Westell Technologies 10-K 2009
Documents found in this filing:
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009 or
For the transition period from to .
Commission file number: 0-27266
WESTELL TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
750 North Commons Drive, Aurora, Illinois 60504
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
Registrant's telephone number, including area code: (630) 898-2500
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer as defined in Rule 405 of the Act. Yes o No x
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 of Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes o No x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 229.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes o No o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of accelerated filer, large accelerated filer and smaller reporting company in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check One): Large Accelerated Filer o, Accelerated Filer o, Non-Accelerated Filer o (Do not check if a smaller reporting company), Smaller Reporting Company x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes o No x
The estimated aggregate market value of voting and non-voting Class A Common Stock held by non-affiliates (within the meaning of the term under the applicable regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission) as of September 30, 2008 (based upon an estimate that 83% of the shares are so owned by non-affiliates and upon the average of the high and low prices for the Class A Common Stock on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on that date) was approximately $33 million. Determination of stock ownership by non-affiliates was made solely for the purpose of responding to this requirement and registrant is not bound by this determination for any other purpose.
As of May 29, 2009, 54,002,409 shares of the registrant's Class A Common Stock were outstanding and 14,693,619 shares of registrant's Class B Common Stock (which automatically converts on a one-for-one basis into shares of Class A Common Stock upon a transfer of such stock except transfers to certain permitted transferees) were outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrants definitive proxy statement for the 2009 Annual Stockholders Meeting are incorporated by reference into Part III hereof.
WESTELL TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
2009 ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K CONTENTS
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
Certain statements contained herein that are not historical facts or that contain the words believe, expect, intend, anticipate, estimate, may, will, plan, should, or derivatives thereof and other words of similar meaning are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to, product demand and market acceptance risks, need for financing, an economic downturn in the United States (U.S.) economy and telecommunications market, the impact of competitive products or technologies, competitive pricing pressures, product cost increases, new product development, excess and obsolete inventory, commercialization and technological delays or difficulties (including delays or difficulties in developing, producing, testing and selling new products and technologies), the effect of Westells accounting policies, the need for additional capital, the effect of economic conditions and trade, legal social and economic risks (such as import, licensing and trade restrictions), retention of key personnel and other risks more fully described in this Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009, under Item 1A - Risk Factors. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update these forward-looking statements to reflect current events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events or otherwise.
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
Westell Technologies, Inc., (the Company) was incorporated in Delaware in 1980 and is headquartered at 750 North Commons Drive, Aurora, Illinois. The Company is comprised of three operating segments: Customer Networking Systems (CNS) equipment, Outside Plant Systems (OSPlant Systems) equipment, both segments, collectively, referred to as combined equipment segments or equipment segments and ConferencePlus services (previously telecom services) segment. In the equipment segments, the Company designs, distributes, markets and services a broad range of broadband, digital transmission, remote monitoring, power distribution and demarcation products used by telephone companies and other telecommunications service providers such as mobile network operators (wireless), multiple systems operators (MSOs), integrated carriers, and utility providers (all known as service providers) to deliver broadband and other services over existing copper telephone wires, fiber optic networks, hybrid fiber-coax networks, and wireless infrastructures.
The CNS equipment segment includes networking and high-speed transmissions products that allow service providers to deliver broadband services over existing copper, fiber, coax, or wireless infrastructures. The Companys OSPlant Systems equipment segment is a leading provider of performance monitoring DS1 and DS3 transmission and termination equipment, next generation outside plant cabinets, enclosures, power distribution, flexible termination panels and enclosures for Ethernet, fiber and coax, remote monitoring and ancillary network solutions. The power distribution and remote monitoring solutions are provided through the Companys Noran Tel subsidiary, which was acquired on January 2, 2007, and marketed and sold through the OSPlant Systems operating segment.
The Companys ConferencePlus services segment is comprised of a 100% owned subsidiary, Conference Plus, Inc. (ConferencePlus). During December 2008, ConferencePlus became a wholly owned subsidiary when the Company purchased the remaining 8.5% minority interest. ConferencePlus provides audio, web and video conferencing services. Businesses and individuals use these services to hold audio, web and video conferences with multiple participants. ConferencePlus sells its services directly to customers, including Fortune 1000 companies, and also serves customers indirectly through its private reseller program.
Revenue and total assets from the Company's reportable segments for the fiscal years ended March 31 are as follows (for more information also see Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and the Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K):
Financial information for each of the Companys segments and operations by geographic area are located in Note 12 of the Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report.
The Companys stock is divided into two classes. Class A Common Stock is entitled to one vote per share while Class B Common Stock is entitled to four votes per share. The Companys largest stockholder is a voting trust that owned 48.6% of the voting control of the Company as of May 29, 2009. The trust was formed for the benefit of Robert C. Penny III and Melvin J. Simon and their respective families. Certain Penny family members also own or are beneficiaries of trusts that own shares outside of the voting trust. As trustees of the Voting Trust and other trusts, Messrs. Penny and Simon control 52.5% of the stock vote and therefore effectively control the Company.
The equipment segments offer a broad range of products that facilitate the broadband transmission of high-speed digital and analog services between a service provider and end-user customers. These two equipment segments are:
The prices for the products within each market group vary based upon volume, customer specifications and other criteria and are subject to change due to competition among telecommunications equipment manufacturers. Increasing competition, in terms of the number of entrants and their size, and the increasing size of the Companys customers because of mergers and other factors, continue to exert downward pressure on prices for some of the Company's products. At some point, the Company may elect to eliminate some products and exit some markets based on an analysis of current and future prospects, and/or enter new, more attractive markets.
CNS Products. The Companys CNS products enable residential customers, small businesses, and small office/home office (SOHO) users to access and share broadband services on networked computers, telephones, cell phones, televisions, media players, and other networked devices. A broad offering of networking products and technologies allows the Company to address several segments of the service provider market, distinguished by the methods used to deliver their services: wireline operators (copper and fiber), mobile network operators (wireless), cable multi-service operators (hybrid fiber-coax), and integrated carriers that operate as combinations of the other three.
The following table sets forth a list of the Company's principal CNS products and their applications:
OSPlant Systems Products. The Companys OSPlant Systems products provide service providers with products to transport, maintain and improve the reliability of services delivered over copper and fiber lines in the local access network.
The following table sets forth a list of the Company's principal OSPlant Systems products and their applications:
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Research and Development Capabilities and Engineering Base
The Company believes that its future success depends, in part, on its ability to maintain its technological leadership through enhancements of its existing products and development of new products that meet customer needs. The Company is focusing on providing additional features and functionality to its current product offerings. The Company works closely with its current and potential customers as part of the product development process.
In fiscal year 2009, the CNS equipment segment and the OSPlant Systems equipment segment recorded approximately $15.0 million and $2.6 million, respectively, on research and development (R&D) expense activities. In fiscal years 2008 and 2007, the combined equipment segments recorded R&D expense of $19.9 million and $22.1 million, respectively.
The Company's R&D personnel are organized into product development teams. Each product development team is generally responsible for sustaining technical support of existing products plus conceiving new products in cooperation with other groups within the Company and adapting standard products or technologies to meet new customer needs. Additionally, in an effort to remain a highly valued, superior quality, long-term supplier, each product development team is charged with reducing product costs for each succeeding generation of products without compromising functionality or serviceability. The product development teams leverage the Companys relationships with its manufacturing partners and suppliers to achieve these cost reduction objectives. As an adjunct to these internal efforts, the Company uses the talents of certain outsourcing firms in India for software development and system testing.
The Company believes that the key to its R&D strategy is choosing an initial architecture for each product that balances innovation and time-to-market factors while enabling engineering innovations to result in future performance enhancements and cost reductions. The Companys strategy is further enhanced by ensuring products are designed in conjunction with input from customers, procurement, and outsource manufacturing partners and an analysis of the feasibility to reduce costs. The Company believes it has a quality record that is grounded in a solid interface and transference of knowledge among design and manufacturing teams.
The Company's quality systems, including product development processes, are registered to TL9000, which is the Telecommunication Industry's sector-specific version of the ISO9001:2000 International Quality System Standard. These processes are also registered to ISO9001:2000.
The Company continues to expand the software content of its CNS products. The majority of the Company's design engineers, including those at the contracted outsourcing firms, are software engineers. Greater software content in the Company's products not only is necessary to deliver the more sophisticated applications, but is also a key element of the Company's strategy to focus on differentiated, value-added products and solutions. In some cases the Company sources software technology from outside suppliers through licensing agreements which typically, though not always, give the Company the ability to modify the licensed software to meet the needs of the Company's customers. Some software technology is obtained from the open source community. The Company also develops its own proprietary software where needed to provide the desired functionality. Software from all of these sources is typically integrated into the final product releases, and tested by the Company's system test engineers, by outside test labs, by industry certification groups, and by the Company's customers before going into volume production and deployment.
In some cases, the Company utilizes technology, whether hardware, silicon chip, software or other, that is only available from a single source. In these cases, the Company will typically obtain a contractual agreement with the technology supplier that gives the Company access to the technology for the intended lifecycle of the products which incorporate that technology. However, it is not always possible to obtain such an agreement. Additionally, technology suppliers to the Company may go out of business or may be subject to injunctions or natural disasters which prevent them from being able to supply that technology to the Company in the future. Additionally, the technology may evolve due to changes in industry standards or changes in the market, and the Company's contractual agreement may not necessarily give the Company rights to that evolved technology in the future. Were the Company to lose the ability to obtain needed technology from a supplier, or were that technology no longer available to the Company under reasonable terms and conditions, the Companys business and results of operations would be materially and adversely affected.
The Companys products are subject to industry-wide standardization organizations which include Telcordia, the Internet Engineering Task Force, the MoCA Alliance, the Broadband Forum, CableLabs, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in the United States and the International Telecommunications Union ("ITU").
The Company's principal customers historically have been major U. S. telecommunications service providers (telephone companies). In addition, the Company sells products to several other entities, including public telephone administrations located outside the U.S., independent domestic local exchange carriers, competitive local exchange carriers, inter-exchange carriers, wireless service providers, internet service providers, MSOs, and business enterprises. Revenues from international customers represented approximately $9.1 million, $8.9 million and $3.7 million of the Company's revenues in fiscal 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively, accounting for 5.6%, 4.3% and 1.4% of the Company's total revenues in such periods.
The Company depends, and will continue to depend, on the telephone companies and other independent local exchange carriers for the majority of its revenues. Sales to the Companys largest two customers, Verizon and AT&T, accounted for 35.4% and 14.4% of the Company's total revenues in fiscal 2009, respectively. Consequently, the Company's future success will depend upon the timing and size of future purchase orders from telephone companies, the product requirements of the telephone companies, the financial and operating success of telephone companies, the success of the telephone companies' services that use the Company's products, and the Companys level of success in diversifying its revenue stream beyond the telephone companies. Any attempt by a telephone company to seek out additional or alternative suppliers or to undertake the internal development of products could have a material adverse effect on the Company's business and results of operations. In addition, the Company's sales to its largest customers have in the past fluctuated, and in the future could fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter and year to year. The loss of such customers or the occurrence of such sales fluctuations would materially adversely affect the Company's business and results of operations.
The Companys contracts with its major customers are primarily pricing and product specification agreements that do not require a specific level of quantities to be purchased.
Telephone companies and the Company's other customers are significantly larger than, and may be able to exert a high degree of influence over, the Company. As a result, our larger customers may be able to reschedule or cancel orders without significant penalty. Prior to selling its products to service providers, the Company must undergo lengthy approval and purchase processes, which are discussed in the section titled Marketing, Sales and Distribution.
Marketing, Sales and Distribution
The Company sells its products in the U.S. through its domestic field sales organization and selected distributors. The Company has maintained an established sales force and channel to domestic service providers since its founding in 1980.
The Company markets its products domestically within the United States, as well as in Canada and Europe. In North America, the Companys equipment products are sold directly to the service providers or in some cases to distributors who service these carriers. The Company believes that the service providers sales channels are very dynamic and continually looks to adapt and configure its sales force and processes to meet these changes.
Prior to selling its products to service providers, the Company must undergo lengthy approval and purchase processes. Evaluation can take as little as a few months for products that vary slightly from existing products and often longer for products based on new technologies and/or new service offerings. Accordingly, the Company is continually submitting successive generations of its current products, as well as new products, to its customers for approval.
Although the service provider approval processes may vary to some extent depending on the customer and the product being evaluated, they generally are conducted as follows:
Laboratory Evaluation. The product's function and performance are tested against all relevant industry standards and the customers written requirements, usually provided to the Company in the form of a Request for Proposal.
Technical Trial. Small quantities of the product are installed in the field for simulated operation in a field trial. The field trial is used to evaluate performance, assess ease of installation and establish troubleshooting procedures.
Marketing Trial. Emerging products are tested for market acceptance of new applications and services. Marketing trials usually involve a greater number of products than technical trials because products are typically deployed in several distinct markets in the service providers network. This stage gives service providers an opportunity to establish procedures, to train employees to install and maintain the new product and to obtain more feedback on the product and the new applications and services from a wider range of operations personnel and consumers.
Commercial Deployment. Commercial deployment usually involves substantially greater numbers of products and locations than the marketing trial stage. In the first phase of commercial deployment, a service provider initially installs the equipment in select locations for select applications and services, and will typically start billing for those services. This phase is followed by general deployment involving greater numbers of products and locations across the service providers serving area. Commercial deployment does not usually mean that one supplier's product is purchased for all of the service providers needs throughout their serving area as service providers often rely upon multiple suppliers in an effort to provide greater certainty that their needs can be met. Subsequent orders, if any, are generally placed under single or multi-year supply agreements that are generally not subject to minimum volume commitments.
The relationships that the Company establishes in this extensive process are critical in almost every case. The Company has a history of working closely with the service providers in this fashion and the Company has won numerous quality awards from a variety of customers over the past twenty years.
The Company is focusing on new channels, markets and partners for its newer products. The deployment of emerging fixed mobile convergence (FMC), IPTV/video and advanced in-home services all represent opportunities for the Companys VersaLinkTM and UltraLineTM Series3 products at customers beyond its traditional base of customers.
The Company maintains 24-hour, 7-day-a-week telephone support and provides on-site support. The Company also provides technical consulting, research assistance and training to some of its customers with respect to the installation, operation and maintenance of its products.
The Company has general purchase agreements with most of its major customers. These agreements may require the Company to accept returns of products within certain time limits, or indemnify such customers against certain liabilities arising out of the use of the Company's products. If these claims or returns are significant, there could be a material adverse effect on the Company's business and results of operations.
The Company's products are required to meet rigorous standards imposed by its customers. Most of the Company's products carry a limited warranty ranging from one to three years for CNS products and up to seven years for OSPlant Systems products, which generally covers defects in materials or workmanship and failure to meet published specifications, but excludes damages caused by improper use and all other warranties. In the event there are material deficiencies or defects in the design or manufacture of the Company's products, the affected products could be subject to recall.
The Company outsourced its manufacturing operations from Aurora, Illinois, to offshore suppliers during fiscal year 2008. The manufacturing facility in the Aurora building is now being used for distribution. Reliance on third-party offshore subcontractors involves several risks. (See Risk Factors)
Standard commercial components available from multiple suppliers are procured by the offshore suppliers. There are also single-sourced components needed to produce products. The Company has direct relationships and purchase contracts with suppliers for these items and therefore maintains inventory for these items at the subcontractors location. One of the single-sourced items in some of the CNS products consists of a license to run proprietary networking software. There are a number of other suppliers in the market that could supply the Company with similar technology, including the open source community, however it would take the Company at least nine months to reengineer the product and subsequently get product approval from customers. This delay would materially adversely affect the Companys business. All purchase contracts are short term in nature.
A substantial portion of the Company's shipments in any fiscal period can relate to orders for products received in that period. Further, a significant percentage of orders, such as NIUs, may require delivery within 48 hours. To meet this demand, the Company maintains inventory at its facilities and outsource suppliers. In addition, the Company maintains some inventory at the customers sites pursuant to agreements that the customers will eventually purchase such inventory. Because of the rapid technological changes to our products, the Company faces a recurring risk that the inventory it holds may become obsolete.
The markets for the Company's products are intensely competitive and the Company has no reason to believe that this competitive environment will ease in the future, especially in the rapidly changing markets for broadband products. The Companys primary competitors vary by market. The Companys principal competitors with respect to its OSPlant Systems products are ADC Telecommunications, Emerson, Purcell and Telect. The Company's principal competitors with respect to its CNS broadband products are primarily Siemens Information and Communication Network Inc., Motorola (Netopia), 2Wire Inc., Cisco Systems Inc. (Linksys), D-Link Systems Inc., Actiontec Electronics Inc., Thomson and ZyXEL Communications Co. The Company believes that it is currently one of the leading sellers of broadband CPE products for telecommunication service providers in North America. However, many of the Companys competitors are significantly larger, with broader product lines, and have more financial resources than the Company. To compete against these competitors, the Company focuses on quality, time-to-market, and the ability to react quickly to market changes leveraging its U.S. based product management and product development teams. The Company expects that continuing competitive pressure from Asian based manufacturers will continue to exert downward pressure on pricing.
Since the Company currently derives the majority of its total revenues from the sale of products to telephone companies, the Company faces competition from alternative products optimized for other broadband networks. Telephone companies face competition from MSOs, new local access providers and broadband wireless service providers that are capable of providing high speed digital transmission to end users. In addition, the Company believes that the deployment of DSL, HDSL and fiber networks are reducing the demand for the Company OSPlant Systems traditional transmissions products, including T1 office and line repeaters and T1 NIUs with and without performance monitoring. (See Risk Factors)
ConferencePlus Services Segment
Conference Plus, Inc., founded in 1988, is a full-service conferencing company that manages and hosts specific software and applications supporting its conferencing and meeting services. ConferencePlus is a 100% owned subsidiary of the Company and manages its conferencing and meeting services through its main operations center in Schaumburg, Illinois, and a facility in Dublin, Ireland. ConferencePlus services generated $45.2 million, $53.7 million and $48.5 million in revenues in fiscal 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively.
ConferencePlus allows multiple individuals, organizations and/or businesses to conduct conference calls using a combination of audio, web and video collaboration and presentations. ConferencePlus offers conference call services that can include a blend of audio, graphics, spreadsheets and other documents that can be carried over and archived on the Internet to enhance the traditional audio conference call. By enabling the sharing of this blend of information, ConferencePlus can help organizations increase productivity and save money by reducing travel time, bringing down travel costs, and making it easier for people in remote locations to work together. Conferencing and meeting service technologies also allow organizations and individuals to collect and disseminate information faster, more accurately and without the associated costs of face-to-face meetings. These technologies also help companies communicate and collaborate effectively in the face of health and safety threats and other impediments to travel and formal gatherings.
Conferencing can save time, budget resources and the environment, as a naturally green alternative to travel and business meetings, and is a way for companies to reduce their carbon footprint.
ConferencePlus is distinguished by three strategies:
Diverse Distribution Channels
ConferencePlus has historically acted as a provider of conferencing and meeting services on a wholesale basis, managing and hosting applications for major carriers and telecommunications resellers. About 30% of ConferencePlus revenues come from indirect commercial conferencing services to customers who market or use ConferencePlus services under their own brand name. Such companies choose to outsource and private label audio, web and video conferencing services to maintain continuity, save costs and focus on their core competencies. By selling to indirect or resale customers, ConferencePlus effectively increases the size of its sales organization without incurring the expense necessary with a direct sales force.
ConferencePlus also sells its services directly to companies through its national accounts sales force. This area continues to be a strong part of ConferencePlus business and the Company expects to continue to invest resources in this area in order to maintain a diverse mix of revenue sources. The deployment of this strategy is designed to improve the recognition of the ConferencePlus brand, which has strategic long term benefits to the Company.
State-of-the-Art Network and Integrated Systems
The ConferencePlus services segment recorded approximately $2.2 million, $2.4 million and $2.0 million, respectively, on research and development expense activities in fiscal 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively.
A critical part of ConferencePlus approach is its state-of-the-art network and integrated systems. ConferencePlus has a state-of-the-art network infrastructure that enables it to take advantage of the relationships it has with major telecommunications providers to provide quality service. ConferencePlus has deployed equipment in carrier Points-of-Presence to take advantage of the higher capacity and the lower cost structure available with such deployments.
ConferencePlus has built an integrated reservation, scheduling and billing system called Conference Reservation and Billing System (CRBS) that is a significant differentiator in the conferencing market. CRBS allows ConferencePlus to leverage its operations on a global basis. This reliable and scalable system is seamlessly integrated into the operational environment from the point of reservation through the billing process. This integration allows ConferencePlus to enjoy scale advantages and to be able to provide transparent branded services to its customers. This system is built and maintained by an in-house team of engineers, developers and technicians who continually work to improve and enhance the system based on industry trends, customer requests and strategic direction.
ConferencePlus has extended certain capabilities of CRBS to a publicly available web portal where customers can sign up for service, manage their accounts and control their conferences. ConferencePlus has also tightly integrated with third-party suppliers of web conferencing services to enhance its audio services. In addition to making these services available to customers, ConferencePlus has the ability to privately brand the entire web experience to match any other brand visualization that may be required. This capability is beneficial for both indirect customers where this helps support the indirect brand as well as for customers where branding can help drive corporate adoption.
As customers globalize their telecommunications services, ConferencePlus has expanded its operational presence internationally to meet these needs. In addition to its main operational centers in Schaumburg, Illinois, and Dublin, Ireland, ConferencePlus has conferencing bridges located in Oakbrook, Illinois, and London, England. ConferencePlus is able to serve the conferencing needs of customers headquartered anywhere in the world through these facilities. The ConferencePlus facility in Dublin, Ireland, was established in 1998 to help meet the growing demand for global conferencing service. The international market for conferencing is expected to grow as a result of deregulation and improved networks with associated reductions in end user costs.
ConferencePlus indirect or private label customers and many of its other customers are significantly larger than, and are thus able to exert a high degree of influence over, ConferencePlus. ConferencePlus depends on large customers to provide a significant percent of its revenues. Although the Company has focused on broadening its customer base, a loss of one of these customers would have a material adverse effect on ConferencePlus business. Prior to selling its services, ConferencePlus may be required to undergo lengthy approval and purchase processes. Evaluation can take a few months for services that vary slightly from existing services used by the prospective customer to a year or more for services based on cutting edge technologies or which represent a new strategic direction for the customer, as is the case with private labeling conference services for a large reseller.
Competition in the conferencing business is intense and ConferencePlus expects that competition will increase due to low barriers to entry and recent entrants into the audio, web and video conferencing service market. Many of ConferencePlus' competitors, including InterCall, AT&T, Verizon, Premiere and British Telecom, have much greater name recognition, more extensive customer service and marketing capabilities and substantially greater financial, technological and personnel resources than ConferencePlus. There can be no assurance that ConferencePlus will be able to successfully compete in this market in the future or that competitive pressures will not result in price reductions that would materially adversely affect its business and results of operations.
The telecommunications industry, including most of the Company's customers, is subject to regulation from federal and state agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and various state public utility and service commissions. While such regulation does not affect the Company directly, the effects of such regulations on the Company's customers may, in turn, adversely impact the Company's business and results of operations. For example, FCC regulatory policies affecting the availability of telephone and communications services and other terms under which service providers conduct their business may impede the Company's penetration of certain
markets, and/or make the markets less financially attractive. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 lifted certain restrictions on carriers ability to provide interactive multimedia services including video on demand. Under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, new regulations have been established whereby carriers may provide various types of services beyond traditional voice offerings.
In addition, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 permits the carriers to engage in manufacturing activities after the FCC authorizes a carrier to provide long distance services within its service territory. A carrier must first meet specific statutory and regulatory tests demonstrating that its monopoly market for local exchange services is open to competition before it will be permitted to enter the long distance market. When these tests are met, a carrier will be permitted to engage in manufacturing activities, and the carriers, which are the Company's largest customers, may become the Company's competitors as well. (See Risk Factors)
The FCC recently determined that audio and video bridging services are equivalent to teleconferencing services and are telecommunications under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the Universal Service First Report and Order. Due to this FCC Ruling, ConferencePlus, as well as other conferencing service providers, must pay Federal Universal Service Fund fees (FUSF) on applicable revenue for services provided on or after October 1, 2008. The FCC allows telecommunications companies to recover the cost of collecting, remitting and reporting FUSF fees. ConferencePlus charges its clients an amount equal to what it must remit, plus an administrative fee to recover the cost of providing these services.
Proprietary Rights and Intellectual Property
The Company's success and future revenue growth will depend, in part, on its ability to protect trade secrets, obtain or license patents and operate without infringing on the rights of others. The Company relies on a combination of technical leadership, copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets and other intellectual property laws, nondisclosure agreements and other protective measures to protect its unpatented proprietary know-how. The Company regards some of its technology as proprietary and the Company has been granted 29 patents and has an additional 11 U.S. patents pending relating to its OSPlant Systems and CNS products. The expiration of any of the patents held by the Company would not have a material impact on the Company. The Company expects to seek additional patents from time to time related to its research and development activities.
Many of the Company's products incorporate technology developed and owned by third parties, and instantiated in hardware, silicon chips, software, and/or other forms. Consequently, the Company must rely upon third parties to develop and to introduce technologies which enhance the Company's current products and enable the Company, in turn, to develop its own products on a timely and cost-effective basis to meet changing customer needs and technological trends in the telecommunications industry. In these cases, the Company will typically obtain a contractual agreement with the technology supplier that gives the Company access to the technology for the intended lifecycle of the products which incorporate that technology. However, it is not always possible to obtain such an agreement. Additionally, technology suppliers to the Company may go out of business or may be subject to injunctions or natural disasters which prevent them from being able to supply that technology to the Company in the future. Additionally, the technology may evolve due to changes in industry standards or changes in the market, and the Company's contractual agreement may not necessarily give the Company rights to that evolved technology in the future. Were the Company to lose the ability to obtain needed technology from a supplier, or were that technology no longer available to the Company under reasonable terms and conditions, the Companys business and results of operations would be materially and adversely affected. The Companys reliance on certain third-party technology is also discussed above in Research and Development Capabilities and Engineering Base.
Rapid technological evolution caused the Company to implement strategic alliances with technology suppliers in order to accelerate the time-to-market for new products. Without such relationships, due to the lengthy service provider product approval and purchase cycles, the technology may be obsolete by the time the Company completes the product approval and purchase cycles.
Product shipments are generally made pursuant to standard purchase orders, which are officially acknowledged according to standard terms and conditions. CNS equipment segment purchase orders with scheduled shipment dates within 60 days are generally firm and non-cancellable. The majority of purchase orders with shipment dates in excess of 60-90 days allow for partial or full cancellation. Shipment dates on non-cancellable purchase orders can
be adjusted by some customers on request. OSPlant Systems equipment segment purchase orders are generally received one to two weeks prior to shipment.
As of June 3, 2009, the CNS and OSPlant Systems equipment segments had $15.3 million and $2.7 million of backlog, respectively. As of June 2, 2008, the CNS and OSPlant Systems equipment segments had $6.9 million and $2.4 million of backlog, respectively.
As of May 31, 2009, the Company had 402 full-time employees. The following table reflects headcount by segment and functional area:
The SEC maintains an internet site, www.sec.gov, through which you may access the Companys annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, proxy and other information statements, as well as amendments to these reports. In addition, the Company makes these reports available free of charge on the Companys internet website, www.westell.com. The Company maintains a corporate governance page on the Companys website. This website includes, among other items, the Code of Business Conduct, Audit Committee Charter, Compensation Committee Charter and Nominating Committee Charter. The corporate governance information can be found at www.westell.com under Investor Relations.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
You should carefully consider the risks described below in addition to the other information contained and incorporated by reference in this Form 10-K. If any of the following risks occurs, our business, operating results or financial condition would likely suffer, and the market price for our securities could decline.
General economic conditions may affect our results.
The global economy is currently undergoing a period of unprecedented volatility, which has affected the demand for our equipment and services. A prolonged period of economic decline could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. Possible effects of current and future adverse economic conditions on our business include: decrease in purchases or usage of our products and services if increased unemployment leads to lower utilization of telecommunications, internet services and conferencing services. Customers may stop or decrease purchasing due to efforts to reduce inventory and conserve cash. The Company may also experience business disruptions due to an inability to obtain equipment, parts and supplies from suppliers if marginal supply businesses fail.
We have incurred losses in the past and may incur losses in the future.
We incurred losses in the fiscal years ended March 31, 2009 and 2008 and historically in fiscal years through 2002. The Company had an accumulated deficit of $319.5 million as of March 31, 2009.
In addition, we expect to continue to evaluate new product opportunities. As a result, we will continue to invest in research and development and sales and marketing, which could adversely affect our short-term operating results. We can offer no assurances that we will become profitable again in the future.
Our stock price is volatile and could drop unexpectedly.
Like many technology companies, our stock price has demonstrated and may continue to demonstrate volatility as valuations, trading volume and prices move significantly. This volatility may result in a material decline in the market price of our securities, and may have little relationship to our financial results or prospects.
Our Class A Common Stock price has experienced substantial volatility in the past and is likely to remain volatile in the future due to factors such as:
Many of the factors listed above are not within our control. In the past, companies that have experienced volatility in the market price of their stock have been the subject of securities class action litigation.
Our Class A Common Stock could be delisted from the NASDAQ Global Select Market if our stock price continues to trade below $1.00 per share.
NASDAQ has established certain standards for the continued listing of a security on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. The standards for continued listing include, among other things, that the minimum bid price for the listed securities be at least $1.00 per share. Under these rules, a security is considered deficient if it fails to achieve at least a $1.00 closing bid price for a period of 30 consecutive business days. On August 22, 2008, we received a notification from the Listing Qualifications Department of NASDAQ that the bid price for our Class A Common Stock had closed below the minimum $1.00 per share for 30 consecutive trading days in conflict with the NASDAQ rules for continued listing. NASDAQ has suspended the enforcement of the minimum closing bid price requirement until July 20, 2009, and as a result, the period during which we have to regain compliance has been extended to November 23, 2009.
NASDAQ may permit us to transfer the listing of our Class A Common Stock to the NASDAQ Capital Market if we satisfy the requirements for initial listing on the NASDAQ Capital Market, other than for the minimum bid price requirement. If our application for transfer is approved, we would have an additional 180 calendar days to comply with the minimum bid price rule in order to remain on the NASDAQ Capital Market. At this time, we cannot determine whether we will meet the initial listing requirements of the NASDAQ Capital Market or whether we will choose to transfer the listing of our Class A Common Stock to the NASDAQ Capital Market.
For as long as NASDAQ's minimum bid price rule suspension remains in effect, NASDAQ will not delist our Class A common stock because of a low closing bid price. If the closing bid price of our Class A Common Stock continues to fail to meet NASDAQ's minimum closing bid price requirement, or if we otherwise fail to meet all other applicable NASDAQ requirements, NASDAQ may make a determination to delist our Class A common stock. Any such delisting could adversely affect the market liquidity of our Class A Common Stock and the market price of our Class A Common Stock could decrease. A delisting also could adversely affect our ability to obtain financing for our operations and/or result in a loss of confidence by investors, customers, suppliers or employees.
We are the subject of an investigation by the SEC that could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and the price of our common stock.
The SEC is conducting an investigation regarding events and circumstances surrounding trading in our securities. We have cooperated fully and intend to continue to cooperate fully with the SEC on its investigation. We cannot predict the outcome of the investigation. In the event that the investigation leads to SEC action against the Company, any current or former officer or director, our financial condition, results of operations and the price of our common stock may be adversely impacted. If the SEC investigation continues for a prolonged period of time, it may have an adverse impact on our financial condition, results of operations and the price of our common stock regardless of the ultimate outcome of the investigation. In addition, the SEC investigation has resulted in the incurrence of significant legal expenses and the diversion of managements attention from our business, and this may continue, or increase, until the investigation is concluded.
We have and could face securities class action litigation, which could significantly harm our business.
In fiscal 2000, Westell Technologies, Inc. and certain of its officers and directors were named in consolidated class actions. Although these class actions were settled, we could face securities litigation in the future that could result in the payment of substantial damages or settlement costs in excess of our insurance coverage. Any adverse outcome could harm our business. Even if we were to prevail in any such litigation, we could incur substantial legal costs and management's attention and resources could be diverted from our business which could cause our business to suffer.
Due to the rapid technological changes in our industry, our products may become obsolete and could cause us to incur charges for excess and obsolete inventory and materially harm our business.
The telecommunications industry is subject to rapid technological change and volatile customer demands, which result in a short product commercial life before a product becomes obsolete. As a result, we have in the past and may in the future devote disproportionate resources to a product that has an unexpectedly short commercial life or we may have to write off excess and obsolete inventory, each of which would harm our operating results and financial condition and harm our business. From time to time, we may need to write off inventory as excess or obsolete. In the past, we have experienced such write-offs. If we incur substantial inventory expenses that we are
not able to recover because of changing market conditions, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Pricing pressures on our products may affect our ability to be profitable in the future.
We have and may in the future offer products and services based upon forward pricing, which is the pricing of products at or below production costs to take into account the expectation of large future volumes and corresponding reduction of costs. Forward pricing would cause us to incur lower margins on product or service sales unless we can reduce the associated costs. We believe that costs may decrease if:
There is no guarantee that we will be able to secure significant additional business and reduce costs that we have factored into our forward-priced products or services. As a result, we could incur low or negative margins in connection with sales of forward-priced products or services even if our volumes increase. Low margins from our sales of products and services could result in fluctuations in our quarterly operating results and could materially and adversely affect our profitability and ability to implement our business goals.
Our products and services face competition from other existing products, products and services under development and changing technology, and if we do not remain competitive, our business will suffer and we will not be profitable.
The markets for our products and services are characterized by:
New products introductions or changes in services offered by service providers could render our existing products and products under development obsolete and unmarketable. Specifically, the focus by service carriers to offer new VoIP, IPTV, video and FMC services will cause the current products they use from the Company to be replaced with newer, more compatible technology. Although the Company has product offerings which address these new services, the service providers may choose to obtain competitive products from suppliers other than the Company. Further, we believe that the domestic market for many of our traditional OSPlant Systems products is decreasing, and will likely continue to decrease, as high capacity digital transmission becomes less expensive and more widely deployed. Our future OSPlant Systems success will largely depend upon our ability to successfully market our outside plant products not only into its existing accounts but also into MSOs, wireless service providers, OEMs, and utility markets, in addition to developing new products that complement these market segments.
In addition, a large majority of our CNS revenue comes from product offerings which enable telephone companies to deliver broadband services. Telephone companies also face competition in the delivery of broadband services from cable operators and wireless service providers. Although the Company has developed products for wireline fiber optic network operators, MSOs, and wireless service providers, if end-users increasingly obtain their high-speed data transmission services from these alternative providers, then the overall demand for our broadband products may be impaired. New products have been developed that can be used by a variety of broadband delivery mechanisms, but there are no assurances that the products will be successful.
The conferencing services industry is facing increased competition and pricing pressures from existing competitors as well as new entrants. Existing competitors include large telecommunications companies, as well as large teleconferencing-focused providers. New products are also being introduced by telecommunications equipment manufacturers that enable conferencing through unified communications platforms.
To remain competitive, we must develop new products to meet the demands of these emerging transmission media and new local access network providers. Our business would be severely harmed if our products become obsolete or fail to gain widespread commercial acceptance due to competing products and technologies.
Evolving industry standards may adversely affect our ability to sell our products and consequently harm our business.
Industry-wide standardization organizations such as the International Telecommunications Union, the American National Standards Institute, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, and the Internet Engineering Task Force and other standards bodies are responsible for determining much of the protocols, functionality and interoperability that our products must meet. Delay in the announcement or completion of industry standards would materially and adversely impact our product sales and would severely harm our business. Additionally, changes in those standards through subsequent revisions, and the introduction of competing standards or implementation specifications could result in confusion in the market and delay decisions regarding deployment of our products.
We are dependent on third-party technology, the loss of which would harm our business.
We rely on third parties to gain access to technologies that are used in our current products and in products under development. These technologies are included in hardware, silicon chips, software, and/or other forms. Consequently, the Company must rely upon third parties to develop and to introduce technologies which enhance the Company's current products and enable the Company, in turn, to develop its own products on a timely and cost-effective basis to meet changing customer needs and technological trends in the telecommunications industry. In these cases, the Company will typically obtain a contractual agreement with the technology supplier that gives the Company access to the technology for the intended lifecycle of the products which incorporate that technology. However, it is not always possible to obtain such an agreement. Additionally, technology suppliers to the Company may go out of business or may be subject to injunctions or natural disasters which prevent them from being able to supply that technology to the Company in the future. Additionally, the technology may evolve due to changes in industry standards or changes in the market, and the Company's contractual agreement may not necessarily give the Company rights to that evolved technology in the future. Were the Company to lose the ability to obtain needed technology from a supplier, or were that technology no longer available to the Company under reasonable terms and conditions, the Companys business and results of operations would be materially and adversely affected.
Any impairment in our relationships with the licensors of technologies used in our products would force us to find other technology providers on a timely basis or develop our own technology. There is no guarantee that we will be able to obtain the third-party technology necessary to continue to develop and introduce new and enhanced products, that we will obtain third-party technology on commercially reasonable terms or that we will be able to replace third-party technology in the event such technology becomes unavailable, obsolete or incompatible with future versions of our products. We would have severe difficulty competing if we cannot obtain or replace much of the third-party technology used in our products. Any absence or delay in obtaining third-party technology necessary for our products would materially adversely affect our business and operating results.
We are dependent on sole or limited source suppliers, the loss of which would harm our business.
Integrated circuits and other electronic components used in our products may be currently available from only one source or a limited number of suppliers. Our inabilities to obtain sufficient key components or to develop alternative sources for key components as required, could result in delays or reductions in product deliveries, and consequently severely harm our customer relationships and our business. Furthermore, additional sole-source components may be incorporated into our future products, thereby increasing our supplier risks. If any of our sole-source suppliers delay or halt production of any of their components, or fail to supply their components on commercially reasonable terms, then our business and operating results would be harmed.
We may experience delays in the receipt of key components that could result in delays in related product deliveries. There is no guarantee that we will be able to continue to obtain sufficient quantities of key components as required, or that such components, if obtained, will be available to us on commercially reasonable terms.
In the event that these suppliers discontinued the manufacture of materials used in our products, we would be forced to incur the time and expense of finding a new supplier if available or modify our products in such a way that such materials were not necessary, which could result in increased manufacturing costs.
We have few long-term contracts or arrangements with suppliers, which could adversely affect our ability to purchase components and technologies used in our products.
We have few long-term contracts or arrangements with our suppliers. We may not be able to obtain components at competitive prices, in sufficient quantities or under other commercially reasonable terms. If we enter into a high-volume or long-term supply arrangement and subsequently decide that we cannot use the products or services provided for in the supply arrangement, then our business would also be harmed. We enter into short-term contracts with our suppliers in the form of purchase orders. Purchase orders are often non-cancellable within contractual time periods. These purchase orders are issued to vendors based on forecasted demand. If the forecasted demand is materially incorrect, we may find that we cannot use the products ordered, and then our business would also be harmed.
We are dependent on our independent offshore outsource manufacturing partners to manufacture, assemble and test our products. If these companies do not meet their commitments to us, it could adversely impact our ability to meet the delivery requirements of our customers.
In fiscal year 2008, the Company moved substantially all of the manufacturing of CNS and OSPlant Systems products from Aurora, Illinois, to offshore suppliers in China. Reliance on third-party offshore outsource manufacturing partners involves a number of risks, including:
We may be adversely impacted by the rising cost of product material components such as copper, petroleum, gold, platinum and silver.
The costs of commodities such as copper and petroleum, and to a lesser extent, gold, platinum and silver, all components of the Companys products, could increase the cost of the Companys products thereby adversely impacting our business and operating results.
We will not be able to successfully compete, develop and sell new products if we fail to retain key personnel and hire additional key personnel.
Because of our need to continually evolve our business with new products and services development and strategies, our success is dependent on our ability to attract and retain qualified technical, marketing, sales and management personnel. To remain competitive, we must maintain top management talent, employees who are involved in product development and testing and employees who have developed strong customer relationships. Because of the high demand for these types of employees, it may be difficult to retain existing key employees and attract new key employees. In addition we do not have non-compete contracts with most of our employees. Our inability to attract and retain additional key employees could harm our ability to successfully sell existing products and services and develop new products, services and implement our business goals.
Our quarterly operating results are likely to fluctuate significantly and should not be relied upon as indications of future performance.
We may experience significant fluctuations in quarterly operating results. Due to the risks identified below and elsewhere in "Risk Factors," sales to our largest customers have fluctuated and could fluctuate significantly between quarters. Sales to our customers typically involve large purchase commitments, and customers purchasing our products may generally reschedule purchases without penalty. As a result, our quarterly operating results have fluctuated significantly in the past. Other factors that have influenced and may continue to influence our quarterly operating results include:
Our quarterly fluctuations make it more difficult to forecast our manufacturing and purchasing needs and revenues. It is possible that in some future quarters our operating results will be below the expectations of securities analysts and investors, which may adversely affect our stock price.
We may experience delays in the deployment of new products.
Many of our past sales have resulted from our ability to anticipate changes in technology, industry standards and service provider service offerings, and to develop and introduce new and enhanced products and services. Our continued ability to adapt to such changes will be a significant factor in maintaining or improving our competitive position and our prospects for growth. Factors resulting in delays in product development include:
There can be no assurance that we will successfully introduce new products on a timely basis or achieve sales of new products in the future. In addition, there can be no assurance that we will have the financial and product design resources necessary to continue to successfully develop new products or to otherwise successfully respond to changing technology standards and service provider service offerings. If we fail to deploy new products on a timely basis, then our product sales will decrease, our quarterly operating results could fluctuate, and our competitive position and financial condition would be materially and adversely affected.
The telecommunications industry is a highly competitive market and this competition may result in operating losses, a decrease in our market share and fluctuations in our revenue.
We expect continuing competition as the telecommunications market in general continues to evolve. Because we are significantly smaller than many of our competitors, we may lack the financial resources needed to increase our market share. Many of our competitors are much larger than we are and can offer a wider array of products and services required for a service providers business than we do.
We expect continued aggressive tactics from many of our competitors such as:
Our lack of backlog may affect our ability to adjust to an unexpected shortfall in orders.
Because of customer ordering demands we generally ship products within a short period after receipt of an order. We typically do not have a material backlog (or known quantity) of unfilled orders, and our revenues in any quarter are substantially dependent on orders booked in that quarter. Our expense levels and inventory commitments are based on anticipated future revenues and are relatively fixed in the short term. Therefore, we may be unable to cancel purchase orders or adjust spending in a timely manner to compensate for any unexpected shortfall of orders. Accordingly, any significant shortfall of demand in relation to our expectations or any material delay of customer orders would have an immediate adverse impact on our business and operating results.
Industry consolidation could make competing more difficult.
Consolidation of companies offering telecommunications products and conferencing services is occurring through acquisitions, joint ventures and licensing arrangements involving our competitors, our customers and our customers competitors. We cannot provide any assurances that we will be able to compete successfully in an increasingly
consolidated telecommunications industry. Any heightened competitive pressures that we may face may have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition and result of operations.
We depend on a limited number of customers who are able to exert a high degree of influence over us and loss of a major customer could adversely impact our business.
We have and will continue to depend on the U.S. telephone companies for the majority of our revenues. Sales to the two largest telephone company customers accounted for approximately 49.8%, 54.4% and 66.8% of our revenues in fiscal 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively. Consequently, our future success will depend upon:
The telephone companies and our other customers are significantly larger than we are and are able to exert a high degree of influence over us. These customers may generally reschedule orders without penalty to the customer. Even if demand for our products is high, the telephone companies have sufficient bargaining power to demand low prices and other terms and conditions that may materially adversely affect our business and operating results.
Any attempt by our customers to seek out additional or alternative suppliers would have a material adverse effect on our business and operating results. The loss of any of our customers could result in an immediate decrease in sales and materially and adversely affect our business.
ConferencePlus customer base is concentrated as its top twenty-five customers represent a large portion of total revenue. ConferencePlus customers continually undergo review and evaluation of their conferencing and meeting services to evaluate the merits of bringing those services in-house rather than outsourcing those services. There can be no assurance in the future that ConferencePlus customers will not develop their own internal conferencing and meeting services. ConferencePlus must continually provide higher quality, lower cost services to maintain and grow its customer base. Any loss of a major account would have a material adverse effect on ConferencePlus. In addition, any merger or acquisition involving a major customer could have a material adverse effect on ConferencePlus.
Our customers have lengthy purchase cycles that affect our ability to sell our products.
Prior to selling products to service providers, we must undergo lengthy approval and purchase processes. Evaluation can take as little as a few months for products that vary slightly from existing products or up to a year or more for products based on new technologies or utilized for new service offerings. Accordingly, we are continually submitting successive generations of our current products as well as new products to our customers for approval. The length of the approval process can vary and is affected by a number of factors, including:
The requirement that service providers obtain FCC or state regulatory approval for most new telecommunications and broadband services prior to their implementation has in the past delayed the approval process. Such delays in the future could have a material adverse affect on our business and operating results. While we have been successful in the past in obtaining product approvals from our customers, there is no guarantee that such approvals or that ensuing sales of such products will continue to occur.
Our services are affected by uncertain government regulation and changes in current or future laws or regulations could restrict the way we operate our business.
The telecommunications industry, including most of our customers, is subject to regulation from federal and state agencies, including the FCC and various state public utility and service commissions. While these regulations do not affect us directly, the effects of regulations on our customers may adversely impact our business and operating results. For example, FCC regulatory policies affecting the availability of telephone company services and other terms on which telephone companies conduct their business may impede our penetration of local access markets, and/or make the markets less financially attractive.
In addition, our business and operating results may also be adversely affected by the imposition of tariffs, duties and other import restrictions on components that we obtain from non-domestic suppliers or by the imposition of export restrictions on products that we sell internationally. Internationally, some governments actively promote and create competition in the telecommunications industry. Changes in current or future laws or regulations, in the U.S. or elsewhere, could materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.
Potential product recalls and warranty expenses could adversely affect our ability to remain profitable.
Our products are required to meet rigorous standards imposed by our customers. Most of our products carry a limited warranty ranging from one to three years for CNS products and up to seven years for OSPlant Systems products. In addition, our supply contracts with our major customers typically require us to accept returns of products within certain time frames or indemnify such customers against certain liabilities arising out of the use of our products. Complex products such as those offered by us may contain undetected defects or failures when first introduced or as new versions are released. Despite our testing of products and our comprehensive quality control program, there is no guarantee that our products will not suffer from defects or other deficiencies. If product defects, recalls, returns or indemnification claims exceed our reserves for these items, our business could be harmed. Such recalls, returns or claims and the associated negative publicity could result in the loss of or delay in market acceptance of our products, and could affect our product sales, our customer relationships, and our ability to generate a profit.
Investors could be adversely affected by future issuances and sales of our securities.
Sales of substantial amounts of our common stock in the public market could adversely affect the market price of our securities. The Company had 54,002,409 shares of common stock outstanding as of May 29, 2009. Options to purchase 7,395,663 shares of Class A Common Stock, 4,853,961 of which were exercisable, were also outstanding on May 29, 2009. These obligations could result in substantial future dilution with respect to our common stock.
We rely on our intellectual property that we may be unable to protect, or we may be found to infringe the rights of others.
Our success will depend, in part, on our ability to protect trade secrets, obtain or license patents and operate without infringing the rights of others. We rely on a combination of technical leadership, trade secrets, copyright and trademark law and nondisclosure agreements to protect our non-patented proprietary expertise. These measures, however, may not provide meaningful protection for our trade secrets or other proprietary information. Moreover, our business and operating results may be materially adversely affected by competitors who independently develop substantially equivalent technology.
In addition, the laws of some foreign countries do not protect our proprietary rights to the same extent as U.S. law. The telecommunications industry is also characterized by the existence of an increasing number of patents and frequent litigation based on allegations of patent and other intellectual property infringement. From time to time we receive communications from third parties alleging infringement of exclusive patent, copyright and other intellectual property rights to technologies that are important to us. We expect potential claims to increase in the future.
There is no guarantee:
Further, such litigation, regardless of its outcome, could result in substantial costs to and diversion of our efforts. Any infringement claim or other litigation against or by us could have a material adverse effect on our business and operating results.
Business interruption could prevent our ability to deliver product and services to our customers and could adversely affect our business.
We rely on subcontractors in Asia for assembly and testing of and to purchase some of the raw materials used in such assemblies. The reliance on third-party subcontractors for assembly of our products involves several risks, including the unavailability of, or interruptions in access to, certain process technologies and reduced control over product quality, delivery schedules, transportation, manufacturing yields, and costs. These risks may be exacerbated by economic or political uncertainties, terrorist actions, or by natural pandemics in countries in which our subcontractors are located. We contract with our outsource manufacturing partners in U.S. dollars.
ConferencePlus maintains call centers and bridging equipment in the United States, Ireland and Great Britain. If any of the call centers or bridging equipment was unavailable due to natural or other disaster, then our business could be harmed.
We may engage in future acquisitions or fund raising activity that could dilute our current stockholders.
We expect to continue to review potential acquisitions and we may acquire businesses, products or technologies in the future. In addition, the Company may decide to raise additional capital to fund its operations. In order to accomplish these activities, acquisitions and fund raising, we could:
These events could harm our business and/or the price of our common stock. Acquisitions also entail numerous integration risks that could adversely affect our business.
ConferencePlus large competitors could adversely affect ConferencePlus ability to maintain or increase its market share.
ConferencePlus participates in the highly competitive industry of voice, video, and multimedia conferencing and meeting services. Competitors include stand-alone conferencing companies and major telecommunications providers. ConferencePlus ability to sustain growth and performance is dependent on:
Any increase in competition could reduce our gross margin, require increased spending on sales and marketing, and otherwise materially adversely affect our business and operating results.
Our principal stockholders can exercise significant influence that could discourage transactions involving a change of control and may affect your ability to receive a premium for Class A Common Stock that you purchase.
As of May 29, 2009, as trustees of a voting trust containing common stock held for the benefit of the Penny family and the Simon family, Robert C. Penny III and Melvin J. Simon have the exclusive power to vote over 48.6% of the votes entitled to be cast by the holders of our common stock. In addition, members of the Penny family who are beneficiaries under this voting trust are parties to a stock transfer restriction agreement which prohibits the beneficiaries from transferring any class B common stock or their beneficial interests in the voting trust without first offering such class B common stock to the other Penny family members. Certain Penny family members also own or are beneficiaries of trusts that own shares outside of the voting trust. As trustees of the Voting Trust and other trusts, Messrs. Penny and Simon control 52.5% of the stock vote. Consequently, we are effectively under the control of Messrs. Penny and
Simon, as trustees, who can effectively control the election of all of the directors and determine the outcome of most corporate transactions or other matters submitted to the stockholders for approval. Such control may have the effect of discouraging transactions involving an actual or potential change of control, including transactions in which the holders of Class A Common Stock might otherwise receive a premium for their shares over the then-current market price.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
The Company leases the following real property:
A portion of the Aurora facility is used as a product distribution operation and alternative uses are currently being explored for the remaining excess office portion of the Aurora facility.
The Company does not own any real property.
The Company is involved in various legal proceedings incidental to the Companys business. In the ordinary course of our business, we are routinely audited and subject to inquiries by governmental and regulatory agencies.
Management believes that the outcome of such proceedings will not have a material adverse effect on our consolidated operations or financial condition.
The Company's Class A Common Stock is quoted on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol "WSTL." The following table sets forth for the periods indicated the high and low sale prices for the Class A Common Stock as reported on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.
As of May 29, 2009, there were approximately 840 holders of record of the outstanding shares of Class A Common Stock and five holders of record of Class B Common Stock.
During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009, no equity securities of the Company were sold by the Company that were not registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
The Company has never declared or paid any cash dividends on its common stock and does not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. The Company currently intends to retain any future earnings to finance the growth and development of its business. In addition, the Companys credit facility restricts the Companys ability to pay dividends without bank approval.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
The following table provides information about the Companys repurchase activity for its Class A Common Stock. during the three months ended March 31, 2009.
The following performance graph compares the change in the Company's cumulative total stockholder return on its Class A Common Stock with the cumulative total return of the NASDAQ Composite Index and the NASDAQ Telecommunications Index for the period commencing March 31, 2004 and ending March 31, 2009. The stock price performance shown in the performance graph may not be indicative of future stock price performance.
The following selected consolidated financial data as of March 31, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005 and for each of the five fiscal years in the period ended fiscal year 2009 have been derived from the Company's Consolidated Financial Statements, which have been audited by Ernst & Young LLP. The data set forth below is qualified by reference to, and should be read in conjunction with, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations," the Consolidated Financial Statements and the related Notes thereto and other financial information appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
(a) Working capital is defined as current assets less current liabilities.
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
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. Until fiscal 1994, the Company derived substantially all of its revenues from its OSPlant Systems equipment products, particularly the sale of NIU products and related products. The Company introduced its first CNS equipment products in fiscal 1993. The Company has also provided audio teleconferencing services since fiscal 1989 through its Conference Plus, Inc. subsidiary. The Company realizes the majority of its revenues from the North American market.
In the third quarter of fiscal 2009, the Company revised its segment reporting structure to reflect the realignment of internal reporting of its equipment business. This change split the former equipment segment into two separate reporting segments of CNS equipment and OSPlant Systems equipment. In fiscal year 2008, the Company transitioned its internal manufacturing operations from Aurora, Illinois, to an outsourced model using offshore suppliers. CNS and OSPlant Systems products were both manufactured in the Aurora manufacturing facility and shared significant resources. As a result, it is impracticable for the Company to restate prior periods to conform to the current operating segments. In order to provide information comparable to the prior year, the Company has combined the CNS and OSPlant Systems equipment segments in the current year.
The Companys CNS equipment segment products enable high-speed routing and networking of voice, data and video services in the home. The products allow service providers to deliver services, content, and applications over existing copper, fiber, and wireless infrastructures. The Companys CNS products are typically installed in consumer residences as a key component of a broadband service package.
The Companys OSPlant Systems equipment segment products consists of next generation outdoor cabinets, enclosures, power distribution, flexible edge connectors (fiber, Ethernet and coax), remote monitoring, DS1 and DS3 transmission plugs. These solutions are optimized for wireless backhaul, service delivery to business enterprise and smart grid applications. With its recent introduction of Customized Systems Integration (CSI) service, the Westell OSPlant Systems team now offers its customers a one-stop-shop for complete turnkey solutions, reducing the time-to-market and expenses incurred through third-party contractors eliminating the need to design, assemble and test on the job site. Target customers include Wireline Service Providers, Wireless Service Providers, Multiple System Operators (MSOs), Utility Providers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) worldwide. The power distribution and remote monitoring products are designed and provided through the Companys Noran Tel subsidiary located in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
The ConferencePlus services segment is comprised of its subsidiary Conference Plus, Inc. (ConferencePlus). During December 2008, the Company purchased the remaining 8.5% minority interest in ConferencePlus for $3.7 million and as a result, ConferencePlus is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company. ConferencePlus provides audio, web and video conferencing services. Businesses and individuals use these services to hold audio, web and voice conferences with multiple participants. ConferencePlus sells its services directly to large customers, including Fortune 1000 companies, and also serves customers indirectly through its private label reseller program.
The prices for the products within each market group vary based upon volume, customer specifications and other criteria, and are subject to change due to competition among telecommunications manufacturers and service providers. Increasing competition, in terms of the number of entrants and their size, and increasing scale of the Companys customers because of past mergers, continues to exert downward pressure on prices for the Company's products.
The Company's customer base for its products is highly concentrated and comprised primarily of major U.S. telecommunications service providers (telephone companies), independent domestic local exchange carriers and public telephone administrations located outside the U.S. 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 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 invest 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 or otherwise, would 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 engage in extensive research and development activities.
The Company has expanded its product offerings in the CNS equipment segment from basic high speed broadband to more sophisticated applications such as VoIP, in-premises networking; wireless/wireline convergence, IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and FMC, and video / IPTV services. This will require the Company to continue to invest in research and development and sales and marketing, which could adversely affect short-term results of operations. In view of the Companys current 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.
In the CNS equipment segment, the Company is focusing on the evolving broadband demand, which includes increased bandwidth, richer application sets and converged capabilities. The Company has introduced products for both the existing local telephone and fiber network including the UltraLine, ProLine and VersaLink, which are targeted at the home networking, and small business markets. The Company has started shipments of UltraLine Series 3, which primarily serves the home networking market. The Company is focusing on cost reducing these products, adding new features and functionality to create additional value in these products.
The OSPlant Systems equipment segment has introduced products and services that focus on customer diversification and has changed from being a Regional Bell Operating Company centric provider into a provider with new sales channels including Independent Operating Companies (IOCs), Wireless Service Providers, MSOs, Utility Providers and OEMs worldwide. The Company acquired 100% of the common stock of Noran Tel, Inc. on January 2, 2007. With the addition of Noran Tel, the Company has obtained sales channels for some of its existing products, has added additional transmission products to offer in its existing sales channels and has gained new products in areas of power distribution and remote monitoring. The Company also plans to invest in new product areas to compliment wireless, fiber, and Ethernet applications.
In the first quarter of fiscal year 2009, the Company decided to cease the operations of its Westell Limited entity located in Basingstoke, England to increase efforts to focus on the core businesses of the Company. All employees have been terminated and the facility has been closed. Westell Limited is shown as discontinued operations in the Companys Consolidated Statements of Operations.
As previously disclosed, ConferencePlus was informed by its second largest customer that the customer intends to transfer all business to another conferencing provider. The transition by this customer occurred in the first fiscal quarter of 2009 and is substantially complete. The revenue from this customer was $1.7 million and $10.3 million in fiscal years 2009 and 2008, respectively. The ConferencePlus segment has been impacted positively by the current economy as limited business travel increases conferencing call volume, but the lower overall employment market has negatively impacted the business.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently determined that audio and video bridging services are equivalent to teleconferencing services and are telecommunications under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the Universal Service First Report and Order. Due to this FCC Ruling, ConferencePlus must pay Federal Universal Service Fund Fees (FUSF) on applicable revenue for services provided on or after October 1, 2008. The FCC allows telecommunications companies to recover the cost of collecting, remitting and reporting FUSF fees. ConferencePlus charges its clients an amount equal to what it must remit, plus charges an administrative fee to recover the cost of providing these services. ConferencePlus recorded approximately $780,000 of revenue for FUSF related expenses, which are included in cost of telecom services, during the year ended March 31, 2009.
In fiscal year 2009, the Company initiated a reduction in force relating to all three business segments in efforts to reduce costs. In the first quarter of fiscal year 2010, the Company took further cost reduction actions that resulted in the termination of approximately 30 employees primarily in the CNS equipment segment and 20 employees in the ConferencePlus services segment. The total cost of this restructuring action is estimated to cost $414,000, $46,000 and $139,000 in the CNS equipment, OSPlant Systems equipment and ConferencePlus services segments, respectively.
Critical Accounting Policies
The Company uses estimates and judgments in applying its accounting policies that have a significant impact on the results reported in the Consolidated Financial Statements. The following are the Companys most critical accounting policies.
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 valuation for lower of cost or market concerns. Prices related to future inventory demand are compared to current and committed inventory values.
Inventory Purchase Commitments
In the normal course of business, the Company enters into commitments for the purchase of inventory and long-distance telephone services. The commitments are at market rates. Should there be a dramatic decline in revenues the Company may incur excess inventory and subsequent losses as a result of these commitments. The Company has established reserves for potential losses on such commitments.
Deferred tax assets and liabilities are determined based on the difference between the financial statement and tax basis of assets and liabilities, applying enacted statutory tax rates in effect for the year in which the tax differences are expected to reverse. Deferred tax assets are reduced by a valuation allowance when, in the opinion of management, it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are adjusted for the effects of changes in tax laws and rates on the date of enactment.
Goodwill and Intangibles
Pursuant to the requirements of FAS No. 142, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets (FAS No. 142), the Company evaluates its goodwill for impairment on an annual basis during the fourth quarter of each fiscal year or at an interim period if indicators of impairment exist. The goodwill impairment test compares the fair value of a reporting unit with its carrying value. If the carrying value of a reporting unit exceeds its fair value, goodwill of the reporting unit would be considered impaired. To measure the amount of the impairment loss, the fair value of a reporting units goodwill is compared to the carrying value of that goodwill. If the carrying value of a reporting units goodwill exceeds the implied fair value of that goodwill, an impairment loss shall be recognized in an amount equal to that excess. The implied fair value of goodwill shall be determined in the same manner as the amount of goodwill recognized in a business combination is determined. The fair value of each of the Companys reporting units was determined using a discounted cash flow methodology. An impairment charge of approximately $9.7 million was taken in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2008 at the Westell Inc. reporting unit. In fiscal 2009, a $1.4 million impairment was recorded at the Noran Tel reporting unit.
On an ongoing basis, the Company reviews intangible assets 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 fair value is less than the carrying value of the related asset. The impairment loss would adjust the asset to its fair value.
Revenue recognition on equipment where software is incidental to the product as a whole 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.
Due to the technological advances inherent in the telecommunications industry, the Company must assess its revenue recognition policy as products technologically evolve. In doing so for the UltraLineTM Series3 products, the Company determined that embedded software is more than incidental to the product as a whole and therefore applied the provisions of Statement of Position (SOP) No. 97-2, Software Revenue Recognition, and all related interpretations.
Currently, the UltraLineTM Series3 products are sold primarily to a single customer with contractual provisions that include specified future software enhancements and post customer support (PCS) to maintain ongoing interoperability within the customers network. Although the product has been delivered to the customer, is installed and meets the customers current requirements, under SOP No. 97-2, multiple element arrangements that include software are separated into units of accounting when the following criteria are met: the functionality of the delivered
elements is not dependent on the undelivered elements, there is vendor-specific objective evidence (VSOE) of the fair value of the undelivered elements, and general revenue recognition criteria related to the delivered elements have been met. If any of these criteria are not met, revenue and related direct costs are deferred until the criteria are met or the last element has been delivered.
The Company was not able to establish VSOE for the specified future software enhancements and therefore deferred revenue recognition on these products until all of the criteria under SOP 97-2 are met. If the revenue recognition criteria for the specified future software enhancements has been met and the only undelivered element is PCS, the Company intends to use the cumulative catch up method to record revenue and related costs equal to the total arrangement consideration less the portion applicable to the remaining PCS service period, which will be recognized pro rata over the remaining PCS service period.
The Company accounts for stock-based compensation using the provisions of FAS No. 123R, Share-Based Payments (FAS No. 123R). FAS No. 123R requires the grant date fair value recognition of expense related to employee stock-based compensations awards over the requisite service period. Determining the fair value of equity-based awards 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.
Most of the Companys products carry a limited warranty ranging from one to three years for CNS equipment segment products and up to seven years for OSPlant Systems equipment segment products. The warranty reserve is based on historical sales and cost of repair or replacement trends
New Accounting Pronouncements
In December 2007, FASB issued FAS No. 141(R), Business Combinations (FAS No. 141R). This FAS establishes the principles and requirements for how the acquirer: a) recognizes and measures in its financial statements the identifiable assets acquired, the liabilities assumed, and any noncontrolling interest in the acquiree, b) recognizes and measures goodwill acquired in the business combination or a gain from a bargain purchase, c) determines what information to disclose to enable users of the financial statements to evaluate the nature and financial effects of the business combination. FAS No. 141R is effective for the Company on April 1, 2009. This statement applies prospectively to business combinations with an acquisition date on or after the effective date. Earlier application is prohibited. The adoption of FAS No. 141R will not have an immediate impact on the Companys Consolidated Financial Statements.
In December 2007, the FASB issued FAS No. 160, Noncontrolling Interests in Consolidated Financial Statements, an amendment of ARB No.51 (FAS No. 160). A noncontrolling interest, sometimes called a minority interest, is the portion of equity in a subsidiary not attributable, directly or indirectly, to a parent. This FAS establishes accounting and reporting standards that improve the relevance, comparability, and transparency of the financial information that a reporting entity provides in its Consolidated Financial Statements. FAS No. 160 is effective for the Company on April 1, 2009. This statement applies prospectively beginning in the fiscal year in which the Statement is initially applied, except for the presentation and disclosure requirements. The presentation and disclosure requirements shall be applied retrospectively for all periods presented. As the Company does not have a minority interest as of March 31, 2009, the immediate impact of the adoption of FAS160 will only affect presentation and disclosure, therefore, the adoption of FAS No. 160 will not have a material impact on the Consolidated Financial Statements.
In April 2009, the FASB issued a final FASB Staff Position (FSP) FAS No. 107-1 and APB No. 28-1, Disclosures about Fair Value of Financial Instruments, which increases the frequency of fair value disclosures to a quarterly instead of annual basis. The guidance relates to fair value disclosures for any financial instruments that are not currently reflected on the balance sheet at fair value. Effective for interim and annual periods ending after June 15, 2009, but entities may early adopt the FSP for the interim and annual periods ending after March 15, 2009. The Company does not believe that the adoption of this statement will have a material impact on our financial statements.
In April 2009, the FASB issued FSP FAS No. 157-4, Determining Fair Value When the Volume and Level of Activity for the Asset or Liability Have Significantly Decreased and Identifying Transactions That Are Not Orderly, which provides guidelines for a broad interpretation of when to apply market-based fair value measurements. The FSP reaffirms management's need to use judgment to determine when a market that was once active has become inactive and in determining fair values in markets that are no longer active. It is effective for interim and annual
periods ending after June 15, 2009, but entities may early adopt the FSP for the interim and annual periods ending after March 15, 2009. The Company does not believe that the adoption of this statement will have a material impact on our financial statements.
In April 2008, the FASB issued FSP FAS No. 142-3, Determination of the Useful Life of Intangible Assets (FSP No. 142-3), which amends the factors that should be considered in developing renewal or extension assumptions used to determine the useful life of a recognized intangible asset under FASB Statement No. 142, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets (FAS No. 142). FSP No. 142-3 will be effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2008, and is not expected to have a material impact on the Companys Consolidated Financial Statements.
Results of Operations
Fiscal Years Ended March 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007
In fiscal year 2009, consolidated revenue decreased by 22%. CNS equipment revenue decreased by 39%, OSPlant Systems equipment revenue increased 4% and ConferencePlus services revenue decreased by 16%. The decrease in CNS equipment revenue was due to a 26% decrease in unit volume of modems and gateway products along with a 20% decrease in average selling prices. In addition, the Company shipped $25.3 million of the UltraLineTM Series3 product, but deferred recognition of revenue and associated costs pursuant to GAAP software accounting rules. The OSPlant Systems equipment revenue increase was the result of increases in revenue from network interface units and outdoor mountings due to increased demand from wireline service providers for outside plant wireless backhaul solutions. The ConferencePlus services revenue decrease was due to decreased call minutes related primarily to the previously disclosed loss of revenue from its second largest customer.
In fiscal year 2008, consolidated revenue decreased by 20%. CNS equipment revenue decreased by 36%, OSPlant Systems equipment revenue was flat and ConferencePlus services revenue increased 11%. The decrease in CNS equipment revenue was due primarily to a 30% decrease in unit volume along with a 15% decrease in average sales price. The decrease in unit volume was primarily due to the completion in October 2007 of providing product under a BellSouth contract. OSPlant Systems equipment had lower sales volumes offset by the inclusion of a full year of revenue from the acquisition of Noran Tel. The ConferencePlus services revenue increase was due to an increase in minutes billed.
In fiscal 2009, consolidated gross margin increased by 2.3%. Gross margin in the combined equipment segments increased by 3.8% due primarily to a higher mix of OSPlant Systems product sales compared to CNS product sales. Additionally, the Company recorded $1.2 million in accelerated depreciation expense in fiscal 2008 related to the change in estimated useful life of manufacturing equipment that was no longer needed by the Company after the
implementation of its outsourcing strategy which shut down the Aurora manufacturing facility. The decrease in gross margin percentage at the ConferencePlus services segment was due to lower revenue to cover fixed overhead costs and a $700,000 loss contingency reserve for a contractual dispute. Further, the Company deferred $646,000 of gross margin related to the ULS3 shipments.
In fiscal 2008, consolidated gross margin decreased by 3.1%. Gross margin in the combined equipment segments decreased by 5.7% due to pricing pressures in the CNS product line and charges for excess and obsolete inventory of $2.4 million, accelerated depreciation noted above and other period costs related to the shut down of the Aurora manufacturing facility. The fiscal 2008 ConferencePlus services segment gross margins decreased by 1.6% due to pricing pressures in the conferencing industry.
In fiscal 2009, sales and marketing expense increased in the combined equipment segments by $2.6 million due primarily to a $2.7 million net gain related to the recovery of product warranty costs, third-party costs and internal costs for non-conforming products from a vendor during fiscal year 2008. Sales and marketing expenses decreased by $2.6 million in the ConferencePlus services segment due primarily to a $1.7 million reduction in salary related expenses, $0.2 million in travel expenses and $0.2 million in advertising costs.
In fiscal 2008, consolidated sales and marketing expense decreased by $5.4 million. In the combined equipment segments, the $7.3 million decrease is primarily due to the $2.7 million net gain described above. The Company recorded warranty expense of $1.1 million in fiscal year 2007 related to this issue. Employee-related expenses also decreased by $609,000 due to reorganization actions taken during fiscal 2008. Sales and marketing headcount decreased by 35% from March 31, 2007 to March 31, 2008. Consulting expense decreased by $930,000 in fiscal 2008 compared to 2007 as the Company stopped funding DSL initiatives in Europe in 2008. These decreases were offset in part by a $410,000 increase due to the inclusion of a full years result of Noran Tel operations subsequent to acquisition. Sales and marketing expenses increased by $2.0 million in the ConferencePlus services segment due to increased number of sales employees.
The Company believes that sales and marketing expense in the future will continue to be a significant percent of revenue and will be required to expand its product lines, bring new products to market and service customers.
Research and development expenses in the combined equipment segments decreased by $2.3 million in fiscal year 2009 due to a $4.5 million decrease in employee-related expense. Average headcount was reduced by 41% in the year and employee bonus payouts were earned a lower rate than in the prior year. This decrease was offset by an increase in outside consulting expenses by $1.1 million due to moving some of the engineering development from internal employees to more cost-effective consultants in India.
The fiscal year 2008 research and development expenses in the combined equipment segments decreased by $2.2 million, primarily due to a $1.8 million decrease in employee-related expense. Average headcount was reduced by 14% in the year. Additionally, outside consulting services decreased by $1.4 million in fiscal 2008. This decrease in R&D was offset in part by a $530,000 increase in research and development expense due to the Companys investment in Contineo (See Note 1) and a $423,000 increase due to the inclusion of a full years result of the Noran Tel operations subsequent to the acquisition.
The combined equipment segments general and administrative expense decreased $1.6 million in fiscal year 2009. The decrease is primarily the result of a $1.9 million reduction in outside consulting expense of which $1.6 million related to costs incurred in fiscal 2008 to assist the Company in implementing its outsourcing strategy. In addition, employee-related costs decreased $1.2 million, resulting from $567,000 less bonus expense and $473,000 of employee termination costs recorded in fiscal year 2008 and 3 fewer employees. The decreases were offset by $1.3 million of severance and stock-based compensation for the accelerated vesting of restricted stock awards to Mr. Thomas Mader, a former Chief Executive Officer.
The fiscal year 2008 increase of $3.6 million in the combined equipment segments was due primarily to a $2.3 million increase in consulting expenses, of which $1.6 million was related to consulting related to the implementation of the Companys outsourcing strategy as noted above, a $1.2 million increase in legal expenses related to the previously discussed SEC investigation, and $550,000 increase from the inclusion of a full years result of the Noran Tel operations subsequent to acquisition. Employee-related expense decreased by $444,000 in fiscal 2008 as headcount decreased by 10 employees.
Restructuring In fiscal 2009, the Company recorded $752,000 in restructuring expense related to cost reduction initiatives. In fiscal 2008, the Company moved substantially all of its equipment manufacturing operations in the combined equipment segments from Aurora, Illinois, to offshore suppliers in China. The Company recognized restructuring expenses of $5.7 million related primarily to severance costs for 443 employees. In fiscal year 2007, the Company recorded $343,000 of restructuring expense.
Goodwill impairment The Company recognized a goodwill impairment of $1.4 million, $9.7 million, and $0 in fiscal year 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively. In fiscal year 2009, the Company performed an interim impairment test on goodwill as required under FAS No. 142, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets (FAS No. 142) as the adverse economic environment was a potential indicator that goodwill could be impaired. As a result of the interim test, the Company recorded a $1.4 million charge to write down goodwill in the Noran Tel reporting unit, which is part of the OSPlant Systems equipment segment. No additional impairment was identified during the Companys annual impairment testing performed in the fourth quarter. In conducting the annual impairment testing in fiscal year 2008, the Company determined that the goodwill recorded in the Westell Inc. reporting unit relating to the fiscal 2000 acquisition of Teltrend, Inc. and the fiscal 2006 acquisition of HyperEdge, Inc. was impaired, and as a result, a goodwill impairment charge of $9.7 million was recorded. No impairment was found in the annual testing performed in fiscal 2007.
Intangible amortization Intangible amortization was $1.9 million, $1.8 million and $1.7 million in fiscal 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively. The intangible assets are primarily part of the OSPlant Systems equipment segment and consist of product technology and customer relationships.
Other income, net Other income, net was $662,000, $3.7 million and $3.2 million for fiscal years 2009, 2008, and 2007, respectively. Other income, net was primarily comprised of interest income earned on short-term cash investments and unrealized gains or losses on intercompany balances denominated in foreign currency. The decrease in other income, net in fiscal year 2009 was due to lower cash balances and reduced short-term interest rates. The increase in other income, net for fiscal year 2008 was due higher average cash balances in the year compared to fiscal year 2007.
Income Taxes Income tax expense was $67,000, $53.5 million and $5.5 million for fiscal years 2009, 2008, and 2007, respectively. In assessing the realizability of the deferred tax assets, the Company considered whether it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized through the generation of future taxable income. As a result of this assessment, the Company recorded a valuation allowance to fully reserve for tax benefits generated in fiscal year 2008. In fiscal 2009, the Company increased the valuation allowance to fully reserve for deferred tax assets recorded during the year.
Minority Interest Minority interest expense was $74,000, $260,000 and $235,000 in fiscal years 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively. Minority interest expense represents the Companys minority share of income at the then 91.5% owned subsidiary, Conference Plus, Inc. The remaining minority interest was purchased by the Company in the third quarter of fiscal 2009.
Discontinued Operations Net loss from discontinued operations was $206,000 and $1.5 million in fiscal years 2009 and 2008, respectively and net income from discontinued operations of $773,000 in fiscal 2007. In the first quarter of fiscal year 2009, the Company decided to cease the operations of its Westell Limited subsidiary in the UK. All remaining employees have been terminated and the facility has been closed.
Quarterly Results of Operations
The following tables present certain financial information for each of the last eight fiscal quarters. The Company believes that the unaudited information regarding each of these quarters is prepared on the same basis as the audited Consolidated Financial Statements of the Company appearing elsewhere in this Form 10-K. In the opinion of management, all necessary adjustments (consisting only of normal recurring adjustments) have been included to present fairly the unaudited quarterly results when read in conjunction with the audited Consolidated Financial Statements of the Company and the Notes thereto appearing elsewhere in this Form 10-K. These quarterly results of operations are not necessarily indicative of the results for any future period.
The quarterly fluctuations in revenue are due primarily to fluctuations in the CNS equipment segment. These fluctuations are due to product mix between the modem and VersaLinkTM products, quantity shipped and generally declining sales prices. In the December 31, 2007 quarter, the Company concluding shipping of CNS products under a BellSouth agreement in October of 2007. Quarterly gross margin was impacted primarily by price repression in the CNS equipment segment. The margin in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 was negatively impacted by $1.1 million of excess and obsolete inventory expense recorded. Operating expenses in the June 30, 2008 quarter was positively impacted by a $3.3 million gain related to the recovery of product warranty costs from a vendor and negatively impacted by $3.9 million in restructuring cost recorded relating to the Companys outsourcing plan. Operating expenses in June, September and December 2007 quarters also contained $545,000, $ 552,000 and $521,000 of consulting expense related to the outsourcing strategy. Operating expenses in the March 31, 2008 quarter was impacted by an additional restructuring charge of $1.9 million and a goodwill impairment charge of $9.7 million. In addition, the Company recorded tax expense of $55.5 million relating primarily to valuation allowance all deferred tax assets in that quarter. Operating expenses in the September 2008 quarter were impacted by $1.3 million of severance and stock-based compensation expense related to the accelerated vesting of restricted stock both for the former CEO, Thomas Mader. For the quarter ended December 31, 2008, operating expenses included $808,000 of unallocated equipment restructuring expense and $1.4 million of goodwill impairment charges in the OSPlant Systems equipment segment. In the quarter ended March 31, 2009, the Company recorded a $700,000 loss contingency for a contractual dispute as a component of cost of services in the ConferencePlus services segment. The Company also recorded a $925,000 non-cash rent charge of which $462,000 was included in CNS equipment operating expenses, $158,000 was included in OSPlant Systems equipment operating expenses, $157,000 was included in unallocated G&A operating expenses, and $148,000 was recorded in cost of equipment revenues to correct the Companys lease accounting policy.
The Company expects to continue to experience significant fluctuations in quarterly results of operations. The Company believes that fluctuations in quarterly results may cause the market price of the Class A Common Stock to fluctuate, perhaps substantially. Some factors which have had an influence on and may continue to influence the Companys results of operations in a particular quarter include, but are not limited to, the size and timing of customer orders and subsequent shipments, customer order deferrals in anticipation of new products, timing of product introductions or enhancements by the Company or its competitors, market acceptance of new products, technological changes in the telecommunications industry, competitive pricing pressures, accuracy of customer forecasts of end-user demand, write-offs for obsolete inventory, changes in the Companys operating expenses, personnel changes, foreign currency fluctuations, changes in the mix of products sold, quality control of products sold, disruption in sources of supply, regulatory changes, capital spending, delays of payments by customers, working capital deficits and general economic conditions. Sales to the Companys customers typically involve long approval and procurement cycles and can involve large purchase commitments. Accordingly, cancellation or deferral of one or a small number of orders could cause significant fluctuations in the Companys quarterly results of
operations. As a result, the Company believes that period-to-period comparisons of its results of operations are not necessarily meaningful and should not be relied upon as indications of future performance.
The Companys expense levels are based in large part on anticipated future revenues and are relatively fixed in the short term. Therefore, the Company may be unable to adjust spending in a timely manner to compensate for any unexpected shortfall of orders. Accordingly, any significant shortfall of demand in relation to the Companys expectations or any material delay of customer orders would have an almost immediate adverse impact on the Companys business and results of operations and profitability.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
At March 31, 2009, the Company had $46.1 million in cash and cash equivalents, including the $173,000 of Contineo cash, consisting of bank deposits, highly rated money market funds backed by the government and money market funds that hold assets primarily consisting of U.S. government obligations. At March 31, 2009, the Company had no amounts outstanding and $12.0 million available under its secured revolving credit facility.
The Company does not have any significant debt nor does it have material capital expenditure requirements, balloon payments or other payments due on long term obligations. The Company does not have any off-balance sheet arrangements other than the Enginuity note described in Note 11 of the Consolidated Financial Statements. Total future obligations and commitments of March 31, 2009 were $90.6 million. The Company believes that the existing sources of liquidity and cash from operations will satisfy cash flow requirements for the foreseeable future.
The Company entered into a Credit Agreement with The Private Bank and Trust Company dated as of March 5, 2009 (the Credit Agreement). The Credit Agreement is a one-year asset-based revolving credit facility in an amount up to $12.0 million based on 80% of eligible accounts receivable plus the lesser of 30% of eligible inventory or $3.0 million. The obligations of the Company under the Credit Agreement are secured by a guaranty from certain direct and indirect domestic subsidiaries of the Company, and by substantially all of the assets of the Company.
The revolving loans under the Credit Agreement bear interest at the greater of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) plus a spread of 2.5%, or an alternative base rate. The alternative base rate is the greater of prime rate or the Federal Funds rate plus 0.25% (the Base Rate). The Company is also required to pay a one-time closing fee of $25,000 and non-use fee of 0.75% per annum on the unused portion of the revolving loans. These fees are waived if the Company maintains with the lender an average monthly demand deposit account balance of $5.0 million and an average monthly investment balance of $15.0 million.
The Credit Agreement contains financial covenants that include a minimum EBITDA, a minimum tangible net worth and a limitation on capital expenditures for any fiscal year. The Company was in compliance with these covenants on March 31, 2009.
In addition, although the Company has never declared or paid any cash dividends on its common stock and does not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future, the Companys credit facility restricts the Companys ability to pay dividends without bank approval.
The Companys operating activities used cash of $14.7 million and $1.9 million in fiscal 2009 and 2008, respectively, and generated cash of $39.5 million in fiscal 2007. Cash used in fiscal 2009 resulted primarily from a net loss of $16.7 million offset by $10.4 million of depreciation, amortization, stock-based compensation, restructuring and goodwill impairment. The change in balance sheet accounts was a use of $8.6 million resulting primarily from increases in inventory, prepaid expenses and accounts receivable.
Cash used in fiscal 2008 resulted primarily from a net loss of $76.2 million, which includes $53.6 million valuation allowance on deferred taxes and $9.7 million of non-cash goodwill impairment. Deprecation, amortization, stock-based compensation and restructuring offset the loss by $15.3 million. Cash generated by operations in fiscal 2007 resulted primarily from net income of $8.7 million and by $9.8 million of depreciation, amortization expense and stock-based compensation, as well as, an increase of $5.2 million of deferred taxes. In fiscal 2007, the change in balance sheet accounts provided $15.1 million in total from decreases in accounts receivable and inventory, and from increases in accounts payable and accrued expenses.
The Companys investing activities used $3.3 million, $3.1 million and $10.7 million in fiscal 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively. In fiscal 2009, the Company used $2.2 million on capital expenditures and $3.7 million to acquire the remaining minority interest of Conference Plus, Inc. Additionally, the Company sold $2.6 million of short-term investments to fund a deferred compensation arrangement. In fiscal 2008, the Company used $4.7 million on capital expenditures and received $2.3 million from the sale of manufacturing equipment no longer required after production moved offshore. In fiscal 2007, the Company used $3.8 million on capital expenditures and $6.2 million on acquisitions.
The combined equipment segments capital expenditures were $1.3 million in fiscal 2009 which were primarily for leasehold improvements and storage racking to convert the former manufacturing facility into a distribution facility. The combined equipment segments capital expenditures for fiscal 2008 and 2007 were $2.1 million and $2.9 million, respectively and were primarily for machinery and research and development equipment purchases. The ConferencePlus services segment capital expenditures in fiscal 2009, 2008 and 2007 were $0.9 million, $2.6 million and $0.9 million, respectively. These expenditures were primarily for teleconference bridge equipment.
The Companys financing activities used $1.4 million of cash in fiscal 2009 and generated $316,000 and $335,000 of cash in fiscal 2008 and 2007, respectively. The Company purchased $1.6 million of treasury stock in fiscal 2009. The primary financing source of cash in fiscal 2008 and 2007 was proceeds from the issuance of stock for the exercise of stock options.
Future obligations and commitments as of March 31, 2009 consisted of the following:
Purchase obligations consist of raw materials in the equipment segment and local and long distance telephone service commitments in the ConferencePlus services segment that arise in the normal course of business operations.
As of March 31, 2009, the Company had deferred tax assets of approximately $70.5 million before a valuation allowance of $64.3 million, which reduced the recorded net deferred tax asset to $6.2 million. The remaining deferred tax asset is fully reserved by a FIN 48 liability recorded in other long-term liabilities.
The net operating loss carryforwards begin to expire in 2020. Realization of deferred tax assets associated with the Companys future deductible temporary differences, net operating loss carryforwards and tax credit carryforwards is dependent upon generating sufficient taxable income prior to their expiration. The Company uses estimates of future taxable income to access the valuation allowance required against deferred tax assets. Management periodically evaluates the recoverability of the deferred tax assets and will adjust the valuation allowance against deferred tax assets accordingly.
In fiscal year 2005, the Company sold its Data Station Termination product lines and specified fixed assets to Enginuity Communications Corporation (Enginuity). The Company provided an unconditional guarantee relating to a 10-year term note payable by Enginuity to the third-party lender that financed the transaction (the Enginuity Note). The Enginuity Note has an unpaid balance of $1.0 million as of March 31, 2009. Certain owners of Enginuity personally guaranteed the note and pledged assets as collateral. These personal guarantees will stay in place until the note is paid in full as will the Companys guarantee. Under the Companys guarantee, the Company must pay all amounts due under the note payable upon demand from the lender, however, the Company would have recourse against the assets of Enginuity and the personal guarantees.
The Company evaluated FIN No. 46R and concluded that Enginuity was a VIE as a result of the debt guarantee. The Company is not considered the primary beneficiary of the VIE, therefore consolidation is not required.
At the time of the product sale, the Company assessed its obligation under this guarantee pursuant to the provisions of FIN No. 45, Guarantor's Accounting and Disclosure Requirements for Guarantees, Including Indirect Guarantees of Indebtedness of Others and recorded a $300,000 liability for the value of the guarantee. The Company evaluates the liability each quarter based on Enginuitys operating performance and current status of the guaranteed debt obligation. The balance of the liability is $100,000 and $125,000 as of March 31, 2009 and March 31, 2008, respectively. The liability is shown as a current liability in the accrued expenses line on the Consolidated Balance Sheets.
The Company is subject to certain market risks, including foreign currency rate exposures. The Company has foreign subsidiaries in Ireland and Canada that develop and sell products and services in those respective countries and in other countries. The Company is exposed to potential gains and losses from foreign currency fluctuations affecting net investments and earnings denominated in foreign currencies. The Companys primary future exposure is to changes in exchange rates for the U.S. dollar versus the Euro and Canadian dollar. Approximately 6% of the Company fiscal 2009 revenue was denominated in foreign currencies. Market risk is estimated as the potential decrease in pretax earnings resulting from a hypothetical decrease in the ending exchange rate of 10%. If such a decrease occurred, the Company would incur approximately $143,000 in additional other expense based on the ending intercompany balance outstanding at March 31, 2009.
As of March 31, 2009, the balance in the cumulative foreign currency translation adjustment account, which is a component of stockholders equity, was an unrealized loss of $206,000.
ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA
The Company's Consolidated Financial Statements required by Item 8, together with the reports thereon of the Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm set forth on pages 46 - 77 of this report. The Consolidated Financial Statement schedule listed under Item 15(a)2, is set forth on page 78 of this report and should be read in conjunction with the financial statements.
ITEM 9. CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE
ITEM 9A. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES
Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures
Disclosure controls and procedures are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed in the reports filed or submitted under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized and reported, within the time periods specified in the SECs rules and forms. Disclosure controls and procedures include, without limitation, controls and procedures designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed in the reports filed under the Exchange Act is accumulated and communicated to management, including the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, as appropriate, to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure.
As of March 31, 2009, the Company carried out an evaluation, under the supervision and with the participation of the Companys management, including the Companys Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, of the effectiveness of the design and operation of the Companys disclosure controls and procedures. Based upon that evaluation, the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer concluded that the Companys disclosure controls and procedures are effective to ensure that information required to be disclosed in the reports the Company files or submits under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized and reported as and when required.
Managements Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
Management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting. Management assessed the effectiveness of the Companys internal control over financial reporting as of March 31, 2009 using criteria established in Internal Control-Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring
Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) and concluded that the Company maintained effective internal controls over financial reporting as of March 31, 2009.
Because of its inherent limitations, although designed and operated to provide reasonable assurance that the objectives of the control system are met, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies may deteriorate.
The Companys Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm has issued an audit report on its assessment of the Companys internal control over financial reporting as of March 31, 2009. This report is included on page 47.
ITEM 9B. OTHER INFORMATION
ITEM 10. DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
The information required by this Item is set forth in registrants Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held in September 2009 under the captions Election of Directors, Corporate Governance Board Committees and Section 16(a). Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance which information is incorporated herein by reference.
The information required by this Item is set forth in registrants Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held in September 2009 under the caption Corporate Governance - Executive Officers, which information is incorporated herein by reference.
CODE OF BUSINESS CONDUCT
We have adopted a Code of Business Conduct within the meaning of Item 406(b) of Regulation S-K. This Code of Business Conduct applies to all of our officers (including the principal executive officer, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer and any person performing similar functions) and employees. The Company filed a copy of this Code of Business Conduct as Exhibit 14.1 to this Form 10-K. This Code of Business Conduct is also publicly available in the corporate governance section on our website at http://www.westell.com. The Company intends to satisfy the disclosure requirement under Item 5.05 of Form 8-K by posting on its website any amendments to, or waivers from its Code of Business Conduct applicable to our principal executive officer, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer and any person performing similar functions. Copies of the Code of Business Conduct will be provided free of charge upon written request directed to the Secretary of the Company at the address of the principal executive offices.
ITEM 11. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION
The information required by this Item is set forth in registrants Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held in September 2009 under the captions Compensation Discussion and Analysis, Compensation Committee Interlocks and Insider Participation, Compensation Committee Report on Executive Compensation. Summary Compensation Table, Grants of Plan-Based Awards, Outstanding Equity Awards at Fiscal Year-End, Option Exercises and Stock Vested, Potential Payments Upon Termination or Change in Control and Director Compensation, which information is incorporated herein by reference.
ITEM 12. SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS
The information required by this Item is set forth in registrants Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held in September 2009 under the captions Ownership of the Capital Stock of the Company, and Equity Compensation Plan Information which information is incorporated herein by reference.
ITEM 13. CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE
The information required by this Item is set forth in registrants Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held in September 2009 under the caption Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions, which information is incorporated herein by reference.
ITEM 14. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTING FEES AND SERVICES
The information required by this item is incorporated herein by reference to the sections entitled Fees to the Companys Auditors and Approval of Services Provided by Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm in our Proxy Statement for the annual meeting to be held in September 2009.
The following documents are filed as part of this report:
The Consolidated Financial Statements of Westell Technologies, Inc. at March 31, 2009 and 2008 and for each of the three fiscal years in the period ended March 31, 2009, together with the Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm, are set forth on pages 46 through 77 of this Report.
The supplemental financial information listed and appearing hereafter should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements included in the report.
The following are included in Part IV of this Report for each of the years ended March 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007 as applicable:
Financial statement schedules not included in this report have been omitted either because they are not applicable or because the required information is shown in the Consolidated Financial Statements or notes thereto, included in this report.
Exhibit 10.3 to the Companys Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2008).
The exhibits filed as part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K are as specified in Item 15(a)(3) herein.
The financial statement schedule filed as part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K are as specified in Item 15(a)(2) herein.
Pursuant to the requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized on June 15, 2009.
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, this report has been signed below by the following persons on behalf of the registrant and in the capacities and on June 15, 2009.
INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA
Consolidated Financial Statements:
Financial Statement Schedule:
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
To the Board of Directors and the Stockholders
Westell Technologies, Inc.
We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Westell Technologies, Inc. and subsidiaries (the Company) as of March 31, 2009 and 2008, and the related consolidated statements of operations, stockholders equity, and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended March 31, 2009. Our audit also included the financial statement schedule listed in the Index at Item 15a(2). These financial statements and schedule are the responsibility of the Companys management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements and schedule based on our audits.
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. An audit also includes assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.
In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the consolidated financial position of Westell Technologies, Inc. and subsidiaries at March 31, 2009 and 2008, and the consolidated results of their operations and their cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended March 31, 2009, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. Also, in our opinion, the related financial statement schedule, when considered in relation to the basic financial statements taken as a whole, presents fairly, in all material respects, the information set forth therein.
As described in Note 2 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements, effective April 1, 2007, the Company adopted FASB Interpretation No. 48, Accounting for Uncertainty in Income Taxes, an interpretation of FASB Statement No. 109, Accounting for Income Taxes. In addition, as described in Note 2 to the Consolidated Financial Statements, effective April 1, 2006, the Company adopted FASB Statement No. 123(R), Share-Based Payments. Also, as discussed in Note 2 to the Consolidated Financial Statements, effective April 1, 2006, the Company adopted Securities and Exchange Commission Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 108, Considering the Effects of Prior Year Misstatements When Quantifying Misstatements in the Current Year Financial Statements.
We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), Westell Technologies, Inc.s internal control over financial reporting as of March 31, 2009, based on criteria established in Internal Control-Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission and our report dated June 12, 2009 expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.
/s/ Ernst & Young LLP
June 12, 2009
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
The Board of Directors and Stockholders of Westell Technologies, Inc.
We have audited Westell Technologies, Inc.s internal control over financial reporting as of March 31, 2009, based on criteria established in Internal ControlIntegrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (the COSO criteria). Westell Technologies, Inc.s management is responsible for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting, and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting included in the accompanying Managements Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the companys internal control over financial reporting based on our audit.
We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects. Our audit included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk, and performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.
A companys internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A companys internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the companys assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.
Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.
In our opinion, Westell Technologies, Inc. maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of March 31, 2009, based on the COSO criteria.
We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), the consolidated balance sheets of Westell Technologies, Inc. and subsidiaries as of March 31, 2009 and 2008, and the related consolidated statements of operations, stockholders equity, and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended March 31, 2009 of Westell Technologies, Inc. and our report dated June 12, 2009 expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.
/s/ Ernst & Young LLP
June 12, 2009
WESTELL TECHNOLOGIES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these Consolidated Financial Statements.
WESTELL TECHNOLOGIES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In thousands, except share amounts)
WESTELL TECHNOLOGIES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(In thousands, except per share amounts)
WESTELL TECHNOLOGIES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
AND COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS)