FormFactor 10-K 2011
Documents found in this filing:
Commission file number: 000-50307
7005 Southfront Road, Livermore, California 94551
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act: Common Stock
Name of each exchange on which registered: NASDAQ Global Market
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes o No ý
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Yes o No ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ý No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of the Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes o No o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer" and "smaller reporting company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act:
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes o No ý
Aggregate market value of registrant's common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant, based upon the closing price of a share of the registrant's common stock on June 25, 2010 (the last business day of the registrant's most recently completed second quarter) as reported by NASDAQ Global Market on that date: $328,049,221. Shares of the registrant's common stock held by each executive officer, director and person who owns 5% or more of the outstanding common stock of the registrant have been excluded in that such persons may be deemed to be affiliates. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.
The number of shares of the registrant's common stock, par value $0.001 per share, outstanding as of February 10, 2011 was 50,716,377 shares.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant's definitive Proxy Statement for the 2011 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which will be filed within 120 days of the end of the registrant's fiscal year ended December 25, 2010, are incorporated by reference in Part III hereof. Except with respect to information specifically incorporated by reference in this Form 10-K, the Proxy Statement is not deemed to be filed as a part of this Form 10-K.
FormFactor, the FormFactor logo and its product and technology names, including ATRE, DC-Boost, Harmony, MicroSpring, MicroForce, RapidSoak, SmartMatrix, TouchMatrix, OneTouch, Takumi, TRE, TrueScale and TrueScale Lite, are trademarks or registered trademarks of FormFactor in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks, trade names or service marks appearing in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are the property of their respective owners.
Throughout this Annual Report on Form 10-K, we refer to FormFactor, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries as "FormFactor," "we," "us," and "our". Our fiscal years end on the last Saturday in December. Our last three fiscal years ended on December 27, 2008, December 26, 2009 and December 25, 2010.
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Securities Act of 1933, which are subject to risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements include statements concerning, among other things, our business strategy (including anticipated trends and developments in, and management plans for, our business and the markets in which we operate), financial results, operating results, revenues, gross margin, operating expenses, products, projected costs and capital expenditures, research and development programs, sales and marketing initiatives and competition. In some cases, you can identify these statements by forward-looking words, such as "may," "might," "will," "could," "should," "expect," "plan," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "intend" and "continue," the negative or plural of these words and other comparable terminology. The forward-looking statements are based on information available to us as of the filing date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and our current expectations about future events, which are inherently subject to change and involve risks and uncertainties. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update any of these statements for any reason. Actual events or results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these statements due to various factors, including but not limited to the matters discussed below, in the section entitled "Item 1A: Risk Factors", and elsewhere in this Form 10-K.
Our operating results have fluctuated in the past and are likely to continue to fluctuate. As a result, we believe you should not rely on period-to-period comparisons of our financial results as indicators of our future performance. Some of the important factors that could cause our revenues, operating results and outlook to fluctuate from period-to-period include:
The impact of one or more of these factors might cause our operating results to vary widely. If our revenues, operating results or outlook fall below the expectations of market analysts or investors, the market price of our common stock could decline substantially. You should carefully consider the numerous risks and uncertainties described above and in such sections.
FormFactor, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware in 1993. We design, develop, manufacture, sell and support precision, high performance advanced semiconductor wafer probe card products and solutions. Semiconductor manufacturers use our wafer probe cards to perform wafer sort and test on the semiconductor die, or chips, on the whole semiconductor wafer, which is prior to singulation of the wafer into individual, separate chips. We work closely with our customers on product design, as each wafer probe card is a custom product that is specific to the chip and wafer designs of the customer. During wafer sort and test, a wafer probe card is mounted in a prober, which in turn is connected to a semiconductor tester. The wafer probe card is used as an interface to connect electrically with and test individual chips on a wafer. Our wafer probe cards are used by our customers in the front end of the semiconductor manufacturing process, as are our image sensor, parametric or in-line probe cards. We introduced our first wafer probe card based on our MicroSpring® interconnect technology in 1995. We offer products and solutions that are custom designed for semiconductor manufacturers' unique wafer designs and enable them to reduce their overall cost of test.
Semiconductor device shipments saw a continuation of the rebound in 2010 that started in late 2009. In fiscal 2010, we saw substantial growth in our markets in the first half of the year. However, the second half of the year began to show signs of weakness, especially in the demand for our products that test Dynamic Random Access Memory, or DRAM, devices. This weakness was the result of numerous factors, including the delay in qualification of our next-generation products at certain of our customers, increasing inventories of DRAM devices and deterioration of average selling prices. Overall, our revenue increased year-over-year in each of the major semiconductor device segments we addressDRAM, Flash and System on Chip, or SoC.
In 2010, we continued our efforts to improve our company's operating efficiency, to qualify our next generation products implementing our proprietary Matrix architecture structure, and to better position our company to address our current and expected market opportunities. We resized the organization through a series of restructuring actions that included reductions of our world-wide workforce, the consolidation of our property footprint in Livermore, the shut-down of our back-end manufacturing operations in Korea and the cessation of our transition of manufacturing operations to Singapore. These efforts represent a renewed focus on streamlining and simplifying our overall structure and better aligning our operations with the current business environment, as well as reducing our manufacturing cost and improving our cycle times.
Our products are based on our proprietary technologies, including our MicroSpring interconnect technology and design tools. Our MicroSpring interconnect technology, which includes resilient spring-like contact elements, enables us to produce wafer probe cards for applications that require
reliability, speed, precision and signal integrity. We manufacture our MicroSpring contact elements through precision micro-machining and scalable semiconductor-like wafer fabrication processes. Our MicroSpring contacts are springs that optimize the relative amounts of force on, and across, a bond pad during the test process and maintain their shape and position over a range of compression. These characteristics allow us to achieve reliable, electrical contact on either clean or oxidized surfaces, including bond pads on a wafer. MicroSpring contacts enable our wafer probe cards to make hundreds of thousands of touchdowns with minimal maintenance for many device applications. The MicroSpring contact can be attached to many surfaces, or substrates, including printed circuit boards, silicon wafers, ceramics and various metalized surfaces.
Since developing this fundamental technology, we have broadened and refined it to respond to the increasing requirements of testing smaller, faster and more complex semiconductor devices. We continue to invest in research and development activities around our interconnect technologies, including our micro-electro-mechanical systems, or MEMS, technology, as our MicroSpring contacts have scaled in size with the continuing evolution of semiconductors.
Our MicroSpring contacts include geometrically precise tip structures. These tip structures are the part of our wafer probe cards that come into physical contact with the devices being tested, and are manufactured using proprietary micro-machining semiconductor-like processes. These tip structures enable precise contact with small bond pad sizes and pitches. Our technology allows for the design of specific geometries of the contact tip that deliver precise and predictable electrical contact for a customer's particular application.
Our wafer probe cards are custom products that are designed to order for our customers' unique wafer designs. For high parallelism memory test applications, our products require large area contact array sizes because they must accommodate tens of thousands of simultaneous contacts. Our current technology enables probe cards for certain applications to be populated with over 40,000 contacts. This requirement poses fundamental challenges that our technology addresses, including the planarity of the array, the force needed to make contact and the need to touch all bond pads with equal accuracy. We have developed wafer probe cards that use array sizes ranging from 23 mm × 23 mm up to array sizes suitable for contacting all die on a 300 mm wafer simultaneously.
We have invested and intend to continue to invest considerable resources in our wafer probe card design tools and processes. These tools and processes enable automated routing and trace length adjustment within our complex multi-layer printed circuit boards and greatly enhance our ability to rapidly design and lay out complex printed circuit board structures. Our proprietary design tools also enable us to design wafer probe cards particularly suited for testing today's low voltage, high power chips, which require superior power supply performance. Our MicroSpring interconnect technology is used to provide a very low inductance, low resistance electrical path between the power source and the chip under test.
Because our customers typically use our wafer probe cards in a wide range of operating temperatures, as opposed to conducting wafer probe tests at one predetermined temperature, we have designed complex thermal compensation characteristics into our products. We select our wafer probe card materials after careful consideration of the potential range of test operating temperatures and design our wafer probe cards to provide for a precise match with the thermal expansion characteristics of the wafer under test. As a result, our wafer probe cards are able to accurately probe over a large range of operating temperatures. This feature enables our customers to use the same wafer probe card for both low and high temperature testing without a loss of performance. In addition, for those testing situations that require positional accuracy at a specific temperature, we have designed wafer probe cards optimized for testing at such temperatures.
We have many spring shapes, different geometrically-precise tip structures, various array sizes and diverse printed circuit board layouts that enable a wide variety of solutions for our customers. Our
designers select the most appropriate of these elements, or modify or improve upon such existing elements, and integrate them with our other technologies to deliver a custom solution optimized for the specific customer's requirements.
Our technology investment yielded several advances in fiscal 2010. We achieved a record setting new product ramp with our second generation full wafer contact products, SMART Matrix 100 for DRAM and TouchMatrix for Flash, shipping over 350 units since introduction. These product lines have ramped in volume approximately four times faster than our previous generation Harmony product, and are now in production at four of the top five memory manufacturers worldwide.
The Matrix platform success is based on its unique architecture, a combination of three dimensional, or 3D, MEMS springs, singulated substrate and custom analog ASICs for high density advanced test equipment, or ATE, signal sharing. The resulting solution delivers precise positioning of contacts on a wafer to improve yield and minimize setup time, rapid temperature scaling to maximize utilization, and extends native ATE parallelism to maximize test cell throughput. Customers are achieving measurable yield benefits, lower repair rates, and substantial cost of ownership improvement with these new products.
Our customers include manufacturers in the DRAM, Flash and SoC markets. Our customers use our wafer probe cards to test DRAM chips including DDR, DDR2, DDR3, SDRAM, PSRAM, mobile DRAM, and Graphic DRAM, NOR and NAND flash memory chips, serial data devices, chipsets, microprocessors, microcontrollers and analog devices.
Three customers accounted for 46.0% of our revenues in fiscal 2010, one customer accounted for 49.1% of our revenues in fiscal 2009 and three customers accounted for 53.9% of our revenues in fiscal 2008, as follows:
The percentages above reflect customer constellations as of December 25, 2010. Prior period concentrations have been updated to reflect the current customer compositions.
Information concerning revenue by geographic region and by country based upon ship to location appears under "Item 7: Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of OperationsRevenuesRevenue by Geographic Region" and Note 14Operating Segment and
Geographic Information of the Notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements, which are included elsewhere in this Form 10-K.
Our backlog was $37.5 million at December 25, 2010 compared to $43.6 million at December 26, 2009. We manufacture our wafer probe cards based on order backlog and customer commitments. In addition, due to our customers' short delivery time requirements, we at times produce our products in anticipation of receiving orders for our products. However, backlog includes only orders for which written authorizations have been accepted and shipment dates within 12 months have been assigned. In addition, backlog includes service revenue for existing product service agreements to be earned within the next 12 months. Customers may delay delivery of products or cancel orders prior to shipment, subject to possible cancellation penalties. Due to possible changes in delivery schedules and cancellations of orders, our backlog on any particular date is not necessarily indicative of actual sales for any succeeding period. Delays in delivery schedules and/or a reduction in backlog during any particular period could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
Our wafer probe cards are custom products that we design and manufacture to order for our customers' unique wafer designs. Our proprietary manufacturing processes can generally be divided into a front-end process, which includes wirebonding, photolithography, plating and metallurgical processes, dry and electro-deposition, pick and place assembly and complex interconnection system design, and a back-end process, which includes assembly and test and quality control. The critical steps in our manufacturing process are performed in a Class 100 clean room environment.
We depend upon suppliers for some critical components of our manufacturing processes, including ceramic substrates and complex printed circuit boards, and for materials used in our manufacturing processes. Some of these components and materials are supplied by a single vendor. Generally, we rely on purchase orders rather than long-term contracts with our suppliers, which subjects us to risks, including price increases and component shortages. We continue to evaluate alternative sources of supply for these components and materials.
During fiscal 2010, we undertook a restructuring of our manufacturing operations. The purpose of the restructuring was to simplify our overall manufacturing framework, better align our operations with the current business environment and reduce both manufacturing cost and cycle times. As part of this simplification, we shut-down our Korea back-end manufacturing operations and ceased the transition of our manufacturing operations to Singapore. Our primary manufacturing facility is located in Livermore, California, and we continue to perform certain manufacturing operations in Japan.
We maintain repair and service capability in Livermore, California, United States. We also provide repair and service capabilities in our service centers in Austin, Texas, United States; Gyeonggi-do, South Korea; Dresden, Germany; Yokohama City, Japan and Jubei City, Taiwan.
Research, Development and Engineering
The semiconductor industry is subject to rapid technological change and new product introductions and enhancements. We believe that our continued commitment to research and development and our timely introduction of new and enhanced wafer probe test solutions and other technologies related to our MicroSpring interconnect technology are integral to maintaining our competitive position. We continue to invest considerable time and resources in creating structured processes for undertaking, tracking and completing our development projects, and plan to implement those developments into new product or technology offerings. We continue to allocate significant resources to these efforts and to use automation and information technology to provide additional efficiencies in our research and development activities.
Research and development expenses were $55.4 million for fiscal 2010, $57.5 million for fiscal 2009 and $65.5 million for fiscal 2008.
Our research and development activities, including our product engineering activities, are directed by individuals with significant expertise and industry experience.
Sales and Marketing
We sell our products utilizing a proprietary sales model that emphasizes the customer's total cost of ownership as it relates to the costs of test. With this sales model, we strive to demonstrate how test costs can be reduced by simulating the customer's test floor environment, including testers and probers, utilizing our products and comparing the overall cost of test to that of conventional and competitive wafer probe cards.
We sell our products worldwide primarily through a combination of a global direct sales force, independent sales representatives and value added resellers.
Our sales and marketing staff, located in the United States, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, work closely with customers to understand their businesses, anticipate trends and define products that will provide significant technical and economic advantages to our customers.
We utilize a highly skilled team of field application engineers that support our customers as they integrate our products into their manufacturing processes. Through these customer relationships, we develop a close understanding of customer and product requirements, thereby accelerating our customers' production ramps.
We are subject to U.S. federal, state and local, and foreign governmental laws and regulations relating to the protection of the environment, including those governing the discharge of pollutants into the air and water, the management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, the clean-up of contaminated sites and the maintenance of a safe workplace. We believe that we comply in all material respects with the environmental laws and regulations that apply to us, including those of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the City of Livermore Water Resources Division and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. We did not receive any notices of violations of environmental laws and regulations in fiscal 2010. In fiscal 2009 we did receive one notice of violation from the City of Livermore regarding a violation of certain applicable waste water discharge limits. For the notice received, we promptly investigated the violation, took what we believed to be appropriate steps to address the cause of the violation, and implemented corrective measures to prevent a recurrence. No provision has been made for loss from environmental remediation liabilities associated with our facilities because we believe that it is not probable that a liability has been incurred as of December 25, 2010.
While we believe that we are in compliance in all material respects with the environmental laws and regulations that apply to us, in the future, we may receive additional environmental violation notices, and if received, final resolution of the violations identified by these notices could harm our operations, which may adversely impact our operating results and cash flows. New laws and regulations, stricter enforcement of existing laws and regulations, the discovery of previously unknown contamination at our or others' sites or the imposition of new cleanup requirements could also harm our operations or subject us to monetary liabilities, thereby adversely impacting our operating results and cash flows.
The highly competitive wafer probe card market is comprised of many domestic and foreign companies, and has historically been fragmented with many local suppliers servicing individual
customers. Our current and potential competitors in the wafer probe card market include Advantest Corporation, Aehr Test Systems, AMST Co., Ltd., Cascade Microtech, Inc., Feinmetall GmbH, Korea Instrument Co., Ltd., Japan Electronic Materials Corporation, SV Probe, Inc., Micronics Japan Co., Ltd., Microfriend Inc., Micro-Probe, Inc., TSC MEMSYS Corporation, Technoprobe Asia Pte. Ltd., Tokyo Cathode Laboratory Co., Ltd., Tokyo Electron Ltd., Touchdown Technologies (a Verigy, Ltd. company), TSE Co., Ltd., and Wentworth Laboratories, Inc., among others. In addition to the ability to address wafer probe card performance issues, the primary competitive factors in the industry in which we compete include product performance quality and reliability, price, total cost of ownership, lead times, the ability to provide prompt and effective customer service, field applications support and timeliness of delivery.
Some of our competitors are also suppliers of other types of test equipment or other semiconductor equipment, or offer both advanced wafer probe cards and vertical or needle probe cards, and may have greater financial and other resources than we do. We expect that our competitors will enhance their current wafer probe products and that they may introduce new products that will be competitive with our wafer probe cards. In addition, it is possible that new competitors, including test equipment manufacturers, may offer new technologies that reduce the value of our wafer probe cards.
Additionally, semiconductor manufacturers may implement chip designs that include built-in self-test capabilities or similar functions or methodologies that increase test throughput and eliminate some or all of our current competitive advantages. Our ability to compete favorably may also be adversely affected by (1) delays in qualification of our next-generation products, (2) low volume orders that do not meet our present minimum volume requirements, (3) very short cycle time requirements which may be difficult for us to meet, (4) long-standing relationships between our competitors and certain semiconductor manufacturers, and (5) semiconductor manufacturer test strategies that include low performance semiconductor testers.
Our success depends in part upon our ability to continue to innovate and invest in research and development to meet the semiconductor testing requirements of our customers, to maintain and protect our proprietary technology and to conduct our business without infringing on the proprietary rights of others. We rely on a combination of patents, trade secrets, trademarks and contractual restrictions on disclosure to protect our intellectual property rights.
As of December 25, 2010, we had 747 issued patents, of which 398 are United States patents and 349 are foreign patents. The expiration dates of these patents range from 2011 to 2028. Our issued patents cover many of the features of our interconnect technology, as well as some of our inventions related to wafer probe cards and testing, wafer-level packaging and test, sockets and assemblies and chips. In addition, as of December 25, 2010, we had 553 patent applications pending worldwide, including 119 United States applications, 417 foreign national or regional stage applications and 17 Patent Cooperation Treaty applications. We cannot provide any assurance that our current patent applications, or any future patent applications that we may file, will result in a patent being issued with the scope of the claims we seek, or at all, or whether any patents that we may obtain will not be challenged or invalidated. Even if additional patents are issued, our patents might not provide sufficiently broad coverage to protect our proprietary rights or to avoid a third party claim against one or more of our products or technologies.
We have both registered and unregistered trademarks, including FormFactor, ATRE, DC-Boost, Harmony, MicroSpring, MicroForce, RapidSoak, SmartMatrix, TouchMatrix, OneTouch, TRE, TrueScale, TrueScale Lite and the FormFactor logo.
We routinely require our employees, customers, suppliers and potential business partners to enter into confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements before we disclose to them any sensitive or proprietary information regarding our products, technology or business plans. We require our employees to assign to us proprietary information, inventions and other intellectual property they create, modify or improve.
Legal protections afford only limited protection for our proprietary rights. We also may not be successful in our efforts to enforce our proprietary rights. To date, for example, we have been unsuccessful in our efforts to enforce certain of our patent rights and obtain injunctive relief for violation of those rights in South Korea, and through the U.S. International Trade Commission, or ITC. The ITC initiated an investigation into certain activities of two companies based on a complaint we filed in late 2007, but did not find a violation of Section 337 of the U.S. Tariff Act of 1930 and terminated its investigation in November 2009 without issuing an exclusionary order against any products. Notwithstanding our efforts to protect our proprietary rights, unauthorized parties may attempt to copy aspects of our products or to obtain and use information that we regard as proprietary. From time to time, we have become aware of situations where others are or may be infringing on our proprietary rights. We evaluate these situations as they arise and elect to take actions against these companies as we deem appropriate. Others might independently develop similar or competing technologies or methods, design around our patents, or attempt to manufacture and sell infringing products in countries that do not strongly enforce intellectual property rights or hold invalid our intellectual property rights. In addition, leading companies in the semiconductor industry have extensive patent portfolios and other intellectual property with respect to semiconductor technology. Actions have been filed in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and patent offices in other countries, challenging the validity of certain of our patents. In the future, we might receive claims that we are infringing intellectual property rights of others or that our patents or other intellectual property rights are invalid. We have received in the past, and may receive in the future, communications from third parties inquiring about our interest in licensing certain of their intellectual property or more generally identifying intellectual property that may be of interest to us.
We have invested significant time and resources in our technology and as a part of our ongoing efforts to protect the intellectual property embodied in our proprietary technologies, including our MicroSpring interconnect technology and design processes, we may pursue actions to enforce our intellectual property rights against infringing third parties.
For a description of the material patent-related proceedings in which we are involved, see "Item 3: Legal Proceedings".
As of December 25, 2010, we had 729 regular full-time employees, including 180 in research and development, 76 in sales and marketing, 80 in general and administrative functions, and 393 in operations. By region, 532 of our employees were in North America, 64 in Japan, 32 in South Korea, 76 in Singapore, 20 in Taiwan, and 5 in Europe. No employees are currently covered by a collective bargaining agreement. We believe that our relations with our employees are good.
We maintain a website at http://www.formfactor.com. We make available free of charge on our website our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the
Exchange Act, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the United State Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. The reference to our website does not constitute incorporation by reference of the information contained at the site.
The public may also read and copy any materials that we file with the SEC at the SEC's Public Reference Room at 100 F Street N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. The public may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. The SEC also maintains an Internet website that contains reports and other information regarding issuers, such as FormFactor, that file electronically with the SEC. The SEC's Internet website is located at http://www.sec.gov.
Directors and Executive Officers
Directors. The names of the members of our board of directors, their ages as of December 25, 2010 and their current occupations are set forth below.
Dr. Homa Bahrami served as a Director from December 2004 through December 25, 2010. Dr. Bahrami is a Senior Lecturer at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Bahrami is also a Faculty Director of the Center for Executive Education and a Board Member of the Center for Trading Excellence, both at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Bahrami has been on the Haas School faculty since 1986 and is widely published on organizational design and organizational development challenges and trends in the high technology sector. Dr. Bahrami currently serves on the board of directors of one privately held company. Dr. Bahrami holds a Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Aston University, United Kingdom.
G. Carl Everett, Jr. has served as a Director since June 2001 and served as our interim Chief Executive Officer from May 19, 2010 to mid-September 2010, and as our Executive Chairman from mid-September 2010 through December 25, 2010. Mr. Everett founded GCE Ventures, a venture advisement firm, in April 2001. Mr. Everett has served as a venture partner at Accel LLP, a venture
capital firm, since 2002. From February 1998 to April 2001, Mr. Everett served as Senior Vice President, Personal Systems Group of Dell Inc. During 1997, Mr. Everett was on a personal sabbatical. From 1978 to December 1996, Mr. Everett held several management positions with Intel Corporation, including Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Microprocessor Products Group, and Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Desktop Products Group. Mr. Everett currently serves on the board of directors of three privately held companies. Mr. Everett holds a B.A. in business administration and an honorary Doctorate of Laws from New Mexico State University.
Dr. Chenming Hu served as a Director from December 2009 through December 25, 2010. Dr. Hu is the TSMC Distinguished Chair Professor of Microelectronics in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, and has been a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley since 1976. From 2001 through 2004, Dr. Hu was the Chief Technology Officer at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited, a dedicated semiconductor foundry. From 1995 through 2003, Dr. Hu served as the Chairman of the board of directors of Celestry Design Technologies, Inc., a complete, full-chip SoC silicon accurate sign-off solution provider, which Cadence Design Systems, Inc. acquired in 2003. Dr. Hu was also the co-founder of Celestry Design Technologies. From 1973 through 1976 Dr. Hu was an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Hu has served as a member of the Board of Directors of MoSys, Inc., a publicly traded company, since January 2005, and of SanDisk Corporation, a publicly traded company, since September 2009, where he is a member of the Compensation Committee. Dr. Hu currently serves on the board of directors of one privately held company, where he is a member of the Audit Committee. Dr. Hu holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from National Taiwan University, Taiwan and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Lothar Maier has served as a Director since November 2006. Mr. Maier has served as the Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Linear Technology Corporation, a supplier of high performance analog integrated circuits, which is a publicly traded company, since January 2005. Prior to that, Mr. Maier served as Linear Technology's Chief Operating Officer from April 1999 to December 2004. Before joining Linear Technology, Mr. Maier held various management positions at Cypress Semiconductor Corporation, a provider of high-performance, mixed-signal, programmable solutions, from 1983 to 1999, most recently as Senior Vice President and Executive Vice President of Worldwide Operations. Mr. Maier holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.
James A. Prestridge has served as a Director since April 2002, and has served as Chairman of our Board of Directors from August 2005 to June 2008, and from May 2009 to September 2010. Mr. Prestridge served as our Lead Independent Director from June 2008 to May 2009 and from September 2010 to December 2010. Mr. Prestridge served as a consultant for Empirix Inc., a provider of test and monitoring solutions for communications applications, from October 2001 until October 2003. From June 1997 to January 2001, Mr. Prestridge served as a Director of five private companies that were amalgamated into Empirix. Mr. Prestridge served as a member of the board of directors of Teradyne, Inc., a manufacturer of automated test equipment, which is a publicly traded company, from 1992 until 2000. Mr. Prestridge was Vice-Chairman of Teradyne from January 1996 until May 2000 and served as Executive Vice President of Teradyne from 1992 until May 1997. Mr. Prestridge holds a B.S. in general engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and an M.B.A. from Harvard University. Mr. Prestridge served as a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Thomas St. Dennis has served as our Chief Executive Officer and a Director since mid-September 2010, when he joined our company. Mr. St. Dennis previously held various positions at Applied Materials, Inc. from 1992 to 1999 and again from 2005 to 2009. His most recent role at Applied Materials, Inc. was the Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Silicon Systems Group. He also worked at Novellus Systems, Inc. as the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing from
2003 to 2005. From 1999 to 2003 Mr. St. Dennis was the President and CEO of Wind River Systems, Inc. Mr. St. Dennis holds a B.S. in Physics and a M.S. in Physics, both from UCLA.
Harvey A. Wagner served as a Director from February 2005 through December 25, 2010. Mr. Wagner joined Caregiver Services, Inc., a provider of in-home care services, as the President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors on April 7, 2008. Mr. Wagner founded the H.A. Wagner Group, LLC, a consulting firm, where he has served as managing principal since July 2007. Mr. Wagner previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Quovadx, Inc. (now Healthvision, Inc.), a software and services company, from October 2004 to July 2007, and as a member of the board of directors of Quovadx from April 2004 to July 2007. From May 2004 through October 2004, Mr. Wagner served as acting President and Chief Executive Officer of Quovadx. Prior to joining Quovadx, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Mirant Corporation, an independent energy company, from January 2003 through April 2004. Prior to joining Mirant, Mr. Wagner was Executive Vice President of Finance, Secretary, Treasurer, and Chief Financial Officer at Optio Software, Inc., a provider of business process improvement solutions, from February 2002 to December 2002. From May 2001 to January 2002, he performed independent consulting services for various corporations. He was Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer for PaySys International, Inc. from December 1999 to April 2001. Mr. Wagner also serves on the board of directors of Cree, Inc., a publicly traded company, since February 2004 where he is Chairman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Nominating and Governance Committee. Mr. Wagner also serves on the Board of Startek, Inc., a publicly traded company, since May 2008 where he is Chairman of the Audit Committee, a member of the Governance Committee and a member of the Compensation Committee. Mr. Wagner holds a B.B.A. in accounting from the University of Miami.
Edward Rogas, Jr. has served as a Director since October 2010. Mr. Rogas currently serves on the Boards of Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation and Vignani Technologies Pvt Ltd. Mr. Rogas served as a Director of Photon Dynamics, Inc., from May 2006 to October 2008. Mr. Rogas held management positions at Teradyne, Inc. for over 30 years, including serving as Senior Vice President from 2000 through 2005. Mr. Rogas holds degrees of M.B.A. (with distinction) from Harvard Business School and B.S. from the United States Naval Academy.
Executive Officers. Our executive officers, their ages and their positions with our company as of December 25, 2010 are set forth below.
Richard DeLateur has served as our Chief Financial Officer since May 2010, when he joined our company. He is a 20-year veteran of Intel's finance team, where he held various positions, including the role of Vice President and Group Controller of Worldwide Technology and Manufacturing. Mr. DeLateur more recently served as CFO at the private companies Fluidigm Corporation and Topsin Corporation. He had also served as a Director at Numonyx Corp., a leading manufacturer of flash memory which is now part of Micron Technology, Inc.
Stuart L. Merkadeau has served as one of our Senior Vice Presidents since October 2003 and as our General Counsel and Secretary since October 2002. Mr. Merkadeau previously served as one of our Vice Presidents from October 2002 to September 2003, and as our Vice President of Intellectual Property from July 2000 to October 2002. From 1990 to July 2000, Mr. Merkadeau practiced law as an associate and then a partner with Graham & James LLP, where he specialized in licensing and strategic counseling in intellectual property matters. Mr. Merkadeau is admitted to practice in California and registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Mr. Merkadeau holds a B.S. in industrial engineering from Northwestern University and a J.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles.
In addition to the other information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, you should carefully consider the risk factors discussed in this Form 10-K in evaluating FormFactor and our business. If any of the identified risks actually occur, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected. The trading price of our common stock could decline and you may lose all or part of your investment in our common stock. The risks and uncertainties described in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are not the only ones we face. Additional risks that we currently do not know about or that we currently believe to be immaterial may also impair our business operations.
Periodic economic and semiconductor industry downturns could continue to negatively affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
The recent and historical global economic and semiconductor industry downturns negatively affected and could continue to negatively affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. We may experience continued declines in demand for our probe cards resulting from our customers continuing to conserve cash by cutting production, postponing the implementation of tooling cycles and delaying the ramp of new technology nodes in response to slow demand for consumer and other products incorporating devices tested with our wafer probe cards. We may experience continued pricing pressure on certain of our products, which may reduce our gross margins. A protracted downturn could cause additional customers to file for bankruptcy protection as occurred in 2009 with our customers Spansion and Qimonda, resulting in our loss of revenue. In the past environment, customers were seeking extended payment terms or delaying payment for our products past their original due dates, which could impact their payment histories resulting in our deferral of revenue and which could increase our potential bad debt exposure. In fiscal 2009, we recorded a $5.0 million pre-tax expense to increase our allowance for doubtful accounts as a result of the heightened non-payment risk of accounts receivable primarily related to three customers.
We may also experience the insolvency of key suppliers, leading to delays in the development and shipment of our products, increased expense and loss of revenue. In addition, we may experience increased impairment charges due to declines in the fair values of marketable debt securities.
We derive a substantial portion of our revenues from a small number of customers, and we could continue to experience significant declines in our revenues if any major customer does not place, cancels, reduces or delays a purchase of our products, or does not pay us, or delays or extends payment for our products past their original due dates.
A relatively small number of customers have accounted for a significant portion of our revenues in any particular period. Three customers represented 21.2%, 12.8% and 12.0% of total revenues in fiscal 2010. One customer represented 49.1% of total revenues in fiscal 2009. In fiscal 2010 and in fiscal 2009, our ten largest customers accounted for 82.8% and 88.4% of our revenues, respectively. We anticipate that sales of our products to a relatively small number of customers will continue to account for a significant portion of our revenues. Consolidation in the semiconductor industry may increase this concentration. As a result of the global economic and semiconductor industry downturns, we have in the more recent past experienced significant declines in our revenues. In the future, the cancellation, reduction or deferral of even a small number of purchases of our products could significantly reduce our revenues in any particular period. Cancellations, reductions or deferrals could result from a delay in the recovery of the semiconductor industry, or a weaker than anticipated recovery, or another downturn in the semiconductor industry, from manufacturing delays, quality or reliability issues with our products, or from interruptions to our customers' operations due to fire, natural disasters or other events. Furthermore, because our probe cards are custom products designed for our customers' unique wafer designs, any cancellations, reductions or delays can result in significant, non-recoverable costs. In some situations, our customers might be able to cancel or reduce orders without a significant penalty.
Our customers could also fail to pay all or part of an invoice for our products. If a customer fails to pay us or delays payment for our products, we may be unable to recognize revenue, our financial condition and liquidity could be adversely impacted and we may incur additional charges for bad-debt reserve to the extent certain of our customers continue to face financial difficulties during this downturn. It is also possible that if we make the decision to initiate legal proceedings against customers to seek payment of outstanding receivables that it will negatively impact a customer relationship and result in lost revenues in the future. Customers with financial difficulties may be forced to materially reduce or discontinue operations, file for bankruptcy or other relief, or may be acquired by one of our other customers, any of which would further reduce our customer base.
The markets in which we participate are competitive, and if we do not compete effectively, our operating results could be harmed.
We are experiencing increased competition in the wafer probe card market and we expect competition to intensify in the future. Increased competition has resulted in, and in the future is likely to result in, price reductions, reduced gross margins or loss of market share. Competitors might introduce new competitive products for the same markets that our products currently serve. These products may have better performance, lower prices and/or broader acceptance than our products. Competitive products may not have better performance, lower prices and/or broader acceptance than our products, but may be able to meet shorter delivery times required by customers and result in the loss of revenue for us. In addition, for products such as wafer probe cards, semiconductor manufacturers typically qualify more than one source, to avoid dependence on a single source of supply. As a result, our customers would likely purchase products from our competitors. Current and potential competitors include Advantest Corporation, Aehr Test Systems, AMST Co., Ltd., Cascade Microtech, Inc., Feinmetall GmbH, Korea Instrument Co., Ltd., Japan Electronic Materials Corporation, SV Probe, Inc., Micronics Japan Co., Ltd., Microfriend Inc., Micro-Probe, Inc., TSC MEMSYS Corporation, Technoprobe Asia Pte. Ltd., Tokyo Cathode Laboratory Co., Ltd., Tokyo Electron Ltd., Touchdown Technologies (a Verigy, Ltd. company), TSE Co., Ltd., and Wentworth Laboratories, Inc., among others.
Many of our current and potential competitors have greater name recognition, larger customer bases, more established customer relationships or greater financial, technical, manufacturing, marketing and other resources than we do. As a result, they might be able to respond more quickly to new or emerging technologies and changes in customer requirements, devote greater resources to the development, promotion, sale and support of their products, and reduce prices to increase market share. Some of our competitors also supply other types of test equipment, or offer both advanced wafer probe cards and needle probe cards. Those competitors that offer both advanced wafer probe cards and needle probe cards might have strong, existing relationships with our existing customers or with potential customers. Because we do not offer a needle probe card or other conventional technology wafer probe cards for less advanced applications, it may be difficult for us to introduce our advanced wafer probe cards to these customers and potential customers for certain wafer test applications. It is also possible that one or more of our competitors may be able to increase their relative revenue with mutual customers, resulting in a loss of revenue share to us. It is further possible that existing or new competitors, including test equipment manufacturers, may offer new technologies that reduce the value of our wafer probe cards.
If we fail to protect our proprietary rights, our competitors might gain access to our technology, which could adversely affect our ability to compete successfully in our markets and harm our operating results.
If we chose not to protect our proprietary rights or fail in our efforts to protect our proprietary rights, our competitors might gain access to our technology. Unauthorized parties might attempt to copy aspects of our products or to obtain and use information that we regard as proprietary. Others might independently develop similar or competing technologies or methods or design around our
patents. In addition, the laws of many foreign countries in which we or our customers do business do not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. To date, we have not been successful in our efforts to enforce our proprietary rights and obtain injunctive relief for violation of those rights in South Korea and in the United States. As a result, our proprietary rights could be compromised, our competitors might offer products similar to ours and we might not be able to compete successfully. We also cannot assure that:
We have spent in the past and may be required to spend in the future significant resources to monitor and protect our intellectual property rights. We presently believe that it is likely that two or more of our competitors are using methodologies or have implemented structures into certain of their products that are covered by one or more of our intellectual property rights. We have in the past brought claims to protect our rights, and we are currently involved in patent infringement litigation, including an ongoing United States Federal District Court action against a competitor, Phicom Corporation, with a current operating name of TCS Memsys Corp. We have also filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against Micro-Probe Incorporated charging, in our amended complaint, that it is willfully infringing five of our U.S. patents that cover aspects of our proprietary technology and wafer probe cards. Our amended complaint also seeks injunctive relief and damages against Micro-Probe for unfair competition and further includes claims directed against a former employee for misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of confidence relative to FormFactor's confidential and propriety information and against the former employee and Micro-Probe for conspiring to breach that confidence. We may not obtain a favorable ruling in this U.S. federal district court action.
In certain cases, our competitors have initiated re-examination proceedings in the USPTO and invalidity proceedings in foreign patent offices against certain of our patents. Micro-Probe has submitted to the USPTO requests to re-examine all five of our U.S. patents that are in the litigation; three of the requests have been granted and the USPTO has not yet made a determination as to whether it will grant the requests directed to the other two patents. Any litigation, whether or not resolved in our favor, and whether initiated by us or by a third party, could result in significant and possibly material expense to us and divert the efforts of our management and technical personnel. In addition, while patents are territorial and a ruling on a certain given patent does not necessarily impact the validity or enforceability of a corresponding or related patent in a different country, an adverse ruling in one country might negatively impact our ability to enforce the corresponding or related patent in other countries. Finally, certain of our customer contracts contain provisions that require us to defend and/or indemnify our customers for third party intellectual property infringement claims, which would increase the cost to us of an adverse ruling in such a claim. An adverse determination could also negatively impact our ability to license certain of our technologies and methods to others, and result in our competitors being allowed to sell products with, or add to their products, features and benefits contained in our products, thereby reducing our competitive advantages over these competing products.
If we do not innovate and keep pace with technological developments in the semiconductor industry, our products might not be competitive and our revenues and operating results could suffer.
We must continue to innovate and to invest in research and development to improve our competitive position and to meet the testing requirements of our customers. Our future growth depends, in significant part, upon our ability to work effectively with and anticipate the testing needs of our customers and to develop and support new products and product enhancements to meet these needs on a timely and cost-effective basis. Our customers' testing needs are becoming more challenging as the semiconductor industry continues to experience rapid technological change driven by the demand for complex circuits that are shrinking in size and at the same time are increasing in speed and functionality and becoming less expensive to produce. Examples of trends driving demand for technological research and development include semiconductor manufacturers' transitions to 3x nanometer (DRAM) and 2x nanometer (Flash) technology nodes, to higher gigabit density devices, and to Double Data Rate III architecture devices. Our customers expect that they will be able to integrate our wafer probe cards into any manufacturing process as soon as it is deployed. Therefore, to meet these expectations and remain competitive, we must continually design, develop and introduce on a timely basis new products and product enhancements with improved features.
In October 2009, we acquired certain intellectual property rights and other technology assets related to precision motion control automation from Electroglas, Inc. ("Electroglas"), a company under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, in order to complete the development of a custom pick and place assembly system for use in the manufacture of products incorporating our proprietary Matrix architecture. Our development effort was delayed by, among other things, the financial condition and absence of a dedicated and focused engineering effort at Electroglas. This development delay resulted in our next-generation matrix-architecture products being late to be qualified for testing certain memory devices, which negatively impacted our revenues and operating results. In the future, it is possible that our internal development efforts and engagements with third parties regarding the development of manufacturing equipment having similar functionality may have a lengthy bring-up time and negatively impact our ability to complete new products and realize revenue from those products.
Successful product design, development and introduction on a timely basis require that we:
Not only do we need the technical expertise to implement the changes necessary to keep our technologies current, but we must also rely heavily on the judgment of our management to anticipate future market trends. If we are unable to timely predict industry changes or industry trends, or if we are unable to modify our products or design, manufacture and deliver new products on a timely basis, or if a third party with which we engage does not timely deliver a component or service for one of our product modifications or new products, we might lose customers or market share. In addition, we might not be able to recover our research and development expenditures, which could harm our operating results.
If semiconductor manufacturers do not migrate elements of final test to wafer probe test, market acceptance of other applications of our technology could be delayed.
We are working with some customers as they evolve the focus of their semiconductor test efforts from the individual device level to the wafer level. This evolution is typically a long-term process in which the outcome and the effect on our business are not clear. Semiconductor manufacturers might not adopt wafer-level final test, for some device types, in a way that uses our technology. Our technology's ability to perform elements of final test on the wafer may not scale with the needs of semiconductor manufacturers. Further, the pace and manner in which wafer-level testing is adopted will also vary by manufacturer and will be affected by factors like capital tooling cycles and end market growth in different application segments. We believe, for example, that testing in stacked packaging or 3-D packaging applications is more likely to migrate to wafer level test than other applications. If the migration of elements of final test to wafer probe test does not grow as we anticipate, or if semiconductor manufacturers do not adopt our technology for their wafer probe test requirements, market acceptance of other applications for our technology could be delayed. In addition, to the extent manufacturers do not invest in wafer test technology enabling the identification of known good die, or KGD, or if the projected or anticipated investment in such technology is delayed or reduced, it could delay the introduction of certain of our technologies and negatively affect our business.
Changes in test strategies, equipment and processes could cause us to lose revenues.
The demand for wafer probe cards depends in large part upon the number of semiconductor designs, the pace of technology and architecture transitions in chip designs and overall semiconductor unit volume. The time it takes to test a wafer depends upon the number of devices being tested, the complexity of these devices, the test software program and the test equipment itself. As test programs become increasingly effective and test throughput increases, the number of wafer probe cards required to test a given volume of devices declines. Therefore, advances in the test process could cause us to lose sales. Further, most semiconductor manufacturers are implementing chip designs featuring built-in self-test, or BIST, capabilities or similar "design for testability", or DFT, functions or methodologies that increase test throughput and reduce the cost of test. These efforts include strategies to reduce the technical requirements on test equipment, or to improve data about device performance early in the manufacturing process, or to test the device later in the life of the product for quality assurance purposes. In some cases, BIST or DFT can create opportunities for our technologies. In other cases BIST or DFT can reduce requirements for wafer level test and reduce our opportunities. Although we seek to work with our customers to show ways that our technologies can be applied together with BIST and DFT approaches to create opportunities to further reduce the cost of test, the overall impact of BIST and DFT technologies, as they exist today and as they may be developed in the future, could slow the migration to wafer level testing and adversely affect our revenues. Similar results could occur if new chip designs are implemented which we are unable to test efficiently, or if semiconductor manufacturers reduce generally the amount or degree of wafer test they perform. We incur significant research and development expenses in conjunction with the introduction of new product architectures and platforms. Often, we time our product introductions to the introduction of new test equipment platforms or the declination of manufacturers to adopt a new test platform. Because our customers require both test equipment and wafer probe cards, any delay or disruption in the introduction of new test equipment platforms would negatively affect our growth.
We have recorded significant restructuring, inventory write-offs and asset impairment charges in the past and may do so again in the future, which could have a material negative impact on our business.
We recorded material restructuring charges related to our global workforce reductions and impairment charges related to our long-lived assets in fiscal 2008, fiscal 2009, and fiscal 2010, including the cessation of the transition of manufacturing operations to Singapore in the third quarter of our
fiscal 2010. We have also recorded material asset impairment charges in the third quarter of fiscal 2010 related to an enterprise-wide asset impairment. As we continue to align our operations with our business requirements, we may implement additional cost reduction actions, which would require us to take additional, potentially material, restructuring charges related to employee terminations or asset disposal or exit costs. We may also be required to write off additional inventory if our product build plans or usage of inventory experience further declines, and such additional write-offs could constitute material charges. In addition, a further decline in our stock price or significant adverse change in market conditions could require us to take additional material impairment charges related to our long-lived assets. Our long-lived assets, including intangible assets, are amortized over their respective estimated useful lives using the straight-line method and are reviewed for impairment annually, or whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that their carrying amount may not be recoverable. The valuation of our long-lived assets requires assumptions and estimates of many critical factors, including revenue and market growth, operating cash flows, market multiples, and discount rates. Other adverse changes in market conditions, particularly if such changes have the effect of changing one of the critical assumptions or estimates we used to calculate the amount of impairment charge, if any, could result in a change to the estimation of fair value that could result in future impairment charges. Any such additional material charges, whether related to restructuring or asset impairment, may have a material negative impact on our operating results and related financial statements.
Our restructuring plan may not properly align our cost structure with our business needs and overall semiconductor industry requirements and may adversely affect our business, financial condition, or operating results.
During the second quarter of our fiscal 2010, we conducted a reduction in force as part of a company-wide cost reduction plan in order to help focus our resources more strategically towards business needs and industry requirements as part of our global reorganization activities. During the third quarter of our fiscal 2010, one result of our announced decision to cease transition of our manufacturing activities to Singapore was a substantial reduction in force in Singapore. During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010, we further reduced our global workforce across the organization. We expect to realize quarterly savings, excluding stock-based compensation expenses, of approximately $4.0 million in the quarters commencing in fiscal 2011 as a result of these restructuring actions. If we experience expenses in excess of what we anticipate in connection with these restructuring activities, such as unanticipated costs associated with our decision to focus our manufacturing operations in Livermore and Japan and to not bring up assembly and test operations in Singapore or in Korea, our business, financial condition, or operating results could be adversely and materially affected. Our business, financial condition and operating results could also be materially adversely affected if we experience unanticipated inefficiencies as a result of our restructuring activities, such as impaired customer relationships caused by reduced headcount or delay in ramping the manufacture of our SmartMatrix and TouchMatrix products, by the delay in qualifying such Matrix-platform based products, or by our decision to implement an "end of life" plan for our Harmony products. We also cannot assure you that we will not undertake additional workforce reductions, that any of our restructuring efforts will be successful, or that we will be able to realize the cost savings and other anticipated benefits from our previous or future restructuring plans. Any of these issues could render our restructuring plan ineffective, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, or operating results.
If we do not successfully restructure our operations to better position our company for long-term, profitable growth, we might not succeed.
During an extended period of rapid growth and expansion in 2007 and the several years prior, we primarily focused on growing capacity and meeting customer mission-critical needs. In light of the
semiconductor slow down which started impacting us in 2008, we are now focusing on improving our operating efficiency to achieve operating cash flow break even in the current business environment and to better position our company for long-term, profitable growth. The timing, length and severity of the cyclical downturns in the semiconductor industry are difficult to predict. This cyclicality affects our ability to accurately predict our future operating results and plan our business, and could also impair the value of our tangible and intangible assets. We implemented global cost reduction plans in fiscal 2008, 2009 and 2010, and are continuing to pursue measures to improve our operating efficiency. Such measures have included workforce reductions, the implementation of a shared service center, the consolidation of manufacturing capacity and the centralization of support functions to regional and global shared service centers. If we do not successfully implement our global cost reduction plan and other measures for optimizing our financial model for prevailing market conditions, our competitiveness could be seriously harmed, our ability to invest in our business for future growth may be negatively impacted and our company might not succeed. If we do not successfully restructure our operations by, for example, strengthening our local design, application and service capabilities to improve customer responsiveness, changing our manufacturing structure for shorter cycle time and improved product delivery capabilities, and realigning our research and development efforts, and continue to motivate and retain our key employees, we may experience continued deterioration in our business and our company might not succeed. In addition, as the business environment improves, if we are unable to proactively and effectively manage our operations and/or realign our controls, systems and infrastructure to changing business conditions, we may not be in a position to boost our personnel, manufacturing capacity, service capabilities and productivity, and support growth in response to increasing customer demand for our products, which would, in turn, have a negative impact on our operating results. Adverse general economic conditions may also impair the recovery of our business.
Our efforts to introduce and implement price increases for certain of our products could result in certain customers deciding to not purchase our products, which could negatively impact our business and financial results.
During our second fiscal quarter we issued new pricing guidelines to customers for certain of our products based on our belief that our company pricing strategy and guidelines had fallen below normal industry cost-down trend rates. We believe that our new pricing guidelines are consistent with normal industry cost learning curves, but certain customers have reacted, and may in the future react, negatively to our new pricing and elect to not purchase our products, to purchase fewer of our products as compared to those of our competitors, or to phase out the purchase of our products, in which case our business, financial condition and operating results could be materially and adversely impacted.
Our delay in qualifying our SmartMatrix and TouchMatrix products at certain of our customers could result in the continued loss of market share at those customers, which could negatively impact our business and financial results.
We are transitioning from our Harmony platform products to our SmartMatrix and TouchMatrix product lines and have notified our customers of our end of life, or EOL, plans for our Harmony products. Although we believe our new SmartMatrix and TouchMatrix products enable our customers to lower their cost of ownership and we are in, or have completed, the qualification phase of this transition at our customers for DRAM and flash memory applications, we are late to market with these new products and both have lost and do expect to continue to lose market share as we make this product transition. This share loss is the result of the time required for SmartMatrix and TouchMatrix product qualifications and of our customers' manufacturing lead times as they move from qualification volumes to full commercial production volumes, which could result in lost opportunities for us and negatively impact our business, financial and operating results. Because of this market timing, our products are not being used by certain of our customers in their current high volume production runs for certain devices, which could result in our losing follow-on orders for those devices, and could also
result in customers electing to continue purchasing wafer probe cards from suppliers other than us to test their future semiconductor devices, which could result in our loss of market share and have a negative impact on our business and financial results.
Changes in our tax rates, inability to realize our deferred tax assets or exposure to additional tax liabilities could adversely affect our operating results.
We are subject to income taxes in both the United States and various foreign jurisdictions, and our domestic and international tax liabilities are subject to the allocation of expenses in different jurisdictions. The amount of income taxes we pay are subject to audits in various jurisdictions and a material assessment by a governing tax authority could adversely affect our operating results. Our effective tax rate could be adversely affected by changes in the mix of earnings in countries with different statutory tax rates or changes in tax laws. Realization of our deferred tax assets, which are predominantly in the United States, is dependent on our ability to generate sufficient future taxable income. If we determine that we may not be able to realize some portion of our deferred tax assets in the future, we would record a valuation allowance against the deferred tax assets that could result in additional income tax expense. This valuation allowance will not limit our ability to utilize our federal and state deferred tax assets to offset future U.S. profits.
Our equity plans have evergreen provisions that automatically increase the number of shares available for issuance each year without stockholder approval, and as a result of this annual increase in shares, you may experience dilution and we may not seek your approval for further additions to our existing plans or for new plans.
Our 2002 Equity Incentive Plan and 2002 Employee Stock Purchase Plan have evergreen provisions that automatically increase the number of shares available for issuance under these plans each year without stockholder approval. Specifically, our 2002 Equity Incentive Plan's evergreen provision increases the number of shares available for issuance on each January 1st by an amount equal to 5% of the total amount of our outstanding common stock as of December 31st of the prior year, and our 2002 Employee Stock Purchase Plan's evergreen provision increases the number of shares available for issuance on each January 1st by an amount equal to 1% of the total amount of our outstanding common stock as of December 31st of the prior year. These evergreen provisions, which have a compounding effect, have been in place since the adoption of the plans in 2003. In 2011, these evergreen provisions added 2,524,395 shares to the 2002 Equity Incentive Plan and 504,879 shares to the 2002 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, which shares were available for issuance on January 1, 2011. In 2010, these evergreen provisions added 2,488,180 shares to the 2002 Equity Incentive Plan and 497,636 shares to the 2002 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, which shares were available for issuance on January 1, 2010. In 2009, these evergreen provisions added 2,453,115 shares to the 2002 Equity Incentive Plan and 490,623 shares to the 2002 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, which shares were available for issuance on January 1, 2009. In 2008, these evergreen provisions added 2,432,112 shares to the 2002 Equity Incentive Plan and 486,422 shares to the 2002 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, which shares were available for issuance on January 1, 2008, and we had 49,062,308 shares of common stock outstanding on December 27, 2008. In 2007, these evergreen provisions added 2,343,067 shares to the 2002 Equity Incentive Plan and 468,613 shares to the 2002 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, which shares were available for issuance on January 1, 2007, and we had 48,642,258 shares of common stock outstanding on December 29, 2007. In 2006, these evergreen provisions added 2,011,834 shares to the 2002 Equity Incentive Plan and 402,366 shares to the 2002 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, which shares were available for issuance on January 1, 2006, and we had 46,861,334 shares of common stock outstanding on December 30, 2006. In 2005, these evergreen provisions added 1,944,281 shares to the 2002 Equity Incentive Plan and 388,856 shares to the 2002 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, which shares were available for issuance on January 1, 2005, and we had 40,236,686 shares of common stock outstanding on December 31, 2005. In 2004, these evergreen provisions added 1,840,502 shares to the
2002 Equity Incentive Plan and 368,100 shares to the 2002 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, which shares were available for issuance on January 1, 2004, and we had 38,885,637 shares of common stock outstanding on December 25, 2004. Since the adoption of the plans, we have added 15,513,091shares to the 2002 Equity Incentive Plan and 3,102,616 shares under the 2002 Employee Stock Purchase Plan. Due to the annual increase in the amount of shares available for issuance under these equity plans and to the extent that we issue these shares and they become outstanding, you will continue to experience dilution. While the equity plans are in effect, it is more likely that due to the plans' evergreen provision, we will not ask our stockholders to approve or disapprove further additions to the plans. In addition, while the equity plans are in effect, it is more likely that due to the plans' evergreen provisions, we will not ask our stockholders to approve or disapprove the adoption of any new equity plans.
Cyclicality in the semiconductor industry is currently adversely impacting our sales and may do so in the future, and as a result we have experienced and may continue to experience reduced revenues and operating results.
The semiconductor industry has historically been cyclical and is characterized by wide fluctuations in product supply and demand. From time to time, this industry has experienced significant downturns, often in connection with, or in anticipation of, maturing product and technology cycles, excess inventories and declines in general economic conditions. The current global economic and semiconductor downturns have caused and may continue to cause our operating results to decline dramatically from one period to the next. For example, our revenues in fiscal 2009 declined by 35.6% compared to our revenues for fiscal 2008, due in significant part to continuing challenges in semiconductor market conditions, particularly in the DRAM and Flash markets; and our fiscal 2010 fourth quarter revenues declined from our fiscal 2010 third quarter revenues by 7.3%. Our business depends heavily upon the development and manufacture of new semiconductors, the rate at which semiconductor manufacturers make transitions to smaller nanometer technology nodes and implement tooling cycles, the volume of production by semiconductor manufacturers and the overall financial strength of our customers, which, in turn, depend upon the current and anticipated market demand for semiconductors and products, such as personal computers and cell phones, that use semiconductors. Semiconductor manufacturers generally sharply curtail their spending, including their equipment spending, and defer their adoption of emerging technologies during industry downturns and historically have lowered their spending disproportionately more than the decline in their revenues. This is particularly true when there is a point during an industry cycle in which the semiconductor manufacturers' costs related to semiconductor devices approach or exceed the sales price of the devices. As a result, we would experience reduced revenues due to the decreased demand for our wafer probe cards by our semiconductor manufacturer customers, which is what we are experiencing in this current downturn. Accordingly, if we are unable to adjust our levels of manufacturing and human resources or manage our costs and deliveries from suppliers in response to lower spending by semiconductor manufacturers, our gross margin may continue to decline and cause us to experience further operating losses.
If we are unable to efficiently manufacture and ramp production of our new probe card products, our business may be materially adversely affected.
We must continuously improve our manufacturing processes in an effort to increase yields and product performance, lower our costs and reduce the time it takes for us to design, manufacture and deliver our products in volume. If we cannot, our new products may not be commercially successful, our revenues may be adversely affected, our customer relationships and our reputation may be harmed and our business may be materially adversely affected. To improve our manufacturing processes, we have incurred, and may incur in the future, substantial costs as we optimize capacity and yields, implement new manufacturing technologies, methods and processes, purchase new equipment, upgrade
existing equipment and train technical personnel. We have experienced, and may experience in the future, manufacturing delays and other inefficiencies in connection with implementation of these improvements and customer qualifications of new processes, and expansion of manufacturing capacity and ramp of production volume to meet customer demand, which have caused and could cause in the future, our operating results to decline. We have also experienced, and may experience in the future, difficulties in manufacturing our complex products in volume on time and at acceptable yields and cost and installation issues in the field due to complexity of customer design requirements, including integration of wafer probe cards with varying customer test cell environments and testing of semiconductor devices over a wide temperature range. For example, we experienced challenges transitioning our Harmony architecture-based products from a lower-volume, engineering-assisted process to a high-volume manufacturing process. These problems resulted in missed opportunities with customers. If we experience challenges in our transition to our Matrix architecture products, or other next generation products, such difficulties could cause additional product delivery delays and lost sales. This increases our vulnerability to our competitors and the likelihood that our customers will seek solutions from other suppliers or to develop solutions themselves. If demand for our products decreases, we could have excess manufacturing capacity. The fixed costs associated with excess manufacturing capacity could cause our operating results to decline. If we are unable to achieve further manufacturing efficiencies and cost reductions, particularly if we are experiencing pricing pressures in the marketplace, our operating results could suffer.
Industry consolidation could adversely affect the market for our products, which could cause a decline in our revenues.
Consolidation in the semiconductor industry, particularly among manufacturers of DRAM devices, would reduce our customer base and could adversely affect the market for our products, which could cause a decline in our revenues. The global economic downturn caused significant disruption within the semiconductor industry. The semiconductor industry now has a smaller customer landscape than in past years. The loss of additional customers could further concentrate, and could adversely affect, the market for our products. Consolidation may lead to lost or delayed sales, reduced demand for our wafer probe cards, loss of market share and increased pricing pressures. Additionally, certain customers may not want to rely entirely or substantially on a single wafer probe card supplier and, as a result, such customers could reduce their purchases of our wafer probe cards.
We depend upon the sale of our wafer probe cards for substantially all of our revenues, and the majority of our wafer probe cards are utilized by semiconductor manufacturers for testing DRAM devices; if we continue to experience a downturn in demand for our DRAM products, our revenues could decline further.
We have historically derived substantially all of our revenues from the sale of our wafer probe cards to manufacturers of DRAM, flash memory devices, and microprocessor, chipset and other SoC devices. For fiscal 2010 and for fiscal 2009, sales to manufacturers of DRAM devices accounted for 69.6% and 80.4%, respectively, of our revenues; sales to manufacturers of flash memory devices accounted for 15.9% and 5.4%, respectively, of our revenues and sales to manufacturers of SoC devices accounted for 14.5% and 14.2%, respectively, of our revenues. We anticipate that sales of our wafer probe cards will represent a substantial majority of our revenues for the foreseeable future. Our success depends in large part upon the continued acceptance of our products within these markets and our ability to continue to develop and introduce new products that meet our customers' requirements on a timely basis for these markets. In particular, to continue to grow our business, we need to further penetrate the full wafer contactor flash memory and SoC markets and to gain additional market share with manufacturers of flash memory and SoC devices. To the extent that we are unable to realize cost reductions and manufacturing efficiencies in the production of our wafer probe cards, or if we are not able to timely deliver our products, our revenues and business operations could be adversely impacted and our ability to grow could suffer. As our next generation wafer probe cards are used in greater
volume in commercial production, it is possible that we will identify certain areas of technical performance that require improvement, and if we are unable to continually, efficiently and in a timely manner improve our products, which could result in reduced demand for our products and our operating results could be harmed. If chip manufacturers fail to make architecture, node or technology transitions as we anticipate, or if anticipated or announced transitions are delayed, it could adversely impact our revenues and operating results. In addition, we might not be able to sustain or increase our revenues from sales of our wafer probe cards, particularly if conditions in the semiconductor market continue to deteriorate or do not improve or if the market enters another downturn. Any decrease in revenues from sales of our wafer probe cards could harm our business more than it would if we offered a more diversified line of products.
If our relationships with our customers and companies that manufacture semiconductor test equipment deteriorate, our product development activities could be harmed.
The success of our product development efforts depends upon our ability to anticipate market trends and to collaborate closely with our customers and with companies that manufacture semiconductor test equipment. Our relationships with these customers and companies provide us with access to valuable information regarding manufacturing and process technology trends in the semiconductor industry, which enables us to better plan our product development activities. These relationships also provide us with opportunities to understand the performance and functionality requirements of our customers, which improve our ability to customize our products to fulfill their needs. Our relationships with test equipment companies are important to us because test equipment companies can design our wafer probe cards into their equipment and provide us with the insight into their product plans that allows us to offer wafer probe cards for use with their products when they are introduced to the market. Our relationships with our customers and test equipment companies could deteriorate if they:
Many of our customers and the test equipment companies we work with are large companies. The consequences of deterioration in our relationship with any of these companies could be exacerbated due to the significant influence these companies can exert in our markets. If our current relationships with our customers and test equipment companies deteriorate, or if we are unable to develop similar collaborative relationships with important customers and test equipment companies in the future, our long-term ability to produce commercially successful products could be impaired.
Consolidation within the semiconductor test equipment market could negatively impact our ability to compete and negatively impact our revenue and operating results.
There has been a recent move toward consolidation within the semiconductor test equipment market. For example, in 2009, Touchdown Technologies, Inc., a probe card manufacturer, was acquired by Verigy Ltd., a tester company, and in 2010, after Verigy announced an intent to combine with LTX Credence, a tester company, Advantest Corporation, made an unsolicited bid to acquire Verigy. This consolidation trend could change our interactions and relationships with semiconductor tester and prober companies and negatively impact our revenue and operating results.
Because we generally do not have a sufficient backlog of unfilled orders to meet our quarterly revenue targets, revenues in any quarter are substantially dependent upon customer orders received and fulfilled in that quarter.
Our revenues are difficult to forecast because we generally do not have sufficient backlog of unfilled orders to meet our quarterly revenue targets at the beginning of a quarter. Rather, a substantial percentage of our revenues in any quarter depend upon customer orders for our wafer probe cards that we receive and fulfill in that quarter. Because our expense levels are based in part on our expectations as to future revenues and to a large extent are fixed in the short term, we might be unable to adjust spending in time to compensate for any unexpected shortfall in revenues. Accordingly, any significant shortfall of revenues in relation to our expectations could hurt our operating results.
We manufacture substantially all our products at our facility in Livermore, California, and any disruption in the operations of this facility could adversely impact our business and operating results.
Our manufacturing processes require sophisticated and costly equipment and a specially designed facility, including a semiconductor clean room. We manufacture the majority of our wafer probe cards at our facility located in Livermore, California, and we have certain manufacturing capabilities in our Japan facility. Any disruption in our manufacturing, whether due to contamination in our manufacturing process, technical or labor difficulties, destruction or damage from fire or earthquake, infrastructure failures such as power or water shortage or any other reason, could interrupt our operations, impair critical systems, disrupt communications with our customers and suppliers, and cause us to write off inventory, thereby potentially resulting in the loss of revenues. In addition, if the previous energy crises in California that resulted in disruptions in power supply and increases in utility costs were to recur, we might experience power interruptions and shortages, which could disrupt our manufacturing operations. This could subject us to loss of revenues as well as significantly higher costs of energy. Further, current and potential customers might not purchase our products if they perceive our lack of a fully operational alternate manufacturing facility to be a risk to their continuing source of supply.
If we are unable to continue to reduce the time it takes for us to design and produce a wafer probe card, our growth could be impeded.
Our customers continuously seek to reduce the time it takes them to introduce new products to market. The cyclicality of the semiconductor industry, coupled with changing demands for semiconductor devices, requires our customers to be flexible and highly adaptable to changes in the volume and mix of products they must produce. Each of those changes requires a new design and each new design requires a new wafer probe card. For some existing semiconductor devices, the manufacturers' volume and mix of product requirements are such that we are unable to design, manufacture and ship products to meet such manufacturers' relatively short cycle time requirements. We, for example, have lost sales in the past where we were unable to meet a customer's required delivery schedule for wafer probe cards for a particular design. If we are unable to reduce the time it takes for us to design, manufacture and ship our products in response to the needs of our customers,
our competitive position could be harmed and we could lose sales. If we are unable to grow design capacity in the event demand increases, our ability to respond to customer requirements could be challenged and our revenues could be negatively impacted.
We obtain some of the components and materials we use in our products from a sole source or a limited group of suppliers, and the partial or complete loss of one of these suppliers could cause production delays and a substantial loss of revenues.
We obtain some of the components and materials used in our products, such as printed circuit board assemblies, plating materials and ceramic substrates, from a sole source or a limited group of suppliers. Alternative sources are not currently available for sole source components and materials. Because we rely on purchase orders rather than long-term contracts with the majority of our suppliers, we cannot predict with certainty our ability to obtain components and materials in the longer term. A sole or limited source supplier could increase prices, which could lead to a decline in our gross margin. Our dependence upon sole or limited source suppliers exposes us to several other risks, including inability to obtain an adequate supply of materials, late deliveries and poor component quality. In addition, the ability of any of these suppliers to timely provide us with sufficient quality materials would be adversely affected if they are forced to reduce or discontinue operations due to financial difficulties, which is a heightened risk during the current economic downturn. Disruption or termination of the supply of components or materials could delay shipments of our products, damage our customer relationships and reduce our revenues. For example, if we were unable to obtain an adequate supply of a component or material, we might have to use a substitute component or material, which could require us to make changes in our manufacturing process. From time to time, we have experienced difficulties in receiving shipments from one or more of our suppliers, especially during periods of high demand for our products. If we cannot obtain an adequate supply of the components and materials we require, or do not receive them in a timely manner, we might be required to identify new suppliers. We might not be able to identify new suppliers on a timely basis or at all. We, as well as our customers, would also need to qualify any new suppliers. The lead-time required to identify and qualify new suppliers could affect our ability to timely ship our products and cause our operating results to suffer. Further, a sole or limited source supplier could require us to enter into non-cancelable purchase commitments or pay in advance to ensure our source of supply. In an industry downturn or in an environment in which growth is not at a level we projected or anticipated, commitments of this type could result in charges for excess inventory of parts. Further, if a customer's needs for a particular probe card design and purchase orders for those probe cards are spread out over several months as opposed to being placed at one time in a single purchase order, it may require us to purchase excessive materials in light of minimum purchase requirements or to be unable to realize volume discounts for materials because of the lack of visibility into the customer's overall purchase plan. These purchase issues would require us to incur a greater cost of goods sold than we might otherwise realize. Additionally, if we are unable to predict our component and materials needs accurately, or if our supply is disrupted, we might miss market opportunities by not being able to meet the demand for our products.
Wafer probe cards that do not meet specifications or that contain defects could damage our reputation, decrease market acceptance of our technology, cause us to lose customers and revenues, and result in liability to us.
The complexity and ongoing development of our wafer probe card manufacturing process, combined with increases in wafer probe card production volumes, have in the past and could in the future lead to design or manufacturing problems. For example, we have experienced the presence of contaminants in our plating baths, which have caused a decrease in our manufacturing yields or have resulted in unanticipated stress-related failures when our wafer probe cards are being used in the manufacturing test environment. This contamination problem caused a yield decline that, in turn,
resulted in our inability to timely ship products to our customers. Manufacturing design errors such as the miswiring of a wafer probe card or the incorrect placement of probe contact elements have caused us to repeat manufacturing design steps. In addition to these examples, problems might result from a number of factors, including design defects, materials failure, failure of components manufactured by our suppliers to meet our specifications, contamination in the manufacturing environment, impurities in the materials used, unknown sensitivities to process conditions, such as temperature and humidity, and equipment failures. As a result, our products have in the past contained and might in the future contain undetected errors or defects. Any errors or defects could:
The occurrence of any one or more of these events could adversely affect our operating results.
In addition, if any of our products fails to meet specifications when installed in the customer's test environment, or has reliability, quality or compatibility problems, our reputation could be damaged significantly and customers might be reluctant to buy our products, which could result in a decline in revenues, an increase in product returns or warranty costs and the loss of existing customers or the failure to attract new customers. Our customers use our products with test equipment and software in their manufacturing facilities. Our products must be compatible with the customers' equipment and software to form an integrated system. While we have designed our test capabilities and standards to replicate the actual test environment of our customers and continually work to improve our capabilities, it is possible that our wafer probe card will perform differently in the customers' actual test environments. If our wafer probe card does not function properly within a customer's specific test environment, we could be required to provide field application engineers to locate the problem, which can take time and resources. If the problem relates to our wafer probe cards, we might have to invest significant capital, manufacturing capacity and other resources to correct it. Our current or potential customers also might seek to recover from us any losses resulting from defects or failures in our products. Liability claims could require us to spend significant time and money in litigation or to pay significant damages.
If our ability to forecast demand for our products deteriorates or the predictability of our manufacturing yields does not improve, we could incur higher inventory losses than we currently experience.
Each semiconductor chip design requires a custom wafer probe card. Because our products are design-specific, demand for our products is difficult to forecast. Due to our customers' short delivery time requirements, we often design, procure materials and, at times, produce our products in anticipation of demand for our products rather than in response to an order. Our manufacturing yields, particularly for new products, have historically been unpredictable and consequently, we generally produce more components for probe cards, or actual probe cards, than forecasted demand. If we do not obtain orders as we anticipate, or if we continue to produce excess inventory to compensate for unpredictable manufacturing yields, we could have excess or obsolete inventory for a specific customer design that we would not be able to sell to any other customer, which would likely result in inventory write-offs or material charges for scrap.
If we fail to maintain an effective system of internal and disclosure controls, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results or prevent fraud, which may adversely affect our business and reputation. In addition, current and potential stockholders could lose confidence in our financial reporting, which may adversely impact the trading price of our securities.
Effective internal and disclosure controls are necessary for us to provide reliable financial reports, to prevent fraud and to operate successfully as a public company. If we cannot provide reliable financial reports or prevent fraud, our business and reputation may be harmed. We regularly review and assess our internal control over financial reporting and our disclosure controls and procedures. As part of that process, we may discover material weaknesses or significant deficiencies in our internal control as defined under standards adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or PCAOB, that require remediation. A material weakness is a deficiency, or combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the company's annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected in a timely basis. A significant deficiency is a deficiency or combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting that is less severe than a material weakness, yet important enough to merit attention by those responsible for the oversight of the company's financial reporting. For example, in November 2007, we completed a review of our historical practices with respect to inventory valuation. That review indicated that during fiscal 2006 and the first half of fiscal 2007 we did not consistently follow our accounting policies for determining inventory valuation. Specifically, we did not maintain effective controls to ensure that the estimation process to value inventory complied with our accounting policies. As a result, we restated our annual and interim financial statements for fiscal 2006 and interim financial statements for the first and second quarters of fiscal 2007 and made audit adjustments to our annual financial statements for fiscal 2007. As a result of weaknesses that may be identified in our internal controls, we may also identify certain deficiencies in some of our disclosure controls and procedures that we believe require remediation. If we discover weaknesses, we will make efforts to improve our internal and disclosure controls. However, there is no assurance that we will be successful. If we fail to maintain effective controls or timely affect any necessary improvement of our internal and disclosure controls, we may not have accurate information to make management decisions, our operating results could be harmed or we may fail to meet our reporting obligations, which could affect our ability to remain listed with the NASDAQ Global Market. Ineffective internal and disclosure controls could also cause stockholders to lose confidence in our reported financial information and our ability to manage our business, which would likely have a negative effect on the trading price of our securities.
We might be subject to claims of infringement of other parties' proprietary rights which could harm our business.
In the future, as we have in the past, we might receive claims that we are infringing intellectual property rights of others or inquiries about our interest in a license, or assertions that we need a license, to the intellectual property. The semiconductor industry is characterized by uncertain and conflicting intellectual property claims and vigorous protection and pursuit of these rights. The resolution of any claims of this nature, with or without merit, could be time consuming, result in costly litigation or cause product shipment delays. In the event of an adverse ruling or settlement, we might be required to pay substantial damages, cease the use or sale of infringing products, spend significant resources to develop non-infringing technology, discontinue the use of certain technology and/or enter into license agreements. License agreements, if required, might not be available on terms acceptable to us or at all. The loss of access to any of our intellectual property or the ability to use any of our technology could harm our business. Finally, certain of our customer contracts contain provisions that require us to defend and/or indemnify our customers for third party intellectual property infringement claims, which would increase the cost to us of an adverse ruling or settlement.
We may not be able to recruit or retain qualified personnel, which could harm our business.
We believe our ability to successfully manage and grow our business and to develop new products depends, in large part, on our ability to recruit and retain qualified employees, particularly highly skilled technical, sales, management, and key staff personnel. Competition for qualified resources is intense and other companies may have greater resources available to provide substantial inducements to lure key personnel away from us or to offer more competitive compensation packages to individuals we are trying to hire. Additionally, we have implemented global cost reduction plans in which we have reduced our workforce, which could make it challenging to retain key people and recruit new talent, as needed. While we are implementing programs that will include goals for attracting employees, and we may grant additional equity compensation to certain employees outside of our annual equity grant program for retention purposes, or implement retention bonus programs for certain employees, there can be no assurance that we will be able to successfully recruit and retain the qualified personnel we require.
We may make acquisitions and investments, which could put a strain on our resources, cause ownership dilution to our stockholders and adversely affect our financial results.
We may make acquisitions of complementary businesses, products or technologies in the future. In October 2009, we completed the acquisition of certain precision motion control automation assets from Electroglas, a company under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware. Prior to the acquisition, Electroglas was engaged in the supply of semiconductor manufacturing equipment and software to the semiconductor industry. The assets acquired consisted of manufacturing and testing equipment, spare parts and components related to the purchased equipment and other technology assets related to precision motion control automation and all of the intellectual property rights of Electroglas, with the exception of certain trademark rights.
We may also make certain investments in complementary or supplementary businesses, products or technologies in the future. Integrating newly acquired businesses, products or technologies into our company could put a strain on our resources, could be expensive and time consuming, may cause delays in product delivery and might not be successful. Future acquisitions and investments could divert our management's attention from other business concerns and expose our business to unforeseen liabilities or risks associated with entering new markets. In addition, we might lose key employees while integrating new organizations. We might not be successful in integrating any acquired businesses, products or technologies, and might not achieve anticipated revenues and cost benefits. Investments that we make may not result in a return consistent with our projections upon which such investments are made, or may require additional investment that we did not originally anticipate. In addition, future acquisitions could result in customer dissatisfaction, performance problems with an acquired company, potentially dilutive issuances of equity securities or the incurrence of debt, contingent liabilities, possible impairment charges related to goodwill or other intangible assets or other unanticipated events or circumstances, any of which could harm our business.
As part of our sales process, we could incur substantial sales and engineering expenses that do not result in revenues, which would harm our operating results.
Our customers generally expend significant efforts evaluating and qualifying our products prior to placing an order. The time that our customers require to evaluate and qualify our wafer probe cards is typically between three and 12 months and sometimes longer. While our customers are evaluating our products, we might incur substantial sales, marketing, and research and development expenses. For example, we typically expend significant resources educating our prospective customers regarding the uses and benefits of our wafer probe cards and developing wafer probe cards customized to the potential customer's needs, for which we might not be reimbursed. Although we commit substantial resources to our sales efforts, we might never receive any revenues from a customer. For example,
many semiconductor designs never reach production, including designs for which we may have expended design effort and expense. In addition, prospective customers might decide not to use our wafer probe cards. The length of time that it takes for the evaluation process and for us to make a sale depends upon many factors including:
In addition, product purchases are frequently subject to delays, particularly with respect to large customers for which our products may represent a small percentage of their overall purchases. As a result, our sales cycles are unpredictable. If we incur substantial sales and engineering expenses without generating revenues, our operating results could be harmed.
Our failure to comply with environmental laws and regulations could subject us to significant fines and liabilities, and new laws and regulations or changes in regulatory interpretation or enforcement could make compliance more difficult and costly.
We are subject to various U.S. federal, state and local, and foreign governmental laws and regulations relating to the protection of the environment, including those governing the discharge of pollutants into the air and water, the management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, the cleanup of contaminated sites and the maintenance of a safe workplace. We could incur substantial costs, including cleanup costs, civil or criminal fines or sanctions and third-party claims for property damage or personal injury, as a result of violations of or liabilities under environmental laws and regulations or non-compliance with the environmental permits required at our facilities.
These laws, regulations and permits also could require the installation of costly pollution control equipment or operational changes to limit pollution emissions or decrease the likelihood of accidental releases of hazardous substances. In addition, changing laws and regulations, new laws and regulations, stricter enforcement of existing laws and regulations, the discovery of previously unknown contamination at our or others' sites or the imposition of new cleanup requirements could require us to curtail our operations, restrict our future expansion, subject us to liability and cause us to incur future costs that could harm our operations, thereby adversely impacting our operating results and cash flow.
Because we conduct most of our business internationally, we are subject to operational, economic, financial and political risks abroad.
Sales of our products to customers outside the United States have accounted for a significant part of our revenues. Our international sales as a percentage of our revenues were 79.7% and 81.9% for fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2009, respectively. Additionally, certain of our South Korean customers purchase through their North American subsidiaries. In the future, we expect international sales, particularly in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, to continue to account for a significant percentage of our revenues. Accordingly, we will be subject to risks and challenges that we would not otherwise face if we conducted our business solely in the United States. These risks and challenges include:
Any of these factors could harm our existing international operations and business, impair our ability to continue expanding into international markets or materially adversely affect our operating results.
The trading price of our common stock has been and is likely to continue to be volatile, and you might not be able to sell your shares at or above the price that you paid for them.
The trading prices of the securities of technology companies have been highly volatile, and from January 1, 2010 through February 10, 2011, our stock price has ranged from $6.95 a share to $21.92 a share. The trading price of our common stock is likely to continue to be subject to wide fluctuations. Factors affecting the trading price of our common stock include:
In addition, if the market for technology stocks or the stock market in general experiences loss of investor confidence, the trading price of our common stock could decline for reasons unrelated to our business, operating results or financial condition. The trading price of our common stock also might decline in reaction to events that affect other companies in our industry even if these events do not directly affect us.
Provisions of our certificate of incorporation and bylaws or Delaware law might discourage, delay or prevent a change of control of our company or changes in our management and, therefore, depress the trading price of our common stock.
Delaware corporate law and our certificate of incorporation and bylaws contain provisions that could discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our company or changes in our management that the stockholders of our company may deem advantageous. These provisions:
In addition, Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law may discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our company. In addition, each of our named executive officers and certain other officers of the company have entered into change of control severance agreements, which were approved by our Compensation Committee, which could increase the costs associated with a change of control and thus, potentially deter such a transaction.
Our corporate headquarters, which includes sales, marketing, administration, manufacturing, engineering, and research and development facilities, is located in Livermore, California, United States. Our corporate headquarters is comprised of a campus of six buildings totaling approximately 210,000 square feet, with one of the six buildings currently vacant. We presently lease those six buildings. We also own one building which was a part of our older manufacturing facility and which we are no longer using. That building is presently available for sale. In addition, we lease office, repair and service, manufacturing and/or research and development space both inside and outside of the United States. The leases expire at various times through 2021. In connection with our restructuring actions implemented in fiscal 2010, we ceased using certain manufacturing properties in Singapore and Livermore, California. These properties are currently vacant and marketed to sublease. We believe that our existing and planned facilities are suitable for our current needs.
Information concerning our properties as of December 25, 2010 is set forth below:
From time to time, we may be subject to legal proceedings and claims in the ordinary course of business. As of the filing of this Form 10-K, we were not involved in any material legal proceedings, other than the proceedings summarized below. In the future we may become a party to additional legal proceedings that may require us to spend significant resources, including proceedings designed to protect our intellectual property rights and to collect past due accounts receivable from our customers.
We believe that the factual allegations and circumstances underlying the legal proceedings described below that have been filed against us are without merit. We also believe that our company does not have a material monetary damages exposure in these legal proceedings that would individually or in the aggregate have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, liquidity or results of operations; however, these legal proceedings have been costly and it is possible we will incur significant, and possibly material, attorneys' fees, which may not be covered by our insurance policies. These legal proceedings may also divert our management's time and attention away from business operations, which could prove to be disruptive to our business operations. In addition, an unfavorable outcome or settlement of these proceedings, particularly if it is not covered by or exceeds our insurance coverage, could individually or in the aggregate adversely impact our financial condition, liquidity or results of operations.
We initiated patent infringement litigation in the United States against Phicom Corporation, a Korea corporation, and its U.S. subsidiary, both collectively "Phicom", and against Micronics Japan Co., Ltd., a Japan corporation, and its U.S. subsidiary, both collectively "Micronics Japan." In 2005, we filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon against Phicom charging that it is willfully infringing four U.S. patents that cover key aspects of our wafer probe cardsU.S. Patent Nos. 5,974,662, 6,246,247, 6,624,648, and 5,994,152. In 2006, we also filed an amended complaint in the same Oregon district court adding two additional patents to the litigationU.S. Patent Nos. 7,073,254 and 6,615,485. Also in 2006, we filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against Micronics Japan charging that it is willfully infringing four U.S. patents that cover key aspects of our wafer probe cardsU.S. Patent Nos. 6,246,247, 6,509,751, 6,624,648, and 7,073,254.
These two district court actions were stayed pending resolution of the complaint that we filed with the United States International Trade Commission, or ITC, on or about November 13, 2007, seeking institution of a formal investigation into the activities of Micronics Japan and Phicom. The requested investigation as filed encompassed U.S. Patent Nos. 5,994,152, 6,509,751, 6,615,485, 6,624,648 and 7,225,538 and alleged that infringement by each of Micronics Japan and Phicom of certain of the identified patents constitute unfair acts in violation of 19 U.S.C. Section 1337 and alleged violations of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States of certain probe card assemblies, components thereof, and certain tested DRAM and NAND flash memory devices and products containing such devices that infringe patents owned by us.
In November 2009, in response to a request for review of prior decisions by an ITC Administrative Law Judge, the Commission issued a decision, which is termed a "final determination," finding certain of FormFactor's asserted patent claims valid, but not infringed, and other asserted patent claims invalid. The Commission did not find a violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 and terminated the investigation without issuing an exclusionary order against any products. We did not appeal the final determination to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The stay in the district court action against Micronics Japan was lifted, and in July 2010 we reached an amicable resolution of the action against Micronics Japan resulting in the dismissal of the patent infringement lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The terms and conditions of the settlement agreement are confidential. The stay in the district court action against Phicom was also lifted and the parties engaged in a non-binding mediation in an attempt to resolve the litigation. If the matter is not resolved amicably, we anticipate the action will proceed forward.
In July 2010, we filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against Micro-Probe Incorporated charging that it is willfully infringing six U.S. patents that cover aspects of our proprietary technology and wafer probe cards. The complaint sought both injunctive relief and money damages for Micro-Probe's alleged infringement of our U.S. Patent No. 6,441,315 for "Contact Structures With Blades Having A Wiping Motion," U.S. Patent No. 6,825,422 for "Interconnection Element With Contact Blade," U.S. Patent No. 6,965,244 for "High Performance Probe System," U.S. Patent No. 7,227,371 for "High Performance Probe System," U.S. Patent No. 6,246,247 for "Probe Card Assembly and Kit, and Methods of Using Same," and U.S. Patent No. 6,624,648 for "Probe Card Assembly." The complaint also sought injunctive relief and damages against Micro-Probe for unfair competition and further includes claims directed against a former employee for breach of confidence relative to our confidential and propriety information and against the former employee and Micro-Probe for conspiring to breach that confidence. After Micro-Probe and the former employee filed motions to dismiss, we voluntarily filed an amended complaint, which was substantially similar to our original complaint, except that we added a claim against the former employee alleging misappropriation of trade secrets and we omitted the infringement allegation related to our U.S. Patent No. 6,624,648, which is the subject of a re-examination proceeding before
the USPTO. Micro-Probe and the former employee have both filed answers to our amended complaint. Micro-Probe is seeking a stay of part of the claims pending the outcome of certain USPTO re-examination procedures it initiated against the patents-in-suit.
In addition to the United States litigations, we also initiated actions in Seoul, South Korea against Phicom. In 2004 we filed two actions in Seoul Southern District Court, located in Seoul, South Korea, against Phicom alleging infringement of our Korean Patent Nos. 252,457, 324,064, 278,342 and 399,210. In the action alleging infringement of our Korean Patent Nos. 278,342 and 399,210, the Seoul Southern District Court closed the case after rejecting our petition. We filed an appeal to the Seoul High Court regarding the decisions on our Korean Patent Nos. 278,342 and 399,210, but elected to voluntarily withdraw the appeal. The Seoul Southern District Court also rendered decisions unfavorable to us related to our Korean Patent Nos. 252,457 and 324,064 and the Seoul High Court dismissed our appeals of those decisions. The Seoul High Court decisions are subject to a final appeal to the Korea Supreme Court but we elected not to file such appeals. We also in 2006 filed in the Seoul Central District Court two actions, including a preliminary injunction action, against Phicom alleging infringement of certain claims of our Korea Patent No. 252,457. The Seoul Central District Court did not accept the preliminary injunction action and both actions have been closed.
In response to our initiation of the infringement actions in Korea, Phicom filed in the Korean Intellectual Property Office, or KIPO, invalidity actions challenging the validity of some or all of the claims of each of our four patents at issue in the Seoul Southern District Court infringement actions. KIPO dismissed Phicom's challenges against all four of the patents-at-issue. Phicom appealed the dismissals of the challenges to the Korea Patent Court. In 2006, the Korea Patent Court issued a ruling upholding the validity of our Korean Patent No. 252,457, then the only one of the four patents still subject to litigation. Phicom appealed the Patent Court ruling on Korean Patent No. 252,457 to the Korea Supreme Court. In June 2008, the Korea Supreme Court reversed the Patent Court ruling, finding invalid certain claims of our Korean Patent No. 252,457 and remanding the case for further trial. We also filed a correction trial with KIPO on certain claims of Korean Patent No. 252,457. KIPO issued decisions unfavorable to us in both of the actions relating to our Korean Patent No. 252,457, and, on appeal, the Korea Patent Court also issued decisions adverse to us in both actions.
Additionally, one or more third parties have initiated challenges in the U.S. and in foreign patent offices against certain of the above and other of our patents. These actions include re-examination proceedings filed in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, USPTO, against three of our U.S. patents that were at issue in the ITC investigation. With respect to our U.S. Patent No. 5,994,152, the re-examination proceeding has concluded and a re-examination certificate has issued. With respect to our U.S. Patent No. 6,624,648, the matter is still pending before the USPTO. With respect to our U.S. Patent No. 6,615,485, the matter is on appeal from the decision of the USPTO examiner. Micro-Probe has filed requests for re-examination with the USPTO directed to our U.S. Patent No. 6,246,247, U.S. Patent No. 6,825,422, U.S. Patent No. 6,441,315, U.S. Patent No. 6,965,244 and U.S. Patent No. 7,227,371. The USPTO granted the re-examination requests directed to U.S. Patent Nos. 6,246,247, 6,825,422 and 6,441,315, and has not yet made a determination as to whether it will grant the requests directed to U.S. Patent Nos. 6,965,244 and 7,227,371. The foreign actions include proceedings in Taiwan against several of our Taiwan patents.
No provision has been made for patent-related litigation because we believe that it is not probable that a liability had been incurred as of December 25, 2010. We have incurred and will incur in the future material attorneys' fees in prosecuting and defending the various identified actions.
Stockholder Derivative Litigation
On February 20, 2009, we filed a complaint for breach of contract, common counts, account stated and injunctive relief against Spansion, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company ("Spansion"), in the state superior court located in Santa Clara County, California. The complaint alleges that Spansion, in breach of Spansion's obligations under a purchase agreement entered into by us and Spansion, has failed to pay us for probe cards that we designed, developed and manufactured pursuant to several purchase orders placed by Spansion with us pursuant to the agreement. The complaint states that as of February 13, 2009, Spansion owed us $8.1 million for probe cards delivered by us and not paid for by Spansion. In the complaint, we are seeking (i) payment of at least $8.1 million, (ii) a temporary protective order and an injunction enjoining Spansion from assigning or in any way divesting itself of any monies that we believe Spansion received from a certain third party entity, (iii) a prejudgment writ of attachment in favor of us over Spansion's corporate assets and property, (iv) costs and (v) attorney's fees. Prior to making any appearance or filing any answer in the action, Spansion filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Laws of the United States, which served to stay our complaint against Spansion. In November 2009, we sold all rights, title and interest in the bankruptcy claim in the aggregate face amount of $8.1 million to a third party in exchange for net proceeds of $3.5 million, and in October 2010, we voluntarily dismissed our complaint against Spansion.
Price Range of Common Stock
Our common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol "FORM". The following table sets forth the range of high and low sales prices per share as reported on the Nasdaq Global Market for the periods indicated.
The closing sales price of our common stock on the NASDAQ Global Market was $9.28 per share on February 10, 2011. As of February 10, 2011, there were 62 registered holders of record of our common stock.
Repurchase of Common Stock
On October 20, 2010, the Company's Board of Directors authorized a program to repurchase up to $50.0 million of outstanding common stock. Under the authorized stock repurchase program, the Company may repurchase shares from time to time on the open market; the pace of repurchase activity will depend on levels of cash generation, current stock price, and other factors. The stock repurchase program was announced on October 26, 2010 and expires on October 19, 2011. The program may be modified or discontinued at any time. In December 2010, we repurchased and retired approximately 70,000 shares of common stock for $0.6 million under this repurchase authorization. There were no additional common stock repurchases during fiscal 2010.
Additionally, we have repurchased and retired 130,000 shares of common stock for $1.2 million subsequent to December 25, 2010.
Repurchased shares are retired upon the settlement of the related trade transactions. Our policy related to repurchases of our common stock is to charge the excess of cost over par value to additional
paid-in capital. All repurchases were made in compliance with Rule 10b-18 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.
We have never declared or paid cash dividends on our common stock. We currently expect to retain all available funds and any future earnings for use in the operation and development of our business. Accordingly, we do not anticipate declaring or paying cash dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future.
Stock Price Performance Graph
The following graph shows the total stockholder return of an investment of $100 in cash on December 31, 2005 through December 31, 2010, for (1) our common stock, (2) the S&P 500 Index and (3) the RDG Semiconductor Composite Index. All values assume reinvestment of the full amount of all dividends. No cash dividends have been declared on shares of our common stock. Stockholder returns over the indicated period are based on historical data and are not necessarily indicative of future stockholder returns.
COMPARISON OF 5 YEAR CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURN*
The following selected consolidated financial data are derived from our consolidated financial statements. This data should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes, and "Item 7: Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" contained elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. In addition to historical consolidated financial information, the following discussion and analysis contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions as described under the "Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" that appears earlier in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements as a result of many factors, including those discussed under "Item 1A: Risk Factors" and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
We design, develop, manufacture, sell and support precision, high performance advanced semiconductor wafer probe card products and solutions. Semiconductor manufacturers use our wafer probe cards to perform wafer sort and test on the semiconductor die, or chips, on the whole semiconductor wafer, which is prior to singulation of the wafer into individual separate chips. We work closely with our customers on product design, as each wafer probe card is a custom product that is specific to the chip and wafer designs of the customer. During wafer sort and test, a wafer probe card is mounted in a prober and connected to a semiconductor tester. The wafer probe card is used as an interface to connect electrically with and test individual chips on a wafer. Our wafer probe cards are used by our customers in the front end of the semiconductor manufacturing process, as are our image sensor, parametric, or in-line, probe cards. We operate in a single industry segment and have derived substantially all of our revenues from the sale of wafer probe cards incorporating our proprietary technology, including our MicroSpring® interconnect technology.
During fiscal 2010, we saw revenue growth over fiscal 2009 across all of our product markets. Our revenues increased by 39.3%, or $53.2 million, in fiscal 2010 as compared to fiscal 2009. This growth is attributed to a recovery in the semiconductor manufacturing equipment industry, as well as faster than expected qualification of our new SmartMatrix and TouchMatrix product lines for the DRAM and Flash markets which has resulted in the fastest volume ramp of a new product architecture in our history. However, this revenue growth continues to be offset by extended qualification periods for the Matrix product family at certain of our major customers, as well as lost business opportunities due to pricing pressures and quoted lead times.
During fiscal 2010, we undertook a restructuring of our operations to simplify our overall structure and better align our operations with the current business environment, streamline our manufacturing structure and reduce both manufacturing cost and cycle times. As part of this simplification, we reduced our workforce through these restructuring actions by approximately 150 employees, or 19%, during fiscal 2010, shut-down our Korea back-end manufacturing operations during the second quarter of fiscal 2010, and ceased our transition of our manufacturing operations to Singapore in the third quarter of fiscal 2010. We continue to perform our manufacturing operations in both Livermore and Japan.
We incurred net losses of $188.3 million and $155.7 million in fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2009, respectively. The net loss for fiscal 2010 is primarily due to lower gross margins on products sold, $15.9 million of pre-tax restructuring charges, and the impairment of certain long-lived assets of $56.4 million, offset by a $3.5 million gain resulting from the release of a liability previously recorded as a secured borrowing due to the dismissal of our complaint against a customer. The net loss for fiscal 2009 was primarily due to lower revenues, the recognition of a valuation allowance of $57.7 million for our deferred tax assets, restructuring charges of $8.8 million, $2.5 million in a stock-based compensation charge related to an option modification in connection with the retirement of our
founder and former executive chairman of our board of directors in May 2009, as well as $5.0 million in provision for bad debts due to the heightened risk of non-payment of certain accounts receivable.
Our cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities totaled approximately $347.2 million as of December 25, 2010 as compared to $449.2 million at December 26, 2009. The decrease in our cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities balances was primarily due to the use of cash for operating activities in fiscal 2010. We believe that we will be able to satisfy our working capital requirements for the next twelve months with the liquidity provided by our existing cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. If we are unsuccessful in improving our operating efficiency, reducing our cash outlays or increasing our available cash through financing, our cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities will further decline in fiscal 2011.
We believe the following information is important to understanding our business, our financial statements and the remainder of this discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations:
Fiscal Year. Fiscal years ended December 25, 2010, December 26, 2009 and December 27, 2008 had 52 weeks each. Our fiscal year ends on the last Saturday in December.
Revenues. We derive substantially all of our revenues from product sales of wafer probe cards. Revenues from our customers are subject to fluctuations due to factors including, but not limited to, design cycles, technology adoption rates, competitive pressure to reduce prices, cyclicality of the different end markets into which our customers' products are sold and market conditions in the semiconductor industry. Historically, increases in revenues have resulted from increased demand for our existing products, the introduction of new, more complex products and the penetration of new markets. We expect that revenues from the sale of wafer probe cards will continue to account for substantially all of our revenues for the foreseeable future.
Cost of Revenues. Cost of revenues consists primarily of manufacturing materials, payroll, shipping and handling costs and, manufacturing-related overhead. Our manufacturing operations rely upon a limited number of suppliers to provide key components and materials for our products, some of which are a sole source. We order materials and supplies based on backlog and forecasted customer orders. Tooling and setup costs related to changing manufacturing lots at our suppliers are also included in the cost of revenues. We expense all warranty costs and inventory provisions as cost of revenues.
We design, manufacture and sell custom advanced wafer probe cards into the semiconductor test market, which is subject to significant variability and demand fluctuations. Our wafer probe cards are complex products that are custom to a specific chip design of a customer and must be delivered on relatively short lead-times as compared to our overall manufacturing process. As our advanced wafer probe cards are manufactured in low volumes and must be delivered on relatively short lead-times, it is not uncommon for us to acquire production materials and start certain production activities based on estimated production yields and forecasted demand prior to or in excess of actual demand for our wafer probe cards. We record an adjustment to our inventory valuation for estimated obsolete and non-saleable inventories based on assumptions about future demand, changes to manufacturing processes, and overall market conditions.
Research and Development. Research and development expenses include expenses related to product development, engineering and material costs. Almost all research and development costs are expensed as incurred. We plan to continue to invest in research and development activities to improve and enhance existing product technologies and to develop new technologies for current and new products and for new applications.
Selling, General and Administrative. Selling, general and administrative expenses include expenses related to sales, marketing, and administrative personnel, provision for doubtful accounts, internal and
outside sales representatives' commissions, market research and consulting, and other sales, marketing, and administrative activities. These expenses also include costs for protecting and enforcing our patent rights and regulatory compliance costs.
Restructuring Charges. Restructuring charges include costs related to employee termination benefits, cost of long-lived assets abandoned or impaired, as well as contract termination costs.
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets. Asset impairment charges include charges associated with the write down of assets that have no future expected benefit or assets for which circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of these assets may not be recoverable, as well as adjustments to the carrying amount of our assets held for sale.
Use of Estimates. The preparation of consolidated financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America ("GAAP") requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, the 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. Actual results could differ from those estimates. Estimates may change as new information is obtained. Significant items that are subject to such estimates include the fair value of revenue elements, fair value of marketable securities, allowance for doubtful accounts, reserves for product warranty, valuation of obsolete and slow moving inventory, valuation of our long-lived assets, the assessment of recoverability of long-lived assets, valuation and recognition of stock-based compensation, provision for income taxes and valuation allowance for deferred tax assets and tax liabilities and accruals for other liabilities.
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
Our discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations are based upon our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with GAAP. The preparation of these financial statements require us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of net revenue and expenses in the reporting period. Our accounting policies are fundamental to understanding our financial condition and results of operations reported in our financial statements and related disclosures. We have identified the following accounting policies as being critical because they require our management to make particularly difficult, subjective and/or complex judgments about the effect of matters that are inherently uncertain. We evaluate our estimates and assumptions on an ongoing basis and we base these estimates and assumptions on current facts, historical experiences and various other factors and assumptions that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances. Actual results may differ materially and adversely from our estimates. Our management has discussed the development, selection, application and disclosure of these critical accounting policies with the Audit Committee of our Board of Directors.
Revenue Recognition: We recognize revenue when persuasive evidence of a sales arrangement exists, delivery has occurred or services have been rendered, the sales price or fee is fixed or determinable and collectability is reasonably assured. In instances where final acceptance of our product is specified by our customer, revenue is deferred until all acceptance criteria have been met.
We offer product maintenance and repair arrangements to our customers. Amounts due from our customers under these arrangements are initially recorded as deferred revenues. The fees are recognized as revenue on a straight-line basis over the service period and related costs are recorded as incurred.
In multiple element arrangements, we determine whether there is more than one unit of accounting. When a sale involves multiple elements, such as products sold along with services, the entire fee from the arrangement is allocated to each respective element based on its relative fair value
and recognized when revenue recognition criteria for each element are met. The amount of revenue recognized in a given period is affected by our judgment as to whether an arrangement includes multiple elements and, if so, whether evidence of fair value exists. Changes to the elements in an arrangement and our ability to establish fair value for those elements could affect the timing of the revenue recognition.
Revenues from the licensing of our design and manufacturing technology, which have not been material to date, are recognized over the term of the license agreement or when the significant contractual obligations have been fulfilled.
Marketable Securities: Our marketable securities consist primarily of highly liquid investments with maturities of greater than 90 days when purchased. We generally classify our marketable securities at the date of acquisition as available-for-sale. These securities are reported at fair value with the related unrealized gains and losses included in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss), a component of stockholder's equity, net of tax. Any unrealized losses which are considered to be other-than-temporary impairments are recorded in "Other income (expense), net" in the Consolidated Statements of Operations. Realized gains (losses) on the sale of marketable securities are determined using the specific-identification method and recorded in "Other income (expense), net" in the Consolidated Statements of Operations. We measure our cash equivalents and marketable securities at fair value. Whenever possible, the fair values of our financial assets and liabilities are determined using quoted market prices of identical assets or quoted market prices of similar assets from active markets. Level 1 valuations are obtained from real-time quotes for transactions in active exchange markets involving identical assets. Level 2 valuations are obtained from quoted market prices in active markets involving similar assets. Level 3 valuations are based on unobservable inputs to the valuation methodology and include our own data about assumptions market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability based on the best information available under the circumstances. Each level of input has different levels of subjectivity and difficulty involved in determining fair value.
All of our available-for-sale investments are subject to a periodic impairment review. We record a charge to earnings when a decline in fair value is significantly below cost basis and judged to be other-than-temporary, or have other indicators of impairments. If the fair value of an available-for-sale investment is less than its amortized cost basis, an other-than-temporary impairment is triggered in circumstances where (1) we intend to sell the instrument, (2) it is more likely than not that we will be required to sell the instrument before recovery of its amortized cost basis, or (3) a credit loss exists where we do not expect to recover the entire amortized cost basis of the instrument. If we intend to sell or it is more likely than not that we will be required to sell the available-for-sale investment before recovery of its amortized cost basis, we recognize an other-than-temporary impairment in earnings equal to the entire difference between the investment's amortized cost basis and its fair value.
Restructuring Charges: Restructuring charges include costs related to employee termination benefits, costs of long-lived assets abandoned or impaired, as well as contract termination costs. The determination of when we accrue for employee termination benefits and which standard applies depends on whether the termination benefits are provided under a one-time benefit arrangement or under an on-going benefit arrangement. For restructuring charges recorded as an on-going benefit arrangement, a liability for post-employment benefits is recorded when payment is probable, the amount is reasonably estimable, and the obligation relates to rights that have vested or accumulated. For restructuring charges recorded as a one-time benefit arrangement, we recognize a liability for employee termination benefits when a plan of termination, approved by management and establishing the terms of the benefit arrangement, has been communicated to employees. The timing of the recognition of one-time employee termination benefits is dependent upon the period of time the employees are required to render service after communication. If employees are not required to render service in order to receive the termination benefits or if employees will not be retained to render service beyond the minimum legal notification period, a liability for the termination benefits is
recognized at the communication date. In instances where employees will be retained to render service beyond the minimum legal notification period, the liability for employee termination benefits is measured initially at the communication date based on the fair value of the liability as of the termination date and is recognized ratably over the future service period. We continually evaluate the adequacy of the remaining liabilities under our restructuring initiatives.
We record charges related to long-lived assets to be abandoned when the assets cease to be used. When we cease using a building or other asset with remaining non-cancellable lease payments continuing past our use period, we record a liability for remaining payments under lease arrangements, as well as for contract termination costs, that will continue to be incurred under a contract for its remaining term without economic benefit to us at the cease-use date. Given the significance of, and the timing of the execution of such activities, this process is complex and involves periodic reassessments of estimates made at the time the original decisions were made, including evaluating real estate market conditions for expected vacancy periods and sub-lease rents. Although we believe that these estimates accurately reflect the costs of our restructuring plans, actual results may differ, thereby requiring us to record additional provisions or reverse a portion of such provisions.
Warranty Accrual: We provide for the estimated cost of product warranties at the time revenue is recognized. While we engage in extensive product quality programs and processes, our warranty obligation is affected by product failure rates, material usage and service delivery costs incurred in correcting a product failure. We continuously monitor product returns for warranty and maintain a reserve for the related expenses based upon our historical experience and any specifically identified field failures. As we sell new products to our customers, we must exercise considerable judgment in estimating the expected failure rates. This estimating process is based on historical experience of similar products, as well as various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances.
Inventory Valuation: We state our inventories at the lower of cost (principally standard cost which approximates actual cost on a first in, first out basis) or market. We review the adequacy of our inventory reserves on a quarterly basis and record adjustments to our inventory valuation for estimated obsolescence or non-saleable inventories equal to the difference between the cost of inventories and the estimated market value based upon assumptions about future demand and market conditions.
Allowance for Doubtful Accounts: A majority of our trade receivables are derived from sales to large multinational semiconductor manufacturers throughout the world. In order to monitor potential credit losses, we perform ongoing credit evaluations of our customers' financial condition. An allowance for doubtful accounts is maintained for probable credit losses based upon our assessment of the expected collectability of all accounts receivable. The allowance for doubtful accounts is reviewed on a quarterly basis to assess the adequacy of the allowance. We take into consideration (1) any circumstances of which we are aware of a customer's inability to meet its financial obligations, and (2) our judgments as to prevailing economic conditions in the industry and their impact on our customers.
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets: We test long-lived assets or asset groups for recoverability when events or changes in circumstances indicate that their carrying amounts may not be recoverable. Circumstances which could trigger a review include, but are not limited to: significant decreases in the market price of the asset; significant adverse changes in the business climate or legal factors; accumulation of costs significantly in excess of the amount originally expected for the acquisition or construction of the asset; current period cash flow or operating losses combined with a history of losses or a forecast of continuing losses associated with the use of the asset; and current expectation that the asset will more likely than not be sold or disposed of significantly before the end of its estimated useful life.
Recoverability is assessed based on the carrying amounts of the asset and its fair value which is generally determined based on the sum of the undiscounted cash flows expected to result from the use and the eventual disposal of the asset, as well as specific appraisals in certain instances. An impairment loss is recognized when the carrying amount is not recoverable and exceeds fair value.
Significant judgments and assumptions are required in the forecast of future operating results used in the preparation of the estimated future cash flows, including profit margins, long-term forecasts of the amounts and timing of overall market growth and our percentage of that market, groupings of assets, discount rates and terminal growth rates. In addition, significant estimates and assumptions are required in the determination of the fair value of our tangible long-lived assets, including replacement cost, economic obsolescence, and the value that could be realized in orderly liquidation. Changes in these estimates could have a material adverse effect on the assessment of our long-lived assets, thereby requiring us to write down the assets.
Accounting for Income Taxes: We utilize the asset and liability method of accounting for income taxes, under which deferred taxes are determined based on the temporary differences between the financial statement and tax basis of assets and liabilities using tax rates expected to be in effect during the years in which the basis differences reverse and for operating losses and tax credit carryforwards. We estimate our provision for income taxes and amounts ultimately payable or recoverable in numerous tax jurisdictions around the world. Estimates involve interpretations of regulations and are inherently complex. Resolution of income tax treatments in individual jurisdictions may not be known for many years after completion of any fiscal year. We are required to evaluate the realizability of our deferred tax assets on an ongoing basis to determine whether there is a need for a valuation allowance with respect to such deferred tax assets. A valuation allowance is recorded when it is more likely than not that some of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. Significant management judgment is required in determining any valuation allowance recorded against deferred tax assets. In evaluating the ability to recover deferred tax assets, we consider available positive and negative evidence giving greater weight to our recent cumulative losses and our ability to carryback losses against prior taxable income and, commensurate with objective verifiability, the forecast of future taxable income including the reversal of temporary differences and the implementation of feasible and prudent tax planning strategies.
We recognize and measure uncertain tax positions taken or expected to be taken in a tax return if it is more likely than not that the tax position will be sustained on examination by the taxing authorities, based on the technical merits of the position. The tax benefits recognized in the consolidated financial statements from such positions are then measured based on the largest benefit that has a greater than 50 percent likelihood of being realized upon ultimate settlement. We report a liability for unrecognized tax benefits resulting from uncertain tax positions taken or expected to be taken in a tax return. We adjust these reserves in light of changing facts and circumstances, such as the closing of a tax audit or the refinement of an estimate. To the extent that the final tax outcome of these matters is different than the amounts recorded, such differences will impact the provision for income taxes in the period in which such determination is made. The provision for income taxes includes the impact of reserve provisions and changes to reserves that are considered appropriate, as well as the related net interest. We recognize interest and penalties related to unrecognized tax benefits within the income tax provision. Accrued interest and penalties are included within the related tax liability line in the consolidated balance sheet.
We file annual income tax returns in multiple taxing jurisdictions around the world. A number of years may elapse before an uncertain tax position is audited and finally resolved. While it is often difficult to predict the final outcome or the timing of resolution of any particular uncertain tax position, we believe that our reserves for income taxes reflect the most likely outcome. We adjust these reserves, as well as the related interest, in light of changing facts and circumstances. Settlement of any particular position could require the use of cash.
Stock-Based Compensation: Under provisions of accounting standards, stock-based compensation cost is estimated at the grant date based on the fair-value of the award and is recognized as expense ratably over the requisite service period of the award. Determining the appropriate fair-value model and calculating the fair value of stock-based awards at the grant date requires considerable judgment, including estimating stock price volatility, expected option life and forfeiture rates. We develop our estimates based on historical data and market information which can change significantly over time. A small change in the estimates used can result in a relatively large change in the estimated valuation. We use the Black-Scholes option valuation model to value employee stock awards.
The most significant assumptions impacted by management's judgment are the expected volatility and the expected life of the options. The expected dividend yield and expected risk-free interest rate are not as significant to the calculation of fair value. In addition, adjustments to our estimates of the number of share-based payment awards that we expect to vest did have a significant impact on the recorded share-based compensation expense.
Expected volatility: The value of a stock option is derived from its potential for appreciation. The more volatile the stock, the more valuable the option becomes because of the greater possibility of significant changes in stock price. Our computation of expected volatility is based on a blend of historical volatility of our common stock and implied volatility of traded options to purchase shares of our common stock. Our decision to incorporate implied volatility was based on our assessment that implied volatility of publicly traded options in our common stock is expected to be more reflective of market conditions and, therefore, can reasonably be expected to be a better indicator of expected volatility than historical volatility of our common stock alone.
Expected life and forfeiture rate: The expected life also has a significant effect on the value of the option. The longer the term, the more time the option holder has to allow the stock price to increase without a cash investment and thus, the more valuable the option. Further, longer option terms provide more opportunity to exploit market highs. However, employees are not required to wait until the end of the contractual term of a nontransferable option to exercise. Accordingly, we are required to estimate the expected term of the option. We determine the expected life by considering several factors, including historical option exercise behavior, post vesting turnover rates and terms and vesting periods of the options granted. Similarly, we base our estimate of forfeiture on historical option cancellation behavior including pre-vesting turnover rates.
Out of Period Adjustment
In the third quarter of fiscal 2010, we recorded a $4.1 million adjustment to cost of revenues net of $0.5 million income tax benefit, which resulted from an error in the calculation of capitalized manufacturing variances starting in the first quarter of fiscal 2009 through the second quarter of fiscal 2010. The error caused the understatement of cost of revenues and the overstatement of the overhead capitalized in inventory for most quarters. The income tax benefit resulted from higher net losses in 2009 due to higher cost of revenue expenses. We are able to carry back the increase in the 2009 loss to recover more prior year tax payments. Out of the total adjustment, a $2.9 million adjustment to cost of revenues net of $0.5 million income tax benefit was related to fiscal 2009. Management and the Audit Committee believe that such amounts are not material to current and previously reported financial statements.
In fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2008, we did not record any out of period adjustments.
Results of Operations
The following table sets forth our operating results as a percentage of revenues:
Fiscal Years Ended December 25, 2010 and December 26, 2009
The increase in revenue for the year ended December 25, 2010 was primarily due to increased demand for our advanced wafer probe cards caused by an overall improvement in the semiconductor market, in particular the memory segment, as well as increased average selling price of our products.
Our revenues for the year ended December 25, 2010 were primarily generated by sales of wafer probe cards to manufacturers of DRAM devices. Revenues in fiscal 2010 increased significantly from fiscal 2009 primarily due to the industry ramp of DDR3, the introduction of our SmartMatrix products and the increased sales of higher priced products as a percentage of total DRAM sales, as well as the overall improvement in the semiconductor market in the current year.
Revenues from sales to flash memory device manufacturers increased significantly in the year ended December 25, 2010 compared to the prior year. The increase was partly driven by an $8.1 million increase in the sale of NAND Flash wafer probe cards, resulting from further expansion of our NAND market penetration via the recent qualification of TouchMatrix at one of our largest customers. NOR Flash also saw a substantial year over year increase of $14.7 million driven by
customer demand across our probe cards that service this market. The increases were also partially the result of the overall improvement in the memory segment of the semiconductor market.
Revenues from sales to SoC device manufacturers increased in the year ended December 25, 2010 compared to the prior year, primarily due to the overall upturn in the semiconductor industry and market trends to more complex devices which positively impacted revenues from sales of our wafer probe cards.
The following table sets forth our revenues by geographic region for the periods indicated:
Geographic revenue information is based on the location to which we ship the customer product. For example, if a certain South Korean customer purchases through their North American subsidiary and requests the products to be shipped to an address in Asia-Pacific, this sale will be reflected in the revenue for Asia-Pacific rather than North America.
The significant increase in Taiwan, South Korea, Asia Pacific and North America revenues for the year ended December 25, 2010 compared to the prior year was primarily due to the industry ramp up of DDR3 and the introduction of our SmartMatrix and TouchMatrix products. The decrease in Japan revenue for the year ended December 25, 2010 compared to the prior year was primarily due to the decrease in our DRAM product sales, caused by the lack of qualification of the SmartMatrix product line due to extended qualification periods. Europe revenue remained flat in fiscal 2010 due to the consistent demand for all of our products in this region.
Gross Profit (Loss)
Gross margin fluctuates with revenue levels, product mix, selling prices, factory loading, and material costs. For the year ended December 25, 2010, gross margin declined compared to the prior year primarily due to a $4.4 million increase in inventory provision charges, an out of period adjustment to cost of revenues of $2.9 million that was recorded in the third quarter of fiscal 2010, an increase of temporary personnel costs of $2.9 million to support increased shipment volumes at various times during the year, and the expense for incentive bonuses of $2.1 million. This decline was partially mitigated by the favorable changes in product mix from lower margin to higher margin products, the
increased selling prices of our products and the decreased depreciation expense resulting from the enterprise-wide asset impairment and the multiple restructuring actions during fiscal 2010.
Inventory provision charges increased from $7.0 million in fiscal 2009, to $11.4 million in fiscal 2010. The total inventory provision charge of $11.4 million in fiscal 2010 was the result of lower customer demand for certain products, low production yields and minimum purchase order quantities. Excess custom inventories are not uncommon for us as our advanced wafer probe cards are custom designs manufactured in low volumes and must be delivered on relatively short lead times, which requires us to acquire production materials and start certain production activities based on estimated production yields and forecasted demand prior to or in excess of actual demand for our wafer probe cards. In fiscal 2010, the value of previously reserved materials that were used in manufacturing and shipped was $2.8 million.
In the near future, our gross margins will likely continue to be adversely affected by lower levels of product revenues, even though we have taken significant steps to reduce our operating cost structure. Additionally, our gross margins may continue to be adversely affected if we are required to record additional inventory provision charges and inventory write-downs if estimated average selling prices of products held in finished goods and work in process inventories are below the manufacturing cost of those products.
Research and Development
Research and development expenses for the year ended December 25, 2010 decreased $2.1 million, or 3.7%, compared to the prior year primarily due to the decrease in certain new technology product development related costs and the decrease in other costs as a result of our cost reduction efforts offset by the increase in personnel costs. As a percent of revenues, research and development expenses decreased in fiscal 2010 as compared to fiscal 2009 primarily due to the increased revenue base.
In the year ended December 25, 2010, costs related to new technology projects decreased by approximately $8.8 million from fiscal 2009 as a result of our decision to terminate certain non-strategic research and development activities in the second and third quarter of fiscal 2010. Additionally, depreciation expense decreased by $1.3 million year over year due to the lower carrying amount of our fixed assets resulting from impairments recorded in the second and third quarters of fiscal 2010. Offsetting these decreases was a $6.3 million increase in personnel costs primarily due to headcount increases as well as costs of employee incentive programs for which we did not record any charges in fiscal 2009. Stock-based compensation included within research and development expenses was $5.6 million for the year ended December 25, 2010 compared to $4.4 million for fiscal 2009, with the increase being primarily due to the increase in employee stock awards.
We are continuing our strategic investments in research and development, including investments in the development of our next generation parallelism architecture and products, fine pitch, advanced MicroSpring interconnect technology and new process technologies. We remain committed to product development in new and emerging technologies.
Selling, General and Administrative
Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased $11.2 million, or 14.3%, for the year ended December 25, 2010 compared to the prior year primarily due to a decrease in personnel-related costs and other discretionary spending. As a percent of revenues, selling, general and administrative expenses decreased in fiscal 2010 as compared to the prior year, primarily due to the increased revenue base along with the reduction in expenses resulting from our on-going cost reduction efforts.
The $11.2 million decrease in fiscal 2010 compared with the prior year was composed of a $6.1 million decrease in bad debt expense due to a reduction in additional bad debt as compared to 2009, as well as benefits from collections on amounts previously reserved as bad debts, a $4.4 million decrease in stock-based compensation expenses related to fewer awards being granted in fiscal 2010, a $3.2 million decrease in salary and wages due to the headcount decrease in fiscal 2010, and a $2.1 million decrease in legal and outside service fees due to a reduction in litigation activity as well as our cost reduction efforts, offset by a $2.8 million increase for incentive bonuses and a $1.2 million increase in severance costs related to the departure of certain executives in fiscal 2010.
Restructuring charges increased $7.1 million, or 81.2%, from fiscal 2009 to fiscal 2010. The increase was primarily due to the number of actions that were taken in 2010 along with an $8.8 million impairment of property and equipment included in the restructuring charges of fiscal 2010 compared with the $0.4 million impairment included in the restructuring charges of fiscal 2009. The restructuring plans we implemented in fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2010 are discussed below.
In fiscal 2009, we implemented two restructuring plans that included primarily reductions in our global workforce in an effort to lower our quarterly operating expense run rate, which extended the cost reduction plans implemented during fiscal 2008.
Q1 2010 Restructuring Plan
In the first quarter of fiscal 2010, we implemented a restructuring plan (the "Q1 2010 Restructuring Plan") intended to align resources in continuation of our global regionalization strategy to place more decision-making in regions close to our semiconductor customers. As part of this regionalization strategy, we initiated the moving of certain assembly and test operations from our back-end manufacturing processes in Livermore, California to Asia, and planned to bring-up and qualify our back-end manufacturing operations in Singapore. As a result of this restructuring plan, our worldwide headcount was expected to be reduced by 106 full-time employees. The activities comprising this reduction in force were expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2011.
We recorded $3.4 million in charges for the Q1 2010 Restructuring Plan in fiscal 2010, which was all related to severance and related benefits.
Q2 2010 Restructuring Plan
In the second quarter of fiscal 2010, we announced a series of corporate initiatives, including a reduction in workforce, which represented a renewed focus on streamlining and simplifying our operations as well as reducing our quarterly operating costs (the "Q2 2010 Restructuring Plan"). These actions included reducing the scope of the previously contemplated manufacturing operations in Korea, resulting in a reduction of workforce of 16 employees related to the assembly and test function, and undertaking a plan to rescind the previously issued severance arrangements for certain employees impacted by the Q1 2010 Restructuring Plan. As a result of this rescission plan, as of June 26, 2010, we had reversed the existing accrual for the severance costs booked in conjunction with the Q1 2010 Restructuring Plan, of $3.3 million, including the accrued retention bonus to date. As of September 25, 2010, we completed this rescission plan.
Additionally, the reduction in workforce impacted 67 employees spread across all functions of the organization to further streamline and simplify our operations and reduce operating costs. The activities comprising this reduction in force were substantially completed by the end of fiscal 2010. As a result of the Q2 2010 Restructuring Plan, we have realized and expect to realize quarterly savings in fiscal 2010 and the future years of approximately $3.0 million, excluding stock-based compensation expenses, starting from the second quarter for fiscal 2010.
We recorded $4.8 million in charges for severance and related benefits, and $1.0 million for property and equipment impairments for the Q2 2010 Restructuring Plan in fiscal 2010, respectively. The impairment charges were related to the impairment of certain equipment and software assets related to our assembly and test operations in Korea that would no longer be utilized.
Q3 2010 Restructuring Plan
In the third quarter of fiscal 2010, we announced a restructuring plan (the "Q3 2010 Restructuring Plan") to cease the transition of manufacturing operations to Singapore. This decision resulted in a reduction in force of 60 employees primarily at our Singapore facility. The manufacturing activities that were scheduled to be transitioned to Singapore will remain in Livermore, and Livermore will continue as the primary manufacturing operating location for the Company. The Company expects that the activities comprising this reduction in force will be substantially completed by the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2011. In addition, we ceased the utilization of a portion of the facility in Singapore that was expected to be utilized for our manufacturing operations in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 as an additional restructuring action in connection with our Q3 2010 Restructuring Plan. As a result of the Q3 2010 Restructuring Plan, we have realized quarterly savings, excluding stock-based compensation expenses, of approximately $0.4 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 and we expect to realize quarterly savings of $0.6 million in the quarters commencing in fiscal 2011.
In fiscal 2010, we recorded $1.2 million for the Q3 2010 Restructuring Plan for severance and related benefits, $7.8 million impairment charges for certain equipment and leasehold improvements in Singapore that would no longer be utilized and $0.4 million in charges for the remaining lease obligations that will continue to be incurred under operating lease contracts of the Singapore facilities. In addition, due to the combined effect of the significant change in our business strategy in connection with the Q3 2010 Restructuring Plan, recurring operating losses and the sustained decline in the Company's stock price, we reviewed the recoverability of our long-lived assets in the third quarter of fiscal 2010, as discussed in Note 6Impairment of Long-lived Assets of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
Q4 2010 Restructuring Plan
In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010, we implemented a restructuring plan (the "Q4 2010 Restructuring Plan") including reducing our global workforce by 10 employees across the organization.
We recorded $0.6 million in charges for severance and related benefits in fiscal 2010. We expect that the activities comprising this reduction in force will be substantially completed by the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2011. As a result of the Q4 2010 Restructuring Plan, we expect to realize quarterly savings of approximately $0.4 million, excluding stock-based compensation expenses, starting from the first quarter of fiscal 2011.
The liabilities we have accrued for the restructuring plans discussed above represent our best estimate of the obligations we expect to incur and could be subject to adjustment as market conditions change. The cash payments associated with our various reductions in force are expected to be substantially paid by the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2011.
Impairment of Long-lived Assets
Impairment charges increased $55.1 million from fiscal 2009 to fiscal 2010 primarily due to the enterprise-wide asset impairment recorded in the third quarter of fiscal 2010.
In the third quarter of fiscal 2010, we reviewed the recoverability of our long-lived assets due to a significant change in our business strategy in connection with the Q3 2010 Restructuring Plan, recurring operating losses and net cash outflows from operations and the sustained decline in the Company's stock price. As a result of this review, we concluded that our business was not able to fully recover the carrying amounts of our assets. Accordingly, we reviewed the carrying amounts at September 25, 2010 of all of our long-lived assets for impairment. Based on this analysis, an impairment charge of approximately $52.0 million was recorded as of September 25, 2010. This charge was comprised of $27.7 million for leasehold improvements, $11.2 million impairment for manufacturing equipment, $8.5 million impairment for computer equipment and software, $4.4 million for construction-in-progress and $0.2 million for purchased intangible assets.
In addition, we recorded impairment charges totaling $4.4 million in fiscal 2010 as follows:
In fiscal 2009, we recorded total impairments of $1.3 million related to certain equipment that was determined to be held for sale, as well as for the termination of certain on-going projects. These impairment charges were originally recorded through "Cost of revenues" in the Consolidated Statement of Operations in our Form 10-K for fiscal 2009. However this amount has been reclassified to "Impairment of long-lived assets" in the Consolidated Statement of Operations in this Form 10-K for fiscal 2010 to conform with the current year presentation of asset impairments.
Management believes it is reasonably possible that additional impairment charges that would reduce further the carrying amounts of the Company's property and equipment and intangible assets may arise in fiscal 2011 if the Company is unable to achieve operating results anticipated by the Company's 2011 financial plan.
Interest Income and Other Income (Expense), Net
Interest income is primarily earned on our cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. The decrease in interest income for fiscal 2010 as compared to fiscal 2009 was primarily the result of lower average balances. Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and marketable securities were $347.9 million at December 25, 2010 compared to $449.9 million at December 26, 2009. The weighted-average yield on our cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities for the year ended December 25, 2010 was 0.70% compared to 0.73% for the year ended December 26, 2009.
Other income (expense), net is comprised primarily of foreign currency impact and various other gains and losses. The change in other income (expense), net for fiscal 2010 compared to fiscal 2009 was primarily due to the $3.5 million gain recorded in the third quarter of fiscal 2010 which resulted from the release of the liability previously recorded as a secured borrowing due to the dismissal of our complaint against a customer.
Provision for (Benefit from) Income Taxes
The provision for income taxes differs from the amount computed by applying the statutory U.S. Federal rate principally due to a valuation allowance recorded against U.S. and certain non U.S. deferred tax assets. The remaining tax provision for fiscal 2010 was primarily comprised of tax expense for non U.S. cost plus entities offset by a tax benefit related to settlement of a non U.S. tax audit.
In fiscal 2009 we recorded a valuation allowance against our U.S. deferred tax assets. The fiscal 2009 tax provision was offset by a benefit related to our ability to generate tax refunds through Federal net operating loss carry back.
We anticipate that we will continue to record a valuation allowance against our U.S. and certain non U.S. deferred tax assets. We expect our future tax provisions, during the time such valuation allowances are recorded, will consist primarily of the tax provision of our profitable non-U.S. jurisdictions. At December 25, 2010, we had Federal, state and foreign net operating loss carryforwards of approximately $104.1 million, $163.6 million and $16.0 million, respectively. The Federal net operating loss carryforwards expire in 2030, the state net operating loss carryforwards expire at various dates from 2028 through 2030, and the foreign net operating loss carryforwards can be carried forward indefinitely.
From time to time, we engage in certain intercompany transactions and legal entity restructurings. We consider many factors when evaluating these transactions, including the alignment of our corporate structure with our organizational objectives, the operational and tax efficiency of our corporate structure, as well as the long-term cash flows and cash needs of our different businesses. These transactions may impact our overall tax rate and/or result in additional cash tax payments. The impact in any period may be significant. These transactions may be complex in nature and the impact of such transactions on future periods may be difficult to estimate. In the fourth quarter of 2010, we initiated a legal entity restructuring to align our corporate structure with our organizational objectives. The restructuring activities did not significantly impact the tax provision due to valuation allowances recorded against U.S. and Singapore deferred tax assets.
Fiscal Years Ended December 26, 2009 and December 27, 2008
The decrease in revenue for the year ended December 26, 2009 was primarily due to weak demand for our advanced wafer probe cards caused by the slow recovery in the semiconductor market. For certain of our products we also experienced pricing pressure due to the availability of competitive products, which also contributed to the decrease in revenues.
Our revenues for the year ended December 26, 2009 were primarily generated by sales of wafer probe cards to manufacturers of DRAM devices. Revenues for our products that address the DRAM segment declined in the year ended December 26, 2009 as compared to fiscal 2008, primarily due to a number of factors including the relative supply and demand of various semiconductor devices and end products incorporating those devices, semiconductor manufacturers' efforts to curtail spending and conserve cash by taking capacity offline, reducing production, delaying the transition to new technology nodes and postponing the implementation of tooling cycles. We also experienced pricing pressure on certain DRAM test product due to the competitive environment.
Revenues from sales to flash memory device manufacturers also decreased significantly in the year ended December 26, 2009 compared to fiscal 2008, with the decrease driven by sales declines in both NOR and NAND Flash wafer probe cards. The weakness in NOR Flash can be attributed to a decline in purchases by certain key customers, specifically from our largest NOR customer filing for bankruptcy protection in the first quarter of fiscal 2009. Additionally, revenues from NAND Flash wafer probe cards declined as NAND Flash memory device manufacturers significantly reduced their output in the first quarter of fiscal 2009, in an attempt to promote industry absorption of excess inventories.
Revenues from manufacturers of SoC devices decreased in the year ended December 26, 2009 compared to fiscal 2008, primarily due to the overall downturn in the semiconductor industry which negatively impacted the revenues from sales of our wafer probe cards.
Revenue by Geographic Region
The following table sets forth our revenues by geographic region for the periods indicated:
Geographic revenue information is based on the location to which we ship the customer product. For example, if a certain South Korean customer purchases through their North American subsidiary and requests the products to be shipped to an address in Asia-Pacific, this sale will be reflected in the revenue for Asia-Pacific rather than North America. The decrease in revenues across all geographic regions was generally due to the semiconductor industry downturn, characterized by weak demand for semiconductor devices, delayed production ramps and weak device pricing environments.
The decrease in revenues across all geographic regions for fiscal 2009 as compared to fiscal 2008 was primarily due to the decrease in sales in those regions in each of the product markets we addressDRAM, Flash and SoC. Additionally, revenues decreased due generally to the semiconductor industry downturn, characterized by weak demand for semiconductor devices, delayed production ramps and weak device pricing environments.
Gross margin fluctuates with revenue levels, product mix, selling prices, factory loading, and material costs. For fiscal 2009, gross margin declined compared to fiscal 2008, primarily due to the significant decline in revenue driving lower factory utilization, thereby increasing unit manufacturing costs, combined with declines in average selling prices as well as an unfavorable change in product mix from higher margin to lower margin products. This decline was partially mitigated by lower personnel costs as a result of our fiscal 2008 and 2009 global cost reduction plans as well as a decline in inventory write-downs. Inventory charge-offs decreased from $16.3 million or 7.7% of revenues in fiscal 2008 to $7.0 million, or 5.2% of revenues, in fiscal 2009. The higher inventory write-downs in fiscal 2008 were associated with deterioration in the DRAM memory segment in that period. Inventory write-downs declined in fiscal 2009 despite the continued deterioration in the DRAM memory segment primarily due to stronger inventory management in fiscal 2009. Excess custom inventories are not uncommon for us as our advanced wafer probe cards are custom designs manufactured in low volumes and must be delivered on relatively short lead times, which requires us to acquire production materials and start certain production activities based on estimated production yields and forecasted demand prior to or in excess of actual demand for our wafer probe cards. Stock-based compensation included in gross margin
was $3.6 million or 2.6% of revenues, in fiscal 2009 and $4.8 million, or 2.2% of revenues for fiscal 2008. The decline of stock-based compensation was primarily a result of reductions in headcount as a result of our 2008 and 2009 global cost reduction plans.
Research and Development
Research and development expenses decreased for fiscal 2009 compared to fiscal 2008 primarily due to a decrease in certain new technology product development related costs, personnel costs, and depreciation, facilities and information technology costs. As a percent of revenues, research and development expenses increased in fiscal 2009 as compared to fiscal 2008 primarily due to the declining revenue base.
For the year ended December 26, 2009, personnel costs decreased $6.5 million primarily due to reductions in headcount as a result of our global reorganization plans. Expenses related to new technology and product development remained flat, and depreciation and facilities and information technology costs decreased $0.9 million, primarily due to the implementation of corporate cost reduction initiatives. Stock-based compensation included within research and development was $4.4 million for fiscal 2009 compared to $5.0 million for fiscal 2008. The decline in stock-based compensation was primarily due to reductions in headcount resulting from the 2008 and 2009 global cost reduction plans.
Selling, General and Administrative
Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased for fiscal 2009 compared to fiscal 2008 primarily due to a decrease in personnel-related costs and other discretionary spending. As a percent of revenue, selling, general and administrative expenses increased in fiscal 2009 as compared to fiscal 2008, primarily due to the declining revenue base.
For the year ended December 26, 2009, personnel related costs decreased by approximately $11.4 million, primarily due to the work force reductions as well as lower discretionary spending. Outside legal and other professional fees decreased by $6.1 million in the year ended December 26, 2009 as compared to fiscal 2008 primarily to a decrease in legal fees. The decrease in legal fees for the year ended December 26, 2009 was primarily due to the scheduling of the International Trade Commission hearing on the investigation (337-TA-621) of two of our competitors which arose out of our complaint filed in late 2007. The majority of the fees and costs related to the hearing and post hearing activities were completed by the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2009.
Additionally, we recorded a provision for doubtful accounts of $5.0 million and $4.1 million in the year ended December 26, 2009 and December 27, 2008, respectively. We recorded a provision for doubtful accounts primarily due to the heightened risk of non-payment of accounts receivable by certain customers facing financial difficulty. In addition, stock-based compensation included within selling, general and administrative expense was $12.6 million for the year ended December 26, 2009,
compared to $12.4 million for the year ended December 27, 2008. The increase in stock-based compensation for the year ended December 26, 2009 was due to an option modification expense of $2.5 million in connection with the retirement of Dr. Igor Y. Khandros, our founder and former executive chairman of our board of directors in May 2009, offset in part by a decrease due to reductions in headcount as a result of our 2008 and 2009 global cost reduction plans.
In the first quarter of fiscal 2009, we implemented a restructuring plan that included reducing our global workforce by 22%. This restructuring plan extended the cost reduction plans implemented during fiscal 2008 and impacted employees across all functions of the organization. The restructuring plan consisted primarily of involuntary employee terminations and benefit costs and write-down of certain assets taken out of service. We recorded $7.7 million in relation to this restructuring plan in the first quarter of fiscal 2009 and an additional $0.3 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2009. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, we incurred further restructuring charges of $0.8 million, related to further reductions in our global workforce in an effort to lower our quarterly operating expense run rate. The balance of the employee-related charges resulting from the cost reduction plans implemented in fiscal 2009 had been paid within fiscal 2010.
In both the first and second quarters of fiscal 2008, we implemented global cost reduction plans that included reducing our global workforce. The first quarter action also included facility consolidation charges related to vacating buildings in Livermore, California. Both plans were implemented to restructure our company to better align with the market environment. During fiscal 2008, we paid $6.9 million, representing substantially all of the employee related expenses for the cost reduction plans and $0.3 million primarily related to a non-cancellable contract. Substantially all of the employee related charges related to the fiscal 2008 cost reduction plans were paid by the end of fiscal 2008.
Impairment of Long-lived Assets
Impairment charges decreased $3.1 million from fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2009 primarily due to the $4.4 million impairment charge for construction in-progress assets in Singapore recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 based on our decision not to proceed with the construction of a new manufacturing facility at the proposed site in Singapore. The impaired construction-in-progress assets consisted primarily of building design costs as well as costs of temporary construction structures.
In the third and fourth quarters of fiscal 2009, we recorded impairment charges totaling $1.3 million relating to certain equipment that was determined to be held for sale and to the termination of certain on-going projects. These impairment charges were originally recorded through "Cost of revenues" in the Consolidated Statement of Operations in the Form 10-K for fiscal 2009. However this amount has been reclassified to "Impairment of long-lived assets" in the Consolidated Statement of Operations in this Form 10-K for fiscal 2010 to conform with the current year presentation of asset impairments.
Interest and Other Income (Expense), Net
The decrease in interest income on cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities for fiscal 2009 was primarily a result of lower interest yields as compared to fiscal 2008 as well as lower average balances. Weighted-average yields for the year ended December 26, 2009 were 0.73% compared to 2.29% for the year ended December 27, 2008. Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and marketable securities were $449.9 million at December 26, 2009 compared to $523.6 million at December 27, 2008. The change in other income (expense) for fiscal 2009 compared to fiscal 2008 was mainly comprised of bank fees of $0.1 million and foreign currency losses of $1.1 million primarily related to the Japanese Yen.
Provision for (Benefit from) Income Taxes
In fiscal 2008 we recorded a tax benefit for U.S. losses, tax credits and deferred tax assets. During fiscal 2009, in accordance with accounting requirements, a valuation allowance against our U.S. deferred tax assets was recorded. Our tax rate was thus negatively impacted by a valuation allowance of $57.7 million and non-U.S. net operating losses, primarily in Singapore, of $4.6 million.
In November 2009, President Obama signed into law the Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009. This law extended net operating loss carrybacks from two years to five years. We benefited from this provision by increasing our refund claim to prior years for the carrybacks of our 2009 Federal tax loss by approximately $5.0 million prior to the law change.
We classify interest and penalties related to uncertain tax positions as part of the income tax provision. We recognized interest expense of $0.3 million and $0.2 million for the years ended December 26, 2009 and December 27, 2008, respectively. As of December 26, 2009, we had approximately $0.9 million of interest and $0 penalties related to uncertain tax positions.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Working capital: The decrease in working capital in the year ended December 25, 2010 was primarily due to the use of cash from operating activities and the decrease in refundable income taxes due to the receipt of a federal income tax refund of $26.2 million in March 2010, offset by the decrease in accounts payable due to change of our timing of payments to vendors and less spending along with
the decrease in deferred revenue due to our improved collection of payments from customers with extended payment terms as well as shortened payment terms for certain customers.
Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities: Cash and cash equivalents consist of deposits held at banks, money market funds, U.S. government securities and commercial papers that at the time of purchase had maturities of 90 days or less. Marketable securities consist of U.S. government and agency securities and commercial papers. We typically invest in highly-rated securities with low probabilities of default. Our investment policy requires investments to be rated single-A or better, limits the types of acceptable investments, concentration as to security holder and duration of the investment. Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities included $19.6 million held by our foreign subsidiaries as of December 25, 2010.
Day Sales Outstanding: Days sales outstanding from receivables, or DSO, were 66 days at December 25, 2010 compared with 103 days at December 26, 2009. Our DSO calculation is calculated using the countback method and is based on gross accounts receivable (including accounts receivable for amounts in deferred revenue). The decrease in DSO is primarily due to the $7.2 million write-off of uncollectable debts resulting from the dismissal of complaints against certain customers in the third quarter of fiscal 2010, improved collection efforts and the shift in sales to customers with shorter payment terms.
Cash flows from operating activities: Net cash used in operating activities for the year ended December 25, 2010 was primarily driven by our net loss of $188.3 million offset in part by $116.5 million of non-cash charges consisting primarily of $28.2 million of depreciation and amortization, $17.6 million of stock-based compensation, $9.0 million of non-cash restructuring charges, $11.4 million of provision for excess and obsolete inventories and $56.4 million of impairment and loss on disposal of long-lived assets, offset by a gain of $3.5 million relating to the release of certain secured borrowings and a benefit of $2.1 million from changes in deferred tax assets.
The net change in operating assets and liabilities for the year ended December 25, 2010 was $1.3 million consisting primarily of, a decrease of $13.0 million in accounts payable due to the change in the timing of payments to vendors as well as less spending, an increase of $11.6 million in inventories, primarily in completed sub-assemblies, due to changes in manufacturing strategy and new product transitions, a decrease of $6.2 million in deferred revenues due to our improved collection of payments and shortened payment terms for certain customers, a decrease of $1.9 million in deferred rent due to on-going payments under our existing lease arrangements as well as the renegotiation of certain lease obligations in Livermore, and an increase of $1.6 million in prepaid expenses and other current assets. This was offset in part by a decrease of $25.8 million in refundable income taxes primarily due to the receipt of federal income tax refunds in fiscal 2009, an increase of $4.6 million in accrued liabilities due to the incentive bonus that we accrued for the second half of 2010 and the remaining restructuring liabilities, and a decrease of $3.2 million in accounts receivable due to shortened payment terms for certain customers and our improved collection of payments.
Net cash used in operating activities for fiscal 2009 was primarily driven by our operating loss of $155.7 million offset in part by non-cash charges including depreciation and amortization of $32.9 million, stock-based compensation expense of $20.8 million, deferred income tax benefit of
$39.1 million, provision for doubtful accounts receivable of $5.0 million and provision for excess and obsolete inventories of $7.0 million.
The net change in operating assets and liabilities for fiscal 2009 was $2.5 million consisting primarily of, an increase in deferred revenues due to lengthening of payment terms for certain customers, a decrease in refundable income taxes primarily due to the receipt of federal income tax refunds in fiscal 2009, as well as a decrease in prepaids and other current assets. This was offset in part by an increase in inventories due to lower shipments and a decrease in accounts payable and accruals.
Cash flows from investing activities: Net cash provided by investing activities for the year ended December 25, 2010 was primarily related to the $441.8 million proceeds from maturities and sales of marketable securities offset by the $341.3 million purchases of marketable securities and the $30.9 million cash used in the acquisition of property and equipment for new product technology.
Net cash used in investing activities for the year ended December 26, 2009 primarily relate to the purchase of marketable securities, net of receipts from the sales and maturities thereof as well as cash used for capital expenditures in support of information technology system upgrades and new product technology. Cash flows used in investing activities for the year ended December 26, 2009 also included $12.0 million of consideration paid for the purchase of manufacturing and testing equipment and technology assets from Electroglas (See Note 4Restructuring charges of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements).
We carefully monitor our investments to minimize risks and have not experienced other-than-temporary investment losses. Except for experiencing declining yields, our investment portfolio has not been negatively impacted by the ongoing economic turmoil in the credit markets.
Cash flows from financing activities: Net cash provided by financing activities for the year ended December 25, 2010 included $3.8 million proceeds received from the purchases under our 2002 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, $0.7 million proceeds received from the exercises of stock options, offset by $0.8 million of stock withheld in lieu of payment of employee taxes related to the release of restricted stock units and $0.6 million used for the repurchase and retirement of common stock in connection with our stock repurchase program.
Net cash provided by financing activities for the year ended December 26, 2009 was primarily due to the $3.6 million received in fiscal 2009 for purchases under our 2002 Employee Stock Purchase Plan and the net proceeds of $3.5 million from the exercise of stock options. Cash flows from financing activities of fiscal 2009 also included proceeds of $3.5 million from the sale of the Spansion bankruptcy claim, which was accounted for as a secured borrowing.
Our cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities declined in fiscal 2010. We continue to focus on improving our operating efficiency to achieve break even operating cash flow. Our actions have included operational expense reduction initiatives, re-timing or eliminating certain capital spending and research and development projects and re-negotiating longer payment terms with our vendors. We believe that we will be able to satisfy our cash requirements for the next twelve months with the liquidity provided by our existing cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. To the extent necessary, we may also consider establishing manufacturing and technology partnerships, or to seek short and long-term debt obligations, or to obtain new financing facilities which may not be available on terms favorable to us or at all. Our future capital requirements may vary materially from those now planned. However, if we are unsuccessful in improving our operating efficiency, executing our cost reduction plan, reducing our cash outlays or increasing our available cash through financing, our cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities will further decline in fiscal 2011.
Contractual Obligations and Commitments
The following table summarizes our significant commitments to make future payments in cash under contractual obligations as of December 25, 2010:
Other purchase obligations are primarily for purchases of inventory and manufacturing related service contracts. For the purposes of this table, other purchase obligations are defined as agreements that are enforceable and legally binding and that specify all significant terms, including: fixed or minimum quantities to be purchased; fixed, minimum or variable price provisions; and the approximate timing of the transaction. The expected timing of payment of the obligations discussed above is estimated based on information available to us as of December 25, 2010. Timing of payments and actual amounts paid may be different depending on the time of receipt of goods or services or changes to agreed-upon amounts for some obligations.
The table above excludes our gross liability for unrecognized tax benefits, which totaled approximately $17.5 million as of December 25, 2010 and are classified in deferred taxes and other long-term tax liabilities on our consolidated balance sheet. The timing of any payments which could result from these unrecognized tax benefits will depend upon a number of factors. Accordingly, the timing of payment cannot be estimated and has been excluded from the table above. As of December 25, 2010, the changes to our uncertain tax positions in the next 12 months, that are reasonable possible, are not expected to have a significant impact on our financial position or results of operations.
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
Historically, we have not participated in transactions that have generated relationships with unconsolidated entities or financial partnerships, such as entities often referred to as structured finance or special purpose entities, which would have been established for the purpose of facilitating off-balance sheet arrangements or other contractually narrow or limited purposes. As of December 25, 2010, we were not involved in any such off-balance sheet arrangements.
We may, from time to time in the ordinary course of our business enter into contractual arrangements with third parties that include indemnification obligations. Under these contractual arrangements, we have agreed to defend, indemnify and/or hold the third party harmless from and against certain liabilities. These arrangements include indemnities in favor of customers in the event that our wafer probe cards infringe a third party's intellectual property and our lessors in connection with facility leasehold liabilities that we may cause. In addition, we have entered into indemnification agreements with our directors and certain of our officers, and our bylaws contain indemnification obligations in favor of our directors, officers and agents. These indemnity arrangements may limit the type of the claim, the total amount that we can be required to pay in connection with the indemnification obligation and the time within which an indemnification claim can be made. The duration of the indemnification obligation may vary, and for most arrangements, survives the agreement term and is indefinite. We believe that substantially all of our indemnity arrangements provide either for limitations on the maximum potential future payments we could be obligated to make, or for
limitations on the types of claims and damages we could be obligated to indemnify, or for both. However, it is not possible to determine or reasonably estimate the maximum potential amount of future payments under these indemnification obligations due to the varying terms of such obligations, the history of prior indemnification claims, the unique facts and circumstances involved in each particular contractual arrangement and in each potential future claim for indemnification, and the contingency of any potential liabilities upon the occurrence of events that are not reasonably determinable. We have not had any requests for indemnification under these arrangements. Our management believes that any liability for these indemnity arrangements would not be material to our accompanying consolidated financial statements. We have not recorded any liabilities for these indemnification arrangements on our consolidated balance sheet as of December 25, 2010.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
Please refer to the discussion of our recent accounting pronouncements in Note 2Summary of Significant Accounting Policies of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements under Part II, Item 8 in this Form 10-K.
Foreign Currency Exchange Risk. We conduct certain operations in foreign currencies. We enter into currency forward exchange contracts to hedge a portion, but not all, of existing foreign currency denominated amounts. Gains and losses on these contracts are generally recognized in income. Because the effect of movements in currency exchange rates on the currency forward exchange contracts generally offsets the related effect on the underlying items being hedged, these financial instruments are not expected to subject us to risks that would otherwise result from changes in currency exchange rates. We do not use derivative financial instruments for trading or speculative purposes. We recognized a net loss of $1.5 million and a net gain of $1.0 million for the fiscal years ended December 25, 2010 and December 26, 2009, respectively, from the fluctuation in foreign exchange rates and the valuation of these hedge contracts in our financial statements under other expense.
Interest Rate Sensitivity. Our exposure to market risk for changes in interest rates relates primarily to our investment portfolio. We invest in a number of securities including U.S. agency discount notes, money market funds and commercial paper. We attempt to ensure the safety and preservation of our invested principal funds by limiting default risk, market risk and reinvestment risk. We mitigate default risk by investing in high grade investment securities. By policy, we limit the amount of credit exposure to an issuer, except U.S. Treasuries and U.S. agencies. We do not use interest rate derivative instruments to manage interest rate exposures nor do we invest for trading or speculative purposes. The fair market value of our fixed rate securities may be adversely impacted by increases in interest rates while income earned on floating rate securities may decline as a result of decreases in interest rates. A hypothetical 100 basis-point (one percentage point) increase or decrease in interest rates compared to rates at December 25, 2010 and December 26, 2009 would have affected the fair value of our investment portfolio by less than $2.6 million and $4.0 million, respectively.
Consolidated Financial Statements
The consolidated financial statements and supplementary data of FormFactor required by this item are included in the section entitled "Consolidated Financial Statements" of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. See Item 15(a)(1) for a list of our consolidated financial statements.
Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures
Based on our management's evaluation (with the participation of our principal executive officer and principal financial officer), as of the end of the period covered by this report, our principal executive officer and principal financial officer have concluded that our disclosure controls and procedures (as defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, (the "Exchange Act")) were effective to ensure that information required to be disclosed by us in reports that we file or submit under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in SEC rules and forms and is accumulated and communicated to our management, including our principal executive officer and principal financial officer, as appropriate to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure.
Changes in Internal Control over Financial Reporting
There was no change in our internal control over financial reporting (as defined in Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Exchange Act) during fiscal 2010 that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.
Management's Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting
Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting (as defined in Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Exchange Act) for FormFactor. Our management with the participation of our principal executive officer and principal financial officer conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 25, 2010. This evaluation was based on the framework established in Internal ControlIntegrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. Based on our assessment under the framework in Internal ControlIntegrated Framework, our management concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was effective as of December 25, 2010.
The effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 25, 2010 has been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, as stated in their report which appears in this Form 10-K.
Limitations on the Effectiveness of Controls
Control systems, no matter how well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the control systems' objectives are being met. Further, the design of any control systems must reflect the fact that there are resource constraints, and the benefits of all controls must be considered relative to their costs. Because of the inherent limitations in all control systems, no evaluation of controls can provide absolute assurance that all control issues and instances of fraud, if any, within our company have been detected. These inherent limitations include the realities that judgments in decision making can be faulty and that breakdowns can occur because of simple error or mistake. Control systems can also be circumvented by the individual acts of some persons, by collusion of two or more people, or by management override of the controls. The design of any system of controls is based, in part, on certain assumptions about the likelihood of future events, and there can be no assurance that any design will succeed in achieving its stated goals under all potential future conditions. Over time, controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions or deterioration in the degree of compliance with policies or procedures.
CEO and CFO Certifications
We have attached as exhibits to this Form 10-K the certifications of our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, which are required in accordance with the Exchange Act. We recommend that this Item 9A be read in conjunction with the certifications for a more complete understanding of the subject matter presented.
Information concerning our board of directors, committees and directors, including our audit committee and audit committee financial expert, will be included in our Proxy Statement for our 2011 annual meeting of stockholders, under the section entitled "Proposal No. 1Election of Directors". The information in such portions of the Proxy Statement is incorporated in this Annual Report on Form 10-K by reference.
For biographical information with respect to our directors and executive officers, see Part I, Item 1 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K under the section entitled "Directors and Executive Officers".
Information concerning Section 16(a) beneficial ownership reporting compliance will appear in our Proxy Statement under the section entitled "Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance". The information in such portion of the Proxy Statement is incorporated in this Annual Report on Form 10-K by reference.
We have adopted a Statement of Corporate Code of Business Conduct that applies to all directors, officers and employees of FormFactor and a Statement of Financial Code of Ethics that applies to our chief executive officer, chief financial officer, and other employees in our finance department. Information concerning these codes will appear in our Proxy Statement under the section entitled "Proposal No. 1Election of DirectorsCorporate Codes". The information in such portion of the Proxy Statement is incorporated in this Annual Report on Form 10-K by reference.
Information concerning executive officer compensation and related information will appear in our Proxy Statement under the section entitled "Compensation Discussion and Analysis", "Executive Compensation and Related Information", "Report of the Compensation Committee" and "Proposal No. 1Election of DirectorsCompensation Committee Interlocks and Insider Participation". Information concerning director compensation and related information will appear in our Proxy Statement under the section entitled "Proposal No. 1Election of Directors". The information in such portions of the Proxy Statement is incorporated in this Annual Report on Form 10-K by reference.
Information concerning the security ownership of certain beneficial owners and management and related stockholder matters will appear in our Proxy Statement under the section entitled "Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters". The information in such portion of the Proxy Statement is incorporated in this Annual Report on Form 10-K by reference.
Information concerning our equity compensation plans will appear in our Proxy Statement under the section entitled "Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder MattersEquity Compensation Plans". The information in such portion of the Proxy Statement is incorporated in this Annual Report on Form 10-K by reference.
Information concerning certain relationships and related transactions, including our related person transactions policy will appear in our Proxy Statement under the section entitled "Certain Relationships and Related Transactions". The information in such portion of the Proxy Statement is incorporated in this Annual Report on Form 10-K by reference.
Information concerning director independence will appear in our Proxy Statement under the section entitled "Proposal No. 1Election of Directors". The information in such portion of the Proxy Statement is incorporated in this Annual Report on Form 10-K by reference.
Information concerning principal accounting fees and services and the audit committee's pre-approval policies and procedures will appear in our Proxy Statement under the section entitled "Proposal No. 2Ratification of Selection of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm". The information in such portion of the Proxy Statement is incorporated in this Annual Report on Form 10-K by reference.
All schedules have been omitted because they are not required, not applicable, or the required information is included in the consolidated financial statements or notes thereto.
Pursuant to the requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized, in the City of Livermore, State of California, on the 17th day of February 2011.
KNOW BY ALL PERSONS BY THESE PRESENTS, that each of the undersigned whose signature appears below constitutes and appoints Richard DeLateur and Stuart L. Merkadeau, and each of them, the undersigned's true and lawful attorneys-in-fact and agents with full power of substitution, for the undersigned and in the undersigned's name, place and stead, in any and all capacities, to sign any and all amendments to this Annual Report on Form 10-K and any other documents in connection therewith, and to file the same, with all exhibits thereto, with the Securities and Exchange Commission, granting unto said attorneys-in-fact and agents, and each of them, full power and authority to do and perform each and every act requisite and necessary to be done with respect to this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including amendments, as fully to all intents and purposes as the undersigned might or could do in person, hereby ratifying and confirming all that said attorneys-in-fact and agents, or his or their substitute or substitutes, may lawfully do or cause to be done by virtue hereof.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, each of the undersigned has executed this Power of Attorney as of the date indicated below.
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, this report has been signed below by the following persons on behalf of the Registrant and in the capacities and on the dates indicated.
To the Board of Directors and Stockholders of FormFactor, Inc:
In our opinion, the accompanying consolidated balance sheets and the related consolidated statements of income, stockholders' equity, and cash flows present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of FormFactor, Inc. and its subsidiaries at December 25, 2010 and December 26, 2009 and the results of their operations and their cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 25, 2010 in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Also in our opinion, the Company maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 25, 2010, based on criteria established in Internal ControlIntegrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO). The Company's management is responsible for these financial statements, for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, included in Management's Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting appearing under Item 9A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Our responsibility is to express opinions on these financial statements and on the Company's internal control over financial reporting based on our integrated audits. We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audits to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement and whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects. Our audits of the financial statements included examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements, assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, and evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. Our audit of internal control over financial reporting included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, and testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk. Our audits also included performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinions.
A company's internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company's internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (i) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (ii) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (iii) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company's assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.
Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.
/s/ PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS LLP
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.