Adverse economic conditions could adversely affect NRG’s business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Adverse economic conditions and declines in wholesale energy prices, partially resulting from adverse economic conditions, may impact NRG’s earnings. The breadth and depth of negative economic conditions may have a wide-ranging impact on the U.S. business environment, including NRG’s businesses. In addition, adverse economic conditions also reduce the demand for energy commodities. Reduced demand from negative economic conditions continues to impact the key domestic wholesale energy markets NRG serves. The combination of lower demand for power and increased supply of natural gas has put downward price pressure on wholesale energy markets in general, further impacting NRG’s energy marketing results. In general, economic and commodity market conditions will continue to impact NRG’s unhedged future energy margins, liquidity, earnings growth and overall financial condition. In addition, adverse economic conditions, declines in wholesale energy prices, reduced demand for power and other factors may negatively impact the trading price of NRG’s common stock and impact forecasted cash flows, which may require NRG to evaluate its goodwill and other long-lived assets for impairment. Any such impairment could have a material impact on NRG’s financial statements.
Goodwill and/or other intangible assets not subject to amortization that NRG has recorded in connection with its acquisitions are subject to mandatory annual impairment evaluations and as a result, the Company could be required to write off some or all of this goodwill and other intangible assets, which may adversely affect the Company's financial condition and results of operations.
In accordance with ASC 350, Intangibles — Goodwill and Other, or ASC 350, goodwill is not amortized but is reviewed annually or more frequently for impairment and other intangibles are also reviewed at least annually or more frequently, if certain conditions exist, and may be amortized. Any reduction in or impairment of the value of goodwill or other intangible assets will result in a charge against earnings which could materially adversely affect NRG's reported results of operations and financial position in future periods.
A valuation allowance may be required for NRG's deferred tax assets.
A valuation allowance may need to be recorded against net deferred tax assets that the Company estimates as more likely than not to be unrealizable, based on available evidence including cumulative and forecasted pretax book earnings at the time the estimate is made. A valuation allowance related to deferred tax assets can be affected by changes to tax laws, statutory tax rates and future taxable income levels. In the event that the Company determines that it would not be able to realize all or a portion of its net deferred tax assets in the future, the Company would reduce such amounts accordingly through a charge to income tax expense in the period in which that determination was made, which could have a material adverse impact on the Company's financial condition and results of operations.
The Company has made investments, and may continue to make investments, in new business initiatives predominantly focused on consumer products and in markets that may not be successful, may not achieve the intended financial results or may result in product liability and reputational risk that could adversely affect the Company.
NRG continues to pursue growth in its existing businesses and markets and further diversification across the competitive energy value chain. NRG is continuing to pursue investment opportunities in renewables, consumer products and distributed generation. Such initiatives may involve significant risks and uncertainties, including distraction of management from current operations, inadequate return on capital, and unidentified issues not discovered in the diligence performed prior to launching an initiative or entering a market.
As part of these initiatives, the Company may be liable to customers for any damage caused to customers’ homes, facilities, belongings or property during the installation of Company products and systems, such as residential solar systems and mass market back-up generators. In addition, shortages of skilled labor for Company projects could significantly delay a project or otherwise increase its costs. The products that the Company sells or manufactures may expose the Company to product liability claims relating to personal injury, death, or environmental or property damage, and may require product recalls or other actions. Although the Company maintains liability insurance, the Company cannot be certain that its coverage will be adequate for liabilities actually incurred or that insurance will continue to be available to the Company on economically reasonable terms, or at all. Further, any product liability claim or damage caused by the Company could significantly impair the Company’s brand and reputation, which may result in a failure to maintain customers and achieve the Company’s desired growth initiatives in these new businesses.