Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Income taxes

Income taxes
3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2017
Income Tax Disclosure [Abstract]  
Income taxes
Income taxes:

Management assessed the available positive and negative evidence to estimate if sufficient future taxable income will be generated to use the existing deferred tax assets. A significant piece of objective negative evidence evaluated was the cumulative loss (excluding derivative income) incurred over the three-year period ended December 31, 2016. Such objective evidence is not solely determinative and accordingly, the Company considers all other available positive and negative evidence in its analysis. Based upon the Company's analysis, which included the recent decline in operating profits during the fourth quarter when compared to the fourth quarter of prior years, the Company believed it is more likely than not that the net deferred tax assets in the United States may not be fully realized in the future. On the basis of this evaluation, as of December 31, 2016, a valuation allowance of $12.0 million was recorded to reflect the portion of the deferred tax asset that is not more likely than not to be realized. The amount of the deferred tax asset considered realizable, however, could be adjusted if estimates of future taxable income during the carryforward period are reduced or increased or if objective negative evidence in the form of cumulative losses is no longer present and additional weight may be given to subjective evidence such as our projections for growth. For the three months ended March 31, 2017 there were no changes to the valuation allowance.

We estimate our annual effective income tax rate at the end of each quarterly period. This estimate takes into account the mix of expected income (loss) before income taxes by tax jurisdiction and enacted changes in tax laws.  Our quarterly tax provision and quarterly estimate of the annual effective tax rate is subject to significant volatility due to several factors including, but not limited to, having to forecast income (loss) before income taxes by jurisdictions for the full year prior to the completion of the full year, changes in non-deductible expenses, jurisdictional mix of our income, non-recurring and impairment charges, as well as the actual amount of income (loss) before income taxes.  For example, the impact of non-deductible expenses on our effective tax rate is greater when income (loss) before income taxes is lower. To the extent there are fluctuations in any of these variables during any given period, the provision for income taxes will vary accordingly.

The Company recognized an income tax benefit of $16,746 for the three months ended March 31, 2017, compared to income tax benefit of $65,951 for the three months ended March 31, 2016.  The Company’s effective tax rate was 14.7% for the three months ended March 31, 2017 compared to 10.5% for the three months ended March 31, 2016. 

These changes in the effective tax rates were due to several factors but are primarily dependent on the pre-tax income or loss and discrete items of the applicable periods. For the three months ended March 31, 2017 the Company excluded jurisdictions with losses in which no benefit can be recognized from the effective tax rate calculation.