Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

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

Basis of Presentation, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies and Nature of Operations (Policies)
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2018
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, including a summary of the Company’s significant accounting policies, 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, 2017, included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017.


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 and nine-month periods have been made. Results for the interim period presented are not necessarily indicative of the results that might be expected for the entire fiscal year. When used in these notes, the terms “Lightbridge”, "Company,” "we,” "us" or "our" mean Lightbridge Corporation and all entities included in our condensed consolidated financial statements.


The Company was formed on October 6, 2006, when Thorium Power, Ltd., which had been formed in the State of Nevada on February 2, 1999, merged with Thorium Power, Inc. (“TPI”), which had been formed in the State of Delaware on January 8, 1992. On September 29, 2009, the Company changed its name from Thorium Power, Ltd. to Lightbridge Corporation. The Company is engaged in two operating business segments: (1) technology business segment and (2) consulting business segment (see Note 8. Business Segment Results).


As of September 30, 2018, the Company has an accumulated deficit of approximately $100.3 million, representative of recurring losses since inception. The Company has incurred recurring losses since inception because it is a development stage nuclear fuel development company. The Company expects to continue to incur losses because of the costs and expenses related to the Company’s research and development expenses and corporate general and administrative expenses.


At September 30, 2018, the Company had $25.3 million in cash and cash equivalents and had a working capital surplus of approximately $24.6 million. The Company had expended substantial funds on its research and development activities and expects to increase this spending through its equity contributions to Enfission, LLC. The Company’s net cash used in operating activities during the nine months ended September 30, 2018 was approximately $5.3 million, and current projections indicate that the Company will have continued negative cash flows for the foreseeable future. Net losses incurred for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 and 2017 amounted to approximately $12.5 million and $5.1 million, respectively.


The amount of cash and cash equivalents on the balance sheet as of the date of the filing is approximately $25 million. The Company also may consider other plans to fund operations including: (1) raising additional capital through debt financings or from other sources; (2) additional funding through new relationships to help fund future research and development costs (e.g., Department of Energy funding); and (3) additional capital raises. The Company may issue securities, including common stock, preferred stock and stock purchase contracts through private placement transactions or registered public offerings, pursuant to its registration statement on Form S-3 filed with the SEC on March 15, 2018 and declared effective on March 23, 2018. There can be no assurance as to the availability or terms upon which financing and capital might be available. The Company’s future liquidity needs, and ability to address those needs, will largely be determined by the success of the development of its nuclear fuel and key nuclear development and regulatory events and its business decisions in the future.


The Company believes that its current financial resources, as of the date of the issuance of these financial statements, are sufficient to fund its current 12 month operating budget, alleviating the substantial doubt raised by our historical operating results and satisfying our estimated liquidity needs 12 months from the issuance of these financial statements.

Equity Method Investment - Enfission, LLC - Joint Venture with Framatome Inc.

In January 2018, Lightbridge and Framatome Inc., a subsidiary of Framatome SAS (formerly AREVA SAS), finalized and launched Enfission, LLC (“Enfission”), a 50-50 joint venture company, to develop, license and sell nuclear fuel assemblies based on Lightbridge-designed metallic fuel technology and other advanced nuclear fuel intellectual property. Framatome SAS and Framatome Inc. (collectively “Framatome”) is a global leader in designing, building, servicing, and fueling reactor fleet and advancing nuclear energy and is majority owned by Électricité de France, the world’s largest owner and operator of nuclear power plants. Lightbridge and Framatome began joint fuel development and regulatory licensing work under previously signed agreements initiated in March 2016. The joint venture Enfission is a Delaware-based limited liability company that was formed on January 24, 2018.


Management has determined that its investment in Enfission should be accounted for under the equity method of accounting. Under the equity method of accounting, an investee company’s accounts are not reflected within the Company’s condensed consolidated balance sheets and condensed consolidated statements of operations; however, the Company’s share of the losses of the investee company is reported in the “Equity in loss from joint venture” line item in the condensed consolidated statements of operations, and the Company’s carrying value in an equity method investee company is reported in the “Investment in joint venture” line item in the condensed consolidated balance sheets.


The Company allocates income (loss) utilizing the hypothetical liquidation book value (“HLBV”) method, in which the Company allocates income or loss based on the change in each JV member’s claim on the net assets of the JV’s operating agreement at period end after adjusting for any distributions or contributions made during such period. The Company uses this method because of the difference between the distribution rights and priorities set forth in the Enfission operating agreement and what is reflected by the underlying percentage ownership interests of the Joint Venture. Additionally, if the Company's carrying value in an equity method investment is zero and the Company has not guaranteed any obligations of the investee, nor is it required to provide additional funding to the investee, the Company will not recognize its share of any reported losses by the investee until future equity contributions or earnings are generated to offset previously unrecognized losses.

Basis of Consolidation

These condensed consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Lightbridge, a Nevada corporation, and our wholly-owned subsidiaries, TPI, a Delaware corporation and Lightbridge International Holding LLC, a Delaware limited liability company. All significant intercompany transactions and balances have been eliminated in consolidation. Translation gains and losses for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2018 and 2017 were not significant.


As of January 24, 2018, the Company owns a 50% interest in Enfission – accounted for using the equity method of accounting (see Note 3. Investment in Joint Venture). Enfission is deemed to be a variable interest entity (“VIE”) under the VIE model of consolidation because it currently does not have sufficient funds to finance its operations and will require significant additional equity or subordinated debt financing. The Company has determined that it is not the primary beneficiary of the VIE since it does not have the power to direct the activities that most significantly impact the VIE’s performance.


In determining whether the Company is the primary beneficiary and whether it has the right to receive benefits or the obligation to absorb losses that could potentially be significant to the VIE, the Company evaluates all its economic interests in the entity, regardless of form. This evaluation considers all relevant factors of the entity’s structure including the entity’s capital structure, contractual rights to earnings (losses) as well as other contractual arrangements that have potential to be economically significant. Although the Company has the obligation to absorb the losses as of this reporting period, it has concluded that it is not the primary beneficiary since the major decision making for all significant economic activities require the approval of both the Company and Framatome. The significant economic activities identified were financing activities; research and development activities; licensing activities; manufacturing of fuel assembly product activities; and marketing and sales activities. The evaluation of each of these factors in reaching a conclusion about the potential significance of our economic interests and control is a matter that requires the exercise of professional judgment.

Cash and Cash Equivalents

The Company may at times invest its excess cash in savings accounts and US Treasury Bills. It classifies 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. The Company holds cash balances in excess of the federally insured limits of $250,000. It deems this credit risk not to be significant as cash is held by three prominent financial institutions. The Company buys and holds short-term US Treasury Bills from Treasury Direct to maturity. US Treasury Bills totaled approximately $10.0 million at September 30, 2018 and $0 at December 31, 2017, respectively. The remaining $15.3 million at September 30, 2018 are on deposit with three financial institutions. Total cash and cash equivalents held, as reported on the accompanying condensed consolidated balance sheets, totalled approximately $25.3 million and $4.5 million at September 30, 2018 and December 31, 2017, respectively.

Technology Business Segment

The Company’s primary business segment, based on future revenue potential, is to develop and commercialize innovative, proprietary nuclear fuel designs, which it expects will significantly enhance the nuclear power industry’s economics due to higher power output and improved safety margins.


The Company is focusing its technology development efforts on the metallic fuel with a potential power uprate of up to 10% and an operating cycle extended from 18 to 24 months in existing Westinghouse-type four-loop pressurized water reactors. Those reactors represent the largest segment of our global target market. The metallic fuel could also be adapted for use in other types of water-cooled commercial power reactors, such as boiling water reactors, Russian-type VVER reactors, CANDU heavy water reactors, water-cooled small and modular reactors, as well as water-cooled research reactors.


Lightbridge has obtained and will continue to seek patent validation in key countries that either currently operate or are expected to build and operate a large number of suitable nuclear power reactors.

Consulting Business Segment

The Company’s business model expanded with consulting revenue in 2008. The Company has provided consulting and strategic advisory services to companies and governments planning to create or expand electricity generation capabilities using nuclear power plants. The Company had no consulting income for the three months and nine months ended September 30, 2018 as the Company has focussed its efforts on its technology business segment and commercialization of its metallic nuclear fuel.

Beneficial Conversion Feature of Convertible Preferred Stock

The Company accounts for the beneficial conversion feature on its convertible preferred stock in accordance with ASC 470-20, Debt with Conversion and Other Options. The Beneficial Conversion Feature (“BCF”) of convertible preferred stock is normally characterized as the convertible portion or feature that provides a rate of conversion that is below market value or in-the-money when issued. The Company records a BCF related to the issuance of convertible preferred stock when issued. Beneficial conversion features that are contingent upon the occurrence of a future event are recorded when the contingency is resolved.


To determine the effective conversion price, the Company first allocates the proceeds received to the convertible preferred stock and then uses those allocated proceeds to determine the effective conversion price. If the convertible instrument is issued in a basket transaction (i.e., issued along with other freestanding financial instruments), the proceeds should first be allocated to the various instruments in the basket. The intrinsic value of the conversion option should be measured using the effective conversion price for the convertible preferred stock on the proceeds allocated to that instrument. The effective conversion price represents proceeds allocable to the convertible preferred stock divided by the number of shares into which it is convertible. The effective conversion price is then compared to the per share fair value of the underlying common shares on the commitment date. The accounting for a BCF requires that the BCF be recognized by allocating the intrinsic value of the conversion option to additional paid-in capital, resulting in a discount on the convertible preferred stock. This discount should be accreted from the date on which the BCF is first recognized through the earliest conversion date for instruments that do not have a stated redemption date. The intrinsic value of the BCF is recognized as a deemed dividend on convertible preferred stock over a period specified in the guidance. In the case of both the Series A and Series B preferred shares, the holders of the shares had the right to convert beginning at the date of issuance with the result that the accretion of the related BCF was recognized immediately at issuance.


When the Company’s preferred stock has dividends that are paid-in-kind (“PIK”) (i.e., the holder is paid in additional shares or liquidation/dividend rights), and either (1) neither the Company nor the holder has the option for the dividend to be paid in cash, or (2) the PIK amounts do not accrue to the holder if the instrument is converted prior to the PIK amount otherwise being accrued or due, additional BCF is recognized as dividends accrue to the extent that the per share fair value of the underlying common shares at the commitment date exceeds the conversion price.

Recently Adopted Accounting Pronouncements

Compensation Stock Compensation — In June 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-07, Compensation – Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Improvements to Nonemployee Share-Based Payment Accounting. ASU 2018-07 allows companies to account for nonemployee awards in the same manner as employee awards. The guidance is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, and interim periods within those annual periods. The Company elected the early adoption of this ASU on July 1, 2018. The adoption of ASU 2018-07 did not have a material impact on the Company’s financial position, results of operations or cash flows.


Compensation Stock Compensation — In May 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2017-09, Compensation – Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Scope of Modification Accounting. ASU 2017-09 provides clarity and reduces both (1) diversity in practice and (2) cost and complexity when applying the guidance in Topic 718, to a change to the terms or conditions of a share-based payment award. The amendments in ASU 2017-09 should be applied prospectively to an award modified on or after the adoption date. This ASU is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2017. This new pronouncement has been adopted on January 1, 2018 and did not have a material effect on the Company’s financial position, results of operations or cash flows.


Financial Instruments — In January 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-01, Financial Instruments (Subtopic 825-10) - Overall: Recognition and Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities. ASU 2016-01 provides guidance on how entities measure certain equity investments and present changes in the fair value. This standard requires that entities measure certain equity investments that do not result in consolidation and are not accounted for under the equity method at fair value and recognize any changes in fair value in net income. ASU 2016-01 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 31, 2017. This new pronouncement has been adopted on January 1, 2018 and did not have a material effect on the Company’s financial position, results of operations or cash flows.


Statement of Cash Flows — In 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-15, Statement of Cash Flows: Classification of Certain Cash Receipts and Cash Payments and ASU 2016-18, Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230): Restricted Cash. ASU 2016-15 addresses the presentation and classification of certain cash receipts and payments in the statement of cash flows. ASU 2016-18 is intended to reduce diversity in the presentation of restricted cash and restricted cash equivalents in the cash flows statement. The statement requires that restricted cash and restricted cash equivalents be included as components of total cash and cash equivalents as presented on the statement of cash flows. These pronouncements go into effect for periods beginning after December 15, 2017. This new pronouncement has been adopted on January 1, 2018 and did not have a material effect on the Company’s financial position, results of operations or cash flows.


Revenue Recognition — In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606), which supersedes most current revenue recognition guidance, including industry-specific guidance. The underlying principle is that an entity will recognize revenue to depict the transfer of goods or services to customers at an amount that the entity expects to be entitled to in exchange for those goods or services. The guidance provides a five-step analysis of transactions to determine when and how revenue is recognized. Other major provisions include capitalization of certain contract costs, consideration of time value of money in the transaction price and allowing estimates of variable consideration to be recognized before contingencies are resolved in certain circumstances. The guidance also requires enhanced disclosures regarding the nature, amount, timing, and uncertainty of revenue and cash flows arising from an entity’s contracts with customers. In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-08, Revenue from Contracts with Customers: Principal versus Agent Considerations. ASU 2016-08 clarifies implementation guidance on principal versus agent considerations in ASU 2014-09. ASU 2016-10 was issued to clarify ASC Topic 606 related to (i) identifying performance obligations; and (ii) the licensing implementation guidance. In May 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-12, Revenue from Contracts with Customers - Narrow-Scope Improvements and Practical Expedients, to clarify certain narrow aspects of Topic 606 such as assessing the collectability criterion, presentation of sales taxes and other similar taxes collected from customers, noncash consideration, contract modifications at transition, completed contracts at transition, and technical correction. The guidance is effective for the interim and annual periods beginning on or after December 15, 2017, and this new pronouncement was adopted on January 1, 2018. The guidance permits the use of either a retrospective or cumulative effect transition method. The Company has evaluated its prior various contracts subject to these updates and completed its assessment. The Company has concluded that the adoption of this pronouncement did not have a material effect on its condensed consolidated financial statements and related disclosures since it did not enter into any consulting revenue contracts with third parties in 2018.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

Intangibles, Goodwill and Other — In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2017-04, Intangibles – Goodwill and Other (Topic 350) – Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment. To simplify the subsequent measurement of goodwill, ASU 2017-04 eliminates Step 2 from the goodwill impairment test. In computing the implied fair value of goodwill under Step 2, an entity had to perform procedures to determine the fair value at the impairment testing date of its assets and liabilities following the procedure that would be required in determining the fair value of assets acquired and liabilities assumed in a business combination. Instead, ASU 2017-04 requires an entity to perform its annual, or interim, goodwill impairment test by comparing the fair value of a reporting unit with its carrying amount. An entity should recognize an impairment charge for the amount by which the carrying amount exceeds the reporting unit’s fair value; however, the loss recognized should not exceed the total amount of goodwill allocated to that reporting unit. ASU 2017-04 also eliminates the requirements for any reporting unit with a zero or negative carrying amount to perform a qualitative assessment and, if it fails that qualitative test, to perform Step 2 of the goodwill impairment test. Therefore, the same impairment assessment applies to all reporting units. An entity is required to disclose the amount of goodwill allocated to each reporting unit with a zero or negative carrying amount of net assets. An entity still has the option to perform the qualitative assessment for a reporting unit to determine if the quantitative impairment test is necessary. ASU 2017-04 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019. The Company will adopt ASU 2017-04 commencing in the first quarter of fiscal 2020. The Company does not believe this standard will have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements or the related footnote disclosures.


Leases — In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842). ASU 2016-02 amends existing lease accounting guidance and requires recognition of most lease arrangements on the balance sheet. The adoption of this standard will result in the Company recognizing a right-of-use asset representing its rights to use the underlying asset for the lease term with an offsetting lease liability. ASU 2016-02 will be effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, with early adoption permitted. The Company is currently evaluating the potential impact of the adoption of this accounting pronouncement to its consolidated financial statements. This new pronouncement is not expected to have a material effect on the Company’s consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.


The Company does not believe that other standards, which have been issued but are not yet effective, will have a significant impact on its financial statements.