Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)


12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2021
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 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 2021, 2020 and 2019.
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic
In December 2019, a novel strain of coronavirus (“COVID-19”) surfaced in Wuhan, China, and has since spread to other countries, including the United States. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization classified the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic had a sudden and significant impact on the global economy, and particularly in the aerospace industry, resulting in the grounding of the majority of the global commercial transportation fleet and significant cost cutting and cash preservation actions by the global airlines. This in turn has resulted in a significant reduction in airlines spending for both new aircraft and on upgrading their existing fleet with the Company’s products. This low level of investment by the airlines has continued through 2021, and while the industry is seeing some improvement on rising vaccination rates and easing travel restrictions, the ultimate impact of COVID-19 on our business results of operations, financial condition and cash flows is dependent on future developments, including the duration of the pandemic, vaccination rates and efficacy and the related length of impact on the global economy and the aerospace industry, which are uncertain and cannot be predicted at this time.
In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, we took immediate and aggressive action early in 2020 to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our workplaces and reduce costs. Since the early days of the pandemic, we have been following guidance from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Center for Disease Control to protect employees and prevent the spread of the virus within all of our facilities globally. Some of the actions implemented include: social distancing; appropriate personal protective equipment; facility deep cleaning; flexible work-from-home scheduling; pre-shift temperature screenings, where allowed by law; and restrictions on facility visitors and unnecessary travel. Material actions to reduce costs included: (1) reducing our workforce to align operations with customer demand; (2) suspension of certain benefit programs; and (3) delaying non-essential capital projects and minimizing discretionary spending. At the same time, we addressed the ongoing needs of our business to continue to serve our customers. In addition to these measures, we amended our revolving credit facility in May 2020, as further described in Note 8. We are also monitoring the impacts of COVID-19 on the fair value of assets. Refer to Note 7 for a discussion of goodwill impairment charges recorded in 2020. No goodwill impairment charges were required in 2021. Should future changes in sales, earnings and cash flows differ significantly from our expectations, long-lived assets to be held and used and goodwill could become impaired in the future.
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.
In September 2021 the Company also entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation (“USDOT”) under the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Program (“AMJP”) for a grant of up to $14.7 million. The Company received $7.4 million in cash under the grant in 2021. The remaining balance due to be received of $7.3 million has been classified within Prepaid Expenses and Other Current Assets on the Consolidated Condensed Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2021. The Company expects to receive a second installment of approximately $5.2 million in the first quarter of 2022, and a final installment in the second or third quarter of 2022 upon final confirmation from the USDOT of the Company meeting its grant commitments. The receipt of the full award is primarily conditioned upon the Company committing to not furlough, lay off or
reduce the compensation levels of a defined group of employees during the six-month period of performance between September 2021 and March 2022. We account for the proceeds from the grant by analogy to International Accounting Standard (“IAS 20”), Accounting for Government Grants and Disclosure of Government Assistance and its principles surrounding the recognition of grants related to income. The grant benefit will be 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 year ended December 31, 2021, the Company recognized $8.7 million of the award. The unearned portion of the AMJP award of $6.0 million has been reported within Accrued Expenses and Other Current Liabilities in the Consolidated Balance Sheet at December 31, 2021.
The following table presents the COVID-19 related government assistance, including AMJP, recorded during the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020:
Year Ended December 31,
(In thousands) 2021 2020
Cost of Products Sold $ 10,682  $ 2,383 
Selling, General and Administrative Expenses 228  278 
Total $ 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 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.
In the fourth quarter of 2019, in an effort to reduce the significant operating losses at our AeroSat business, we initiated a restructuring plan to reduce costs and minimize losses of our AeroSat antenna business. The plan narrows the initiatives for the AeroSat business to focus primarily on near-term opportunities pertaining to business jet connectivity. The plan has a downsized manufacturing operation remaining in New Hampshire, with significantly reduced personnel and operating expenses.
For more information regarding these restructuring plans see Note 23.
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.
For additional information on the acquired businesses, see Note 21.
Cost of Products Sold, Engineering 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 engineering and design activities as well as basic research and development activities directed to the substantial improvement or new application of the Company’s existing technologies. These costs are expensed when incurred and included in cost of products sold. Research and development, design and related engineering expenses amounted to $85.3 million in 2021, $86.8 million in 2020 and $108.9 million in 2019. 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, 2021, 2020 and 2019.
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”). This Topic 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 company’s 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.
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; 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 $12.7 million, $13.3 million and $13.7 million in 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
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.
In conjunction with the deteriorating economic conditions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, we recorded an impairment charge to right-of-use assets of approximately $0.7 million incurred in one reporting unit in the Aerospace segment within the Impairment Loss line in the Consolidated Statements of Operations in 2020. Additionally, we recorded a long-lived asset impairment charge of approximately $9.5 million in 2019 related to PP&E, intangible assets and right-of-use assets in
conjunction with the AeroSat restructuring. See Note 23 for further information regarding the restructuring and impairment charges.
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 22.
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 2021 assessment indicated no impairment to the carrying value of goodwill in any of the Company’s reporting units and no impairment charge was recognized. See Note 7 for further information regarding the goodwill impairment charges in 2020 and 2019.
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. In 2019, the undiscounted cash flows of the AeroSat reporting unit were determined to be insufficient to recover the carrying value of the long-lived assets. The Company recorded a full impairment charge of approximately $6.2 million in the December 31, 2019 Consolidated Statements of Operations associated with intangible assets of the AeroSat reporting unit in conjunction with restructuring activities.
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 2021, 2020 and 2019. 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. A full impairment charge of $5.0 million for an additional investment was recorded in 2019.
Deferred Tax Asset Valuation Allowance
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its adverse effects on the global economy and aerospace industry that began to take shape in the first quarter of fiscal 2020, the Company generated a significant taxable loss for the year ended December 31, 2020, which can be 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-year 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, 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 valuation allowance against its U.S. federal deferred tax assets of approximately $6.0 million and $23.3 million during the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 respectively. In addition, during the year ended December 31, 2021, the Company recorded a valuation allowance against certain foreign deferred tax assets of approximately $1.3 million.
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 2021, 2020, and 2019.
The Company has not paid any cash dividends in the three-year period ended December 31, 2021.
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. See Note 21 regarding the acquisitions in 2019.
Newly Adopted and Recent Accounting Pronouncements
Recent Accounting Pronouncements Adopted
Standard Description Financial Statement Effect or Other Significant Matters
ASU No. 2018-14
Compensation - Retirement Benefits - Defined Benefit Plans - General (Subtopic 715-20)
The standard includes updates to the disclosure requirements for defined benefit plans including several additions, deletions and modifications to the disclosure requirements. The provisions of this ASU are effective for years beginning after December 15, 2020, with early adoption permitted.
This ASU did not have a significant impact on our consolidated financial statements, as it only includes changes to disclosure requirements.

Date of adoption: Q1 2021
ASU No. 2019-12
Income Taxes (Topic 740), Simplifying the Accounting for Income Taxes
The amendments in this update simplify the accounting for income taxes by removing certain exceptions to the general principles in Topic 740 and improve consistent application by clarifying and amending existing guidance. The amendments of this standard are effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2020, including interim periods within those fiscal years. Early adoption is permitted, including adoption in any interim period for which financial statements have not been issued, with the amendments to be applied on a respective, modified retrospective or prospective basis, depending on the specific amendment.
This ASU simplified the accounting for income taxes by, among other things, eliminating certain existing exceptions related to the general approach in ASC 740 relating to franchise taxes, reducing complexity in the interim-period accounting for year-to-date loss limitations and changes in tax laws, and clarifying the accounting for transactions outside of business combination that result in a step-up in the tax basis of goodwill. As we do not have material activity associated with items such as franchise taxes or the types of transactions described above, we did not have any significant impact from relevant loss limitations and are not currently addressing enacted tax law changes for which this ASU applies. This ASU did not have a material impact on its consolidated results of operations and financial condition.

Date of adoption: Q1 2021
ASU No. 2021-10
Government Assistance (Topic 832): Disclosures by Business Entities about Government Assistance
This ASU is a new topic issued to increase the transparency for government assistance transactions and disclosures due to a lack of specific authoritative guidance in GAAP. This ASU requires disclosures about government assistance in the notes to the financial statements that will provide comparable and transparent information to investors and other financial statement users to enable them to understand an entity’s financial results and prospects of future cash flows. This ASU is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2021, with early adoption permitted.
This ASU did not have a significant impact on our consolidated financial statements, as it only includes changes to disclosure requirements.

Date of adoption: Q4 2021
Recent Accounting Pronouncements Not Yet Adopted
Standard Description Financial Statement Effect or Other Significant Matters
ASU No. 2021-08 Business Combinations (Topic 805): Accounting for Contract Assets and Contract Liabilities from Contracts with Customers
This amendment requires contract assets and contract liabilities acquired in a business combination to be recognized and measured by the acquirer on the acquisition date in accordance with Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, as if it had originated the contracts. Under the current business combinations guidance, such assets and liabilities are recognized by the acquirer at fair value on the acquisition date. The standard will not impact acquired contract assets or liabilities from business combinations occurring prior to the adoption date.
This ASU is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2022, including interim periods within those fiscal years. The impact of adoption on the Company's consolidated financial statements will be prospective only and depend on the magnitude of future business acquisitions.

Planned date of adoption: Q1 2023
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.