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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
(Mark One)
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year endedSeptember 30, 2020
OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from                      to                     
Commission file number 001-13783
iesc-20200930_g1.gif
IES Holdings, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware76-0542208
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
5433 Westheimer Road, Suite 500, Houston, Texas 77056
(Address of principal executive offices and zip code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (713860-1500
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading Symbol     Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share
IESC
NASDAQ Global Market
Rights to Purchase Preferred Stock
IESC
NASDAQ Global Market
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 Securities Act.  Yes   No 
 Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act.  Yes   No 
 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   No 
 Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes   No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.:
 
Large accelerated filerAccelerated filer
Non-accelerated filerSmaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).  Yes   No 
The aggregate market value of the voting stock of the registrant held by non-affiliates as of March 31, 2020, was approximately $148.1 million. On December 2, 2020, there were 20,745,974 shares of common stock outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Certain information contained in the Proxy Statement for the 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders of the Registrant to be held on February 25, 2021, is incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.




FORM 10-K
IES HOLDINGS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
INDEX
Page





PART I

DEFINITIONS

In this Annual Report on Form 10-K, the words “IES”, the “Company”, the “Registrant”, “we”, “our”, “ours” and “us” refer to IES Holdings, Inc. and, except as otherwise specified herein, to our subsidiaries.

DISCLOSURE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report on Form 10-K includes certain statements that may be deemed “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, all of which are based upon various estimates and assumptions that the Company believes to be reasonable as of the date hereof. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “could,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “project,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “seek,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” “pursue,” “target,” “continue,” the negative of such terms or other comparable terminology. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause the Company’s actual future outcomes to differ materially from those set forth in such statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to:

the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak or future epidemics on our business, including the potential for job site closures or work stoppages, supply chain disruptions, delays in awarding new project bids, construction delays, reduced demand for our services, our ability to collect from our customers, or illness of management or other employees;

competition in the industries in which we operate, both from third parties and former employees, which could result in the loss of one or more customers or lead to lower margins on new projects;

our ability to successfully manage projects, the cost and availability of qualified labor and the ability to maintain positive labor relations, and our ability to pass along increases in the cost of commodities used in our business, in particular, copper, aluminum, steel, fuel and certain plastics; potential supply chain disruptions due to credit or liquidity problems faced by our suppliers;

our ability to enter into, and the terms of, future contracts;

the inability to carry out plans and strategies as expected, including the inability to identify and complete acquisitions that meet our investment criteria in furtherance of our corporate strategy, or the subsequent underperformance of those acquisitions;

challenges integrating new businesses into the Company or new types of work, products or processes into our segments;

a general reduction in the demand for our services;

backlog that may not be realized or may not result in profits;

closures or sales of facilities resulting in significant future charges, including potential warranty losses or other unexpected liabilities, or a significant disruption of our operations;

an increased cost of surety bonds affecting margins on work and the potential for our surety providers to refuse bonding or require additional collateral at their discretion;

fluctuations in operating activity due to downturns in levels of construction or the housing market, seasonality and differing regional economic conditions;

increases in bad debt expense and days sales outstanding due to liquidity problems faced by our customers;

accidents resulting from the physical hazards associated with our work and the potential for accidents;

the possibility that our current insurance coverage may not be adequate or that we may not be able to obtain policies at acceptable rates;
1



the effect of litigation, claims and contingencies, including warranty losses, damages or other latent defect claims in excess of our existing reserves and accruals;

interruptions to our information systems and cyber security or data breaches;

liabilities under laws and regulations protecting the environment;

loss of key personnel and effective transition of new management, or inability to transfer, renew and obtain electrical and other licenses;

the possibility that certain tax benefits of our net operating losses may be restricted or reduced in a change in ownership or a change in the federal tax rate;

the recognition of tax benefits related to uncertain tax positions and the potential for disagreements with taxing authorities with regard to tax positions we have adopted;

the potential recognition of valuation allowances or write-downs on deferred tax assets;

limitations on the availability of sufficient credit or cash flow to fund our working capital needs and capital expenditures, complete acquisitions, and for debt service;

credit and capital market conditions, including changes in interest rates that affect the cost of construction financing and mortgages, and the inability of some of our customers to retain sufficient financing, which could lead to project delays or cancellations;

difficulty in fulfilling the covenant terms of our credit facility, including liquidity, and other financial requirements, which could result in a default and acceleration of any indebtedness we may incur under our revolving credit facility;

inaccurate estimates used when entering into fixed-priced contracts, the possibility of errors when estimating revenue and progress to date on percentage-of-completion contracts, and complications associated with the incorporation of new accounting, control and operating procedures;

uncertainties inherent in estimating future operating results, including revenues, operating income or cash flow;

the recognition of potential goodwill, long-lived assets and other investment impairments;

the phase-out, replacement or unavailability of the London Interbank Offered Rate ("LIBOR");

the existence of a controlling shareholder, who has the ability to take action not aligned with other shareholders or could dispose of all or any portion of the shares of our common stock it holds, which could trigger change of control provisions in a number of our material agreements, including our financing and surety arrangements and our executive severance plan, as well as exercisability of the purchase rights under our tax benefit protection plan;

the relatively low trading volume of our common stock, as a result of which it could be more difficult for shareholders to sell a substantial number of shares for the same price at which shareholders could sell a smaller number of shares;

the possibility that we issue additional shares of common stock, preferred stock or convertible securities that will dilute the percentage ownership interest of existing stockholders and may dilute the value per share of our common stock;

the potential for substantial sales of our common stock, which could adversely affect our stock price; and

the possibility that our internal controls over financial reporting and our disclosure controls and procedures may not prevent all possible errors that could occur.

2


You should understand that the foregoing, as well as other risk factors discussed in this document, including those listed in Part I, Item 1A of this report under the heading “Risk Factors,” could cause future outcomes to differ materially from those experienced previously or those expressed in such forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any information, including information concerning our controlling shareholder, net operating losses, borrowing availability or cash position, or any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this report. Forward-looking statements are provided in this Annual Report on Form 10-K pursuant to the safe harbor established under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and should be evaluated in the context of the estimates, assumptions, uncertainties and risks described herein.

Item 1. Business

OVERVIEW

IES Holdings, Inc. is a holding company that owns and manages operating subsidiaries that design and install integrated electrical and technology systems and provide infrastructure products and services to a variety of end markets. Our operations are currently organized into four principal business segments, based upon the nature of our current services:

Communications – Nationwide provider of technology services, including the design, build, and maintenance of the infrastructure within data centers for co-location and managed hosting customers, for both large corporations and independent businesses.

Residential – Regional provider of electrical installation services for single-family housing and multi-family apartment complexes.

Infrastructure Solutions – Provider of electro-mechanical solutions for industrial operations, including apparatus repair and custom-engineered products, such as generator enclosures used in data centers and other industrial applications.

Commercial & Industrial – Provider of electrical and mechanical design, construction, and maintenance services to the commercial and industrial markets in various regional markets and nationwide in certain areas of expertise, such as the power infrastructure market and data centers.

While sharing common goals and values, each of the Company’s segments manages its own day-to-day operations. Our corporate office is focused on significant capital allocation decisions, investment activities and selection of segment leadership. The corporate office also assists with strategic and operational improvement initiatives, talent development, sharing of best practices across the organization and the establishment and monitoring of risk management practices within our segments.

IES Holdings, Inc. is a Delaware corporation established in 1997 and headquartered in Houston, Texas, with an executive office in Greenwich, Connecticut.


CORPORATE STRATEGY

We seek to create shareholder value through improving operating margins and generating free cash flow by investing in our existing businesses and completing acquisitions. We seek to acquire businesses that strategically complement our existing business segments or to acquire or invest in stand-alone platform companies based in North America. In evaluating potential acquisition candidates, we seek to invest in businesses with, among other characteristics:

proven management with a willingness to continue post-acquisition;
low technological and/or product obsolescence risk;
established market position and sustainable competitive advantages; and
strong cash flow characteristics.

We believe that acquisitions provide an opportunity to expand into new or related services, products, end markets or geographic areas and diversify our revenue and profit streams, which we expect will allow us to maximize the value of our significant net operating loss tax carry forwards (“NOLs”). While we may use acquisitions to build our presence in the industries we serve, we will also consider potential acquisitions in other industries, which could result in changes in our operations from those historically conducted by us.




3





OPERATING SEGMENTS

The Company’s reportable segments consist of the consolidated business segments identified above, which offer different services and are managed separately. The table below describes the percentage of our total revenues attributable to each of our four segments over each of the last three years (percentage columns may not add due to rounding):
Year Ended September 30,
202020192018
$%$%$%
(Dollars in thousands, Percentage of revenues)
Communications$395,141 33.2 %$321,246 29.8 %$219,655 25.1 %
Residential411,790 34.6 %313,336 29.1 %285,711 32.6 %
Infrastructure Solutions128,379 10.8 %136,790 12.7 %97,163 11.1 %
Commercial & Industrial255,546 21.5 %305,624 28.4 %274,299 31.3 %
Total Consolidated$1,190,856 100.0 %$1,076,996 100.0 %$876,828 100.0 %

For additional financial information by segment, see Note 11, “Operating Segments” in the notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements.

Communications

Business Description
Originally established in 1984, our Communications segment is a leading provider of network infrastructure solutions for data centers and other mission critical environments. Our services include the design, installation and maintenance of network infrastructure for leading and recognizable global technology, social networking and e-commerce brands, including many Fortune 100 and 500 corporations. We serve a variety of industries and end-markets, including data centers for co-location and managed hosting customers; corporate, educational, financial, hospitality and healthcare buildings; e-commerce distribution centers; and high-tech manufacturing facilities. We also provide the design and installation of audio/visual, telephone, fire, wireless access and intrusion alarm systems, as well as design/build, service and maintenance of data network systems. We perform services across the United States from our 16 offices, which includes the segment headquarters located in Tempe, Arizona, and also provide dedicated onsite teams at our customers’ sites.

Industry Overview
Our Communications segment is driven by demand increases for computing and storage resources as a result of technology advancements and obsolescence and changes in data consumption patterns. Growth in the data center market remains strong, and the need for structured cabling services for applications such as data centers and distribution centers is growing rapidly. Additionally, we are continuing to expand our offerings in this market to broaden our customer base. Demand has also been strong for our audio-visual and other building technology offerings. Nevertheless, due to economic, technological and other factors, there can be no assurance that demand will continue to increase.

Sales and Marketing
Our sales strategy relies on a concentrated business development effort, with centralized marketing programs and direct end-customer communications and relationships. Due to the mission critical nature of the facilities we service, our end-customers significantly rely upon our past performance record, technical expertise and specialized knowledge. A significant portion of our Communications business volume is generated from long-term, repeat customers, some of whom use IES as a preferred provider for major projects.

Our long-term strategy is to improve our position as a preferred solutions and services provider to large national corporations and strategic local companies. Key elements of our long-term strategy include continued investment in our employees’ technical expertise and expansion of our on-site maintenance and recurring revenue model, as well as opportunistic acquisitions of businesses that serve our markets, consistent with our stated corporate strategy.
Competition
Our competition consists of both large national or regional competitors and small, privately owned contractors who generally have limited access to capital. We compete on quality of service and/or price and seek to emphasize our financial capabilities and long history of delivering high quality solutions to our customers.
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Seasonality and Quarterly Fluctuations
The effects of seasonality on our Communications business are not significant, as work generally is performed inside structures protected from the weather. Our service and maintenance business is also generally not affected by seasonality. However, communications infrastructure spending has historically been highly cyclical. Our volume of business may be adversely affected by declines in projects resulting from adverse regional or national economic conditions. Quarterly results may also be materially affected by the timing of new construction projects. Accordingly, operating results for any fiscal period are not necessarily indicative of results that may be achieved for any subsequent fiscal period.

Residential

Business Description
Originally established in 1973, our Residential segment is a leading provider of electrical installation services for single-family housing and multi-family apartment complexes and cable television installations for residential and light commercial applications. In addition to our core electrical construction work, the Residential segment also provides services for the installation of residential solar power, both for new construction and existing residences. The Residential segment is made up of 29 total locations, which include the segment headquarters in Houston, Texas. These locations geographically cover the Sun-Belt, Western, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States.

Industry Overview
Our Residential business is closely correlated to the single and multi-family housing market. Although demand for both single-family and multi-family housing has increased in recent years, due to economic, technological or other factors, there can be no assurance that overall construction and demand will continue to increase in the future.

Sales and Marketing
Demand for our Residential services is highly dependent on the number of single-family and multi-family home starts in the markets we serve. Although we operate in multiple states throughout the Sun-Belt, Mid-Atlantic, Northeastern and Western regions of the United States, the majority of our single-family revenues are derived from services provided in Texas. The Texas market also remains an important part of our multi-family business; however, the majority of our multi-family revenue is earned across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Our sales efforts include a variety of strategies, including a concentrated focus on national and regional homebuilders and multi-family developers and a local sales strategy for single and multi-family housing projects. Our cable and solar revenues are typically generated through third parties specializing in these industries who select us as a preferred provider of installation services. A significant portion of our Residential business volume is generated from long-term, repeat customers, some of whom use IES as a preferred provider for major projects.

Our long-term strategy is to continue to be a leading provider of electrical services to the residential market. The key elements of our long-term strategy include a continued focus on maintaining a low and variable cost structure and cash generation, allowing us to effectively scale according to the housing cycle, and to opportunistically increase our market share.

Competition
Our competition primarily consists of small, privately owned contractors who generally have limited access to capital. We believe that we have a competitive advantage over these smaller competitors due to our key employees’ long-standing customer relationships, our financial capabilities, our strong employee training program, and our local market knowledge and competitive pricing. There are few barriers to entry for electrical contracting services in the residential markets.

Seasonality and Quarterly Fluctuations
Results of operations from our Residential segment can be seasonal, depending on weather trends, with typically higher revenues generated during spring and summer and lower revenues during fall and winter. Our service and maintenance business is generally not affected by seasonality. In addition, the construction industry has historically been highly cyclical. Our volume of business may be adversely affected by declines in multi-family occupancy rates as well as single-family housing starts within our operational footprint. Quarterly results may also be materially affected by the timing of new construction projects. Accordingly, operating results for any fiscal period are not necessarily indicative of results that may be achieved for any subsequent fiscal period.

Infrastructure Solutions

Business Description
Our Infrastructure Solutions segment provides electro-mechanical solutions for industrial operations to domestic and international customers. Our solutions include the maintenance and repair of alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) electric motors and
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generators, as well as power generating and distribution equipment; the manufacture of custom-engineered power distribution equipment, including metal enclosed bus duct solutions used in power distribution; the manufacture of custom commercial and industrial generator enclosures; the manufacture, re-manufacture, and repair of industrial lifting magnets; and maintenance and repair of railroad main and auxiliary generators, main alternators, and traction motors.

This segment serves the steel, railroad, marine, petrochemical, pipeline, pulp and paper, wind energy, mining, automotive, power generation, scrap yards, data center, and utility industries. Our Infrastructure Solutions segment is comprised of ten locations in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and West Virginia, and is headquartered in Massillon, Ohio.

Industry Overview
Given the diverse end-markets of Infrastructure Solutions’ customers, we are subject to many economic trends. In general, demand for our services has been driven by growth in industries, such as data centers, in-house maintenance departments continuing to outsource maintenance and repair work, output levels and equipment utilization at heavy industrial facilities, railroad companies’ and mass transit authorities’ capital investments and repair needs, investment in the United States’ aging energy and industrial infrastructure, demand for critical power applications that have high power demands and require dependable power supplies, the need for electrical or pipeline infrastructure improvements and the overall health of the economy.

Sales and Marketing
Our sales efforts are primarily driven by personnel based at our operating locations, as well as independent sales representatives. Given that the majority of our apparatus repair customers are located within a 200-mile radius of our facilities, we believe that this structure allows us to rapidly address and respond to the needs of our customers. Our custom-engineered power distribution, bus system and generator enclosure products and services are principally sold in partnership with an original equipment manufacturer (“OEM”) or to an engineering, procurement and construction firm on behalf of the end-user. Our long term strategy is to be the preferred solutions provider of outsourced electro-mechanical services, repairs, and manufacturing to our select markets and a leader in custom-engineered metal enclosed bus systems and generator enclosures.
    
Competition
Our competition is comprised mainly of small, specialized manufacturing and repair shops, a limited number of other multi-location providers of electric motor repair, engineering and maintenance services, and various OEMs. Participants in this industry compete primarily on the basis of capabilities, service, quality, timeliness and price. We believe that we have a competitive advantage due to our breadth of capabilities, focus on quality, technical support, customer service, and financial resources.

Seasonality and Quarterly Fluctuations
Infrastructure Solutions’ revenues from its custom-engineered bus systems and generator enclosures are affected by the timing of customers' capital spending projects. Revenues from industrial services may be affected by the timing of scheduled outages at its industrial customers’ facilities and by weather conditions with respect to projects conducted outdoors, but the effects of seasonality on revenues in its industrial services business are not significant. Infrastructure Solutions’ quarterly results may fluctuate, and the results of one fiscal quarter may not be representative of the results of any other quarter or of the full fiscal year.

Commercial & Industrial

Business Description
Our Commercial & Industrial segment provides electrical and mechanical design, service, and construction services to commercial and industrial markets. Our design services range from budget assistance to providing design-build and LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) solutions to our end customers. Our maintenance and emergency services include critical plant shutdown, troubleshooting, emergency testing, preventative maintenance, and constant presence. Our construction services range from the initial planning and procurement to installation and start-up and are offered to a variety of new and remodel construction projects, ranging from the construction of office buildings and industrial facilities to transmission and distribution projects. We also provide mechanical services such as maintenance agreements, installation, or replacement of mechanical equipment for commercial and industrial facilities.

This segment provides services for a variety of project types, including office buildings, manufacturing facilities, data centers, chemical plants, refineries, wind farms, solar facilities, municipal infrastructure and health care facilities. The Commercial & Industrial segment consists of 22 locations, which includes the segment headquarters in Houston, Texas. Geographically, these locations cover Texas, Nebraska, Oregon, Wisconsin, and the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

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Industry Overview
Given the diverse end-markets of our Commercial & Industrial customers, which include both commercial buildings, such as offices, healthcare facilities and schools, and industrial projects, such as power, chemical, refinery and heavy manufacturing facilities, we are subject to many trends within the construction industry. In general, demand for our Commercial & Industrial services is driven by construction and renovation activity levels, economic growth, and availability of bank or other financing. Currently, the construction industry is being impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused some customers to delay the awarding of new projects. Due to economic, technological or other factors, there can be no assurance that construction and demand will increase.

Sales and Marketing
Our sales focus varies by location, but is primarily based upon regional and local relationships and a demonstrated expertise in certain areas, such as heavy industrial, design-build, agricultural, or transmission and distribution. Our maintenance and certain renovation and upgrade work tends to be either recurring or experience lower sensitivity to economic cycles, or both. A significant portion of our larger projects is awarded from long-term, repeat customers. From time to time, we are contracted on projects with completion times extending beyond one year or over several years, which are generally more complex and difficult to estimate.

With a focus on quality service offerings, our long-term strategy is to continue to be one of the preferred providers of electrical and mechanical services in the markets where we have demonstrated expertise and/or are a local market leader. Key elements of our long-term strategy include leveraging our expertise in certain niche markets, expanding our service and maintenance business, attracting and retaining highly qualified employees, and maintaining our focus on returns on risk adjusted capital through an emphasis on reducing costs and managing working capital.

Competition
The electrical and mechanical contracting services industry is generally highly competitive and includes a number of regional or small privately-held local firms. Traditionally, competitors in certain parts of this market have faced few barriers to entry. Therefore, we seek to pursue projects where our access to capital and expertise provide a competitive advantage.

Industry expertise, project size, location and past performance will determine our bidding strategy, the level of involvement from competitors and our level of success in winning awards. Our primary advantages vary by location and market, but mostly are based upon local individual relationships with key customers or a demonstrated industry expertise. Additionally, due to the size of many of our projects, our financial resources help us compete effectively against local competitors.

Seasonality and Quarterly Fluctuations
The effects of seasonality on our Commercial & Industrial business are not significant, as most of our work generally is performed inside structures protected from the weather. However, we do perform some work outdoors, which can be affected by the weather. Most of our service and maintenance business is also generally not affected by seasonality. However, the construction industry has historically been highly cyclical. Our volume of business may be adversely affected by declines in construction projects resulting from adverse regional or national economic conditions. Quarterly results may also be materially affected by the timing of new construction projects. Accordingly, operating results for any fiscal period are not necessarily indicative of results that may be achieved for any subsequent fiscal period.


SOURCES OF SUPPLY

The raw materials and components we use within our segments include, but are not limited to, electrical fixtures and system components, copper, aluminum, and raw steel. These raw materials and components are generally available from a variety of domestic suppliers at competitive prices. Delivery times are typically short for most raw materials and standard components, but during periods of peak demand, may extend to one month or more. Our strategy to reduce commodity cost exposure includes early buying of commodities for particular projects or general inventory, as well as including escalation and escape provisions in project bids, quotes and contracts wherever possible. However, such protections may not be included in every contract or project, and in such cases, we may not be fully reimbursed for increases in commodity prices by our customers and may be exposed to commodity price volatility on longer-term projects where we have prepaid for commodities.


RISK MANAGEMENT

The primary risks in our existing operations include project bidding and management, bodily injury, property and environmental damage, and construction defects. We monitor project bidding and management practices at various levels within the Company. We maintain automobile, general liability and construction defect insurance for third party health, bodily injury and property damage, as well as pollution coverage and workers’ compensation coverage, which we consider appropriate to insure against these risks. Our
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third-party insurance is subject to deductibles for which we establish reserves. In light of these risks, we are also committed to a strong safety and environmental compliance culture. We employ full-time and part-time regional safety managers, under the supervision of our full-time Senior Vice President of Safety, and seek to maintain standardized safety and environmental policies, programs, procedures and personal protection equipment relative to each segment, including programs to train new employees, which apply to employees new to the industry and those new to the Company. We are also subject to cyber security and information theft risks in our operations, which we seek to manage through a cyber and information security program, training and insurance coverage. Given the dynamic and evolving nature of cyber threats, we cannot be assured that we are protected against all such threats.

In the electrical contracting industry, our ability to post surety bonds provides us with an advantage over competitors that are smaller or have fewer financial resources. We believe that the strength of our balance sheet, as well as a good relationship with our bonding providers, enhances our ability to obtain adequate financing and surety bonds, although there can be no assurance that surety bonding coverage will be available when we need it. For a further discussion of our risks, please refer to Item 1A. “Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.


CUSTOMERS

We have a diverse customer base. During each of the years ended September 30, 2020, 2019 and 2018, no single customer accounted for more than 10% of our consolidated revenues. We emphasize developing and maintaining relationships with our customers by providing superior, high-quality service. Management at each of our segments is responsible for determining sales strategies and sales activities.


CONTROLLING SHAREHOLDER
A majority of our outstanding common stock is owned by Tontine Associates, L.L.C. ("Tontine Associates") and its affiliates (collectively, “Tontine”). Based on an amended Schedule 13D filed by Tontine with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on October 9, 2020, Tontine owns approximately 56 percent of our outstanding common stock. As a result, Tontine can control most of our affairs, including most actions requiring the approval of shareholders, such as the approval of any potential merger or sale of all or substantially all of the Company's assets or business segments, or the Company itself. Most of Tontine’s shares are registered for resale on a shelf registration statement filed by the Company with the SEC. Tontine’s sale of all or any portion of its shares could result in a change of control of the Company, which would trigger the change of control provisions in a number of our material agreements, including our credit agreement, bonding agreements with our sureties and our executive severance plan. For more information, see Note 3, “Controlling Shareholder” in the notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements.


NET OPERATING LOSS TAX CARRYFORWARDS

The Company and certain of its subsidiaries have an estimated federal net operating loss (“NOL”) of approximately $217.3 million at September 30, 2020, including approximately $128.0 million resulting from net operating losses on which a deferred tax asset is not recorded.

In December 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”) was enacted which, among other things, reduced the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, effective January 1, 2018. As a result of this change, the Company’s statutory rate for fiscal 2018 was a blended rate of 24.53% and decreased to 21% in 2019. For the year ended September 30, 2018, our effective tax rate differed from the statutory tax rate as a result of a charge of $31.3 million to re-measure our deferred tax assets and liabilities to reflect the estimated impact of the new statutory tax rate. Any future change in the federal statutory tax rate could also impact the economic benefit of the NOL and other deferred tax assets available to us and result in an additional charge or benefit to adjust the book value of the deferred tax asset recorded on our Consolidated Balance Sheets.

A change in ownership, as defined by Internal Revenue Code Section 382, could reduce the availability of NOLs for federal and state income tax purposes. Should Tontine sell or otherwise dispose of all or a portion of its position in IES, a change in ownership could occur. In addition, a change in ownership could result from the purchase of common stock by an existing or a new 5% shareholder as defined by Internal Revenue Code Section 382. Should a change in ownership occur, all NOLs incurred prior to the change in ownership would be subject to limitation imposed by Internal Revenue Code Section 382, which would substantially reduce the amount of NOL currently available to offset taxable income. For more information see Note 3, “Controlling Shareholder” in the notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements.

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The Company maintains a tax benefit protection plan (the “NOL Rights Plan”) which is designed to deter an acquisition of the Company’s stock in excess of a threshold amount that could trigger a change in ownership within the meaning of Internal Revenue Code Section 382.


REMAINING PERFORMANCE OBLIGATIONS AND BACKLOG

Remaining performance obligations represent the unrecognized revenue value of our contract commitments. While backlog is not a defined term under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America ("GAAP"), it is a common measurement used in our industry, and we believe it improves our ability to forecast future results and identify operating trends that may not otherwise be apparent. Backlog is a measure of revenue that we expect to recognize from work that has yet to be performed on uncompleted contracts and from work that has been contracted but has not started, exclusive of short-term projects. While all of our backlog is supported by documentation from customers, backlog is not a guarantee of future revenues, as contractual commitments may change and our performance may vary. Not all of our work is performed under contracts included in backlog; for example, most of the apparatus repair work that is completed by our Infrastructure Solutions segment is performed under master service agreements on an as-needed basis. Additionally, electrical installation services for single-family housing at our Residential segment are completed on a short-term basis and are therefore excluded from backlog. The table below summarizes our remaining performance obligations and backlog by segment:

Year Ended September 30,
20202019
Remaining Performance Obligations
Agreements without an enforceable obligation (1)
BacklogRemaining Performance Obligations
Agreements without an enforceable obligation (1)
Backlog
(Dollars in millions)
Communications$169 $33 $202 $131 $29 $160 
Residential170 51 221 132 34 166 
Infrastructure Solutions43 52 37 11 48 
Commercial & Industrial123 127 152 11 163 
Total$505 $97 $602 $452 $85 $537 
(1) Our backlog includes signed agreements and letters of intent that we do not have a legal right to enforce prior to beginning work. These agreements are excluded from remaining performance obligations until work begins.

We expect that $438 million of our September 30, 2020 backlog will result in revenue during fiscal 2021, with the remaining $164 million expected to be realized in fiscal 2022; however, there can be no assurance that this backlog will be completed within expected time frames or at all. The increase in our backlog year over year was primarily driven by strong demand and increased market share within our Communications and Residential segments.


REGULATIONS

Our operations are subject to various federal, state and local laws and regulations, including:

licensing requirements applicable to electricians and mechanical service technicians;

building and electrical codes;

regulations relating to worker safety, labor relations and protection of the environment;

regulations relating to consumer protection, including those governing residential service agreements; and

qualifications of our business legal structure in the jurisdictions where we do business.

Many state and local regulations governing electricians and mechanical services require permits and licenses to be held by individuals. In some cases, a required permit or license held by a single individual may be sufficient to authorize specified activities for all our electricians or mechanical service technicians who work in the state or county that issued the permit or license. While we seek permits or licenses, where available, that may be material to our operations in a particular geographic area to be held by multiple employees
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within that area, given the large number of permits and licenses required, we are unable to ensure that multiple employees hold such required permits and licenses.

We believe that we have all licenses required to conduct our operations and are in material compliance with applicable regulatory requirements. Failure to comply with applicable regulations could result in substantial fines or revocation of our operating licenses or an inability to perform government work.


CAPITAL FACILITIES
During fiscal year 2020, the Company maintained a revolving credit facility, as further described in Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. For a discussion of the Company’s capital resources, see Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.


FINANCIAL INFORMATION

For the Company’s financial information by segment, see Note 11, “Operating Segments in the notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements.


EMPLOYEES

At September 30, 2020, we had 5,243 employees, of whom 5,214 were full-time employees. We are party to two collective bargaining agreements within our Infrastructure Solutions segment. We have not experienced, and do not expect, any work stoppage, and we believe that our relationship with our employees is strong.


LOCATIONS
As of September 30, 2020, we have 79 domestic locations serving the United States. In addition to our two executive and corporate offices, as of September 30, 2020, we have 16 locations within our Communications business, 29 locations within our Residential business, ten locations within our Infrastructure Solutions business and 22 locations within our Commercial & Industrial business. This geographic diversity helps to reduce our exposure to unfavorable economic developments in any given region.


EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT

Certain information with respect to each executive officer is as follows:

Jeffrey, L. Gendell, 61, has served as the Company's Chief Executive Officer since October 1, 2020; he previously served as Interim Chief Executive Officer from July 31, 2020 to September 30, 2020. Mr. Gendell has also served as the Chairman of the Board since November 2016. Mr. Gendell is the founder and managing member of Tontine Associates, L.L.C., which together with its affiliates is the Company's majority shareholder. Mr. Gendell formed Tontine in 1995 and manages all of the investment decisions at the firm. Prior to forming Tontine, Mr. Gendell held senior investment management positions at several other private investment firms, including Odyssey Partners, L.P., and began his career in investment banking over 35 years ago at Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co., where he was involved in capital markets, corporate finance and M&A activity.

Tracy A. McLauchlin, 51, has served as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of the Company since May 2015. She previously served as Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer of the Company since February 2014. Prior to joining IES, Ms. McLauchlin served as Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer of Rockwater Energy Solutions, Inc. from June 2011 to November 2013. From June 2004 to June 2011, Ms. McLauchlin was with Dynegy Inc., where she served as Senior Vice President and Controller from March 2009 to June 2011 and from June 2004 to March 2009 served in various other capacities in finance and accounting. She began her career with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP after receiving her Master of Accounting from Rice University. Ms. McLauchlin is a Certified Public Accountant. 

We have adopted a Code of Ethics for Financial Executives that applies to our principal executive officer, principal financial officer and principal accounting officer. The Code of Ethics may be found on our website at www.ies-corporate.com/corporate-governance.
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If we make any substantive amendments to the Code of Ethics or grant any waiver, including any implicit waiver, from a provision of the Code of Ethics to our principal executive officer, principal financial officer or principal accounting officer, we will disclose the nature of such amendment or waiver on that website or in a report on Form 8-K. Paper copies of these documents are also available free of charge upon written request to us.


AVAILABLE INFORMATION

General information about us can be found on our website at www.ies-co.com under “Investor Relations.” We file our interim and annual financial reports, as well as other reports required by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), with the SEC.

Our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K, as well as any amendments and exhibits to those reports are available free of charge through our website as soon as it is reasonably practicable after we file them with, or furnish them to, the SEC. You may also contact our Investor Relations department and they will provide you with a copy of these reports, or you may find them at www.ies-corporate.com/sec-filings. The materials that we file with the SEC are also available free of charge through the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

In addition to the Code of Ethics for Financial Executives, we have adopted a Code of Business Conduct and Ethics for directors, officers and employees (the Legal Compliance and Corporate Policy Manual), and established Corporate Governance Guidelines and adopted charters outlining the duties of our Audit, Human Resources and Compensation and Nominating/Governance Committees, copies of which may be found on our website. Paper copies of these documents are also available free of charge upon written request to us. We have designated an “audit committee financial expert” as that term is defined by the SEC. Further information about this designee may be found in the Proxy Statement for the 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders of the Company.


Item 1A. Risk Factors

You should consider carefully the risks described below, as well as the other information included in this document before making an investment decision. Our business, results of operations or financial condition could be materially and adversely affected by any of these risks, and the value of your investment may decrease due to any of these risks.

Risks Relating to the Operations of our Business

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 ("COVID-19") pandemic has adversely impacted and could have a materially adverse impact on our business, including our financial condition, cash flows and results of operations.

The COVID-19 pandemic and related governmental responses have caused, and are likely to continue to cause, significant volatility in financial markets, and have raised the prospect of an extended global recession. Public health problems resulting from COVID-19 and precautionary measures instituted by governments and businesses to mitigate its spread, including travel restrictions, curfews and "stay at home" orders, have contributed to a prolonged slowdown in the global economy, have disrupted global supply chains, have adversely impacted the businesses of the Company’s customers and suppliers, and have disrupted the Company’s operations. There is no assurance that the outbreak will not have a material adverse impact on the future results of the Company. Potential risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic include:

Government travel restrictions, curfews, “stay at home” orders, and other safety concerns related to COVID-19 have caused some of our customers to close job sites temporarily or delay the start dates of new projects and the awarding of new projects. Because much of our revenue is generated by our employees working at customer sites, our revenue will be reduced if a significant number of our customer sites close, or if customers reduce or eliminate the presence of third-party contractors and service providers, such as our employees. Further, a general economic downturn could reduce the demand for our services. Any cancellations, delays or losses of projects may significantly reduce our revenues and harm our operating performance.
The COVID-19 pandemic could disrupt our operations due to absenteeism by infected or ill members of management or other employees, or absenteeism by members of management and other employees who elect not to come to work due to the illness affecting others on our job sites or in our facilities, or due to quarantines. The COVID-19 pandemic could also impact members of our Board, resulting in absenteeism from the meetings of the directors or committees of the directors, and make it difficult to convene the quorums of the full Board or its committees needed to conduct meetings for the management of our affairs.
Certain of our customers may experience financial difficulties, including bankruptcy or insolvency, as a result of a decline in the economy relating to COVID-19. If our customers suffer significant financial difficulty, they may be unable to pay amounts due to us in a timely manner or at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our ability to collect on
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receivables and our results of operations. It is possible that customers may contest their contractual obligations to us under bankruptcy laws or otherwise. Further, we may have to negotiate significant discounts and/or extended financing terms with such customers in such a situation. If we are unable to collect upon our accounts receivable as they come due in an efficient and timely manner, our business, results of operations and financial condition may be materially adversely affected.

The highly competitive nature of our industries could affect our profitability by reducing our revenues or profit margins.

With respect to contracting services, the industries in which we compete are highly fragmented and are generally served by many small, owner-operated private companies. There are also several large private regional companies and a small number of large public companies from which we face competition in these industries. In the future, we could also face competition from new competitors entering these markets because certain segments, such as our electrical contracting services, have a relatively low barrier for entry while other segments, such as our services for mission critical infrastructure, have attractive growth and profitability characteristics. Some of our competitors offer a greater range of services, including mechanical construction, facilities management, plumbing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning services. Competition in our markets depends on a number of factors, including price. Some of our competitors may have lower overhead cost structures and may, therefore, be able to provide services comparable to ours at lower rates than we do. If we are unable to offer our services at competitive prices or if we have to reduce our prices to remain competitive, our profitability would be impaired.

The markets in which Infrastructure Solutions does business are highly competitive, and we do not expect the level of competition that we face to decrease in the future. An increase in competitive pressures in these markets or our failure to compete effectively (including efficiently managing future capital expenditures and refurbishment, repair and upgrade costs) may result in pricing reductions, reduced gross margins, and loss of market share. Some of our competitors have longer operating histories, greater name recognition, more customers, and significantly greater financial, marketing, technical, and other competitive resources than we have. These competitors may be able to adapt more quickly to new technologies and changes in customer needs or devote greater resources to the development, promotion, and sale of their services. While we believe Infrastructure Solutions’ overall product and service offerings distinguish it from its competitors, these competitors could develop new products or services that could directly compete with Infrastructure Solutions’ services.

We generate a significant portion of our revenues under fixed price contracts. The estimates we use in placing bids and changes in commodity and labor costs could have an adverse effect on our ability to maintain our profitability.

We currently generate, and expect to continue to generate, a significant portion of our revenues under fixed price contracts. The cost of fuel, labor and materials, including copper wire or other commodities, may vary significantly from the costs we originally estimate. Variations from estimated contract costs along with other risks inherent in performing fixed price contracts, including our ability to successfully manage projects, may result in actual revenue and gross profits for a project differing from those we originally estimated and could result in losses on projects. Depending upon the size of a particular project, variations from estimated contract costs can have a significant impact on our operating results.

If the costs associated with labor and commodities, such as copper, aluminum, steel, fuel and certain plastics, increase due to low supply or other forces, losses may be incurred. Some of our materials have been and may continue to be subject to sudden and significant price increases. Depending on competitive pressures and customer resistance, we may not be able to pass on these cost increases to our customers, which would reduce our gross profit margins and, in turn, make it more difficult for us to maintain our profitability. We have a work force of over 5,000 employees, and our labor costs may fluctuate based on supply as well as other labor related risks, including risks related to collective bargaining agreements, benefits arrangements, wage and hour claims and other compensation arrangements.
A failure to secure new contracts may adversely affect our cash flows and financial results.

Much of our revenue is derived from projects that are awarded through a competitive bid process. Contract bidding and negotiations are affected by a number of factors, including our own cost structure and bidding policies. In addition, our ability to secure new contracts depends on our ability to maintain all required electrical, construction, mechanical and business licenses. If we fail to successfully transfer, renew or obtain such licenses where applicable, we may be unable to compete for new business. The failure to bid and be awarded projects, cancellations of projects or delays in project start dates could affect our ability to deploy our assets profitably. Further, when we are awarded contracts, we face additional risks that could affect whether, or when, work will begin. We could experience a decrease in profitability if we are unable to replace canceled, completed or expired contracts with new work.

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Our inability to carry out plans and strategies as expected, including our inability to identify and complete acquisitions that meet our investment criteria in furtherance of our corporate strategy or the subsequent underperformance of those acquisitions, may adversely impact our future growth and profitability.

Our corporate strategy involves creating shareholder value through acquiring businesses that we believe will strategically complement our existing business segments or acquiring or investing in stand-alone platform companies based in North America. While we believe that acquisitions will provide an opportunity to expand into new or related services, products, end-markets or geographic areas and diversify our revenue and profit streams, potential acquisitions could result in changes in our operations from those historically conducted by us and introduce the requirement for new controls. Alternatively, our failure to diversify from existing markets may limit our future growth. In addition, our investments may not perform as expected or may not generate a positive return on investment due to factors we could not predict prior to the acquisition or due to incorrect investment assumptions.

We may be unsuccessful at integrating other companies that we may acquire, or new types of work, products or processes into our segments.

We are actively seeking to engage in acquisitions of operations, assets and investments, or to develop new types of work or processes, and we may seek to engage in dispositions of certain operations, assets or investments from time to time. If we are unable to successfully integrate newly acquired assets or operations or if we make untimely or unfavorable investments or dispositions, it could negatively impact the market value of our common stock. Additionally, any future acquisition, investment or disposition may result in significant changes in the composition of our assets and liabilities, and as a result, our financial condition, results of operations and the market value of our common stock following any such acquisition, investment or disposition may be affected by factors different from those currently affecting our financial condition, results of operations and market value of our common stock. 

The difficulties of integrating a business, assets or operations potentially will include, among other things:
geographically separated organizations and possible differences in corporate cultures and management philosophies;
significant demands on management resources, which may distract management’s attention from day-to-day business;
differences in the disclosure systems, compliance requirements, accounting systems, and accounting controls and procedures of the acquired company, which may interfere with our ability to make timely and accurate public disclosure; and
the demands of managing new locations, new personnel and new lines of business acquired.

Demand for our services is cyclical and vulnerable to economic downturns affecting the industries we serve.

Demand for our services has been, and will likely continue to be, cyclical in nature and vulnerable to downturns in the general economy, as well as in the construction industry and the housing market. Many of our customers depend on the availability of credit to purchase our services or electrical and mechanical products. In the past, when the general level of economic activity has been reduced from historical levels, certain of our customers have delayed or cancelled projects or capital spending, thereby reducing our revenues and profitability. General concerns about the fundamental soundness of the economy may cause customers to defer projects, even if they have credit available to them. Prolonged uncertainties in, or the return of, constrained credit market conditions could have adverse effects on our customers, which would adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Backlog may not be realized or may not result in profits.

Customers often have no obligation under our contracts to assign or release work to us, and many contracts may be terminated on short notice. Reductions in backlog due to cancellation of one or more contracts by a customer or for other reasons could significantly reduce the revenue and profit we actually receive from contracts included in backlog. In the event of a project cancellation, we may be reimbursed for certain costs, but typically have no contractual right to the total revenues reflected in our backlog.

We may incur significant charges or be adversely impacted by the closure or sale of facilities or assets.

In the past, we incurred significant costs associated with the closure or disposition of facilities, and we expect from time to time to evaluate the need for future facility closures or dispositions of assets. If we were to elect to dispose of a substantial portion of any of our segments, facilities, or assets, the realized values of such assets could be substantially less than current book values, which would likely result in a material adverse impact on our financial results. In addition, we may have warranty claims or other unexpected liabilities from closed facilities beyond the closing date, which could adversely impact our financial returns.

The availability and cost of surety bonds affect our ability to enter into new contracts and our margins on those engagements.

Many of our customers require us to post performance and payment bonds issued by a surety. Those bonds guarantee the customer that we will perform under the terms of a contract and that we will pay subcontractors and vendors. We obtain surety bonds from two primary surety providers; however, there is no commitment from these providers to guarantee our ability to issue bonds for projects as
13


they are required. Our ability to access this bonding capacity is at the sole discretion of our surety providers. Accordingly, if we were to experience an interruption or reduction in our availability of bonding capacity, we may be unable to compete for, or work on, certain projects.

Due to seasonality and differing regional economic conditions, our results may fluctuate from period to period.

Our business is subject to seasonal variations in operations and demand that affect the construction business, particularly in the Residential and Commercial & Industrial segments. Untimely weather delay from rain, heat, ice, cold or snow may not only delay our work but may negatively impact our schedules and profitability by delaying the work of other trades on a construction site. Our quarterly results may also be affected by regional economic conditions that affect the construction market. In particular, a prolonged period of weak demand in the oil and gas industry or increased regulatory restrictions on the industry could dampen the housing market in certain regions, resulting in reduced demand for the services provided by our Residential segment. Infrastructure Solutions’ revenues from industrial services may be affected by the timing of scheduled outages at its industrial customers’ facilities, by weather conditions with respect to projects conducted outdoors, by data center construction, and by changes in spending in public infrastructure, power and steel markets. Industrial and rail customers may also be affected by volatility in oil prices. Accordingly, our performance in any particular quarter may not be indicative of the results that can be expected for any other quarter or for the entire year.

We may experience difficulties in managing our billings and collections.

Our billings under fixed price contracts in our contracting business are generally based upon achieving certain milestones and will be accepted by the customer once we demonstrate those milestones have been met. If we are unable to demonstrate compliance with billing requests, or if we fail to issue a project billing, our likelihood of collection could be delayed or impaired, which, if experienced across several large projects, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. Further, some of our customers may be highly leveraged or may be subject to their own operating and regulatory risks, which may also limit their ability to pay.

Our operations are subject to numerous physical hazards. If an accident occurs, it could result in an adverse effect on our business.
 
Hazards related to our industry include, but are not limited to, electrocutions, fires, injuries involving ladders, machinery-caused injuries, mechanical failures and transportation accidents. These hazards can cause personal injury and loss of life, severe damage to or destruction of property and equipment, and suspension of operations. Our insurance does not cover all types or amounts of liabilities. In addition, if our safety record were to substantially deteriorate over time, our customers could cancel our contracts or not award us future business.

Our current insurance coverage may not be adequate, and we may not be able to obtain insurance at acceptable rates, or at all.

We maintain insurance coverage in part because some of our contracts require us to carry certain levels of insurance coverage, which is common in the industries in which we operate. Our third-party insurance is subject to deductibles for which we establish reserves. No assurance can be given that our insurance or our provisions for incurred claims and incurred but not reported claims will be adequate to cover all losses or liabilities we may incur in our operations; nor can we provide assurance that we will be able to maintain adequate insurance at reasonable rates.

Litigation and claims can cause unexpected losses.

In all of our businesses, we are subject to potential claims and litigation, including contractual disputes, warranty claims, and claims related to our compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. Such claims and litigation are common in the construction and electrical and mechanical maintenance businesses and may be related to contract delays, changes in the scope of work or alleged defects. There are also inherent claims and litigation risks associated with the number of people that work on construction sites and the fleet of vehicles on the road every day. In our Infrastructure Solutions businesses, we also may be subject to product liability litigation. Claims are sometimes made and lawsuits filed for amounts in excess of their value or in excess of the amounts for which they are eventually resolved. Claims and litigation normally follow a predictable course of time to resolution. However, there may be periods of time in which a disproportionate amount of our claims and litigation are concluded in the same quarter or year. If multiple matters are resolved during a given period, then the cumulative effect of these matters may be higher than the ordinary level in any one reporting period.

Latent defect litigation is normal for residential home builders in some parts of the country, as well as in certain areas of the commercial market. Any increases in our latent defect claims and litigation could place pressure on the profitability of the Residential and Commercial & Industrial segments of our business.
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Disruptions to the proper functioning of our information technology systems or security breaches of our critical data, sensitive information or information technology systems could disrupt operations and cause increases in costs, decreases in revenues and/or harm to our reputation.

Our Company continues to increase its dependence on information technology systems, networks, and infrastructure to conduct our day to day operations and manage the way we provide services to our customers. Disruptions to our information technology systems or our failure to adequately protect critical data, sensitive information, and information technology systems could materially affect our business or result in harm to our reputation. Our critical accounting, project management, estimating, and financial information systems, some of which are third-party platforms, all rely on the proper functioning and security of our information technology environment and are critical to the successful operation of our business. We also collect and retain information about our customers, stockholders, vendors, and employees, with the expectation by such third parties being that we will adequately protect such information. Although our information technology systems, networks and infrastructure are protected through physical and software safeguards, our information technology environment is still vulnerable to natural disasters, power losses, telecommunication failures, deliberate intrusions, inadvertent user misuse or error, computer viruses, malicious code, ransomware attacks, acts of terrorism and other cyber security risks, which could cause a loss of critical data, or release of sensitive information. If critical information systems fail or are otherwise unavailable, or if sensitive information is released, our business operations could be adversely affected.

We may be required to conduct environmental remediation activities, which could be expensive and inhibit the growth of our business and our ability to maintain profitability, particularly in our Infrastructure Solutions business.

We are subject to a number of environmental laws and regulations, including those concerning the handling, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous materials. These laws predominantly affect our Infrastructure Solutions business but may impact our other businesses. These environmental laws generally impose liability on current and former owners and operators, transporters and generators of hazardous materials for remediation of contaminated properties. We believe that our business is operating in compliance in all material respects with applicable environmental laws, many of which provide for substantial penalties for violations. There can be no assurance that future changes in such laws, interpretations of existing regulations or the discovery of currently unknown problems or conditions will not require substantial additional expenditures. In addition, if we do not comply with these laws and regulations, we could be subject to material administrative, civil or criminal penalties, or other liabilities. We may also be required to incur substantial costs to comply with current or future environmental and safety laws and regulations. Any such additional expenditures or costs that we may incur could hurt our operating results.

The loss of a group or several key personnel, either at the corporate or operating level, or general labor constraints could adversely affect our business.

The loss of key personnel or the inability to hire and retain qualified employees could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Our operations depend on the continued efforts of our executive officers, senior management and management personnel at our segments. As a service organization, relationships with significant customers can be dependent on certain employees within our organization, and our ability to meet our contractual obligations to our customers and support our growth strategy may be limited by our ability to retain and train necessary personnel. We cannot guarantee that any member of management at the corporate or subsidiary level will continue in their capacity for any particular period of time, and there is significant competition in our industry for managerial personnel. We have a severance plan in place that covers certain of our senior leaders; however, this plan can neither guarantee that we will not lose key employees, nor prevent them from competing against us, which is often dependent on state and local employment laws. If we lose a group of key personnel or even one key person at a segment, we may not be able to recruit suitable replacements at comparable salaries or at all, which could adversely affect our operations. Additionally, we generally do not maintain key man life insurance for members of our management. We also may be constrained in hiring and retaining qualified employees due to general labor shortages in our industries. Continued labor constraints may limit our ability to grow and may limit our profitability due to the impact of rising wages.

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Risks Relating to our Financial Results, Financing and Liquidity

Availability of net operating losses may be reduced by a change in ownership.

A change in ownership, as defined by Internal Revenue Code Section 382, could reduce the availability of NOLs for federal and state income tax purposes. Should Tontine sell or otherwise dispose of all or a portion of its position in IES, a change in ownership could occur. A change in ownership could also result from the purchase of common stock by an existing or a new 5% shareholder as defined by Internal Revenue Code Section 382. As of September 30, 2020, we have approximately $217.3 million of federal NOLs that are available to use to offset taxable income, including approximately $128.0 million resulting from net operating losses on which a deferred tax asset is not recorded. Should a change in ownership occur, all NOLs incurred prior to the change in ownership would be subject to limitation imposed by Internal Revenue Code Section 382, which would substantially reduce the amount of NOL currently available to offset taxable income.

The Company maintains an NOL Rights Plan, which is designed to deter an acquisition of the Company’s stock in excess of a threshold amount that could trigger a change in ownership within the meaning of Internal Revenue Code Section 382. The NOL Rights Plan is designed to dilute the ownership of such an acquirer through the offering of rights to the Company’s other stockholders that will become exercisable upon the acquirer’s purchase of the Company’s stock in excess of the threshold amount. We can make no assurances the NOL Rights Plan will be effective in deterring a change in ownership or protecting or realizing NOLs.
We have adopted tax positions that a taxing authority may view differently. If a taxing authority differs with our tax positions, our results may be adversely affected.

Our effective tax rate, cash paid for taxes and the availability of our NOLs are impacted by the tax positions that we have adopted. Taxing authorities may not always agree with the positions we have taken. We have established reserves for tax positions that we have determined to be less likely than not to be sustained by taxing authorities. However, there can be no assurance that our results of operations will not be adversely affected in the event that disagreement over our tax positions does arise.

We have recognized deferred tax assets based upon our estimates of future taxable income, and we may recognize tax expense if there is a reduction in the statutory tax rate or if future taxable income is lower than our estimates.

As of September 30, 2020, we have a net deferred tax asset of $33.8 million on our Consolidated Balance Sheets, of which $22.6 million is attributable to NOLs. To realize the full benefit of this deferred tax asset attributable to NOLs, we must generate sufficient taxable income within the applicable carry forward period to offset against NOLs. Under GAAP, we are required to assess whether we believe the benefit of the deferred tax asset is more likely than not to be realized based on our expectation of generating sufficient future taxable income, and we are required to record a valuation allowance, or offset, against our deferred tax asset based on the portion of the deferred tax asset that we believe is not more likely than not to be realized.

If we are unable to generate sufficient taxable income in the future to utilize our NOLs, then we could be required to record valuation allowances, resulting in an increase in income tax expense and a reduction of our consolidated net income. Failure to generate sufficient taxable income in the future could also result in the expiration of certain NOLs.

In addition, we recorded a charge of $31.3 million during fiscal 2018 to reflect the impact of the reduced statutory federal corporate tax rate as a result of the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which became effective on January 1, 2018, on the value of our net deferred tax asset on our Consolidated Balance Sheet. Any further decrease in the federal statutory tax rate or other changes in federal tax statutes could also cause a reduction in the economic benefit of the NOL currently available to us and a corresponding reduction in the amount of our recorded deferred tax assets.

To fund our working capital requirements, complete acquisitions and service any debt we may incur, we may require a significant amount of cash. Our ability to generate cash depends on many factors that are beyond our control.

Our ability to continue to grow our business, including through acquisitions and the funding of working capital requirements, as well as our ability to make payments on or refinance any indebtedness we may incur, will depend on our ability to generate cash in the future. This is subject to our operational performance, as well as general economic, financial, competitive, legislative, regulatory and other factors that are beyond our control.

We cannot provide assurance that our business will generate sufficient cash flow from operations or asset sales or that future borrowings will be available to us under our credit facility in an amount sufficient to enable us to complete acquisitions, to service any debt we may incur or to fund our other liquidity needs. We may need to refinance our credit facility on or before maturity. We cannot
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provide assurance that we will be able to refinance our credit facility on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Our inability to access capital on commercially reasonable terms could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Negative conditions in the credit and capital markets may adversely impact our ability to operate our business.

In the past, the level of demand from our customers for our services has been adversely impacted by slowdowns in our customers' industries as well as in the economy in general. A number of economic factors, including financing conditions for our customers' industries, have, in the past, adversely affected our customers and their ability or willingness to fund expenditures. Many of our customers depend on the availability of credit to help finance their capital and maintenance projects. At times, tightened availability of credit and changes in interest rates that affect the cost of construction financing and mortgages has negatively impacted the ability of existing and prospective customers to obtain sufficient financing and fund projects we might otherwise perform. As a result, our customers may defer such projects for an unknown, and perhaps lengthy, period. Any such deferrals would inhibit our growth and would adversely affect our results of operations.

In a weak economic environment, particularly in a period of restrictive credit markets, we may experience greater difficulties in collecting payments from, and negotiating change orders and/or claims with, our customers due to, among other reasons, a diminution in our ultimate customers’ access to the credit markets. If clients delay in paying or fail to pay a significant amount of our outstanding receivables, or we fail to successfully negotiate a significant portion of our change orders and/or claims with customers, it could have an adverse effect on our liquidity, results of operations, and financial position.

We have restrictions and covenants under our credit agreement and the failure to meet these covenants, including liquidity and other financial requirements, could result in a default under our credit agreement.

We may not be able to remain in compliance with the covenants in our credit agreement, including financial covenants which, among other things, require minimum levels of liquidity and require us to maintain a specified fixed charge coverage ratio as defined under our credit agreement. A failure to fulfill the terms and requirements of our credit agreement may result in a default under our credit agreement and acceleration of any indebtedness we may incur, as well as a default under one or more of our material agreements, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our ability to conduct our operations and our financial condition.

Our use of percentage-of-completion accounting could result in a reduction or elimination of previously reported profits, and we may be adversely impacted by new accounting, control and operating procedures.

A significant portion of our revenue is recognized using the percentage-of-completion method of accounting, utilizing the cost-to-cost method, which results in our recognizing contract revenues and earnings ratably over the contract term in proportion to contract costs incurred. The earnings or losses recognized on individual contracts are based on estimates of contract revenues, costs and profitability. We review our estimates of contract revenue, costs and profitability on an ongoing basis. Prior to contract completion, we may adjust our estimates on one or more occasions as a result of change orders to the original contract, collection disputes with the customer on amounts invoiced or claims against the customer for increased costs incurred by us due to customer-induced delays and other factors. Contract losses are recognized in full when determined to be probable and reasonably estimable. Although we have historically made reasonably reliable estimates of the progress towards completion of our construction contracts, the uncertainties inherent in the estimating process make it possible for actual costs to vary materially from estimates, including reductions or reversals of previously recorded revenues and profits. In addition, we may be adversely impacted by new accounting pronouncements which change our revenue recognition or other accounting practices or otherwise alter how we report our financial results, or which require that we change our control and operating procedures, which we may be unable to do in a timely manner.

Our reported operating results could be adversely affected as a result of goodwill impairment charges.

GAAP accounting requires that goodwill attributable to each of our reporting units be tested at least annually, or when changes in circumstance indicate the carrying value of our reporting units may not be recoverable. At September 30, 2020, we had recorded $54 million of goodwill on our Consolidated Balance Sheets, net of a $7.0 million impairment recognized within our Commercial & Industrial segment during the year ended September 30, 2020. Factors that could lead to impairment of current goodwill in the future include significant adverse changes in the business climate, declines in the financial condition of our business, and actual or projected operating results affecting the Company as a whole or affecting any particular reporting unit. On an ongoing basis, we expect to perform impairment tests at least annually as of September 30. Impairment adjustments, if any, are required to be recognized as operating expenses. We cannot assure that we will not have future impairment adjustments to our recorded goodwill.

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The phase-out, replacement or unavailability of LIBOR could affect interest rates under our revolving credit facility, as well as our ability to obtain future debt financing on favorable terms.

We are subject to interest rate risk on floating interest rate borrowings under our revolving credit facility. Borrowings under our revolving credit facility use LIBOR as a benchmark for establishing the interest rate. In July 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority (the regulatory authority over LIBOR) stated that it would phase out LIBOR as a benchmark after 2021 to allow for an orderly transition to an alternative reference rate. Our revolving credit facility provides for a mechanism to amend the facility to reflect the establishment of an alternative rate of interest upon the occurrence of certain events related to the phase-out of LIBOR. However, we have not yet pursued any technical amendment or other contractual alternative to address this matter and are currently evaluating the impact of the potential replacement of the LIBOR interest rate. In the United States, the Alternative Reference Rates Committee has proposed the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) as an alternative to LIBOR for use in contracts that are currently indexed to U.S. dollar LIBOR and has proposed a market transition plan to SOFR. It is not presently known whether SOFR or any other alternative reference rates that have been proposed will attain market acceptance as replacements of LIBOR. In addition, the overall financial markets may be disrupted as a result of the phase-out or replacement of LIBOR. Uncertainty as to the nature of such phase out and selection of an alternative reference rate, together with disruption in the financial markets, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows, and may adversely affect our ability to obtain future debt financing on favorable terms.

Risks Relating to Our Common Stock

Existence of a controlling shareholder.

A majority of our outstanding common stock is owned by Tontine, and Jeffrey Gendell, founder and managing member of Tontine, serves as our Chief Executive Officer and as Chairman of our Board of Directors. Based on an amended Schedule 13D filed by Tontine with the SEC on October 9, 2020, Tontine owns approximately 56 percent of the Company’s outstanding common stock. As a result, Tontine can control most of our affairs, including the election of our directors, who in turn appoint executive management and can control most actions requiring the approval of shareholders, including the adoption of amendments to our corporate charter and approval of any potential merger or sale of all or substantially all of the Company's assets or business segments or the Company itself. This control also gives Tontine the ability to bring matters to a shareholder vote that may not be in the best interest of our other shareholders or stakeholders. Additionally, Tontine is in the business of investing in companies and may, from time to time, acquire and hold interests in businesses that compete directly or indirectly with us or act as suppliers or customers of the Company. Pursuant to a resale shelf registration statement filed by the Company, Tontine has the ability to resell any or all of its registered shares from time to time in one or more offerings as long as the registration statement remains effective and the Company remains eligible to use it, as described further in the registration statement and in any prospectus supplement filed in connection with an offering pursuant to the shelf registration statement. Tontine’s sale of all or any portion of its shares could result in a change of control of the Company, which would trigger the change of control provisions in a number of our material agreements, including our credit agreement, bonding agreements with our sureties, and our executive severance plan, as well as the exercisability of the purchase rights under our NOL Rights Plan.

Our common stock has less liquidity than many other stocks listed on the NASDAQ Global Market.

Historically, the trading volume of our common stock has been relatively low when compared to other companies listed on the NASDAQ Global Market or other stock exchanges. While we have experienced increased liquidity in our stock during recent years compared with historical levels, we cannot say with certainty that a more active and liquid trading market for our common stock will continue to develop. Because of this, it may be more difficult for shareholders to sell a substantial number of shares for the same price at which shareholders could sell a smaller number of shares.

We may issue additional shares of common stock, preferred stock or convertible securities that will dilute the percentage ownership interest of existing stockholders and may dilute the book value per share of our common stock.

Our authorized capital includes 100,000,000 shares of common stock and 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock. As of September 30, 2020, we had 22,049,529 shares of common stock issued, 20,762,395 shares of common stock outstanding and no shares of preferred stock issued or outstanding. As of September 30, 2020, we had the ability to issue 928,669 shares of common stock, including upon the exercise of options, as future grants under our existing equity compensation plans.

Although we currently do not have any intention of issuing additional common stock (other than pursuant to our equity compensation plans) or preferred stock, we may do so in the future in order to meet our capital needs. Subject to applicable NASDAQ Listing Rules, our Board of Directors generally has the authority, without action by or vote of the stockholders, to issue all or part of any authorized but unissued shares of common stock or preferred stock for any corporate purpose. We may seek additional equity capital in the future as we develop our business and expand our operations. Any issuance of additional shares of common stock, preferred stock, or
18


convertible securities will dilute the percentage ownership interest of our stockholders and may dilute the book value per share of our common stock.

Substantial sales of our common stock could adversely affect our stock price.

Most of Tontine's shares are registered for resale on a resale shelf registration statement filed by the Company with the SEC. Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock by holders of our common stock, including Tontine, or the perception that such sales could occur, could adversely affect the market price of our common stock by introducing a large number of shares into the market. Such sales, or the perception that such sales could occur, could cause the market price of our common stock to decline. We cannot predict whether future sales of our common stock, or the availability of our common stock for sale, will adversely affect the market price for our common stock or our ability to raise capital by offering equity securities.

General Risks

Our internal controls over financial reporting and our disclosure controls and procedures may not prevent all possible errors that could occur. Internal controls over financial reporting and disclosure controls and procedures, no matter how well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the control system’s objective will be met.

On a quarterly basis, we evaluate our internal controls over financial reporting and our disclosure controls and procedures, which include a review of the objectives, design, implementation and effectiveness of the controls and the information generated for use in our periodic reports. In the course of our controls evaluation, we sought (and seek) to identify data errors, control problems and to confirm that appropriate corrective actions, including process improvements, are being undertaken. This type of evaluation is conducted on a quarterly basis so that the conclusions concerning the effectiveness of our controls can be reported in our periodic reports.

A control system, no matter how well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the control system’s objectives will be satisfied. Internal controls over financial reporting and disclosure controls and procedures are designed to give reasonable assurance that they are effective and achieve their objectives. We cannot provide absolute assurance that all possible future control issues have been detected. These inherent limitations include the possibility that our judgments can be faulty and that isolated breakdowns can occur because of human error or mistake. The design of our system of controls is based in part upon certain assumptions about the likelihood of future events, and there can be no assurance that any design will succeed absolutely in achieving our stated goals under all potential future or unforeseeable conditions. Because of the inherent limitations in a cost-effective control system, misstatements due to error could occur without being detected.


Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

None.


Item 2. Properties

At September 30, 2020, we maintained branch offices, warehouses, sales facilities and administrative offices at 79 locations. Substantially all of our facilities are leased. We lease our executive office located in Greenwich, Connecticut and our corporate office located in Houston, Texas. We believe that our properties are adequate for our current needs and that suitable additional or replacement space will be available as required. For a breakdown of our offices by segment, see Item 1. “Business —Operating Segments” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

For further information regarding legal proceedings, see Note 18, Commitments and Contingencies — Legal Matters” in the notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements.


Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

None.
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PART II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity; Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Our common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Market under the ticker symbol “IESC.”

As of December 2, 2020, the closing market price of our common stock was $37.67 per share and there were approximately 335 holders of record.

We have never declared or paid dividends on our common stock. We intend to retain any future earnings and do not expect to pay cash dividends in the foreseeable future.

Stock Repurchase Program
In 2015, our Board of Directors authorized a stock repurchase program for the purchase from time to time of up to 1.5 million shares of the Company’s common stock, and on May 2, 2019, authorized the repurchase from time to time of up to an additional 1.0 million shares of the Company's common stock under the stock repurchase program. Share purchases are made for cash in open market transactions at prevailing market prices or in privately negotiated transactions or otherwise. The timing and amount of purchases under the program are determined based upon prevailing market conditions, our liquidity requirements, contractual restrictions and other factors. All or part of the repurchases may be implemented under a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan, which allows repurchases under pre-set terms at times when the Company might otherwise be prevented from purchasing under insider trading laws or because of self-imposed blackout periods. The program does not require the Company to purchase any specific number of shares and may be modified, suspended or reinstated at any time at the Company’s discretion and without notice. During the year ended September 30, 2020, we repurchased 263,160 shares of common stock at an average price of $23.29 per share for a total aggregate purchase price of $6.1 million. The Company had 1.0 million shares remaining under its stock repurchase authorization at September 30, 2020.

The following table presents information with respect to purchases of common stock by the Company during the three months ended September 30, 2020:

PeriodTotal Number of Shares PurchasedAverage Price Paid Per ShareTotal Number of Shares Purchased as Part of a Publicly Announced Plan Maximum Number of Shares That May Yet Be Purchased Under the Publicly Announced Plan as of September 30, 2020
July 1, 2020 – July 31, 2020$— 1,032,026
August 1, 2020 – August 31, 202015,745$28.99 15,7451,016,281
September 1, 2020 – September 30, 202022,456$28.96 22,456993,825
Total38,201$28.97 38,201993,825


Five-Year Stock Performance Graph

The graph below compares the cumulative five year total return provided shareholders on IES Holdings, Inc.'s common stock relative to the cumulative total returns of the Russell 2000 index and a customized peer group of four companies that includes: Comfort Systems USA Inc., MYR Group Inc., Sterling Construction Company Inc. and Team Inc. An investment of $100 (with reinvestment of all dividends) is assumed to have been made in our common stock, in the Russell 2000 index, and in the peer group on September 30, 2015, and its relative performance is tracked through September 30, 2020.

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Comparison of Five Year Cumulative Total Return*
Among IES Holdings, Inc., the Russell 2000 Index, and a Peer Group
iesc-20200930_g2.jpg
*$100 invested on 9/30/15 in stock or index, including reinvestment of dividends.
Fiscal year ending September 30.

Year Ended September 30,
201520162017201820192020
IES Holdings, Inc.$100.00 230.44 224.09 252.59 266.71 411.53 
Russell 2000$100.00 115.47 139.42 160.67 146.38 146.95 
Peer Group$100.00 128.38 164.16 188.77 165.79 175.17 



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Item 6. Selected Financial Data

The following selected consolidated historical financial information for IES should be read in conjunction with the audited historical Consolidated Financial Statements of IES Holdings, Inc. and subsidiaries, and the notes thereto, set forth in Item 8, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Year Ended September 30,
20202019201820172016
(In Thousands, Except Share Information)
Continuing Operations:
Revenues$1,190,856 $1,076,996 $876,828 $810,744 $695,993 
Cost of services962,897 894,893 726,866 670,246 569,013 
Gross profit227,959 182,103 149,962 140,498 126,980 
Selling, general and administrative expenses170,911 140,575 123,920 120,370 100,558 
Goodwill impairment expense6,976 — — — — 
Contingent consideration(11)(374)103 (145)652 
Loss (gain) on sale of assets— 52 (15)(69)810 
Operating Income50,083 41,850 25,954 20,342 24,960 
Interest and other (income) expense:
Interest expense777 1,857 1,946 1,702 1,282 
Other (income) expense, net12 (148)(340)(165)(83)
Income from operations before income taxes49,294 40,141 24,348 18,805 23,761 
Provision (benefit) for income taxes8,740 6,663 38,151 5,211 (97,117)
Net income (loss)40,554 33,478 (13,803)13,594 120,878 
Net (income) loss attributable to noncontrolling interest1,045 (272)(354)(172)(100)
Net income (loss) attributable to IES Holdings, Inc.$41,599 $33,206 $(14,157)$13,422 $120,778 
Basic earnings (loss) per share attributable to common shareholders of IES Holdings, Inc.$1.96 $1.56 $(0.67)$0.62 $5.63 
Diluted earnings (loss) per share attributable to common shareholders of IES Holdings, Inc.$1.94 $1.55 $(0.67)$0.62 $5.62 
Shares used to calculate earnings (loss) per share:
Basic20,795,892 21,082,012 21,196,388 21,280,549 21,279,342 
Diluted21,092,410 21,315,245 21,196,388 21,533,254 21,492,339 
September 30,
20202019201820172016
(In Thousands)
Balance Sheet Data:
Cash and cash equivalents$53,577 $18,934 $26,247 $28,290 $32,961 
Working capital, exclusive of cash75,424 84,049 72,029 52,834 43,716 
Total assets560,528 445,258 421,994 424,494 394,340 
Total debt217 299 29,564 29,434 29,257 
Total stockholders' equity283,313 246,248 220,407 236,704 223,405 




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Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and the notes thereto, set forth in Item 8.“Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. For additional information, see “Disclosure Regarding Forward Looking Statements” in Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.


OVERVIEW

Executive Overview

Please refer to Item 1. “Business” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a discussion of the Company’s services and corporate strategy. IES Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation, is a holding company that owns and manages operating subsidiaries that design and install integrated electrical and technology systems and provide infrastructure products and services to a variety of end markets, including data centers, residential housing, and commercial and industrial facilities. Our operations are currently organized into four principal business segments: Communications, Residential, Infrastructure Solutions and Commercial & Industrial.

Industry Trends

Our performance is affected by a number of trends that drive the demand for our services. In particular, the markets in which we operate are exposed to many regional and national trends such as the demand for single and multi-family housing, the need for mission critical facilities as a result of technology-driven advancements, the degree to which in-house maintenance departments outsource maintenance and repair work, output levels and equipment utilization at heavy industrial facilities, demand for our rail and infrastructure services and custom engineered products, and changes in commercial, institutional, public infrastructure and electric utility spending. Over the long term, we believe that there are numerous factors that could positively drive demand and affect growth within the industries in which we operate, including (i) population growth, which will increase the need for commercial and residential facilities, (ii) aging public infrastructure, which must be replaced or repaired, (iii) an increasing demand for data storage, (iv) increased emphasis on environmental and energy efficiency, which may lead to both increased public and private spending, and (v) demand for natural gas which is expected to spur the construction of and modifications to heavy industrial facilities. However, there can be no assurance that we will not experience a decrease in demand for our services due to economic, technological or other factors beyond our control, including weakness in the oil and gas sector, interest rate changes, increases in steel and commodity prices and other economic factors, which may reduce the demand for housing including in the Texas region, where our Residential division operates, and may impact levels of construction. For a further discussion of the industries in which we operate, please see Item 1. “Business - Operating Segments” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Business Outlook

While there are differences among the Company’s segments, on an overall basis, increased demand for the Company’s services and the Company’s previous investment in growth initiatives and other business-specific factors discussed below resulted in aggregate year-over-year revenue growth in fiscal 2020 as compared to fiscal 2019. Revenue growth rates during fiscal 2020 at our Communications and Residential segments were driven primarily by organic growth.

Provided that no significant deterioration in general economic conditions occurs, the Company expects total revenues from existing businesses to increase on a year-over-year basis during fiscal 2021 due to an increase in overall demand for the services we provide, efforts to increase our market share, and current backlog levels. We remain focused on controlled growth within many of our markets which continue to experience highly competitive margins and increasing costs.

To continue to grow our business, including through acquisitions and the funding of working capital, we may require a significant amount of cash. Our ability to generate cash depends on many externally influenced factors, including demand for our services, the availability of projects at margins acceptable to us, the ultimate collectability of our receivables, our ability to borrow on our credit facility, and our ability to raise funds in the capital markets, among many other factors. We anticipate that the combination of cash on hand, cash flows from operations and available capacity under our credit facility will provide sufficient cash to enable us to meet our working capital needs, debt service requirements and capital expenditures for property and equipment through the next twelve months. We expect that our fixed asset requirements will range from $7.0 million to $10.0 million for the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2021, and we may acquire these assets either through capital expenditures or through lease agreements.
Impact of COVID-19 on Our Business

The COVID-19 pandemic and related governmental responses have caused, and are likely to continue to cause, significant disruption to the economy, the operations of our customers and vendors, and the health of millions of individuals, including our employees and
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customers, across the markets in which we operate and beyond. As such, COVID-19 has adversely affected, and is expected to continue to adversely affect, our business. State and local governments in most of the localities where we operate have deemed most of our business activities to be essential or critical, and therefore we are generally permitted to continue operating in those localities while “stay at home” orders are in effect during this pandemic. As a result, we are focused on protecting the health and safety of our employees while maintaining the continuity of our operations. We have implemented operational and protective measures to protect our employees and customers, including screening for COVID-19 symptoms, providing personal protective equipment, increased cleaning and sanitizing, and physical distancing measures to the extent possible. While most of our facilities and job sites continue to operate, certain state and local governments have recently re-imposed certain orders that could cause more shutdowns. We have seen COVID-19 affect demand in some areas of our business, where construction or maintenance projects have been delayed; however, there are other areas in which we have seen an increase in demand, particularly as it relates to critical infrastructure for data centers and communications.

COVID-19 presents potential new risks to our business. There have been some adverse COVID-19 impacts on our results of operations during fiscal 2020. We have experienced some challenges to date, including the implementation of new health and safety protocols and responding to changing federal, state and local orders. We have also seen some delays in the awarding of new projects, as well as the progress of existing projects. Factors that we expect will affect our results in the future include, but are not limited to, the potential impacts on our workforce of either illness or government orders forcing job sites to shut down and requiring employees to remain at home, a reduced demand for our services, increases in operating costs due to disruptions and personal protective equipment requirements, and limitations on the ability of our customers to pay us on a timely basis. We are continuing to monitor conditions affecting our business, and will take actions as may be necessary to ensure the health and safety of our employees and to serve our customers. Please refer to Part I. Item 1A. "Risk Factors" of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for further information.


RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

We report our operating results across our four operating segments: Communications, Residential, Infrastructure Solutions and Commercial & Industrial. Expenses associated with our corporate office are classified separately. The following table presents selected historical results of operations of IES, as well as the results of acquired businesses from the dates acquired.
Year Ended September 30,
202020192018
$%$%$%
(Dollars in thousands, Percentage of revenues)
Revenues$1,190,856 100.0 %$1,076,996 100.0 %$876,828 100.0 %
Cost of services962,897 80.9 %894,893 83.1 %726,866 82.9 %
Gross profit227,959 19.1 %182,103 16.9 %149,962 17.1 %
Selling, general and administrative expenses170,911 14.4 %140,575 13.1 %123,920 14.1 %
Goodwill impairment expense6,976 0.7 %— — %— — %
Contingent consideration(11)— %(374)— %103 — %
Loss (gain) on sale of assets— — %52 — %(15)— %
Operating income50,083 4.2 %41,850 3.9 %25,954 3.0 %
Interest and other expense, net789 0.1 %1,709 0.2 %1,606 0.2 %
Operating income before income taxes49,294 4.1 %40,141 3.7 %24,348 2.8 %
Provision for income taxes (1)
8,740 0.7 %6,663 0.6 %38,151 4.4 %
Net income (loss)40,554 3.4 %33,478 3.1 %(13,803)(1.6)%
Net (income) loss attributable to noncontrolling interest1,045 0.1 %(272)— %(354)— %
Net income (loss) attributable to IES Holdings, Inc.$41,599 3.5 %$33,206 3.1 %$(14,157)(1.6)%
(1) The year ended September 30, 2018 includes a charge of $31.3 million to re-measure our net deferred taxes in connection with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

2020 Compared to 2019

Consolidated revenues for the year ended September 30, 2020, were $113.9 million higher than for the year ended September 30, 2019, an increase of 10.6% with increases at our Communications and Residential segments, driven by strong demand.

Our overall gross profit percentage increased to 19.1% during the year ended September 30, 2020, as compared to 16.9% during the year ended September 30, 2019. Gross profit as a percentage of revenue increased at our Communications, Infrastructure Solutions
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and Residential segments but decreased at our Commercial & Industrial segment, as discussed in further detail with respect to each segment below.

Selling, general and administrative expenses include costs not directly associated with performing work for our customers. These costs consist primarily of compensation and benefits related to corporate, business segment and branch management (including incentive-based compensation), occupancy and utilities, training, professional services, information technology costs, consulting fees, travel and certain types of depreciation and amortization. We allocate certain corporate selling, general and administrative costs across our segments as we believe this more accurately reflects the costs associated with operating each segment.
 
During the year ended September 30, 2020, our selling, general and administrative expenses were $170.9 million, an increase of $30.3 million, or 21.6% over the year ended September 30, 2019, driven by increased personnel costs at our operating segments in connection with their growth, as well as an increase in certain selling, general and administrative expenses at our Commercial & Industrial segment as described below. This increase also includes a $1.8 million increase in expenses at the corporate level, primarily related to a severance payment to our former CEO, who stepped down in July 2020. As a percentage of revenue, selling, general and administrative expenses increased to 14.4% for the year ended September 30, 2020 from 13.1% for the year ended September 30, 2019.

As described below, for the year ended September 30, 2020, we recognized a non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $7.0 million relating to our Commercial & Industrial segment.

2019 Compared to 2018

Consolidated revenues for the year ended September 30, 2019, were $200.2 million higher than for the year ended September 30, 2018, an increase of 22.8%, with increases at all of our operating segments, driven by strong demand.

Our overall gross profit percentage decreased slightly to 16.9% during the year ended September 30, 2019, as compared to 17.1% during the year ended September 30, 2018. Gross profit as a percentage of revenue increased at our Infrastructure Solutions and Residential segments, but decreased at our Commercial & Industrial and Communications segments, as discussed in further detail with respect to each segment below.

During the year ended September 30, 2019, our selling, general and administrative expenses were $140.6 million, an increase of $16.7 million, or 13.4%, over the year ended September 30, 2018, driven by increased personnel costs at our operating segments in connection with their growth. This increase also includes a $4.2 million increase in expenses at the corporate level, primarily related to an increase in stock-based compensation expense, as well as a severance payment to our former President, who stepped down in March 2019. However, selling, general and administrative expense as a percentage of revenue decreased from 14.1% for the year ended September 30, 2018, to 13.1% for the year ended September 30, 2019, as we benefited from the increased scale of our operations.

Communications

2020 Compared to 2019
Year Ended September 30,
20202019
$%$%
(Dollars in thousands, Percentage of revenues)
Revenues$395,141 100.0 %$321,246 100.0 %
Cost of services317,013 80.2 %264,746 82.4 %
Gross Profit78,128 19.8 %56,500 17.6 %
Selling, general and administrative expenses37,674 9.5 %31,850 9.9 %
Contingent consideration— — %(97)— %
(Gain)/Loss on sale of assets— %(6)— %
Operating Income40,446 10.2 %24,753 7.7 %

Revenue. Our Communications segment’s revenues increased by $73.9 million, or 23.0%, during the year ended September 30, 2020, compared to the year ended September 30, 2019. This increase primarily resulted from increased demand from our data center and
25


distribution center customers. Revenues in our Communications segment can vary from period to period based on the capital spending cycles of our customers.

Gross Profit. Our Communications segment’s gross profit during the year ended September 30, 2020, increased $21.6 million, or 38.3%, as compared to the year ended September 30, 2019. Gross profit as a percentage of revenue increased to 19.8% for the year ended September 30, 2020, as we took on a larger proportion of fixed-cost arrangements and we benefited from efficiency gains from strong project execution.

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses. Our Communications segment’s selling, general and administrative expenses increased $5.8 million, or 18.3% during the year ended September 30, 2019, as compared to the year ended September 30, 2018. The increase is a result of higher personnel cost, particularly related to continuing investment to support the growth of the business, along with higher incentive compensation in connection with improved profitability and cash flows. Selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of revenues in the Communications segment decreased from 9.9% for the year ended September 30, 2019 to 9.5% of segment revenue during the year ended September 30, 2020, as we benefited from the increased scale of our operations, as well as a temporary reduction in travel expense.

2019 Compared to 2018
Year Ended September 30,
20192018
$%$%
(Dollars in thousands, Percentage of revenues)
Revenues$321,246 100.0 %$219,655 100.0 %
Cost of services264,746 82.4 %179,518 81.7 %
Gross Profit56,500 17.6 %40,137 18.3 %
Selling, general and administrative expenses31,850 9.9 %26,003 11.8 %
Contingent consideration(97)— %(85)— %
Gain on sale of assets(6)— %(4)— %
Operating Income24,753 7.7 %14,223 6.5 %

Revenue. Our Communications segment’s revenues increased by $101.6 million, or 46.3%, during the year ended September 30, 2019, compared to the year ended September 30, 2018. This increase primarily resulted from increased demand from several of our data center customers. Revenues in our Communications segment can vary from period to period based on the capital spending cycles of our customers.

Gross Profit. Our Communications segment’s gross profit during the year ended September 30, 2019, increased $16.4 million, or 40.8%, as compared to the year ended September 30, 2018. While total gross profits increased in connection with higher volumes, gross profit as a percentage of revenue decreased from 18.3% for the year ended September 30, 2018 to 17.6% for the year ended September 30, 2019, as we took on a larger proportion of cost-plus arrangements. These arrangements provide us with a reimbursement for our costs plus a markup, and are typically lower margin, but also lower risk, as compared with our fixed-cost arrangements.

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses. Our Communications segment’s selling, general and administrative expenses increased $5.8 million, or 22.5% during the year ended September 30, 2019, as compared to the year ended September 30, 2018. The increase is a result of higher personnel cost, particularly related to continuing investment to support the growth of the business, along with higher incentive compensation in connection with improved profitability and cash flows. Selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of revenues in the Communications segment decreased from 11.8% for the year ended September 30, 2018 to 9.9% of segment revenue during the year ended September 30, 2019, compared to the year ended September 30, 2018, as we benefited from the increased scale of our operations.

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Residential

2020 Compared to 2019
Year Ended September 30,
20202019
$%$%
(Dollars in thousands, Percentage of revenues)
Revenues$411,790 100.0 %$313,336 100.0 %
Cost of services318,034 77.2 %248,562 79.3 %
Gross Profit93,756 22.8 %64,774 20.7 %
Selling, general and administrative expenses63,668 15.5 %46,864 15.0 %
(Gain)/Loss on sale of assets— %(17)— %
Operating Income30,086 7.3 %17,927 5.7 %

Revenue. Our Residential segment’s revenues increased by $98.5 million, or 31.4%, during the year ended September 30, 2020, as compared to the year ended September 30, 2019. The increase was driven by increases in our single-family business, where revenues increased by $26.8 million, and our multi-family businesses, where revenues excluding those provided by current year business acquisitions, increased by $61.0 million for the year ended September 30, 2020, compared with the year ended September 30, 2019. In February 2020, we acquired Aerial Lighting & Electric, Inc., ("Aerial"), a Naugatuck, Connecticut-based electrical contractor specializing in the design and installation of electrical systems for multi-family developments. Aerial contributed $9.3 million in revenue during the year ended September 30, 2020 subsequent to our acquisition of the business.

Gross Profit. During the year ended September 30, 2020, our Residential segment experienced a $29.0 million, or 44.7%, increase in gross profit as compared to the year ended September 30, 2019. The increase in gross profit was driven primarily by higher volumes and improved commodity prices. Gross margin as a percentage of revenue increased from 20.7% to 22.8% during the year ended September 30, 2020, as compared with the year ended September 30, 2019, as we benefited from improved commodity prices and the increased scale of our operations. Our newly acquired Aerial business contributed $1.7 million in gross profit during the year ended September 30, 2020 subsequent to our acquisition of the business.

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses. Our Residential segment experienced a $16.8 million, or 35.9%, increase in selling, general and administrative expenses during the year ended September 30, 2020, compared to the year ended September 30, 2019. This increase was driven by increased compensation expense in connection with a growing business, including both incentive profit sharing for division management and increased headcount, as well as $2.3 million in selling, general and administrative expenses incurred at Aerial during the year ended September 30, 2020 subsequent to our acquisition of the business, including amortization of intangible assets. Selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of revenues in the Residential segment increased from 15.0% to 15.5% of segment revenue during the year ended September 30, 2020.

2019 Compared to 2018
Year Ended September 30,
20192018
$%$%
(Dollars in thousands, Percentage of revenues)
Revenues$313,336 100.0 %$285,711 100.0 %
Cost of services248,562 79.3 %227,355 79.6 %
Gross Profit64,774 20.7 %58,356 20.4 %
Selling, general and administrative expenses46,864 15.0 %41,401 14.5 %
(Gain)/Loss on sale of assets(17)— %— %
Operating Income17,927 5.7 %16,947 5.9 %

Revenue. Our Residential segment’s revenues increased by $27.6 million, or 9.7%, during the year ended September 30, 2019, as compared to the year ended September 30, 2018. The increase was driven by increases in our single-family business, where revenues increased by $22.0 million, and our multi-family businesses, where revenues increased by $8.9 million for the year ended September 30, 2019, compared with the year ended September 30, 2018. This increase was partly offset by a $3.2 million decrease in our solar and service revenues for the year ended September 30, 2019, compared with the prior year.

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Gross Profit. During the year ended September 30, 2019, our Residential segment experienced a $6.4 million, or 11.0%, increase in gross profit as compared to the year ended September 30, 2018. The increase in gross profit was driven primarily by higher volumes. Gross margin as a percentage of revenue increased from 20.4% to 20.7% during the year ended September 30, 2019, as compared with the year ended September 30, 2018, as we benefited from improved commodity prices and the increased scale of our operations.

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses. Our Residential segment experienced a $5.5 million, or 13.2%, increase in selling, general and administrative expenses during the year ended September 30, 2019, compared to the year ended September 30, 2018. This increase was driven by increased compensation expense in connection with a growing business, including both incentive profit sharing for division management and increased headcount. Selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of revenues in the Residential segment increased from 14.5% to 15.0% of segment revenue during the year ended September 30, 2019.

Infrastructure Solutions

2020 Compared to 2019
Year Ended September 30,
20202019
$%$%
(Dollars in thousands, Percentage of revenues)
Revenues$128,379 100.0 %$136,790 100.0 %
Cost of services93,358 72.7 %105,863 77.4 %
Gross Profit35,021 27.3 %30,927 22.6 %
Selling, general and administrative expenses20,418 15.9 %18,664 13.6 %
Contingent consideration— — %(277)(0.2)%
Loss on sale of assets35 — %105 0.1 %
Operating Income14,568 11.3 %12,435 9.1 %

Revenue. Revenues in our Infrastructure Solutions segment decreased by $8.4 million during the year ended September 30, 2020, a decrease of 6.1% compared to the year ended September 30, 2019. The decrease in revenue was driven primarily by the timing of project schedules at certain of our large customers, compared to unusually strong demand in the prior year. We also experienced a decrease in demand for our motor repair services, as several of our large customers temporarily shut down facilities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Plant Power and Control Systems, L.L.C. ("PPCS"), a Birmingham, Alabama-based manufacturer and installer of custom engineered power distribution equipment, which we acquired in February 2020, contributed $12.6 million in revenue during the year ended September 30, 2020 subsequent to our acquisition of the business.

Gross Profit. Our Infrastructure Solutions segment’s gross profit during the year ended September 30, 2020, increased by $4.1 million, as compared to the year ended September 30, 2019, primarily as a result of successful project execution. Gross profit as a percent of revenue increased to 27.3% for the year ended September 30, 2020, as our continued focus on procurement, engineering, and quality has resulted in a decrease in operating costs. Our newly acquired PPCS business contributed $3.4 million in gross profit during the year ended September 30, 2020 subsequent to our acquisition of the business.

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses. Our Infrastructure Solutions segment’s selling, general and administrative expenses during the year ended September 30, 2020, increased by $1.8 million compared to the year ended September 30, 2019, driven by $2.0 million of expense, including amortization of intangible assets, incurred at our newly acquired PPCS business. Expenses incurred at PPCS were partly offset by a decrease in travel and healthcare costs. The selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of revenue increased from 13.6% for the year ended September 30, 2019, to 15.9% for the year ended September 30, 2020.

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2019 Compared to 2018
Year Ended September 30,
20192018
$%$%
(Dollars in thousands, Percentage of revenues)
Revenues$136,790 100.0 %$97,163 100.0 %
Cost of services105,863 77.4 %75,337 77.5 %
Gross Profit30,927 22.6 %21,826 22.5 %
Selling, general and administrative expenses18,664 13.6 %18,293 18.8 %
Contingent consideration(277)(0.2)%288 0.3 %
Loss on sale of assets105 0.1 %18 — %
Operating Income12,435 9.1 %3,227 3.3 %

Revenue. Revenues in our Infrastructure Solutions segment increased by $39.6 million during the year ended September 30, 2019, an increase of 40.8% compared to the year ended September 30, 2018. The increase in revenue relates primarily to our generator enclosure business, driven by increased demand for enclosures to be used at data centers. We also experienced an increase in demand for our motor repair services.

Gross Profit. Our Infrastructure Solutions segment’s gross profit during the year ended September 30, 2019, increased by $9.1 million, as compared to the year ended September 30, 2018, primarily as a result of increased volumes. Gross profit as a percent of revenue slightly increased to 22.6% for the year ended September 30, 2019.

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses. Our Infrastructure Solutions segment’s selling, general and administrative expenses during the year ended September 30, 2019, increased by $0.4 million compared to the year ended September 30, 2018. However, the selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of revenue decreased from 18.8% for the year ended September 30, 2018, to 13.6% for the year ended September 30, 2019. Through a focus on controlling costs, we were able to scale our business effectively without adding significant selling, general and administrative expense.

Commercial & Industrial

2020 Compared to 2019    
Year Ended September 30,
20202019
$%$%
(Dollars in thousands, Percentage of revenues)
Revenue$255,546 100.0 %$305,624 100.0 %
Cost of services234,492 91.8 %275,722 90.2 %
Gross Profit21,054 8.2 %29,902 9.8 %
Selling, general and administrative expenses32,128 12.6 %27,815 9.1 %
Goodwill impairment expense6,976 2.7 %— — %
Contingent consideration(11)— %— — %
Gain on sale of assets(45)— %(30)— %
Operating income(17,994)(7.0)%2,117 0.7 %

Revenue. Revenues in our Commercial & Industrial segment decreased $50.1 million, or 16.4%, during the year ended September 30, 2020, compared to the year ended September 30, 2019. The decrease was largely driven by lower demand for large, industrial projects, particularly in the agricultural and food processing sectors. We also experienced a reduction in demand for time-and-material work. The market for this segment’s services remains highly competitive, and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in some delays in the awarding of new projects, as well as the progress of certain existing projects.

Gross Profit. Our Commercial & Industrial segment’s gross profit during the year ended September 30, 2020 decreased by $8.8 million, or 29.6%, as compared to the year ended September 30, 2019. This was driven primarily by a decrease in volume as discussed above, and certain project inefficiencies. As a percentage of revenue, gross profit decreased from 9.8% for the year ended September
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30, 2019, to 8.2% for the year ended September 30, 2020, as a result of certain project inefficiencies, as well as a less efficient absorption of branch level overheads in connection with lower volumes.

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses. Our Commercial & Industrial segment’s selling, general and administrative expenses during the year ended September 30, 2020, increased $4.3 million, or 15.5%, compared to the year ended September 30, 2019. The increased expense for the year ended September 30, 2020 includes a reserve for doubtful accounts related to a commercial dispute, as well as an increase in legal fees. Additionally, we have invested in our procurement process and incurred costs in connection with changes to our organization structure, with the goal of improving gross margins in the future. Selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of revenue increased to 12.6% from 9.1%, reflecting the impact of the decreased scale of our operations.

Goodwill Impairment Expense. Throughout 2020, our Commercial & Industrial segment continued to experience operating losses. Although the business has maintained a focus on operational improvements and cost reductions, its performance continued to be affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other market factors. During the third and fourth fiscal quarter, we had expected to see operational and market improvements, as government restrictions and “stay at home” orders began to expire. However, the continuing impact of COVID-19 and the resulting increase in economic uncertainty has continued to impact customer decisions on awarding of new work. In this increasingly competitive and uncertain environment, demand for new construction in market sectors such as retail, office, and hospitality has declined, and our backlog has decreased. As a result of these developments, and continuing operational difficulties we experienced in the fourth fiscal quarter, we concluded in performing our annual goodwill impairment assessment that the fair value of our Commercial & Industrial reporting unit was less than its carrying amount, which resulted in the recognition of a non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $7.0 million for the year ended September 30, 2020.

2019 Compared to 2018

Year Ended September 30,
20192018
$%$%
(Dollars in thousands, Percentage of revenues)
Revenues$305,624 100.0 %$274,299 100.0 %
Cost of services275,722 90.2 %244,656 89.2 %
Gross profit29,902 9.8 %29,643 10.8 %
Selling, general and administrative expenses27,815 9.1 %27,031 9.9 %
Contingent consideration— — %(100)— %
Gain on sale of assets(30)— %(37)— %
Operating income (loss)2,117 0.7 %2,749 1.0 %

Revenue. Revenues in our Commercial & Industrial segment increased $31.3 million, or 11.4%, during the year ended September 30, 2019, compared to the year ended September 30, 2018. The increase in revenue over this period was driven by an increase in large agricultural and other projects in the Midwest.

Gross Profit. Our Commercial & Industrial segment’s gross profit during the year ended September 30, 2019 increased by $0.3 million, or 0.9%, as compared to the year ended September 30, 2018. We benefited from higher volumes; however, these benefits were offset by certain project inefficiencies during the second half of the year. As a percentage of revenue, gross profit decreased from 10.8% for the year ended September 30, 2018, to 9.8% for the year ended September 30, 2019, as a result of these project inefficiencies.

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses. Our Commercial & Industrial segment’s selling, general and administrative expenses during the year ended September 30, 2019, increased $0.8 million, or 2.9%, compared to the year ended September 30, 2018, but decreased from 9.9% as a percentage of revenue for the year ended September 30, 2018 to 9.1% for the year ended September 30, 2019, as we benefited from the increased scale of our operations and a focus on controlling costs.


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INTEREST AND OTHER EXPENSE, NET

Year Ended September 30,
202020192018
(In thousands)
Interest expense$625 $1,539 $1,658 
Deferred financing charges152 318 288 
Total interest expense777 1,857 1,946 
Other (income) expense, net12 (148)(340)
Total interest and other expense, net789 1,709 1,606 

During the year ended September 30, 2020, we incurred interest expense of $0.8 million primarily comprised of interest expense from our revolving credit facility with Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (“Wells Fargo”) and fees on an average letter of credit balance of $6.9 million under our revolving credit facility and an average unused line of credit balance of $89.6 million. This compares to interest expense of $1.9 million for the year ended September 30, 2019, primarily comprised of interest expense from our revolving credit facility with Wells Fargo and fees on an average letter of credit balance of $6.6 million under our revolving credit facility and an average unused line of credit balance of $73.7 million.

For the year ended September 30, 2018, we incurred interest expense of $1.9 million on a debt balance primarily comprised of our revolving credit facility with Wells Fargo and fees on an average letter of credit balance of $6.6 million under our revolving credit facility, and an average unused line of credit balance of $63.2 million.


PROVISION FOR INCOME TAXES

For the year ended September 30, 2020, we recorded income tax expense of $8.7 million. Income tax expense was partly offset by a $3.2 million benefit related to the recognition of previously unrecognized tax benefits as well as a $3.3 million benefit related to the release of valuation allowance on certain state net operating loss carryforwards.

For the year ended September 30, 2019, we recorded income tax expense of $6.7 million. Income tax expense was partly offset by a $4.0 million benefit related to the recognition of previously unrecognized tax benefits.

For the year ended September 30, 2018, we recorded income tax expense of $38.2 million. Income tax expense was partly offset by a $1.9 million benefit related to the recognition of previously unrecognized tax benefits. Our income tax expense included a charge of $31.3 million to re-measure our deferred tax assets and liabilities to reflect the impact from the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on December 22, 2017.


WORKING CAPITAL

During the year ended September 30, 2020, working capital exclusive of cash decreased by $8.6 million from September 30, 2019, reflecting a $40.4 million increase in current assets excluding cash and a $49.0 million increase in current liabilities during the period.

During the year ended September 30, 2020, our current assets exclusive of cash increased to $317.9 million, as compared to $277.5 million as of September 30, 2019. The increase primarily relates to a $26.7 million increase in accounts receivable and an $11.7 million increase in retainage, in connection with growth in our business. Days sales outstanding decreased to 61 as of September 30, 2020, from 62 as of September 30, 2019. While the rate of collections may vary, our typically secured position, resulting from our ability in general to secure liens against our customers’ overdue receivables, offers some protection that collection will occur eventually to the extent that our security retains value.

During the year ended September 30, 2020, our total current liabilities increased by $49.0 million to $242.4 million, compared to $193.5 million as of September 30, 2019, primarily related to an increase in accounts payable and accrued liabilities, and a $15.2 million increase in billings in excess of costs and estimated earnings in connection with the growth of our business.

Surety

Many customers, particularly in connection with new construction, require us to post performance and payment bonds issued by a surety. These bonds provide a guarantee to the customer that we will perform under the terms of our contract and that we will pay our
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subcontractors and vendors. If we fail to perform under the terms of our contract or to pay subcontractors and vendors, the customer may demand that the surety make payments or provide services under the bond. We must reimburse the sureties for any expenses or outlays they incur on our behalf. To date, we have not been required to make any reimbursements to our sureties for bond-related costs.

As is common in the surety industry, sureties issue bonds on a project-by-project basis and can decline to issue bonds at any time. We believe that our relationships with our sureties will allow us to provide surety bonds as they are required. However, current market conditions, as well as changes in our sureties' assessment of our operating and financial risk, could cause our sureties to decline to issue bonds for our work. If our sureties decline to issue bonds for our work, our alternatives would include posting other forms of collateral for project performance, such as letters of credit or cash, seeking bonding capacity from other sureties, or engaging in more projects that do not require surety bonds. In addition, if we are awarded a project for which a surety bond is required but we are unable to obtain a surety bond, the result could be a claim for damages by the customer for the costs of replacing us with another contractor.

As of September 30, 2020, the estimated cost to complete our bonded projects was approximately $92.9 million. We believe the bonding capacity currently provided by our sureties is adequate for our current operations and will be adequate for our operations for the foreseeable future.

LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES

As of September 30, 2020, we had cash and cash equivalents of $53.6 million and $94.3 million of availability under our revolving credit facility. We anticipate that the combination of cash on hand, cash flows from operations and available capacity under our revolving credit facility will provide sufficient cash to enable us to meet our working capital needs, debt service requirements and capital expenditures for property and equipment through the next twelve months. Our ability to generate cash flow is dependent on many factors, including demand for our services, the availability of projects at margins acceptable to us, the ultimate collectability of our receivables, and our ability to borrow on our revolving credit facility or raise funds in the capital markets, if needed.

The Revolving Credit Facility

We maintain a $100 million revolving credit facility that matures on September 30, 2024 pursuant to an agreement with Wells Fargo (as amended, the “Amended Credit Agreement”).
Borrowings under the credit facility may not exceed a “borrowing base” that is determined monthly by Wells Fargo based on available collateral, primarily certain accounts receivables, inventories, and equipment. Under the terms of the Amended Credit Agreement, amounts outstanding bear interest at a per annum rate equal to a Daily Three Month LIBOR (as defined in the Amended Credit Agreement and subject to replacement with a new benchmark as set forth therein), plus an interest rate margin, which is determined quarterly, based on the following thresholds:
Level
Thresholds
Interest Rate Margin
IIf Liquidity is less than 35% of the Maximum Revolver Amount at any time during the period1.75 percentage points
IIIf Liquidity is greater than or equal to 35% of the Maximum Revolver Amount at all times during the period and less than 50% of the Maximum Revolver Amount at any time during the period1.50 percentage points
IIIIf Liquidity is greater than or equal to 50% of the Maximum Revolver Amount at all times during the period1.25 percentage points
In addition, we are charged monthly in arrears for (1) an unused commitment fee of 0.25% per annum, (2) a collateral monitoring fee of $5 thousand per quarter, (3) a letter of credit fee based on the then-applicable interest rate margin (4) appraisal fees, costs and expenses and (5) certain other fees and charges as specified in the Amended Credit Agreement.

The Amended Credit Agreement contains customary affirmative, negative and financial covenants, as well as customary events of default.

As of September 30, 2020, we were in compliance with the financial covenants under the Amended Credit Agreement, requiring that we maintain:

• a Fixed Charge Coverage Ratio (as defined in the Amended Credit Agreement), measured quarterly on a trailing
four-quarter basis at the end of each quarter, of at least 1.1 to 1.0; and

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• minimum Liquidity (as defined in the Amended Credit Agreement) of at least twenty percent (20%) of the Maximum Revolver Amount (as defined in the Amended Credit Agreement), or $20 million; with, for purposes of this covenant, at least fifty percent (50%) of our Liquidity comprised of Excess Availability (as defined in the Amended Credit Agreement).

At September 30, 2020, our Liquidity was $147.9 million and our Excess Availability was $94.3 million (or greater than 50% of minimum Liquidity), and our Fixed Charge Coverage Ratio was 8.3:1.0.

Our Fixed Charge Coverage Ratio is calculated as follows (with capitalized terms as defined in the Amended Credit Agreement): (i) our trailing twelve month EBITDA, less Non-Financed Capital Expenditures (other than capital expenditures financed by means of an advance under the credit facility), cash taxes and all Restricted Junior Payments (as defined in the Amended Credit Agreement) consisting of certain Pass-Through Tax Liabilities (as defined in the Amended Credit Agreement), divided by (ii) the sum of our cash interest (other than interest paid-in-kind, amortization of financing fees, and other non-cash interest expense) and principal debt payments (other than repayment of principal on advances under the credit facility and including cash payments with respect to capital leases), any management, consulting, monitoring, and advisory fees paid to an affiliate, and all Restricted Junior Payments (other than Pass-Through Tax Liabilities) and other cash distributions; provided, that if we make an acquisition consented to by Wells Fargo, the components of the Fixed Charge Coverage Ratio will be calculated for such fiscal period after giving pro forma effect to the acquisition assuming that such transaction has occurred on the first day of such period (including pro forma adjustments arising out of events which are directly attributable to such acquisition, are factually supportable, and are expected to have a continuing impact, in each case to be reasonably agreed to by Wells Fargo).

As defined in the Amended Credit Agreement, EBITDA is calculated as consolidated net income (or loss), less extraordinary gains, interest income, non-operating income and income tax benefits and decreases in any change in LIFO reserves, plus stock compensation expense, non-cash extraordinary losses (including, but not limited to, a non-cash impairment charge or write-down), Interest Expense, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, and increases in any change in LIFO reserves for such period, determined on a consolidated basis in accordance with GAAP.

If in the future our Liquidity falls below $20 million (or Excess Availability falls below 50% of our minimum Liquidity), our Fixed Charge Coverage Ratio is less than 1.1:1.0, or if we otherwise fail to perform or otherwise comply with certain of our covenants or other agreements under the Amended Credit Agreement, it would result in an event of default under the Amended Credit Agreement, which could result in some or all of any indebtedness we may take on becoming immediately due and payable.

At September 30, 2020, we had $5.7 million in outstanding letters of credit with Wells Fargo and $12 thousand of outstanding borrowings.

Investments

From time to time, the Company may invest in non-controlling positions in the debt or equity securities of other businesses. Our Board of Directors has approved an investment policy that permits the Company to invest our cash in liquid and marketable securities that include equities and fixed income securities, subject to size limits on investments individually and in the aggregate. Equity securities may include unrestricted, publicly traded stock that is listed on a major exchange or a national, over-the-counter market and that is appropriate for our portfolio objectives, and fixed income securities are required to have an investment grade credit quality at the time of purchase.

Operating Activities

Our cash flow from operations is not only influenced by cyclicality, demand for our services, operating margins and the type of services we provide, but can also be influenced by working capital needs such as the timing of our receivable collections. Working capital needs are generally lower during our fiscal first and second quarters due to the seasonality that we experience in many regions of the country; however, a seasonal decline in working capital may be offset by needs associated with higher growth or acquisitions.

Operating activities provided net cash of $76.7 million during the year ended September 30, 2020, as compared to $38.7 million of net cash provided in the year ended September 30, 2019. The increase in operating cash flow resulted primarily from an increase in earnings, as well as a $9.0 million benefit from the deferral of payroll taxes as permitted by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and a decrease in working capital.

Operating activities provided net cash of $38.7 million during the year ended September 30, 2019, as compared to $12.2 million of net cash provided in the year ended September 30, 2018. The increase in operating cash flow resulted primarily from an increase in earnings, partly offset by an increase in working capital in support of our growth. In particular, increased accounts receivable resulted in cash outflows of $35.3 million, offset by cash inflows of $22.5 million driven by increased accounts payable and accrued liabilities.

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Investing Activities

In the year ended September 30, 2020, net cash used in investing activities was $33.6 million, as compared to $5.7 million of net cash used in investing activities in the year ended September 30, 2019. Investing activities for the year ended September 30, 2020 include $4.7 million of capital expenditures and $29.0 million for the acquisition of businesses.

In the year ended September 30, 2019, net cash used in investing activities was $5.7 million, as compared to $11.9 million of net cash used in investing activities in the year ended September 30, 2018. Investing activities for the year ended September 30, 2019, include $6.3 million of capital expenditures.

Financing Activities

Net cash used in financing activities was $8.5 million in the year ended September 30, 2020, compared to $40.3 million used in the year ended September 30, 2019. For the year ended September 30, 2020, we used $7.7 million to repurchase our shares under our stock repurchase program, as well as to satisfy statutory withholding requirements upon the vesting of employee stock compensation.

Net cash used in financing activities was $40.3 million in the year ended September 30, 2019, compared to $2.4 million used in the year ended September 30, 2018. For the year ended September 30, 2019, we used $119.5 million to repay a portion of our revolving credit facility, partly offset by $89.3 million of additional borrowings. We also used $9.8 million to repurchase our shares under our stock repurchase program, as well as to satisfy statutory withholding requirements upon the vesting of employee stock compensation.


CONTROLLING SHAREHOLDER

Tontine is the Company’s controlling shareholder, owning approximately 56 percent of the Company’s outstanding common stock, based on an amended Schedule 13D filed by Tontine with the SEC on October 9, 2020. Accordingly, Tontine has the ability to exercise significant control over our affairs, including the election of directors and most actions requiring the approval of shareholders.

We are a party to a sublease agreement with Tontine Associates for corporate office space in Greenwich, Connecticut. The sublease extends through February 27, 2023, with monthly payments due in the amount of approximately $8 thousand. The lease has terms at market rates, and payments by the Company are at a rate consistent with that paid by Tontine Associates to its landlord.

On December 6, 2018, the Company entered into a Board Observer Letter Agreement (the "Observer Agreement") with Tontine Associates in order to assist Tontine in managing its investment in the Company. Subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Observer Agreement, the Company granted Tontine the right, at any time that Tontine holds at least 20% of the outstanding common stock of the Company, to appoint a representative to serve as an observer to the Board (the “Board Observer”). The Board Observer, who shall serve at the discretion of and must be reasonably acceptable to those members of the Board who are not affiliates of Tontine, shall have no voting rights or other decision making authority. Subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Observer Agreement, so long as Tontine has the right to appoint a Board Observer, the Board Observer will have the right to attend and participate in meetings of the Board and the committees thereof, subject to confidentiality requirements, and to receive reimbursement for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred in his or her capacity as a Board Observer and such rights to coverage under the Company’s directors’ and officers’ liability insurance policy as are available to directors.

Jeffrey L. Gendell was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Company effective October 1, 2020, having served as the Company's Interim Chief Executive Officer since July 31, 2020. Mr. Gendell also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors, a position he has held since November 2016. He is the managing member and founder of Tontine, and the brother of David B. Gendell, who has served as a member of our Board of Directors since February 2012, and who previously served as Interim Director of Operations from November 2017 to January 2019, as Vice Chairman of the Board from November 2016 to November 2017 and as Chairman of the Board from January 2015 to November 2016. David B. Gendell was an employee of Tontine from 2004 until December 31, 2017.

OFF-BALANCE SHEET ARRANGEMENTS AND CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS

As is common in our industry, we have entered into certain off-balance sheet arrangements that expose us to increased risk. Our significant off-balance sheet transactions include letter of credit obligations, firm commitments for materials and surety guarantees.

Some of our customers and vendors require us to post letters of credit as a means of guaranteeing performance under our contracts and ensuring payment by us to subcontractors and vendors. If our customer has reasonable cause to effect payment under a letter of credit,
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we would be required to reimburse our creditor for the letter of credit. At September 30, 2020, $0.2 million of our outstanding letters of credit were to collateralize our customers and vendors.

Some of the underwriters of our casualty insurance program require us to post letters of credit as collateral, as is common in the insurance industry. To date, we have not had a situation where an underwriter has had reasonable cause to effect payment under a letter of credit. At September 30, 2020, $5.5 million of our outstanding letters of credit were to collateralize our insurance programs.

From time to time, we may enter into firm purchase commitments for materials such as copper wire and aluminum wire, among others, which we expect to use in the ordinary course of business. These commitments are typically for terms less than one year and require us to buy minimum quantities of materials at specified intervals at a fixed price over the term. As of September 30, 2020, we did not have any significant open purchase commitments.

Many of our customers require us to post performance and payment bonds issued by a surety. Those bonds guarantee the customer that we will perform under the terms of a contract and that we will pay subcontractors and vendors. In the event that we fail to perform under a contract or pay subcontractors and vendors, the customer may demand the surety to pay or perform under our bond. Our relationship with our sureties is such that we will indemnify the sureties for any expenses they incur in connection with any of the bonds they issue on our behalf and may be required to post collateral to support the bonds. To date, we have not incurred any material costs to indemnify our sureties for expenses they incurred on our behalf.


CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES
The discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations are based on our Consolidated Financial Statements, which have been prepared in accordance with GAAP. The preparation of our Consolidated Financial Statements requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities known to exist as of the date the Consolidated Financial Statements, and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses recognized during the periods presented. We review all significant estimates affecting our Consolidated Financial Statements on a recurring basis and record the effect of any necessary adjustments prior to their publication. Judgments and estimates are based on our beliefs and assumptions derived from information available at the time such judgments and estimates are made. Uncertainties with respect to such estimates and assumptions are inherent in the preparation of financial statements. There can be no assurance that actual results will not differ from those estimates.
Accordingly, we have identified the accounting principles which we believe are most critical to our reported financial status by considering accounting policies that involve the most complex or subjective decisions or assessments. We identified our most critical accounting policies to be those related to revenue recognition, accounting for business combinations, the assessment of goodwill and asset impairment, our allowance for doubtful accounts receivable, the recording of our insurance liabilities and estimation of the valuation allowance for deferred tax assets, and unrecognized tax benefits. These accounting policies, as well as others, are described in Note 2, “Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” in the notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements and at relevant sections in this discussion and analysis.
 
Revenue Recognition. We enter into contracts principally on the basis of competitive bids. We frequently negotiate the final terms and prices of those contracts with the customer. Although the terms of our contracts vary considerably, approximately 91% of our revenues are based on either a fixed price or unit price basis in which we agree to do the work for a fixed amount for the entire project (fixed price) or for units of work performed (unit price). Approximately 9% of our revenues are earned from contracts where we are paid on a time and materials basis. Our most significant cost drivers are the cost of labor, the cost of materials and the cost of casualty and health insurance. These costs may vary from the costs we originally estimated. Variations from estimated contract costs along with other risks inherent in performing fixed price and unit price contracts may result in actual revenue and gross profits or interim projected revenue and gross profits for a project differing from those we originally estimated and could result in losses on projects. Depending on the size of a particular project, variations from estimated project costs could have a significant impact on our operating results for any fiscal quarter or year.
We complete most of our projects within one year. We frequently provide service and maintenance work under open-ended, unit price master service agreements which are renewable annually. We recognize revenue on service, time and material work when services are performed. Work performed under a construction contract generally provides that the customers accept completion of progress to date and compensate us for services rendered, measured in terms of units installed, hours expended or some other measure of progress. Revenues from construction contracts are recognized on the percentage-of-completion method. Revenues recognized on a percentage-of-completion basis, all of which are fixed price or cost plus arrangements, comprised approximately 63% of our total revenue for the year ended September 30, 2020. The percentage-of-completion method for construction contracts is measured principally by the percentage of costs incurred and accrued to date for each contract to the estimated total costs for each contract at completion. We generally consider contracts substantially complete upon departure from the work site and acceptance by the customer. Contract costs
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include all direct material and labor costs and those indirect costs related to contract performance, such as indirect labor, supplies, tools, repairs and depreciation costs. Changes in job performance, job conditions, estimated contract costs, profitability and final contract settlements may result in revisions to costs and income, and the effects of such revisions are recognized in the period in which the revisions are determined. Provisions for total estimated losses on uncompleted contracts are made in the period in which such losses are determined.

We generally do not incur significant costs related to obtaining or fulfilling a contract prior to the start of a project. When significant pre‑contract costs are incurred, they will be capitalized and amortized on a percentage of completion basis over the life of the contract.

The current asset “Costs and estimated earnings in excess of billings” represents revenues recognized in excess of amounts billed that management believes will be billed and collected within the next twelve months. The current liability “Billings in excess of costs and estimated earnings” represents billings in excess of revenues recognized. Costs and estimated earnings in excess of billings are amounts considered recoverable from customers based on different measures of performance, including achievement of specific milestones, completion of specified units or completion of the contract. Also included in this asset, from time to time, are claims and unapproved change orders, which include amounts that we are in the process of collecting from our customers or agencies for changes in contract specifications or design, contract change orders in dispute or unapproved as to scope and price, or other related causes of unanticipated additional contract costs. Claims and unapproved change orders are recorded at estimated realizable value when collection is probable and can be reasonably estimated. We do not recognize profits on construction costs incurred in connection with claims. Claims made by us involve negotiation and, in certain cases, litigation. Such litigation costs are expensed as incurred.

Business Combinations. In accounting for business combinations, certain assumptions and estimates are employed in determining the fair value of assets acquired, evaluating the fair value of liabilities assumed, as well as in determining the allocation of goodwill to the appropriate reporting unit. These estimates may be affected by factors such as changing market conditions affecting the industries in which we operate. The most significant assumptions requiring judgment involve identifying and estimating the fair value of intangible assets and the associated useful lives for establishing amortization periods. To finalize purchase accounting for significant intangible assets and liabilities, we utilize the services of independent valuation specialists to assist in the determination of the fair value.

Valuation of Intangibles and Long-Lived Assets. We evaluate goodwill for potential impairment at least annually at year end; however, if impairment indicators exist, we will evaluate as needed. In evaluating goodwill for impairment, we have the option to first assess qualitative factors to determine whether it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is greater than its carrying value. If we determine that it is more likely than not that the carrying value of a reporting unit is greater than its fair value, then we perform an impairment test by calculating the fair value of the reporting unit and comparing this calculated fair value with the carrying value of the reporting unit. We estimate the fair value of the reporting unit based on the market approach and income approach. Included in this evaluation are certain assumptions and estimates to determine the fair values of reporting units such as estimates of future cash flows and discount rates, as well as assumptions and estimates related to the valuation of other identified intangible assets. Changes in these assumptions and estimates or significant changes to the market value of our common stock could materially impact our results of operations or financial position. We recorded a goodwill impairment of $7.0 million during the year ended September 30, 2020. We did not record goodwill impairment during the years ended September 30, 2019 or 2018.
Each reporting period, we assess impairment indicators related to long-lived assets and intangible assets. If we determine impairment indicators exist, we conduct an evaluation to determine whether any impairment has occurred. This evaluation includes certain assumptions and estimates to determine fair value of asset groups, including estimates about future cash flows and discount rates, among others. Changes in these assumptions and estimates could materially impact our results of operations or financial projections. No impairment charges related to amortizable assets were recorded in the years ended September 30, 2020, 2019 or 2018.
Current and Non-Current Accounts Receivable and Provision for Doubtful Accounts. We provide an allowance for doubtful accounts for unknown collection issues, in addition to reserves for specific accounts receivable where collection is considered doubtful. Inherent in the assessment of the allowance for doubtful accounts are certain judgments and estimates including, among others, our customers’ access to capital, our customers’ willingness to pay, general economic conditions, and the ongoing relationships with our customers. In addition to these factors, the method of accounting for construction contracts requires the review and analysis of not only the net receivables, but also the amount of billings in excess of costs and costs in excess of billings. The analysis management utilizes to assess collectability of our receivables includes detailed review of older balances, analysis of days sales outstanding where we include in the calculation, in addition to accounts receivable balances net of any allowance for doubtful accounts, the level of costs in excess of billings netted against billings in excess of costs and the ratio of accounts receivable, net of any allowance for doubtful accounts plus the level of costs in excess of billings, to revenues. These analyses provide an indication of those amounts billed ahead of or behind the recognition of revenue on our construction contracts and are important to consider in understanding the operational cash flows related to our revenue cycle.
Risk Management. We are insured for workers’ compensation, automobile liability, general liability, construction defects, pollution, employment practices and employee-related health care claims, subject to deductibles. Our general liability program provides
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coverage for bodily injury and property damage. Losses up to the deductible amounts are accrued based upon our estimates of the liability for claims incurred and an estimate of claims incurred but not reported. The accruals are derived from actuarial studies, known facts, historical trends and industry averages utilizing the assistance of an actuary to determine the best estimate of the ultimate expected loss. We believe such accruals to be adequate; however, insurance liabilities are difficult to assess and estimate due to unknown factors, including the severity of an injury, the determination of our liability in proportion to other parties, the number of incidents incurred but not reported and the effectiveness of our safety program. Therefore, if actual experience differs from the assumptions used in the actuarial valuation, adjustments to the reserve may be required and would be recorded in the period that the experience becomes known.
Valuation Allowance for Deferred Tax Assets. We regularly evaluate valuation allowances established for deferred tax assets for which future realization is uncertain. We perform this evaluation quarterly. The estimation of required valuation allowances includes estimates of future taxable income. In assessing the realizability of deferred tax assets at September 30, 2020, we concluded, based upon the assessment of positive and negative evidence, that it is more likely than not that the Company will generate sufficient taxable income within the applicable NOL carryforward periods to realize $33.8 million of its deferred tax assets. We considered the scheduled reversal of deferred tax liabilities, projected future taxable income and tax planning strategies in making this assessment.
An inability to generate sufficient taxable income in future periods to realize our deferred tax assets may lead to a future need for a valuation allowance and a corresponding reduction in GAAP net income. In addition, any further reduction in the federal statutory tax rate in the future could also cause a reduction in the economic benefit of the NOL available to us and a corresponding charge to reduce the book value of the deferred tax asset recorded on our Consolidated Balance Sheets.
Income Taxes. GAAP specifies the methodology by which a company must identify, recognize, measure and disclose in its financial statements the effects of any uncertain tax return reporting positions that it has taken or expects to take. GAAP requires financial statement reporting of the expected future tax consequences of uncertain tax return reporting positions on the presumption that all relevant tax authorities possess full knowledge of those tax reporting positions, as well as all of the pertinent facts and circumstances, but it prohibits discounting of any of the related tax effects for the time value of money.
The evaluation of a tax position is a two-step process. The first step is the recognition process to determine if it is more likely than not that a tax position will be sustained upon examination by the appropriate taxing authority, based on the technical merits of the position. The second step is a measurement process whereby a tax position that meets the more likely than not recognition threshold is calculated to determine the amount of benefit/expense to recognize in the financial statements. The tax position is measured at the largest amount of benefit/expense that is more likely than not of being realized upon ultimate settlement.
The tax years ended September 30, 2017 and forward are subject to federal audit as are prior tax years, to the extent of unutilized net operating losses generated in those years.
We anticipate that approximately $3.1 million in liabilities for unrecognized tax benefits, including accrued interest, may be reversed in the next twelve months. This reversal is predominantly due to the expiration of the statutes of limitation for unrecognized tax benefits.
New Accounting Pronouncements. Recent accounting pronouncements are described in Note 2, “Summary of Significant Accounting Policies — New Accounting Pronouncements” in the notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements and at relevant sections in this discussion and analysis.

Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

Management is actively involved in monitoring exposure to market risk and continues to develop and utilize appropriate risk management techniques. Our exposure to significant market risks includes fluctuations in labor costs and commodity prices for copper, aluminum, steel and fuel. Commodity price risks may have an impact on our results of operations due to the fixed price nature of many of our contracts. We are also exposed to interest rate risk with respect to our outstanding debt obligations on our credit facility. For additional information see “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
Commodity Risk

Our exposure to significant market risks includes fluctuations in commodity prices for copper, aluminum, steel and fuel. Commodity price risks may have an impact on our results of operations due to the fixed nature of many of our contracts. Over the long-term, we expect to be able to pass along a portion of these costs to our customers, as market conditions in the construction industry will allow.

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Interest Rate Risk

We are subject to interest rate risk on floating interest rate borrowings under our revolving credit facility. If LIBOR or its replacement benchmark were to increase, our interest payment obligations on outstanding borrowings would increase, having a negative effect on our cash flow and financial condition. In July 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority (the regulatory authority over LIBOR) stated that it would phase out LIBOR as a benchmark after 2021 to allow for an orderly transition to an alternative reference rate. Our revolving credit facility provides for a mechanism to amend the facility to reflect the establishment of an alternative rate of interest upon the
occurrence of certain events related to the phase-out of LIBOR. However, we have not yet pursued any technical amendment or other contractual alternative to address this matter and are currently evaluating the impact of the potential replacement of the LIBOR interest rate. As we have $12 thousand of borrowings outstanding at September 30, 2020, our exposure to interest rate risk as of that date is minimal. We currently do not maintain any hedging contracts that would limit our exposure to variable rates of interest when we have outstanding borrowings. Floating rate debt, where the interest rate fluctuates periodically, exposes us to short-term changes in market interest rates.



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Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data


INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

Page

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REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

To the Stockholders and the Board of Directors of IES Holdings, Inc. and subsidiaries

Opinion on the Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of IES Holdings, Inc. and subsidiaries (the Company) as of September 30, 2020 and 2019, the related consolidated statements of comprehensive income (loss), stockholders’ equity and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended September 30, 2020, and the related notes (collectively referred to as the “consolidated financial statements”). In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company at September 30, 2020 and 2019, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended September 30, 2020, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the Company's internal control over financial reporting as of September 30, 2020, based on criteria established in Internal Control-Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013 framework) and our report dated December 7, 2020 expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.

Adoption of Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-02 Leases

As discussed in Notes 2 and 9 to the consolidated financial statements, the Company changed its method of accounting for leases in 2020 due to the adoption of ASU No. 2016-02, Leases.

Basis for Opinion

These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company's management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

s/ ERNST & YOUNG LLP

We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2002
Houston, Texas
December 7, 2020
















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REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

To the Stockholders and the Board of Directors of IES Holdings, Inc. and subsidiaries

Opinion on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

We have audited IES Holdings, Inc. and subsidiaries’ internal control over financial reporting as of September 30, 2020, based on criteria established in Internal Control—Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013 framework), (the COSO criteria). In our opinion, IES Holdings, Inc. and subsidiaries (the Company) maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of September 30, 2020, based on the COSO criteria.

We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the consolidated balance sheets of the Company as of September 30, 2020 and 2019, the related consolidated statements of comprehensive income (loss), stockholders’ equity and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended September 30, 2020, and the related notes and our report dated December 7, 2020 expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.

Basis for Opinion

The Company’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 Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s internal control over financial reporting based on our audit. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. 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.

Definition and Limitations of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

A company’s 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 company’s 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 company’s 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.


s/ ERNST & YOUNG LLP

Houston, Texas
December 7, 2020

41


IES HOLDINGS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Balance Sheets
(In Thousands, Except Share Information)

September 30,
20202019
ASSETS
CURRENT ASSETS:
Cash and cash equivalents$53,577 $18,934 
Accounts receivable:
Trade, net of allowance213,016 186,279 
Retainage40,878 29,214 
Inventories24,889 21,543 
Costs and estimated earnings in excess of billings29,937 29,860 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets9,153 10,625 
Total current assets371,450 296,455 
Property and equipment, net24,589 25,746 
Goodwill53,763 50,622 
Intangible assets, net39,357 26,623 
Deferred tax assets33,803 40,874 
Operating right of use assets31,786  
Other non-current assets5,780 4,938 
Total assets$560,528 $445,258 
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
CURRENT LIABILITIES:
Accounts payable and accrued expenses186,710 152,909 
Billings in excess of costs and estimated earnings55,739 40,563 
Total current liabilities242,449 193,472 
Long-term debt217 299 
Operating long-term lease liabilities20,530  
Other non-current liabilities12,215 1,945 
Total liabilities275,411 195,716 
Noncontrolling interest1,804 3,294 
STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY:
Preferred stock, $0.01 par value, 10,000,000 shares authorized, none issued
and outstanding  
Common stock, $0.01 par value, 100,000,000 shares authorized; 22,049,529
issued and 20,762,395 and 21,165,011 outstanding, respectively
220 220 
Treasury stock, at cost, 1,287,134 and 884,518 shares, respectively
(24,499)(12,483)
Additional paid-in capital200,587 192,911 
Retained earnings107,005 65,600 
Total stockholders’ equity283,313 246,248 
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity$560,528 $445,258 


The accompanying notes are an integral part of these Consolidated Financial Statements.

42


IES HOLDINGS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income (Loss)
(In Thousands, Except Share Information)

Year Ended September 30,
202020192018
Revenues$1,190,856 $1,076,996 $876,828 
Cost of services962,897 894,893 726,866 
Gross profit227,959 182,103 149,962 
Selling, general and administrative expenses170,911 140,575 123,920 
Goodwill impairment expense6,976   
Contingent consideration(11)(374)103 
Loss (gain) on sale of assets 52 (15)
Operating income50,083 41,850 25,954 
Interest and other (income) expense:
Interest expense777 1,857 1,946 
Other (income) expense, net12 (148)(340)
Income from operations before income taxes49,294 40,141 24,348 
Provision for income taxes8,740 6,663 38,151 
Net income (loss)40,554 33,478 (13,803)
Net (income) loss attributable to noncontrolling interest1,045 (272)(354)
Comprehensive income (loss) attributable to IES Holdings, Inc.$41,599 $33,206 $(14,157)
Earnings (loss) per share attributable to IES Holdings, Inc.:
Basic$1.96 $1.56 $(0.67)
Diluted$1.94 $1.55 $(0.67)
Shares used in the computation of earnings (loss) per share:
Basic20,795,892 21,082,012 21,196,388 
Diluted21,092,410 21,315,245 21,196,388 


The accompanying notes are an integral part of these Consolidated Financial Statements.

43


IES HOLDINGS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Statements of Stockholders’ Equity
(In Thousands, Except Share Information)

Common StockTreasury StockAdditional Paid-In CapitalRetained EarningsTotal Stockholders' Equity
SharesAmountSharesAmount
BALANCE, September 30, 201722,049,529 $220 (712,554)$(6,898)$196,955 $46,427 $236,704 
Issuance of restricted stock & performance stock— — 520 5 (5)—  
Acquisition of treasury stock— — (133,459)(2,059)— — (2,059)
Options exercised— — 1,500 15 (4)— 11 
Non-cash compensation— — — — (136)— (136)
Decrease in noncontrolling interest— — — — — 44 44 
Net loss attributable to IES Holdings, Inc.— — — — — (14,157)(14,157)
BALANCE, September 30, 201822,049,529