The accompanying unaudited interim Consolidated Financial Statements of Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (“Safeguard” or the “Company”) were prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America and the interim financial statement rules and regulations of the SEC. In the opinion of management, these statements include all adjustments (consisting only of normal recurring adjustments) necessary for a fair presentation of the Consolidated Financial Statements. The interim operating results are not necessarily indicative of the results for a full year or for any interim period. Certain information and note disclosures normally included in financial statements prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America have been condensed or omitted pursuant to such rules and regulations relating to interim financial statements. The Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Form 10-Q should be read in conjunction with Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations included elsewhere in this Form 10-Q and with the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto included in the Company’s 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K.
As of September 30, 2020 the Company had $16.4 million of cash and cash equivalents.
In January 2018, Safeguard announced that, from that date forward, the Company will not deploy any capital into new opportunities and will focus on supporting our existing companies and maximizing monetization opportunities to return value to shareholders. In that context, the Company has, is and will consider initiatives including, among others: the sale of individual ownership interests, the sale of certain or all ownership interests in secondary market transactions, or a combination thereof, as well as other opportunities to maximize shareholder value. As we seek to provide additional funding to existing companies where we have an ownership interest, we may be required to expend our cash or incur debt, which will decrease our liquidity. From time to time, we are engaged in discussions concerning acquisitions and dispositions which, if consummated, could impact our liquidity, perhaps significantly. Accordingly, the Company could also pursue other sources of capital in order to maintain its liquidity.
The Company believes that its cash and cash equivalents at September 30, 2020 will be sufficient to fund operations past one year from the issuance of these Consolidated Financial Statements.
Principles of Accounting for Ownership Interests
The Company accounts for its ownership interests using one of the following methods: Equity or Other. The accounting method applied is generally determined by the degree of the Company's influence over the entity, primarily determined by our voting interest in the entity.
In addition to holding voting and non-voting equity, the Company also periodically makes advances to its companies in the form of promissory notes which are included in the Ownership interests in and advances on the Consolidated Balance Sheets.
Equity Method. The Company accounts for ownership interests whose results are not consolidated, but over which it exercises significant influence, under the equity method of accounting. Whether or not the Company exercises significant influence with respect to an ownership interest depends on an evaluation of several factors including, among others, representation on the board of directors and our ownership level, which is generally a 20% to 50% interest in the voting securities of a company, including voting rights associated with the Company’s holdings in common, preferred and other convertible instruments in the company. Under the equity method of accounting, the Company does not reflect a company’s financial statements within our Consolidated Financial Statements; however, our share of the income or loss of such company is reflected in Equity income (loss) in the Consolidated Statements of Operations. The Company includes the carrying value of equity method companies in Ownership interests in and advances on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. Any excess of the Company’s cost over its underlying interest in the net assets of equity method companies that is allocated to intangible assets is amortized over the estimated useful lives of the related intangible assets. The Company reflects its share of the income or loss of the equity method companies on a one quarter lag. This reporting lag could result in a delay in recognition of the impact of changes in the business or operations of these companies.
When the Company’s carrying value in an equity method company is reduced to zero, the Company records no further losses in its Consolidated Statements of Operations unless the Company has an outstanding guarantee obligation or has committed additional funding to such equity method company. When such equity method company subsequently reports income, the Company will not record its share of such income until it exceeds the amount of the Company’s share of losses not previously recognized.
Other Method. We account for our equity interests in companies which are not accounted for under the equity method as equity securities without readily determinable fair values. We estimate the fair value of these securities based on our original cost less impairments, if any, plus or minus changes resulting from observable price changes in orderly transactions for the identical or a similar interest of the same issuer. Under this method, our share of the income or losses of such companies is not included in our Consolidated Statements of Operations. We include the carrying value of these interests in Ownership interests and advances on the Consolidated Balance Sheets.
Impairment of Ownership Interests and Advances
On a periodic basis, but no less frequently than quarterly, the Company evaluates the carrying value of its ownership interests and advances for possible impairment based on achievement of business plan objectives and milestones, the estimated fair value of each company relative to its carrying value, the financial condition and prospects of the company and other relevant factors. The business plan objectives and milestones the Company considers include, among others, those related to financial performance, such as achievement of planned financial results or completion of capital raising activities, and those that are not primarily financial in nature, such as hiring of key employees or the establishment of strategic relationships.
Management then determines whether there has been an other than temporary decline in the value of its ownership interest in the company. Impairment is measured as the amount by which the carrying value of an asset exceeds its estimated fair value.
The estimated fair value of privately held companies is generally determined based on the value at which independent third parties have invested or have committed to invest in these companies or based on other valuation methods, including discounted cash flows, valuation of comparable public companies and the valuation of acquisitions of similar companies.
Impairment charges related to equity method companies are included in Equity income (loss) in the Consolidated Statements of Operations. Impairment charges related to non-equity method companies and funds are included in Other income (loss), net in the Consolidated Statements of Operations.
The reduced cost basis of a previously impaired company accounted for using the Equity method is not written-up even if circumstances suggest the value of the company has subsequently recovered.
Recently Adopted Accounting Pronouncements
In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued ASU No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606) ("ASU 2014-09"). ASU 2014-09 and related subsequent amendments outline a single comprehensive model to use to account for revenue arising from contracts with customers and supersede most current revenue recognition guidance. For public companies, the guidance was effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017 and any interim periods that fall within that reporting period. For nonpublic companies, the guidance was effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2018 and interim periods within annual periods beginning after December 15, 2019 with early adoption permitted. Additionally, on June 3, 2020 the FASB issued ASU 2020-05, which extended the adoption of ASC 606 for all nonpublic business entities that have not issued their 2019 financial statements as of June 3, 2020, until January 1, 2020.
As the new standard superseded most existing revenue guidance, it impacted revenue and cost recognition for certain companies in which we hold an ownership interest. Any change in revenue or cost recognition for companies in which we hold an ownership interest could affect the Company's recognition of its share of the results of its equity method companies. On July 20, 2017, the SEC staff observer at the FASB’s Emerging Issues Task Force ("EITF") meeting announced that the SEC staff will not object if a private company equity method investee meeting the definition of a public business entity that otherwise would not meet the definition of a public business entity except for the inclusion of its financial statements or financial information in another entity’s filings with the SEC, uses private company adoption dates for the new revenue standard. As a result, certain of the Company's private, calendar year companies adopted the revenue standard for the year ending December 31, 2019, including a cumulative effect where applicable as of the first day of the 2019 reporting period.
For our ownership interests that have adopted ASU 2014-09, the impact of adoption of the new revenue standard is reflected in the Company’s financial results for the interim and annual reporting periods beginning in 2020 on a one quarter-lag basis. The impact upon adoption resulted in a decrease to retained earnings and ownership interests of $1.8 million, net, due to the deferral of revenue and certain costs at our underlying ownership interests. Our results of operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 reflect a benefit of $1.8 million due primarily to the recognition of revenue in 2019 that was previously deferred as a result of the adoption of ASU 2014-09. Accordingly, the cumulative impact of the adoption of ASU 2014-09 was not significant. The Company continues to monitor the impact of ASU 2014-09 to our ownership interests that have not finalized their 2019 adoption or that may further delay adoption based on the June 3, 2020 update, however we do not expect any further adjustments to be significant.