10-K 1 clct20150630_10k.htm FORM 10-K

 



UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

(Mark One)

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015

 

OR 

 

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from _______ to _____

 

Commission file number 1-34240

 

COLLECTORS UNIVERSE, INC.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware

 

33-0846191

(State or other jurisdiction of

 

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

Incorporation or organization)

   

1921 E. Alton Avenue, Santa Ana, California

 

92705

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(Zip Code)

(949) 567-1234

(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

 

Title of Class

 

Name of each Exchange on which registered

 
         
 

Common Stock, par value $.001 per share

 

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 ☐ No

 

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐ No

 

Indicate, by check mark, whether the Registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 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 ☒   No ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has 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 Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes No ☐

 

Indicate, by check mark, if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§ 229.405 of this chapter) 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.

 

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.

 

Large accelerated filer ☐

Accelerated Filer ☒

Non-accelerated filer (Do not check if a smaller reporting company) ☐

Smaller reporting company ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined in Securities Exchange Act Rule 12b-2). Yes ☐   No

 

As of December 31, 2014 , the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter, the aggregate market value of our Common Stock held by non-affiliates was approximately $143,092,000 based on the per share closing price of $20.86 of registrant’s Common Stock as of such date as reported by the NASDAQ Global Market. This calculation does not reflect a determination that persons deemed to be affiliates for this purpose are affiliates for any other purpose.

 

As of August 22, 2015, a total of 8,881,874 shares of registrant's Common Stock were outstanding.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

Except as otherwise stated therein, Items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 in Part III of this Annual Report are incorporated by reference from Registrant's Definitive Proxy Statement, which is expected to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on or before October 28, 2015, for its 2015 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Other information contained in that Proxy Statement and other related solicitation materials are not deemed to be incorporated into or filed as part of this Annual Report.



 
 

 

 

COLLECTORS UNIVERSE, INC.

FORM 10-K

FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED JUNE 30, 2015

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART I

   

Page

 

Forward-Looking Statements

1

 

Item 1.

Business

1

 

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

14

 

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

21

 

Item 2.

Properties

21

 

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

21

   

Executive Officers of Registrant

21

PART II

     
 

Item 5.

Market for Common Stock, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

23

 

Item 6.

Selected Consolidated Financial Data

26

 

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

28

 

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

48

 

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

49

   

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

50

   

Consolidated Balance Sheets at June 30, 2015 and 2014

51

   

Consolidated Statements of Operations for the Years ended June 30, 2015, 2014 and 2013

52

   

Consolidated Statements of Stockholders' Equity for the Years Ended June 30, 2015, 2014 and 2013

53

   

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the Years Ended June 30, 2015, 2014 and 2013

54

   

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

56

   

Schedule II – Valuation and Qualifying Accounts

76

 

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

76

 

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

76

 

Item 9B.

Other Information

79

PART III

     
 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

79

 

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

79

 

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

79

 

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions and Director Independence

79

 

Item 14.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

79

       

PART IV

Item 15.

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

80

   

SIGNATURES

S-1

   

INDEX TO EXHIBITS

E-1

 

 
(i) 

 

 

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

Statements contained in this annual report on Form 10-K (the “Annual Report”) that are not historical facts or that discuss our expectations, beliefs or views regarding our future operations or future financial performance, or financial or other trends in our business or markets, constitute “forward-looking statements” as defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements are intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. Often, such statements include the words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “estimate,” “project,” or words of similar meaning, or future or conditional verbs such as “will,” “would,” “should,” “could,” or “may.” Forward-looking statements contain estimates or predictions about or forecasts of our future financial condition and operating results and trends in our business and markets. Although we do not make forward-looking statements unless we believe we have a reasonable basis for doing so, those statements are necessarily based on current information available to us. Therefore, the information contained in the forward looking statements in this Annual Report are subject to change due to future events and circumstances of which we are not aware or which we are not able to predict and to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause our future financial condition or operating results to differ significantly from those expected at the current time as described in those forward-looking statements. Those risks and uncertainties are described in Item 1A in Part I of this Annual Report under the caption “Risk Factors,” and in Item 7 of Part II under the caption “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” Accordingly, readers of this Annual Report are urged to read the cautionary statements and risk factors contained in those Items of this Annual Report. Also, our actual results in the future may differ due to additional risks and uncertainties of which we are not currently aware or which we do not currently view as material to our business or operating results.   Due to all of these uncertainties and risks, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report, which speak only as of the date of this Annual Report. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by law or the applicable rules of the NASDAQ Stock Market.

-----------------------

References in this Annual Report to “Collectors Universe”, “we”, “us”, “our”, “management” and the “Company” refer to Collectors Universe, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries.

 

 

PART I

ITEM 1.     BUSINESS

 

Overview

 

We provide authentication and grading services to dealers and collectors of coins, trading cards, event tickets, autographs and historical and sports memorabilia (“collectibles”). We believe that our authentication and grading services add value to these collectibles by enhancing their marketability and thereby providing increased liquidity to the dealers, collectors and consumers that own and buy and sell them.

 

Once we have authenticated and assigned a quality grade to a collectible, we encapsulate it in a tamper-evident, clear plastic holder, or issue a certificate of authenticity, that (i) identifies the specific collectible; (ii) sets forth the quality grade we have assigned to it; and (iii) bears one of our brand names and logos: “PCGS” for coins, “PSA” for trading cards and event tickets and “PSA/DNA” for autographs and memorabilia. Additionally, we warrant our certification of authenticity and the grade that we assign to the coins and trading cards bearing our brands. We do not warrant our authenticity determinations for autographs or memorabilia. For ease of reference in this Annual Report, we will sometimes refer to coins, trading cards and other collectibles that we have authenticated or graded as having been “certified.”

 

We generate revenues principally from the fees paid for our authentication and grading services. To a much lesser extent, we generate revenues from other related services, which consist of (i) the sale of advertising and click-through commissions earned on our websites, (ii) the sale of printed publications and collectibles price guides and advertising in such publications; (iii) the sale of membership subscriptions in our Collectors Club, which is designed to attract interest in high-value collectibles among new collectors; (iv) the sale of subscriptions to our Certified Coin Exchange (CCE) dealer-to-dealer Internet bid-ask market for certified coins and to our CoinFacts.com website, which offers a comprehensive one-stop source for historical U.S. numismatic information and value-added content; and (v) collectibles trade shows that we conduct. We also generate revenues from sales of our collectibles inventory, which is comprised primarily of collectible coins that we have purchased under our coin grading warranty program; however, these sales are not the focus, and we do not consider them to be an integral part of our ongoing revenue-generating activities.

 

 
1

 

 

We have developed some of the leading brands in the collectibles markets in which we conduct our business:

 

 

“PCGS” (Professional Coin Grading Service), which is the brand name for our independent coin authentication and grading service;

 
 

“PSA” (Professional Sports Authenticator), which is the brand name for our independent sports and trading cards authentication and grading service;

 
 

“PSA/DNA” (PSA/DNA Authentication Services), which is the brand name for our independent authentication and grading service for vintage autographs and memorabilia.

 

PCGS, PSA and PSA/DNA are among the leading independent authentication and grading services in their respective markets.

 

We began offering our PCGS coin authentication and grading services in 1986 and, from inception through the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015, we have authenticated and graded more than 30 million coins. In 1991, we launched our PSA trading cards authentication and grading service and, through June 30, 2015, had authenticated and graded over 24 million trading cards. In 1999, we launched our PSA/DNA vintage autograph authentication business and in June 2004 we extended that business by introducing vintage autograph grading services to dealers and collectors of autographed sports memorabilia.

 

The following table provides information regarding the respective numbers of coins, trading cards and autographs that we authenticated or graded in each of the fiscal years 2013 to 2015:

 

   

Units Processed

 
   

2015

   

2014

   

2013

 

Coins

    2,067,300       55 %     2,075,300       55 %     1,761,700       53 %

Trading cards

    1,269,800       34 %     1,259,100       33 %     1,165,400       35 %

Autographs

    434,900       11 %     431,800       12 %     376,600       12 %

Total

    3,772,000       100 %     3,766,200       100 %     3,303,700       100 %

 

The following table sets forth the estimated values at which our customers insured the coins, trading cards and autographs that were submitted to us for authentication or grading:

 

   

Declared Values (000’s)

 
   

2015

   

2014

   

2013

 

Coins

    2,093,900       93 %   $ 1,887,000       93 %   $ 1,487,000       92 %

Trading cards

    109,800       5 %     99,000       5 %     90,000       6 %

Autographs

    35,800       2 %     38,000       2 %     35,000       2 %

Total

    2,239,500       100 %   $ 2,024,000       100 %   $ 1,612,000       100 %

 

 

Our revenues are comprised principally of our authentication and grading service fees. Those fees range from $2 to over $10,000 per item, based primarily on the type of collectible authenticated or graded, the turnaround times and the specific service selected by the customer. We charge higher fees for faster turnaround times. Our fees are generally not based on the value of the collectible, except for special coin services sometimes requested by customers, for which we charge supplemental fees that are based on the value of the coin. In fiscal 2015, our authentication and grading fees, per item processed, for all of our businesses averaged $14.09, and our coin authentication and grading fees ranged from $2 to over $10,000, and averaged $19.07, per coin.

 

 
2

 

 

In the case of trading cards, in fiscal 2015, the authentication and grading fees ranged from approximately $2 to $500 and averaged $6.86, per trading card. As a general rule, collectibles dealers and, to a lesser extent, individual collectors, request faster turnaround times and, therefore, generally pay higher fees for more valuable, older or “vintage” collectibles than they do for modern collectibles.

 

Industry Background

 

The primary determinants of the prices of, and the willingness of sellers, purchasers and collectors to purchase high-value or high-priced collectibles or other high-value assets, are their authenticity, quality and rarity. The authenticity of a collectible relates not only to the genuineness of the collectible, but also to the absence of any alterations or repairs that may have been made to hide, damage or to restore the item. The quality of a collectible relates to its state of preservation relative to its original state of manufacture or creation. The rarity of a collectible relates to its uniqueness and depends primarily on the number of identical collectibles of equivalent or better quality that become available for purchase from time to time. With regard to value, confirmation of authenticity generally is required before a buyer is willing to proceed with a purchase of a high-priced collectible. Quality and rarity directly affect value and price, with higher quality and rare collectibles generally attracting dramatically higher prices than those of lower quality and lesser rarity. Even a relatively modest difference in quality can translate into a significant difference in perceived value and, therefore, in price.

 

Until the advent of independent third-party authentication and grading, most prospective buyers, including experienced collectibles dealers and retailers, insisted on physically examining high-priced collectibles before consummating transactions. However, unlike professionals in the trade, most purchasers and collectors lacked the experience and knowledge needed to determine, with confidence, the authenticity, quality or rarity, and hence the value, of high-priced collectibles, even when they had the opportunity to examine them physically. Therefore, they had to rely on representations made by sellers regarding authenticity, quality and rarity. For these reasons, “buyer beware” characterized the high-value collectibles markets, and “sight-unseen” markets for rare coins and other high-value collectibles were practically non-existent.

 

High-value collectibles have been traditionally marketed at retail by dealers through direct mail, catalogues, price lists and advertisements in trade publications, and sold and purchased by them at collectibles shows, auction houses and local dealer shops. These markets were highly inefficient because:

 

 

they were fragmented and localized, which limited both the variety of available collectibles and the number of potential buyers;

 
 

transaction costs were often relatively high due to the number of intermediaries involved;

 
 

buyers usually lacked the information needed to determine the authenticity and quality and, hence the value, of the collectibles being sold; and

 
 

buyers and sellers were vulnerable to fraudulent practices because they had to rely on the dealers or other sellers for opinions or representations as to authenticity, quality and rarity.

 

Coin Market. In an effort to overcome some of these inefficiencies, approximately 40 years ago, professional coin dealers began using a numerical quality grading scale for coins. That scale ranged from 1 to 70, with higher numbers denoting a higher quality. Previously, professional dealers used descriptive terms, such as “Fair,” “Fine” and “Uncirculated,” to characterize the quality of the coins they sold, a practice that continued after the development of the numeric grading system. However, whether using a numeric or a descriptive system, grading standards varied significantly from dealer to dealer, depending on a dealer’s subjective criteria of quality. Moreover, dealers were hardly disinterested or independent since, as the sellers or buyers of the coins they were grading, they stood to benefit financially from the assignment of a particular grade.

 

 
3

 

 

Trading Cards Market. Misrepresentations of authenticity, quality and rarity also operated as a barrier to the liquidity and growth of the collectibles market for trading cards. Even experienced and knowledgeable dealers insisted on physically examining purportedly rare and higher-priced trading cards. Most collectors lacked the knowledge needed to purchase collectible trading cards with confidence, even when they had physically examined them. Trading card dealers eventually developed a rudimentary adjectival system to provide measures of quality, using descriptive terms such as “Poor,” “Very Good,” “Mint” and “Gem Mint.” These measures of quality were assigned on the basis of such characteristics as the centering of the image on the card and the presence or absence of bent or damaged corners, scratches and color imperfections. However, as was the case with coins, grading standards varied significantly from dealer to dealer, depending on a dealer’s subjective criteria of quality. Additionally, since the dealers who bought and sold trading cards were the ones that assigned these grades, collectors remained vulnerable to misrepresentations as to the authenticity, quality and rarity of trading cards being sold or purchased by dealers.

 

Autographed Memorabilia Market. The market for autographed sports, entertainment and historical memorabilia has been plagued by a high incidence of forgeries and misrepresentations of authenticity. For example, Operation Bullpen, initiated by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies beginning in 1997, has uncovered a high volume of outright forgeries of signatures and widespread misrepresentations as to the genuineness of sports memorabilia. We believe that the high incidence of such fraudulent activities was due, in large part, to a dearth of independent third-party memorabilia authentication services and an absence of systematic methodologies and specimen data needed for verification of authenticity.

 

These conditions created a need and the demand for independent authentication and grading services from which sellers, purchasers and collectors could obtain:

 

 

determinations, from independent, third-party experts, of the authenticity of the high-value collectibles that are sold and purchased by dealers and collectors, particularly “sight-unseen” or over the Internet;

 
 

representations of quality based on uniform standards consistently applied by independent, third-party experts; and

 
 

authoritative information, compiled by a credible third party, to help purchasers and collectors understand the factors that affect an item’s perceived value and price, including:

 
 

its rarity;

 

its quality or grade; and

 

its historical and recent selling prices.

 

The Impact of eBay and Other e-Commerce Websites on the Collectible Markets. The advent of the Internet and, in particular, eBay’s development of an Internet or “virtual” marketplace and other Internet-selling websites, such as Amazon, has overcome many of the inefficiencies that had characterized the traditional collectibles markets. eBay and other online marketplaces (i) offer enhanced interaction between and greater convenience for sellers and buyers of high-value collectibles; (ii) eliminate or reduce the involvement of dealers and other “middlemen;” (iii) reduce transaction costs; (iv) allow trading at all hours; and (v) continually provide updated information. However, Internet commerce still raises, and has even heightened, concerns about the authenticity and quality of the collectibles that are listed for sale on the Internet. Buyers have no ability to physically examine the collectibles and no means to confirm the identity or the credibility of the dealers or sellers on the Internet. As a result, we believe that the growth of Internet-selling websites, such as eBay and Amazon, and individual dealer-owned websites, has increased awareness of the importance of, and the demand for, independent third-party authentication and grading services of the type we provide. Our services enable purchasers and collectors to use the Internet to purchase high-value collectibles, without physical examination (“sight-unseen”), with the confidence of knowing that they are authentic and are of the quality represented by sellers. The importance and value of our services to purchasers and collectors, we believe, are demonstrated by eBay’s inclusion, on its collectibles websites, of information that identifies, and encourages visitors to use, our independent third-party authentication and grading services, as well as similar services offered by some of our competitors.

 

Our Services

 

PCGS Coin Authentication and Grading Services. Recognizing the need for third-party authentication and grading services, we launched Professional Coin Grading Service in 1986. PCGS employs expert coin graders, who are independent of coin buyers and sellers, to provide impartial authentication and grading services. As of June 30, 2015, we employed 24 experts who have an average of 28 years of experience in the collectible coin market. We also established uniform standards of quality measured against an actual “benchmark” set of coins kept at our offices. We place each coin that we authenticate and grade in a tamper-evident, clear plastic holder which bears our logo, so that any prospective buyer will know that it is a PCGS authenticated and graded coin. We also provide a warranty as to the accuracy of our coin authentication and grading.

 

 
4

 

  

By providing an independent assessment by coin experts of the authenticity and quality of coins, we believe that PCGS has increased the liquidity of the trading market for collectible coins. Following the introduction of our independent, third-party authentication and grading service, buyer confidence, even between dealers, increased to such a degree that coins authenticated and graded by PCGS were able to be traded “sight-unseen.” As a result, PCGS facilitated the development, in 1990, of a dealer market, known as the “Certified Coin Exchange,” on which coin dealers traded rare coins “sight-unseen,” over a private satellite network, which now operates on the Internet and which we have owned since 2005.

 

Our coin authentication and grading services have facilitated the development of a growing Internet or “virtual” marketplace for collectible coins. A prospective buyer, who might otherwise be reluctant to purchase a high-priced coin listed “sight-unseen” on the Internet, is able to rely on a PCGS certification, as well as authoritative information about the coin that is accessible on our website, in deciding whether or not to bid and in determining the amount to offer for the coin. As a result, to enhance the marketability of higher-priced coins, many sellers submit their coins to PCGS for authentication and grading. That enables the sellers to include, in their Internet sales listings, digital images of the coins in their tamper-evident, clear plastic holders, which identify the coins as having been authenticated and graded by PCGS, as well as their PCGS-assigned grades. We also provide a range of authoritative content on coin collecting to inform and communicate with the collector community, including guides and reports that track the trading prices and the rarity of PCGS-graded coins.

 

PSA Trading Card Authentication and Grading Services. Leveraging the credibility and using the methodologies that we had established with PCGS in the coin market, in 1991 we launched Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), which instituted a similar authentication and grading system for trading cards. Our independent trading card experts certify the authenticity of and assign quality grades to trading cards using a numeric system with a scale from 1-to-10 that we developed, together with an adjectival system to describe their condition. At June 30, 2015, we employed 16 experts who have an average of 29 years of experience in the collectible trading card market. We believe that our authentication and grading services have removed barriers that were created by the historical seller-biased grading process and, thereby, have improved the overall marketability of and facilitated commerce in trading cards, including over the Internet and at telephonic sports memorabilia auctions.

 

The trading cards submitted to us for authentication and grading include primarily (i) older or vintage trading cards, particularly of memorable or historically famous players, such as Honus Wagner, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle, and (ii) modern or newly produced trading cards of current or new athletes who have become popular with sports fans or have achieved new records or milestones, such as Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols, Mariano Rivera and Miguel Cabrera. These trading cards have, or are perceived to have, sufficient collectible value and are sold more frequently than are trading cards of less notable athletes, leading dealers and collectors to submit them for grading to enhance their marketability. Also, the production and sale of each new series of trading cards, which take place at the beginning and during the course of each new sports season, create new collectibles that provide a source of future additional authentication and grading submissions to us.

 

PSA/DNA Autograph Authentication and Grading Services. In 1999, we launched our vintage autograph authentication business, initially offering authentication services for “vintage” sports autographs and memorabilia that were autographed or signed prior to the time they were presented to us for authentication. The vintage autograph authentication business is distinctly different from the “signed-in-the-presence” authentication of autographs where the “authenticator” is present and witnesses the actual signing. Our vintage autograph authentication service involves the rendering of an opinion of authenticity by an industry expert based on (i) an analysis of the signed object, such as the signed document or autographed item of memorabilia, to confirm its consistency with similar materials or items that existed during the signer’s lifetime; (ii) a comparison of the signature submitted for authentication with exemplars of such signatures; and (iii) a handwriting analysis. As of June 30, 2015, we employed 6 autograph experts with an average of 26 years of experience in the autograph memorabilia market, as well as outside consultants that we use on a contract basis.

 

In June 2004, we also began offering grading services for autographs, beginning with baseballs containing a single signature or autograph. We use uniform grading standards that we have developed and a numeric scale of 1-to-10, with the highest number representing top quality or “Gem Mint” condition. We assign grades to the collectibles based on the physical condition or state of preservation of the autograph.

 

 
5

 

 

CCE Certified Coin Exchange and Collectors Corner. In September 2005, we acquired the Certified Coin Exchange (CCE), a subscription-based, business-to-business Internet bid-ask market for coins that have been certified by us or by other independent coin authentication and grading services. CCE has been a marketplace in U.S. certified rare coin trading between major coin dealers in the United States since 1990, with similar operations for uncertified coins dating back to the 1960s. The CCE website now features over 100,000 bid and ask prices for certified coins at www.certifiedcoinexchange.com. The CCE provides liquidity in the geographically dispersed and highly fragmented market for rare coins. In March 2007, we introduced the Collectors Corner, a business-to-consumer website that enables sellers on CCE to offer many certified coins simultaneously at wholesale prices on CCE and at retail prices on Collectors Corner (www.collectorscorner.com). Registration on Collectors Corner is free for consumers, who can search for and sort coins listed on the Collectors Corner website. Coin sellers must register and pay a fixed monthly subscription fee to US for access to and to effectuate sale transactions on both CCE and Collectors Corner. Currently, there are over 95,000 collectibles, consisting primarily of coins, trading cards, currency and stamps, which are offered for sale on Collectors Corner, with offering prices aggregating over $120 million. The enhanced liquidity provided by CCE and Collectors Corner for certified coins, trading cards, and certified stamps, has increased the volume and turnover of these items, which benefits us because, as a general rule, increases in sales and purchases of those collectibles increase the demand for our authentication and grading services.

 

Publications and Advertising. We publish authoritative price guides, rarity reports and other collectibles data to provide collectors with information that makes them better informed consumers and makes collecting more interesting and exciting. Our publications also enable us to market our services, create increased brand awareness and to generate advertising revenues. We publish the Sports Market Report on a monthly basis primarily for distribution to approximately 5,400 PSA Collectors Club members. We sell advertising to dealers and vendors for placement in our publications. We manage a Collectors Universe website and individual websites for our authentication and grading services. On those websites, we offer collectible content, relevant to the marketplace for the specific authentication and grading service, some of which is available for a fee and some of which is available without charge. We believe our websites for PCGS in coins, and PSA in trading cards, have the highest number of visitors and web traffic in their respective markets. We sell advertising to dealers and vendors on these two websites and on the websites we maintain for PSA/DNA in autographs and CCE and Collectors Corner in coins.

 

Our Mission

 

Our mission is to provide the finest available independent authentication and grading services to sellers and buyers of high-value collectibles in order to:

 

 

increase the values and liquidity of high-value collectibles;

 
 

enable and facilitate transactions in high-value collectibles;

 
 

generally enhance interest, activity and trading in high-value collectibles; and

 
 

achieve profitable growth, build long-term value for our stockholders and provide rewarding opportunities for our employees.

 

Our Growth Strategy

 

We have established leading brands in our existing collectibles markets, including PCGS, PSA and PSA/DNA. We use those brands to promote Collectors Universe as the premier independent provider of authentication and grading services in the high-value collectibles markets, in order to (i) increase our market share among existing users of authentication and grading services, (ii) increase the use of our services by the numerous collectors that do not currently use any independent third-party authentication or grading services, and (iii) expand our coin services to selected international markets.

 

 
6

 

 

Although we have authenticated and graded over 30 million coins since the inception of PCGS, and over 24 million trading cards since the inception of PSA, we believe that less than 10% of the vintage United States coins and less than 10% of the vintage trading cards have been authenticated and graded by independent providers of authentication and grading services. Additionally, we estimate that we have authenticated and graded less than 10% of the potential market of autographs in the United States. Moreover, new collectibles are introduced each year into the markets in which we operate, some of which are authenticated and graded in the year of their introduction. Over time, these collectibles will increase the supply of vintage items that are sold by dealers and collectors, and we expect that many of them will be submitted for independent authentication and grading.

 

To take advantage of these market opportunities and to expand our service offerings to customers, we have:

 

 

expanded our geographical reach by opening offices in Paris, France, Hong Kong and Shanghai, China which represented approximately 7% of total revenues in fiscal 2015;

 

 

expanded our services offering to include PCGS Secure Plus and Reconsideration and Restoration Services. PCGS Secure Plus uses a laser scanning process to help detect coins that have been artificially enhanced since their last certification and can help identify recovered stolen coins;

 

 

enhanced our marketing programs to promote our brands and services directly to Internet, other auction-related businesses and high-volume distributors of modern coins which emphasize the benefits of using our services, including increased marketability and the prospect of higher bids for collectibles;

 

 

provide special packaging on certain modern coin programs that enhances the value of commemorative coins and helps drive increased volumes of coins sold by dealers and distributors of those coins;

 

 

provided numismatic information and value added content through our CoinFacts websites and card facts, including dedicated pages for coins and access to information that can help determine coin values, including the PCGS Population Report auction prices realized and an expanded price guide;

 
 

participated at collectibles industry trade shows and organized “members only” shows for PCGS authorized dealers and Collectors Club members, at which we offer on-site authentication and grading services to facilitate collectibles trading activities;

 
 

established authorized PCGS and PSA dealer networks to increase the visibility of our brands and the use of our services by those dealers and their customers;

 
 

developed and expanded our Set RegistrySM programs to increase demand for our collectible coin and trading card authentication and grading services, among collectors and increase traffic on our websites;

 
 

developed and linked buying and selling demand from our Set Registry program to Collectors Corner in order to increase the referrals of coin and trading card collectors to Collectors Corner dealer-subscribers;

 
 

expanded the offerings and markets in which Collectors Corner provides a business-to-consumer website for the sale of third-party collectibles certified by us;

 
 

promoted our Collectors Clubs to attract and to provide incentives for collectors to use our services; and

 
 

expanded our website information services, including auction results, reference materials and ongoing collectibles price guides and rarity reports; and

 
 

developed software that will enable collectors, with a minimum amount of time and effort, locate items they are interested in buying. The software aggregates and organize collectibles listings from many sellers and multiple collectibles categories or markets. Our initial efforts are focused on those markets where we have expertise and experience. We expect to be able to monetize the provision of this information through agreements with sellers. Through June 30, 2015, we have invested approximately $0.5 million in Collectors.com.

 

 
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Operations

 

We offer authentication and grading services for coins, trading cards, autographs and autographed memorabilia. Our trained and experienced authentication and grading experts determine the authenticity of and using uniform quality standards, assign quality grades to these collectibles.

 

PCGS. Our authentication and grading of coins involves an exacting and standardized process. We receive coins from dealers and collectors and remove all packaging that identifies the submitter in any way. We then enter information regarding each coin into our proprietary computerized inventory system, which tracks the coin at every stage of our authentication and grading process. Generally, our process requires that two of our experts evaluate each coin independently, and no authenticity opinion is issued and no quality grade is assigned unless their opinions with respect to the authenticity and quality grade, independently assigned by each of them, are the same. In some cases, depending on the type of coin being authenticated and graded or on the results of the initial review process, we involve a third expert to make the final determinations of authenticity and grade. The coin’s authenticity and grade are then verified by one of our senior experts, who has the authority to resubmit the coin for further review if he or she deems it to be necessary. Only after this process is complete is the coin reunited with its identifying paperwork, thus keeping the authentication and grading process from being influenced by the identity of the owner and the history of the coin. The coin is then sonically sealed in our specially designed, tamper-evident, clear plastic holder, which also encases a label describing the coin, the quality grade that we have assigned to it, a unique certificate number and a bar code, the PCGS hologram and brand name and if requested by the customer, special inserts that can enhance the collectible value of the coin.

 

PSA. On receipt of trading cards from dealers and collectors, we remove all packaging that identifies the submitter in any way and enter information regarding the trading card into our proprietary computerized inventory system that enables us to track the trading cards throughout our authentication and grading process. Only after the authentication and grading process is complete is the trading card reunited with its identifying paperwork, thus keeping the authentication and grading process independent of the identity of the owner and the history of the trading card. The trading card is then sonically sealed in our specially designed, tamper-evident, clear plastic holder, which also encases a label that identifies the trading card, the quality grade that we have assigned to it and a unique certificate number, and the PSA hologram and brand name.

 

We primarily authenticate and grade baseball trading cards and, to a lesser extent, football, basketball, hockey and entertainment, as well as other types of collectible cards. As is the case with coin authentication and grading, trading card authentication and grading fees are based primarily on the particular turnaround time requested by the submitter, ranging from one day’s turnaround for the highest level of service to approximately 60 days for the lowest level of service.

  

PSA/DNA. Because of the variability in the size of autographed memorabilia, the authentication and grading procedures we use necessarily differ from those used in authenticating and grading coins and trading cards. Customers may ship the autographed memorabilia to us for authentication at our offices or, in the case of dealers or collectors that desire to have a large number of items authenticated, we will sometimes send an expert to the customer’s location for “on-site” examination and authentication. Our experts reference what we believe is one of the largest databases of known genuine exemplars of signatures for comparison to a submitted item and draw upon their training and experience in handwriting analysis. In most cases, we take a digital photograph of the autographs that we have authenticated and store those photographs in a master database. Before shipping the item back to the customer, a tamper-evident label is affixed to the collectible. The label contains our PSA/DNA name and logo and a unique certificate number. For additional security, in all cases when an item is fully authenticated, we tag the items with synthetic DNA-laced ink, which is odorless, colorless and tasteless and visible only when exposed to a narrow band wavelength of laser light using a hand-held, battery-powered lamp. Additional verification that an autographed item was authenticated by us can be obtained by using a chemical analysis to determine whether or not the ink used in the unique DNA code by PSA/DNA was applied to the autographed item. As a result, if the tamper-evident label that we affixed to an autographed item were to be removed or otherwise separated from the item, it is still possible to verify that the item was authenticated by us.

 

 
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Marketing

 

We employ both “pull” and “push” strategies in marketing our services to dealers and collectors of high-value collectibles. For collectibles, our “pull” strategies are designed to promote our brands, increase the preference among collectors for our authentication and grading services and encourage collectors to communicate that preference to their collectibles dealers, because most authentication and grading submissions are made by dealers. In our experience, if a customer requests a particular grading service, the dealer ordinarily will comply with that request. On the other hand, if the customer expresses no preference, the dealer will make its own choice of authentication and grading service or may even decide not to submit the collectible to an independent service for authentication and grading. Therefore, our “pull” oriented marketing programs emphasize (i) the protections that collectors and retail customers will have if they purchase collectibles that we have authenticated and graded; and (ii) the improved marketability and higher prices that they and the associated retailers can realize if they use our independent third-party authentication and grading services. Our “push” strategy, on the other hand, is designed to market our services directly to collectibles dealers to encourage them to use and promote our services.

 

Our “Pull” Strategy. We have developed and implemented a number of marketing programs and initiatives designed to create consumer preference for collectibles that have been authenticated and graded by us. Those programs and initiatives include:

 

 

Direct Advertising. We directly address collectors by advertising our services in trade media, on-line and through social media. In addition, we make personal appearances at major, national-market and international trade shows around the world that are attended by collectors, as well as dealers. We also participate in and support programs conducted by non-profit associations whose members are primarily collectors, such as the American Numismatic Association.

 

 

Set Registry Programs. We provide collectors with the opportunity to participate in free Internet “Set Registry” programs that we host on our collectibles websites. These programs encourage collectors to assemble full sets of related collectibles that have been authenticated and graded by us. Generally, each registered set is comprised of between 50 and 200 separate, but related, collectibles. Examples include particular issues of coins, such as Twenty Dollar Gold Double Eagles or Morgan Silver Dollars; particular sets of trading cards, such as all Hall of Fame pitchers or a particular team, like the 1961 Yankees. Our Set Registry programs enable collectors:

 
 

to register their sets on our websites, which provides them with an off-site reference source for insurance and informational purposes;

 
 

to display on our websites, and compare the completeness and quality grades of the collectibles making up their sets to those of other collectors who have registered similar sets on our websites, thereby creating a competitive aspect to collecting that adds to its excitement; and

 

 

to enter our annual Company-sponsored Set Registry competitions and awards programs in which collectors can win awards for having collected the most complete and highest graded sets of particular series or issues of coins and trading cards.

 

The collectibles that may be registered on our Set Registries and included in our Set Registry competitions are limited to collectibles that have been authenticated and graded by us. To register the collectibles to be included in a particular set, a collector is required to enter the unique certificate number that we had assigned to each of the collectibles when last authenticated and graded by us. We use the certificate number to compare the information being submitted by the collector with our database of information to verify that the collectibles being registered by a participant for inclusion in a particular set qualify to be included in that set. We have found that our Set Registry competitions (i) create a preference and increase demand among collectors for our brands, and (ii) promote the trading of collectibles authenticated and graded by us by set registrants seeking to improve the completeness and overall quality of their sets, which generally results in additional authentication and grading submissions to us. Annual awards for set completeness and quality have been issued by PCGS and PSA each year since 2002. As an indication of the increasing popularity of our Set Registry programs, approximately 181,000 sets were registered on our Set Registries as of June 30, 2015, which represents a 7% increase over the number registered as of June 30, 2014.

 

 
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Collectors Club Subscription Program. We also have established “Collectors Clubs” for coin and trading card collectors. For an annual membership fee, ranging from $69 to $349, collectors receive a number of benefits, including (i) the right to have, without any further charge, a specified number of collectibles authenticated and graded by us, a privilege that non-member collectors do not have; and (ii) access to certain proprietary data that we make available on our websites or in print. At June 30, 2015, there were approximately 16,200 members in our Collectors Clubs.

 
 

Certified Coin Exchange (“CCE”) Business-to-Business Website. The CCE website is a business-to-business website where recognized dealers make a market in and over which they can sell and purchase coins and other collectibles that have been certified by us or by other independent coin grading services. Currently, there are over 100,000 certified coins being offered at bid and ask prices. We believe that the liquidity created for certified coins by CCE increases the demand for PCGS certified coins among dealers.

 
 

Collectors Corner Business-to-Consumer Website. We have launched Collectors Corner (www.collectorscorner.com), which is a business-to-consumer website where consumers can visit, identify, search, sort over and purchase coins, trading cards and items of currency being offered for sale by dealers. At June 30, 2015, there were over 95,000 collectibles listed for sale on Collectors Corner. All items on Collectors Corner are offered by dealer members who have applied for the right to offer such collectibles on Collectors Corner. We believe that Collectors Corner has advantages over other business-to-consumer websites because the counterparties to the consumers, who buy and sell collectibles via Collectors Corner, have been accepted as sellers on the Collectors Corner website and are known members in the collectibles markets and the collectibles selling communities. Items are listed at fixed prices, with the opportunity to negotiate lower prices. We believe that the increased turnover offered for collectibles listed on Collectors Corner, as well as the ability to use Collectors Corner to improve a coin or trading card set in the PCGS and PSA Set Registries, respectively, creates increased brand preference for PCGS and PSA authenticated and graded items.

 

Our “Push” Strategy. We also market our services directly to collectibles dealers and auctioneers to promote their use of our authentication and grading services. Our marketing message is focused on the enhanced marketability of collectibles that we have certified due to the increase in consumer confidence that is attributable to our independent authentication and grading of those collectibles. These marketing programs include:

 

 

Trade Publication Advertising and Direct Communications. We communicate to dealers and auctioneers by direct contact and through advertising in trade media and on-line in the respective markets. We also communicate with our dealers and with auctioneers by direct mail, email, and telephone.

 
 

Trade Shows and Conventions. There are numerous collectibles trade shows and conventions held annually in the United States, where collectibles dealers gather on a trading floor or bourse to buy and sell collectibles. We attend the largest and most significant of those trade shows and conventions, at which we offer same-day on-site authentication and grading services, which facilitate the trading and sales of collectibles at these shows and conventions. At the same time, we obtain additional brand exposure and generate increased revenues, because dealers and collectors generally are willing to pay higher fees for same- day on-site services at trade shows and conventions.

 
 

Expos. We own Expos Unlimited LLC (“Expos”), a trade show management company that operates one of the larger and better-known coin and collectibles shows staged in Long Beach, California. Those shows are conducted three times a year and enable us to showcase our services and expertise better than at trade shows that we do not own or operate. In addition, Expos assures us of the continued availability of this show venue for our onsite authentication and grading services.

 
 

Authorized Dealer Network. We have implemented authorized dealer programs for coin and trading card collectibles dealers and auction companies. Authorized dealers are able to use our marketing materials which are designed to promote our services and those of our authorized dealers to collectors. Those materials include “point of sale” and “point of purchase” displays and brochures and direct mail pieces for insertion in customer mailings. In addition, authorized dealers may use our brand logotypes on their websites to attract buyers for coins and trading cards that have been authenticated and graded by us. We also conduct joint marketing programs with our authorized dealers in which we provide financial support for dealer marketing programs, approved by us, that promote both the dealer’s products and services and our authentication and grading services.

 

 
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Intellectual Property

 

Our intellectual property consists primarily of trademarks, copyrights, proprietary software and trade secrets. As part of our confidentiality procedures, we generally enter into agreements with our employees and consultants and limit access to, and distribution of, our software, documentation and other proprietary information.

 

The following table sets forth a list of our trademarks, both registered and unregistered, that are currently being used in the conduct of our business both in the United States and overseas:

 

Registered Marks

 

Unregistered Marks

Collectors Universe

 

PSA

 

Coin Universe

Professional Coin Grading Services

 

PSA/DNA

 

Collectors.com

PCGS

 

Quick Opinion

 

Expos Unlimited

PCGS Secure

 

Sports Marketing Report

 

Long Beach Coin, Stamp and Collectibles Expo

First Strike

 

Set Registry

   

CoinFacts

 

Rookie Graph

   

PCGS3000

 

Certified Coin Exchange

   

History in Your Hands

 

CCE

   

PCGS Currency

 

Collectors Corner

   

Professional Sports Authenticator

 

FACTS

   
         

 

We have not conducted an exhaustive search of possible prior users of the unregistered trademarks listed above, and therefore it is possible that our use of some of these trademarks may conflict with others.

 

Collectibles Experts

 

As of June 30, 2015, we employed 46 experts in our authentication and grading operations, who have from 7 to 54 years, and an overall average of 28 years, of experience. Our experts include individuals that either (i) had previously been collectibles dealers or were recognized as experts in the markets we serve, or (ii) have been trained by us in our authentication and grading methodologies and procedures, and/or had gained authentication and grading experience at competing authentication and grading companies. However, talented collectibles authentication and grading experts are in short supply, and there is considerable competition among collectibles authentication and grading companies for their services. As a result, we focus on training young authenticators and graders (including non-US individuals) who we believe have the skills or knowledge base to become collectibles experts. We also sometimes contract with outside experts, usually collectibles dealers, to assist us with special grading issues or to enable us to address short-term increases in authentication and grading orders.

 

Service Warranties

 

We generally issue an authenticity or grading warranty with every coin and trading card authenticated or graded by us. Under the terms of the warranty, in general, if a coin or trading card that was graded by us later receives a lower grade upon resubmission to us for grading, we are obligated under our warranty either to purchase the coin or trading card at the price paid by the then-owner of the coin or trading card or, instead, at the customer’s option, to pay the difference in value of the item between its original grade as compared with its lower grade. Similarly, if a coin or trading card that has been authenticated by us is later determined not to have been authentic, we are obligated under our warranty policy to purchase the coin or trading card at the price that the then-owner paid for that collectible. We accrue for estimated warranty costs based on historical claims experience, and we monitor the adequacy of the warranty reserves on an ongoing basis. If warranty claims were to increase in relation to historical trends and experience, we would increase the warranty reserves and incur additional charges that would have the effect of reducing income in those periods during which the warranty reserve is increased. Before returning an authenticated or graded coin or trading card to our customer, we place the coin or trading card in a tamper-evident, clear plastic holder that encapsulates a label identifying the collectible as having been authenticated and graded by us. The warranty is voided in the event the plastic holder has been broken or damaged or shows signs of tampering. See footnote 8 to the consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this report, for activity in our warranty reserves for fiscal years 2013 to 2015.

 

 
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We do not provide a warranty with respect to our opinions regarding the authenticity or quality of autographs or memorabilia.

 

Customer Service and Support

 

We devote significant resources, including a 31-person staff, who provide personalized customer service and support in a timely manner, while also supporting our Set Registry, trade show programs and overseas offices. On our websites, customers are able to check the status of their collectibles submissions throughout the authentication and grading process and to confirm the authenticity of the collectibles that we have graded. When customers need services or have any questions, they can telephone or e-mail our support staff, Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time. We also involve our collectibles experts in providing support services, when necessary, to address special issues.

 

Supplies

 

In order to obtain volume discounts through June 30, 2015, we have chosen to purchase substantially all of the injection-molded plastic parts for our clear plastic holders principally from two suppliers. We have chosen to order our most critical high-volume plastic part from both of these suppliers. We choose one or the other of these suppliers to manufacture other less critical parts. We typically concentrate the purchase of holders through one supplier when developing new holders. There are numerous suppliers for these parts, and we believe that, if necessary, we could obtain those parts from other suppliers without incurring significant costs. However, if it became necessary for us to obtain any parts from another supplier, we might have to arrange for the fabrication of a die for the new supplier. Fabrication of high-value precision dies can be a lengthy process. Although we do not have back-up dies for some of our high-value volume injection-molded parts, we own the dies used to manufacture the parts, and we believe the inventory of parts we maintain is sufficient to give us the time to have another supplier build the parts, should the need to do so arise or should we decide to use another supplier for certain parts.

 

Competition

 

Coin Authentication and Grading. Our principal competitors in the coin authentication and grading market are Numismatic Guaranty Corporation of America (“NGC”), Independent Coin Grading and ANACS, all of which are privately owned businesses.

 

Trading Card Authentication and Grading. Our primary competitors in trading card authentication and grading are Beckett Trading Card Grading Corporation, and Trading Card Guaranty, LLC.

 

Autograph Authentication and Grading. In the vintage autograph authentication market, we compete with James Spence Authentication (“JSA”) and a few smaller competitors.

 

We believe that the principal competitive factors in our collectibles authentication and grading markets are (i) brand recognition and awareness; (ii) an established reputation for integrity, independence and consistency in our approach to establishing authenticity and in the application of grading standards; and (iii) responsiveness of service. We have found that price is much less of a factor in the case of vintage collectibles, but is a more important consideration with respect to modern coins and trading cards because of their significantly lower values. We believe that our PCGS, PSA and PSA/DNA brands compete favorably with respect to all of these factors and are among the leaders in each of their respective markets. Barriers to entry into the authentication and grading market are relatively low, especially in the trading card authentication and grading market. However, brand name recognition and a reputation for integrity, independence and consistency in the application of grading standards can take several years to develop. The limited supply of experienced collectibles experts also operates as a barrier to entry.

 

 
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Information Technology

 

IT Systems. We have developed a number of proprietary software systems for use in our authentication and grading operations, as well as for the operation and maintenance of our websites. Custom applications include grading systems, inventory control and order tracking systems, and other internally developed applications to manage the day-to-day operations of the Company. Websites have multiple customer-facing content/information systems, including (but not limited to) PSA CollectibleFacts, PCGS CoinFacts, multiple price guide and population reports, and multiple eCommerce solutions. Internally, these websites and applications are managed through a proprietary content management system. The majority of internally developed systems are written in Microsoft C# .NET and, in some limited cases, Microsoft Visual Basic .NET (all using a number of high-availability Microsoft SQL Server clusters on the back end).

 

The majority of the information technology systems (both for internal use and on publicly-accessible websites) are located at an SSAE 16 compliant data center in Southern California. This data center offers:

 

 

24/7/365 monitoring and alerting of environmental conditions (including temperature, humidity, power status, etc.) through multiple/redundant hardware sensors and systems;

 

24/7/365 physical security through both technology (cameras, sensors, biometric access control, etc.) and always-present security staff; and

 

redundant Internet connectivity, power, and cooling systems that are tested on a regular basis.

 

We also maintain a number of systems to monitor the availability and performance of our sites and systems, including:

 

 

24/7/365 monitoring and alerting of website availability and performance through both internally developed and third-party solution providers; and

 

24/7/365 monitoring and alerting of Internet-based security threats through internal security systems, dedicated hardware devices, and external third-party solution providers.

 

In addition to the Southern California data center, smaller internal-use-only local area networks exist in our Southern California, New Jersey, Paris, Shanghai, and Hong Kong operations centers. However, the Information Technology infrastructure in those smaller offices is limited. Therefore any damage to, or failure of, our computer systems due to a catastrophic event in Southern California, such as an earthquake, could cause an interruption in our services. These risks are mitigated by a comprehensive data backup/protection solution, which includes regular rotation of offsite data storage. We are also in the process of transitioning many of our key business systems to the Amazon Web Services (AWS).

 

Cyber Security. Cyber security is one of our top priorities and is always contemplated when developing and deploying new systems (both software and hardware). To this end, key staff members maintain industry-standard security and audit certifications and regularly expand their security knowledge and deploy new security tools as considered necessary.

 

We maintain multiple Internet connections for both web serving and outbound Internet access. Internet access points (across all offices) are protected with Palo Alto enterprise-level firewalls and security products. Additionally, access to critical network components is protected by both local Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and a security-centric managed service provider. In addition to the constant monitoring of these security devices, network security scans (of both internal and publicly-accessible servers) are performed on a regular basis. These scans include penetration/intrusion testing, vulnerability assessments, and attack surface analysis. We have multiple overlapping security infrastructures to mitigate potential single failures. However, as many other businesses have experienced, there can be no assurance that the security measures we have adopted will prove to be adequate to enable us to detect and prevent all cyber-security breaches that could lead to the theft by hackers of confidential information entrusted to us by our customers, including passwords and credit card numbers. See “Risk Factors-Our business is subject to online security risks, including security breaches” below in this report.

 

Government Regulation

 

With the exception of laws in some states that require memorabilia authenticators to certify to the accuracy of their authentication opinions, there are no material government regulations specifically relating to the authentication and grading businesses that we conduct, other than regulations that apply generally to businesses operating in the markets where we maintain operations or conduct business.

 

 
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Employees

 

As of June 30, 2015, we had a total of 290 employees, of which 257 were full-time employees and 33 were part-time employees. Our authentication and grading-related businesses employed 233 people, including our 46 experts and 31 customer service and support personnel. Of the other 57 employees, 16 work in information services, 9 in marketing, 5 in our CCE subscription business, 10 in our Expos business (of which 9 were part-time employees) and 17 in other business and administrative services. We have never had a work stoppage, and no employees are represented under collective bargaining agreements. We consider relations with our employees to be good.

 

 

Available Information

 

Our internet address is www.collectorsuniverse.com. We post links to our website to the following filings as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC: annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, proxy statements, and any amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All such filings are available through our website free of charge. Our filings may also be read and copied at the SEC's Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549. Information on the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. The SEC also maintains an internet site at www.sec.gov that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC. Our websites and the information contained thereon are not part of, nor are they incorporated into, this Report.

 

 

ITEM 1A                RISK FACTORS

 

Our business is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could prevent us from achieving our business objectives and could hurt our future financial performance and the price performance of our common stock. Such risks and uncertainties also could cause our future financial condition and future financial performance to differ significantly from our current expectations, which are described in the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report. Those risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside of our control, include the following:

 

A decline in the popularity of high-value collectibles and a resulting decrease in submissions for our services could adversely impact our business.

 

The volume of collectibles submitted to us for authentication and grading is affected by the demand for and market value of those collectibles and the popularity of certain coins released by the United States Mint. As the demand for and value of collectibles increase, authentication and grading submissions, as well as requests by submitters for higher priced faster turnaround times, can also increase. However, that also means that a decline in the popularity and, therefore, in the value of the collectibles that we authenticate and grade would cause decreases in authentication and grading submissions to us and in the requests we receive for faster turnaround times resulting in declines in our revenues and profitability. We have found, over the years, as evidenced by the reduction in our coin grading fees starting in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 and continuing through the first half of fiscal 2013, and again in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 that the popularity of collectibles for certain specific coin programs, can vary due to a number of factors, most of which are outside of our control, including perceived scarcity of collectibles, general consumer confidence and trends and their impact on disposable income, precious metals prices, interest rates and other general economic conditions.

 

 
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Our dependence on coin authentication and grading services for most of our revenues makes us vulnerable to changes in economic conditions that could adversely affect the demand for those services and our operating results.

 

Coin authentication and grading and other coin-related services accounted for approximately 68%, 69% and 64% of our total net revenues in fiscal 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively. Our modern coin authentication and grading revenues represented approximately 24% of our total revenues in fiscal 2015. We believe that the principal factors that can lead to fluctuations in coin grading submissions include:(i) economic downturns which can result in a decline in consumer and business confidence and disposable income and, therefore, the willingness of dealers and collectors to buy collectible coins, (ii) the performance of the stock and bond markets, the level of interest rates and fluctuations in the value of the U.S. Dollar and in the value of precious metals, which can lead investors to shift some of their investments between stocks and bonds, on the one hand, and precious metals, on the other; (iii) in the case of modern coin submissions, increases or reductions in the marketing activities or the popularity of programs that are conducted by the U.S. Mint and by dealers who specialize in selling modern coins and (iv) short-term changes in the value of gold around the time of trade shows. This lack of diversity in our sources of revenues and our dependence on coin authentication and grading submissions for a majority of our net revenues make us more vulnerable to these conditions, which could result in reductions in our total net revenues and gross margin and, therefore, hurt our operating results.

 

Moreover, if the economic recovery in the United States remains relatively weak for an extended period of time or another economic downturn were to occur, our dependence on coin authentication and grading services for our revenues could increase, because the prices that dealers and collectors can realize on sales of trading cards generally are significantly lower than the prices they are able to realize on sales of collectible coins, making it more difficult, for trading card collectors to afford or justify incurring the costs of obtaining independent authentication and grading services. In addition, our coin business is expanding into overseas markets, thereby increasing our reliance on the coin market.

 

Declines in general economic conditions could result in decreased demand for our services, which could adversely affect our operating results.

 

The availability of discretionary or disposable income and the confidence of collectors and dealers about future economic conditions are important factors that can affect the willingness and ability of collectors and consumers to purchase, and the prices that they are willing to pay for, high-value collectibles. Additionally, declines in the confidence and reductions in the cash flows of, and reductions in credit that is available to collectibles dealers, can adversely affect their ability to purchase high-value collectibles and to sell collectibles that may have declined in value due to adverse changes in economic conditions of this nature. Declines in purchases and sales, and in the values of collectibles usually result, in turn, in declines in the use of authentication and grading services, as such services are most often used in conjunction with and to facilitate collectibles sale and purchase transactions. As a result, economic uncertainties, downturns and recessions can and do adversely affect our operating results by (i) reducing the frequency with which collectibles dealers and collectors submit their coins, trading cards and other collectibles for authentication and grading including, in particular, modern coins and trading cards, primarily because authentication and grading fees are relatively high in relation to the value of such collectibles; (ii) causing collectibles dealers and collectors to request longer turnaround times with respect to the collectibles they submit to us for grading, which would reduce our revenues, gross profit margin and operating results; and (iii) adversely affecting the ability of customers to pay outstanding accounts receivable on a timely basis.

 

Temporary popularity of some collectibles may result in short-term increases, followed by decreases, in the volume of submissions for our services, which could cause our revenues to fluctuate.

 

Temporary consumer popularity or “fads” among collectors, or the popularity of certain coin marketing programs, either by the U.S. Mint or by dealers or distributors of collectibles, may lead to short-term or temporary increases, followed by decreases in the volume and in the average service fees earned on collectibles that we authenticate and grade. Trends of this nature may result in significant period-to-period fluctuations in our operating results and could result in declines in our net revenues and profitability, not only because of a resulting decline in the volume of authenticating and grading submissions, but also because such trends could lead to increased price competition, or pressure on the level of fees we can charge customers, and could require us to reduce our authentication and grading fees in order to maintain market share.

 

Our top five customers account for approximately 17% of our total net revenues in fiscal 2015.

 

During the year ended June 30, 2015, five of our customers accounted, in the aggregate, for approximately 17% of our total net revenues. As a result, the loss of any of those customers, each of which is a collectibles dealer, or a decrease in the volume of grading submissions by any of them as a result of a change in the popularity of the programs they submit under, could cause our net revenues to decline and, therefore, could harm our operating results.

 

 
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There are risks associated with new or expanded service offerings and geographic expansion, with which we have little experience.

 

On an ongoing basis, we seek to introduce new services that we offer to our existing authentication and grading customers as a means of increasing our net revenues and profitability. As discussed under our growth strategy on Page 7, we are investing in Collectors.com on the expectation that over time we can generate revenues from sellers of collectibles from aggregating collectibles items for sale. In addition, in recent years we began offering and providing coin authentication and grading services in Paris, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Those new services and our international operations, however, may not meet our expectations and may prove to be unprofitable, which could lead to impairments of amounts capitalized and negatively impact our operating results.

 

Our business is subject to risks associated with doing business outside the United States.

 

If we are successful in growing our coin authentication and grading businesses in foreign markets, we could face risks that might adversely affect, possibly materially, our future financial performance. Those risks include the following:

 

 

potential difficulties in complying with multiple and potentially conflicting laws and regulations, which could increase our costs of doing business internationally and could expose us to possible governmental or legal action in the foreign countries where we conduct business;

 

 

difficulties in staffing and managing international operations;

 

 

differences in intellectual property protections;

 

 

potentially adverse tax consequences due to overlapping or differing tax structures;

 

 

fluctuations in currency exchange rates; and

 

 

risks associated with operating a business in a potentially unstable political climate.

 

We invoice our overseas customers for our coin authentication and grading services in the local foreign currency in the country in which the business operates, or in the case of Hong Kong, in U.S. dollars. Through June 30, 2015, the impact of fluctuations in foreign currencies on our financial results has been immaterial, although we did experience foreign currency losses primarily associated with the decline of the Euro in relation to the U.S. Dollar in fiscal 2015. There can be assurance that there will not be changes in foreign exchange rates that would adversely affect our results of operations in the future, if our international operations increase in size.

 

We are dependent on our key management personnel.

 

Our performance is greatly dependent on the performance of our senior management and certain other key employees. As a result, the loss of the services of any of our executive officers or other key management and business development employees could harm our business. Some of our executive officers and key employees are experts in the collectibles markets and have industry-wide reputations for authentication and grading of collectibles. In particular, the loss of David G. Hall, our President, could have a negative effect on our reputation for expertise in the collectible coin market and could lead to a reduction in coin authentication and grading submissions to us.

 

We are dependent on our collectibles experts.

 

In certain of our markets, there are a limited number of individuals who have the expertise to authenticate and grade collectibles, and competition for available collectibles experts is intense. Accordingly, our business and our growth initiatives are heavily dependent on our ability (i) to retain our existing collectibles experts, who have developed relatively unique skills and enjoy a reputation for being experts within the collectibles markets, and (ii) to implement personnel programs that will enable us to add collectibles experts, as necessary, both in the United States and overseas to grow our business and offset employee turnover that can occur from time to time. If we are not successful in retaining our existing collectibles experts or in hiring and training new collectibles experts, this could limit our ability to grow our business and adversely affect our operating results and financial condition. Moreover, some of our experts could leave our Company to join a competitor or start a competing business.

 

 
16

 

 

Damage to our reputation could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

We have developed a reputation as one of the leading third party providers of collectibles authentication and grading services, as well as related services, as a result of a number of factors including, we believe, the rigorousness and consistency of our grading standards and the integrity of our grading processes, which enables us to provide warranty protection to our customers, our knowledge of the collectibles markets in which we operate, and innovative programs and services that we have developed and are able to offer to our customers, including the Collectors Club, our Set Registry Programs and our Certified Coin Exchange dealer-to-dealer Internet bid-ask market. As a result, our continued success is heavily dependent on our maintaining that reputation among collectibles dealers and collectors. Failures or errors in authentication or grading processes, such as inconsistent application of grading standards or incidents that put the integrity of those processes into question, could significantly impair our reputation in the marketplace which, in turn, could lead to a loss of customer confidence and a decrease in the demand for our services and, therefore, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

We could suffer losses on authentication and grading warranties.

 

In general, we issue an authenticity or grading warranty for coins and trading cards that we authenticate or grade. Those warranties provide that:

 

 

if a coin or trading card that we authenticated and sealed in our tamper-evident plastic cases is later determined not to have been genuine, we would have to purchase the collectible at its current market value; and

 
 

if a coin or trading card that we graded and sealed in our tamper-evident plastic cases later receives a lower grade upon resubmission to us for grading, we would be obligated either to purchase the collectible at the current market value or to pay the difference in its value at its original grade, as compared to its value at the lower grade.

 

We have no insurance coverage for claims made under these warranties, and therefore we maintain reserves for such warranty claims based on historical experience. However, there is no assurance that these warranty reserves will prove to be adequate, and as we expand our services in overseas markets, we may incur higher warranty claims than we have experienced in previous years. If our warranty reserves prove to be inadequate, our gross margin and operating results could be harmed. As a result, we monitor the adequacy of our warranty reserves on an ongoing basis. For example, during 2008, we unexpectedly received certain coin grading warranty claims that were significant when compared to our prior warranty claims experience. As a result, we recognized an additional expense in 2008 to provide for those claims. We also increased our warranty accrual rate to reflect this higher warranty claims experience. Those actions contributed to an increase in our costs of sales and, therefore, reduced our operating income and earnings in fiscal 2008. See note 8 to the consolidated financial statements for activity on our warranty reserves for fiscal years 2013 to 2015.

 

Increased competition could adversely affect our financial performance.

 

Although there are few major competitors in the collectibles authentication and grading markets in which we currently operate, competition in these markets is, nevertheless, intense. Increased competition in our collectibles markets could adversely affect our pricing and profit margins and our ability to achieve further growth, and we cannot provide assurances that we will continue to be successful in competing against existing or future competitors in our collectibles markets. Also, if we were to enter into new collectibles markets, it is likely we would face intense competition from competitors in those markets who are likely to have greater brand name recognition and long-term relationships with collectibles dealers and individual collectors in those markets than we will have. Such competition could adversely affect our ability to generate profits and could cause us to incur losses or impairment charges in those markets and damage our financial condition.

 

 
17

 

 

There is no assurance that we will continue to pay cash dividends at current levels.

 

The Company’s current policy is to pay cash dividends to stockholders at $0.35 per share per quarter. Our dividend policy was changed in the third quarter of fiscal 2015 to increase the quarterly dividend from $0.325 to $0.35 per share. However, the continued payment of cash dividends is subject to a number of factors, including changes in market and financial conditions and the cash requirements of our business, including the payment of federal income taxes. Therefore, there is no assurance that the amount of the current quarterly cash dividend will not be reduced or the payment of cash dividends will not be suspended or discontinued by the Board of Directors. See “MARKET FOR COMMON STOCK, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES”─Dividends in Part II, Item 5 of this Annual Report.

 

Our reliance on two suppliers for principally all of our “tamper-evident,” clear plastic coin and trading card holders exposes us to potential supply and quality problems.

 

We place all of the coins and trading cards that we authenticate and grade, in tamper-evident, clear plastic holders. In addition, we incorporate security features into the holders to mitigate the risk of counterfeits. In order to take advantage of volume-pricing discounts, we purchase substantially all of those holders, on a purchase order basis, from two principal suppliers. For our highest volume most critical plastic part, we have chosen to split the supply of this part between our two supplies. For our other parts, we have one or the other of these suppliers manufacture the part. In addition, when developing new holders, we concentrate the purchase of holders through one supplier initially. Our reliance on a limited number of suppliers for a substantial portion of those plastic holders exposes us to the potential for delays in our ability to deliver timely authentication and grading services in the event that one of the suppliers was to terminate its services to us or encounter financial or production problems. If, in such an event, we were unable to obtain replacement holders in a relatively short period of time, we could lose customer orders, or incur additional production costs. To mitigate this risk, the Company (i) owns the dies used to manufacture the parts, (ii) has increased its inventory of holders, which should give us more time to arrange production in the event of a termination of or interruption in service from either of our existing suppliers. However, if the replacement holders obtained from other suppliers are not of comparable quality to those produced by our existing suppliers, or counterfeit holders were manufactured by other suppliers, we could be exposed to additional warranty claims because tampering with those holders may not be as readily detectible. These occurrences could cause a decline in our net revenues and increases in our costs of sales which would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

 

Our computer systems and network systems may be vulnerable to system failure due to a lack of redundant systems at other locations.

 

Our operations are dependent upon our ability to protect our computer systems against damage from fire, power loss, telecommunications failure, earthquakes and similar catastrophic events. In this regard, Southern California, where we are located and our computer systems are housed, is particularly vulnerable to earthquakes and fires that could result in damage to our computer systems that could cause interruptions of our services. Additionally, we could encounter disruptions that would harm our business as a result of problems on the internet or actions of internet users that could make it difficult for our customers to access our websites. Difficulties encountered during planned system upgrades or re-implementations also could lead to disruptions of our services.

 

We do not have redundant computer systems at any locations that are remote from Southern California. As a result, if any such events, disruptions or other of these problems were to occur, we could become unable to access information that is critically important to our ability to continue our operations without costly interruptions in the delivery of our services which could harm our business, operating results and financial condition. In fiscal 2015 the company began a transition of many of its key business systems to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud in order to mitigate these risks.

 

Our business is subject to online security risks, including security breaches.

 

In the course of our business, we receive and store confidential personally identifiable information provided to us by our customers, such as passwords and credit card information.

 

 
18

 

 

An increasing number of large internet companies and traditional “brick and mortar” businesses have disclosed security breaches of their websites and computer systems that have led to the interruptions of service and, in certain cases, instances of the misappropriation or theft of confidential personally identifiable information of their customers (often referred to as “identity theft”). Because the techniques used by the perpetrators of such security breaches change frequently and may be difficult to detect, like those companies and businesses, we may be unable to anticipate the techniques used in such breaches or to implement adequate preventative measures. Data security breaches may also result from non-technical causes such as, for example, actions of employees or third party service providers. Our servers also are vulnerable to computer viruses or malware and physical or electronic break-ins that could prevent our customers from accessing our online services. In addition, hardware that we develop or procure from third parties may contain defects in design or other problems that could unexpectedly compromise information security or disrupt our operations. We rely on encryption and authentication technology licensed from third parties to provide for secure storage and transmissions of confidential information, including customer passwords and payment card numbers. However, as the recent disclosures by large internet companies and traditional businesses indicate, such technology may not be sufficient to enable us to detect or prevent security breaches or the misappropriation or theft of personally identifiable customer information, which could damage our reputation and lead customers to discontinue their use of our services.

 

In addition, security breaches could result in a violation of privacy and other applicable laws, thereby exposing us to potentially significant legal or financial exposure to government actions and private litigation. Governmental agencies investigating any such breaches may seek to impose fines or other monetary penalties on us or to seek injunctive relief that could materially increase our data security costs and adversely impact our operations.

 

We rely on third parties for various Internet and processing services.

 

Our operations depend on a number of third parties for Internet access and delivery services. We have limited control over these third parties and no long-term relationships with any of them. For example, we do not own a gateway onto the Internet, but, instead, rely on Internet service providers to connect our website to the Internet. Should the third parties that we rely on for Internet access or delivery services be unable to serve our needs for a sustained time period as a result of a strike, natural disaster or for any other reason, our revenues and business could be harmed.

 

The subtenant for one of our spaces in New York may not fulfill its obligations under the sublease agreement, thereby, increasing our net obligations.

 

The Company has sublet one of its facilities in New York City that had formerly been occupied by our discontinued jewelry businesses. Should the subtenant not fulfill its rental obligations to us under the sublease, which are payable over the lease term through December 31, 2015, it would adversely affect the cash used by discontinued operations and increase the losses from discontinued operations we incur in future periods.

 

Acquisitions, the commencement of new businesses and expansion into overseas markets, present risks, and we may be unable to achieve our financial and strategic goals related to those activities.

 

There may be opportunities that present themselves to acquire existing businesses, commence new businesses or expand our geographic reach through overseas expansion that would give us the opportunity to increase our revenues and our earnings. The purchase or commencement of a new business or expanding overseas, however, present a number of risks and uncertainties, including (i) difficulties in integrating a new business or a new location into our existing operations, as a result of which we may incur increased operating costs that can adversely affect our operating results; (ii) the risk that our current and planned facilities, computer systems and personnel and controls will not be adequate to support our expanded operations; (iii) the diversion of management time and capital resources from our existing businesses, which could adversely affect the performance and our operating results; (iv) dependence on key management personnel of the acquired or newly started businesses or at the new geographic locations and the risk that we will be unable to integrate or retain such personnel; and (v)  the risk that the anticipated benefits of any acquisition or of the commencement of any new business or overseas location may not be realized or changes we make to an acquired business may harm the performance of that business, in which event we will not be able to achieve an acceptable return or we may incur losses on our investment.

 

We depend on our ability to protect and enforce our intellectual property rights.

 

We believe that our patents, trademarks and other proprietary rights are important to our success and competitive position. We rely on a combination of patents, trademarks, copyright and trade secret laws to establish and protect our proprietary rights. However, the actions we take to establish and protect our intellectual and other proprietary rights may prove to be inadequate to prevent imitation of our services or products or to prevent others from claiming violations of their intellectual and proprietary rights by us. In addition, others may develop similar trade secrets or other intellectual property independently or assert rights in our intellectual and other proprietary rights that could lead them to seek to block sales of our services based on allegations that use of some of our marks or other intellectual property constitutes a violation of their intellectual property rights.

 

 
19

 

 

Our unregistered trademarks could conflict with trademarks of others.

 

We have not conducted an exhaustive search of possible prior users of our unregistered trademarks or service marks. Therefore, it is possible that our use of some of these trademarks or service marks may conflict with the rights of others. As a result, we could face litigation or lose the use of some of these trademarks or service marks, which could have an adverse effect on our name recognition and result in a decrease in our revenues and an increase in our expenses.

 

The imposition of government regulations could increase our costs of doing business.

 

With the exception of state laws applicable to autograph authentication, the collectible coin and other high-value collectibles markets are not currently subject to direct federal, state or local regulation. However, from time to time government authorities discuss additional regulations which could impose restrictions on the collectibles industry, such as regulating collectibles as securities or requiring collectibles dealers to meet registration or reporting requirements, or regulating the conduct of auction businesses. Adoption of laws or regulations of this nature could lead to a decline in sales and purchases of collectibles and, therefore, also to a decline in the volume of coins, trading cards and other collectibles that are submitted to us for authentication and grading.

 

The market for our shares is limited, which may adversely affect the trading value and liquidity of our common stock.

 

Affiliates of the Company own a total of approximately 1,444,000 shares (or about 16% of the 8,881,874 shares that were outstanding at June 30, 2015) which are not included in our public float. As a result, the trading volume of our shares is relatively low at a daily average of approximately 21,000 shares over the 90 days ended June 30, 2015, which reduces the liquidity of our shares, making it more difficult for our stockholders to sell their shares if the need to do so arises. These factors may depress, and make it more difficult to achieve increases in, the trading price of our shares.

 

If our quarterly results are below market expectations, the price of our common stock may decline.

 

Many factors, including those described in this “Risk Factors” section, can affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, which makes the prediction of our future financial results difficult and uncertain. These factors include:

 

 

increases or decreases in the numbers and mix of collectibles graded from period to period;

 

 

changes in market conditions that can affect the demand for our authentication and grading services, such as a decline in the popularity of certain collectibles and volatility in the prices of gold and other precious metals, or the existence or absence or the popularity of U.S. Mint programs.

 
 

changes in economic conditions that reduce the availability of disposable income and may cause collectors and collectibles dealers to reduce their purchases of collectibles, which could result in declines in the demand for the services we provide; and

 
 

the actions of our competitors.

 

If, as a result of these or other conditions or factors, our quarterly operating results fall below market expectations, some of our stockholders may sell their shares, which could adversely affect the trading prices of our common stock. Additionally, in the past, companies that have experienced declines in the trading price of their shares due to events of this nature have been the subject of securities class action litigation. If we become involved in a securities class action litigation in the future, it could result in substantial costs and diversion of our management’s attention and resources, thus harming our business.

 

 
20

 

 

Provisions in our charter documents or in Delaware law may make an acquisition of us more difficult or delay a change in control, which may adversely affect the market price of our common stock.

 

Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws contain anti-takeover provisions, including those listed below, that could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire control of us, even if that change of control would be beneficial to our stockholders:

 

 

our board of directors has the authority to issue additional common stock and preferred stock and to determine the price, rights and preferences of any new series of preferred stock without stockholder approval;

 
 

there are limitations on who can call special meetings of our stockholders;

 
 

stockholders may not take action by written consent; and

 
 

In addition, provisions of Delaware law and provisions of our stock incentive plans may also discourage, delay or prevent a change in control or unsolicited acquisition proposals.

 

Moreover, the fact that our affiliates own more than 16% of our outstanding shares may deter third parties from seeking to acquire control of the Company.

 

ITEM 1B.

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

None

 

ITEM 2.

PROPERTIES

 

We lease approximately 48,500 square feet for our California-based headquarters under a nine-year lease that expires on March 31, 2019. We currently sublease 4,260 square feet of this office space to a related party subtenant with an expiration date that coincides with the expiration of the Company's lease. In addition, we currently rent small office spaces in New Jersey, Paris, France, Hong Kong and Shanghai, China.

 

Although we discontinued and exited our jewelry authentication and grading businesses in March 2009, we continue to have payment obligations with respect to two office facilities in New York City that we had leased for our jewelry businesses. In May 2010, we sublet one of those facilities, and the second facility was returned to the landlord, and the lease terminated in exchange for a reduction in the remaining financial obligations that we have with respect to that facility. See “Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates—Accrual for Losses on Facility Leases.”

 

ITEM 3.

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

We are named from time to time as a defendant in lawsuits that arise in the ordinary course of business. We do not believe that any of such lawsuits that are currently pending are likely to have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

 

ITEM 4.

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

 

Not Applicable

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF REGISTRANT

 

Name

 

Age

 

Positions

Robert G. Deuster

 

65

 

Chief Executive Officer

David G. Hall

 

68

 

President

Joseph J. Wallace

 

55

 

Chief Financial Officer

 

 
21

 

 

ROBERT G. DEUSTER has been the Company’s Chief Executive Officer since October 15, 2012. Mr. Deuster served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Newport Corporation, a public company that is a global supplier of laser, optical and motion control products, from May 1996 until his retirement in October of 2007. He also served as President of Newport from May 1996 until July 2004, and in June 1997 became Chairman of the Board. From 1985 to 1996, Mr. Deuster served in various senior management positions at Applied Power, Inc. (now Actuant Corporation, a New York Stock Exchange listed company), which is a global manufacturer of electrical and hydraulic products, serving as Senior Vice President of the Distributed Products Group from 1994 to 1996, President of the Barry Controls Division from 1989 to 1994, President of the APITECH Division from 1986 to 1989 and Vice President of Sales and Marketing of the Enerpac Division from 1985 to 1986. From 1975 to 1985, he held engineering and marketing management positions at General Electric Company's Medical Systems Division. Mr. Deuster currently serves on the boards of directors of two public companies: Symmetry Medical Inc., which provides medical devices and solutions to the global orthopedic market, and Pico Holdings, Inc., which acquires and develops unique undervalued assets, including water assets, land, and other businesses in strategic areas. He also serves as a director of Ondax, Inc., a private optical components company. Mr. Deuster received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Marquette University in 1973. Mr. Deuster holds a Masters Professional Director Certification from the American College of Corporate Directors, a public company director education and credentialing organization.

 

DAVID G. HALL has served as President of Collectors Universe since October 2001 and as a Director since its founding in February 1999. From April 2000 to September 2001, Mr. Hall served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Company and as Chairman of the Board from February 1999 to October 2001. Mr. Hall was a director of Professional Coin Grading Service, Inc., and was its Chief Executive Officer from 1986 to February 1999, when it was acquired by the Company. Mr. Hall was honored in 1999 by COINage Magazine as Numismatist of the Century, along with 14 other individuals. In 1990, Mr. Hall was named Orange County Entrepreneur of the Year by INC. Magazine. In addition, Mr. Hall has written A Mercenary’s Guide to the Rare Coin Market, a book dedicated to coin collecting. Mr. Hall invented and introduced the concept of and developed the business of independent third party grading of high value collectible coins and sports cards. He is also known in the numismatics community as one of the leading experts in identifying and grading high value collectible coins and he is in demand as a speaker at coin conventions and trade shows. Mr. Hall holds a Professional Director Certification from the American College of Corporate Directors, a public company director education and credentialing organization.

 

JOSEPH J. WALLACE became the Company’s Chief Financial Officer in September 2005. Prior to becoming Chief Financial Officer, he was the Company’s Vice President of Finance from November 2004 and Controller from June 2004. From 1997 to 2003, Mr. Wallace was Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Secretary of STM Wireless, Inc., a publicly traded company engaged in the business of developing, manufacturing and marketing satellite communications products and services. Mr. Wallace is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, and a CPA in the State of California.

 

 

 
22

 

 

PART II

 

ITEM 5.

MARKET FOR COMMON STOCK, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

 

Our common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Market, trading under the symbol CLCT. The following tables set forth the high and low closing prices of our common stock, as reported by NASDAQ, and the cash dividends per share that we paid to our stockholders, in each of the fiscal quarters in the fiscal years ended June 30, 2015 and 2014:

 

   

Closing Share Prices

   

Cash
Dividend

 

Fiscal 2015

 

High

   

Low

    Per Share  

First Quarter

  $ 22.00     $ 18.78     $ 0.325  

Second Quarter

    25.82       19.34       0.325  

Third Quarter

    24.95       19.76       0.35  

Fourth Quarter

    23.50       19.75       0.35  

 

   

Closing Share Prices

   

Cash
Dividend

 

Fiscal 2014

 

High

   

Low

    Per Share  

First Quarter

  $ 17.19     $ 13.94     $ 0.325  

Second Quarter

    17.15       14.14       0.325  

Third Quarter

    21.87       17.30       0.325  

Fourth Quarter

    23.59       19.18       0.325  

 

We had approximately 99 holders of record and approximately 7,500 beneficial owners of our common stock as of June 30, 2015.

 

Dividends. In January 2015, the Board of Directors approved the Company’s current cash dividend policy, which provides for the payment of cash dividends to our stockholders of $0.35 per share, per quarter, for an annual dividend of $1.40 per share. The previous dividend policy of $0.325 per share per quarter called for an annual dividend of $1.30 per share, and applied for the period October 2010 to December 2014. Dividends paid to our stockholders in fiscal 2015, 2014 and 2013 totaled $11.4 million, $10.7 million, and $10.8 million, respectively.

 

The declaration and payment of cash dividends in the future, pursuant to the Company’s dividend policy, is subject to final determination each quarter by the Board of Directors based on a number of factors, including the Company’s financial performance and its available cash resources, its cash requirements and alternative uses of cash that the Board may conclude would represent an opportunity to generate a greater return on investment for the Company and its stockholders. Accordingly, there is no assurance that, in the future, the amount of the quarterly cash dividend will not be reduced or that the payment of dividends will not be suspended or altogether discontinued. However, the Company does not anticipate a change in its dividend policy, absent a significant reduction in revenues and cash flows from operations, a change in strategy or a significant downturn in the economy.

 

Share Buyback Program. In December 2015, our Board of Directors has approved a share buyback program that authorized us to repurchase up to $10,000,000 of our shares of common stock in open market or privately negotiated transactions, in accordance with applicable Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) rules, when opportunities to make such repurchases, at attractive prices, become available. As of June 30, 2015, we had $3.7 million available for future share repurchases under this program. There were no repurchases of shares under this program in fiscal 2015, 2014 or 2013. Moreover, we are under no obligation to repurchase any additional shares under this program, and the timing, actual number and value of any additional shares that may be repurchased by us under this program will depend on a number of factors, including the Company’s future financial performance, the Company’s available cash resources and competing uses for the cash, prevailing market prices of the Company’s common stock, the number of shares that become available for sale at prices that the Company believes are attractive and the effect that such repurchases may have on our public float and the market liquidity of our shares.

 

 
23

 

 

Other Share Repurchases. In connection with the vesting of shares of restricted shares previously granted to certain of our executive officers and other key management employees under the Company’s stockholder-approved equity incentive plans, during the quarter ended June 30, 2015, we repurchased the numbers of shares set forth in the table below from those officers and employees in satisfaction of their tax withholding obligations that arose out of the vesting of those restricted shares:

 


Month

 

Number
of Shares

   

Average Price
Per Share(1)

 
                 

April 2015

    1,829     $ 22.56  

 

 

 

(1)

In each case the shares were purchased at the closing price of the Company’s shares, as reported by NASDAQ, upon vesting.

 

 

STOCK PERFORMANCE GRAPH

 

The following graph compares, for each of the years in the five year period ended June 30, 2015, the cumulative total returns for the Company and for (i) the companies included in the Russell 2000 Index, of which the Company is a member, and (ii) an index of fourteen companies that we selected (the “New Peer Group”) and (iii) an index of eight companies that we selected for inclusion in our fiscal 2014 10-K (the “Prior Year Group”).

 

The companies comprising the New Peer Group and their respective trading symbols are: Cass Information Systems Inc. (“CASS”), Cherokee Inc. (“CHKE”), Daily Journal Corp. (“DJCO”), Forward Industries Inc. (“FORD”), Innodata Inc. (“INOD”), Jetpay Corp. (“JYPY”), Lakeland Industries Inc. (“LAKE”), Planet Payment Inc. (“PLPM”), PRGX Global Inc. (“PRGX”), Reis Inc. (“REIS”), Sequential Brands Group Inc. (“SQBG”), Techtarget Inc. (“TTGT”), Value Line Inc. (“VALU”), and Xo Group Inc. (“XOXO”). The cumulative total return data for these companies was obtained from Thomson Reuters.

 

The companies that comprised the Prior Year Peer Group and their respective trading symbols are: Cambium Learning Group Inc. (“ABCD”), Carriage Services Inc. (“CSV”), Chuy’s Holding Inc. (“CHUY”), Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment Inc. (“DDE”), Famous Dave’s Of America Inc. (“DAVE”), Frisch’s Restaurants Inc. (“FRS”), Jamba Inc. (“JMBA”), and Monarch Casino & Resort Inc. (“MCRI”). The cumulative total return data for this Peer Group Index was obtained from Thomson Financial.

 

We utilized the services of a third party consulting firm to assist us in selecting the companies comprising the New Peer Group. We believe that those companies are more comparable to Collectors Universe in terms of revenue, market capitalization and industry than the companies that make up the Prior Year Peer Group.

 

The selection of Peer Group companies presented a challenge for us, because of the relative uniqueness of our business, which consists primarily of providing authentication and grading and information services to collectibles dealers and to individuals who collect and buy and sell coins and other high value collectibles.

 

 
24

 

 

 

 

   

At June 30,

 
   

2010

   

2011

   

2012

   

2013

   

2014

   

2015

 

Collectors Universe, Inc.

  $ 100.00     $ 120.50     $ 129.48     $ 129.83     $ 206.08     $ 223.08  

Russell 2,000 Index

    100.00       137.41       134.55       167.12       206.63       220.03  

New Peer Group

    100.00       123.55       128.33       126.18       166.38       179.16  

Prior Year Peer Group

    100.00       107.37       100.42       150.90       156.50       173.63  

 

 

This Stock Performance Graph assumes that $100 was invested, on June 30, 2010, in the Company’s shares, the Russell 2000 Index and in the shares of the companies in the New and Old Peer Group Indices, respectively, and that any dividends issued for the indicated period were reinvested. Stockholder returns shown in the Stock Performance Graph are not necessarily indicative of future stock performance.

 

This above performance graph shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the Securities and Exchange Commission for purposes of Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or otherwise subject to the liabilities under that Section, and shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any filing of Collectors Universe, Inc. under that Act or the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

 

 
25

 

 

ITEM 6.

SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

 

The selected operating data for the fiscal years ended June 30, 2015, 2014 and 2013, and the selected balance sheet data at June 30, 2015 and 2014 set forth below are derived from the Company’s audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report. The selected operating data for the fiscal years ended June 30, 2012 and 2011 and the related balance sheet data at June 30, 2013, 2012 and 2011 were derived from audited consolidated financial statements that are not included in this Annual Report. The following data should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes thereto and with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included below in this Annual Report.

 

Our Continuing Operations. The results of our continuing operations, as set forth in the table below, consist primarily of the results of operations of our collectible coin, trading card, autographs and memorabilia authentication and grading businesses and our Coinflation.com, Certified Coin Exchange (“CCE”) and Expos businesses for each of the fiscal years in the five-year period ended June 30, 2015.

 

Our Discontinued Operations. The results of our discontinued operations, as set forth in the table below, consist primarily of accretion expense associated with the remaining lease obligations of our former jewelry businesses and royalty income realized from our former currency grading business, net of income taxes.

 

 
26

 

 

Consolidated Statement of Operations Data:

 

   

Year Ended June 30,

 
   

2015

   

2014

   

2013

   

2012

   

2011

 
   

(In thousands, except per share data)

 

Net revenues(1)

  $ 61,684     $ 60,571     $ 49,090     $ 48,359     $ 44,432  

Cost of revenues

    23,053       22,663       19,068       19,402       17,249  

Gross profit(1)

    38,631       37,908       30,022       28,957       27,183  

Selling, general and administrative expenses

    26,523       25,432       20,528       19,800       17,526  

Impairment losses

    -       -       -       -       1,368  

Operating income

    12,108       12,476       9,494       9,157       8,289  

Interest income, net

    38       36       68       104       98  

Other (expense) income, net

    (80 )     3       29       (16 )     (5 )

Income before provision for income taxes

    12,066       12,515       9,591       9,245       8,382  

Provision for income taxes(2)

    4,682       5,081       3,803       2,425       3,346  

Income from continuing operations

    7,384       7,434       5,788       6,820       5,036  

Income (loss) from discontinued operations, (net of income taxes)

    17       (75 )     (58 )     (71 )     83  

Net income (loss)

  $ 7,401     $ 7,359     $ 5,730     $ 6,749     $ 5,119  
                                         

Net income per basic share:

                                       

Income from continuing operations

  $ 0.88     $ 0.91     $ 0.72     $ 0.86     $ 0.66  

Income (loss) from discontinued operations, (net of income taxes)

    0.01       (0.01 )     (0.01 )     (0.01 )     0.01  

Net income per share

  $ 0.89     $ 0.90     $ 0.71     $ 0.85     $ 0.67  

Net income per diluted share:

                                       

Income from continuing operations

  $ 0.87     $ 0.90     $ 0.71     $ 0.85     $ 0.65  

Income (loss) from discontinued operations, (net of income taxes)

    -       (0.01 )     -       (0.01 )     0.01  

Net income per share

  $ 0.87     $ 0.89     $ 0.71     $ 0.84     $ 0.66  

Weighted average shares outstanding

                                       

Basic

    8,345       8,167       8,052       7,905       7,682  

Diluted

    8,518       8,247       8,101       7,987       7,798  
                                         

Cash dividends paid on common stock

  $ 11,361     $ 10,731     $ 10,801     $ 10,355     $ 9,944  

Cash dividends declared per share of common stock

  $ 1.35     $ 1.30     $ 1.30     $ 1.30     $ 1.28  

 

   

At June 30,

 
   

2015

   

2014

   

2013

   

2012

   

2011

 

Balance Sheet Data:

 

(In thousands)

 

Cash and cash equivalents

  $ 17,254     $ 19,909     $ 18,711     $ 21,214     $ 21,926  

Working capital – continuing operations

    11,981       14,487       15,212       18,901       20,010  

Working capital (deficit) – discontinued operations

    (778 )     (849 )     (802 )     (777 )     (716 )

Goodwill and Intangibles – continuing

    3,641       3,355       3,560       3,871       3,228  

Total assets – continuing operations

    32,202       35,406       32,836       36,236       36,302  

Total assets – discontinued operations

    182       182       182       209       209  

Stockholders' equity

    18,469       20,640       20,562       24,531       25,070  

 


1.

Includes revenues from product sales, consisting primarily of sales of coins purchased under our warranty policy, of $132,000, $103,000, $583,000, $500,000, and $605,000 in fiscal 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011, respectively. Such product sales are not considered an integral part of our ongoing revenue generating activities. The gross margins on product sales were (15)%, (18)%, 2%, (28)%, and 28%, in fiscal 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011, respectively.

2.

The lower income tax provision in fiscal 2012 reflects a benefit for the excess tax basis over the book basis of the Company’s investment in a subsidiary and a lower effective tax rate resulting from a change in the Company’s state apportionment factors recognized in fiscal 2012.

 

 
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ITEM 7.

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the “Selected Consolidated Financial Data” and our Consolidated Financial Statements and related notes, included elsewhere in Part II of this Annual Report. This discussion also should be read in conjunction with the information in Item IA of Part I of this Report, entitled “Risk Factors,” which contains information about certain risks and uncertainties that can affect our business and our financial performance in the future.

 

Introduction and Overview

 

Our Business

Collectors Universe, Inc. (“we”, “us” “management” “our” or the “Company”) provides authentication and grading services to dealers and collectors of coins, trading cards, event tickets, autographs, sports and historical memorabilia. We believe that our authentication and grading services add value to these collectibles by providing dealers and collectors with a high level of assurance as to the authenticity and quality of the collectibles they seek to buy or sell; thereby enhancing their marketability and providing increased liquidity to the dealers, collectors and consumers that own, buy and sell such collectibles.

 

We principally generate revenues from the fees paid for our authentication and grading services. To a much lesser extent, we generate revenues from other related services which consist of: (i) the sale of advertising and commissions earned on our websites; (ii) the sale of printed publications, collectibles price guides and advertising in our publications; (iii) the sale of membership subscriptions in our Collectors Club, which is designed primarily to attract interest in high-value collectibles among new collectors; (iv) the sale of subscriptions to our CCE dealer-to-dealer Internet bid-ask market for certified coins and to our CoinFacts website, which offers a comprehensive one-stop source for historical U.S. numismatic information and value-added content; and (v) the management and operation of collectibles trade shows and conventions. We also generate revenues from sales of our collectibles inventory, which is primarily comprised of collectible coins that we have purchased under our coin grading warranty program; however, such product sales are neither the focus nor an integral part of our on-going revenue generating activities.

 

Factors That Can Affect Operating Results and our Financial Position

 

Factors That Can Affect our Revenue. Our authentication and grading fees accounted for approximately 86% of our total net revenues in the year ended June 30, 2015. The amounts of those fees are primarily driven by the volume and mix of coin and collectibles sales and purchase transactions by collectibles dealers and collectors, because our collectibles authentication and grading services generally facilitate sales and purchases of coins and other high value collectibles by providing dealers and collectors with a high level of assurance as to the authenticity and quality of the collectibles they seek to sell or buy. Consequently, dealers and collectors most often submit coins and other collectibles to us for authentication and grading at those times when they are in the market to sell or buy coins and other high-value collectibles.

 

The amounts of our authentication and grading revenues are affected by (i) the volume and mix of authentication and grading submissions among coins and trading cards, on the one hand, and other collectibles on the other hand; (ii) in the case of coins and trading cards, the “turnaround” times requested by our customers, because we charge higher fees for faster service times; and (iii) the mix of authentication and grading submissions between vintage or “classic” coins and trading cards, on the one hand, and modern coins and trading cards, on the other hand, because dealers generally request faster turnaround times for vintage or classic coins and trading cards than they do for modern submissions, as vintage or classic collectibles are of significantly higher value and are more saleable by dealers than modern coins and trading cards.

 

In addition, our coin authentication and grading revenues are impacted by the number of modern coin submissions and the related average service fee earned on those submissions, both of which can be volatile and depend on the timing and popularity of modern coin programs released by the United States Mint and by customers or dealers who specialize in sales of such coins.

 

 
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Our revenues are also affected by the volume of coin authentication and grading submissions we receive at collectibles trade shows where we provide on-site authentication and grading services to show attendees, because they typically request higher-priced same-day turnaround for the coins they submit to us for authentication and grading at those shows. The level of trade show submissions varies from period to period depending upon a number of factors, including the number and the timing of the shows in each period and the volume of collectible coins that are bought and sold at those shows by dealers and collectors. In addition, the number of such submissions and, therefore, the revenues and gross profit margin we generate from the authentication and grading of coins at trade shows can be impacted by short-term changes in the prices of gold should they occur around the time of the shows, because gold prices can affect the willingness of dealers and collectors to sell and purchase coins at the shows.

 

Furthermore, our revenues can also fluctuate due to the number of authentication and grading events we conduct at our overseas operations on a quarterly basis and the fact that those overseas businesses are less mature than our US coin business.

 

Five of our customers accounted, in the aggregate, for approximately 17% of our total net revenues in the year ended June 30, 2015. As a result, the loss of any of those customers, or a significant decrease in the volume of grading submissions from any of them to us, could cause our net revenues to decline and, therefore, could adversely affect our results of operations.

 

 The following table provides information regarding the respective numbers of coins, trading cards and autographs that we authenticated or graded in the fiscal years ended June 30, 2015, 2014, and 2013:

 

   

Units Processed

 
   

2015

   

2014

   

2013

 

Coins

    2,067,300       55 %     2,075,300       55 %     1,761,700       53 %

Trading cards

    1,269,800       34 %     1,259,100       33 %     1,165,400       35 %

Autographs

    434,900       11 %     431,800       12 %     376,600       12 %

Total

    3,772,000       100 %     3,766,200       100 %     3,303,700       100 %

 

The following table sets forth the estimated values at which our customers insured the coins, trading cards, and autographs that they submitted to us for grading or authentication:

 

   

Declared Values (000’s)

 
   

2015

   

2014

   

2013

 

Coins

  $ 2,093,900       93 %   $ 1,887,000       93 %   $ 1,487,000       92 %

Trading cards

    109,800       5 %     99,000       5 %     90,000       6 %

Autographs

    35,800       2 %     38,000       2 %     35,000       2 %

Total

  $ 2,239,500       100 %   $ 2,024,000       100 %   $ 1,612,000       100 %

 


 

Factors Affecting our Gross Profit Margins. The gross profit margins we earn on collectibles authentication and grading submissions are impacted by many of the same factors that impact our revenues, as the average service fee and the resulting gross profit margin earned is affected by (i) the volume and mix of those submissions among coins, trading cards and other collectibles, because we generally realize higher margins on coin submissions than on submissions of other collectibles; (ii) in the case of coins and trading cards, the “turnaround” times requested by our customers, because we charge higher fees for faster service times; and (iii) the mix of authentication and grading submissions between vintage or “classic” coins and trading cards, on the one hand, and modern coins and trading cards, on the other hand, because dealers generally request faster turnaround times for vintage or classic coins and trading cards than they do for modern submissions. In addition, because a significant proportion of our costs of sales are fixed in nature in the short-term, our gross profit margin is also affected by the overall volume of collectibles that we authenticate and grade in any period. Furthermore, the level of other related services in any period can impact our overall gross profit margin.

 

 
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Impact of Economic Conditions on our Financial Performance. As discussed above, our operating results are affected by the volume of collectibles transactions by dealers and collectors which, in turn, is primarily affected by (i) the cash flows generated by collectibles dealers and their confidence about future economic conditions, which affect their willingness and the ability of such dealers to purchase collectibles for resale; (ii) the availability and cost of borrowings because collectibles dealers often rely on borrowings to fund their purchases of collectibles, (iii) the disposable income available to collectors and their confidence about future economic conditions, because high-value collectibles are generally purchased with disposable income; (iv) prevailing and anticipated rates of inflation and the strength or weakness of the U.S. dollar, and more recently worries about sovereign debt obligations and credit ratings in the United States and Europe, because conditions of this nature often lead investors and consumers to purchase or invest in gold and silver coins as a hedge against inflation or reductions in the purchasing power of the U.S. currency; and as an alternative to investments in government bonds and other treasury instruments; and (v) the performance and volatility of the gold and other precious metals markets, which can affect the level of purchases and sales of collectible coins, because investors and consumers will often increase their purchases of gold coins, as well as other hard assets if they believe that the market prices of those assets will increase. As a result, the volume of collectibles transactions and, therefore, the demand for our authentication and grading services, generally increase during periods characterized by increases in disposable income and the availability of lower cost borrowings, on the one hand, or increases in inflation or in gold prices, economic uncertainties and declines in business and consumer confidence or a weakening of the U.S. dollar on the other hand. By contrast, collectibles transactions and, therefore, the demand for our services generally decline during periods characterized by economic downturns or recessions, declines in consumer and business confidence, an absence of inflationary pressures, or periods of stagnation or a downward trend in the market prices of gold. However, these conditions can sometimes counteract each other as it is not uncommon, for example, for investors to shift funds from gold to other investments during periods of economic growth and growing consumer and business confidence and from stocks and other investments to gold during periods of economic uncertainties and decreases in disposable income and consumer and business confidence.

 

Factors That Can Affect our Liquidity and Financial Position. A substantial number of our authentication and grading customers pay our authentication and grading fees when they submit their collectibles to us for authentication and grading or prior to the shipment of the collectible back to them. As a result, historically, we have been able to rely on internally generated cash and have never incurred borrowings to fund our continuing operations. We currently expect that internally generated cash flows and current cash and cash equivalent balances will be sufficient to fund our continuing operations at least through the end of fiscal 2016.

 

In addition to the day-to-day operating performance of our business, our overall financial position can also be affected by the dividend policy adopted by the Board of Directors, the Company’s decisions to invest in and to fund the acquisition of established and/or early stage businesses and any capital raising activities, stock repurchases or the exercise of stock options by employees or our non-employee directors. In addition, our financial position is impacted by the Company’s tax position. As previously disclosed, the Company has fully utilized all of its federal net operating loss carry forwards and other tax attributes, and therefore we pay federal income taxes on taxable income on an annual basis. The Company continues to have net operating losses and other tax credits available for state income tax purposes in California, which should allow us to pay taxes at minimum levels in California for the foreseeable future.

 

Trends and Challenges in our Businesses

 

Our overall financial performance is largely dependent on the performance of our coin authentication and grading business which can be impacted by volatility in that business. In fiscal years 2015, 2014 and 2013, revenues from coin authentication and grading and related services represented 68%, 69%, and 64% of our total consolidated revenues, respectively. Our quarterly results are also significantly impacted by the performance of our coin business. For example, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, our total service revenues and operating income declined by approximately $1.3 million, or 8%, and $1.0 million, or 27%, respectively, compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, primarily due to a $1.5 million decline in our coin service revenues in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014. In addition, as we expand into overseas markets to provide coin authentication and grading services, our dependence on our coin business may increase, which could make our financial performance more vulnerable to volatility in the coin markets. See “Results of Operations: Net Revenues” below.

 

 
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Overview of Fiscal 2015 Operating Results

 

The following table sets forth comparative financial data for the years ended June 30, 2015 and 2014:

 

   

Year Ended June 30, 2015

   

Year Ended June 30, 2014

 
   


Amount

   

Percent of

Revenues

   


Amount

   

Percent of
Revenues

 
                                 

Net revenues

  $ 61,684       100.0 %   $ 60,571       100.0 %

Cost of revenues

    23,053       37.4 %     22,663       37.4 %

Gross profit

    38,631       62.6 %     37,908       62.6 %

Selling and marketing expenses

    8,896       14.4 %     9,106       15.0 %

General and administrative expenses

    17,627       28.6 %     16,326       27.0 %

Operating income

    12,108       19.6 %     12,476       20.6 %

Interest income, net

    38       0.1 %     36       0.1 %

Other (expense) income, net

    (80 )     (0.1% )     3       -  

Income before provision for income taxes

    12,066       19.6 %     12,515       20.7 %

Provision for income taxes

    4,682       7.6 %     5,081       8.4 %

Income from continuing operations

    7,384       12.0 %     7,434       12.3 %

Income (loss) from discontinued operations

    17       -       (75 )     (0.2 )%

Net income

  $ 7,401       12.0 %   $ 7,359       12.1 %

Net income per diluted share:

                               

Income from continuing operations

  $ 0.87             $ 0.90          

Income (loss) from discontinued operations

    -               (0.01 )        

Net income

  $ 0.87             $ 0.89          

 

In fiscal 2015, service revenues increased by 1.8% to a record $61.6 million from $60.5 million in fiscal 2014. However, our operating income declined to $12.1 million in fiscal 2015 from $12.5 million in fiscal 2014, primarily as a result of higher non-cash stock based compensation expense of $0.3 million and higher litigation costs of $0.4 million in fiscal 2015 as compared to fiscal 2014.

 

In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, service revenues declined by approximately $1.3 million, or 8%, and operating income declined by approximately $1.0 million, or 27%, as compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, due to lower revenues earned from the Baseball HOF coin program and a slower coin market, in general.

 

These, as well as other factors affecting out operating results, are described in more detail below. Also see “Factors that Can Affect our Operating Results and Financial Condition” above and “Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates- Stock-Based Compensation” and “Results of Operations” below.

 

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

 

General. In accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”), we record our assets at the lower of cost, net realizable value or fair value. In determining the fair value of certain of our assets, principally accounts receivable, inventories, goodwill, capitalized software and intangible assets, we must make judgments, estimates and assumptions regarding circumstances or trends that could affect the value of those assets, such as economic conditions or trends that could impact, e.g., our ability to fully collect our accounts receivable or realize the value of our inventories in future periods. Those judgments, estimates, and assumptions are based on current information available to us at that time. Many of these conditions, trends and circumstances on which our judgments or estimates are based; however, are outside of our control and, if changes were to occur in the events, trends or other circumstances on which our judgments or estimates were based, or other unanticipated events were to happen that might affect our operations, we may be required under GAAP to adjust our earlier estimates. Changes in such estimates may require that we reduce the carrying values of the affected assets on our balance sheet (which are commonly referred to as “write-downs” of the assets involved).

 

It is our practice to establish reserves, allowances, charges or losses to record such downward adjustments or write-downs in the carrying value of assets, such as, for example, accounts receivable and inventory. Such write-downs are recorded as charges to income or increases in expense in our statement of operations in the periods when those reserves, allowances, charges or losses are established or increased to take account of changed conditions or events. As a result, our judgments, estimates and assumptions about future events and changes in the conditions, events or trends upon which those estimates and judgments were made, can and will affect not only the amounts at which we record such assets on our balance sheet, but also our results of operations.

 

 
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The decisions as to the timing of adjustments or write-downs of this nature also require subjective evaluations or assessments and judgments about the effects and duration of events or changes in circumstances. For example, it is difficult to predict whether events or conditions, such as increases in interest rates or economic slowdowns, will have short or longer term consequences for our business, and it is not uncommon for it to take some time after the occurrence of an event or the onset of changes in economic circumstances for their full effects to be recognized. Therefore, management makes such estimates based upon the information available at that time and reevaluates and adjusts its reserves, allowances, charges or losses for potential write-downs on a quarterly basis.

 

We have acquired certain businesses and assets, and, in accordance with GAAP, we accounted for those acquisitions using the acquisition method of accounting. That accounting method required us to allocate amounts paid for those businesses in excess of the fair value of the assets acquired and the liabilities assumed, and to classify that excess as goodwill. In accordance with GAAP, we evaluate goodwill for impairment at least annually or more frequently if we believe that goodwill has been impaired in the interim due to changing facts or events (see “Goodwill” below). Other intangible assets that are separable from goodwill and have definite lives are subject to amortization over their remaining estimated useful lives (see “Long-Lived Assets Other Than Goodwill” below). Indefinite-lived intangible assets are not amortized and are subject to ongoing evaluation for impairment. Management formally evaluates the carrying value of its goodwill and other indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment on the anniversary date of each of the business acquisitions that gave rise to the recording of such assets. If it is determined, from any such impairment analysis, that the estimated fair value of any such assets has declined below their carrying values, it would become necessary for us to recognize an impairment charge that would have the effect of reducing our income in the period when that charge is recognized.

 

We also estimate losses associated with the disposal of a business or the sale of assets when a decision has been made to dispose of or discontinue such business or sell such assets. In accordance with GAAP, assets available for sale are stated at the lower of cost or their estimated net realizable value. In addition, the estimated fair value of liabilities for employee terminations is recognized as of the date such terminations are communicated to the affected employees, for lease obligations as of the date we cease using the real property or equipment subject to the lease.

 

In addition, we also make estimates with respect to the (i) valuation of stock-based compensation awards and the timing and recognition of related stock-based compensation expense and in particular, the timing and recognition of stock-based compensation expense associated with the Company’s Long-Term Incentive Plan, (ii) the amount and adequacy of warranty reserves, (iii) the provision for income taxes and related valuation allowances, (iv) the carrying value of capitalized software costs and (v) adjustments to the fair value of lease obligations of our discontinued operations.

 

In making our estimates and assumptions, we follow GAAP in order to make fair and consistent estimates of the fair value of assets and to establish adequate reserves, allowances, charges or losses for possible write-downs in the carrying values of our assets.

 

Set forth below is a summary of the accounting policies and critical estimates that we believe are material to an understanding of our financial condition and results of operations.

 

Revenue Recognition Policies. We generally record revenue at the time of shipment of the authenticated and graded collectible to the customer, net of any taxes collected. Due to the insignificant delay between the completion of our grading and authentication services and the shipment of the collectible or other high-value asset back to the customer, the time of shipment corresponds to the completion of our services. We recognize revenue from the sales of special inserts at the time the customer takes legal title to the insert. Many of our authentication and grading customers prepay our authentication and grading fees when they submit their collectibles to us for authentication and grading. We record those prepayments as deferred revenue until the collectibles have been authenticated and graded and shipped back to our customers. At that time, we record the revenues from the authentication and grading services we have performed for the customer and deduct this amount from deferred revenue. For certain dealers to whom we extend open account privileges, we record revenue at the time of shipment of the authenticated and graded collectible to the dealer.

 

 
32

 

 

A portion of our net revenues is comprised of subscription fees paid by customers for memberships in our Collectors Club. Those memberships entitle members access to our on-line and printed publications and, in some cases, include vouchers for free grading services. We recognize revenue attributable to free grading vouchers on a specific basis and classify such revenues as part of grading and authentication fees. The balance of the membership fee is recognized over the life of the membership.

 

In the case of our Expos trade show business, we recognize revenue generated by the promotion, management and operation of each of its collectibles conventions or trade shows in the fiscal period in which the convention or show takes place.

 

For PCGS’s CoinFacts and Certified Coin Exchange subscription revenues, we recognize revenue ratably over the relevant subscription period.

 

We also recognize the revenue from the sales of coins when they are shipped to the customer and all the requirements for revenue recognition have been satisfied. Such sales consist primarily of collectible coins that we have purchased pursuant to our coin authentication and grading warranty program and those sales are not considered an integral part of our ongoing revenue generating activities.

 

Accounts Receivable and the Allowance for Doubtful Accounts. In the normal course of our authentication and grading business, we extend payment terms to many of the larger, more creditworthy dealers who submit collectibles to us for authentication and grading on an ongoing basis. We regularly review our accounts receivable, we exercise judgment in estimating the amounts of, and establish an allowance for, uncollectible accounts in each quarterly period. The amount of that allowance is based on several factors, including the age and extent of significant past due accounts and known conditions or trends that may affect the ability of account debtors to pay their accounts receivable balances. Each quarter we review our estimates of uncollectible amounts and, if necessary, adjust the allowance to take account of changes in economic or other conditions or trends that we believe will have an adverse effect on the ability of any of our specific account debtors to pay their accounts in full. Since the allowance is increased by recording a charge against income that is reflected in general and administrative expenses, an increase in the allowance will cause an increase in such expenses. At June 30, 2015 and 2014, the allowance for doubtful accounts was $33,000, and $26,000, respectively.

 

Inventory Valuation Reserves. Our collectibles inventories, which consist of collectible coins that we have purchased pursuant to our coin warranty program and other consumable inventory related to our authentication and grading activities, are valued at the lower of cost or estimated fair value and have been reduced by an inventory valuation allowance to provide for potential declines in the value of those inventories below their carrying values. The amount of the allowance is determined and is periodically adjusted on the basis of market knowledge, historical experience and estimates concerning future economic conditions or trends that may impact the sales value of the collectibles inventories. Additionally, due to the relative uniqueness and special features of some of the coin collectibles included in our collectibles inventory and the volatility in the prices of precious metals, valuation of such collectibles often involves judgments that are more subjective than those that are required when determining the market values of more standardized products. As a result, we review the estimated market values of the collectibles in our inventory on a quarterly basis and make adjustments to the valuation reserve that we believe are necessary or prudent based on our judgments regarding these matters. In the event that a collectible is sold for a price below its carrying value, we record a charge to cost of services. In addition, we review our other consumable inventory on a regular basis for recoverability and, if considered necessary, establish reserves for those items that have no future value to us. At June 30, 2015 and 2014, inventories were $2,232,000 and $2,174,000, respectively, and inventory reserves were $613,000 and $286,000, respectively. See Note 5 to the Consolidated Financial Statements. If we liquidate collectible coins at amounts below their carrying value, we may incur losses in excess of our recorded inventory reserves.

 

 
33

 

 

Grading Warranty Costs. We offer a limited warranty covering the coins and trading cards that we authenticate and grade. Under the warranty, if such a collectible that was previously authenticated and graded by us is later submitted to us for re-grading and either (i) receives a lower grade upon re-submittal or (ii) is determined not to have been authentic, we will offer to purchase the collectible for a price equal to the value of collectible at its original grade, or, at the customer’s option, pay the difference between the value of the collectible at its original grade as compared with the value at its lower grade. However, this warranty is voided if the collectible, upon re-submittal to us, is not in the same tamper-resistant holder in which it was placed at the time we last graded the item or if we otherwise determine that the collectible had been altered after we had authenticated and graded it. If we purchase an item under a warranty claim, we recognize the difference in the value of the item at its original grade and its re-graded estimated value as a reduction in our warranty reserve. We include the purchased item in our inventory at the estimated value of the re-graded collectible, which will be lower than the price we paid to purchase the item. We accrue for estimated warranty costs based on historical trends and related experience, and we monitor the adequacy of our warranty reserve on an ongoing basis. There also are a number of factors that can cause the estimated values of the collectibles purchased under our warranty program to change over time and, as a result, we review the market values of those collectibles on a quarterly basis (see Inventory Valuation Reserves above). However, once we have classified such items as inventory and they have been held in inventory beyond the end of the fiscal quarter in which we purchased them, we classify any further losses in the estimated fair value of the items on a quarterly basis or the subsequent disposal of such items as part of the gain or loss on product sales and not as an adjustment to our warranty reserves. Effective July 1, 2014, the Company reduced its warranty accrual rate on coins and cards based upon a review of the overall level of warranty reserves and trends in warranty payments over an extended period of time. See Note 8 to the consolidated financial statements for activity in our warranty reserves. Our warranty reserves were $1,492,000 and $1,569,000 at June 30, 2015 and 2014, respectively.

 

Goodwill. We test the carrying value of goodwill and other indefinite-lived intangible assets at least annually on their respective acquisition anniversary dates, or more frequently if indicators of impairment are determined to exist. When testing for impairment, we consider qualitative factors, and where determined necessary by management, we proceed to the two-step goodwill impairment test. When applying the two-step impairment test, we apply a discounted cash flow model or an income approach to estimate the fair value of the reporting unit on a total basis, which is then compared to the carrying value of the reporting unit. If the fair value of the reporting unit exceeds the carrying value of the reporting unit, no impairment of goodwill exists as of the measurement date. If the fair value is less than the carrying value, then there is the possibility of goodwill impairment and further testing and re-measurement of goodwill is required.

 

During the first quarter ended September 30, 2014, we completed the annual goodwill impairment evaluations with respect to the goodwill acquired in our fiscal year 2006 purchases of CCE and CoinFacts. We assessed qualitative factors, including the significant excess of fair value over carrying value in prior years, and any material changes in the estimated cash flows of those reporting units, and determined that it was more likely than not that the respective fair values of CCE and CoinFacts exceeded their respective carrying values, including goodwill, and therefore it was not necessary to proceed to the two-step impairment test.

 

We completed our annual goodwill impairment evaluation with respect to Expos at June 30, 2015 and concluded that no impairment had occurred.

 

Long-Lived Assets Other Than Goodwill. We regularly conduct reviews of property and equipment and other long-lived assets other than goodwill, including certain identifiable intangibles, for possible impairment. Such reviews occur annually, or more frequently, if events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying amount of the asset may not be recoverable in full. In order to determine if the value of a definite-lived asset is impaired, we make an estimate of the future undiscounted cash flows expected to result from the use of that asset and its eventual disposition in order to determine if an impairment loss has occurred. If the projected undiscounted cash flows are less than the carrying amount of the asset, an impairment loss is recorded to write-down the asset to its estimated fair value.

 

Stock-Based Compensation.   Stock-based compensation expense is measured at the grant date fair value of the equity award, and is recognized as expense over the employee’s or non-employee director’s requisite service period, which is generally the vesting period of the award. However, if the vesting of a stock-based compensation award is subject to satisfaction of a performance requirement or condition, stock-based compensation expense is recognized if, and when, management determines that the achievement of the performance requirement or condition (and therefore the vesting of the award) has become probable. If stock-based compensation is recognized due to a determination that a performance condition is probable, and it is subsequently determined that the performance condition was not met in the expected vesting period, then if the shares can vest in future periods, management will refine the period over which the remaining expense would be recognized. If the shares fail to vest, or managements concludes that it is not probable the shares will vest, then all expense previously recognized with respect to the performance condition would be reversed.

 

We recognized stock-based compensation expense for service-based stock option awards using the Black-Scholes option pricing model. No options were granted in fiscal years 2013 through 2015, and all options previously granted had become fully vested, and had been fully expensed, by June 30, 2012.

 

 
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Restricted Shares

 

Annual Director Grants. In each of fiscal years 2015, 2014, and 2013 each of our six outside directors was granted restricted service-based stock with a grant date fair value of $40,000, for a total of fair value of $240,000 in each year.

 

Other Service-Based Awards. In fiscal year 2015, 2014 and 2013, the Company granted 4,000, 11,300 and 62,500 service based restricted shares, respectively, with grant date fair values of $86,000, $224,000 and $824,000 respectively, and vesting periods ranging from three to four years. Stock based compensation expense for those shares is being recognized over the respective vesting period.

 

Fiscal 2013 Long-Term Performance-Based Equity Incentive Program. As previously disclosed, on December 28, 2012, the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors adopted a Long-Term Performance-Based Equity Incentive Program (“LTIP”) for the Company’s executive officers (including the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Deuster, and the Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Wallace) and certain other key management employees (collectively, “Participants”). As of June 30, 2014 there were 523,378 restricted shares outstanding under the LTIP, (including 200,000 shares for Mr. Deuster and 75,000 for Mr. Wallace), with a total grant date fair value of approximately $6,700,000.

 

The vesting of the restricted shares is conditioned on the Company’s achievement of increasing annual operating income before stock-based compensation (“OI”) levels during any fiscal year within a six-year period through the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018, as indicated in the following table:

 

 

 

Cumulative Percent of

Shares Vested

 

If in any fiscal year during the term of the Program:

   

The Threshold Performance Goal is Achieved

10%

 

Intermediate Performance Goal #1 is Achieved

25%

 

Intermediate Performance Goal #2 is Achieved

45%

 

Intermediate Performance Goal #3 is Achieved

70%

 

The Maximum Performance Goal is Achieved

100%

 

 

Upon a determination that a performance goal or goals have been achieved for a fiscal year, 50% of the shares related to achieving that performance goal or goals will vest immediately and the remaining 50% will vest on June 30 of the following fiscal year, provided that the Participant is still in the service of the Company.

 

If performance goals are not achieved during the term of the Program, all of the restricted shares attributed to those performance goals that have not been achieved, will be forfeited effective June 30, 2018.

 

Based on the level of OI achieved in fiscal 2014, a determination was made that the Company had achieved the Threshold Performance Goal and the Intermediate Performance Goal #1 and therefore in accordance with the terms of the LTIP 25% of the LTIP shares had become vested through June 30, 2015 and expense of $1,670,000 has been recognized related to those performance goals.

 

 
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In November 2014, an additional 18,957 performance-based restricted shares with similar terms as the other LTIP shares and a grant date fair value of $400,000 were issued, with a service inception date of November 19, 2014. The vesting of those shares is conditioned on the Company’s achievement of the same levels of OI before stock based compensation as the LTIP participants through June 30, 2018, as indicated in the following table:

 

 

Cumulative

Percent of Shares Vesting

 

If in any fiscal year during the term of the Program:

   

Intermediate Performance Goal #2 is Achieved

20%

 

Intermediate Performance Goal #3 is Achieved

45%

 

The Maximum Performance Goal is Achieved

100%

 

 

At September 30, 2014, based on the significantly improved level of OI in the first quarter of fiscal 2015 compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2014, we concluded that it was probable that the Company would achieve Intermediate Performance Goal #2 by June 30, 2015 and therefore the Company began accruing stock-based compensation expense for that performance goal in the first and subsequent quarters of fiscal 2015. However, based on the actual OI achieved in fiscal 2015, we did not achieve Intermediate Performance Goal #2 in fiscal 2015. Nevertheless, we still consider that it is probable that we will achieve that goal prior to the expiration of the Company’s LTIP in fiscal 2018. Therefore, we will accrue the remaining stock-based compensation expense for Performance Goal #2 on a prospective basis, through the expected later vesting date.

 

At this time it is not considered probable that the Company will achieve additional Performance Goals beyond Performance Goal #2 in fiscal 2016 or future periods. Management will continue to reassess at each reporting date whether it has become probable that any additional shares will vest and if so, additional stock-based compensation expense will be recognized based on the expected vesting period.

 

The Company recognized total stock-based compensation related to both service-based and performance-based restricted shares of $2,239,000, $1,946,000, and $831,000, for fiscal years ended June 30, 2015, 2014, and 2013, respectively. The increase in stock-based compensation expense in fiscal 2015 was primarily due to higher LTIP related expenses recognized in fiscal 2015 as compared to 2014.

 

Capitalized Software. In fiscal years 2015, 2014 and 2013, we capitalized approximately $441,000, $191,000, and $28,000, respectively, of software development costs related to a number of in-house software development projects. GAAP requires that certain software development costs incurred, either from internal or external sources, be capitalized as part of intangible assets and amortized on a straight-line basis over the useful life of the software, which we have estimated at three years. On the other hand, planning, training, support and maintenance costs incurred either prior to or following the implementation phase of a software development project are recognized as expense in the periods in which they are incurred. During the fiscal years ended June 30, 2015, 2014 and 2013, we recorded approximately $122,000, $115,000, and $104,000, respectively, as amortization expense related to such capitalized software projects.

 

We evaluate the carrying values of capitalized software to determine whether those values are impaired and, if necessary, we record an impairment charge in the period in which we determine that an impairment has occurred.

 

Income Taxes, Deferred Tax Assets and Valuation Allowances. We account for income taxes in accordance with GAAP, which requires the recording of deferred tax assets and liabilities for the future consequences of events that have been recognized in the Company’s financial statements or tax returns or uncertain tax positions. Measurement of the deferred items is based on enacted tax laws. In the event the future consequences of differences between financial reporting bases and tax bases of the Company’s assets or liabilities result in a deferred tax asset, GAAP requires that we evaluate the probability of realizing the future income tax benefits comprising that asset based on a number of factors, which include projections of future taxable income and the nature of the tax benefits and the respective expiration dates of tax credits and net operating losses.

 

In fiscal 2015, 2014 and 2013, the Company recognized income tax provisions of $4.7 million, $5.1 million, and $3.8 million, respectively.

 

 
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Accrual for Losses on Facility Leases. As a result of the discontinuance of and our exit from the jewelry authentication and grading businesses in fiscal 2009, we ceased the occupancy of facilities we had leased for their operations and established estimated loss accruals for liabilities under those leases. At June 30, 2015 and 2014, our remaining obligations in respect of those facilities totaled $1,233,000 and $1,795,000, respectively. We will continue to review and, if necessary, make adjustments to these accruals on a quarterly basis.

 

Results of Operations

 

The following table sets forth certain financial data, expressed as a percentage of net revenues, derived from our Consolidated Statements of Operations for the respective periods indicated below:

 

   

Fiscal Year Ended June 30,

 
   

2015

   

2014

   

2013

 

Net revenues

    100.0 %     100.0 %     100.0 %

Cost of revenues

    37.4 %     37.4 %     38.8 %

Gross profit

    62.6 %     62.6 %     61.2 %

Operating expenses:

                       

Selling and marketing expenses

    14.4 %     15.0 %     15.1 %

General & administrative expenses

    28.6 %     27.0 %     26.8 %

Total operating expenses

    43.0 %     42.0 %     41.9 %

Operating income

    19.6 %     20.6 %     19.3 %

Interest and other income, net

    -       0.1 %     0.2 %

Income before provision for income taxes

    19.6 %     20.7 %     19.5 %

Provision for income taxes

    7.6 %     8.4 %     7.7 %

Income from continuing operations

    12.0 %     12.3 %     11.8 %

Income (loss) from discontinued operations

    -       (0.2 )%     (0.1 )%

Net income

    12.0 %     12.1 %     11.7 %

 

Net Revenues. Net revenues consist primarily of fees that we generate from the authentication and grading of high-value collectibles, including coins, trading cards and autographs, including related special inserts, if applicable. To a lesser extent, we generate collectibles related service revenues (which we refer to as “other related revenues”) from advertising and commissions earned on our websites and in printed publications and collectibles price guides; subscription/membership revenues related to our CCE (dealer-to-dealer Internet bid-ask market for certified coins), CoinFacts and Collectors Club; and fees earned from promoting, managing and operating collectibles conventions. Net revenues also include, to a significantly lesser extent, revenues from the sales of products, which consist primarily of coins that we purchase under our warranty policy. We do not consider such product sales to be an integral part of our ongoing revenue generating activities.

 

The following tables set forth the total net revenues for the fiscal years ended June 30, 2015, 2014 and 2013 between authentication and grading services revenues, other related services and product sales revenues:

 

                                   

2015 vs. 2014

 
   

2015

   

2014

   

Increase (Decrease)

 
   

Amount

   

% of Net

Revenues

   

Amount

   

% of Net

Revenues

   

Amount

   

Percent

 

Authentication and grading fees

  $ 53,132       86.1 %   $ 51,903       85.7 %   $ 1,229       2.4 %

Other related services

    8,420       13.7 %     8,565       14.1 %     (145 )     (1.7% )

Total service revenues

    61,552       99.8 %     60,468       99.8 %     1,084       1.8 %

Coin sales

    132       0.2 %     103       0.2 %     29       28.2 %

Total net revenues

  $ 61,684       100.0 %   $ 60,571       100.0 %   $ 1,113       1.8 %

 

 
37

 

 

                                   

2014 vs. 2013

 
   

2014

   

2013

   

Increase (Decrease)

 
   

Amount

   

% of Net

Revenues

   

Amount

   

% of Net
Revenues

   

Amount

   

Percent

 

Authentication and grading fees

  $ 51,903       85.7 %   $ 39,971       81.4 %   $ 11,932       29.9 %

Other related services

    8,565       14.1 %     8,536       17.4 %     29       0.3 %

Total service revenues

    60,468       99.8 %     48,507       98.8 %   $ 11,961       24.7 %

Coin sales

    103       0.2 %     583       1.2 %     (480 )     (82.3 )%

Total net revenues

  $ 60,571       100.0 %   $ 49,090       100.0 %   $ 11,481       23.4 %

 


 

The following tables set forth certain information regarding the increases or decreases in net revenues from our larger markets (which are inclusive of revenues from our other related services) and in the number of units authenticated and graded (in thousands):

 

                                   

2015 vs. 2014

 
   

2015

   

2014

   

Increase (Decrease)

 
           

% of Net

           

% of Net

   

Revenues

   

Units Processed

 
   

Amount

   

Revenues

   

Amount

   

Revenues

   

Amounts

   

Percent

   

Number

   

Percent

 

Coins

  $ 42,060       68.2 %   $ 41,997       69.3 %   $ 63       0.2 %     (8,000 )     (0.4% )

Cards and Autographs(1)

    14,925       24.2 %     14,090       23.3 %     835       5.9 %     13,800       0.8 %

Other (2)

    4,567       7.4 %     4,381       7.2 %     186       4.2 %     -       -  

Coin sales

    132       0.2 %     103       0.2 %     29       28.2 %     -       -  
    $ 61,684       100.0 %   $ 60,571       100.0 %   $ 1,113       1.8 %     5,800       0.2 %

 

 

                                   

2014 vs. 2013

 
   

2014

   

2013

   

Increase (Decrease)

 
           

% of Net

           

% of Net

   

Revenues

   

Units Processed

 
   

Amount

   

Revenues

   

Amount

   

Revenues

   

Amounts

   

Percent

   

Number

   

Percent

 

Coins

  $ 41,997       69.3 %   $ 31,561       64.3 %   $ 10,436       33.1 %     313,600       17.8 %

Cards and Autographs(1)

    14,090       23.3 %     12,462       25.4 %     1,628       13.1 %     148,900       9.7 %

Other (2)

    4,381       7.2 %     4,484       9.1 %     (103 )     (2.3 )%     -       -  

Coin Sales

    103       0.2 %     583       1.2 %     (480 )     (82.3 )%     -       -  
    $ 60,571       100.0 %   $ 49,090       100.0 %   $ 11,481       23.4 %     462,500       14.0 %

 


 

(1)

Consists of revenues from our PSA trading card authentication and grading business and our PSA/DNA autograph authentication and grading business.

 

(2)

Includes the revenues of our CCE subscription business, Coinflation.com and the Expos trade show and convention business.

 

Fiscal 2015 vs. 2014. Total service revenues of $61,552,000 in fiscal 2015, represented a record for the Company and increased by $1,084,000 or 1.8% over total service revenues of $60,468,000 in fiscal 2014.

 

Authentication and grading fees increased by $1,229,000 or 2.4% in fiscal 2015 as compared to fiscal 2014 and comprised increases of $892,000 or 7.0% in cards and autographs and $337,000 or 0.9% in coins. Other related services declined by $145,000, or 1.7%, due to lower advertising and affiliate program revenues in fiscal 2015 as compared to fiscal 2014.

 

The $337,000 increase in our coin authentication and grading fees in fiscal 2015, was comprised of increases in (i) vintage fees of $1,015,000 or 8.7% (ii) modern fees of $286,000 or 1.9% and (iii) world fees of $173,000 or 3.3% substantially but not entirely offset by a decrease in show fees of $1,137,000 or 15.2%. The decrease in show fees in fiscal 2015 was due to us earning lower average authentication and grading fees on a per show basis, primarily, due to two larger customers submitting fewer coins at shows in fiscal 2015 as compared to fiscal 2014.

 

Coin fees in fiscal 2015 benefited from revenues of approximately $3,500,000 earned from the Baseball Hall of Fame (“HOF”) and Kennedy anniversary coins programs as compared to approximately $1,400,000 in fiscal 2014, as the HOF program only began generating revenue in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014.

 

 
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Despite the increase of $337,000 in coin authentication fees in fiscal 2015 discussed above, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, coin authentication and grading fees declined by $1,458,000 or 13.3% as compared to the same quarter of fiscal 2014. That decline in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 was due to reductions, in modern coin fees of $1,010,000, primarily due to less revenue earned from the HOF coin program and vintage fees of $400,000, in part due to the absence of submissions from one larger customer.

 

As discussed above under “Factors That Can Affect our Revenues” the level of modern coin and trade show revenues can be volatile.

 

Cards and autographs service revenues increased $835,000 or 5.9% to $14,925,000 in fiscal 2015 which included a fourth quarter revenue increase of 4.0%, representing the twentieth quarter of quarter-over-quarter revenue growth in that business.

 

As previously discussed in our third quarter of fiscal 2015 10Q filing, through the first two quarters of fiscal 2015, the Company had generated eight quarters of quarter-over-quarter consolidated revenue growth. Although, we experienced declines in revenues in the third and fourth quarters of fiscal 2015, as compared to the record revenues generated in the corresponding periods of fiscal 2014, revenues generated in the third and fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 represented the second highest revenues generated by the Company in any previous third and fourth quarter periods. We generated record first and second quarter revenues, in the first half of fiscal 2015, and, therefore, it remains uncertain as to the level of revenue growth, if any, that the Company will be able to achieve in the first half of fiscal 2016 and we could experience a decline in revenues during that period.

 

Our coin revenues represented approximately 68% of total service revenues in fiscal 2015, and reflects our continued dependence on and the importance of our coin authentication and grading business to our overall financial performance.

 

Fiscal 2014 vs. 2013. Total service revenues of $60,468,000 for fiscal 2014 were at the time, a record level for the Company and represented an increase of $11,961,000 or 24.7% over 2013.

 

Authentication and grading fees increased by $11,932,000, or 29.9%, in fiscal 2014 as compared to fiscal 2013, and included an increase of 14.0% in the number of units authenticated and graded and an increase in the average service fee earned.

 

The $10,436,000, or 33.1%, increase in coin service revenues in fiscal 2014 reflected favorable market conditions in the U.S. coin market that began in the second half of fiscal 2013 and higher coins revenues earned at our overseas operations, due primarily to the launch of our operations in Shanghai. In fiscal 2014, modern coin authentication and grading fees increased by $4,774,000, or 47.6%, vintage fees increased by $1,994,000, or 20.6%, world coin fees increased by $1,829,000, or 54.8%, and trade show coin fees increased by $1,802,000, or 31.8%, in each case as compared to fiscal 2013.

 

The $1,628,000, or 13.1%, increase in revenues in our cards and autographs business in fiscal 2014 compared to fiscal 2013, represented at that time record revenues for that business and included a 9.3% increase in revenues in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 as compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013.

 

We earned record service revenues of $16,512,000 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, as we benefited from revenues of approximately $1.4 million, generated from the April 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame coin program.

 

Gross Profit

 

Gross profit is calculated by subtracting the cost of revenues from net revenues. Gross profit margin is gross profit stated as a percent of net revenues. The costs of authentication and grading revenues consist primarily of labor to authenticate and grade collectibles, production costs, credit card fees, warranty expense, occupancy, security and insurance costs that directly relate to providing authentication and grading services. Cost of revenues also includes printing, other direct costs of the revenues generated by our other non-grading related services and the costs of product revenues (which represent the carrying value of the inventory of products, which are primarily collectible coins that we sold and any inventory-related reserves, considered necessary).

 

 
39

 

 

Set forth below is information regarding our gross profits in the fiscal years ended June 30, 2015, 2014 and 2013:

 

   

Fiscal Year Ended June 30,

 
   

2015

   

2014

   

2013

 

Gross profit services

    62.8 %     62.7 %     61.9 %

Gross profit product sales

    (15.2% )     (18.4 )%     2.1 %

Total

    62.6 %     62.6 %     61.2 %

 

Fiscal 2015 vs. 2014. Our services gross profit margin at 62.8% in fiscal 2015 was consistent with the 62.7% earned in fiscal 2014. There can be some period-to-period variability in the services gross profit margin depending on the mix of revenues and coin programs in any quarter and the seasonality of our businesses. During the three years ended June 30, 2015, our quarterly services gross profit margin varied between 59% and 64%. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, our services gross profit margin was 59.3% as compared to 63.7% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, reflecting lower margins on special HOF coin inserts and a lower average service fees earned for coins in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015.

 

Fiscal 2014 vs. 2013. As indicated in the above table, our services gross profit margin was 62.7% in fiscal 2014 compared with 61.9% in fiscal 2013. That improved gross profit margin reflected higher gross profit margin earned in our coin business due to the higher revenues in fiscal 2014.

 

Selling and Marketing Expenses

 

Selling and marketing expenses are comprised primarily of advertising and promotions costs, trade-show expenses, customer service personnel costs, business development incentive compensation costs, depreciation and third-party consulting costs (in thousands):

 

   

Fiscal Year Ended June 30,

 
   

2015

   

2014

   

2013

 

Selling and marketing expenses

  $ 8,896     $ 9,106     $ 7,407  

As a percentage of net revenues

    14.4 %     15.0 %     15.1 %

 

Fiscal 2015 vs. 2014. Sales and marketing expenses represented 14.4% of net revenues, in fiscal 2015 as compared to 15.0% of net revenues in fiscal 2014. The $210,000 reduction in selling and marketing expenses in fiscal 2015, primarily reflects reductions in sales and marketing personnel at our overseas offices and travel related costs, incurred for our overseas grading events in fiscal 2015 as compared to fiscal 2014.

 

Fiscal 2014 vs. 2013. Selling and marketing expenses represented 15.0% and 15.1% of revenues in fiscal 2014 and 2013, respectively. The increase in selling and marketing expenses of $1,699,000 in fiscal 2014 compared to fiscal 2013, was primarily attributable to costs associated with our coin business and included general marketing costs to support the growth of that business, including (i) our new operation in mainland China, which incurred an additional $863,000 of expenses in its first full year of operation and (ii) increased business development cost incentives of $464,000 arising from higher coin service revenues and improved coin operating results in fiscal 2014. In addition, our card and autographs businesses incurred higher trade show costs of $118,000 in fiscal 2014 compared to fiscal 2013, due to higher costs incurred at certain key shows.

 

General and Administrative Expenses 

 

General and administrative (“G&A”) expenses are comprised primarily of compensation paid to general and administrative personnel, including executive management, finance and accounting personnel and information technology personnel, facilities management costs, depreciation, amortization and other miscellaneous expenses. G&A expenses also include stock-based compensation costs, arising from the grant of stock awards to general and administrative personnel and outside directors.

 

 
40

 

 

The following table sets forth G&A expenses that we incurred in fiscal 2015, 2014 and 2013 (in thousands):

 

   

Fiscal Year Ended June 30,

 
   

2015

   

2014