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4. FAIR VALUE OF FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS
6 Months Ended
Nov. 30, 2012
Fair Value Of Financial Instruments  
FAIR VALUE OF FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS

 

4. FAIR VALUE OF FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS

 

The Company’s financial instruments are measured at fair value consistent with authoritative guidance. This authoritative guidance defines fair value, establishes a framework for using fair value to measure assets and liabilities, and disclosures required related to fair value measurements.

 

The guidance establishes a fair value hierarchy based on inputs to valuation techniques that are used to measure fair value that are either observable or unobservable. Observable inputs reflect assumptions market participants would use in pricing an asset or liability based on market data obtained from independent sources while unobservable inputs reflect a reporting entity’s pricing based upon their own market assumptions. The fair value hierarchy consists of the following three levels:

 

Level 1 - instrument valuations are obtained from real-time quotes for transactions in active exchange markets involving identical assets.

 

Level 2 - instrument valuations are obtained from readily-available pricing sources for comparable instruments.

 

Level 3 - instrument valuations are obtained without observable market values and require a high level of judgment to determine the fair value.

 

The following table summarizes the Company’s financial assets and liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis as of November 30, 2012 (in thousands):

 

 

 

                 
    Balance as of November 30, 2012   Level 1   Level 2   Level 3
Money market funds   $ 2     $ 2     $ —       $ —    
                                 
Assets   $ 2     $ 2     $ —       $ —    
                                 
Liabilities   $ —       $ —       $ —       $ —    
                                 
The following table summarizes the Company’s financial assets and liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis as of May 31, 2012 (in thousands):
                                 
    Balance as of                          
    May 31, 2012     Level 1     Level 2     Level 3  
Money market funds   $ 2     $ 2     $ —       $ —    
                                 
Assets   $ 2     $ 2     $ —       $ —    
                                 
Liabilities   $ —       $ —       $ —       $ —    

 

As of November 30, 2012 and May 31, 2012, the Company did not have any assets or liabilities with significant other observable inputs (Level 2), and significant unobservable market values that would require a high level of judgment to determine fair value (Level 3 assets).

 

The Company has at times invested in debt and equity of private companies, and may do so again in the future, as part of its business strategy. These investments are carried at cost and are included in “Other Assets” in the consolidated balance sheets. If the Company determines that an other-than-temporary decline exists in the fair value of an investment, the Company writes down the investment to its fair value and records the related write-down as an investment loss in “Other Income (Expense), net” in its consolidated statements of operations. During the first quarter of fiscal 2012, the Company sold its long-term investment in ESA Electronics PTE Ltd for proceeds of approximately $1.4 million, resulting in a gain of $990,000.