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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

(Mark One)

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

For the fiscal year ended September 25, 2020

or

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

001-33260

(Commission File Number)

Graphic

TE CONNECTIVITY LTD.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Switzerland
(Jurisdiction of Incorporation)

98-0518048
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

Mühlenstrasse 26, CH-8200 Schaffhausen, Switzerland

(Address of principal executive offices)

+41 (0)52 633 66 61

(Registrant’s telephone number)

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

Title of each class

Trading symbol

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Shares, Par Value CHF 0.57

TEL

New York Stock Exchange

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 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 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 the definitions 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 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 registrant’s common shares held by non-affiliates of the registrant was $20.7 billion as of March 27, 2020, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter. Directors and executive officers of the registrant are considered affiliates for purposes of this calculation but should not necessarily be deemed affiliates for any other purpose.

The number of common shares outstanding as of November 6, 2020 was 330,742,574.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the registrant’s Proxy Statement to be filed in connection with the registrant’s 2021 annual general meeting of shareholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K.

TE CONNECTIVITY LTD.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

Part I

Item 1.

Business

1

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

7

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

18

Item 2.

Properties

19

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

19

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

19

Part II

Item 5.

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

20

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

21

Item 7.

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

22

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

41

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

42

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

42

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

42

Item 9B.

Other Information

43

Part III

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

44

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

44

Item 12.

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

44

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

45

Item 14.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

45

Part IV

Item 15.

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

46

Item 16.

Form 10–K Summary

50

Signatures

51

Index to Consolidated Financial Statements

53

i

SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

We have made forward-looking statements in this Annual Report that are based on our management’s beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to our management. Forward-looking statements include, among others, the information concerning our possible or assumed future results of operations, business strategies, financing plans, competitive position, potential growth opportunities, potential operating performance improvements, acquisitions, divestitures, the effects of competition, and the effects of future legislation or regulations. Forward-looking statements include all statements that are not historical facts and can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as the words “believe,” “expect,” “plan,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” “continue,” “may,” and “should,” or the negative of these terms or similar expressions.

Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties, and assumptions. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements. Investors should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. We do not have any intention or obligation to update forward-looking statements after we file this report except as required by law.

The risk factors discussed in “Risk Factors” and other risks described in this Annual Report could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements. There may be other risks and uncertainties that we are unable to predict at this time or that we currently do not expect to have a material adverse effect on our business.

ii

PART I

“TE Connectivity” and “TE Connectivity (logo)” are trademarks. This report further contains other trademarks of ours and additional trade names and trademarks of other companies that are not owned by TE Connectivity. We do not intend our use or display of other companies’ trade names or trademarks to imply an endorsement or sponsorship of us by such companies, or any relationship with any of these companies.

© 2020 TE Connectivity Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

General

TE Connectivity Ltd. (“TE Connectivity” or the “Company,” which may be referred to as “we,” “us,” or “our”) is a global industrial technology leader creating a safer, sustainable, productive, and connected future. Our broad range of connectivity and sensor solutions, proven in the harshest environments, enable advancements in transportation, industrial applications, medical technology, energy, data communications, and the home.

We became an independent, publicly traded company in 2007; however, through our predecessor companies, we trace our foundations in the connectivity business back to 1941. We are organized under the laws of Switzerland. The rights of holders of our shares are governed by Swiss law, our Swiss articles of association, and our Swiss organizational regulations.

We have a 52- or 53-week fiscal year that ends on the last Friday of September. Fiscal 2020, 2019, and 2018 were each 52 weeks in length and ended on September 25, 2020, September 27, 2019, and September 28, 2018, respectively. For fiscal years in which there are 53 weeks, the fourth quarter reporting period includes 14 weeks, with the next such occurrence taking place in fiscal 2022.

COVID-19 Pandemic

A novel strain of coronavirus (“COVID-19”) was first identified in China in December 2019 and subsequently declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. To date, COVID-19 has surfaced in nearly all regions around the world and resulted in travel restrictions and business slowdowns or shutdowns in affected areas. The COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected our sales and operating results during fiscal 2020, and we expect that it will continue to have an impact on our financial condition and results of operations in the near term and may have a material impact on our financial condition, liquidity, and results of operations in future periods. See “Part II. Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for discussion regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our financial results. Also, see “Part I. Item 1A. Risk Factors” for discussion of the risks and uncertainties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Segments

We operate through three reportable segments: Transportation Solutions, Industrial Solutions, and Communications Solutions. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected our markets, we expect a gradual recovery with our three segments once again serving a combined market of approximately $190 billion.

Our net sales by segment as a percentage of our total net sales were as follows:

Fiscal

    

2020

    

2019

    

2018

    

  

Transportation Solutions

 

56

%  

58

%  

59

%

Industrial Solutions

 

31

 

30

 

28

Communications Solutions

 

13

 

12

 

13

Total

 

100

%  

100

%  

100

%

Below is a description of our reportable segments and the primary products, markets, and competitors of each segment.

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Transportation Solutions

The Transportation Solutions segment is a leader in connectivity and sensor technologies. The primary products sold by the Transportation Solutions segment include terminals and connector systems and components, sensors, relays, antennas, application tooling, and wire and heat shrink tubing. The Transportation Solutions segment’s products, which must withstand harsh conditions, are used in the following end markets:

Automotive (72% of segment’s net sales)—We are one of the leading providers of advanced automobile connectivity solutions. The automotive industry uses our products in automotive technologies for body and chassis systems, convenience applications, driver information, infotainment solutions, miniaturization solutions, motor and powertrain applications, and safety and security systems. Hybrid and electronic mobility solutions include in-vehicle technologies, battery technologies, and charging solutions.
Commercial transportation (15% of segment’s net sales)—We deliver reliable connectivity products designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions for on- and off-highway vehicles and recreational transportation, including heavy trucks, construction, agriculture, buses, and other vehicles.
Sensors (13% of segment’s net sales)—We offer a portfolio of intelligent, efficient, and high-performing sensor solutions that are used by customers across multiple industries, including automotive, industrial equipment, commercial transportation, medical solutions, aerospace and defense, and consumer applications.

The Transportation Solutions segment’s major competitors include Yazaki, Aptiv, Sumitomo, Sensata, Honeywell, Molex, and Amphenol.

Industrial Solutions

The Industrial Solutions segment is a leading supplier of products that connect and distribute power, data, and signals. The primary products sold by the Industrial Solutions segment include terminals and connector systems and components, heat shrink tubing, interventional medical components, relays, and wire and cable. The Industrial Solutions segment’s products are used in the following end markets:

Aerospace, defense, oil, and gas (32% of segment’s net sales)—We design, develop, and manufacture a comprehensive portfolio of critical electronic components and systems for the harsh operating conditions of the commercial aerospace, defense, and marine industries. Our products and systems are designed and manufactured to operate effectively in harsh conditions ranging from the depths of the ocean to the far reaches of space.
Industrial equipment (30% of segment’s net sales)—Our products are used in factory automation and process control systems such as industrial controls, robotics, human machine interface, industrial communication, and power distribution. Our intelligent building products are used to connect lighting and offer solutions in HVAC, elevators/escalators, and security. Our rail products are used in high-speed trains, metros, light rail vehicles, locomotives, and signaling switching equipment. Our products are also used by the solar industry.
Medical (19% of segment’s net sales)—Our products are used in imaging, diagnostic, surgical, and minimally invasive interventional applications. We specialize in the design and manufacture of advanced surgical, imaging, and interventional device solutions. Key markets served include cardiovascular, peripheral vascular, structural heart, endoscopy, electrophysiology, and neurovascular therapies.
Energy (19% of segment’s net sales)—Our products are used by OEMs and utility companies in the electrical power industry and include a wide range of solutions for the electrical power generation, transmission, distribution, and industrial markets.

The Industrial Solutions segment competes primarily against Amphenol, Hubbell, Carlisle Companies, ABB, Integer Holdings, Esterline, Molex, and Omron.

2

Communications Solutions

The Communications Solutions segment is a leading supplier of electronic components for the data and devices and the appliances markets. The primary products sold by the Communications Solutions segment include terminals and connector systems and components, relays, heat shrink tubing, and antennas. The Communications Solutions segment’s products are used in the following end markets:

·

Data and devices (60% of segment’s net sales)—We deliver products and solutions that are used in a variety of equipment architectures within the networking equipment, data center equipment, and wireless infrastructure industries. Additionally, we deliver a range of connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things, smartphones, tablet computers, notebooks, and virtual reality applications to help our customers meet their current challenges and future innovations.

·

Appliances (40% of segment’s net sales)—We provide solutions to meet the daily demands of home appliances. Our products are used in many household appliances, including washers, dryers, refrigerators, air conditioners, dishwashers, cooking appliances, water heaters, air purifiers, floor care devices, and microwaves. Our expansive range of standard products is supplemented by an array of custom-designed solutions.

The Communications Solutions segment’s major competitors include Amphenol, Molex, JST, and Korea Electric Terminal (KET).

Customers

As an industry leader, we have established close working relationships with many of our customers. These relationships allow us to better anticipate and respond to customer needs when designing new products and new technical solutions. By working with our customers in developing new products and technologies, we believe we can identify and act on trends and leverage knowledge about next-generation technology across our products.

Our approach to our customers is driven by our dedication to further develop our product families and ensure that we are globally positioned to best provide our customers with sales and engineering support. We believe that as electronic component technologies continue to proliferate, our broad product portfolio and engineering capability give us a potential competitive advantage when addressing the needs of our global customers.

We manufacture and sell a broad portfolio of products to customers in various industries. Our customers include many of the leaders in their respective industries, and our relationships with them typically date back many years. We believe that our diversified customer base provides us an opportunity to leverage our skills and experience across markets and reduce our exposure to individual end markets, thereby reducing the variability of our financial performance. Additionally, we believe that the diversity of our customer base reduces the level of cyclicality in our results and distinguishes us from our competitors.

No single customer accounted for a significant amount of our net sales in fiscal 2020, 2019, or 2018.

Sales and Distribution

We maintain a strong local presence in each of the geographic regions in which we operate. Our net sales by geographic region(1) as a percentage of our total net sales were as follows:

Fiscal

    

2020

    

2019

    

2018

    

  

Asia–Pacific

 

35

%  

33

%  

34

%

Europe/Middle East/Africa (“EMEA”)

 

35

36

38

Americas

 

30

 

31

 

28

Total

 

100

%  

100

%  

100

%

(1)

Net sales to external customers are attributed to individual countries based on the legal entity that records the sale.

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We sell our products into approximately 140 countries primarily through direct selling efforts to manufacturers. In fiscal 2020, our direct sales represented approximately 80% of total net sales. We also sell our products indirectly via third-party distributors.

We maintain distribution centers around the world. Products are generally delivered to the distribution centers by our manufacturing facilities and then subsequently delivered to the customer. In some instances, however, products are delivered directly from our manufacturing facility to the customer. Our global coverage positions us near our customers’ locations and allows us to assist them in consolidating their supply base and lowering their production costs. We contract with a wide range of transport providers to deliver our products globally via road, rail, sea, and air. We believe our balanced sales distribution lowers our exposure to any particular geography and improves our financial profile.

Seasonality and Backlog

Typically, we experience a slight seasonal pattern to our business. Overall, the third and fourth fiscal quarters are usually the strongest quarters of our fiscal year, whereas the first fiscal quarter is negatively affected by holidays and the second fiscal quarter may be affected by adverse winter weather conditions in some of our markets.

Certain of our end markets experience some seasonality. Our sales in the automotive market are dependent upon global automotive production, and seasonal declines in European production may negatively impact net sales in the fourth fiscal quarter. Also, our sales in the energy market typically increase in the third and fourth fiscal quarters as customer activity increases.

Customer orders and demand may fluctuate as a result of economic and market conditions. We have experienced, and expect to continue to experience, fluctuations as a result of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Backlog by reportable segment was as follows:

Fiscal Year End

 

    

2020

    

2019

  

 

(in millions)

Transportation Solutions

$

1,819

$

1,639

Industrial Solutions

 

1,260

 

1,315

Communications Solutions

 

439

 

361

Total

$

3,518

$

3,315

We expect that the majority of our backlog at fiscal year end 2020 will be filled during fiscal 2021. Backlog is not necessarily indicative of future net sales as unfilled orders may be cancelled prior to shipment of goods.

Competition

The industries in which we operate are highly competitive, and we compete with thousands of companies that range from large multinational corporations to local manufacturers. Competition is generally based on breadth of product offering, product innovation, price, quality, delivery, and service. We have experienced, and expect to continue to experience, downward pressure on prices.

Raw Materials

We use a wide variety of raw materials in the manufacture of our products. The principal raw materials that we use include plastic resins for molding; precious metals such as gold and silver for plating; and other metals such as copper, aluminum, brass, and steel for manufacturing cable, contacts, and other parts that are used for cable and component bodies and inserts. Many of these raw materials are produced in a limited number of countries around the world or are only available from a limited number of suppliers. The prices of these materials are driven by global supply and demand.

Intellectual Property

Patents and other proprietary rights are important to our business. We also rely upon trade secrets, manufacturing know-how, continuing technological innovations, and licensing opportunities to maintain and improve our competitive position. We review third-party proprietary rights, including patents and patent applications, as available, in an effort to

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develop an effective intellectual property strategy, avoid infringement of third-party proprietary rights, identify licensing opportunities, and monitor the intellectual property claims of others.

We own a large portfolio of patents that relate principally to electrical, optical, and electronic products. We also own a portfolio of trademarks and are a licensee of various patents and trademarks. Patents for individual products extend for varying periods according to the date of patent filing or grant and the legal term of patents in the various countries where patent protection is obtained. Trademark rights may potentially extend for longer periods of time and are dependent upon national laws and use of the trademarks.

While we consider our patents and trademarks to be valued assets, we do not believe that our competitive position or our operations are dependent upon or would be materially impacted by any single patent or group of related patents.

Human Capital Management

We have employees located throughout the world. As of fiscal year end 2020, we employed approximately 82,000 people worldwide, including contract employees. Approximately 22,000 were in the Asia–Pacific region, 31,000 were in the EMEA region, and 29,000 were in the Americas region. Of our total employees, approximately 52,000 were employed in manufacturing. Our strong employee base, along with their commitment to uncompromising values, provides the foundation of our company’s success.

Our employees are responsible for upholding our purpose—to create a safer, sustainable, productive, and connected future; our values—integrity, accountability, teamwork, and innovation; and our strategy, execution, and talent (“SET”) leadership expectations. We track and report internally on key talent metrics including workforce demographics, critical role pipeline data, diversity data, and engagement and inclusion indices. 

We embrace diversity and inclusion. A truly innovative workforce needs to be diverse and leverage the skills and perspectives of a wealth of backgrounds and experiences. To attract a global workforce, we strive to embed a culture where employees can bring their whole selves to work. Our employee resource groups (“ERGs”) are company-sponsored groups of employees that support and promote certain mutual objectives of both the employees and the company, including inclusion and diversity and the professional development of employees. The ERGs provide a space where employees can foster connections and develop in a supportive environment. As of fiscal year end 2020, we had six ERGs—ALIGN (LGBTQ), Women in Networking, TE Young Professionals, African Heritage, TE Veterans, and Asian Heritage. We are focused on recruitment of diverse candidates and on internal talent development of our diverse leaders so that they can advance their careers and move into leadership positions within the company. Also, during fiscal 2020, we conducted a fully digital, enterprise-wide engagement survey, our Every Connection Counts survey, which was available in 13 languages and focused on measuring engagement and inclusion.

We continue to emphasize employee development and training. To empower employees to unleash their potential, we provide a range of development programs and opportunities, skills, and resources they need to be successful. Our LEARN@TE platform supplements our talent development strategies. It is an online portal that enables employees to access instructor-led classroom or virtual courses and self-directed web-based courses. In fiscal 2019, we launched SET leadership expectations to all employees which focus on how we drive strategy, effectively execute, and build talent. We believe these behavioral expectations are integrated into the way we assess and select talent, manage performance, and develop our people. We are committed to identifying and developing the talents of our next generation leaders. We have a robust talent and succession planning process and have established specialized programs to support the development of our talent pipeline for critical roles in general management, engineering, and operations. On an annual basis, we conduct an Organization and Leadership Review process with our chief executive officer and all segment, business unit, and function leaders focusing on our high performing and high potential talent, diverse talent, and the succession for our most critical roles.

We believe our management team has the experience necessary to effectively execute our strategy and advance our product and technology leadership. Our chief executive officer and segment leaders average approximately 25 years of industry experience. They are supported by an experienced and talented management team who is dedicated to maintaining and expanding our position as a global leader in the industry. For discussion of the risks relating to the attraction and retention of management and executive management employees, see “Part 1. Item 1A. Risk Factors.”

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Government Regulation and Supervision

The import and export of products are subject to regulation by the various jurisdictions where we conduct business. A small portion of our products, including defense-related products, may require governmental import and export licenses, whose issuance may be influenced by geopolitical and other events. We have a trade compliance organization and other systems in place to apply for licenses and otherwise comply with such regulations. Any failure to maintain compliance with domestic and foreign trade regulation could limit our ability to import and export raw materials and finished goods into or from the relevant jurisdiction.

Environmental

Our operations are subject to numerous environmental, health, and safety laws and regulations, including those regulating the discharge of materials into the environment, greenhouse gas emissions, hazardous materials in products, and chemical usage. We are committed to complying with these laws and to the protection of our employees and the environment. We maintain a global environmental, health, and safety program that includes appropriate policies and standards; staff dedicated to environmental, health, and safety issues; periodic compliance auditing; training; and other measures. We also have a program for compliance with the European Union (“EU”) Restriction of Hazardous Substances and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directives, the China Restriction of Hazardous Substances law, the EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (“REACH”) Regulation, and similar laws.

Compliance with these laws has increased our costs of doing business in a variety of ways and may continue to do so in the future. For example, laws regarding product content and chemical registration require extensive and costly data collection, management, and reporting, and laws regulating greenhouse gas emissions may increase our costs for energy and certain materials and products. We also have projects underway at a number of current and former manufacturing sites to investigate and remediate environmental contamination resulting from past operations. Based upon our experience, available information, and applicable laws, as of fiscal year end 2020, we concluded that we would incur investigation and remediation costs at these sites in the reasonably possible range of $16 million to $45 million, and we accrued $20 million as the probable loss, which was the best estimate within this range. We do not anticipate any material capital expenditures during fiscal 2021 for environmental control facilities or other costs of compliance with laws or regulations relating to greenhouse gas emissions.

Available Information

All periodic and current reports, registration filings, and other filings that we are required to file with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) are available free of charge through our internet website at www.te.com. Such documents are available as soon as reasonably practicable after electronic filing or furnishing of the material with the SEC. The information on our website is not incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

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ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

Investors should carefully consider the risks described below before investing in our securities. These risks are not the only ones facing us. Our business is also subject to general risks that affect many other companies. Additional risks not currently known to us or that we currently believe are immaterial may also impair our business operations, financial condition, and liquidity. Many of the risks listed below are, and will be, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and any worsening of the economic environment.

Risks Relating to the Macroeconomic Environment and Our Global Presence

Conditions in global or regional economies, capital and money markets, and banking systems, and cyclical industry demand may adversely affect our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows.

Our business and operating results have been and will continue to be affected by economic conditions regionally or globally, including the cost and availability of consumer and business credit, end demand from consumer and industrial markets, and concerns as to sovereign debt levels including credit rating downgrades and defaults on sovereign debt and significant bank failures or defaults. Any of these economic factors could cause our customers to experience deterioration of their businesses, cash flow, and ability to obtain financing. As a result, existing or potential customers may delay or cancel plans to purchase our products and may not be able to fulfill their obligations to us in a timely fashion or in full. Further, our vendors may experience similar problems, which may impact their ability to fulfill our orders or meet agreed service and quality levels. If regional or global economic conditions deteriorate, our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows could be materially adversely affected. Also, deterioration in economic conditions, expectations for future revenue, projected future cash flows, or other factors have triggered and could trigger additional recognition of impairment charges for our goodwill or other long-lived assets. Impairment charges, if any, may be material to our results of operations and financial position.

Foreign currency exchange rates may adversely affect our results.

Our Consolidated Financial Statements are prepared in United States (“U.S.”) dollars; however, a significant portion of our business is conducted outside the U.S. Changes in the relative values of currencies may have a significant effect on our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows.

We are exposed to the effects of changes in foreign currency exchange rates on our costs and revenue. Approximately 60% of our net sales for fiscal 2020 were invoiced in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, and we expect non-U.S. dollar revenue to continue to represent a significant portion of our future net sales. We have elected not to hedge this foreign currency exposure. Therefore, when the U.S. dollar strengthens in relation to the currencies of the countries where we sell our products, such as the euro or Asian currencies, our U.S. dollar reported revenue and income will decrease.

We manage certain cash, intercompany, and other balance sheet currency exposures in part by entering into financial derivative contracts. In addition to the risk of non-performance by the counterparty to these contracts, our efforts to manage these risks might not be successful.

We have suffered and could continue to suffer significant business interruptions, including impacts resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our operations and those of our suppliers and customers, and the supply chains that support their operations, may be vulnerable to interruption by natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, tornados, or floods; other disasters such as fires, explosions, acts of terrorism or war, or disease or other adverse health developments, including impacts resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic; or failures of management information or other systems due to internal or external causes. In addition, such interruptions could result in a widespread crisis that could adversely affect the economies and financial markets of many countries, resulting in an economic downturn that could affect demand for our end customers’ products. If a business interruption occurs and we are unsuccessful in our continuing efforts to minimize the impact of these events, our business, results of operations, financial position, and cash flows could be materially adversely affected. The COVID-19 pandemic is currently impacting countries, communities, workforces, supply chains, and markets around the world, and as a result, we have experienced disruptions and restrictions on our employees’ ability to travel, as well as temporary closures of our facilities and the facilities of our customers, suppliers, and other vendors in our supply chain. As a

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result of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of our employees have transitioned to working from home on a full-time or part-time basis, which may increase our vulnerability to cyber and other information technology risks. The COVID-19 pandemic has had, and we expect that it will continue to have, a negative impact on our financial condition and results of operations in the near term and may have a material impact on our financial condition, liquidity, and results of operations in future periods. The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic will further impact our business and our financial results will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted. Such developments may include the further spread of the virus to additional persons and geographic regions; the severity of the virus; the duration of the pandemic; the impact on our suppliers’ and customers’ supply chains and financial positions, including their ability to pay us; the actions that may be taken by various governmental authorities in response to the outbreak in jurisdictions in which we operate; and the possible impact on the global economy and local economies in which we operate. Further, to the extent the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affects our business, results of operations, or financial condition, it may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks described in this “Risk Factors” section.

We could be adversely affected by a decline in the market value of our pension plans’ investment portfolios or a reduction in returns on plan assets.

Concerns about deterioration in the global economy, together with concerns about credit, inflation, or deflation, have caused and could continue to cause significant volatility in the price of all securities, including fixed income and equity securities, which has reduced and could further reduce the value of our pension plans’ investment portfolios. In addition, the expected returns on plan assets may not be achieved. A decrease in the value of our pension plans’ investment portfolios or a reduction in returns on plan assets could have an adverse effect on our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows.

Disruption in credit markets and volatility in equity markets may affect our ability to access sufficient funding.

The global equity markets have been volatile and at times credit markets have been disrupted, which has reduced the availability of investment capital and credit. Downgrades of sovereign debt credit ratings have similarly affected the availability and cost of capital. As a result, we may be unable to access adequate funding to operate and grow our business. Our inability to access adequate funding or to generate sufficient cash from operations may require us to reconsider certain projects and capital expenditures. The extent of any impact will depend on several factors, including our operating cash flows, the duration of tight credit conditions and volatile equity markets, our credit ratings and credit capacity, the cost of financing, and other general economic and business conditions.

We are subject to global risks of political, economic, and military instability.

Our workforce; manufacturing, research, administrative, and sales facilities; markets; customers; and suppliers are located throughout the world. As a result, we are exposed to risks that could negatively affect sales or profitability, including:

·

changes in global trade policies, including sanctions, tariffs, trade barriers, and trade disputes;

·

regulations related to customs and import/export matters;

·

variations in lengths of payment cycles and challenges in collecting accounts receivable;

·

tax law and regulatory changes in Switzerland, the U.S., and the EU among other jurisdictions, including tax law and regulatory changes that may be effected as a result of tax policy recommendations from quasi-governmental organizations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), examinations by taxing authorities, variations in tax laws from country to country, changes to the terms of income tax treaties, and difficulties in the tax-efficient repatriation of cash generated or held in a number of jurisdictions;

·

employment regulations and local labor conditions, including increases in employment costs, particularly in low-cost regions in which we currently operate;

·

difficulties protecting intellectual property;

·

instability in economic or political conditions, including sovereign debt levels, Eurozone uncertainty, inflation, recession, and actual or anticipated military or political conflicts;

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·

the impact of the United Kingdoms withdrawal from the EU on January 31, 2020 (commonly referred to as Brexit), subject to a transition period that is set to end on December 31, 2020, could cause disruptions to, and create uncertainty surrounding, our business, including affecting our relationships with existing and potential customers and suppliers. The effects of Brexit, including long-lasting effects of Brexit on EU market access, will depend on more permanent agreements between the United Kingdom and the EU to be negotiated during the transition period; and

·

the impact of each of the foregoing on our outsourcing and procurement arrangements.

We have sizeable operations in China, including 17 principal manufacturing sites. In addition, approximately 20% of our net sales in fiscal 2020 were made to customers in China. Economic conditions in China have been, and may continue to be, volatile and uncertain. In addition, the legal and regulatory system in China is still developing and subject to change. Accordingly, our operations and transactions with customers in China could be adversely affected by changes to market conditions, changes to the regulatory environment, or interpretation of Chinese law.

In addition, any downgrade by rating agencies of long-term U.S. sovereign debt or downgrades or defaults of sovereign debt of other nations may negatively affect global financial markets and economic conditions, which could negatively affect our business, financial condition, and liquidity.

Changes in U.S. federal tax laws could result in adverse consequences to U.S. persons treated as owning 10% or more of our shares.

Although we are a Swiss corporation, recent U.S. tax law changes have expanded application of certain ownership attribution rules and cause certain of our non-U.S. subsidiaries to be treated as Controlled Foreign Corporations (“CFCs”) for U.S. federal income tax purposes. A U.S. person that is treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as owning, directly, indirectly, or constructively, 10% or more of our shares may be required to annually report and include in its U.S. taxable income its pro rata share of certain types of income earned by our subsidiaries that are treated as CFCs, whether or not we make any distributions to such U.S. shareholder. A U.S. person that owns 10% or more of our shares should consult a tax adviser regarding the potential implications to it of these changes in U.S. federal income tax law. The risk of U.S. federal income tax reporting and compliance obligations with respect to our subsidiaries that now are treated as CFCs may deter our current shareholders from increasing their investment in us, and others from investing in us, which could impact the demand for, and value of, our shares.

Risks Relating to the Industry in Which We Operate

We are dependent on the automotive and other industries.

We are dependent on end market dynamics to sell our products, and our operating results could be adversely affected by cyclical and reduced demand in these markets. Periodic downturns in our customers’ industries can significantly reduce demand for certain of our products, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows.

Approximately 40% of our net sales for fiscal 2020 were to customers in the automotive industry. The automotive industry is dominated by large manufacturers that can exert significant price pressure on their suppliers. Additionally, the automotive industry has historically experienced significant downturns during periods of deteriorating global or regional economic or credit conditions. As a supplier of automotive electronics products, our sales of these products and our profitability have been and could continue to be negatively affected by significant declines in global or regional economic or credit conditions and changes in the operations, products, business models, part-sourcing requirements, financial condition, and market share of automotive manufacturers, as well as potential consolidations among automotive manufacturers.

During fiscal 2020, approximately 10% of our net sales were to customers in the aerospace, defense, oil, and gas end market, 9% of our net sales were to customers in the industrial equipment end market, and 9% of our net sales were to customers in the commercial transportation market. The aerospace and defense industry has undergone significant fluctuations in demand as a result of economic and political conditions, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand in the oil and gas market is impacted by oil price volatility. The industrial equipment industry is dependent upon economic conditions, including customer investment in factory automation, intelligent buildings, and process control systems, as well as market conditions in the rail transportation, solar and lighting, and other major industrial markets we

9

serve. Demand in the commercial transportation industry is impacted by the economic environment and market conditions in the heavy truck, construction, agriculture, and recreational vehicle markets.

We encounter competition in substantially all areas of the electronic components industry.

We operate in highly competitive markets for electronic components and expect that both direct and indirect competition will increase in the future. Our overall competitive position depends on various factors including the price, quality, and performance of our products; the level of customer service; the development of new technology; our ability to participate in emerging markets; and customers’ expectations relating to socially responsible operations. The competition we experience across product lines from other companies ranges in size from large, diversified manufacturers to small, highly specialized manufacturers. The electronic components industry has become increasingly concentrated and globalized in recent years, and our major competitors have significant financial resources and technological capabilities. A number of these competitors compete with us primarily on price, and in some instances may have the benefit of lower production costs for certain products. We cannot provide assurance that additional competitors will not enter our markets, or that we will be able to compete successfully against existing or new competitors. Increased competition may result in price reductions, reduced margins, or loss of market share, any of which could materially and adversely affect our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows.

We are dependent on market acceptance of our new product introductions and product innovations for future revenue.

Substantially all markets in which we operate are impacted by technological change or change in consumer tastes and preferences, which are rapid in certain end markets. Our operating results depend substantially upon our ability to continually design, develop, introduce, and sell new and innovative products; to modify existing products; and to customize products to meet customer requirements driven by such change. There are numerous risks inherent in these processes, including the risk that we will be unable to anticipate the direction of technological change or that we will be unable to develop and market profitable new products and applications in time to satisfy customer demands.

Like other suppliers to the electronics industry, we are subject to continuing pressure to lower our prices.

We have historically experienced, and we expect to continue to experience, continuing pressure to lower our prices. In recent years, we have experienced price erosion averaging from 1% to 2% each year. To maintain our margins, we must continue to reduce our costs by similar amounts. We cannot provide assurance that continuing pressures to reduce our prices will not have a material adverse effect on our margins, results of operations, financial position, and cash flows.

We may be negatively affected as our customers and vendors continue to consolidate.

Many of the industries to which we sell our products, as well as many of the industries from which we buy materials, have become more concentrated in recent years, including the automotive, data and devices, and aerospace and defense industries. Consolidation of customers may lead to decreased product purchases from us. In addition, as our customers buy in larger volumes, their volume buying power has increased, enabling them to negotiate more favorable pricing and find alternative sources from which to purchase. Our materials suppliers similarly have increased their ability to negotiate favorable pricing. These trends may adversely affect the margins on our products, particularly for commodity components.

The life cycles of certain of our products can be very short.

The life cycles of certain of our products can be very short relative to their development cycle. As a result, the resources devoted to product sales and marketing may not result in material revenue and, from time to time, we may need to write off excess or obsolete inventory or equipment. If we were to incur significant engineering expenses and investments in inventory and equipment that we were not able to recover, and we were not able to compensate for those expenses, our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows could be materially and adversely affected.

10

Risks Relating to Our Operations

Our results are sensitive to raw material availability, quality, and cost.

We are a large buyer of resins, chemicals, additives, and metals, including copper, gold, silver, aluminum, brass, steel, and zinc. Many of these raw materials are produced in a limited number of countries around the world or are only available from a limited number of suppliers. In addition, the prices of many of these raw materials continue to fluctuate. If we have difficulty obtaining these raw materials, the quality of available raw materials deteriorates, or there are significant price increases for these raw materials, it could have a substantial impact on the price we pay for raw materials. To the extent we cannot compensate for cost increases through productivity improvements or price increases to our customers, our margins may decline, materially affecting our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows. In addition, we use financial instruments to hedge the volatility of certain commodities prices. The success of our hedging program depends on accurate forecasts of planned consumption of the hedged commodity materials. We could experience unanticipated hedge gains or losses if these forecasts are inaccurate.

In accordance with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the SEC established annual disclosure and reporting requirements for those companies who use tin, tantalum, tungsten, or gold (“conflict minerals” or “3TG”) mined from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (“DRC”) and adjoining countries (together with the DRC, the “Covered Countries”) in their products. These requirements, as well as new and additional regulations like the EU’s Conflict Minerals Regulation, could affect the sourcing, pricing, and availability of 3TG used in the manufacture of certain of our products, and may result in only a limited pool of suppliers who can demonstrate that they do not source any 3TG from the Covered Countries. Accordingly, we cannot provide assurance that we will be able to obtain non-conflict 3TG in sufficient quantities or at competitive prices. Further, since our supply chain is complex, we may face reputational challenges with our customers and other stakeholders if we are unable to sufficiently verify the origins and chain of custody for all conflict minerals used in our products through our due diligence procedures.

We may use components and products manufactured by third parties.

We may rely on third-party suppliers for the components used in our products, and we may rely on third-party manufacturers to manufacture certain of our assemblies and finished products. Our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows could be adversely affected if such third parties lack sufficient quality control or if there are significant changes in their financial or business condition. If these third parties fail to deliver quality products, parts, and components on time and at reasonable prices, we could have difficulties fulfilling our orders, sales and profits could decline, and our commercial reputation could be damaged.

Our future success is significantly dependent on our ability to attract and retain management and executive management employees.

Our success depends to a significant extent upon our continued ability to retain our management and executive management employees and hire new management and executive management employees to replace, succeed, or add to members of our management team. Our management team has significant industry experience and would be difficult to replace. Competition for management talent is intense, and any difficulties we may have to retain or hire members of management to achieve our objectives may have an adverse effect on our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows.

Security breaches and other disruptions to our information technology infrastructure or violations of data privacy laws could interfere with our operations, compromise confidential information, and expose us to liability which could materially adversely impact our business and reputation.

Security breaches and other disruptions to our information technology infrastructure could interfere with our operations; compromise information belonging to us, our employees, customers, and suppliers; and expose us to liability which could adversely impact our business and reputation. In the normal course of business, we rely on information technology networks and systems, some of which are managed by third parties, to process, transmit, and store electronic information, and to manage or support a variety of business processes and activities. Additionally, we collect and store certain data, including proprietary business information and customer and employee data, and may have access to confidential or personal information in certain of our businesses that is subject to privacy and security laws, regulations, and customer-imposed controls. Specifically, we are subject to the laws of various states and countries where we operate or do business related to solicitation, collection, processing, transferring, storing, or use of consumer, customer, vendor, or

11

employee information or related data, including the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, which went into effect in May 2018, and the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, which went into effect in January 2020. In addition, several other countries in which we operate or do business, such as China, have enacted or are considering enacting laws that require personal data relating to their citizens to be maintained on local servers and impose additional data transfer restrictions. If countries in which we operate or do business adopt data localization or data residency laws, we could be required to implement new or expand existing data storage protocols, build new storage facilities, and/or devote additional resources to comply with the requirements of such laws, any of which could have significant cost implications.

Despite our cybersecurity measures (including employee and third-party training, monitoring of networks and systems, and maintenance of backup and protective systems) which are continuously reviewed and upgraded to mitigate persistent and continuously evolving cybersecurity threats, our information technology networks and infrastructure may still be vulnerable to damage, disruptions, or shutdowns due to attack by hackers or breaches, employee error or malfeasance, power outages, computer viruses, telecommunication or utility failures, systems failures, natural disasters, pandemics (including COVID-19), or other catastrophic events. In recent years, we have been the target of attempted cyber intrusions, and must continuously monitor and develop our systems to protect the integrity and functionality of our information technology infrastructure and access to and the security of our employees’, customers’, and suppliers’ data. Security breaches and other disruptions to our information technology infrastructure or violations of data privacy laws could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability or penalties under privacy laws, disruption in operations, and damage to our reputation which could materially adversely affect our business. While we have experienced, and expect to continue to experience, threats to our information technology networks and infrastructure, to date none of these threats have had a material impact on our business or operations. In addition, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of our employees have transitioned to working from home on a full-time or part-time basis, which may increase our vulnerability to cyber and other information technology risks.

Covenants in our debt instruments may adversely affect us.

Our five-year unsecured senior revolving credit facility (“Credit Facility”) contains financial and other covenants, such as a limit on the ratio of Consolidated Total Debt to Consolidated EBITDA (as defined in the Credit Facility) and limits on the amount of subsidiary debt and incurrence of liens. Our outstanding notes’ indentures contain customary covenants including limits on incurrence of liens, sale and lease-back transactions, and our ability to consolidate, merge, and sell assets.

Although none of these covenants are presently restrictive to our operations, our continued ability to meet the Credit Facility financial covenant can be affected by events beyond our control, and we cannot provide assurance that we will continue to comply with the covenant. A breach of any of our covenants could result in a default under our Credit Facility or indentures. Upon the occurrence of certain defaults under our Credit Facility and indentures, the lenders or trustee could elect to declare all amounts outstanding thereunder to be immediately due and payable, and our lenders could terminate commitments to extend further credit under our Credit Facility. If the lenders or trustee accelerate the repayment of borrowings, we cannot provide assurance that we will have sufficient assets or access to lenders or capital markets to repay or fund the repayment of any amounts outstanding under our Credit Facility and our other affected indebtedness. Acceleration of any debt obligation under any of our material debt instruments may permit the holders or trustee of our other material debt to accelerate payment of debt obligations to the creditors thereunder.

The indentures governing our outstanding senior notes contain covenants that may require us to offer to buy back the notes for a price equal to 101% of the principal amount, plus accrued and unpaid interest to the repurchase date, upon a change of control triggering event (as defined in the indentures). We cannot provide assurance that we will have sufficient funds available or access to funding to repurchase tendered notes in that event, which could result in a default under the notes. Any future debt that we incur may contain covenants regarding repurchases in the event of a change of control triggering event.

The market price of our shares may fluctuate widely.

The market price of our shares may fluctuate widely, depending upon many factors, including:

·

our quarterly or annual earnings;

·

quarterly or annual sales or earnings guidance that we may provide or changes thereto;

·

actual or anticipated fluctuations in our operating results;

12

·

volatility in financial markets and market fluctuations caused by global and regional economic conditions and investors concerns about potential risks to future economic growth;

·

changes in earnings estimates by securities analysts or our ability to meet those estimates;

·

changes in accounting standards, policies, guidance, interpretations, or principles;

·

tax legislative and regulatory actions and proposals in Switzerland, the U.S., the EU, and other jurisdictions;

·

announcements by us or our competitors of significant acquisitions or dispositions; and

·

the operating and stock price performance of comparable companies and companies that serve end markets important to our business.

Risks Relating to Strategic Transactions

Future acquisitions may not be successful.

We regularly evaluate the possible acquisition of strategic businesses, product lines, or technologies which have the potential to strengthen our market position or enhance our existing product offerings, and we have completed a number of acquisitions in recent years. We anticipate that we will continue to pursue acquisition opportunities as part of our growth strategy. We cannot provide assurance that we will identify or successfully complete transactions with acquisition candidates in the future. We also cannot provide assurance that completed acquisitions will be successful. If an acquired business fails to operate as anticipated or cannot be successfully integrated with our existing business, our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows could be materially and adversely affected.

Future acquisitions could require us to issue additional debt or equity.

If we were to make a substantial acquisition with cash, the acquisition may need to be financed in part through funding from banks, public offerings or private placements of debt or equity securities, or other arrangements. This acquisition financing might decrease our ratio of earnings to fixed charges and adversely affect other leverage measures. We cannot provide assurance that sufficient acquisition financing would be available to us on acceptable terms if and when required. If we were to complete an acquisition partially or wholly funded by issuing equity securities or equity-linked securities, the issued securities may have a dilutive effect on the interests of the holders of our shares.

Divestitures of some of our businesses or product lines may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows.

We continue to evaluate the strategic fit of specific businesses and products which may result in additional divestitures. Any divestitures may result in significant write-offs, including those related to goodwill and other intangible assets, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial position. Divestitures could involve additional risks, including difficulties in the separation of operations, services, products, and personnel; the diversion of management’s attention from other business concerns; the disruption of our business; and the potential loss of key employees. There can be no assurance that we will be successful in addressing these or any other significant risks encountered.

Risks Relating to Intellectual Property, Litigation, and Regulations

Our ability to compete effectively depends, in part, on our ability to maintain the proprietary nature of our products and technology.

The electronics industry is characterized by litigation regarding patent and other intellectual property rights. Within this industry, companies have become more aggressive in asserting and defending patent claims against competitors. There can be no assurance that we will not be subject to future litigation alleging infringement or invalidity of certain of our intellectual property rights or that we will not have to pursue litigation to protect our property rights. Depending on the importance of the technology, product, patent, trademark, or trade secret in question, an unfavorable outcome regarding one of these matters may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows.

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We are a defendant to a variety of litigation in the course of our business that could cause a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows.

In the normal course of business, we are, from time to time, a defendant in litigation, including litigation alleging the infringement of intellectual property rights, anti-competitive behavior, product liability, breach of contract, and employment-related claims. In certain circumstances, patent infringement and antitrust laws permit successful plaintiffs to recover treble damages. The defense of these lawsuits may divert our management’s attention, and we may incur significant expenses in defending these lawsuits. In addition, we may be required to pay damage awards or settlements, or become subject to injunctions or other equitable remedies, that could cause a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows.

If any of our operations are found not to comply with applicable antitrust or competition laws or applicable trade regulations, our business may suffer.

Our operations are subject to applicable antitrust and competition laws in the jurisdictions in which we conduct our business, in particular the U.S. and the EU. These laws prohibit, among other things, anticompetitive agreements and practices. If any of our commercial agreements and practices with respect to the electronic components or other markets are found to violate or infringe such laws, we may be subject to civil and other penalties. We may also be subject to third-party claims for damages. Further, agreements that infringe these antitrust and competition laws may be void and unenforceable, in whole or in part, or require modification to be lawful and enforceable. If we are unable to enforce our commercial agreements, whether at all or in material part, our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows could be adversely affected. Further, any failure to maintain compliance with trade regulations could limit our ability to import and export raw materials and finished goods into or from the relevant jurisdiction, which could negatively impact our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows.

We could be adversely affected by violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the United Kingdom’s Bribery Act, and similar worldwide anti-bribery laws.

The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the United Kingdom’s Bribery Act, and similar worldwide anti-bribery laws generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to government officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Our policies mandate compliance with these anti-bribery laws. We operate in many parts of the world that have experienced governmental corruption to some degree, and in certain circumstances, strict compliance with anti-bribery laws may conflict with local customs and practices. Despite our training and compliance program, we cannot provide assurance that our internal control policies and procedures always will protect us from reckless or criminal acts committed by our employees or agents. Violations of these laws, or allegations of such violations, could disrupt our business and result in a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows.

Our operations expose us to the risk of material environmental liabilities, litigation, government enforcement actions, and reputational risk.

We are subject to numerous federal, state, and local environmental protection and health and safety laws and regulations in the various countries where we operate and where our products are sold. These laws and regulations govern, among other things:

·

the generation, storage, use, and transportation of hazardous materials;

·

emissions or discharges of substances into the environment;

·

investigation and remediation of hazardous substances or materials at various sites;

·

greenhouse gas emissions;

·

product hazardous material content; and

·

the health and safety of our employees.

We may not have been, or we may not always be, in compliance with all environmental and health and safety laws and regulations. If we violate these laws, we could be fined, criminally charged, or otherwise sanctioned by regulators. In

14

addition, environmental and health and safety laws are becoming more stringent, resulting in increased costs and compliance requirements.

Certain environmental laws assess liability on current or previous owners or operators of real property for the costs of investigation, removal, and remediation of hazardous substances or materials at their properties or at properties at which they have disposed of hazardous substances. Liability for investigation, removal, and remediation costs under certain federal and state laws is retroactive, strict, and joint and several. In addition to cleanup actions brought by governmental authorities, private parties could bring personal injury or other claims due to the presence of, or exposure to, hazardous substances. We have received notifications from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, other environmental agencies, and third parties that conditions at a number of currently and formerly-owned or operated sites where we and others have disposed of hazardous substances require investigation, cleanup, and other possible remedial action and require that we reimburse the government or otherwise pay for the costs of investigation and remediation and for natural resource damage claims from such sites. We also have independently investigated various sites and determined that further investigation and/or remediation is necessary.

While we plan for future capital and operating expenditures to maintain compliance with environmental laws, we cannot provide assurance that our costs of complying with current or future environmental protection and health and safety laws, or our liabilities arising from past or future releases of, or exposures to, hazardous substances will not exceed our estimates or adversely affect our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows or that we will not be subject to additional environmental claims for personal injury, property damage, and/or cleanup in the future based on our past, present, or future business activities.

Our products are subject to various requirements related to chemical usage, hazardous material content, and recycling.

The EU, China, and other jurisdictions in which our products are sold have enacted or are proposing to enact laws addressing environmental and other impacts from product disposal, use of hazardous materials in products, use of chemicals in manufacturing, recycling of products at the end of their useful life, and other related matters. These laws include but are not limited to the EU Restriction of Hazardous Substances, End of Life Vehicle, and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directives; the EU REACH Regulation; and the China law on Management Methods for Controlling Pollution by Electronic Information Products. These laws prohibit the use of certain substances in the manufacture of our products and directly and indirectly impose a variety of requirements for modification of manufacturing processes, registration, chemical testing, labeling, and other matters. These laws continue to proliferate and expand in these and other jurisdictions to address other materials and other aspects of our product manufacturing and sale. These laws could make the manufacture or sale of our products more expensive or impossible, could limit our ability to sell our products in certain jurisdictions, and could result in liability for product recalls, penalties, or other claims.

Risks Relating to Our Swiss Jurisdiction of Incorporation

As a Swiss corporation, we have less flexibility with respect to certain aspects of capital management involving the issuance of shares.

As a Swiss corporation, our board of directors may not declare and pay dividends or distributions on our shares or reclassify reserves on our standalone unconsolidated Swiss balance sheet without shareholder approval and without satisfying certain other requirements. In addition, our articles of association allow us to create authorized share capital that can be issued by the board of directors, but this authorization is limited to (i) authorized share capital up to 50% of the existing registered shares with such authorization valid for a maximum of two years, which authorization period ends on March 11, 2022, approved by our shareholders at our March 11, 2020 annual general meeting of shareholders and (ii) conditional share capital of up to 50% of the existing registered shares that may be issued only for specific purposes. Additionally, subject to specified exceptions, Swiss law grants preemptive rights to existing shareholders to subscribe for new issuances of shares from authorized share capital and advance subscription rights to existing shareholders to subscribe for new issuances of shares from conditional share capital. Swiss law also does not provide much flexibility in the various terms that can attach to different classes of shares, and reserves for approval by shareholders many types of corporate actions, including the creation of shares with preferential rights with respect to liquidation, dividends, and/or voting. Moreover, under Swiss law, we generally may not issue registered shares for an amount below par value without prior shareholder approval to decrease the par value of our registered shares. Any such actions for which our shareholders must vote will require that we file a preliminary proxy statement with the SEC and convene a meeting of shareholders, which would delay the timing to execute such actions. Such limitations provide the board of directors less flexibility with respect to our capital management. While we

15

do not believe that Swiss law requirements relating to the issuance of shares will have a material adverse effect on us, we cannot provide assurance that situations will not arise where such flexibility would have provided substantial benefits to our shareholders and such limitations on our capital management flexibility would make our stock less attractive to investors.

We might not be able to make distributions on our shares without subjecting shareholders to Swiss withholding tax.

We anticipate making distributions to shareholders through a reduction of contributed surplus (as determined for Swiss tax and statutory purposes) in order to make the distributions on our shares to shareholders free of Swiss withholding tax. Various tax law and corporate law proposals in Switzerland, if passed in the future, may affect our ability to pay dividends or distributions to our shareholders free from Swiss withholding tax. There can be no assurance that we will be able to meet the legal requirements for future distributions to shareholders through dividends from contributed surplus or through a reduction of registered share capital, or that Swiss withholding rules would not be changed in the future. In addition, over the long term, the amount of registered share capital available for reductions will be limited. Our ability to pay dividends or distributions to our shareholders free from Swiss withholding tax is a significant component of our capital management and shareholder return practices that we believe is important to our shareholders, and any restriction on our ability to do so could make our stock less attractive to investors.

Currency fluctuations between the U.S. dollar and the Swiss franc may limit the amount available for any future distributions on our shares without subjecting shareholders to Swiss withholding tax.

Under Swiss law, the registered share capital in our unconsolidated Swiss statutory financial statements is required to be denominated in Swiss francs. Although distributions that are effected through a return of contributed surplus or registered share capital are expected to be paid in U.S. dollars, shareholder resolutions with respect to such distributions must take into account the Swiss francs denomination of the registered share capital. If the U.S. dollar were to increase in value relative to the Swiss franc, the U.S. dollar amount of registered share capital available for future distributions without Swiss withholding tax will decrease.

We have certain limitations on our ability to repurchase our shares.

The Swiss Code of Obligations regulates a corporation’s ability to hold or repurchase its own shares. We and our subsidiaries may only repurchase shares to the extent that sufficient freely distributable reserves (including contributed surplus as determined for Swiss tax and statutory purposes) are available. The aggregate par value of our registered shares held by us and our subsidiaries may not exceed 10% of our registered share capital. We may repurchase our registered shares beyond the statutory limit of 10%, however, only if our shareholders have adopted a resolution at a general meeting of shareholders authorizing the board of directors to repurchase registered shares in an amount in excess of 10% and the repurchased shares are dedicated for cancellation. Additionally, various corporate law proposals in Switzerland, if passed in the future, may affect our ability to repurchase our shares. Our ability to repurchase our shares is a significant component of our capital management and shareholder return practices that we believe is important to our shareholders, and any restriction on our ability to repurchase our shares could make our stock less attractive to investors.

Registered holders of our shares must be registered as shareholders with voting rights in order to vote at shareholder meetings.

Our articles of association contain a provision regarding voting rights that is required by Swiss law for Swiss companies like us that issue registered shares (as opposed to bearer shares). This provision provides that to be able to exercise voting rights, holders of our shares must be registered in our share register (Aktienbuch) as shareholders with voting rights. Only shareholders whose shares have been registered with voting rights on the record date may participate in and vote at our shareholders’ meetings, but all shareholders will be entitled to dividends, distributions, preemptive rights, advance subscription rights, and liquidation proceeds. The board of directors may, in its discretion, refuse to register shares as shares with voting rights if a shareholder does not fulfill certain disclosure requirements in our articles of association. Additionally, various proposals in Switzerland for corporate law changes, if passed in the future, may require shareholder registration in order to exercise voting rights for shareholders who hold their shares in street name through brokerages and banks. Such a registration requirement could make our stock less attractive to investors.

16

Certain provisions of our articles of association may reduce the likelihood of any unsolicited acquisition proposal or potential change of control that our shareholders might consider favorable.

Our articles of association contain provisions that could be considered “anti-takeover” provisions because they would make it harder for a third party to acquire us without the consent of our incumbent board of directors. Under these provisions, among others:

·

shareholders may act only at shareholder meetings and not by written consent, and

·

restrictions will apply to any merger or other business combination between our company and any holder of 15% or more of our issued voting shares who became such without the prior approval of our board of directors.

These provisions may only be amended by the affirmative vote of the holders of 80% of our issued voting shares, which could have the effect of discouraging an unsolicited acquisition proposal or delaying, deferring, or preventing a change of control transaction that might involve a premium price, or otherwise be considered favorable by our shareholders. Our articles of association also contain provisions permitting our board of directors to issue new shares from authorized or conditional capital (in either case, representing a maximum of 50% of the shares presently registered in the commercial register and in case of issuances from authorized capital, until March 11, 2022 unless re-authorized by shareholders for a subsequent two-year period) without shareholder approval and without regard for shareholders’ preemptive rights or advance subscription rights, for the purpose of the defense of an actual, threatened, or potential unsolicited takeover bid, in relation to which the board of directors, upon consultation with an independent financial advisor, has not recommended acceptance to the shareholders. We note that Swiss courts have not addressed whether or not a takeover bid of this nature is an acceptable reason under Swiss law for withdrawing or limiting preemptive rights with respect to authorized share capital or advance subscription rights with respect to conditional share capital. In addition, the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”), on which our shares are listed, requires shareholder approval for issuances of shares equal to 20% or more of the outstanding shares or voting power, with limited exceptions.

Global legislative and regulatory actions and proposals could cause a material change in our worldwide effective corporate tax rate.

Various legislative and regulatory proposals have been directed at multinational companies with operations in lower-tax jurisdictions. There has been heightened focus on adoption of such legislation and on other initiatives, such as:

·

the OECDs initiative to develop agreed-upon best practices to prevent base erosion and profit shifting, which contemplate changes to numerous long-standing tax principles related to the distribution of profits between affiliated entities in different tax jurisdictions,

·

EU and other country efforts to adopt certain OECD proposals and modified OECD proposals (including the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive, state aid cases, and various transparency proposals), and

·

tax policy changes in the U.S., such as additional federal tax reform measures, new tax regulations, and revisions to the Model Income Tax Treaty.

If these proposals are adopted in the main jurisdictions in which we do business, they could, among other things, cause double taxation, increase audit risk, and materially increase our worldwide corporate effective tax rate. We cannot predict the outcome of any specific legislative proposals or initiatives, and we cannot provide assurance that any such legislation or initiative will not apply to us.

Legislation in the U.S. could adversely impact our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows.

Various U.S. federal and state legislative proposals have been introduced in recent years that may negatively impact the growth of our business by denying government contracts to U.S. companies that have moved to lower-tax jurisdictions.

We expect the U.S. Congress to continue to consider implementation and/or expansion of policies that would restrict the federal and state governments from contracting with entities that have corporate locations abroad. We cannot predict the likelihood that, or final form in which, any such proposed legislation might become law, the nature of regulations that may be promulgated under any future legislative enactments, the effect such enactments and increased regulatory scrutiny may have on our business, or the outcome of any specific legislative proposals. Therefore, we cannot provide assurance that any such

17

legislative action will not apply to us. In addition, we are unable to predict whether the final form of any potential legislation discussed above also would affect our indirect sales to U.S. federal or state governments or the willingness of our non-governmental customers to do business with us. As a result of these uncertainties, we are unable to assess the potential impact of any proposed legislation in this area and cannot provide assurance that the impact will not be materially adverse to us.

Swiss law differs from the laws in effect in the U.S. and may afford less protection to holders of our securities.

As we are organized under the laws of Switzerland, it may not be possible to enforce court judgments obtained in the U.S. against us in Switzerland based on the civil liability provisions of the U.S. federal or state securities laws. In addition, there is some uncertainty as to whether the courts of Switzerland would recognize or enforce judgments of U.S. courts obtained against us or our directors or officers based on the civil liability provisions of the U.S. federal or state securities laws or hear actions against us or those persons based on those laws. We have been advised that the U.S. and Switzerland currently do not have a treaty providing for the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. Some remedies available under the laws of U.S. jurisdictions, including some remedies available under the U.S. federal securities laws, would not be allowed in Swiss courts as they are contrary to Switzerland’s public policy.

Swiss law differs in certain material respects from laws generally applicable to U.S. corporations and their shareholders. These differences include the manner in which directors must disclose transactions in which they have an interest, the rights of shareholders to bring class action and derivative lawsuits, and the scope of indemnification available to directors and officers. Thus, holders of our securities may have more difficulty protecting their interests than would holders of securities of a corporation incorporated in a jurisdiction of the U.S.

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

18

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

Our principal executive office is located in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. As of fiscal year end 2020, we owned approximately 18 million square feet and leased approximately 9 million square feet of aggregate floor space, used primarily for manufacturing, warehousing, and office space. We believe our facilities are suitable for the conduct of our business and adequate for our current needs.

We manufacture our products in over 25 countries worldwide. Our manufacturing sites focus on various aspects of our manufacturing processes, including our primary processes of stamping, plating, molding, extrusion, beaming, and assembly. We consider the productive capacity of our manufacturing facilities sufficient. As of fiscal year end 2020, our principal centers of manufacturing output by segment and geographic region were as follows:

    

Transportation

    

Industrial

    

Communications

    

  

Solutions

Solutions

Solutions

Total

  

 

(number of manufacturing facilities)

Asia–Pacific

 

9

 

7

 

7

 

23

EMEA

 

22

 

22

 

3

 

47

Americas

 

10

 

24

 

3

 

37

Total

 

41

 

53

 

13

 

107

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

In the normal course of business, we are subject to various legal proceedings and claims, including product liability matters, employment disputes, disputes on agreements, other commercial disputes, environmental matters, antitrust claims, and tax matters, including non-income tax matters such as value added tax, sales and use tax, real estate tax, and transfer tax. In addition, we operate in an industry susceptible to significant patent legal claims. At any given time in the normal course of business, we are involved as either a plaintiff or defendant in a number of patent infringement actions. If infringement of a third party’s patent were to be determined against us, we might be required to make significant royalty or other payments or might be subject to an injunction or other limitation on our ability to manufacture or sell one or more products. If a patent owned by or licensed to us were determined to be invalid or unenforceable, we might be required to reduce the value of the patent on our Consolidated Balance Sheet and to record a corresponding charge, which could be significant in amount.

Management believes that these legal proceedings and claims likely will be resolved over an extended period of time. Although it is not feasible to predict the outcome of these proceedings, based upon our experience, current information, and applicable law, we do not expect that the outcome of these proceedings, either individually or in the aggregate, will have a material effect on our results of operations, financial position, or cash flows.

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 and Holders

Our common shares are listed and traded on the NYSE under the symbol “TEL.” As of November 4, 2020, there were 18,230 shareholders of record of our common shares.

Performance Graph

The following graph compares the cumulative total shareholder return on our common shares against the cumulative return on the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Electrical Components and Equipment Index. The graph assumes the investment of $100 in our common shares and in each index at fiscal year end 2015 and assumes the reinvestment of all dividends and distributions. The graph shows the cumulative total return for the last five fiscal years. The comparisons in the graph are based upon historical data and are not indicative of, nor intended to forecast, future performance of our common shares.

Graphic

Fiscal Year End

 

    

2015

    

2016

    

2017

    

2018

    

2019

    

2020

    

TE Connectivity Ltd.

$

100.00

$

112.75

$

148.52

$

160.01

$

172.38

$

181.13

S&P 500 Index

 

100.00

 

114.80

 

136.17

 

160.55

 

166.53

 

189.01

Dow Jones Electrical Components and Equipment Index

 

100.00

 

118.71

 

153.08

 

170.22

 

163.89

 

171.79

(1)

$100 invested on September 25, 2015 in TE Connectivity Ltd.’s common shares and in indexes. Indexes calculated on month-end basis.

20

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

The following table presents information about our purchases of our common shares during the quarter ended September 25, 2020:

Maximum

Total Number of

Approximate

Shares Purchased

Dollar Value

as Part of

of Shares that May

Total Number

Average Price

Publicly Announced

Yet Be Purchased

of Shares

Paid Per

Plans or

Under the Plans

Period

    

Purchased(1)

    

Share(1)

    

Programs(2)

    

or Programs(2)

    

June 27–July 24, 2020

295

$

81.09

$

995,115,788

July 25–August 28, 2020

 

6,752

 

88.11

 

 

995,115,788

August 29–September 25, 2020

 

8,106

 

99.26

 

 

995,115,788

Total

 

15,153

$

93.94

 

 

  

(1)These columns represent the acquisition of common shares from individuals to satisfy tax withholding requirements in connection with the vesting of restricted share awards issued under equity compensation plans.
(2)Our share repurchase program authorizes us to purchase a portion of our outstanding common shares from time to time through open market or private transactions, depending on business and market conditions. The share repurchase program does not have an expiration date.

ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The following table presents selected consolidated financial data. The data presented should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and accompanying notes and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included elsewhere in this Annual Report. Our consolidated financial information may not be indicative of our future performance.

As of or for Fiscal

 

    

2020

    

2019

    

2018

    

2017

    

2016(1)

    

(in millions, except per share data)

 

Statement of Operations Data

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

Net sales

$

12,172

$

13,448

$

13,988

$

12,185

$

11,352

Acquisition and integration costs

 

36

 

27

 

14

 

6

 

22

Restructuring and other charges (credits), net(2)

 

257

 

255

 

126

 

147

 

(2)

Impairment of goodwill(3)

900

Other income (expense), net(4)

 

20

 

2

 

1

 

(42)

 

(677)

Income tax (expense) benefit(5)

 

(783)

 

15

 

344

 

(180)

 

826

Income (loss) from continuing operations

 

(259)

 

1,946

 

2,584

 

1,540

 

1,847

Income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of income taxes(6)

 

18

 

(102)

 

(19)

 

143

 

162

Net income (loss)

(241)

1,844

2,565

1,683

2,009

Per Share Data

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

Basic earnings (loss) per share:

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

Income (loss) from continuing operations

$

(0.78)

$

5.76

$

7.38

$

4.34

$

5.05

Net income (loss)

 

(0.73)

 

5.46

 

7.33

 

4.74

 

5.49

Diluted earnings (loss) per share:

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

Income (loss) from continuing operations

$

(0.78)

$

5.72

$

7.32

$

4.30

$

5.01

Net income (loss)

 

(0.73)

 

5.42

 

7.27

 

4.70

 

5.44

Dividends paid per common share

$

1.88

$

1.80

$

1.68

$

1.54

$

1.40

Balance Sheet Data

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

Total assets

$

19,242

$

19,694

$

20,386

$

19,403

$

17,608

Long-term liabilities

 

6,057

 

5,584

 

5,145

 

5,805

 

6,057

Total shareholders’ equity

9,383

10,570

10,831

9,751

8,485

(1)Fiscal 2016 was a 53-week year.

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(2)Fiscal 2016 included a pre-tax gain of $144 million on the sale of our Circuit Protection Devices business.
(3)Fiscal 2020 included a goodwill impairment charge related to the Sensors reporting unit in our Transportation Solutions segment. See Note 8 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information regarding the impairment of goodwill.
(4)Fiscal 2016 net other income (expense) was recorded primarily pursuant to the Tax Sharing Agreement with Tyco International plc and Covidien plc and included $604 million of other expense related to the effective settlement of tax matters for the years 1997 through 2000 and $46 million of other expense related to a tax settlement in another tax jurisdiction.
(5)For fiscal 2020, 2019, and 2018, see Note 16 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information. Fiscal 2016 included a $1,135 million income tax benefit related to the effective settlement of tax matters for the years 1997 through 2000, partially offset by a $91 million income tax charge related to an increase to the valuation allowance for certain U.S. deferred tax assets. Additionally, fiscal 2016 included an $83 million net income tax benefit related to tax settlements in certain other tax jurisdictions, partially offset by an income tax charge related to certain legal entity restructurings.
(6)Fiscal 2019 included a pre-tax loss of $86 million on the sale of our Subsea Communications business. For additional information regarding discontinued operations, see Note 4 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and the accompanying notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report. The following discussion may contain forward-looking statements that reflect our plans, estimates, and beliefs. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed in these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to these differences include those factors discussed below and elsewhere in this Annual Report, particularly in “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Information.”

Our Consolidated Financial Statements have been prepared in U.S. dollars, in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. (“GAAP”).

Discussion of our financial condition and results of operations for fiscal 2020 compared to fiscal 2019 is presented below. Discussion of our financial condition and results of operations for fiscal 2019 compared to fiscal 2018 can be found in “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 fiscal year ended September 27, 2019.

The following discussion includes organic net sales growth (decline) which is a non-GAAP financial measure. See “Non-GAAP Financial Measure” for additional information regarding this measure.

Overview

We are a global industrial technology leader creating a safer, sustainable, productive, and connected future. Our broad range of connectivity and sensor solutions, proven in the harshest environments, enable advancements in transportation, industrial applications, medical technology, energy, data communications, and the home.

Summary of Fiscal 2020 Performance

Our fiscal 2020 net sales decreased 9.5% from fiscal 2019 levels due to sales declines in the Transportation Solutions segment and, to a lesser degree, the Industrial Solutions and Communications Solutions segments. On an organic basis, our net sales decreased 9.9% in fiscal 2020 as compared to fiscal 2019. Our net sales declines included significant unfavorable impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our net sales by segment were as follows:
Transportation Solutions—Our net sales decreased 12.5% due to sales declines in the automotive end market and, to a lesser degree, the commercial transportation and sensors end markets.
Industrial Solutions—Our net sales decreased 6.1% primarily as a result of sales declines in the industrial equipment and the aerospace, defense, oil, and gas end markets.

22

Communications Solutions—Our net sales decreased 3.5% due to sales declines in both the appliances and the data and devices end markets.
During fiscal 2020, our shareholders approved a dividend payment to shareholders of $1.92 per share, payable in four equal quarterly installments of $0.48 beginning in the third quarter of fiscal 2020 and ending in the second quarter of fiscal 2021.
Net cash provided by continuing operating activities was $1,991 million in fiscal 2020.
We acquired approximately 72% of the outstanding shares of First Sensor AG (“First Sensor”), a provider of sensing solutions based in Germany, during fiscal 2020.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Economic Conditions

A novel strain of coronavirus (“COVID-19”) was first identified in China in December 2019 and subsequently declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. To date, COVID-19 has surfaced in nearly all regions around the world and resulted in travel restrictions and business slowdowns or shutdowns in affected areas. The COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected our sales and operating results during fiscal 2020, and we expect that it will continue to have an impact on our financial condition and results of operations in the near term and may have a material impact on our financial condition, liquidity, and results of operations in future periods.

The COVID-19 pandemic is currently impacting, and we expect that it will continue to impact, our business operations globally, causing potential disruption in our suppliers’ and customers’ supply chains, some of our business locations to reduce or suspend operations, and a reduction in demand for certain products from direct customers or end markets. While a number of our businesses are operating as essential businesses, some have had and continue to have adjusted, reduced, or suspended operating activities at certain locations. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic may have far-reaching impacts on many additional aspects of our operations, directly and indirectly, including with respect to its impacts on customer behaviors, business and manufacturing operations, inventory, our employees, and the market generally, and the scope and nature of these impacts continue to evolve each day. We expect to continue to assess the evolving impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and intend to adjust our operations accordingly. For example, throughout our operations, we have enacted additional health and safety measures for the protection of our employees, including providing personal protective equipment, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing of our facilities, and remote working arrangements.

We expect that the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to impact several of the markets we serve, in particular the automotive and commercial aerospace markets. We expect these markets to decline in the near term relative to fiscal 2020 and they may decline in future periods. However, despite these market declines, we expect a slight increase in our total net sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 as compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2020. See “Outlook” below for additional information.

In response to the current economic environment and our sales declines relative to fiscal 2019, we have taken and continue to focus on actions to manage costs. These include restructuring and other cost reduction initiatives, such as reducing discretionary spending, cutting capital expenditures, reducing travel, and furloughing certain employees. We will continue to actively monitor the situation and may take further actions that alter our business operations as may be required by federal, state, or local authorities or that we determine are in the best interests of our employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders, and the communities in which we operate.

For further discussion of the risks and uncertainties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, see “Part I. Item 1A. Risk Factors.”

Outlook

In the first quarter of fiscal 2021, we expect our net sales to be approximately $3.2 billion as compared to $3.17 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2020. This represents a slight increase resulting from sales growth in the Transportation Solutions and Communications Solutions segments, partially offset by sales declines in the Industrial Solutions segment. Additional information regarding expectations for our reportable segments is as follows:

Transportation Solutions—In the automotive end market, we expect our net sales increase resulting from content growth to be offset by sales decreases resulting from declines in global automotive production in the

23

first quarter of fiscal 2021 as compared to the same period of fiscal 2020. We expect global automotive production in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 to decline compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2020, but to increase from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020. We expect our net sales to increase in the sensors and commercial transportation end markets in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 over the first quarter of fiscal 2020. Our sales in the sensors end market are expected to benefit from the acquisition of First Sensor.
Industrial Solutions—We expect our net sales to decline in the aerospace, defense, oil, and gas end market in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 as compared to the same period of fiscal 2020 primarily as a result of weakness in the commercial aerospace market. We expect the commercial aerospace market to decline over 20% in fiscal 2021 as compared to fiscal 2020.
Communications Solutions—We expect our net sales to increase in both the data and devices and the appliances end markets in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 as compared to the same period of fiscal 2020. We expect to continue to benefit from cloud infrastructure spending and a recovery in the appliances market in fiscal 2021 as compared to fiscal 2020.

We expect diluted earnings per share from continuing operations to be approximately $0.83 per share in the first quarter of fiscal 2021. This outlook reflects the positive impact of foreign currency exchange rates on net sales and earnings per share of approximately $55 million and $0.04 per share, respectively, in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 as compared to the same period of fiscal 2020.

The above outlook is based on foreign currency exchange rates and commodity prices that are consistent with current levels.

We are monitoring the current macroeconomic environment and its potential effects on our customers and the end markets we serve, including developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have taken actions to manage costs and will continue to closely manage our costs in line with economic conditions. Additionally, we are managing our capital resources and monitoring capital availability to ensure that we have sufficient resources to fund future capital needs. See further discussion in “Liquidity and Capital Resources.”

Acquisitions

During fiscal 2020, we acquired approximately 72% of the outstanding shares of First Sensor for €181 million in cash (equivalent to $201 million using an exchange rate of $1.11 per €1.00), net of cash acquired. This business has been reported as part of our Transportation Solutions segment from the date of acquisition.

We acquired four additional businesses for a combined cash purchase price of $135 million, net of cash acquired, during fiscal 2020. The acquisitions were reported as part of our Transportation Solutions and Industrial Solutions segments from the date of acquisition.

During fiscal 2019, we acquired three businesses for a combined cash purchase price of $296 million, net of cash acquired. The acquisitions were reported as part of our Transportation Solutions segment from the date of acquisition.

See Note 5 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information regarding acquisitions.

Discontinued Operations

In fiscal 2019, we sold our Subsea Communications (“SubCom”) business for net cash proceeds of $297 million and incurred a pre-tax loss on sale of $86 million. The SubCom business met the held for sale and discontinued operations criteria and has been reported as such in all periods presented on our Consolidated Financial Statements. Prior to reclassification to discontinued operations, the SubCom business was included in the Communications Solutions segment.

See Note 4 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information regarding discontinued operations.

24

Results of Operations

Net Sales

The following table presents our net sales and the percentage of total net sales by segment:

Fiscal

    

2020

    

2019

    

    

 

($ in millions)

Transportation Solutions

$

6,845

     

56

%  

$

7,821

     

58

%

Industrial Solutions

 

3,713

 

31

 

3,954

 

30

Communications Solutions

 

1,614

 

13

 

1,673

 

12

Total

$

12,172

 

100

%  

$

13,448

 

100

%

The following table provides an analysis of the change in our net sales by segment:

Change in Net Sales for Fiscal 2020 versus Fiscal 2019

Net Sales

Organic Net Sales

    

Growth (Decline)

Growth (Decline)

Translation

    

Acquisitions

    

($ in millions)

Transportation Solutions

$

(976)

    

(12.5)

%  

$

(1,066)

    

(13.5)

%  

$

(65)

$

155

Industrial Solutions

 

(241)

 

(6.1)

 

(212)

 

(5.4)

 

(29)

 

Communications Solutions

 

(59)

 

(3.5)

 

(54)

 

(3.2)

 

(5)

 

Total

$

(1,276)

 

(9.5)

%  

$

(1,332)

 

(9.9)

%  

$

(99)

$

155

Net sales decreased $1,276 million, or 9.5%, in fiscal 2020 as compared to fiscal 2019. The decrease in net sales resulted from organic net sales declines of 9.9% and the negative impact of foreign currency translation of 0.8% due to the weakening of certain foreign currencies, partially offset by sales contributions from acquisitions of 1.2%. Price erosion adversely affected organic net sales by $173 million in fiscal 2020. In fiscal 2020, our net sales declines included significant unfavorable impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

See further discussion of net sales below under “Segment Results.”

Net Sales by Geographic Region. Our business operates in three geographic regions—Asia–Pacific, EMEA, and the Americas—and our results of operations are influenced by changes in foreign currency exchange rates. Increases or decreases in the value of the U.S. dollar, compared to other currencies, will directly affect our reported results as we translate those currencies into U.S. dollars at the end of each fiscal period. We sell our products into approximately 140 countries, and approximately 60% of our net sales were invoiced in currencies other than the U.S. dollar in fiscal 2020. The percentage of net sales in fiscal 2020 by major currencies invoiced was as follows:

Currencies

    

Percentage

   

    

U.S. dollar

 

43

%

Euro

 

29

Chinese renminbi

 

15

Japanese yen

 

6

All others

 

7

Total

 

100

%

25

The following table presents our net sales and the percentage of total net sales by geographic region:

Fiscal

    

2020

    

2019

    

($ in millions)

Asia–Pacific

$

4,246

 

35

%  

$

4,401

 

33

%

EMEA

4,220

    

35

4,823

    

36

Americas

 

3,706

 

30

 

4,224

 

31

Total

$

12,172

 

100

%  

$

13,448

 

100

The following table provides an analysis of the change in our net sales by geographic region:

Change in Net Sales for Fiscal 2020 versus Fiscal 2019

 

Net Sales

Organic Net Sales

    

Growth (Decline)

Growth (Decline)

Translation

    

Acquisitions

    

($ in millions)

 

Asia–Pacific

$

(155)

    

(3.5)

%  

$

(123)

    

(2.8)

%  

$

(32)

$

EMEA

 

(603)

 

(12.5)

 

(676)

 

(14.0)

 

(28)

 

101

Americas

 

(518)

 

(12.3)

 

(533)

 

(12.6)

 

(39)

 

54

Total

$

(1,276)

 

(9.5)

%  

$

(1,332)

 

(9.9)

%  

$

(99)

$

155

Cost of Sales and Gross Margin

The following table presents cost of sales and gross margin information:

Fiscal

 

    

2020

    

2019

    

Change

    

($ in millions)

 

Cost of sales

$

8,437

$

9,054

$

(617)

As a percentage of net sales

 

69.3

%  

 

67.3

%  

 

  

Gross margin

$

3,735

$

4,394

$

(659)

As a percentage of net sales

 

30.7

%  

 

32.7

%  

 

  

In fiscal 2020, gross margin decreased $659 million as compared to fiscal 2019 primarily as a result of lower volume and, to a lesser degree, price erosion and lower manufacturing productivity, partially offset by lower material costs.

We use a wide variety of raw materials in the manufacture of our products. Cost of sales and gross margin are subject to variability in raw material prices which continue to fluctuate for many of the raw materials we use, including copper, gold, and silver. In fiscal 2020, we purchased approximately 160 million pounds of copper, 107,000 troy ounces of gold, and 2.2 million troy ounces of silver. The following table presents the average prices incurred related to copper, gold, and silver:

Fiscal

    

Measure

    

2020

    

2019

    

Copper

 

Lb.

$

2.78

$

2.93

Gold

 

Troy oz.

 

1,395

 

1,309

Silver

 

Troy oz.

 

16.21

 

16.42

In fiscal 2021, we expect to purchase approximately 155 million pounds of copper, 105,000 troy ounces of gold, and 2.2 million troy ounces of silver.

26

Operating Expenses

The following table presents operating expense information:

Fiscal

 

    

2020

    

2019

    

Change

    

($ in millions)

 

Selling, general, and administrative expenses

$

1,392

$

1,490

$

(98)

As a percentage of net sales

 

11.4

%  

 

11.1

%  

 

  

Restructuring and other charges, net

$

257

$

255

$

2

Impairment of goodwill

900

900

Selling, General, and Administrative Expenses. In fiscal 2020, selling, general, and administrative expenses decreased $98 million as compared to fiscal 2019 due primarily to reduced selling expenses, cost control measures, and savings attributable to restructuring actions.

Restructuring and Other Charges, Net. We are committed to continuous productivity improvements, and we evaluate opportunities to simplify our global manufacturing footprint, migrate facilities to lower-cost regions, reduce fixed costs, and eliminate excess capacity. These initiatives are designed to help us maintain our competitiveness in the industry, improve our operating leverage, and position us for future growth.

During fiscal 2020 and 2019, we initiated restructuring programs associated with footprint consolidation and structural improvements impacting all segments. The fiscal 2020 actions were due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. We incurred net restructuring charges of $257 million and $255 million in fiscal 2020 and 2019, respectively. Annualized cost savings related to actions initiated in fiscal 2020 are expected to be approximately $200 million and are expected to be realized by the end of fiscal 2022. Cost savings will be reflected primarily in cost of sales and selling, general, and administrative expenses. For fiscal 2021, we currently expect total restructuring charges to be approximately $200 million and total spending, which will be funded with cash from operations, to be approximately $250 million.

See Note 3 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information regarding net restructuring and other charges.

Impairment of Goodwill. As a result of current and projected declines in sales and profitability, due in part to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and projected reductions in global automotive production as of March 2020, of the Sensors reporting unit of the Transportation Solutions segment during the second quarter of fiscal 2020, we determined that an indicator of impairment had occurred and goodwill impairment testing of this reporting unit was required.

As discussed in Note 2 to the Consolidated Financial Statements, during the second quarter of fiscal 2020, we adopted Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2017-04, Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment, which simplifies the subsequent measurement of goodwill by eliminating step 2 of the goodwill impairment test. Under the new standard, goodwill impairment is measured as the amount by which a reporting unit’s carrying value exceeds its fair value, not to exceed the carrying value of goodwill. We determined the fair value of the Sensors reporting unit to be $1.0 billion as of March 27, 2020. This valuation was based on a discounted cash flows analysis incorporating our estimate of future operating performance, which we consider to be a level 3 unobservable input in the fair value hierarchy, and was corroborated using a market approach valuation. The goodwill impairment test indicated that the carrying value of the reporting unit exceeded its fair value by $900 million. As a result, we recorded a partial impairment charge of $900 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2020. As of fiscal year end 2020, the Sensors reporting unit had a remaining goodwill allocation of $511 million. See Note 8 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information regarding the impairment of goodwill and our annual goodwill impairment test.

27