NATURE OF OPERATIONS AND ACCOUNTING POLICIES
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2017
|Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements [Abstract]|
|NATURE OF OPERATIONS AND ACCOUNTING POLICIES||
NATURE OF OPERATIONS AND ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Nature of Operations. Era Group Inc. (“Era Group”) and its consolidated subsidiaries (collectively referred to as the “Company”) is one of the largest helicopter operators in the world and the longest serving helicopter transport operator in the United States (“U.S.”), which is its primary area of operation. The Company is primarily engaged in transportation services to the offshore oil and gas exploration, development and production industry. Its major customers are international, independent and major integrated oil and gas companies and U.S. government agencies. In addition to serving the oil and gas industry, the Company provides emergency response services, utility services including support of firefighting activities and flightseeing tours in Alaska. The Company operates a Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) approved maintenance repair station in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The Company has an interest in Dart Holding Company Ltd. (“Dart”), a sales and manufacturing organization based in Canada that engineers, manufactures and distributes after-market helicopter parts and accessories, and has an interest in a training center based in Lake Charles, Louisiana that provides instruction, flight simulator and other training services.
Basis of Consolidation. The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Era Group Inc., its wholly-owned subsidiaries and entities that meet the criteria of Variable Interest Entities (“VIEs”) of which the Company is the primary beneficiary. All significant intercompany accounts and transactions are eliminated in consolidation.
The Company employs the equity method of accounting for investments in business ventures when it has the ability to exercise significant influence over the operating and financial policies of the ventures. The Company reports such investments in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets as equity investments and advances. The Company reports its share of earnings or losses of equity investees in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations as equity earnings (losses), net of tax.
Use of Estimates. The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. (“GAAP”) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting periods. Such estimates include, among other items, those related to allowance for doubtful accounts, useful lives of property and equipment, inventories, income tax provisions, impairments, fair values used in purchase price allocations and certain accrued and contingent liabilities. Actual results could differ from those estimates and those differences may be material.
Revenue Recognition. The Company recognizes revenues when they are realized or realizable and earned. Revenues are realized or realizable and earned when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, delivery has occurred or services have been rendered, the price to the buyer is fixed or determinable, and collectability is reasonably assured. Revenues that do not meet these criteria are deferred until the criteria are met. The Company did not defer any revenue during the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016.
The Company charters the majority of its helicopters through master service agreements, subscription agreements, day-to-day charter arrangements, fixed-term noncancelable contracts and dry-leases. Master service agreements and subscription agreements typically require a fixed monthly fee plus incremental payments based on hours flown. These agreements have fixed terms ranging from one month to five years and generally may be canceled by providing 30-90 days’ notice. Day-to-day charter arrangements call for either a combination of a daily fixed fee plus a charge based on hours flown or an hourly rate with a minimum number of hours to be charged daily. Leases require a fixed monthly fee for the customer’s right to use the helicopter and, where applicable, a charge based on hours flown as compensation for any maintenance, parts, and/or personnel support that the Company may provide to the customer. Leases generally run from one to five years and may contain early cancellation provisions. With respect to flightseeing operations, the Company allocates block space to cruise lines, and seats are sold directly to customers. The Company also operated a fixed base operation (“FBO”) at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport that sold fuel on an ad-hoc basis and leased storage space. The FBO was sold on May 1, 2015 (see Note 4).
As of September 30, 2015, deferred revenues included $42.1 million related to dry-lease revenues for certain helicopters leased by the Company to Aeróleo Taxi Aéreo S/A (“Aeróleo”), its Brazilian joint venture (see Note 5). The deferral originated from difficulties experienced by Aeróleo following one of its customer’s cancellation of certain contract awards for a number of AW139 medium helicopters under dry-lease from the Company. On October 1, 2015, the Company’s former partner in Aeróleo transfered its 50% economic and 80% voting interest to a third party, and, as a result of the new shareholders’ agreement, the Company began consolidating the results of Aeróleo in its consolidated financial statements due to Aeróleo’s status as a VIE and the Company’s status as the primary beneficiary. As a result, future collections on the previously deferred revenues will not be recorded as revenue. Instead, they will be recorded as a settlement of an intercompany receivable which is eliminated in consolidation.
Deferred revenues and related activity during the year ended December 31, 2015 were as follows (in thousands):
Cash Equivalents. The Company considers all highly liquid investments with an original maturity of three months or less when purchased to be cash equivalents. Cash equivalents consist of overnight investments.
Trade Receivables. Customers are primarily international, independent and major integrated exploration, development and production companies, international helicopter operators and U.S. government agencies. Customers are typically granted credit on a short-term basis, and related credit risks are considered minimal. The Company routinely reviews its trade receivables and makes provisions for probable doubtful accounts; however, those provisions are estimates and actual results could differ from those estimates and those differences may be material. Trade receivables are deemed uncollectible and removed from accounts receivable and the allowance for doubtful accounts when collection efforts have been exhausted. Allowance for doubtful accounts for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 were as follows (in thousands):
Derivative Instruments. The Company accounts for derivative positions at fair value in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets. Unrealized gains and losses on derivatives not designated as hedges are reported in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations as derivative losses, net.
Concentrations of Credit Risk. The Company is exposed to concentrations of credit risk relating to its receivables due from customers in the industries described above. The Company does not generally require collateral or other security to support its outstanding receivables. The Company minimizes its credit risk relating to receivables by performing ongoing credit evaluations. The Company is also exposed to concentrations of credit risk associated with cash and cash equivalents. The Company minimizes its credit risk relating to these positions by monitoring the financial condition of the financial institutions and counterparties involved and by primarily conducting business with large, well-established financial institutions and diversifying its counterparties. The Company’s two largest customers comprised 46% of net trade receivables as of December 31, 2017 and 2016.
Inventories. Inventories are stated at the lower of average cost or net realizable value value and consist primarily of spare parts and fuel. The Company establishes an allowance to accrue for the retirement of the cost of spare parts expected to be on hand at the end of a fleet’s life over the service lives of the related equipment, taking into account the estimated salvage value of the parts. The following table is a roll forward of the allowance related to obsolete and excess inventory for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 (in thousands):
(1) Includes $119 elimination of H225 inventory reserve.
Property and Equipment. Property and equipment, stated at cost, is depreciated using the straight-line method over the estimated useful life of the asset to an estimated salvage value. With respect to helicopters, the estimated useful life is typically based upon a newly built asset being placed into service and represents the point at which it is typically not justifiable for the Company to continue to operate the asset in the same or similar manner. From time to time, the Company may acquire older assets that have already exceeded the Company’s useful life policy, in which case the Company depreciates such assets based on its best estimate of remaining useful life. The Company reviews the estimated useful lives and salvage values of its property and equipment on an ongoing basis for any changes in estimates. There were no such changes during the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015.
As of December 31, 2017, the estimated useful life (in years) of the Company’s categories of new property and equipment was as follows:
Equipment maintenance and repair costs and the costs of routine overhauls and inspections performed on helicopter engines and major components are charged to operating expense as incurred. Expenditures that extend the useful life or improve the marketing and commercial characteristics of equipment, as well as major improvements to other properties, are capitalized.
The Company engages a number of third-party vendors to maintain the engines and certain components on some of its helicopter models under programs known as power-by-hour (“PBH”) maintenance contracts. These programs require the Company to pay for the maintenance service ratably over the contract period, typically based on actual flight hours. PBH providers generally bill monthly based on hours flown in the prior month, and the costs are expensed as incurred. In the event the Company places a helicopter in a program after a maintenance period has begun, it may be necessary to pay an initial buy-in charge based on hours flown since the previous maintenance event. The buy-in charge is normally recorded as a prepaid expense and amortized as an operating expense over the remaining PBH contract period. If a helicopter is sold or otherwise removed from a program before the scheduled maintenance work is carried out, the Company may be able to recover part of its payments to the PBH provider, in which case the Company records a reduction to operating expense.
The Company also incurs repairs and maintenance expense through vendor arrangements whereby the Company obtains repair quotes and authorizes service through a repair order process. Under these arrangements, the Company records the repairs and maintenance cost as the work is completed. As a result, the timing of repairs and maintenance may result in operating expenses varying substantially when compared with a prior year or prior quarter if a disproportionate number of repairs, refurbishments or overhauls for components not covered under PBH arrangements are performed during a period.
Certain interest costs incurred during the construction of equipment are capitalized as part of the assets’ carrying values and are amortized over such assets’ estimated useful lives. The Company capitalized interest of $0.5 million, less than $0.1 million and $6.1 million during the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. As of December 31, 2017 and 2016, construction in progress, which is a component of property and equipment, included capitalized interest of $1.9 million and $4.5 million, respectively.
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets. The Company performs an impairment analysis on long-lived assets used in operations when events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of such assets may not be recoverable. The Company’s long-lived assets are grouped at the lowest level for which there are identifiable cash flows that are largely independent of the cash flows of other groups of assets, which is generally at the fleet group level. If an impairment is indicated for the asset group classified as held and used, an impairment evaluation will be performed. Asset impairment evaluations are based on estimated undiscounted cash flows over the remaining useful life for the assets being evaluated. If the sum of the expected future cash flows is less than the carrying amount of the asset group, the Company would be required to recognize an impairment loss. During 2017, the Company concluded that the cash flows associated with its H225 heavy helicopters are largely independent from the cash flows associated with the remainder of the fleet and should be evaluated separately for impairment. The Company performed an impairment analysis on the H225 helicopters, capital parts and related inventory and determined that the projected undiscounted cash flows over the remaining useful life were less than the carrying amount. In determining the fair value, the Company used a cost approach, which begins with the replacement cost of a new asset and adjusts for age and functional and economic obsolescence. The inputs used in the Company’s fair value estimate were from Level 3 of the fair value hierarchy discussed in Note 2. The Company recorded a $117 million impairment charge on its H225 helicopters as of December 31, 2017.
Impairment of Equity Investees. The Company performs regular reviews of each investee’s financial condition, the business outlook for its products and services, and its present and projected results and cash flows. When an investee has experienced consistent declines in financial performance or difficulties in raising capital to continue operations, and when the Company expects the decline to be other-than-temporary, the investment is written down to fair value. Actual results may vary from estimates due to the uncertainty regarding the projected financial performance of investees, the severity and expected duration of declines in value and the available liquidity in the capital markets to support the continuing operations of the investees in which the Company has investments. For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, the Company did not recognize any impairment charges.
Goodwill. Goodwill is recorded when the purchase price paid for an acquisition exceeds the fair value of net identified tangible and intangible assets acquired. The Company performs an annual impairment test of goodwill and interim tests to the extent indicators of impairment develop between annual impairment tests. The Company tests goodwill at the reporting unit level. The Company’s impairment review process compares the fair value of the reporting unit to its carrying value, including goodwill. To determine its fair value, the Company uses a discounted future cash flow approach that uses estimates including, among others, projected utilization of our fleet and contract rates. These estimates are reviewed each time the Company tests goodwill for impairment and are typically developed as part of the Company’s routine business planning and forecasting process. While the Company believes its estimates and assumptions are reasonable, variations from those estimates could produce materially different results.
On December 31, 2015, the Company performed an interim impairment test after noting several events and circumstances that led to the determination that it is more likely than not that the fair value of the Company’s reporting unit is less than its carrying value, including a decline in the price of crude oil and the Company’s stock price and a prolonged downturn in the oil and gas market. The Company recorded a goodwill impairment of $1.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2015 to write down the entire goodwill balance. The Company’s estimate included the use of significant unobservable inputs, representative of Level 3 measurements, including the assumptions related to future performance as described in the preceding paragraph.
Intangible Assets. Intangible assets with indefinite lives are recorded during purchase price accounting in a business combination. The Company performs an annual impairment test of indefinite lived intangible assets and interim tests to the extent indicators of impairment develop between annual impairment tests. The Company’s impairment review process compares the fair value to the book value. To determine its fair value, the Company uses a discounted future cash flow approach that uses estimates including, among others, projected utilization of our fleet and contract rates. These estimates are reviewed each time the Company tests indefinite lived assets for impairment. While the Company believes its estimates and assumptions are reasonable, variations from those estimates could produce materially different results. Intangible assets with finite useful lives are amortized over their respective estimated useful lives. As of December 31, 2017, the Company had indefinite lived intangible assets of $1.1 million and intangible assets with finite lives of $0.1 million.
Business Combinations. The Company recognizes, with certain exceptions, 100 percent of the fair value of assets acquired, liabilities assumed, and non controlling interests when the acquisition constitutes a change in control of the acquired entity. Shares issued in consideration for a business combination, contingent consideration arrangements and pre-acquisition loss and gain contingencies are all measured and recorded at their acquisition-date fair value. Subsequent changes to fair value of contingent consideration arrangements are generally reflected in earnings. Acquisition-related transaction costs are expensed as incurred, and any changes in an acquirer’s existing income tax valuation allowances and tax uncertainty accruals are recorded as an adjustment to income tax expense. The operating results of entities acquired are included in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations from the date of acquisition.
Deferred Financing Costs. Deferred financing costs incurred in connection with the issuance of debt are amortized over the life of the related debt using the effective interest rate method for term loans and straight line method for revolving credit facilities. Amortization expense for deferred financing costs totaled $1.1 million, $1.5 million and $1.0 million during the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively, including the write-off of $0.5 million of debt issuance costs in 2016 in connection with an amendment to the Company’s amended and restated senior secured revolving credit facility (the “Revolving Credit Facility”). Such amortization expense is included in interest expense in the consolidated statements of operations.
Income Taxes. Era Group and its majority-owned U.S. subsidiaries file a consolidated U.S. federal tax return. Era Group’s foreign consolidated subsidiaries each file tax returns in their applicable jurisdictions. Deferred income tax assets and liabilities have been provided in recognition of the income tax effect attributable to the book and tax basis differences of assets and liabilities reported in the accompanying consolidated financial statements. Deferred tax assets or liabilities are provided using the enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the periods in which they are expected to be settled or realized. Interest and penalties relating to uncertain tax positions are recognized in interest expense and administrative and general expense, respectively, in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations. The Company records a valuation allowance to reduce its deferred tax assets if it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized.
Foreign Currency Transactions. The functional currency for each of the Company’s foreign entities is the U.S. dollar. From time to time, the Company enters into transactions denominated in currencies other than its functional currency. Gains and losses resulting from changes in currency exchange rates between the functional currency and the currency in which a transaction is denominated are included in foreign currency gains (losses), net in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations in the period which the currency exchange rates change.
Earnings (Loss) Per Common Share. Basic earnings (loss) per common share of the Company are computed based on the weighted average number of common shares issued and outstanding during the relevant periods. Diluted earnings (loss) per common share of the Company are computed based on the weighted average number of common shares issued and outstanding plus the effect of potentially dilutive securities through the application of the if-converted method and/or treasury method.
Savings Plan. The Company provides a defined contribution plan (the “Savings Plan”) for its eligible U.S.-based employees. The Savings Plan provides for qualified, non-elective Company contributions in an amount equal to 3% of each employee’s eligible pay plus an amount equal to 100% of an employee’s first 3% of wages invested in the Savings Plan and immediate and full vesting in the Company’s contributions. The Savings Plan is subject to annual review by the Board of Directors of Era Group. The Company’s Savings Plan costs were $2.4 million, $2.8 million and $3.2 million, respectively, for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements. In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2014-09 - Revenue From Contracts With Customers, which will base revenue recognition on the contract between a vendor and customer and will require reporting entities to allocate the transaction price to various performance obligations in a contract and recognize revenues when those performance obligations are satisfied. In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-08 - Revenue from Contracts With Customers, in April 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-10 - Revenue from Contracts With Customers, in May 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-12 - Revenue from Contracts With Customers, in December 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-20 - Technical Corrections and Improvements to Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts With Customers, all of which provide guidance on the application of certain principles in ASU 2014-09. ASU 2014-09, as amended, will be effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017 and any interim periods within that period. Early adoption is permitted for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016 and any interim periods within that period. The Company will adopt ASU 2014-09, as amended, effective January 1, 2018 using the modified retrospective approach. The Company has reviewed its contracts with customers and evaluated its performance obligations under each contract and does not expect the adoption of this new standard to have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements.
In July 2015, the FASB issued ASU 2015-11 - Inventory, which is intended to simplify the way reporting entities account for inventory by requiring it to be valued at the lower of cost or net realizable value unless that entity uses the last-in, first-out or the retail inventory valuation method. ASU 2015-11 is effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016 and any interim periods within that period, and early adoption is permitted as of the beginning of an interim or annual reporting period. The Company adopted ASU 2015-11 effective January 1, 2017, and such adoption did not have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements.
In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02 - Leases, which amends the existing accounting standards for lease accounting, including requiring lessees to recognize most leases on their balance sheets and making targeted changes to lessor accounting. ASU 2016-02 will be effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018, and early adoption is permitted. ASU 2016-02 requires a modified retrospective transition approach for all leases existing at, or entered into after, the date of initial application, with an option to use certain transition relief. The Company is still evaluating the potential impact of the adoption of ASU 2016-02 on its consolidated financial statements.
In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-07 - Investments - Equity Method and Joint Ventures, which eliminates the requirement to retroactively apply the equity method of accounting for an investment when an increase in the level of ownership or degree of influence causes the investment to qualify for equity method treatment and instead requires the entity to add the cost (if any) of acquiring the additional ownership or degree of influence to the current basis of the investment and apply equity method accounting as of the date the investment qualifies for such treatment. The Company adopted ASU 2016-07 effective January 1, 2017 and such adoption did not have an impact on its consolidated financial statements.
In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-09 - Compensation - Stock Compensation, which simplifies several aspects of accounting for share-based payment transactions including income tax consequences, classification on the statement of cash flows and treatment of forfeitures. The main differences between current GAAP and ASU 2016-09 are (i) tax consequences from changes in fair value of equity awards between the grant date and vesting date will be charged to income tax expense and reported in the operating section of the statement of cash flows in the period in which the award vests and (ii) entities will have the option to estimate award forfeitures as previously prescribed under GAAP or record forfeitures as an adjustment to expense as they occur. The Company adopted ASU 2016-09 effective January 1, 2017 and has elected to record forfeitures of equity awards as an adjustment to expense as they occur and in the period in which they occur. Such adoption and election did not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.
In August 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-15 - Classification of Certain Cash Receipts and Cash Payments, which is intended to reduce diversity in reporting certain transactions on the statement of cash flows by clarifying current GAAP where it may be unclear or does not include adequate explanation. ASU 2016-15 will be effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017 including interim periods within that period. Early adoption is permitted as of the beginning of an interim or annual period provided that all amendments included in ASU 2016-15 are adopted in the same period and applied as of the beginning of the annual period in which the statement is adopted. The Company has not adopted ASU 2016-15 and believes such adoption will not have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements.
In October 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-16 - Income Taxes, which requires entities to recognize income tax consequences of intra-entity transfers of assets, other than inventory, when the transfer occurs rather than when the asset is sold to a third party as is the case under current GAAP. ASU 2016-16 will be effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017 including interim periods within that period. Early adoption is permitted as of the beginning of an annual reporting period for which neither interim nor annual financial statements have been made available. The Company has not adopted ASU 2016-16 and believes such adoption will not have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements.
In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2017-01 - Business Combinations: Clarifying the Definition of a Business, which narrows the reach of the definition of a business to exclude transactions that are more akin to asset acquisitions or dispositions. ASU 2017-01 will be effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within that period. Early adoption is permitted provided that any transactions affected by the adoption have not been previously disclosed under current GAAP. The Company adopted ASU 2017-01 effective January 1, 2017, and such adoption did not have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements.
In May 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2017-09 - Compensation - Stock Compensation: Scope of Modification Accounting, which is designed to reduce diversity in practice and complexity when accounting for changes in the terms of a share-based payment award. ASU 2017-09 will be effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within that period, and early adoption is permitted for any interim period for which financial statements have not yet been issued. The Company has not adopted ASU 2017-09 and believes such adoption will not have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements.
In September 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2017-13 - Revenue Recognition (Topic 605), Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606), Leases (Topic 840), and Leases (Topic 842): Amendments to SEC Paragraphs Pursuant to the Staff Announcement at the July 20, 2017 EITF Meeting and Rescission of Prior SEC Staff Announcements and Observer Comments, which clarifies the adoption date of Topics 606 and 842 for public business entities that would not otherwise meet the definition of a public business entity except for the inclusion of its financial statements in another public entity’s filings. It states that such entities are not required to comply with the adoption dates for public entities. The Company’s joint venture investments do not intend to adopt Topics 606 and 842 with public business entities; this is not expected to have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.
The entire disclosure for the business description and accounting policies concepts. Business description describes the nature and type of organization including but not limited to organizational structure as may be applicable to holding companies, parent and subsidiary relationships, business divisions, business units, business segments, affiliates and information about significant ownership of the reporting entity. Accounting policies describe all significant accounting policies of the reporting entity.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef