Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)

v3.5.0.2
Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)
3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2016
Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements [Abstract]  
Principles of Consolidation
Principles of Consolidation
    
The accompanying consolidated financial statements include Ligand and its wholly owned subsidiaries. All significant intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.

Basis of Presentation
Basis of Presentation

The Company’s accompanying unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements as of March 31, 2016 and for the three months ended March 31, 2016 and 2015 have been prepared in accordance with GAAP for interim financial information. In the opinion of management, all adjustments (consisting of normal recurring adjustments) considered necessary for a fair presentation of the financial position and results of operations of the Company and its subsidiaries, have been included. Operating results for the three months ended March 31, 2016 are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for the year ending December 31, 2016. These financial statements should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and notes therein included in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K/A for the year ended December 31, 2015 filed on November 14, 2016.

Use of Estimates
Use of Estimates

The preparation of condensed consolidated financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires the use of estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the condensed consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes. Actual results may differ from those estimates.
Reclassifications
Reclassifications

Certain reclassifications have been made to the previously issued balance sheet and statement of operations for the three months ended March 31, 2015 for comparability purposes. These reclassifications had no effect on the reported net income, stockholders' equity, and operating cash flows as previously reported.

Income Per Share
Income Per Share

Basic income per share is calculated by dividing net income by the weighted-average number of common shares outstanding during the period. Diluted income per share is computed by dividing net income by the weighted-average number of common shares and common stock equivalents of all dilutive securities calculated using the treasury stock method and the if-converted method.
Cash Equivalents and Short-term Investments
Cash Equivalents
Cash equivalents consist of all investments with maturities of three months or less from the date of acquisition.
Short-term Investments
Short-term investments primarily consist of investments in debt securities that have effective maturities greater than three months and less than twelve months from the date of acquisition. The Company classifies its short-term investments as "available-for-sale". Such investments are carried at fair value, with unrealized gains and losses included in the statement of comprehensive income (loss). The Company determines the cost of investments based on the specific identification method.
Restricted Investments
Restricted Investments
Restricted investments consist of certificates of deposit held with a financial institution as collateral under a facility lease and third-party service provider arrangements.
Inventory
Inventory

Inventory, which consists of finished goods, is stated at the lower of cost or market value. The Company determines cost using the first-in, first-out method. Inventory levels are analyzed periodically and written down to its net realizable value if it has become obsolete, has a cost basis in excess of its expected net realizable value or is in excess of expected requirements.
Goodwill and Other Identifiable Intangible Assets
Amortization of definite-lived intangible assets is computed using the straight-line method over the estimated useful life of the asset of 20 years.
Commercial license rights
Commercial License Rights
    
Commercial license rights represent a portfolio of future milestone and royalty payment rights acquired from Selexis in April 2013 and April 2015. Individual commercial license rights acquired under the agreement are carried at allocated cost and approximate fair value. The carrying value of the license rights will be reduced on a pro-rata basis as revenue is realized over the term of the agreement. Declines in the fair value of individual license rights below their carrying value that are deemed to be other than temporary are reflected in earnings in the period such determination is made. As of March 31, 2016, management does not believe there have been any events or circumstances indicating that the carrying amount of its commercial license rights may not be recoverable.

Property and Equipment
Depreciation of equipment is computed using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the assets, which range from three to ten years. Leasehold improvements are amortized using the straight-line method over the shorter of the estimated useful lives or the related lease term.
Contingent Liabilities
Contingent Liabilities
    
In connection with the Company’s acquisition of CyDex in January 2011, the Company recorded a contingent liability, for amounts potentially due to holders of the CyDex CVRs and former license holders. The liability is periodically assessed based on events and circumstances related to the underlying milestones, royalties and material sales. Any change in fair value is recorded in the Company’s consolidated statement of operations. The carrying amount of the liability may fluctuate significantly and actual amounts paid under the CVR agreements may be materially different than the carrying amount of the liability. The fair value of the liability at March 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015 was $6.9 million and $9.5 million, respectively. The Company recorded a fair-value adjustment to increase the liability by $0.2 million and $1.2 million for the three months ended March 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively. There was a revenue-sharing payment of $2.8 million and $3.2 million to CyDex CVR holders during the three months ended March 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

In connection with the Company’s acquisition of Metabasis in January 2010, the Company issued to Metabasis stockholders four tradable CVRs, one CVR from each of four respective series of CVR, for each Metabasis share. The CVRs will entitle Metabasis stockholders to cash payments as frequently as every six months as cash is received by the Company from proceeds from the sale or partnering of any of the Metabasis drug development programs, among other triggering events. The fair values of the CVRs are remeasured at each reporting date through the term of the related agreement. Any change in fair value is recorded in the Company’s consolidated statement of operations. The carrying amount of the liability may fluctuate significantly based upon quoted market prices and actual amounts paid under the agreements may be materially different than the carrying amount of the liability.
Revenue Recognition
Revenue Recognition

Royalties on sales of products commercialized by the Company’s partners are recognized in the quarter reported to Ligand by the respective partner. Generally, the Company receives royalty reports from its licensees approximately one quarter in arrears due to the fact that its agreements require partners to report product sales between 30 and 60 days after the end of the quarter. The Company recognizes royalty revenues when it can reliably estimate such amounts and collectability is reasonably assured. Under this accounting policy, the royalty revenues reported are not based upon estimates and such royalty revenues are typically reported to the Company by its partners in the same period in which payment is received.
Revenue from material sales of Captisol is recognized upon transfer of title, which normally passes upon shipment to the customer, provided all other revenue recognition criteria have been met. All product returns are subject to the Company's credit and exchange policy, approval by the Company and a 20% restocking fee. To date, product returns by customers have not been material to net material sales in any related period. The Company records revenue net of product returns, if any, and sales tax collected and remitted to government authorities during the period.

The Company analyzes its revenue arrangements and other agreements to determine whether there are multiple elements that should be separated and accounted for individually or as a single unit of accounting. For multiple element contracts, arrangement consideration is allocated at the inception of the arrangement to all deliverables on the basis of relative selling price, using a hierarchy to determine selling price. Management first considers VSOE, then TPE and if neither VSOE nor TPE exist, the Company uses its best estimate of selling price.
Many of the Company's revenue arrangements for Captisol involve a license agreement with the supply of manufactured Captisol product. Licenses may be granted to pharmaceutical companies for the use of Captisol product in the development of pharmaceutical compounds. The supply of the Captisol product may be for all phases of clinical trials and through commercial availability of the host drug or may be limited to certain phases of the clinical trial process. Management believes that the Company's licenses have stand-alone value at the outset of an arrangement because the customer obtains the right to use Captisol in its formulations without any additional input by the Company.
Other nonrefundable, upfront license fees are recognized as revenue upon delivery of the license, if the license is determined to have standalone value that is not dependent on any future performance by the Company under the applicable collaboration agreement. Nonrefundable contingent event-based payments are recognized as revenue when the contingent event is met, which is usually the earlier of when payments are received or collections are assured, provided that it does not require future performance by the Company. The Company occasionally has sub-license obligations related to arrangements for which it receives license fees, milestones and royalties. The Company evaluates the determination of gross versus net reporting based on each individual agreement.
Sales-based contingent payments from partners are accounted for similarly to royalties, with revenue recognized upon achievement of the sales targets assuming all other revenue recognition criteria for milestones are met. Revenue from development and regulatory milestones is recognized when earned, as evidenced by written acknowledgement from the collaborator, provided that (1) the milestone event is substantive, its achievability was not reasonably assured at the inception of the agreement, and the Company has no further performance obligations relating to that event, and (2) collectability is reasonably assured. If these criteria are not met, the milestone payment is recognized over the remaining period of the Company’s performance obligations under the arrangement.    
Revenue from research funding under our collaboration agreements is earned and recognized on a percentage-of completion basis as research hours are incurred in accordance with the provisions of each agreement.

Stock-Based Compensation
Stock-Based Compensation

Stock-based compensation expense for awards to employees and non-employee directors is recognized on a straight-line basis over the vesting period until the last tranche vests.
Income Taxes
Income Taxes

                Income taxes are accounted for under the liability method.  This approach requires the recognition of deferred tax assets and liabilities for the expected future tax consequences of differences between the tax basis of assets or liabilities and their carrying amounts in the consolidated financial statements. The Company provides a valuation allowance for deferred tax assets if it is more likely than not that these items will expire before we are able to realize their benefit. The Company calculates the valuation allowance in accordance with the authoritative guidance relating to income taxes under ASC 740, Income Taxes, which requires an assessment of both positive and negative evidence that is available regarding the reliability of these deferred tax assets, when measuring the need for a valuation allowance.   Developing the provision for income taxes requires significant judgment and expertise in federal and state income tax laws, regulations and strategies, including the determination of deferred tax assets and liabilities and, if necessary, any valuation allowances that may be required for deferred tax assets.  The Company's judgments and tax strategies are subject to audit by various taxing authorities.  While management believes the Company has provided adequately for its income tax liabilities in its consolidated financial statements, adverse determinations by these taxing authorities could have a material adverse effect on the Company's consolidated financial condition and results of operations. 
Variable Interest Entities
Variable Interest Entities

The Company identifies an entity as a VIE if either: (1) the entity does not have sufficient equity investment at risk to permit the entity to finance its activities without additional subordinated financial support, or (2) the entity's equity investors lack the essential characteristics of a controlling financial interest. The Company performs ongoing qualitative assessments of its VIEs to determine whether the Company has a controlling financial interest in any VIE and therefore is the primary beneficiary. If the Company is the primary beneficiary of a VIE, it consolidates the VIE under applicable accounting guidance. If the Company is no longer the primary of a VIE or the entity is no longer considered as a VIE as facts and circumstances changed, it deconsolidates the entity under the applicable accounting guidance. Beginning May 2015, the Company deconsolidated Viking, a previously reported VIE, and elected to record its investment in Viking under the equity method of accounting as Viking is no longer considered a VIE and the Company does not have voting control or other elements of control that would require consolidation. The investment is subsequently adjusted for the Company’s share of Viking's operating results, and if applicable, cash contributions and distributions, which is reported on a separate line in our condensed consolidated statement of operations called “Equity in net losses of Viking Therapeutics”. On the condensed consolidated balance sheet, the Company reports its investment in Viking on a separate line in the non-current assets section called “Investment in Viking Therapeutics”.
Convertible Debt
Convertible Debt

In August 2014, the Company completed a $245.0 million offering of 2019 Convertible Senior Notes, which bear interest at 0.75%. The Company accounts for the 2019 Convertible Senior Notes by separating the liability and equity components of the instrument in a manner that reflects the Company's nonconvertible debt borrowing rate. As a result, the Company assigned a value to the debt component of the 2019 Convertible Senior Notes equal to the estimated fair value of similar debt instruments without the conversion feature, which resulted in the Company recording the debt instrument at a discount. The Company is amortizing the debt discount over the life of the 2019 Convertible Senior Notes as additional non-cash interest expense utilizing the effective interest method.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
    
In May 2014, FASB issued ASU 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers. ASU 2014-09 is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2016 and interim periods within those annual periods. The revenue standard’s core principle is built on the contract between a vendor and a customer for the provision of goods and services. It attempts to depict the exchange of rights and obligations between the parties in the pattern of revenue recognition based on the consideration to which the vendor is entitled. To accomplish this objective, the standard requires five basic steps: (1) identify the contract with the customer, (2) identify the performance obligations in the contract, (3) determine the transaction price, (4) allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract, (5) recognize revenue when (or as) the entity satisfies a performance obligation. Management is currently evaluating the effect the adoption of this standard will have on the Company's financial statements.
    
In April 2015, FASB issued ASU 2015-03, Interest-Imputation of Interest: Simplifying the Presentation of Debt Issuance Costs. This update was issued to simplify the presentation for debt issuance costs. Upon adoption, such costs shall be presented on our consolidated balance sheets as a direct deduction from the carrying amount of the related debt liability and not as a deferred charge presented in Other assets on our consolidated balance sheets. This amendment will be effective for interim and annual periods beginning on January 1, 2016, and is required to be retrospectively adopted. During the three-month period ended March 31, 2016, management adopted the change in the presentation on our consolidated balance sheets accordingly (see Note 6 for details).

In January 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-01 Recognition and Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities that amends the accounting and disclosures of financial instruments, including a provision that requires equity investments (except for investments accounted for under the equity method of accounting) to be measured at fair value with changes in fair value recognized in current earnings. The new standard is effective for interim and annual periods beginning on January 1, 2018. We are currently evaluating the impact that this new standard will have on our consolidated financial statements.

In February 2016, the FASB issued a new accounting standard that amends the guidance for the accounting and disclosure of leases. This new standard requires that lessees recognize the assets and liabilities that arise from leases on the balance sheet and disclose qualitative and quantitative information about their leasing arrangements. The new standard is effective for interim and annual periods beginning on January 1, 2019. We are currently evaluating the impact that this new standard will have on our consolidated financial statements.

In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-09, Compensation – Stock Compensation, which identifies areas for simplification involving several aspects of accounting for stock-based payment transactions, including the income tax consequences, classification of awards as either equity or liabilities, an option to recognize gross stock compensation expense with actual forfeitures recognized as they occur, as well as certain classifications on the statement of cash flows. ASU No. 2016-09 is effective for reporting periods beginning after December 31, 2016.  Early adoption is permitted. We are currently assessing the potential impact that the adoption of ASU No. 2016-09 will have in our condensed consolidated financial statements.