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Table of Contents

 

UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

Form 10-K

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

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021

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 000-50350

_

NETGEAR, Inc.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware

77-0419172

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

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

350 East Plumeria Drive,

95134

San Jose, California

(Zip Code)

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code

(408) 907-8000

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

 

Title of each class

 

Trading symbol(s):

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, $0.001 par value

 

NTGR

 

The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC

 

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 every Interactive Data File required to be submitted 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 such files). Yes    No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See definition of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company”, and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

Smaller reporting company

 

 

Emerging growth company

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.   ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.  

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

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the Registrant as of June 27, 2021 was approximately $1.15 billion. Such aggregate market value was computed by reference to the closing price of the common stock as reported on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on June 25, 2021 (the last business day of the Registrant’s most recently completed fiscal second quarter). Shares of common stock held by each executive officer and director have been excluded in that such persons may be deemed to be affiliates. The determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.

The number of outstanding shares of the registrant’s Common Stock, $0.001 par value, was 29,360,520 shares as of February 11, 2022.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the Proxy Statement for the Registrant’s 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K.

 

 


Table of Contents

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

PART I

 

Item 1.

Business

3

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

16

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

46

Item 2.

Properties

46

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

46

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

46

 

PART II

 

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

47

Item 6.

[Reserved]

49

Item 7.

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

50

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

63

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

64

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

108

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

108

Item 9B.

Other Information

108

Item 9C.

Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections

108

 

PART III

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

109

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

109

Item 12.

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

109

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

109

Item 14.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

109

 

PART IV

 

Item 15.

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

110

Item 16.

Form 10-K Summary

114

Signatures

 

115

 

 

 

 


Table of Contents

 

 

PART I

This Annual Report on Form 10-K (“Form 10-K”), including Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in Part II, Item 7 below, includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this Form 10-K, including statements regarding our future financial position, business strategy and plans and objectives of management for future operations, are forward-looking statements. The words “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “should,” “plan,” “expect” and similar expressions, as they relate to us, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions described in “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A below, and elsewhere in this Form 10-K, including, among other things: future demand for our products may be lower than anticipated; consumers may choose not to adopt our new product offerings or adopt competing products; the actual price, performance and ease of use of our products may not meet the price, performance and ease of use requirements of consumers; our dependence on certain significant customers; our reliance on a limited number of third-party suppliers and manufacturers; new cyber threats may challenge the effectiveness or threaten the security of our products; and our business strategies and development plans may not be successful. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this Form 10-K may not occur and actual results could differ materially from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements in this Form 10-K are based on information available to us as of the date hereof, such information may be limited or incomplete, and we assume no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. These statements are inherently uncertain and investors are cautioned not to unduly rely upon these statements. The following discussion should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes contained in this Form 10-K.

 

Risk Factors Summary

 

The following is a summary of some of the risks and uncertainties as of the date of the filing of this Annual Report on Form 10-K that could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. You should read this summary together with the more detailed description of each risk factor contained below.

 

Risks Related to our Business, Industry and Operations

 

 

If disruptions in our transportation network occur or our shipping costs substantially increase, we may be unable to sell or timely deliver our products, and our gross margin could decrease.

 

We obtain several key components from limited or sole sources.

 

If we do not effectively manage our sales channel inventory and product mix, we may incur costs associated with excess inventory, or lose sales from having too few products.

 

We depend on a limited number of third-party manufacturers for substantially all of our manufacturing needs.

 

We rely on a limited number of traditional and online retailers, wholesale distributors and service provider customers for a substantial portion of our sales, and our net revenue could decline if they refuse to pay our requested prices or reduce their level of purchases, if there are unforeseen disruptions in their businesses, or if there is significant consolidation in our customer base that results in fewer customers for our products.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

 

We expect our operating results to fluctuate on a quarterly and annual basis, which could cause our stock price to fluctuate or decline.

 

Some of our competitors have substantially greater resources than we do, and to be competitive we may be required to lower our prices or increase our sales and marketing expenses.

 

If we fail to continue to introduce or acquire new products and services that achieve broad market acceptance on a timely basis, we will not be able to compete effectively.

 

We depend substantially on our sales channels, and our failure to maintain and expand our sales channels would result in lower sales and reduced net revenue.

1


Table of Contents

 

 

Changes in trade policy in the United States and other countries, including the imposition of tariffs and the resulting consequences, may adversely impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

We depend on large, recurring purchases from certain significant customers, and a loss, cancellation or delay in purchases by these customers could negatively affect our revenue.

 

If we fail to overcome the challenges associated with managing our broadband service provider sales channel, our net revenue and gross profit will be negatively impacted.

 

The average selling prices of our products typically decrease rapidly over the sales cycle of the product, which may negatively affect our net revenue and gross margins.

 

Our sales and operations in international markets expose us to operational, financial and regulatory risks.

 

As part of growing our business, we have made and expect to continue to make acquisitions. If we fail to successfully select, execute or integrate our acquisitions, then our business and operating results could be harmed and our stock price could decline.

 

We invest in companies, but may not realize a return on our investments.

 

Expansion of our operations and infrastructure may strain our operations and increase our operating expenses.

Risks Related to Our Products, Technology and Intellectual Property

 

Product security vulnerabilities, system security risks, data protection breaches and cyber-attacks could disrupt our products, services, internal operations or information technology systems, and any such disruption could increase our expenses, damage our reputation, harm our business and adversely affect our stock price.

 

We rely upon third parties for technology that is critical to our products, and if we are unable to continue to use this technology and future technology, our ability to develop, sell, maintain and support technologically innovative products would be limited.

 

We have been and will be investing increased additional in-house resources on software research and development, which could disrupt our ongoing business and present distinct risks from our historically hardware-centric business.

 

If our products contain defects or errors, we could incur significant unexpected expenses, experience product returns and lost sales, experience product recalls, suffer damage to our brand and reputation, and be subject to product liability or other claims.

 

Our user growth, engagement, and monetization of our subscription services on mobile devices depend upon effective operation with mobile operating systems, networks, technologies, products, and standards that we do not control.

 

If we are unable to secure and protect our intellectual property rights, our ability to compete could be harmed.

Financial, Legal, Regulatory and Tax Compliance Risks

 

Changes in tax laws or exposure to additional income tax liabilities could affect our future profitability.

 

We are currently involved in numerous litigation matters and may in the future become involved in additional litigation.

 

We are exposed to adverse currency exchange rate fluctuations.

 

We could incur significant liability if the distribution of Arlo shares to our stockholders is determined to be a taxable transaction.

 

We must comply with indirect tax laws in multiple jurisdictions, as well as complex customs duty regimes worldwide. Audits of our compliance with these rules may result in additional liabilities for taxes, duties, interest and penalties related to our international operations which would reduce our profitability.

 

We are subject to, and must remain in compliance with, numerous laws and governmental regulations.

 

We are exposed to the credit risk of some of our customers and to credit exposures in weakened markets.

 

If our goodwill and intangible assets become impaired we may be required to record a significant charge to earnings.

 

General Risk Factors

 

Global economic conditions could materially adversely affect our revenue and results of operations.

 

If we lose the services of our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Patrick C.S. Lo, or our other key personnel, we may not be able to execute our business strategy effectively.

2


Table of Contents

 

 

Political events, war, terrorism, public health issues, natural disasters, sudden changes in trade and immigration policies, and other circumstances could materially adversely affect us.

 

We are required to evaluate our internal controls under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and any adverse results from such evaluation, including restatements of our issued financial statements, could impact investor confidence in the reliability of our internal controls over financial reporting.

 

Our stock price may be volatile and your investment in our common stock could suffer a decline in value.

 

            Additional factors that could affect our businesses, results of operations and financial condition are discussed in Forward-Looking Statements in MD&A. However, other factors not discussed below or elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K could also adversely affect our businesses, results of operations and financial condition. Therefore, the risk factors below should not be considered a complete list of potential risks that we may face.

 

          Any risk factor described in this Annual Report on Form 10-K or in any of our other SEC filings could by itself, or together with other factors, materially adversely affect our liquidity, competitive position, business, reputation, results of operations, capital position or financial condition, including by materially increasing our expenses or decreasing our revenues, which could result in material losses.

Item 1.

Business

General

We are a global company that turns ideas into innovative, high-performance and premium networking products that connect people, power businesses and service providers, and advance the way people live. We operate and report in two segments: Connected Home, and Small and Medium Business (“SMB”). The Connected Home segment focuses on consumers and provides high-performance, dependable and easy-to-use WiFi internet networking solutions such as WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E Tri-band and Quad-band mesh systems, routers, 4G/5G mobile products, smart devices such as Meural digital canvasses, and subscription services that provide consumers a range of value- added benefits focused on performance, security, privacy and premium support. The SMB segment focuses on small and medium sized businesses and provides solutions for business networking, wireless local area network (“LAN”), audio and video over Ethernet for Pro AV applications, security, and remote management providing enterprise-class functionality at an affordable price. We conduct business across three geographic territories: Americas; Europe, Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”); and Asia Pacific (“APAC”).

In the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020, and 2019, we generated net revenue of $1.17 billion, $1.26 billion, and $998.8 million, respectively.

COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have widespread, rapidly evolving and unpredictable impacts on global economies, supply chains, workforce participation, inflation, and has created significant volatility and disruption in financial markets. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a considerable shift in our business while increasing uncertainty. We have experienced an increase in demand for our products relative to pre-pandemic levels as consumers and businesses seek flexible networking solutions for their day-to-day needs. As a result of the ongoing pandemic, our supply chain partners are limited by production capacity, and constrained by material availability, factory uptime and freight capacity, resulting in elongated lead times for some of our key components, impeding our ability to accurately forecast and to capitalize fully on end market demand. As the pandemic continues to disrupt the global business environment, it impacts our ability to fulfill SMB product demand and limits the availability of certain Connected Home products. In 2021, we experienced meaningful increases in costs for sea freight transportation, as well as costs of materials and components for our products. We expect these costs to remain elevated for the foreseeable future, with sea freight transportation costs starting to come down from current highs in the second half of 2022.

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Markets

Our mission is to be the innovative leader in connecting the world to the internet by providing advanced, high-performance and premium networking technologies and internet-connected products for consumers, businesses and service providers. There are a number of factors that are driving today’s demand for products within these markets. The ever-growing number of internet-connected devices, such as smart phones, TVs, laptops, tablets, smart-home devices, and other Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices has increased the need for more robust networking solutions. As consumer behavior shifts to more content and video streaming, online gaming, online shopping, work-, fitness- and schooling-from-home, the demand for high-performance, dependable and secure WiFi continues to increase. Rising cyber security threats and attacks continue to propel the need for devices connected to the network to be free from vulnerability, leading to an increase in the demand for our security and privacy services. The demand for more convenience, greater speed, expanded coverage range, security and reliability of an in-home WiFi network, as well as mobile cellular networks, have become a greater priority for households and businesses.

Over the last decade, technology transformation has driven a need for constant connectivity. Consumers, small businesses and service providers demand networking products, incorporating the latest technology, that fit their specific needs and budgets. In particular, high income consumers with large numbers of connected devices and fast broadband subscriptions are investing in premium home WiFi solutions, such as our Orbi WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E Tri-band and Quad-band Mesh products. While there is always a need for point solutions that enhance or extend the functionality provided by internet service providers, there is also a growing demand for premium WiFi devices and networks that combine the newest WiFi standards with elegant design and a seamless app experience to accommodate the end-to-end networking needs of homes that are becoming increasingly smarter. End users desiring faster WiFi speeds, capacity for more devices and lower latency than ever before also often lack the technical skills or resources to fully realize these capabilities, making “plug and play” setup and ease of use priorities. Consumers and businesses also prefer the convenience of obtaining networking solutions from a single company and a positive customer experience has shown to produce brand loyalty. We recognize that customers see reliability, usability, security and performance as key factors when purchasing products and services. To provide desirable products and services at attractive prices, we focus on the unique requirements of these markets, and exercise strong operational discipline.

Sales Channels

We sell our products through multiple sales channels worldwide, including wholesale distributors, traditional and online retailers, direct market resellers (“DMRs”), value-added resellers (“VARs”), broadband service providers and through our direct online store at www.netgear.com.

Wholesale Distributors. Our distribution channel supplies our products to retailers, e-commerce resellers, DMRs, VARs and broadband service providers. We sell directly to our distributors, the largest of which are Ingram Micro, Inc., TD Synnex, and D&H Distributing Company.

Retailers. Our retail channel primarily supplies products that are sold into the consumer market. However, increasingly we are seeing products designed for small and medium-sized businesses move through these channels. We sell directly to, or enter into consignment arrangements with, a number of our traditional retailers, increasingly leveraging their online presence in addition to their in-store space and online retailers. The remaining traditional retailers, as well as our online retailers, are fulfilled through wholesale distributors. We work directly with our retail channels on market development activities, such as co-advertising, online promotions and video demonstrations, instant rebate programs, event sponsorship and sales associate training. Our largest retailers include Amazon.com, Inc., Best Buy Co., Inc., Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Costco Wholesale and their respective affiliates.

DMRs and VARs. We sell into the business marketplace through an extensive network of DMRs and VARs. Our DMRs include companies such as CDW Corporation and Insight Corporation. VARs include our network of registered NETGEAR Solution Partners. DMRs and VARs may receive sales incentives, marketing support and other program benefits from us. Our DMRs and VARs generally purchase our products through our wholesale distributors.

Broadband Service Providers. We also supply directly to broadband service providers in the United States and internationally providing DSL, WiFi and 4G/5G mobile broadband products. Service providers supply our products to their business and home subscribers. Our largest broadband service providers include AT&T and Telstra.

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Direct Online Store. We sell directly online at www.netgear.com in the United States and internationally to consumers and businesses. Through our direct online store, we provide high-performance and premium networking and internet connected products and subscription services, some of which are only available at www.netgear.com.

The largest portion of our net revenues was derived from the Americas, representing approximately 67% and 72% of net revenue in the years ended December 31, 2021, and 2020, respectively. We have continuously committed resources to our international operations and sales channels. Accordingly, we are subject to a number of risks related to international operations such as macroeconomic and microeconomic conditions, geopolitical instability, governmental regulations, preference for locally branded products, exchange rate fluctuations, increased difficulty in managing inventory, challenges of staffing and managing foreign operations, the effect of international sales on our tax structure, and changes in local tax laws. For further information regarding these risks, refer to Item 1A, Risk Factors, of Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

For information regarding our significant customers, refer to Note 11, Segment Information, in Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of Part II of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Product Offerings

Our products are designed to simplify and improve people’s lives. Our goal is to enable people to collaborate and connect to a world of information and entertainment at or outside of the home. We are dedicated to delivering innovative and advanced connected solutions ranging from easy-to-use premium WiFi solutions, performance gaming routers to enhance console and online game play, security and support services to protect and enhance home networks, to switching and wireless solutions to augment business networks and audio and video over Ethernet for Pro AV applications. Our products are built on a variety of technologies such as wireless (WiFi and 4G/5G mobile), Ethernet and powerline, with a focus on reliability and ease-of-use. Our product line consists of devices that create and extend wired and wireless networks, devices that connect to the network, such as smart digital canvasses, as well as services that complement and enhance our product line offerings. These products are available in multiple configurations to address the changing needs of our customers in each geographic region in which our products are sold.

Smart Home / Connected Home / Broadband Access. Includes products that create and extend wired and wireless networks in homes and small businesses to connect devices to the internet, enable connection to broadband networks and a suite of value-added services enhancing such networks. These products are sold primarily via traditional retailers, increasingly leveraging their online presence, in addition to their brick-and-mortar stores, our direct online store and service provider channels and include:

 

WiFi routers and home WiFi Mesh Systems, which create a local area network (“LAN”) for home or office computer, mobile and smart devices to connect and share a broadband internet connection;

 

Broadband modems, which are devices that convert the broadband signals into Ethernet data that feeds Internet into homes and offices. We provide modems that connect to DOCSIS 3.x, xDSL, and 4G/5G mobile;

 

WiFi Gateways, which are WiFi routers with an integrated broadband modem, for broadband Internet access;

 

WiFi Hotspots, which create mobile WiFi Internet access that utilizes 4G/5G mobile and 5G data networks for use on the go, and at home in place of traditional wired broadband Internet access;

 

WiFi range extenders, which extend the range of an existing WiFi network to eliminate WiFi dead spots;

 

Value-added service offerings such as security and privacy, technical support, and parental controls for consumers;

 

Powerline adapters, which extend wired and WiFi Internet connections to any AC outlet using existing electrical wiring;

 

WiFi network adapters, which enable computing devices to be connected to the network via WiFi;

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Digital Canvasses, which enable users to display digital art and photos, including non-fungible token (“NFT”) artwork.

Small and Medium business solutions. These products and services are sold into the small and medium business marketplace through an extensive network of DMRs and VARs, and increasingly through brick-and-mortar retail and e-commerce channels and include:

 

Ethernet switches, which are multiple port devices used to network computing devices and peripherals via Ethernet wiring;

 

Pro AV Solutions, which includes high-performance flexible switches that are engineered for AV over IP;

 

Enterprise grade WiFi mesh systems as well as Cloud managed or standalone access points, which are devices used to manage and control WiFi on a campus, a facility, or an office providing WiFi connections to smart phones, tablets, laptops and other computing devices; and

 

Internet security appliances and NETGEAR Insight services, all of which provide a suite of networking solutions to small enterprise, education, hospitality and health markets through easy-to-use interfaces, providing capabilities such as firewalls and Virtual Private Networks (“VPNs”) and the ability for small businesses to deploy, monitor, manage and secure their networks easily and seamlessly.

Our products and services are designed to meet the specific needs of the consumer, business and service provider markets. We tailor various elements of the software interface, product design, including component specification, physical characteristics such as casing, design and coloration, and specific user interface features to meet the needs of these markets. We also leverage many of our technological developments, high volume manufacturing, technical support and engineering infrastructure across our markets to maximize business efficiencies. In our Connected Home business, our core long-term strategy focuses on the premium and higher-margin segments of the market, where we demonstrate our highly differentiated technology leadership.

Our products that target the business market are generally designed with an industrial appearance, including metal cases and, for some product categories, the ability to mount the product within standard data networking racks as well as unique mounting solutions for other uses. These products typically include higher port counts, higher data transfer rates and other performance characteristics designed to meet the needs of a modern business. For example, our business products provide data transfer rates up to ten gigabits per second to meet the higher capacity requirements. Our newest Power over Ethernet (“PoE”)++ switches, including cloud managed and unmanaged PoE switches, provide elevated power budgets and uninterrupted PoE++ power for businesses of all sizes to address the growing need for deployment of multiple PoE devices with more power, due to the widespread adoption of IP communication, security cameras, WiFi access points, proximity sensors, and various other new applications. Some of these products are also designed to support transmission modes such as fiber optic cabling, which is common in more sophisticated business environments. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a shift in the demand and use cases for SMB products as more small businesses are now running out of homes. Products like our Orbi Pro with VLAN management, and our access points coupled with plug and play PoE VLAN switches are simple and cost-effective solutions that enable network segregation in homes between business and personal use. This shift has contributed to growing the market for lower port count switches and our SMB wireless offerings. In addition, we continue to see a shift from traditional AV applications utilizing HDMI technology to Ethernet switching driven by a transition from the 1080p to 4K to 8K video, and broadcast moving towards multicast streaming. We continue to develop and pursue avenues like health, personal fitness and sports industries for deployment of our next generation AV systems that transport audio and video signals over Ethernet.

Security requirements within our products for business broadband access include firewall and VPN capabilities that allow for secure interactions between remote offices and business headquarter locations over the internet. Our connectivity product offerings for the business market include enhanced security and remote configurability often required in a business setting.

Our vision for the home network is about intelligently controlling and monitoring all devices connected to the home network at all times, thus creating a Smart Environment. Our Connected Home business continues to make progress on our core long-term strategy of focusing on the premium and higher-margin segments of the market, where we demonstrate highly differentiated technology. Our focus is to continue to introduce new products and services into growth areas that form the basis of Smart Homes, such as: the fastest WiFi standards with broadest coverage via latest technology (802.11ax) WiFi routers and home WiFi systems; high speed DOCSIS 3.1, xDSL and fiber gateways with

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more integrated functions; 5G mobile gateways and mobile hotspots; and Digital Canvasses. We continue to announce and introduce new products in these key markets.

Our vision for the business network is to increase the effectiveness, efficiency and supportability of the hybrid cloud access network. We believe small and medium-sized enterprises will continue to move into cloud-based applications, such as: Salesforce.com, Ring Central, Zoom video conferencing, SAP SuccessFactors, Workday, and others. In addition, we believe these enterprises will move into utility-like on-demand computing power supplied by third-party data centers. With the increased adoption of hybrid and fully remote work environments, along with increases in new businesses being established at home, we see a need for greater networking capabilities as workforces become more dispersed. We believe that the need for cost efficient and easy-to-use video surveillance by small businesses and corporate offices will continue to grow and fuel the growth of our PoE(+) market, with its ability to power 4K cameras. These trends will place a greater demand on business networks. To meet this demand, we are introducing next-generation technology, such as: PoE switches, Multi-gigabit Ethernet switches, WiFi mesh systems, high capacity local and remote unified storage, small to medium capacity campus wireless LAN, audio and video over Ethernet for Pro AV applications, and security and privacy appliances. In addition, our Insight line of cloud-connected networking devices can be managed remotely and securely via mobile Apps or Browser interfaces, providing continuous monitoring and instantaneous fault notification.

Competition

The consumer, business and service provider markets are intensely competitive and subject to rapid technological change. We expect competition to continue to intensify. Our principal competitors include:

 

within the consumer markets, companies such as ARRIS, ASUS, AVM, Devolo, D-Link, Eero (owned by Amazon), Linksys (owned by Foxconn), Minim (owned by Motorola), Google WiFi, Samsung, Synology, and TP- Link;

 

within the business markets, companies such as Allied Telesys, Barracuda, Buffalo, Cisco Systems, Dell, D-Link, Fortinet, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Palo Alto Networks, QNAP Systems, SonicWall, Synology, TP- Link, Ubiquiti, and WatchGuard; and

 

within the service provider markets, companies such as Actiontec, Airties, Arcadyan, ARRIS, ASUS, AVM, Compal Broadband, D-Link, Eero (owned by Amazon), Franklin, Google, Hitron, Huawei, Inseego, Nokia, Plume, Sagem, Sercomm, SMC Networks, TechniColor, TP-Link, Ubee, ZTE and ZyXEL. Other competitors include numerous local vendors such as Xiaomi in China, AVM in Germany and Buffalo in Japan.

Our potential competitors include other consumer electronics vendors, including Apple, Lifelock, LG Electronics, McAfee, Microsoft, Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba and Vizio, who could integrate networking and streaming capabilities into their line of products, such as televisions, set top boxes and gaming consoles, and our channel customers who may decide to offer self-branded networking products. We also face competition from service providers who may bundle a free networking device with their broadband service offering, including Extreme Networks and Luxul, which would reduce our sales if we were not the supplier of choice to those service providers. In the service provider space, we also face significant and increased competition from original design manufacturers (“ODMs”) and contract manufacturers (“CMs”) who are selling and attempting to sell their products directly to service providers around the world.

Many of our existing and potential competitors have longer operating histories, greater name recognition and substantially greater financial, technical, sales, marketing and other resources. As a result, they may have more advanced technology, larger distribution channels, stronger brand names, better customer service and access to more customers than we do. For example, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise has significant brand name recognition and has an advertising presence substantially greater than ours. Similarly, Cisco Systems is well recognized as a leader in providing networking products to businesses, while Google and Amazon compete in the consumer WiFi product market, and both have substantially greater financial resources than we do. Several of our competitors, such as TP-Link, offer a range of products that directly compete with most of our product offerings. Several of our other competitors compete in a more limited manner. For example, Dell sells networking products primarily targeted at larger businesses or enterprises while Google and Amazon primarily only sell WiFi mesh systems. The competitive environment in which we operate changes rapidly due to technological reasons and other factors outside of our control,

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such as new entrants to the market and the ability of market participants to adapt to changing environments, such as impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. Other companies with significant resources could also become direct competitors, either through acquiring a competitor or through internal efforts.

We believe that the principal competitive factors in the consumer, business and service provider markets for networking products include product breadth, price points, size and scope of the sales channel, brand name, timeliness of new product introductions, product availability, performance, features, functionality and reliability, ease-of-installation, maintenance and use, security and privacy, and customer service and support. We believe our products are competitive in these markets based on these factors.

To remain competitive, we believe we must continue to aggressively invest resources in developing new products and subscription services, enhancing our current products, expanding our sales channels including our direct to consumer capabilities, increasing engagement with our customers and maintaining customer satisfaction worldwide. Our investments reflect our enhanced focus on the security of our products and systems, as the threat of cyber-attacks and exploitation of potential security vulnerabilities in our industry is on the rise and is increasingly a significant consumer concern.

Research and Development

Our success depends on our ability to develop products that meet changing user needs and to anticipate and proactively respond to evolving technology in a timely and cost-effective manner. Accordingly, we have made investments in our research and development department in order to effectively evaluate existing and new third-party technologies, develop existing and new in-house technologies, and develop and test new products and services. Our research and development employees work closely with our technology and manufacturing partners to bring high quality new products and services to market in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

We identify, qualify and create new technologies to develop products using one or both of the methodologies described below. Under both ODM and In-House development, we develop portions of the software on some products, including embedded firmware or components of firmware, mobile applications, and cloud software.

ODM. Under the ODM methodology, we define the product concept and specifications and recommend the technology selection. We then coordinate with our technology suppliers as they develop the product, meeting our specifications, while our internal software engineering team typically works with our service partners to develop the software services that run on these devices. On certain new products, one or more subsystems of the design can be done in-house and then integrated with the remaining design pieces from the ODM. Once prototypes are completed, we work with our partners to complete the debugging and systems integration and testing. After completion of the final tests, agency approvals and product documentation, the product is released for production and shipment.

In-House Development. Under the in-house development model, one or more subsystems of the product are designed and developed utilizing the NETGEAR engineering team. Under this model, some of the primary technology is developed in-house. We then work closely with either an ODM or a Joint Development Manufacturer (“JDM”) to complete the development of the entire design, perform the necessary testing, and obtain regulatory approvals before the product is released for production and shipment.

Manufacturing

Our primary manufacturers are Cloud Network Technology (more commonly known as Hon Hai Precision or Foxconn Corporation), Delta Electronics Incorporated, Wistron NeWeb Corporation, and Pegatron Corporation, all of which are headquartered in Taiwan. We also manufacture in Haiphong, Vietnam at a facility owned by Shenzhen Gongjin Electronics Co., Ltd. (more commonly known as T&W), which is headquartered in China. We manufacture US bound products in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan. We distribute our manufacturing among a limited number of key suppliers and seek to avoid excessive concentration with any one single supplier. Currently, however, we have a concentration among two of our major suppliers in South East Asia that we expect will continue through fiscal year 2022. Any disruptions from natural disasters, health epidemics and political, social and economic instability would affect the ability of our manufacturers to manufacture our products. If our manufacturing or warehousing facilities are disrupted or destroyed, we would not have readily available alternatives for manufacturing our products and our business would be significantly impacted. In addition to their responsibility for the manufacturing of our

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products, our manufacturers typically purchase all necessary parts and materials to produce finished goods. To maintain quality standards for our suppliers, in July 2021 we established our own product quality organization based in Singapore and Taiwan. The organization is responsible for auditing and inspecting product quality on the premises of our ODMs.

We obtain several key components from limited or sole sources. These include many of the semiconductors used in our products, which are designed specifically for the products and obtained from sole source suppliers on a purchase order basis like switching fabric semiconductors used in our Ethernet switches and internet gateway products; wireless local area network chipsets used in our wireless products and mobile network chipsets which are used in our wireless gateways and hotspots. We also have limited sources for components including connector jacks, plastic casings and physical layer transceivers. Our third-party manufacturers generally purchase these components on our behalf on a purchase order basis. If these sources fail to satisfy our supply requirements or component lead times deviate from expectations, our ability to meet scheduled product deliveries would be harmed and we may lose sales and experience increased costs to procure supply. For instance, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have experienced supply shortages for core networking semiconductor components, and additionally power IC and voltage regulator chipsets due to high demand, resulting in elongated manufacturing timelines.

We currently outsource warehousing and distribution logistics to four main third-party providers who are responsible for warehousing, distribution logistics and order fulfillment. In addition, these parties are also responsible for some configuration and re-packaging of our products including bundling components to form kits, inserting appropriate documentation, disk drive configuration, and adding power adapters. APL Logistics Americas, Ltd. in City of Industry, California serves the Americas region, Kerry Logistics Ltd. in Singapore, serves the Asia Pacific region, DSV Solutions B.V. Netherlands serves the EMEA region, and Likewize Logistics Pty Ltd. in Melbourne, VIC, Australia serves Australia and New Zealand.

Sales and Marketing

We work directly with our customers on market development activities, such as co-advertising, online promotions and video demonstrations, live and virtual event sponsorships and sales associate training. We also participate in major industry trade shows and marketing events. Our marketing department is comprised of our channel marketing, product marketing and corporate marketing groups.

Our channel marketing team focuses on working with the sales teams to maximize our participation in channel partner marketing activities and merchandise our products both online and in store.

Our product marketing group focuses on product and service strategy, product and service development roadmaps, the new product introduction process, product lifecycle management, demand assessment and competitive analysis. The group works closely with our sales and research and development groups to align our product development roadmap to meet customer technology demands from a strategic perspective. The group also ensures that product and services development activities, product and services launches, and ongoing demand and supply planning for our products occur in a well-managed, timely basis in coordination with our development, manufacturing, and sales groups, as well as our ODM and sales channel partners.

Our corporate marketing group is responsible for defining and building our corporate brand, supporting the business units with creative marketing strategies and driving traffic to our online and in-app platforms. The group focuses on defining our brand promise and marketing messages on a worldwide basis. This group is also responsible for driving awareness and demand for NETGEAR products through paid, earned and owned channels to reach and acquire new customers. Marketing tactics include driving the social media and online marketing strategy, public relations, installed base marketing programs, community engagement programs, sponsorships and events, and corporate websites worldwide, as well as creative production for all product categories.

We conduct most of our international sales and marketing operations through wholly-owned subsidiaries, which operate via sales and marketing subsidiaries and branch offices worldwide.

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Customer Support

We design our products with ease-of-use top of mind. We respond globally to customer inquiries through a variety of channels including phone, chat, community, social media, and email. Customers can also get self-help service through the comprehensive knowledgebase and the user forums on our website. Customer support is provided through a combination of a limited number of permanent employees and use of subcontracted, out-sourced resources. Our permanent employees design our technical support model and process and are responsible for training and managing our outsourced sub-contractors. They also handle escalations from the outsourced resources. We utilize the information gained from customers by our customer support organization to enhance our product offerings, including further simplifying the installation process.

Intellectual Property

We believe that our continued success will depend primarily on the technical expertise, speed of technology implementation, creative skills and management abilities of our officers and key employees, plus ownership of a limited but important set of copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and patents. We primarily rely on a combination of copyright, trademark, trade secret, and patent laws, nondisclosure agreements with employees, consultants and suppliers and other contractual provisions to establish, maintain and protect our proprietary rights. We hold approximately 234 issued United States patents that expire between years 2022 and 2040 and 40 foreign patents that expire between 2022 and 2036. In addition, we currently have approximately 21 pending United States and foreign patent applications related to technology and products offered by us. We also rely on third-party licensors for patented hardware and software license rights in technology that are incorporated into and are necessary for the operation and functionality of our products. Our success will depend in part on our continued ability to have access to these technologies.

We have trade secret rights for our products, consisting mainly of product design, technical product documentation and software. We also own, or have applied for registration of trademarks, in connection with our products in the United States and internationally, including NETGEAR, NETGEAR Armor, NETGEAR Insight, NPG, NPG logo, Orbi, Nighthawk, FASTLANE3, Meural, Trueart, Digital Canvas, and ProSafe.

We have registered a number of internet domain names that we use for electronic interaction with our customers including dissemination of product information, marketing programs, product registration, sales activities, and other commercial uses.

Seasonal Business

We have historically experienced increased net sales in our third and fourth fiscal quarters as compared to the first and second quarters in our fiscal year due to seasonal demand from consumer markets primarily relating to the beginning of the school year and the holiday season. This pronounced seasonality has been previously offset by irregular and significant purchases from customers in other markets, such as the service provider market. However, we did not experience such seasonality in 2021 as we continued to see increased demand in the first half of 2021 directly tied to the COVID-19 pandemic which normalized in the second half of 2021. We anticipate the pattern of seasonality experienced historically to resume in 2022, due to the aforementioned consumer trends, as well as an expected improvement in supply of our SMB products.

Governmental Regulations

         Environmental Laws

Our products and manufacturing process are subject to numerous governmental regulations, which cover both the use of various materials as well as environmental concerns. Environmental issues such as pollution and climate change have had significant legislative and regulatory effects on a global basis, and there are expected to be additional changes to the regulations in these areas. These changes could directly increase the cost of energy, which may have an impact on the way we manufacture products or utilize energy to produce our products. In addition, any new regulations or laws in the environmental area might increase the cost of raw materials we use in our products and the cost of compliance. Other regulations in the environmental area may require us to continue to monitor and ensure proper disposal or recycling of our products. To the best of our knowledge, we maintain compliance with all current

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government regulations concerning our production processes for all locations in which we operate. Since we operate on a global basis, this is a complex process that requires continual monitoring of regulations and compliance efforts to ensure that we, and our suppliers, are in compliance with all existing regulations.

Other Regulations

As a company with global operations, we are subject to complex foreign and U.S. laws and regulations, including trade regulations, tariffs, import and export regulations, anti-bribery and corruption laws, antitrust or competition laws, data privacy laws, such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”), and environmental regulations, among others. We have policies and procedures in place to promote compliance with these laws and regulations. To date, our compliance actions and costs relating to these laws, rules and regulations have not resulted in a material cost or effect on our capital expenditures, earnings or competitive position. Government regulations are subject to change, and accordingly we are unable to assess the possible effect of compliance with future requirements or whether our compliance with such regulations will materially impact our business in the future. For further discussion of how government regulations may affect our business, see the related discussion in “Risk Factors – Financial, Legal, Regulatory and Tax Compliance Risks”.

Human Capital

As of December 31, 2021, we had 771 full-time employees, with 259 in sales, marketing and technical support, 280 in research and development, 96 in operations, and 136 in finance, information systems and administration. We also utilize a number of temporary staff to supplement our workforce. We have never had a work stoppage among our employees, no personnel are represented under collective bargaining agreements, and we consider our relations with our employees to be good.

 

Culture

 

        Our mission to connect the world using innovative networking products cannot be achieved without employing imaginative, talented and committed individuals from around the world. We strive to foster a diverse and inclusive environment that both attracts and retains team members who align with our core values of: achievement, simplicity, people, innovation, results, and ethics.

 

        We strive to create a respectful work environment characterized by mutual trust and the absence of intimidation, oppression, discrimination and exploitation, and we believe that nurturing this type of environment allows for the opportunity to turn creative ideas into innovative products.

 

Recruitment and Retention

 

We recognize that attracting, motivating and retaining talent at all levels is vital to continuing our success. By improving employee retention and engagement, we also improve our ability to support our customers and protect the long-term interests of our stakeholders and stockholders. We invest in our employees through high-quality benefits and various health and wellness initiatives, and offer competitive compensation packages, ensuring fairness in internal compensation practices. We conduct employee engagement surveys every two years and on an ad hoc basis in order to assess ways in which we can improve employee satisfaction, and then incorporate feedback from these surveys into our culture and operations.

 

To further engage and incentivize our workforce, we offer a wide range of programs and avenues for support, motivation, and professional recognition. We utilize both instructor-led training and online learning to provide training courses to ensure the professional development of our employees.

 

We offer compelling global incentives to reinforce our performance-driven culture and attract and reward leading talent. We offer global competitive and meaningful total rewards programs that meet the diverse needs of our employees, while also reflecting local market practices. Our total rewards approach is designed to deliver cash, equity, and benefit programs that are competitive with those offered by comparable companies in the technology industry and reflect anticipated local market demands and evolving business needs. Other than the base salary program, all of our cash and equity programs are dependent upon the achievement of individual and company performance. In addition

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to competitive salaries and bonuses, we grant equity-based compensation to a significant portion of our employees. Equity serves as a key component in attracting, retaining, and motivating our employees. We also provide the opportunity for equity ownership through our employee stock purchase plan. We provide competitive benefits that include retirement planning, health care, parental leave, flexible time away, and appreciation events for employees. In addition, we offer benefits to support our employees’ physical and mental health.

 

Diversity and Inclusion

 

        We believe that our employee population should be reflective of the communities where we live and serve, and we are committed to promoting and cultivating an inclusive and diverse culture that welcomes and celebrates everyone without bias. A diverse environment representing a broad spectrum of backgrounds and cultures and where everyone feels like they belong fosters innovative ideas and best-in-class products. We strive to create the most innovative products for our customers, and we recognize that it takes true diversity and inclusion to unleash the power of our fullest potential. We work every day to go beyond accepting diversity - we celebrate it, we support it, and we cultivate it by offering ongoing development programs, including CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion and Employee Resource Groups (“ERG”) for Black employees and women.

 

             We demonstrate diversity, equity, and inclusion at the highest levels of our company. As of December 31, 2021, fifty percent (50%) of our independent directors are female, and approximately 55% of our executive management team self-identify as diverse, in terms of race, ethnicity or gender. In addition, women represented approximately 23% in technical positions worldwide and approximately 35% in leadership roles worldwide.

 

COVID-19 response

 

            In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we implemented significant changes that we determined were in the best interest of our employees, as well as the communities in which we operate, in compliance with government regulations. This includes that during the first quarter of 2020, we transitioned to have the vast majority of our employees work from home whenever possible and continue to do so, while implementing additional safety measures for employees continuing critical on-site work, such as engineering. The flexible work experiences have enabled our teams to remain connected with each other and with our customers while maintaining and enhancing productivity, operational excellence and innovation. We provided additional benefits to employees including a wellbeing allowance and pandemic time off.

 

Business ethics

 

              Ethics are deeply embedded in our values and business processes. Our Code of Ethics serves as the foundation for our corporate governance policy and guides how we conduct business every day, both internally and with our partners. We regularly convey our commitment to ethics and integrity in employee communications, in our everyday actions and in processes and controls. We conduct presentations on our commitment to integrity and business ethics at all new hire training sessions and at each quarterly all hands meeting. We conduct annual trainings related to global ethical behavior and compliance with applicable laws, diversity and inclusion, anti-corruption and anti-bribery regulations, along with enforcement and other dimensions of ethical conduct. We also maintain an ethics-related hotline, through which individuals can anonymously raise concerns they have about business behavior they do not feel comfortable discussing personally with managers or human resources personnel. We also are committed to responsible manufacturing of our products and responsible sourcing of materials. We require our suppliers to share in this commitment and have established the Supplier Code of Conduct, which outlines our expectations of our suppliers in conducting business in a legal, ethical, and responsible manner.

 

Community Involvement

 

         We believe in giving back to communities where we live and work. We encourage our employees to participate in community service activities and provide time off for them to do so. In addition, we donate both time and resources to non-profit organizations around the world.

 

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Available Information

Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to reports filed pursuant to Sections 13(a) and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), are filed with the Securities Exchange Commission (the “SEC”).

Our website address is www.netgear.com. Our website provides a link to our SEC filings, which are available free of charge on the same day such filings are made. The specific location on the website where these reports can be found is http://investor.netgear.com/sec.cfm. Our website also provides a link to Section 16 filings which are available free of charge on the same day as such filings are made. Information contained on these websites is not a part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Information About Our Executive Officers

The following table sets forth the names, ages and positions of our executive officers as of February 11, 2022.

 

Name

 

Age

 

Position

Patrick C.S. Lo

 

65

 

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Bryan D. Murray

 

47

 

Chief Financial Officer

Heidi B. Cormack

 

47

 

Chief Marketing Officer

Michael F. Falcon

 

65

 

Chief Operations Officer

David J. Henry

 

49

 

President and General Manager of Connected Home Products and Services

Andrew W. Kim

 

51

 

Chief Legal Officer

Vikram Mehta

 

56

 

Senior Vice President, SMB Products and Services

Mark G. Merrill

 

67

 

Chief Technology Officer

Tamesa T. Rogers

 

48

 

Chief People Officer

Michael A. Werdann

 

53

 

Chief Revenue Officer

Martin D. Westhead

 

51

 

Chief Technology Officer, Software

 

Patrick C.S. Lo is our co-founder and has served as our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since March 2002. He previously served as interim general manager of our former retail business unit and as interim general manager of our former service provider business unit. Patrick founded NETGEAR with Mark G. Merrill with the singular vision of providing the appliances to enable everyone in the world to connect to the high speed Internet for information, communication, business transactions, education, and entertainment. From 1983 until 1995, Mr. Lo worked at Hewlett-Packard Company, where he served in various management positions in sales, technical support, product management, and marketing in the U.S. and Asia. Mr. Lo was named the Ernst & Young National Technology Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006. Mr. Lo received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Brown University.

Bryan D. Murray has served as our Chief Financial Officer since August 2018. He has been with NETGEAR since November 2001, serving in various management roles within the finance organization. Prior to assuming the role of CFO, he served as NETGEAR’s Vice President of Finance and Corporate Controller since June 2011. Before joining NETGEAR in 2001, he worked in public accounting at Deloitte and Touche LLP. He holds a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (inactive).

Heidi B. Cormack has served as our Chief Marketing Officer since July 2021. She has been with NETGEAR since July 2009, serving in various management roles within the marketing organization. Prior to assuming the role of Chief Marketing Officer, Ms. Cormack served as NETGEAR’s Senior Vice President of Global Marketing, Vice President of Corporate Marketing, and as our Director of Regional Marketing prior to that. Before joining NETGEAR, Ms. Cormack held positions at Virgin Mobile (Australia) PTY Limited, Red Bull Gmbh and Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. in various marketing roles and completed business studies at the Sunshine Coast Business Academy in Australia.

Michael F. Falcon has served as our Chief Operations Officer since November 2017. Previously, Mr. Falcon served as our Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations and Support from January 2009 to November 2017, Senior Vice President of Operations from March 2006 to January 2009, and as our Vice President of Operations from November 2002 to March 2006. Prior to joining us, Mr. Falcon was at Quantum Corporation, where he served as Vice President of Operations and Supply Chain Management from September 1999 to November 2002, Meridian Data (acquired by Quantum Corporation), where he served as Vice President of Operations from April 1999 to September 1999, and Silicon Valley Group, where he served as Director of Operations, Strategic Planning and Supply Chain

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Management from February 1989 to April 1999. Prior to February 1989, Mr. Falcon served in management positions at SCI Systems, an electronics manufacturer, Xerox Imaging Systems, a provider of scanning and text recognition solutions, and Plantronics, Inc., a provider of lightweight communication headsets. Mr. Falcon received a B.A. degree in Economics with honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz and has completed coursework in the M.B.A. program at Santa Clara University.

David J. Henry has served as our President and General Manager of Connected Home Products and Services since July 2021. He has been with NETGEAR since July 2004, most recently serving as our Senior Vice President of Connected Home Products and Services from January 2017 to July 2021, Senior Vice President of Home Networking from January 2016 to December 2016, Vice President of Product Management of our retail business unit from March 2011 to January 2016 and as our Senior Director of Product Marketing from October 2010 to March 2011. Prior to NETGEAR, Mr. Henry was a senior product manager for the high technology vertical application at Siebel Systems (acquired by Oracle Corporation). His professional experience also includes business process and information technology consulting with Deloitte Consulting. Mr. Henry received a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering, with an emphasis on Signal Processing, from the University of Washington and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Andrew W. Kim has served as our Chief Legal Officer since July 2021. Previously, Mr. Kim served as our Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary from July 2013 to July 2021, Vice President, Legal and Corporate Development and Corporate Secretary from October 2008 to July 2013, and as our Associate General Counsel from March 2008 to October 2008. Prior to joining NETGEAR, Mr. Kim served as Special Counsel in the Corporate and Securities Department of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a private law firm, where he represented public and private technology companies in a wide range of matters, including mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity financing arrangements, securities law compliance and corporate governance from 2000 to 2003 and 2006 to 2008. In between his two terms at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Mr. Kim served as Partner in the Business and Finance Department of the law firm Schwartz Cooper Chartered in Chicago, Illinois, and was an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Mr. Kim holds a J.D. from Cornell Law School, and received a B.A. degree in history from Yale University.

Vikram Mehta has served as our Senior Vice President of SMB Products and Services since January 2020 and previously served as our consultant from July 2019 to December 2019. From May 2015 to January 2020, Mr. Mehta served as Managing Director of Pacific Venture Advisors, a technology and management consulting company. Prior to that, from October 2013 to April 2015, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer at Kaazing Corporation, a venture funded IoT software company. Prior to Kaazing and subsequent to IBM’s acquisition of BLADE Network Technologies, Inc. (“BLADE”), Mr. Mehta served as Vice President of System Networking, STG, at IBM, from January 2011 to April 2013. Mr. Mehta served as Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of BLADE, a networking company, from its inception in February 2006 to its acquisition by IBM in December 2010. Prior to that, Mr. Mehta worked at a number of technology companies, including Hewlett-Packard Company, where he served in various management positions in sales, marketing, and General Management in the U.S., Asia, and Australia, Nortel Networks, Alteon WebSystems (acquired by Nortel Networks) and Ensim Corporation (acquired by Ingram Micro). Mr. Mehta received a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology.

Mark G. Merrill is our co-founder and has served as our Chief Technology Officer since March 2015. Previously, Mr. Merrill served as our Senior Vice President of Advanced Engineering from February 2013 to February 2015 and as our Chief Technology Officer from January 2003 to April 2013. From September 1999 to January 2003, he served as our Vice President of Engineering and as our Director of Engineering from September 1995 to September 1999. Mr. Merrill received both a B.S. degree and an M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.

Tamesa T. Rogers has served as our Chief People Officer since July 2021. Previously, Ms. Rogers served as our Senior Vice President, Human Resources from July 2013 to July 2021, Vice President, Human Resources from January 2009 to July 2013, Director, Worldwide Human Resources from September 2006 to January 2009 and as our Senior Human Resources Manager from December 2003 to September 2006. From March 2000 to December 2003, Ms. Rogers worked at TriNet Employer Group, a professional employer organization, as a Human Resources Manager, providing HR consulting to technology companies throughout Silicon Valley. Prior to TriNet, Ms. Rogers served in various human resources functions in several Northern California companies. Ms. Rogers received a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an M.S. in Counseling from California State University, Hayward.

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Michael A. Werdann has served as our Chief Revenue Officer since July 2021. Previously, Mr. Werdann served as our Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales from October 2015 to July 2021, Worldwide Senior Vice President of Sales for Consumer Products from March 2015 to October 2015 and as our Vice President of Americas Sales from December 2003 to March 2015. Since joining us in 1998, Mr. Werdann has served as our United States Director of Sales, E-Commerce and DMR from December 2002 to December 2003 and as our Eastern Regional Sales Director from October 1998 to December 2002. Prior to joining us, Mr. Werdann worked for three years at Iomega Corporation, a computer hardware company, as a Sales Director for the value added reseller sector. Mr. Werdann holds a B.S. Degree in Communications from Seton Hall University.

Martin D. Westhead, Ph.D. has served as our Chief Technology Officer of Software since December 2019. Prior to joining NETGEAR, Dr. Westhead was with Groupon from March 2014, where he became VP Engineering for Consumer Engineering team, responsible for the company’s end-to-end customer experience on mobile and web. Prior to Groupon, Dr. Westhead led several software organizations, including at Ning, a social network startup and Avaya a telephony company, and founded two companies in network management tools. He lectured for Stanford’s Continuing Studies Business Department. Dr. Westhead received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of AI and Computer Science in the University of Edinburgh, U.K.

 

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Item 1A.

Risk Factors

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. The risks described below are not exhaustive of the risks that might affect our business. Other risks, including those we currently deem immaterial, may also impact our business. Any of the following risks could materially adversely affect our business operations, results of operations and financial condition and could result in a significant decline in our stock price. Before deciding to purchase, hold or sell our common stock, you should carefully consider the risks described in this section. This section should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes thereto, and Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

Risks Related to our Business, Industry and Operations

 

If disruptions in our transportation network occur or our shipping costs substantially increase, we may be unable to sell or timely deliver our products, and our gross margin could decrease.

We are highly dependent upon the transportation systems we use to ship our products, including surface and air freight. Our attempts to closely match our inventory levels to our product demand intensify the need for our transportation systems to function effectively and without delay. On a quarterly basis, our shipping volume also tends to steadily increase as the quarter progresses, which means that any disruption in our transportation network in the latter half of a quarter will likely have a more material effect on our business than at the beginning of a quarter. For example, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant limitations on the availability of key transportation resources and a significant increase in the cost of air and ocean freight. These developments negatively impact our profitability as we seek to transport an increased number of products from manufacturing locations in Asia to other markets around the world as quickly as possible. For example, the COVID-19 outbreak at the port of Yantian in Shenzhen, China in the second quarter of 2021 and Ningbo, China in the third quarter of 2021 had a disruptive impact on our transportation network, including schedule changes, blank sailings and shipping delays. Moreover, feeder vessels that move containers to key trans-Pacific terminal locations can be subject to similar impacts due to the timing of container transfers and vessel departure dates. The transportation network is subject to disruption or congestion from a variety of causes, including labor disputes or port strikes, acts of war or terrorism, natural disasters, pandemics like COVID-19 and congestion resulting from higher shipping volumes. For example, in late November 2020, a giant wave damaged a cargo vessel carrying eight containers of our products, causing a 4-month delay to our shipment which ultimately arrived in Southern California in late March 2021. The global effects of climate change can result in increased frequency and intensity of these natural disasters that could also disrupt our transportation network. Labor disputes among freight carriers and at ports of entry are common, and we expect labor unrest and its effects on shipping our products to be a continuing challenge for us. A port worker strike, work slow-down or other transportation disruption in the ports of Los Angeles or Long Beach, California, where we have a significant distribution center, could significantly disrupt our business. We have experienced such disruption at both ports, due to multiple factors brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as supply and demand imbalance, a shortage of warehouse workers, truck drivers, and transport equipment (tractors and trailers), and other causes, and have suffered from heightened congestion, bottleneck and gridlock, leading to abnormally high transportation delays. This could materially and adversely affect our business and financial results for the first quarter of 2022 and, if significant disruptions along these lines continue, especially if they were to take place within the last few weeks of the quarter, this could lead to further significant disruptions in our business, delays in shipments, and revenue and profitability shortfalls, which would materially adversely affect our business and financial results.

Our international freight is regularly subjected to inspection by governmental entities. If our delivery times increase unexpectedly for these or any other reasons, our ability to deliver products on time would be materially adversely affected and result in delayed or lost revenue as well as customer-imposed penalties. In addition, if increases in fuel prices occur, our transportation costs would likely increase. For example, the price of oil increased significantly in 2021. Similarly, supply chain disruptions such as those described in the preceding two paragraphs, may lead to an increase in transportation costs. For example, the cost of shipping our products by ocean freight have recently increased to at least eight times historical levels and will have a corresponding impact upon our profitability. Moreover, the cost of shipping our products by air freight is greater than other methods. From time to time in the past, we have shipped products using extensive air freight to meet unexpected spikes in demand, shifts in demand between product categories, to bring new product introductions to market quickly and to timely ship products previously ordered. If we rely more heavily upon air freight to deliver our products, our overall shipping costs will increase. Currently, just as ocean freight costs have increased due to the aforementioned supply chain disruptions, the cost of air freight has increased as well up to five times historical levels. This significant increase in the cost of both ocean

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and air freight will continue to severely disrupt our business and harmed our operating results, and in particular, our profitability.

We obtain several key components from limited or sole sources, and if these sources fail to satisfy our supply requirements or we are unable to properly manage our supply requirements with our third-party manufacturers, we may lose sales and experience increased component costs.

Any shortage or delay in the supply of key product components, or any sudden, unforeseen price increase for such components, would harm our ability to meet product deliveries as scheduled or as budgeted. Many of the semiconductors used in our products are obtained from sole source suppliers on a purchase order basis. In addition, some components that are used in all our products are obtained from limited sources. We also obtain switching fabric semiconductors, which are used in our Ethernet switches and Internet gateway products, and WiFi chipsets, which are used in all of our wireless products, from a limited number of suppliers. We also use Cable Modem chipsets and Mobile chipsets in our cable and mobile products. Semiconductor suppliers have experienced and continue to experience component shortages themselves, such as with lead-frames and substrates used in manufacturing chipsets, which in turn adversely impact our ability to procure semiconductors from them in sufficient quantities and in a timely manner. For example, we are currently experiencing chipset shortages for some of our switching products from two of our semiconductor suppliers who do not have enough wafer capacity to satisfy our demand, and this shortage may continue for the next several quarters. Our third-party manufacturers generally purchase these components on our behalf on a purchase order basis, and we do not have any guaranteed supply arrangements with our suppliers. If demand for a specific component increases, we may not be able to obtain an adequate number of that component in a timely manner, and prices to obtain such components may increase. In addition, if worldwide demand for the components increases significantly, the availability of these components could be limited and prices for such components may increase. For example, as the demand for automobiles has increased significantly over the last eighteen months, our supplier of micro controller units, which are used in both automobile production and our power over ethernet switches, has been forced to prioritize supply to the automobile industry, leaving us short of supply on these key components and affecting our ability to produce enough power over ethernet switches to meet our forecasted demand in a timely manner. This has resulted in our ODM Partners re-designing our products to accept second source components which provide more flexibility but increases the overall cost. In the third quarter of 2021, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company announced price increases of 10-20% on its chips, which has led to some of our chip suppliers correspondingly increasing the cost of their chips to us. Further, dependence on a sole source for certain key components of our products may allow such sole source suppliers to command increased leverage in negotiating prices and other terms of sale, which could adversely affect our profitability. As a result, we may be left with little choice but to accept such higher prices or other fees for key components in order to ensure continuity of supply. For example, we are currently experiencing price increases with certain suppliers and manufacturing partners, and are negotiating price increases with certain other suppliers and manufacturing partners. This will affect our profitability or if we choose to push back against more onerous terms, could lead to inadequate supply, which could materially adversely affect our business. Our suppliers may also experience financial or other difficulties as a result of uncertain and weak worldwide economic conditions. Other factors which may affect our suppliers’ ability or willingness to supply components to us include internal management product allocation decisions or reorganizational issues, such as roll-out of new equipment which may delay or disrupt supply of previously forecasted components, or industry consolidation and divestitures, which may result in changed business and product priorities among certain suppliers. Also, many standardized components used broadly in electronic devices are manufactured in significant quantities in concentrated geographic regions, particularly in Greater China. As a result, protracted crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, could lead to eventual shortages of necessary components sourced from impacted regions. Additionally, government intervention to curb the consumption of electricity in China could have a disruptive impact on component production and supply availability. It could be difficult, costly and time consuming to obtain alternative sources for these components, or to change product designs to make use of alternative components. In addition, difficulties in transitioning from an existing supplier to a new supplier could create delays in component availability that would have a significant impact on our ability to fulfill orders for our products.

We provide our third-party manufacturers with a rolling forecast of demand and purchase orders, which they use to determine our material and component requirements. Lead times for ordering materials and components vary significantly and depend on various factors, such as the specific supplier, contract terms and demand and supply for a component at a given time. Some of our components have long lead times, such as WiFi chipsets, switching fabric chips, physical layer transceivers, and logic, power, analog and RF chipsets. If our forecasts are not timely provided or are less than our actual requirements, our third-party manufacturers may be unable to manufacture products in a timely manner. If our forecasts are too high, our third-party manufacturers will be unable to use the components they have purchased on our behalf. Historically, the cost of the components used in our products tends to drop rapidly as

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volumes increase and the technologies mature. Therefore, if our third-party manufacturers are unable to promptly use components purchased on our behalf, our cost of producing products may be higher than our competitors due to an oversupply of higher-priced components. Moreover, if they are unable to use components ordered at our direction, we will need to reimburse them for any losses they incur, which could be material. In fiscal year 2020, we experienced an elongation of the time from order placement to production primarily due to increased demand and the resulting component shortages and supply chain disruption brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have responded by extending our ordering horizon to as long as 21 months. As a result, our exposure to the foregoing risks is greater and our potential liability for losses is greater relative to our more typical ordering horizon of up to 6 to 9 months.

If we are unable to obtain a sufficient supply of components, or if we experience any interruption in the supply of components, our product shipments could be reduced or delayed or our cost of obtaining these components may increase. Component shortages and delays affect our ability to meet scheduled product deliveries, damage our brand and reputation in the market, and cause us to lose sales and market share. For example, component shortages and disruptions in supply are currently limiting our ability to supply all the worldwide demand for our SMB switch products, and our revenue has been and will continue to be affected. At times we have elected to purchase components on the spot market or to use more expensive transportation methods, such as air freight, to make up for manufacturing delays caused by component shortages, which reduces our margins.

If we do not effectively manage our sales channel inventory and product mix, we may incur costs associated with excess inventory, or lose sales from having too few products.

If we are unable to properly monitor and manage our sales channel inventory and maintain an appropriate level and mix of products with our retail partners and wholesale distributors and within our sales channels, we may incur increased and unexpected costs associated with this inventory. We generally allow wholesale distributors and traditional retailers to return a limited amount of our products in exchange for other products. Under our price protection policy, if we reduce the list price of a product, we are often required to issue a credit in an amount equal to the reduction for each of the products held in inventory by our wholesale distributors and retailers. If our wholesale distributors and retailers are unable to sell their inventory in a timely manner, we might lower the price of the products, or these parties may exchange the products for newer products. Also, during the transition from an existing product to a new replacement product, we must accurately predict the demand for the existing and the new product.

We determine production levels based on our forecasts of demand for our products. Actual demand for our products depends on many factors, which makes it difficult to forecast. We have experienced differences between our actual and our forecasted demand in the past and expect differences to arise in the future. If we improperly forecast demand for our products, we could end up with too many products and be unable to sell the excess inventory in a timely manner, if at all, or, alternatively we could end up with too few products and not be able to satisfy demand. This problem is exacerbated because we attempt to closely match inventory levels with product demand leaving limited margin for error. If these events occur, we could incur increased expenses associated with writing off excessive or obsolete inventory, lose sales, incur penalties for late delivery or have to ship products by air freight to meet immediate demand incurring incremental freight costs above the sea freight costs, a preferred method, and suffering a corresponding decline in gross margins. For example, demand for our Connected Home products for the 2021 fiscal year turned out to be lower than we previously forecast, and resulted in our revenue for fiscal year 2021 to come in lower than expected, as our channel partners in the U.S. are expected to replenish inventory slower than they sell it through to end users to right size their inventory carrying position based on the lower demand levels than were previously expected.

 

We depend on a limited number of third-party manufacturers for substantially all of our manufacturing needs. If these third-party manufacturers experience any delay, disruption or quality control problems in their operations, we could lose revenue and our brand may suffer.

All of our products are manufactured, assembled, tested and generally packaged by a limited number of third-party manufacturers, including original design manufacturers, or ODMs, as well as their sub-contract manufacturers. In most cases, we rely on these manufacturers to procure components and, in some cases, subcontract engineering work. Some of our products are manufactured by a single manufacturer. We do not have any long-term contracts with any of our third-party manufacturers. Some of these third-party manufacturers produce products for our competitors or are themselves competitors in certain product categories. Due to changing economic conditions, the viability of

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some of these third-party manufacturers may be at risk. The loss of the services of any of our primary third-party manufacturers could cause a significant disruption in operations and delays in product shipments. Qualifying a new manufacturer and commencing volume production is expensive and time consuming. Ensuring that a manufacturer is qualified to manufacture our products to our standards is time consuming. In addition, there is no assurance that a manufacturer can scale its production of our products at the volumes and in the quality that we require. In addition, as we recently have transitioned a substantial portion of our manufacturing facilities to different regions, we are subject to additional significant challenges in ensuring that quality, processes and costs, among other issues, are consistent with our expectations. For example, while we expect our manufacturers to be responsible for penalties assessed on us because of excessive failures of the products, there is no assurance that we will be able to collect such reimbursements from these manufacturers, which causes us to take on additional risk for potential failures of our products.

Our reliance on third-party manufacturers also exposes us to the following risks over which we have limited control:

 

unexpected increases in manufacturing and repair costs;

 

inability to control the quality and reliability of finished products;

 

inability to control delivery schedules;

 

potential liability for expenses incurred by third-party manufacturers in reliance on our forecasts that later prove to be inaccurate, including the cost of components purchased by third-party manufacturers on our behalf, which may be material;

 

potential lack of adequate capacity to manufacture all or a part of the products we require; and

 

potential labor unrest affecting the ability of the third-party manufacturers to produce our products.

All of our products must satisfy safety and regulatory standards and some of our products must also receive government certifications. Our third-party manufacturers are primarily responsible for conducting the tests that support our applications for most regulatory approvals for our products. If our third-party manufacturers fail to timely and accurately conduct these tests, we would be unable to obtain the necessary domestic or foreign regulatory approvals or certificates to sell our products in certain jurisdictions. As a result, we would be unable to sell our products and our sales and profitability could be reduced, our relationships with our sales channel could be harmed, and our reputation and brand would suffer.

Specifically, substantially all of our manufacturing and assembly occurs in the Asia Pacific region, and any disruptions due to natural disasters, climate change, health epidemics and political, social and economic instability in the region would affect the ability of our third-party manufacturers to manufacture our products. For example, in late August 2021, heavy rains caused our factory in Thailand to become flooded and created a one-month delay in manufacturing and required us to move some non-U.S. manufacturing back to China. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the temporary closure of many factories, businesses, schools and public spaces, as well as travel restrictions impacting the movement of people and goods, most recently in Southeast Asia and in particular northern Vietnam and Thailand, where a significant portion of our products are manufactured. In December 2021, one of our manufacturers had to shut down its factory in Haiphong, Vietnam due to a COVID-19 outbreak and when it reopened one week later, had to operate with less than a quarter of its staff. This led to a material loss of revenue in the fourth quarter of 2021. If these closures and restrictions continue for a substantial period of time, they may disrupt important elements of our supply chain, including the operation of our third-party manufacturing facilities and other key service providers, the availability of labor, and the supply of necessary components. If the cost of production charged by our third-party manufacturers increases, it may affect our margins and ability to lower prices for our products to stay competitive. For example, we are currently experiencing price increases with certain of our manufacturing partners, and are negotiating price increases with certain other of our manufacturing partners. Labor unrest in Southeast Asia, China or other locations where components and our products are manufactured may also affect our third-party manufacturers as workers may strike and cause production delays. If our third-party manufacturers fail to maintain good relations with their employees or contractors, and production and manufacturing of our products is affected, then we may be subject to shortages of products and quality of products delivered may be affected. Further, if our

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manufacturers or warehousing facilities are disrupted or destroyed, we would have no other readily available alternatives for manufacturing and assembling our products and our business would be significantly harmed.

In our typical ODM arrangement, our ODMs are generally responsible for sourcing the components of the products and warranting that the products will work against a product’s specification, including any software specifications. If we needed to move to a contract manufacturing arrangement, we would take on much more, if not all, of the responsibility around these areas. If we are unable to properly manage these risks, our products may be more susceptible to defects and our business would be harmed.

We rely on a limited number of traditional and online retailers, wholesale distributors and service provider customers for a substantial portion of our sales, and our net revenue could decline if they refuse to pay our requested prices or reduce their level of purchases, if there are unforeseen disruptions in their businesses, or if there is significant consolidation in our customer base that results in fewer customers for our products.

We sell a substantial portion of our products through traditional and online retailers, including Best Buy Co., Inc., Amazon.com, Inc. and their affiliates, wholesale distributors, including Ingram Micro, Inc. and TD Synnex, and service providers, such as AT&T. We expect that a significant portion of our net revenue will continue to come from sales to a small number of customers for the foreseeable future. In addition, because our accounts receivable are often concentrated with a small group of purchasers, the failure of any of them to pay on a timely basis, or at all, would reduce our cash flow. We are also exposed to increased credit risk if any one of these limited numbers of customers fails or becomes insolvent. We generally have no minimum purchase commitments or long-term contracts with any of these customers. These purchasers could decide at any time to discontinue, decrease or delay their purchases of our products. If our customers increase the size of their product orders without sufficient lead-time for us to process the order, our ability to fulfill product demands would be compromised. These customers have a variety of suppliers to choose from and therefore can make substantial demands on us, including demands on product pricing and on contractual terms, which often results in the allocation of risk to us as the supplier. Accordingly, the prices that they pay for our products are subject to negotiation and could change at any time. For example, as mentioned above in the risk factors “If disruptions in our transportation network occur or our shipping costs substantially increase, we may be unable to sell or timely deliver our products, and our operating expenses could increase and We obtain several key components from limited or sole sources, and if these sources fail to satisfy our supply requirements or we are unable to properly manage our supply requirements with our third-party manufacturers, we may lose sales and experience increased component costs, we are currently experiencing increased freight costs and component costs, and have provided notice of price increases to our customers to become effective during the first quarter of 2022 which may impact end user demand for our products and place us at a disadvantage to our competitors. Our ability to maintain strong relationships with our principal customers is essential to our future performance. If any of our major customers reduce their level of purchases or refuse to pay the prices that we set for our products, our net revenue and operating results could be harmed.

Furthermore, some of our customers are also our competitors in certain product categories, which could negatively influence their purchasing decisions. For example, Amazon owns Eero, one of our competitors in the mesh WiFi systems product category. Our traditional retail customers have faced increased and significant competition from online retailers, and some of these traditional retail customers have increasingly become a smaller portion of our business. If key retail customers continue to reduce their level of purchases, our business could be harmed. Similarly, we sell products and services directly to consumers from our own e-commerce platforms and expect these revenues to grow proportionate to overall revenue. Some of our customers, such as Amazon and Best Buy, may consider this to be competitive with their own businesses, which could negatively influence their purchasing decisions with respect to our products. In addition, unforeseen disruptions in the businesses of any of our key customers could adversely impact the sale of our products to end users and the quantity of products our customers decide to purchase from us. For example, the unexpected need of many of our retail customers to close their physical locations due to the pandemic forced them to rapidly shift to online methods of selling products, and Amazon, one of our largest retail customers, shut down six warehouses in France in April due to a labor dispute with workers who alleged that Amazon wasn’t doing enough to protect them from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This shift may have a longer-term impact on the inventory levels these customers choose to carry. Also, during the pandemic, some channel partners have prioritized the sale and delivery of other categories of products ahead of ours. Further, we believe the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an acceleration of the shift to a greater percentage of products being bought and sold online. If we are unable to adjust to this shift, this may lead to lower market share and lower revenues for us, and our net revenue and operating results could be harmed.

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Additionally, concentration and consolidation among our customer base may allow certain customers to command increased leverage in negotiating prices and other terms of sale, which could adversely affect our profitability. If, as a result of increased leverage, customer pressures require us to reduce our pricing such that our gross margins are diminished, we could decide not to sell our products to a particular customer, which could result in a decrease in our revenue. Consolidation among our customer base may also lead to reduced demand for our products, elimination of sales opportunities, replacement of our products with those of our competitors and cancellations of orders, each of which would harm our operating results. Consolidation among our service provider customers worldwide may also make it more difficult to grow our service provider business, given the fierce competition for the already limited number of service providers worldwide and the long sales cycles to close deals. If consolidation among our customer base becomes more prevalent, our operating results may be harmed.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

The novel strain of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread as a global pandemic throughout the world and has resulted in authorities imposing, and businesses and individuals implementing, numerous unprecedented measures to try to contain the virus. These efforts include travel bans and restrictions, quarantines, shelter-in-place/stay-at-home and social distancing orders, and shutdowns. These measures have impacted and may further impact our workforce and operations, the operations of our customers, and those of our vendors, suppliers and manufacturing partners. The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to affect our business, results of operation and financial condition is difficult to predict and depends on numerous evolving factors, including: the duration and scope of the pandemic and its impact on overall global uncertainty; the level of vaccination rates; new and potentially more contagious or more dangerous variants of COVID-19, such as the Omicron and delta variants; government, social, business and other actions that have been and will be taken in response to the pandemic; and the effect of the pandemic on short- and long-term general economic conditions.

While our manufacturing partners and component suppliers mostly have been able to continue to operate to date in compliance with applicable regulations and current limitations, future restrictions on their operations could impact our ability to meet customer demand and could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations, particularly if prolonged. For example, provinces in northern Vietnam where our factories and component suppliers are located implemented province-wide shutdowns during the second fiscal quarter of 2021, and one of our factories in Vietnam was closed for one week due to a COVID-19 outbreak and had to reopen with limited staff at the end of the fourth quarter of 2021. Both incidents materially and adversely impacted our supply of SMB products and components during the respective quarters, and may continue to do so in future quarters. Further, as the availability of vaccines against the COVID-19 virus varies greatly around the world, the potential for future shutdowns which may adversely affect our ability to supply products remains a significant risk going forward. Similarly, current and future restrictions or disruptions of transportation, such as reduced availability of air and ground transport labor and vehicles, port closures or congestion, and increased border controls or closures, have impacted and may continue to impact our ability to meet demand and could materially adversely affect us. For example, as mentioned above in the risk factor “If disruptions in our transportation network occur or our shipping costs substantially increase, we may be unable to sell or timely deliver our products, and our operating expenses could increase”, we have already experienced a significant increase in the cost of ocean freight and air freight as a result of the pandemic, which negatively affects our profitability as we seek to transport an increased number of products from manufacturing locations in Asia to other markets around the world as quickly as possible. We have also experienced shortages in freight capacity. This can negatively impact our ability to ship volume predictably and on a lower cost basis.

In addition, rapidly shifting consumer demand during the pandemic can lead to unexpected results of operations. Although we have seen a significant increase in demand for our Connected Home products due to consumers responding to work-from-home and shelter-in-place measures, we do not know how long this increase may last. In particular, as vaccines have become widely available and consumers return to work or school and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, particularly in North America where we derive a substantial portion of our revenue, we have started to see this increase in demand taper. If this tapering of demand occurs at a more rapid pace than we are forecasting, our revenue, profitability and other financial results could be adversely affected. This unanticipated increase in demand has also put strain on our manufacturing partners, suppliers and logistics partners to produce and deliver a sufficient number of products to meet this demand. In particular, the limited and delayed availability of certain key components for our products, such as specialized WiFi 6 chipsets, microcontrollers, power over ethernet chipsets and power integrated circuits, significantly constrains our ability to meet the increased demand and over the course of the past year, we have seen lead times for some of these key components increase dramatically from as low

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as 8 weeks to up to 52 weeks currently. This in turn puts pressure on our ability to accurately forecast and increases the likelihood that the accuracy of such forecasts will be lower, which could materially adversely affect our financial results. During the second and third fiscal quarters of 2020, we experienced a weakening in demand for our SMB products as businesses reacted to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic and placed projects on hold, and during the second fiscal quarter of 2021 we began to experience a softening in demand for our Connected Home products which was below our previous forecasts. If we continue to experience weakened demand in either our Connected Home or SMB business segments that is not in line with our forecasts, our revenue, profitability and other financial results would be materially adversely impacted.

The pandemic has significantly increased economic and demand uncertainty and also has led to increased disruption and volatility in capital markets and credit markets. The current severe economic slowdown resulting from the pandemic has already started to lead to a global recession. There is a significant degree of uncertainty and lack of visibility as to the extent and duration of any such slowdown or recession. Risks related to a slowdown or recession include the risk that demand for our products will be significantly harmed over time, if consumers choose to delay product upgrades or various projects in order to conserve funds. Given the significant economic uncertainty and volatility created by the pandemic, it is difficult to predict the nature and extent of impacts on demand for our products. These expectations are subject to change without warning.

The spread of COVID-19 has caused us to modify our business practices (including employee travel, employee work locations, cancellation of physical participation in meetings, events and conferences, and social distancing measures), and we may take further actions as may be required by government authorities or that we determine are in the best interests of our employees, customers, partners, vendors, and suppliers. Work-from-home and other measures introduce additional operational risks, including cybersecurity risks, and have affected the way we conduct our product development, testing, customer support, and other activities, which could have an adverse effect on our operations. For example, we have a significant research and development center in Bangalore, India, and significant vendor relationships with third party information technology and software development providers who are also based in India, which experienced a tremendous surge in COVID-19 cases during the first fiscal quarter of 2021. Furthermore, we rely on third-party laboratories to test and certify our products. If these service providers close or reduce staffing, it could delay our product development efforts. There is no certainty that such measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks posed by the virus, and illness and workforce disruptions could lead to unavailability of key personnel and harm our ability to perform critical functions. In addition, work-from-home and related business practice modifications present significant challenges to maintaining our corporate culture, including employee engagement and productivity, both during the immediate pandemic crisis and as we make additional adjustments in the eventual transition from it.

The degree to which COVID-19 impacts our results will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including how quickly and to what extent normal economic and operating conditions can resume. We are similarly unable to predict the degree to which the pandemic impacts our customers, suppliers, vendors, and other partners, and their financial conditions, but a material effect on these parties could also adversely affect us. As mentioned above, factory shutdowns in northern Vietnam materially and adversely affected our manufacturing partners and component suppliers in that area, which in turn materially and adversely affected our supply chain and our operating results. Our main distribution partner in Southern California has had several incidents of workers at its facility testing positive for COVID-19, forcing the facility to close temporarily. Along the same lines, Amazon, one of our largest retail customers, shut down six warehouses in France in April due to a labor dispute with workers who alleged that Amazon wasn’t doing enough to protect them from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of COVID-19 can also exacerbate other risks discussed above and below, which could in turn have a material adverse effect on us. Developments related to COVID-19 have been rapidly changing, as exemplified by the recent and rapid spread of the Omicron variant, and additional impacts and risks may arise that we are not aware of or able to appropriately respond to currently. Should the COVID-19 situation or global economic slowdown not improve or worsen, or if our attempts to mitigate its impact on our operations and costs are not successful, our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects may be adversely affected.

 

We expect our operating results to fluctuate on a quarterly and annual basis, which could cause our stock price to fluctuate or decline.

Our operating results are difficult to predict and may fluctuate substantially from quarter-to-quarter or year-to-year for a variety of reasons, many of which are beyond our control. If our actual results were to fall below our estimates or the expectations of public market analysts or investors, our quarterly and annual results would be

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negatively impacted and the price of our stock could decline. Other factors that could affect our quarterly and annual operating results include those listed in the risk factors section of this report and others such as:

 

operational disruptions, such as transportation delays or failure of our order processing system, particularly if they occur at the end of a fiscal quarter;

 

component supply constraints, including specialized WiFi 6 chipsets, or sudden, unforeseen price increases from our manufacturers, suppliers and vendors;

 

unanticipated increases in costs, including air and ocean freight, associated with shipping and delivery of our products;

 

the inability to maintain stable operations by our suppliers, distribution centers and other parties with which we have commercial relationships;

 

the duration and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly on our supply chain, our channel partners and our end market sales;

 

seasonal shifts in end market demand for our products, particularly in our Connected Home business segment;

 

our inability to accurately forecast product demand or optimal product mix such as the proportion of lower-priced products versus premium products resulting in increased inventory exposure and/or lost sales;

 

unfavorable level of inventory and turns;

 

changes in or consolidation of our sales channels and wholesale distributor relationships or failure to manage our sales channel inventory and warehousing requirements;

 

unanticipated decreases or delays in purchases of our products by our significant traditional and online retail customers;

 

shift in overall product mix sales from higher to lower gross margin products, from lower-priced products to premium products, or from one business segment to another, that would adversely impact our revenue and gross margins;

 

an increase in price protection claims, redemptions of marketing rebates, product warranty and stock rotation returns or allowance for doubtful accounts;

 

delay or failure to fulfill orders for our products on a timely basis;

 

changes in the pricing policies of or the introduction of new products by us or our competitors;

 

unexpected challenges or delays in our ability to further develop services and applications that complement our products and result in meaningful subscriber growth and future recurring revenue;

 

discovery or exploitation of security vulnerabilities in our products, services or systems, leading to negative publicity, decreased demand or potential liability, including potential breach of our customers’ data privacy or disruption of the continuous operation of our cloud infrastructure and our products;

 

introductions of new technologies and changes in consumer preferences that result in either unanticipated or unexpectedly rapid product category shifts;

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slow or negative growth in the networking product, personal computer, Internet infrastructure, smart home, home electronics and related technology markets;

 

delays in the introduction of new products by us or market acceptance of these products;

 

delays in regulatory approvals or consumer adoption of WiFi 6E technology in various regions;

 

increases in expenses related to the development, introduction and marketing of new products that adversely impact our margins;

 

increases in expenses related to the development and marketing related to the Company’s direct online sales channels that adversely impact our margins;

 

changes in tax rates or adverse changes in tax laws that expose us to additional income tax liabilities;

 

changes in U.S. and international trade policy that adversely affect customs, tax or duty rates;

 

foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations in the jurisdictions where we transact sales and expenditures in local currency;

 

unanticipated increases in expenses related to periodic restructuring measures undertaken to achieve profitability and other business goals, including the reallocation or relocation of resources;

 

delay or failure of our service provider customers to purchase at their historic volumes or at the volumes that they or we forecast;

 

litigation involving alleged patent infringement, consumer class actions, securities class actions or other claims that could negatively impact our reputation, brand, business and financial condition;

 

disruptions or delays related to our financial and enterprise resource planning systems;

 

allowance for doubtful accounts exposure with our existing retailers, distributors and other channel partners and new retailers, distributors and other channel partners, particularly as we expand into new international markets;

 

geopolitical disruption, including sudden changes in immigration policies, leading to disruption in our workforce or delay or even stoppage of our operations in manufacturing, transportation, technical support and research and development;

 

terms of our contracts with customers or suppliers that cause us to incur additional expenses or assume additional liabilities;

 

epidemic or widespread product failure, performance problems or unanticipated safety issues in one or more of our products that could negatively impact our reputation, brand and business;

 

any changes in accounting rules;

 

challenges associated with integrating acquisitions that we make, or with realizing value from our strategic investments in other companies;

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failure to effectively manage our third-party customer support partners, which may result in customer complaints and/or harm to the NETGEAR brand;

 

our inability to monitor and ensure compliance with our code of ethics, our anti-corruption compliance program and domestic and international anti-corruption laws and regulations, whether in relation to our employees or with our suppliers or customers;

 

labor unrest at facilities managed by our third-party manufacturers;

 

workplace or human rights violations in certain countries in which our third-party manufacturers or suppliers operate, which may affect the NETGEAR brand and negatively affect our products’ acceptance by consumers;

 

unanticipated shifts or declines in profit by geographical region that would adversely impact our tax rate; and

 

our failure to implement and maintain the appropriate internal controls over financial reporting which may result in restatements of our financial statements.

As a result, period-to-period comparisons of our operating results may not be meaningful, and you should not rely on them as an indication of our future performance.

Some of our competitors have substantially greater resources than we do, and to be competitive we may be required to lower our prices or increase our sales and marketing expenses, which could result in reduced margins or loss of market share and revenue.

We compete in a rapidly evolving and fiercely competitive market, and we expect competition to continue to be intense, including price competition. Our principal competitors in the consumer market include ARRIS, ASUS, AVM, Devolo, D-Link, Eero (owned by Amazon), Linksys (owned by Foxconn), Minim (owned by Motorola), Nest (owned by Google), Samsung, Synology and TP-Link. Our principal competitors in the business market include Allied Telesys, Barracuda, Buffalo, Cisco Systems, Dell, D-Link, Fortinet, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Palo Alto Networks, QNAP Systems, SonicWall, Synology, TP-Link, Ubiquiti and WatchGuard. Our principal competitors in the service provider market include Actiontec, Airties, Arcadyan, ARRIS, ASUS, AVM, Compal Broadband, D-Link, Eero (owned by Amazon), Franklin, Google, Hitron, Huawei, Inseego, Nokia, Plume, Sagem, Sercomm, SMC Networks, TechniColor, TP-Link, Ubee, ZTE and Zyxel. Other competitors include numerous local vendors such as Xiaomi in China, AVM in Germany and Buffalo in Japan. In addition, these local vendors may target markets outside of their local regions and may increasingly compete with us in other regions worldwide. Our potential competitors also include other consumer electronics vendors, including Apple, LG Electronics, Microsoft, Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba and Vizio, who could integrate networking and streaming capabilities into their line of products, such as televisions, set top boxes and gaming consoles, and our channel customers who may decide to offer self-branded networking products. We also face competition from service providers who may bundle a free networking device with their broadband service offering, which would reduce our sales if we were not the supplier of choice to those service providers. In the service provider space, we are also facing significant and increased competition from original design manufacturers, or ODMs, and contract manufacturers who are selling and attempting to sell their products directly to service providers around the world.

Many of our existing and potential competitors have longer operating histories, greater name recognition and substantially greater financial, technical, sales, marketing and other resources. These competitors may, among other things, undertake more extensive marketing campaigns, adopt more aggressive pricing policies, obtain more favorable pricing from suppliers and manufacturers, and exert more influence on sales channels than we can. Certain of our significant competitors also serve as key sales and marketing channels for our products, potentially giving these competitors a marketplace advantage based on their knowledge of our business activities and/or their ability to negatively influence our sales opportunities. For example, Amazon provides an important sales channel for our products, but it also competes with us in the mesh WiFi systems product category through its subsidiary Eero. In addition, certain competitors may have different business models, such as integrated manufacturing capabilities, that may allow them to achieve cost savings and to compete on the basis of price. Other competitors may have fewer resources, but may be more nimble in developing new or disruptive technology or in entering new markets. We anticipate that current and potential competitors will also intensify their efforts to penetrate our target markets. For example, in the recent past certain network security companies such as Symantec have introduced security routers for

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the home consumer market to compete with us and we believe that other network security companies may also seek to do the same. Price competition is intense in our industry in certain geographical regions and product categories. Many of our competitors in the service provider and retail spaces price their products significantly below our product costs in order to gain market share. Certain substantial competitors have business models that are more focused on customer acquisition and access to customer data rather than on financial return from product sales, and these competitors have the ability to provide sustained price competition to many of our products in the market. Average sales prices have declined in the past and may again decline in the future. These competitors may have more advanced technology, more extensive distribution channels, stronger brand names, greater access to shelf space in retail locations, bigger promotional budgets and larger customer bases than we do. In addition, many of these competitors leverage a broader product portfolio and offer lower pricing as part of a more comprehensive end-to-end solution which we may not have. These companies could devote more capital resources to develop, manufacture and market competing products than we could. Our competitors may acquire other companies in the market and leverage combined resources to gain market share. In some instances, our competitors may be acquired by larger companies with additional formidable resources, such as the purchase of ARRIS by CommScope, Eero by Amazon and Linksys by Foxconn. Additionally, in the case of Linksys, Foxconn is one of our main third-party manufacturing partners, which presents an additional risk if Foxconn decides to prioritize its interest in Linksys over its relationship with us. If any of these companies are successful in competing against us, our sales could decline, our margins could be negatively impacted and we could lose market share, any of which could seriously harm our business and results of operations.

If we fail to continue to introduce or acquire new products and services that achieve broad market acceptance on a timely basis, we will not be able to compete effectively and we will be unable to increase or maintain net revenue and gross margins.

We operate in a highly competitive, quickly changing environment, and our future success depends on our ability to develop or acquire, and introduce new products and services that achieve broad market acceptance. Our future success will depend in large part upon our ability to identify demand trends in the consumer, business and service provider markets, and to quickly develop or acquire, and manufacture and sell products and services that satisfy these demands in a cost-effective manner. In order to differentiate our products from our competitors’ products, we must continue to increase our focus and capital investment in research and development, including software development for our products and complementary services and applications. For example, we have committed a substantial amount of resources to the development, manufacture, marketing and sale of our Nighthawk home networking products and Orbi WiFi system, and to introducing additional and improved models in these lines. If these products do not continue to maintain or achieve widespread market acceptance, or if we are unsuccessful in capitalizing on other smart home market opportunities, our future growth may be slowed and our financial results could be harmed. Also, as the mix of our business increasingly includes new products and services that require additional investment, this shift may adversely impact our margins, at least in the near-term. For example, we are making significant investments in the development and introduction of our new WiFi 6 products and accompanying services, including marketing efforts to build awareness of the benefits of this next-generation WiFi standard and the importance of our services. Successfully predicting demand trends is difficult, and it is very difficult to predict the effect that introducing a new product will have on existing product sales. We will also need to respond effectively to new product announcements by our competitors by quickly introducing competitive products.

In addition, we have acquired companies and technologies in the past and as a result, have introduced new product lines in new markets. We may not be able to successfully manage integration of the new product lines with our existing products. Selling new product lines in new markets will require our management to learn different strategies in order to be successful. We may be unsuccessful in launching a newly acquired product line in new markets which requires management of new suppliers, potential new customers and new business models. Our management may not have the experience of selling in these new markets and we may not be able to grow our business as planned. For example, in August 2018, we acquired Meural Inc., a leader in digital platforms for visual art, to enhance our Connected Home product and service offerings. If we are unable to effectively and successfully further develop these new product lines, we may not be able to increase or maintain our sales and our gross margins may be adversely affected.

We have experienced delays and quality issues in releasing new products in the past, which resulted in lower quarterly net revenue than expected. In addition, we have experienced, and may in the future experience, product introductions that fall short of our projected rates of market adoption. Online Internet reviews of our products are increasingly becoming a significant factor in the success of our new product launches, especially in our Connected Home business segment. If we are unable to quickly respond to negative reviews, including end user reviews posted

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on various prominent online retailers, our ability to sell these products will be harmed. Any future delays in product development and introduction, or product introductions that do not meet broad market acceptance, or unsuccessful launches of new product lines could result in:

 

loss of or delay in revenue and loss of market share;

 

negative publicity and damage to our reputation and brand;

 

a decline in the average selling price of our products;

 

adverse reactions in our sales channels, such as reduced shelf space, reduced online product visibility, or loss of sales channels; and

 

increased levels of product returns.

Throughout the past few years, we have significantly increased the rate of our new product introductions. If we cannot sustain that pace of product introductions, either through rapid innovation or acquisition of new products or product lines, we may not be able to maintain or increase the market share of our products. In addition, if we are unable to successfully introduce or acquire new products with higher gross margins, or if we are unable to improve the margins on our previously introduced and rapidly growing product lines, our net revenue and overall gross margin would likely decline.

We depend substantially on our sales channels, and our failure to maintain and expand our sales channels would result in lower sales and reduced net revenue.

To maintain and grow our market share, net revenue and brand, we must maintain and expand our sales channels. Our sales channels consist of traditional retailers, online retailers, DMRs, VARs, and broadband service providers. Some of these entities purchase our products through our wholesale distributor customers. We generally have no minimum purchase commitments or long-term contracts with any of these third parties.

Traditional retailers have limited shelf space and promotional budgets, and competition is intense for these resources. If the networking sector does not experience sufficient growth, retailers may choose to allocate more shelf space to other consumer product sectors. A competitor with more extensive product lines and stronger brand identity may have greater bargaining power with these retailers. Any reduction in available shelf space or increased competition for such shelf space would require us to increase our marketing expenditures simply to maintain current levels of retail shelf space, which would harm our operating margin. Our traditional retail customers have faced increased and significant competition from online retailers. Further, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to a greater percentage of purchases taking place online versus traditional retail customers. If we cannot effectively manage our business amongst our online customers and traditional retail customers, our business would be harmed. The recent trend in the consolidation of online retailers and DMR channels has resulted in intensified competition for preferred product placement, such as product placement on an online retailer’s Internet home page. Expanding our presence in the VAR channel may be difficult and expensive. We compete with established companies that have longer operating histories and longstanding relationships with VARs that we would find highly desirable as sales channel partners. In addition, our efforts to realign or consolidate our sales channels may cause temporary disruptions in our product sales and revenue, and these changes may not result in the expected longer-term benefits. Recently, we have begun to sell products and services directly to consumers from our own e-commerce platforms. This has required a material investment in capital, time and resources and carries the risk that it may not achieve the expected return on investment that we are expecting, and that it may adversely affect our relationships with our existing channel partners, which ultimately may materially and adversely affect our results of operations.

We also sell products to broadband service providers. Competition for selling to broadband service providers is fierce and intense. Penetrating service provider accounts typically involves a long sales cycle and the challenge of displacing incumbent suppliers with established relationships and field-deployed products. If we are unable to maintain and expand our sales channels, our growth would be limited and our business would be harmed.

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We must also continuously monitor and evaluate emerging sales channels. If we fail to establish a presence in an important developing sales channel, such as sales directly to consumers from our own e-commerce platforms, our business could be harmed.

Changes in trade policy in the United States and other countries, including the imposition of tariffs and the resulting consequences, may adversely impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.

The prior U.S. administration altered the approach to international trade policy through the renegotiation, and potential termination, of certain existing bilateral or multi-lateral trade agreements and treaties with, and the imposition of tariffs on a wide range of products and other goods from, a number of countries. In particular, the U.S. government engaged in extended trade negotiations with China, which resulted in the implementation of tariffs on a significant number of products manufactured in China and imported into the United States. There is no indication at this time that the current administration will amend or reverse the tariff policies enacted by the prior administration. We worked closely with our manufacturing partners to implement ways to mitigate the impact of these tariffs on our supply chain as promptly and reasonably as practicable, including shifting production outside of China. These efforts are disruptive on our operations, may not be completely successful and may result in higher long-term manufacturing costs. Moreover, there is no certainty that countries to which we have shifted our manufacturing operations will not be subject to similar tariffs in the future. As a result, we may be required to raise our prices on certain products, which could result in the loss of customers and harm to our revenue, market share, competitive position and operating performance.

Additionally, the imposition of tariffs is dependent upon the classification of items under the Harmonized Tariff System (“HTS”) and the country of origin of the item. Determination of the HTS and the origin of the item is a technical matter that can be subjective in nature. Accordingly, although we believe our classifications of both HTS and origin are appropriate, there is no certainty that the U.S. government will agree with us. If the U.S. government does not agree with our determinations, we could be required to pay additional amounts, including potential penalties, and our profitability would be adversely impacted.

We depend on large, recurring purchases from certain significant customers, and a loss, cancellation or delay in purchases by these customers could negatively affect our revenue.

The loss of recurring orders from any of our more significant customers could cause our revenue and profitability to suffer. Our ability to attract new customers will depend on a variety of factors, including the cost-effectiveness, reliability, scalability, breadth and depth of our products. In addition, a change in the mix of our customers, or a change in the mix of direct and indirect sales, could adversely affect our revenue and gross margins.

Although our financial performance may depend on large, recurring orders from certain customers and resellers, we do not generally have binding commitments from them. For example:

 

our reseller agreements generally do not require substantial minimum purchases;

 

our customers can stop purchasing and our resellers can stop marketing our products at any time; and

 

our reseller agreements generally are not exclusive.

Further, our revenue may be impacted by significant one-time purchases which are not contemplated to be repeatable. While such purchases are reflected in our financial statements, we do not rely on and do not forecast for continued significant one-time purchases. As a result, lack of repeatable one-time purchases will adversely affect our revenue.

Because our expenses are based on our revenue forecasts, a substantial reduction or delay in sales of our products to, or unexpected returns from, customers and resellers, or the loss of any significant customer or reseller, could harm or otherwise have a negative impact to our operating results. Although our largest customers may vary from period to period, we anticipate that our operating results for any given period will continue to depend on large orders from a small number of customers.

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If we fail to overcome the challenges associated with managing our broadband service provider sales channel, our net revenue and gross profit will be negatively impacted.

We sell a significant number of products through broadband service providers worldwide. However, the service provider sales channel is challenging and exceptionally competitive. Difficulties and challenges in selling to service providers include a longer sales cycle, more stringent product testing and validation requirements, a higher level of customization demands, requirements that suppliers take on a larger share of the risk with respect to contractual business terms, competition from established suppliers, pricing pressure resulting in lower gross margins, and irregular and unpredictable ordering habits. For example, rigorous service provider certification processes may delay our sale of new products, or our products ultimately may fail these tests. In either event, we may lose some or all of the amounts we expended in trying to obtain business from the service provider, as well as lose the business opportunity altogether. In addition, even if we have a product which a service provider customer may wish to purchase, we may choose not to supply products to the potential service provider customer if the contract requirements, such as service level requirements, penalties, and liability provisions, are too onerous. Accordingly, our business may be harmed and our revenues may be reduced. We have, in exceptional limited circumstances, while still in contract negotiations, shipped products in advance of and subject to agreement on a definitive contract. We do not record revenue from these shipments until a definitive contract exists. There is risk that we do not ultimately close and sign a definitive contract. If this occurs, the timing of revenue recognition is uncertain and our business would be harmed. In addition, we often commence building custom-made products prior to execution of a contract in order to meet the customer’s contemplated launch dates and requirements. Service provider products are generally custom-made for a specific customer and may not be salable to other customers or in other channels. If we have pre-built custom-made products but do not come to agreement on a definitive contract, we may be forced to scrap the custom-made products or re-work them at substantial cost and our business would be harmed.

Further, successful engagements with service provider customers requires a constant analysis of technology trends. If we are unable to anticipate technology trends and service provider customer product needs, and to allocate research and development resources to the right projects, we may not be successful in continuing to sell products to service provider customers. In addition, because our service provider customers command significant resources, including for software support, and demand extremely competitive pricing, certain ODMs have declined to develop service provider products on an ODM basis. Accordingly, as our ODMs increasingly limit development of our service provider products, our service provider business will be harmed if we cannot replace this capability with alternative ODMs or in-house development.

Orders from service providers generally tend to be large but sporadic, which causes our revenues from them to fluctuate and challenges our ability to accurately forecast demand from them. In particular, managing inventory and production of our products for our service provider customers is a challenge. Many of our service provider customers have irregular purchasing requirements. These customers may decide to cancel orders for customized products specific to that customer, and we may not be able to reconfigure and sell those products in other channels. These cancellations could lead to substantial write-offs. In addition, these customers may issue unforecasted orders for products which we may not be able to produce in a timely manner and as such, we may not be able to accept and deliver on such unforecasted orders. In certain cases, we may commit to fixed-price, long term purchase orders, with such orders priced in foreign currencies which could lose value over time in the event of adverse changes in foreign exchange rates. Even if we are selected as a supplier, typically a service provider will also designate a second source supplier, which over time will reduce the aggregate orders that we receive from that service provider. Further, as the technology underlying our products deployed by broadband service providers matures and more competitors offer alternative products with similar technology, we anticipate competing in an extremely price sensitive market and our margins may be affected. If we are unable to introduce new products with sufficiently advanced technology to attract service provider interest in a timely manner, our service provider customers may then require us to lower our prices, or they may choose to purchase products from our competitors. If this occurs, our business would be harmed and our revenues would be reduced.

If we were to lose a service provider customer for any reason, we may experience a material and immediate reduction in forecasted revenue that may cause us to be below our net revenue and operating margin expectations for a particular period of time and therefore adversely affect our stock price. For example, many of our competitors in the service provider space aggressively price their products in order to gain market share. We may not be able to match the lower prices offered by our competitors, and we may choose to forgo lower-margin business opportunities. Many of the service provider customers will seek to purchase from the lowest cost provider, notwithstanding that our products may be higher quality or that our products were previously validated for use on their proprietary network. Accordingly, we may lose customers who have lower, more aggressive pricing, and our revenues may be reduced. In

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addition, service providers may choose to prioritize the implementation of other technologies or the roll out of other services than home networking. Weakness in orders from this industry could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition. We have seen slowdowns in capital expenditures by certain of our service provider customers in the past and believe there may be potential for similar slowdowns in the future. Any slowdown in the general economy, over supply, consolidation among service providers, regulatory developments and constraint on capital expenditures could result in reduced demand from service providers and therefore adversely affect our sales to them. If we do not successfully overcome these challenges, we will not be able to profitably manage our service provider sales channel and our financial results will be harmed.

The average selling prices of our products typically decrease rapidly over the sales cycle of the product, which may negatively affect our net revenue and gross margins.

Our products typically experience price erosion, a fairly rapid reduction in the average unit selling prices over their respective sales cycles. In order to sell products that have a falling average unit selling price and maintain margins at the same time, we need to continually reduce product and manufacturing costs. To manage manufacturing costs, we must collaborate with our third-party manufacturers to engineer the most cost-effective design for our products. In addition, we must carefully manage the price paid for components used in our products. We must also successfully manage our freight and inventory costs to reduce overall product costs. We also need to continually introduce new products with higher sales prices and gross margins in order to maintain our overall gross margins. If we are unable to manage the cost of older products or successfully introduce new products with higher gross margins, our net revenue and overall gross margin would likely decline.

Our sales and operations in international markets expose us to operational, financial and regulatory risks.

International sales comprise a significant amount of our overall net revenue. International sales were approximately 35% of overall net revenue in fiscal year 2021 and approximately 31% of overall net revenue in fiscal year 2020. We continue to be committed to growing our international sales, and while we have committed resources to expanding our international operations and sales channels, these efforts may not be successful. International operations are subject to a number of other risks, including:

 

exchange rate fluctuations;

 

political and economic instability, international terrorism and anti-American sentiment, particularly in emerging markets;

 

potential for violations of anti-corruption laws and regulations, such as those related to bribery and fraud;

 

preference for locally branded products, and laws and business practices favoring local competition;

 

changes in local tax and customs duty laws or changes in the enforcement, application or interpretation of such laws (including potential responses to the higher U.S. tariffs on certain imported products implemented by the U.S.);

 

consequences of, and uncertainty related to, the “BREXIT” deal by the United Kingdom and the current transition, which could lead to additional expense and complexity in doing business there;

 

increased difficulty in managing inventory;

 

delayed revenue recognition;

 

less effective protection of intellectual property;

 

stringent consumer protection and product compliance regulations, including but not limited to the Restriction of Hazardous Substances directive, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive and the European Ecodesign directive, or EuP, that are costly to comply with and may vary from country to country;

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difficulties and costs of staffing and managing foreign operations; and

 

business difficulties, including potential bankruptcy or liquidation, of any of our worldwide third-party logistics providers.

While we believe we generally have good relations with our employees, employees in certain jurisdictions have rights which give them certain collective rights. If management must expend significant resources and effort to address and comply with these rights, our business may be harmed. We are also required to comply with local environmental legislation and our customers rely on this compliance in order to sell our products. If our customers do not agree with our interpretations and requirements of new legislation, they may cease to order our products and our revenue would be harmed.

As part of growing our business, we have made and expect to continue to make acquisitions. If we fail to successfully select, execute or integrate our acquisitions, then our business and operating results could be harmed and our stock price could decline.

From time to time, we will undertake acquisitions to add new product lines and technologies, gain new sales channels or enter into new sales territories. For example, in August 2018, we acquired Meural Inc., a leader in digital platforms for visual art, to enhance our Connected Home product and service offerings. Acquisitions involve numerous risks and challenges, including but not limited to the following:

 

integrating the companies, assets, systems, products, sales channels and personnel that we acquire;

 

higher than anticipated acquisition and integration costs and expenses;

 

reliance on third parties to provide transition services for a period of time after closing to ensure an orderly transition of the business;

 

growing or maintaining revenues to justify the purchase price and the increased expenses associated with acquisitions;

 

entering into territories or markets with which we have limited or no prior experience;

 

establishing or maintaining business relationships with customers, vendors and suppliers who may be new to us;

 

overcoming the employee, customer, vendor and supplier turnover that may occur as a result of the acquisition;

 

disruption of, and demands on, our ongoing business as a result of integration activities including diversion of management’s time and attention from running the day-to-day operations of our business;

 

inability to implement uniform standards, disclosure controls and procedures, internal controls over financial reporting and other procedures and policies in a timely manner;

 

inability to realize the anticipated benefits of or successfully integrate with our existing business the businesses, products, technologies or personnel that we acquire; and

 

potential post-closing disputes.

As part of undertaking an acquisition, we may also significantly revise our capital structure or operational budget, such as issuing common stock that would dilute the ownership percentage of our stockholders, assuming liabilities or debt, utilizing a substantial portion of our cash resources to pay for the acquisition or significantly increasing operating expenses. Our acquisitions have resulted and may in the future result in charges being taken in an individual quarter as well as future periods, which results in variability in our quarterly earnings. In addition, our effective tax rate in any particular quarter may also be impacted by acquisitions. Following the closing of an

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acquisition, we may also have disputes with the seller regarding contractual requirements and covenants. Any such disputes may be time consuming and distract management from other aspects of our business. In addition, if we increase the pace or size of acquisitions, we will have to expend significant management time and effort into the transactions and the integrations and we may not have the proper human resources bandwidth to ensure successful integrations and accordingly, our business could be harmed.

As part of the terms of acquisition, we may commit to pay additional contingent consideration if certain revenue or other performance milestones are met. We are required to evaluate the fair value of such commitments at each reporting date and adjust the amount recorded if there are changes to the fair value.

We cannot ensure that we will be successful in selecting, executing and integrating acquisitions. Failure to manage and successfully integrate acquisitions could materially harm our business and operating results. In addition, if stock market analysts or our stockholders do not support or believe in the value of the acquisitions that we choose to undertake, our stock price may decline.

We invest in companies for both strategic and financial reasons, but may not realize a return on our investments.

We have made, and continue to seek to make, investments in companies around the world to further our strategic objectives and support our key business initiatives. These investments may include equity or debt instruments of public or private companies, and may be non-marketable at the time of our initial investment. We do not restrict the types of companies in which we seek to invest. These companies may range from early-stage companies that are often still defining their strategic direction to more mature companies with established revenue streams and business models. If any company in which we invest fails, we could lose all or part of our investment in that company. If we determine that an other-than-temporary decline in the fair value exists for an equity or debt investment in a public or private company in which we have invested, we will have to write down the investment to its fair value and recognize the related write-down as an investment loss. The performance of any of these investments could result in significant impairment charges and gains (losses) on investments. During fiscal year 2021, we recognized a net investment loss of $1.4 million on our privately held investments. We must also analyze accounting and legal issues when making these investments. If we do not structure these investments properly, we may be subject to certain adverse accounting issues, such as potential consolidation of financial results.

Furthermore, if the strategic objectives of an investment have been achieved, or if the investment or business diverges from our strategic objectives, we may seek to dispose of the investment. Our non-marketable equity investments in private companies are not liquid, and we may not be able to dispose of these investments on favorable terms or at all. The occurrence of any of these events could harm our results. Gains or losses from equity securities could vary from expectations depending on gains or losses realized on the sale or exchange of securities and impairment charges related to debt instruments as well as equity and other investments.

Expansion of our operations and infrastructure may strain our operations and increase our operating expenses.

We have expanded our operations and are pursuing market opportunities both domestically and internationally in order to grow our sales. This expansion has required enhancements to our existing management information systems, and operational and financial controls. In addition, if we continue to grow, our expenditures would likely be significantly higher than our historical costs. We may not be able to install adequate controls in an efficient and timely manner as our business grows, and our current systems may not be adequate to support our future operations. The difficulties associated with installing and implementing new systems, procedures and controls may place a significant burden on our management, operational and financial resources. In addition, if we grow internationally, we will have to expand and enhance our communications infrastructure. If we fail to continue to improve our management information systems, procedures and financial controls or encounter unexpected difficulties during expansion and reorganization, our business could be harmed.

For example, we have invested, and will continue to invest, significant capital and human resources in the design and enhancement of our financial and enterprise resource planning systems, which may be disruptive to our underlying business. We depend on these systems in order to timely and accurately process and report key components of our results of operations, financial position and cash flows. If the systems fail to operate appropriately or we experience any disruptions or delays in enhancing their functionality to meet current business requirements, our ability to fulfill customer orders, bill and track our customers, fulfill contractual obligations, accurately report our financials and otherwise run our business could be adversely affected. Even if we do not encounter these adverse effects, the enhancement of systems may be much more costly than we anticipated. If we are unable to continue to enhance our

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information technology systems as planned, our financial position, results of operations and cash flows could be negatively impacted.

Risks Related to Our Products, Technology and Intellectual Property

Product security vulnerabilities, system security risks, data protection breaches and cyber-attacks could disrupt our products, services, internal operations or information technology systems, and any such disruption could increase our expenses, damage our reputation, harm our business and adversely affect our stock price.

Our products and services may contain unknown security vulnerabilities. For example, the firmware, software and open source software that we or our manufacturing partners have installed on our products may be susceptible to hacking or misuse. We devote considerable time and resources to uncovering and remedying these vulnerabilities, using both internal and external resources, but the threats to network and data security are increasingly diverse and sophisticated. Despite our efforts and processes to prevent breaches, our devices are potentially vulnerable to cybersecurity risks, including cyber-attacks such as viruses and worms, vulnerabilities such as command injection, cross site scripting, authentication and session management, and stack-based buffer overflow, and other sophisticated attacks or exploits. It is also possible that an attacker could compromise our internal code repository or those of our partners and insert a ‘backdoor’ that would give them easy access to any of our devices using this code. This particular kind of attack is very sophisticated, relatively new, and hard to defend against. We may not be able to discover these vulnerabilities, and we may not be able to remedy these vulnerabilities in a timely manner, or at all, which may impact our brand and reputation and harm our business. These attacks could lead to interruptions, delays, loss of critical data, unauthorized access to user data, and loss of consumer confidence. If successful, these attacks could adversely affect our business, operating results, and financial condition, be expensive to remedy, and damage our reputation. In addition, any such breaches may result in negative publicity, adversely affect our brand, decrease demand for our products and services, and adversely affect our operating results and financial condition. Further, under certain circumstances, we may need to prioritize fixing these vulnerabilities over new product development, which may impact our revenues and adversely affect our business.

In addition, we offer a comprehensive online cloud management service paired with a number of our products. If malicious actors compromise this cloud service, or if customer confidential information is accessed without authorization, our business will be harmed. Operating an online cloud service is a relatively new business for us and we may not have the expertise to properly manage risks related to data security and systems security. In addition, we have recently started to make our products available for purchase directly by consumers through our website. We rely on third-party providers for a number of critical aspects of our cloud services, e-commerce site and customer support, including web hosting services, billing and payment processing, and consequently we do not maintain direct control over the security or stability of the associated systems.

Maintaining the security of our computer information systems and communication systems is a critical issue for us and our customers. Malicious actors may develop and deploy malware that is designed to manipulate our products and systems, including our internal network, or those of our vendors or customers. Additionally, outside parties may attempt to fraudulently induce our employees to disclose sensitive information in order to gain access to our information technology systems, our data or our customers’ data. We have established a crisis management plan and business continuity program. While we regularly test the plan and the program, there can be no assurance that the plan and program can withstand an actual or serious disruption in our business, including a data protection breach or cyber-attack. While we have established infrastructure and geographic redundancy for our critical systems, our ability to utilize these redundant systems requires further testing and we cannot be assured that such systems are fully functional. For example, much of our order fulfillment process is automated and the order information is stored on our servers. A significant business interruption could result in losses or damages and harm our business. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, discussed further in the risk factor “The COVID-19 pandemic could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations,” above, most of our major offices worldwide have enacted shelter-in-place measures, with employees being mandated to work from home. These working from home arrangements present additional cybersecurity risks, including potential increases in malware and phishing attacks, greater challenges to secure home office data, and potential service degradation or disruption to key internal business applications and third-party services. Although we have taken measures to address these risks, they present challenges that could impact business operations and could cause recovery times to increase. If our computer systems and servers become unavailable at the end of a fiscal quarter, our ability to recognize revenue may be delayed until we are able to utilize

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back-up systems and continue to process and ship our orders. This could cause our stock price to decline significantly.

We devote considerable internal and external resources to network security, data encryption and other security measures to protect our systems and customer data, but these security measures cannot provide absolute security. In addition, many jurisdictions strictly regulate data privacy and protection and may impose significant penalties for failure to comply with these requirements. For example, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which became effective in May 2018, has required us to expend significant time and resources to prepare for compliance. Data Protection Authorities in Europe have begun to aggressively enforce the GDPR and have issued heavy fines for non-compliance against a broad range of companies. The State of California has enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (the “CCPA”), which became effective in January 2020. On November 3, 2020, California passed the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), which will become effective on January 1. 2023. The CCPA establishes a privacy framework for covered businesses, including an expansive definition of personal information and data privacy rights for California residents. The CCPA includes potentially severe statutory damages and private rights of action. The CCPA requires covered companies to provide new disclosures to California consumers (as broadly defined in the CCPA), provide such consumers new ways to opt-out of certain sales of personal information, and allow for a new cause of action for data breaches. The CPRA amends and augments the CCPA by expanding the rights of individuals and the obligations of businesses that handle personal data. California’s privacy framework exemplifies the vulnerability of our business not only to cyber threats but also the evolving regulatory environment related to personal data. The CCPA and CPRA will likely increase our compliance costs and potential liability. Some observers have noted that the CCPA could mark the beginning of a trend toward more stringent privacy legislation in the United States, and other states are beginning to pass similar laws.

Compliance with these and any other applicable privacy and data security laws and regulations is a rigorous and time-intensive process, and we may be required to put in place additional mechanisms ensuring compliance with the new data protection rules. If we fail to comply with any such laws or regulations, we may face significant fines and penalties that could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Furthermore, the laws are not consistent, and compliance in the event of a widespread data breach is costly.

Potential breaches of our security measures and the accidental loss, inadvertent disclosure or unapproved dissemination of proprietary information or sensitive or confidential data about us, our employees or our customers, including the potential loss or disclosure of such information or data as a result of employee error or other employee actions, hacking, fraud, social engineering or other forms of deception, could expose us, our customers or the individuals affected to a risk of loss or misuse of this information, result in litigation and potential liability for us, subject us to significant governmental fines, damage our brand and reputation, or otherwise harm our business. In addition, the cost and operational consequences of implementing further data protection measures could be significant. Likewise, we expect that there will continue to be new proposed laws, regulations and industry standards relating to privacy and data protection in the United States, the EU and other jurisdictions, such as the CCPA. We cannot presently determine the impact such laws, regulations and standards will have on our business. In any event, it is possible that governmental authorities will conclude that our business practices do not comply with current or future statutes, regulations, agency guidance or case law involving applicable healthcare or privacy laws, including the GDPR, in light of the lack of applicable precedent and regulations.

Our management has spent increasing amounts of time, effort and expense in this area, and in the event of the discovery of a significant product or system security vulnerability, we would incur additional substantial expenses and our business would be harmed. If we or our third-party providers are unable to successfully prevent breaches of security relating to our products, services, systems or customer private information, including customer personal identification information, or if these third-party systems failed for other reasons, it could result in litigation and potential liability for us, damage our brand and reputation, or otherwise harm our business.

We rely upon third parties for technology that is critical to our products, and if we are unable to continue to use this technology and future technology, our ability to develop, sell, maintain and support technologically innovative products would be limited.

We rely on third parties to obtain non-exclusive patented hardware and software license rights in technologies that are incorporated into and necessary for the operation and functionality of most of our products. In these cases, because the intellectual property we license is available from third parties, barriers to entry into certain markets may

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be lower for potential or existing competitors than if we owned exclusive rights to the technology that we license and use. Moreover, if a competitor or potential competitor enters into an exclusive arrangement with any of our key third-party technology providers, or if any of these providers unilaterally decide not to do business with us for any reason, our ability to develop and sell products containing that technology would be severely limited. If we are shipping products that contain third-party technology that we subsequently lose the right to license, then we will not be able to continue to offer or support those products. In addition, these licenses often require royalty payments or other consideration to the third-party licensor. Our success will depend, in part, on our continued ability to access these technologies, and we do not know whether these third-party technologies will continue to be licensed to us on commercially acceptable terms, if at all. If we are unable to license the necessary technology, we may be forced to acquire or develop alternative technology of lower quality or performance standards, which would limit and delay our ability to offer new or competitive products and increase our costs of production. As a result, our revenue, margins, market share, and operating results could be significantly harmed.

We also utilize third-party software development companies to develop, customize, maintain and support software that is incorporated into our products. For example, we license software from Bitdefender for our NETGEAR Armor cybersecurity services offering and we license software from Circle Media Labs, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Aura, for our parental controls service offering. If these companies fail to timely deliver or continuously maintain and support the software, as we require of them, we may experience delays in releasing new products or difficulties with supporting existing products and customers. In addition, if these third-party licensors fail or experience instability, then we may be unable to continue to sell products that incorporate the licensed technologies in addition to being unable to continue to maintain and support these products. We do require escrow arrangements with respect to certain third-party software which entitle us to certain limited rights to the source code, in the event of certain failures by the third party, in order to maintain and support such software. However, there is no guarantee that we would be able to fully understand and use the source code, as we may not have the expertise to do so. We are increasingly exposed to these risks as we continue to develop and market more products containing third-party software, such as our subscription service offerings related to network security and smart parental controls. If we are unable to license the necessary technology, we may be forced to acquire or develop alternative technology, which could be of lower quality or performance standards. The acquisition or development of alternative technology may limit and delay our ability to offer new or competitive products and services and increase our costs of production. As a result, our business, operating results and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.

We have been and will be investing increased additional in-house resources on software research and development, which could disrupt our ongoing business and present distinct risks from our historically hardware-centric business.

We plan to continue to evolve our historically hardware-centric business model towards a model that includes more sophisticated software offerings, including services and applications that complement our products and are intended to drive subscriber growth and future recurring revenue. As such, we will further evolve the focus of our organization towards the delivery of more integrated hardware and software solutions for our customers, as well as related services. While we have invested in software development in the past, we will be expending additional resources in this area in the future, including key new hires. Such endeavors may involve significant risks and uncertainties, including distraction of management from current operations and insufficient revenue to offset expenses associated with this strategy. Software development is inherently risky for a company such as ours with a historically hardware-centric business model, and accordingly, our efforts in software development may not be successful. Any increased investment in software research and development may materially adversely affect our financial condition and operating results.

We may spend a proportionately greater amount on software research and development in the future. If we cannot proportionately decrease our cost structure in response to competitive price pressures, our gross margin and, therefore, our profitability could be adversely affected. In addition, if our software solutions, services, applications, pricing and other factors are not sufficiently competitive, or if there is an adverse reaction to our product decisions, we may lose market share in certain areas, which could adversely affect our revenue, profitability and prospects.

Software research and development is complex. We must make long-term investments, develop or obtain appropriate intellectual property and commit significant resources before knowing whether our output from these investments will successfully result in meaningful customer demand for our products and services. We must accurately forecast mixes of software solutions and configurations that meet customer requirements, and we may not succeed at

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doing so within a given product's life cycle or at all. Any delay in the development, production or marketing of a new software solution could result in us not being among the first to market, which could further harm our competitive position. In addition, our regular testing and quality control efforts may not be effective in controlling or detecting all quality issues and defects. We may be unable to determine the cause, find an appropriate solution or offer a temporary fix to address defects. Finding solutions to quality issues or defects can be expensive and may result in additional warranty, replacement and other costs, adversely affecting our profits. If new or existing customers have difficulty with our software solutions or are dissatisfied with our services, our operating margins could be adversely affected, and we could face possible claims if we fail to meet our customers expectations. In addition, quality issues can impair our relationships with new or existing customers and adversely affect our brand and reputation, which could adversely affect our operating results.

If our products contain defects or errors, we could incur significant unexpected expenses, experience product returns and lost sales, experience product recalls, suffer damage to our brand and reputation, and be subject to product liability or other claims.

Our products are complex and may contain defects, errors or failures, particularly when first introduced or when new versions are released. The industry standards upon which many of our products are based are also complex, experience change over time and may be interpreted in different manners. Some errors and defects may be discovered only after a product has been installed and used by the end-user.

In addition, epidemic failure clauses are found in certain of our customer contracts, especially contracts with service providers. If invoked, these clauses may entitle the customer to return for replacement or obtain credits for products and inventory, as well as assess liquidated damage penalties and terminate an existing contract and cancel future or then current purchase orders. In such instances, we may also be obligated to cover significant costs incurred by the customer associated with the consequences of such epidemic failure, including freight and transportation required for product replacement and out-of-pocket costs for truck rolls to end user sites to collect the defective products. Costs or payments we make in connection with an epidemic failure may materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. If our products contain defects or errors, or are found to be noncompliant with industry standards, we could experience decreased sales and increased product returns, loss of customers and market share, and increased service, warranty and insurance costs. In addition, defects in, or misuse of, certain of our products could cause safety concerns, including the risk of property damage or personal injury. If any of these events occurred, our reputation and brand could be damaged, and we could face product liability or other claims regarding our products, resulting in unexpected expenses and adversely impacting our operating results. For instance, if a third party were able to successfully overcome the security measures in our products, such a person or entity could misappropriate customer data, third party data stored by our customers and other information, including intellectual property. In addition, the operations of our end-user customers may be interrupted. If that happens, affected end-users or others may file actions against us alleging product liability, tort, or breach of warranty claims.

 

Our user growth, engagement, and monetization of our subscription services on mobile devices depend upon effective operation with mobile operating systems, networks, technologies, products, and standards that we do not control.

 

The substantial majority of our revenue from our subscription services is generated from use of such services on mobile devices. We are dependent on the interoperability of Armor and our parental controls services and our other products with popular mobile operating systems, networks, technologies, products, and standards that we do not control, such as the Android and iOS operating systems and mobile browsers. Any changes, bugs, or technical issues in such systems, or changes in our relationships with mobile operating system partners, handset manufacturers, browser developers, or mobile carriers, or in their terms of service or policies that degrade our products’ functionality, reduce or eliminate our ability to update or distribute our products, give preferential treatment to competitive products, or charge fees related to the distribution of our products could adversely affect the usage of our subscription services products or our other products on mobile devices. We may not be successful in maintaining or developing relationships with key participants in the mobile ecosystem or in developing products that operate effectively with these technologies, products, systems, networks, or standards. In the event that it is more difficult for our users to access and use our subscription services products or our other products on their mobile devices, or if our users choose not to access or use our subscription services products or our other products on their mobile devices, our user growth and user engagement and our business could be harmed.

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If we are unable to secure and protect our intellectual property rights, our ability to compete could be harmed.

We rely upon third parties for a substantial portion of the intellectual property that we use in our products. At the same time, we rely on a combination of copyright, trademark, patent and trade secret laws, nondisclosure agreements with employees, consultants and suppliers and other contractual provisions to establish, maintain and protect our intellectual property rights and technology. Despite efforts to protect our intellectual property, unauthorized third parties may attempt to design around, copy aspects of our product design or obtain and use technology or other intellectual property associated with our products. For example, one of our primary intellectual property assets is the NETGEAR name, trademark and logo. We may be unable to stop third parties from adopting similar names, trademarks and logos, particularly in those international markets where our intellectual property rights may be less protected. Furthermore, our competitors may independently develop similar technology or design around our intellectual property. In addition, we manufacture and sell our products in many international jurisdictions that offer reduced levels of protection and recourse from intellectual property misuse or theft, as compared to the United States. Our inability to secure and protect our intellectual property rights could significantly harm our brand and business, operating results and financial condition.

Financial, Legal, Regulatory and Tax Compliance Risks

Changes in tax laws or exposure to additional income tax liabilities could affect our future profitability.

Factors that could materially affect our future effective tax rates include but are not limited to:

 

changes in tax laws or the regulatory environment;

 

changes in accounting and tax standards or practices;

 

changes in the composition of operating income by tax jurisdiction; and

 

our operating results before taxes.

We are subject to income taxes in the United States and numerous foreign jurisdictions. Our effective tax rate has fluctuated in the past and may fluctuate in the future. For example, the House of Representatives has introduced legislation proposing an increase to the U.S. corporate tax rate from 21% to 26.5% in addition to other changes in U.S. tax law that would increase our U.S. tax burden. Future effective tax rates could be affected by changes in the composition of earnings in countries with differing tax rates, changes in deferred tax assets and liabilities, or changes in tax laws. Foreign jurisdictions have increased the volume of tax audits of multinational corporations. Further, many countries continue to consider changes in their tax laws by implementing new taxes such as the digital service tax and initiatives such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Pillar II global minimum tax proposals continue. These proposals could increase our total tax burden in the future. In addition, the acceleration of employee mobility as a result of the pandemic potentially increases the jurisdictional tax risk of our workforce. Changes in tax laws could affect the distribution of our earnings, result in double taxation and adversely affect our results.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 included provisions effective for the 2022 tax year that eliminate the option to deduct research and development expenditures immediately in the year incurred and requires taxpayers to amortize such expenditures over five years for domestic payments and 15 years for payments to foreign parties. If these provisions are not deferred, modified, or repealed by Congress with retroactive effect to January 1, 2022, they will materially decrease our cash from operations beginning in 2022. The actual impact on 2022 cash from operations will depend on if and when these provisions are deferred, modified, or repealed by Congress, including if retroactively, and the amount of research and development expenses paid or incurred in 2022 among other factors.

We have been audited by the Italian Tax Authority (ITA) for the 2004 through 2012 tax years. The ITA examination included an audit of income, gross receipts and value-added taxes. Currently, we are in litigation with the ITA for the 2004 through 2012 years. If we are unsuccessful in defending our tax positions, our profitability will be reduced.

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The Companys U.S. federal tax return and payroll taxes for our fiscal year ended December 31, 2018 is currently under examination by the IRS. We are also subject to examination by other tax authorities, including state revenue agencies and other foreign governments. While we regularly assess the likelihood of favorable or unfavorable outcomes resulting from examinations by the IRS and other tax authorities to determine the adequacy of our provision for income taxes, there can be no assurance that the actual outcome resulting from these examinations will not materially adversely affect our financial condition and operating results. Additionally, the IRS and several foreign tax authorities have increasingly focused attention on intercompany transfer pricing with respect to sales of products and services and the use of intangibles. Tax authorities could disagree with our intercompany charges, cross-jurisdictional transfer pricing or other matters and assess additional taxes. If we do not prevail in any such disagreements, our profitability may be affected.

We are currently involved in numerous litigation matters in the ordinary course and may in the future become involved in additional litigation, including litigation regarding intellectual property rights, consumer class actions and securities class actions, any of which could be costly and subject us to significant liability.

The networking industry is characterized by the existence of a large number of patents and frequent claims and related litigation regarding infringement of patents, trade secrets and other intellectual property rights. In particular, leading companies in the data communications markets, some of which are our competitors, have extensive patent portfolios with respect to networking technology. From time to time, third parties, including these leading companies, have asserted and may continue to assert exclusive patent, copyright, trademark and other intellectual property rights against us demanding license or royalty payments or seeking payment for damages, injunctive relief and other available legal remedies through litigation. These also include third-party non-practicing entities who claim to own patents or other intellectual property that cover industry standards that our products comply with. If we are unable to resolve these matters or obtain licenses on acceptable or commercially reasonable terms, we could be sued or we may be forced to initiate litigation to protect our rights. The cost of any necessary licenses could significantly harm our business, operating results and financial condition. We may also choose to join defensive patent aggregation services in order to prevent or settle litigation against such non-practicing entities and avoid the associated significant costs and uncertainties of litigation. These patent aggregation services may obtain, or have previously obtained, licenses for the alleged patent infringement claims against us and other patent assets that could be used offensively against us. The costs of such defensive patent aggregation services, while potentially lower than the costs of litigation, may be significant as well. At any time, any of these non-practicing entities, or any other third-party could initiate litigation against us, or we may be forced to initiate litigation against them, which could divert management attention, be costly to defend or prosecute, prevent us from using or selling the challenged technology, require us to design around the challenged technology and cause the price of our stock to decline. Recently, a third-party non-practicing entity initiated litigation against us in the United States International Trade Commission, which carries with it the threat of an injunction on the importation of our products into the United States, as well as a significant increase in time and resources to defend against. In addition, several third-party non-practicing entities have initiated litigation against us in China, which also raises novel and unique challenges for us. For example, thus far we have experienced that patent litigation in China proceeds along a faster timeline, is more costly than we anticipated, carries a greater risk of injunction, and suffers from a relative lack of judicial development relative to patent litigation in the United States. In addition, third parties, some of whom are potential competitors, have initiated and may continue to initiate litigation against our manufacturers, suppliers, members of our sales channels or our service provider customers or even end user customers, alleging infringement of their proprietary rights with respect to existing or future products. In the event successful claims of infringement are brought by third parties, and we are unable to obtain licenses or independently develop alternative technology on a timely basis, we may be subject to indemnification obligations, be unable to offer competitive products, or be subject to increased expenses. Consumer class-action lawsuits related to the marketing and performance of our home networking products have been asserted and may in the future be asserted against us. Finally, along with Arlo Technologies and individuals and underwriters involved in Arlo’s initial public offering, we have been sued in securities class action lawsuits, and may in the future be named in other similar lawsuits. For additional information regarding certain of the lawsuits in which we are involved, see the information set forth in Note 8. Commitments and Contingencies, in Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of Part II of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. If we do not resolve these claims on a favorable basis, our business, operating results and financial condition could be significantly harmed.

We are exposed to adverse currency exchange rate fluctuations in jurisdictions where we transact in local currency, which could harm our financial results and cash flows.

Because a significant portion of our business is conducted outside the United States, we face exposure to adverse movements in foreign currency exchange rates. These exposures may change over time as business practices evolve, and they could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations, financial position and cash flows. Although

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a portion of our international sales are currently invoiced in United States dollars, we have implemented and continue to implement for certain countries and customers both invoicing and payment in foreign currencies. Our primary exposure to movements in foreign currency exchange rates relates to non-U.S. dollar denominated sales in Europe, Japan and Australia as well as our global operations, and non-U.S. dollar denominated operating expenses and certain assets and liabilities. In addition, weaknesses in foreign currencies for U.S. dollar denominated sales could adversely affect demand for our products. Conversely, a strengthening in foreign currencies against the U.S. dollar could increase foreign currency denominated costs. As a result, we may attempt to renegotiate pricing of existing contracts or request payment to be made in U.S. dollars. We cannot be sure that our customers would agree to renegotiate along these lines. This could result in customers eventually terminating contracts with us or in our decision to terminate certain contracts, which would adversely affect our sales.

We hedge our exposure to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates as a response to the risk of changes in the value of foreign currency-denominated assets and liabilities. We may enter into foreign currency forward contracts or other instruments, the majority of which mature within approximately five months. Our foreign currency forward contracts reduce, but do not eliminate, the impact of currency exchange rate movements. For example, we do not execute forward contracts in all currencies in which we conduct business. In addition, we hedge to reduce the impact of volatile exchange rates on net revenue, gross profit and operating profit for limited periods of time. However, the use of these hedging activities may only offset a portion of the adverse financial effect resulting from unfavorable movements in foreign exchange rates.

We could incur significant liability if the distribution of Arlo shares to our stockholders is determined to be a taxable transaction.

On February 6, 2018, we announced that our Board of Directors had unanimously approved the pursuit of a separation of our smart camera business “Arlo” from NETGEAR (the “Separation”), to be effected by way of initial public offering (“IPO”) and spin-off. On August 7, 2018, Arlo Technologies, Inc. (“Arlo”) completed its IPO, after which we held 62,500,000 shares of Arlo common stock, representing approximately 84.2% of the outstanding shares of Arlo common stock. On December 31, 2018, we completed the distribution of these 62,500,000 shares to our stockholders (the “Distribution”).

We have received an opinion from outside tax counsel to the effect that the Distribution qualifies as a transaction that is generally tax-free for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The opinion relies on certain facts, assumptions, representations and undertakings from Arlo and us regarding the past and future conduct of the companies’ respective businesses and other matters. If any of these facts, assumptions, representations or undertakings are incorrect or not satisfied, our stockholders and we may not be able to rely on the opinion of tax counsel and could be subject to significant tax liabilities. Notwithstanding the opinion of tax counsel we have received, the IRS could determine on audit that the Distribution is taxable if it determines that any of these facts, assumptions, representations or undertakings are not correct or have been violated or if it disagrees with the conclusions in the opinion. Our U.S. federal income tax return for the calendar year 2018, the year of the Distribution, is currently under audit by the IRS. If the Distribution were determined to be taxable for U.S. federal income tax purposes, in general, we would recognize taxable gain as if we had sold Arlo common stock in a taxable sale for its fair market value, and our stockholders who received shares of Arlo common stock in the Distribution would be subject to tax as if they had received a taxable distribution equal to the fair market value of such shares.

We may be exposed to claims and liabilities as a result of the Distribution.

We entered into a separation agreement and various other agreements with Arlo to govern the Distribution and the relationship of the two companies going forward. These agreements provide for specific indemnity and liability obligations and could lead to disputes between us and Arlo. The indemnity rights we have against Arlo under the agreements may not be sufficient to protect us, for example if our losses exceeded our indemnity rights or if Arlo did not have the financial resources to meet its indemnity obligations. In addition, our indemnity obligations to Arlo may be significant, and these risks could negatively affect our results of operations and financial condition.

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We must comply with indirect tax laws in multiple jurisdictions, as well as complex customs duty regimes worldwide. Audits of our compliance with these rules may result in additional liabilities for taxes, duties, interest and penalties related to our international operations which would reduce our profitability.

Our operations are routinely subject to audit by tax authorities in various countries. Many countries have indirect tax systems where the sale and purchase of goods and services are subject to tax based on the transaction value. These taxes are commonly referred to as sales and/or use tax, value-added tax (VAT) or goods and services tax (GST). In addition, the distribution of our products subjects us to numerous complex customs regulations, which frequently change over time. Failure to comply with these systems and regulations can result in the assessment of additional taxes, duties, interest and penalties. While we believe we are in compliance with local laws, we cannot assure that tax and customs authorities would agree with our reporting positions and upon audit may assess us additional taxes, duties, interest and penalties.

Additionally, some of our products are subject to U.S. export controls, including the Export Administration Regulations and economic sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control. We also incorporate encryption technology into certain of our solutions. These encryption solutions and underlying technology may be exported outside of the United States only with the required export authorizations or exceptions, including by license, a license exception, appropriate classification notification requirement and encryption authorization.

Furthermore, our activities are subject to U.S. economic sanctions laws and regulations that prohibit the shipment of certain products and services without the required export authorizations, including to countries, governments and persons targeted by U.S. embargoes or sanctions. Additionally, the current U.S. administration has been critical of existing trade agreements and may impose more stringent export and import controls. Obtaining the necessary export license or other authorization for a particular sale may be time consuming and may result in delay or loss of sales opportunities even if the export license ultimately is granted. While we take precautions to prevent our solutions from being exported in violation of these laws, including using authorizations or exceptions for our encryption products and implementing IP address blocking and screenings against U.S. government and international lists of restricted and prohibited persons and countries, we have not been able to guarantee, and cannot guarantee that the precautions we take will prevent all violations of export control and sanctions laws, including if purchasers of our products bring our products and services into sanctioned countries without our knowledge. Violations of U.S. sanctions or export control laws can result in significant fines or penalties and incarceration could be imposed on employees and managers for criminal violations of these laws.

Also, various countries, in addition to the United States, regulate the import and export of certain encryption and other technology, including import and export licensing requirements, and have enacted laws that could limit our ability to distribute our products and services or our end-users’ ability to utilize our solutions in their countries. Changes in our products and services or changes in import and export regulations may create delays in the introduction of our products in international markets.

Adverse action by any government agencies related to indirect tax laws could materially adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition.

We are subject to, and must remain in compliance with, numerous laws and governmental regulations concerning the manufacturing, use, distribution and sale of our products, as well as any such future laws and regulations. Some of our customers also require that we comply with their own unique requirements relating to these matters. Any failure to comply with such laws, regulations and requirements, and any associated unanticipated costs, may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We manufacture and sell products which contain electronic components, and such components may contain materials that are subject to government regulation in both the locations that we manufacture and assemble our products, as well as the locations where we sell our products. For example, certain regulations limit the use of lead in electronic components. To our knowledge, we maintain compliance with all applicable current government regulations concerning the materials utilized in our products, for all the locations in which we operate. Since we operate on a global basis, this is a complex process which requires continual monitoring of regulations and an ongoing compliance process to ensure that we and our suppliers are in compliance with all existing regulations. There are areas where new regulations have been enacted which could increase our cost of the components that we utilize or require us to expend additional resources to ensure compliance. For example, the SEC’s “conflict minerals” rules apply to our business,

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and we are expending significant resources to ensure compliance. The implementation of these requirements by government regulators and our partners and/or customers could adversely affect the sourcing, availability, and pricing of minerals used in the manufacture of certain components used in our products. In addition, the supply-chain due diligence investigation required by the conflict minerals rules will require expenditures of resources and management attention regardless of the results of the investigation. If there is an unanticipated new regulation which significantly impacts our use of various components or requires more expensive components, that regulation would have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

One area which has a large number of regulations is environmental compliance. Management of environmental pollution and climate change has produced significant legislative and regulatory efforts on a global basis, and we believe this will continue both in scope and the number of countries participating, particularly with the election of a new presidential administration which has declared climate change a priority. These changes could directly increase the cost of energy which may have an impact on the way we manufacture products or utilize energy to produce our products. In addition, any new regulations or laws in the environmental area might increase the cost of raw materials we use in our products. Environmental regulations require us to reduce product energy usage, monitor and exclude an expanding list of restricted substances and to participate in required recover and recycling of our products. While future changes in regulations are certain, we are currently unable to predict how any such changes will impact us and if such impacts will be material to our business. If there is a new law or regulation that significantly increases our costs of manufacturing or causes us to significantly alter the way that we manufacture our products, this would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our selling and distribution practices are also regulated in large part by U.S. federal and state as well as foreign antitrust and competition laws and regulations. In general, the objective of these laws is to promote and maintain free competition by prohibiting certain forms of conduct that tend to restrict production, raise prices, or otherwise control the market for goods or services to the detriment of consumers of those goods and services. Potentially prohibited activities under these laws may include unilateral conduct, or conduct undertaken as the result of an agreement with one or more of our suppliers, competitors, or customers. The potential for liability under these laws can be difficult to predict as it often depends on a finding that the challenged conduct resulted in harm to competition, such as higher prices, restricted supply, or a reduction in the quality or variety of products available to consumers. We utilize a number of different distribution channels to deliver our products to the end consumer, and regularly enter agreements with resellers of our products at various levels in the distribution chain that could be subject to scrutiny under these laws in the event of private litigation or an investigation by a governmental competition authority. In addition, many of our products are sold to consumers via the Internet. Many of the competition-related laws that govern these Internet sales were adopted prior to the advent of the Internet, and, as a result, do not contemplate or address the unique issues raised by online sales. New interpretations of existing laws and regulations, whether by courts or by the state, federal or foreign governmental authorities charged with the enforcement of those laws and regulations, may also impact our business in ways we are currently unable to predict. Any failure on our part or on the part of our employees, agents, distributors or other business partners to comply with the laws and regulations governing competition can result in negative publicity and diversion of management time and effort and may subject us to significant litigation liabilities and other penalties.

In addition to government regulations, many of our customers require us to comply with their own requirements regarding manufacturing, health and safety matters, corporate social responsibility, employee treatment, anti-corruption, use of materials and environmental concerns. Some customers may require us to periodically report on compliance with their unique requirements, and some customers reserve the right to audit our business for compliance. We are increasingly subject to requests for compliance with these customer requirements. For example, there has been significant focus from our customers as well as the press regarding corporate social responsibility policies. Recently, a number of jurisdictions have adopted public disclosure requirements on related topics, including labor practices and policies within companies’ supply chains. We regularly audit our manufacturers; however, any deficiencies in compliance by our manufacturers may harm our business and our brand. In addition, we may not have the resources to maintain compliance with these customer requirements and failure to comply may result in decreased sales to these customers, which may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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We are exposed to the credit risk of some of our customers and to credit exposures in weakened markets, which could result in material losses.

A substantial portion of our sales are on an open credit basis, with typical payment terms of 30 to 60 days in the United States and, because of local customs or conditions, longer in some markets outside the United States. We monitor individual customer financial viability in granting such open credit arrangements, seek to limit such open credit to amounts we believe the customers can pay, and maintain reserves we believe are adequate to cover exposure for doubtful accounts.

In the past, there have been bankruptcies amongst our customer base, and certain of our customers’ businesses face financial challenges that put them at risk of future bankruptcies. Although losses resulting from customer bankruptcies have not been material to date, any future bankruptcies could harm our business and have a material adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition. To the degree that turmoil in the credit markets makes it more difficult for some customers to obtain financing, our customers’ ability to pay could be adversely impacted, which in turn could have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, and financial condition.

If our goodwill and intangible assets become impaired, we may be required to record a significant charge to earnings.

Goodwill is required to be tested for impairment at least annually. Factors that may be considered when determining if the carrying value of our goodwill or intangible assets may not be recoverable include a significant decline in our expected future cash flows or a sustained, significant decline in our stock price and market capitalization.

As a result of our acquisitions, we have significant goodwill and intangible assets recorded on our balance sheets. In addition, significant negative industry or economic trends, such as those that have occurred as a result of the recent economic downturn, including reduced estimates of future cash flows or disruptions to our business could indicate that goodwill and intangible assets might be impaired. If, in any period our stock price decreases to the point where our market capitalization is less than our book value, this too could indicate a potential impairment and we may be required to record an impairment charge in that period. Our valuation methodology for assessing impairment requires management to make judgments and assumptions based on projections of future operating performance. The estimates used to calculate the fair value of a reporting unit change from year to year based on operating results and market conditions. Changes in these estimates and assumptions could materially affect the determination of fair value and goodwill impairment for each reporting unit. We operate in highly competitive environments and projections of future operating results and cash flows may vary significantly from actual results. As a result, we may incur substantial impairment charges to earnings in our financial statements should an impairment of our goodwill and intangible assets be determined resulting in an adverse impact on our results of operations.

Governmental regulations of imports or exports affecting Internet security could affect our net revenue.

Any additional governmental regulation of imports or exports or failure to obtain required export approval of our encryption technologies could adversely affect our international and domestic sales. The United States and various foreign governments have imposed controls, export license requirements, and restrictions on the import or export of some technologies, particularly encryption technology. In addition, from time to time, governmental agencies have proposed additional regulation of encryption technology, such as requiring the escrow and governmental recovery of private encryption keys. In response to terrorist activity, governments could enact additional regulation or restriction on the use, import, or export of encryption technology. This additional regulation of encryption technology could delay or prevent the acceptance and use of encryption products and public networks for secure communications, resulting in decreased demand for our products and services. In addition, some foreign competitors are subject to less stringent controls on exporting their encryption technologies. As a result, they may be able to compete more effectively than we can in the United States and the international Internet security market.

We are exposed to credit risk and fluctuations in the market values of our investment portfolio.

Although we have not recognized any material losses on our cash equivalents and short-term investments, future declines in their market values could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and operating results.

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Given the global nature of our business, we have investments with both domestic and international financial institutions. Accordingly, we face exposure to fluctuations in interest rates, which may limit our investment income. If these financial institutions default on their obligations or their credit ratings are negatively impacted by liquidity issues, credit deterioration or losses, financial results, or other factors, the value of our cash equivalents and short-term investments could decline and result in a material impairment, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and operating results.

General Risk Factors

Global economic conditions could materially adversely affect our revenue and results of operations.

Our business has been and may continue to be affected by a number of factors that are beyond our control, such as general geopolitical, economic and business conditions, conditions in the financial markets, and changes in the overall demand for networking and smart home products. A severe and/or prolonged economic downturn could adversely affect our customers’ financial condition and the levels of business activity of our customers. Weakness in, and uncertainty about, global economic conditions may cause businesses to postpone spending in response to tighter credit, negative financial news and/or declines in income or asset values, which could have a material negative effect on the demand for networking products. As also noted in the risk factor “The COVID-19 pandemic could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations,” above, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased economic and demand uncertainty. The current severe economic slowdown resulting from the pandemic has already started to lead to a global recession. Adverse changes in economic conditions, including as a result of the pandemic, can significantly harm demand for our products (or change the mix of products demanded) and make it more challenging to forecast our operating results and make business decisions.

In addition, availability of our products from third-party manufacturers and our ability to distribute our products into the United States and non-U.S. jurisdictions may be impacted by factors such as an increase in duties, tariffs or other restrictions on trade; raw material shortages, work stoppages, strikes and political unrest; economic crises and international disputes or conflicts; changes in leadership and the political climate in countries from which we import products; and failure of the United States to maintain normal trade relations with China and other countries. Any of these occurrences could materially adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition.

In the recent past, various regions worldwide have experienced slow economic growth. In addition, current geopolitical challenges in China, including any global economic ramifications of these challenges, may continue to put negative pressure on global economic conditions. If conditions in the global economy, including Europe, China, Australia and the United States, or other key vertical or geographic markets deteriorate, such conditions could have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results and financial condition. For example, during the second half of 2019, our APAC sales were dampened by a sudden economic downturn in the China/Hong Kong region due to the escalating trade war, Yuan depreciation and the unstable sociopolitical situation in Hong Kong. These same factors have also negatively impacted financial institutions on which we rely, which could further disrupt our business in the region or limit our ability to access certain assets. If we are unable to successfully anticipate changing economic and political conditions, we may be unable to effectively plan for and respond to those changes, which could materially adversely affect our business and results of operations.

In addition, the economic problems affecting the financial markets and the uncertainty in global economic conditions resulted in a number of adverse effects including a low level of liquidity in many financial markets, extreme volatility in credit, equity, currency and fixed income markets, instability in the stock market and high unemployment. For example, the challenges faced by the European Union to stabilize some of its member economies, such as Greece, Portugal, Spain, Hungary and Italy, have had international implications affecting the stability of global financial markets and hindering economies worldwide. Many member nations in the European Union have been addressing the issues with controversial austerity measures. In addition, the consequences of the recent “BREXIT” process by the United Kingdom and the current transition have led to significant uncertainty in the region. Should the European Union monetary policy measures be insufficient to restore confidence and stability to the financial markets, or should the United Kingdom’s “BREXIT” deal lead to additional economic or political instability, the global economy, including the U.S., U.K. and European Union economies where we have a significant presence, could be hindered, which could have a material adverse effect on us.

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Furthermore, economic conditions such as inflation, slower growth or recession, changes to fiscal and monetary policy, tighter credit, higher interest rates, high unemployment and currency fluctuations can adversely affect consumer sentiment and demand for our products and services. Consumer confidence and spending can be adversely affected by financial market volatility, negative financial news, conditions in the real estate and mortgage markets, declines in income or asset values, changes to fuel and other energy costs, labor and healthcare costs and other economic factors. These and other economic factors can materially and adversely affect our revenue and results of operations.

If we lose the services of our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Patrick C.S. Lo, or our other key personnel, we may not be able to execute our business strategy effectively.

Our future success depends in large part upon the continued services of our key technical, engineering, sales, marketing, finance and senior management personnel. In particular, the services of Patrick C.S. Lo, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, who has led our company since its inception, are very important to our business. We do not maintain any key person life insurance policies. Our business model requires extremely skilled and experienced senior management who are able to withstand the rigorous requirements and expectations of our business. Our success depends on senior management being able to execute at a very high level. The loss of any of our senior management or other key engineering, research, development, sales or marketing personnel, particularly if lost to competitors, could harm our ability to implement our business strategy and respond to the rapidly changing needs of our business. The market for talent in the technology industry, especially in the areas of software and subscription services, has become increasingly competitive, and we may not have the resources to compete at the same level as larger companies who are able to offer more compelling compensation packages. Further, changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, for example being able to work from anywhere on a full-time basis, has led to an increase in employee mobility and employees are changing jobs at an increasing rate. Therefore, our ability to recruit new talent and retain existing talent may be adversely affected, and as a result our business as a whole may suffer. While we have adopted an emergency succession plan for the short term, we have not formally adopted a long-term succession plan. As a result, if we suffer the loss of services of any key executive, our long-term business results may be harmed. While we believe that we have mitigated some of the business execution and business continuity risk with our organization into two business segments with separate leadership teams, the loss of any key personnel would still be disruptive and harm our business, especially given that our business is leanly staffed and relies on the expertise and high performance of our key personnel. In addition, because we do not have a formal long-term succession plan, we may not be able to have the proper personnel in place to effectively execute our long-term business strategy if Mr. Lo or other key personnel retire, resign or are otherwise terminated.

Political events, war, terrorism, public health issues, natural disasters, sudden changes in trade and immigration policies, and other circumstances could materially adversely affect us.

Our corporate headquarters are located in Northern California and one of our warehouses is located in Southern California, both of which are regions known for seismic activity. Substantially all of our critical enterprise-wide information technology systems, including our main servers, are currently housed in colocation facilities in Arizona. While our critical information technology systems are located at colocation facilities in different geographic regions in the United States, our headquarters, warehouses, and the majority of our manufacturing, which occurs in Southeast Asia and mainland China, are susceptible to seismic activity and other natural disasters, such as drought, wildfires, storms, sea-level rise, and flooding, The global effects of climate change can result in increased frequency and intensity of these natural disasters that could also result in power outages or other disruptions to the business. If our manufacturers or warehousing facilities are disrupted or destroyed, we would be unable to distribute our products on a timely basis, which could harm our business.

In addition, health epidemics, war, terrorism, geopolitical uncertainties, social and economic instability, public health issues, sudden changes in trade and immigration policies (such as the higher tariffs on certain products imported from China enacted by the previous U.S. administration or potential U.S. sanctions against Russia as a result of the Russia-Ukraine dispute), and other business interruptions have caused and could cause damage or disruption to international commerce and the global economy, and thus could have a strong negative effect on us, our suppliers, logistics providers, manufacturing vendors and customers. Our business operations are subject to interruption by natural disasters, fire, power shortages, terrorist attacks and other hostile acts, labor disputes, public health issues, and other events beyond our control, including the COVID-19 pandemic discussed further in the risk factor “The COVID-19 pandemic could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations,” above. In addition,

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in the past, labor disputes at third-party manufacturing facilities have led to workers going on strike, and labor unrest could materially affect our third-party manufacturers abilities to manufacture our products.

Such events could decrease demand for our products, make it difficult, more expensive or impossible for us to make and deliver products to our customers or to receive components from our direct or indirect suppliers, and create delays and inefficiencies in our supply chain. Major public health issues, including pandemics such as COVID-19, could negatively affect us through more stringent employee travel restrictions, additional limitations in freight services, governmental actions limiting the movement of products between regions, delays in production ramps of new products, and disruptions in the operations of our manufacturing vendors and component suppliers.

We are required to evaluate our internal controls under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and any adverse results from such evaluation, including restatements of our issued financial statements, could impact investor confidence in the reliability of our internal controls over financial reporting.

Pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, we are required to furnish a report by our management on our internal control over financial reporting. Such report must contain among other matters, an assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of the end of our fiscal year, including a statement as to whether or not our internal control over financial reporting is effective. This assessment must include disclosure of any material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting identified by management. From time to time, we conduct internal investigations as a result of whistleblower complaints. In some instances, the whistleblower complaint may implicate potential areas of weakness in our internal controls. Although all known material weaknesses have been remediated, we cannot be certain that the measures we have taken ensure that restatements will not occur in the future. Execution of restatements create a significant strain on our internal resources and could cause delays in our filing of quarterly or annual financial results, increase our costs and cause management distraction. Restatements may also significantly affect our stock price in an adverse manner.

Continued performance of the system and process documentation and evaluation needed to comply with Section 404 is both costly and challenging. During this process, if our management identifies one or more material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting, we will be unable to assert such internal control is effective. If we are unable to assert that our internal control over financial reporting is effective as of the end of a fiscal year or if our independent registered public accounting firm is unable to express an opinion on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting, we could lose investor confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, which may have an adverse effect on our stock price.

Our stock price may be volatile and your investment in our common stock could suffer a decline in value.

There has been significant volatility in the market price and trading volume of securities of technology and other companies, which may be unrelated to the financial performance of these companies. These broad market fluctuations may negatively affect the market price of our common stock.

Some specific factors that may have a significant effect on our common stock market price include:

 

actual or anticipated fluctuations in our operating results or our competitors’ operating results;

 

actual or anticipated changes in the growth rate of the general networking sector, our growth rates or our competitors’ growth rates;

 

conditions in the financial markets in general or changes in general economic conditions, including government efforts to mitigate the severe economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic;

 

novel and unforeseen market forces and trading strategies, such as the massive short squeeze rally caused by retail investors on companies such as Gamestop;

 

actual or anticipated changes in governmental regulation, including taxation and tariff policies;

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interest rate or currency exchange rate fluctuations;

 

our ability to forecast or report accurate financial results; and

 

changes in stock market analyst recommendations regarding our common stock, other comparable companies or our industry generally.

 

 

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

Item 2.

Properties

Our principal administrative, sales, marketing and research and development facilities currently occupy approximately 142,700 square feet in an office complex in San Jose, California, under a lease that expires in September 2025.

Our international headquarters occupy approximately 10,000 square feet in an office complex in Cork, Ireland, under a lease that expires in December 2026. Our international sales personnel are based out of local sales offices or home offices in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Singapore, New Zealand, Spain, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. We also have operations personnel using leased facilities in Singapore, and Taipei (Taiwan). We maintain research and development facilities in Richmond B.C. (Canada), Taipei (Taiwan), and Bangalore (India). From time to time, we consider various alternatives related to our long-term facilities’ needs. While we believe our existing facilities provide suitable space for our operations and are adequate to meet our immediate needs, it may be necessary to lease additional space to accommodate future growth or to reduce office space to be in line with our needs to balance the office needs and hybrid work environment. We have invested in internal capacity and strategic relationships with outside manufacturing vendors as needed to meet anticipated demand for our products.

We use third parties to provide warehousing services to us in facilities located in Southern California, Netherlands, Singapore and Australia.

Item 3.

The information set forth under the heading “Litigation and Other Legal Matters” in Note 8, Commitments and Contingencies, in Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of Part II of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, is incorporated herein by reference. For additional discussion of certain risks associated with legal proceedings, see Item 1A, Risk Factors.

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

 

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PART II

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Market Information

Our common stock is publicly traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (“Nasdaq”) under the symbol “NTGR”.

Holders of Common Stock

On February 11, 2022, there were 65 stockholders of record, one of which was Cede & Co., a nominee for Depository Trust Company (“DTC”). All of the shares of our common stock held by brokerage firms, banks and other financial institutions as nominees for beneficial owners are deposited into participant accounts at DTC and are therefore considered to be held of record by Cede & Co. as one stockholder.

Dividend Policy

We have never declared or paid cash dividends on our capital stock. We do not anticipate paying cash dividends in the foreseeable future.

Repurchase of Equity Securities by the Company

On October 24, 2021, the Board of Directors authorized the management to repurchase up to 3.0 million shares of our outstanding common stock, incremental to the remaining shares under our previous repurchase program.

 

Period

 

Total Number of

Shares Purchased (2)

 

 

Average

Price

Paid per

Share

 

 

Total Number of

Shares Purchased

as Part of Publicly

Announced Plans

or Programs (1)

 

 

Maximum Number

of Shares that May

Yet Be Purchased

Under the Plans

or Programs

 

October 4, 2021 - October 31, 2021

 

 

543,172

 

 

$

32.50

 

 

 

539,067

 

 

 

3,489,936

 

November 1, 2021 - November 28, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3,489,936

 

November 29, 2021 - December 31, 2021

 

 

3,042

 

 

$

28.17

 

 

 

 

 

 

3,489,936

 

Total

 

 

546,214

 

 

$

32.47

 

 

 

539,067

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1)

From time to time, our Board of Directors has authorized programs under which we may repurchase shares of our common stock, depending on market conditions, in the open market or through privately negotiated transactions.

(2)

During the three months ended December 31, 2021, we repurchased and retired, as reported on trade date, approximately 7,000 shares of common stock at a cost of approximately $204,000 to facilitate tax withholding for Restricted Stock Units.

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

None.

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Stock Performance Graph

Notwithstanding any statement to the contrary in any of our previous or future filings with the SEC, the following information relating to the price performance of our common stock shall not be deemed “filed” with the SEC or “soliciting material” under the Exchange Act and shall not be incorporated by reference into any such filings.

The following graph shows a comparison from December 31, 2016 through December 31, 2021 of cumulative total return for our common stock, the Nasdaq Composite Index and the Nasdaq Computer Index. Such returns are based on historical results and are not intended to suggest future performance. Data for the Nasdaq Composite Index and the Nasdaq Computer Index assume reinvestment of dividends. We have never paid dividends on our common stock and have no present plans to do so.

On December 31, 2018, NETGEAR completed the spin-off of Arlo Technologies, Inc. (“Arlo”) with the pro rata distribution of 1.980295 shares of Arlo’s common stock for every share of NETGEAR’s common stock to our stockholders, pursuant to which Arlo became an independent company. For the purpose of this graph, the effect of the final separation of Arlo is reflected in the cumulative total return of NETGEAR Common Stock as a reinvested dividend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Item 6.

[Reserved]

 

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Item 7.

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

You should read the following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations together with the audited consolidated financial statements and notes to the financial statements included elsewhere in this Form 10-K. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements are not historical facts, but rather are based on current expectations, estimates, assumptions and projections about our industry, business and future financial results. Our actual results could differ materially from the results contemplated by these forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including those discussed under “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A above.

This section generally discusses the results of our operations for the year ended December 31, 2021 (“fiscal 2021”) compared to the year ended December 31, 2020 (“fiscal 2020”). For a discussion of the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, please refer to Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020.

Business and Executive Overview

We are a global company that turns ideas into innovative, high-performance and premium networking products that connect people, power businesses and service providers and advance the way people live. Our products are designed to simplify and improve people’s lives. Our goal is to enable people to collaborate and connect to a world of information and entertainment at or outside of the home. We are dedicated to delivering innovative and advanced connected solutions ranging from easy-to-use premium WiFi solutions, performance gaming routers to enhance console and online-game play, security and support services to protect and enhance home networks, to switching and wireless solutions to augment business networks and audio and video over Ethernet for Pro AV applications. We keep people connected through product and service offerings, including ultra-premium Orbi Mesh WiFi systems, high-performance Nighthawk routers, high-speed cable modems, 5G mobile wireless products, cloud-based subscription services for network management and security, smart networking products and Video over Ethernet for Pro AV applications. Our products and services are built on a variety of technologies such as wireless (WiFi and 4G/5G mobile), Ethernet and powerline, with a focus on reliability and ease-of-use. Additionally, we continually invest in research and development to create new technologies and services and to capitalize on technological inflection points and trends, such as WiFi 6, WiFi 6E, 5G, and audio and video over Ethernet. Our product line consists of devices that create and extend wired and wireless networks, devices that attach to the network, such as smart digital canvasses as well as services that complement and enhance our product line offerings. These products are available in multiple configurations to address the changing needs of our customers in each geographic region.

We operate and report in two segments: Connected Home, and Small and Medium Business (“SMB”). We believe that this structure reflects our current operational and financial management, and that it provides the best structure for us to focus on growth opportunities while maintaining financial discipline. The leadership team of each segment is focused on serving customer needs through product and service development efforts, both from a product marketing and engineering standpoint. The Connected Home segment focuses on consumers and provides high-performance, dependable and easy-to-use WiFi internet networking solutions such as WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E Tri-band and Quad-band mesh systems, routers, 4G/5G mobile products, smart devices such as Meural digital canvasses, and subscription services that provide consumers a range of value-added services focused on performance, security, privacy and premium support. The SMB segment focuses on small and medium sized businesses and provides solutions for business networking, wireless local area network (“LAN”), audio and video over Ethernet for Pro AV applications, security and remote management providing enterprise-class functionality at an affordable price. We conduct business across three geographic regions: Americas; Europe, Middle East, and Africa (“EMEA”); and Asia Pacific (“APAC”).

Business Overview

The markets in which our segments operate are intensely competitive and subject to rapid technological evolution. We believe that the principal competitive factors in the consumer and small and medium-sized business markets for networking products include product breadth, price points, size and scope of the sales channel, brand recognition, timeliness of new product introductions, product availability, performance, features, functionality, reliability, ease-of-installation, maintenance and use, security, as well as customer service and support. To remain competitive, we believe we must continue to aggressively invest resources to develop new products and subscription services, enhance our current products, and expand our channels and direct-to-consumer capabilities, while increasing engagement and maintaining satisfaction with our customers. Our investments reflect our steadfast focus on

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cybersecurity of our products and systems, as the rising threat of cyber-attacks and exploitation of security vulnerabilities in our industry is a significant consumer concern.

We sell our products through multiple sales channels worldwide, including traditional and online retailers, wholesale distributors, direct market resellers (“DMRs”), value-added resellers (“VARs”), broadband service providers, and through our direct online store at www.netgear.com. Our retail channel includes traditional retail locations domestically and internationally, such as Amazon, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Costco, Staples, Office Depot, Target, Fnac Darty (Europe), MediaMarkt (Europe), JB HiFi (Australia), Elkjop (Norway) and Sunning and Guomei (China). Online retailers include Amazon.com (worldwide), Newegg.com (U.S.), JD.com, Alibaba (China) and Coolblue.com (Netherlands). Our DMRs include CDW Corporation, Insight Corporation and PC Connection in domestic markets. Our main wholesale distributors include Ingram Micro, TD Synnex, and D&H Distribution Company. In addition, we also sell our products through broadband service providers, such as multiple system operators (“MSOs”), xDSL, mobile, and other broadband technology operators domestically and internationally. Some of these retailers and broadband service providers purchase directly from us, while others are fulfilled through wholesale distributors around the world. A substantial portion of our net revenue is derived from a limited number of wholesale distributors, service providers and retailers. While we expect these channels to continue to be a significant part of our sales strategy, increasingly, customers are choosing to purchase products and services directly from us. We expect revenue through our direct online store or in-app offerings to continue to increase proportionately to overall revenue in the foreseeable future.

Financial Overview

During the year ended December 31, 2021, our net revenue and income from operations decreased by $87.1 million and $8.9 million, respectively, compared to the prior year. The decrease in net revenue was due to the Connected Home segment, with net revenue declining by $154.1 million, partially offset by an increase in SMB net revenue of $66.9 million. The decline in Connected Home revenue spanned both consumer and service provider channels, as the heightened demand brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 subsided. The growth in SMB net revenue was led by increased demand for Pro AV and wireless solutions and assisted by businesses reopening, new business formation, as well as demand for flexible working environments. The decrease in income from operation was primarily driven by the decrease in net revenue.

On a geographic basis, net revenue in the year ended December 31, 2021 decreased in Americas but increased in EMEA and APAC, respectively, compared to the prior year. Net revenue from Connected Home products declined while net revenue from SMB products increased, across all three regions.

COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have widespread, rapidly evolving and unpredictable impacts on global economies, inflation, supply chains, work force participation, and has created significant volatility and disruption in financial markets. Our focus remains on promoting employee health and safety, serving our customers and ensuring business continuity. We have taken actions by directing most of our worldwide workforce to work from home, allowing only critical business travel, and replacing in-person events with digital events. We continue to actively monitor the situation and will continue to adapt our business operations as necessary.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a considerable shift in our business while increasing uncertainty. We have experienced an increase in demand for our products relative to pre-pandemic levels as consumers and businesses seek flexible networking solutions for their day-to-day needs. We expect the shift to remote working to increase relative to the experience pre-pandemic, thus maintaining the demand for high performance and dependable WiFi networks sustaining an increase in our target addressable market. As a result of the ongoing pandemic, our supply chain partners are limited by production capacity, constrained by material availability, factory uptime and freight capacity, resulting in elongated lead times for some of our key components, impeding our ability to accurately forecast and to capitalize fully on end market demand. We expect supply chain constraints to continue to exist for the foreseeable future impacting our ability to fulfill SMB product demand and limiting availability of certain Connected Home products. In fiscal year 2021, supply chain constraints brought about a meaningful increase in the cost of sea transportation and we increased our reliance on airfreight transportation, as we looked to secure supply to offset lengthening sea transit times. Additionally, heightened demand combined with shortages for materials and components have resulted in increased cost of acquisition for our products.

We anticipate net revenue for Connected Home products sold through the consumer channel to return to a more

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normal seasonal pattern with net revenue rising in the second half of 2022 relative to the first half of 2022 while net revenue from service provider channels is expected to be in line with fiscal 2021. We expect SMB net revenue to continue to be supply constrained for the first half of 2022 with anticipated improvement in the second half of 2022. We expect our premium Tri-band and Quad-band mesh systems and our suite of subscription services to drive performance in the Connected Home segment, while we expect growth in the SMB segment to be powered by Pro AV and Wireless LAN products. We will look to continue to execute on our strategy of capitalizing on technological inflection points of WiFi 6E, WiFi 6, 5G and audio and video over Ethernet, to develop and expand the premium WiFi market through new product introductions and to develop and roll out service offerings to build recurring service revenue streams. While we have been able to manage through COVID-19 related supply chain challenges to date, any further disruption brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic to supply chain partners, production schedules, material availability or freight carriers or any increases to costs associated with supply chain operations could have a significant negative impact on our net revenue, gross and operating margin performance.

The extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our ongoing operational and financial performance, including our ability to execute our business strategies and initiatives in the expected time frame, will depend on future developments. The duration of the pandemic and the broader implications of the macro-economic recovery, any related disruptions to channel partners and restrictions on travel and transport are uncertain and unpredictable. Refer to Item 1A, Risk Factors, of Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for various risks and uncertainties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Critical Accounting Estimates

Our consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America and pursuant to the rules and regulations of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The preparation of these financial statements requires management to make assumptions, judgments and estimates that can have a significant impact on the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions believed to be applicable and reasonable under the circumstances. Actual results could differ significantly from these estimates. These estimates may change as new events occur, as additional information is obtained and as our operating environment changes. On a regular basis we evaluate our assumptions, judgments and estimates and make changes accordingly. We also discuss our critical accounting estimates with the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors. Note 1, The Company and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies, in Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of Part II of this Annual Report on Form 10-K describes the significant accounting policies used in the preparation of the consolidated financial statements.

We have listed below our critical accounting estimates that we believe to have the greatest potential impact on our consolidated financial statements. Historically, our assumptions, judgments and estimates relative to our critical accounting estimates have not differed materially from actual results. We do not expect the estimates and assumptions are likely to change materially.

Revenue Recognition

We enter into contracts with customers to sell products and services, and while some sales agreements contain standard terms and conditions, there are agreements that contain non-standard terms and conditions and include promises to transfer multiple goods or services. As a result, significant interpretation and judgment is sometimes required to determine the appropriate accounting for these transactions including: (1) whether performance obligations are considered distinct and required to be accounted for separately or combined, including allocation of transaction price; (2) combining contracts that may impact the allocation of the transaction price between product and services; and (3) estimating and accounting for variable consideration, including rights of return, sales incentives, and price protection as a reduction of the transaction price.

Our standard obligation to our direct customers generally provides for a full refund if such product is not merchantable or is found to be damaged or defective. In determining estimates for future returns, we estimate variable consideration at the expected value based on management’s analysis of historical data, channel inventory levels, current economic trends and changes in customer demand. Sales incentives and price protection are determined based on a combination of the actual amounts committed and through estimating future expenditure based upon historical customary business practice. We continue to assess variable consideration estimates such that it is probable that a significant reversal of revenue will not occur.

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Provisions for Excess and Obsolete Inventory

On a quarterly basis we assess the value of our inventory and write down its value for estimated excess and obsolete inventory based upon assumptions about the future demand by reviewing inventory quantities on hand and on order under non-cancelable purchase commitments in comparison to our estimated forecast of product demand to determine what inventory, if any, is not saleable at or above cost. Our analysis is based on the demand forecast which takes into account market conditions, product development plans, product life expectancy and other factors. Based on this analysis, we write down the affected inventory value for estimated excess and obsolescence charges. At the point of loss recognition, a new, lower cost basis for that inventory is established, and subsequent changes in facts and circumstances do not result in the restoration or increase in that newly established cost basis. As demonstrated during prior years, demand for our products can fluctuate significantly. If actual demand is lower than our forecasted demand and we fail to reduce our manufacturing accordingly, we could be required to write down the value of additional inventory, which would have a negative effect on our gross profit.

Goodwill

Goodwill is not amortized, but instead tested for impairment on an annual basis, or more frequently if certain events or indicators of potential exists, and goodwill is written down when it is determined to be impaired. We completed our annual impairment test of goodwill as of the first day of the fourth fiscal quarter of 2021, or October 4, 2021. We identified the reporting units for the purpose of goodwill impairment testing as Connected Home and SMB and performed a qualitative test. Based upon the results of the qualitative testing, we believed that it was more-likely-than-not that the fair value of each of these reporting units was greater than its respective carrying value and therefore performing the next step of impairment test for these reporting units was unnecessary. No goodwill impairment was recognized for our reporting units in the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 or 2019.

For Connected Home, and SMB reporting units, we do not believe it is likely that there will be a material change in the estimates or assumptions we use to test for impairment losses on goodwill. However, if the actual results are not consistent with our estimates or assumptions, we may be exposed to a future impairment charge that could be material.

Income Taxes

We account for income taxes under an asset and liability approach. Under this method, income tax expense is recognized for the amount of taxes payable or refundable for the current year. In addition, deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the expected future tax consequences of temporary differences resulting from different treatments for tax versus accounting of certain items, such as accruals and allowances not currently deductible for tax purposes. These differences result in deferred tax assets and liabilities, which are included within the consolidated balance sheets. We must then assess the likelihood that our deferred tax assets will be recovered from future taxable income and to the extent we believe that recovery is not more likely than not, we must establish a valuation allowance. Our assessment considers the recognition of deferred tax assets on a jurisdictional basis. Accordingly, in assessing our future taxable income on a jurisdictional basis, we consider the effect of its transfer pricing policies on that income. We have recorded a valuation allowance against certain federal and state deferred tax assets since the recovery of the assets is uncertain. We believe that all of our other deferred tax assets are recoverable; however, if there were a change in our ability to recover our deferred tax assets, we would be required to take a charge in the period in which we determined that recovery was not more likely than not.

Uncertain tax provisions are recognized under guidance that provides that a company should use a more-likely-than-not recognition threshold based on the technical merits of the income tax position taken. Income tax positions that meet the more-likely-than-not recognition threshold should be measured in order to determine the tax benefit to be recognized in the financial statements. We include interest expense and penalties related to uncertain tax positions as additional tax expense.

The Company made an accounting policy election related to accounting for the tax effects of Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (“GILTI”) that was implemented as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the “Tax Act”), enacted on December 22, 2017. With regard to GILTI, the Company accounts for the tax effects as a period cost, if and when incurred.

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Recent Accounting Pronouncements

For a complete description of recent accounting pronouncements, including the expected dates of adoption and estimated effects on financial condition and results of operations, refer to Note 1, The Company and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies, in Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of Part II of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

Results of Operations

The following table sets forth, for the periods presented, the consolidated statements of operations data, which is derived from the accompanying consolidated financial statements:

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

 

(In thousands, except percentage data)

 

Net revenue

 

$

1,168,073

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

$

1,255,202

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

$

998,763

 

 

 

100.0

%

Cost of revenue

 

 

802,236

 

 

 

68.7

%

 

 

883,050

 

 

 

70.4

%

 

 

704,535

 

 

 

70.5

%

Gross profit

 

 

365,837

 

 

 

31.3

%

 

 

372,152

 

 

 

29.6

%

 

 

294,228

 

 

 

29.5

%

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research and development

 

 

92,967

 

 

 

8.0

%

 

 

88,788

 

 

 

7.1

%

 

 

77,982

 

 

 

7.8

%

Sales and marketing

 

 

145,961

 

 

 

12.4

%

 

 

147,854

 

 

 

11.7

%

 

 

138,150

 

 

 

14.0

%

General and administrative

 

 

59,659

 

 

 

5.1