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LQDT > SEC Filings for LQDT > Form 10-Q on 9-May-2014All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for LIQUIDITY SERVICES INC

Form 10-Q for LIQUIDITY SERVICES INC


9-May-2014

Quarterly Report


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

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This document contains forward-looking statements. These statements are only predictions. The outcome of the events described in these forward-looking statements is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to differ materially from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks and other factors include but are not limited to the factors set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 30, 2013 and subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "could," "would," "expects," "intends," "plans," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential," "continues" or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. There may be other factors of which we are currently unaware or deem immaterial that may cause our actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements.

All forward-looking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf apply only as of the date of this document and are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements included in this document. Except as may be required by law, we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this document or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

The following discussion should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes and the information contained elsewhere in this document.

Overview

About us. We operate leading auction marketplaces for surplus and salvage assets. We enable buyers and sellers to transact in an efficient, online auction environment offering over 500 product categories. Our marketplaces provide professional buyers access to a global, organized supply of surplus and salvage assets presented with customer focused information including digital images and other relevant product information along with services to efficiently complete the transaction. Additionally, we enable our corporate and government sellers to enhance their financial return on excess assets by providing liquid marketplaces and value-added services that integrate sales and marketing, logistics and transaction settlement into a single offering. We organize our products into categories across major industry verticals such as consumer electronics, general merchandise, apparel, scientific equipment, aerospace parts and equipment, technology hardware, energy equipment, industrial capital assets, fleet and transportation equipment and specialty equipment. Our online marketplaces are www.liquidation.com, www.govliquidation.com, www.govdeals.com, www.networkintl.com, www.truckcenter.com, and www.secondipity.com, and www.go-dove.com.

We believe our ability to create liquid marketplaces for surplus and salvage assets generates a continuous flow of goods from our corporate and government sellers. This flow of goods in turn attracts an increasing number of professional buyers to our marketplaces. During the 12 months ended March 31, 2014, the number of registered buyers grew from approximately 2,307,000 to approximately 2,524,000, or 9.4%.

Recent initiatives. The DoD, in accordance with the award of the next (third) surplus contract, split the contract into a rolling stock and a non-rolling stock contract; with bidding on these two surplus contracts held on April 1 and 2, 2014. On April 1, 2014, we were the high bidder for the non-rolling stock surplus contract with a bid equal to 4.35% of the DoD's original acquisition value (OAV). Later this month, the DoD is expected to formally award the contract. The non-rolling stock surplus contract has a base term of two years with four one-year renewal options. Following the bidding event on April 2, 2014 for the DoD rolling stock contract, we withdrew from the live auction bidding for this contract. Bidding reached a level that we determined would be economically unsustainable under the terms of the new contract, jeopardizing the high level of service we have historically provided the agency client. Final contract awards are subject to a protest period and a pre-award survey by the DoD regarding the bidder's ability to satisfactorily perform the work in accordance with their technical proposal submitted in step-one of the solicitation. Because the contracting process is not complete, we cannot at this time provide a revised forecast on future financial results. However, based on the unofficial April 1-2 bid results, the price for the non-rolling stock contract is expected to increase from 1.8% to 4.35% of OAV, resulting in significantly higher Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) in fiscal year 2015 and beyond. Additionally, we expect to cease the sale of DoD rolling stock under the new contract, which has historically accounted for approximately 30-35% of the overall revenue for the current DoD Surplus contract, resulting in lower revenue in future periods. Together, this will result in a material impact to our EBITDA in fiscal year 2015 and beyond. We will continue to operate our existing DoD surplus contract to sell all useable surplus assets of the DoD, including rolling stock and non-rolling stock assets, for the base term ending December 2014, with two additional one-month renewal options.


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As discussed in the beginning of fiscal year 2014, we have undertaken a significant initiative to fully integrate and enhance our marketplaces. We anticipated spending an additional $7.0 million to $9.0 million on this effort during fiscal year 2014. We currently are on plan to create these benefits for our selling clients and buying customers, while increasing efficiencies in operations across all of our marketplace platforms. We expect a significant amount of this product development to be completed this fiscal year with the total initiative being completed during fiscal year 2015.

Our revenue. We generate substantially all of our revenue by retaining a percentage of the proceeds from the sales we manage for our sellers. We offer our sellers three primary transaction models: a profit-sharing model, a consignment model and a purchase model.

Profit-sharing model. Under our profit-sharing model, we purchase inventory from our suppliers and share with them a portion of the profits received from a completed sale in the form of a distribution. Distributions are calculated based on the value received from the sale after deducting direct costs, such as sales and marketing, technology and operations and other general and administrative costs. Because we are the primary obligor, and take general and physical inventory risks and credit risk under this transaction model, we recognize as revenue the sale price paid by the buyer upon completion of a transaction. Revenue from our profit-sharing model accounted for approximately 12.8% and 14.4 % of our total revenue for the three and six months ended March 31, 2014. The merchandise sold under our profit-sharing model accounted for approximately 7.2% and 7.8% of our gross merchandise volume, or GMV, for the three and six months ended March 31, 2014.

Consignment model - fee revenue. Under our consignment model, we recognize commission revenue from sales of merchandise in our marketplaces that is owned by others. These commissions, which we refer to as seller commissions, represent a percentage of the sale price the buyer pays upon completion of a transaction. We vary the percentage amount of the seller commission depending on the various value-added services we provide to the seller to facilitate the transaction. For example, we generally increase the percentage amount of the commission if we take possession, handle, ship or provide enhanced product information for the merchandise. We collect the seller commission by deducting the appropriate amount from the sales proceeds prior to their distribution to the seller after completion of the transaction. Revenue from our consignment model, as well as other fee revenue, accounted for approximately 19.8% and 21.5% of our total revenue for the three and six months ended March 31, 2014. The merchandise sold under our consignment model accounted for approximately 52.7% and 56.7% of our GMV for the three and six months ended March 31, 2014.

Purchase model. Under our purchase model, we offer our sellers a fixed amount or the option to share a portion of the proceeds received from our completed sales in the form of a distribution. Distributions are calculated based on the value we receive from the sale after deducting a required return to us that we have negotiated with the seller. Because we are the primary obligor, and take general and physical inventory risks and credit risk under this transaction model, we recognize as revenue the sale price paid by the buyer upon completion of a transaction. Revenue from our purchase model accounted for approximately 67.4% and 64.1% of our total revenue for the three and six months ended March 31, 2014. The merchandise sold under our purchase model accounted for approximately 40.1% and 35.5% of our GMV for the three and six months ended March 31, 2014.

We collect a buyer premium on substantially all of our transactions under all of our transaction models. Buyer premiums are calculated as a percentage of the sale price of the merchandise sold and are paid to us by the buyer. Buyer premiums are in addition to the price of the merchandise. Under our profit-sharing model, we typically share the proceeds of any buyer premiums with our sellers.

Industry trends. We believe there are several industry trends impacting the growth of our business including: (1) the increase in the adoption of the Internet by businesses to conduct e-commerce both in the United States and abroad; (2) in the near term the decrease in the volume, innovation, and price of consumer electronic products, resulting in lower supply from our retail clients and lower per unit prices and margins in our retail goods marketplace, although in the long term product we expect innovation in the retail supply chain will increased the pace of product obsolescence and, therefore, the supply of surplus assets; (3) the increase in the volume of returned merchandise handled by both online and offline retailers; (4) the increase in government regulations and the need for corporations to have sustainability solutions necessitating verifiable recycling and remarketing of surplus assets; (5) the increase in outsourcing by corporate and government organizations of disposition activities for surplus and end-of-life assets as they focus on reducing costs, improving transparency, compliance and working capital flows, and increasingly prefer service providers with a proven track record, innovative scalable solutions and the ability to make a strategic impact in the reverse supply chain, which we expect to increase our seller base; and (6) as a result of the economic downturn, an increase in buyer demand for surplus merchandise as consumers trade down by purchasing less expensive goods and seek greater value from their purchases, which results in lower per unit prices and margins in our retail goods vertical.


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Our Seller Agreements

Our DoD agreements. We have two contracts with the DoD pursuant to which we acquire, manage and sell excess property:

Surplus Contract. In June 2001, we were awarded the first Surplus Contract, a competitive-bid exclusive contract under which we acquire, manage and sell all usable DoD surplus personal property turned into the DLA Disposition Services. Surplus property generally consists of items determined by the DoD to be no longer needed, and not claimed for reuse by, any federal agency, such as computers, electronics, office supplies, scientific and medical equipment, aircraft parts, clothing and textiles. We responded to a RFP from the DLA Disposition Services regarding a renewal of the Surplus Contract, and we were awarded the contract. We executed the second Contract on December 18, 2008. The second Surplus Contract was to expire in February 2014. In January 2014, the DoD awarded the Company with a follow-on contract to extend the terms of the second Surplus Contract for a base term of ten months with two one-month renewal option periods. The DoD, in accordance with the award of the next (third) surplus contract, split the contract into a rolling stock and a non-rolling stock contract, with bidding on these two surplus contracts held on April 1 and 2, 2014. On April 1, 2014, we were the high bidder for the non-rolling stock surplus contract with a bid equal to 4.35% of the DoD's original acquisition value (OAV). Later this month, the DoD is expected to formally award the contract. The non-rolling stock surplus contract has a base term of two years with four one-year renewal options. Following the bidding event on April 2, 2014 for the DoD rolling stock contract, we withdrew from the live auction bidding for this contract. Bidding reached a level that we determined would be economically unsustainable under the terms of the new contract, jeopardizing the high level of service we have historically provided the agency client. Final contract awards are subject to a protest period and a pre-award survey by the DoD regarding the bidder's ability to satisfactorily perform the work in accordance with their technical proposal submitted in step-one of the solicitation. Revenue from our second Surplus Contract (including buyer premiums) accounted for approximately 30.1% and 27.4% of our total revenue for the three and six months ended March 31, 2014. The property sold under our second Surplus Contract accounted for approximately 17.0% and 14.8% of our GMV for the three and six months ended March 31, 2014.

Under the second Surplus Contract, as amended, we are obligated to purchase all DoD surplus property at 1.8% of Disposition Services' original acquisition value. The DoD has broad discretion to determine what property will be made available for sale to us under the second Surplus Contract and may retrieve or restrict property previously sold to us for national security reasons or if the property is otherwise needed to support the mission of the DoD. The Surplus property flow from the DoD continues to be higher than historical levels. The mix of property has shifted to lower value smaller unit items, requiring us to rent more space, increase the number of shifts in our distribution centers, and increase our staff. During the three months ended March 31, 2014, our inventory acquired under the second Surplus Contract increased significantly as a result of a surge of property provided by the DoD.

Scrap Contract. In June 2005, we were awarded a competitive-bid exclusive contract under which we acquire, manage and sell substantially all scrap property of the DoD turned into the DLA Disposition Services. Scrap property generally consists of items determined by the DoD to have no use beyond their base material content, such as metals, alloys, and building materials. We were required to pay $5.7 million to the DoD in fiscal 2005 for the right to manage the operations and remarket scrap material in connection with the Scrap Contract. Following the DoD's exercise of all three renewal options, the Scrap Contact expires in June 2015. Revenue from our Scrap Contract (including buyer premiums) accounted for approximately 12.8% and 14.4% of our total revenue for the three and six months ended March 31, 2014. The property sold under our Scrap Contract accounted for approximately 7.2% and 7.8% of our GMV for the three and six months ended March 31, 2014.

Under the Scrap Contract, we acquire scrap property at a per pound price and disburse to the DLA Disposition Services a percentage of the profits realized from the sale of the inventory, after deduction for allowable expenses. We refer to these disbursement payments to the DoD as profit-sharing distributions. As a result of these arrangements, we recognize as revenue the gross proceeds from these sales. The DoD also reimburses us for actual costs incurred for packing, loading and shipping property under the Scrap and original Surplus Contracts that we are obligated to pick up from non-DoD locations. We also have a small business performance incentive based on the number of scrap buyers that are small businesses that allows us to receive up to an additional 2% of the profit sharing distribution. On May 21, 2007, we entered into a bilateral contract modification under which the DoD agreed to increase our profit-sharing distribution for the Scrap Contract from 20% to 23% effective June 1, 2007, in exchange for our agreement to implement additional inventory assurance processes and procedures with respect to the mutilation of demilitarized scrap property sold.

Our Wal-Mart Contracts. We have various contracts with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Wal-Mart), pursuant to which we have the exclusive right to purchase certain consumer products from Wal-Mart that have been removed from the sales stream of its retail operations. All of these agreements have customary commercial terms, which generally expire within a year and allow both parties to terminate for convenience with reasonable notice. As a result of the Jacobs Trading acquisition, we also have a long-term contract with Wal-Mart that does not provide for termination for convenience. The term of this agreement expires on May 16, 2016 and thereafter continues on a month to month basis.


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Our commercial agreements. We have over 600 corporate clients each of which has sold in excess of $10,000 of surplus and salvage assets in our marketplaces during the last twelve months. Our agreements with these clients are generally terminable at will by either party.

Key Business Metrics

Our management periodically reviews certain key business metrics for operational planning purposes and to evaluate the effectiveness of our operational strategies, allocation of resources and our capacity to fund capital expenditures and expand our business. These key business metrics include:

Gross merchandise volume. Gross merchandise volume, or GMV, is the total sales value of all merchandise sold through our marketplaces during a given period. We review GMV because it provides a measure of the volume of goods being sold in our marketplaces and thus the activity of those marketplaces. GMV also provides a means to evaluate the effectiveness of investments that we have made and continue to make, including in the areas of customer support, value-added services, product development, sales and marketing, and operations. The GMV of goods sold in our marketplaces during the three and six months ended March 31, 2014 and March 31, 2013, totaled $227.2 million and $461.6 million, and $259.1 million and $492.5 million, respectively.

Total registered buyers. We grow our buyer base through a combination of marketing and promotional efforts. A person becomes a registered buyer by completing an online registration process on one of our marketplaces. As part of this process, we collect business and personal information, including name, title, company name, business address and contact information, and information on how the person intends to use our marketplaces. Each prospective buyer must also accept our terms and conditions of use. Following the completion of the online registration process, we verify each prospective buyer's e-mail address and confirm that the person is not listed on any banned persons list maintained internally or by the U.S. federal government. After the verification process, which is completed generally within 24 hours, the registration is approved and activated and the prospective buyer is added to our registered buyer list.

Total registered buyers, as of a given date, represents the aggregate number of persons or entities who have registered on one of our marketplaces. We use this metric to evaluate how well our marketing and promotional efforts are performing. Total registered buyers excludes duplicate registrations, buyers who are suspended from utilizing our marketplaces and those buyers who have voluntarily removed themselves from our registration database. In addition, if we become aware of registered buyers that are no longer in business, we remove them from our database. As of March 31, 2014 and September 30, 2013, we had approximately 2,524,000 and 2,424,000 registered buyers, respectively.

Total auction participants. For each auction we manage, the number of auction participants represents the total number of registered buyers who have bid one or more times in that auction. As a result, a registered buyer who bids, or participates, in more than one auction is counted as an auction participant in each auction in which he or she participates. Thus, total auction participants for a given period is the sum of the auction participants in each auction conducted during that period. We use this metric to allow us to compare our online auction marketplaces to our competitors, including other online auction sites and traditional on-site auctioneers. In addition, we measure total auction participants on a periodic basis to evaluate the activity level of our base of registered buyers and to measure the performance of our marketing and promotional efforts. For the three and six months ended March 31, 2014 and March 31, 2013, approximately 665,000 and 1,268,000, and 643,000 and 1,209,000, total auction participants participated in auctions on our marketplaces, respectively.

Completed transactions. Completed transactions represents the number of auctions in a given period from which we have recorded revenue. Similar to GMV, we believe that completed transactions is a key business metric because it provides an additional measurement of the volume of activity flowing through our marketplaces. During the three and six months ended March 31, 2014 and March 31, 2013, we completed approximately 132,000 and 261,000, and 138,000 and 267,000 transactions, respectively.


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Non-GAAP Financial Measures

EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA. EBITDA is a supplemental non-GAAP financial measure and is equal to net income plus interest expense and other (income) expense, net; provision for income taxes; amortization of contract intangibles; and depreciation and amortization. Our definition of adjusted EBITDA differs from EBITDA because we further adjust EBITDA for stock-based compensation expense and acquisition costs.

We believe EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA are useful to an investor in evaluating our performance for the following reasons:

The amortization of contract intangibles relates to amortization of the contract related intangible assets associated with the Jacobs Trading acquisition on October 1, 2011 and the NESA acquisition on November 1, 2012. Depreciation and amortization expense primarily relates to property and equipment. Both of these expenses are non-cash charges that have fluctuated significantly over the past five years. As a result, we believe that adding back these non-cash charges to net income is useful in evaluating the operating performance of our business on a consistent basis from year-to-year.

As a result of varying federal and state income tax rates, we believe that presenting a financial measure that adjusts net income for provision for income taxes is useful to investors when evaluating the operating performance of our business.

The authoritative guidance requires all share-based payments to employees, including grants of employee stock options, to be recognized in the income statement based on their estimated fair values. Accordingly, we believe adjusting net income for this non-cash stock based compensation expense is useful to investors when evaluating the operating performance of our business.

The authoritative guidance related to business combinations requires the recognition of contingent consideration so that it is recognized at the time of acquisition rather than when it is probable and disallows the capitalization of transaction costs. Accordingly, we believe adjusting net income for these acquisition related expenses is useful to investors when evaluating the operating performance of our business on a consistent basis from year-to-year.

We believe these measures are important indicators of our operational strength and the performance of our business because they provide a link between profitability and operating cash flow.

We also believe that analysts and investors use EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA as supplemental measures to evaluate the overall operating performance of companies in our industry.

Our management uses EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA:

as measurements of operating performance because they assist us in comparing our operating performance on a consistent basis as they remove the impact of items not directly resulting from our core operations;

for planning purposes, including the preparation of our internal annual operating budget;

to allocate resources to enhance the financial performance of our business;

to evaluate the effectiveness of our operational strategies; and

to evaluate our capacity to fund capital expenditures and expand our business.


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EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA as calculated by us are not necessarily comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies. In addition, EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA: (a) do not represent net income or cash flows from operating activities as defined by GAAP; (b) are not necessarily indicative of cash available to fund our cash flow needs; and (c) should not be considered as alternatives to net income, income from operations, cash provided by operating activities or our other financial information as determined under GAAP.

We prepare adjusted EBITDA by adjusting EBITDA to eliminate the impact of items that we do not consider indicative of our core operating performance. You are encouraged to evaluate these adjustments and the reasons we consider them appropriate for supplemental analysis. As an analytical tool, adjusted EBITDA is subject to all of the limitations applicable to EBITDA. Our presentation of adjusted EBITDA should not be construed as an implication that our future results will be unaffected by unusual or non-recurring items.

The table below reconciles net income to EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA for the periods presented.

                                              Three Months           Six Months
                                             Ended March 31,       Ended March 31,
                                             2014       2013       2014       2013
                                                        (In thousands)
                                                          (unaudited)
Net income                                 $  5,631   $ 12,698   $ 12,724   $ 19,407
. . .
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