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EX-32.2 - CERTIFICATION - APPLIANCE RECYCLING CENTERS OF AMERICA INC /MNarca_10k-ex3202.htm
EX-32.1 - CERTIFICATION - APPLIANCE RECYCLING CENTERS OF AMERICA INC /MNarca_10k-ex3201.htm
EX-31.2 - CERTIFICATION - APPLIANCE RECYCLING CENTERS OF AMERICA INC /MNarca_10k-ex3102.htm
EX-31.1 - CERTIFICATION - APPLIANCE RECYCLING CENTERS OF AMERICA INC /MNarca_10k-ex3101.htm
EX-23.2 - CONSENT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM - APPLIANCE RECYCLING CENTERS OF AMERICA INC /MNarca_10k-ex2302.htm
EX-23.1 - CONSENT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM - APPLIANCE RECYCLING CENTERS OF AMERICA INC /MNarca_10k-ex2301.htm
EX-21.1 - SUBSIDIARIES OF APPLIANCE RECYCLING CENTERS OF AMERICA, INC. - APPLIANCE RECYCLING CENTERS OF AMERICA INC /MNarca_10k-ex2101.htm
EX-10.17 - AGREEMENT - APPLIANCE RECYCLING CENTERS OF AMERICA INC /MNarca_10k-ex1017.htm
EX-10.13 - AGREEMENT - APPLIANCE RECYCLING CENTERS OF AMERICA INC /MNarca_10k-ex1013.htm
EX-10.10 - TERM LOAN AND SECURITY AGREEMENT - APPLIANCE RECYCLING CENTERS OF AMERICA INC /MNarca_10k-ex1010.htm
EX-10.3 - EQUITY INCENTIVE PLAN - APPLIANCE RECYCLING CENTERS OF AMERICA INC /MNarca_10k-ex1003.htm
EX-3.1 - RESTATED ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION - APPLIANCE RECYCLING CENTERS OF AMERICA INC /MNarca_10k-ex0301.htm

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

 

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

 

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016

 

or

 

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

Commission File No. 000-19621

 

APPLIANCE RECYCLING CENTERS OF AMERICA, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Minnesota

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

 

41-1454591

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

     

175 Jackson Avenue North Suite 102, Minneapolis, Minnesota

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

55343-4565

(Zip Code)

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code:  952-930-9000

 

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

 

Common Stock, without par value

Title of each class

 

NASDAQ Capital Market

Name of each exchange on which registered

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Large accelerated filer o   Accelerated filer o

Non-accelerated filer o

(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)

  Smaller reporting company x

 

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

 

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant, based on the closing price of $1.21 per share, as of July 2, 2016 (the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter) was $6.6 million.

 

As of March 31, 2017, there were outstanding 6,655,365 shares of the registrant’s Common Stock, without par value.

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

Portions of the registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement for its 2017 Annual Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated by reference into Part III hereof.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

   Page 
     
   PART I     
         
Item 1.  Business   1 
   General   1 
   Industry Background   1 
   Company Background   2 
   Customers and Source of Supply   4 
   Company Operations   5 
   Principal Products and Services   6 
   Sales and Marketing   6 
   Seasonality   6 
   Competition   7 
   Government Regulation   7 
   Employees   8 
Item 1A.  Risk Factors   8 
Item 2.  Properties   17 
Item 3.  Legal Proceedings   17 
Item 4.  Mine Safety Disclosures   18 
         
   PART II     
         
Item 5.  Market for Our Common Equity, Related Shareholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities   19 
Item 6.  Selected Financial Data   19 
Item 7.  Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations   19 
Item 7A.  Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk   27 
Item 8.  Financial Statements and Supplementary Data   27 
Item 9.  Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure   50 
Item 9A.  Controls and Procedures   50 
Item 9B.  Other Information   50 
         
   PART III     
         
Item 10.  Directors, Executive Officers, and Corporate Governance   51 
Item 11.  Executive Compensation   51 
Item 12.  Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Shareholder Matters   51 
Item 13.  Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence   51 
Item 14.  Principal Accounting Fees and Services   51 
         
   PART IV     
         
Item 15.  Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules   52 
         
Signatures   53 
Index to Exhibits   54 

 

 

 

 

 i 

 

 

PART I

 

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

 

General

 

Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc. and Subsidiaries (“we,” the “Company” or “ARCA”) are in the business of selling and recycling major household appliances in North America. We sell new major household appliances in the United States though our chain of eighteen Company-owned retail stores operating under the name ApplianceSmart®. We also provide turnkey appliance recycling and replacement services for utilities and other sponsors of energy efficiency programs through our subsidiaries ARCA Recycling, Inc. and ARCA Canada Inc.  In addition, we have a 50% interest in a joint venture, ARCA Advanced Processing, LLC (“AAP”), which recycles in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.

 

As a leading retailer and recycler of major household appliances, we generate revenues from:

 

1. Retail sales of appliances at our ApplianceSmart stores.
   
2. Fees charged for collecting and recycling appliances for utilities and other sponsors of energy efficiency programs.
   
3. Fees charged for recycling and replacing old appliances with new ENERGY STAR® appliances for energy efficiency programs sponsored by electric and gas utilities.
   
4. Sale of byproduct materials, such as metals, from appliances we recycle, including appliances processed at our joint venture, AAP, and collected through our ApplianceSmart stores.
   
5. Sale of carbon offsets created by the destruction of ozone-depleting refrigerants acquired through various recycling programs.

 

We were incorporated in Minnesota in 1983, although through our predecessors we began our appliance retail and recycling business in 1976. Our principal office is located at 175 Jackson Avenue North, Suite 102, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55343-4565. References herein to our Company include our operating subsidiaries. (See “Exhibits.”)

 

Industry Background

 

In the United States, more than 850 million major household appliances are currently in use. These appliances include:

 

Refrigerators   Clothes washers
Freezers   Clothes dryers
Ranges/ovens   Room air conditioners
Dishwashers   Dehumidifiers
Microwave ovens   Humidifiers

 

Improper disposal of old appliances threatens air, ground and water resources because many types of major appliances contain substances that can damage the environment. These harmful materials include:

 

1. Polychlorinated biphenyls (“PCBs”), which have toxic effects on humans and animals. Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) banned production of PCBs in 1979, it allowed manufacturers to use their remaining inventories of PCB-containing components. Consequently, some old room air conditioners and microwave ovens have capacitors that contain PCBs, which can contaminate groundwater when released.
   
2. Mercury, which easily enters the body through absorption, inhalation or ingestion, potentially causing neurological damage. Mercury-containing components may be found in freezers, washers and ranges.
   
3. Chlorofluorocarbon ("CFC"), hydrochlorofluorocarbon, and hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants (collectively, “Refrigerants”), which cause long-term damage to the earth’s ozone layer and may contribute to global climate change.  Refrigerators, freezers, room air conditioners and dehumidifiers commonly contain Refrigerants.
   
4. CFCs having a very high ozone-depletion potential that may also be used as blowing agents in the polyurethane foam insulation of refrigerators and freezers.
   
5. Other materials, such as oil, that are harmful when released into the environment.

 

The U.S. federal government requires the recovery of Refrigerants upon appliance disposal and also regulates the management of hazardous materials found in appliances. Most state and local governments have also enacted laws affecting how their residents dispose of unwanted appliances. For example, many areas restrict landfills and scrap metal processors from accepting appliances unless the units have been processed to remove environmentally harmful materials.  As a result, old appliances usually cannot be discarded directly through ordinary solid waste systems.

 

 

 

 1 

 

 

In addition to these solid waste management and environmental issues, energy conservation is another compelling reason for proper disposal of old appliances. The U.S. Department of Energy’s updated appliance energy efficiency standards that took effect in September 2014 require new refrigerators to be 25 to 30 percent more efficient than those manufactured only one year earlier. Refrigerators manufactured today use about one-fifth as much electricity as units made in the mid-1970s.

 

While new refrigerators can save a significant amount of energy in the home, more than 25 percent of all U.S. households have a second refrigerator in the basement or garage. These units are typically 15-25 years old and consume about 750 to 1500 kilowatt-hours per year, driving electric bills up by more than $150 annually per household.

 

Utilities have become important participants in dealing with energy inefficient appliances as a way of reducing peak demand on their systems and avoiding the capital and environmental costs of adding new generating capacity. To encourage the permanent removal of energy inefficient appliances from use, many electric utility companies sponsor programs through which their residential customers can retire working refrigerators, freezers and room air conditioners.  Utility companies often provide assistance and incentives for consumers to discontinue use of a surplus appliance or to replace their old, inefficient appliances with newer, more efficient models. To help accomplish this, some utilities offer appliance replacement programs for some segments of their customers, through which older model kitchen and laundry appliances are recycled and new highly efficient ENERGY STAR® units are installed.

 

The EPA has been supportive of efforts by electric utilities and other entities that sponsor appliance recycling programs to ensure that the collected units are managed in an environmentally sound manner. In October 2006, the EPA launched the Responsible Appliance Disposal (“RAD”) Program, a voluntary partnership program designed to help protect the ozone layer and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Through the program, RAD partners use best practices to recover ozone-depleting chemicals and other harmful materials from old refrigerators, freezers, room air conditioners and dehumidifiers. In 2010, ApplianceSmart became the first independent retailer in the country to become a RAD partner. Because of our appliance recycling expertise, we were active participants in helping to design the RAD program and currently submit annual reports to the EPA to document the environmental benefits of our utility customers that are RAD partners have achieved through their recycling programs.

 

Company Background

 

We started our business in 1976 as a used appliance retailer that reconditioned old appliances to sell in our stores.  Under contracts with national and regional retailers of new appliances, such as Sears and Montgomery Ward, we collected the replaced appliance from the retailer's customer’s residence when one of their stores delivered a new appliance in the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Miami or Atlanta market. Any old appliances that we could not sell in our stores were sold to scrap metal processors.

 

In the late 1980s, stricter environmental regulations began to affect the disposal of unwanted appliances, and we were no longer able to take appliances that contained hazardous components to a scrap metal processor. At that time, we began to develop systems and equipment to remove the harmful materials so that metal processors would accept the appliance shells for processing. We then offered our services for disposing of appliances in an environmentally sound manner to appliance manufacturers and retailers, waste hauling companies, rental property managers, local governments and the public.

 

Appliance Recycling for Energy Efficiency Programs

 

In 1989, we began contracting with electric utility companies to provide turnkey appliance recycling services to support their energy conservation efforts. Since that time, we have provided our services to more than 288 utilities throughout North America.

 

We currently have contracts to recycle, or to replace and recycle, appliances for approximately 168 utilities across North America.

 

In the past several years, we have seen continued interest from sponsors of energy efficiency initiatives that recognize the effectiveness of recycling and replacing energy inefficient appliances.  We are aggressively pursuing electric and gas utilities, public housing authorities and energy efficiency management companies going forward and expect that we will continue to submit proposals for various new appliance recycling and replacement programs accordingly. However, for a variety of reasons, we still have a limited ability to project revenues from utility programs.  We cannot predict recycling volumes or if we will be successful in obtaining new contracts in 2017.

 

 

 

 2 

 

 

ApplianceSmart

 

ApplianceSmart operates eighteen stores: six in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market; one in Rochester, Minn.; one in St. Cloud, Minn.; four in the Columbus, Ohio market; four in the Atlanta, Georgia market; and two in the San Antonio, Texas market.  We are a major household appliance retailer with two product categories: One consists of typical and commonly available, innovative appliances. The other consists of affordable value-priced, niche offerings such as close-outs, factory overruns, discontinued models and special-buy appliances, including out-of-carton merchandise and others.  One example of a special-buy appliance may be due to manufacturer product redesign, in which a current model is updated to include a few new features and is then assigned a new model number. Because the major manufacturers—primarily Whirlpool, General Electric and Electrolux—ship only the latest models to retailers, a large quantity of the previous models often remain in the manufacturers' inventories. Special-buy appliances typically are not integrated into the manufacturers’ normal distribution channels and require a different method of management, which we provide.

 

For many years, manufacturers relied on small appliance dealers to buy these specialty products to sell in their stores.  However, today small retailers are struggling to compete with large appliance chains as the ten largest retailers of major appliances account for more than 75% of the sales volume.  At the same time, expansion of big-box retailers that sell appliances has created an increase in the number of special-buy units, further straining the traditional outlet system for these appliances. Because these special-buy appliances have value, manufacturers and retailers need an efficient management system to recover their worth.

 

Manufacturer Supply

 

We have entered into contracts for purchasing appliances that we sell in our ApplianceSmart stores or provide for utility appliance replacement programs.  These contracts, which have been extended through 2017, are with the following six major manufacturers:

 

1. Bosch
   
2. Electrolux
   
3. GE Appliances
   
4. LG
   
5. Samsung
   
6. Whirlpool

 

There are no guarantees on the number of units any of the manufacturers will sell us. However, we believe purchases from these six manufacturers will provide an adequate supply of high-quality appliances for our ApplianceSmart stores and our appliance replacement programs.

 

Key components of our current agreements include:

 

1. We have no guarantees for the number or type of appliances that we have to purchase.
   
2. The agreements may be terminated by either party with 30 days’ prior written notice.
   
3. We have agreed to indemnify certain manufacturers for certain claims, allegations or losses concerning the appliances we sell.

 

Regional Processing Centers

 

We entered into a Joint Venture Agreement with 4301 Operations, LLC, (“4301”) to establish and operate a regional processiong center (“RPC”). 4301 has significant experience in the recycling of major household appliances and they contributed their existing business to the joint venture. Under the Joint Venture Agreement, the parties formed a new entity known as ARCA Advanced Processing, LLC (“AAP”) and each party has a 50% interest in AAP. We contributed $2.0 million to the joint venture and 4301 contributed their equipment and existing business to the joint venture. The joint venture commenced operations on February 8, 2010.

 

 

 

 3 

 

 

We purchased and installed a UNTHA Recycling Technology ("URT") materials recovery system, for which we are the exclusive North American distributor, to enhance the capabilities of the RPC in Philadelphia. We completed the installation of the URT materials recovery system in the third quarter of 2011. The URT materials recovery system recovers approximately 95 percent of the foam insulation from refrigerators; reduces typical landfill waste of the refrigerator by 83 percent by weight; lowers greenhouse gas and ozone-depleting substance emissions recovered from insulating foam compared with what typically happens in the industry today; and recovers high-quality plastics, aluminum, copper, steel and pelletized foam from refrigerators that can be used to make new products or for other beneficial use.

 

Subsidiaries

 

ApplianceSmart, Inc., a Minnesota corporation, is a wholly-owned subsidiary formed through a corporate reorganization in July 2011 to hold our business of selling new major household appliances through a chain of Company-owned retail stores. ARCA Canada Inc., a Canadian corporation, is a wholly-owned subsidiary formed in September 2006 to provide turnkey recycling and replacement services for electric utility energy efficiency programs. ARCA Recycling, Inc., a California corporation, is a wholly-owned subsidiary formed in November 1991 to provide turnkey recycling and appliance replacement services for energy efficiency programs, Customer Connexx, LLC, a Nevada limited liability company, is wholly owned subsidiary formed in October 13, 2016 to provide call center services for electric utility programs.

 

ARCA Advanced Processing, LLC, a Minnesota limited liability company, is a variable interest entity that we consolidate in our financial statements. AAP was formed in October 2009 to operate a regional processing and recycling center and commenced operations on February 8, 2010.

 

Growth Strategy

 

In November 2015, JACO Environmental, our largest competitor in the utility energy efficiency space went into receivership. This was a surprise within the industry and resulted in a considerable spike in call volume from former and prospective customers that desired to respond to their ratepayers' concerns related to open orders and from utility appliance recycling program managers that desired to restart their programs. We have responded to requests for proposal and entered into new contracts with utility customers. We have also been working with our existing customers to adjust pricing on programs to address the loss in revenues that we have experienced and continue to experience as a result of the significant declines and low values of the byproducts we sell, including ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

 

We continue to see interest from sponsors of energy efficiency programs across the country that recognize the effectiveness of recycling energy inefficient appliances, and in some cases, replacing inefficient appliances with new, highly efficient ENERGY STAR® models. We believe appliance replacement programs will continue to expand, and we are continuing to aggressively pursue this segment of customers in 2017. We expect that we will continue to meet with sponsors of appliance recycling and replacement programs and submit proposals highlighting our comprehensive service options.

 

We are also tracking a growth opportunity in the rollout of state plans to cut carbon emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants. In June 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, released state-specific goals to reduce nationwide carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. Each state has the flexibility to choose how to meet the goal through a variety of measures that include demand-side energy efficiency programs, improved power plant operations and zero- and low-emitting power sources. Our appliance recycling and replacement programs have proven effective in reducing residential energy consumption while protecting the environment from greenhouse gases emitted through improper appliance disposal.

 

We may consider opening new ApplianceSmart stores in markets in which we currently have operations to benefit from operational and marketing efficiencies of scale. Although we are not currently considering expansion to new markets in the United States, we would evaluate demographic, economic and financial information as well as the facility and proposed lease terms when considering any new store location.

 

Customers and Source of Supply

 

We offer reverse logistics services to manufacturers and retailers needing an efficient way to manage appliances that fall outside their normal distribution and sales channels. We also provide services for electric utility companies and other sponsors of energy efficiency initiatives that offer their customers appliance recycling and replacement programs as energy conservation measures.

 

 

 

 4 

 

 

Appliance Manufacturers: We work with appliance manufacturers, including Bosch, Electrolux, GE Appliances, LG, Samsung and Whirlpool, to acquire the appliances we sell in our ApplianceSmart stores. We purchase new, special-buy appliances, such as discontinued models, out-of-carton units and factory overruns, and sell them at a significant discount to full retail prices. In addition, our participation in a national buying cooperative enables us to purchase the latest models of new appliances to fill out our product mix.

 

Although we believe our current sources for appliances are adequate to supply our retail stores and allow us to grow our sales, we face the risk that one or more of these sources could be lost.

 

Utility Companies: We contract with utility companies and other sponsors of energy efficiency programs to provide a full range of appliance recycling and replacement services to help them achieve their energy savings goals. The contracts usually have terms of one to three years, with provisions for renewal at the option of the utility. Under some contracts, we manage all aspects, including advertising of the appliance recycling or replacement program. Under other contracts, we provide only specified services, such as collection and recycling.

 

Our contracts with utility customers prohibit us from repairing and selling appliances or appliance parts we receive through their programs. Because the intent of these programs is to conserve electricity, we have instituted tracking and auditing procedures to assure our customers that those appliances do not return to use.

 

Our pricing for energy efficiency program contracts is on a per-appliance basis and depends upon several factors, including:

 

1. Total number of appliances expected to be processed and/or replaced.
   
2. Length of the contract term.
   
3. Specific services the utility requires us to provide.
   
4. Market factors, including labor rates and transportation costs.
   
5. Anticipated revenue associated with the sale of recycled appliance byproducts.
   
6. Competitive bidding scenarios.

 

Company Operations

 

We provide a full range of appliance recycling support services for energy efficiency programs in North America. We also purchase major appliances, primarily from appliance manufacturers, to sell through our ApplianceSmart stores.

 

Many of the appliances we receive from manufacturers are still in the factory carton and ready to sell. Other appliances need repair or cosmetic work before we deliver them to our ApplianceSmart stores. All appliances we sell are new, under factory warranty and covered by a 100% money-back guarantee. We also offer extended warranties, appliance delivery, factory-trained technician service and recycling of customers replaced appliances.

 

Appliances that do not meet our quality standards for sale at our ApplianceSmart stores and appliances collected through utility customers’ energy conservation programs are recycled to prevent re-use. We process and recycle these units using environmentally sound systems and techniques.

 

In our recycling operations, our Company-trained technicians first inspect and categorize each appliance to identify the types of hazardous materials, if any, it contains. We then process the appliances to remove and manage the environmentally hazardous substances according to federal, state and local regulations. Plastics and other recyclable components are managed by materials recyclers, and we deliver the processed appliance shells to local scrap processing facilities, where they shred and recycle the metals.

 

We are aggressively pursuing additional utility customers, but have a limited ability to project revenues from new utility programs in 2017 and thereafter. We cannot predict recycling or replacement volumes. However, we have been successful to date in obtaining new contracts in 2017 with new and former customers across the country.

 

 

 

 5 

 

 

Principal Products and Services

 

We generate revenues from three sources: retail, recycling and byproduct, including carbon offsets. Retail revenues are generated through the sale of appliances at our ApplianceSmart stores. Recycling revenues are generated by charging fees for collecting and recycling appliances for utilities and other sponsors of energy efficiency programs and through the sale of new ENERGY STAR®appliances to utility companies for installation in the homes of a specific segment of their customers. Byproduct revenues are generated by selling scrap materials, such as metal and plastics, from appliances we collect and recycle, including those from our ApplianceSmart stores and those processed at AAP. Carbon offset revenues are created by the destruction of ozone-depleting refrigerants acquired through various recycling programs, from our ApplianceSmart stores and through processing of refrigerators and freezers at AAP.

 

The table below reflects the percentage of total revenues from each source for the past two fiscal years. See also “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

 

   2016   2015 
Retail   59.4%   58.7%
Recycling   30.6    32.1 
Byproduct, including carbon offsets   10.0    9.2 
    100.0%   100.0%

 

During fiscal years 2016 and 2015, we operated two reportable segments: retail and recycling. The retail segment is comprised of sales generated through our ApplianceSmart stores. Our recycling segment includes all fees charged for collecting, recycling and installing appliances for utilities and other customers and includes byproduct revenue, which is generated primarily through the recycling of appliances. In 2016 and 2015, we consolidated AAP in our financial statements. Sales generated by AAP are included in byproduct revenues in our recycling segment. Financial information about our segments is included in “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and Note 12 of “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.”

 

Sales and Marketing

 

We use a variety of methods to promote awareness of our products and services. We believe that we are recognized as a leader in the recycling industry and in special-buy appliance retailing.

 

Our ApplianceSmart concept includes establishing large showrooms in metropolitan locations where we offer consumers a selection of hundreds of appliances at each of our stores. Our visual branding consists of ample display of product, manufacturers’ signage and custom-designed ApplianceSmart materials. We advertise our stores through television, radio, print media, social media and direct mail. Through www.ApplianceSmart.com, consumers can also search our inventory and purchase appliances online.

 

We market our appliance recycling and replacement services to utility companies and other sponsors of energy efficiency programs by contacting prospective end user customers directly, delivering educational presentations at conferences for energy efficiency professionals, participating in utility industry trade shows, networking with key affiliates of electric power and environmental associations, and promoting on our corporate website at www.ARCAInc.com.  We submit sales proposals for our services to interested parties and in response to requests for bid.

 

Seasonality

 

We experience some seasonality in retail revenues, with revenues in the second and third calendar quarters being slightly higher than revenues in the first and fourth calendar quarters.

 

Promotional activities for programs in which the utility sponsor conducts all advertising are generally strong during the second and third calendar quarters, leading to higher customer demand for services during that time period.  As a result, we experience a surge in business during the second and third calendar quarters, which generally declines through the fourth and first calendar quarters until advertising activities resume.

 

 

 

 6 

 

 

Competition

 

Our retail competition comes mainly from new-appliance and other special-buy retailers. Each ApplianceSmart store competes with local and national retail appliance chains, as well as with independently owned retailers. Many of these retailers have been in business longer than us and may have significantly greater assets.

 

Many factors, including obtaining adequate resources to create and support the infrastructure required to operate large-scale appliance recycling and replacement programs, affect competition in the industry. We generally compete for contracts with several other appliance recycling businesses, energy services management companies and new-appliance retailers. We also compete with small hauling or recycling companies based in the program’s service territory. Many of these companies, including used-appliance dealers that call themselves “appliance recyclers,” resell in the secondary market a percentage of the used appliances they accept for recycling. The unsalable units may not be properly processed to remove environmentally harmful materials because these companies do not have the capability to offer the full range of services we provide.

 

We expect our primary competition for appliance recycling and replacement contracts with existing and new customers to come from a variety of sources, including:

 

1. Existing recycling companies.
2. Entrepreneurs entering the appliance recycling business.
3. Management consultants.
4. Major waste hauling companies.
5. Scrap metal processors.
6. National and regional new appliance retailers.

 

In addition, utility companies and other customers may choose to provide all or some of the services required to operate their appliance recycling and replacement programs internally rather than contracting with outside vendors. We have no assurance that we will be able to compete profitably in any of our chosen markets.

 

Government Regulation

 

Federal, state and local governments regulate appliance collection, recycling and sales activities. While some requirements apply nationwide, others vary by market. The many laws and regulations that affect appliance recycling include landfill disposal restrictions, hazardous waste management requirements and air quality standards. For example, the 1990 Amendments to the Clean Air Act prohibit the venting of all Refrigerants while servicing or disposing of appliances.

 

Each of our recycling facilities maintains the appropriate registrations, permits and licenses for operating at its location. We register our recycling centers as hazardous waste generators with the EPA and obtain all appropriate regional and local licenses for managing hazardous wastes. Licensed hazardous waste companies transport and recycle or dispose of the hazardous materials we generate. Our collection vehicles and our transportation employees are required to comply with all U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) licensing requirements.

 

We have been recognized for our work in protecting the environment from the harmful effects of improper appliance disposal. In 2004, the EPA awarded us, along with our customer Southern California Edison Company (“SCE”), the Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award for the environmentally responsible manner in which we collect and dispose of appliances. In 2007, we were again recognized by the EPA with a Best of the Best Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award as part of an appliance recycling team responsible for “the most exceptional global contributions in the first two decades of the Montreal Protocol.” We were recognized by SCE as the sole recipient of the 2010 Environmental Excellence Award for our “exemplary support and service of SCE’s Appliance Recycling Program” and commitment to providing “the highest levels of performance and service to SCE and program participants while maintaining the strong values and ethics that exemplify a value-added supplier.” ARCA has provided services for SCE since 1994.

 

In 2007, we became a founding reporter of The Climate Registry, an organization that provides information regarding the measurement and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions to various governmental and private agencies and businesses.

 

In 2009, our then President and Chief Executive Officer, Edward R. (Jack) Cameron, was selected to represent the appliance recycling industry in the Climate Action Reserve’s 23-member workgroup that was tasked with developing the U.S. Ozone-Depleting Substances Project Protocol for the Destruction of Domestic High Global Warming Potential Ozone-Depleting Substances. The Climate Action Reserve is a national offsets program working to ensure integrity, transparency and financial value in the U.S. carbon market. The protocol was issued on February 3, 2010, and provides guidance to account for, report and verify greenhouse gas emission reductions associated with destruction of high global warming potential ozone-depleting substances that would have otherwise been released to the atmosphere, including those used in both foam and refrigerant applications.

 

 

 

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In January 2013, through the authority of the California Air Resources Board, California launched a greenhouse gas (“GHG”) cap-and-trade program that will encompass 85% of the state’s emissions and affect all businesses operating in California by 2020. The first compliance period enforcing the GHG emissions limits for capped business sectors began January 1, 2013. Entities may meet up to eight percent of their compliance obligations with freely sold or traded offset credits, such as those created through the voluntary destruction of ozone-depleting refrigerants. We have been an active participant in California’s developing carbon offset market and anticipate increased involvement as the program expands.

 

Our retail stores obtain business licenses, sales tax licenses and permits required for their locations. Our delivery and service vehicles comply with all DOT licensing requirements. In addition, in 2010, ApplianceSmart became the first independent retailer in the country to partner with the EPA in the Responsible Appliance Disposal (“RAD”) Program. Through RAD, partners commit to employing best environmental practices to reduce emissions of ozone-depleting substances and greenhouse gases through the proper disposal of refrigeration appliances at end of life. RAD partners report program results to the EPA annually to help quantify climate protection efforts.

 

Although we believe that further governmental regulation of the appliance recycling industry could have a positive effect on us, we cannot predict the direction of future legislation. Under some circumstances, for example, further regulation could materially increase our operational costs. In addition, under some circumstances we may be subject to contingent liabilities because we handle hazardous materials. We believe we are in compliance with all government regulations regarding the handling of hazardous materials, and we have environmental insurance to mitigate the impact of any potential contingent liability.

 

Employees

 

On March 1, 2017, we had 437 full-time employees and 8 part-time employees, distributed approximately as follows:

 

1. 57% of our employees, including management, provide customer service, appliance collection, transportation and processing services at our recycling centers.
2. 38% of our employees, including management, work in our retail stores.
3. 5% of our employees are corporate management and support staff.

 

We have no union or collective bargaining agreements covering any of our employees. Our employees have never caused our operations to be disrupted by a work stoppage, and we believe that our employee relations are good.

 

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

 

An investment in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks described below with respect to an investment in our shares. If any of the following risks actually occur, our business, financial condition, operating results or cash provided by operations could be materially harmed. As a result, the trading price of our common stock could decline, and you might lose all or part of your investment. When evaluating an investment in our common stock, you should also refer to the other information in this report, including our consolidated financial statements and related notes.

 

Risks Relating to Our Business

 

Our revenues, earnings and cash flows will fluctuate based on changes in commodity prices.

 

Our recycling operations process for sale certain recyclable materials, including steel, aluminum and copper, all of which are subject to significant market price fluctuations. The majority of the recyclables we process for sale are steel and non-ferrous metals. The fluctuations in the market prices or demand for such commodity items, particularly demand from China and Turkey, can affect our future operating income and cash flows negatively, such as we experienced in 2015 and 2014. As we have increased the size of our recycling operations, we have also increased our exposure to commodity price fluctuations.

 

 

 

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In the past we have also earned a significant amount of revenue from the sale of carbon credits under the California Cap-and-Trade Program. The creation of carbon offsets involves a consultant's establishment of a project that includes the successful destruction of the Company's ozone-depleting refrigerants. The project process involves a significant degree of regulatory compliance and only a limited number of facilities are approved to destroy ozone-depleting refrigerants. The uncertainty of regulatory project approval after carbon offsets have been produced results in unpredictable assurance of or timing for revenue recognition. If we are unable to find businesses that can effectively dispose of ozone-depleting refrigerants or if we do not receive project approval for the resulting carbon offsets, we could experience a material adverse effect to our operating results.

 

ARCA Advanced Processing, LLC’s (AAP) financial performance is dependent on market prices for recovered materials.

 

AAP’s revenues and profitability are driven by the market prices for various recovered materials, which include steel, copper, aluminum, other non-ferrous metals, glass, plastic, oil, and certain types of refrigerants.  Market prices for such materials may vary significantly. AAP may also be impacted by the market price for carbon offsets that it has historically sold and for which the market is highly subject to regulatory approvals. If market prices for such materials and carbon offsets are less than projected, AAP may be unable to achieve profitable operations.

 

Under our credit agreement with PNC, we are limited with respect to the level of investment and/or the extension of credit that we are able to provide AAP. In the event that AAP is unable to achieve suitable levels of profitable operations, we may be unable to extend financing to support the ongoing operations of AAP, without obtaining an amendment in our credit facility with PNC. Alternatively, AAP would need to obtain additional sources of financing in the form of debt or equity. Sources of additional financing, if needed in the future, may include further debt financing or the sale of equity or other securities in AAP or the Company.  We cannot assure you that any additional sources of financing or new capital will be available, available on acceptable terms, or permitted by the terms of our current debt agreement. If AAP is unable to survive financially, we are at risk for a significant portion of AAP’s indebtedness due to our corporate guarantee of some of their debt.

 

We could incur charges due to impairment of long-lived assets.

 

As of December 31, 2016, we had long-lived asset balances of $10.1 million, which are subject to periodic testing for impairment. See Note 2 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for further information. A significant amount of judgment is involved in the periodic testing. Failure to achieve sufficient levels of cash flow generated from operations at AAP could result in impairment charges for the related fixed assets, which could have a material adverse effect on our reported results of operations. Impairment charges, if any, resulting from the periodic testing would be non-cash.

 

If we fail to implement our business strategy or if our business strategy is ineffective, our financial performance could be materially and adversely affected.

 

Our future financial performance and success are dependent in large part upon the effectiveness of our business strategy and our ability to implement our business strategy successfully. Implementation of our strategy will require effective management of our operational, financial and human resources and will place significant demands on those resources.

 

There are risks involved in pursuing our strategy, including the following:

 

· Our employees, customers or investors may not embrace and support our strategy.
· We may not be able to hire or retain the personnel necessary to manage our strategy effectively.
· We may be unsuccessful in implementing improvements to operational efficiency and such efforts may not yield the intended result.
· We may record material charges against earnings due to any number of events that could cause impairments to our assets.

 

In addition to the risks set forth above, effectiveness of and the successful implementation of 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, increased operating costs or expenses and changes in industry trends. We may decide to alter or discontinue certain aspects of our business strategy at any time. If we are not able to implement our business strategy successfully, 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 strategy successfully, our operating results may not improve and could decline substantially.

 

 

 

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If our third-party collection or delivery services are unable to meet our promised pickup and delivery schedules, our net sales may decline due to a decline in customer satisfaction.

 

We offer appliance pickup and delivery services, which are significantly outsourced to third-party providers. Our third-party services are subject to risks that are beyond our control. If appliances are not picked up on time, or at all, or products are not delivered on time, our clients and customers may cancel their orders or we may lose business from our clients and customers in the future. As a result, our net sales and profitability may decline.

 

We have many competitors, direct and indirect. If we fail to execute our marketing and distribution strategies effectively, those competitors could take sales and market share from us.

 

The retail market for home appliances is intensely competitive. We currently compete against a diverse group of national retailers, including Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Sears, as well as internet retailers and regional or independent major home appliance retail stores that sell many of the same or similar home appliances that we do. There are few barriers to entry and as a result new competitors may enter our existing retail markets at any time.

 

We may not be able to compete successfully against existing and future competitors. Some of our competitors have financial resources that are substantially greater than ours and may be able to purchase inventory at lower prices. Our competitors may respond more quickly to new or emerging technologies and may have greater resources to devote to discounts, promotions and sales of products and services. They may also have financial resources that enable them to weather economic downturns better than us.

 

Our existing competitors or new entrants into our industry may use a number of different strategies to compete against us, including:

 

· Lower pricing.
· More aggressive advertising and marketing.
· Enhanced product and service offerings.
· Extension of credit to customers on terms more favorable than we make available.

 

Many factors, including existing and proposed governmental regulation, may affect competition in the appliance recycling and replacement side of our business. We generally compete with two or three companies based in the geographic area to be served, and they generally offer some of the same services we provide. We expect our primary competition for contracts with existing or new customers to come from entrepreneurs entering the appliance recycling business, energy management consultants, current recycling companies, major waste hauling companies, scrap metal processors and new and used appliance dealers. In addition, some of our customers, such as utility companies and municipalities, may operate appliance recycling and replacement programs internally rather than contracting with us or other third parties. We cannot assure you that we will be able to compete profitably in any of our chosen markets.

 

Competition could cause us to lose market share, net sales and customers, which could negatively impact our sales, increase our expenditures or reduce prices or margins, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

 

A disruption in our relationships with, or in the operations of, any of our key suppliers could cause our net sales and profitability to decline.

 

The success of our business and our growth strategy depend to a significant degree on our relationships with our suppliers. Our largest suppliers include Electrolux, GE Appliances, Whirlpool, LG, Samsung and Bosch. We do not have long-term supply agreements or exclusive arrangements with our major suppliers. We typically order our inventory through the issuance of individual purchase orders to vendors. We have no contractual assurance of the continued supply of merchandise in the amount and assortment we currently offer our customers and we may be subject to rationing by suppliers. In addition, we rely heavily on a relatively small number of suppliers. Our top three suppliers represented approximately 76%, of our appliance purchases in fiscal 2016. The loss of any one or more of our key suppliers or our failure to establish and maintain relationships with these and other suppliers could materially adversely affect our supply and assortment of products, as we may not be able to find suitable replacements to supply products at competitive prices.

 

Our suppliers also provide us with marketing funds and volume rebates. If our suppliers fail to continue these incentives, it could have a materially adverse effect on our net sales and results of operations.

 

The financial condition of our suppliers may also adversely affect their access to capital and liquidity with which to maintain their inventory, production levels and product quality and to operate their businesses, all of which could adversely affect our supply chain. Negative impacts on the financial condition of any of our suppliers may cause suppliers to reduce their offerings of customer incentives and vendor allowances, cooperative marketing expenditures and product promotions. It may also cause them to change their pricing policies, which could impact demand for their products. The current weakness in, and volatility of, the overall economy makes it difficult for us and our suppliers to accurately forecast future product demand trends, which could cause us to carry too much or too little merchandise in various product categories.

 

 

 

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A cybersecurity incident could negatively impact our business and our relationships with customers.

 

We use computers and transact, receive, transmit and store electronic data in substantially all aspects of our business operations. We also use mobile devices, social networking and other online activities to communicate with our employees and our customers. Such uses give rise to cybersecurity risks, including security breach, espionage, system disruption, theft and inadvertent release of information. Our business involves the storage and transmission of numerous classes of sensitive and/or confidential information, including customers’ personal information, private information about employees, and financial and strategic information about the Company and its business partners. We also rely on a Payment Card Industry compliant third party to protect our customers’ credit card information. If we fail to assess and identify cybersecurity risks associated with new initiatives, we may become increasingly vulnerable to such risks. Additionally, while we have implemented measures to prevent security breaches and cyber incidents, our preventative measures and incident response efforts may not be entirely effective. The theft, destruction, loss, misappropriation, or release of sensitive and/or confidential information or intellectual property, or interference with our information technology systems or the technology systems of third parties on which we rely, could result in business disruption, negative publicity, brand damage, violation of privacy laws, loss of customers, potential liability and competitive disadvantage.

 

There is no guarantee that the procedures that we have implemented to protect against unauthorized access to secured data are adequate to safeguard against all data security breaches. Any such compromise of our security or the security of information residing with our business associates or third parties could have a material adverse effect on our reputation and may expose us to material costs, penalties, compensation claims, lost sales, fines and lawsuits. In addition, any compromise of our data security may materially increase the costs we incur to protect against such breaches and could subject us to additional legal risk.

 

Failure to effectively manage our costs could have a material adverse effect on our profitability.

 

Certain elements of our cost structure are largely fixed in nature. The negative impact that sales and/or margin declines have on our business could make it more challenging for us to maintain or increase our operating income. The competitiveness in our industry and increasing price transparency means that the focus on achieving efficient operations is greater than ever. As a result, we must continuously focus on retaining and growing sales, maintaining and improving margins and managing our cost structure. Failure to manage our labor and benefit rates, advertising and marketing expenses, operating leases, other facility expenses or indirect spending could materially adversely affect our profitability.

 

Any failure of our information technology infrastructure or management information systems could cause a disruption in our business and our results of operations could be materially adversely impacted.

 

Our ability to operate our business from day to day largely depends on the efficient operation of our information technology infrastructure and management information systems. We use our management information systems to conduct our operations and plan critical corporate and business functions, including store operations, recycling operations, sales management, supply chain and inventory management, financial reporting and accounting, delivery and other customer services and various administrative functions. Our systems are subject to damage or interruption from power outages, computer and telecommunications failures, computer viruses, security breaches, catastrophic events such as fires, tornadoes and hurricanes, and usage errors by our employees. Operating legacy systems subject us to inherent costs and risks associated with maintaining, upgrading and replacing these systems and retaining sufficiently skilled personnel to maintain and operate the systems which may also place demands on management time, as well as create other risks and costs. Any failure that is not covered by our disaster recovery plan could cause an interruption in our operations and adversely affect our results of operations.

 

 

 

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Our sales may not be an indication of our future results of operations because they fluctuate significantly.

 

Our current and historical sales figures have fluctuated significantly from quarter to quarter. A number of factors have historically affected, and will continue to affect, our sales results and profitability, including:

 

· Changes in competition, such as pricing pressure, and the opening of new stores by competitors in our markets.
· Periodic sale of carbon offsets resulting from the responsible destruction of certain refrigerants.
· Inability to comply with or to identify third parties capable of complying with protocols required for responsible destruction of certain refrigerants.
· Fluctuating commodity prices and available markets for our byproduct sales.
· Changes in recycling and replacement programs with utility customers.
· General economic conditions.
· Consumer trends.
· Weather conditions in our markets.
· Timing of promotional events.
· The locations of our stores and traffic drawn to those areas.
· Our ability to execute our business strategies effectively.

 

Our business is dependent on the general economic conditions in our markets.

 

In general, our sales depend on discretionary spending by our customers. General economic factors and other conditions that may affect our business, include periods of slow economic growth or recession, political factors including uncertainty in social or fiscal policy, an overly anti-business climate or sentiment, volatility and/or lack of liquidity from time to time in U.S. and world financial markets and the consequent reduced availability and/or higher cost of borrowing for us and our customers, slower rates of growth in real disposable personal income, sustained high rates of unemployment, high consumer debt levels, increasing fuel and energy costs, inflation or deflation of commodity prices, natural disasters, and acts of terrorism and developments in the war against terrorism. Additionally, any of these circumstances concentrated in a region of the U.S. in which we operate could have a material adverse effect on our net sales and results of operations. General economic conditions and discretionary spending are beyond our control and are affected by, among other things:

 

· Consumer confidence in the economy.
· Unemployment trends.
· Consumer debt levels.
· Consumer credit availability.
· The housing and home improvement markets.
· Gasoline and fuel prices.
· Interest rates and inflation.
· Foreign currency exchange rates.
· Slower rates of growth in real disposable personal income.
· Natural disasters.
· National and geopolitical concerns.
· Tax rates and tax policy.
· Other matters that influence consumer confidence and spending.
· Commodity prices.

 

Volatility in financial markets may cause some of the above factors to change with an even greater degree of frequency and magnitude. The above factors could result in slowdown in the economy or an uncertain economic outlook, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

 

 

 

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If we fail to hire, train and retain key management, qualified managers, sales associates and other employees, we could have difficulty implementing our business strategy, which may result in reduced net sales, operating margins and profitability.

 

If we are unable to attract and retain qualified personnel as needed in the future, our level of customer service may decline, which may decrease our net sales and profitability. Other factors that impact our ability to maintain sufficient levels of qualified employees in all areas of the business include, but are not limited to, the Company’s reputation, employee morale, the current macroeconomic environment, competition from other employers, and our ability to offer adequate compensation packages. Adverse changes in health care costs could also adversely impact our ability to achieve our operational and financial goals and to offer attractive benefit programs to our employees. Our ability to control labor costs, which may impact our ability to hire and retain qualified personnel, is subject to numerous external factors, including prevailing wage rates, the impact of legislation or regulations governing healthcare benefits or labor relations, such as the Employee Free Choice Act, and health and other insurance costs. If our labor and/or benefit costs increase, we may not be able to hire or maintain qualified personnel to the extent necessary to execute our competitive strategy, which could adversely affect our results of operations.

 

We are subject to certain statutory, regulatory and legal developments that could have a material adverse impact on our business.

 

Our statutory, regulatory and legal environment exposes us to complex compliance and litigation risks that could materially adversely affect our operations and financial results. The most significant compliance and litigation risks we face are:

 

· The difficulty of complying with sometimes conflicting statutes and regulations in local, state and national jurisdictions;
· The impact of proposed, new or changing statues and regulations, including, but not limited to, corporate governance matters, environmental impact, financial reform, Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act, health care reform, labor reform, Payment Card Industry compliance, and/or other as yet unknown legislation that could affect how we operate and execute our strategies as well as alter our expense structure.
· The impact of changes in tax laws (or interpretations thereof by courts and taxing authorities) and accounting standards.
· The impact of litigation, including class action or individual lawsuits involving shareholders, and labor and employment litigation related matters.
· Changes in trade regulations, currency fluctuations, economic or political instability, natural disasters, public health emergencies and other factors beyond our control may increase the cost of items we purchase or create shortages of these items, which in turn could have a material adverse effect on our cost of revenues, or may force us to increase prices, thereby adversely impacting net sales and profitability.

 

We are involved in a number of legal proceedings that arise from time to time in the ordinary course of business. Litigation is inherently unpredictable, and the outcome of some of these proceedings and other contingencies could require us to take or refrain from taking action which, in either case, could adversely affect our operations or reduce our net income. There can be no assurance that any litigation to which we are a party will be resolved in our favor. Any claim that is successfully decided against us may cause us to pay substantial damages, including punitive damages. Additionally, defending against regulatory changes, lawsuits and proceedings may involve significant expense and diversion of management’s attention and resources from other matters which could adversely affect our results of operations.

 

Significant shortages in diesel fuel supply or increases in diesel fuel prices will increase our operating expenses.

 

The price and supply of diesel fuel can fluctuate significantly based on international, political and economic circumstances, as well as other factors outside our control, such as actions by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (“OPEC”) and other oil and gas producers, regional production patterns, weather conditions and environmental concerns. Our collection and delivery agents need diesel fuel to run a significant portion of our collection and delivery of appliance activities in both our retail and recycling segments. Supply shortages could substantially increase our operating expenses. Additionally, if fuel prices increase, our direct operating expenses will increase and many of our vendors may raise their prices as a means to offset their rising costs. We may not be able to pass through all of our increased costs to our customers and some contracts prohibit any pass-through of the increased costs.

 

 

 

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We may experience adverse impacts on our reported results of operations as a result of adopting new accounting standards or interpretations.

 

Our implementation of and compliance with changes in accounting rules, including new accounting rules and interpretations, could adversely affect our reported financial position or operating results or cause unanticipated fluctuations in our reported operating results in future periods.

 

We are subject to risks associated with leasing substantial amounts of space, including future increases in occupancy costs.

 

We lease most of our store locations, corporate headquarters and recycling centers. Our continued growth and success depends in part on our ability to locate desirable property for new stores or recycling centers and renew leases for existing locations. Because there is no assurance that we will be able to locate acceptable real estate for new stores or recycling centers, or re-negotiate leases for existing locations at similar or favorable terms at the end of the lease term, we could be forced to move or exit a market if another favorable arrangement cannot be made. Furthermore, a significant rise in real estate prices or real property taxes could result in an increase in lease expense as we open new locations and renew leases for existing locations, thereby negatively impacting the Company's results of operations. The inability of the Company to renew, extend or replace expiring leases could have an adverse effect on the Company's results of operations.

 

We depend on cash flow from operations to pay our lease expenses. If our business does not generate sufficient cash flow from operating activities to fund these expenses, we may not be able to service our lease expenses, which could materially harm our business.

 

If an existing recycling center, store, future store or recycling centers is not profitable, and we decide to close it, we may nonetheless be committed to perform our obligations under the applicable lease including, among other things, paying the base rent for the balance of the lease term. Moreover, even if a lease has an early cancellation clause, we may not satisfy the contractual requirements for early cancellation under that lease. Our inability to enter into new leases or renew existing leases on terms acceptable to us or be released from our obligations under leases for stores or recycling centers that we close could materially adversely impact our business, financial condition, operating results or cash flows.

 

Our failure to maintain an effective system of internal controls could result in inaccurate reporting of financial results and harm our

business.

 

We are required to comply with a variety of reporting, accounting and other rules and regulations. As such, we maintain a system of internal control over financial reporting, but there are limitations inherent in internal control systems. A control system can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the objectives of the control system are met. In addition, the design of a control system must reflect the fact that there are resource constraints and the benefit of controls must be appropriate relative to their costs. Furthermore, compliance with existing requirements is expensive and we may need to implement additional finance and accounting and other systems, procedures and controls to satisfy our reporting requirements. If our internal control over financial reporting continues to be evaluated as ineffective, such failure could cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information, negatively affect the market price of our common stock, subject us to regulatory investigations and penalties, and adversely impact our business and financial condition.

 

We face risks with respect to product liability claims and product recalls, which could adversely affect our reputation, our business, and our consolidated results of operations.

 

We purchase merchandise from third parties and offer this merchandise to customers for sale. This merchandise could be subject to recalls and other actions by regulatory authorities. Changes in laws and regulations could also impact the type of merchandise we offer to customers. We have experienced, and may in the future experience, issues that result in recalls of merchandise. In addition, individuals may in the future assert claims, that they have sustained injuries from third-party merchandise offered by us, and we may be subject to future lawsuits relating to these claims. There is a risk that these claims or liabilities may exceed, or fall outside the scope of, our insurance coverage. Any of the issues mentioned above could result in damage to our reputation, diversion of development and management resources, or reduced sales and increased costs, any of which could harm our business.

 

 

 

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Our revenues from recycling and appliance replacement contracts are very difficult to project and the loss or modification of major recycling and appliance replacement contracts could adversely impact our profits.

 

Our business is dependent largely upon our ability to obtain new contracts and continue existing contracts for appliance recycling services and appliance replacement programs with utility companies and other sponsors of energy efficiency programs. Contracts with these entities generally have initial terms of one to three years, with renewal options and early termination clauses. However, some contracts are for programs that are non-recurring. Although we continue to respond to utility companies and other sponsors of energy efficiency programs requesting bids for upcoming recycling services, we are still dependent on certain customers for a large portion of our revenues. Our major utility customers accounted for approximately 15% and 25% of our total revenues for 2016 and 2015, respectively. The loss or material reduction of business from any of these major customers could adversely affect our revenues and profitability. While we wish to add new recycling and appliance replacement contracts in 2017 and beyond, we cannot assure you that our existing contracts will continue, that they will be sufficiently profitable, that existing customers will continue to use our services at current levels or we will be successful in obtaining new recycling and replacement contracts going forward.

 

Our revenues from recycling contracts are subject to seasonal fluctuations and are dependent on the utilities’ advertising and promotional activities for contracts in which we do not provide advertising services.

 

In our business with utility companies, we experience seasonal fluctuations that impact our operating results.  Our recycling revenues are generally higher during the second and third calendar quarters and lower in the first and fourth calendar quarters, due largely to the promotional activity schedules of which we have no control in advertising programs managed by the utilities. Our staff communicates client-driven advertising activities internally in an effort to achieve an operational balance.  We expect that we will continue to experience such seasonal fluctuations in recycling revenues.

 

We may need new capital to fully execute our growth strategy.

 

Our business involves providing comprehensive, integrated appliance recycling and replacement services and operating a chain of retail stores. This commitment will require a significant continuing investment in capital equipment and leasehold improvements and could require additional investment in real estate.

 

Our total capital requirements will depend on, among the other things discussed in this annual report, the number of recycling centers and the number and size of retail stores operating during 2017 and thereafter. Currently, we have eighteen retail stores and sixteen recycling centers, including AAP, in operation. If our revenues are lower than anticipated, our expenses are higher than anticipated or our line of credit cannot be maintained, we will require additional capital to finance our operations or AAP’s operation. Even if we are able to maintain our line of credit, we may need additional equity or other capital in the future.  Sources of additional financing, if needed in the future, may include further debt financing or the sale of equity (including the issuance of preferred stock) or other securities. We cannot assure you that any additional sources of financing or new capital will be available to us, available on acceptable terms or permitted by the terms of our current debt agreements. In addition, if we sell additional equity to raise funds, all outstanding shares of common stock will be diluted.

 

Changes in governmental regulations relating to our recycling business could increase our costs of operations and adversely affect our business.

 

Our appliance recycling centers are subject to various federal, state and local laws, regulations and licensing requirements related to providing turnkey services for energy efficiency programs. These requirements vary by market location and include, for example, laws concerning the management of hazardous materials and the 1990 Amendments to the Clean Air Act, which require us to recapture CFC refrigerants from appliances to prevent their release into the atmosphere.

 

Our ability to generate revenue from the sale of carbon offsets created through the voluntary destruction of ozone-depleting refrigerants could also be adversely affected by governmental regulations as the market develops. Should the federal government mandate the destruction of ozone-depleting refrigerants in the future, we would be required to destroy these substances without the benefit of generating carbon offsets, which would increase the cost of our operations.

 

We have registered our centers with the EPA as hazardous waste generators and have obtained required licenses from appropriate state and local authorities. We have agreements with approved and licensed hazardous waste companies for transportation and recycling or disposal of hazardous materials generated through our recycling processes. As is the case with all companies handling hazardous materials, under some circumstances we may be subject to contingent liability. We believe we are in compliance with all government regulations regarding the handling of hazardous materials, and we have environmental insurance to mitigate the impact of any potential contingent liability.

 

 

 

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Risks Relating to Our Common Stock

 

Our principal shareholders own a large percentage of our voting stock, which will allow them to control substantially all matters requiring shareholder approval.

 

Currently, Edward R. (Jack) Cameron, President of our recycling segment, beneficially owns approximately 10.1% of our common stock. Isaac Capital Group, LLC/Jon Isaac., Medallion Capital, Inc., Abacab Capital Management LLC and Energy Efficiency Investments LLC own approximately 8.8%, 7.0%, 9.1% and 9.9%, respectively, of our outstanding common shares. Three of our current directors are also on the board of directors of Live Ventures, Inc. a publicly held corporation controlled by Isaac Capital Group, LLC and led by Jon Isaac as its President and Chief Executive Officer. Because of such ownership, our principal shareholders may be able to significantly, and possibly adversely, affect our corporate decisions, including the election of the board of directors.

 

Future sales of shares of our common stock in the public market may negatively affect our stock price.

 

Future sales of our common stock, or the perception that these sales could occur, could have a significant negative effect on the market price of our common stock.  In addition, upon exercise of outstanding options, the number of shares outstanding of our common stock could increase substantially.  This increase, in turn, could dilute future earnings per share, if any, and could depress the market value of our common stock. Dilution and potential dilution, the availability of a large amount of shares for sale, and the possibility of additional issuances and sales of our common stock may negatively affect both the trading price of our common stock and the liquidity of our common stock. These sales also might make it more difficult for us to raise capital through the sale of equity securities or equity-related securities in the future at a time and price that we would deem appropriate.

 

The trading volumes in our common stock are highly variable, which could adversely affect the value and liquidity of your investment in our common stock.

 

There is only a limited trading market for our common stock, which is listed on the NASDAQ Capital Markets.  Transactions in our common stock may lack the volume and liquidity necessary to maintain an orderly trading market and this could result in both depressed and highly variable trading prices. Sales of substantial amounts of common stock into the public market at the same time could adversely affect the market price of our common stock. The trading volume and market price of our common stock could also be adversely affected if we do not maintain our listing on the NASDAQ Capital Markets.

 

Our stock price may fluctuate and be volatile.

 

The market price of our common stock may be subject to significant fluctuations due to the following factors, among others:

 

· Variations in our financial results.
· Changes in accounting standards, policies, guidance or interpretations.
· Sales of substantial amounts of our stock by existing shareholders.
· General economic conditions.

 

The stock market in recent years has experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have often been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of affected companies. These broad market fluctuations may cause the price of our common stock to fall abruptly or remain significantly depressed.

 

In the past, securities class action litigation has often been brought against a company following periods of volatility in the market price of its securities. Such lawsuits generally result in the diversion of management's time and attention away from business operations, which could harm our business. In addition, the costs of defense and any damages resulting from litigation, a ruling against us, or a settlement of the litigation could adversely affect our financial results.

 

We do not intend to declare dividends on our stock in the foreseeable future.

 

We have never declared or paid cash dividends on our common stock. We currently intend to retain all future earnings, if any, for the operation and expansion of our business and, therefore, do not anticipate declaring or paying cash dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future.  Any payment of cash dividends on our common stock will be at the discretion of our board of directors, will require approval by our lender and will depend upon our results of operations, earnings, capital requirements, financial condition, future prospects, contractual restrictions and other factors deemed relevant by our board of directors.  Therefore, dividend income should not be expected from shares of our common stock.

 

 

 

 16 

 

 

Our corporate documents and Minnesota law contain provisions that could discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our company.

 

We are subject to the anti-takeover provisions of Section 302A.673 of the Minnesota Business Corporation Act. Under these provisions, if anyone becomes an “interested shareholder” in a transaction not approved by a committee consisting of disinterested members of our board of directors, we may not enter into a “business combination” with that person for four years, which could discourage a third party from making a takeover offer and could delay or prevent a change of control. For purposes of Section 302A.673, “interested shareholder” generally means someone owning 10% or more of our outstanding voting stock or an affiliate of ours that owned 10% or more of our outstanding voting stock during the past four years, subject to certain exceptions.

 

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

 

Our executive offices are located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in a leased facility consisting of 13,000 square feet of office space.

 

We operate eighteen stores in four states with an average square footage of 30,700 square feet. Four of these stores also have production or recycling space.

 

Market   Stores 
Minnesota    8 
Ohio    4 
Georgia    4 
Texas    2 
Total    18 

 

We lease all of our retail store facilities. We generally attempt to negotiate lease terms of five to ten years that include options to renew for our retail stores.

 

We operate sixteen processing and recycling centers. All of our processing and recycling centers are leased facilities. We operated in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia; Oakville, Ontario; Compton, California; Albuquerque, New Mexico; St. Paul, Minnesota; Decatur, Illinois; Henrico, Virginia; Franklin, Massachusetts; Syracuse, New York; Commerce City, Colorado; Kent, Washington; Cudahy, Wisconsin; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; and Louisville, Kentucky. Our recycling centers typically range in size from 6,000 to 42,000 square feet. The AAP processing and recycling center located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania leases an 80,000-square-foot facility.

 

We believe that we may require additional facilities to respond to future needs of ARCA.

 

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

On March 6, 2015, a complaint was filed in United States District Court for the Central District of California by Jason Feola, individually and as a representative of a putative class consisting of purchasers of the Company’s common stock between March 15, 2012 and February 11, 2015, against Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc. and certain current and former officers of the Company. Mr. Feola, pursuant to terms of his retainer agreement with The Rosen Law Firm, certified that he purchased 240 shares of the Company’s common stock for $984 in total consideration. On May 7, 2015, the Company and the individual defendants were served the complaint. In July 2015, the Company and the individual defendants received an amended complaint. The complaint alleges that misstatements and omissions occurred in press releases and filings by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission and that these misstatements or omissions constitute violations of Section 20 (a) and Section 10(b) of, and Rule 10b-5 under, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In October 2015, the court held a hearing on the Company's motion to dismiss the complaint. On November 24, 2015, the United States District Court for the Central District of California entered an order granting the motion to dismiss the amended complaint. The Court’s order provided that the dismissal was without prejudice and that the plaintiffs could file an amended complaint within 21 days of the issuance of the order. On December 15, 2015, the Company and the individual defendants were served with a second amended complaint. In May 2016, the court held a hearing on the Company’s motion to dismiss the second amended complaint. On October 21, 2016 the court entered a final judgement to dismiss the class action complaint with prejudice.

 

 

 

 17 

 

 

On November 6, 2015, a complaint was filed in the Minnesota District Court for Hennepin County, Minnesota, by David Gray and Michael Boller, purporting to bring suit derivatively on behalf of the Company against twelve current and former officers and directors of the Company. The complaint alleges that the defendants breached their fiduciary duties based on substantially similar allegations to those asserted in Mr. Feola's putative securities class action complaint, and that the defendants have been unjustly enriched as a result thereof. The complaint seeks damages, disgorgement, an award of attorneys’ fees and other expenses, and an order compelling changes to the Company’s corporate governance and internal procedures. This matter has been stayed by the court, pursuant to a stipulation of the parties, until the United States District Court for the Central District of California determines the legal sufficiency of Mr. Feola's complaint or other specified developments occur in that case. This matter has been submitted to our insurance carriers.

 

Given the uncertainty of litigation and the preliminary stage of these cases, we cannot reasonably estimate the possible loss or range of loss that may result from these actions. The Company maintains liability insurance policies that may reduce the Company’s exposure, if any.

 

In February 2012, various individuals commenced a class action lawsuit against Whirlpool Corporation (“Whirlpool”) and various distributors of Whirlpool products, including Sears, The Home Depot, Lowe’s and us, alleging certain appliances Whirlpool sold through its distribution chain, which includes us, were improperly designated with the ENERGY STAR® qualification rating established by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.  The claims against us include breach of warranty claims, as well as various state consumer protection claims. The amount of the claim is, as yet, undetermined.  Whirlpool has offered to fully indemnify and defend its distributors in this lawsuit, including us, and has engaged legal counsel to defend itself and the distributors. We are monitoring Whirlpool’s defense of the claims and believe the possibility of a material loss is remote.

 

AMTIM Capital, Inc. (“AMTIM”) acts as our representative to market our recycling services in Canada under an arrangement that pays AMTIM for revenues generated by recycling services in Canada as set forth in the agreement between the parties. A dispute has arisen between AMTIM and us with respect to the calculation of amounts due to AMTIM pursuant to the agreement. In a lawsuit filed in the province of Ontario, AMTIM claims a discrepancy in the calculation of fees due to AMTIM by us of approximately $2.0 million. Although the outcome of this claim is uncertain, we believe that no further amounts are due under the terms of the agreement and that we will continue to defend our position relative to this lawsuit.

 

We are party from time to time to other ordinary course disputes that we do not believe to be material.

 

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

 

None.

 

 

 

 18 

 

 

PART II

 

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR OUR COMMON EQUITY, RELATED SHAREHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

 

Market for Common Stock

 

Our common stock trades under the symbol “ARCI” on the NASDAQ Capital Market. The following table sets forth for the periods indicated the high and low prices for our common stock, as reported by the NASDAQ Capital Market. These quotations reflect the daily close prices.

 

   High   Low 
2016        
First Quarter  $1.18   $0.68 
Second Quarter   1.80    0.97 
Third Quarter   1.53    0.95 
Fourth Quarter   1.19    0.84 
           
2015          
First Quarter  $3.03   $1.96 
Second Quarter   2.14    1.74 
Third Quarter   1.89    1.04 
Fourth Quarter   1.25    0.61 

 

On March 29, 2017, the reported sale price of our common stock on the NASDAQ Capital Market was $1.07 per share. As of March 29, 2017, there were 112 stockholders of record, which excludes stockholders whose shares were held in nominee or street name by brokers.

 

We have not paid dividends on our common stock and do not presently plan to pay dividends on our common stock for the foreseeable future. Our credit agreement prohibits payment of dividends.

 

Information concerning securities authorized for issuance under equity compensation plans is included in Part III, Item 12 of this report.

 

ITEM 6.    SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

 

Not applicable

 

ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.” Certain information contained in the discussion and analysis set forth below and elsewhere in this annual report, including information with respect to our plans and strategy for our business and related financing, includes forward-looking statements that involve risk and uncertainties.  In evaluating such statements, you should specifically consider the various factors identified in this annual report that could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements, including matters set forth in “Item 1A. Risk Factors.”

 

Overview

 

We operate two reportable segments: recycling and retail. Our recycling segment includes all income generated from collecting, recycling and installing appliances for utilities and other customers and includes a significant portion of our byproduct revenue, which is primarily generated through the recycling of appliances. Our retail segment is comprised of income generated from the sale of appliances through ApplianceSmart® stores and includes a small portion of our byproduct revenues from collected appliances.

 

Our business components are uniquely positioned in the industry to work together to provide a full array of appliance-related services.  ApplianceSmart operates eighteen company-owned stores, sells new appliances directly to consumers and provides affordable ENERGY STAR® options for energy efficiency appliance replacement programs. AAP and our fifteen RPCs process appliances at end of life to remove environmentally damaging substances and produce byproducts for sale in North America.

 

 

 

 19 

 

 

Revenues and earnings in our recycling segment are impacted by seasonal variances, with the second and third quarters generally having higher levels of revenues and earnings. This seasonality is due primarily to our utility customers supporting more marketing and advertising during the spring and summer months. Our customers tend to promote the recycling programs more aggressively during the warmer months because they believe more people want to clean up their garages and basements during that time of the year.

 

Our recycling segment typically operates three types of programs:

 

1. Fees charged for collecting and recycling appliances for utilities and other sponsors of energy efficiency programs.
   
2. Fees charged for recycling and replacing old appliances with new ENERGY STAR® appliances for energy efficiency programs sponsored by utilities.
   
3. Income generated through the processing of recyclable appliances purchased at our RPCs by selling the raw material separated during the recycling process.

 

 

Our retail segment is similar to many other retailers in that it is seasonal in nature. Historically, the fourth quarter is our weakest quarter in terms of both revenues and earnings.  We believe this is primarily because the fourth quarter includes several holidays during which consumers tend to focus less on purchasing major household appliances.

 

We derive revenues from the sale of carbon offsets created by the destruction of ozone-depleting CFCs captured at our ARCA and AAP regional processing centers. We expect to create carbon offsets and derive revenues in the future through California’s market, but cannot predict the amount or frequency of carbon offset sales. Carbon offset sales are dependent on market conditions, including demand and acceptable market prices. During the year ended December 31, 2016, the combination of ARCA and AAP recognized $3.0 million in carbon offset revenues compared to $0.8 million during the year ended January 2, 2016.

 

We monitor specific economic factors such as retail trends, consumer confidence, manufacturing by the major appliance companies, sales of existing homes and mortgage interest rates as key indicators of industry demand, particularly in our retail segment. Competition in the home appliance industry is intense in the four retail markets we serve. This includes competition not only from independent retailers, but also from such major retailers as Sears, Best Buy, The Home Depot and Lowe’s. We also closely monitor the metals and various other scrap markets because of the type of components recovered in our recycling process. This includes monitoring the American Metal Market and the regions throughout the U.S. where we have our recycling centers.

 

Reporting Period. We report on a 52- or 53-week fiscal year. Our 2016 fiscal year (“2016”) ended on December 31, 2016, and included 52 weeks. Our 2015 fiscal year (“2015”) ended on January 2, 2016, and included 52 weeks.

 

 

 

 20 

 

 

Results of Operations

 

The following table sets forth certain statement of operations items and as a percentage of revenue, for the periods indicated:

 

   52 weeks Ended   52 Weeks Ended 
   December 31, 2016   January 2, 2016 
Statement of Operations Data (in Thousands):                
Revenue  $103,589    100.0%   $111,839    100.0% 
Cost of Revenue   74,924    72.3%    86,391    77.2% 
Gross Profit   28,665    27.7%    25,448    22.8% 
Selling, General and Administrative Expense   29,210    28.2%    29,552    26.4% 
Operating Income   (545)   -0.5%    (4,104)   -3.7% 
Interest Expense, Net   (1,419)   -1.4%    (1,292)   -1.2% 
Other Income (Expense)   150    0.1%    (250)   -0.2% 
Net Loss before Income taxes   (1,814)   -1.8%    (5,646)   -5.0% 
Benefit of Income Taxes   (49)   0.0%    (1,714)   1.5% 
Net Loss before Noncontrolling Interest   (1,765)   -1.7%    (3,932)   -3.5% 
Net Loss attributed to Noncontrolling Interest   314    0.3%    1,215    1.1% 
Net Loss attributed to ARCA  $(1,451)   -1.4%   $(2,717)   -2.4% 

 

The following tables set forth revenues for key product and service categories, percentages of total revenue and gross profits earned by key product and service categories and gross profit percent as compared to revenues for each key product category indicated:

 

   52 Weeks Ended   52 Weeks Ended 
   December 31, 2016   January 2, 2016 
   Net   Percent   Net   Percent 
(in the Thousands)  Revenue   of Total   Revenue   of Total 
Revenue                
Retail Boxed  $40,569    39.2%   $40,602    36.3% 
Retail UnBoxed   17,719    17.1%    21,647    19.4% 
Retail Delivery   1,449    1.4%    1,416    1.3% 
Retail Service, Parts & Accessories   1,001    1.0%    996    0.9% 
Extended Warranties, net   813    0.8%    976    0.9% 
Recycling, Byproducts, Carbon Offset   28,541    27.6%    21,650    19.4% 
Replacement Appliances   13,497    13.0%    24,552    22.0% 
Total Revenue  $103,589    100.0%   $111,839    100.0% 

 

 

   52 Weeks Ended   52 Weeks Ended 
   December 31, 2016   January 2, 2016 
   Gross   Gross   Gross   Gross 
   Profit   Profit %   Profit   Profit % 
Gross Profit                    
Retail Boxed  $10,946    27.0%   $11,608    28.6% 
Retail UnBoxed   5,646    31.9%    6,908    31.9% 
Retail Delivery   (1,818)   -125.5%    (2,460)   -173.7% 
Retail Service, Parts & Accessories   737    73.6%    510    51.2% 
Extended Warranties, net   813    100.0%    976    100.0% 
Recycling, Byproducts, Carbon Offset   7,811    27.4%    206    1.0% 
Replacement Appliances   4,530    33.6%    7,700    31.4% 
Total Gross Profit  $28,665    27.7%   $25,448    22.8% 

 

 

 

 21 

 

 

Revenue

 

Revenue decreased $8,250 or 7.4% for the 52 weeks ended December 31, 2016 as compared to the 52 weeks ended January 2, 2016.

 

Revenue decreased in the following categories as compared to the prior year period:

 

Retail Boxed $33 or 0.1%, Retail Unboxed $3,928 or 18.1%, Extended Warranties, net $163 or 16.7% and Replacement Appliances $11,055 or 45.0%

 

The revenue decreases were partially offset by the following increases in revenue as compared to the prior year period:

 

Retail Delivery $33 or 2.3%, Retail Service, Parts and Accessories $5 or .5% and Recycling, Byproducts and Carbon offset $6,891 or 31.8%.

 

Cost of Revenue

 

Cost of revenue decreased $11,467, or 13.3% for the 52 weeks ended December 31, 2016 as compared to the 52 weeks ended January 2, 2016, primarily as a result of the change in revenue discussed above as well as the changes in gross profit discussed below.

 

Gross Profit

 

Gross profit increased $3,217 or 12.6%, for the 52 weeks ended December 31, 2016 as compared to the 52 weeks ended January 2, 2016.

 

Gross profit increased in the following categories as compared to the prior year period:

 

Retail Delivery $642 or 26.1%, Retail Service, Parts and Accessories $227 or 44.5% and Recycling, Byproducts and Carbon Offset $7,605 or 3691.7%.

 

Gross profit increases were partially offset by the following decreases in gross profit as compared to the prior year period.

 

Retail Boxed $662 or 5.7%, Retail Unboxed $1,262 or 18.3%, Extended Warranties, net $163 or 16.7%, Replacement Appliances $3,170 or 41.2%.

 

Gross profit margin as a percentage of sales were flat for Retail Unboxed and Extended warranties, net.

 

Gross profit margin as a percentage of sales were improved for Retail Service, Parts and Accessories 73.6% vs. 51.2%, Recycling, Byproducts and Carbon Offset 27.4% vs. 1.0%, Replacement Appliances 33.6% vs. 31.4%, and Retail Delivery -125.5% vs. -173.7%.

 

Gross profit margin as a percentage of sales declined for Retail Boxed 27.0% vs. 28.6%.

 

Selling, General and Administrative Expense

 

Selling, general and administrative expense decreased $342 or 1.2%, for the 52 weeks ended December 31, 2016 as compared to the 52 weeks ended January 2, 2016. The decrease in selling, general and administrative expense was primarily attributable to cost saving overhead measures by AAP and the reduction of retail’s advertising and occupancy expense offset by operating new ARCA Recycling centers.

 

Operating Income

 

As a result of the factors described above, operating loss of $545 for the 52 weeks ended December 31, 2016, represented an improvement of $3,559 over the comparable prior 52 week period of $4,104.

 

 

 

 22 

 

 

Interest Expense, net

 

Interest expense net increased $127 or 9.8%, for the 52 weeks ended December 31, 2016 as compared to the 52 weeks ended January 2, 2016 primarily due to increased rates of interest paid on the PNC bank line of credit.

 

Other Income and Expense

 

Other income and expense increased $400 or 160.0%, for the 52 weeks ended December 31, 2016 as compared to the 52 weeks ended January 2, 2016. The increase in other income and expense was primarily the result of the gain on currency.

 

Benefit of Income Taxes

 

Benefit of income taxes decreased $1,665 or 97.1%, for the 52 weeks ended December 31, 2016 as compared to the 52 weeks ended January 2, 2016. The decrease in benefit of income taxes is primarily attributable to the decrease in pre-provision for income taxes loss and the application of statutory tax rates.

 

Net Loss

 

The factors described above led to a net loss of $1,451 for the 52 weeks ended December 31, 2016, or a 46.6% improvement from a net loss of $2,717 for the 52 weeks ended January 2, 2016.

 

Segment Performance

 

We report our business in the following segments: Retail and Recycling. We identified these segments based on a combination of business type, customers serviced and how we divide management responsibility. Our revenues and profits are driven through our physical stores, our recycling centers, e-commerce, individual sales reps and our internet services.

 

Operating income (loss) by operating segment, is defined as income (loss) before net interest expense, other income and expense, provision for income taxes and income (loss) attributable to non-controlling interest.

 

  52 Weeks Ended December 31, 2016   52 Weeks Ended January 2, 2016 
  Segments in $   Segments - $ 
(in the Thousands)  Retail   Recycling   Total   Retail   Recycling   Total 
Revenue  $61,551   $42,038   $103,589   $65,637   $46,202   $111,839 
Cost of Revenue   45,227    29,697    74,924    48,095    38,296    86,391 
Gross Profit   16,324    12,341    28,665    17,542    7,906    25,448 
Selling, General and Administrative Expense   17,970    11,240    29,210    19,283    10,269    29,552 
Operating Income (Loss)  $(1,646)  $1,101   $(545)  $(1,741)  $(2,363)  $(4,104)

 

 

  52 Weeks Ended December 31, 2016   52 Weeks Ended January 2, 2016 
  Segments in %   Segments - % 
  Retail   Recycling   Total   Retail   Recycling   Total 
Revenue   100.0%    100.0%    100.0%    100.0%    100.0%    100.0% 
Cost of Revenue   73.5%    70.6%    72.3%    73.3%    82.9%    77.2% 
Gross Profit   26.5%    29.4%    27.7%    26.7%    17.1%    22.8% 
Selling, General and Administrative Expense   29.2%    26.7%    28.2%    29.4%    22.2%    26.4% 
Operating Income (Loss)   -2.7%    2.6%    -0.5%    -2.7%    -5.1%    -3.7% 

 

 

 

 23 

 

 

Retail Segment

 

Segment results for Retail include ApplianceSmart. Revenue for the 52 weeks ended December 31, 2016 decreased $4,086, or 6.2%, as compared to the prior year period, as a result of decreases in retail boxed $33 or 0.1%, retailed unboxed $3,928 or 18.1%, Extended warranties net $163 or 16.7%, partially offset by revenue increases in retail delivery $33 or 2.3% and retail services, parts and accessories $5 or 0.5%.

 

Cost of revenue for the 52 weeks ended December 31, 2016 decreased $2,868 or 6.0%, compared to the prior year period, as a result of cost of revenue decreases for retail unboxed $2,666 or 18.1%, retail delivery $609 or 15.7%, retail service, parts and accessories $222 or 45.7%, partially offset by an increase in retail boxed of $629 or 2.2%.

 

Operating income for the 52 weeks ended December 31, 2016 increased $95, as compared to the prior year period, as a result of decreased selling, general and administrative expense of $1,313, partially offset by a decrease in gross profit of $1,218.

 

Recycling Segment

 

Segment results for ARCA Recycling and AAP. Revenue for the 52 weeks ended December 31, 2016 decreased by $4,164, or 9.0%, as compared to the prior year period, as a result of a decrease in replacement appliance revenue $11,055 or 45.0%, partially offset by an increase in recycling, byproducts and carbon offset of $6,891 or 31.8%.

 

Cost of revenue for the 52 weeks ended December 31, 2016 decreased $8,599 or 22.5%, as compared to the prior year period; as a result of decreases in cost of revenue of replacement appliances $7,885 or 46.8% and recycling, byproducts, carbon offset $714 or 3.3%.

 

Operating income for the 52 weeks ended December 31, 2016 increased $3,464, as compared to the prior year period; as a result of increased gross profit of $4,435, partially offset by an increase in selling, general and administrative expense of $971.

 

Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

Overview

 

Based on our current operating plans, we believe that available cash balances, cash generated from our operating activities and funds available under our PNC Bank Revolver Loan - $15 million and or a replacement, an asset-based revolving credit facility will provide sufficient liquidity to fund our operations, our continued investments in store openings and remodeling activities for at least the next 12 months. It is the company’s intention to refinance and replace the PNC Bank Revolver loan facility and not renew it past maturity of May 1, 2017.

 

As of December 31, 2016, we had total cash on hand of $968 and an additional $3,234 of available borrowing under the PNC Bank Revolver Loan. As we continue to pursue strategic transactions to expand and grow our business, we regularly monitor capital market conditions and may raise additional funds through borrowings or public or private sales of debt or equity securities. The amount, nature and timing of any borrowings or sales of debt or equity securities will depend on our operating performance and other circumstances; our then-current commitments and obligations; the amount, nature and timing of our capital requirements; any limitations imposed by our current credit arrangements; and overall market conditions.

 

Cash Flows

 

During the 52 weeks ended December 31, 2016, cash provided by operations was $2,659, compared to cash used in operations of $3,409 during the 52 weeks ended January 2, 2016. The increase in cash provided by operations of $6,068 as compared to the prior period; was primarily due to a decrease in net loss of $2,167, an increase in amortization of deferred financing costs $78, an increase in deferred income taxes $515, an increase in other $20, an increase in changes in current assets and liabilities of $3,365; partially offset by a decrease in share based compensation of $71 and a decrease in depreciation and amortization of $6. An increase in cash provided by changes in current assets and liabilities of $3,365 was provided from a decrease in accounts receivable $1,596, a decrease in inventories $1,062, a decrease in income taxes receivable $1,546 and a decrease in other current assets of $101; partially offset by a decrease in cash provided by accounts payable and accrued expenses of $940.

 

Cash used in investing activities was $412 and $949 for the 52 weeks ended December 31, 2016 and the 52 weeks ended January 2, 2016, respectively. The $537 decrease in cash used in investing activities, as compared to the prior period, is primarily attributable to a decrease in purchases of property and equipment of $29, a decrease in restricted cash of $500, a decrease in other investing activities $15; partially offset by a decrease in the proceeds from the sale of property and equipment $7.

 

Cash used by financing activities was $3,224 and provided by financing activities of $3,012 for the 52 weeks ended December 31, 2016 and the 52 weeks ended January 2, 2016, respectively. The $6,236 decrease in cash provided/used by financing activities, as compared to the prior period, was attributable to increased payments on the line of credit $5,766, increased payments on debt obligations $184, decrease in new loan proceeds for debt obligations of $125, increase in debt issuance costs of $148; partially offset by an increase in tax deficiency related to share-based compensation of $11, and a decrease from the proceeds from issuance of common stock of $24.

 

 

 

 

 24 

 

 

Sources of Liquidity

 

We utilize cash on hand and cash generated from operations and have funds available to us under our revolving loan facility with PNC Bank to cover normal and seasonal fluctuations in cash flows and to support our various growth initiatives. Our cash and cash equivalents are carried at cost and consist primarily of demand deposits with commercial banks.

 

PNC Bank Revolver

 

ARCA may borrow funds for operations under the PNC Bank Revolver loan subject to availability as described in Note 6. On December 31, 2016 and January 2, 2016 – we had $3,234 and $1,382 of additional borrowing availability on the PNC Bank Revolver, respectively. Maximum borrowing under the PNC Bank Revolver is $15 million. A total of approximately $750 of letters of credit was outstanding at December 31, 2016. The weighted average interest rate for the period of January 2, 2016 through December 31, 2016 was 9.00%. We borrowed $96,900 and repaid $99,235 on the PNC Bank Revolver during the 52 weeks ended December 31, 2016; leaving an outstanding balance on the PNC Revolver of $10,333 and $12,668 at December 31, 2016 and January 2, 2016, respectively. As disclosed by the Company in Item 2.01 of its Current Report on Form 8-K filed on January 31, 2017, the Company sold and leased back its Compton building over an initial lease term of six months which can be terminated with a 30 day notice. The net proceeds from the sale were used to reduce the outstanding balance under our revolving credit agreement to $5,752.

 

Future Sources of Cash; New Acquisitions, Products and Services

 

We may require additional debt financing and or capital to finance new acquisitions, refinance existing indebtedness or other strategic investments in our business. Other sources of financing may include stock issuances and additional loans; or other forms of financing. Any financing obtained may further dilute or otherwise impair the ownership interest of our existing stockholders.

 

Off Balance Sheet Arrangements and Contractual Obligations

 

Other than operating leases, we do not have any off balance sheet financing.  A summary of our operating lease obligations by fiscal year is included in “Note 9. Commitments and Contingencies” of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”

 

Application of Critical Accounting Policies

 

Our discussion of the financial condition and results of operations is based upon our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. The preparation of our consolidated financial statements requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, revenues and expenses, and related disclosure of any contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements. Management regularly reviews its estimates and assumptions, which are based on historical factors and other factors believed to be relevant under the circumstances. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions, estimates or conditions.

 

Critical accounting policies are defined as those that are reflective of significant judgments and uncertainties and potentially result in materially different results under different assumptions and conditions. See Note 2 of “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements” for additional disclosure of the application of these and other accounting policies.

 

Inventories. Our inventories, consisting principally of appliances, are stated at the lower of cost, determined on a specific identification basis, or market. We provide estimated provisions for the obsolescence of our appliance inventories, including adjustments to market, based on various factors, including the age of such inventory and our management’s assessment of the need for such provisions. We look at historical inventory aging’s and margin analyses in determining our provision estimate. Historically, our actual experience has not differed significantly from our estimates.

 

Long-Lived Assets. We review our long-lived assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that our carrying value of long-lived assets may not be recoverable. Long-lived assets are considered not recoverable when the carrying amount of a long-lived asset (asset group) exceeds the sum of the undiscounted cash flows expected to result from the use and eventual disposition of the asset (asset group). If it is determined that a long-lived asset (asset group) is not recoverable, an impairment loss is recorded equal to the excess of the carrying amount of the long-lived asset (asset group) over the long-lived assets (asset group's) fair value. Fair value is the amount at which the long-lived asset (asset group) could be bought or sold in a current transaction between a willing buyer and seller, other than in a forced or liquidation sale.

 

 

 

 25 

 

 

Income Taxes. We account for income taxes under the liability method. Deferred tax liabilities are recognized for temporary differences that will result in taxable amounts in future years. Deferred tax assets are recognized for deductible temporary differences and tax operating loss and tax credit carryforwards. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using the enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the periods in which the deferred tax asset or liability is expected to be realized or settled. We assess the likelihood that our deferred tax assets will be recovered from future taxable income and record a valuation allowance to reduce our deferred tax assets to the amounts we believe to be realizable. We regularly evaluate both positive and negative evidence related to either recording or retaining a valuation allowance against our deferred tax assets.

 

Share-Based Compensation. We recognize compensation expense on a straight-line basis over the vesting period for all share-based awards granted.  We use the Black-Scholes option pricing model to determine the fair value of awards at the grant date. We calculate the expected volatility for stock options and awards using historical volatility. We estimate a 0%-5% forfeiture rate for stock options issued to employees and Board of Directors members, but will continue to review these estimates in future periods. The risk-free rates for the expected terms of the stock options are based on the U.S. Treasury yield curve in effect at the time of the grant. The expected life represents the period that the stock option awards are expected to be outstanding. The expected dividend yield is zero as we have not paid or declared any cash dividends on our common stock.

 

Revenue Recognition. We recognize revenue from appliance sales in the period the consumer purchases and pays for the appliance, net of an allowance for estimated returns. We recognize revenue from appliance recycling when we collect and process a unit. We recognize revenue generated from appliance replacement programs when we deliver the new appliance and collect and process the old appliance. The delivery, collection and processing activities under our replacement programs typically occur within one business day and are required to complete the earnings process; there are no other performance obligations. We recognize byproduct revenue upon shipment. We recognize revenue on extended warranties with retained service obligations on a straight-line basis over the period of the warranty. On extended warranty arrangements that we sell but others service for a fixed portion of the warranty sales price, we recognize revenue for the net amount retained at the time of sale of the extended warranty to the consumer. As a result of our recycling processes, we are able to produce carbon offsets from the destruction of certain types of ozone-depleting refrigerants. We record revenue from the sale of carbon offsets in the period when all of the following requirements have been met: (i) there is persuasive evidence of an arrangement, (ii) the sales price is fixed or determinable, (iii) title, ownership and risk of loss associated with the credits have been transferred to the customer, and (iv) collectability is reasonably assured. These requirements are met upon collection of cash due to the uncertainty around collectability and the involvement of various third parties and partner. We include shipping and handling charges to customers in revenue, which are recognized in the period the consumer purchases and pays for delivery. The application of our revenue recognition policy does not involve significant uncertainties and is not subject to accounting estimates or assumptions having significant sensitivity to change.

 

Forward-Looking Statements

 

Statements contained in this annual report regarding our future operations, performance and results, and anticipated liquidity are forward-looking and, therefore, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, those discussed herein.  Any forward-looking information regarding our operations will be affected primarily by individual retail store profitability, the volume of appliance sales, the strength of energy conservation recycling and replacement programs and general economic conditions affecting consumer demand for appliances. Any forward-looking information will also be affected by our continued ability to purchase product from our suppliers at acceptable prices, the ability of individual retail stores to meet planned revenue levels, the number of retail stores, costs and expenses being realized at higher-than-expected levels, our ability to secure an adequate supply of special-buy appliances for resale, the ability to secure appliance recycling and replacement contracts with sponsors of energy efficiency programs, the ability of customers to supply units under their recycling contracts with us, the performance of our consolidated variable interest entity, the volatility of the scrap metals and other byproducts prices that we sell, the continued availability of our current line of credit and the outcome of the pending sales and use tax examination in California.

 

 

 

 26 

 

 

ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

Market Risk and Impact of Inflation

 

Interest Rate Risk. We do not believe there is any significant risk related to interest rate fluctuations on our long-term fixed-rate debt. There is interest rate risk on the revolving line of credit, PNC term loan and Susquehanna term loans, since our interest rate floats with prime and LIBOR. The outstanding balance on our floating rate debt as of December 31, 2016, was approximately $14.6 million. Based on average floating rate borrowings of $15.9 million, a hypothetical 100 basis point change in the applicable interest rate would have caused our interest expense to change by approximately $0.2 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016.

 

Foreign Currency Exchange Rate Risk. We currently generate revenues in Canada. The reporting currency for our consolidated financial statements is U.S. dollars.  It is not possible to determine the exact impact of foreign currency exchange rate changes; however, the effect on reported revenue and net earnings can be estimated. We estimate that the overall strength of the U.S. dollar against the Canadian dollar had an immaterial impact on the revenues and net income for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016.  We do not currently hedge foreign currency fluctuations and do not intend to do so for the foreseeable future.

 

We do not hold any derivative financial instruments; nor do we hold any securities for trading or speculative purposes.

 

ITEM 8.  FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA 

 

Description  Page 
Reports of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firms   28 
      
Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2016 and January 2, 2016   29 
      
Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Income (Loss) for the fiscal years ended
December 31, 2016 and January 2, 2016
   30 
      
Consolidated Statements of Shareholders’ Equity for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2016 and January 2, 2016   31 
      
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2016 and January 2, 2016   32 
      
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements   34 

 

 

 

 

 27 

 

 

REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

 

To the Shareholders and Board of Directors

Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc.

175 Jackson Ave. N. Ste. 102

Minneapolis, Minnesota 55343

 

Report on the Financial Statements

 

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheet of Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc. (the “Company”) as of December 31, 2016, and the related consolidated statements of operations, changes in stockholders’ equity, and cash flows for the year then ended, and the related notes to the consolidated financial statements.

 

Management’s Responsibility for the Financial Statements

 

Management is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of these consolidated financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America; this includes the design, implementation, and maintenance of internal control relevant to the preparation and fair presentation of consolidated financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.

 

Auditor’s Responsibility

 

Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these consolidated financial statements based on our audit.

 

We conducted our audit in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States of America. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the consolidated financial statements are free from material misstatement.

 

An audit involves performing procedures to obtain audit evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the consolidated financial statements. The procedures selected depend on the auditor’s judgment, including the assessment of the risks of material misstatement of the consolidated financial statements, whether due to fraud or error. In making those risk assessments, the auditor considers internal control relevant to the entity’s preparation and fair presentation of the consolidated financial statements in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the entity’s internal control. Accordingly, we express no such opinion. An audit also includes evaluating the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of significant accounting estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the consolidated financial statements.

 

We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our audit opinion.

 

Opinion

 

In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company, at December 31, 2016, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the year then ended in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

 

 

 

 

 

/s/ Anton & Chia, LLP
 
 
Newport Beach, California
March 31, 2017

 

 

 

 

 28 

 

 

REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

 

To the Shareholders, Audit Committee and Board of Directors

Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Minneapolis, Minnesota

 

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheet of Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc. and Subsidiaries as of January 2, 2016 and the related consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss, shareholders' equity and cash flows for the year then ended. These consolidated financial statements are the responsibility of the company's management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these consolidated financial statements based on our audit.

 

We conducted our audit 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 consolidated financial statements are free of material misstatement. The company is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. Our audit included consideration of its internal control over financial reporting as a basis for designing audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the company’s internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion. An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the consolidated financial statements. An audit also includes assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management as well as evaluating the overall consolidated financial statement presentation. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.

 

In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc. and Subsidiaries as of January 2, 2016 and the results of their operations and their cash flows for the year then ended, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

 

 

 

 

 

/s/ Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP

 

 

Minneapolis, Minnesota

April 1, 2016

 

 

 

 

 29 

 

 

APPLIANCE RECYCLING CENTERS OF AMERICA, INC.

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(In Thousands)

 

   December 31,
2016
   January 2,
2016
 
ASSETS          
Current assets:          
Cash and cash equivalents  $968   $1,969 
Accounts receivable, net of allowance of $54 and $73, respectively   10,509    11,536 
Inventories   16,291    16,733 
Income taxes receivable   16    1,126 
Other current assets   761    1,350 
Total current assets   28,545    32,714 
Property and equipment, net   10,116    10,985 
Restricted cash   500    500 
Other assets   614    596 
Deferred income tax assets   2,081    1,984 
Total assets (a)  $41,856   $46,779 
           
LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY          
Current liabilities:          
Accounts payable  $6,143   $7,019 
Accrued expenses   8,888    8,934 
Line of credit   10,333    12,668 
Current maturities of long-term obligations   2,093    1,251 
Total current liabilities   27,457    29,872 
Long-term obligations, less current maturities   2,826    4,506 
Other noncurrent liabilities   364    357 
Total liabilities (a)   30,647    34,735 
           
Commitments and contingencies          
           
Shareholders’ equity:          
Common Stock, no par value; 50,000 shares authorized, 6,655 shares issued and outstanding at December 31, 2016; 10,000 shares authorized, 5,901 shares issued and outstanding at January 2, 2016   22,405    21,466 
Accumulated deficit   (11,028)   (9,577)
Accumulated other comprehensive loss   (574)   (565)
Total shareholders’ equity   10,803    11,324 
Noncontrolling interest   406    720 
    11,209    12,044 
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity  $41,856   $46,779 

 

(a) Assets of AAP, the consolidated variable interest entity, that can only be used to settle obligations of AAP were $7,843 and $8,915 as of December 31, 2016 and January 2, 2016, respectively. Liabilities of AAP, for which creditors do not have recourse to the general credit of ARCA, were $2,180 and $2,838 as of December 31, 2016 and January 2, 2016, respectively.

 

See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

 

 

 30 

 

 

APPLIANCE RECYCLING CENTERS OF AMERICA, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS AND COMPREHENSIVE LOSS

(In Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts)

 

   For the fiscal years ended 
   December 31,
2016
   January 2,
2016
 
Revenues:        
Retail  $61,551   $65,637 
Recycling   31,677    35,878 
Byproduct   10,361    10,324 
Total revenues   103,589    111,839 
Cost of revenues   74,924    86,391 
Gross profit   28,665    25,448 
Selling, general and administrative expenses   29,210    29,552 
Operating loss   (545)   (4,104)
Other expense:          
Interest expense, net   (1,419)   (1,292)
Other expense, net   150    (250)
Loss before income taxes and noncontrolling interest   (1,814)   (5,646)
Benefit of income taxes   (49)   (1,714)
Net loss   (1,765)   (3,932)
Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interest   314    1,215 
Net loss attributable to controlling interest  $(1,451)  $(2,717)
           
Loss per common share:          
Basic  $(0.24)  $(0.47)
Diluted  $(0.23)  $(0.47)
           
Weighted average common shares outstanding:          
Basic   6,054    5,833 
Diluted   6,221    5,833 
           
Net loss  $(1,765)  $(3,932)
Other comprehensive loss, net of tax:          
Effect of foreign currency translation adjustments   (9)   110 
Total other comprehensive loss, net of tax   (9)   110 
Comprehensive loss   (1,774)   (3,822)
Comprehensive loss attributable to noncontrolling interest   314    1,215 
Comprehensive loss attributable to controlling interest  $(1,460)  $(2,607)

 

See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

 

 

 31 

 

 

APPLIANCE RECYCLING CENTERS OF AMERICA, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY

(In Thousands)

 

 
           Accumulated             
           Other             
   Common Stock   Comprehensive   Accumulated   Noncontrolling     
   Shares   Amount   Loss   Deficit   Interest   Total 
Balance at January 3, 2015   5,788   $21,137   $(675)  $(6,860)  $1,935   $15,537 
Net loss               (2,717)   (1,215)   (3,932)
Other comprehensive loss, net of tax           110            110 
Issuance of Common Stock   13    24                24 
Tax deficiency related to share-based compensation       (11)               (11)
Share-based compensation   100    316                316 
Balance at January 2, 2016   5,901    21,466    (565)   (9,577)   720    12,044 
Net loss               (1,451)   (314)   (1,765)
Other comprehensive loss, net of tax           (9)           (9)
Issuance of Common Stock   704    694                694 
Share-based compensation   50    245                245 
Balance at December 31, 2016   6,655   $22,405   $(574)  $(11,028)  $406   $11,209 

 

See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

 

 

 32 

 

 

 

APPLIANCE RECYCLING CENTERS OF AMERICA, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

(In Thousands)

 

   For the fiscal years ended 
   December 31,
2016
   January 2,
2016
 
Operating activities          
Net loss  $(1,765)  $(3,932)
Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash and cash equivalents provided by operating activities:          
Depreciation and amortization   1,264    1,270 
Share-based compensation   245    316 
Amortization of deferred financing costs   185    107 
Deferred income taxes   (97)   (612)
Other   15    (5)
Changes in assets and liabilities:          
Accounts receivable   1,012    (584)
Inventories   442    (620)
Income taxes receivable   1,132    (414)
Other current assets   167    66 
Accounts payable and accrued expenses   59    999 
Net cash flows (used in) provided by operating activities   2,659    (3,409)
           
Investing activities          
Purchases of property and equipment   (375)   (404)
Decrease (increase) in restricted cash       (500)
Proceeds from sale of property and equipment       7 
Other   (37)   (52)
Net cash flows used in investing activities   (412)   (949)
           
Financing activities          
Net (payments) borrowings under line of credit   (2,335)   3,431 
Payments on debt obligations   (941)   (757)
Proceeds from issuance of debt obligations   200    325 
Debt Issuance Costs   (148)    
Tax deficiency related to share-based compensation       (11)
Proceeds from issuance of common stock       24 
Net cash flows provided by (used in) financing activities   (3,224)   3,012 
           
Effect of changes in exchange rate on cash and cash equivalents   (24)   (208)
           
Decrease in cash and cash equivalents   (1,001)   (1,554)
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year   1,969    3,523 
Cash and cash equivalents at end of year  $968   $1,969 

 

See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

 

 

 33 

 

 

APPLIANCE RECYCLING CENTERS OF AMERICA, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

(In Thousands)

 

   For the fiscal years ended 
   December 31,
2016
   January 2,
2016
 
Supplemental disclosures of cash flow information        
Cash payments for interest  $1,054   $970 
Cash refunds for income taxes  $(874)  $(694)
           
Non-cash investing and financing activities          
Debt issuance costs related to credit agreement renewal  $63   $ 
Debt issuance costs paid through the issuance of common stock  $694   $ 

 

See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 34 

 

 

APPLIANCE RECYCLING CENTERS OF AMERICA, INC.

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(In Thousands Except Per Share Amounts)

 

1.             Nature of Business and Basis of Presentation

 

Nature of business: Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc. and subsidiaries (“we,” the “Company” or “ARCA”) are in the business of providing turnkey appliance recycling and replacement services for electric utilities and other sponsors of energy efficiency programs. We also sell new major household appliances through a chain of Company-owned stores under the name ApplianceSmart®. In addition, we have a 50% interest in a joint venture operating under the name ARCA Advanced Processing, LLC (“AAP”), which recycles appliances in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.

 

Principles of consolidation: The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc. and our subsidiaries. All significant intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.

 

ApplianceSmart, Inc., a Minnesota corporation, is a wholly owned subsidiary that was formed through a corporate reorganization in July 2011 to hold our business of selling new major household appliances through a chain of Company-owned retail stores. ARCA Canada Inc., a Canadian corporation, is a wholly owned subsidiary that was formed in September 2006 to provide turnkey recycling services for electric utility energy efficiency programs. ARCA Recycling, Inc., a California corporation, is a wholly owned subsidiary that was formed in November 1991 to provide turnkey recycling services for electric utility efficiency programs. Customer Connexx, LLC, a Nevada limited liability company, is a wholly owned subsidiary formed in October 13, 2016 to provide call center services for electric utility programs. The operating results of our wholly owned subsidiaries are consolidated in our financial statements.

 

AAP is a joint venture that was formed in October 2009 between ARCA and 4301 Operations, LLC (“4301”). Both ARCA and 4301 have a 50% interest in AAP. AAP established a regional processing center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at which the recyclable appliances are processed. AAP commenced operations in February 2010. The financial position and results of operations of AAP are consolidated in our financial statements based on our conclusion that AAP is a variable interest entity due to our contribution in excess of 50% of the total equity, subordinated debt and other forms of financial support. We have a controlling financial interest in AAP and have provided substantially all of the financial support to fund the operations of AAP since its inception.

 

Estimates: The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires our management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Significant items subject to estimates and assumptions include the valuation allowances for accounts receivable, inventories, deferred tax assets, accrued expenses, and the assumptions we use to value share-based compensation. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

 

Fair value of financial instruments: The following methods and assumptions are used to estimate the fair value of each class of financial instrument:

 

Cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable and accounts payable: Due to their nature and short-term maturities, the carrying amounts approximate fair value.

 

Short- and long-term debt: The fair value of short- and long-term debt approximates carrying value and has been estimated based on discounted cash flows using interest rates being offered for similar debt having the same or similar remaining maturities and collateral requirements.

 

No separate comparison of fair values versus carrying values is presented for the aforementioned financial instruments since their fair values are not significantly different than their balance sheet carrying amounts. In addition, the aggregate fair values of the financial instruments would not represent the underlying value of our Company.

 

Fiscal year: We report on a 52- or 53-week fiscal year. Both our 2016 fiscal year (“2016”) ended on December 31, 2016, and our 2015 fiscal year (“2015”) ended on January 2, 2016, included 52 weeks.

 

 

 

 35 

 

 

2.             Significant Accounting Policies

 

Cash and cash equivalents: We consider all highly liquid investments purchased with original maturity dates of three months or less to be cash equivalents. We maintain our cash in bank deposit and money-market accounts, which, at times, exceed federally insured limits. We have determined that the fair value of the money-market accounts fall within Level 1 of the fair value hierarchy. We have not experienced any losses in such accounts.

 

Trade receivables: We carry unsecured trade receivables at the original invoice amount less an estimate made for doubtful accounts based on a monthly review of all outstanding amounts. Management determines the allowance for doubtful accounts by regularly evaluating individual customer receivables and considering a customer’s financial condition, credit history and current economic conditions. We write off trade receivables when we deem them uncollectible. We record recoveries of trade receivables previously written off when we receive them. We consider a trade receivable to be past due if any portion of the receivable balance is outstanding for more than ninety days. We do not charge interest on past due receivables. Our management considers the allowance for doubtful accounts of $54 and $73 to be adequate to cover any exposure to loss as of December 31, 2016, and January 2, 2016, respectively.

 

Inventories: Inventories, consisting principally of appliances, are stated at the lower of cost, determined on a specific identification basis, or market and consist of the following as of December 31, 2016, and January 2, 2016:

 

   December 31,
2016
   January 2,
2016
 
Appliances held for resale  $16,146   $16,360 
Processed metals to be sold from recycled appliances   139    367 
Other   6    6 
Total Inventories  $16,291   $16,733 

 

We provide estimated provisions for the obsolescence of our appliance inventories, including adjustments to market, based on various factors, including the age of such inventory and our management’s assessment of the need for such provisions.  We look at historical inventory aging reports and margin analyses in determining our provision estimate. A revised cost basis is used once a provision for obsolescence is recorded.

 

Property and equipment: Property and equipment are stated at cost. We compute depreciation using straight-line method over a range of estimated useful lives from 3 to 30 years.

 

We amortize leasehold improvements on a straight-line basis over the shorter of their estimated useful lives or the underlying lease term.  Repair and maintenance costs are charged to operations as incurred.

 

Property and equipment consists of the following as of December 31, 2016 and January 2, 2016:

 

   Useful Life
(Years)
   December 31,
2016
   January 2,
2016
 
Land      $1,140   $1,140 
Buildings and improvements   18-30    3,780    3,714 
Equipment (including computer software)   3-15    19,260    19,040 
Projects under construction       204    143 
Property and equipment        24,384    24,037 
Less accumulated depreciation and amortization        (14,268)   (13,052)
Property and equipment, net       $10,116   $10,985 

 

Depreciation and amortization expense: Depreciation and amortization expense related to buildings and equipment from our recycling centers is presented in cost of revenues, and depreciation and amortization expense related to buildings and equipment from our ApplianceSmart stores and corporate assets, such as furniture and computers, is presented in selling, general and administrative expenses in the consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive income (loss). Depreciation and amortization expense was $1,264 and $1,270 for fiscal years 2016 and 2015, respectively. Depreciation and amortization included in cost of revenues was $873 and $846 for fiscal years 2016 and 2015, respectively.

 

 

 

 

 36 

 

 

Software development costs: We capitalize software developed for internal use and are amortizing such costs over their estimated useful lives of three years. Costs capitalized were $159 and $118 for fiscal years 2016 and 2015, respectively. Amortization expense on software development costs was $129 and $117 for fiscal years 2016 and 2015, respectively. Estimated future amortization expense is as follows:

 

Fiscal year 2017  $118 
Fiscal year 2018   73 
Fiscal year 2019   24 
   $215 

 

Impairment of long-lived assets: We evaluate long-lived assets such as property and equipment for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying value of an asset may not be recoverable. We assess impairment based on the estimated future net undiscounted cash flows expected to result from the use of the assets, including cash flows from disposition. Should the sum of the expected future net cash flows be less than the carrying value, we recognize an impairment loss at that time. We measure an impairment loss by comparing the amount by which the carrying value exceeds the fair value (estimated discounted future cash flows or appraisal of assets) of the long-lived assets. We recognized no impairment charges during fiscal years 2016 and 2015 related to long-lived assets.

 

Restricted cash: Restricted cash consisted of a reserve required by our bankcard processor to cover chargebacks, adjustments, fees and other charges that may be due from us. As of December 31, 2016, we had restricted cash of $500.

 

Goodwill: We test goodwill annually for impairment. Additionally, goodwill is tested for impairment between annual tests if an event occurs or circumstances change that would more-likely-than-not reduce the fair value of an entity below its carrying value. In assessing the recoverability of goodwill, market values and projections regarding estimated future cash flows and other factors are used to determine the fair value of the respective assets. If these estimates or related projections change in the future, we may be required to record impairment charges for these assets. We allocate goodwill to our two reporting segments, retail and recycling. We compare the fair value of each reporting segment to its carrying amount on an annual basis to determine if there is potential goodwill impairment. If the fair value of a reporting segment is less than its carrying value, an impairment loss is recorded to the extent that the fair value of the goodwill within the reporting unit is less than the carrying value of its goodwill. To determine the fair value of our reporting segments, we generally use a present value technique (discounted cash flow) corroborated by market multiples when available and as appropriate. The factor most sensitive to change with respect to the discounted cash flow analyses is the estimated future cash flows of each reporting segment, which is, in turn, sensitive to the estimates of future revenue growth and margins for these businesses. If actual revenue growth and/or margins are lower than expectations, the impairment test results could differ. Fair value for goodwill is determined based on discounted cash flows, market multiples or appraised values as appropriate. As of December 31, 2016 and January 2, 2016, we had goodwill of $38 allocated to our recycling segment which is presented as a component of other assets on the consolidated balance sheets.

 

Accounting for leases: We conduct the majority of our retail and recycling operations from leased facilities.  The majority of our leases require payment of real estate taxes, insurance and common area maintenance in addition to rent. The terms of our lease agreements typically range from five to ten years. Most of the leases contain renewal and escalation clauses, and certain store leases require contingent rents based on factors such as revenue. For leases that contain predetermined fixed escalations of the minimum rent, we recognize the related rent expense on a straight-line basis from the date we take possession of the property to the end of the initial lease term. We record any difference between straight-line rent amounts and amounts payable under the leases as part of accrued rent in accrued expenses, a portion of which is included in other non-current liabilities. Cash or lease incentives (tenant allowances) received upon entering into certain store leases are recognized on a straight-line basis as a reduction to rent from the date we take possession of the property through the end of the initial lease term.

 

Product warranty: We provide a warranty for the replacement or repair of certain defective appliances.  Our standard warranty policy requires us to repair or replace certain defective units at no cost to our customers. We estimate the costs that may be incurred under our warranty and record an accrual in the amount of such costs at the time we recognize product revenue. Factors that affect our warranty accrual for covered units include the number of units sold, historical and anticipated rates of warranty claims on these units, and the cost of such claims. We periodically assess the adequacy of our recorded warranty accrual and adjust the amounts as necessary.

 

 

 

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Changes in our warranty accrual, presented as a component of accrued expenses on the consolidated balance sheets, for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2016 and January 2, 2016 are as follows:

 

   For the fiscal years ended 
   December 31,
2016
   January 2,
2016
 
Beginning balance  $42   $30 
Standard accrual based on units sold   17    45 
Actual costs incurred   (16)   (16)
Periodic accrual adjustments   (17)   (17)
Ending balance  $26   $42 

 

Income taxes: We account for income taxes under the liability method. Deferred tax liabilities are recognized for temporary differences that will result in taxable amounts in future years. Deferred tax assets are recognized for deductible temporary differences and tax operating loss and tax credit carryforwards. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using the enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the periods in which the deferred tax asset or liability is expected to be realized or settled. We assess the likelihood that our deferred tax assets will be recovered from future taxable income and record a valuation allowance to reduce our deferred tax assets to the amounts we believe to be realizable. We regularly evaluate both positive and negative evidence related to either recording or retaining a valuation allowance against our deferred tax assets.

 

Share-based compensation: We recognize share-based compensation expense on a straight-line basis over the vesting period for all share-based awards granted. We use the Black-Scholes option pricing model to determine the fair value of awards at the grant date. We calculate the expected volatility for stock options and awards using historical volatility. We estimate a 0%-5% forfeiture rate for stock options issued to employees and Board of Directors members, but will continue to review these estimates in future periods. The risk-free rates for the expected terms of the stock options are based on the U.S. Treasury yield curve in effect at the time of the grant. The expected life represents the period that the stock option awards are expected to be outstanding. The expected dividend yield is zero as we have not paid or declared any cash dividends on our common stock.

 

Comprehensive income (loss): Other comprehensive income (loss) refers to revenues, expenses, gains and losses that under generally accepted accounting principles are included in comprehensive income (loss) but are excluded from net income (loss) as these amounts are recorded directly as an adjustment to shareholders’ equity. Our other comprehensive income (loss) is comprised of foreign currency translation adjustments.

 

Foreign Currency: The financial statements of the Company's non-U.S. subsidiary are translated into U.S. dollars in accordance with ASC 830, Foreign Currency Matters. Under ASC 830, if the assets and liabilities of the Company are recorded in certain non-U.S. functional currencies other than the U.S. dollar, they are translated at current rates of exchange. Revenue and expense items are translated at the average exchange rates. The resulting translation adjustments are recorded directly into accumulated other comprehensive income (loss). In addition, due to increases in the Canadian dollar relative to the U.S. dollar we experienced foreign currency transaction gains included in other expense of approximately $32 in 2016 and foreign currency transaction losses included in other expense of approximately $380 in 2015.

 

Revenue recognition: We recognize revenue from appliance sales in the period the consumer purchases and pays for the appliance, net of an allowance for estimated returns. We recognize revenue from appliance recycling when we collect and process a unit. We recognize revenue generated from appliance replacement programs when we deliver the new appliance and collect and process the old appliance. The delivery, collection and processing activities under our replacement programs typically occur within one business day and are required to complete the earnings process; there are no other performance obligations. We recognize byproduct revenue upon shipment. We recognize revenue on extended warranties with retained service obligations on a straight-line basis over the period of the warranty. On extended warranty arrangements that we sell but others service for a fixed portion of the warranty sales price, we recognize revenue for the net amount retained at the time of sale of the extended warranty to the consumer. As a result of our recycling processes, we are able to produce carbon offsets from the destruction of certain types of ozone-depleting refrigerants. We record revenue from the sale of carbon offsets in the period when all of the following requirements have been met: (i) there is persuasive evidence of an arrangement, (ii) the sales price is fixed or determinable, (iii) title, ownership and risk of loss associated with the credits have been transferred to the customer, and (iv) collectability is reasonably assured. These requirements are met upon collection of cash due to the uncertainty around collectability and the involvement of various third parties and partners. We include shipping and handling charges to customers in revenue, which are recognized in the period the consumer purchases and pays for delivery.

 

 

 

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Retail segment cost of revenues: Costs of revenues in our retail segment are comprised primarily of the following:

· Purchase of appliance inventories, including freight to and from our distribution centers.
· Shipping, receiving and distribution of appliance inventories to our retail stores, including employee compensation and benefits.
· Delivery and service of appliances, including employee compensation and benefits, after the appliances are sold to the consumer.
· Early payment discounts and allowances offered by appliance manufacturers.
· Inventory markdowns.

 

Recycling segment cost of revenues: Costs of revenues in our recycling segment are comprised primarily of the following:

· Transportation costs, including employee compensation and benefits, related to collecting appliances for recycling and delivering appliances under our replacement programs.
· Purchase of appliance inventories, including freight to our recycling center warehouses, early payment discounts, and warehousing costs for appliances used in our replacement programs.
· Occupancy costs related to our recycling centers.
· Processing costs, including employee compensation and benefits, related to recycling and processing appliances.

 

Selling, general and administrative expenses: Selling, general and administrative expenses are comprised primarily of the following:

· Employee compensation and benefits related to management, corporate services, and retail sales;
· Outside and outsourced corporate service fees including legal expenses and professional service fees;
· Occupancy costs related to our retail stores and corporate office;
· Advertising costs;
· Bank charges and costs associated with credit and debit card interchange fees; and
· Other administrative costs, such as supplies, travel and lodging. 

 

Advertising expense: Our policy is to expense advertising costs as incurred. Advertising expense was $1,124 and $1,822 for fiscal years 2016 and 2015, respectively.

 

Taxes collected from customers: We account for taxes collected from customers on a net basis.

 

Basic and diluted income (loss) per common share: Basic income (loss) per common share is computed based on the weighted average number of common shares outstanding.  Diluted income (loss) per common share is computed based on the weighted average number of common shares outstanding adjusted by the number of additional shares that would have been outstanding had the potentially dilutive common shares been issued. Potentially dilutive shares of Common Stock include unexercised stock options and warrants. Basic per share amounts are computed, generally, by dividing net income (loss) by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding. Diluted per share amounts assume the conversion, exercise or issuance of all potential Common Stock instruments unless their effect is anti-dilutive, thereby reducing the loss or increasing the income per common share. In calculating diluted weighted average shares and per share amounts, we included stock options with exercise prices below average market prices, for the respective fiscal years in which they were dilutive, using the Treasury stock method. We calculated the number of additional shares by assuming that the outstanding stock options were exercised and that the proceeds from such exercises were used to acquire common stock at the average market price during the year. For fiscal year 2016, we excluded options and warrants covering 900 common shares from the diluted weighted average share outstanding calculation as the effect of these options and warrants is anti-dilutive. For fiscal year 2015, we excluded options and warrants covering 726 common shares from the diluted weighted average share outstanding calculation as the effect of these options and warrant is anti-dilutive.

 

 

 

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A reconciliation of the denominator in the basic and diluted income (loss) per share is as follows:

 

   For the fiscal year ended 
   December 31,
2016
   January 2,
2016
 
Numerator:        
Net loss attributable to controlling interest  $(1,451)  $(2,717)
Denominator:          
Weighted average common shares outstanding - basic   6,054    5,833 
Warrants   167     
Weighted average common shares outstanding - diluted   6,221    5,833 
           
Net loss per common share:          
Basic  $(0.24)  $(0.47)
Diluted  $(0.23)  $(0.47)

 

Recent Accounting Pronouncements- New Accounting Standards Not Yet Effective:

 

Revenue from Contracts with Customers: In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued guidance creating Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Section 606, “Revenue from Contracts with Customers”. The new section will replace Section 605, “Revenue Recognition” and creates modifications to various other revenue accounting standards for specialized transactions and industries. The section is intended to conform revenue accounting principles with a concurrently issued International Financial Reporting Standards with previously differing treatment between United States practice and those of much of the rest of the world, as well as, to enhance disclosures related to disaggregated revenue information. The updated guidance is effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017, and interim periods within that reporting period. Early application is permitted only as of annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016, including interim periods within that reporting period. The Company will further study the implications of this statement in order to evaluate the expected impact on its consolidated financial statements.

 

ASU 2015-03, Simplifying the Presentation of Debt Issuance Costs: This standard, which will be effective January 3, 2016 for the Company, requires that debt issuance costs be presented as a direct deduction from the carrying amount of long-term debt on the balance sheet. The new guidance aligns the presentation of debt issuance costs with debt discounts and premiums. The standard is to be applied retrospectively to all prior periods presented. The company has adopted this standard in the fourth quarter of 2016. As of December 31, 2016, and January 2, 2016, we had $779 and $67, respectively, of unamortized debt issuance costs recorded and/or reclassified as a direct deduction from the carrying value of long-term debt on our balance sheets.

 

In July 2015, the FASB issued ASU 2015-11, Inventory (Topic 330) Related to Simplifying the Measurement of Inventory which applies to all inventory except that which is measured using last-in, first-out (LIFO) or the retail inventory method. Inventory measured using first-in, first-out (FIFO) or average cost is included in the new amendments. Inventory within the scope of the new guidance should be measured at the lower of cost and net realizable value. Net realizable value is the estimated selling prices in the ordinary course of business, less reasonably predictable costs of completion, disposal, and transportation. Subsequent measurement is unchanged for inventory measured using LIFO or the retail inventory method. The amendments will take effect for public business entities for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2016, including interim periods within those fiscal years. The new guidance should be applied prospectively, and earlier application is permitted as of the beginning of an interim or annual reporting period. We are evaluating the impact of the standard on the consolidated financial statements.

 

In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02, “Leases.” ASU No. 2016-02 was issued to increase transparency and comparability among organizations by recognizing all lease transactions (with terms in excess of 12 months) on the balance sheet as a lease liability and a right-of-use asset (as defined). ASU No. 2016-02 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, including interim periods within those fiscal years, with earlier application permitted. Upon adoption, the lessee will apply the new standard retrospectively to all periods presented or retrospectively using a cumulative effect adjustment in the year of adoption. The Company is currently assessing the effect that ASU No. 2016-02 will have on its results of operations, financial position and cash flows.

 

 

 

 

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3.             Variable Interest Entity

 

The financial position and results of operations of AAP are consolidated in our financial statements based on our conclusion that AAP is a variable interest entity due to our contribution of 50% of the total equity, subordinated debt and other forms of financial support. We have a controlling financial interest in AAP and have provided substantially all of the financial support to fund the operations of AAP since its inception. The financial position and results of operations for AAP are reported in our recycling segment.

 

The following table summarizes the assets and liabilities of AAP as of December 31, 2016 and January 2, 2016:

 

   December 31,
2016
   January 2,
2016
 
Assets          
Current assets  $438   $696 
Property and equipment, net   7,322    8,077 
Other assets   83    142 
Total assets  $7,843   $8,915 
Liabilities          
Accounts payable  $1,388   $2,342 
Accrued expenses   523    399 
Current maturities of long-term debt obligations   3,558    946 
Long-term debt obligations, net of current maturities   435    3,498 
Other liabilities (a)   1,126    289 
Total liabilities  $7,030   $7,474 

 

(a) Other liabilities represent outstanding loans from ARCA and are eliminated in consolidation.

 

The following table summarizes the operating results of AAP for fiscal years 2016 and 2015:

 

   For the fiscal years ended 
   December 31,
2016
   January 2,
2016
 
Revenues  $6,697   $6,838 
Gross profit (loss)   1,305    (280)
Operating loss   (363)   (2,205)

 

4.             Other Assets

 

Other assets as of December 31, 2016 and January 2, 2016, consist of the following:

 

   December 31,
2016
   January 2,
2016
 
Deposits  $453   $416 
Other   104    122 
Recycling contract, net   19    20 
Goodwill   38    38 
Total other assets  $614   $596 

 

For fiscal years 2016 and 2015, we recorded amortization expense of $21 and $80, respectively, related to our finite intangible assets.

 

 

 

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5.             Accrued Expenses

 

Accrued expenses as of December 31, 2016 and January 2, 2016, consist of the following:

 

   December 31,
2016
   January 2,
2016
 
Sales tax estimates, including interest  $4,203   $4,804 
Compensation and benefits   2,431    1,446 
Accrued rebate and incentive checks   358    293 
Accrued rent   263    235 
Warranty   26    42 
Accrued payables   570    749 
Deferred revenue   227    413 
Other   810    952 
Total accrued expenses  $8,888   $8,934 

 

6.             Line of Credit

 

We have a Revolving Credit, Term Loan and Security Agreement, as amended, (“Revolving Credit Agreement”) with PNC Bank, National Association (“PNC”) that provides us with a $15,000 revolving line of credit. See Note 7 for further discussion regarding the Term Loan entered into with PNC. The Revolving Credit Agreement had a stated maturity date of January 31, 2017, and was amended on January 31, 2017. Our financial covenants were reset in connection with this amendment. The renewed Revolving Credit Agreement has an amended maturity of May 1, 2017. The Revolving Credit Agreement includes a lockbox agreement and a subjective acceleration clause and, as a result, we have classified the revolving line of credit as a current liability. The Revolving Credit Agreement is collateralized by a security interest in substantially all of our assets, and PNC is also secured by an inventory repurchase agreement with Whirlpool Corporation for Whirlpool purchases only. We also issued a $750 letter of credit in favor of Whirlpool Corporation. The Revolving Credit Agreement requires, starting with the fiscal quarter ending March 30, 2014, and continuing at the end of each quarter thereafter, that we meet a minimum earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and/or a fixed charge coverage ratio of 1.1 to 1.0. The Revolving Credit Agreement limits investments we can purchase, the amount of other debt and leases we can incur, the amount of loans we can issue to our affiliates and the amount we can spend on fixed assets, along with prohibiting the payment of dividends. In the January 31, 2017 amendment, the affiliate loan balance is to be capped at $900 on December 31, 2016, and thereafter. As of December 31, 2016, we were not in compliance with certain covenants of the Revolving Credit Agreement which were subsequently waived with the January 31, 2017 amendment. As of January 2, 2016, we were not in compliance with certain covenants of the Revolving Credit Agreement which were subsequently waived with the January 22, 2016 renewal.

 

The interest rate on the Revolving Credit Agreement, in our renewal agreement on January 31, 2017, is PNC Base Rate plus 1.75% to 3.25%, or 1-, 2- or 3-month PNC LIBOR Rate plus 2.75% to 4.25%, with the rate being dependent on our level of fixed charge coverage. The PNC Base Rate shall mean, for any day, a fluctuating per annum rate of interest equal to the highest of (i) the interest rate per annum announced from time to time by PNC at its prime rate, (ii) the Federal Funds Open Rate plus 0.5%, and (iii) the one-month LIBOR rate plus 1%. As of December 31, 2016, the weighted average interest rate was 9.00%, which was the PNC Base Rate plus a default rate premium. As of January 2, 2016, the weighted average interest rate was 7.25%, which was the PNC Base Rate plus a default rate premium. As of December 31, 2016, and January 2, 2016, the outstanding balance under the Revolving Credit Agreement was $10,333 and $12,668, respectively. As disclosed by the Company in Item 2.01 of its Current Report on Form 8-K filed on January 31, 2017, the Company sold and leased back its Compton building over an initial lease term of six months which can be terminated with a 30 day notice. The net proceeds from the sale were used to reduce the outstanding balance under our revolving credit agreement to $5,752. The amount of revolving borrowings under the Revolving Credit Agreement is based on a formula using accounts receivable and inventories. We may not have access to the full $15,000 revolving line of credit due to the formula using accounts receivable and inventories, the amount of the letter of credit issued in favor of Whirlpool Corporation and the amount of outstanding loans between PNC and our AAP joint venture. As of December 31, 2016, and January 2, 2016, our available borrowing capacity under the Revolving Credit Agreement was $3,234 and $1,382, respectively.

 

 

 

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7.          Borrowings

 

Long-term debt, capital lease and other financing obligations as of December 31, 2016 and January 2, 2016 consist of the following:

 

   December 31,
2016
   January 2,
2016
 
PNC term loan  $1,020   $1,275 
Susquehanna term loans   3,242    3,242 
8.00% notes   582     
2.75% note, due in monthly installments of $3, including interest, due October 2024, collateralized by equipment   287    319 
Capital leases and other financing obligations   567    988 
Debt issuance costs, net   (779)   (67)
Total debt obligations   4,919    5,757 
Less current maturities   2,093    1,251 
Long-term debt obligations, net of current maturities  $2,826   $4,506 

 

On January 24, 2011, we entered into a $2,550 term loan (“Term Loan”) with PNC Bank to finance the mortgage on our California facility. The Term Loan is payable as follows, subject to acceleration upon the occurrence of an event of default or termination of the Revolving Credit Agreement: 119 consecutive monthly principal payments of $21 plus interest commencing on February 1, 2011, and continuing on the first day of each month thereafter followed by a 120th payment of all unpaid principal, interest and fees on February 1, 2021. The Term Loan is collateralized with our California facility located in Compton, California. As disclosed by the Company in Item 2.01 of its Current Report on Form 8-K filed on January 31, 2017, the Company sold and leased back its Compton building over an initial lease term of six months which can be terminated with a 30 day notice. The net proceeds from the sale were used to pay down our term loan with PNC Bank, National Association in full. The Term Loan interest rate is PNC Base Rate plus 2.25% to 3.75%, or 1-, 2- or 3-month PNC LIBOR Rate plus 3.25% to 4.75% with the rate being dependent on our level of fixed charge coverage. The interest rate will be fixed for the first half of 2016 at PNC Base Rate plus 3.75%, or 1-, 2- or 3-month PNC LIBOR Rate plus 4.75%. As of December 31, 2016, the weighted average interest rate was 9.50%, which was the PNC Base Rate plus a default rate premium. As of January 2, 2016, the weighted average interest rate was 7.75%, which was the PNC Base Rate plus a default rate premium.

 

On March 10, 2011, AAP entered into three separate commercial term loans (“Term Loans”) with Susquehanna Bank, pursuant to the guidelines of the U.S. Small Business Administration 7(a) Loan Program. The total amount of the Term Loans is $4,750, split into three separate loans for $2,100, $1,400 and $1,250. The Term Loans mature in ten years and bear an interest rate of Prime plus 2.75%. As of both December 31, 2016, and January 2, 2016, the interest rate was 6.00%. The total monthly interest and principal payments are $54 and began on July 1, 2011. Borrowings under the Term Loans are secured by substantially all of the assets of AAP along with liens on the business assets and certain personal assets of the owners of 4301 Operations, LLC. We are a guarantor of the Term Loans along with 4301 Operations, LLC and its owners. In connection with these Term Loans, Susquehanna Bank also has a security interest in the assets of the Company.

 

In March of 2015, an entity controlled by the noncontrolling interest holders of AAP loaned AAP $325 through the issuance of promissory notes. The notes bear interest at an annual rate of 8%. In May of 2015, one of the March 2015 notes totaling $125 was repaid in full by AAP. The remaining note totaling $200 was repaid with the revenues expected during the third quarter of 2016 from the disposal of refrigerants through carbon offset programs.

 

On November 8, 2016, the Company entered into a securities purchase agreement with Energy Efficiency Investments, LLC, pursuant to which the Company agreed to issue up to $7,732 principal amount of 3% Original Issue Discount Senior Convertible Promissory Notes of the Company and related common stock purchase warrants. The notes will be issued from time to time, up to such aggregate principal amount, at the request of the Company, subject to certain conditions, or at the option of the Investor. Interest accrues at the rate of eight percent per annum on the principal amount of the notes outstanding from time to time, and is payable at maturity or, if earlier, upon conversion of the notes. The principal amount of notes outstanding at December 31, 2016, was $100.

 

The future annual maturities of borrowings are as follows:

 

   ARCA   AAP   Total 
Fiscal year 2017  $748   $1,037   $1,785 
Fiscal year 2018   18    685    703 
Fiscal year 2019   9    708    717 
Fiscal year 2020       661    661 
Fiscal year 2021   103    503    606 
Total future maturities of borrowings  $878   $3,594   $4,472 

  

Capital leases and other financing obligations: We acquire certain equipment under capital leases and other financing obligations. The cost of such equipment was approximately $2,601 and $2,606 as of December 31, 2016, and January 2, 2016. Accumulated amortization as of December 31, 2016, and January 2, 2016, was approximately $1,771 and $1,635, respectively. Depreciation and amortization expense for equipment under capital leases and other financing obligations is included in cost of revenues and selling, general and administrative expenses.

 

 

 

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The following schedule by fiscal year is the approximate remaining minimum payments required under the capital leases and other financing obligations, together with the present value as of December 31, 2016:

 

   ARCA   AAP   Total 
Fiscal year 2017  $27   $176   $203 
Fiscal year 2018   20    161    181 
Fiscal year 2019   11    76    87 
Fiscal year 2020            
Total minimum lease and other financing obligation payments   58    413    471 
Less amount representing interest   3    21    24 
Present value of minimum payments   55    392    447 
Less current portion   25    283    308 
Capital lease and other financing obligations, net of current portion  $30   $109   $139 

 

8.          Commitments and Contingencies

 

Operating leases: We lease the majority of our retail stores and recycling centers under noncancelable operating leases. The leases typically require the payment of taxes, maintenance, utilities and insurance.

 

Minimum future rental commitments under noncancelable operating leases as of December 31, 2016, are as follows:

 

   ARCA   AAP   Total 
Fiscal year 2017  $4,618   $464   $5,082 
Fiscal year 2018   3,572    467    4,039 
Fiscal year 2019   2,355    488    2,843 
Fiscal year 2020   1,917    468    2,385 
Fiscal year 2021   2,160    28    2,188 
Thereafter   1,214        1,214 
Total minimum future rental commitments  $15,836   $1,915   $17,751 

 

Rent expense for fiscal years 2016 and 2015 was $4,841 and $5,300, respectively. We have agreements to receive future sublease payments of $655 through September 2019.

 

Contracts: We have entered into material contracts with three appliance manufacturers. Under the agreements there are no minimum purchase commitments; however, we have agreed to indemnify the manufacturers for certain claims, allegations or losses with respect to appliances we sell.

 

Litigation:  On March 6, 2015, a complaint was filed in United States District Court for the Central District of California by Jason Feola, individually and as a representative of a putative class consisting of purchasers of the Company’s common stock between March 15, 2012 and February 11, 2015, against Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc. and certain current and former officers of the Company. Mr. Feola, pursuant to terms of his retainer agreement with The Rosen Law Firm, certified that he purchased 240 shares of the Company’s common stock for $984 in total consideration. On May 7, 2015, the Company and the individual defendants were served the complaint. In July 2015, the Company and the individual defendants received an amended complaint. The complaint alleges that misstatements and omissions occurred in press releases and filings by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission and that these misstatements or omissions constitute violations of Section 20 (a) and Section 10(b) of, and Rule 10b-5 under, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  In October 2015, the court held a hearing on the Company's motion to dismiss the complaint. On November 24, 2015, the United States District Court for the Central District of California entered an order granting the motion to dismiss the amended complaint. The Court’s order provided that the dismissal was without prejudice and that the plaintiffs may file an amended complaint within 21 days of the issuance of the order. On December 15, 2015, the Company and the individual defendants were served with a second amended complaint. In May 2016, the court held a hearing on the Company’s motion to dismiss the second amended complaint. On October 21, 2016 the court entered a final judgement to dismiss the class action complaint with prejudice.

 

 

 

 

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On November 6, 2015, a complaint was filed in the Minnesota District Court for Hennepin County, Minnesota, by David Gray and Michael Boller, purporting to bring suit derivatively and on behalf of the Company against twelve current and former officers and directors of the Company. The complaint alleges that the defendants breached their fiduciary duties based on substantially similar allegations to those asserted in Mr. Feola's putative securities class action complaint, and that the defendants have been unjustly enriched as a result thereof. The complaint seeks damages, disgorgement, an award of attorneys’ fees and other expenses, and an order compelling changes to the Company’s corporate governance and internal procedures. This matter has been stayed by the court, pursuant to a stipulation of the parties, until the United States District Court for the Central District of California determines the legal sufficiency of Mr. Feola's complaint or other specified developments occur in that case. This matter has been submitted to our insurance carriers.

 

Given the uncertainty of litigation and the preliminary stage of these cases, we cannot reasonably estimate the possible loss or range of loss that may result from these actions. The Company maintains liability insurance policies that may reduce the Company’s exposure, if any.

 

In February 2012, various individuals commenced a class action lawsuit against Whirlpool Corporation (“Whirlpool”) and various distributors of Whirlpool products, including Sears, The Home Depot, Lowe’s and us, alleging certain appliances Whirlpool sold through its distribution chain, which includes us, were improperly designated with the ENERGY STAR® qualification rating established by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.  The claims against us include breach of warranty claims, as well as various state consumer protection claims.  The amount of the claim is, as yet, undetermined.  Whirlpool has offered to fully indemnify and defend its distributors in this lawsuit, including us, and has engaged legal counsel to defend itself and the distributors.  We are monitoring Whirlpool’s defense of the claims and believe the possibility of a material loss is remote.

 

AMTIM Capital, Inc. (“AMTIM”) acts as our representative to market our recycling services in Canada under an arrangement that pays AMTIM for revenues generated by recycling services in Canada as set forth in the agreements between the parties.  A dispute has arisen between AMTIM and us with respect to the calculation of amounts due to AMTIM pursuant to the agreement.  In a lawsuit filed in the province of Ontario, AMTIM claims a discrepancy in the calculation of fees due to AMTIM by us of approximately $2.0 million.  Although the outcome of this claim is uncertain, we believe that no further amounts are due under the terms of the agreement and that we will continue to defend our position relative to this lawsuit.

 

We are party from time to time to ordinary course disputes that we do not believe to be material or have merit.  We intend to vigorously defend ourselves against these ordinary course disputes.

 

Sales and Use Taxes: We operate in twenty-three states in the U.S. and in various provinces in Canada. From time to time, we are subject to sales and use tax audits that could result in additional taxes, penalties and interest owed to various taxing authorities.

 

As previously disclosed, the California Board of Equalization (“BOE”) is conducting a sales and use tax examination covering the California operations of Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc. (the “Company”) for 2011, 2012 and 2013. The Company believed it was exempt from collecting sales taxes under service agreements with utility customers that included appliance replacement programs. During the fourth quarter of 2014, the Company received communication from the BOE indicating they are not in agreement with the Company’s interpretation of the law. As a result, the Company applied for and, as of February 9, 2015, received approval to participate in the California Board of Equalization’s Managed Audit Program. The period covered under this program includes 2011, 2012, 2013 and extends through the nine-month period ended September 30, 2014. At this time, our best estimate of the amount that will be assessed by the BOE covering all periods under audit is approximately $4.2 million ($2.6 million net of income tax benefit) in sales tax and interest related to the appliance replacement programs that we administered on behalf of our customers on which we did not assess, collect or remit sales tax. The Company has been working with outside consultants to arrive at our assessment estimate and will continue to engage the services of these sales tax experts throughout the Managed Audit Program process. The sales tax amounts that we will likely be assessed relate to transactions in the period under examination by the BOE. Such assessment, however, will be subject to protest and appeal, and would not need to be funded until the matter has been fully resolved. Resolution could take up to two years.

 

9.          Income Taxes

 

For fiscal year 2016, we recorded an income tax benefit of $49. For fiscal year 2015, we recorded an income tax benefit of $1,714. As of December 31, 2016, we maintained a valuation allowance of $1,011 against our net operating loss carryforwards, foreign tax credits and all deferred tax assets in Canada, principally net operating losses. During the second quarter of 2016, we concluded, based upon the assessment of all available evidence that it was more-likely-than-not that we would not be able to realize a portion of our U.S. deferred tax assets in the future. As a result, a valuation allowance of $405 was placed on the overall U.S. net deferred tax asset.

 

 

 

 45 

 

 

The benefit of income taxes for fiscal years 2016 and 2015 consisted of the following:

 

   For the fiscal years ended 
   December 31, 2016   January 2, 2016 
Current tax expense (benefit):          
Federal  $12   $(855)
State   36    (18)
Foreign       (229)
Current tax expense (benefit)  $48   $(1,102)
Deferred tax expense — domestic   (97)   (831)
Deferred tax expense — foreign       219 
Benefit of income taxes  $(49)  $(1,714)

 

A reconciliation of our benefit of income taxes with the federal statutory tax rate for fiscal years 2016 and 2015 is shown below:

 

   For the fiscal years ended 
   December 31, 2016   January 2, 2016 
Income tax expense at statutory rate  $(617)   (1,920)
Portion attributable to noncontrolling interest at statutory rate   107    413 
State tax expense, net of federal tax effect   (69)   (288)
Permanent differences   20    83 
Change in valuation allowance   414    (7)
Recognition of tax effect for the cumulative undistributed earnings from Canada       (16)
Other   95    21 
    (49)   (1,714)

 

Loss before benefit of income taxes and noncontrolling interest was derived from the following sources for fiscal years 2016 and 2015 as shown below:

 

   For the fiscal years ended 
   December 31,
2016
   January 2,
2016
 
United States  $(1,677)  $(5,452)
Canada   (137)   (194)
   $(1,814)  $(5,646)

 

The components of net deferred tax assets (liabilities) as of December 31, 2016 and January 2, 2016, are as follows:

 

   December 31,
2016
   January 2,
2016
 
Deferred tax assets:          
Net operating loss carryforwards  $794   $520 
Federal and state tax credits   476    442 
Reserves   240    218 
Accrued expenses   2,015    1,964 
Share-based compensation   355    352 
Accumulated other comprehensive loss   361    361 
Property and equipment   8    191 
Unrealized Currency Exchange   238     
Other   161    166 
Total deferred tax assets   4,648    4,214 
Deferred tax liabilities:          
Prepaid expenses   (56)   (89)
Property and equipment   (162)   (138)
Investments   (1,269)   (1,269)
Other   (69)   (137)
Total deferred tax liabilities   (1,556)   (1,633)
Valuation allowance   (1,011)   (597)
Net deferred tax assets  $2,081   $1,984 

 

 46 

 

 

The deferred tax amounts have been classified in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets as follows:

 

   December 31,
2016
   January 2,
2016
 
Current assets  $   $ 
Non-current assets   2,081    1,984 
Non-current liabilities        
   $2,081   $1,984 

 

In November 2015, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2015-17, “Income Taxes” which simplifies the balance sheet presentation of deferred income taxes. The Company has adopted the provisions of the standard for its 2016 consolidated financial statements including retroactive reclassifications of the $1,657 current deferred income tax asset as of January 2, 2016 to a non-current deferred income tax asset. This reclassification does not have a significant impact on the Company’s consolidated balance sheet and has no effect on the net loss.

 

Future utilization of net operating loss (“NOL”) and tax credit carryforwards is subject to certain limitations under provisions of Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”). This section relates to a 50 percent change in control over a three-year period. We believe that the issuance of common stock during 1999 resulted in an “ownership change” under Section 382. Accordingly, our ability to utilize NOL and tax credit carryforwards generated prior to February 1999 is limited to approximately $56 per year.

 

As of December 31, 2016, we had a foreign tax credit carryforward of $256 and a federal NOL of $209 not subject Section 382 of the IRC. We also had state NOL carryforwards of $425.  The state NOL carryforwards are available to offset future taxable income or reduce taxes payable through 2030.  These state loss carryforwards began expiring in 2011. In Canada, we had federal and provincial NOL carryforwards of $85.

 

We recognize the financial statement benefit of a tax position only after determining that the relevant tax authority would more-likely-than-not sustain the position. For tax positions meeting the more-likely-than-not threshold, the amount recognized in the financial statements is the largest benefit that has a greater than 50% percent likelihood of being realized upon ultimate settlement with the relevant tax authority. As of December 31, 2016 and January 2, 2016, we did not have any material uncertain tax positions.

 

It is our practice to recognize interest related to income tax matters as a component of interest expense and penalties as a component of selling, general and administrative expense. As of December 31, 2016 and January 2, 2016, we had an immaterial amount of accrued interest and penalties.

 

We are subject to income taxes in the U.S. federal jurisdiction, foreign jurisdictions and various state jurisdictions. Tax regulations from each jurisdiction are subject to the interpretation of the related tax laws and regulations and require significant judgment to apply. With few exceptions, we are no longer subject to U.S. federal, foreign, state or local income tax examinations by tax authorities for the years before 2012. We are not currently under examination by any taxing jurisdiction.

 

We had no significant unrecognized tax benefits as of December 31, 2016, that would reasonably be expected to affect our effective tax rate during the next twelve months.

 

10.          Shareholders’ Equity

 

Common Stock: During fiscal year 2016, 50 shares of common stock were granted from the 2011 Stock Compensation Plan (the “2011 Plan”) to the Company’s CEO and the corresponding fair value of $62 was included in share-based compensation. 85 shares of common stock were granted from the 2011 Plan to a contractor in lieu of professional services. 620 shares of common stock were granted and issued for entering into a convertible note agreement. During fiscal year 2015, stock options to purchase 13 shares of common stock were exercised that resulted in cash proceeds of $24 and had an intrinsic value of $10. In 2015, 100 shares of common stock were granted from the 2011 Plan to the Company's then CEO and the corresponding fair value of $114 was included in share-based compensation.

 

 

 

 47 

 

 

Stock options: The 2016 Plan authorizes the granting of awards in any of the following forms: (i) incentive stock options, (ii) nonqualified stock options, (iii) restricted stock awards, and (iv) restricted stock units, and expires on the earlier of October 28, 2026, or the date that all shares reserved under the 2016 Plan are issued or no longer available. The 2016 Plan provides for the issuance of up to 2,000 shares of common stock pursuant to awards granted under the 2016 Plan. Options granted to employees typically vest over two years, while grants to non-employee directors vest in six months. As of December 31, 2016, 20 options were outstanding under the 2016 Plan. Our 2011 Plan authorizes the granting of awards in any of the following forms: (i) stock options, (ii) stock appreciation rights, and (iii) other share-based awards, including but not limited to, restricted stock, restricted stock units or performance shares, and expires on the earlier of May 12, 2021, or the date that all shares reserved under the 2011 Plan are issued or no longer available. Options granted to employees typically vest over two years, while grants to non-employee directors vest in six months. As of December 31, 2016, 485 options were outstanding under the 2011 Plan. No additional awards will be granted under the 2011 Plan after the adoption of the 2016 Plan. Our 2006 Stock Option Plan (the “2006 Plan”) expired on June 30, 2011, but the options outstanding under the 2006 Plan continue to be exercisable in accordance with their terms. As of December 31, 2016, 206 options were outstanding to employees and non-employee directors under the 2006 Plan. We issue new common stock when stock options are exercised. The Company periodically grants stock options that vest based upon the achievement of performance targets. For performance based options, the Company evaluates the likelihood of the targets being met and records the expense over the probable vesting period.

 

The fair value of each option grant is estimated on the date of grant using the Black-Scholes option pricing model with the following weighted-average assumptions for fiscal years 2016 and 2015:

 

   For the fiscal years ended 
   December 31,
2016
   January 2,
2016
 
Expected dividend yield        
Expected stock price volatility   85.44%    84.80% 
Risk-free interest rate   2.16%    2.16% 
Expected life of options (years)   10.00    10.00 

 

Additional information relating to all outstanding options is as follows (in thousands, except per share data):

 

   Options
Outstanding
   Weighted
Average
Exercise
Price
   Aggregate
Intrinsic
Value
   Weighted Average Remaining Contractual Life 
Balance at January 3, 2015   905   $3.25           
Granted   130    1.33           
Exercised   (12)   1.89           
Cancelled/expired   (173)   4.63           
Forfeited   (70)   2.67           
Balance at January 2, 2016   780    2.70   $    5.23 
Granted   30    1.05           
Cancelled/expired   (51)   0.88           
Forfeited   (49)   2.85           
Balance at December 31, 2016   710   $2.62   $    4.66 
                     
Options exercisable at December 31, 2016   651   $2.67   $      

 

 

The weighted average fair value per option of options granted during fiscal years 2016 and 2015 was $0.88 and $1.12, respectively. We recognized share-based compensation expense of $245 and $316 for fiscal years 2016 and 2015, respectively.  The aggregate intrinsic value in the preceding table represents the total pre-tax intrinsic value, based on our closing stock price of $1.12 on December 31, 2016, which theoretically could have been received by the option holders had all option holders exercised their options as of that date.  As of December 31, 2016, there were no in-the-money options exercisable.

 

 

 

 48 

 

 

Based on the value of options outstanding as of December 31, 2016, estimated future share-based compensation expense is as follows:

 

Fiscal year 2017  $32 
Fiscal year 2018    
   $32 

 

The estimate above does not include any expense for additional options that may be granted and vest during 2017.

 

Warrants:  On November 8, 2016, we issued a warrant to Energy Efficiency Investments, LLC (EEI) to purchase 167 shares of common stock at a price of $0.68 per share. The fair value of the warrant issued was $106 and it was exercisable in full at any time during a term of five years. The fair value per share of common stock underlying the warrant issued to EEI was $0.63 based on our closing stock price of $0.95. The exercise price may be reduced and the number of shares of common stock that may be purchased under the warrant may be increased if the Company issues or sells additional shares of common stock at a price lower than the then-current warrant exercise price or the then-current market price of the common stock. The shares underlying the warrant include legal restrictions regarding the transfer or sale of the shares. The fair value of the EEI warrant was recorded as deferred financing costs and is being amortized over the term of the commitment.

 

As of December 31, 2016, we had fully vested warrants outstanding to purchase 24 shares of common stock at a price of $3.55 per share and expire in May 2020 and 167 share of common stock at a price of $0.68 per share.

 

Preferred Stock: Our amended Articles of Incorporation authorize two million shares of preferred stock that may be issued from time to time in one or more series having such rights, powers, preferences and designations as the Board of Directors may determine. To date no such preferred shares have been issued.

 

11.          Major Customers and Suppliers

 

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, no customer represented more than 10% of our total revenues. For the fiscal year ended January 2, 2016, no customer represented more than 10% of our total revenues. As of December 31, 2016, two customers, each represented more than 10% of our total trade receivables, for a total of 25% of our total trade receivables. As of January 2, 2016, two customers, each represented more than 10% of our total trade receivables, for a total of 39% of our total trade receivables.

 

During the two fiscal years ended December 31, 2016 and January 2, 2016, we purchased a vast majority of appliances for resale from three suppliers.  We have and are continuing to secure other vendors from which to purchase appliances. However, the curtailment or loss of one of these suppliers or any appliance supplier could adversely affect our operations.

 

12.          Segment Information

 

We operate within targeted markets through two reportable segments: retail and recycling. The retail segment is comprised of income generated through our ApplianceSmart stores, which includes appliance sales and byproduct revenues from collected appliances. The recycling segment includes all fees charged and costs incurred for collecting, recycling and installing appliances for utilities and other customers. The recycling segment also includes byproduct revenue, which is primarily generated through the recycling of appliances and includes all revenues from AAP. The nature of products, services and customers for both segments varies significantly.  As such, the segments are managed separately. Our Chief Executive Officer has been identified as the Chief Operating Decision Maker (“CODM”).  The CODM evaluates performance and allocates resources based on sales and income from operations of each segment. Income from operations represents revenues less cost of revenues and operating expenses, including certain allocated selling, general and administrative costs.  There are no inter-segment sales or transfers.

 

The decrease in recycling segment revenues for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, presented in the following table was the result of a decrease in revenues related to appliance replacement programs, recycling programs and a significant decline in byproduct revenues that resulted from decreases in the prices of the byproducts that we sell.

 

 

 

 49 

 

 

The following tables present our segment information for fiscal years 2016 and 2015:

 

   For the fiscal years ended 
   December 31,
2016
   January 2,
2016
 
Revenues:        
Retail  $61,551   $65,637 
Recycling   42,038    46,202 
Total revenues  $103,589   $111,839 
Operating income (loss):          
Retail  $(1,646)  $(1,741)
Recycling   1,101    (2,363)
Total operating income  $(545)  $(4,104)
Cash capital expenditures:          
Retail  $33   $121 
Recycling   342    283 
Total cash capital expenditures  $375   $404 
Depreciation and amortization expense:          
Retail  $216   $197 
Recycling   1,048    1,073 
Total depreciation and amortization expense  $1,264   $1,270 
           
Interest expense:          
Retail  $251   $437 
Recycling   1,168    855 
Total interest expense  $1,419   $1,292 
           
    December 31, 2016    

January 2,

2016

 
Assets:          
Retail  $17,559   $18,088 
Recycling   24,297    28,691 
Total assets  $41,856   $46,779 

 

Certain items have been reclassified from prior year for presentation with no effect to net income.

 

13.          Defined Contribution Plan

 

We have a defined contribution salary deferral plan covering substantially all employees under Section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code. We contribute an amount equal to 10 cents for each dollar contributed by each employee up to a maximum of 5% of each employee’s compensation. We recognized expense for contributions to the plans of $62 and $84 for fiscal years 2016 and 2015, respectively.

 

14.          Related Party

 

Mr. Isaac, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, is the father to Jon Isaac CEO of Live Ventures and managing member of Isaac Capital Group, a 9% shareholder of the Company. The board of directors of the Company and Live Ventures Incorporated have common directors: Tony Isaac, Richard Butler and Dennis Gao. ARCA Recycling sub-leases call center space from Live Ventures in Las Vegas, NV. Total amount of sublease rent was $35 for year ending December 31, 2016.

 

15.          Subsequent Event

 

The Company sold and leased back its Compton building over an initial lease term of six months which can be terminated with a 30 day notice. The net proceeds from the sale were used to pay down our term and revolving loans with PNC Bank, National Association.

 

 

 

 

 50 

 

 

ITEM 9.  CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

 

None.

 

ITEM 9A. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

 

Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures

 

Disclosure controls and procedures are defined by Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act") as controls and other procedures that are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by us in the reports that we file or submit under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in applicable rules and forms and that such information is accumulated and communicated to management, including our Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and Acting Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”), in a manner that allows timely decisions regarding required disclosure.

 

Under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Acting Chief Financial Officer, we evaluated the effectiveness of the design and operation of our disclosure controls and procedures (as defined in Rule 13a-15(e) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”)). Based upon that evaluation, our CEO and CFO concluded that, as of December 31, 2016, our disclosure controls and procedures were effective.

 

Management’s Report on Internal Controls Over Financial Reporting

 

Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting, as that term is defined in Exchange Act Rule 13a-15(f). Our internal control system was designed to provide reasonable assurance to our management and Board of Directors regarding the preparation and fair presentation of our published consolidated financial statements. All internal control systems, no matter how well designed, have inherent limitations. Therefore, even those systems determined to be effective can provide only reasonable assurance with respect to financial statement preparation and presentation.

 

Under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including our CEO and CFO, we conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2016, based upon the framework in “2013 Internal Control - Integrated Framework” issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (“COSO”). Based on this assessment, management has determined that our internal control over financial reporting was effective as of December 31, 2016.

 

This annual report does not include an attestation report of the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm regarding internal control over financial reporting.  Management’s report was not subject to attestation by the Company’s registered public accounting firm pursuant to rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission that permit the Company to provide only management’s report in this annual report.

 

Changes in Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

 

There have been no changes in our internal control over financial reporting during the fourth quarter of the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.

 

ITEM 9B. OTHER INFORMATION

 

None.

 

 

 

 51 

 

 

PART III

 

ITEM 10. DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

Information regarding directors and executive officers of the Company is set forth under the headings “Nominees” and “Information Concerning Officers and Key Employees Who Are Not Directors” and “Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance” to be included in our 2017 Proxy Statement, is incorporated herein by reference into this section.

 

Code of Ethics

 

Our Audit Committee has adopted a code of ethics applicable to our directors and officers (including our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer) and other of our senior executives and employees in accordance with applicable rules and regulations of the SEC and The NASDAQ Stock Market. A copy of the code of ethics may be obtained upon request, without charge, by addressing a request to Investor Relations, ARCA, Inc., 175 Jackson Avenue North, Suite 102, Minneapolis, MN 55343. The code of ethics is also posted on our website at www.ArcaInc.com under “Investor Relations — Corporate Governance.”

 

We intend to satisfy the disclosure requirement under Item 10 of Form 8-K regarding the amendment to, or waiver from, a provision of the code of ethics by posting such information on our website at the address and location specified above and, to the extent required by the listing standards of the NASDAQ Capital Market, by filing a Current Report on Form 8-K with the SEC disclosing such information.

 

ITEM 11. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

 

Information regarding executive compensation is set forth under the heading “Executive Compensation” to be included in our 2017 Proxy Statement, is incorporated herein by reference into this section.

 

ITEM 12.  SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED SHAREHOLDER MATTERS

 

Information regarding security ownership of certain beneficial owners and management is set forth under the heading “Common Stock Ownership” to be included in our 2017 Proxy Statement, is incorporated herein by reference into this section.

 

The following table gives aggregate information under our equity compensation plans as of December 31, 2016:

 

   (a)   (b)   (c) 
   Number of Securities to be Issued Upon Exercise of Outstanding Options and Warrants   Weighted Average Exercise Price of Outstanding Options, Warrants and Rights   Number of Securities Available for Future Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans, Excluding Securities Reflected in Column (a) 
Equity compensation plans approved by shareholders   710,250   $2.62    1,980,000 
Equity compensation plans not approved by shareholders   23,500   $3.55     
Total   733,750   $2.65    1,980,000 

 

ITEM 13.  CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE

 

Information regarding director independence and certain relationships and related transactions is set forth under the headings “Director Independence” and “Review, Approval or Ratification of Transactions with Related Persons” to be included in our 2017 Proxy Statement, is incorporated herein by reference into this section.

 

ITEM 14. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTING FEES AND SERVICES

 

Information regarding principal accounting fees and services is set forth under the heading “Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm” to be included in our 2017 Proxy Statement, is incorporated herein by reference into this section.

 

 

 

 52 

 

 

PART IV

 

ITEM 15. EXHIBITS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES

 

(a)   Financial Statements, Financial Statement Schedules and Exhibits
    1     Financial Statements
        See Index to Financial Statements under Item 8 of this report.
    2     Financial Statement Schedules
        None.
    3     Exhibits
        See Index to Exhibits

 

 

 

 

 53 

 

 

SIGNATURES

 

Pursuant to the requirements of Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Registrant has duly caused this Report to be signed on our behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.

 

March 31, 2017 APPLIANCE RECYCLING CENTERS OF AMERICA, INC.
(Registrant)
     
  By /s/ Tony Isaac
    Tony Isaac
    Chief Executive Officer

 

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, this Report has been signed by the following persons on behalf of the Registrant and in the capacities and on the dates indicated.

 

Signature   Title   Date
         
Principal Executive Officer        
/s/ Tony Isaac   Chief Executive Officer   March 31, 2017
Tony Isaac        
         
Principal Financial and Accounting Officer        
/s/ Tony Isaac   Acting Chief Financial Officer   March 31, 2017
Tony Isaac        
         
Directors        
/s/ Tony Isaac   Director   March 31, 2017
Tony Isaac        
         
/s/ Richard Butler   Director   March 31, 2017
Richard Butler        
         
/s/ Dennis Gao   Director   March 31, 2017
Dennis Gao        
         
/s/ Timothy Matula   Director   March 31, 2017
Timothy Matula        

 

 

 

 54 

 

 

Index to Exhibits

 

Exhibit

No.

  Description
3.1+   Restated Articles of Incorporation of Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc. as amended January 24, 2017
3.2   Bylaws of Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc. as amended December 26, 2007 [filed as Exhibit 3.2 to the Company’s Form 8-K filed on January 2, 2008 (File No. 0-19621) and incorporated herein by reference].
10.1*   2006 Stock Option Plan [filed as Exhibit 99.1 to the Company’s Registration Statement on Form S-8 (File No. 333-163804) and incorporated herein by reference].
10.2*   2011 Stock Compensation Plan [filed as Exhibit 99.1 to the Company’s Registration Statement on Form S-8 (File No. 333-176591) and incorporated herein by reference].
10.3*+   2016 Equity Incentive Plan.
10.4   Revolving Credit, Term Loan and Security Agreement dated January 24, 2011, between PNC Bank, National Association and the Company [filed as Exhibit No. 10.11 to the Company’s Form 10-K for the year ended January 1, 2011 (File No. 0-19621) and incorporated herein by reference].
10.5   Amendment No. 1, dated December 30, 2011, to Revolving Credit, Term Loan and Security Agreement dated January 24, 2011, between PNC Bank, National Association and the Company [filed as Exhibit No. 10.8 to the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 (File No. 0-19621) and incorporated herein by reference].
10.6   Amendment No. 2, dated March 22, 2012, to Revolving Credit, Term Loan and Security Agreement dated January 24, 2011, between PNC Bank, National Association and the Company [filed as Exhibit No. 10.1 to the Company's Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 (File No. 0-19621) and incorporated herein by reference].
10.7   Amendment No. 3, dated March 14, 2013, to Revolving Credit, Term Loan and Security Agreement dated January 24, 2011, between PNC Bank, National Association and the Company [filed as Exhibit No. 10.10 to the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended December 29, 2012 (File No. 0-19621) and incorporated herein by reference].
10.8   Amendment No. 4, dated September 27, 2013, to Revolving Credit, Term Loan and Security Agreement dated January 24, 2011, between PNC Bank, National Association and the Company [filed as Exhibit No. 10.3 to the Company's Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 28, 2013 (File No. 0-19621) and incorporated herein by reference].
     
10.9   Amendment No. 5, dated January 22, 2016, to Revolving Credit, Term Loan and Security Agreement dated January 24, 2011, between PNC Bank, National Association and the Company.
10.10+   Amendment No. 6, dated January 31, 2017, to Revolving Credit, Term Loan and Security Agreement dated January 24, 2011, between PNC Bank, National Association and the Company.
10.11   Term Loan dated January 24, 2011, between PNC Bank, National Association and ARCA Advanced Processing, LLC [filed as Exhibit No. 10.12 to the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended January 1, 2011 (File No. 0-19621) and incorporated herein by reference].
     
10.12   Term Loan facility dated March 10, 2011, between Susquehanna Bank and ARCA Advanced Processing, LLC, pursuant to the guidelines of the U.S. Small Business Administration 7(a) Loan Program, including $2,100,000 term loan, $1,400,000 term loan and $1,250,000 term loan, guaranties by the Company and others, and security agreements [filed as Exhibit No. 10.13 to the Company’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended April 2, 2011 (File No. 0-19621) and incorporated herein by reference].
10.13   ARCA Advanced Processing, LLC Joint Venture Agreement dated October 20, 2009, between 4301 Operations, LLC and the Company, as amended by Amendment No.1 dated June 3, 2010, and Amendment No. 2 dated February 15, 2011 [filed as Exhibit No. 10.16 to the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended December 28, 2013 (File No. 0-19621) and incorporated herein by reference].

 

 

 

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10.14   Securities Purchase Agreement dated November 8, 2016, between Energy Efficiency Investments, LLC and the Company [filed as Exhibit 10.1 to the Company’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended October 1, 2016 (File No. 0-19621) and incorporated herein by reference].
10.15   Form of 3% Original Issue Discount Senior Convertible Promissory Note issuable under Securities Purchase Agreement dated November 8, 2016, between Energy Efficiency Investments, LLC and the Company [filed as Exhibit 10.2 to the Company’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended October 1, 2016 (File No. 0-19621) and incorporated herein by reference].
10.16  

Form of Common Stock Purchase Warrant issuable under Securities Purchase Agreement dated November 8, 2016, between Energy Efficiency Investments, LLC and the Company [filed as Exhibit 10.3 to the Company’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended October 1, 2016 (File No. 0-19621) and incorporated herein by reference].

10.17+   Standard Offer, Agreement and Escrow Instructions for Purchase of Real Estate dated December 12, 2016, between Terreno Acacia LLC and the Company.
21.1+   Subsidiaries of Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc.
23.1+   Consent of Anton & Chia, LLP, Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm.
23.2+   Consent of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm.

 

31.1+   Certification by Chief Executive Officer pursuant to Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
31.2+   Certification by Chief Financial Officer pursuant to Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
32.1†   Certification by Chief Executive Officer pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 1350, as adopted pursuant to Section 906 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
32.2†   Certification by Chief Financial Officer pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 1350, as adopted pursuant to Section 906 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
101**   The following materials from our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 2, 2016, formatted in Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL): (i) the Consolidated Balance Sheets, (ii) the Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Income, (iii) the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows, (iv) the Consolidated Statements of Shareholders’ Equity, (v) the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, and (vI) document and entity information.
*   Items that are management contracts or compensatory plans or arrangements required to be filed as an exhibit pursuant to Item 14(a)3 of this Form 10-K.
+   Filed herewith.
  Furnished herewith.
  Portions of this exhibit have been omitted pursuant to a request for confidential treatment.
**   Pursuant to Rule 406T of Regulation S-T, the XBRL related information in Exhibit 101 to this Annual Report on Form 10-K shall not be deemed to be “filed” for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act, or otherwise subject to the liability of that section, and shall not be deemed part of a registration statement, prospectus or other document filed under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, except as shall be expressly set forth by specific reference in such filings.

 

 

 

 

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