Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)


3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2015
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Organization and Business

Organization and Business – The consolidated financial statements include, for all periods presented, the accounts of Pacific Ethanol, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“Pacific Ethanol”), and its direct and indirect subsidiaries, including its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Kinergy Marketing LLC, an Oregon limited liability company (“Kinergy”), Pacific Ag. Products, LLC, a California limited liability company (“PAP”) and PE Op Co., a Delaware corporation (“PE Op Co.,”), which owns the Plant Owners (as defined below) (collectively, the “Company”).


The Company is the leading producer and marketer of low-carbon renewable fuels in the Western United States. The Company also sells ethanol co-products, including wet distillers grain (“WDG”), a nutritious animal feed, and corn oil. Serving integrated oil companies and gasoline marketers who blend ethanol into gasoline, the Company provides transportation, storage and delivery of ethanol through third-party service providers in the Western United States, primarily in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Colorado, Idaho and Washington. The Company had a 96% and a 91% ownership interest in PE Op Co., the owner of four ethanol production facilities, as of March 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively. The facilities are near their respective fuel and feed customers, offering significant timing, transportation cost and logistical advantages. The Company sells ethanol produced by the Pacific Ethanol Plants (as defined below) and unrelated third parties to gasoline refining and distribution companies, sells its WDG to dairy operators and animal feed distributors and sells its corn oil to poultry and biodiesel customers.


The Company manages the production and operation of four ethanol production facilities, namely, Pacific Ethanol Madera LLC, Pacific Ethanol Columbia, LLC, Pacific Ethanol Stockton LLC and Pacific Ethanol Magic Valley, LLC (collectively, the “Pacific Ethanol Plants”) and their holding company, Pacific Ethanol Holding Co. LLC (“PEHC,” and together with the Pacific Ethanol Plants, the “Plant Owners”). PEHC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PE Op Co. These four facilities have an aggregate annual ethanol production capacity of up to 200 million gallons.

Accounts Receivable and Allowance for Doubtful Accounts

Accounts Receivable and Allowance for Doubtful Accounts – Trade accounts receivable are presented at face value, net of the allowance for doubtful accounts. The Company sells ethanol to gasoline refining and distribution companies, sells WDG to dairy operators and animal feed distributors and sells corn oil to poultry and biodiesel customers generally without requiring collateral.


The Company maintains an allowance for doubtful accounts for balances that appear to have specific collection issues. The collection process is based on the age of the invoice and requires attempted contacts with the customer at specified intervals. If, after a specified number of days, the Company has been unsuccessful in its collection efforts, a bad debt allowance is recorded for the balance in question. Delinquent accounts receivable are charged against the allowance for doubtful accounts once uncollectibility has been determined. The factors considered in reaching this determination are the apparent financial condition of the customer and the Company’s success in contacting and negotiating with the customer. If the financial condition of the Company’s customers were to deteriorate, resulting in an impairment of ability to make payments, additional allowances may be required.


Of the accounts receivable balance, approximately $21,450,000 and $28,427,000 at March 31, 2015 and December 31, 2014, respectively, were used as collateral under Kinergy’s operating line of credit. The allowance for doubtful accounts was $6,000 as of March 31, 2015 and December 31, 2014. The Company recorded a recovery for bad debts of $34,000 for the three months ended March 31, 2014. The Company does not have any off-balance sheet credit exposure related to its customers.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

Recent Accounting Pronouncements – In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued new guidance on the recognition of revenue. The guidance states that an entity should recognize revenue to depict the transfer of promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. The standard was originally effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016, including interim periods within that reporting period, but has been further deferred one year. The Company’s adoption begins with the first fiscal quarter of fiscal year 2018. Early adoption is permitted. The Company is currently evaluating the impact of the adoption of this accounting standard update on its consolidated results of operations and financial position.


In April 2015, the FASB issued new guidance on presentation of debt issuance costs. Historically, entities have presented debt issuance costs as an asset. Under the new guidance, effective for fiscal years beginning after December 31, 2015, debt issuance costs will be reclassified as a deduction to the carrying amount of the related debt balance. The guidance does not change any of the Company’s other debt recognition or disclosure. The Company will adopt the guidance beginning March 31, 2016.

Basis of Presentation-Interim Financial Statements

Basis of PresentationInterim Financial Statements – The accompanying unaudited consolidated financial statements and related notes have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States for interim financial information and the instructions to Form 10-Q and Rule 10-01 of Regulation S-X. Results for interim periods should not be considered indicative of results for a full year. These interim consolidated financial statements should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and related notes contained in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014. The accounting policies used in preparing these consolidated financial statements are the same as those described in Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014. In the opinion of management, all adjustments (consisting of normal recurring adjustments) considered necessary for a fair statement of the results for interim periods have been included. All significant intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.


The preparation of the consolidated financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Significant estimates are required as part of determining the fair value of warrants and conversion features, allowance for doubtful accounts, estimated lives of property and equipment and intangibles, long-lived asset impairments, valuation allowances on deferred income taxes and the potential outcome of future tax consequences of events recognized in the Company’s financial statements or tax returns. Actual results and outcomes may materially differ from management’s estimates and assumptions.