Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)


12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2022
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Description of the Business
Astronics Corporation (“Astronics” or the “Company”) is a leading provider of advanced technologies to the global aerospace, defense and electronics industries. Our products and services include advanced, high-performance electrical power generation, distribution and seat motion systems, lighting and safety systems, avionics products, systems and certification, aircraft structures and automated test systems.
We have principal operations in the United States (“U.S.”), Canada, France and England, as well as engineering offices in the Ukraine and India.
The Company has two reportable segments, Aerospace and Test Systems. The Aerospace segment designs and manufactures products for the global aerospace and defense industry. Our Test Systems segment designs, develops, manufactures and maintains automated test systems that support the aerospace and defense, communications and mass transit industries as well as training and simulation devices for both commercial and military applications.
See Notes 21 and 22 for details of our acquisition and divestiture activities in 2022, 2021 and 2020.
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization classified the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic. The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted businesses on a global scale, led to significant volatility in financial markets and affected the aviation and industrial industries. The impacts of the pandemic have placed labor and supply chain pressures on our business and we have been impacted by customer demand variability. Although we saw stable and growing backlog during 2022 in our aerospace business, COVID-19 related disruptions are ongoing and continue to adversely challenge our commercial transport market. While we remain bullish about the aerospace business, we believe the recovery to pre-pandemic activity, particularly in the widebody market, will take longer than originally anticipated at the outset of the pandemic. As economic activity continues to recover, we will continue to monitor the situation, assessing further possible implications on our operations, supply chain, liquidity, cash flow and customer orders.
In September 2021 the Company was awarded a grant of up to $14.7 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation under the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Program (“AMJP”). The Company received $7.4 million under the grant in 2021, $5.2 million in the first quarter of 2022 and $2.1 million in the third quarter of 2022. The grant benefit was recognized ratably over the six-month performance period as a reduction to cost of products sold in proportion to the compensation expense that the award is intended to defray. During the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021, the Company recognized $6.0 million and $8.7 million of the award, respectively.
Additionally, the Company qualified for government subsidies from the Canadian and French governments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on our foreign operations. The Canadian and French subsidies are income-based grants intended to reimburse the Company for certain employee wages. The grants are recognized as income over the periods in which the Company recognizes as expenses the costs the grants are intended to defray. The amount recognized during 2022 was immaterial.
The following table presents the COVID-19 related government assistance, including AMJP, recorded during the years ended December 31, 2022, 2021 and 2020:
Year Ended December 31,
(In thousands) 2022 2021 2020
Reduction in Cost of Products Sold $ 6,062  $ 10,682  $ 2,383 
Reduction in Selling, General and Administrative Expenses 11  228  278 
Total $ 6,073  $ 10,910  $ 2,661 
Restructuring Activities
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the global economy, and particularly the aerospace industry, resulting in reduced expectations of the Company’s anticipated future operating results. As a result, the Company executed restructuring activities in the form of workforce reduction, primarily in the second quarter of 2020, to align capacity with expected demand.
Additional restructuring activities occurred during 2021 to align the workforce to expected activities and to consolidate certain facilities.
For more information regarding these restructuring plans see Note 22.
Principles of Consolidation
The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of the Company and its wholly owned subsidiaries. All intercompany transactions and balances have been eliminated.
Acquisitions are accounted for under the acquisition method and, accordingly, the operating results for the acquired companies are included in the Consolidated Statements of Operations from the respective dates of acquisition.
Cost of Products Sold, Research and Development and Selling, General and Administrative Expenses
Cost of products sold includes the costs to manufacture products such as direct materials and labor and manufacturing overhead as well as all engineering and developmental costs. The Company is engaged in a variety of research and development activities directed to the substantial improvement or new application of the Company’s existing technologies. Research and development costs are expensed as incurred and include salaries, benefits, consulting, material costs and depreciation. Research and development expenses amounted to $48.3 million in 2022, $43.3 million in 2021 and $40.2 million in 2020. These costs are included in Cost of products sold. SG&A expenses include costs primarily related to our sales, marketing and administrative departments. Interest expense is shown net of interest income. Interest income was insignificant for the years ended December 31, 2022, 2021 and 2020.
Shipping and Handling
Shipping and handling costs are included in Costs of products sold.
Equity-Based Compensation
The Company accounts for its stock options following Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic 718, Compensation – Stock Compensation (“ASC Topic 718”). ASC Topic 718 requires all equity-based payments to employees, including grants of employee stock options and restricted stock units (“RSU's”), to be recognized in the statement of earnings based on the grant date fair value of the award. For awards with graded vesting, the Company uses a straight-line method of attributing the value of stock-based compensation expense, subject to minimum levels of expense, based on vesting. The Company accounts for forfeitures as they occur.
Under ASC Topic 718, stock compensation expense recognized during the period is based on the value of the portion of share-based payment awards that is ultimately expected to vest during the period. Equity-based compensation expense is included in SG&A expenses.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
All highly liquid instruments with a maturity of three months or less at the time of purchase are considered cash equivalents.
Accounts Receivable and Allowance for Estimated Credit Losses
Accounts receivable are composed of trade and contract receivables recorded at either the invoiced amount or costs in excess of billings, are expected to be collected within one year, and do not bear interest. The Company records a valuation allowance to account for estimated credit losses. The estimate for credit losses is based on the Company’s assessment of the collectability of customer accounts. The Company regularly reviews the allowance by considering factors such as the age of the receivable balances, historical experience, credit quality, current economic conditions, and reasonable and supportable forecasts of future economic conditions that may affect a customer’s ability to pay. Balances are written off when determined to be uncollectible.
The Company's exposure to credit losses may increase if its customers are adversely affected by global economic recessions, disruption associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic, industry conditions, or other customer-specific factors. Although the Company has historically not experienced significant credit losses, it is possible that there could be a material adverse impact from potential adjustments of the carrying amount of trade receivables and contract assets as airlines and other aerospace companies’ cash flows are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We record our inventories at the lower of cost or net realizable value. We determine the cost basis of our inventory on a first-in, first-out or weighted average basis using a standard cost methodology that approximates actual cost. The Company records reserves to provide for excess, slow moving or obsolete inventory. In determining the appropriate reserve, the Company considers the age of inventory on hand, the overall inventory levels in relation to forecasted demands as well as reserving for specifically identified inventory that the Company believes is no longer salable or whose value has diminished.
Cloud Computing Arrangements
The Company incurs costs to implement cloud computing arrangements that are hosted by third party vendors. Implementation costs associated with cloud computing arrangements are capitalized when incurred during the application development phase. Amortization is calculated on a straight-line basis over the contractual term of the cloud computing arrangement. Capitalized amounts related to such arrangements are recorded within other current assets and other non-current assets in the consolidated balance sheets and were insignificant as of December 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021.
Property, Plant and Equipment
Property, plant and equipment are recorded at cost less accumulated depreciation. Depreciation of property, plant and equipment (“PP&E”) is computed using the straight-line method for financial reporting purposes and using accelerated methods for income tax purposes. Estimated useful lives of the assets are as follows: buildings, 25-40 years; and machinery and equipment, 4-10 years. Leased buildings and associated leasehold improvements are amortized over the shorter of the terms of the lease or the estimated useful lives of the assets, with the amortization of such assets included within depreciation expense.
The cost of properties sold or otherwise disposed of and the accumulated depreciation thereon are eliminated from the accounts and the resulting gain or loss, as well as maintenance and repair expenses, is reflected within operating income. Replacements and improvements are capitalized.
Depreciation expense was approximately $12.0 million, $12.7 million and $13.3 million in 2022, 2021 and 2020, respectively.
Deferred Financing Costs
The Company incurs debt issuance costs in connection with amending or entering into new credit facilities. These costs are amortized as an adjustment to interest expense over term of the credit facility on a straight-line basis, which approximates the effective interest method. The unamortized balance of deferred financing costs was $3.2 million at December 31, 2022 and $0.4 million at December 31, 2021, recorded within Other Assets on the Consolidated Balance Sheets.
On January 19, 2023, the Company completed a financing transaction, which refinanced its previous revolving credit facility which was scheduled to mature in November 2023. The new financing consists of a $90 million asset-based term loan (the “Term Loan Facility”) and a $115 million asset-based revolving credit facility (the “ABL Revolving Credit Facility”). In 2022, the Company incurred $3.6 million in debt issuance costs associated with amending its existing credit facility and entering into a new credit facility. These costs are classified within Other Assets on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. The Company incurred an additional $6.1 million in debt issuance costs upon execution of the Restated Agreement and the Term Loan Facility on January 19, 2023. Deferred debt issuance costs associated with revolving credit facilities will be recorded within other assets and those associated with term loan facilities will be recorded as a reduction of the carrying value of the debt on the Consolidated Balance Sheets.
Long-Lived Assets
Long-lived assets to be held and used are initially recorded at cost. The carrying value of these assets is evaluated for recoverability whenever adverse effects or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount may not be recoverable. Impairments are recognized if future undiscounted cash flows from operations are not expected to be sufficient to recover long-lived assets. The carrying amounts are then reduced to fair value, which is typically determined by using a discounted cash flow model.
Assets held for sale are to be reported at lower of its carrying amount or fair value less cost to sell. Judgment is required in estimating the sales price of assets held for sale and the time required to sell the assets. These estimates are based upon available market data and operating cash flows of the assets held for sale. During the fourth quarter of 2021, we sold a facility resulting in a gain of $5.0 million. Refer to Note 21.
The Company tests goodwill at the reporting unit level on an annual basis or more frequently if an event occurs or circumstances change that would more likely than not reduce the fair value of a reporting unit below its carrying amount.
We may elect to perform a qualitative assessment that considers economic, industry and company-specific factors for all or selected reporting units. If, after completing the assessment, it is determined that it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying value, we proceed to a quantitative test. We may also elect to perform a quantitative test instead of a qualitative test for any or all of our reporting units.
Quantitative testing requires a comparison of the fair value of each reporting unit to its carrying value. We use the discounted cash flow method to estimate the fair value of our reporting units. The discounted cash flow method incorporates various assumptions, the most significant being projected sales growth rates, operating margins and cash flows, the terminal growth rate and the weighted average cost of capital. If the carrying value of the reporting unit exceeds its fair value, the shortfall up to the carrying value of the goodwill represents the amount of goodwill impairment.
The 2022 and 2021 assessments indicated no impairment to the carrying value of goodwill in any of the Company’s reporting units and no impairment charges were recognized. See Note 7 for further information regarding the goodwill impairment charge in 2020.
Intangible Assets
The estimated fair values of acquired intangibles are generally determined based upon future economic benefits such as earnings and cash flows. Acquired identifiable intangible assets are recorded at fair value and are amortized over their estimated useful lives. Acquired intangible assets with an indefinite life are not amortized, but are reviewed for impairment at least annually or more frequently whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amounts of those assets are below their estimated fair values. Impairment is tested under ASC Topic 350, Intangibles - Goodwill and Other, as amended by Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2012-2.
Financial Instruments
The Company’s financial instruments consist primarily of cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable, accounts payable and long-term debt. The Company performs periodic credit evaluations of its customers’ financial condition and generally does not require collateral. The Company does not hold or issue financial instruments for trading purposes. Due to their short-term nature, the carrying values of cash and equivalents, accounts receivable and accounts payable approximate fair value. The carrying value of the Company’s variable rate long-term debt instruments also approximates fair value due to the variable rate feature of these instruments.
From time to time, the Company makes long-term, strategic equity investments in companies to promote business and strategic objectives. These investments as classified within Other Assets in the Consolidated Balance Sheets. For investments requiring equity method accounting, we recognize our share of the investee’s earnings or losses within Other Expense, Net of Other Income in the Consolidated Statements of Operations. Such amounts were immaterial in 2022, 2021 and 2020. For investments not requiring equity method accounting, if the investment has no readily determinable fair value, we have elected the practicability exception of ASU 2016-01, under which the investment is measured at cost, less impairment, plus or minus observable price changes from orderly transactions of an identical or similar investment of the same issuer.
In 2020, the Company determined there were indicators of impairment over one of its investments as a result of the investee’s deteriorating operating performance and limited access to capital. We determined that the fair value of this investment was de minimis and a full impairment charge of $3.5 million was recorded within Other Expense, Net of Other Income in the accompanying Consolidated Statement Operations for the year ended December 31, 2020.
Deferred Tax Asset Valuation Allowance
As a result of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the Company generated a significant tax loss for the year ended December 31, 2020, which was carried back under the CARES Act to recover previously paid income taxes. The Company records a valuation allowance against the deferred tax assets if and to the extent it is more likely than not that the Company will not recover the deferred tax assets. In evaluating the need for a valuation allowance, the Company weights all relevant positive and negative evidence, and considers among other factors, historical financial performance, projected future taxable income, scheduled reversals of deferred tax liabilities, the overall business environment, and tax planning strategies. Losses in recent periods and cumulative pre-tax losses in the three years period ending with the current year, combined with the significant uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, is collectively considered significant negative evidence under ASC 740 when assessing whether an entity can use projected income as a basis for concluding that deferred tax assets are realizable on a
more-likely than not basis. For purposes of assessing the recoverability of deferred tax assets, the Company determined that it could not include future projected earnings in the analysis due to recent history of losses and therefore had insufficient objective positive evidence that the Company will generate sufficient future taxable income to overcome the negative evidence of cumulative losses. Accordingly, during the years ended December 31, 2022, 2021, and 2020 the Company determined that a portion of its deferred tax assets are not expected to be realizable in the future. As a result, the Company recorded a provision for valuation allowances against its U.S. federal deferred tax assets of approximately $11.9 million, $6.0 million, and $23.3 million during the years ended December 31, 2022, 2021 and 2020 respectively. In addition, during the year ended December 31, 2022 and 2021, the Company recorded a valuation allowance against certain foreign deferred tax assets of approximately $0.4 million and $1.3 million, respectively.
Use of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“U.S. GAAP”) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, the disclosure of contingent liabilities and the reported amounts of sales and expenses during the reporting periods in the financial statements and accompanying notes. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
Foreign Currency Translation
The Company accounts for its foreign currency translation in accordance with ASC Topic 830, Foreign Currency Translation. The aggregate transaction gains and losses included in operations were insignificant in 2022, 2021, and 2020.
The Company has not paid any cash dividends in the three-year period ended December 31, 2022.
Loss Contingencies
Loss contingencies may from time to time arise from situations such as claims and other legal actions. Loss contingencies are recorded as liabilities when it is probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount of the loss is reasonably estimable. In all other instances, legal fees are expensed as incurred. Disclosure is required when there is a reasonable possibility that the ultimate loss will exceed the recorded provision. Contingent liabilities are often resolved over long time periods. In recording liabilities for probable losses, management is required to make estimates and judgments regarding the amount or range of the probable loss. Management continually assesses the adequacy of estimated loss contingencies and, if necessary, adjusts the amounts recorded as better information becomes known.
The Company accounts for its acquisitions under ASC Topic 805, Business Combinations and Reorganizations (“ASC Topic 805”). ASC Topic 805 provides guidance on how the acquirer recognizes and measures the consideration transferred, identifiable assets acquired, liabilities assumed, non-controlling interests, and goodwill acquired in a business combination. ASC Topic 805 also expands required disclosures surrounding the nature and financial effects of business combinations.
Newly Adopted and Recent Accounting Pronouncements
We consider the applicability and impact of all ASUs. ASUs not listed above were assessed and determined to be either not applicable, or had and are expected to have minimal impact on our financial statements and related disclosures.