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WSTL > SEC Filings for WSTL > Form 10-K on 24-May-2013All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for WESTELL TECHNOLOGIES INC | Request a Trial to NEW EDGAR Online Pro



Annual Report


The following discussion should be read together with the Consolidated Financial Statements and the related Notes thereto and other financial information appearing elsewhere in this Form 10-K. All references herein to the term "fiscal year" shall mean a year ended March 31 of the year specified.
The Company commenced operations in 1980 as a provider of telecommunications network transmission products that enable advanced telecommunications services over copper telephone wires. The Company currently has two reportable segments:
Westell and Customer Networking Solutions ("CNS"). Until fiscal 1994, the Company derived substantially all of its revenues from its Westell segment products, particularly the sale of Network Interface Unit ("NIU") products and related products. The Company introduced its first CNS products in fiscal 1993. The Company also provided audio teleconferencing services from fiscal 1989 until Conference Plus, Inc was sold on December 31, 2011. The Company realizes the majority of its revenues from the North American market.
On April 1, 2013, the Company acquired Kentrox, Inc. ("Kentrox") for $30.0 million, subject to an adjustment for working capital. Kentrox is a worldwide leader in intelligent site management solutions. The Company expects to report Kentrox as a separate segment during fiscal year 2014. The acquisition qualifies as a business combination and will be accounted for from the date of acquisition using the acquisition method of accounting.
On May 15, 2012, the Company acquired certain assets and liabilities of ANTONE Wireless Corporation ("ANTONE"), including rights to ANTONE products, for $2.5 million cash, subject to an adjustment for working capital, plus contingent cash consideration of up to an additional $3.5 million. The contingent consideration is based upon profitability of the acquired products for post-closing periods through June 30, 2016, and may be offset by working capital adjustments and indemnification claims. The acquisition included inventories, property and equipment, contract rights, customer relationships, technology, and certain specified operating liabilities that existed at the closing date. The Company hired nine of ANTONE's employees. ANTONE products include high-performance tower-mounted amplifiers, multi-carrier power amplifier boosters, and cell-site antenna sharing products. The acquisition qualifies as a business combination and has been accounted for using the acquisition method of accounting from the date of acquisition.
On December 31, 2011, the Company sold its wholly owned subsidiary, Conference Plus, Inc. including Conference Plus Global Services, Ltd ("CGPS"), a wholly owned subsidiary of ConferencePlus (collectively, "ConferencePlus") to Arkadin for $40.3 million in cash (the "ConferencePlus sale"). Of the total purchase price, $4.1 million was placed in escrow at closing for one year as security for certain indemnity obligations of the Company. The Company subsequently agreed to extend the escrow period to June 10, 2013. During the three months ended December 31, 2012, the Company recorded a contingent liability of $1.5 million, pre-tax, relating to impending claims raised by Arkadin under the indemnity provisions of the purchase sales agreement. In the quarter ended March 31, 2013, $1.6 million of the escrow was released. The Company expects the cash held in escrow that is in excess of the obligation covered by the indemnity provisions to be released to the Company during fiscal year 2014.
On April 15, 2011, the Company sold certain assets and transferred certain liabilities of the CNS segment to NETGEAR, Inc. for $36.7 million in cash (the "CNS asset sale"). As part of the CNS asset sale, most of the CNS segment's customer relationships, contracts and employees were transferred to NETGEAR. The Company retained a major CNS customer relationship and contract. The Company completed the remaining contracted product shipments under this contract in December 2011. During the first three quarters of fiscal year 2013, the Company continued to provide warranty services under its contractual obligations and to sell ancillary products and software on a project basis to the retained customer. The Company expects no CNS activity with that retained customer going forward. The Company also retained the Homecloud product development program. The Homecloud product family aims to provide a new suite of services into the home, with an initial focus on media and information management, sharing and delivery, and with prospective functionality applicable to enhanced security, home control, and network management.
In the Westell segment, the Company designs, distributes, markets and services a broad range of carrier-class products. The Company's Westell product family consists of indoor and outdoor cabinets, enclosures and mountings; power distribution products; network interface devices ("NIDs") for TDM/SONET networks and service demarcation; span powering equipment; remote monitoring devices; copper/fiber connectivity panels; managed Ethernet switches for utility and industrial networks; Ethernet extension devices for providing native Ethernet service handoff in carrier applications; wireless signal conditioning and monitoring products for cellular networks; tower-mounted amplifiers; cell site antenna-sharing products for cell site


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optimization; and custom systems integration ("CSI") services. Legacy products are sold primarily into wireline markets, but the Company also is actively moving to develop revenues from wireless telecommunications products. In the quarter ended September 30, 2012, the Company completed the relocation of the production of power distribution and remote monitoring products, which were manufactured at the Company's Noran Tel subsidiary located in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, to its location in Aurora, Illinois. The remaining operations in Regina, Canada, are focused on power distribution product development and on sales of Westell products in Canada. Effective as of April 1, 2013 with the acquisition of Kentrox, the Company designs, distributes, markets and services intelligent site management solutions, which provide comprehensive monitoring, management and control of a broad range of devices. The machine-to-machine (M2M) communications Kentrox provides enable service providers, tower operators, and other network operators to reduce operating costs while improving network performance. The Company provides a suite of Remote monitoring and control devices, which when combined with its Optima management system provide a comprehensive, bi-directional solution. The Kentrox solution addresses customer needs such as power management (generator management, battery, fuel, and rectifier monitoring, tenant power metering, etc.), environmental management (HVAC monitoring, energy monitoring and control, aircraft warning light management, and environmental monitoring), security management (access management, asset tampering, and surveillance), and communications management (microwave and distributed antenna systems management). Customers include major wireless and fixed-line telecommunications carriers, tower providers, cable and broadband network providers, utility companies, and enterprises. Kentrox provides solutions to customers in North and South America, Australia, Africa, and Europe.
The prices for the Company's products vary based upon volume, customer specifications and other criteria, and they are subject to change for a variety of reasons, including cost and competitive factors.
The Company's customer base for its products is highly concentrated and comprised primarily of major telecommunications service providers, independent domestic local exchange carriers and public telecom administrations located in the U.S. and Canada. Due to the stringent quality specifications of its customers and the regulated environment in which its customers operate, the Company must undergo lengthy approval and procurement processes prior to selling most of its products. Accordingly, the Company must make significant up-front investments in product and market development prior to actual commencement of sales of new products.
To remain competitive, the Company must continue to invest in new product development and in targeted sales and marketing efforts to launch new product lines. Failure to increase revenues from new products, whether due to lack of market acceptance, competition, technological change meeting technical specifications or otherwise, could have a material adverse effect on the Company's business and results of operations. The Company expects to continue to evaluate new product opportunities and invest in product research and development activities.
In view of the Company's reliance on the telecommunications market for revenues and the unpredictability of orders and pricing pressures, the Company believes that period-to-period comparisons of its financial results are not necessarily meaningful and should not be relied upon as an indication of future performance. The Company has experienced quarterly fluctuations in customer ordering and purchasing activity that appear to result from seasonal factors, including reductions in order volume and product deliveries for outdoor equipment as colder months approach and occur, and including the effects of customer vacation, budgeting and procurement patterns toward the end of the calendar year which may cause reductions or increases in activity. This seasonality can result in weaker revenue primarily in the third quarter of the fiscal year. The seasonal effects do not apply consistently and may not always correlate to financial results. Accordingly, they should not be considered a reliable indicator of our future revenue or results of operations. Critical Accounting Policies
The preparation of financial statements in accordance with GAAP requires management to make use of certain estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements, and that affect the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reported periods. The Company bases estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that management believes are reasonable under the circumstances. These estimates and assumptions form the basis for judgments about carrying values of assets and liabilities that may not be readily apparent from other sources. Actual results could differ from the amounts reported. In Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements, the Company includes a discussion of its significant accounting policies. The Company believes the following are the most critical accounting policies and estimates used in the preparation of the financial statements. The Company considers an accounting policy or estimate to be critical if it requires assumptions to be made concerning uncertainties, and if changes in these assumptions could have a material impact on financial condition or results of operations.


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Business Combinations
The Company applies the guidance of ASC topic 805, Business Combinations. This guidance requires the acquiring entity in a business combination to recognize the fair value of assets acquired and liabilities assumed in transaction; establish the acquisition date fair value as the measurement objective for all assets acquired and liabilities assumed; requires expensing of transaction and restructuring costs; and requires the acquirer to disclose the information needed to evaluate and understand the nature and financial effect of the business combination.
Inventory Valuation
The Company reviews inventory for excess quantities and obsolescence based on its best estimates of future demand, product lifecycle status and product development plans. The Company uses historical information along with these future estimates to reserve for obsolete and potentially obsolete inventory. The Company also evaluates inventory to adjust valuations to be the lower of cost or market value. Prices anticipated for future inventory demand are compared to current and committed inventory values.
Inventory Purchase Commitments
In the normal course of business, the Company enters into non-cancellable commitments for the purchase of inventory. The commitments are negotiated to be at market rates. Should there be a significant decline in revenues the Company may absorb excess inventory and subsequent losses as a result of these commitments. The Company establishes reserves for potential losses on at-risk commitments.
Income Taxes
The Company accounts for income taxes under the provisions of ASC topic 740, Income Taxes ("ASC 740"). ASC 740 requires an asset and liability based approach in accounting for income taxes. Deferred income tax assets, including net operating loss ("NOL") and certain tax credit carryovers and liabilities, are recorded based on the differences between the financial statement and tax bases of assets and liabilities, applying enacted statutory tax rates in effect for the year in which the tax differences are expected to reverse. Valuation allowances are provided against deferred tax assets which are assessed as not likely to be realized. On a quarterly basis, management evaluates the recoverability of deferred tax assets and the need for a valuation allowance. This evaluation requires the use of estimates and assumptions and considers all positive and negative evidence and factors, such as the scheduled reversal of temporary differences, the mix of earnings in the jurisdictions in which the Company operates, and prudent and feasible tax planning strategies. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are adjusted for the effects of changes in tax laws and rates on the dates of enactment. The Company accounts for unrecognized tax benefits based upon its assessment of whether a tax benefit is more likely than not to be sustained upon examination by tax authorities. The Company reports a liability for unrecognized tax benefits resulting from unrecognized tax benefits taken or expected to be taken in a tax return and recognizes interest and penalties, if any, related to its unrecognized tax benefits in income tax expense. See Note 3 for further discussion of the Company's income taxes. Goodwill and Other Intangibles
Goodwill is not amortized, but it is tested for impairment at the reporting unit level by first performing a qualitative approach to test goodwill for impairment to determine whether it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying value. If it is concluded that this is the case, it is necessary to perform the two-step, quantitative, goodwill impairment test. Otherwise, the two-step goodwill impairment test is not required.
Goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets are reviewed for impairment at least annually or when an event occurs or circumstances change between annual tests that would more likely than not reduce the fair value of the reporting unit below its carrying value. The Company performs its annual impairment test in the fourth quarter of each fiscal year and begins with a qualitative assessment to determine if it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying value.
If the Company concludes that it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying value, it is necessary to perform a two-step goodwill impairment test. The first step tests for impairment by applying fair value-based tests at the reporting unit level. Fair value of a reporting unit is determined by using both an income approach and a market approach, because this combination is considered to produce the most reasonable indication of fair value in an orderly transaction between market participants. Under the income approach, the Company determines fair value based on estimated future cash flows of a reporting unit, discounted by an estimated weighted-average cost of capital, which reflects the level of risk inherent in a reporting unit and its associated estimates of future cash flows as well as the rate of return an experienced investor might expect to earn. Under the market approach, the Company utilizes valuation multiples derived from publicly


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available information for comparable companies to provide an indication of how much a knowledgeable investor in the marketplace might be willing to pay for a company. The second step (if necessary) measures the amount of impairment by applying fair-value-based tests to individual assets and liabilities within each reporting unit.
If the Company concludes that it is more likely than not that the fair value of an indefinite-lived intangible asset is less than its carrying value, a quantitative fair value assessment is performed and compared to the carrying value. If the fair value is less than the carrying value, impairment is recorded.
Intangible assets with determinable lives are amortized on a straight-line basis over their respective estimated useful lives. If the Company were to determine that a change to the remaining estimated useful life of an intangible asset was necessary, then the remaining carrying amount of the intangible asset would be amortized prospectively over that revised remaining useful life. On an ongoing basis, the Company reviews intangible assets with a definite life and other long-lived assets other than goodwill for impairment whenever events and circumstances indicate that carrying values may not be recoverable. If such events or changes in circumstances occur, the Company will recognize an impairment loss if the undiscounted future cash flow expected to be generated by the asset is less than the carrying value of the related asset. Any impairment loss would adjust the asset to its implied fair value. Revenue Recognition
The Company records revenue from sales transactions when title and risk of loss are passed to the customer, there is persuasive evidence of an arrangement for sale, delivery has occurred and/or services have been rendered, the sales price is fixed or determinable, and collectability is reasonably assured. Revenue recognition on equipment where software is incidental to the product as a whole, or where software is essential to the equipment's functionality and falls under software accounting scope exceptions, generally occurs when products are shipped, risk of loss has transferred to the customer, objective evidence exists that customer acceptance provisions have been met, no significant obligations remain, collection is reasonably assured and warranty can be estimated.
Where multiple element arrangements exist, fair value of each element is established using the relative selling price method, which requires the Company to use vendor-specific objective evidence ("VSOE"), reliable third-party objective evidence ("TPE") or management's best estimate of selling price, in that order.
Stock-based Compensation
The Company recognizes stock-based compensation expense for all employee stock-based payments based upon the fair value on the award's grant date over the requisite service period. Determining the fair value of equity-based options requires the Company to estimate the expected volatility of its stock, the risk-free interest rate, expected option term, expected dividend yield and expected forfeitures.
Product Warranties
Most of the Company's products carry a limited warranty of up to seven years. The Company accrues for estimated warranty costs as products are shipped based on historical sales and cost of repair or replacement trends relative to sales. New Accounting Standards Adopted
In July 2012, the FASB issued ASU No. 2012-02, Intangibles-Goodwill and Other (topic 350): Testing Indefinite-Lived Intangible Assets for Impairment ("ASU 2012-02"). ASU 2012-02 provides entities with an option to first assess qualitative factors to determine whether events or circumstances indicate that it is more likely than not that the indefinite-lived intangible asset is impaired. If an entity concludes that it is more than 50% likely that an indefinite-lived intangible asset is not impaired, no further analysis is required. However, if an entity concludes otherwise, it would be required to determine the fair value of the indefinite-lived intangible asset to measure the amount of actual impairment, if any, as currently required under the accounting principles generally accepted in the United States ("GAAP"). ASU 2012-02 is effective for fiscal years beginning after September 15, 2012. The adoption of this pronouncement did not materially impact the Company's financial condition or results of operations.


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Results of Operations
Fiscal Years Ended March 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011

Revenue                    Fiscal Year Ended March 31,            Increase (Decrease)
                                                                2013 vs.      2012 vs.
(in thousands)            2013          2012         2011         2012          2011
Westell              $   38,808       $ 43,629    $  58,770    $  (4,821 )   $ (15,141 )
CNS                       1,236         26,026       89,079      (24,790 )     (63,053 )
Consolidated revenue $   40,044       $ 69,655    $ 147,849    $ (29,611 )   $ (78,194 )

In fiscal year 2013, consolidated revenue decreased 43% compared to fiscal year 2012. The 11% decrease in the Westell segment resulted primarily from lower demand for legacy products, as a result of a shift from T1 to Ethernet technology for the backhaul of cellular traffic and customer programs to constrain spending, manage inventory levels, and reuse of decommissioned products. The decrease in CNS revenue was due to the CNS asset sale, which closed on April 15, 2011, and the deliberate wind-down of CNS business transacted with the sole customer remaining thereafter. The Company expects no CNS activity with that retained customer going forward.
In fiscal year 2012, consolidated revenue decreased 53% compared to the prior year. The 26% decrease in Westell segment revenue was due primarily to lower demand that the Company believes resulted from a combination of factors, including a technology shift from T1 to Ethernet for the backhaul of cellular traffic, customer inventory management and reuse programs, customer budget constraints, and effects of the Verizon strike which occurred in the quarter ended September 30, 2011. CNS segment revenue decreased 71% due primarily to the CNS asset sale. CNS segment revenue in fiscal year 2012 contained $1.0 million that was realized prior to the April 15, 2011, closing date and related to customers that transferred with the CNS asset sale. The remaining CNS revenue is from a single customer that did not transfer with the sale and represents revenue from modem, gateway, and ancillary products and from product screening, software projects and other services.

Gross profit and margin        Fiscal Year Ended March 31,           Increase (Decrease)
                                                                   2013 vs.       2012 vs.
(in thousands)               2013          2012         2011         2012           2011
Westell                   $  13,325     $ 17,272     $ 25,667     $ (3,947 )    $  (8,395 )
                               34.3 %       39.6 %       43.7 %       (5.3 )%        (4.1 )%
CNS                             999        5,985       15,885       (4,986 )       (9,900 )
                               80.8 %       23.0 %       17.8 %       57.8  %         5.2  %
Consolidated gross profit $  14,324     $ 23,257     $ 41,552     $ (8,933 )    $ (18,295 )
Consolidated gross margin      35.8 %       33.4 %       28.1 %        2.4  %         5.3  %

In fiscal year 2013, consolidated margin increased 2.4% compared to fiscal year 2012. Westell segment gross margin decreased 5.3% year-over-year. The decrease was primarily because of higher excess and obsolete inventory charges and lower absorption of overhead costs due to lower revenue. Fiscal year 2013 included a $1.0 million charge for excess and obsolete inventory compared to a $0.6 million charge in fiscal year 2012. The inventory charges resulted primarily from the technology shift that decreased demand for T1-related products.
CNS segment gross margin increased 57.8% compared to the prior year primarily due to high-margin project-based software revenue, which was the majority of the revenue in fiscal year 2013, compared to lower-margin product revenue, which was the majority of the revenue in fiscal year 2012.
In fiscal year 2012, consolidated gross margin increased 5.3% compared to fiscal year 2011. Westell segment gross margin decreased 4.1% because of disproportionately reduced sales of higher margin products and lower absorption of overhead costs. CNS segment gross margin increased 5.2% due primarily to higher sales of higher margin ancillary, screening and software products compared to lower margin device sales.


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Sales and marketing ("S&M")      Fiscal Year Ended March 31,           Increase (Decrease)
                                                                      2013 vs.      2012 vs.
(in thousands)                  2013         2012         2011          2012          2011
Westell                     $   7,492      $ 5,573     $  5,922     $   1,919      $   (349 )
CNS                               (53 )        923        4,891          (976 )      (3,968 )
Consolidated S&M expense    $   7,439      $ 6,496     $ 10,813     $     943      $ (4,317 )
Percentage of Revenue              19 %          9 %          7 %

In fiscal year 2013, consolidated sales and marketing expense increased by 15% or $0.9 million compared to fiscal year 2012. Sales and marketing expense in the Westell segment increased 34% primarily due to higher compensation and related expenses which resulted from the addition of employees hired with the ANTONE acquisition, the addition of a Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing and increased commission expense. Sales and marketing expense in the CNS segment decreased compared to the prior fiscal year due to the CNS asset sale. The reversal of expense in fiscal year 2013 resulted from adjustments in accrued warranty.
In fiscal year 2012, consolidated sales and marketing expense decreased 40% or $4.3 million compared to the prior year. Sales and marketing expense in the Westell segment decreased 6% resulting primarily from lower bonus and commission expenses caused by decreased Westell segment revenue in fiscal year 2012 compared to fiscal year 2011. Sales and marketing expense in the CNS segment decreased 81% due to the CNS asset sale. CNS segment expenses in fiscal year 2012 are primarily for management, shipping and warranty costs for the one CNS remaining customer, plus limited marketing costs related to the Homecloud product.

Research and development ("R&D")      Fiscal Year Ended March 31,           Increase (Decrease)
                                                                           2013 vs.      2012 vs.
(in thousands)                       2013         2012         2011          2012          2011
Westell                          $   5,725      $ 5,117     $  3,825     $     608      $  1,292
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