we will be able to obtain other necessary licenses on commercially reasonable terms. However, we cannot provide any assurance that we will be able to obtain all necessary licenses from competitors on commercially reasonable terms, or at all.

Failure to obtain all necessary patents, licenses and other IP rights upon reasonable terms could significantly reduce the scope of our business and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. We do not now know the likelihood of successfully contesting the scope or validity of patents held by others. In any event, we could incur substantial costs in challenging the patents of other companies. Moreover, third parties could challenge some of our patents or patent applications, and we could incur substantial costs in defending the scope and validity of our own patents or patent applications whether or not a challenge is ultimately successful.

A U.S. patent owned by the University of Tennessee/Battelle, which is used in the substrate and buffer layer process of our HTS wire, and is non-exclusively licensed to AMSC, expires in fiscal year 2015.  However, there are multiple foreign counter-part patents which continue to be exclusively licensed to AMSC and do not expire until fiscal year 2016.

Wind and Grid Patents

We have received patents and filed a significant number of additional patent applications on power quality and reliability systems, including our D-VAR system. Our products are covered by more than 60 patents and patents pending worldwide on both our systems and power converter products. The patents and applications focus on inventions that significantly improve product performance and reduce product costs, thereby providing a competitive advantage. One invention of note allows for a reduction in the number of power inverters required in the system by optimally running the inverters in overload mode, thereby significantly reducing overall system costs. Another important invention uses inverters to offset transients due to capacitor bank switching, which provides improved system performance.

Under our Windtec SolutionsTM brand, we design a variety of wind turbine systems and license these designs, including expertise and patent rights, to third parties for an upfront fee, plus in some cases, future royalties. Our wind turbine designs are covered by more than 35 patents and patents pending worldwide on wind turbine technology. We have patent coverage on the unique design features of our blade pitch control system, which ensures optimal aerodynamic flow conditions on the turbine blades and improves system efficiency and performance. The pitch system includes a patented SafetyLOCK™ feature that causes the blades to rotate to a feathered position to prevent the rotor blades from spinning during a fault.

We recognize the importance of IP protection in China and believe that China is steadily moving toward recognizing and acting in accordance with international norms for IP. As such, we have incorporated China in our patent strategy for all of our various products. Nevertheless, we recognize that the risk of IP piracy is still higher in China than in most other industrialized countries, and so we are careful to limit the technology we provide through our product sales and other expansion plans in China. While we take the steps necessary to ensure the safety of our IP, we cannot provide any assurance that these measures will be fully successful. For example, see Part I, Item 3, “Legal Proceedings,” for more information regarding legal proceedings that we have undertaken against Sinovel Wind Group Co., Ltd (“Sinovel”) alleging the illegal use of our intellectual property.

HTS Patents

Since the discovery of high temperature superconductors in 1986, rapid technical advances have characterized the HTS industry, which in turn have resulted in a large number of patents, including overlapping patents, relating to superconductivity. As a result, the patent situation in the field of HTS technology and products is unusually complex. We have obtained licenses to patents and patent applications covering some HTS materials. We have acquired exclusive rights (through 2017) to a fundamental U.S. patent (U.S. 8,060,169 B1) covering 2G and similar HTS wire and applications. However, we may have to obtain additional licenses to HTS materials.

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We are focusing on the production of our Amperium wire, and we intend to continue to maintain a leadership position in 2G HTS wire through a combination of patents, licenses and proprietary expertise. In addition to our owned patents and patent applications in 2G HTS wire, we have obtained licenses from (i) MIT for the MOD process we use to deposit the YBCO layer, (ii) Alcatel-Lucent on the YBCO material, and (iii) the University of Tennessee/Battelle for the RABiTS® process we use for the substrate and buffer layers for this technology. If alternative processes become more promising in the future, we also expect to seek to develop a proprietary position in these alternative processes.

We have a significant number of patents and patents pending covering applications of HTS wire, such as HTS fault current limiting technology including our fault current limiting cable, HTS rotating machines and ship protection systems. Since the superconductor rotating machine and the fault current limiting cable applications are relatively new, we are building a particularly strong patent position in these areas. At present, we believe we have the world’s broadest and most fundamental patent position in superconductor rotating machines technology. We have also filed a series of patents on our concept for our proprietary fault current limiting technology. However, there can be no assurance that that these patents will be sufficient to assure our freedom of action in these fields without further licensing from others. See Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” for more information regarding the status of the commercialization of our Amperium wire products.

Trade Secrets

Some of the important technology used in our operations and products is not covered by any patent or patent application owned by or licensed to us. However, we take steps to maintain the confidentiality of this technology by requiring all employees and all consultants to sign confidentiality agreements and by limiting access to confidential information. We cannot provide any assurance that these measures will prevent the unauthorized disclosure or use of that information. For example, see Part I, Item 3, “Legal Proceedings,” for more information regarding legal proceedings that we have filed against Sinovel alleging the illegal use of our intellectual property. In addition, we cannot provide any assurance that others, including our competitors, will not independently develop the same or comparable technology that is one of our trade secrets.

Employees

As of March 31, 2015, we employed 318 persons. None of our employees are represented by a labor union. Retaining our key employees is important for achieving our goals, and we are committed to developing a working environment that motivates and rewards our employees.

In response to the abrupt change in our business due to the situation with Sinovel, since May 2011 we have undertaken several restructuring actions over the past several years in order to reorganize global operations, streamline various functions of the business and reduce our global workforce to match the demand for our products.

Reverse Stock Split

On March 24, 2015, we filed a Certificate of Amendment to our Restated Certificate of Incorporation with the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware effecting a one-for-ten reverse stock split of our common stock.  The Certificate of Amendment also decreased the number of authorized shares of our common stock from 150,000,000 shares to 75,000,000 shares, but did not change the par value of our common stock.  Unless otherwise indicated, all historical references to shares of common stock, shares of restricted stock, restricted units, shares underlying options, warrants or calculations that use common stock for per share financial reporting have been adjusted for comparative purposes to reflect the impact of the 1-for-10 reverse stock split as if it had occurred at the beginning of the earliest period presented.

 

Available information

We file reports, proxy statements and other documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). You may read and copy any document we file at the SEC Headquarters at Office of Investor Education and Assistance, 100 F Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20549. You should call 1-800-SEC-0330 for more information on the public reference room. Our SEC filings are also available to you on the SEC’s Internet site at www.sec.gov.

Our internet address is www.amsc.com. We are not including the information contained in our website as part of, or incorporating it by reference into, this document. We make available, free of charge, through our web site our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to these reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such materials with, or furnish such materials to, the SEC.

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We intend to disclose on our website any amendments to, or waivers of, our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics that are required to be disclosed pursuant to the SEC or Nasdaq rules.

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT

The table and biographical summaries set forth below contain information with respect to our executive officers as of the date of this filing:

 

Name

  

Age

  

Position

Daniel P. McGahn

  

 

43

  

President, Chief Executive Officer and Director

David A. Henry

  

 

53

  

Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

James F. Maguire

  

 

59

  

Executive Vice President, Operations

Daniel P. McGahn joined us in December 2006 and has been chief executive officer and a member of our board of directors since June 2011. He previously served as president and chief operating officer from December 2009 to June 2011, as senior vice president and general manager of our AMSC Superconductors business unit from April 2008 until December 2009, as vice president of our AMSC Superconductors business unit from March 2007 to April 2008 and as vice president of strategic planning and development from December 2006 to March 2007. From 2003 to 2006, Mr. McGahn served as executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Konarka Technologies. We believe Mr. McGahn’s qualifications to sit on our board of directors include his extensive experience with our company, including serving as our president since 2009, experience in the power electronics industry and strategic planning expertise gained while working in senior management as a consultant for other public and private companies.

David A. Henry joined us in July 2007 and has been executive vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer since May 2014, and previously served as senior vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer from July 2007 to May 2014. He previously served as chief financial officer of AMIS Holdings, Inc., the parent company of AMI Semiconductor, from April 2004 to July 2007. For the previous seven years, Mr. Henry worked at Fairchild Semiconductor International as vice president finance, worldwide operations from November 2002 to April 2004 and as corporate controller from March 1997 to November 2002. He was appointed vice president, corporate controller at Fairchild Semiconductor International in August 1999.

James F. Maguire joined us in 1997 and has been executive vice president, operations since May 2013 and is responsible for overseeing AMSC’s Wind and Grid business units as well as AMSC’s global supply chain. He previously served as executive vice president, Gridtec Solutions from August 2011 to May 2013, as senior vice president, projects and engineering, from April 2010 to August 2011 and vice president, superconductor projects, from March 2007 to April 2010. Prior to joining AMSC, Mr. Maguire was founder and president of Applied Engineering Technologies, Ltd., a cryogenics product-based company.

 

 

 

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Item 1A.

RISK FACTORS

Risks Related to Our Financial Performance

We have a history of operating losses, which may continue in the future. Our operating results may fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter and may fall below expectations in any particular fiscal quarter.

We have recorded net losses in each of the last three fiscal years, including a net loss of $48.7 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015, and we are unlikely to be profitable in fiscal 2015. We cannot be certain that we will regain profitability in the future.

There is currently substantial uncertainty in our business, which makes it difficult to evaluate our business and future prospects. In addition, our operating results historically have been difficult to predict and have at times fluctuated from quarter to quarter due to a variety of factors, many of which are outside of our control. As a result of all of these factors, comparing our operating results on a period-to-period basis may not be meaningful, and you should not rely on our past results as an indication of our future performance. If our revenue or operating results fall below the expectations of investors or any securities analysts that follow our company in any period, the trading price of our common stock would likely decline.

Our operating expenses do not always vary directly with revenue and may be difficult to adjust in the short term. As a result, if revenue for a particular quarter is below our expectations, we may not be able to proportionately reduce operating expenses for that quarter, and therefore such a revenue shortfall would have a disproportionate effect on our operating results for that quarter.

We have a history of negative operating cash flows, and we may require additional financing in the future, which may not be available to us.

As of March 31, 2015, we had approximately $24.5 million of cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash, and during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015, we used $32.7 million in cash for our operating activities, which includes approximately $8.4 million for the payment of an arbitration award to a former customer. We have experienced substantial net losses, including a net loss of $48.7 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015. From April 1, 2011 through March 31, 2015, our various restructuring activities resulted in a substantial reduction of our global workforce. We plan to continue to closely monitor our expenses and if required, will further reduce operating costs and capital spending to enhance liquidity.

On June 5, 2012, we entered into a senior secured term loan, or Term Loan, under which we borrowed $10.0 million. On November 15, 2013, we amended our Term Loan and entered into a new term loan, or the New Term Loan B, borrowing an additional $10.0 million.  On December 19, 2014, we entered into a second amendment, or the New Term Loan C, for an additional $1.5 million. We refer to the Term Loan, New Term Loan B and New Term Loan C collectively as the Term Loans.  As of March 31, 2015 we have $8.2 million outstanding on the Term Loans.  The Term Loan was paid in full on December 1, 2014. Additionally on April 29, 2015, we closed on an equity financing which raised net proceeds of $22.3 million, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

Our liquidity is highly dependent on our ability to profitably grow our revenues, control our operating costs, fund monthly obligations under the Term Loans and secure additional financing if required.  We may require additional capital to adequately respond to future business challenges or opportunities, including, but not limited to, the need to develop new products or enhance existing products, maintaining or expanding research and development projects, and the need to build inventory or to invest other cash to support business growth.  In the event that additional liquidity is required, there can be no assurance that such financing would be available or, if available, that such financing could be obtained upon terms acceptable to us.

Our Term Loans include certain covenants and other events of default. Should we not comply with these covenants or incur an event of default, we may be required to repay our obligation in cash, which could have an adverse effect on our liquidity.

Our Term Loans include certain financial and administrative covenants, including a requirement to maintain a minimum unrestricted U.S. cash balance equal to the lower of $5.0 million or the aggregate outstanding principal balance of the Term Loans.  This requirement decreased to the lower of $2.0 million or the aggregate outstanding principal balance of the Term Loans as a result of raising new capital in April 2015. As of March 31, 2015, the minimum threshold was $5.0 million.

If we fail to stay in compliance with our covenants or suffer some other event of default under the Term Loans, we may be required to repay the outstanding principal. Should this occur, our liquidity would be adversely impacted.

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We may be required to issue performance bonds or provide letters of credit, which restricts our ability to access any cash used as collateral for the bonds or letters of credit.

While we have been required to provide performance bonds in the form of surety bonds or other forms of security and letters of credit in the past, the size of the bonds and letters of credit was not material. In recent years, we have entered into contracts that require us to post bonds of significant magnitude and some of our suppliers have asked us to provide letters of credit. In many instances, we have been required to deposit cash in escrow accounts as collateral for these instruments, which is unavailable to us for general use for significant periods of time. Should we be unable to obtain performance bonds or letters of credit in the future, significant future potential revenue could become unavailable to us. Further, should our working capital situation deteriorate, we would not be able to access the restricted cash to meet working capital requirements.

Changes in exchange rates could adversely affect our results from operations.

Currency exchange rate fluctuations could have an adverse effect on our revenues and results of operations, and we could experience losses with respect to hedging activities. In fiscal 2014, 86% of our revenues were recognized from sales outside the United States. In addition, approximately 61% of our revenues in fiscal 2014 were derived under sales contracts where prices were denominated in the Euro.  Recently, the Euro has weakened substantially against the U.S. dollar.  Unfavorable currency fluctuations could require us to increase prices to foreign customers, which could result in a lesser number of orders, and therefore lower revenues, from such customers. Alternatively, if we do not adjust the prices for our products in response to unfavorable currency fluctuations, our results of operations could be adversely affected. In addition, most sales made by our foreign subsidiaries are denominated in the currency of the country in which these products are sold, and the currency they receive in payment for such sales could be less valuable at the time of receipt as a result of exchange rate fluctuations. From time to time, we enter into derivative instruments, including forward foreign exchange contracts and currency options to reduce currency exposure arising from intercompany sales of inventory and exposures arising from the sale of products denominated in one currency while costs are denominated in another. However, we cannot be certain that our efforts will be adequate to protect us against significant currency fluctuations or that such efforts will not expose us to additional exchange rate risks.

If we fail to maintain proper and effective internal controls over financial reporting, our ability to produce accurate and timely financial statements could be impaired and may lead investors and other users to lose confidence in our financial data.

Maintaining effective internal controls over financial reporting is necessary for us to produce reliable financial statements.

We note that a system of procedures and controls, no matter how well conceived and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the objectives of the control system are met. Because of the inherent limitations in all systems of procedures and controls, no evaluation can provide absolute assurance that all control issues, including instances of fraud, if any, have been detected. These inherent limitations include the realities that judgments in decision-making can be faulty, and breakdowns can occur because of simple errors or mistakes. Additionally, procedures and controls can be circumvented by the individual acts of some persons, by collusion of two or more people, or by management override. The design of any system of procedures and controls also is based, in part, upon certain assumptions about the likelihood of future events, and there can be no assurance that any design will succeed in achieving its stated goals under all potential future conditions. Over time, our systems of procedures and controls, as we further develop and enhance them, may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate. Because of the inherent limitations in a cost-effective system of procedures and controls, misstatements due to errors or fraud may occur and not be detected. Such misstatements could be material and require a restatement of our financial statements.

If we are unable to maintain effective internal controls, we may not have adequate, accurate or timely financial information, and we may be unable to meet our reporting obligations or comply with the requirements of the SEC or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which could result in the imposition of sanctions, including the inability of registered broker dealers to make a market in our common stock, or investigation by regulatory authorities. Any such action or other negative results caused by our inability to meet our reporting requirements or comply with legal and regulatory requirements or by disclosure of an accounting, reporting or control issue could adversely affect the trading price of our securities and our business. Significant deficiencies or material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting could also reduce our ability to obtain financing or could increase the cost of any financing we obtain.

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Risks Related to Our Operations

Our financial condition may have an adverse effect on our customer and supplier relationships.

Our relationships with our customers and suppliers are predicated on the belief that we will continue to operate. Our customers, particularly in the utility industry, are generally risk averse and may not enter into sales contracts with us if there is uncertainty regarding our ability to continue operating through the term of our warranty obligation. This has had and may continue to have an adverse effect on our ability to grow our revenues. In addition, current and future suppliers may be less likely to grant us credit, resulting in a negative impact on our working capital and cash flows.

Our success in addressing the wind energy market is dependent on the manufacturers that license our designs.

Because an important element of our strategy for addressing the wind energy market involves the license of our wind turbine designs to manufacturers of those systems, the financial benefits to us from our products for the wind energy market are dependent on the success of these manufacturers in selling wind turbines based on our designs. We may not be able to enter into marketing or distribution arrangements with third parties on financially acceptable terms, or at all, and third parties may not be successful in selling our products or applications incorporating our products.

A significant portion of our revenues are derived from a single customer.

Our largest customer is Inox in India.  Inox accounted for 56% of our total revenues during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 and 31% of our revenues during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014.  Revenues from Inox are supported by supply contracts for wind turbine electrical control systems.  If Inox cancelled such contracts, or discontinued future purchases from us, we would likely be unable to replace the related revenues.  This would have a material adverse impact on our operating results and financial position.

Our success is dependent upon attracting and retaining qualified personnel and our inability to do so could significantly damage our business and prospects.

We have attracted a highly skilled management team and specialized workforce, including scientists, engineers, researchers, manufacturing, marketing and sales professionals. If we were to lose the services of any of our executive officers or key employees, our business could be materially and adversely impacted.

Hiring and retaining good personnel for our business is challenging, and highly qualified technical personnel are likely to remain a limited resource for the foreseeable future despite current economic conditions and high unemployment levels. We may not be able to hire the necessary personnel to implement our business strategy.  In addition, we may need to provide higher compensation or more training to our personnel than we currently anticipate. Moreover, any officer or employee can terminate his or her relationship with us at any time.

Over the past several years, we have substantially reduced our global workforce in order to lower expenses, reorganize our global operations, and streamline various functions of the business, to match the demand for our products. Employee retention may be a particularly challenging issue following reductions in workforce and organizational changes since we also must continue to motivate employees and keep them focused on our strategies and goals. If we lose any key personnel, we may not be able to find qualified individuals to replace them, and our business, results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.

We may not realize all of the sales expected from our backlog of orders and contracts.

We cannot assure you that we will realize the revenue we expect to generate from our backlog in the periods we expect to realize such revenue, or at all.

In addition, the backlog of orders, if realized, may not result in profitable revenue. Backlog represents the value of contracts and purchase orders received for which delivery is expected in the next twelve months. Our customers have the right under some circumstances and with some penalties or consequences to terminate, reduce or defer firm orders that we have in backlog. In addition, our government contracts are subject to the risks described below. If our customers terminate, reduce or defer firm orders, we may be protected from certain costs and losses, but our sales will nevertheless be adversely affected and we may not generate the revenue we expect.

Although we strive to maintain ongoing relationships with our customers, there is an ongoing risk that they may cancel orders or reschedule orders due to fluctuations in their business needs or purchasing budgets.

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Our business and operations would be adversely impacted in the event of a failure or security breach of our information technology infrastructure.

We rely upon the capacity, reliability, and security of our information technology hardware and software infrastructure and our ability to expand and update this infrastructure in response to our changing needs. We are constantly updating our information technology infrastructure. Any failure to manage, expand, and update our information technology infrastructure or any failure in the operation of this infrastructure could harm our business.

Despite our implementation of security measures, our systems are vulnerable to damages from computer viruses, natural disasters, unauthorized access and other similar disruptions. Our business is also subject to break-ins, sabotage, and intentional acts of vandalism by third parties as well as employees. Our significant business activities in China may increase our risks to such breaches. For example, a former employee of our Austrian subsidiary pled guilty in September 2011 to charges of economic espionage and fraudulent manipulation of data. The evidence presented during the trial showed that this former employee was contracted by Sinovel through an intermediary while employed by us and improperly obtained and transferred to Sinovel portions of our wind turbine control software source code developed for Sinovel’s 1.5MW wind turbines. Moreover, the evidence shows that this former employee illegally used source code to develop, for Sinovel, a software modification to circumvent the encryption and remove technical protection measures on the PM3000 power converters in 1.5MW wind turbines in the field. Any system failure, accident, or security breach could result in disruptions to our operations. To the extent that any disruption or security breach results in a loss or damage to our data, or inappropriate disclosure of confidential information, it could harm our business. In addition, we may be required to incur significant costs to protect against damage caused by these disruptions or security breaches in the future.

We may not be able to ramp up production at our new manufacturing facility in Romania, and, if we are able to do so, we may have manufacturing quality issues, which would negatively affect our revenues and financial position.  

We have leased a manufacturing facility in Timisoara, Romania, where we manufacture wind turbine electrical control systems for all other markets apart from the Chinese market. Increasing production in a new manufacturing facility entails a number of risks, including the risk that we may not be able to successfully ramp up production due to unforeseen events such as a shortage in cash flow, quality issues, or inability to hire qualified personnel. Even if we are able to successfully increase production at our new Romanian facility, we may not be able to do so within the cost and timeframe we anticipate and without impacting operating efficiency. Additionally, we cannot guarantee that the employees we hire to work in our Romanian plant will be able to produce a product that meets our customers’ quality standards. If we experience delays or increased costs, cannot produce a high quality product, or other unforeseen events occur, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

We rely upon third-party suppliers for the components and subassemblies of many of our Wind and Grid products, making us vulnerable to supply shortages and price fluctuations, which could harm our business.

Many of our components and subassemblies are currently manufactured for us by a limited number of qualified suppliers. Any interruption in the supply of components or subassemblies, or our inability to obtain substitute components or subassemblies from alternate sources at acceptable prices in a timely manner, could impair our ability to meet the demand of our customers, which would have an adverse effect on our business and operating results.

We are producing certain Wind products in our manufacturing facilities in China and Romania. In order to minimize costs and time to market, we have and will continue to identify local suppliers that meet our quality standards to produce certain of our subassemblies and components. These efforts may not be successful. In addition, any event which negatively impacts our supply, including, among others, wars, terrorist activities, natural disasters and outbreaks of infectious disease, could delay or suspend shipments of products or the release of new products or could result in the delivery of inferior products. Our revenues from the affected products would decline or we could incur losses until such time as we are able to restore our production processes or put in place alternative contract manufacturers or suppliers. Even though we carry business interruption insurance policies, we may suffer losses as a result of business interruptions that exceed the coverage available under our insurance policies.

Many of our revenue opportunities are dependent upon subcontractors and other business collaborators.

Many of the revenue opportunities for our business involve projects, such as the installation of superconductor cables in power grids and electrical system hardware in wind turbines, in which we collaborate with other companies, including suppliers of cryogenic systems, manufacturers of electric power cables and manufacturers of wind turbines. As a result, most of our current and planned revenue-generating projects involve business collaborators on whose performance our revenue is dependent. If these business partners fail to deliver their products or perform their obligations on a timely basis or fail to generate sufficient demand for the systems they manufacture, our revenue from the project may be delayed or decreased, and we may not be successful in selling our products.

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If we fail to implement our business strategy successfully, our financial performance could be harmed.

Our future financial performance and success are dependent in large part upon our ability to implement our business strategy successfully. Our business strategy envisions several initiatives, including driving revenue growth and enhancing operating results by increasing customer adoption of our products by targeting high-growth segments with commercial products, pursuing overseas markets, anticipating customer needs in the development of system-level solutions, strengthening our technology leadership while lowering cost and pursuing targeted strategic alliances. We may not be able to implement our business strategy successfully or achieve the anticipated benefits of our business plan. If we are unable to do so, our long-term growth and profitability may be adversely affected. Even if we are able to implement some or all of the initiatives of our business plan successfully, our operating results may not improve to the extent we anticipate, or at all. In addition, to the extent we have misjudged the nature and extent of industry trends or our competition, we may have difficulty in achieving our strategic objectives. Any failure to implement our business strategy successfully may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, we may decide to alter or discontinue certain aspects of our business strategy at any time.

Our ability to implement our business strategy could also be affected by a number of factors beyond our control, such as increased competition, legal developments, government regulation, general economic conditions, or increased operating costs or expenses.

Problems with product quality or product performance may cause us to incur warranty expenses and may damage our market reputation and prevent us from achieving increased sales and market share.

Consistent with customary practice in our industry, we warrant our products and/or services to be free from defects in material and workmanship under normal use and service. We generally provide a one- to three-year warranty on our products, commencing upon installation. A provision is recorded upon revenue recognition to cost of revenues for estimated warranty expense based on historical experience. The possibility of future product failures or issues related to services we provided could cause us to incur substantial expenses to repair or replace defective products or re-perform such services. Furthermore, widespread product failures may damage our market reputation and reduce our market share and cause sales to decline.

Regulations related to conflict-free minerals may force us to incur significant additional expenses.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act contains provisions to improve transparency and accountability concerning the supply of minerals originating from the conflict zones of the Democratic Republic of Congo, or DRC, and adjoining countries. As a result, in August 2012 the SEC established annual disclosure and reporting requirements for those companies who use “conflict” minerals mined from the DRC and adjoining countries, which directly or indirectly finance or benefit armed groups in the DRC or an adjoining country, in their products. These requirements require on-going due diligence efforts and could affect the sourcing and availability of minerals used in the manufacture of our products. As a result, we may not be able to obtain materials at competitive prices and there has been significant effort associated with completing the due diligence procedures that satisfy this regulation. In addition, as our supply chain is complex, we may face reputational challenges with our customers and other stakeholders if we are unable to sufficiently verify the origins of all minerals used in our products through the due diligence procedures that we implement, and we may incur additional costs as a result of changes to product, processes or sources of supply as a consequence of these new requirements.

Our contracts with the U.S. government are subject to audit, modification or termination by the U.S. government and include certain other provisions in favor of the government. The continued funding of such contracts remains subject to annual congressional appropriation which, if not approved, could reduce our revenue and lower or eliminate our profit.

As a company that contracts with the U.S. government, we are subject to financial audits and other reviews by the U.S. government of our costs and performance, accounting, and general business practices relating to these contracts. Based on the results of these audits, the U.S. government may adjust our contract-related costs and fees. We cannot be certain that adjustments arising from government audits and reviews would not have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

Our U.S. government contracts customarily contain other provisions that give the government substantial rights and remedies, many of which are not typically found in commercial contracts, including provisions that allow the government to:

·

obtain certain rights to the intellectual property that we develop under the contract;

·

decline to award future contracts if actual or apparent organizational conflicts of interest are discovered, or to impose organizational conflict mitigation measures as a condition of eligibility for an award;

·

suspend or debar us from doing business with the government or a specific government agency; and

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·

pursue criminal or civil remedies under the False Claims Act, False Statements Act and similar remedy provisions unique to government contracting.

All of our U.S. government contracts can be terminated by the U.S. government for its convenience, including our contract with the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) to deploy our REG system in Commonwealth Edison’s (“ComEd”) electric grid in Chicago, Illinois (“Project REG”).  Moving to the manufacturing and construction stage of Project REG is dependent upon both DHS and ComEd agreeing to proceed following the successful completion of a detailed deployment plan. We can provide no assurance that DHS and ComEd will agree to proceed with the project.  Termination-for-convenience provisions typically provide only for our recovery of costs incurred or committed, and for settlement of expenses and profit on work completed prior to termination. In addition to the right of the U.S. government to terminate its contracts with us, U.S. government contracts are conditioned upon the continuing approval by the U.S. Congress of the necessary spending to honor such contracts. Congress often appropriates funds for a program on a fiscal-year basis even though contract performance may take more than one year. Consequently, at the beginning of many major governmental programs, contracts often may not be fully funded, and additional monies are then committed to the contract only if, as and when appropriations are made by the U.S. Congress for future fiscal years.

We cannot be certain that our U.S. government contracts, including our contract for Project REG, will not be terminated or suspended in the future. The U.S. government’s termination of, or failure to fully fund, one or more of our contracts would have a negative impact on our operating results and financial condition. Further, in the event that any of our government contracts are terminated for cause, it could affect our ability to obtain future government contracts which could, in turn, seriously harm our ability to develop our technologies and products.

Many of our customers outside of the United States, particularly in China, are either directly or indirectly, related to governmental entities, and we could be adversely affected by violations of the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and similar worldwide anti-bribery laws outside the United States.

The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and similar worldwide anti-bribery laws in non-U.S. jurisdictions generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to non-U.S. officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Many of our customers outside of the United States are, either directly or indirectly, related to governmental entities and are therefore subject to such anti-bribery laws. Our policies mandate compliance with these anti-bribery laws. We operate in many parts of the world that have experienced governmental corruption to some degree, and in certain circumstances strict compliance with anti-bribery laws may conflict with local customs and practices. Our internal control policies and procedures may not always protect us from reckless or criminal acts committed by our employees or agents. Violations of these laws, or allegations of such violations, could disrupt our business and result in a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We have had limited success marketing and selling our superconductor products and system-level solutions, and our failure to more broadly market and sell our products and solutions could lower our revenue and cash flow.

To date, we have had limited success marketing and selling our superconductor products and system-level solutions, and there are few people who have significant experience marketing or selling superconductor products and system-level solutions. Once our products and solutions are ready for widespread commercial use, we will have to develop a marketing and sales organization that will effectively demonstrate the advantages of our products over both more traditional products and competing superconductor products or other technologies. We may not be successful in our efforts to market this technology and we may not be able to establish an effective sales and distribution organization.

We may decide to enter into arrangements with third parties for the marketing or distribution of our products, including arrangements in which our products, such as Amperium wire, are included as a component of a larger product, such as a power cable system. By entering into marketing and sales alliances, the financial benefits to us of commercializing our products are dependent on the efforts of others.

We may acquire additional complementary businesses or technologies, which may require us to incur substantial costs for which we may never realize the anticipated benefits.

Our prior acquisitions required substantial integration and management efforts. As a result of any acquisition we pursue, management’s attention and resources may be diverted from our other businesses. An acquisition may also involve the payment of a significant purchase price, which could reduce our cash position or dilute our stockholders, and require significant transaction-related expenses.

Achieving the benefits of any acquisition involves additional risks, including:

·

difficulty assimilating acquired operations, technologies and personnel;

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·

inability to retain management and other key personnel of the acquired business;

·

changes in management or other key personnel that may harm relationships with the acquired business’s customers and employees;

·

unforeseen liabilities of the acquired business;

·

diversion of management’s and employees’ attention from other business matters as a result of the integration process;

·

mistaken assumptions about volumes, revenue and costs, including synergies;

·

limitations on rights to indemnity from the seller;

·

mistaken assumptions about the overall costs of equity or debt used to finance the acquisition; and

·

unforeseen difficulties operating in new product areas, with new customers, or in new geographic areas.

We cannot provide any assurance that we will realize any of the anticipated benefits of any acquisition, and if we fail to realize these anticipated benefits, our operating performance could suffer.

Risks Related to Our Markets

Our success depends upon the commercial use of high temperature superconductor (HTS) products, which is currently limited, and a widespread commercial market for our products may not develop.

To date, there has been no widespread commercial use of HTS products. Even if the technological hurdles currently limiting commercial uses of HTS products are overcome, it is uncertain whether a robust commercial market for those new and unproven products will ever develop. To date, many projects to install superconductor cables and products in power grids have been funded or subsidized by the governmental authorities. If this funding is curtailed, grid operators may not continue to use superconductor cables and products in their projects.

In addition, we believe in-grid demonstrations of superconductor power cables are necessary to convince utilities and power grid operators of the benefits of this technology. Even if a project is funded, completion of projects can be delayed as a result of other factors.

It is possible that the market demands we currently anticipate for our HTS products will not develop and that they will never achieve widespread commercial acceptance. In such event, we would not be able to implement our strategy, and our profits could be reduced or eliminated.

Growth of the wind energy market depends largely on the availability and size of government subsidies and economic incentives.

At present, the cost of wind energy exceeds the cost of conventional power generation in many locations around the world. Various governments have used different policy initiatives to encourage or accelerate the development and adoption of wind energy and other renewable energy sources. Renewable energy policies are in place in the European Union, certain countries in Asia, including India, China, Japan and South Korea, and many of the states in Australia and the United States. Examples of government- sponsored financial incentives include capital cost rebates, feed-in tariffs, tax credits, net metering and other incentives to end-users, distributors, system integrators and manufacturers of wind energy products to promote the use of wind energy and to reduce dependency on other forms of energy. Governments may decide to reduce or eliminate these economic incentives for political, financial or other reasons. Reductions in, or eliminations of, government subsidies and economic incentives before the wind energy industry reaches a sufficient scale to be cost-effective in a non-subsidized marketplace could reduce demand for our products and adversely affect our business prospects and results of operations.

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We have operations in and depend on sales in emerging markets, including India and China, and global conditions could negatively affect our operating results or limit our ability to expand our operations outside of these countries. Changes in India’s or China’s political, social, regulatory and economic environment may affect our financial performance.

We have operations in India and China and, in recent years, a significant portion of our total revenues has been derived from customers in these markets.  Our financial performance depends upon our ability to carry on our operations and market our products in these countries, as well as other emerging markets around the world.  We are, and will continue to be, subject to financial, political, economic and business risks in connection with our operations and sales in these emerging markets. In addition to the business risks inherent in developing and servicing these markets, economic conditions may be more volatile, legal and regulatory systems less developed and predictable, and the possibility of various types of adverse governmental action more pronounced in emerging markets. In addition, inflation, fluctuations in currency and interest rates, competitive factors, civil unrest and labor problems could affect our revenues, expenses and results of operations. Our operations could also be adversely affected by acts of war, terrorism or the threat of any of these events as well as government actions such as controls on imports, exports and prices, tariffs, new forms of taxation, or changes in fiscal regimes and increased government regulation in the countries in which we operate or service customers. Unexpected or uncontrollable events or circumstances in any of these markets could have a material adverse effect on our financial results and cash flows.

With respect to China in particular, our financial performance may be affected by changes in China’s political, social, regulatory and economic environment. For example, new grid interconnection standards are being imposed in China, which slowed the wind turbine installation growth rate in prior years. Such changes mean the Chinese wind market will be subject to substantial uncertainty, which may cause our customers to delay or cancel orders.

The role of the Chinese central and local governments in the Chinese economy is significant. For example, the economy of the People’s Republic of China differs from the economies of most developed countries in many respects, including the:

·

higher level of government involvement;

·

early stage of development of the market-oriented sector of the economy;

·

rapid growth rate;

·

higher level of control over foreign exchange; and

·

government influence over the allocation of resources.

Chinese policies toward economic liberalization, and laws and policies affecting foreign companies, currency exchange rates and other matters could change, resulting in greater restrictions on our ability to do business in China. Any imposition of surcharges or any increase in Chinese tax rates could hurt our operating results. The Chinese government could revoke, terminate or suspend our license for national security and similar reasons without compensation to us. If the government of China were to take any of these actions, we would be prevented from conducting all or part of our business. Any failure on our part to comply with governmental regulations could result in the loss of our ability to market our products in China.

Our financial performance could also be affected by the political and social environment in India.  In recent years, India has experienced civil unrest and terrorism and has been involved in conflicts with neighboring countries.  The potential for hostilities between India and Pakistan has been high in light of tensions related to recent terrorist incidents in India and the unsettled nature of the regional geopolitical environment, including events in and related to Afghanistan and Iraq.

With respect to our activities in all emerging markets, we may be impacted by issues with managing foreign sales operations, including long payment cycles, potential difficulties in accounts receivable collection and, especially from significant customers, fluctuations in the timing and amount of orders. The adverse effect of any of these issues on our business could be increased due to the concentration of our business with a small number of customers. For instance, the Chinese government has, in the past, restricted lending from banks to companies in China as a means to fight inflation, resulting in a limitation of access to credit. Problems with collections from, or sales to, any one of those customers could reduce our revenue and harm our financial performance. Operations in foreign countries including China also expose us to risks relating to difficulties in enforcing our proprietary rights, currency fluctuations and adverse or deteriorating economic conditions. If we experience problems with obtaining registrations, compliance with foreign country or applicable U.S. laws, or if we experience difficulties in payments or intellectual property matters in foreign jurisdictions, or if significant political, economic or regulatory changes occur, our results of operations would be adversely affected.  

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Our products face intense competition, which could limit our ability to acquire or retain customers.

The markets for our products are intensely competitive and many of our competitors have substantially greater financial resources, research and development, manufacturing and marketing capabilities than we do. In addition, as our target markets develop, other large industrial companies may enter these fields and compete with us.

Our Wind business faces competition for the supply of wind turbine engineering design services from design engineering firms such as GL Garrad Hassan, and from licensors of wind turbine systems such as Aerodyn.

Our Wind business also faces competition from companies offering power electronic converters for use in applications for which we expect to sell our PowerModule products. These companies include ABB, Hopewind, Semikron, Shinergy, Vacon and Xantrex (a subsidiary of Schneider Electric).

Finally, our Wind business faces competition from companies offering wind turbine electrical system components, including ABB, Ingeteam, Mita-Teknik, and Woodward. We also face indirect competition in the wind energy market from global manufacturers of wind energy systems, such as Gamesa, General Electric, Suzlon and Vestas.

Our Grid business faces competition from companies offering FACTS systems similar to our D-VAR solution. These include SVCs from ABB, Alstom, AREVA, Mitsubishi Electric and Siemens; adaptive VAR compensators and STATCOMs produced by ABB, Siemens, and S&C Electric; dynamic voltage restorers produced by companies such as ABB and S&C Electric; and flywheels and battery-based UPS systems offered by various companies around the world.

Our Grid business also faces competition both from suppliers of traditional wires made from materials such as copper and from companies who are developing HTS wires.

Finally, our Grid business faces competition for our Amperium wire from a number of companies in the United States and abroad who are developing 2G HTS wire technology. These include MetOx, Superconductor Technologies and Superpower (a subsidiary of Furukawa) in the United States; Fujikura, and Sumitomo in Japan; SuNAM in South Korea; and Bruker, Deutsche Nanoschichit GmbH, and Theva GmbH in Europe; Innova and Shanghai Creative Superconductor in China; and SuperOx in Russia.  With our HTS-based REG product, we are offering a new approach that provides alternatives to utilities for power system design.  Therefore, we believe that we compete with traditional approaches such as new full sized substations, overhead and underground transmission, and urban power transformers.

We believe we are currently the only company that can offer HTS-based Ship Protection Systems (SPS) that have been fully qualified for use aboard Navy surface combatants.  Therefore, the primary competition for our SPS products is currently coming from defense contractors that provide the copper-based systems that our lighter, more efficient HTS versions have been developed to replace.  Companies such as L3, Excelis, Raytheon and Textron have the bulk of the copper-based business today.  However, over time, as the HTS SPS proliferate to the fleet, companies that have the capability to manufacture and/or package HTS wire into robust, turn-key systems will most likely attempt to duplicate our products and thus additional competition is expected from more traditional HTS competitors such as those listed above.

As the HTS wire, superconductor electric motors and generators, and power electronic systems markets develop, other large industrial companies may enter those fields and compete with us. If we are unable to compete successfully, it may harm our business, which in turn may limit our ability to acquire or retain customers.

Our international operations are subject to risks that we do not face in the United States, which could have an adverse effect on our operating results.

In recent years, a substantial majority of our consolidated revenues were recognized from customers outside of the United States. For example, 86% of our revenues in fiscal 2014 and 87% of our revenues in fiscal 2013 were recognized from sales outside the United States. Our international operations are subject to a variety of risks that we do not face in the United States, including:

·

potentially longer payment cycles for sales in foreign countries and difficulties in collecting accounts receivable;

·

difficulties in staffing and managing our foreign offices and the increased travel, infrastructure and legal compliance costs associated with multiple international locations;

·

additional withholding taxes or other taxes on our foreign income and repatriated cash, and tariffs or other restrictions on foreign trade or investment, including export duties and quotas, trade and employment restrictions;

·

imposition of, or unexpected adverse changes in, foreign laws or regulatory requirements;

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·

increased exposure to foreign currency exchange rate risk;

·

reduced protection for intellectual property rights in some countries; and

·

political unrest, war or acts of terrorism.

Our overall success in international markets depends, in part, upon our ability to succeed in differing legal, regulatory, economic, social and political conditions. We may not be successful in developing and implementing policies and strategies that will be effective in managing these risks in each country where we do business or conduct operations. Our failure to manage these risks successfully could harm our international operations and reduce our international sales, thus lowering our total revenue and reducing or eliminating our profits.

Adverse changes in domestic and global economic conditions could adversely affect our operating results.

We have become increasingly subject to the risks arising from adverse changes in domestic and global economic conditions. In recent years, the state of both the domestic and global economies has been uncertain due to the difficulty in obtaining credit, weak economic recovery, and financial market volatility. Adverse credit conditions in the future could have a negative impact on our ability to execute on future strategic activities.  In addition, if credit is difficult to obtain in the future, some customers may delay or reduce purchases. This could result in reductions in sales of our products, longer sales cycles, slower adoption of new technologies, increased accounts receivable and inventory write-offs and increased price competition. Any of these events would likely harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Risks Related to Our Technologies

We may be unable to adequately prevent disclosure of trade secrets and other proprietary information.

We rely on trade secrets to protect our proprietary technologies, especially where we do not believe patent protection is appropriate or obtainable. However, trade secrets are difficult to protect. We rely, in part, on confidentiality agreements with our employees, contractors, consultants, outside scientific collaborators and other advisors to protect our trade secrets and other proprietary information. These agreements may not effectively prevent disclosure of confidential information and may not provide an adequate remedy in the event of unauthorized disclosure of confidential information. In addition, others may independently discover our trade secrets or independently develop processes or products that are similar or identical to our trade secrets and courts outside the United States may be less willing to protect trade secrets. Costly and time-consuming litigation could be necessary to enforce and determine the scope of our proprietary rights, and failure to obtain or maintain trade secret protection could adversely affect our competitive business position.

For example, based, in part, upon evidence obtained through an internal investigation and a criminal investigation conducted by Austrian authorities regarding the actions of a former employee of our Austrian subsidiary, we believe that Sinovel illegally obtained and used our intellectual property in violation of civil and criminal intellectual property laws. In July 2011, a former employee of our Austrian subsidiary was arrested in Austria on charges of economic espionage and fraudulent manipulation of data. In September 2011, the former employee pled guilty to the charges, and was imprisoned. On September 13, 2011, we commenced a series of legal actions in China against Sinovel and other parties alleging the illegal use of our intellectual property. We cannot provide any assurance as to the outcome of these legal actions. This or future litigation with Sinovel could result in substantial costs and divert management’s attention and resources, which could have an adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition. In addition, such proceedings may make it more difficult to finance our operations. If we are unsuccessful in this litigation and fail to maintain adequate protection of this intellectual property, our competitive business position would be adversely affected. For more information about these legal proceedings, see Part I, Item 3, “Legal Proceedings.”

Our patents may not provide meaningful protection for our technology, which could result in us losing some or all of our market position.

We own or have licensing rights under many patents and pending patent applications. However, the patents that we own or license may not provide us with meaningful protection of our technologies and may not prevent our competitors from using similar technologies, for a variety of reasons, such as:

·

the patent applications that we or our licensors file may not result in patents being issued;

·

any patents issued may be challenged by third parties; and

·

others may independently develop similar technologies not protected by our patents or design around the patented aspects of any technologies we develop.

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Moreover, we could incur substantial litigation costs in defending the validity of or enforcing our own patents. We also rely on trade secrets and proprietary know-how to protect our intellectual property. However, our non-disclosure agreements and other safeguards may not provide meaningful protection for our trade secrets and other proprietary information. If the patents that we own or license or our trade secrets and proprietary know-how fail to protect our technologies, our market position may be adversely affected.

There are a number of technological challenges that must be successfully addressed before our superconductor products can gain widespread commercial acceptance, and our inability to address such technological challenges could adversely affect our ability to acquire customers for our products.

Many of our superconductor products are in the early stages of commercialization, while others are still under development. There are a number of technological challenges that we must successfully address to complete our development and commercialization efforts for superconductor products. We will also need to improve the performance and reduce the cost of our Amperium wire to expand the number of commercial applications for it. We may be unable to meet such technological challenges or to sufficiently improve the performance and reduce the costs of our Amperium wire. Delays in development, as a result of technological challenges or other factors, may result in the introduction or commercial acceptance of our superconductor products later than anticipated.

Third parties have or may acquire patents that cover the materials, processes and technologies we use or may use in the future to manufacture our Amperium products, and our success depends on our ability to license such patents or other proprietary rights.

We expect that some or all of the HTS materials, processes and technologies we use in designing and manufacturing our products are or will become covered by patents issued to other parties, including our competitors. The owners of these patents may refuse to grant licenses to us, or may be willing to do so only on terms that we find commercially unreasonable. If we are unable to obtain these licenses, we may have to contest the validity or scope of those patents or re-engineer our products to avoid infringement claims by the owners of these patents. It is possible that we will not be successful in contesting the validity or scope of a patent, or that we will not prevail in a patent infringement claim brought against us. Even if we are successful in such a proceeding, we could incur substantial costs and diversion of management resources in prosecuting or defending such a proceeding.

Our technology and products could infringe intellectual property rights of others, which may require costly litigation and, if we are not successful, could cause us to pay substantial damages and disrupt our business.

In recent years, there has been significant litigation involving patents and other intellectual property rights in many technology-related industries. There may be patents or patent applications in the United States or other countries that are pertinent to our products or business of which we are not aware. The technology that we incorporate into and use to develop and manufacture our current and future products, including the technologies we license, may be subject to claims that they infringe the patents or proprietary rights of others. The success of our business will also depend on our ability to develop new technologies without infringing or misappropriating the proprietary rights of others. Third parties may allege that we infringe patents, trademarks or copyrights, or that we misappropriated trade secrets. These allegations could result in significant costs and diversion of the attention of management. If a successful claim were brought against us and we are found to infringe a third party’s intellectual property rights, we could be required to pay substantial damages, including treble damages if it is determined that we have willfully infringed such rights, or be enjoined from using the technology deemed to be infringing, or using, making or selling products deemed to be infringing. If we have supplied infringing products or technology to third parties, we may be obligated to indemnify these third parties for damages they may be required to pay to the patent holder and for any losses they may sustain as a result of the infringement. In addition, we may need to attempt to license the intellectual property right from such third party or spend time and money to design around or avoid the intellectual property. Any such license may not be available on reasonable terms, or at all. An adverse determination may subject us to significant liabilities and/or disrupt our business.

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Risks Related to Our Legal Matters

We have filed a demand for arbitration and other lawsuits against our former largest customer, Sinovel, regarding amounts we contend are overdue. We cannot be certain as to the outcome of these proceedings.

On March 31, 2011, Sinovel refused to accept contracted scheduled shipments with a revenue value of approximately $65.2 million. In addition, as of March 31, 2011, we had approximately $62.0 million of receivables (excluding value-added tax) outstanding from Sinovel. We have not received payment from Sinovel for these outstanding receivables that are now past due, nor have we been notified as to when, if ever, they will accept contracted shipments that were scheduled for delivery after March 31, 2011. No payment has been received from Sinovel since early March 2011. Because Sinovel did not give us notice that it intended to delay deliveries as required under the contracts, we believe that these actions constitute material breaches of our contracts. Additionally, we believe that Sinovel illegally obtained and used our intellectual property in violation of civil and criminal intellectual property laws.

On September 13, 2011, we filed a claim for arbitration against Sinovel in Beijing, China to compel Sinovel to pay us for past product shipments and to accept all contracted but not yet delivered core electrical components and spare parts under all existing contracts with us. In addition, we have filed civil complaints in China against Sinovel alleging the illegal use of our intellectual property. Sinovel has filed counterclaims against us with the Beijing Arbitration Commission for breach of the same contracts under which we filed our original arbitration claim. Sinovel claims, among other things, that the goods supplied by us do not conform to the standards specified in the contracts and has claimed net damages in the amount of approximately RMB 1.2 billion ($190.0 million). Sinovel also filed a claim with the Beijing Arbitration Commission against us for breach of the same contracts under which we filed our original arbitration claim. Sinovel claimed, among other things, that the goods supplied by us do not conform to the standards specified in the contracts and claimed damages in the amount of approximately RMB 105.0 million ($17.0 million). As the legal proceedings continue, we and Sinovel may identify additional amounts in dispute. We cannot provide any assurance as to the outcome of these legal actions or that, if we prevail, we ultimately will be able to collect any amounts awarded. Moreover, these legal proceedings could result in the incurrence of significant legal and related expenses, which may not be recoverable depending on the outcome of the litigation. An award by the arbitration panel or court in favor of Sinovel and/or the incurrence of significant legal fees that are not recoverable could adversely impact our operating results. For more information about these legal proceedings, see Part I, Item 3, “Legal Proceedings.”

We have been named as a party in various legal proceedings, and we may be named in additional litigation, all of which will require significant management time and attention, result in significant legal expenses and may result in an unfavorable outcome, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition.

We are and may become subject to various legal proceedings and claims that arise in or outside the ordinary course of business. Certain current lawsuits and pending proceedings are described under Part I, Item 3. “Legal Proceedings.”

The results of these lawsuits and future legal proceedings cannot be predicted with certainty. Also, our insurance coverage may be insufficient, our assets may be insufficient to cover any amounts that exceed our insurance coverage, and we may have to pay damage awards or otherwise may enter into settlement arrangements in connection with such claims. Any such payments or settlement arrangements in current or future litigation could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results or financial condition. Even if the plaintiffs’ claims are not successful, current future litigation could result in substantial costs and significantly and adversely impact our reputation and divert management’s attention and resources, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results or financial condition. In addition, such lawsuits may make it more difficult to finance our operations.

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Risks Related to Our Common Stock

Our common stock has experienced, and may continue to experience, significant market price and volume fluctuations, which may prevent our stockholders from selling our common stock at a profit and could lead to costly litigation against us that could divert our management’s attention.

The market price of our common stock has historically experienced significant volatility and may continue to experience such volatility in the future. Factors such as our financial performance, liquidity requirements, technological achievements by us and our competitors, the establishment of development or strategic relationships with other companies, strategic acquisitions, new customer orders and contracts, and our introduction of commercial products may have a significant effect on the market price of our common stock. The stock market in general, and the stock of high technology companies, in particular, have, in recent years, experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations, which are often unrelated to the performance or condition of particular companies. Such broad market fluctuations could adversely affect the market price of our common stock. Due to these factors, the price of our common stock may decline and investors may be unable to resell their shares of our common stock for a profit. Following periods of volatility in the market price of a particular company’s securities, securities class action litigation has often been brought against that company. In the past, we have been subject to a number of class action lawsuits which were filed against us on behalf of certain purchasers of our common stock. If we become subject to additional litigation of this kind in the future, it could result in additional substantial litigation costs, a damages award against us and the further diversion of our management’s attention.

 

Item 1B.

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

Not applicable.

 

 

Item 2.

PROPERTIES

Our corporate headquarters, FACTS manufacturing and Amperium wire manufacturing operations are located in a 355,000-square-foot facility owned by us and located in Devens, Massachusetts.

We also occupy leased facilities located in New Berlin, Wisconsin; Suzhou, China; Klagenfurt, Austria; and Timisoara, Romania with a combined total of approximately 272,000 square feet of space. These leases have varying expiration dates through March 2021 which can generally be terminated at our request after a six month advance notice. Our other locations focus primarily on applications engineering, sales and/or field service and do not have significant leases or physical presence. We believe all of these facilities are well-maintained and suitable for their intended uses.

The following table summarizes information regarding our significant leased and owned properties, as of March 31, 2015:

 

Location

 

Supporting

 

Square footage

 

 

Owned/Leased

United States

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Devens, Massachusetts

 

Corporate & Grid Segments

 

 

355,000

 

 

Owned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Berlin, Wisconsin

 

Wind & Grid Segments

 

 

50,000

 

 

Leased

China

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suzhou

 

Wind Segment

 

 

157,000

 

 

Leased

Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Klagenfurt

 

Wind Segment

 

 

32,000

 

 

Leased

Romania

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timisoara

 

Wind Segment

 

 

33,000

 

 

Leased

 

 

26


 

Item 3.

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

Ghodawat Energy Pvt Ltd (“Ghodawat”), a company registered in India carrying on the business of wind power development, lodged a Request for Arbitration with the Secretariat of the ICC International Court of Arbitration (the “ICC Court”) on May 12, 2011 and named the Company’s wholly-owned Austrian subsidiary, AMSC Austria GmbH (“AMSC Austria”) as the Respondent. Under the Request for Arbitration, Ghodawat alleged that AMSC Austria breached an agreement dated March 19, 2008 pursuant to which AMSC Austria granted a license to Ghodawat to manufacture, use, sell, market, erect, commission and maintain certain wind turbines using its technical information and wind turbine design (the “License Agreement”). Under the Request for Arbitration, Ghodawat’s claims in this arbitration amounted to approximately €18 million ($24 million). AMSC Austria submitted counterclaims under the License Agreement against Ghodawat in the amount of approximately €6 million ($8.0 million).  On August 29, 2014, the ICC Court ruled that AMSC Austria was liable for damages and awarded Ghodawat approximately €8.3 million, which included reimbursement of legal costs and associated expenses.  Interest on this amount accrued at a rate of 5.33% from the date of award.  We had recorded a loss contingency of $0.5 million based on our assessment of probable losses on this claim in a prior period.  As a result of the arbitration award liability, we recorded a charge of $10.2 million during the three months ended September 30, 2014.

On February 4, 2015, AMSC Austria entered into a Settlement Agreement with Ghodawat, which provided for, among other things, (i) a payment by AMSC Austria to Ghodawat of €7.45 million, and (ii) upon payment by AMSC Austria to Ghodawat, the full settlement of any and all disputes and claims between the parties (including their respective parent and affiliated companies), in particular related to or arising out of the award.  The Company paid the settlement amount during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014.  As a result of this agreement, the Company reversed a portion of the accrued arbitration liability and recorded a reversal of an excess accrual of approximately $1.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014.

On September 13, 2011, we commenced a series of legal actions in China against Sinovel. Our Chinese subsidiary, Suzhou AMSC Superconductor Co. Ltd., filed a claim for arbitration with the Beijing Arbitration Commission in accordance with the terms of our supply contracts with Sinovel. The case is captioned (2011) Jing Zhong An Zi No. 0963. On March 31, 2011, Sinovel refused to accept contracted shipments of 1.5 MW and 3 MW wind turbine core electrical components and spare parts that we were prepared to deliver. We allege that these actions constitute material breaches of our contracts because Sinovel did not give us notice that it intended to delay deliveries as required under the contracts. Moreover, we allege that Sinovel has refused to pay past due amounts for prior shipments of core electrical components and spare parts. We are seeking compensation for past product shipments and retention (including interest) in the amount of approximately RMB 485 million ($76 million) due to Sinovel’s breaches of our contracts. We are also seeking specific performance of our existing contracts as well as reimbursement of all costs and reasonable expenses with respect to the arbitration. The value of the undelivered components under the existing contracts, including the deliveries refused by Sinovel in March 2011, amounts to approximately RMB 4.6 billion ($720 million).

On October 8, 2011, Sinovel filed with the Beijing Arbitration Commission an application under the caption (2011) Jing Zhong An Zi No. 0963, for a counterclaim against us for breach of the same contracts under which we filed our original arbitration claim. Sinovel claimed, among other things, that the goods supplied by us do not conform to the standards specified in the contracts and claimed damages in the amount of approximately RMB 370 million ($58 million). On October 17, 2011, Sinovel filed with the Beijing Arbitration Commission a request for change of counterclaim to increase its damage claim to approximately RMB 1 billion ($157 million). On December 22, 2011, Sinovel filed with the Beijing Arbitration Commission an additional request for change of counterclaim to increase its damages claim to approximately RMB 1.2 billion ($190 million). On February 27, 2012, Sinovel filed with the Beijing Arbitration Commission an application under the caption (2012) Jing Zhong An Zi No. 0157, against us for breach of the same contracts under which we filed our original arbitration claim. Sinovel claimed, among other things, that the goods supplied by us do not conform to the standards specified in the contracts and claimed damages in the amount of approximately RMB 105 million ($17 million). We believe that Sinovel’s claims are without merit and we intend to defend these actions vigorously. Since the proceedings in this matter are in relatively early stages, we cannot reasonably estimate possible losses or range of losses at this time.

27


 

We also submitted a civil action application to the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court under the caption (2011) Yi Zhong Min Chu Zi No. 15524, against Sinovel for software copyright infringement on September 13, 2011. The application alleges Sinovel’s unauthorized use of portions of our wind turbine control software source code developed for Sinovel’s 1.5MW wind turbines and the binary code, or upper layer, of our software for the PM3000 power converters in 1.5MW wind turbines. In July 2011, a former employee of our Austrian subsidiary was arrested in Austria on charges of economic espionage and fraudulent manipulation of data. In September 2011, the former employee pled guilty to the charges, and was imprisoned. As a result of our internal investigation and a criminal investigation conducted by Austrian authorities, we believe that this former employee was contracted by Sinovel through an intermediary while employed by us and improperly obtained and transferred to Sinovel portions of our wind turbine control software source code developed for Sinovel’s 1.5MW wind turbines. Moreover, we believe the former employee illegally used source code to develop for Sinovel a software modification to circumvent the encryption and remove technical protection measures on the PM3000 power converters in 1.5MW wind turbines in the field. We are seeking a cease and desist order with respect to the unauthorized copying, installation and use of our software, monetary damages of approximately RMB 38 million ($6 million) for our economic losses and reimbursement of all costs and reasonable expenses. The Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court accepted the case, which was necessary in order for the case to proceed. In November 2011, Sinovel filed a motion to remove this case from the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court and to transfer the matter to the Beijing Arbitration Commission. On February 14, 2012, the court denied Sinovel’s motion to remove the case. On February 21, 2012, Sinovel filed an appeal of the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court decision to the Beijing Higher People’s Court. On April 25, 2012, the Beijing Higher People’s Court issued a final Civil Ruling which supports the Beijing No.1 Intermediate People’s Court’s civil ruling and rejected Sinovel’s appeal. Sinovel filed an appeal of the Beijing Higher People’s Court’s decision with China’s Supreme People’s Court. A hearing regarding this appeal was held at the Chinese Supreme People’s Court on October 26, 2012. On November 23, 2012, China’s Supreme People’s Court issued a Civil Ruling, holding that (1) it will conduct a re-trial of Sinovel’s appeal, and (2) the lower court’s decision will be stayed pending the re-trial. China’s Supreme People’s Court conducted a re-trial of Sinovel’s appeal on May 29, 2013.  On January 26, 2014, the Supreme People’s Court ruled to uphold the Beijing Higher People’s Court ruling that the dispute shall be heard by the court.  On September 15, 2014, the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court held its first substantive hearing in the Beijing case.  At the hearing, the parties presented evidence, reviewed claims, and answered questions from the court.  On April 24, 2015, we received notification from the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court that it dismissed the case for what it cited was a lack of evidence.  On May 6, 2015, we filed an appeal of the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court decision to dismiss the case with the Beijing Higher People’s Court.

 

We submitted a civil action application to the Beijing Higher People’s Court against Sinovel and certain of its employees for trade secret infringement on September 13, 2011 under the caption (2011) Gao Min Chu Zi No. 4193. The application alleges the defendants’ unauthorized use of portions of our wind turbine control software source code developed for Sinovel’s 1.5MW wind turbines as described above with respect to the Copyright Action. We are seeking monetary damages of RMB 2.9 billion ($453 million) for the trade secret infringement as well as reimbursement of all costs and reasonable expenses. The Beijing Higher People’s Court has accepted the case, which was necessary in order for the case to proceed. On December 22, 2011 the Beijing Higher People’s Court transferred the case to the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court under the caption (2011) Gao Min Chu Zi No. 4193. On June 7, 2012, we received an Acceptance Notice from the Beijing No.1 Intermediate People’s Court under the caption (2012) Yi Zhong Min Chu Zi No.6833. In August 2012, Sinovel filed a motion to remove this case from the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court and transfer the matter to the Beijing Arbitration Commission.  On February 24, 2014, the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court denied Sinovel’s motion to remove and transfer the case.  On March 13, 2014, Sinovel filed an appeal of the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court decision to the Beijing Higher People’s Court.  On August 7, 2014, the Beijing Higher People’s Court upheld the Beijing No.1 Intermediate Court’s decision and rejected Sinovel’s appeal regarding the jurisdiction opposition.  The Beijing No. 1 Intermediate Court held the first substantive hearing on May 11, 2015.

.

28


 

On September 16, 2011, we filed a civil copyright infringement complaint in the Hainan Province No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court against Dalian Guotong Electric Co. Ltd. (“Guotong”), a supplier of power converter products to Sinovel, and Huaneng Hainan Power, Inc. (“Huaneng”), a wind farm operator that has purchased Sinovel wind turbines containing Guotong power converter products. The case is captioned (2011) Hainan Yi Zhong Min Chu Zi No. 62. The application alleges that our PM1000 converters in certain Sinovel wind turbines have been replaced by converters produced by Guotong. Because the Guotong converters are being used in wind turbines containing our wind turbine control software, we believe that our copyrighted software is being infringed. We are seeking a cease and desist order with respect to the unauthorized use of our software, monetary damages of RMB 1.2 million ($0.2 million) for our economic losses (with respect to Guotong only) and reimbursement of all costs and reasonable expenses. The court has accepted the case, which was necessary in order for the case to proceed. In addition, upon the request of the defendant Huaneng, Sinovel has been added by the court to this case as a defendant and Huaneng has been released from this case. In December 2011, Sinovel filed a jurisdiction opposition motion requesting dismissal by the Hainan Province No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court, saying the case should be governed by the Beijing Arbitration Commission. On February 3, 2012, we received the Civil Ruling from the court, which granted Sinovel’s motion, and dismissed the entire case. We appealed the court’s ruling to the Hainan Higher Court, which on April 5, 2012 upheld the decision of the Hainan Province No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court. On April 9, 2012, we filed an appeal of the Hainan Higher Court’s decision with China’s Supreme People’s Court. China’s Supreme People’s Court accepted the appeal on May 23, 2012. The case is captioned, (2012) Min Shen Zi No. 630. On December 20, 2012, China’s Supreme People’s Court issued a Civil ruling, holding that (1) it will conduct a re-trial of our appeal and (2) the lower court’s decision will be stayed pending the re-trial. China’s Supreme People’s Court conducted a re-trial of our appeal on May 29, 2013.  On January 26, 2014, the Supreme People’s Court revoked Hainan No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court and Hainan Higher People’s Court rulings and ruled that the case shall be heard by the Hainan No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court.  The Hainan No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court accepted the case under the caption (2014) Hainan Yi Zhong Min San Chu Zi No. 1. On October 21, 2014, the Hainan No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court changed the caption of this case to (2014) Hainan Yi Zhong Zhi Min Chu Zi No. 2.  On November 18, 2014, the Hainan No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court held its first substantive hearing in the Hainan case.    At the hearing, the parties presented evidence, reviewed claims, and answered questions from the court.  We are awaiting a decision from the Hainan No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court.

 

Item 4.

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not Applicable.

 

 

 

29


 

PART II

 

Item 5.

MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Market Information

Our common stock has been listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “AMSC” since 1991.  The following table sets forth the high and low sales price per share of our common stock as reported on the NASDAQ Global Select Market for each quarter of the two most recent fiscal years.  The sales prices in this table have been adjusted to reflect the 1-for-10 reverse stock split effected March 24, 2015. 

 

 

Common Stock

 

 

Price

 

 

High

 

 

Low

 

Fiscal year ended March 31, 2015:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First quarter

$

16.90

 

 

$

12.50

 

Second quarter

 

21.50

 

 

 

14.00

 

Third quarter

 

14.30

 

 

 

6.98

 

Fourth quarter

 

8.80

 

 

 

5.67

 

Fiscal year ended March 31, 2014:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First quarter

$

30.60

 

 

$

21.20

 

Second quarter

 

30.60

 

 

 

22.80

 

Third quarter

 

24.20

 

 

 

13.70

 

Fourth quarter

 

26.80

 

 

 

14.30

 

Holders

The number of holders of record of our common stock on May 22, 2015 was 322.

Dividend Policy

We have never paid cash dividends on our common stock. We currently intend to retain earnings, if any, to fund the development and growth of our business and do not anticipate paying cash dividends for the foreseeable future. Payment of future cash dividends, if any, will be at the discretion of our board of directors after taking into account various factors, including our financial condition, operating results, current and anticipated cash needs and plans for expansion. The Term Loans with Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc. which are discussed further in Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”, prohibit us from paying cash dividends.  

Stock Performance Graph

The following graph compares the cumulative total stockholder return on our common stock from March 31, 2010 to March 31, 2015 with the cumulative total return of (i) the Russell 2000 Index and (ii) the S&P 500 Index. This graph assumes the investment of $100.00 on March 31, 2010 in our common stock, the Russell 2000 Index and the S&P 500 Index, and assumes any dividends are reinvested. Measurement points are March 31, 2011; March 31, 2012; March 31, 2013; March 31, 2014; and March 31, 2015.

30


 

COMPARISON OF 5 YEAR CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURN

Among American Superconductor Corporation, the Russell 2000 Index

and the S&P 500 Index

 

 

Company/Index

 

3/31/10

 

3/31/11

 

3/31/12

 

3/31/13

 

3/31/14

 

3/31/15

 

American Superconductor Corp.

 

 

100.00

 

 

86.06

 

 

14.26

 

 

9.24

 

 

5.57

 

 

2.23

 

Russell 2000

 

 

100.00

 

 

125.79

 

 

125.56

 

 

146.08

 

 

182.45

 

 

197.43

 

S&P 500

 

 

100.00

 

 

115.64

 

 

125.50

 

 

143.02

 

 

172.27

 

 

196.44

 

 

 


31


 

Item 6.

SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The following selected financial data reflects the results of operations and balance sheet data for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2011 to 2015. Per share data has been restated to reflect the 1-for-10 reverse stock split effected on March 24, 2015.  The information set forth below is not necessarily indicative of results of future operations and should be read in conjunction with Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and the consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included in Item 8, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data,” of this Form 10-K, in order to understand further the factors that may affect the comparability of the financial data presented below.

 

 

Fiscal year ended March 31,

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

2013

 

 

2012

 

 

2011

 

 

(In thousands, except per share data)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues

$

70,530

 

 

$

84,117

 

 

$

87,419

 

 

$

76,543

 

 

$

286,603

 

Net loss

 

(48,656

)

 

 

(56,258

)

 

 

(66,131

)

 

 

(136,827

)

 

 

(186,284

)

Net loss per common share - basic

 

(5.74

)

 

 

(8.98

)

 

 

(12.46

)

 

 

(26.91

)

 

 

(39.55

)

Net loss per common share - diluted

 

(5.74

)

 

 

(8.98

)

 

 

(12.46

)

 

 

(26.91

)

 

 

(39.55

)

Total assets

 

133,825

 

 

 

168,509

 

 

 

216,754

 

 

 

255,056

 

 

 

441,209

 

Working capital

 

17,319

 

 

 

35,459

 

 

 

40,428

 

 

 

57,248

 

 

 

174,625

 

Cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities and restricted cash

 

24,548

 

 

 

49,421

 

 

 

50,199

 

 

 

66,209

 

 

 

245,475

 

Long term debt, net of discount

 

3,877

 

 

 

6,380

 

 

 

9,248

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

-

 

Stockholders’ equity

 

79,893

 

 

 

112,259

 

 

 

125,118

 

 

 

164,879

 

 

 

292,855

 

Included in the net loss for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 was stock-based compensation expense of $5.9 million, restructuring and impairment charges of $5.4 million, non-cash interest expense of $0.6 million, arbitration award expense of $9.0 million and a gain from the change in fair value of warrants and derivatives of $4.0 million. Included in the net loss for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014 was stock-based compensation expense of $10.7 million, restructuring and impairment charges of $3.0 million, a prepaid VAT reserve of $1.4 million, non-cash interest expense of $7.7 million, a loss on extinguishment of debt of $5.2 million and a gain from the change in fair value of warrants and derivatives of $1.9 million. Included in the net loss for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013 was stock-based compensation expense of $8.1 million, restructuring and impairment charges of $7.9 million, a loss contingency of $1.8 million, non-cash interest expense of $12.4 million as well as gains from the change in fair value of warrants and derivatives and recoveries of adverse purchase commitments of $7.6 million and $7.8 million, respectively. Included in the net loss for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012 was stock-based compensation expense of $9.9 million, a write-off of an advance payment to The Switch Engineering OY (“The Switch”) of $20.6 million, restructuring and impairment charges of $9.2 million, expense of patent costs of $4.9 million, and Sinovel legal expenses of $5.8 million. Net loss for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011 included $13.4 million in stock-based compensation expense. Also included in net loss for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011 were charges primarily attributable to events surroundings our largest customer, Sinovel, a manufacturer of wind energy systems in China, including an increase in the provision for excess and obsolete inventory of $63.9 million, loss on adverse purchase commitments of $38.8 million, impairment of goodwill and certain other long-lived assets of $50.0 million and a write-off of prepaid value-added taxes of $5.9 million. Sinovel refused to accept scheduled shipments on March 31, 2011. As a result of subsequent legal actions, we determined that the customer relationship with Sinovel would no longer continue. This impacted the valuation of assets, including inventory and goodwill, as well as the accrual of losses on adverse purchase commitments associated with the purchase of materials to support the manufacture of product for Sinovel. See Item 3, “Legal Proceedings”, for further discussion of the Sinovel matter.

 

 

 

32


 

Item 7.

MANAGEMENT DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Executive Overview

American Superconductor Corporation was founded on April 9, 1987. We are a leading provider of megawatt-scale solutions that lower the cost of wind power and enhance the performance of the power grid. In the wind power market, we enable manufacturers to field highly competitive wind turbines through our advanced power electronics products, engineering, and support services. In the power grid market, we enable electric utilities and renewable energy project developers to connect, transmit and distribute power through our transmission planning services and power electronics and superconductor-based products. Our wind and power grid products and services provide exceptional reliability, security, efficiency and affordability to our customers.

Our wind and power grid solutions help to improve energy efficiency, alleviate power grid capacity constraints and increase the adoption of renewable energy generation. Demand for our solutions is driven by the growing needs for renewable sources of electricity, such as wind and solar energy, and for modernized smart grids that improve power reliability, security and quality. Concerns about these factors have led to increased spending by corporations as well as supportive government regulations and initiatives on local, state, national and global levels, including renewable portfolio standards, tax incentives and international treaties.

We manufacture products using two proprietary core technologies: PowerModule programmable power electronic converters and our Amperium high temperature superconductor (“HTS”) wires. These technologies and our system-level solutions are protected by a broad and deep intellectual property portfolio consisting of hundreds of patents and licenses worldwide.

We operate our business under two market-facing business units: Wind and Grid. We believe this market-centric structure enables us to more effectively anticipate and meet the needs of wind turbine manufacturers, power generation project developers and electric utilities.

·

Wind. Through our Windtec Solutions, our Wind business segment enables manufacturers to field wind turbines with exceptional power output, reliability and affordability. We supply advanced power electronics and control systems, license our highly engineered wind turbine designs, and provide extensive customer support services to wind turbine manufacturers. Our design portfolio includes a broad range of drive trains and power ratings of 2 megawatts (“MW”) and higher. We provide a broad range of power electronics and software-based control systems that are highly integrated and designed for optimized performance, efficiency, and grid compatibility.

·

Grid. Through our Gridtec SolutionsTM, our Grid business segment enables electric utilities and renewable energy project developers to connect, transmit and distribute power with exceptional efficiency, reliability, security and affordability. We provide transmission planning services that allow us to identify power grid congestion, poor power quality, and other risks, which help us determine how our solutions can improve network performance. These services often lead to sales of our grid interconnection solutions for wind farms and solar power plants, power quality systems and transmission and distribution cable systems.  We also sell ship protection products to the U.S. Navy through our Grid business segment.

Our fiscal year begins on April 1 and ends on March 31. When we refer to a particular fiscal year, we are referring to the fiscal year beginning on April 1 of that same year. For example, fiscal 2014 refers to the fiscal year beginning on April 1, 2014. Other fiscal years follow similarly.

On January 14, 2015, we received a letter from The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq”) notifying us that we were no longer in compliance with the $1.00 per share minimum bid price requirement set forth in Nasdaq Listing Rule 5450(a)(1) for continued listing on The Nasdaq Global Select Market. We were provided 180 calendar days, or until July 13, 2015, to regain compliance with the minimum bid price requirement.  In accordance with Listing Rule 5810(c)(3)(A), we could regain compliance if the closing bid price of our common stock met or exceeded $1.00 per share for at least 10 consecutive business days. To facilitate our efforts to regain compliance with the minimum bid price requirement, our Board of Directors approved an amendment to our Restated Certificate of Incorporation effecting a one-for-ten reverse stock split, which became effective on March 24, 2015.  Trading of our common stock reflected the reverse stock split beginning March 25, 2015.  On April 9, 2015, we received a letter from Nasdaq notifying us that (a) our common stock had a closing bid price of at least $1.00 for a minimum of 10 consecutive business days, from March 25, 2015 to April 8, 2015, and (b) we had regained compliance with the minimum bid price requirement set forth in Nasdaq Listing Rule 5450(a)(1) for continued listing on The Nasdaq Global Select Market. Unless otherwise indicated, all historical references to shares of common stock, shares of restricted stock, restricted units, shares underlying stock options, warrants or calculations that use common stock for per share financial reporting have been adjusted for comparative purposes to reflect the impact of the 1-for-10 reverse stock split as if it had occurred at the beginning of the earliest period presented.

33


 

We have experienced recurring operating losses and as of March 31, 2015, had an accumulated deficit of $905.0 million. In addition, we have experienced recurring negative operating cash flows. At March 31, 2015, we had cash and cash equivalents of $20.5 million, which compares to cash used in operations of $32.7 million for the year ended March 31, 2015.

Over the last several years, we have entered into several debt and equity financing arrangements in order to enhance liquidity.  During the fiscal years ended March 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, we generated aggregate cash flows from financing activities of $52.8 million.  In addition, on April 29, 2015, we closed on an additional equity financing, which raised net proceeds of approximately $22.3 million, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses.  See Note 9, “Debt”, Note 12 “Stockholders Equity” and Note 19 “Subsequent Events” for further discussion of these financing arrangements. We believe that we are in compliance with the covenants and restrictions included in the agreements governing our debt arrangements as of March 31, 2015.

On August 29, 2014, the Arbitration Tribunal for the ICC International Court of Arbitration (the “ICC Court”) found us liable for damages in our breach of contract arbitration against Ghodawat Energy Pvt Ltd (“Ghodawat”) and awarded Ghodawat approximately €8.3 million plus interest of 5.33%, which accrued from the date of award.  We recorded $10.2 million in arbitration award expense in the period ending September 30, 2014.

On February 4, 2015, our wholly-owned Austrian subsidiary AMSC Austria GmbH (“AMSC Austria”) entered into a Settlement Agreement with Ghodawat, which provided for, among other things, (i) a payment by AMSC Austria to Ghodawat of €7.45 million, and (ii) upon payment by AMSC Austria to Ghodawat, the full settlement of any and all disputes and claims between the parties (including their respective parent and affiliated companies), in particular relating to or arising out of the award.  We paid the settlement amount on February 10, 2015, which is included in cash used from operations for the year ended March 31, 2015.  As a result of this agreement, we reported approximately $9.0 million as arbitration award expense for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015.  See Part II, Item 1, “Legal Proceedings” for further information.  

Our insurer, Catlin Specialty Insurance Company (“Catlin”) sought and received a ruling from the Massachusetts Superior Court that coverage does not apply to the Ghodawat arbitration award liability.  On January 14, 2015, we and our subsidiary AMSC Austria entered into a Settlement Agreement and Release with Catlin, which provided for, among other things, (i) our and AMSC Austria’s release of all claims against Catlin relating to the arbitration award liability, and (ii) Catlin’s release of all claims against us and AMSC Austria relating to approximately $2.3 million reimbursed to date under the insurance policy for expenses incurred in connection with the arbitration proceedings.  As a result of the settlement with Catlin, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, the Company reversed the related Catlin contingent liability for payments previously reimbursed by Catlin and reduced general and administrative expenses by $2.2 million.   

On March 31, 2011, Sinovel Wind Group Co., Ltd. (“Sinovel”) refused to accept contracted scheduled shipments with a revenue value of approximately $65.2 million. In addition, as of March 31, 2011, we had approximately $62.0 million of receivables (excluding value-added tax) outstanding from Sinovel. As of the date of this filing, we have not received payment from Sinovel for these outstanding receivables that are now past due, nor have we been notified as to when, if ever, they will accept contracted shipments that were scheduled for delivery after March 31, 2011. No payment has been received from Sinovel since early March 2011. Because Sinovel did not give us notice that it intended to delay deliveries as required under the contracts, we believe that these actions constitute material breaches of our contracts. Additionally, we believe that Sinovel illegally obtained and used our intellectual property in violation of civil and criminal intellectual property laws.

On September 13, 2011, we commenced a series of legal actions in China against Sinovel. We filed a claim for arbitration in Beijing, China to compel Sinovel to pay us for past product shipments and to accept all contracted but not yet delivered core electrical components and spare parts under all existing contracts with us. The arbitration claim was filed with the Beijing Arbitration Commission in accordance with the terms of our supply contracts with Sinovel. We also filed civil and criminal complaints against Sinovel.

We cannot provide any assurance as to the outcome of these legal actions. For more information about these legal proceedings, see Part II, Item 1, “Legal Proceedings.”

In fiscal year 2014, Inox accounted for approximately 56% of our total revenues with no other customer accounting for greater than 10% of our total revenues. In fiscal year 2013, Inox and JCNE accounted for approximately 31% and 18%, respectively, of our total revenues. In fiscal year 2012, Inox and JCNE, accounted for approximately 19% and 13%, respectively, of our total revenues.

 

34


 

Our cash requirements depend on numerous factors, including the successful completion of our product development activities, our ability to commercialize our Resilient Electric Grid (“REG”) and ship protection system solutions, rate of customer and market adoption of our products, collecting receivables according to established terms, and the continued availability of U.S. government funding during the product development phase of our Superconductors based products. During the first half of fiscal 2015, we expect to announce an additional city conducting a deployment study of our REG system, to receive a large wind order for our electrical control systems, and new orders for our D-VAR systems.  In the longer term, we expect to have a decision on moving to the manufacturing and construction phase of Project REG and we expect to receive additional business from the U.S. Navy.  Significant deviations to our business plan with regard to these factors and events, which are important drivers to our business, could have a material adverse effect on our operating performance, financial condition, and future business prospects. We expect to pursue the expansion of our operations through internal growth, diversification of our customer base, and potential strategic alliances. See below for a discussion of liquidity and capital resources.

We are actively seeking to sell our minority investment in Tres Amigas, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (“Tres Amigas”).  We no longer believe our investment in Blade Dynamics is recoverable and therefore fully impaired our remaining investment in Blade Dynamics Ltd. (“Blade Dynamics”) during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015. There can be no assurance that we will be able to sell these investments on commercially reasonable terms or at all.

Results of Operations

Fiscal Years Ended March 31, 2015 and March 31, 2014

Revenues

Total revenues decreased by 16% to $70.5 million in fiscal 2014 from $84.1 million in fiscal 2013. Our revenues are summarized as follows (in thousands):

 

Fiscal Years Ended

 

 

March 31,

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

Revenues:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wind

$

51,307

 

 

$

55,608

 

Grid

 

19,223

 

 

 

28,509

 

Total

$

70,530

 

 

$

84,117

 

Revenues in our Wind business unit consist of revenues from wind turbine electrical systems and core components, wind turbine license and development contracts, service contracts and consulting arrangements. Our Wind business unit accounted for 73% of total revenues in fiscal 2014 and 66% in fiscal 2013. Revenues in the Wind business unit decreased 8% to $51.3 million in fiscal 2014 from $55.6 million in fiscal 2013. The decrease in Wind business unit revenues was driven primarily by lower revenues in China partially offset by higher revenues from Inox in India.

Revenues in our Grid business unit consist of revenues from our FACTS products, including D-VAR and D-SVC product sales, HTS wire sales, revenues under government-sponsored electric utility projects, and other prototype development contracts. We also engineer, install and commission our products on a turnkey-basis for some customers. The Grid business unit accounted for 27% of total revenues in fiscal 2014 and 34% in fiscal 2013. Grid revenue decreased 33% to $19.2 million in fiscal 2014 from $28.5 million in fiscal 2013. The decrease in revenues was primarily due to lower D-VAR system revenues.

Revenues from Project HYDRA and Project REG represented 9% and 7% of our Grid business unit’s revenue for fiscal 2014 and 2013, respectively.  Our revenues for these projects are derived by funding from DHS.  Project HYDRA is a project with Consolidated Edison, Inc. (“ConEd”) to demonstrate our REG product in ConEd’s electric grid. Project REG is a project with ComEd to permanently install our REG product in ComEd’s electric grid. This fault current limiting cable system is designed to utilize customized Amperium® HTS wire, and ancillary controls to deliver more power through the grid while also being able to suppress power surges that can disrupt service. DHS has committed 100% of the total expected funding of $29.0 million for Project HYDRA.  Under Project REG, DHS is expected to invest up to $60.0 million to enable the deployment of the REG system in Chicago’s electric grid.  We are currently working on the first phase of the project which among other things, will result in the creation of a detailed deployment plan.  Funding of $1.5 million for this phase of the project has been committed by DHS.  The second phase of the project involves the delivery of the REG system and the associated construction and deployment of the system in ComEd’s grid.  We will not begin this phase of the project until all parties agree to proceed.  There can be no assurance that all parties will agree to proceed with the project.

35


 

Cost of Revenues and Gross Margin

Cost of revenues decreased by 7% to $67.4 million in fiscal 2014, compared to $72.9 million in fiscal 2013. Gross margin decreased to 4.4% in fiscal 2014 from 13.4% in fiscal 2013. The decrease in gross margin in fiscal 2014 was driven primarily by higher 100% margin revenue from Chinese and other customers in fiscal 2013 compared to fiscal 2014, partially offset by higher usage of previously written off inventory used in our electrical control systems in fiscal 2014.

Operating Expenses

Research and development

A portion of our R&D expenditures related to externally funded development contracts has been classified as cost of revenues (rather than as R&D expenses). Additionally, a portion of R&D expenses was offset by cost-sharing funding. Our R&D expenditures are summarized as follows (in thousands):

 

Fiscal Years Ended

 

 

March 31,

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

R&D expenses per consolidated statements of operations

$

11,878

 

 

$

12,173

 

R&D expenditures reclassified as cost of revenues

 

9,560

 

 

 

10,387

 

R&D expenditures offset by cost-sharing funding

 

111

 

 

 

292

 

Aggregated R&D expenses

$

21,549

 

 

$

22,852

 

R&D expenses (exclusive of amounts classified as cost of revenues and amounts offset by cost-sharing funding) decreased by 2% to $11.9 million, or 17% of revenue, for fiscal 2014 from $12.2 million, or 14% of revenue, for fiscal 2013. The decrease in R&D expenses was primarily due to decreased headcount and related labor spending as a result of restructuring activities undertaken in fiscal 2013. The decrease in R&D expenditures reclassified to cost of revenue was primarily driven by a reduction in related spending required to support license and development for our Wind customers. Aggregated R&D expenses, which include amounts classified as cost of revenues and amounts offset by cost-sharing funding, decreased by $1.3 million to $21.5 million, or 31% of revenue, for fiscal 2014, compared to $22.9 million, or 27% of revenue, for fiscal 2013. The decrease in fiscal 2014 was driven primarily by the net impact of the factors described above.

We present aggregated R&D, which is a measure (a “non-GAAP measure”) not calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (“GAAP”), because we believe it provides useful information on our aggregate R&D spending and because R&D expenses as reported on the consolidated statements of operations have been, and may in the future be, subject to significant fluctuations solely as a result of changes in the level of externally-funded contract development work, resulting in significant changes in the amount of the cost recorded as costs of revenues rather than as R&D expenses, as discussed above.

Selling, general, and administrative

SG&A expenses decreased by 22% to $29.2 million, or 41% of revenue, in fiscal 2014 from $37.2 million, or 44% of revenue, in fiscal 2013. The decrease in SG&A expenses in fiscal 2014 was primarily due to lower stock compensation expense and the reversal of legal costs for the Catlin insurance claim as result of our settlement agreement with Catlin.

Arbitration award expense

We recorded an arbitration award expense of $9.0 million in the year ended March 31, 2015 following a decision by the ICC Court on August 29, 2014, finding us liable for damages of approximately €8.3 million under a breach of contract proceeding against Ghodawat.  We entered into an agreement to settle this claim with Ghodawat for €7.45 million on February 4, 2015.  We paid the settlement amount on February 10, 2015.  As a result of this settlement, we recorded a reversal of an excess accrual of approximately $1.2 million during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014.

Amortization of acquisition related intangibles

We recorded $0.2 million in fiscal 2014 and $0.3 million in fiscal 2013 in amortization expense related to our core technology and know-how, and trade names and trademark intangible assets.

36


 

Restructuring and impairments

We recorded restructuring and impairment charges of $5.4 million in fiscal 2014, compared to $3.0 million in fiscal 2013. For fiscal 2014, this consists of restructuring charges of $0.6 million for employee severance costs, and $1.3 million for facility and relocation costs primarily for the consolidation of our Grid manufacturing operations into our Devens facility.  In addition, we recorded an impairment charge of $3.5 million to fully impair our minority investment in Blade Dynamics. For fiscal 2013, the restructuring and impairment charges primarily consisted of employee severance costs of $1.7 million and an impairment charge of $1.3 million for our minority investment in Blade Dynamics.

Operating loss

Our operating loss is summarized as follows (in thousands):

 

Fiscal Years Ended

 

 

March 31,

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

Operating loss:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wind

$

(14,321

)

 

$

(5,213

)

Grid

 

(26,890

)

 

 

(22,523

)

Unallocated corporate expenses

 

(11,306

)

 

 

(13,693

)

Total

$

(52,517

)

 

$

(41,429

)

Wind generated an operating loss of $14.3 million in fiscal 2014 compared to an operating loss of $5.2 million in fiscal 2013. The increase in operating loss for fiscal 2014 was primarily attributable to lower revenues and the approximately $9.0 million arbitration award expense associated with the Ghodowat settlement, partially offset by the reversal of legal expenses associated with the Catlin settlement.

Grid operating loss increased to $26.9 million in fiscal 2014 from $22.5 million in fiscal 2013. The increase in operating loss for fiscal 2014 is primarily attributed to the lower revenues.

Unallocated corporate expenses in fiscal 2014 included restructuring and impairment charges of $5.4 million and $5.9 million in stock-based compensation expense. Unallocated corporate expenses in fiscal 2013 included restructuring and impairment charges of $3.0 million and $10.7 million in stock-based compensation expense.

Change in fair value of derivatives and warrants

The change in fair value of derivatives and warrants resulted in gains of $4.0 million in fiscal 2014 and $1.9 million in fiscal 2013.  The gains were driven by mark-to-market adjustments due primarily to our lower stock price on the derivative liabilities and the extinguishment of our unsecured, senior convertible note (the “Exchanged Note”) with Capital Ventures International (“CVI”) in fiscal 2013 (see “Loss on extinguishment of debt” below).

Loss on extinguishment of debt

We recorded a $5.2 million loss in fiscal 2013 related to extinguishment of the Exchanged Note in exchange for approximately 663,000 shares of common stock.

Interest expense, net

Interest expense, net was $1.9 million in fiscal 2014 compared to $9.7 million for fiscal 2013. The decrease in interest expense, net was primarily driven by lower non-cash interest expense due to the conversion of the remaining outstanding balance on the Exchanged Note into common stock on March 2, 2014.  

Other income (expense), net

Other income, net was $1.6 million in fiscal 2014, compared to other expense, net of $1.0 million in fiscal 2013. The increase in other income, net was due primarily to gains from foreign currency fluctuations as a result of the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against the EURO.

37


 

Income Taxes

We recorded an income tax benefit of $0.2 million in fiscal 2014, compared to income tax expense of $0.9 million in fiscal 2013. The decrease in income tax expense was driven primarily by a reversal of an uncertain tax position in Austria upon completion of tax audits for prior tax periods.

Certain asset write-offs in our foreign jurisdictions are considered permanent differences and are not tax deductible.  Other asset write-offs, such as inventory and prepaid value-added taxes in China, are not currently deductible and result in deferred tax assets.  Due to uncertainty around the realization of these deferred tax assets, they have been fully reserved as of the end of the fiscal years ended March 31, 2015 and March 31, 2014.

Please refer to the “Risk Factors” section in Part I, Item 1A, for a discussion of certain factors that may affect our future results of operations and financial condition.

Results of Operations

Fiscal Years Ended March 31, 2014 and March 31, 2013

Revenues

Total revenues decreased by 4% to $84.1 million in fiscal 2013 from $87.4 million in fiscal 2012. Our revenues are summarized as follows (in thousands):

 

 

Fiscal Years Ended

 

 

March 31,

 

 

2014

 

 

2013

 

Revenues:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wind

$

55,608

 

 

$

44,231

 

Grid

 

28,509

 

 

 

43,188

 

Total

$

84,117

 

 

$

87,419

 

Our Wind business unit accounted for 66% of total revenues in fiscal 2013 and 51% in fiscal 2012. Revenues in the Wind business unit increased 26% to $55.6 million in fiscal 2013 from $44.2 million in fiscal 2012. The increase in Wind business unit revenues was driven primarily by higher revenues from Inox and JCNE, partially offset by lower revenues from certain Korean customers.

Our Grid business unit accounted for 34% of total revenues in fiscal 2013 and 49% in fiscal 2012. Grid revenue decreased 34% to $28.5 million in fiscal 2013 from $43.2 million in fiscal 2012. The decrease in revenues was primarily due to lower D-VAR system revenues in existing markets such as United Kingdom and Australia partially offset by higher revenues from customers in emerging markets such as South Africa.

Revenues from Project HYDRA represented 7% and 5% of our Grid business unit’s revenue for fiscal 2013 and 2012, respectively.  On July 8, 2013, DHS committed the final $8.6 million in funding on Project HYDRA. DHS has committed 100% of the total expected funding for this project as of March 31, 2014. Consolidated Edison and Southwire Company are our subcontractors on this project.

Cost of Revenues and Gross Margin

Cost of revenues increased by 1% to $72.9 million in fiscal 2013, compared to $71.9 million in fiscal 2012. Gross margin decreased to 13.4% in fiscal 2013 from 17.7% in fiscal 2012. The decrease in gross margin in fiscal 2013 was driven primarily by recoveries of adverse purchase commitments in fiscal 2012, partially offset by the realization of benefits from cost reduction activities undertaken in fiscal 2013 and fiscal 2012.

38


 

Operating Expenses

Research and development

A portion of our R&D expenditures related to externally funded development contracts has been classified as cost of revenues (rather than as R&D expenses). Additionally, a portion of R&D expenses was offset by cost-sharing funding. Our R&D expenditures are summarized as follows (in thousands):

 

 

Fiscal Years Ended

 

 

March 31,

 

 

2014

 

 

2013

 

R&D expenses per consolidated statements of operations

$

12,173

 

 

$

15,325

 

R&D expenditures reclassified as cost of revenues

 

10,387

 

 

 

13,226

 

R&D expenditures offset by cost-sharing funding

 

292

 

 

 

194

 

Aggregated R&D expenses

$

22,852

 

 

$

28,745

 

R&D expenses (exclusive of amounts classified as cost of revenues and amounts offset by cost-sharing funding) decreased by 21% to $12.2 million, or 14% of revenue, for fiscal 2013 from $15.3 million, or 18% of revenue, for fiscal 2012. The decrease in R&D expenses was primarily due to decreased headcount and related labor spending as a result of restructuring activities undertaken in fiscal 2013 and fiscal 2012. The decrease in R&D expenditures reclassified to cost of revenue was primarily driven by a reduction in related spending required to support license and development for our Wind customers. Aggregated R&D expenses, which include amounts classified as cost of revenues and amounts offset by cost-sharing funding, decreased 21% to $22.9 million, or 27% of revenue, for fiscal 2013, compared to $28.7 million, or 33% of revenue, for fiscal 2012. The decrease in fiscal 2013 was driven primarily by the net impact of the factors described above.

Selling, general, and administrative

SG&A expenses decreased by 25% to $37.2 million, or 44% of revenue, in fiscal 2013 from $49.7 million, or 57% of revenue, in fiscal 2012. Fiscal 2012 SG&A expenses included approximately $0.7 million in legal expenses related to the issue with Sinovel and $1.8 million for a contingent liability to settle a class action shareholder lawsuit filed against the Company in 2011.  The decrease in SG&A expenses in fiscal 2013 was primarily due to the benefit from cost reduction activities in fiscal 2013 and fiscal 2012, as well as the aforementioned charges in fiscal 2012.

Amortization of acquisition related intangibles

We recorded $0.3 million in fiscal 2013 and $0.3 million in fiscal 2012 in amortization expense related to our core technology and know-how, and trade names and trademark intangible assets.

Restructuring and impairments

We recorded restructuring and impairment charges of $3.0 million in fiscal 2013, compared to $7.9 million in fiscal 2012.  For fiscal 2013, this primarily consists of employee severance costs of $1.7 million and an impairment charge of $1.3 million for our minority investment in Blade Dynamics. For fiscal 2012, these amounts consist primarily of a long-lived asset impairment charge of $5.0 million, employee severance and benefit costs of $2.5 million and facility exit costs of $0.4 million.

39


 

Operating loss

Our operating loss is summarized as follows (in thousands):

 

 

Fiscal Years Ended

 

 

March 31,

 

 

2014

 

 

2013

 

Operating loss:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wind

$

(5,213

)

 

$

(16,098

)

Grid

 

(22,523

)

 

 

(23,815

)

Unallocated corporate expenses

 

(13,693

)

 

 

(17,828

)

Total

$

(41,429

)

 

$

(57,741

)

Wind generated an operating loss of $5.2 million in fiscal 2013 compared to an operating loss of $16.1 million in fiscal 2012. The decrease in operating loss for fiscal 2013 was primarily attributable to higher revenues, including revenues recognized upon payment from certain Chinese customers for which costs were previously recognized in a prior year, and the benefit of our cost reduction efforts described above.

Grid operating loss decreased to $22.5 million in fiscal 2013 from $23.8 million in fiscal 2012. The decrease in operating loss for fiscal 2013 is primarily attributed to the benefits from our cost reduction efforts described above partially offset by lower revenues.

Unallocated corporate expenses in fiscal 2013 included restructuring and impairment charges of $3.0 million, and $10.7 million in stock-based compensation expense. Unallocated corporate expenses in fiscal 2012 included restructuring and impairment charges of $7.9 million, $8.1 million in stock-based compensation expense and a loss contingency of $1.8 million related to the class action shareholder lawsuit.

Change in fair value of derivatives and warrants

The change in fair value of derivatives and warrants resulted in gains of $1.9 million in fiscal 2013 and $7.6 million in fiscal 2012.  The gains were driven by mark-to-market adjustments due primarily to our lower stock price on the derivative liabilities and a reduction in the principal outstanding on the Exchanged Note with CVI due to payments to the note holder in shares of common stock.

Loss on extinguishment of debt

We recorded a $5.2 million loss in fiscal 2013 related to extinguishment of our Exchanged Note with CVI in exchange for approximately 663,000 shares of common stock.

Interest expense, net

Interest expense, net was $9.7 million in fiscal 2013 compared to $14.9 million for fiscal 2012. The decrease in interest expense, net was primarily driven by lower non cash interest expense due to the conversion of the remaining outstanding balance on the Exchanged Note into common stock on March 2, 2014 at a discount.  Since this transaction extinguished the debt, the impact, a charge of $5.2 million, is recorded as a loss on extinguishment of debt as opposed to non-cash interest expense for previous payments made under the note in shares of common stock issued at a discount.

40


 

Other expense, net

Other expense, net was $1.0 million in fiscal 2013, compared to $1.3 million in fiscal 2012. The decrease in other expense, net was due primarily to lower minority interest due to accounting for our investment in Blade Dynamics under the cost method in fiscal 2013, compared to the equity method in fiscal 2012, partially offset by a net foreign exchange loss in fiscal 2013, compared to a net gain in fiscal 2012.

Income Taxes

We recorded income tax expense of $0.9 million in fiscal 2013, compared to a benefit of $0.3 million in fiscal 2012. The increase in income tax expense was driven primarily by a refund of Chinese income taxes of $0.9 million in fiscal 2012. Certain asset write-offs in our foreign jurisdictions are considered permanent differences and are not tax deductible.  Other asset write-offs, such as inventory and prepaid value-added taxes in China in fiscal 2010, are not currently deductible and result in deferred tax assets.  Due to uncertainty around the realization of these deferred tax assets, they have been fully reserved as of the end of the fiscal years ended March 31, 2013 and March 31, 2014.

Non-GAAP Measures

Generally, a non-GAAP financial measure is a numerical measure of a company’s performance, financial position or cash flow that either excludes or includes amounts that are not normally excluded or included in the most directly comparable measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP. The non-GAAP measures included in this Form 10-K, however, should be considered in addition to, and not as a substitute for, or superior to, the comparable measure prepared in accordance with GAAP.

We define non-GAAP net loss as net loss before adverse purchase commitment (recoveries) losses, net, stock-based compensation, amortization of acquisition-related intangibles, restructuring and impairment charges, changes in fair value of derivatives and warrants, non-cash interest expense, and the other non-cash or unusual items indicated in the table below. We believe non-GAAP net loss assists management and investors in comparing our performance across reporting periods on a consistent basis by excluding these non-cash or non-recurring charges that we do not believe are indicative of our core operating performance. We also regard non-GAAP net loss as a useful measure of operating performance which more closely aligns net loss with cash used in/provided by continuing operations. In addition, we use non-GAAP net loss as a factor in evaluating management’s performance when determining incentive compensation and to evaluate the effectiveness of our business strategies. A reconciliation of non-GAAP to GAAP net loss is set forth in the table below (in thousands, except per share data):

 

 

Year ended March 31,

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net loss

$

(48,656

)

 

$

(56,258

)

 

$

(66,131

)

Adverse purchase commitment (recoveries) losses, net

 

-

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

(7,768

)

Stock-based compensation

 

5,936

 

 

 

10,696

 

 

 

8,138

 

Arbitration award expense

 

8,987

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

-

 

Amortization of acquisition-related intangibles

 

157

 

 

 

287

 

 

 

324

 

Restructuring and impairment charges

 

5,366

 

 

 

2,998

 

 

 

7,922

 

Sinovel litigation

 

-

 

 

 

18

 

 

 

691

 

Contingency for shareholder lawsuit

 

-

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

1,800

 

Consumption of zero cost-basis inventory

 

(7,982

)

 

 

(4,308

)

 

 

(2,111

)

Prepaid VAT reserve

 

-

 

 

 

1,426

 

 

 

-

 

Change in fair value of derivatives and warrants

 

(3,963

)

 

 

(1,872

)

 

 

(7,556

)

Loss on extinguishment of debt

 

-

 

 

 

5,197

 

 

 

-

 

Non-cash interest expense

 

566

 

 

 

7,713

 

 

 

12,426

 

Non-GAAP net loss

$

(39,589

)

 

$

(34,103

)

 

$

(52,265

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-GAAP loss per share

$

(4.67

)

 

$

(5.45

)

 

$

(9.85

)

Weighted average shares outstanding - basic and diluted

 

8,477

 

 

 

6,262

 

 

 

5,307

 

41


 

We generated a non-GAAP net loss of $39.6 million, or $4.67 per share, for fiscal 2014, compared to $34.1 million, or $5.45 per share, for fiscal 2013, and $52.3 million, or $9.85 per share, for fiscal 2012. The increase in non-GAAP net loss in fiscal 2014 over 2013 was primarily related to lower revenues in fiscal 2014 and mix of higher margin revenue with no cost in fiscal 2013 from Chinese and other customers. The decrease in non-GAAP net loss in fiscal 2013 over 2012 was primarily related to the benefits from cost reductions initiated in fiscal 2012 and fiscal 2013 that were realized in fiscal 2013.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

Our cash requirements depend on numerous factors, including the successful completion of our product development activities, our ability to commercialize our REG and ship protection system solutions, rate of customer and market adoption of our products, collecting receivables according to established terms, and the continued availability of U.S. government funding during the product development phase of our Superconductors-based products. During the first half of fiscal 2015, we expect to announce an additional city conducting a deployment study of our REG system, to receive a large wind order for our electrical control systems, and new orders for our D-VAR systems.  In the longer term, we expect to have a decision on moving to the manufacturing and construction phase of Project REG and we expect to receive additional business from the U.S. Navy.  Significant deviations to our business plan with regard to these factors, which are important drivers to our business, could have a material adverse effect on our operating performance, financial condition, and future business prospects. We expect to pursue the expansion of our operations through internal growth, diversification of our customer base, and potential strategic alliances.

At March 31, 2015, we had cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash of $24.5 million, compared to $49.4 million at March 31, 2014, a decrease of $24.9 million. Our cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash are summarized as follows (in thousands):

 

March 31,

 

 

March 31,

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

Cash and cash equivalents

$

20,490

 

 

$

43,114

 

Restricted cash

 

4,059

 

 

 

6,307

 

Total cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash

$

24,549

 

 

$

49,421

 

As of March 31, 2015, we had approximately $5.2 million of cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash in foreign bank accounts.

The decrease in total cash and cash equivalents, and restricted cash was due primarily to cash used in operations and a settlement payment made to Ghodawat, partially offset by the proceeds from our financings in fiscal 2014. See further discussion below.

Net cash used in operating activities was $32.7 million, $13.3 million and $45.3 million in fiscal 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively. The increase in fiscal 2014 compared to fiscal 2013 was primarily driven by our higher net loss exclusive of non-cash items, the arbitration settlement payment to Ghodawat, and less cash generated by working capital in fiscal 2014 compared to fiscal 2013. The decrease in fiscal 2013 compared to fiscal 2012 was primarily driven by a lower net loss and cash generated by working capital in fiscal 2013 compared to cash used for working capital in fiscal 2012. We plan to closely monitor our expenses and, if required, expect to further reduce operating costs and capital spending to enhance liquidity.

Net cash provided by investing activities was $1.8 million, $4.0 million and $7.4 million in fiscal 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively. The decrease in net cash provided by investing activities in fiscal 2014 compared to fiscal 2013 was driven primarily by a decrease in the change for restricted cash. The decrease in net cash provided by investing activities in fiscal 2013 compared to fiscal 2012 was driven primarily by a decrease in proceeds from the maturity of marketable securities of $5.3 million, partially offset by a decrease in capital expenditures of $1.2 million from the prior year.

Net cash provided by financing activities was $8.8 million, $12.8 and $31.2 million in fiscal 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively. The decrease in cash provided by financing activities in fiscal 2014 compared to fiscal 2013 is primarily due to the net proceeds received from our debt arrangements in fiscal 2013 and an increase in repayment under these debt arrangements in fiscal 2014, partially offset by net proceeds from a public equity offering in November 2014.  The decrease in cash provided by financing activities in fiscal 2013 compared to fiscal 2012 is primarily due to the net proceeds received from our debt arrangements in fiscal 2012 and an increase in repayment under these debt arrangements in fiscal 2013, partially offset by net proceeds received from sales under our At-Market Sales Arrangement (“ATM”) in fiscal 2013.

At March 31, 2015 and 2014, we had $2.8 million and $2.9 million, respectively, of restricted cash included in current assets, and $1.2 million and $3.4 million of restricted cash included in long-term assets as of March 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively. These amounts included in restricted cash primarily represent deposits to secure surety bonds and letters of credit for various customer contracts. These deposits are held in interest bearing accounts.

42


 

On May 16, 2012, we entered into an agreement with one of our suppliers to settle certain of our adverse purchase commitments. The agreement was amended on November 6, 2012 (as amended, the “Settlement Agreement”). In conjunction with the Settlement Agreement, we agreed to pay the supplier approximately €2.2 million (the “Settlement Amount”). Under the Settlement Agreement, we had the option, at our sole discretion, to pay the settlement amount in cash, shares of our common stock, or a combination of cash and common stock. Accordingly, during the three months ended December 31, 2012, we issued 76,530 shares of our common stock to the supplier and filed a registration statement on Form S-3 to register the supplier’s resale of such shares of common stock under the terms of the Settlement Agreement. If the net proceeds from the supplier’s resale of the shares of common stock during a specified period plus any other cash payments made by us subsequent to the date of the Settlement Agreement were less than the Settlement Amount, we agreed to make an additional payment equal to the shortfall in cash to the supplier no later than December 31, 2012. As of December 31, 2012, we paid $0.8 million as a result of such a shortfall.

On April 4, 2012, we entered into a Securities Purchase Agreement with CVI, an affiliate of Heights Capital Management (the “Purchase Agreement”) and completed a private placement of a $25.0 million 7% senior convertible note (the “Initial Note”). After fees and expenses, the net proceeds were $23.2 million. The Initial Note had an initial conversion price of $48.50 per share, representing a premium of approximately 20% over our closing price on April 3, 2012. The Initial Note was payable in monthly installments beginning four months from issuance and ending on October 4, 2014. Monthly payments were payable in cash or shares of our common stock at our option, subject to certain trading volume, stock price and other conditions. CVI could also elect to defer receipt of monthly installment payments at its option. Any deferred installment payments would continue to accrue interest. We registered 1,026,231 shares of our common stock which may be used as payment for principal and interest in lieu of cash for resale under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended as required under a Registration Rights Agreement with CVI.

On December 20, 2012, we entered into an Amendment and Exchange Agreement, (the “Amendment”) with CVI, which amended the Purchase Agreement. Pursuant to the Amendment, the Company and CVI exchanged the Initial Note for the Exchanged Note.  Among the amendments entered into as part of the Exchanged Note was a reduction in the conversion price from $48.50 per share of our common stock to $31.90 per share of our common stock, subject to certain price based and other anti-dilution adjustments.

On October 9, 2013, we entered into a Second Amendment and Warrant Exchange Agreement (the “Second Amendment”) with CVI. The Second Amendment further amended the Securities Purchase Agreement, as amended by the First Amendment and Exchange Agreement dated December 20, 2012 (collectively, the “Amended Purchase Agreement”), that we previously entered into with CVI.

Pursuant to the Second Amendment, we and/or CVI (i) waived certain provisions of the Amended Purchase Agreement, and (ii) amended certain provisions of the Exchanged Note, specifically,

·

CVI waived its rights under the Amended Purchase Agreement to participate in (i) specific types of offerings that may be conducted by the Company with respect to our currently effective Registration Statement on Form S-3 (Registration No. 333-191153), and (ii) the issuance of shares of common stock in connection with any settlement of currently outstanding litigation involving us;

·

we and CVI amended the Exchanged Note:

·

to increase the period during which CVI is allowed to accelerate payment in shares of common stock at the then current installment date conversion price from such installment date until the trading day before the next installment notice due date to the entire period from such installment date until the trading day before the next installment date;

·

to increase the aggregate outstanding principal amount under the definition of “permitted senior indebtedness” from $10 million to $15 million; and

·

we and CVI exchanged the Original Warrant for a new Warrant with a reduced exercise price of $26.10 per share of common stock.

On March 2, 2014, we entered into an Exchange Agreement with CVI, pursuant to which we exchanged the Exchanged Note for approximately 663,000 shares of our common stock and extinguished the debt.

On June 5, 2012, we entered into a Term Loan with Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc. (“Hercules”), under which we borrowed $10.0 million. After the closing fees and expenses, the net proceeds were $9.7 million. The Term Loan bears an interest rate equal to 11% plus the percentage, if any, in which the prime rate as reported by The Wall Street Journal exceeds 3.75%. We made interest only payments from July 1, 2012 through October 31, 2012, after which we began paying the Term Loan in equal monthly installments ending on December 1, 2014, when the loan was repaid in full.

43


 

On November 15, 2013, we amended the Term Loan with Hercules and entered into the New Term Loan B, borrowing an additional $10.0 million. After closing fees and expenses, we received net proceeds of $9.8 million. The New Term Loan B also bears the same interest rate as the Term Loan. We made interest-only payments from December 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014. If we achieved certain revenue targets for the six-month period ending March 31, 2014, interest only payments would continue through August 31, 2014. We did not achieve the revenue required to extend this interest only period.  Beginning June 1, 2014, we began making payments on the New Term Loan B in equal monthly installments which will end on November 1, 2016.

On December 19, 2014, we entered into an amendment with Hercules (the “Hercules Second Amendment”) and entered into the New Term Loan C, borrowing an additional $1.5 million (we collectively refer to the Term Loan, the New Term Loan B, and New Term Loan C as the “Term Loans”). After closing fees and expenses, the net proceeds for the New Term Loan C were $1.4 million.  The New Term Loan C also bears the same interest rate as the other Term Loans.  We will make interest only payments until maturity on March 1, 2017, when the loan is scheduled to be repaid in its entirety. As a result of the April 2015 offering (see discussion below), the maturity date of the loan has been extended to June 1, 2017.

The Term Loans are secured by substantially all of our existing and future assets, including a mortgage on real property owned by our wholly-owned subsidiary, ASC Devens LLC, and located at 64 Jackson Road, Devens, Massachusetts.  The Term Loans contain certain covenants that restrict our ability to, among other things, incur or assume certain debt, merge or consolidate, materially change the nature of our business, make certain investments, acquire or dispose of certain assets, make guaranties or grant liens on our assets, make certain loans, advances or investments, declare dividends or make distributions or enter into transactions with affiliates. In addition, there is a covenant that requires us to maintain a minimum unrestricted cash balance (the “Minimum Threshold”) in the United States.  As part of the Hercules Second Amendment, this Minimum Threshold was amended to be the lower of $5.0 million or the aggregate outstanding principal balance of the Term Loans.  As of March 31, 2015, the Minimum Threshold was $5.0 million.  As a result of the April 2015 offering (see discussion below), the Minimum Threshold was reduced to the lesser of $2.0 million or the aggregate outstanding principal balance of the Term Loans.  The events of default under the Term Loans include, but are not limited to, failure to pay amounts due, breaches of covenants, bankruptcy events, cross defaults under other material indebtedness and the occurrence of a material adverse effect and/or change in control. In the case of a continuing event of default, Hercules may, among other remedies, declare due all unpaid principal amounts outstanding and any accrued but unpaid interest and foreclose on all collateral granted to Hercules as security under the Term Loans.

We believe we are in and expect to remain in compliance with the covenants and restrictions under the Term Loans as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. If we fail to stay in compliance with our covenants or experience some other event of default, we may be forced to repay the outstanding principal on the Term Loans.

On November 15, 2013, we entered into an ATM arrangement, pursuant to which, we were able to, at our discretion, sell up to $30.0 million of our common stock through our sales agent, MLV & Co. LLC (“MLV”).  Sales of common stock made under the ATM were made on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under our previously filed and currently effective Registration Statement on Form S-3 (File No. 333-191153) by means of ordinary brokers’ transactions at market prices. Under the terms of the ATM, we were able to sell shares of our common stock through MLV, on the Nasdaq Global Select Market or otherwise, at negotiated prices or at prices related to the prevailing market price. Under the terms of the ATM, MLV could not engage in any proprietary trading or trading as principal for MLV’s own account. MLV used its commercially reasonable efforts to sell our common stock from time to time, based upon the our instructions (including any price, time or size limits or other customary parameters or conditions we may impose). We paid MLV a commission of up to 3% of the gross proceeds from the sale of shares of our common stock under the ATM. We also agreed to provide MLV with customary indemnification rights. We terminated the ATM arrangement on November 5, 2014.  During the term of the arrangement, we received aggregate net proceeds of approximately $13.5 million from the sale of approximately 862,000 shares of our common stock.

On November 13, 2014, we completed an equity offering, under which we sold 909,090 units of our common stock at $11.00 per unit (adjusted to reflect our 1-for-10 reverse stock split on March 24, 2015) to Hudson Bay Capital.  Each unit consisted of one share of common stock and 0.90 of a warrant to purchase one share of common stock, or a warrant to purchase in the aggregate 818,181 shares of common stock.  After the underwriting discount and estimated offering expenses, we received net proceeds from the offering of approximately $9.1 million.  

44


 

We have experienced recurring operating losses and as of March 31, 2015, had an accumulated deficit of $905.0 million. In addition, we have experienced recurring negative operating cash flows. At March 31, 2015 we had cash and cash equivalents of $20.5 million, as compared to cash used in operations of $32.7 million for the year ended March 31, 2015 which includes approximately $8.4 million for the payment of our arbitration award liability to Ghodawat. On April 29, 2015 we completed an equity offering which raised net proceeds of $22.3 million after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us from the sale of 4,000,000 shares of our common stock at a public offering price of $6.00 per share.  In addition, we are actively seeking to sell our minority investments in Tres Amigas and Blade Dynamics. There can be no assurance that we will be able to sell these investments on commercially reasonable terms or at all.

We believe we have sufficient available liquidity, when taking into account the $22.3 million proceeds received in the April 2015 offering to fund our operations, capital expenditures and scheduled cash payments under our debt obligations for the next twelve months. Our liquidity is highly dependent on our ability to increase revenues, control our operating costs, and our ability to maintain compliance with the covenants and restrictions on our debt obligations (or obtain waivers from our lender in the event of non-compliance).

Legal Proceedings

We are involved in legal and administrative proceedings and claims of various types. See Part I, Item 3, “Legal Proceedings,” for additional information. We record a liability in our consolidated financial statements for these matters when a loss is known or considered probable and the amount can be reasonably estimated. We review these estimates each accounting period as additional information is known and adjust the loss provision when appropriate. If a matter is both probable to result in liability and the amounts of loss can be reasonably estimated, we estimate and disclose the possible loss or range of loss. If the loss is not probable or cannot be reasonably estimated, a liability is not recorded in our consolidated financial statements.

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

We do not have any off-balance sheet arrangements, as defined under SEC rules, such as relationships with unconsolidated entities or financial partnerships, which are often referred to as structured finance or special purpose entities, established for the purpose of facilitating transactions that are not required to be reflected on our balance sheet except as discussed below.

We occasionally enter into construction contracts that include a performance bond. As these contracts progress, we continually assess the probability of a payout from the performance bond. Should we determine that such a payout is probable, we would record a liability.

In addition, we have various contractual arrangements in which minimum quantities of goods or services have been committed to be purchased on an annual basis.

Contractual Obligations

Contractual obligations represent future cash commitments and liabilities under agreements with third parties. Operating leases include minimum payments under leases for our facilities and certain equipment; see Item 2, “Properties,” for more information. Purchase commitments represent enforceable and legally binding agreements with suppliers to purchase goods or services. As of March 31, 2015, we are committed to make the following payments under contractual obligations (in thousands):

 

 

 

 

 

Payments Due by Period

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less than

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More than

 

 

Total

 

 

1 year

 

 

1-3 Years

 

 

3-5 Years

 

 

5 Years

 

Non-cancellable purchase commitments

$

12,356

 

 

$

12,261

 

 

$

95

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

-

 

Senior term loan

 

8,742

 

 

 

4,000

 

 

 

4,742

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

-

 

Operating leases (rent)

 

2,768

 

 

 

1,211

 

 

 

1,019

 

 

 

384

 

 

 

154

 

Operating leases (other)

 

216

 

 

 

100

 

 

 

111

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

-

 

Total contractual obligations

$

24,082

 

 

$

17,573

 

 

$

5,967

 

 

$

390

 

 

$

154

 

45


 

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

In May 2014, the FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued, ASU Revenue from Contracts with Customers 2014-09 (Topic 606). The guidance substantially converges final standards on revenue recognition between the FASB and IASB providing a framework on addressing revenue recognition issues and, upon its effective date, replaces almost all existing revenue recognition guidance, including industry-specific guidance, in current U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.  The ASU is effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016.  The FASB is currently considering a proposed one year extension of the effective date to December 15, 2017.  We are currently evaluating the impact of adopting ASU 2014-09 to determine the impact, if any, it may have on our current practices.

In July 2014, the FASB issued ASU 2014-12, Compensation – Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Accounting for Share Based Payments When the Terms of an Award Provide that a Performance Target Could be Achieved after the Requisite Service Period.    To account for such awards, a reporting entity should apply existing guidance in FASB Accounting Standards Codification Topic 718, Compensation – Stock Compensation, as it relates to awards with performance conditions that affect vesting.  As such, the performance target should not be reflected in estimating the grant-date fair value of the award. This ASU is effective for annual reporting periods and interim periods, within those annual periods beginning after December 15, 2015.  We are currently evaluating the impact of adopting ASU 2014-12 to determine the impact, if any, it may have on our current practices.

In August 2014, the FASB issued ASU 2014-13, Consolidation (Topic 810): Measuring the Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities of a Consolidated Collateralized Financing Entity.  The new standard applies to reporting entities that are required to consolidate a collateralized financing entity under the variable interest entities subsection of subtopic 810-10.  This ASU is effective for annual reporting periods ending after December 15, 2016, and interim periods within annual periods beginning after December 15, 2016.  We are currently evaluating the impact of adopting ASU 2014-13, but currently do not believe there will be an impact on our consolidated results of operations, financial condition, or cash flow.

In August 2014, the FASB issued ASU 2014-15, Presentation of Financial Statements – Going Concern (Subtopic 205-40): Disclosure of Uncertainties About an Entity’s Ability to Continue as a Going Concern.  The new standard explicitly requires the assessment at interim and annual periods, and provides management with its own disclosure guidance. This ASU is effective for annual reporting periods and interim periods, within those annual periods ending after December 15, 2016.  We are currently evaluating the impact of ASU 2014-15, if any, may have on our current practices.

In January 2015, the FASB issued ASU 2015-01 Income Statement—Extraordinary and Unusual Items (Subtopic 225-20): Simplifying Income Statement Presentation by Eliminating the Concept of Extraordinary Items.  The amendments in ASU 2015-01 eliminate from U.S. GAAP the concept of extraordinary items.  Subtopic 225-20, Income Statement – Extraordinary and Unusual Items, required that an entity separately classify, present, and disclose extraordinary events and transactions. This ASU is effective for annual reporting periods and interim periods, within those annual periods beginning after December 15, 2015.  We are currently evaluating the impact of adopting ASU 2015-01 to determine the impact, but currently do not believe there will be an impact on our consolidated results of operations, financial condition, or cash flow.

In February 2015 the FASB issued ASU 2015-02 Consolidation (Topic 810): Amendments to the Consolidation Analysis.  The amendments in ASU 2015-02 updated the process that a reporting entity must follow to determine whether it should consolidate certain types of legal entities.  This ASU is effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016, and for interim periods within fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017.  We are currently evaluating the impact of adopting ASU 2015-02 to determine the impact, but currently do not believe there will be an impact on our consolidated results of operations, financial condition, or cash flow.

In April 2015 the FASB issued ASU 2015-03 Interest—Imputation of Interest (Subtopic 835-30): Simplifying the Presentation of Debt Issuance Costs.  The amendments in ASU 2015-03 require an entity to present debt issuance costs on the balance sheet as a direct deduction from the related debt liability as opposed to an asset. Amortization of the costs will continue to be reported as interest expense. This ASU is effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2015, and interim periods within those fiscal years.  We are currently evaluating the impact of adopting ASU 2015-03 to determine the impact, but currently do not believe there will be an impact on our consolidated results of operations, financial condition, or cash flow.

We do not believe that other recently issued accounting pronouncements will have a material impact on our financial statements.

46


 

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

The preparation of consolidated financial statements requires that we make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue and expenses, and related disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities. We base our estimates on historical experience and various other assumptions that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ under different assumptions or conditions. Our accounting policies that involve the most significant judgments and estimates are as follows:

·

Revenue recognition;

·

Accounts receivable;

·

Inventory;

·

Valuation of long-lived assets;

·

Income taxes;

·

Stock-based compensation;

·

Contingencies;

·

Product warranty;

·

Debt; and

·

Fair value of financial instruments.

Revenue recognition

We recognize revenue for product sales upon customer acceptance, which can occur at the time of delivery, installation, or post-installation, where applicable, provided persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, delivery has occurred, the sales price is fixed or determinable and collectability is reasonably assured. Existing customers are subject to ongoing credit evaluations based on payment history and other factors. If it is determined during the arrangement that collectability is not reasonably assured, revenue is recognized on a cash basis of accounting. Certain of our contracts involve retention amounts which are contingent upon meeting certain performance requirements through the expiration of the contract warranty periods. For contractual arrangements that involve retention, we recognize revenue for these amounts upon the expiration of the warranty period, meeting the performance requirements and when collection of the fee is reasonably assured.

For certain of our customers in China, we determined a cash basis of accounting was appropriate. Under this method of accounting, cash is applied first against accounts receivable balances, then costs of shipments (inventory and value-added taxes) before recognizing any gross margin.

For certain arrangements, such as contracts to perform research and development, prototype development contracts and certain product sales, we record revenues using the percentage-of-completion method, measured by the relationship of costs incurred to total estimated contract costs. Percentage-of-completion revenue recognition accounting is predominantly used on certain turnkey power systems installations for electric utilities and long-term prototype development contracts with the U.S. government. We follow this method since reasonably dependable estimates of the revenues and costs applicable to various stages of a contract can be made. However, the ability to reliably estimate total costs at completion is challenging, especially on long-term prototype development contracts, and could result in future changes in contract estimates. For contracts where reasonably dependable estimates of the revenues and costs cannot be made, we follow the completed-contract method.

We enter into sales arrangements that may provide for multiple deliverables to a customer. Sales of certain products may include extended warranty and support or service packages, and at times include performance bonds. As these contracts progress, we continually assess the probability of a payout from the performance bond. Should we determine that such a payout is likely; we would record a liability. We would reduce revenue to the extent a liability is recorded. In addition, we enter into licensing arrangements that include training services.

47


 

Deliverables are separated into more than one unit of accounting when (1) the delivered element(s) have value to the customer on a stand-alone basis, and (2) delivery of the undelivered element(s) is probable and substantially in our control.  In general, revenues are separated between the different product shipments which have stand-alone value, and the various services to be provided. Revenue for product shipments is recognized in accordance with our policy for product sales, while revenues for the services are recognized over the period of performance. We have determined that the licenses have no standalone value to the customer and are not separable from training services as we can only fully transfer the technology knowhow through the training component. Accordingly, we account for these arrangements as a single unit of accounting, and recognize revenue over the period of its performance and milestones that have been achieved. Costs for these arrangements are expensed as incurred. We identify all goods and/or services that are to be delivered separately under a sales arrangement and allocate revenue to each deliverable based on the element’s fair value as determined by vendor-specific objective evidence (“VSOE”), which is the price charged when that element is sold separately, or third-party evidence (“TPE”). When VSOE and TPE are unavailable, fair value is based on our best estimate of selling price utilizing a cost plus reasonable margin consistent with how we have set pricing historically for similar products and services. When our estimates are used to determine fair value, we make our estimates using reasonable and objective evidence to determine the price. We review VSOE and TPE at least annually. If we conclude we are unable to establish fair values for one or more undelivered elements within a multiple-element arrangement using VSOE then we use TPE or the best estimate of the selling price for that unit of accounting, being the price at which the vendor would transact if the unit of accounting were sold by the vendor regularly on a standalone basis.

We have elected to record taxes collected from customers on a net basis and do not include tax amounts in revenue or costs of revenue.

Customer deposits received in advance of revenue recognition are recorded as deferred revenue until customer acceptance is received. Deferred revenue also represents the amount billed to and/or collected from commercial and government customers on contracts which permit billings to occur in advance of contract performance/revenue recognition.

Accounts Receivable

Accounts receivable consist of amounts owed by commercial companies and government agencies. Accounts receivable are stated net of allowances for doubtful accounts. Our accounts receivable relate principally to a limited number of customers. As of March 31, 2015, Inox accounted for approximately 56% of our total receivable balance, with no other customers accounting for greater than 10% of the balance. As of March 31, 2014, three customers, Inox, CG Power Solutions UK Ltd., and JCNE, accounted for approximately 20%, 14% and 13%, respectively, of our total receivable balance. Changes in the financial condition or operations of our customers may result in delayed payments or non-payments which would adversely impact our cash flows from operating activities and/or our results of operations. As such we may require collateral, advanced payment or other security based upon the customer history and/or creditworthiness. In determining the allowance for doubtful accounts, we evaluate the collectability of accounts receivable based primarily on the probability of recoverability based on historical collection and write-off experience, the age of past due receivables, specific customer circumstances, and current economic trends. If the financial condition of our customers were to deteriorate, resulting in an impairment of their ability to make payment, additional allowances may be required. Failure to accurately estimate the losses for doubtful accounts and ensure that payments are received on a timely basis could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

Inventory

Inventories include material, direct labor and related manufacturing overhead, and are stated at the lower of cost or market determined on a first-in, first-out basis. We record inventory when we take delivery and title to the product according to the terms of each supply contract.

Program costs may be deferred and recorded as inventory on contracts on which costs are incurred in excess of approved contractual amounts and/or funding, if future recovery of the costs is deemed probable.

At each balance sheet date, we evaluate our ending inventories for excess quantities and obsolescence. Inventories that management considers excess or obsolete are reserved. Management considers forecasted demand in relation to the inventory on hand, competitiveness of product offerings, market conditions and product life cycles when determining excess and obsolescence and net realizable value adjustments. Once inventory is written down and a new cost basis is established, it is not written back up if demand increases.

48


 

We recorded inventory reserves of $1.4 million during fiscal 2014 and $0.3 million during fiscal 2013, respectively, based on evaluating our ending inventories for excess quantities and obsolescence. We recorded an inventory reserve of approximately $63.9 million during fiscal 2010 based on our evaluation of forecasted demand in relation to the inventory on hand and market conditions surrounding our products as a result of the assumption that Sinovel and certain other customers in China would fail to meet their contractual obligations and demand that was previously forecasted would fail to materialize. If, in any period, we are able to sell inventories that were not valued or that had been reserved in a previous period, related revenues would be recorded without any offsetting charge to cost of revenues, resulting in a net benefit to our gross margin in that period. In fiscal 2014, 2013, and 2012, $8.0 million, $4.3 million, and $2.1 million respectively, were recognized as a net benefit to gross margin for inventory previously reserved in fiscal year 2010.

Valuation of long-lived assets

We periodically evaluate our long-lived assets, consisting principally of fixed and amortizable intangible assets for potential impairment. In accordance with the applicable accounting guidance for the treatment of long-lived assets, we review the carrying value of our long-lived assets or asset group that is held and used, including intangible assets subject to amortization, for impairment whenever events and circumstances indicate that the carrying value of the assets may not be recoverable. Under the held and used approach, the asset or asset group to be tested for impairment should represent the lowest level for which identifiable cash flows are largely independent of the cash flows of other groups of assets and liabilities. The determination of our asset groups involves a significant amount of judgment, assumptions and estimates.  We evaluate our long-lived assets whenever events or circumstances suggest that the carrying amount of an asset or group of assets may not be recoverable from the estimated undiscounted future cash flows.

Our judgments regarding the existence of impairment indicators are based on market and operational performance. Indicators of potential impairment include:

·

a significant change in the manner in which an asset group is used;

·

a significant decrease in the market value of an asset group;

·

identification of other impaired assets within a reporting unit;

·

a significant adverse change in its business or the industry in which it is sold;

·

a current period operating cash flow loss combined with a history of operating or cash flow losses or a projection or forecast that demonstrates continuing losses associated with the asset group; and

·

significant advances in our technologies that require changes in our manufacturing process.

In fiscal 2013 and 2012, in response to challenging liquidity and market conditions we entered into and completed certain restructuring activities, approved by the Board of Directors, in order to reduce costs and align our strategic priorities. Since the restructuring actions impacted all of our operations, we concluded that there were indicators of potential impairment of our long-lived assets in each of these fiscal years and we therefore conducted assessments of the recoverability of these assets by comparing the carrying value of the assets to the pre-tax undiscounted cash flows estimated to be generated by those assets over their remaining book useful lives. Based on the calculations performed by management, the sum of the undiscounted cash flows forecasted to be generated by certain assets were less than the carrying value of those assets. Therefore, there were indications that certain of our assets were impaired and, as a result, we performed additional analysis. An evaluation of the level of impairment was made by comparing the implied fair value of those definite long-lived tangible and intangible assets of its reporting units against their carrying values.

The fair values of the impacted property and equipment were based on what we could reasonably expect to sell each asset from the perspective of a market participant. The determination of the fair value of its property and equipment includes estimates and judgments regarding the marketability and ultimate sales price of individual assets. We utilized market data and approximations from comparable analyses to arrive at the estimated fair values of the impacted property and equipment. The fair values of amortizable intangible assets related to completed technology and trade names were determined using primarily the relief-from-royalty method over the estimated economic lives of those assets from the perspective of a market participant.  During fiscal 2013, we determined that the fair values of these assets were greater than or equal to their carrying values and no impairment charge was recorded. During fiscal 2012, we determined that certain of our corporate assets and Grid segment property, plant and equipment were impaired as their carrying values exceeded their fair values. We determined the long-lived assets of our Wind segment were not impaired. Accordingly, for the year ended March 31, 2013 we recorded an impairment charge on certain of our corporate assets and on certain of our Grid segment property, plant and equipment. For the year ended March 31, 2013 these charges totaled $5.0 million

49


 

Income taxes

Our provision for income taxes is composed of a current and a deferred portion. The current income tax provision is calculated as the estimated taxes payable or refundable on tax returns for the current year. The deferred income tax provision is calculated for the estimated future tax effects attributable to temporary differences and carryforwards using expected tax rates in effect in the years during which the differences are expected to reverse.

We regularly assess our ability to realize our deferred tax assets. Assessments of the realization of deferred tax assets require that management consider all available evidence, both positive and negative, and make significant judgments about many factors, including the amount and likelihood of future taxable income. Based on all the available evidence, we have recorded valuation allowances to reduce our deferred tax assets to the amount that is more likely than not to be realizable due to the taxable losses that have been incurred since our inception and uncertainty around our future profitability.

Accounting for income taxes requires a two-step approach to recognizing and measuring uncertain tax positions. The first step is to evaluate the tax position for recognition by determining if, based on the technical merits, it is more likely than not that the position will be sustained upon audit, including resolution of related appeals or litigation processes, if any. The second step is to measure the tax benefit as the largest amount that is more than 50% likely of being realized upon ultimate settlement. We reevaluate these uncertain tax positions on a quarterly basis. This evaluation is based on factors including, but not limited to, changes in facts or circumstances, changes in tax law, effectively settled issues under audit and new audit activity. Any changes in these factors could result in the recognition of a tax benefit or an additional charge to the tax provision. We include interest and penalties related to gross unrecognized tax benefits within the provision for income taxes. (See Note 11, “Income Taxes,” of our consolidated financial statements for further information regarding our income tax assumptions and expenses.)

We evaluate our permanent reinvestment assertions with respect to foreign earnings at each reporting period. We have not recorded a deferred tax asset for the temporary difference associated with the excess of the tax basis over the book basis in our Austrian subsidiary as the future tax benefit is not expected to reverse in the foreseeable future. We have recorded a deferred tax liability as of March 31, 2015 for the undistributed earnings of our remaining foreign subsidiaries for which we can no longer assert are permanently reinvested. The total amount of undistributed earnings available to be repatriated at March 31, 2015 was $1.2 million resulting in the recording of a $0.4 million net deferred federal and state income tax liability. (See Note 11, “Income Taxes,” of our consolidated financial statements for the results of this assessment.)

Stock-based compensation

We measure compensation cost arising from the grant of share-based payments to employees at fair value and recognize such cost over the period during which the employee is required to provide service in exchange for the award, usually the vesting period. Total stock-based compensation expense recognized during the fiscal years ended March 31, 2015, 2014, and 2013 was $5.9 million, $10.7 million, and $8.1 million, respectively. For awards with service conditions only, we recognize compensation cost on a straight-line basis over the requisite service/vesting period. For awards with performance conditions, accruals of compensation cost are made based on the probable outcome of the performance conditions. The cumulative effect of changes in the probability outcomes are recorded in the period in which the changes occur.

Determining the appropriate fair value model and calculating the fair value of share-based payment awards requires the input of highly subjective assumptions, including the expected life of the share-based payment awards and stock price volatility. Management determined that expected volatility rates should be estimated based on historical and implied volatilities of our common stock. The expected term represents the average time that the options that vest are expected to be outstanding based on the vesting provisions and our historical exercise, cancellation and expiration patterns. The assumptions used in calculating the fair value of share-based payment awards represent management’s best estimates, but these estimates involve inherent uncertainties and the application of management judgment. As a result, if circumstances change and we use different assumptions, our stock-based compensation expense could be materially different in the future. In addition, we are required to estimate an expected forfeiture rate and only recognize expense for those shares expected to vest. If our actual forfeiture rate is materially different from our estimate, the stock-based compensation expense could be significantly different from what we have recorded in the current period. (See Note 12, “Stockholders’ Equity,” of our consolidated financial statements for further information regarding our stock-based compensation assumptions and expenses.)

50


 

Contingencies

From time to time, we are involved in legal and administrative proceedings and claims of various types. We record a liability in our consolidated financial statements for these matters when a loss is known or considered probable and the amount can be reasonably estimated. We review these estimates each accounting period as additional information is known and adjust the loss provision when appropriate. If the loss is not probable or cannot be reasonably estimated, a liability is not recorded in our consolidated financial statements. If, with respect to a matter, it is not both probable to result in liability and the amount of loss cannot be reasonably estimated, an estimate of possible loss or range of loss shall be disclosed unless such an estimate cannot be made. We do not recognize gain contingencies until they are realized. Legal costs incurred in connection with loss contingencies are expensed as incurred. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015, we reversed legal expenses of approximately $2.2 million incurred in connection with the Ghodawat arbitration that were covered by our Catlin settlement.   During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013, we recorded a loss contingency of $1.8 million. (See Note 13, “Commitments and Contingencies”, of our consolidated financial statements for further information).

Product Warranty

Warranty obligations are incurred in connection with the sale of our products. We generally provide a one to three year warranty on our products, commencing upon installation. The costs incurred to provide for these warranty obligations are estimated and recorded as an accrued liability at the time of sale. Future warranty costs are estimated based on historical performance rates and related costs to repair given products. The accounting estimate related to product warranty involves judgment in determining future estimated warranty costs. Should actual performance rates or repair costs differ from estimates, revision to the estimated warranty liability would be required.

Debt

For debt arrangements, we consider any embedded equity-linked components and account for the fair value of any embedded warrants and derivatives. We elect not to use the fair value option for recording debt arrangements and elect to record the debt at the stated value of the loan agreement on the date of issuance. Any other elements present are reviewed to determine if they are embedded derivatives requiring bifurcation and requiring valuation under the fair value option. Derivatives and warrants, which meet the condition to satisfy an obligation by issuing a variable number of equity shares, are recorded at fair value. The carrying value assigned to the host instrument will be the difference between the previous carrying value of the host instrument and the fair value of the warrants and derivatives. There is no immediate gain/loss from the initial recognition and measurement if the embedded derivative is accounted for separately from its host contract. There is an offsetting debt discount or premium as a result of the fair value assigned to the warrants and derivatives, as well as any debt issuance costs, which is amortized under the effective interest method over the term of the loan. Each reporting period, fair value is assessed for the warrants and derivatives with the change in value being recorded as other income/loss. (See Note 9, “Debt,” and Note 10, “Warrants and Derivative Liabilities,” of our consolidated financial statements for a full discussion regarding the activity and financial impact for our debt, warrants and derivative liabilities.)

Fair Value of Financial Instruments

Our financial instruments consist principally of cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable, accounts payable, accrued expenses, derivatives, warrants, the Exchanged Note (prior to its exchange on March 2, 2014) and Term Loans. The estimated fair values have been determined through information obtained from market sources and management estimates. The carrying amounts of the cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and accrued expenses due to their short nature approximate fair value at March 31, 2015 and 2014.  The fair value for the debt arrangements have been estimated by us based on the terms that we believe we could obtain in the current market for debt with the same terms and similar maturities and is further supported by the December 2014 amendments to the senior secured term loan with similar terms and interest rate.  We classify the estimates used to fair value these instruments within Level 3 of the valuation hierarchy (See Note 3, “Fair Value Measurements” for a full discussion on fair value measurements.)  The carrying amounts of these instruments approximate fair value as of March 31, 2015. We had identified all of the derivatives associated with the Exchanged Note which included holder change of control redemption rights, issuer optional redemption rights, sale redemption rights and a feature to convert the Exchanged Note into equity at the holder’s option. The derivative liability was subject to revaluation at each balance sheet date, and any change in fair value was recorded as a change in fair value in other income (expense) until the earlier of their exercise or expiration of the derivatives associated with the Exchanged Note. We relied on assumptions in a lattice model to determine the fair value of the derivative liability. We had appropriately valued the derivative liability within Level 3 of the valuation hierarchy. Warrants were issued in conjunction with the Exchanged Note and Term Loans. These warrants are subject to revaluation at each balance sheet date, and any change in fair value will be recorded as a change in fair value in other income (expense) until the earlier of the warrants’ exercise or expiration. We rely on assumptions used in a lattice model to determine the fair value of the warrants. We have appropriately valued the warrants within Level 3 of the valuation hierarchy.

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Item 7A.

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

We face exposure to financial market risks, including adverse movements in foreign currency exchange rates and changes in interest rates. These exposures may change over time as our business practices evolve and could have a material adverse impact on our financial results.

Cash and cash equivalents

Our exposure to market risk through financial instruments, such as investments in marketable securities, is limited to interest rate risk and is not material. Our investments in marketable securities consist primarily of government-backed securities and commercial paper and are designed, in order of priority, to preserve principal, provide liquidity, and maximize income. Investments are monitored to limit exposure to mortgage-backed securities and similar instruments responsible for the recent turmoil in the credit markets. Interest rates are variable and fluctuate with current market conditions. We do not believe that a 10% change in interest rates would have a material impact on our financial position or results of operations.

Foreign currency exchange risk

The functional currency of each of our foreign subsidiaries is the U.S. dollar, except for AMSC Austria, for which the local currency (Euro) is the functional currency, and AMSC China, for which the local currency (Renminbi) is the functional currency. The assets and liabilities of AMSC Austria and AMSC China are translated into U.S. dollars at the exchange rate in effect at the balance sheet date and income and expense items are translated at average rates for the period. Cumulative translation adjustments are excluded from net income (loss) and shown as a separate component of stockholders’ equity.

We face exposure to movements in foreign currency exchange rates whenever we, or any of our subsidiaries, enter into transactions with third parties that are denominated in currencies other than our functional currency. Intercompany transactions between entities that use different functional currencies also expose us to foreign currency risk. Gross margins of products we manufacture in the U.S and sell in currencies other than the U.S. dollar are also affected by foreign currency exchange rate movements. In addition, a portion of our earnings is generated by our foreign subsidiaries, whose functional currencies are other than the U.S. dollar, and our revenues and earnings could be materially impacted by movements in foreign currency exchange rates upon the translation of the earnings of such subsidiaries into the U.S. dollar. If the functional currency for AMSC Austria and AMSC China were to fluctuate by 10% the net effect would be immaterial to our consolidated financial statements.

Foreign currency gains (losses), are included in net income and were $2.7 million, ($0.1) million and $1.0 million for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively.

 

 

 

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Item 8.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the Board of Directors and Stockholders of

American Superconductor Corporation

 

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of American Superconductor Corporation and subsidiaries (the “Company”) as of March 31, 2015 and 2014, and the related consolidated statements of operations, comprehensive loss, stockholders’ equity and cash flows for each of the two years in the period ended March 31, 2015, and the financial statement schedule of American Superconductor Corporation and subsidiaries listed in Item 15 for the year ended March 31, 2015. We also have audited the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of March 31, 2015, based on criteria established in Internal Control – Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission in 2013. The Company’s management is responsible for these financial statements and financial statement schedule, for maintaining effective internal control over these financial reporting, and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting included in the accompanying Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements and an opinion on the Company’s internal control over financial reporting based on our audits.

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audits to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement and whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects. Our audits of the financial statements included examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements, assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, and evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. Our audits of internal control over financial reporting included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, and testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk. Our audits also included performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

A company's internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company's internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (a) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (b) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (c) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company's assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of American Superconductor Corporation and its subsidiaries as of March 31, 2015 and 2014, and the results of their operations and their cash flows for each of the years in the period ended March 31, 2015, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, and in our opinion, the related financial statement schedule, when considered in relation to the basic consolidated financial statements taken as a whole, presents fairly in all material respects the information set forth therein.  Also in our opinion, American Superconductor Corporation and its subsidiaries maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of March 31, 2015, based on criteria established in Internal Control — Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission in 2013.

As discussed in Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements, the Company effected a 1-for-10 reverse stock split of its common stock during the year. We audited the adjustments described in Note 1 that were retrospectively applied to the consolidated statement of operations and stockholders’ equity for the year ended March 31, 2013. In our opinion, such adjustments are appropriate and have been properly applied.

/s/ McGladrey LLP

Boston, Massachusetts
May 28, 2015

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Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

 

To the Board of Directors and Stockholders of

American Superconductor Corporation

 

In our opinion, the consolidated statements of operations, of comprehensive (loss) income, of stockholders’ equity and of cash flows for the year ended March 31, 2013, before the effects of the adjustments to retrospectively apply a change in the number of shares outstanding resulting from a reverse stock split described in Note 1, present fairly, in all material respects, the results of operations and cash flows of American Superconductor Corporation and its subsidiaries for the year ended March 31, 2013, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (the financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2013, before the effects of the adjustments discussed in Note 1 are not presented herein).  In addition, in our opinion, the financial statement schedule for the year ended March 31, 2013 presents fairly, in all material respects, the information set forth therein when read in conjunction with the related consolidated financial statements.  These financial statements and financial statement schedule are the responsibility of the Company's management.  Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements and financial statement schedule based on our audit.  We conducted our audit of these statements in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement.  An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements, assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, and evaluating the overall financial statement presentation.  We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.

The accompanying financial statements have been prepared assuming that the Company will continue as a going concern. As described in Note 1 to the financial statements, the Company has experienced recurring losses from operations and negative operating cash flows and the uncertainty of financing or other alternative liquidity sources that raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern. Management’s plans in regard to these matters are also described in Note 1. The financial statements do not include any adjustments that might result from the outcome of this uncertainty.

We were not engaged to audit, review, or apply any procedures to the adjustments to retrospectively apply a change in the number of shares outstanding resulting from a reverse stock split described in Note 1 and accordingly, we do not express an opinion or any other form of assurance about whether such adjustments are appropriate and have been properly applied. Those adjustments were audited by other auditors.

 

/s/ PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Boston, Massachusetts

June 14, 2013

 

 

 

 

54


 

AMERICAN SUPERCONDUCTOR CORPORATION

PART I — FINANCIAL INFORMATION

ITEM 1. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(In thousands)

 

 

March 31,

 

 

March 31,

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

ASSETS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current assets:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Cash and cash equivalents

$

20,490

 

 

$

43,114

 

     Accounts receivable, net

 

9,879

 

 

 

7,556

 

     Inventory

 

20,596

 

 

 

20,694

 

     Prepaid expenses and other current assets

 

10,764

 

 

 

9,004

 

     Restricted cash

 

2,822

 

 

 

2,913

 

          Total current assets

 

64,551

 

 

 

83,281

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Property, plant and equipment, net

 

56,097

 

 

 

64,574

 

     Intangibles, net

 

1,422

 

 

 

1,995

 

     Restricted cash

 

1,236

 

 

 

3,394

 

     Deferred tax assets

 

7,766

 

 

 

7,724

 

     Other assets

 

2,753

 

 

 

7,541

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

          Total assets

$

133,825

 

 

$

168,509

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current liabilities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accounts payable and accrued expenses

$

21,615

 

 

$

21,764

 

Note payable, current portion, net of discount of $244 as of March 31, 2015 and $555 as of March 31, 2014

 

3,756

 

 

 

6,240

 

Derivative liabilities

 

2,999

 

 

 

2,601

 

Deferred revenue

 

11,019

 

 

 

9,456

 

Deferred tax liabilities

 

7,843

 

 

 

7,761

 

          Total current liabilities

 

47,232

 

 

 

47,822

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note payable, net of discount of $290 as of March 31, 2015 and $287 as of March 31, 2014

 

3,877

 

 

 

6,380

 

Deferred revenue

 

2,756

 

 

 

990

 

Other liabilities

 

67