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CUB > SEC Filings for CUB > Form 10-K on 5-Dec-2013All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for CUBIC CORP /DE/

Form 10-K for CUBIC CORP /DE/


5-Dec-2013

Annual Report


Item 7. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS.

Company Overview

We are a leading international provider of cost-effective systems and solutions that address the mass transit and global defense markets' most pressing and demanding requirements. We are engaged in the design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems and products. We also provide a broad range of engineering, training, technical, logistic, and information technology services. We serve the needs of various federal and regional government agencies in the U.S. and allied nations around the world with products and services that have both defense and civil applications. Our main areas of focus are in mass transit automated fare payment and revenue management infrastructure, defense, intelligence, homeland security, and information technology, including cyber security. For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2013, 38% of sales were derived from transportation systems and related services, while 62% were derived from defense systems and services. The U.S. government remains our largest customer, accounting for approximately 52% of sales in 2013, 50% of sales in 2012, and 56% of sales in 2011. In fiscal year 2013, 58% of our total sales were derived from services, with product sales accounting for the remaining 42%.

We operate in three reportable business segments: transportation systems, mission support services and defense systems. We organize our business segments based on the nature of the products and services offered.

We are operating in an environment that is characterized by continuing economic pressures in the U.S. and globally. A significant component of our strategy in this environment is to focus on program execution, improving the quality and predictability of the delivery of our products and services, and providing opportunities for customers to outsource services where we can provide a lower cost and more effective solution. Recognizing that many of our U.S. based customers are resource constrained, we are continuing our focus on developing and extending our portfolio in international and adjacent markets. Our international sales, including Foreign Military Sales (FMS), comprised 45% of our total sales for fiscal year 2013. International sales from Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS) amounted to 73% of total CTS sales for fiscal year 2013. International sales from Mission Support Services (MSS) comprised 17% of total MSS sales for fiscal year 2013. International sales from Cubic Defense System (CDS) amounted to 39% of total CDS sales for fiscal year 2013. To the extent our business and contracts include operations in foreign countries, other risks are introduced into our business, including changing economic conditions, fluctuations in relative currency values, regulation by foreign countries, and the potential for deterioration of political relations.

We expect sales from domestic CTS contracts to increase as a percentage of total CTS sales in 2014, as we begin to realize revenues from a major contract with the Chicago Transit Authority. However, we expect international sales from CDS to increase in future periods due to the number of international opportunities we are currently pursuing.

We continuously strive to strengthen our portfolio of products and services to meet the current and future needs of our customers. We accomplish this in part by our independent research and development (R&D) activities, and through acquisitions. Company-sponsored R&D spending totaled $24.4 million in 2013.

We selectively pursue the acquisition of businesses that complement our current portfolio and allow access to new customers or technologies. In pursuing our business strategy, we routinely conduct discussions, evaluate targets, and enter into agreements regarding possible acquisitions. As part of our business strategy, we seek to identify acquisition opportunities that will expand or complement our existing products and services, or customer base, at attractive valuations. We have made a number of niche acquisitions of businesses during the past several years, including Abraxas Corporation in December 2010, NEK Special Programs Group, LLC (NEK) in December 2012 and NextBus, Inc. in January 2013. Generally, these acquisitions are dilutive to earnings in the short-term due to acquisition related costs, integration costs, retention payments and often higher amortization of purchased intangibles in the early periods after acquisition. However, we expect that each of these recent acquisitions will be accretive to earnings in the long-term.

Industry Considerations

The U.S. government continues to focus on discretionary spending, entitlements, tax, and other initiatives to stimulate the economy, create jobs, and reduce the deficit. The current presidential administration and Congress will likely continue to debate the size and expected growth of the U.S. federal budget as well as the defense budget over the next few years and balance decisions regarding defense, homeland security, and other federal spending priorities in a constrained fiscal environment imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (Budget Act), which, in part, reduces defense spending by a minimum of $487 billion over a ten-year period that began in fiscal year 2012.


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On March 1, 2013, the sequestration of appropriations in fiscal year 2013 imposed by the Budget Act was implemented by the federal government. While the ultimate effects of sequestration still cannot be determined, these reductions have had an impact upon our customers' procurement of products and services and will continue to have significant impact on the defense industry. These budgetary considerations may also impact funding to our U.S. mass transit customers from the federal government for large infrastructure projects.

While these budgetary considerations have put downward pressure on growth in the defense industry and will likely continue to do so, we believe that much of our business is well positioned in areas that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has indicated are areas of focus for future defense spending to help the DoD meet its critical future capability requirements for protecting U.S. security and the security of our allies in the years to come. In addition, our defense business has an immaterial amount of exposure to overseas contingency operations.

In transportation, we continue to believe that our products and services are critical to our customers to ensure that they maximize revenue and efficiencies in fare collection in a resource constrained environment. Some customers have responded to the current market environment by seeking financing for their projects from the system supplier. An example of this is our contract with the Chicago Transit Authority, awarded in late 2011. We are designing and manufacturing a new fare collection system for the Chicago Transit Authority and will receive monthly payments for the system over an approximate ten-year period expected to begin in the second quarter of fiscal 2014.

While future defense plans, changes in defense spending levels and changes in spending for mass transit projects could have a materially adverse effect on our consolidated financial position, we have and plan to continue to make strategic investments and acquisitions to align our businesses in growth areas of our respective markets that we believe are the most critical priorities and mission areas for our customers.

Segment Overview

Cubic Transportation Systems

CTS is a systems integrator that develops and provides fare collection infrastructure, services and technology and real-time passenger information systems and services for public transportation authorities and operators worldwide. We offer fare collection devices, software, systems and multiagency, multimodal integration technologies, as well as a full suite of operational services that help agencies efficiently collect fares, manage operations, reduce revenue leakage and make public transit more convenient.

The public transportation markets we serve are undergoing a substantial change. Mounting pressure on public transportation authorities to stretch their operating budgets is fueling a trend toward outsourced services and payment systems that lower operating cost. We believe we are positioned at the forefront of this change.

We provide a wide range of services for public transportation authorities in major markets worldwide, including computer hosting services, call center and web services, payment media issuance and distribution services, retail point of sale network management, payment processing, financial clearing and settlement, software application support and outsourced asset operations and maintenance. Significant regions where we currently provide services include London, Sydney, Brisbane, Sweden, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco and Atlanta. CTS operates full service operation centers in North America, Europe and Australia. In 2013, revenues from services provided by CTS were $275.4 million, or 53% of CTS sales in 2013.

CTS is a prime contractor and has active projects worldwide, including in the New York (Metrocard®) / New Jersey (PATCO®, PATH Smartlink®) region, Chicago (Ventra®), Vancouver, Sydney (Opal®),Brisbane (go card®), the Frankfurt / RMV region, Sweden, the Washington, D.C. / Maryland / Virginia region (SmarTrip®), the Los Angeles region, the San Diego region, Miami, Minneapolis / St. Paul and Atlanta. In addition to helping us secure similar projects in new markets, our comprehensive suite of new technologies and capabilities enable us to benefit from a recurring stream of revenues in established markets resulting from innovative new services, technology obsolescence, equipment refurbishment and the introduction of new or adjacent applications.

We are currently designing and building major new systems in Chicago, Sydney and Vancouver. Typically, profit margins during the design and build phase of major projects are lower than during the operate and maintain phase. This has in the past caused, and may in the future cause, swings in profitability from period to period. In addition, cash flows are often negative during portions of the design and build phase, until major milestones are reached and cash payments are received. This was the case in 2013, as we experienced negative cash flows from all three of these major projects. Each of these projects includes a ten-year operate and maintain period and we expect cash flows from these projects to be positive in future years.


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Cash payment terms offered by our mass transit customers in a competitive environment are sometimes not favorable to us. The customers' budget constraints often result in less funding available for the build of a new system, with more funds becoming available when the system becomes operational. This, coupled with the inherent risks in managing large infrastructure projects, can yield negative cash flows and lower and less predictable profit margins on contracts during the design and build phase. Conversely, during the operate and maintain phase, revenues and costs are typically more predictable and profit margins tend to be higher. Gross profit margins from services sales in CTS were 35% and 31% for fiscal years 2013 and 2012, respectively, and gross profit margin from product sales was 16% and 26% in 2013 and 2012, respectively. Thus, the trend toward more services revenues has helped to generate higher profit margins from the segment in recent years than in the past. The mix of product and services sales can produce fluctuations in margin from period-to-period; however, we expect the trend of increasing services sales to continue in the next several years.

Most of our sales in CTS for fiscal year 2013 were from fixed-price contracts. However, some of our service contracts provide for variable payments, in addition to the fixed payments, based on meeting certain service level requirements and, in some cases, based on system usage. Service level requirements are generally contingent upon factors that are under our control, while system usage payments are contingent upon factors that are generally not under our control, other than basic system availability. Development and system integration contracts in CTS are usually accounted for on a percentage-of-completion basis using the cost-to-cost method to measure progress toward completion, which requires us to estimate our costs to complete these contracts on a regular basis. Our actual results can vary significantly from these estimates and changes in estimates can result in significant swings in revenues and profitability from period to period. Generally, we are at risk for increases in our costs, unless an increase results from customer-requested changes. At times, there can be disagreement with a customer over who is responsible for increases in costs. In these situations we must use judgment to determine if it is probable that we will recover our costs and any profit margin.

Revenue under contracts for services in CTS is generally recognized either as services are performed or when a contractually required event has occurred, depending on the contract. Revenue under such contracts is generally recognized on a straight-line basis over the period of contract performance, unless evidence suggests that the revenue is earned or the obligations are fulfilled in a different pattern. Costs incurred under these services contracts are expensed as incurred, and may vary from period to period. Incentive fees included in some of our CTS service contracts are recognized when they become fixed and determinable based on the provisions of the contract. As described above, often these fees are based on meeting certain contractually required service levels or based on system usage levels. Contractual terms can also result in variation of both revenues and expenses, resulting in fluctuations in earnings from period to period.

For our contract for the new fare collection system for the Chicago Transit Authority, the contract specifies that we will not be paid until we enter the service period. In accordance with authoritative accounting literature, we did not begin recognizing revenue on this contract until it entered the service period in August 2013. As of September 30, 2013, we had capitalized $75.5 million in direct costs associated with developing the new fare collection system. Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) costs associated with this contract are not being capitalized, but are being expensed as incurred. Capitalized costs are being amortized into cost of sales based upon the ratio of revenue recorded during a period compared to the revenue expected to be recognized over the term of the contract.

In January 2013, we announced the acquisition of NextBus as well as certain contracts from its parent company, Webtech Wireless. The purchase consideration was approximately $20.2 million. NextBus provides real-time passenger information systems using a software-as-a-service solution. The NextBus acquisition is part our NextCity vision and it expands CTS' potential market beyond fare collection to information-based solutions.

For fiscal year 2013, NextBus had $7.8 million of revenue and was slightly dilutive to our earnings per share, after consideration of costs for transaction integration, retention and the amortization of purchased intangibles.

On November 26, 2013 we acquired all of the outstanding capital stock of Intelligent Transport Management Solutions Limited (ITMS), a wholly owned U.K. subsidiary of Serco Limited. ITMS is a provider of traffic management systems technology, traffic and road enforcement and maintenance of traffic signals, emergency equipment and other critical road and tunnel infrastructure. The total acquisition-date fair value of consideration transferred for ITMS was approximately $70 million.

Mission Support Services

MSS is a leading provider of highly specialized support services to the U.S. government and allied nations. Services provided include live, virtual and constructive training, real-world mission rehearsal exercises, professional military education, intelligence support, information technology, information assurance and related cyber support, development of military doctrine, consequence management, infrastructure protection and force protection, as well as support to field operations, force deployment and redeployment and logistics.


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MSS is a highly specialized and customer centric business which we believe knows how to meet the unique requirements of each of its many customers. In the government services marketplace, reputation, quality and relationships are always important. We uphold our credentials for professional excellence by consistently providing high-value and cost-effective support for our customers.

MSS is focused on customers within the U.S. government, extending to the DoD, all branches of the U.S. Armed Services, the Department of Homeland Security, non-military agencies, and allied nations under FMS contracts funded by the U.S. government. MSS is the prime contractor at more than 40 military training and support facilities and supports more than 200,000 exercises and training events per year. The segment supports all four of the U.S. Army's combat training centers (CTCs) comprised of: the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) in Fort Polk, Louisiana, which is the nation's premier training center for light infantry forces; the National Training Center (NTC) in Fort Irwin, California, the Army's premier heavy maneuver CTC; the Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMTC) in Hohenfels, Germany, which is the U.S. Army Europe's combat maneuver training center for realistic training from the individual to the brigade level; and the Mission Command Training Program (MCTP) in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, which delivers mission command training to the Army's senior commanders and is the Army's only worldwide deployable CTC. MSS continues its role as a long-time prime contractor for the Marine Corps air and ground forces under the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Training Systems Support (MTSS) contract. Under this contract and its two predecessors, MSS has been and continues to be the principal U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) mission support contractor providing training services since 1998. We also currently provide and/or have provided defense modernization support for 13 NATO entrants in Central and Eastern Europe under FMS contracts.

We are adapting to a new era in defense and national security spending practices. In the past, many of the contracts we were awarded in MSS were long-term in nature, spanning periods of five to ten years. The DoD now relies heavily upon indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) and small business set aside contracts. For us that means a lower backlog of long-term service contracts due to the shorter term nature of these ID/IQ Task Order awards. Shorter-term contracts combined with this tougher competitive environment, where the "lowest price technically acceptable" bids usually win, have resulted in a trend toward lower profit margins from the segment in recent periods. For example, the gross profit margin in MSS was 11% in 2013 and 2012 compared to 13% in 2011. Threats related to sequestration and margin compression were among the factors that resulted in a decline in the estimated fair value of MSS and a resulting $50.9 million goodwill impairment in 2013. We must continue to work to keep our costs low to remain competitive under these market conditions. These conditions also provide the opportunity for us to increase our market share of the large DoD services market. To maximize our business opportunities under ID/IQ contract vehicles, we often seek new work both as a prime contractor and a subcontractor. By increasing our participation in multiple award ID/IQ contracts we improve our chances to develop new customers, programs and capabilities. Retaining customers is a critical component of our success; we remain vigilant in maintaining a high win rate on re-compete contracts to retain our customers. Despite the trend toward small business awards by the U.S. government, where we must take a role as a subcontractor, 88% of our revenues in fiscal year 2013 were as a prime contractor.

MSS expanded and deepened its training services through the acquisition of Omega Training Group in 2008, which positioned the segment at key locations, such as Fort Lee, Virginia, Fort Bliss, Texas, and Fort Benning, Georgia, which were recipients of work from the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). In addition, MSS has been focused on diversifying its business over the last three years to the national security market. The acquisition of Abraxas in fiscal year 2011, and NEK in December 2012, adds to the segment's specialized skills and further diversifies the business to new customers and markets which are directly aligned with DoD's emphasis on intelligence and the special operations forces communities where trusted credentials are a high barrier to entry. NEK provides special forces training-related services to the U.S. Army and other national security related customers, and we expect NEK to provide a platform to expand MSS' work both in the U.S. and to key foreign allies. We acquired select assets of NEK for approximately $52.6 million in total consideration. As part of the acquisition, we hired more than 200 employees with substantial experience in the Special Forces community.

For fiscal year 2013, NEK was slightly dilutive to our earnings per share after consideration of costs for transaction integration, retention, and the amortization of purchased intangibles. In fiscal year 2014, we anticipate that this acquisition should be accretive, and that NEK should contribute $45.0 million to $55.0 million in sales.

Cost reimbursable and time and materials contracts accounted for 59% of our sales in MSS for fiscal year 2013, with the remaining sales derived from fixed-price contracts. Revenues under cost reimbursable contracts are recognized as costs are incurred, plus the estimated fee earned under the contract terms. Often these are structured as award fees based on performance and are generally accrued during the performance of the contract based on our historical experience with such awards. Revenues under time and materials contracts are recognized as services are delivered based on the terms of the contract. Revenues under our fixed-price service contracts with the U.S. government are recorded under the cost-to-cost percentage-of-completion method.


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Cubic Defense Systems

CDS is focused on two primary lines of business: training systems and secure communications. The segment is a diversified supplier of live and virtual military training systems, and secure communication systems and products to the DoD, other U.S. government agencies and allied nations. We design and manufacture instrumented range systems for fighter aircraft, armored vehicles and infantry force-on-force live training weapons effects simulations, laser-based tactical and communication systems, and precision gunnery solutions. Our secure communications products are aimed at intelligence, surveillance, asset tracking and search and rescue markets.

CDS is building upon its role as a leader in air and ground combat training systems worldwide. Our products and systems help our customers to retain technological superiority with cost-effective solutions. We design, innovate, manufacture and field a diverse range of technologies that are critical to combat readiness, supply chain logistics and national security for the U.S. and allied nations. Our primary lines of business include air combat training ranges and after action review software, ground combat training systems, including a full range of laser engagement simulation systems, virtual small arms training systems, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) data links, personnel locator systems, multi-band communication tracking devices and cross domain appliances for cyber security. We also provide ongoing support services for systems we have built for several of our international customers.

Our established international footprint in more than 35 allied nations is a key ingredient to our strategy. Our global footprint helps to insulate us from possible shifts or downturns in DoD spending. Sales from international customers of CDS have become a major part of our business with $147.9 million, or 39% of sales, in 2013 from international customers. In addition, expansion into adjacent markets gives us an effective means to add scale to our business. We look for attractive acquisition candidates to expand our product offerings and we invest in the development of innovative new products that deliver real value to our customers. Through acquisitions made in 2010, and our additional investment in product development, we now supply asset visibility solutions for military and commercial supply chain logistics. This includes container tracking, yard management and shipment monitoring. In 2010, we also acquired cyber products that include a range of certified and accredited cross-domain transfer appliances that ensure secure and appropriate access to data and services from unclassified to top secret for defense, intelligence and homeland security customers. We have delivered training and simulation offerings to seven nations in the Asia-Pacific region and have positioned ourselves for certain anticipated contracts with the Australian Defense Forces. Through business acquisitions we made in 2013 we now offer live fire training solutions to US and international forces, further deepening our training capabilities and expanding our customer base, and we acquired a specialist engineering business with strong project management competencies in training range design, operations, communications, and safety requirements.

Fixed-price contracts accounted for 92% of CDS revenue for fiscal year 2013. Development and system integration contracts in CDS are generally accounted for on a percentage-of-completion basis using the cost-to-cost method to measure progress toward completion, which requires us to estimate our costs to complete these contracts on a regular basis. Our actual results can vary significantly from these estimates and changes in estimate can result in significant swings in revenues and profitability from period to period. Generally, we are at risk for increases in our costs, unless an increase results from customer-requested changes. At times, there can be disagreement with a customer over who is responsible for increases in costs. In these situations we must use judgment to determine if it is probable that we will recover our costs and any profit margin.

CDS also has many long-term, fixed-price production contracts that do not require substantial development effort. For these contracts we use the units-of-delivery percentage-of-completion method as the basis to measure progress toward completing the contract and recognizing sales. The units-of-delivery measure recognizes revenues as deliveries are made to the customer generally using unit sales values in accordance with the contract terms. We estimate profit as the difference between total estimated revenue and total estimated cost of a contract and recognize that profit over the life of the contract based on deliveries.

Increasingly, CDS is receiving contracts from foreign customers to not only develop and deliver a system, but to maintain the system for a period of years after the delivery. While service contracts have not historically been a significant part of our CDS business, this type of multiple-element contract has become more common in recent years. Revenues under contracts for services in CDS are generally recognized as services are performed on a straight-line basis over the period of contract performance. Costs incurred under these services contracts are expensed as incurred, and may vary from period to period, resulting in fluctuations in earnings.

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