Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Basis of Presentation, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies and Nature of Operations

Basis of Presentation, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies and Nature of Operations
6 Months Ended
Jun. 30, 2013
Basis of Presentation, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies and Nature of Operations [Text Block]

Note 1. Basis of Presentation, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies and Nature of Operations

Basis of presentation

     The accompanying unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements of Lightbridge Corporation and its subsidiaries have been prepared in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, including the instructions to Form 10-Q and Regulation S-X. Certain information and note disclosures normally included in financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America have been condensed or omitted from these statements pursuant to such rules and regulations and, accordingly, they do not include all the information and notes necessary for comprehensive consolidated financial statements and should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2012, included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012.

     In the opinion of the management of the Company, all adjustments, which are of a normal recurring nature, necessary for a fair statement of the results for the three month and six month periods have been made. Results for the interim periods presented are not necessarily indicative of the results that might be expected for the entire fiscal year. When used in these notes, the terms "Company", "we", "us" or "our" mean Lightbridge Corporation and all entities included in our consolidated financial statements.

     We were incorporated in the state of Delaware on January 8, 1992, and changed our name to Thorium Power, Inc. (“TPI”) in April 2001. On February 14, 2006, Novastar Resources Ltd., a Nevada corporation (“Novastar”), and TPI entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger and merged on October 6, 2006. After the merger, we were known as Thorium Power, Ltd. and TPI became our wholly-owned subsidiary. On September 29, 2009, we changed our name from Thorium Power, Ltd. to Lightbridge Corporation (“Lightbridge” or the “Company”). We are engaged in two operating business segments: our Technology Business Segment and our Consulting Business Segment (see Note 9-Business Segment Results).

Technology Business Segment

     Our primary business segment, based on future revenue potential, is to develop innovative, proprietary nuclear fuel designs which we expect will significantly enhance the nuclear power industry’s economics and increase power output by: (1) Providing an increase in power output of up to 10% while simultaneously extending the operating cycle length from 18 to 24 months in existing pressurized water reactors (which are currently limited to an 18-month operating cycle); alternatively, the power can be increased up to 17% while retaining an 18 -month operating cycle; (2) Enabling increased reactor power output (up to 30% increase) without changing the core size in new build PWRs; and (3) Reducing the volume of used fuel per kilowatt-hour as well as enhancing proliferation resistance of spent fuel. There are significant technology synergies among our primary fuel products due to utilization of the proprietary metallic fuel rod technology that is at the core of each of them. As a result, once completed, full-scale demonstration and qualification of the metallic fuel rod technology will simultaneously advance all of our product families currently under development. In addition, as a result of the significantly lower temperature during operation, our metallic nuclear fuel rods are expected to have improved safety margins during anticipated off-normal events. Preliminary analytical modeling shows that under a large break loss-of-coolant (LOCA) scenario, unlike conventional uranium dioxide fuel, the cladding of the Lightbridge-designed metallic fuel rods stays at least 200 degrees below 850-900 degrees Celsius which is the temperature at which steam begins to react with zirconium in the cladding generating hydrogen gas.

     We are currently focusing our development efforts primarily on the metallic fuel with a power uprate of up to 10% and a 24 -month operating cycle in existing Westinghouse-type four-loop pressurized water reactors. Those reactors represent the largest segment of our global target market.

Consulting Business Segment

     Our business model expanded with the establishment of a consulting business segment in 2007, through which we provide consulting and strategic advisory services to companies and governments planning to create or expand electricity generation capabilities using nuclear power plants. On August 1, 2008, we signed separate consulting services agreements with two government entities: Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (“ENEC”) formed by Abu Dhabi, one of the member Emirates of the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”), and the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (“FANR”) formed by the government of the UAE. Under these two original agreements, we have provided consulting and strategic advisory services over a contract term of five years starting from June 23, 2008. The contract with ENEC has been extended to December 31, 2013, and the FANR contract has been extended to December 31, 2014. These contracts can continue to be extended upon agreement by both parties.

Accounting Policies and Pronouncements

Basis of Consolidation

     These financial statements include the accounts of Lightbridge, a Nevada corporation, and our wholly-owned subsidiaries, TPI, a Delaware corporation, Lightbridge International Holding LLC, a Delaware limited liability company and our foreign branch offices.

     All significant intercompany transactions and balances have been eliminated in consolidation. We registered a branch office in the United Kingdom in 2008 called Lightbridge Advisors Limited (currently inactive) and we also established a branch office in Moscow, Russia, in July 2009, both of which are wholly owned by Lightbridge International Holding LLC. Translation gains and losses for the three months and six ended June 30, 2013 and June 30, 2012 were not significant.

Use of Estimates and Assumptions

     The preparation of financial statements, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements, and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

Significant Estimates

     These accompanying consolidated financial statements include some amounts that are based on management’s best estimates and judgments. The most significant estimates relate to valuation of stock grants and stock options, the valuation allowance on deferred tax assets and various contingent liabilities. It is reasonably possible that these above-mentioned estimates and others may be adjusted as more current information becomes available, and any adjustment could be significant in future reporting periods.

Certain Risks, Uncertainties and Concentrations

     Management anticipates, based on our current working capital and our current projected working capital requirements, that we will have enough working capital funds to sustain our current operations at our current operating level until 2014. We will need to raise additional capital by way of an offering of equity securities, an offering of debt securities, a financing through a bank, or a strategic alliance with another entity. We may also need to raise additional capital for research and development expenses in 2013 if our consulting business segment becomes non-sustaining. Currently, we are working on consulting revenue opportunities with the overall goal of increasing our profitability and cash flow.

     We participate in a government regulated industry. Our operating results are affected by a wide variety of factors including decreases in the use or public favor of nuclear power, the ability of our technology, the ability to safeguard the production of nuclear power and safeguarding our patents and intellectual property from competitors. Due to these factors, we may experience substantial period-to-period fluctuations in our future operating results. Potentially, a loss of a key officer, key management, and other personnel could impair our ability to successfully execute our business strategy, particularly when these individuals have acquired specialized knowledge and skills with respect to nuclear power and our operations.

     Our future operations and earnings currently depend on the results of the Company’s operations outside the United States. There can be no assurance that the Company will be able to successfully continue to conduct such operations, and a failure to do so would have a material adverse effect on the Company’s research and development activities, financial position, results of operations, and cash flows. Also, the success of the Company’s operations will be subject to other numerous contingencies, some of which are beyond management’s control. These contingencies include general and regional economic conditions, competition, changes in regulations, changes in accounting and taxation standards, inability to achieve our overall long-term goals, future impairment charges and global or regional catastrophic events. Because the Company is dependent on its international operations for almost all its revenue, the Company may be subject to various additional political, economic, and other uncertainties.

     Financial instruments that potentially subject us to concentrations of credit risk consist principally of cash equivalents, marketable securities and accounts receivable. Cash equivalents and marketable securities consist of money market funds and mutual bond funds held with one major financial institution with a high credit standing. The underlying fixed-income investments of the money market and bond mutual funds are either United States Treasury securities or represent a diversified portfolio of investments.

     Accounts receivable are typically unsecured and are primarily derived from revenues earned from customers located in the Middle East. We perform ongoing evaluations to determine customer credit and we limit the amount of credit we extend, but generally we do not require collateral from our customers. We maintain reserves for estimated credit losses; however, no reserve has been set up for 2013 and 2012, as we have not incurred any credit losses from our customers, to date. Substantially all of our consulting revenues were from our Middle East contracts for the three months and six months ended June 30, 2013 and 2012. One consulting firm accounted for 33% and 75% of our total cost of consulting services provided, for the three months ended June 30, 2013 and 2012, respectively and 29% and 78% for the six months ended June 30, 2013 and 2012 respectively.

Revenue Recognition

Consulting Business Segment

     At the present time we are deriving all of our revenue from our consulting and strategic advisory services business segment, by offering consulting services to governments outside the United States planning to create or expand electricity generation capabilities using nuclear power plants. Our fee structure for each client engagement is dependent on a number of variables, including the size of the client, the complexity, the level of the opportunity for us to improve the client’s electrical generation capabilities using nuclear power plants, and other factors. The accounting policy we use to recognize revenue depends on the terms and conditions of the specific contract.

     Revenues from the Executive Affairs Authority (“EAA”) of Abu Dhabi, one of the member Emirates of the UAE, and the related entities, ENEC and FANR, are billed and recognized on a time and expense basis and the related costs are recognized as services are provided. Cost of consulting services includes labor, travel expenses and other related consulting costs.

     Where revenue is recognized upon the delivery and acceptance of defined contractual milestones or deliverables by our customer, all costs directly related to producing work are first capitalized as deferred project costs. Deferred project costs are then recognized or amortized to an expense captioned “cost of consulting services provided” on the accompanying consolidated statement of operations, when the revenue is recognized upon the delivery and acceptance of the defined contractual milestones or deliverables.

Technology Business Segment

     Once our nuclear fuel designs have advanced to a commercially usable stage by either a fuel fabricator or nuclear plant owner/operator, we will seek to license our technology to them or to major government contractors working for the U.S. or other governments. We expect that our revenue from these license fees will be recognized on a straight-line basis over the expected period of the related license term.

Stock-Based Compensation

     The stock-based compensation expense incurred by Lightbridge for employees and directors in connection with its stock option plan is based on the employee model of ASC 718, and the fair market value of the options is measured at the grant date. Under ASC 718 employee is defined as “An individual over whom the grantor of a share-based compensation award exercises or has the right to exercise sufficient control to establish an employer-employee relationship based on common law as illustrated in case law and currently under U.S. tax regulations”. Our advisory board members and consultants do not meet the employer-employee relationship as defined by the IRS and therefore are accounted for under ASC 505-50.

     ASC 505-50-30-11 (previously EITF 96-18) further provides that an issuer shall measure the fair value of the equity instruments in these transactions using the stock price and other measurement assumptions as of the earlier of the following dates, referred to as the measurement date:


The date at which a commitment for performance by the counterparty to earn the equity instruments is reached (a performance commitment); and


The date at which the counterparty’s performance is complete.

We have elected to use the Black-Scholes-Merton pricing model to determine the fair value of stock options on the measurement date. Restricted stock units are measured based on the fair market values of the underlying stock on the measurement date. Shares that are issued to officers on the exercise dates of their stock options may be issued net of the statutory withholding requirements to be paid by us on behalf of our employees. As a result, the actual number of shares issued will be fewer than the actual number of shares exercised under the stock option. We recognize stock-based compensation using the straight-line method.

     For the three months ended June 30, 2013 and 2012, we recognized stock-based compensation of approximately $0.1 million and $0.3 million, respectively. For the six months ended June 30, 2013 and 2012, we recognized stock-based compensation of approximately $0.2 million and $0.6 million, respectively. Related income tax benefits were not recognized, as we incurred a tax loss for both years.

Fair Value of Financial Instruments

     The carrying amounts of our financial instruments, including cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and accrued liabilities, approximate fair value because of their generally short maturities. We carry marketable securities at fair value.

Cash and Cash Equivalents, Restricted Cash and Marketable Securities

     We invest our excess cash in money market mutual funds, and mutual bond funds. We classify all highly liquid investments with stated maturities of three months or less from date of purchase as cash equivalents and all highly liquid investments with stated maturities of greater than three months as marketable securities. We hold cash balances in excess of the federally insured limits of $250,000 with two prominent financial institutions. We deem this credit risk not to be significant as our cash is held by major prominent financial institutions. Total cash and cash equivalents held in checking accounts and a money market core cash account, as reported on the accompanying consolidated balance sheets, totaled approximately $0.6 million and $2.2 million at June 30, 2013 and December 31, 2012, respectively.

     Restricted cash represents cash being held by one prominent financial institution that is being used as collateral for our corporate credit cards and our letters of credit issued to some of our customers. There was approximately $24,000 of outstanding letters of credit as of June 30, 2013. The total balance of our restricted cash at June 30, 2013 and December 31, 2012, was approximately $0.6 million.

     We determine the appropriate classification of our investments in marketable securities at the time of purchase and reevaluate such designation at each balance sheet date. We have classified and accounted for our marketable securities as available-for-sale, however we carry these securities at fair value (see below election made to value these financial instruments at fair market value). The fair value of all securities is determined by quoted market prices.

     All marketable securities are classified as available-for-sale securities and are reported at their fair value (level 1). A level 1 measurement under the FASB pronouncements is the first tier of a three tier hierarchy for fair value measurements used in valuation methodologies. This valuation level allows for fair value measurements where the inputs are the quoted prices for the assets in the active markets. All of our marketable securities have quoted market prices and these quoted prices are used to determine the cost basis and fair value of our marketable securities.

     The total quoted fair value of our marketable securities at June 30, 2013 and December 31, 2012 was approximately $1.1 million and $1.6 million, respectively. This amount was held in the following mutual funds: (1) Doubleline Total Return Bond Fund (Symbol - DLTNX) -$0.8 million; (2) Vanguard High Yield Corp Investor Fund (Symbol -VWEHX) - $0.1 million; and (3) Vanguard GNMA Investor Fund (Symbol -VFIIX) - $0.2 million at June 30, 2013. The cost basis of these above investments was approximately $1.1 million.

     The amount recorded as unrealized gain (loss), realized capital gain or loss, interest and dividends received, as reported to us from the financial institutions in which they were reinvested, and that we reported under the caption of investment income (loss) in the accompanying consolidated statement of operations, totaled approximately $(27,000) and $82,000 for each of the three month periods ended June 30, 2013 and 2012, respectively and $(12,000) and $233,000 for each of the six months ended June 30, 2013 and June 30, 2012, respectively. We elected the fair value option permitted under FASB ASC 825 to report the unrealized gains and losses from our marketable securities in our accompanying consolidated statement of operations instead of other comprehensive income and loss. Management believes the fair value option provides a better indication of the Company’s performance.

Income Taxes

     Income taxes are accounted for under the asset and liability method in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases as well as operating loss and tax credit carry forwards. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of a change in tax rates is recognized in income in the period that includes the enactment date. Deferred tax assets are reduced by a valuation allowance to the extent that the recoverability of the asset is unlikely to be recognized. We did not provide any current or deferred income tax provision or benefit for any periods presented to date because we have continued to experience a net operating loss since inception and therefore provide a 100% valuation allowance against all of our deferred tax assets (see Note 5-Income Taxes).

     The Company adopted the FASB ASC accounting guidance for recognizing and measuring uncertain tax positions, as defined in the FASB ASC Topic "Income Taxes ”. This guidance prescribes a threshold condition that a tax position must meet for any of the benefits of the uncertain tax position to be recognized in the financial statements. This guidance also provides accounting guidance on derecognizing, classification and disclosure of these uncertain tax positions. The Company recognizes interest accrued related to unrecognized tax benefits in interest expense and penalties in operating expenses. The Company has not recognized any interest and penalties in 2013 or 2012.

Research, Development and Related Expenses

     These costs from our Technology business segment are charged to operations in the year incurred and are shown on a separate line on the accompanying Consolidated Statement of Operations.

Segment Reporting

     We use the “management approach” in determining reportable operating segments. The management approach considers the internal organization and reporting used by our chief decision makers for making operating decisions and assessing performance, as the source for determining our reportable segments. We have determined that we have two operating segments as defined by the FASB accounting pronouncement, “ Disclosures about Segments of an Enterprise and Related Information ”. As discussed above, our two reporting business segments are our technology business and our consulting services business.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

The Company does not expect the adoption of any recent accounting pronouncements to have a material impact on its financial statements.