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EX-21.1 - EX-21.1 - NOW Inc.dnow-ex211_8.htm
EX-32.2 - EX-32.2 - NOW Inc.dnow-ex322_7.htm
EX-32.1 - EX-32.1 - NOW Inc.dnow-ex321_6.htm
EX-31.2 - EX-31.2 - NOW Inc.dnow-ex312_9.htm
EX-31.1 - EX-31.1 - NOW Inc.dnow-ex311_10.htm
EX-23.1 - EX-23.1 - NOW Inc.dnow-ex231_11.htm

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

(Mark one)

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

FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2017

OR

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

Commission file number 001-36325

 

NOW INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

Delaware

 

46-4191184

(State of Incorporation)

 

(IRS Identification No.)

 

7402 North Eldridge Parkway, Houston, Texas 77041

(Address of principal executive offices)

(281) 823-4700

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

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

 

 

Common Stock, par value $.01

 

New York Stock Exchange

 

 

(Title of Class)

 

(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.    Yes      No  

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

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

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, 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 files).    Yes      No  

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

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

 

Large accelerated filer

 

  

Accelerated filer

 

 

 

 

 

Non-accelerated filer

 

  (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)

  

Smaller reporting company

 

Emerging growth company

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

The aggregate market value of common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2017 was $1.7 billion. As of February 7, 2018, there were 108,030,438 shares of the Company’s common stock (excluding 1,489,227 unvested restricted shares) outstanding.

Documents Incorporated by Reference

Portions of the Proxy Statement in connection with the 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated in Part III of this report.

 

 

 


 

NOW INC.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

Page

PART I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 1.

 

BUSINESS

 

3

 

 

 

ITEM 1A.

 

RISK FACTORS

 

9

 

 

 

ITEM 1B.

 

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

22

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 2.

 

PROPERTIES

 

22

 

 

 

ITEM 3.

 

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

22

 

 

 

ITEM 4.

 

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

 

22

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 5.

 

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

 

23

 

 

 

ITEM 6.

 

SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

 

25

 

 

 

ITEM 7.

 

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

25

 

 

 

ITEM 7A.

 

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

41

 

 

 

ITEM 8.

 

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

 

43

 

 

 

ITEM 9.

 

CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

 

43

 

 

 

ITEM 9A.

 

CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

 

43

 

 

 

ITEM 9B.

 

OTHER INFORMATION

 

43

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 10.

 

DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

44

 

 

 

ITEM 11.

 

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

 

44

 

 

 

ITEM 12.

 

SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

 

44

 

 

 

ITEM 13.

 

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE

 

44

 

 

 

ITEM 14.

 

PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES

 

44

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 15.

 

EXHIBITS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES

 

45

 

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FORM 10-K

Note About Forward-Looking Statements

This report includes estimates, projections, statements relating to our business plans, objectives and expected operating results that are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements may appear throughout this report, including the following sections: “Business,” “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words “may,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “plan,” “predict,” “estimate,” “will be” or other similar words and phrases. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially. We describe risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and events to differ materially in “Risk Factors” (Part I, Item 1A of this Form 10-K), “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” (Part II, Item 7) and “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk” (Part II, Item 7A). We undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether because of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by applicable law.

PART I

ITEM 1.

BUSINESS

Corporate Structure

NOW Inc. (“NOW” or the “Company”), headquartered in Houston, Texas, was incorporated in Delaware on November 22, 2013. On May 30, 2014, the spin-off from National Oilwell Varco, Inc. (“NOV”) was completed and NOW became an independent, publicly traded company (the “Spin-Off” or “Separation”). In accordance with a separation and distribution agreement between NOV and NOW, the two companies were separated by NOV distributing to its stockholders 107,053,031 shares of common stock of NOW Inc. with each NOV stockholder receiving one share of NOW common stock for every four shares of NOV common stock held at the close of business on the record date of May 22, 2014 and not sold prior to close of business on May 30, 2014. We filed a registration statement on Form 10, as amended through the time of its effectiveness, describing the Spin-Off, which was declared effective by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on May 13, 2014. On June 2, 2014, NOW stock began trading “regular-way” on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “DNOW”.

Overview

We are a global distributor to the oil and gas and industrial markets with a legacy of over one-hundred and fifty years. We operate primarily under the DistributionNOW and Wilson Export brands. Through our network of approximately 285 locations and approximately 4,600 employees worldwide, we stock and sell a comprehensive offering of energy products as well as a selection of products for industrial applications. Our energy product offering is consumed throughout all sectors of the oil and gas industry – from upstream drilling and completion, exploration and production (“E&P”), midstream infrastructure development to downstream petroleum refining – as well as in other industries, such as chemical processing, mining, utilities and industrial manufacturing operations. The industrial distribution end markets include manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, refineries and engineering and construction firms. We also provide supply chain and materials management solutions to the same markets where we sell products.

Our global product offering includes consumable maintenance, repair and operating (“MRO”) supplies, pipe, valves, fittings, flanges, gaskets, fasteners, electrical, instrumentation, artificial lift, pumping solutions, valve actuation and modular process, measurement and control equipment. We also offer warehouse and inventory management solutions as part of our supply chain and materials management offering. We have developed expertise in providing application systems, work processes, parts integration, optimization solutions and after-sales support.

Our solutions include outsourcing the functions of procurement, inventory and warehouse management, logistics, point of issue technology, project management, business process and performance metrics reporting. These solutions allow us to leverage the infrastructure of our SAP™ Enterprise Resource Planning (“ERP”) system and other technologies to streamline our customers’ purchasing process, from requisition to procurement to payment, by digitally managing workflow, improving approval routing and providing robust reporting functionality.

We support land and offshore operations for all the major oil and gas producing regions around the world through our network of locations. Our key markets, beyond North America, include Latin America, the North Sea, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and the Former Soviet Union (“FSU”). Products sold through our locations support greenfield expansion upstream capital projects, midstream infrastructure and transmission and MRO consumables used in day-to-day production. We provide downstream energy and industrial

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products for petroleum refining, chemical processing, LNG terminals, power generation utilities and industrial manufacturing operations and customer on-site locations.

We stock or sell more than 300,000 stock keeping units (“SKUs”) through our branch network. Our supplier network consists of thousands of vendors in approximately 40 countries. From our operations in over 20 countries we sell to customers operating in approximately 80 countries. The supplies and equipment stocked by each of our branches are customized to meet varied and changing local customer demands. The breadth and scale of our offering enhances our value proposition to our customers, suppliers and shareholders.

We employ advanced information technologies, including a common ERP platform across most of our business, to provide complete procurement, materials management and logistics coordination to our customers around the globe. Having a common ERP platform allows immediate visibility into our inventory assets, operations and financials worldwide, enhancing decision making and efficiency.

Global Operations

 

Demand for our products is driven primarily by the level of oil and gas drilling, completions, servicing, production, transmission, refining and petrochemical and industrial manufacturing activities. It is also influenced by the global supply and demand for energy, the economy in general and by geopolitics. Several factors drive spending, such as investment in energy infrastructure, the North American conventional and shale plays, market expectations of future developments in the oil, natural gas, liquids, refined products, petrochemical, plant maintenance and other industrial, manufacturing and energy sectors.

We have expanded globally, through acquisitions and organic investments, into Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, England, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

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Summary of Reportable Segments

We operate through three reportable segments: United States (“U.S.”), Canada and International. The segment data included in our Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (“MD&A”) are presented on a basis consistent with our internal management reporting. Segment information appearing in Note 14 “Business Segments” of the Notes to Financial Statements (Part IV, Item 15 of this Form 10-K) is also presented on this basis.

The following table sets forth the contribution to our total revenues by our three reporting segments (in millions):

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

Revenue:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

United States

 

$

1,914

 

 

$

1,445

 

 

$

2,027

 

Canada

 

 

356

 

 

 

258

 

 

 

378

 

International

 

 

378

 

 

 

404

 

 

 

605

 

Total revenue

 

$

2,648

 

 

$

2,107

 

 

$

3,010

 

 

United States

We have approximately 195 locations in the U.S., which are geographically positioned to best serve the upstream, midstream and downstream energy and industrial markets.

We offer higher value solutions in key product lines in the U.S. which broaden and deepen our customer relationships and related product line value. Examples of these include artificial lift, pumps, valves and valve actuation, process equipment, fluid transfer products, measurement and controls, along with many other products required by our customers, which enable them to focus on their core business while we manage their supply chain. We also provide additional value to our customers through the design, assembly, fabrication and optimization of products and equipment essential to the safe and efficient production, transportation and processing of oil and gas and industrial manufacturing.

Canada

We have a network of approximately 55 locations in the Canadian oilfield, predominantly in the oil rich provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan in Western Canada. Our Canada segment primarily serves the energy exploration, production, mining and drilling business, offering customers many of the same products and value-added solutions that we perform in the U.S. In Canada, we also provide training for, and supervise the installation of, jointed and spoolable composite pipe. This product line is supported by inventory and product and installation expertise to serve our customers.

International

We operate in approximately 20 countries and serve the needs of our international customers from approximately 35 locations outside of the U.S. and Canada, which are strategically located in major oil and gas development areas. Our approach in these markets is similar to our approach in North America, as our customers turn to us to provide inventory and support closer to their drilling and exploration activities. Our long legacy of operating in many international regions, combined with significant expansion into several key markets, provides a competitive advantage as few of our competitors have a presence in most of the global energy producing regions.

 

 

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Distribution Industry Overview

The distribution industry is highly fragmented, comprised of large companies with global reach and numerous small, local and regional competitors. Distribution companies act both as supply stores and supply chain management providers for their customers. Distributors deliver value to their customers by serving as a supply chain partner by managing vendor networks and aggregating, carrying and distributing a wide range of product inventory from numerous vendors in locations close to the end user.

Our Distribution Channels

We offer a diverse range of products across the energy and industrial markets in the U.S., Canada and internationally. There are thousands of manufacturers of the products used in the markets in which we operate and customers demand a high level of service, responsiveness and availability across a broad set of products and vendors. These market dynamics make the distributor an essential element in the value chain. Our product offering is aligned to meet the needs of our customer base.

Energy

Energy branches are brick and mortar supply store operations that provide products to multiple upstream and midstream customers from a single location. These branches serve repeat account and walk-in retail customers. Products are inventoried in branch warehouses based on local market needs and are delivered or available for pick-up as needed. The branches serve a geographical radius and provide delivery of products and solutions.

This distribution channel primarily serves the upstream and midstream energy, industrial and manufacturing end markets with locations worldwide. A team of sales and operations professionals is trained in the products, applications and customer service required to support customers as they drill, explore, produce, transport and refine oil and gas and other products. Products include line pipe, valves, actuated valves, fittings and flanges, pumps, OEM parts, electrical products, mill supplies, tools, safety supplies, personal protective equipment, applied products and applications, such as artificial lift systems, coatings and miscellaneous expendable items.

Supply Chain

Supply Chain locations serve the upstream and downstream energy, industrial and manufacturing end markets through a network of facilities staffed by skilled personnel. The primary product offering includes various grades of pipe, valves, fittings, mill supplies, machine and cutting tools, power and hand tools and safety supplies. Additionally, downstream and industrial focused locations offer safety equipment, including repair and maintenance, and also provide planning, sourcing and expediting of orders throughout the lifecycle of large capital projects. Supply Chain locations serve many oil and gas operators, drilling contractors and industrial manufacturers.

Supply Chain customers can also outsource procurement functions to the Company, providing a significant vendor network that enables the customer to benefit from on-site management of their warehouses, inventory, materials, projects, logistics and manufacturing tool cribs. We partner with customers to evaluate their current operations and make informed recommendations regarding inventory levels and mix. Supply Chain solutions can be customized to a customer’s requirements and guided by a strategic framework to reduce direct material expenditures and direct supply chain costs, improve maintenance productivity, reduce inventory-related working capital, streamline time to revenue and manage the risk of material availability affecting business continuity.

Process Solutions

Process Solutions has a team of distribution experts, technical professionals and licensed engineers who provide expertise related to pumps and fluid movement solutions, liquid and gas measurement systems, fabrication and valve actuation. Process Solutions distributes OEM equipment including pumps, generator sets, air and gas compressors, dryers, blowers and valves. After-market services include rental, machining and repair service from a team of over 50 field mechanics located throughout 10 states. The team also fabricates customer Lease Automatic Custody Transfer (LACT) units, Vapor Recovery Units, Gas Meter Runs, ASME Code Vessels, PIG Launchers and Receivers and Water Production Skids.

Process Solutions serves the upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas markets as well as the municipal industrial, mining, power generation and general industries. Process Solutions also provides modular oil and gas tank battery solutions that positively impact our operator customers by enabling them to expedite revenue generations by reducing the time to complete a tank battery and getting oil and gas into the pipeline earlier. This solution saves our customers time and expense related to well hookup and tank battery commissioning and reduces field incident exposures due to a reduced labor requirement for battery construction.

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Customers

Our primary customers are companies active in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the energy industry, including drilling contractors, well servicing companies, independent and national oil and gas companies, midstream operators, refineries, petrochemical, chemical, utilities and other downstream energy processors. We also serve a diverse range of industrial and manufacturing companies across a broad spectrum of industries and end markets. We partner with our customers to continually meet or exceed their expectations and add value as a supply chain partner in the locations where they operate. Our products are typically critical to our customers’ operations, yet represent only a small fraction of their total project or facility cost. As a result, our customers seek suppliers with established qualifications and an operational history to deliver high quality and reliable products that meet their requirements in a timely manner.

As customers increasingly aggregate purchases to improve efficiency and reduce costs, they partner with large distributors who can meet their needs for products in multiple locations around the world. We believe we could benefit from consolidation among the companies we serve, as the larger resulting companies look to global distributors as their source for products and related solutions.

No single customer represents more than 10% of our revenue. Our top 30 customers in aggregate represent approximately one-third of our revenue.

Competition

The distribution companies serving the energy and industrial end markets are both numerous and competitive. This industry is highly fragmented, comprised of large distributors, each with many locations, who aggregate and distribute several product lines, and includes numerous smaller regional and local companies, many of which operate from a single location and either aggregate and distribute several product lines or focus on a single product line. While some large distributors compete in both markets, most companies focus on either the energy or industrial end market. In the energy market, some of the larger companies against whom we compete include Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. (a subsidiary of Wolseley, plc), MRC Global, Inc., Russell Metals, Inc., DXP Enterprises, Inc. and FloWorks. In the industrial market, some of the larger companies against whom we compete include Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. (a subsidiary of Wolseley, plc), W.W. Grainger Inc., HD Supply, Inc., Wesco International Inc., MSC Industrial Direct Co., Inc., Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc., DXP Enterprises, Inc. and Fastenal Company.

Seasonal Nature of the Company’s Business

A portion of our business has experienced seasonal trends, to some degree, which have varied by geographic region. In the U.S., activity has historically been higher during the summer and fall months. In Canada, certain E&P activities have declined in the spring due to seasonal thaws and regulatory restrictions limiting the ability of drilling rigs and transportation to operate effectively and safely during these periods.

Employees

At December 31, 2017, we had approximately 4,600 employees, of which approximately 275 were temporary employees. Some of our employees in various foreign locations are subject to collective bargaining agreements. Less than one percent of our employees in the U.S. are subject to collective bargaining agreements. We offer market-competitive benefits for employees and opportunities for growth and advancement. We believe our relationship with our employees is good.

Environmental Matters

We are subject to a variety of federal, state, local, foreign and provincial environmental, health and safety laws, regulations and permitting requirements, including those governing the discharge of pollutants or hazardous substances into the air, soil or water, the generation, handling, use, management, storage and disposal of, or exposure to, hazardous substances and wastes, the responsibility to investigate, remediate, monitor and clean up contamination and occupational health and safety. Fines and penalties may be imposed for non-compliance with applicable environmental, health and safety requirements and the failure to have or to comply with the terms and conditions of required permits. Historically, the costs to comply with environmental and health and safety requirements have not been material to our financial position, results of operations or cash flows. We are not aware of any pending environmental compliance or remediation matters that, in the opinion of management, are reasonably likely to have a material effect on our business, financial position or results of operations or cash flows.

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Available Information

Our website address is www.distributionnow.com. The information found on our website is not part of this or any other report we file with, or furnish to, the SEC and is expressly not incorporated by reference into this document. Our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, proxy statements and any amendments to these reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 are available on our website, free of charge, as soon as reasonably practicable after such reports are filed with, or furnished to, the SEC. Alternatively, you may access these reports at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

 

 

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ITEM 1A.

RISK FACTORS

You should carefully consider each of the following risks in addition to all other information contained or incorporated herein. Some of these risks relate principally to the Spin-Off, while others relate principally to our business and the industry in which we operate or to the securities markets generally and ownership of our common stock. Our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows could be materially and adversely affected by any of these risks, and, as a result, the trading price of our common stock could decline. This information should be read in conjunction with Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, Item 7A, Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risks and the consolidated financial statements and related notes included in this Form 10-K.

Risks Relating to Our Business

Decreased capital and other expenditures in the energy industry, which can result from decreased oil and natural gas prices, among other things, can adversely impact our customers’ demand for our products and our revenue.

A large portion of our revenue depends upon the level of capital and operating expenditures in the oil and natural gas industry, including capital and other expenditures in connection with exploration, drilling, production, gathering, transportation, refining and processing operations. Demand for the products we distribute is particularly sensitive to the level of exploration, development and production activity of, and the corresponding capital and other expenditures by, oil and natural gas companies. In addition, after a well is drilled, there can be a lag between when the well is drilled and when it is completed, which causes a delay in the demand for some of our products. Oil and natural gas prices have been extremely volatile since 2014. Continued volatility and weakness in oil or natural gas prices could depress levels of exploration, development and production activity and, therefore, could lead to a decrease in our customers’ capital and other expenditures.

The willingness of oil and gas operators to make capital and operating expenditures to explore for and produce oil and natural gas and the willingness of oilfield service companies to invest in capital and operating equipment will continue to be influenced by numerous factors over which we have no control, including:

 

the ability of the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (“OPEC”) to maintain price stability through voluntary production limits, the level of production by non-OPEC countries and worldwide demand for oil and gas;

 

the level of production from known reserves;

 

the cost of exploring for and producing oil and gas;

 

the level of drilling activity and drilling rig day rates;

 

worldwide economic activity;

 

national government political requirements;

 

the development of alternate energy sources; and

 

environmental regulations.

If there is a significant reduction in demand for drilling services, in cash flows of drilling contractors, well servicing companies or production companies, or in drilling or well servicing rig utilization rates, then demand for our products will decline.

Volatile oil and gas prices affect demand for our products.

Demand for our products is largely determined by current and anticipated oil and natural gas prices, and the related spending and level of activity by our customers, including spending on production and the level of drilling activities. Volatility or weakness in oil or natural gas prices (or the perception that oil or natural gas prices will decrease) affects the spending pattern of our customers, and may result in the drilling of fewer new wells or lower production spending on existing wells. This, in turn, could result in lower demand for our products. Any sustained decrease in capital expenditures in the oil and natural gas industry could have a material adverse effect on us.

Prices for oil and natural gas are subject to large fluctuations in response to relatively minor changes in the supply of and demand for oil and natural gas, market uncertainty and a variety of other factors that are beyond our control. Crude oil prices declined significantly starting in 2014, with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil spot prices declining from a high of $108 per barrel in June 2014 to a low of approximately $26 per barrel in February 2016. In 2016, customers continued to make downward revisions to their

9


 

operating budgets. 2017 was another challenging and volatile year for crude oil prices. Any such reduction in operating budgets, reduction in activity and/or pricing pressures, would adversely affect our revenue and operating performance.

Many factors affect the supply of and demand for energy and, therefore, influence oil and natural gas prices, including:

 

the level of domestic and worldwide oil and natural gas production and inventories;

 

the level of drilling activity and the availability of attractive oil and natural gas field prospects, which governmental actions may affect, such as regulatory actions or legislation, or other restrictions on drilling, including those related to environmental concerns (e.g., a temporary moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico following a rig accident or oil spill);

 

the discovery rate of new oil and natural gas reserves and the expected cost of developing new reserves;

 

the actual cost of finding and producing oil and natural gas;

 

depletion rates;

 

domestic and worldwide refinery over capacity or under capacity and utilization rates;

 

the availability of transportation infrastructure and refining capacity;

 

increases in the cost of products that the oil and gas industry uses, such as those that we provide, which may result from increases in the cost of raw materials such as steel;

 

shifts in end-customer preferences toward fuel efficiency and the use of natural gas;

 

the economic or political attractiveness of alternative fuels, such as coal, hydrocarbon, battery power, wind, solar energy and biomass-based fuels;

 

increases in oil and natural gas prices or historically high oil and natural gas prices, which could lower demand for oil and natural gas products;

 

worldwide economic activity including growth in non-Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) countries, including China and India;

 

interest rates and the cost of capital;

 

national government policies, including government policies that could nationalize or expropriate oil and natural gas, E&P, refining or transportation assets;

 

the ability of OPEC to set and maintain production levels and prices for oil;

 

the level of production by non-OPEC countries;

 

the impact of armed hostilities, or the threat or perception of armed hostilities;

 

environmental regulation;

 

technological advances;

 

global weather conditions and natural disasters;

 

currency fluctuations; and

 

tax policies.

Oil and natural gas prices have been and are expected to remain volatile. U.S. rig count increased from 665 rigs on January 6, 2017 to 929 rigs on December 29, 2017. U.S. rig count averaged 875 rigs in 2017. U.S. rig count at February 2, 2018 was 946 rigs. The price for WTI crude was $65.50 per barrel at February 2, 2018. The price for WTI crude was $52.36 per barrel on January 3, 2017 and $36.81 per barrel on January 4, 2016 and $61.98 on January 4, 2018. This type of volatility has historically caused oil and natural gas companies to change their strategies and expenditure levels from year to year. We have experienced in the past, and we will likely experience in the future, significant fluctuations in operating results based on these changes.

 

 

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General economic conditions may adversely affect our business.

U.S. and global general economic conditions affect many aspects of our business, including demand for the products we distribute and the pricing and availability of supplies. General economic conditions and predictions regarding future economic conditions also affect our forecasts. A decrease in demand for the products we distribute or other adverse effects resulting from an economic downturn may cause us to fail to achieve our anticipated financial results. General economic factors beyond our control that affect our business and customers include interest rates, recession, inflation, deflation, customer credit availability, consumer credit availability, consumer debt levels, performance of housing markets, energy costs, tax rates and policy, unemployment rates, commencement or escalation of war or hostilities, the threat or possibility of war, terrorism or other global or national unrest, political or financial instability, and other matters that influence our customers’ spending. Increasing volatility in financial markets may cause these factors to change with a greater degree of frequency or increase in magnitude. In addition, worldwide economic conditions could have an adverse effect on our business, prospects, operating results, financial condition and cash flows.

We may be unable to compete successfully with other companies in our industry.

We sell products in very competitive markets. In some cases, we compete with large companies with substantial resources. In other cases, we compete with smaller regional companies that may increasingly be willing to provide similar products at lower prices. Certain of these competitors may have greater financial, technical and marketing resources than us, and may be in a better competitive position. The following competitive actions can each adversely affect our revenues and earnings:

 

price changes;

 

vendors with better terms;

 

consolidation in the industry;

 

investments in technology and fulfillment; and

 

improvements in availability and delivery.

We could experience a material adverse effect to the extent that our competitors are successful in reducing our customers’ purchases of products from us. Competition could also cause us to lower our prices, which could reduce our margins and profitability. Furthermore, consolidation in our industry could heighten the impacts of the competition on our business and results of operations discussed above, particularly if consolidation results in competitors with stronger financial and strategic resources, and could also result in increases to the prices we are required to pay for acquisitions we may make in the future. In addition, certain foreign jurisdictions and government-owned petroleum companies located in some of the countries in which we operate have adopted policies or regulations which may give local nationals in these countries competitive advantages. Competition in our industry could lead to lower revenues and earnings.

Demand for the products we distribute could decrease if the manufacturers of those products were to sell a substantial amount of goods directly to end users in the sectors we serve.

Historically, users of pipes, valves and fittings and related products have purchased certain amounts of these products through distributors and not directly from manufacturers. If customers were to purchase the products that we sell directly from manufacturers, or if manufacturers sought to increase their efforts to sell directly to end users, we could experience a significant decrease in profitability. These or other developments that remove us from, or limit our role in, the distribution chain, may harm our competitive position in the marketplace and reduce our sales and earnings and adversely affect our business.

 

 

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We may need additional capital in the future, and it may not be available on acceptable terms, or at all.

We may require more capital in the future to:

 

fund our operations (including, but not limited to, working capital requirements such as inventory);

 

finance investments in equipment and infrastructure needed to maintain and expand our distribution capabilities;

 

enhance and expand the range of products we offer; and

 

respond to potential strategic opportunities, such as investments, acquisitions and international expansion.

We can give no assurance that additional financing will be available on terms favorable to us, or at all. The terms of available financing may place limits on our financial and operating flexibility. If adequate funds are not available on acceptable terms, we may be forced to reduce our operations or delay, limit or abandon expansion opportunities. Moreover, even if we are able to continue our operations, the failure to obtain additional financing could reduce our competitiveness.

We may experience unexpected supply shortages.

We distribute products from a wide variety of manufacturers and suppliers. Nevertheless, in the future we may have difficulty obtaining the products we need from suppliers and manufacturers as a result of unexpected demand or production difficulties that might extend lead times. Also, products may not be available to us in quantities sufficient to meet our customer demand. Our inability to obtain products from suppliers and manufacturers in sufficient quantities, or at all, could adversely affect our product offerings and our business.

We may experience cost increases from suppliers, which we may be unable to pass on to our customers.

In the future, we may face supply cost increases due to, among other things, unexpected increases in demand for supplies, decreases in production of supplies or increases in the cost of raw materials or transportation. Any inability to pass supply price increases on to our customers could have a material adverse effect on us. In addition, if supply costs increase, our customers may elect to purchase smaller amounts of products or may purchase products from other distributors. While we may be able to work with our customers to reduce the effects of unforeseen price increases because of our relationships with them, we may not be able to reduce the effects of the cost increases. In addition, to the extent that competition leads to reduced purchases of products from us or a reduction of our prices, and these reductions occur concurrently with increases in the prices for selected commodities which we use in our operations, the adverse effects described above would likely be exacerbated and could result in a prolonged downturn in profitability.

We do not have contracts with most of our suppliers. The loss of a significant supplier would require us to rely more heavily on our other existing suppliers or to develop relationships with new suppliers. Such a loss may have an adverse effect on our product offerings and our business.

Given the nature of our business, and consistent with industry practice, we do not have contracts with most of our suppliers. We generally make our purchases through purchase orders. Therefore, most of our suppliers have the ability to terminate their relationships with us at any time. Although we believe there are numerous manufacturers with the capacity to supply the products we distribute, the loss of one or more of our major suppliers could have an adverse effect on our product offerings and our business. Such a loss would require us to rely more heavily on our other existing suppliers or develop relationships with new suppliers, which may cause us to pay higher prices for products due to, among other things, a loss of volume discount benefits currently obtained from our major suppliers.

Price reductions by suppliers of products that we sell could cause the value of our inventory to decline. Also, these price reductions could cause our customers to demand lower sales prices for these products, possibly decreasing our margins and profitability on sales to the extent that we purchased our inventory of these products at the higher prices prior to supplier price reductions.

The value of our inventory could decline as a result of manufacturer price reductions with respect to products that we sell. There is no assurance that a substantial decline in product prices would not result in a write-down of our inventory value. Such a write-down could have an adverse effect on our financial condition. Also, decreases in the market prices of products that we sell could cause customers to demand lower sales prices from us. These price reductions could reduce our margins and profitability on sales with respect to the lower-priced products. Reductions in our margins and profitability on sales could have a material adverse effect on us.

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A substantial decrease in the price of steel could significantly lower our product margin or cash flow.

We distribute many products manufactured from steel. As a result, the price and supply of steel can affect our business and, in particular, our pipe product category. When steel prices are lower, the prices that we charge customers for products may decline, which affects our product margin and cash flow. At times pricing and availability of steel can be volatile due to numerous factors beyond our control, including general domestic and international economic conditions, labor costs, sales levels, competition, consolidation of steel producers, fluctuations in and the costs of raw materials necessary to produce steel, steel manufacturers’ plant utilization levels and capacities, import duties and tariffs and currency exchange rates. Increases in manufacturing capacity steel-related products could put pressure on the prices we receive for such products. When steel prices decline, customer demands for lower prices and our competitors’ responses to those demands could result in lower sales prices and, consequently, lower product margin and cash flow.

If steel prices rise, we may be unable to pass along the cost increases to our customers.

We maintain inventories of steel products to accommodate the lead time requirements of our customers. Accordingly, we purchase steel products in an effort to maintain our inventory at levels that we believe to be appropriate to satisfy the anticipated needs of our customers based upon historic buying practices, contracts with customers and market conditions. Our commitments to purchase steel products are generally at prevailing market prices in effect at the time we place our orders. If steel prices increase between the time we order steel products and the time of delivery of the products to us, our suppliers may impose surcharges that require us to pay for increases in steel prices during the period. Demand for the products we distribute, the actions of our competitors and other factors will influence whether we will be able to pass on steel cost increases and surcharges to our customers, and we may be unsuccessful in doing so.

We do not have long-term contracts or agreements with many of our customers. The contracts and agreements that we do have generally do not commit our customers to any minimum purchase volume. The loss of a significant customer may have a material adverse effect on us.

Given the nature of our business, and consistent with industry practice, we do not have long-term contracts with many of our customers. In addition, our contracts generally do not commit our customers to any minimum purchase volume. Therefore, a significant number of our customers may terminate their relationships with us or reduce their purchasing volume at any time. Furthermore, the long-term customer contracts that we do have are generally terminable without cause on short notice. Our 30 largest customers, in aggregate, represented approximately one-third of our revenue for the year ended December 31, 2017. The products that we may sell to any particular customer depend in large part on the size of that customer’s capital expenditure budget in a particular year and on the results of competitive bids for major projects. Consequently, a customer that accounts for a significant portion of our sales in one fiscal year may represent an immaterial portion of our sales in subsequent fiscal years. The loss of a significant customer, or a substantial decrease in a significant customer’s orders, may have an adverse effect on our sales and revenue.

In addition, we are subject to customer audit clauses in many of our multi-year contracts. If we are not able to provide the proper documentation or support for invoices per the contract terms, we may be subject to negotiated settlements with our major customers.

Changes in our customer and product mix could cause our product margin to fluctuate.

From time to time, we may experience changes in our customer mix or in our product mix. Changes in our customer mix may result from geographic expansion, daily selling activities within current geographic markets and targeted selling activities to new customer segments. Changes in our product mix may result from marketing activities to existing customers and needs communicated to us from existing and prospective customers. If customers begin to require more lower-margin products from us and fewer higher-margin products, our business, results of operations and financial condition may suffer.

Customer credit risks could result in losses.

The concentration of our customers in the energy industry may impact our overall exposure to credit risk as customers may be similarly affected by prolonged changes in economic and industry conditions. Further, laws in some jurisdictions in which we operate could make collection difficult or time consuming. We perform ongoing credit evaluations of our customers and do not generally require collateral in support of our trade receivables. While we maintain reserves for expected credit losses, we cannot assure these reserves will be sufficient to meet write-offs of uncollectible receivables or that our losses from such receivables will be consistent with our expectations.

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We may be unable to successfully execute or effectively integrate acquisitions.

One of our key operating strategies is to selectively pursue acquisitions, including large scale acquisitions, to continue to grow and increase profitability. However, acquisitions, particularly of a significant scale, involve numerous risks and uncertainties, including intense competition for suitable acquisition targets, the potential unavailability of financial resources necessary to consummate acquisitions in the future, increased leverage due to additional debt financing that may be required to complete an acquisition, dilution of our stockholders’ net current book value per share if we issue additional equity securities to finance an acquisition, difficulties in identifying suitable acquisition targets or in completing any transactions identified on sufficiently favorable terms, assumption of undisclosed or unknown liabilities and the need to obtain regulatory or other governmental approvals that may be necessary to complete acquisitions. In addition, any future acquisitions may entail significant transaction costs and risks associated with entry into new markets.

Even when acquisitions are completed, integration of acquired entities can involve significant difficulties, such as:

 

failure to achieve cost savings or other financial or operating objectives with respect to an acquisition;

 

complications and issues resulting from the integration/conversion of ERP systems;

 

strain on the operational and managerial controls and procedures of our business, and the need to modify systems or to add management resources;

 

difficulties in the integration and retention of customers or personnel and the integration and effective deployment of operations or technologies;

 

amortization of acquired assets, which would reduce future reported earnings;

 

possible adverse short-term effects on our cash flows or operating results;

 

diversion of management’s attention from the ongoing operations of our business;

 

integrating personnel with diverse backgrounds and organizational cultures;

 

coordinating sales and marketing functions;

 

failure to obtain and retain key personnel of an acquired business; and

 

assumption of known or unknown material liabilities or regulatory non-compliance issues.

Failure to manage these acquisition growth risks could have an adverse effect on us.

We are a holding company and depend upon our subsidiaries for our cash flow.

We are a holding company. Our subsidiaries conduct all of our operations and own substantially all of our assets. Consequently, our cash flow and our ability to meet our obligations or to make other distributions in the future will depend upon the cash flow of our subsidiaries and our subsidiaries’ payment of funds to us in the form of dividends, tax sharing payments or otherwise.

The ability of our subsidiaries to make any payments to us will depend on their earnings, the terms of their current and future indebtedness, tax considerations and legal and contractual restrictions on the ability to make distributions.

Our subsidiaries are separate and distinct legal entities. Any right that we have to receive any assets of or distributions from any of our subsidiaries upon the bankruptcy, dissolution, liquidation or reorganization, or to realize proceeds from the sale of their assets, will be junior to the claims of that subsidiary’s creditors, including trade creditors and holders of debt that the subsidiary issued.

Changes in our credit profile may affect our relationship with our suppliers, which could have a material adverse effect on our liquidity.

Changes in our credit profile may affect the way our suppliers view our ability to make payments and may induce them to shorten the payment terms of their invoices. Given the large dollar amounts and volume of our purchases from suppliers, a change in payment terms may have a material adverse effect on our liquidity and our ability to make payments to our suppliers and, consequently, may have a material adverse effect on us.

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If tariffs and duties on imports into the U.S. of line pipe or certain of the other products that we sell are lifted, we could have too many of these products in inventory competing against less expensive imports.

U.S. law currently imposes tariffs and duties on imports from certain foreign countries of line pipe and, to a lesser extent, on imports of certain other products that we sell. If these tariffs and duties are lifted or reduced or if the level of these imported products otherwise increases, and our U.S. customers accept these imported products, we could be materially and adversely affected to the extent that we would then have higher-cost products in our inventory or increased supplies of these products which would drive down prices and margins. If prices of these products were to decrease significantly, we might not be able to profitably sell these products, and the value of our inventory would decline. In addition, significant price decreases could result in a significantly longer holding period for some of our inventory.

We are subject to strict environmental, health and safety laws and regulations that may lead to significant liabilities and negatively impact the demand for our products.

We are subject to a variety of federal, state, local, foreign and provincial environmental, health and safety laws; regulations and permitting requirements, including those governing the discharge of pollutants or hazardous substances into the air, soil or water, the generation, handling, use, management, storage and disposal of, or exposure to, hazardous substances and wastes, the responsibility to investigate and clean up contamination and occupational health and safety. Regulations and courts may impose fines and penalties for non-compliance with applicable environmental, health and safety requirements and the failure to have or to comply with the terms and conditions of required permits. Our failure to comply with applicable environmental, health and safety requirements could result in fines, penalties, enforcement actions, third-party claims for property damage and personal injury, requirements to clean up property or to pay for the costs of cleanup or regulatory or judicial orders requiring corrective measures, including the installation of pollution control equipment or remedial actions.

Certain laws and regulations, such as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA” or the “U.S. federal Superfund law”) or its state and foreign equivalents, may impose the obligation to investigate and remediate contamination at a facility on current and former owners or operators or on persons who may have sent waste to that facility for disposal. These laws and regulations may impose liability without regard to fault or to the legality of the activities giving rise to the contamination.

Moreover, we may incur liabilities in connection with environmental conditions currently unknown to us relating to our existing, prior or future owned or leased sites or operations or those of predecessor companies whose liabilities we may have assumed or acquired. We believe that indemnities contained in certain of our acquisition agreements may cover certain environmental conditions existing at the time of the acquisition, subject to certain terms, limitations and conditions. However, if these indemnification provisions terminate or if the indemnifying parties do not fulfill their indemnification obligations, we may be subject to liability with respect to the environmental matters that those indemnification provisions address. In addition, environmental, health and safety laws and regulations applicable to our business and the business of our customers, including laws regulating the energy industry, and the interpretation or enforcement of these laws and regulations, are constantly evolving. It is impossible to predict accurately the effect that changes in these laws and regulations, or their interpretation or enforcement, may have on us.

Should environmental laws and regulations, or their interpretation or enforcement, become more stringent, our costs, or the costs of our customers, could increase, which may have a material adverse effect on us.

We may not have adequate insurance for potential liabilities, including liabilities arising from litigation.

In the ordinary course of business, we have and in the future may become the subject of various claims, lawsuits and administrative proceedings seeking damages or other remedies concerning our commercial operations, the products we distribute, employees and other matters, including potential claims by individuals alleging exposure to hazardous materials as a result of the products we distribute or our operations. Some of these claims may relate to the activities of businesses that we have acquired, even though these activities may have occurred prior to our acquisition of the businesses. The products we distribute are sold primarily for use in the energy industry, which is subject to inherent risks that could result in death, personal injury, property damage, pollution, release of hazardous substances or loss of production. In addition, defects in the products we distribute could result in death, personal injury, property damage, pollution, release of hazardous substances or damage to equipment and facilities. Actual or claimed defects in the products we distribute may give rise to claims against us for losses and expose us to claims for damages.

15


 

We maintain insurance to cover certain of our potential losses, and we are subject to various self-retentions, deductibles and caps under our insurance. We face the following risks with respect to our insurance coverage:

 

we may not be able to continue to obtain insurance on commercially reasonable terms;

 

we may incur losses from interruption of our business that exceed our insurance coverage;

 

we may be faced with types of liabilities that will not be covered by our insurance;

 

our insurance carriers may not be able to meet their obligations under the policies; or

 

the dollar amount of any liabilities may exceed our policy limits.

Even a partially uninsured claim, if successful and of significant size, could have a material adverse effect on us. Finally, even in cases where we maintain insurance coverage, our insurers may raise various objections and exceptions to coverage that could make uncertain the timing and amount of any possible insurance recovery.

Due to our position as a distributor, we are subject to personal injury, product liability and environmental claims involving allegedly defective products.

Our customers use certain products we distribute in potentially hazardous applications that can result in personal injury, product liability and environmental claims. A catastrophic occurrence at a location where end users use the products we distribute may result in us being named as a defendant in lawsuits asserting potentially large claims, even though we did not manufacture the products. Applicable law may render us liable for damages without regard to negligence or fault. In particular, certain environmental laws provide for joint and several and strict liability for remediation of spills and releases of hazardous substances. Certain of these risks are reduced by the fact that we are a distributor of products that third-party manufacturers produce, and, thus, in certain circumstances, we may have third-party warranty or other claims against the manufacturer of products alleged to have been defective. However, there is no assurance that these claims could fully protect us or that the manufacturer would be able financially to provide protection. There is no assurance that our insurance coverage will be adequate to cover the underlying claims. Our insurance does not provide coverage for all liabilities (including liability for certain events involving pollution or other environmental claims).

If we lose any of our key personnel, we may be unable to effectively manage our business or continue our growth.

Our future performance depends to a significant degree upon the continued contributions of our management team and our ability to attract, hire, train and retain qualified managerial, sales and marketing personnel. In particular, we rely on our sales and marketing teams to create innovative ways to generate demand for the products we distribute. The loss or unavailability to us of any member of our management team or a key sales or marketing employee could have a material adverse effect on us to the extent we are unable to timely find adequate replacements. We face competition for these professionals from our competitors, our customers and other companies operating in our industry. We may be unsuccessful in attracting, hiring, training and retaining qualified personnel.

Interruptions in the proper functioning of our information systems could disrupt operations and cause increases in costs or decreases in revenues.

The proper functioning of our information systems is critical to the successful operation of our business. We depend on our information management systems to process orders, track credit risk, manage inventory and monitor accounts receivable collections. Our information systems also allow us to efficiently purchase products from our vendors and ship products to our customers on a timely basis, maintain cost-effective operations and provide superior service to our customers. However, our information systems could be vulnerable to natural disasters, power losses, telecommunication failures, security breaches and other problems. If critical information systems fail or are otherwise unavailable, our ability to procure products to sell, process and ship customer orders, identify business opportunities, maintain proper levels of inventories, collect accounts receivable and pay accounts payable and expenses could be adversely affected. Our ability to integrate our systems with our customers’ systems would also be significantly affected. We maintain information systems controls designed to protect against, among other things, unauthorized program changes and unauthorized access to data on our information systems. If our information systems controls do not function properly, we face increased risks of unexpected errors and unreliable financial data or theft of proprietary Company information.

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The loss of third-party transportation providers upon whom we depend, or conditions negatively affecting the transportation industry, could increase our costs or cause a disruption in our operations.

We depend upon third-party transportation providers for delivery of products to our customers. Strikes, slowdowns, transportation disruptions or other conditions in the transportation industry, including, but not limited to, shortages of truck drivers, disruptions in rail service, increases in fuel prices and adverse weather conditions, could increase our costs and disrupt our operations and our ability to service our customers on a timely basis. We cannot predict whether or to what extent increases or anticipated increases in fuel prices may impact our costs or cause a disruption in our operations going forward.

Adverse weather events or natural disasters could negatively affect local economies and disrupt operations.

Certain areas in which we operate are susceptible to adverse weather conditions or natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes. These events can disrupt our operations, result in damage to our properties and negatively affect the local economies in which we operate. Additionally, we may experience communication disruptions with our customers, vendors and employees. These events can cause physical damage to our locations and require us to close locations. Additionally, our sales orders and shipments can experience a temporary decline immediately following these events.

We cannot predict whether or to what extent damage caused by these events will affect our operations or the economies in regions where we operate. These adverse events could result in disruption of our purchasing or distribution capabilities, interruption of our business that exceeds our insurance coverage, our inability to collect from customers and increased operating costs. Our business or results of operations may be adversely affected by these and other negative effects of these events.

We have a substantial amount of goodwill and other intangible assets recorded on our balance sheets. The amortization of acquired intangible assets may reduce our future reported earnings. Furthermore, if our goodwill or other intangible assets become impaired, we may be required to recognize charges that would reduce our income.

As of December 31, 2017, we had $328 million of goodwill and $166 million in intangibles, net recorded on our balance sheet. Under generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S. (“GAAP”), goodwill is not amortized, but must be reviewed for possible impairment annually, or more often in certain circumstances where events indicate that the asset values are not recoverable. These reviews could result in an earnings charge for impairment, which would reduce our net income even though there would be no impact on our underlying cash flow.

Uncertainties in the interpretation and application of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act could materially affect our tax obligations and effective tax rate.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“Act”) was enacted on December 22, 2017, and significantly affected U.S. tax law by changing how the U.S. imposes income tax on multinational corporations. The U.S. Department of Treasury has broad authority to issue regulations and interpretative guidance that may significantly impact how we will apply the law and impact our results of operations in the period issued.  The Act requires complex computations not previously provided in U.S. tax law. As such, the application of accounting guidance for such items is currently uncertain. Further, compliance with the Act and the accounting for such provisions require accumulation of information not previously required or regularly produced. As a result, we have provided a provisional estimate on the effect of the Act in our financial statements. As additional regulatory guidance is issued by the applicable taxing authorities, as accounting treatment is clarified, as we perform additional analysis on the application of the law, and as we refine estimates in calculating the effect, our final analysis, which will be recorded in the period completed, may be different from our current provisional amounts, which could materially affect our tax obligations and effective tax rate.

We face risks associated with conducting business in markets outside of the U.S. and Canada.

We currently conduct business in countries outside of the U.S. and Canada. We could be materially and adversely affected by economic, legal, political and regulatory developments in the countries in which we do business in the future or in which we expand our business, particularly those countries which have historically experienced a high degree of political or economic instability. Examples of risks inherent in conducting business in markets outside of the U.S. and Canada include:

 

changes in the political and economic conditions in the countries in which we operate, including civil uprisings and terrorist acts;

 

unexpected changes in regulatory requirements;

 

changes in tariffs;

 

the adoption of foreign or domestic laws limiting exports to or imports from certain foreign countries;

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fluctuations in currency exchange rates and the value of the U.S. dollar;

 

restrictions on repatriation of earnings;

 

expropriation of property without fair compensation;

 

governmental actions that result in the deprivation of contract or proprietary rights; and

 

the acceptance of business practices which are not consistent with or are antithetical to prevailing business practices we are accustomed to in North America including export compliance and anti-bribery practices and governmental sanctions.

If we begin doing business in a foreign country in which we do not presently operate, we may also face difficulties in operations and diversion of management time in connection with establishing our business there.

We are subject to U.S. and other anti-corruption laws, trade controls, economic sanctions, and similar laws and regulations, including those in the jurisdictions where we operate. Our failure to comply with these laws and regulations could subject us to civil, criminal and administrative penalties and harm our reputation.

Doing business on a worldwide basis requires us to comply with the laws and regulations of the U.S. government and various foreign jurisdictions. These laws and regulations place restrictions on our operations, trade practices, partners and investment decisions. In particular, our operations are subject to U.S. and foreign anti-corruption and trade control laws and regulations, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), export controls and economic sanctions programs, including those administered by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”). As a result of doing business in foreign countries and with foreign partners, we are exposed to a heightened risk of violating anti-corruption and trade control laws and sanctions regulations.

The FCPA prohibits us from providing anything of value to foreign officials for the purposes of obtaining or retaining business or securing any improper business advantage. It also requires us to keep books and records that accurately and fairly reflect the Company’s transactions. As part of our business, we may deal with state-owned business enterprises, the employees of which are considered foreign officials for purposes of the FCPA. In addition, the United Kingdom Bribery Act (the “Bribery Act”) has been enacted and came into effect on July 1, 2011. The provisions of the Bribery Act extend beyond bribery of foreign public officials and also apply to transactions with individuals that a government does not employ. The provisions of the Bribery Act are also more onerous than the FCPA in a number of other respects, including jurisdiction, non-exemption of facilitation payments and penalties. Some of the international locations in which we operate lack a developed legal system and have higher than normal levels of corruption. Our continued expansion outside the U.S., including in developing countries, and our development of new partnerships and joint venture relationships worldwide, could increase the risk of FCPA, OFAC or Bribery Act violations in the future.

Economic sanctions programs restrict our business dealings with certain sanctioned countries, persons and entities. In addition, because we act as a distributor, we face the risk that our customers might further distribute our products to a sanctioned person or entity, or an ultimate end-user in a sanctioned country, which might subject us to an investigation concerning compliance with the OFAC or other sanctions regulations.

Violations of anti-corruption and trade control laws and sanctions regulations are punishable by civil penalties, including fines, denial of export privileges, injunctions, asset seizures, debarment from government contracts and revocations or restrictions of licenses, as well as criminal fines and imprisonment. We have established policies and procedures designed to assist our compliance with applicable U.S. and international anti-corruption and trade control laws and regulations, including the FCPA, the Bribery Act and trade controls and sanctions programs administered by the OFAC, and have trained our employees to comply with these laws and regulations. However, there can be no assurance that all of our employees, consultants, agents or other associated persons will not take actions in violation of our policies and these laws and regulations, and that our policies and procedures will effectively prevent us from violating these regulations in every transaction in which we may engage or provide a defense to any alleged violation. In particular, we may be held liable for the actions that our local, strategic or joint venture partners take inside or outside of the United States, even though our partners may not be subject to these laws. Such a violation, even if our policies prohibit it, could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, various state and municipal governments, universities and other investors maintain prohibitions or restrictions on investments in companies that do business with sanctioned countries, persons and entities, which could adversely affect the market for our common stock and other securities.

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The occurrence of cyber incidents, or a deficiency in our cybersecurity, could negatively impact our business by causing a disruption to our operations, a compromise or corruption of our confidential information or damage to our Company’s image, all of which could negatively impact our financial results.

A cyber incident is considered to be any adverse event that threatens the confidentiality, integrity or availability of our information resources. More specifically, a cyber incident is an intentional attack or an unintentional event that can include gaining unauthorized access to systems to disrupt operations, corrupt data or steal confidential information. As our reliance on technology has increased, so have the risks posed to our systems, both internal and those we have outsourced. Our three primary risks that could directly result from the occurrence of a cyber incident include operational interruption, damage to our Company’s image, and private data exposure. We have implemented solutions, processes, and procedures to help mitigate this risk, but these measures, as well as our organization’s increased awareness of our risk of a cyber incident, do not guarantee that our financial results will not be negatively impacted by such an incident.

Compliance with and changes in laws and regulations in the countries in which we operate could have a significant financial impact and effect how and where we conduct our operations.

We have operations in the U.S. and in other countries that can be impacted by expected and unexpected changes in the business and legal environments in the countries in which we operate. Compliance with and changes in laws, regulations, and other legal and business issues could impact our ability to manage our costs and to meet our earnings goals. Compliance related matters could also limit our ability to do business in certain countries. Changes that could have a significant cost to us include new legislation, new regulations, or a differing interpretation of existing laws and regulations, changes in tax law or tax rates, the unfavorable resolution of tax assessments or audits by various taxing authorities, the expansion of currency exchange controls, export controls or additional restrictions on doing business in countries subject to sanctions in which we operate or intend to operate.

Changes in the United Kingdom's economic and other relationships with the European Union could adversely affect us.

In June 2016, a majority of voters in the United Kingdom elected to withdraw from the European Union in a national referendum ("Brexit"). In March 2017, the United Kingdom formally notified the European Union of its intention to withdraw, and withdrawal negotiations began in June 2017. European Union rules provide for a two-year negotiation period, beginning on the withdrawal notification date, unless an extension is agreed to by the parties. The negotiations between the parties have yet to produce an overall structure for their ongoing relationship following Brexit. We have operations in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. The ongoing uncertainty and potential re-imposition of border controls and customs duties on trade between the United Kingdom and European Union nations could negatively impact our competitive position, supplier and customer relationships and financial performance. The ultimate effects of Brexit on us will depend on the specific terms of any agreement the United Kingdom and the European Union reach to provide access to each other’s respective markets.

Risks Relating to the Spin-Off

We are subject to continuing contingent liabilities of NOV following the Spin-Off.

There are several significant areas where the liabilities of NOV may become our obligations. For example, under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and the related rules and regulations, each corporation that was a member of the NOV combined U.S. federal income tax reporting group during any taxable period or portion of any taxable period ending on or before the effective time of the Spin-Off is jointly and severally liable for the U.S. federal income tax liability of the entire NOV combined tax reporting group for that taxable period. In connection with the Spin-Off, we entered into a tax matters agreement with NOV that allocates the responsibility for prior period taxes of the NOV combined tax reporting group between us and NOV. However, if NOV is unable to pay any prior period taxes for which it is responsible, we could be required to pay the entire amount of such taxes.

If the Spin-Off, together with certain related transactions, does not qualify as a transaction that is generally tax-free for U.S. federal income tax purposes, NOV and its stockholders could be subject to significant tax liability and, in certain circumstances, we could be required to indemnify NOV for material taxes pursuant to indemnification obligations under the tax matters agreement.

If the Spin-Off or certain internal restructuring transactions that were undertaken in anticipation of the Spin-Off are determined to be taxable for U.S. federal income tax purposes, then we, NOV and/or our stockholders could be subject to significant tax liability. To the extent that we are required to indemnify NOV (or its subsidiaries or other affiliates) or otherwise bear tax liabilities attributable to the Spin-Off under the tax matters agreement, we may be subject to substantial liabilities that could have a material adverse effect on our company.

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NOV’s insurers may deny coverage to us for losses associated with occurrences prior to the Spin-Off.

In connection with the Spin-Off, we entered into agreements with NOV to address several matters associated with the Spin-Off, including insurance coverage. NOV’s insurers may deny coverage to us for losses associated with occurrences prior to the separation. Accordingly, we may be required to temporarily or permanently bear the costs of such lost coverage.

Risks Relating to Our Common Stock

The market price of our shares may fluctuate widely.

The market price of our common stock may fluctuate widely, depending upon many factors, some of which may be beyond our control, including:

 

our competitors’ significant acquisitions or dispositions;

 

the failure of our operating results to meet the estimates of securities analysts or the expectations of our stockholders;

 

changes in earnings estimates by securities analysts or our ability to meet our earnings guidance;

 

the operating and stock price performance of other comparable companies;

 

overall market fluctuations and general economic conditions; and

 

the other factors described in these “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Form 10-K.

Stock markets in general have also experienced volatility that has often been unrelated to the operating performance of a particular company. These broad market fluctuations could negatively affect the trading price of our common stock.

Your percentage ownership in us may be diluted in the future.

As with any publicly traded company, your percentage ownership in us may be diluted in the future because of equity issuances for acquisitions, capital market transactions or otherwise, including, without limitation, equity awards that we expect will be granted to our directors, officers and employees.

We cannot assure you that we will pay dividends on our common stock.

We do not currently pay dividends on our common stock. We currently intend to retain our future earnings to support the growth and development of our business. The payment of future cash dividends, if any, will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend upon, among other things, our financial condition, results of operations, capital requirements and development expenditures, future business prospects and any restrictions imposed by future debt instruments.

Certain provisions in our corporate documents and Delaware law may prevent or delay an acquisition of our company, even if that change may be considered beneficial by some of our stockholders.

The existence of some provisions of our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and Delaware law could discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of us that a stockholder may consider favorable. These include provisions:

 

providing our Board of Directors with the right to issue preferred stock without stockholder approval;

 

prohibiting stockholders from taking action by written consent;

 

restricting the ability of our stockholders to call a special meeting;

 

providing for a classified Board of Directors;

 

providing that the number of directors will be filled by the Board of Directors and vacancies on the Board of Directors, including those resulting from an enlargement of the Board of Directors, will be filled by the Board of Directors;

 

requiring cause and an affirmative vote of at least 80 percent of the voting power of the then-outstanding voting stock to remove directors;

20


 

 

requiring the affirmative vote of at least 80 percent of the voting power of the then-outstanding voting stock to amend certain provisions of our certificate of incorporation and bylaws; and

 

establishing advance notice requirements for nominations of candidates for election to our Board of Directors or for stockholder proposals.

In addition, we are subject to Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”) which may have an anti-takeover effect with respect to transactions not approved in advance by our Board of Directors, including discouraging takeover attempts that could have resulted in a premium over the market price for shares of our common stock.

We believe these provisions protect our stockholders from coercive or otherwise unfair takeover tactics by requiring potential acquirers to negotiate with our Board of Directors and by providing our Board of Directors with more time to assess any acquisition proposal. These provisions are not intended to make our company immune from takeovers. However, these provisions apply even if the offer may be considered beneficial by some stockholders and could delay or prevent an acquisition that our Board of Directors determines is not in the best interests of our company and our stockholders.

 

 

21


 

ITEM 1B.

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

ITEM 2.

PROPERTIES

As of December 31, 2017, our three reporting segments, the United States, Canada and International, had approximately 195, 55 and 35 locations, respectively. International countries include: Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, China, Colombia, England, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore and United Arab Emirates. Our properties are comprised of offices, distribution centers and branches, approximately 85% of which are leased. Owned facilities are not subject to any mortgages.

ITEM 3.

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

We have various claims, lawsuits and administrative proceedings that are pending or threatened, all arising in the ordinary course of business, with respect to commercial, product liability and employee matters. Although no assurance can be given with respect to the outcome of these or any other pending legal and administrative proceedings and the effect such outcomes may have, we believe any ultimate liability resulting from the outcome of such claims, lawsuits or administrative proceedings will not have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows. See Note 11 “Commitments and Contingencies” to the consolidated financial statements.

ITEM 4.

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not Applicable.

 

 

22


 

PART II

ITEM 5.

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

Quarterly Common Stock Prices and Cash Dividends Per Share

NOW Inc. common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the ticker symbol “DNOW”. The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, the range of high and low closing prices for the common stock, as reported by the NYSE:

 

 

 

2016

 

 

2017

 

 

 

First

 

 

Second

 

 

Third

 

 

Fourth

 

 

First

 

 

Second

 

 

Third

 

 

Fourth

 

 

 

Quarter

 

 

Quarter

 

 

Quarter

 

 

Quarter

 

 

Quarter

 

 

Quarter

 

 

Quarter

 

 

Quarter

 

Common stock sale price:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High

 

$

20.02

 

 

$

19.30

 

 

$

21.55

 

 

$

23.21

 

 

$

22.67

 

 

$

18.22

 

 

$

16.57

 

 

$

13.99

 

Low

 

$

12.48

 

 

$

15.96

 

 

$

17.87

 

 

$

18.05

 

 

$

15.75

 

 

$

15.05

 

 

$

11.49

 

 

$

9.88

 

 

Our board of directors has not declared any dividends during 2016 or 2017 and currently has no intention to declare dividends.

As of February 7, 2018, there were 2,148 holders of record of our common stock. Many stockholders choose to own shares through brokerage accounts and other intermediaries rather than as holders of record (excluding individual participants in securities positions listing) so the actual number of stockholders is unknown but likely significantly higher.

The information relating to our equity compensation plans required by Item 5. “Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities” is incorporated by reference to such information as set forth in Item 12. “Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters” contained herein.

23


 

Performance Graph

The graph below matches the cumulative 43-Month total return of holders of NOW Inc.'s common stock with the cumulative total returns of the S&P Midcap 400 index and a customized peer group of five companies that includes: DXP Enterprises Inc., Fastenal Co, MRC Global Inc., W.W. Grainger Inc. and Wesco International Inc. The graph assumes that the value of the investment in our common stock, in each index, and in the peer group (including reinvestment of dividends) was $100 on 6/2/2014 and tracks it through 12/31/2017.

 

 

 

6/2/14

 

 

12/14

 

 

12/15

 

 

12/16

 

 

12/17

 

NOW Inc.

 

$

100

 

 

$

72

 

 

$

45

 

 

$

58

 

 

$

31

 

S&P Midcap 400

 

 

100

 

 

 

106

 

 

 

104

 

 

 

126

 

 

 

146

 

Peer Group

 

 

100

 

 

 

94

 

 

 

76

 

 

 

94

 

 

 

101

 

 

The stock price performance included in this graph is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.

This information shall not be deemed to be ‘‘soliciting material’’ or to be ‘‘filed’’ with the Commission or subject to Regulation 14A (17 CFR 240.14a-1-240.14a-104), other than as provided in Item 201(e) of Regulation S-K, or to the liabilities of section 18 of the Exchange Act (15 U.S.C. 78r).

 

 

24


 

ITEM 6.

SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

Selected Financial Data

The following selected financial data reflect the consolidated operations of NOW Inc. We derived the selected consolidated income statement data and the selected consolidated balance sheet data for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013, from the audited consolidated financial statements of NOW Inc.

 

 

 

As of and For the Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

2013

 

 

 

(In millions)

 

Operating data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue

 

$

2,648

 

 

$

2,107

 

 

$

3,010

 

 

$

4,105

 

 

$

4,296

 

Operating profit (loss)

 

$

(41

)

 

$

(222

)

 

$

(510

)

 

$

181

 

 

$

224

 

Net income (loss)

 

$

(52

)

 

$

(234

)

 

$

(502

)

 

$

116

 

 

$

147

 

Earnings (loss) per share amounts:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

$

(0.48

)

 

$

(2.18

)

 

$

(4.68

)

 

$

1.07

 

 

$

1.37

 

Diluted

 

$

(0.48

)

 

$

(2.18

)

 

$

(4.68

)

 

$

1.06

 

 

$

1.36

 

Balance sheet data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working capital

 

$

735

 

 

$

612

 

 

$

985

 

 

$

1,427

 

 

$

1,299

 

Total assets

 

$

1,749

 

 

$

1,603

 

 

$

1,832

 

 

$

2,596

 

 

$

2,183

 

Long-term debt

 

$

162

 

 

$

65

 

 

$

108

 

 

$

 

 

$

 

Total stockholders' equity

 

$

1,185

 

 

$

1,183

 

 

$

1,403

 

 

$

1,966

 

 

$

1,802

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 7.

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Overview of the Separation

On May 1, 2014, the National Oilwell Varco, Inc. Board of Directors approved the Spin-Off of its distribution business into an independent, publicly traded company named NOW Inc. In accordance with a separation and distribution agreement, the two companies were separated by NOV distributing to its stockholders 107,053,031 shares of common stock of the Company after the market closed on May 30, 2014 (the “Spin-Off Date”). Each NOV stockholder received one share of NOW common stock for every four shares of NOV common stock held at the close of business on the record date of May 22, 2014 and not sold prior to close of business on May 30, 2014. Fractional shares of NOW common stock were not distributed and any fractional shares of NOW common stock otherwise issuable to a NOV stockholder were sold in the open market on such stockholder’s behalf, and such stockholder received a cash payment with respect to that fractional share. In conjunction with the Spin-Off, NOV received an opinion from its legal counsel to the effect that, based on certain facts, assumptions, representations and undertakings, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the distribution of NOW common stock and certain related transactions generally was not taxable to NOV or U.S. holders of NOV common stock, except in respect to cash received in lieu of fractional shares, which generally will be taxable to such holders as a capital gain. Following the Spin-Off, NOW became an independent, publicly traded company as NOV had no ownership interest in NOW. Each company has separate public ownership, boards of directors and management. A Registration Statement on Form 10, as amended, relating to the Spin-Off was filed by the Company with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and was declared effective on May 13, 2014. On June 2, 2014, NOW stock began trading the “regular-way” on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “DNOW”.

Basis of Presentation

The accompanying consolidated financial information include the accounts of the Company and its consolidated subsidiaries. All significant intercompany transactions and accounts have been eliminated.

25


 

General Overview

We are a global distributor to the oil and gas and industrial markets with a legacy of over one-hundred and fifty years. We operate primarily under the DistributionNOW and Wilson Export brands. Through our network of approximately 285 locations and approximately 4,600 employees worldwide, we stock and sell a comprehensive offering of energy products as well as a selection of products for industrial applications. Our energy product offering is consumed throughout all sectors of the oil and gas industry – from upstream drilling and completion, exploration and production (“E&P”), midstream infrastructure development to downstream petroleum refining – as well as in other industries, such as chemical processing, mining, utilities and industrial manufacturing operations. The industrial distribution end markets include manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, refineries and engineering and construction firms. We also provide supply chain and materials management solutions to the same markets where we sell products.

Our global product offering includes consumable maintenance, repair and operating (“MRO”) supplies, pipe, valves, fittings, flanges, gaskets, fasteners, electrical, instrumentation, artificial lift, pumping solutions, valve actuation and modular process, measurement and control equipment. We also offer warehouse and inventory management solutions as part of our supply chain and materials management offering. We have developed expertise in providing application systems, work processes, parts integration, optimization solutions and after-sales support.

Our solutions include outsourcing the functions of procurement, inventory and warehouse management, logistics, point of issue technology, project management, business process and performance metrics reporting. These solutions allow us to leverage the infrastructure of our SAP™ Enterprise Resource Planning (“ERP”) system and other technologies to streamline our customers’ purchasing process, from requisition to procurement to payment, by digitally managing workflow, improving approval routing and providing robust reporting functionality.

We support land and offshore operations for all the major oil and gas producing regions around the world through our network of locations. Our key markets, beyond North America, include Latin America, the North Sea, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and the Former Soviet Union (“FSU”). Products sold through our locations support greenfield expansion upstream capital projects, midstream infrastructure and transmission and MRO consumables used in day-to-day production. We provide downstream energy and industrial products for petroleum refining, chemical processing, LNG terminals, power generation utilities and industrial manufacturing operations and customer on-site locations.

We stock or sell more than 300,000 SKUs through our branch network. Our supplier network consists of thousands of vendors in approximately 40 countries. From our operations in over 20 countries, we sell to customers operating in approximately 80 countries. The supplies and equipment stocked by each of our branches is customized to meet varied and changing local customer demands. The breadth and scale of our offering enhances our value proposition to our customers, suppliers and shareholders.

We employ advanced information technologies, including a common ERP platform across most of our business, to provide complete procurement, materials management and logistics coordination to our customers around the globe. Having a common ERP platform allows immediate visibility into our inventory assets, operations and financials worldwide, enhancing decision making and efficiency.

Our revenue and operating results are related to the level of worldwide oil and gas drilling and production activities and the profitability and cash flow of oil and gas companies and drilling contractors, which in turn are affected by current and anticipated prices of oil and gas. Oil and gas prices have been and are likely to continue to be volatile. See Item 1A. “Risk Factors.” We conduct our operations through three business segments: United States, Canada and International. See “Business—Summary of Reportable Segments” for a discussion of each of these business segments.

 

 

26


 

Unless indicated otherwise, results of operations data are presented in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”). In an effort to provide investors with additional information regarding our results as determined by GAAP, we may disclose non-GAAP financial measures. The primary non-GAAP financial measure we focus on is earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, excluding other costs (“EBITDA excluding other costs”). This financial measure excludes the impact of certain amounts and is not calculated in accordance with GAAP. See “Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Reconciliations” in Results of Operations for an explanation of our use of non-GAAP financial measures and reconciliations to the corresponding measures calculated in accordance with GAAP.

Operating Environment Overview

Our results are dependent on, among other things, the level of worldwide oil and gas drilling and completions, well remediation activity, crude and natural gas prices, capital spending by oilfield service companies and drilling contractors, and the worldwide oil and gas inventory levels. Key industry indicators for the past three years include the following:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 v

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 v

 

 

 

2017*

 

 

2016*

 

 

2016

 

 

2015*

 

 

2015

 

Active Drilling Rigs:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S.

 

 

875

 

 

 

510

 

 

 

71.6

%

 

 

977

 

 

 

(10.4

%)

Canada

 

 

207

 

 

 

128

 

 

 

61.7

%

 

 

193

 

 

 

7.3

%

International

 

 

948

 

 

 

955

 

 

 

(0.7

%)

 

 

1,167

 

 

 

(18.8

%)

Worldwide

 

 

2,030

 

 

 

1,593

 

 

 

27.4

%

 

 

2,337

 

 

 

(13.1

%)

West Texas Intermediate Crude Prices (per barrel)

 

$

50.88

 

 

$

43.14

 

 

 

17.9

%

 

$

48.69

 

 

 

4.5

%

Natural Gas Prices ($/MMBtu)

 

$

2.99

 

 

$

2.52

 

 

 

18.7

%

 

$

2.63

 

 

 

13.7

%

Hot-Rolled Coil Prices (steel) ($/short ton)

 

$

620.10

 

 

$

520.63

 

 

 

19.1

%

 

$

469.90

 

 

 

32.0

%

 

*

Averages for the years indicated. See sources on following page.

 

 

27


 

The following table details the U.S., Canadian, and international rig activity and West Texas Intermediate (“WTI”) oil prices for the past nine quarters ended December 31, 2017:

 

 

Sources: Rig count: Baker Hughes, Inc. (www.bakerhughes.com); West Texas Intermediate Crude and Natural Gas Prices: Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration (www.eia.doe.gov); Hot-Rolled Coil Prices: American Metal Market SteelBenchmarker Hot Roll Coil USA (www.amm.com).

The worldwide average rig count increased 27.4% (from 1,593 to 2,030) and the U.S. increased 71.6% (from 510 to 875) in 2017 compared to 2016. The average price of West Texas Intermediate (“WTI”) crude increased 17.9% (from $43.14 per barrel to $50.88 per barrel) and natural gas prices increased 18.7% (from $2.52 per MMBtu to $2.99 per MMBtu) in 2017 compared to 2016. The average price of Hot-Rolled Coil increased 19.1% (from $520.63 per short ton to $620.10 per short ton) in 2017 compared to 2016.

U.S. rig count at February 2, 2018 was 946 rigs, up 8.1% compared to the 2017 average of 875 rigs. The price for WTI crude was $65.50 per barrel at February 2, 2018, up 28.7% from the 2017 average. The price for natural gas was $2.91 per MMBtu at February 2, 2018, down 2.7% from the 2017 average. The price for Hot-Rolled Coil was $658.62 per short ton at January 19, 2018, up 6.2% from the 2017 average.

 

 

28


 

Executive Summary

For the year ended December 31, 2017, the Company generated a net loss of $52 million, or $(0.48) per fully diluted share on $2,648 million in revenue. Net loss narrowed for the year ended December 31, 2017 by $182 million when compared to the corresponding period of 2016. Revenue increased for the year ended December 31, 2017 by $541 million, or 25.7%, when compared to the corresponding period of 2016. For the year ended December 31, 2017, operating loss was $41 million, or negative 1.5% of revenue, compared to operating loss of $222 million or negative 10.5% of revenue for the corresponding period of 2016.

For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2017, the Company generated a net loss of $3 million, or $(0.03) per fully diluted share on $669 million in revenue. Net loss narrowed for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2017 by $68 million when compared to the corresponding period of 2016. Revenue increased for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2017 by $131 million, or 24.3%, when compared to the corresponding period of 2016. For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2017, operating profit was nil or 0.0% of revenue, compared to operating loss of $47 million or negative 8.7% of revenue for the corresponding period of 2016.

Outlook

Our outlook for the Company remains tied to global offshore and onshore rig counts, drilling and completion expenditures, midstream projects and downstream activity. After the longest period of decline since the 1980s, the business environment has strengthened since the second half of 2016. Oil prices and oil storage continue to be the primary catalysts determining activity with our customers. Certain OPEC and non-OPEC countries’ agreements to reduce production in an effort to support global oil prices influences rig counts, completion expenditures and midstream infrastructure buildout, which are expected to improve in 2018.

We take a long-term approach advancing our long-term strategic goals and are focused on organic and inorganic growth and remain diligent about managing our expenses and improving the efficiency of working capital to reflect the market opportunities as they develop. We believe that our history of managing through these cycles, paired with our resources, will enable us to maximize on new opportunities.

Results of Operations

Consolidated Results

Years Ended December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016

A summary of the Company’s revenue and operating profit (loss) by segment in 2017 and 2016 follows (in millions):

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

Variance

 

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

$

 

Revenue:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

United States

 

$

1,914

 

 

$

1,445

 

 

$

469

 

Canada

 

 

356

 

 

 

258

 

 

 

98

 

International

 

 

378

 

 

 

404

 

 

 

(26

)

Total revenue

 

$

2,648

 

 

$

2,107

 

 

$

541

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating profit (loss):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

United States

 

$

(53

)

 

$

(192

)

 

$

139

 

Canada

 

 

13

 

 

 

(18

)

 

 

31

 

International

 

 

(1

)

 

 

(12

)

 

 

11

 

Total operating profit (loss)

 

$

(41

)

 

$

(222

)

 

$

181

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating profit (loss) % of revenue:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

United States

 

 

(2.8

%)

 

 

(13.3

%)

 

 

 

 

Canada

 

 

3.7

%

 

 

(7.0

%)

 

 

 

 

International

 

 

(0.3

%)

 

 

(3.0

%)

 

 

 

 

Total operating profit (loss) %

 

 

(1.5

%)

 

 

(10.5

%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

29


 

United States

Revenue was $1,914 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, an increase of $469 million or 32.5% compared to the year ended December 31, 2016. This growth was primarily driven by a 72% increase in U.S. rig count due to improved market activity, coupled with incremental revenue gains of approximately $65 million from an acquisition completed in 2016, partially offset by a continued build in drilled, but uncompleted wells in 2017.

Operating loss was $53 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, an improvement of $139 million compared to operating loss of $192 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. Operating loss percentage was negative 2.8% for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to operating loss percentage of negative 13.3% for the year ended December 31, 2016. U.S. operating losses narrowed due to revenue gains addressed above coupled with improved pricing and reduced warehousing, selling and administrative expenses.

Canada

Revenue was $356 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, an increase of $98 million or 38.0% compared to the year ended December 31, 2016. This increase was driven by the 62% improvement in Canadian rig count coupled with the impact of the weakening U.S. dollar.

Our Canadian revenue grew slightly to 13% of total revenue in 2017 from 12% in 2016. We are subject to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates relative to the U.S. dollar. Our Canadian revenue is favorably impacted as the U.S. dollar weakens relative to the Canadian dollar, and unfavorably impacted as the U.S. dollar strengthens relative to the Canadian dollar. In 2017, our revenue from Canada was favorably impacted by approximately $8 million due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates over the prior year, as the U.S. dollar weakened relative to the Canadian dollar.

Operating profit was $13 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, an increase of $31 million compared to operating loss of $18 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. Operating profit percentage was 3.7% in 2017 compared to operating loss percentage of negative 7.0% in 2016. Operating profit improved in 2017 primarily due to the revenue increase discussed above at higher gross margins during the year.

International

Revenue was $378 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, a decline of $26 million or 6.4% compared to the year ended December 31, 2016. This decrease was primarily a result of the completion of large projects in the first half of 2016 that did not repeat, coupled with the strengthening of the U.S. dollar and a softening in the offshore rig market.  

Our international revenue changed from 19% of total revenue in 2016 to 14% in 2017. We are subject to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates relative to the U.S. dollar. Our international revenue is favorably impacted as the U.S. dollar weakens relative to other foreign currencies, and unfavorably impacted as the U.S dollar strengthens relative to other foreign currencies. Our international segment revenue was unfavorably impacted by approximately $5 million due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates over the prior year.

Operating loss was $1 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, an improvement of $11 million compared to operating loss of $12 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. Operating loss percentage was negative 0.3% for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to negative 3.0% for the year ended December 31, 2016. The improvement in operating profit was primarily due to reduced bad debt charges and realized cost savings.

 

 

30


 

Cost of products

Cost of products was $2,147 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to $1,762 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, an increase of $385 million. The increase in cost of products was attributable to an increase in revenue, offset by a reduction in inventory charges made in the period. Cost of products includes the cost of inventory sold and related items, such as vendor consideration, inventory allowances, amortization of intangibles and inbound and outbound freight.

Warehousing, selling and administrative expenses

Warehousing, selling and administrative expenses were $542 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to $567 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. The decrease in operating expense was related to reductions in accounts receivable charges, as well as a $10 million gain on sale of a property, offset by the impact of additional operating expenses associated with an acquisition. Warehousing, selling and administrative costs include branch location, distribution center and regional expenses (including costs such as compensation, benefits and rent) as well as corporate general selling and administrative expenses.

Impairment

During the fourth quarter of 2017, we performed our annual goodwill impairment test resulting in no impairment.  The excess of the reporting units’ estimated fair value over carrying value (expressed as a percentage of carrying value) was more than 40% except for the International reporting unit, which exceeded its carrying value by approximately 8%.  The Company continues to monitor the cash flows for this reporting unit. During the fourth quarter of 2016, we performed our annual goodwill impairment test resulting in no impairment.

Other expense

Other expense was $11 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to $8 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. These charges were mainly attributable to interest and bank charges associated with utilizing the credit facility and foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations.

Provision for income taxes

The effective tax rate for the years ended December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016 was 0.0% and (1.6%), respectively. The tax rate is affected by recurring items, such as lower tax rates on income earned in foreign jurisdictions that is permanently reinvested, offset by nondeductible expenses and state income taxes.  In 2016, the effective tax rate was impacted by a valuation allowance recorded against the Company’s deferred tax assets in the United States, Canada and other foreign jurisdictions. In 2017, the effective tax rate continues to be impacted by a valuation allowance in the United States, Canada and other foreign jurisdictions. In addition, the effective tax rate was impacted by the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 which includes a one-time transition tax, the U.S. tax rate change and foreign tax credits related to earnings of foreign subsidiaries that were previously tax deferred.

31


 

Consolidated Results

Years Ended December 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015

A summary of the Company’s revenue and operating profit (loss) by segment in 2016 and 2015 follows (in millions):

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

Variance

 

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

 

$

 

Revenue:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

United States

 

$

1,445

 

 

$

2,027

 

 

$

(582

)

Canada

 

 

258

 

 

 

378

 

 

 

(120

)

International

 

 

404

 

 

 

605

 

 

 

(201

)

Total revenue

 

$

2,107

 

 

$

3,010

 

 

$

(903

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating profit (loss):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

United States

 

$

(192

)

 

$

(515

)

 

$

323

 

Canada

 

 

(18

)

 

 

(1

)

 

 

(17

)

International

 

 

(12

)

 

 

6

 

 

 

(18

)

Total operating profit (loss)

 

$

(222

)

 

$

(510

)

 

$

288

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating profit (loss) % of revenue:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

United States

 

 

(13.3

%)

 

 

(25.4

%)

 

 

 

 

Canada

 

 

(7.0

%)

 

 

(0.3

%)

 

 

 

 

International

 

 

(3.0

%)

 

 

1.0

%

 

 

 

 

Total operating profit (loss) %

 

 

(10.5

%)

 

 

(16.9

%)

 

 

 

 

 

United States

Revenue was $1,445 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, a decline of $582 million or 28.7% compared to the year ended December 31, 2015. This decrease was primarily driven by a 48% decline in U.S. rig count, as average West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices declined for the third straight year, offset by incremental revenue gains of approximately $154 million from acquisitions.

Operating loss was $192 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, an improvement of $323 million compared to operating loss of $515 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. Operating loss percentage was negative 13.3% for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to operating loss percentage of negative 25.4% for the year ended December 31, 2015. Excluding $393 million in charges related to goodwill impairment in 2015, U.S. operating losses widened due to lower revenues caused by suppressed market activity as measured by much lower U.S. rig count, partially offset by reductions in operating expenses.

Canada

Revenue was $258 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, a decline of $120 million or 31.7% compared to the year ended December 31, 2015. This decrease was in line with the decline in Canadian rig count coupled with the impact of the strengthening U.S. dollar.

Our Canadian revenue remained slightly above 12% of total revenue in 2015 and 2016. We are subject to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates relative to the U.S. dollar. Our Canadian revenue is favorably impacted as the U.S. dollar weakens relative to the Canadian dollar, and unfavorably impacted as the U.S. dollar strengthens relative to the Canadian dollar. In 2016, our revenue from Canada was unfavorably impacted by approximately $12 million due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates over the prior year, as the U.S. dollar strengthened relative to the Canadian dollar.

Operating loss was $18 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, an increase of $17 million compared to operating loss of $1 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. Operating loss percentage was negative 7.0% in 2016 compared to operating loss percentage of negative 0.3% in 2015. Operating losses widened in 2016 primarily due to the revenue decline discussed above, partially offset by expense reductions made during the year.

32


 

International

Revenue was $404 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, a decline of $201 million or 33.2% compared to the year ended December 31, 2015. This decrease was mainly attributable to an overall decline in international deepwater drilling activity as our customers continued to focus on cost reduction, redistribution of inventory from idled rigs and remained disciplined with respect to allocation of capital.  

Our international revenue changed from 20% of total revenue in 2015 to 19% in 2016. We are subject to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates relative to the U.S. dollar. Our international revenue is favorably impacted as the U.S. dollar weakens relative to other foreign currencies, and unfavorably impacted as the U.S dollar strengthens relative to other foreign currencies. Our international segment revenue, excluding the impact from acquisitions, was unfavorably impacted by approximately $33 million due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates over the prior year, as the U.S. dollar strengthened relative to certain currencies, most notably the Azerbaijani new manat, British pound, Kazakhstan tenge and Mexican peso.

Operating loss was $12 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, a decline of $18 million compared to operating profit of $6 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. Operating loss percentage was negative 3.0% for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to 1.0% for the year ended December 31, 2015. The decrease in operating profit was primarily attributed to volume declines partially offset by overall reduction in operating expenses.

 

Cost of products

Cost of products was $1,762 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 compared to $2,508 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, a decrease of $746 million. The decrease in cost of products was attributable to a decline in revenue. Cost of products includes the cost of inventory sold and related items, such as vendor consideration, inventory allowances, amortization of intangibles and inbound and outbound freight.

Warehousing, selling and administrative expenses

Warehousing, selling and administrative expenses were $567 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 compared to $619 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. The decrease is related to cost-cutting initiatives taken as a result of the decline in market activity coupled with a decline in bad debt charges, offset by additional expenses resulting from acquisitions made in the periods. Warehousing, selling and administrative costs include branch location, distribution center and regional expenses (including costs such as compensation, benefits and rent) as well as corporate general selling and administrative expenses.

Impairment

During the fourth quarter of 2016, we performed our annual goodwill impairment test resulting in no impairment.  All reporting units tested passed the step 1 calculation and the excess of their estimated fair value over carrying value (expressed as a percentage of carrying value) was more than 50% except for the International reporting unit. This reporting unit exceeded the carrying value by 15%.  The Company continues to monitor the cash flows for this reporting unit. For the year ended December 31, 2015, we recognized a total of $393 million goodwill impairment (U.S. Energy and U.S. Supply Chain) as a result of our testing.

Other expense

Other expense was $8 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 compared to $8 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. These charges were mainly attributable to interest and bank charges associated with utilizing the credit facility and foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations.

Provision for income taxes

The effective tax rate for the years ended December 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015 was (1.6%) and 3.0%, respectively. The tax rate is affected by recurring items, such as lower tax rates on income earned in foreign jurisdictions that is permanently reinvested, offset by nondeductible expenses and state income taxes.  In 2015, the effective tax rate was impacted by nondeductible goodwill impairments and a valuation allowance recorded against the Company’s deferred tax assets in the United States. In 2016, the effective tax rate continues to be impacted by a valuation allowance recorded against the Company’s deferred tax assets in the United States, Canada and other foreign jurisdictions.

 

33


 

Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Reconciliations

In an effort to provide investors with additional information regarding our results of operations as determined by GAAP, we disclose non-GAAP financial measures. The primary non-GAAP financial measure we disclose is earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, excluding other costs (“EBITDA excluding other costs”). This financial measure excludes the impact of certain amounts and is not calculated in accordance with GAAP. A reconciliation of this non-GAAP financial measure, to its most comparable GAAP financial measure, is included below.

We use EBITDA excluding other costs internally to evaluate and manage the Company’s operations because we believe it provides useful supplemental information regarding the Company’s ongoing economic performance. We have chosen to provide this information to investors to enable them to perform more meaningful comparisons of operating results.

The following table sets forth the reconciliations of EBITDA excluding other costs to the most comparable GAAP financial measures (in millions):

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

GAAP net loss (1)

 

$

(52

)

 

$

(234

)

 

$

(502

)

Interest, net

 

 

6

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

2

 

Income tax provision (benefit)

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

(16

)

Depreciation and amortization

 

 

50

 

 

 

53

 

 

 

38

 

Other costs (2)

 

 

3

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

413

 

EBITDA excluding other costs

 

$

7

 

 

$

(164

)

 

$

(65

)

EBITDA % excluding other costs (3)

 

 

0.3

%

 

 

(7.8

%)

 

 

(2.2

%)

 

 

(1)

We believe that net loss is the financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP that is most directly comparable to EBITDA excluding other costs. EBITDA excluding other costs measures the Company’s operating performance without regard to certain expenses. EBITDA excluding other costs is not a presentation made in accordance with GAAP and the Company’s computation of EBITDA excluding other costs may vary from others in the industry. EBITDA excluding other costs has important limitations as an analytical tool and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of the Company’s results as reported under GAAP.

 

(2)

Other costs primarily includes transaction costs associated with acquisitions, including the cost of inventory that was stepped up to fair value during purchase accounting, and severance expenses, and a goodwill impairment charge of $393 million in the year ended December 31, 2015, and which are included in operating loss.

 

(3)

EBITDA % excluding other costs is defined as EBITDA excluding other costs divided by Revenue.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

We assess liquidity in terms of our ability to generate cash to fund operating, investing and financing activities. We expect resources to be available to reinvest in existing businesses, strategic acquisitions and capital expenditures to meet short and long-term objectives. We believe that cash on hand, cash generated from expected results of operations and amounts available under our revolving credit facility will be sufficient to fund operations, anticipated working capital needs and other cash requirements, including capital expenditures.

At December 31, 2017 and 2016, we had cash and cash equivalents of $98 million and $106 million, respectively. At December 31, 2017, $81 million of our cash and cash equivalents was maintained in the accounts of our various foreign subsidiaries. The Company has not and does not anticipate the need to repatriate funds to the United States to satisfy domestic liquidity needs arising in the ordinary course of business, including liquidity needs associated with domestic debt service requirements. The cash is considered permanently reinvested and, except for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s one-time transition tax, no additional provision for U.S. federal and state income taxes has been made. If our foreign cash was repatriated, it would be subject to additional U.S. federal and state taxes (subject to an adjustment for foreign tax credits) and withholding taxes payable in various foreign countries, where applicable. We currently have the intent and ability to permanently reinvest the cash held by our foreign subsidiaries and there are currently no plans for the repatriation of such amounts.

34


 

As of December 31, 2017, we had borrowed $162 million against our senior secured revolving credit facility, and had $429 million in availability (as defined in the Credit Agreement) resulting in the excess availability (as defined in the Credit Agreement) of 72%, subject to certain restrictions. Borrowings that result in the excess availability dropping below 25% are conditioned upon compliance with or waiver of a minimum fixed charge ratio (as defined in the Credit Agreement). The credit facility contains usual and customary affirmative and negative covenants for credit facilities of this type including financial covenants. As of December 31, 2017, we were in compliance with all covenants. We continuously monitor compliance with debt covenants. A default, if not waived or amended, would prevent us from taking certain actions, such as incurring additional debt.

The following table summarizes our net cash provided by (used in) operating activities, net cash provided by (used in) investing activities and net cash provided by (used in) financing activities for the periods presented (in millions):

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities

 

$

(115

)

 

$

235

 

 

$

324

 

Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities

 

 

8

 

 

 

(183

)

 

 

(523

)

Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities

 

 

94

 

 

 

(47

)

 

 

106

 

 

Fiscal year 2017 compared to fiscal year 2016

Net cash flows used in operating activities in 2017 were $115 million, down from $235 million provided by operating activities in 2016. Net loss was $52 million in 2017 compared to $234 million in 2016. Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash provided by operating activities was $72 million in 2017 compared to $127 million in 2016. The decline in reconciling adjustments decreased mainly due to reductions in provisions for inventory and doubtful accounts in 2017 versus 2016. Net changes in operating assets and liabilities, net of acquisitions, was a deficit of $135 million in 2017 compared to $342 million provided in 2016. The deficit was primarily due to increases of $110 million and $64 million, in inventories and receivables, respectively, as market conditions improved in 2017, offset by an increase in accounts payable and accrued liabilities of $43 million.

Net cash provided by investing activities in 2017 was $8 million compared to net cash used in investing activities of $183 million in 2016. Cash provided by investing activities in 2017 was primarily related to the proceeds from disposal of assets, and other for $16 million.

Net cash provided by financing activities served as the primary source of liquidity. Net cash provided by financing activities for 2017 was $94 million related to net borrowings from the revolving credit facility, compared to $47 million used in financing activities in 2016 associated with net repayments under the revolving credit facility.

Fiscal year 2016 compared to fiscal year 2015

Net cash provided by operating activities served as the primary source of liquidity. Net cash flows provided by operating activities in 2016 were $235 million, down from $324 million in 2015. Net loss was $234 million in 2016 compared to $502 million in 2015. Net changes in operating assets and liabilities, net of acquisitions, provided $342 million in 2016 compared to $300 million in 2015. The improvement was primarily due to a decrease of $190 million in inventory as management actively reduced inventory levels reflecting lower market volumes, a $102 million reduction in receivables as a result of improved collections, and a $22 million increase in accounts payable and accrued liabilities resultant of curtailed spending. Income taxes receivable, net also provided $25 million during the year. Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities was $127 million in 2016 compared to $526 million in 2015. The decline in reconciling adjustments decreased mainly due to goodwill impairment charges in 2015 that did not recur in 2016, offset by greater depreciation and amortization.

Net cash used in investing activities in 2016 was $183 million compared to $523 million in 2015. Cash used in 2016 was mainly related to business acquisitions for $175 million, net of cash acquired.

Net cash used in financing activities for 2016 was $47 million related to net repayments under the revolving credit facility, compared to $106 million provided by financing activities in 2015 associated with net borrowings from the revolving credit facility.

Effect of the change in exchange rates

The effect of the change in exchange rates on cash flows was an increase of $5 million and an increase of $11 million for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively.

35


 

Capital Spending

We intend to pursue additional acquisition candidates, but the timing, size or success of any acquisition effort and the related potential capital commitments cannot be predicted. We continue to expect to fund future cash acquisitions primarily with cash flow from operations and the usage of the available portion of the revolving credit facility. We expect capital expenditures for fiscal year 2018 to be approximately $10 million primarily related to purchases of property, plant and equipment.

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

We are often party to certain transactions that require off-balance sheet arrangements such as performance bonds, guarantees and operating leases for equipment that are not reflected in our consolidated balance sheets. These arrangements are made in our normal course of business and they are not reasonably likely to have a current or future material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, liquidity or cash flows.

Contractual Obligations

The following table summarizes our aggregate contractual fixed and variable obligations as of December 31, 2017 (in millions):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payment Due by Period

 

 

 

Total

 

 

Less

Than 1

Year

 

 

1-3 Years

 

 

3-5 Years

 

 

After 5

Years

 

Contractual obligations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long-term debt

 

$

162

 

 

$

 

 

$

162

 

 

$

 

 

$

 

Operating leases

 

 

109

 

 

 

36

 

 

 

43

 

 

 

19

 

 

 

11

 

Total contractual obligations

 

$

271

 

 

$

36

 

 

$

205

 

 

$

19

 

 

$

11

 

 

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

In preparing the financial statements, we make assumptions, estimates and judgments that affect the amounts reported. We periodically evaluate our estimates and judgments that are most critical in nature, which are related to allowance for doubtful accounts, inventory reserves, goodwill, purchase price allocation of acquisitions, vendor consideration and income taxes. Our estimates are based on historical experience and on our future expectations that we believe are reasonable. The combination of these factors forms the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results are likely to differ from our current estimates and those differences may be material.

Allowance for Doubtful Accounts

We grant credit to our customers, which operate primarily in the energy industry. Concentrations of credit risk are limited because we have a large number of geographically diverse customers, thus spreading trade credit risk. We control credit risk through credit evaluations, credit limits and monitoring procedures. We perform periodic credit evaluations of our customers’ financial condition and generally do not require collateral, but may require letters of credit for certain international sales. Credit losses are provided for in the financial statements and changes in estimates can be material. Allowances for doubtful accounts are determined based on a continuous process of assessing the Company’s portfolio on an individual customer basis taking into account current market conditions and trends. This process consists of a thorough review of historical collection experience, current aging status of the customer accounts, and financial condition of the Company’s customers. Based on a review of these factors, the Company will establish or adjust allowances for specific customers. At December 31, 2017 and 2016, allowance for doubtful accounts totaled $29 million and $34 million, or 6.4% and 8.8% of gross accounts receivable, respectively.

Inventory Reserves

Inventories consist primarily of oilfield and industrial finished goods. Inventories are stated at the lower of cost or net realizable value and using average cost methods. Allowances for excess and obsolete inventories are determined based on the Company’s historical usage of inventory on hand as well as its future expectations. The Company’s estimated carrying value of inventory therefore depends upon demand driven by oil and gas drilling and well remediation activity, which depends in turn upon oil, gas and steel prices, the general outlook for economic growth worldwide, available financing for the Company’s customers, political stability in major oil and gas producing areas, and the potential obsolescence of various types of products we stock, among other factors. At December 31, 2017 and 2016, inventory reserves totaled $40 million and $48 million, or 6.3% and 9.0% of gross inventory, respectively. Changes in our estimates can be material under different market conditions.

36


 

Goodwill

The Company has $328 million of goodwill as of December 31, 2017. Generally accepted accounting principles require the Company to test goodwill for impairment at least annually or more frequently whenever events or circumstances occur indicating that it might be impaired. Events or circumstances which could indicate a potential impairment include, but are not limited to: further sustained declines in worldwide rig counts below current analysts’ forecasts, collapse of prices for oil, gas and steel, significant deterioration of external financing for our customers, higher risk premiums or higher cost of equity. The Company reviews goodwill for impairment annually in the fourth quarter of its fiscal year, or more frequently if impairment indicators arise.  Impairment of goodwill is tested at the reporting unit level by comparing the reporting unit's carrying amount, including goodwill, to the estimated fair value of the reporting unit.  If the carrying amount of the reporting unit exceeds its fair value, goodwill impairment is indicated.  

For purposes of testing goodwill, the Company has five reporting units; U.S. Energy, U.S. Supply Chain, U.S. Process Solutions, Canada and International. When performing goodwill impairment testing, the fair values of reporting units are determined based on valuation techniques using the best available information, primarily discounted cash flow projections. The discounted cash flow is based on management’s short-term and long-term forecast of operating performance for each reporting unit. The two main assumptions used in measuring goodwill impairment, which bear the risk of change and could impact the Company’s goodwill impairment analysis, include the cash flow from operations from each of the Company’s individual business units and the discount rate. The starting point for each of the reporting unit’s cash flow from operations is the detailed annual plan or updated forecast. The detailed planning and forecasting process takes into consideration a multitude of factors including worldwide rig activity, inflationary forces, pricing strategies, customer analysis, operational issues, competitor analysis, capital spending requirements, working capital requirements and customer needs among other items which impact the individual reporting unit projections. Cash flows beyond the specific operating plans were estimated using a terminal value calculation, which incorporated historical and forecasted financial cyclical trends for each reporting unit and considered long-term earnings growth rates. The financial and credit market volatility impacts the fair value measurement by adjusting the discount rate. During times of volatility, significant judgment must be applied to determine whether credit changes are a short-term or long-term trend. The Company makes significant assumptions and estimates, which utilize level 3 measures, about the extent and timing of future cash flows, growth rates, and discount rates that represent unobservable inputs into valuation methodologies.  In evaluating the reasonableness of the Company’s fair value estimates, the Company considers, among other factors, the relationship between the market capitalization of the Company and the estimated fair value of its reporting units.

All reporting units tested passed with no impairment indicators and the excess of their estimated fair value over carrying value (expressed as a percentage of carrying value) was more than 40% except for the International reporting unit.  The International reporting unit exceeded the carrying value by approximately 8%. As a result, this unit is more susceptible to impairment risk from adverse changes in annual operating plans and micro and macroeconomic environment conditions. While management has implemented strategies to address these events, adverse changes in the future could reduce the underlying cash flows used to estimate fair values and could result in a decline in fair value that could trigger future impairment charges. A hypothetical 100 basis point increase in the risk free rate (an input used in computing the discount rate) would decrease the estimated fair value in the International reporting unit by approximately 8%, while a hypothetical reduction in the terminal year sales growth rate assumption by 100 basis points would decrease the estimated fair value in the International reporting unit by approximately 5%. The Company continues to monitor the cash flows for this reporting unit.

In 2015, the Company considered the sustained decline in worldwide oil and gas prices and rig counts, which has impacted the Company’s current results and future outlook, as well as the decline in the market value of the Company’s stock, as indicators that the fair value of the Company’s reporting units’ goodwill could have fallen below their carrying value.  As a result, the Company performed a goodwill impairment test as of September 30, 2015, and recognized an estimated impairment of $255 million in U.S. Energy and International reporting units.

The Company completed the annual test performed in the three months ended December 31, 2015, and identified additional indicators that the remaining goodwill may have fallen below its carrying amount.  As a result of our valuations, the Company recognized an incremental loss of $138 million (U.S. Energy and U.S. Supply Chain) for the three months ended December 31, 2015. The international reporting unit showed impairment indicators during the step 1 goodwill impairment calculation.  However, no impairment was recognized as a result of our step 2 analysis.  The Company recorded a valuation allowance against the full value of its deferred tax assets in the United States, therefore, no tax benefit was reported on its goodwill impairment for the year ended December 31, 2015.  See Note 9 “Income Taxes” for a discussion of the valuation allowance recorded at December 31, 2015.

37


 

Purchase Price Allocation of Acquisitions

The Company allocates the fair value of the purchase price consideration of an acquired business to its identifiable assets and liabilities based on estimated fair values. The excess of the purchase price over the fair value of the acquired assets and liabilities, if any, is recorded as goodwill. The Company uses all available information to estimate fair values including quoted market prices, the carrying value of acquired assets, and widely accepted valuation techniques such as discounted cash flows. The Company engages third-party appraisal firms to assist in fair value determination of inventories, identifiable intangible assets, and any other significant assets or liabilities when appropriate. The judgments made in determining the estimated fair value assigned to each class of assets acquired and liabilities assumed, as well as asset lives, could materially impact the Company’s results of operations.

Vendor Consideration

The Company receives funds from vendors in the normal course of business, principally as a result of purchase volumes. Generally, these vendor funds do not represent the reimbursement of specific, incremental and identifiable costs incurred by the Company to sell the vendor’s product. Therefore, the Company treats these funds as a reduction of inventory when purchased and once these goods are sold to third parties the associated amount is credited to cost of sales. The Company develops accrual rates for vendor consideration based on the provisions of the arrangements in place, historical trends, purchases and future expectations. Due to the complexity and diversity of the individual vendor agreements, the Company performs analyses and reviews historical trends throughout the year and confirms actual amounts with select vendors to ensure the amounts earned are appropriately recorded. Amounts accrued throughout the year could be impacted if actual purchase volumes differ from projected annual purchase volumes, especially in the case of programs that provide for increased funding when graduated purchase volumes are met.

Income Taxes

The Company is a U.S. registered company and is subject to income taxes in the U.S. The Company operates through various subsidiaries in a number of countries throughout the world. Income taxes are based upon the tax laws and rates of the countries in which the Company operates and income is earned.

The Company’s annual tax provision is based on taxable income, statutory rates, and the interpretation of the tax laws in the various jurisdictions in which the Company operates. It requires significant judgment and the use of estimates and assumptions regarding significant future events such as the amount, timing and character of income, deductions and tax