|Significant Accounting Policies
(Dollars in thousands)
Organization: Materion Corporation (the Company) is a holding company with subsidiaries that have operations in the United States, Europe, and Asia. These operations manufacture advanced engineered materials used in a variety of end markets, including semiconductor, industrial, aerospace and defense, automotive, energy, consumer electronics, and telecom and data center. The Company has four reportable segments: Performance Alloys and Composites, Advanced Materials, Precision Coatings, and Other. Other includes unallocated corporate costs.
Refer to Note B for additional segment details. The Company is vertically integrated and distributes its products through a combination of company-owned facilities and independent distributors and agents.
Use of Estimates: The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements and accompanying notes. Actual results may differ from those estimates.
Consolidation: The Consolidated Financial Statements include the accounts of Materion Corporation and its subsidiaries. All of the Company’s subsidiaries were wholly owned as of December 31, 2019. Intercompany accounts and transactions are eliminated in consolidation.
Cash Equivalents: All highly liquid investments with a maturity of three months or less when purchased are considered to be cash equivalents. At December 31, 2019, the Company had $104.5 million of cash equivalents invested in institutional money market funds. The carrying value of the money market funds approximates fair value due to their short-term maturities.
Accounts Receivable: An allowance for doubtful accounts is maintained for the estimated losses resulting from the inability of customers to pay amounts due. The allowance is based upon identified delinquent accounts, customer payment patterns, and other analyses of historical data and trends. The allowance for doubtful accounts was $392 and $616 at December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectfully. The Company extends credit to customers based upon their financial condition, and collateral is not generally required.
Inventories: Inventories are stated at the lower of cost or net realizable value. The cost of the majority of domestic inventories is determined using the last-in, first-out (LIFO) method to reflect a better matching of costs and revenues. The remaining inventories are stated principally at average costs. Inventories valued on the LIFO cost method were approximately 45% and 57% of inventories in 2019 and 2018, respectively.
Property, Plant, and Equipment: Property, plant, and equipment is stated on the basis of cost. Depreciation is computed principally by the straight-line method, except certain assets for which depreciation may be computed by the units-of-production method. The depreciable lives that are used in computing the annual provision for depreciation by class of asset are primarily as follows:
10 to 20
20 to 40
Life of lease
Machinery and equipment
3 to 15
Furniture and fixtures
4 to 10
Automobiles and trucks
3 to 8
3 to 10
3 to 10
3 to 10
An asset acquired under a finance lease will be recorded at the lesser of the present value of the projected lease payments or the fair value of the asset and will be depreciated in accordance with the above schedule. Leasehold improvements will be depreciated over the life of the improvement if it is shorter than the life of the lease. Repair and maintenance costs are expensed as incurred.
Mineral Resources and Mine Development: Property acquisition costs are capitalized as mineral resources on the balance sheet and are depleted using the units-of-production method based upon total estimated recoverable proven reserves of the beryllium-
bearing bertrandite ore body. The Company uses beryllium pounds as the unit of accounting measure, and depletion expense is recorded on a pro-rata basis based upon the amount of beryllium pounds extracted as a percentage of total estimated beryllium pounds contained in all ore bodies.
Mine development costs at our open pit surface mines include drilling, infrastructure, other related costs to delineate an ore body, and the removal of overburden to initially expose an ore body. Before mineralization is classified as proven and probable reserves, costs are classified as exploration expense. Capitalization of mine development project costs that meet the definition of an asset begins once mineralization is classified as proven and probable reserves.
Drilling and related costs are capitalized for an ore body where proven and probable reserves exist, and the activities are directed at obtaining additional information on the ore body. All other drilling and related costs are expensed as incurred. Drilling costs incurred during the production phase for operational ore control are allocated to inventory costs and then included as a component of costs applicable to sales.
The costs of removing overburden and waste materials to access the ore body at an open-pit mine prior to the production phase are capitalized during the development of an open-pit mine and are capitalized at each pit. These costs are amortized as the ore is extracted using the units-of-production method based upon total estimated recoverable proven reserves for the individual pit. The Company uses beryllium pounds as the unit of accounting measure for recording amortization.
To the extent that the aforementioned costs benefit an entire ore body, the costs are amortized over the estimated useful life of the ore body. Costs incurred to access specific ore blocks or areas that only provide benefit over the life of that area are amortized over the estimated life of that specific ore block area.
Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets: Goodwill is reviewed annually for impairment or more frequently if impairment indicators arise. The Company conducts its annual goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible asset impairment assessment as of the first day of the fourth quarter, or more frequently under certain circumstances. Goodwill is assigned to the reporting unit, which is the operating segment level or one level below the operating segment. Intangible assets with finite lives are amortized using the straight-line method or effective interest method, as applicable, over the periods estimated to be benefited, which is generally 20 years or less. Finite-lived intangible assets are also reviewed for impairment if facts and circumstances warrant.
Long-Lived Asset Impairment: In accordance with Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 360, “Property, Plant and Equipment,” management performs impairment tests of long-lived assets, including property and equipment, whenever an event occurs or circumstances change that indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable or the useful life of the asset has changed. Upon indications of impairment, assets and liabilities are grouped at the lowest level for which identifiable cash flows are largely independent of the cash flows of other assets and liabilities. The asset group would be considered impaired when the estimated future undiscounted cash flows generated by the asset group are less than its carrying value. If such undiscounted cash flows indicate that the carrying value of the asset group is not recoverable, impairment losses are measured by comparing the estimated fair value of the asset group to its carrying amount.
Derivatives: The Company recognizes all derivatives on the balance sheet at fair value. If the derivative is designated and effective as a cash flow hedge, changes in the fair value of the derivative are recognized in other comprehensive income (loss), a component of shareholders’ equity, until the hedged item is recognized in earnings. If the derivative is designated as a fair value hedge, changes in fair value are offset against the change in the fair value of the hedged asset, liability, or commitment through earnings. The ineffective portion of a derivative’s change in fair value, if any, is recognized in earnings immediately. If a derivative is not a hedge, changes in its fair value are adjusted through the income statement.
Asset Retirement Obligation: The Company records a liability to recognize the legal obligation to remove an asset at the time the asset is acquired or when the legal liability arises. The liability is recorded for the present value of the ultimate obligation by discounting the estimated future cash flows using a credit-adjusted risk-free interest rate. The liability is accreted over time, with the accretion charged to expense. An asset equal to the fair value of the liability is recorded concurrent with the liability and depreciated over the life of the underlying asset. The Company's asset retirement obligation related to its mine located in Utah for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018 was $1.4 million and $1.3 million, respectively.
Unearned Income: Expenditures for capital equipment to be reimbursed under government contracts are recorded in property, plant, and equipment, while the reimbursements for those expenditures are recorded in unearned income, a liability on the balance sheet. When the assets subject to reimbursement are placed in service, the total cost is depreciated over the useful lives, and the unearned income liability is reduced and credited to cost of sales on the Consolidated Statements of Income ratably with the annual depreciation expense. Depreciation and amortization expense on the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows is shown net of the associated period reduction in the unearned income liability.
Advertising Costs: The Company expenses all advertising costs as incurred. Advertising costs were $677 in 2019, $1,196 in 2018, and $1,252 in 2017.
Stock-based Compensation: The Company recognizes stock-based compensation expense based on the grant date fair value of the award over the period during which an employee is required to provide service in exchange for the award. The fair value of restricted stock units is based on the closing price of the Company's common shares on the grant date. Stock appreciation rights (SARs) are granted with an exercise price equal to the closing price of the Company's common shares on the date of grant. The fair value of SARs is determined using a Black-Scholes option-pricing model, which incorporates assumptions regarding the expected volatility, the expected option life, the risk-free interest rate, and the expected dividend yield. See Note P for additional information about stock-based compensation.
Capitalized Interest: Interest expense associated with active capital asset construction and mine development projects is capitalized and amortized over the future useful lives of the related assets.
Income Taxes: The Company uses the liability method in measuring the provision for income taxes and recognizing deferred tax assets and liabilities on the balance sheet. The Company will record a valuation allowance to reduce the deferred tax assets to the amount that is more likely than not to be realized, as warranted by current facts and circumstances. The Company applies a more-likely-than-not recognition threshold for all tax uncertainties and will record a liability for those tax benefits that have a less than 50% likelihood of being sustained upon examination by the taxing authorities.
Net Income Per Share: Basic earnings per share (EPS) is computed by dividing income available to common stockholders by the weighted-average number of common shares outstanding for the period. Diluted EPS reflects the assumed conversion of all dilutive common stock equivalents as appropriate using the treasury stock method.
New Pronouncements Adopted: In February 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-02 (Topic 842), Leases, which eliminates the off-balance-sheet accounting for leases. This guidance requires lessees to report their operating leases as both an asset and liability on the balance sheet and disclose key information about leasing arrangements. The Company adopted this guidance as of January 1, 2019 using the modified retrospective method and applied it retrospectively through a cumulative-effect adjustment to retained earnings. The Company applied the transitional package of practical expedients allowed by the standard to not reassess the identification, classification, and initial direct costs of leases commencing before this ASU's effective date; however, the Company did not elect the hindsight transitional practical expedient. The Company also applied the practical expedient to not separate lease and non-lease components to new leases as well as existing leases through transition. The Company made an accounting policy election not to apply recognition requirements of the guidance to short-term leases (leases less than twelve months in duration).
Results for reporting periods beginning after January 1, 2019 are presented under Topic 842, while prior period amounts are not adjusted and continue to be reported in accordance with legacy generally accepted accounting principles.
The Company recorded a net reduction to opening retained earnings of $0.2 million as of January 1, 2019 due to the cumulative impact of adopting Topic 842, with the impact primarily related to derecognition of a built-to-suit lease. Refer to Note K for additional disclosures relating to the Company's leasing arrangements.
In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2017-04, Intangibles - Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment, which intended to simplify the subsequent measurement of goodwill. This ASU eliminates the requirement for an entity to calculate the implied fair value of goodwill in measuring an impairment charge. Instead, an entity will perform its annual, or interim, goodwill impairment testing by comparing the fair value of a reporting unit with its carrying amount and recording an impairment charge for the amount by which the carrying amount exceeds the fair value. The Company adopted this guidance as of January 1, 2019, and the adoption did not have a material effect on the Company's consolidated financial statements. Refer to Note L for additional disclosures related to goodwill.
In August 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2017-12, Derivatives and Hedging (Topic 815): Targeted Improvements to Accounting for Hedging Activities, which amends and simplifies existing guidance to allow companies to more accurately present the economic effects of risk management activities in the financial statements. The Company adopted this guidance as of January 1, 2019, and the adoption did not have a material effect on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.
New Pronouncements Issued: In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-13, Financial Instruments - Credit Losses. This ASU requires an entity to change its accounting approach in determining impairment of certain financial instruments, including trade receivables, from an “incurred loss” to a “current expected credit loss” model. The standard will be effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, including interim periods within such fiscal years. Early adoption is permitted. The Company is nearing completion of its assessment process, as well as the impact to the consolidated financial statements. The adoption of this ASU is not expected to have a material impact on the Company's results of operations, cash flows, or debt covenants.No other recently issued or effective ASUs had, or are expected to have, a material effect on the Company's results of operations, financial condition, or liquidity.