|AECOM filed this Form 10-Q on 02/06/2019|
We also rely on relationships with other contractors when we act as their subcontractor or joint venture partner. Our future revenue and growth prospects could be adversely affected if other contractors eliminate or reduce their subcontracts or joint venture relationships with us, or if a government agency terminates or reduces these other contractors programs, does not award them new contracts or refuses to pay under a contract. In addition, due to pay when paid provisions that are common in subcontracts in many countries, including the U.S., we could experience delays in receiving payment if the prime contractor experiences payment delays.
If clients use our reports or other work product without appropriate disclaimers or in a misleading or incomplete manner, or if our reports or other work product are not in compliance with professional standards and other regulations, our business could be adversely affected.
The reports and other work product we produce for clients sometimes include projections, forecasts and other forward-looking statements. Such information by its nature is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, any of which could cause the information produced by us to ultimately prove inaccurate. While we include appropriate disclaimers in the reports that we prepare for our clients, once we produce such written work product, we do not always have the ability to control the manner in which our clients use such information. As a result, if our clients reproduce such information to solicit funds from investors for projects without appropriate disclaimers and the information proves to be incorrect, or if our clients reproduce such information for potential investors in a misleading or incomplete manner, our clients or such investors may threaten to or file suit against us for, among other things, securities law violations. For example, in August 2016, AECOM Australia and other parties entered into a settlement related to, among other things, alleged deficiencies in AECOM Australias traffic forecast. If we were found to be liable for any claims related to our client work product, our business could be adversely affected.
In addition, our reports and other work product may need to comply with professional standards, licensing requirements, securities regulations and other laws and rules governing the performance of professional services in the jurisdiction where the services are performed. We could be liable to third parties who use or rely upon our reports and other work product even if we are not contractually bound to those third parties. These events could in turn result in monetary damages and penalties.
Failure to adequately protect, maintain, or enforce our rights in our intellectual property may adversely limit our competitive position.
Our success depends, in part, upon our ability to protect our intellectual property. We rely on a combination of intellectual property policies and other contractual arrangements to protect much of our intellectual property where we do not believe that trademark, patent or copyright protection is appropriate or obtainable. Trade secrets are generally difficult to protect. Although our employees are subject to confidentiality obligations, this protection may be inadequate to deter or prevent misappropriation of our confidential information and/or the infringement of our patents and copyrights. Further, we may be unable to detect unauthorized use of our intellectual property or otherwise take appropriate steps to enforce our rights. Failure to adequately protect, maintain, or enforce our intellectual property rights may adversely limit our competitive position
Negotiations with labor unions and possible work actions could divert management attention and disrupt operations. In addition, new collective bargaining agreements or amendments to agreements could increase our labor costs and operating expenses.
We regularly negotiate with labor unions and enter into collective bargaining agreements. The outcome of any future negotiations relating to union representation or collective bargaining agreements may not be favorable to us. We may reach agreements in collective bargaining that increase our operating expenses and lower our net income as a result of higher wages or benefit expenses. In addition, negotiations with unions could divert management attention and disrupt operations, which may adversely affect our results of operations. If we are unable to negotiate acceptable collective bargaining agreements, we may have to address the threat of union-initiated work actions, including strikes. Depending on the nature of the threat or the type and duration of any work action, these actions could disrupt our operations and adversely affect our operating results.
Our charter documents contain provisions that may delay, defer or prevent a change of control.
Provisions of our certificate of incorporation and bylaws could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire control of us, even if the change in control would be beneficial to stockholders. These provisions include the following:
· ability of our Board of Directors to authorize the issuance of preferred stock in series without stockholder approval;
· vesting of exclusive authority in our Board of Directors to determine the size of the board (subject to limited exceptions) and to fill vacancies;