Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2018
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies  
Cash and Cash Equivalents

Cash and Cash Equivalents

Cash consists of cash deposits held in global financial institutions. Cash equivalents consist of highly liquid investments with original maturities of three months or less at the time of acquisition. Cash that has restrictions upon its usage has been excluded from cash and cash equivalents.

Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities

Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities

All of the Company’s derivatives, whether designated in hedging relationships or not, are recorded on the balance sheet at fair value. None of the Company’s derivatives are currently designated as hedges, as a result, changes in the fair value of the derivative are recognized in earnings.

The fair value of certain of the Company’s derivative instruments are estimated using the Black Scholes Merton option-pricing model (“Black-Scholes model”). The Black-Scholes model incorporates a number of variables in determining such fair values, including expected volatility of the underlying security and an appropriate discount rate. The Company obtained volatility rates from pricing services based on the expected volatility of the underlying security over the remaining term of the derivative instrument. A discount rate was obtained at the inception of the derivative instrument and updated each reporting period, based on the Company’s estimate of the discount rate at which it could currently settle the derivative instrument. The Company considered its own credit risk as well as the credit risk of its counterparties in estimating the discount rate. Management judgment was required in estimating the Black-Scholes variables. The Company had no outstanding derivative instruments at December 31, 2018 or December 31, 2017.

Equity Method Investments

Investment in Equity Method Affiliate

For those investments in affiliates in which the Company has the ability to exercise significant influence, the equity method of accounting is used. Under this method, the investment, originally recorded at cost, is adjusted to recognize the Company’s share of net earnings or losses of the affiliate as they occur rather than as dividends or other distributions are received. Losses are limited to the extent of the Company’s investment in, advances to and commitments for the investee. The Company determines the difference between the purchase price of the investee and the underlying equity which results in an excess basis in the investment. This excess basis is allocated to the underlying assets and liabilities of the Company’s investee through a purchase accounting exercise and is allocated within memo accounts used for equity accounting purposes.  Depending on the applicable underlying assets, these amounts are either amortized over the applicable useful lives or determined to be indefinite lived. Changes in the Company’s proportionate share of the underlying equity of an equity method investee, which result from the issuance of additional equity securities by such equity investee, are recognized in the statement of operations through the gain (loss) on dilution of investment in affiliate line item. We periodically evaluate our equity method investment to determine if decreases in fair value below our cost basis are other than temporary. If a decline in fair value is determined to be other than temporary, we are required to reflect such decline in our consolidated statement of operations. Other than temporary declines in fair value of our equity method investment would be included in share of earnings (losses) of affiliate in our consolidated statement of operations.

The primary factors we consider in our determination of whether declines in fair value are other than temporary are the length of time that the fair value of the investment is below our carrying value; the severity of the decline; and the financial condition, operating performance and near term prospects of the investee. In addition, we consider the reason for the decline in fair value, be it general market conditions, industry specific or investee specific; analysts' ratings and estimates of 12 month share price targets for the investee; changes in stock price or valuation subsequent to the balance sheet date; and our intent and ability to hold the investment for a period of time sufficient to allow for a recovery in fair value. Fair value of our publicly traded cost and equity investments is based on the market prices of the investments at the balance sheet date. Impairments are calculated as the difference between our carrying value and our estimate of fair value. As our assessment of the fair value of our investments and any resulting impairment losses and the timing of when to recognize such charges requires a high degree of judgment and includes significant estimates and assumptions, actual results could differ materially from our estimates and assumptions.

As Liberty Broadband does not control the decision making process or business management practices of our affiliate accounted for using the equity method, Liberty Broadband relies on management of its affiliate to provide it with accurate financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP that the Company uses in the application of the equity method. In addition, Liberty Broadband relies on the audit reports that are provided by the affiliate’s independent auditors on the financial statements of such affiliate. The Company is not aware, however, of any errors in or possible misstatements of the financial information provided by its equity affiliate that would have a material effect on Liberty Broadband’s consolidated financial statements.  See note 5 for additional discussion regarding our investment in Charter and the Transactions that occurred during the second quarter of 2016.

Foreign Currency Translation and Transaction Gains and Losses

Foreign Currency Translation and Transaction Gains and Losses

The functional currency of the Company is the United States (“U.S.”) dollar. Transactions denominated in currencies other than the functional currency are recorded based on exchange rates at the time such transactions arise. Subsequent changes in exchange rates result in transaction gains and losses which are reflected in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive earnings (loss) as unrealized (based on the applicable period end exchange rate) or realized upon settlement of the transactions.


Revenue Recognition

Revenue Recognition

As of January 1, 2018, the Company adopted the Accounting Standards Updates (“ASU”) amending revenue recognition guidance using the modified retrospective method for all contracts reflecting the aggregate effect of modifications prior to the date of adoption. Results for reporting periods beginning after January 1, 2018 are presented under the new guidance, while prior period amounts were not adjusted and continue to be reported under the accounting standards in effect for those periods.


Upon adoption, we recognized a net cumulative effect of applying the new revenue guidance as a net increase to the opening balance of retained earnings of $1.2 million, as well as an increase to other current assets of $0.3 million, an increase to deferred income tax liabilities of $0.4 million and a decrease to deferred revenue and other current liabilities of $1.3 million, primarily due to changes in the timing of revenue recognition. The impact of the new accounting guidance to our consolidated statement of operations was not meaningful for the year ended December 31, 2018, and we do not expect it to be meaningful going forward.


Skyhook earns revenue from the sale and integration of its Precision Location Solution (including the licensing of software and data components that make up that solution) and the licensing of Geospatial Insights data. In addition, Skyhook earns revenue through entering into licensing agreements with companies to utilize its underlying intellectual property.

Revenue is recognized upon transfer of control of promised products or services to its customers in an amount that reflects the consideration expected to be received in exchange for those products and services.

Skyhook sells its Precision Location Solution and Geospatial Insights data via fixed fee, usage basis or revenue share licensing arrangements. Revenue for fixed fee arrangements is recognized on a straight-line basis over the performance period. Revenue for usage based contracts or revenue share arrangements is recognized upon transfer of the service to its customers. Contracts with customers often include multiple products and services, which in general are not distinct within the context of the contract. Transaction prices of individual products and services are not allocated to specific performance obligations and are recognized ratably.

Skyhook recognizes fees received from intellectual property licensing at the inception of a license term for perpetual licenses when there are no ongoing performance obligations. Revenue recognition is deferred when there are ongoing performance obligations. In such circumstances, revenue would be allocated to the performance obligation and recognized upon the transfer of control of the promised product or service.


Deferred Revenue. At January 1, 2018, deferred revenue liabilities consisted of $4.5 million and $2.3 million, included in deferred revenue and other current liabilities, and other liabilities, respectively. Of this $6.8 million that was recorded as deferred revenue, $4.2 million was recognized as revenue during the year ended December 31, 2018. At December 31, 2018, the related balance consisted of $4.3 million and $1.9 million, included in deferred revenue and other current liabilities, and other liabilities, respectively. Of this $6.2 million that was recorded as deferred revenue, we expect to recognize approximately 96% over the next one to three years.


Accounting Policies Elected. The Company has elected to exclude all taxes assessed by a governmental authority from the measurement of the transaction price.


Practical Expedients Utilized.  The Company has elected to apply the new revenue guidance only to those contracts that were not completed contracts as of December 31, 2017 and considered contract modifications that occurred prior to January 1, 2018 as combined with the original contract. Subsequent to January 1, 2018, the Company will consider each modification separately in accordance with the new guidance.


Significant Judgments. The Company estimates variable consideration at the most likely amount to which we expect to be entitled. The estimate of variable consideration and determination of whether to include estimated amounts in the transaction price are based largely on an assessment of our anticipated performance and all historical, current and forecast information that is reasonably available to us.


Research and Development Costs

Research and Development Costs

Research and development costs are expensed as incurred.

Stock‑Based Compensation

Stock-Based Compensation

As more fully described in note 9, Liberty Broadband has granted to its directors, employees and employees of certain of its subsidiaries, restricted stock and stock options to purchase shares of Liberty Broadband common stock (collectively, “Awards”). Liberty Broadband measures the cost of employee services received in exchange for an equity classified Award (such as stock options and restricted stock) based on the grant-date fair value of the Award, and recognizes that cost over the period during which the employee is required to provide service (usually the vesting period of the Award). Liberty Broadband measures the cost of employee services received in exchange for a liability classified Award based on the current fair value of the Award, and remeasures the fair value of the Award at each reporting date. Certain outstanding awards of Liberty were assumed by Liberty Broadband at the time of the Broadband Spin-Off.

Additionally, Skyhook sponsors long-term incentive plans (“LTIPs”) which provide for the granting of phantom stock units (“PSUs”), and phantom stock appreciation rights (“PARs”) to employees, directors, and consultants of Skyhook. Skyhook measures the cost of employee services received in exchange for awards of equity instruments based on the grant-date fair value of the award and recognizes that cost ratably over the period during which the employee is required to provide service (usually the vesting period of the award). Skyhook measures the cost of employee services received in exchange for awards of liability instruments (such as PSUs and PARs that will be settled in cash) based on the current fair value of the award, and remeasures the fair value of the award at each reporting date. The consolidated statements of operations includes stock-based compensation related to Skyhook awards.

In March 2016, the FASB issued new guidance which simplifies several aspects of the accounting for share-based payment award transactions, including the income tax consequences, forfeitures, classification of awards as either equity or liabilities, and classification on the statement of cash flows. The new standard is effective for the Company for fiscal years and interim periods beginning after December 15, 2016, with early application permitted. The Company adopted this guidance in the third quarter of 2016. In accordance with the new guidance, excess tax benefits and tax deficiencies are recognized as income tax benefit or expense rather than as additional paid-in capital. The Company has elected to recognize forfeitures as they occur rather than continue to estimate expected forfeitures. In addition, pursuant to the new guidance, excess tax benefits are classified as an operating activity on the consolidated statements of cash flows. The recognition of excess tax benefits and deficiencies are applied prospectively from January 1, 2016. Based on the Company’s analysis, no cumulative effect adjustment to retained earnings was necessary for tax benefits that were not previously recognized and for adjustments to compensation cost based on actual forfeitures. There were no excess tax benefits reclassified for the year ended December 31, 2016.

Income taxes

Income Taxes

The Company accounts for income taxes using the asset and liability method. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying value amounts and income tax bases of assets and liabilities and the expected benefits of utilizing net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards. The deferred tax assets and liabilities are calculated using enacted tax rates in effect for each taxing jurisdiction in which the Company operates for the year in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. Net deferred tax assets are then reduced by a valuation allowance if the Company believes it more likely than not that such net deferred tax assets will not be realized. We consider all relevant factors when assessing the likelihood of future realization of our deferred tax assets, including our recent earnings experience by jurisdiction, expectations of future taxable income, and the carryforward periods available to us for tax reporting purposes, as well as assessing available tax planning strategies. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of an enacted change in tax rates is recognized in income in the period that includes the enactment date. Due to inherent complexities arising from the nature of our businesses, future changes in income tax law, tax sharing agreements or variances between our actual and anticipated operating results, we make certain judgments and estimates. Therefore, actual income taxes could materially vary from these estimates.

When the tax law requires interest to be paid on an underpayment of income taxes, the Company recognizes interest expense from the first period the interest would begin accruing according to the relevant tax law. Such interest expense is included in interest expense in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations. Any accrual of penalties related to underpayment of income taxes on uncertain tax positions is included in other income (expense) in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations.

We recognize in our consolidated financial statements the impact of a tax position, if that position is more likely than not to be sustained upon an examination, based on the technical merits of the position.

Certain Risks and Concentrations

Certain Risks and Concentrations

The Skyhook business is subject to certain risks and concentrations including dependence on relationships with its customers. The Company’s largest customers, that accounted for greater than 10% of revenue, aggregated 66% of total revenue for the year ended December 31, 2018, and 57% of total revenue for both of the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016.

Contingent Liabilities

Contingent Liabilities

Periodically, we review the status of all significant outstanding matters to assess any potential financial exposure. When (i) it is probable that an asset has been impaired or a liability has been incurred and (ii) the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated, we record the estimated loss in our consolidated statements of operations. We provide disclosure in the notes to the consolidated financial statements for loss contingencies that do not meet both these conditions if there is a reasonable possibility that a loss may have been incurred that would be material to the financial statements. Significant judgment is required to determine the probability that a liability has been incurred and whether such liability is reasonably estimable. We base accruals made on the best information available at the time which can be highly subjective. The final outcome of these matters could vary significantly from the amounts included in the accompanying consolidated financial statements.

Comprehensive Earnings (Loss)

Comprehensive Earnings (Loss)

Comprehensive earnings (loss) consists of net earnings (loss), cumulative foreign currency translation adjustments, unrealized gains and losses on available-for-sale securities, net of tax and the Company’s share of the comprehensive earnings (loss) of our equity method affiliate.

Earnings per Share (EPS)

Earnings per Share (EPS)

Basic earnings (loss) per common share (“EPS”) is computed by dividing net earnings (loss) by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding for the period. Diluted EPS presents the dilutive effect on a per share basis of potential common shares as if they had been converted at the beginning of the periods presented.











Years ended December 31,












number of shares in thousands


Basic WASO








Potentially dilutive shares








Diluted WASO









Potential common shares excluded from diluted EPS because their inclusion would be antidilutive for the years ended December 31, 2018,  2017 and 2016 are approximately 10 thousand, zero, and 17 thousand, respectively.

Reclasses and adjustments


Reclasses and adjustments

Certain prior period amounts have been reclassified for comparability with the current year presentation.



The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates. The Company considers the application of the equity method of accounting for its affiliates and accounting for income taxes to be its most significant estimates.