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CDZI > SEC Filings for CDZI > Form 10-Q on 8-Nov-2012All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for CADIZ INC

Form 10-Q for CADIZ INC


8-Nov-2012

Quarterly Report

2003 Management Equity Incentive Plan

In December 2003, concurrently with the completion of the Company's then current financing arrangements with ING, the Company's board of directors authorized the adoption of a Management Equity Incentive Plan. As of September 30, 2012, a total of 315,000 common stock options remain outstanding under this plan.

Outside Director Compensation Plan

The Cadiz Inc. Outside Director Compensation Plan was approved by Cadiz shareholders in November 2006. Under the plan, each outside director receives $30,000 of cash compensation and receives a deferred stock award consisting of shares of the Company's common stock with a value equal to $20,000 on June 30th of each year. The award accrues on a quarterly basis, with $7,500 of cash compensation and $5,000 of stock earned for each fiscal quarter in which a director serves. The deferred stock award vests automatically on the January 31st which first follows the award date.

2007 Management Equity Incentive Plan

The 2007 Management Equity Incentive Plan was approved by stockholders at the 2007 Annual Meeting. As of September 30, 2012, a total of 10,000 common stock options remain outstanding under this plan.

2009 Equity Incentive Plan

The 2009 Equity Incentive Plan was approved by stockholders at the 2009 Annual Meeting. The plan provides for the grant and issuance of up to 850,000 shares and options to the Company's employees and consultants. The plan became effective when the Company filed a registration statement on Form S-8 on December 18, 2009. All options issued under the 2009 Equity Incentive Plan have a ten year term with vesting periods ranging from issuance date to 24 months. To date, 537,500 common stock purchase options have been issued under this plan and all remained outstanding as of September 30, 2012.

All options that have been issued under the above plans have been issued to officers, employees and consultants of the Company. In total, options to purchase 862,500 shares were unexercised and outstanding on September 30, 2012, under the three equity incentive plans.

The Company recognized stock option related compensation costs of $239,000 and $964,000 in the nine months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011, respectively. On September 30, 2012, there was $112,000 of unamortized compensation expense relating to option awards. This unamortized compensation expense is expected to be recognized through December 2013. No options were exercised during the nine months ended September 30, 2012.

Stock Awards to Directors, Officers, and Consultants

The Company has granted stock awards pursuant to its 2007 Management Equity Incentive Plan, 2009 Equity Incentive Plan and Outside Director Compensation Plan.

250,000 shares were issued under the 2007 Management Equity Incentive Plan. A 150,000 share award was issued that vested in three equal installments on January 1, 2008, January 1, 2009, and January 1, 2010. Of the remaining 100,000 shares reserved under the 2007 Management Equity Incentive Plan, 10,000 were issued as options as described above, and 90,000 were issued as shares that vested in May 2009 consistent with the terms of the agreements pursuant to which those executives provide services to the Company.

Of the total 850,000 shares reserved under the 2009 Equity Incentive Plan, a grant of 115,000 restricted shares of common stock became effective on January 14, 2010, and a grant of 140,000 restricted shares of common stock became effective on January 10, 2011, consistent with the terms of the agreements pursuant to which those executives provide services to the Company and which contemplate that such executives will participate in the Company's long-term incentive plans. The recipients of these restricted shares have a contractual agreement not to sell any of these shares for a period of three years following the effective date. Of the remaining 595,000 shares reserved under the 2009 Equity Incentive Plan, 22,782 shares of common stock were awarded to directors, 537,500 were issued as options as described above and 34,718 are available for future distribution as of September 30, 2012.

Under the Outside Director Compensation Plan, 72,782 shares have been awarded for the plan years ended June 30, 2003, through June 30, 2012. Of the 72,782 shares awarded, 58,987 shares have vested and been issued. The remaining 13,795 shares will vest on January 31, 2013.

The Company recognized stock based compensation costs related to stock based awards of $74,000 and $1,105,000 in the nine months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011, respectively.

Stock Purchase Warrants Issued to Non-Employees

The Company accounts for equity securities issued to non-employees in accordance with the provisions of ASC 718 and ASC 505.

In October and November 2009, the Company raised $7.1 million with a private placement of 226,200 Units at $31.50 per Unit. This includes 20,880 Units purchased by the Lenders of the Term Loan pursuant to the Lenders' Participation Rights under the Term Loan. Each Unit consists of three (3) shares of the Company's common stock and one (1) stock purchase warrant. The warrant entitles the holder to purchase one (1) share of common stock at an exercise price of $15 per share. The warrant has a term of three (3) years, but is callable by the Company at any time following November 1, 2010, if the closing market price of the Company's common stock exceeds $22.50 for 10 consecutive trading days.

On November 30, 2011, the Company raised $6 million in a private placement of 666,667 shares of Common Stock at a price of $9 per share. For every three (3) shares of Common Stock issued, the Company issued (1) Common Stock purchase warrant (collectively, the "Warrants") entitling the holder to purchase, commencing 90 days from the date of the issuance and prior to December 8, 2014, one (1) share of Common Stock at an exercise price of $13 per share.

448,423 warrants remain outstanding as of September 30, 2012.

NOTE 6 - INCOME TAXES

As of September 30, 2012, the Company had net operating loss ("NOL") carryforwards of approximately $125 million for federal income tax purposes and $86 million for California state income tax purposes. Such carryforwards expire in varying amounts through the year 2032. Use of the carryforward amounts is subject to an annual limitation as a result of ownership changes.

In addition, on August 26, 2005, a Settlement Agreement between Cadiz, on one hand, and Sun World and three of Sun World's subsidiaries, on the other hand, was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, concurrently with the Court's confirmation of the amended Plan. The Settlement Agreement provides that following the September 6, 2005, effective date of Sun World's plan of reorganization, Cadiz will retain the right to utilize the Sun World net operating loss carryovers ("NOLs"). Sun World's Federal NOLs are estimated to be approximately $58 million.

As of September 30, 2012, the Company possessed unrecognized tax benefits totaling approximately $3.3 million. None of these, if recognized, would affect the Company's effective tax rate because the Company has recorded a full valuation allowance against these assets. Additionally, as of that date the Company had accrued approximately $321,000 for state taxes, interest and penalties related to income tax positions in prior returns. Income tax penalties and interest are classified as general and administrative expenses. The Company was not subject to any income tax penalties and interest during the nine months ended September 30, 2012.

The Company expects that the unrecognized tax benefits will decrease in the next 12 months by approximately $300,000 as a result of the expiration of statutes of limitation on December 31, 2012.

The Company's tax years 2009 through 2011 remain subject to examination by the Internal Revenue Service, and tax years 2008 through 2011 remain subject to examination by California tax jurisdictions. In addition, the Company's loss carryforward amounts are generally subject to examination and adjustment for a period of three years for federal tax purposes and four years for California purposes, beginning when such carryovers are utilized to reduce taxes in a future tax year.

Because it is more likely than not that the Company will not realize its net deferred tax assets, it has recorded a full valuation allowance against these assets. Accordingly, no deferred tax asset has been reflected in the accompanying balance sheet.

NOTE 7 - NET LOSS PER COMMON SHARE

Basic earnings per share ("EPS") is computed by dividing the net loss by the weighted-average common shares outstanding. Options, deferred stock units, warrants and the zero coupon term loan convertible into or exercisable for certain shares of the Company's common stock were not considered in the computation of diluted EPS because their inclusion would have been antidilutive. Had these instruments been included, the fully diluted weighted average shares outstanding would have increased by approximately 3,194,000 and 2,852,000 for the three months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011, respectively, and 3,170,000 and 2,778,000 for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011, respectively.

NOTE 8 - CONTINGENCIES

In California, third parties have the ability to file litigation challenging the approval of a project. As a result, the Company is and expects to continue to be party to various legal proceedings arising in the general course of its business, including, in particular, the development of the Water Project.

Following certification of the Water Project's Environmental Impact Report ("EIR") in July 2012, the Company was named as a real party in interest in five lawsuits challenging the adequacy of the EIR, including four cases in California State Court and one in Federal Court. The State Court cases have since been consolidated and will be heard by one State Court judge. The Federal Court proceeding was dismissed in October 2012.

The Company cannot predict the outcome of any such proceedings, however, at present the Company does not believe that the ultimate resolution of these proceedings will have a material adverse effect on its business.

NOTE 9 - SUBSEQUENT EVENTS

On October 30, 2012 (the "Closing Date"), the Company increased the capacity of its existing Term Loan facility with an additional $5 million facility.

Under the terms of the additional facility, the Company drew $5 million on the Closing Date. All interest on the outstanding balance will accrue at 6%, with no principal or interest payments required before the maturity, which is identical to the maturity of the existing facility as it may be established from time to time (currently June 29, 2013 but subject to extension to November 1, 2013 pursuant to the Fifth Amendment to the Credit Agreement). Additionally, concurrently with the funding of the facility, the Company issued warrants to the lenders to purchase an aggregate of 250,000 shares of its common stock ("Warrants"). The Warrants have an exercise price of $10 per Warrant and must be exercised not later than two years from the date of issuance.

ITEM 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

In connection with the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the following discussion contains trend analysis and other forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "intends", "anticipates", "believes", "estimates", "projects", "forecasts", "expects", "plans" and "proposes". Although we believe that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, there are a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements. These include, among others, our ability to maximize value from our Cadiz, California land and water resources; and our ability to obtain new financings as needed to meet our ongoing working capital needs. See additional discussion under the heading "Risk Factors" in Item 1A of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011.

Overview

Our primary asset consists of 45,000 acres of land in three areas of eastern San Bernardino County, California. Virtually all of this land is underlain by high-quality, naturally recharging groundwater resources, and is situated in proximity to the Colorado River and the Colorado River Aqueduct ("CRA"), the major source of imported water for Southern California. Our main objective is to realize the highest and best use of these land and water resources in an environmentally responsible way.

For more than 20 years, we have maintained an agricultural development at our property in the Cadiz Valley, relying upon groundwater from the underlying aquifer system for irrigation. In 1993, we secured permits for agricultural production on up to 9,600 acres of the 34,000-acre Cadiz Valley property and the withdrawal of more than one million acre-feet of groundwater from the underlying aquifer system. Since that time, we have maintained various levels of agricultural development at the property and this development has provided our principal source of revenue. Although sustainable agricultural development is an important and enduring component of our business, we believe that the long-term value of our assets can best be derived through the development of a combination of water supply and storage projects at our properties.

The primary factors that drive the value of water supply and storage projects are continued population growth and sustained pressure on water supplies throughout California, including environmental restrictions and regulatory shortages on each of the State's three primary water sources: the State Water Project, the Colorado River and the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Southern California's water providers rely on these imported sources for a majority of their water supplies. State Water Project deliveries are presently limited to just 60% of capacity for the year. Availability of supplies in California also differs greatly from year to year due to natural hydrological variability. For example, an historic drought from 2007 - 2009 was followed by above-average rainfall in 2010 and average rainfall in 2011 and 2012. With the region's population expected to continue to grow, Southern California water providers are presently seeking new, reliable supply solutions to address anticipated fluctuations in traditional supplies and to plan for long-term water needs.

At present, our development efforts are primarily focused on the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project ("Water Project" or "Project"), which proposes to capture and conserve millions of acre-feet of native groundwater currently being lost to evaporation from the aquifer system beneath our Cadiz Valley property and deliver it to water providers throughout Southern California (see "Water Resource Development"). We believe that the ultimate implementation of this Water Project will create the primary source of our future cash flow and, accordingly, our working capital requirements relate largely to the development activities associated with this Water Project.

Additionally, we are currently exploring opportunities to enter the water transportation market, and have executed two separate option agreements that, if exercised, would allow us to purchase a total of approximately 300 miles of existing, idle underground natural gas pipelines in Southern California for conversion to water transmission (see "Other Development Opportunities"). Initial feasibility studies indicate that the pipelines have excellent potential to be utilized by the Water Project and/or to move water into other areas of the region that currently lack access to water transportation infrastructure.

Further, we continue to explore additional uses of our land and water resource assets, including siting solar energy facilities and the development of a habitat mitigation bank. We plan to continue our current development efforts and also pursue strategic investments in complementary business or infrastructure to meet our objectives. We cannot predict with certainty when or if these objectives will be realized.

Water Resource Development

The Water Project is designed to capture and conserve billions of gallons of renewable native groundwater currently being lost annually to evaporation from the aquifer system underlying our Cadiz/Fenner Property and provide a reliable water supply to water users in Southern California. By implementing established groundwater management practices, the Water Project will create a new, sustainable water supply for Project participants without adversely impacting the aquifer system or the desert environment. The total quantity of groundwater to be recovered and conveyed to Project participants will not exceed a long-term annual average of 50,000 acre-feet per year. The Project also offers participants the ability to carry-over their annual supply, and store it in the groundwater basin from year to year, as well as approximately one million acre-feet of storage capacity that can be used to store imported water.

Water Project facilities would include, among other things:

High yield wells designed to efficiently recover available native groundwater from beneath the Water Project area;

A 43-mile conveyance pipeline to connect the well field to the CRA;

A pumping plant to pump water through the conveyance pipeline from the CRA to the Project well-field, if an imported water storage component of the project is ultimately implemented;

An energy source to provide power to the well-field, pipeline and pumping plant; and

Spreading basins, which are shallow settling ponds that will be configured to efficiently percolate water from the ground surface down to the water table using subsurface storage capacity for the storage of water, if an imported water storage component of the project is ultimately implemented.

In general, several elements are needed to implement such a project: (1) a water conveyance right-of-way or pipeline from the Water Project area to a delivery system; (2) storage and supply agreements with one or more public water agencies or private water utilities; (3) environmental permits; and (4) construction and working capital financing. As described below, the first three elements have been progressed on a concurrent basis. The fourth is dependent on actions arising from the completion of the first three.

(1) A Water Conveyance Right-of-Way or Pipeline from the Water Project Area to a Delivery System

In September 2008, we secured a right-of-way for the Water Project's water conveyance pipeline by entering into a lease agreement with the Arizona & California Railroad Company ("ARZC"). The agreement allows for the use of a portion of the railroad's right-of-way to construct and operate a water conveyance pipeline for a period up to 99 years. The pipeline would be used to convey water between our Cadiz Valley property and the CRA. As part of the lease agreement, the ARZC would also receive water from the Project for fire suppression and other railroad purposes.

We are also exploring the potential to utilize one of the unused natural gas pipelines (as described in "Overview" above) that exist in the Project area, to which we hold an option right, as a means to access additional distribution systems. Initial feasibility studies indicate that this pipeline could be used as a component of the Project to distribute water to Project participants in Phase I or import water for storage at the Project area in Phase II. The potential use of this pipeline by the Project has been analyzed as part of the Project's California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") process (see "Other Development Opportunities").

(2) Storage and Supply Agreements with One or More Public Water Agencies or Private Water Utilities

In 2010 and 2011, we entered into option and environmental cost sharing agreements with six water providers: Santa Margarita Water District ("SMWD"), Golden State Water Company (a wholly-owned subsidiary of American States Water
[NYSE: AWR]), Three Valleys Municipal Water District, Suburban Water Systems (a wholly owned subsidiary of SouthWest Water Company), Jurupa Community Services District and California Water Service Company, the third largest investor-owned American water utility. The six water providers serve more than one million customers in cities throughout California's San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura Counties.

Under the terms of the agreements with the six water providers, upon completion of the Water Project's CEQA review and certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report ("Final EIR"), which occurred on July 31, 2012, each agency has the right to acquire an annual supply of 5,000 acre-feet of water at a pre-determined formula competitive with their incremental cost of new water. In addition, the agencies have options to acquire storage rights in the Water Project to allow them to manage their supplies to complement their other water resources.

Following CEQA certification, SMWD was the first participant to adopt resolutions approving a Water Purchase and Sale Agreement for 5,000 acre-fee of water. The structure of the SMWD purchase agreement calls for an annually adjusted water supply payment of up to $500/AF including identified income streams, plus their pro rata portion of the capital recovery charge and operating and maintenance costs. The capital recovery charge is calculated by amortizing the total capital investment by the Company over a 30 year term.

Approximately 80% of the water to be conserved annually by the Project is now either under a Purchase and Sale Agreement or remains under option. We are currently working with the other participating agencies to convert their option agreements to definitive economic agreements and also continue to work with additional water providers interested in acquiring rights to the remaining available Project supplies. We are also in discussions with third parties regarding the imported storage aspect of this Project.

(3) Environmental Permits

In order to properly develop and quantify the sustainability of the Water Project, and prior to initiating the formal permitting process for the Water Project, we commissioned internationally recognized environmental consulting firm CH2M HILL to complete a comprehensive study of the water resources at the Project area. Following more than a year of analysis, CH2M HILL released its study of the aquifer system in February 2010. Utilizing new models produced by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2006 and 2008, the study estimated the total groundwater in storage in the aquifer system to be between 17 and 34 million acre-feet, a quantity on par with Lake Mead, the nation's largest surface reservoir. The study also identified a renewable annual supply of native groundwater in the aquifer system currently being lost to evaporation. CH2M HILL's findings, which were peer reviewed by leading groundwater experts, confirmed that the aquifer system could sustainably support the Water Project.

Prior to beginning the formal environmental permitting process, we entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Natural Heritage Institute ("NHI"), a leading global environmental organization committed to protecting aquatic ecosystems, to assist with our efforts to sustainably manage the development of our Cadiz/Fenner Property. As part of this "Green Compact", we will follow stringent plans for groundwater management and habitat conservation, and create a groundwater monitoring plan for the Water Project.

As discussed in (2), above, we have entered into environmental cost sharing agreements with all participating water providers. The environmental cost sharing agreements created a framework for funds to be committed by each participant to share in the costs associated with the CEQA review work. SMWD served as the lead agency for the review process. ESA Associates, a leading environmental consulting firm, was retained to prepare the Water Project's environmental review documentation.

The CEQA process began in February 2011 with the issuance of a Notice of Preparation ("NOP") of a Draft Environmental Impact Report ("Draft EIR") by SMWD. SMWD held two public scoping meetings in March 2011 and released the Draft EIR in December 2011. The Draft EIR analyzed potential impacts to environmental resources at the Project area, including critical resources of the desert environment such as vegetation, mountain springs, and water and air quality. The analysis of the Project considered peer-reviewed technical reports, independently collected data, existing reports and the Project's state of the art Groundwater Management, Monitoring and Mitigation Plan ("GMMMP").

SMWD conducted a 100-day public comment period for the Draft EIR, hosting two public comment meetings and an informational workshop in January and February 2012. The public comment period concluded in March 2012.

On July 13, 2012, SMWD released the Final EIR and responses to comments. The Final EIR summarized that, with the exception of unavoidable short-term construction emissions, by implementing the measures developed in the GMMMP, the Project will avoid significant impacts to desert resources. A public hearing was held on July 25, 2012 by the SMWD Board of Directors to take public testimony and consider certification of the Final EIR. On July 31, 2012, the SMWD Board of Directors certified the Final EIR.

Following SMWD's certification of the Final EIR, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors voted on October 1, 2012 to approve the GMMMP for the Project and adopted certain findings under CEQA, becoming the first Responsible Agency to take an approving action pursuant to the certified EIR. San Bernardino County served as a Responsible Agency in the CEQA review process as the local government entity responsible for oversight over groundwater resources in the Cadiz Valley. Earlier this year, the Company entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the County and SMWD, creating the framework for finalizing the GMMMP in accordance with the County's desert groundwater ordinance.

The remaining Responsible Agencies, including the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California ("Metropolitan"), will also take action as part of the CEQA process prior to construction. Project water supplies will enter Metropolitan's CRA in accordance with its published engineering and design standards and subject to all applicable fees and charges routinely established by Metropolitan for the conveyance of water within its service territory.

(4) Construction and Working Capital

Within the Purchase and Sale Agreement with SMWD referred to in (2), above, SMWD is further authorized to continue next steps with the Company, which includes final permitting, design, and construction.

As described above, construction would primarily consist of well-field facilities at the Water Project site, a conveyance pipeline extending approximately 43 miles along the right-of-way described in (1), above, from the well-field to the CRA, and an energy source to pump water through the conveyance pipeline between the Project well-field and the CRA. Construction financing is expected to be entirely provided with lower-cost senior debt, secured by the new facility assets.

Should the Water Project ultimately include the use of an existing natural gas pipeline as to which we hold option rights, then we will also incur costs associated with the exercise of this option and the conversion of the pipeline (see "Other Development Opportunities", below).

Agricultural Development

Within the Cadiz Valley property, 9,600 acres have been zoned for agriculture. The infrastructure includes seven wells that are interconnected within this acreage, with total annual production capacity of approximately 13,000 acre-feet of water. Additionally, there are housing and kitchen facilities that support up to 300 employees. The underlying groundwater, fertile soil, and desert temperatures are well suited for a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.

Permanent crops currently in commercial production include certified-organic, . . .

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