10-K 1 cdw-20171231x10k.htm 10-K Document

 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549 

 
FORM 10-K
 
(Mark One)
ý
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017
or
¨
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from              to             
Commission File Number 001-35985
 
CDW CORPORATION
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 
Delaware
 
26-0273989
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
 
 
75 Tri-State International
Lincolnshire, Illinois
 
60069
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
(Zip Code)
(847) 465-6000
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

 Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class:
 
Name of each exchange on which registered
 
 
 
Common stock, par value $0.01 per share
 
Nasdaq Global Select Market
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
  ____________________________________________
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    ý  Yes    ¨  No
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    ¨  Yes    ý  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 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.    ý  Yes    ¨  No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    ý  Yes    ¨  No
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§ 229.405) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or 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 (Check one):
Large accelerated filer
ý
Accelerated filer
¨
Non-accelerated filer
¨ (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
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 is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    ¨  Yes    ý  No
The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2017, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, was $9,577.6 million, based on the per share closing sale price of $62.53 on that date.
As of February 23, 2018, there were 152,423,423 shares of common stock, $0.01 par value, outstanding.




DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Certain parts of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for its 2018 annual meeting of stockholders to be held on May 23, 2018 (“2018 Proxy Statement”), which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on or before April 30, 2018, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 



CDW CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K
Year Ended December 31, 2017
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Item
 
Page
PART I
 
 
Item 1.
Item 1A.
Item 1B.
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4.
 
PART II
 
 
Item 5.
Item 6.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
PART III
 
 
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
PART IV
 
 
Item 15.
Item 16.
SIGNATURES

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FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This report contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this report are forward-looking statements. These statements relate to analyses and other information, which are based on forecasts of future results and estimates of amounts not yet determinable. These statements also relate to our future prospects, developments and business strategies. We claim the protection of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 for all forward-looking statements in this report.
These forward-looking statements are identified by the use of terms and phrases such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “will” and similar terms and phrases, including references to assumptions. However, these words are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements. Although we believe that our plans, intentions and expectations reflected in or suggested by such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot assure you that we will achieve those plans, intentions or expectations. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those that we expected.
Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations, or cautionary statements, are disclosed under the section entitled “Risk Factors” included elsewhere in this report. All written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us, or persons acting on our behalf, are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained in the section entitled “Risk Factors” included elsewhere in this report as well as other cautionary statements that are made from time to time in our other Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filings and public communications. You should evaluate all forward-looking statements made in this report in the context of these risks and uncertainties.
We caution you that the important factors referenced above may not contain all of the factors that could cause actual results to differ from our expectations. In addition, we cannot assure you that we will realize the results or developments we expect or anticipate or, even if substantially realized, that they will result in the consequences or affect us or our operations in the way we expect. The forward-looking statements included in this report are made only as of the date hereof. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law.

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PART I
Item 1. Business
Our Company
CDW Corporation (together with its subsidiaries, the “Company,” “CDW” or “we”) is a Fortune 500 company and a leading provider of integrated information technology (“IT”) solutions to small, medium and large business, government, education and healthcare customers in the United States (“US”), Canada, and the United Kingdom (“UK”). Our broad array of offerings ranges from discrete hardware and software products to integrated IT solutions such as mobility, security, data center optimization, cloud computing, virtualization and collaboration.
We are technology “agnostic,” with a solutions portfolio including more than 100,000 products and services from more than 1,000 leading and emerging brands. Our solutions are delivered in physical, virtual and cloud-based environments through over 6,000 customer-facing coworkers, including sellers, highly-skilled technology specialists and advanced service delivery engineers. We are a leading sales channel partner for many original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”), software publishers and cloud providers (collectively, our “vendor partners”), whose products we sell or include in the solutions we offer. We provide our vendor partners with a cost-effective way to reach customers and deliver a consistent brand experience through our established end-market coverage, technical expertise and extensive customer access.
We simplify the complexities of technology across design, selection, procurement, integration and management for our customers. Our goal is to have our customers, regardless of their size, view us as a trusted adviser and extension of their IT resources. We do not manufacture products. Our multi-brand offering approach enables us to identify the products or combination of products from our vendor partners that best address each customer’s specific IT requirements.
We provide integrated IT solutions in more than 80 countries for customers with primary locations in the US, UK and Canada, which are large and growing markets. According to the International Data Corporation (“IDC”), the total US, UK and Canadian IT market generated approximately $925 billion in sales in 2017. We believe our addressable markets in the US, UK and Canada represent approximately $300 billion in annual sales. These are highly fragmented markets served by thousands of IT resellers and solutions providers. For the year ended December 31, 2017, we estimate that our total Net sales of $15 billion represented approximately 5% of our addressable markets. We believe that demand for IT will continue to outpace general economic growth in the markets we serve fueled by new technologies, including cloud computing, virtualization and mobility, as well as growing end-user demand for security, efficiency and productivity.
Value Proposition
We are positioned in the middle of the IT ecosystem where we procure products from OEMs, software publishers, cloud providers and wholesale distributors and provide added value to our customers by helping them navigate through complex options and implement the best solution for their business. In this role, we believe we provide unique value to both our vendor partners and our customers.
Our value proposition to our customers
Our value proposition to our vendor partners
Broad selection of products and multi-branded IT solutions
Access to over 250,000 customers
Value-added services with integration capabilities
Large and established customer channels
Highly-skilled specialists and engineers
Strong distribution and implementation capabilities
Solutions across a very broad IT landscape
Value-added solutions and marketing programs that generate end-user demand
Customers
We provide integrated IT solutions to over 250,000 small, medium and large business, government, education and healthcare customers throughout the US, UK and Canada.
We serve our customers through sales teams focused on customer end-markets that are supported by technical specialists and highly skilled service delivery engineers. Our market segmentation allows us to customize our offerings and to provide enhanced expertise in designing and implementing IT solutions that meet our customer’s specific needs.
In our US business, which represents approximately 90% of our revenues, we currently have five dedicated customer channels: corporate, small business, government, education and healthcare, each of which generated over $1.0 billion in Net sales in 2017. Net sales to customers in the UK and Canada combined generated $1.6 billion in 2017. We believe this diversity of

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customer end-markets provides us with multiple avenues for growth and has been a key factor in our ability to weather economic and technology cycles and continue to gain market share.
Information regarding our reportable segments and our customer channels is as follows:
 
 
 
Public Segment
 
 
Customer Channels
Corporate Segment
 
Small Business Segment
 
Government
 
Education
 
Healthcare
 
Other
 Target Customers
>250 employees
 
1 - 250 employees
 
Various federal, state and local agencies
 
Higher education and K-12
 
Hospitals, ambulatory service providers and long-term care facilities
 
UK and Canada
2017 Net Sales
(in billions)
$6.3
 
$1.2
 
$2.2
 
$2.2
 
$1.7
 
$1.6
For further information regarding our segments, including financial results, see Note 18 (Segment Information) to the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements under Item 8, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”
Partners
We provide more than 100,000 products and services from more than 1,000 partners, including well-established companies such as Adobe, APC, Apple, Cisco, Dell EMC, Google, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, HP Inc., IBM, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, NetApp, Samsung, Symantec and VMware, as well as from emerging technology companies such as Calabrio, Cohesity, Crowdstrike, Nutanix, Proofpoint, Snow, Splunk, Veeam, Viptella and WidePoint. This broad portfolio of partners and technologies enables us to offer customers significant choice and meet customer demand for the products and solutions that best meet their needs. We believe our value proposition to vendor partners enables us to evolve our offering as new technologies emerge and new companies seek us as a channel partner.
In 2017, we generated over $1.0 billion of Net sales from each of five of our vendor partners and over $100 million of revenue from each of thirteen other vendor partners. We have received the highest level of certification from major vendor partners such as Cisco, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Microsoft, which reflects the extensive product and solution knowledge and capabilities that we bring to our customers’ IT challenges. These certifications also provide us with access to favorable pricing, tools and resources, including vendor incentive programs, which we use to provide additional value to our customers. Our vendor partners also regularly recognize us with top awards and select us to develop and grow new customer solutions.
Product Procurement
We may purchase all or only some of the products our vendor partners offer for resale to our customers or for inclusion in the solutions we offer. Each vendor partner agreement provides for specific terms and conditions, which may include one or more of the following: product return privileges, price protection policies, purchase discounts and vendor incentive programs, such as, purchase or sales rebates and cooperative advertising reimbursements. We also purchase software from major software publishers and cloud providers for resale to our customers or for inclusion in the solutions we offer. Our agreements allow the end-user customer to acquire cloud-based solutions software or licensed products and services.
In addition to purchasing products directly from our vendor partners, we purchase products from wholesale distributors for resale to our customers or for inclusion in the solutions we offer. These wholesale distributors provide logistics management and supply-chain services for us, as well as for our vendor partners.
For our US operations, we purchased approximately 50% of the products we sold as discrete products or as components of a solution directly from our vendor partners and the remaining 50% from wholesale distributors for the year ended December 31, 2017. Purchases from our three largest wholesale distributors, Ingram Micro, SYNNEX and Tech Data, are each approximately 10% of total 2017 purchases.
Inventory Management
We operate two distribution centers in North America: a 513,000 square foot facility in North Las Vegas, Nevada, and a 442,000 square foot facility in Vernon Hills, Illinois. We also operate a 120,000 square foot distribution center in Rugby, Warwickshire, UK. We ship over 40 million units annually on an aggregate basis from our distribution centers.
We also have drop-shipment arrangements with many of our OEMs and wholesale distributors, which permit us to offer products to our customers without having to take physical delivery at our distribution centers. These arrangements represent approximately 50% of total consolidated 2017 Net sales, of which approximately 25% relate to electronic delivery for software licenses.

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We believe that the location of our distribution centers allows us to efficiently ship products to our customers and provide timely access to our principal distributors.
We believe competitive sources of supply are available in substantially all of the product categories that we offer.
Competition
The market for technology products and services is highly competitive and subject to economic conditions and rapid technological changes. Competition is based on many things, including the ability to tailor specific solutions to customer needs, the quality and breadth of product and service offerings, knowledge and expertise of sales force, customer service, price, product availability, speed of delivery and credit availability. We face competition from resellers, direct manufacturers, large service providers, cloud providers, telecommunication companies, and to a lesser extent e-tailers and retailers. Smaller, local or regional value added resellers typically focus on a single solution suite or portfolio of solutions from one or two vendor partners.
We believe we are well positioned to compete within this marketplace due to our competitive advantages. We expect the competitive landscape in which we compete to continue to evolve as new technologies are developed. While innovation can help our business as it creates new offerings for us to sell, it can also disrupt our business model and create new and stronger competitors. For a discussion of the risks associated with competition, see Item 1A, “Risk Factors.”
We believe we have sustainable competitive advantages that differentiate us in the marketplace.  We have built a strong sales organization and deep services and solutions capabilities over time and expect to continue to invest to enhance these capabilities, which we believe when combined with our competitive advantages of scale and a performance driven culture, will help drive sustainable, profitable growth for us today and in the future. Our scale enables us to have a national and international footprint, as well as invest in resources to meet specific customer end-market needs. Our sellers are organized around unique customer end-markets that are both vertically and geographically focused. Our scale enables our ability to invest in technical coworkers who work directly with our sellers to help customers implement increasingly complex IT solutions. Our scale also enables us to operate our three distribution centers (two in the US and one in the UK) which combined are more than 1 million square feet in size. With the acquisition of CDW UK in 2015, we have cross-border relationships that enable us to serve the needs of our US, UK and Canadian-based customers in more than 80 countries. Our strong, execution-oriented culture is underpinned by our compensation system.
Our Offerings
Our offerings range from discrete hardware and software products and services to complex integrated solutions including one or more of these elements. We believe our customers increasingly view technology purchases as integrated solutions rather than discrete product and service categories. We estimate that more than 40% of our Net sales in 2017 in the US came from sales of product categories and services typically associated with solutions. Our hardware products include notebooks/mobile devices (including tablets), network communications, desktop computers, video monitors, enterprise and data storage, printers and servers. Our software products include application suites, security, virtualization, operating systems and network management. Our services include warranties, managed services, consulting design and implementation.
Today, IT is critical to both “run the business” and drive greater growth and productivity. To help our customers accomplish their goals, we have built a robust portfolio of solutions across data center, digital workspace, security, virtualization and services that we provide in physical, virtual, or cloud-based environments.

We provide public cloud solutions, which reside off customer premises on a public (shared) infrastructure, and private cloud solutions, which reside on customer premises. We also offer hybrid cloud solutions that deliver the benefits of both public and private solutions. Our migration, integration and managed services offerings help our customers simplify cloud adoption, as well as the ongoing management of cloud solutions across the entire IT lifecycle. Dedicated Cloud Client Executives work with our customers to architect cloud solutions meeting their organizational, technology and financial objectives.
We offer a broad portfolio of integrated solutions that include the following on and off-premise capabilities:
Data Center: We assess our customers data center needs, design flexible, resilient and efficient solutions and manage the solution throughout its lifecycle. Our broad portfolio of hardware and software, for both on and off-premise solutions, enables us to provide a well-integrated solution, including converged and hyper-converged infrastructure, physical and virtualized servers, software defined data center, storage and energy-efficient power and cooling.
Digital Workspace: We build end-to-end solutions, using hardware, software and services, that deliver access to applications that improve our customers’ productivity regardless of device or location. We connect our customers’ physical devices, including laptops, desktops, IP Phones, mobile devices and print systems, and utilize solutions to unite

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collaboration and applications. We do this through the integration of products that facilitate the use of multiple enterprise communication methods including email, persistent chat, social media, voice and video. We also host cloud-based collaboration solutions. Our solutions provide the tools that allow our customers’ employees to share knowledge, ideas and information among each other and with clients and partners effectively, securely and quickly.
Security: We assess the security needs of our customers and provide them with risk mitigation tools and services across a multitude of categories such as: endpoint security, email security, web security, intrusion prevention, authentication, firewall, virtual private network services and network access control. Security consulting engagements include security assessment, policy and procedure gap analysis and development of security roadmaps.
Virtualization: We design and implement server, storage and desktop virtualization solutions. Virtualization enables our customers to efficiently utilize hardware resources by running multiple, independent, virtual operating systems on a single computer and multiple virtual servers simultaneously on a single server. Virtualization also can separate a desktop environment and associated application software from the hardware device that is used to access it, and provides employees with remote desktop access. Our specialists assist customers with the steps of implementing virtualization solutions, including evaluating network environments, deploying shared storage options and licensing platform software.
Services: We advise on, architect and manage integrated business technology for commercial and business organizations. Our solutions include integrated cloud, collaboration, data center, mobility and security business technology, from the physical to the application layer. We provide advisory, architectural and managed services across basic, discrete and integrated business technology solutions. We leverage best-in-class partner technology platforms to seamlessly architect and manage disparate IT platforms into integrated business technology solutions.
Although we believe customers increasingly view technology purchases as solutions rather than discrete product and service categories, our Net sales by major category, based upon our internal category classifications was as follows:
 
 
Years Ended December 31,
 
 
2017
 
2016(1)
 
 2015 (1)
 
 
Dollars in
Millions
 
Percentage
of Total Net Sales
 
Dollars in
Millions
 
Percentage
of Total Net Sales
 
Dollars in
Millions
 
Percentage
of Total Net Sales
Notebooks/Mobile Devices
 
$
3,490.9

 
23.1
%
 
$
2,921.6

 
20.9
%
 
$
2,537.3

 
19.5
%
Netcomm Products
 
2,042.9

 
13.4

 
1,958.2

 
14.0

 
1,915.0

 
14.7

Desktops
 
1,159.4

 
7.6

 
1,050.0

 
7.5

 
965.6

 
7.4

Video
 
1,076.9

 
7.1

 
962.1

 
6.9

 
853.8

 
6.6

Enterprise and Data Storage (Including Drives)
 
1,071.5

 
7.1

 
1,053.1

 
7.5

 
1,067.2

 
8.2

Other Hardware
 
3,100.3

 
20.4

 
3,042.6

 
21.8

 
2,950.5

 
22.7

Total Hardware
 
11,941.9

 
78.7

 
10,987.6

 
78.6

 
10,289.4

 
79.1

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Software(2)
 
2,540.1

 
16.7

 
2,389.3

 
17.1

 
2,152.3

 
16.6

Services(2)
 
611.3

 
4.0

 
575.1

 
4.1

 
467.7

 
3.6

Other(3)
 
98.2

 
0.6

 
29.9

 
0.2

 
79.3

 
0.7

Total Net sales
 
$
15,191.5

 
100.0
%
 
$
13,981.9

 
100.0
%
 
$
12,988.7

 
100.0
%
(1)
Amounts have been reclassified for changes in individual product classifications to conform to the presentation for the year ended December 31, 2017.
(2)
Certain software and services revenue is recorded on a net basis for accounting purposes, so the category percentage of net revenues is not representative of the category percentage of gross profits.
(3)
Includes items such as delivery charges to customers and certain commission revenue.

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Our Internal Capabilities
Our Coworkers
As of December 31, 2017, we employed 8,726 coworkers with approximately 7,200 coworkers in the US, 1,100 in the UK and 400 in Canada. Approximately two thirds of our coworkers at year-end 2017 were customer facing. Over half of our Net sales are generated by account managers who have greater than seven years of experience. Account managers are supported by field sellers, highly skilled technology specialists and advanced service delivery engineers. We believe this structure to be core to our ability to continue to offer complex IT solutions and services.

None of our coworkers are covered by collective bargaining agreements. We consider our coworker relations to be good.
Marketing
We market the CDW brand to US, British and Canadian audiences using a variety of channels that include online, broadcast, print, social and other media. We market to current and prospective customers through integrated marketing programs including behaviorally targeted email, print, online media, events and sponsorships, as well as broadcast media. This promotion is also supported by integrated communication efforts targeting decision-makers, influencers and the general public using a combination of news releases, case studies, media interviews and speaking opportunities.
As a result of our relationships with our vendor partners, a significant portion of our advertising and marketing expenses is reimbursed through cooperative advertising programs. These programs are at the discretion of our vendor partners and are typically tied to sales or other commitments to be met by us within a specified period of time. We believe that our results and analytical techniques that measure the efficacy of our marketing programs differentiate us from our competitors.
Information Technology Systems
We maintain customized IT and unified communication systems that enhance our ability to provide prompt, efficient and expert service to our customers. In addition, these systems enable centralized management of key functions, including purchasing, inventory management, billing and collection of accounts receivable, sales and distribution. Our systems provide us with thorough, detailed and real-time information regarding key aspects of our business. This capability helps us to continuously enhance productivity, ship customer orders quickly and efficiently, respond appropriately to industry changes and provide high levels of customer service. We believe our websites, which provide electronic order processing and advanced tools, such as order tracking, reporting and asset management, make it easy for customers to transact business with us and ultimately strengthen our customer relationships.
Intellectual Property
The CDW trademark and certain variations thereon are registered or subject to pending trademark applications in the US, UK, Canada and certain other jurisdictions. We believe our trademarks have significant value and are important factors in our marketing programs. In addition, we own registrations for domain names, including cdw.com and cdwg.com and variations thereon, for certain of our primary trademarks. We also own patent rights and have unregistered copyrights in our website content, software and other written materials.
History
Founded in 1984, CDW became a public company in 1993. In 2003, we purchased selected US assets and the Canadian operations of Micro Warehouse, which extended our growth platform into Canada. In 2006, we acquired Berbee Information Networks Corporation, a regional provider of technology products, solutions and customized engineering services in advanced technologies primarily across Cisco, IBM and Microsoft portfolios. This acquisition increased our capabilities in customized engineering services and managed services.
We were a public company from 1993 until 2007 when we were acquired through a merger transaction by an entity controlled by investment funds affiliated with Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC (“Madison Dearborn”) and Providence Equity Partners L.L.C. (“Providence Equity”). CDW Corporation continued as the surviving corporation and same legal entity after the acquisition, but became a wholly owned subsidiary of VH Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation.
In July 2013, CDW Corporation completed the IPO of its common stock.
After the IPO, through secondary offerings and fund distributions, Madison Dearborn and Providence Equity liquidated their previous ownership positions in CDW.

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In November 2014, we completed the acquisition of a 35% non-controlling equity interest in UK-based IT solutions provider, Kelway TopCo Limited (“Kelway”). In August 2015, we purchased the remaining 65% of Kelway’s outstanding common stock, which increased our ownership interest from 35% to 100% and provided us control. Rebranded CDW UK in April 2016, the acquisition extended our footprint into the UK. It also enhanced our ability to provide IT solutions to US-based customers with multinational locations. Financial results of CDW UK are included in our Consolidated Financial Statements from the date of acquisition.
Available Information
We maintain a website at www.cdw.com. You may access our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 with the SEC free of charge at our website as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with, or furnished to, the SEC. Our website and the information contained on that site, or connected to that site, are not incorporated into and are not a part of this report.
Item 1A. Risk Factors
There are many factors that could adversely affect our business, results of operations and cash flows, some of which are beyond our control. The following is a description of some important factors that may cause our business prospects, results of operations and cash flows in future periods to differ materially from those currently expected or desired. Factors not currently known to us or that we currently deem to be immaterial may also materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and cash flows.
Risks Related to Our Business
Global and regional economic and political conditions may have an adverse impact on our business.
Weak economic conditions generally, sustained uncertainty about global economic and political conditions, government spending cuts and the impact of new government policies, or a tightening of credit markets, could cause our customers and potential customers to postpone or reduce spending on technology products or services or put downward pressure on prices, which could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations or cash flows. For example, there continues to be substantial uncertainty regarding the economic impact of the Referendum on the UK’s Membership of the European Union (“EU”) advising for the exit of the UK from the EU (referred to as “Brexit”). Potential adverse consequences of Brexit such as global market uncertainty, volatility in currency exchange rates, greater restrictions on imports and exports between UK and EU countries and increased regulatory complexities could have a negative impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our financial performance could be adversely affected by decreases in spending on technology products and services by our public sector customers.
Our sales to our public sector customers are impacted by government spending policies, budget priorities and revenue levels. An adverse change in government spending policies (such as budget cuts or limitations), budget priorities or revenue levels could cause our public sector customers to reduce their purchases or to terminate or not renew their contracts with us, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations or cash flows. For example, in 2013, as a result of sequestration and related budget uncertainty and the partial shutdown of the US federal government for 16 days, we experienced significantly reduced US Federal sales in our Public segment.
Our business depends on our vendor partner relationships and the availability of their products.
We purchase products for resale from vendor partners, which include OEMs and software publishers, and wholesale distributors. For the year ended December 31, 2017, we purchased approximately 50% of the products we sold directly from vendor partners and the remaining amount from wholesale distributors for our North American operations. We are authorized by vendor partners to sell all or some of their products via direct marketing activities. Our authorization with each vendor partner is subject to specific terms and conditions regarding such things as sales channel restrictions, product return privileges, price protection policies, purchase discounts and vendor partner programs and funding, including purchase rebates, sales volume rebates, purchasing incentives and cooperative advertising reimbursements. However, we do not have any long-term contracts with our vendor partners and many of these arrangements are terminable upon notice by either party. A reduction in vendor partner programs or funding or our failure to timely react to changes in vendor partner programs or funding could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations or cash flows. In addition, a reduction in the amount of credit granted to us by our vendor partners could increase our need for, and the cost of, working capital and could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations or cash flows, particularly given our substantial indebtedness.

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From time to time, vendor partners may terminate or limit our right to sell some or all of their products or change the terms and conditions or reduce or discontinue the incentives that they offer us. For example, there is no assurance that, as our vendor partners continue to sell directly to end users and through resellers, they will not limit or curtail the availability of their products to solutions providers like us. Any such termination or limitation or the implementation of such changes could have a negative impact on our business, results of operations or cash flows.
Although we purchase from a diverse vendor base, in 2017, products we purchased from wholesale distributors Ingram Micro, SYNNEX and Tech Data each represented approximately 10% of total US purchases. In addition, sales of products manufactured by Apple, Cisco, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, HP Inc., Lenovo and Microsoft, whether purchased directly from these vendor partners or from a wholesale distributor, represented in the aggregate nearly 60% of our 2017 consolidated Net sales. Sales of products manufactured by Cisco and HP Inc. represented over 25% of our 2017 consolidated Net sales. The loss of, or change in business relationship with, any of these or any other key vendor partners, or the diminished availability of their products, including due to backlogs for their products leading to manufacturer allocation, could reduce the supply and increase the cost of products we sell and negatively impact our competitive position.
Additionally, the relocation of key distributors utilized in our purchasing model could increase our need for, and the cost of, working capital and have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations or cash flows. Further, the sale, spin-off or combination of any of our vendor partners and/or certain of their business units, including any such sale to or combination with a vendor with whom we do not currently have a commercial relationship or whose products we do not sell, could have an adverse impact on our business, results of operations or cash flows.
Our sales are dependent on continued innovations in hardware, software and services offerings by our vendor partners and the competitiveness of their offerings, and our ability to partner with new and emerging technology providers.
The technology industry is characterized by rapid innovation and the frequent introduction of new and enhanced hardware, software and services offerings, such as cloud-based solutions, including SaaS, Infrastructure as a Service (“IaaS”) and Platform as a Service (“PaaS”), Device as a Service (“DaaS”) and the Internet of Things (“IoT”). We have been and will continue to be dependent on innovations in hardware, software and services offerings, as well as the acceptance of those innovations by customers. Also, customers may delay spending while they evaluate new technologies. A decrease in the rate of innovation, or the lack of acceptance of innovations or delays in technology spending by customers, could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations or cash flows.
In addition, if we are unable to keep up with changes in technology and new hardware, software and services offerings, for example by providing the appropriate training to our account managers, sales technology specialists and engineers to enable them to effectively sell and deliver such new offerings to customers, our business, results of operations or cash flows could be adversely affected.
We also are dependent upon our vendor partners for the development and marketing of hardware, software and services to compete effectively with hardware, software and services of vendors whose products and services we do not currently offer or that we are not authorized to offer in one or more customer channels. In addition, our success is dependent on our ability to develop relationships with and sell hardware, software and services from new emerging vendors and vendors that we have not historically represented in the marketplace. To the extent that a vendor’s offering that is highly in demand is not available to us for resale in one or more customer channels, and there is not a competitive offering from another vendor that we are authorized to sell in such customer channels, or we are unable to develop relationships with new technology providers or companies that we have not historically represented, our business, results of operations or cash flows could be adversely impacted.
Substantial competition could reduce our market share and significantly harm our financial performance.
Our current competition includes:
resellers, such as Computacenter, Connection, Dimension Data, ePlus, Insight Enterprises, PCM, Presidio, SCC, Softchoice, World Wide Technology and many smaller resellers;
manufacturers who sell directly to customers, such as Adobe, Apple, Dell, HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise;
large service providers and system integrators, such as Accenture, Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and IBM;
communications service providers, such as AT&T, CenturyLink and Verizon;
cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Box and Microsoft;
e-tailers, such as Amazon, Newegg and TigerDirect.com; and

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retailers (including their e-commerce activities), such as Office Depot and Staples.
We expect the competitive landscape to continue to evolve as new technologies are developed, such as cloud-based solutions, hyper-converged infrastructure and embedded software solutions. While innovation can help our business as it creates new offerings for us to sell, it can also disrupt our business model and create new and stronger competitors. For instance, while cloud-based solutions present an opportunity for us, cloud-based solutions and technologies that deliver technology solutions as a service could increase the amount of sales directly to customers rather than through solutions providers like us, or could reduce the amount of hardware we sell. In addition, some of our hardware and software vendor partners sell, and could intensify their efforts to sell, their products directly to our customers. Moreover, traditional OEMs have increased their services capabilities through mergers and acquisitions with service providers, which could potentially increase competition in the market to provide comprehensive technology solutions to customers. If we are unable to effectively respond to the evolving competitive landscape, our business, results of operations or cash flows could be adversely impacted.
We focus on offering a high level of service to gain new customers and retain existing customers. To the extent we face increased competition to gain and retain customers, we may be required to reduce prices, increase advertising expenditures or take other actions which could adversely affect our business, results of operations or cash flows. Additionally, some of our competitors may reduce their prices in an attempt to stimulate sales, which may require us to reduce prices. This would require us to sell a greater number of products to achieve the same level of Net sales and Gross profit. If such a reduction in prices occurs and we are unable to attract new customers and sell increased quantities of products, our sales growth and profitability could be adversely affected.
The success of our business depends on the continuing development, maintenance and operation of our information technology systems.
Our success is dependent on the accuracy, proper utilization and continuing development of our information technology systems, including our business systems, such as our sales, customer management, financial and accounting, marketing, purchasing, warehouse management, e-commerce and mobile systems, as well as our operational platforms, including voice and data networks and power systems. The quality and our utilization of the information generated by our information technology systems, and our success in implementing new systems and upgrades, affects, among other things, our ability to:
conduct business with our customers, including delivering services and solutions to them;
manage our inventory and accounts receivable and accounts payable;
purchase, sell, ship and invoice our hardware and software products and provide and invoice our services efficiently and on a timely basis; and
maintain our cost-efficient operating model while scaling our business.

The integrity of our information technology systems is vulnerable to disruption due to forces beyond our control. While we have taken steps to protect our information technology systems from a variety of threats, both internal and external, and human error, there can be no guarantee that those steps will be effective. Furthermore, although we have redundant systems at a separate location to back up our primary systems, there can be no assurance that these redundant systems will operate properly if and when required. Any disruption to or infiltration of our information technology systems could significantly harm our business and results of operations.
Breaches of data security and the failure to protect our information technology systems from cybersecurity threats could adversely impact our business.
Our business involves the storage and transmission of proprietary information and sensitive or confidential data, including personal information of coworkers, customers and others. In addition, we operate data centers for our customers that host their technology infrastructure and may store and transmit both business-critical data and confidential information. In connection with our services business, some of our coworkers also have access to our customers’ confidential data and other information. We have privacy and data security policies in place that are designed to prevent security breaches; however, as newer technologies evolve, and the portfolio of the service providers we share confidential information with grows, we could be exposed to increased risk of breaches in security and other illegal or fraudulent acts, including cyberattacks. The evolving nature of such threats, in light of new and sophisticated methods used by criminals and cyberterrorists, including computer viruses, malware, phishing, misrepresentation, social engineering and forgery, are making it increasingly challenging to anticipate and adequately mitigate these risks.

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Breaches in security could expose us, our supply chain, our customers or other individuals to significant disruptions, a risk of public disclosure, loss or misuse of this information. Security breaches could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability or regulatory penalties under laws protecting the privacy of personal information, as well as the loss of existing or potential customers and damage to our brand and reputation. Moreover, media or other reports of perceived vulnerabilities in our network security or perceived lack of security within our environment, even if inaccurate, could adversely impact our reputation and materially impact our business. The cost and operational consequences of implementing further data protection measures could be significant. Such breaches, costs and consequences could adversely affect our business, results of operations or cash flows.
The failure to comply with our public sector contracts or applicable laws and regulations could result in, among other things, termination, fines or other liabilities, and changes in procurement regulations could adversely impact our business, results of operations or cash flows.
Revenues from our public sector customers are derived from sales to governmental entities, educational institutions and healthcare customers, through various contracts and open market sales of products and services. Sales to public sector customers are highly regulated. Noncompliance with contract provisions, government procurement regulations or other applicable laws or regulations (including the False Claims Act and the Medicare and Medicaid Anti-Kickback Statute or similar laws of the jurisdictions for our business activities outside of the US) could result in civil, criminal and administrative liability, including substantial monetary fines or damages, termination of government contracts or other public sector customer contracts, and suspension, debarment or ineligibility from doing business with governmental entities or other customers in the public sector. In addition, contracts in the public sector are generally terminable at any time for convenience of the contracting agency or group purchasing organization (“GPO”) or upon default. Furthermore, our inability to enter into or retain contracts with GPOs may threaten our ability to sell to customers in those GPOs and compete effectively. The effect of any of these possible actions could adversely affect our business, results of operations or cash flows. In addition, the adoption of new or modified procurement regulations and other requirements may increase our compliance costs and reduce our gross margins, which could have a negative effect on our business, results of operations or cash flows.
If we fail to provide high-quality services to our customers, or if our third-party service providers fail to provide high-quality services to our customers, our reputation, business, results of operations or cash flows could be adversely affected.
Our service offerings include field services, managed services, warranties, configuration services, partner services and telecom services. Additionally, we deliver and manage mission critical software, systems and network solutions for our customers. We also offer certain services, such as implementation and installation services and repair services, to our customers through various third-party service providers engaged to perform these services on our behalf. If we or our third-party service providers fail to provide high-quality services to our customers or such services result in a disruption of our customers’ businesses, this could, among other things, result in legal claims and proceedings and liability for us. Moreover, as we expand our services and solutions business, we may be exposed to additional operational, regulatory and other risks. We also could incur liability for failure to comply with the rules and regulations applicable to the new services and solutions we provide to our customers. If any of the foregoing were to occur, our reputation with our customers, our brand and our business, results of operations or cash flows could be adversely affected.
If we lose any of our key personnel, or are unable to attract and retain the talent required for our business, our business could be disrupted and our financial performance could suffer.
Our success is heavily dependent upon our ability to attract, develop, engage and retain key personnel to manage and grow our business, including our key executive, management, sales, services and technical coworkers.
Our future success will depend to a significant extent on the efforts of Thomas E. Richards, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, as well as the continued service and support of our other executive officers. Our future success also will depend on our ability to retain and motivate our customer-facing coworkers, who have been given critical CDW knowledge regarding, and the opportunity to develop strong relationships with, many of our customers. In addition, as we seek to expand our offerings of value-added services and solutions, our success will even more heavily depend on attracting and retaining highly skilled technology specialists and engineers, for whom the market is extremely competitive.
Our inability to attract, develop, engage and retain key personnel could have an adverse effect on our relationships with our vendor partners and customers and adversely affect our ability to expand our offerings of value-added services and solutions. Moreover, our inability to train our sales, services and technical personnel effectively to meet the rapidly changing technology needs of our customers could cause a decrease in the overall quality and efficiency of such personnel. Such consequences could adversely affect our business, results of operations or cash flows.


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The interruption of the flow of products from suppliers could disrupt our supply chain.
While we purchase our products primarily in the markets we serve (for example, products for US customers are sourced in the US), our vendor partners manufacture or purchase a significant portion of the products we sell outside of the US, primarily in Asia. Political, social or economic instability in Asia, or in other regions in which our vendor partners purchase or manufacture the products we sell, could cause disruptions in trade, including exports to the US. Other events that could also cause disruptions to our supply chain include:
the imposition of additional trade law provisions or regulations;
the imposition of additional duties, tariffs and other charges on imports and exports;
foreign currency fluctuations;
natural disasters or other adverse occurrences at, or affecting, any of our suppliers’ facilities;
restrictions on the transfer of funds;
the financial instability or bankruptcy of manufacturers; and
significant labor disputes, such as strikes.
We cannot predict whether the countries in which the products we sell are purchased or manufactured, or may be purchased or manufactured in the future, will be subject to new or additional trade restrictions or sanctions imposed by the US or foreign governments, including the likelihood, type or effect of any such restrictions. Trade restrictions, including new or increased tariffs or quotas, embargoes, sanctions, safeguards and customs restrictions against the products we sell, as well as foreign labor strikes and work stoppages or boycotts, could increase the cost or reduce the supply of product available to us and adversely affect our business, results of operations or cash flows. In addition, our exports are subject to regulations, some of which may be inconsistent, and noncompliance with these requirements could have a negative effect on our business, results of operations or cash flows.
A natural disaster or other adverse occurrence at one of our primary facilities or customer data centers could damage our business.
We have two warehouse and distribution facilities in the US and one in the UK. If the warehouse and distribution equipment at one of our distribution centers were to be seriously damaged by a natural disaster or other adverse occurrence, we could utilize another distribution center or third-party distributors to ship products to our customers. However, this may not be sufficient to avoid interruptions in our service and may not enable us to meet all of the needs of our customers and would cause us to incur incremental operating costs. In addition, we operate three customer data centers and numerous sales offices which may contain both business-critical data and confidential information of our customers. A natural disaster or other adverse occurrence at any of the customer data centers or at any of our major sales offices could negatively impact our business, results of operations or cash flows.
Increases in the cost of commercial delivery services or disruptions of those services could adversely impact our business.
We generally ship hardware products to our customers by FedEx, United Parcel Service and other commercial delivery services and invoice customers for delivery charges. If we are unable to pass on to our customers future increases in the cost of commercial delivery services, our profitability could be adversely affected. Additionally, strikes, inclement weather, natural disasters or other service interruptions by such shippers could adversely affect our ability to deliver products on a timely basis.
We are exposed to accounts receivable and inventory risks.
We extend credit to our customers for a significant portion of our Net sales, typically on 30-day payment terms. We are subject to the risk that our customers may not pay for the products they have purchased, or may pay at a slower rate than we have historically experienced, the risk of which is heightened during periods of economic downturn or uncertainty or, in the case of public sector customers, during periods of budget constraints.
We are also exposed to inventory risks as a result of the rapid technological changes that affect the market and pricing for the products we sell. We seek to minimize our inventory exposure through a variety of inventory management procedures and policies, including our rapid-turn inventory model, as well as vendor price protection and product return programs. However, if we were unable to maintain our rapid-turn inventory model, if there were unforeseen product developments that created more rapid obsolescence or if our vendor partners were to change their terms and conditions, our inventory risks could increase. We also from time to time take advantage of cost savings associated with certain opportunistic bulk inventory purchases offered by

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our vendor partners or we may decide to carry high inventory levels of certain products that have limited or no return privileges due to customer demand or request. These bulk purchases could increase our exposure to inventory obsolescence.
We could be exposed to additional risks if we continue to make strategic investments or acquisitions or enter into alliances.
We may continue to pursue transactions, including strategic investments, acquisitions or alliances, in an effort to extend or complement our existing business. These types of transactions involve numerous business risks, including finding suitable transaction partners and negotiating terms that are acceptable to us, the diversion of management’s attention from other business concerns, extending our product or service offerings into areas in which we have limited experience, entering into new geographic markets, the potential loss of key coworkers or business relationships and successfully integrating acquired businesses. There can be no assurance that the intended benefits of our investments, acquisitions and alliances will be realized, or that those benefits will offset these numerous risks or other unforeseen factors, any of which could adversely affect our business, results of operations or cash flows.
In addition, our financial results could be adversely affected by financial adjustments required by generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (“GAAP”) in connection with these types of transactions where significant goodwill or intangible assets are recorded. To the extent the value of goodwill or identifiable intangible assets with indefinite lives becomes impaired, we may be required to incur material charges relating to the impairment of those assets.
Our future operating results may fluctuate significantly, which may result in volatility in the market price of our stock and could impact our ability to operate our business effectively.
We may experience significant variations in our future quarterly results of operations. These fluctuations may cause the market price of our common stock to be volatile and may result from many factors, including the condition of the technology industry in general, shifts in demand and pricing for hardware, software and services and the introduction of new products or upgrades.
Our operating results are also highly dependent on our level of Gross profit as a percentage of Net sales. Our Gross profit percentage fluctuates due to numerous factors, some of which may be outside of our control, including general macroeconomic conditions; pricing pressures; changes in product costs from our vendor partners; the availability of price protection, purchase discounts and incentive programs from our vendor partners; changes in product, order size and customer mix; the risk of some items in our inventory becoming obsolete; increases in delivery costs that we cannot pass on to customers; and general market and competitive conditions.
In addition, our cost structure is based, in part, on anticipated sales and gross margins. Therefore, we may not be able to adjust our cost structure quickly enough to compensate for any unexpected sales or gross margin shortfall, and any such inability could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations or cash flows.
Fluctuations in foreign currency have an effect on our reported results of operations.
Our exposure to fluctuations in foreign currency rates results primarily from the translation exposure associated with the preparation of our Consolidated Financial Statements. While our Consolidated Financial Statements are reported in US dollars, the financial statements of our subsidiaries outside the US are prepared using the local currency as the functional currency and translated into US dollars. As a result, fluctuations in the exchange rate of the US dollar relative to the local currencies of our international subsidiaries, particularly the British pound and the Canadian dollar, could cause fluctuations in our reported results of operations. We also have foreign currency exposure to the extent sales and purchases are not denominated in a subsidiary’s functional currency, which could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations or cash flows.
We are exposed to risks from legal proceedings and audits, which may result in substantial costs and expenses or interruption of our normal business operations.
We are party to various legal proceedings that arise in the ordinary course of our business, which include commercial, employment, tort and other litigation.
We are subject to intellectual property infringement claims against us in the ordinary course of our business, either because of the products and services we sell or the business systems and processes we use to sell such products and services, in the form of cease-and-desist letters, licensing inquiries, lawsuits and other communications and demands. In our industry, such intellectual property claims have become more frequent as the complexity of technological products and the intensity of competition in our industry have increased. Increasingly, many of these assertions are brought by non-practicing entities whose principal business model is to secure patent licensing revenue, but we may also be subject to demands from inventors, competitors or other patent holders who may seek licensing revenue, lost profits and/or an injunction preventing us from engaging in certain activities, including selling certain products or services.

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We also are subject to proceedings, investigations and audits by federal, state, international, national, provincial and local authorities, including because of our significant sales to governmental entities. We also are subject to audits by various vendor partners and large customers, including government agencies, relating to purchases and sales under various contracts. In addition, we are subject to indemnification claims under various contracts.
Current and future litigation, infringement claims, governmental proceedings and investigations, audits or indemnification claims that we face may result in substantial costs and expenses and significantly divert the attention of our management regardless of the outcome. In addition, these matters could lead to increased costs or interruptions of our normal business operations. Litigation, infringement claims, governmental proceedings and investigations, audits or indemnification claims involve uncertainties and the eventual outcome of any such matter could adversely affect our business, results of operations or cash flows.
Failure to comply with complex and evolving US and foreign laws and regulations applicable to our operations could adversely impact our business, results of operations or cash flows.
Our operations are subject to numerous complex US and foreign laws and regulations in a number of areas including areas of labor and employment, advertising, e-commerce, tax, import and export requirements, anti-corruption, data privacy requirements (including those under the European Union General Data Protection Regulation), anti-competition, and environmental, health, and safety. The evaluation of, and compliance with these laws, regulations and similar requirements may be onerous and expensive, and these laws and regulations may have other adverse impacts on our business, results of operations or cash flows. For example, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was signed into law in the fourth quarter of 2017, making significant changes to the US Internal Revenue Code. While we have estimated the income tax effects of the Act in our Consolidated Financial Statements, we continue to analyze the income tax effects of the Act, as well as to monitor tax and accounting guidance issued by various authorities, which could result in material changes as we refine those estimates. Furthermore, the laws and regulations to which the Company is subject are evolving and may be inconsistent from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, further increasing the cost of compliance and doing business, and the risk of noncompliance.
We have implemented policies and procedures designed to help ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, but there can be no guarantee against coworkers, contractors or agents violating such laws and regulations or our policies and procedures.
As a public company, we also are subject to increasingly complex public disclosure, corporate governance and accounting requirements that increase compliance costs and require significant management focus.
Risks Related to Our Indebtedness
We have a substantial amount of indebtedness, which could have important consequences to our business.
We have a substantial amount of indebtedness. As of December 31, 2017, we had $3.2 billion of total long-term debt outstanding, as defined by GAAP, and $498 million of obligations outstanding under our inventory financing agreements, and the ability to borrow an additional $996 million under our senior secured asset-based revolving credit loan facility (the “Revolving Loan”) and an additional £50 million ($68 million at December 31, 2017) under our CDW UK revolving credit facility. Our substantial indebtedness could have important consequences, including the following:
making it more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations with respect to our indebtedness;
requiring us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to debt service payments on our and our subsidiaries’ debt, which reduces the funds available for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions and other general corporate purposes;
requiring us to comply with restrictive covenants in our senior credit facilities and indentures, which limit the manner in which we conduct our business;
making it more difficult for us to obtain vendor financing from our vendor partners, including original equipment manufacturers and software publishers;
limiting our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in the industry in which we operate;
placing us at a competitive disadvantage compared to any of our less-leveraged competitors;
increasing our vulnerability to both general and industry-specific adverse economic conditions; and

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limiting our ability to obtain additional debt or equity financing to fund future working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions or other general corporate requirements and increasing our cost of borrowing. 
Restrictive covenants under our senior credit facilities and, to a lesser degree, our indentures may adversely affect our operations and liquidity.
Our senior credit facilities and, to a lesser degree, our indentures contain, and any future indebtedness of ours may contain, various covenants that limit our ability to, among other things:
incur or guarantee additional debt;
pay dividends or make distributions to holders of our capital stock or to make certain other restricted payments or investments;
repurchase or redeem capital stock;
make loans, capital expenditures or investments or acquisitions;
receive dividends or other payments from our subsidiaries;
enter into transactions with affiliates;
create liens;
merge or consolidate with other companies or transfer all or substantially all of our assets;
transfer or sell assets, including capital stock of subsidiaries; and
prepay, repurchase or redeem debt.
As a result of these covenants, we are limited in the manner in which we conduct our business and we may be unable to engage in favorable business activities or finance future operations or capital needs. A breach of any of these covenants or any of the other restrictive covenants would result in a default under our senior credit facilities. Upon the occurrence of an event of default under our senior credit facilities, the lenders:
will not be required to lend any additional amounts to us;
could elect to declare all borrowings outstanding thereunder, together with accrued and unpaid interest and fees, to be due and payable; or
could require us to apply all of our available cash to repay these borrowings.
The acceleration of amounts outstanding under our senior credit facilities would likely trigger an event of default under our existing indentures.
If we were unable to repay those amounts, the lenders under our senior credit facilities could proceed against the collateral granted to them to secure our borrowings thereunder. We have pledged a significant portion of our assets as collateral under our senior credit facilities. If the lenders under our senior credit facilities accelerate the repayment of borrowings, we cannot assure you that we will have sufficient assets to repay our senior credit facilities and our other indebtedness or the ability to borrow sufficient funds to refinance such indebtedness. Even if we were able to obtain new financing, it may not be on commercially reasonable terms, or terms that are acceptable to us.
In addition, under our Revolving Loan, we are permitted to borrow an aggregate amount of up to $1.5 billion. However, our ability to borrow under our Revolving Loan is limited by a borrowing base and a liquidity condition. The borrowing base at any time equals the sum of up to 85% of CDW LLC and its subsidiary guarantors’ eligible accounts receivable (net of accounts reserves) (up to 30% of such eligible accounts receivable which can consist of federal government accounts receivable) plus the lesser of (i) 75% of CDW LLC and its subsidiary guarantors’ eligible inventory (valued at cost and net of inventory reserves) and (ii) the product of 85% multiplied by the net orderly liquidation value percentage multiplied by eligible inventory (valued at cost and net of inventory reserves), less reserves (other than accounts reserves and inventory reserves). The borrowing base in effect as of December 31, 2017 was $1.6 billion and, therefore, did not restrict our ability to borrow under our Revolving Loan as of that date.
Our ability to borrow under our Revolving Loan is also limited by a minimum liquidity condition, which provides that, if excess cash availability is less than the lesser of (i) $125 million and (ii) the greater of (A) 10% of the borrowing base and (B)

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$100 million, the lenders are not required to lend any additional amounts under our Revolving Loan unless the consolidated fixed charge coverage ratio (as defined in the credit agreement for our Revolving Loan) is at least 1.00 to 1.00. It is an event of default under our Revolving Loan if our excess cash availability and consolidated fixed charge coverage ratio remain below such levels for a period of five or more consecutive business days. Moreover, our Revolving Loan provides discretion to the agent bank acting on behalf of the lenders to impose additional availability reserves, which could materially impair the amount of borrowings that would otherwise be available to us. We cannot assure you that the agent bank will not impose such reserves or, were it to do so, that the resulting impact of this action would not materially and adversely impair our liquidity.
We will be required to generate sufficient cash to service our indebtedness and, if not successful, we may be forced to take other actions to satisfy our obligations under our indebtedness.
Our ability to make scheduled payments on or to refinance our debt obligations depends on our financial and operating performance, which is subject to prevailing economic and competitive conditions and to certain financial, business and other factors beyond our control. Our outstanding long-term debt will impose significant cash interest payment obligations on us and, accordingly, we will have to generate significant cash flow from operating activities to fund our debt service obligations. We cannot assure you that we will maintain a level of cash flows from operating activities sufficient to permit us to pay the principal, premium, if any, and interest on our indebtedness. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Liquidity and Capital Resources” included elsewhere in this report.
If our cash flows and capital resources are insufficient to fund our debt service obligations, we may be forced to reduce or delay capital expenditures, sell assets or operations, seek additional debt or equity capital, restructure or refinance our indebtedness, or revise or delay our strategic plan. We cannot assure you that we would be able to take any of these actions, that these actions would be successful and permit us to meet our scheduled debt service obligations or satisfy our capital requirements, or that these actions would be permitted under the terms of our existing or future debt agreements, including our senior credit facilities and indentures. In the absence of such operating results and resources, we could face substantial liquidity problems and might be required to dispose of material assets or operations to meet our debt service and other obligations. Our senior credit facilities restrict our ability to dispose of assets and use the proceeds from the disposition. We may not be able to consummate those dispositions or to obtain the proceeds which we could realize from them and these proceeds may not be adequate to meet any debt service obligations then due.
If we cannot make scheduled payments on our debt, we will be in default and, as a result:
our debt holders could declare all outstanding principal and interest to be due and payable;
the lenders under our senior credit facilities could foreclose against the assets securing the borrowings from them and the lenders under our Revolving Loan and CDW UK revolving credit facility could terminate their commitments to lend us money; and
we could be forced into bankruptcy or liquidation.
Despite our indebtedness levels, we and our subsidiaries may be able to incur substantially more debt, including secured debt. This could further increase the risks associated with our leverage.
We and our subsidiaries may be able to incur substantial additional indebtedness in the future. The terms of our senior credit facilities and indentures do not fully prohibit us or our subsidiaries from doing so. To the extent that we incur additional indebtedness, the risks associated with our substantial indebtedness described above, including our possible inability to service our debt, will increase. As of December 31, 2017, we had $996 million available for additional borrowing under our Revolving Loan after taking into account borrowing base limitations (net of $1 million of issued and undrawn letters of credit and $454 million of reserves related to our floorplan sub-facility) and an additional £50 million ($68 million at December 31, 2017) available under our CDW UK revolving credit facility.
Variable rate indebtedness subjects us to interest rate risk, which could cause our debt service obligations to increase significantly.
Certain of our borrowings, primarily borrowings under our senior credit facilities, are at variable rates of interest and expose us to interest rate risk. As of December 31, 2017, we had $1.5 billion of variable rate debt outstanding. If interest rates increase, our debt service obligations on the variable rate indebtedness would increase even though the amount borrowed remained the same, and our net income would decrease. Although we have entered into interest rate cap agreements on our term loan facility to reduce interest rate volatility, we cannot assure you we will be able to enter into interest rate cap agreements in the future on acceptable terms or that such caps or the caps we have in place now will be effective.


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Risks Related to Ownership of Our Common Stock
Our common stock price may be volatile and may decline regardless of our operating performance, and holders of our common stock could lose a significant portion of their investment.
The market price for our common stock may be volatile. Our stockholders may not be able to resell their shares of common stock at or above the price at which they purchased such shares, due to fluctuations in the market price of our common stock, which may be caused by a number of factors, many of which we cannot control, including the risk factors described in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and the following:
changes in financial estimates by any securities analysts who follow our common stock, our failure to meet these estimates or failure of securities analysts to maintain coverage of our common stock;
downgrades by any securities analysts who follow our common stock;
future sales of our common stock by our officers, directors and significant stockholders;
market conditions or trends in our industry or the economy as a whole;
investors’ perceptions of our prospects;
announcements by us or our competitors of significant contracts, acquisitions, joint ventures or capital commitments; and
changes in key personnel.
In addition, the stock markets have experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have affected and continue to affect the market prices of equity securities of many companies, including companies in our industry. In the past, securities class action litigation has followed periods of market volatility. If we were involved in securities litigation, we could incur substantial costs, and our resources and the attention of management could be diverted from our business.
In the future, we may also issue our securities in connection with investments or acquisitions. The number of shares of our common stock issued in connection with an investment or acquisition could constitute a material portion of our then-outstanding shares of our common stock and depress our stock price.
Anti-takeover provisions in our charter documents and Delaware law might discourage or delay acquisition attempts for us that you might consider favorable.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws contain provisions that may make the acquisition of the Company more difficult without the approval of our Board of Directors. These provisions:
authorize the issuance of undesignated preferred stock, the terms of which may be established and the shares of which may be issued without stockholder approval, and which may include super voting, special approval, dividend, or other rights or preferences superior to the rights of the holders of common stock;
establish a classified Board of Directors so that not all members of our Board of Directors are elected at one time;
generally prohibit stockholder action by written consent, requiring all stockholder actions be taken at a meeting of our stockholders;
provide that special meetings of the stockholders can only be called by or at the direction of our Board of Directors pursuant to a written resolution adopted by the affirmative vote of the majority of the total number of directors that the Company would have if there were no vacancies;
establish advance notice requirements for nominations for elections to our Board of Directors or for proposing matters that can be acted upon by stockholders at stockholder meetings; and
provide that our Board of Directors is expressly authorized to make, alter or repeal our amended and restated bylaws.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation also contains a provision that provides us with protections similar to Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, and will prevent us from engaging in a business combination with a person who acquires at least 15% of our common stock for a period of three years from the date such person acquired such common stock, unless board or stockholder approval is obtained prior to the acquisition. These anti-takeover provisions and other provisions under Delaware law could discourage, delay or prevent a transaction involving a change in control of the Company, even if doing

18


so would benefit our stockholders. These provisions could also discourage proxy contests and make it more difficult for our stockholders to elect directors of their choosing and to cause us to take other corporate actions our stockholders desire.
We cannot assure you that we will continue to pay dividends on our common stock or repurchase any of our common stock under our share repurchase program, and our indebtedness and certain tax considerations could limit our ability to continue to pay dividends on, or make share repurchases of, our common stock. If we do not continue to pay dividends, you may not receive any return on investment unless you are able to sell your common stock for a price greater than your purchase price.
We expect to continue to pay a cash dividend on our common stock, currently at the rate of $0.21 per share per quarter, or $0.84 per share per annum. However, any determination to pay dividends in the future will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors. Any determination to pay dividends on, or repurchase, shares of our common stock in the future will depend upon our results of operations, financial condition, business prospects, capital requirements, contractual restrictions, any potential indebtedness we may incur, restrictions imposed by applicable law, tax considerations and other factors our Board of Directors deems relevant. In addition, our ability to pay dividends on, or repurchase, shares of our common stock will be limited by restrictions on our ability to pay dividends or make distributions to our stockholders and on the ability of our subsidiaries to pay dividends or make distributions to us, in each case, under the terms of our current and any future agreements governing our indebtedness. There can be no assurance that we will continue to pay a dividend at the current rate or at all or that we will repurchase shares of our common stock. If we do not pay dividends in the future, realization of a gain on your investment will depend entirely on the appreciation of the price of our common stock, which may never occur.
We are a holding company and rely on dividends, distributions and other payments, advances and transfers of funds from our subsidiaries to meet our obligations.
We are a holding company that does not conduct any business operations of our own. As a result, we are largely dependent upon cash dividends and distributions and other transfers from our subsidiaries to meet our obligations. The agreements governing the indebtedness of our subsidiaries impose restrictions on our subsidiaries’ ability to pay dividends or other distributions to us. The deterioration of the earnings from, or other available assets of, our subsidiaries for any reason could also limit or impair their ability to pay dividends or other distributions to us.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
None.
Item 2. Properties
As of December 31, 2017, we owned or leased a total of 2.3 million square feet of space, primarily in the US, Canada and UK. We own two properties: a 513,000 square foot distribution center in North Las Vegas, Nevada, and a combined office and a 442,000 square foot distribution center in Vernon Hills, Illinois. In addition, we conduct sales, services and administrative activities in various leased locations primarily in the US, Canada and UK, including data centers in Madison, Wisconsin, Minneapolis, Minnesota and the UK.
We believe our facilities are well maintained, suitable for our business and occupy sufficient space to meet our operating needs. As part of our normal business, we regularly evaluate sales center performance and site suitability. Leases covering our currently occupied leased properties expire at varying dates, generally within the next ten years. We anticipate no difficulty in retaining occupancy through lease renewals, month-to-month occupancy or replacing the leased properties with equivalent properties. We believe that suitable additional or substitute leased properties will be available as required.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
We are party to various legal proceedings that arise in the ordinary course of our business, which include commercial, intellectual property, employment, tort and other litigation matters. We are also subject to audit by federal, state, international, national, provincial and local authorities, and by various partners, group purchasing organizations and customers, including government agencies, relating to purchases and sales under various contracts. In addition, we are subject to indemnification claims under various contracts. From time to time, certain of our customers file voluntary petitions for reorganization or liquidation under the US bankruptcy laws or similar laws of the jurisdictions for our business activities outside of the US. In such cases, certain pre-petition payments received by us could be considered preference items and subject to return to the bankruptcy administrator.
As of December 31, 2017, we do not believe that there is a reasonable possibility that any material loss exceeding the amounts already recognized for these proceedings and matters, if any, has been incurred. However, the ultimate resolutions of these proceedings and matters are inherently unpredictable. As such, our financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected in any particular period by the unfavorable resolution of one or more of these proceedings or matters.

19


On October 29, 2015, the Company learned of an investigation by the SEC of the Company’s vendor partner program incentives. On May 19, 2017, the SEC Staff informed the Company that the SEC has concluded its investigation and does not intend to recommend an enforcement action. The investigation did not have any impact on the Company’s financial condition or results of operations other than customary costs related to the Company’s cooperation with the investigation.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Not applicable.
Executive Officers
Name
Age
Position
Thomas E. Richards
63

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer and Director
Dennis G. Berger
53

Senior Vice President and Chief Coworker Services Officer
Neal J. Campbell
56

Senior Vice President - Strategic Solutions and Services
Mark C. Chong
47

Senior Vice President - Strategy and Marketing
Christina M. Corley
50

Senior Vice President - Commercial and International Markets
Douglas E. Eckrote
53

Senior Vice President - Small Business Sales and eCommerce
Collin B. Kebo
51

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Frederick J. Kulevich
52

Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Christine A. Leahy
53

Chief Revenue Officer
Christina V. Rother
54

Senior Vice President - Public and Advanced Technology Sales
Jonathan J. Stevens
48

Senior Vice President - Operations and Chief Information Officer
Matthew A. Troka
47

Senior Vice President - Product and Partner Management
Thomas E. Richards serves as our Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of our board of directors. Mr. Richards has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer since October 2011 and was named Chairman in January 2013. From 2009 to 2011, Mr. Richards served as our President and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining CDW, Mr. Richards held leadership positions with Qwest Communications International Inc. (“Qwest”), a broadband Internet-based communications company. From 2008 to 2009, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, where he was responsible for the day-to-day operation and performance of Qwest, and before assuming that role, was the Executive Vice President of the Business Markets Group from 2005 to 2008. Mr. Richards also has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Clear Communications Corporation and as Executive Vice President of Ameritech Corporation. Mr. Richards serves as a board member of The Northern Trust Corporation, Junior Achievement of Chicago, Rush University Medical Center and the University of Pittsburgh. Mr. Richards also is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and the Executives’ Club of Chicago. Mr. Richards is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh where he earned a bachelor’s degree and a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he earned a Master of Science in Management as a Sloan Fellow.
Dennis G. Berger serves as our Senior Vice President and Chief Coworker Services Officer and is responsible for leading CDW’s programs in coworker learning and development, benefits, compensation, performance management, coworker relations and talent acquisition. Mr. Berger joined CDW in 2005 as Vice President-Coworker Services. In 2007, he was named Senior Vice President and Chief Coworker Services Officer. Prior to joining CDW, he served as Vice President of Human Resources at PepsiAmericas, a beverage company, from 2002 to 2005. Mr. Berger has also held human resources positions of increasing responsibility at Pepsi Bottling Group, Inc., PepsiCo, Inc. and GTE Corporation. Mr. Berger serves on the board of directors of Glenwood Academy, the Anti-Defamation League of Chicago and Skills for Chicagoland’s Future. Mr. Berger is a graduate of Northeastern University where he earned a bachelor’s degree and a graduate of John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis where he earned a Master of Business Administration.
Neal J. Campbell serves as our Senior Vice President of Strategic Solutions and Services and is responsible for CDW’s technology solutions teams focusing on cloud, mobility, security, collaboration, data center and services. Mr. Campbell served as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer from 2011 to August 2016. Prior to joining CDW in 2011, Mr. Campbell served as Chief Executive Officer of TrafficCast, a provider of real-time and predictive traffic information to Google, Yahoo and others from 2008 to 2011. From 2006 to 2008, he served as Executive Vice President and General Manager-Strategic Marketing and Next Generation Products for ISCO International, a manufacturer of wireless telecommunications components. Mr. Campbell also spent 17 years with Motorola, most recently as Vice President and General Manager, GSM Portfolio Marketing and Planning for the company’s mobile device business. He currently serves as a board member of Junior Achievement of Chicago and is on the Executive Advisory Council of Bradley University. Mr. Campbell is a graduate of Bradley University where he earned a

20


bachelor’s degree and a graduate of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management where he earned a Master of Business Administration.

Mark C. Chong serves as our Senior Vice President of Strategy and Marketing and is responsible for the Company’s corporate strategy; business development and marketing efforts, including analytics and insights; brand, advertising and sponsorships; marketing operations and execution; and corporate communications. Mr. Chong joined CDW in November 2016. Prior to joining CDW, Mr. Chong served as a Partner in the Chicago office of Bain & Company, a global management consulting firm (“Bain”), and as a leader in the Technology, Media and Telecom practice as well as the Customer Strategy and Marketing and Mergers & Acquisition practice areas. Mr. Chong was with Bain from 1999 to 2003, and then again from 2007 to 2016. From 2003 to 2007, Mr. Chong served as Director of Corporate Strategy and then Vice President of Strategy and Marketing for the Aerospace Business of Honeywell, Intl. Mr. Chong is a graduate of the University of Chicago where he earned a bachelor’s degree and a graduate of University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School where he earned a Master of Business Administration.
Christina M. Corley serves as our Senior Vice President - Commercial and International Markets and is responsible for all aspects of the corporate sales force and for CDW’s international growth platform, including CDW Canada and CDW UK (which includes our locations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia). Additionally, Ms. Corley is responsible for ensuring that the Company is continuing to build and fully leverage its global capabilities while delivering a consistent customer experience. Ms. Corley served as Senior Vice President - Corporate Sales from 2011 to July 2017. Prior to joining CDW in 2011, Ms. Corley served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Zones, Inc. (“Zones”), a provider of IT products and solutions, from 2006 to 2011. She served as Executive Vice President of Purchasing and Operations for Zones from 2005 to 2006. She served as President of Corporate PC Source (“CPCS”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Zones, from 2003 to 2005. Prior to its acquisition by Zones, Ms. Corley served as Chief Executive Officer of CPCS from 1999 to 2003. Ms. Corley began her career in sales and marketing, holding various positions at IBM, Dataflex and VisionTek. She currently serves as a board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago. Ms. Corley is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she earned a bachelor’s degree and a graduate of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management where she earned a Master of Business Administration in management and strategy.

Douglas E. Eckrote serves as our Senior Vice President of Small Business Sales and eCommerce and is responsible for managing all aspects of CDW’s Small Business organization, including sales force strategy, structure, goals, operations, revenue generation and training and development, as well as the technical solutions and services and marketing functions specific to Small Business. Additionally, he oversees CDW’s eCommerce operations. Mr. Eckrote joined CDW in 1989 as an account manager and quickly rose through the ranks. Since joining the Company, he has served in a variety of management roles of increasing responsibility. Mr. Eckrote was appointed Director of Operations in 1996, Vice President of Operations in 1999, Senior Vice President of Purchasing in April 2001, Senior Vice President of Purchasing and Operations in October 2001, Senior Vice President of Operations, Services and Canada in 2006, and Senior Vice President of Strategic Solutions and Services in 2009. He was appointed to his current role in August 2016. Mr. Eckrote currently serves on the National Board of Make a Wish of America, the Board of Directors of The Northern Illinois Food Bank, the Board of Trustees of The Center for Enriched Living and the Advisory Board of Feed My Starving Children. Mr. Eckrote is a graduate of Purdue University where he earned a bachelor’s degree and a graduate of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management where he earned an Executive Master of Business Administration.

Collin B. Kebo serves as our Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and is responsible for financial planning and analysis, accounting, treasury, tax, investor relations, internal audit and real estate. From 2008 to December 2017, Mr. Kebo was Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis and, in 2016, he also became Chief Financial Officer - International. Prior to joining CDW in 2008, Mr. Kebo held a series of senior finance positions with PepsiCo, Inc., a beverage company. Most recently, he was Vice President of Sales Finance for PepsiCo’s Quaker, Tropicana and Gatorade businesses. Prior to that, Mr. Kebo served as Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for Gatorade North America. Mr. Kebo is a graduate of DePauw University where he earned a bachelor’s degree and a graduate of Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business where he earned his Master of Business Administration in Finance.

Frederick J. Kulevich serves as our Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary and is responsible for the legal, corporate governance, enterprise risk management, ethics and compliance functions. Mr. Kulevich joined CDW in 2006 as Director, Ethics and Compliance. In 2014, he was appointed Vice President and Assistant General Counsel and in 2016 he was named Vice President and Deputy General Counsel. Mr. Kulevich was appointed to his current role in October 2017. Before joining CDW, Mr. Kulevich served as Associate General Counsel and Deputy Chief Compliance Officer of Aon Corporation, a global professional services firm. Prior to Aon Corporation, Mr. Kulevich was with Sears, Roebuck and Co., a national retail chain, in a series of senior legal positions. Mr. Kulevich is a graduate of West Liberty University where he earned a bachelor’s degree and a graduate of The John Marshall Law School where he earned his Juris Doctor.

21


Christine A. Leahy serves as our Chief Revenue Officer and is responsible for all customer-facing units of the Company, including its Corporate, Public, Small Business, International and Strategic Solutions & Services organizations. Ms. Leahy joined CDW in 2002 as the Company’s first general counsel. In 2016, Ms. Leahy was appointed Senior Vice President - International, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary. Ms. Leahy was appointed to her current role in July 2017. Prior to joining CDW, Ms. Leahy served as a corporate partner in the Chicago office of Sidley Austin LLP where she specialized in mergers and acquisitions, strategic counseling, corporate governance and securities law. Ms. Leahy serves as Vice Chair of the board of trustees of Children’s Home and Aid. She also is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and The Chicago Network. In addition, she is a founder and current sponsor of CDW's Women’s Opportunity Network, a business resource group dedicated to helping women advance and grow into tomorrow’s leaders. Ms. Leahy is a graduate of Brown University where she earned a bachelor’s degree and a graduate of Boston College Law School where she earned her Juris Doctor. She also completed the CEO Perspective and Women’s Director Development Programs at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Christina V. Rother serves as our Senior Vice President - Public and Advanced Technology Sales and is responsible for managing all aspects of our public sector and advanced technology sales forces, including sales force strategy, structure, goals, operations, revenue generation and training and development. Ms. Rother joined CDW in 1991 as an account manager. In 2002, she was appointed Vice President for Education and State and Local Sales. In 2005, she was chosen to lead our newly formed healthcare sales team. Beginning in 2006, Ms. Rother has held various positions ranging from Group Vice President of CDW Government LLC, President of CDW Government LLC and Senior Vice President of Sales. In September 2011, Ms. Rother assumed her current role as Senior Vice President of Public and Advanced Technology Sales. Prior to joining CDW, Ms. Rother held a number of sales positions with technology companies including Laser Computers and Price Electronics. Ms. Rother currently serves as chair of the board of directors of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois. Ms. Rother is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago where she earned a bachelor’s degree.
Jonathan J. Stevens serves as our Senior Vice President - Operations and Chief Information Officer and is responsible for the strategic direction of our information technology. Additionally, he holds responsibility for our distribution centers, transportation, facilities, customer relations and operational excellence practices. Mr. Stevens joined CDW in 2001 as Vice President-Information Technology, was named Chief Information Officer in 2002 and was named Vice President-International and Chief Information Officer in 2005. In 2007, he was named Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer and assumed his current role in 2009. Prior to joining CDW, Mr. Stevens served as regional technology director for Avanade, an international technology integration company formed through a joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture from 2000 to 2001. Prior to that, Mr. Stevens was a principal with Microsoft Consulting Services and led an information technology group for a corporate division of AT&T/NCR. He currently serves on the board of directors of SingleWire Software, LLC. Mr. Stevens is a graduate of the University of Dayton where he earned a bachelor’s degree.
Matthew A. Troka serves as our Senior Vice President - Product and Partner Management and is responsible for managing our relationships with all of our vendor partners. In addition, he directs the day-to-day operations of our purchasing department. Mr. Troka joined CDW in 1992 as an account manager and became a sales manager in 1995. From 1998 to 2001, he served as Corporate Sales Director. From 2001 to 2004, Mr. Troka was Senior Director of Purchasing. From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Troka served as Vice President of Purchasing. From 2006 to 2011, Mr. Troka was Vice President of Product and Partner Management. Mr. Troka was appointed to his current role in 2011. Mr. Troka is a graduate of the University of Illinois where he earned a bachelor’s degree.


22


PART II
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Market Information
Our common stock has been listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market since June 27, 2013 under the symbol “CDW.” The following table sets forth the ranges of high and low sales prices per share of our common stock as reported on the Nasdaq Global Select Market and the cash dividends per share of common stock declared for the two most recent fiscal years.
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
2017
 
2016
 
 
High
 
Low
 
Dividends Declared per Share
 
High
 
Low
 
Dividends Declared per Share
Fourth quarter
 
$
71.53

 
$
65.59

 
$
0.2100

 
$
55.47

 
$
43.64

 
$
0.1600

Third quarter
 
$
66.80

 
$
58.57

 
$
0.1600

 
$
47.50

 
$
39.17

 
$
0.1075

Second quarter
 
$
66.33

 
$
55.80

 
$
0.1600

 
$
43.11

 
$
37.80

 
$
0.1075

First quarter
 
$
61.00

 
$
50.49

 
$
0.1600

 
$
41.89

 
$
30.40

 
$
0.1075

Holders
As of February 23, 2018, there were 24 holders of record of our common stock. The number of beneficial stockholders is substantially greater than the number of holders of record because a portion of our common stock is held through brokerage firms.
Dividends
On February 7, 2018, we announced that our Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend on our common stock of $0.21 per share. The dividend will be paid on March 12, 2018 to all stockholders of record as of the close of business on February 26, 2018.
We expect to continue to pay quarterly cash dividends on our common stock in the future, but such payments remain at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend upon our results of operations, financial condition, business prospects, capital requirements, contractual restrictions, any potential indebtedness we may incur, restrictions imposed by applicable law, tax considerations and other factors that our Board of Directors deems relevant. In addition, our ability to pay dividends on our common stock will be limited by restrictions on our ability to pay dividends or make distributions to our stockholders and on the ability of our subsidiaries to pay dividends or make distributions to us, in each case, under the terms of our current and any future agreements governing our indebtedness. For a discussion of our cash resources and needs and restrictions on our ability to pay dividends, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and Capital Resources” included elsewhere in this report. For additional discussion of restrictions on our ability to pay dividends, see Note 10 (Long-Term Debt) to the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
On May 4, 2016, we announced that our Board of Directors authorized a $750 million increase to our previously announced $500 million share repurchase program under which we may repurchase shares of our common stock in the open market through privately negotiated or other transactions, depending on share price, market conditions and other factors. On August 3, 2017, we announced that our Board of Directors authorized another $750 million increase to our share repurchase program. As of the year ended December 31, 2017, we have $858 million remaining under this program.
Stock Performance Graph
The information contained in this Stock Performance Graph section shall not be deemed to be “soliciting material” or “filed” or incorporated by reference in future filings with the SEC, or subject to the liabilities of Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate it by reference into a document filed under the Securities Act of 1933 or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
The following graph compares the cumulative total shareholder return, calculated on a dividend reinvested basis, on $100.00 invested at the closing of the market on June 27, 2013, the date our common stock first traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, through and including the market close on December 31, 2017, with the cumulative total return for the same time

23


period of the same amount invested in the S&P MidCap 400 index and a peer group index. Our peer group index for 2017 consists of the following companies: Accenture plc, Anixter International, Inc., Arrow Electronics, Inc., Avnet, Inc., CGI Group Inc., Essendant Inc., Genuine Parts Company, Henry Schein, Inc., Insight Enterprises, Inc., Owens & Minor, Inc., Patterson Companies, Inc., SYNNEX Corporation, W.W. Grainger, Inc. and Wesco International, Inc. This peer group was selected based on a review of publicly available information about these companies and our determination that they met one or more of the following criteria: (i) similar size in terms of revenue and/or enterprise value (one-third to three times our revenue or enterprise value); (ii) operates in a business-to-business distribution environment; (iii) members of the technology industry; (iv) similar customers (i.e., business, government, healthcare, and education); (v) companies that provide services and/or solutions; and (vi) similar EBITDA and gross margins. 
Shareholder returns over the indicated period are based on historical data and should not be considered indicative of future shareholder returns.
chart-5753173bf9f3575b922a01.jpg
 
 
June 27, 2013
 
December 31, 2013
 
December 31, 2014
 
December 31, 2015
 
December 31, 2016
 
December 31, 2017
CDW Corp
 
$
100

 
$
127

 
$
193

 
$
233

 
$
291

 
$
393

S&P MidCap 400 index
 
$
100

 
$
114

 
$
126

 
$
123

 
$
148

 
$
172

CDW Peers
 
$
100

 
$
110

 
$
122

 
$
126

 
$
144

 
$
167

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities
None.
Use of Proceeds from Registered Securities
None.

24


Item 6. Selected Financial Data
The selected financial data set forth below are not necessarily indicative of the results of future operations and should be read in conjunction with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our Consolidated Financial Statements and the related notes.
We have derived the selected financial data presented below as of December 31, 2017 and 2016 and for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 from our Consolidated Financial Statements and related notes included in this report. The selected financial data as of December 31, 2014 and December 31, 2013 have been derived from our Consolidated Financial Statements as of and for those periods and are not included in this report.

25


 
 
 
 
 
Years Ended December 31,
(dollars and shares in millions, except per share amounts)
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015(6)
 
2014
 
2013
Statement of Operations Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net sales
 
$
15,191.5

 
$
13,981.9

 
$
12,988.7

 
$
12,074.5

 
$
10,768.6

Cost of sales
 
12,741.6

 
11,654.7

 
10,872.9

 
10,153.2

 
9,008.3

Gross profit
 
2,449.9

 
2,327.2

 
2,115.8

 
1,921.3

 
1,760.3

Selling and administrative expenses
 
1,410.1

 
1,345.1

 
1,226.0

 
1,110.3

 
1,120.9

Advertising expense
 
173.7

 
162.9

 
147.8

 
138.0

 
130.8

Income from operations
 
866.1

 
819.2

 
742.0

 
673.0

 
508.6

Interest expense, net
 
(150.5
)
 
(146.5
)
 
(159.5
)
 
(197.3
)
 
(250.1
)
Net loss on extinguishments of long-term debt
 
(57.4
)
 
(2.1
)
 
(24.3
)
 
(90.7
)
 
(64.0
)
Gain on remeasurement of equity investment
 

 

 
98.1

 

 

Other income (expense), net
 
2.1

 
1.8

 
(9.3
)
 
2.7

 
1.0

Income before income taxes
 
660.3

 
672.4

 
647.0

 
387.7

 
195.5

Income tax expense(1)
 
(137.3
)
 
(248.0
)
 
(243.9
)
 
(142.8
)
 
(62.7
)
Net income
 
$
523.0

 
$
424.4

 
$
403.1

 
$
244.9

 
$
132.8

Net income per common share:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
 
$
3.37

 
$
2.59

 
$
2.37

 
$
1.44

 
$
0.85

Diluted
 
$
3.31

 
$
2.56

 
$
2.35

 
$
1.42

 
$
0.84

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash dividends declared per common share
 
$
0.6900

 
$
0.4825

 
$
0.3100

 
$
0.1950

 
$
0.0425

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Balance Sheet Data (at period end):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
 
$
144.2

 
$
263.7

 
$
37.6

 
$
344.5

 
$
188.1

Working capital
 
863.5

 
957.4

 
903.5

 
985.4

 
810.9

Total assets
 
6,956.6

 
6,948.4

 
6,755.3

 
6,075.9

 
5,899.3

Total debt and capitalized lease obligations(2)(3)
 
3,236.7

 
3,236.6

 
3,262.9

 
3,166.1

 
3,226.0

Total stockholders’ equity
 
982.9

 
1,045.5

 
1,095.9

 
936.5

 
711.7

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Financial Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Capital expenditures
 
$
81.1

 
$
63.5

 
$
90.1

 
$
55.0

 
$
47.1

Gross profit as a percentage of Net sales
 
16.1
%
 
16.6
%
 
16.3
%
 
15.9
%
 
16.3
%
EBITDA(4)
 
$
1,071.7

 
$
1,073.4

 
$
1,033.9

 
$
792.9

 
$
653.8

Adjusted EBITDA(4)
 
1,185.6

 
1,117.3

 
1,018.5

 
907.0

 
808.5

Non-GAAP net income(5)
 
605.8

 
569.0

 
503.5

 
409.9

 
314.3

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Statement of Cash Flows Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net cash provided by (used in):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Operating activities
 
$
777.7

 
$
604.0

 
$
277.5

 
$
435.0

 
$
366.3

Investing activities
 
(81.1
)
 
(65.9
)
 
(354.4
)
 
(164.8
)
 
(47.1
)
Financing activities
 
(818.7
)
 
(304.6
)
 
(226.5
)
 
(112.0
)
 
(168.3
)
 
(1)
Includes the benefit of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted during 2017.
(2)
Excludes borrowings of $498 million, $580 million, $440 million, $332 million and $257 million, as of December 31, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively, under our inventory financing agreements. We do not include these borrowings in total debt because we have not in the past incurred, and in the future do not expect to incur, any interest expense or late fees under these agreements.

26


(3)
Includes capitalized lease obligations of $1 million and $2 million as of December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively, which are included in Other liabilities on the Consolidated Balance Sheet.
(4)
EBITDA is defined as consolidated net income before interest expense, income tax expense, depreciation and amortization. Adjusted EBITDA, which is a measure defined in our credit agreements, means EBITDA adjusted for certain items which are described in the table below. We have included a reconciliation of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA in the table below. Both EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are considered non-GAAP financial measures. Generally, a non-GAAP financial measure is a numerical measure of a company’s performance or financial position that either excludes or includes amounts that are not normally included or excluded in the most directly comparable measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP. Non-GAAP measures used by management may differ from similar measures used by other companies, even when similar terms are used to identify such measures.
We believe that EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA provide analysts, investors and management with helpful information regarding the underlying operating performance of our business, as they remove the impact of items that management believes are not reflective of underlying operating performance. Management uses these measures to evaluate period-over-period performance as management believes they provide a more comparable measure of the underlying business. Additionally, Adjusted EBITDA is a measure in the credit agreement governing our Senior Secured Term Loan Facility (“Term Loan”) used to evaluate our ability to make certain investments, incur additional debt, and make restricted payments, such as dividends and share repurchases, as well as whether we are required to make additional principal prepayments on the Term Loan beyond the quarterly amortization payments. For further details regarding the Term Loan, see Note 10 (Long-Term Debt) to the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements.
The following unaudited table sets forth reconciliations of net income to EBITDA and EBITDA to Adjusted EBITDA for the periods presented:
 
 
Years Ended December 31,
(in millions)
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015(g)
 
2014
 
2013
Net income
 
$
523.0

 
$
424.4

 
$
403.1

 
$
244.9

 
$
132.8

Depreciation and amortization
 
260.9

 
254.5

 
227.4

 
207.9

 
208.2

Income tax expense
 
137.3

 
248.0

 
243.9

 
142.8

 
62.7

Interest expense, net
 
150.5

 
146.5

 
159.5

 
197.3

 
250.1

EBITDA
 
1,071.7

 
1,073.4

 
1,033.9

 
792.9

 
653.8

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Non-cash equity-based compensation
 
43.7

 
39.2

 
31.2

 
16.4

 
8.6

Net loss on extinguishments of long-term debt(a)
 
57.4

 
2.1

 
24.3

 
90.7

 
64.0

(Income) loss from equity investments(b)
 
(0.7
)
 
(1.1
)
 
10.1

 
(2.2
)
 
(0.6
)
Acquisition and integration expenses(c)
 
2.5

 
7.3

 
10.2

 

 

Gain on remeasurement of equity investment(d)
 

 

 
(98.1
)
 

 

Reinstatement of prior year unclaimed property balances(e)
 
4.1

 

 

 

 

Other adjustments(f)
 
6.9

 
(3.6
)
 
6.9

 
9.2

 
82.7

Adjusted EBITDA
 
$
1,185.6

 
$
1,117.3

 
$
1,018.5

 
$
907.0

 
$
808.5

(a)
During the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013, we recorded net losses on extinguishments of long-term debt. The losses represented the difference between the amount paid upon extinguishment, including call premiums and expenses paid to the debt holders and agents, and the net carrying amount of the extinguished debt, adjusted for a portion of the unamortized deferred financing costs.
(b)
Represents our share of (Income) loss from our equity investments. Our 35% share of CDW UK’s net loss includes our 35% share of an expense related to certain equity awards granted by one of the sellers to CDW UK coworkers in July 2015 prior to the acquisition.
(c)
Comprised of expenses related to CDW UK.
(d)
Represents the gain resulting from the remeasurement of our previously held 35% equity investment to fair value upon the completion of the acquisition of CDW UK.

27


(e)
Comprised of the reinstatement of prior year unclaimed property balances as a result of a retroactive Illinois state law change enacted during 2017.
(f)
Primarily includes expenses related to payroll taxes on equity-based compensation during 2017. The year ended December 31, 2016 primarily includes our share of the settlement payments received from the Dynamic Random Access Memory class action lawsuits and the favorable resolution of a local sales tax matter, partially offset by expenses related to the consolidation of office locations north of Chicago. During the year ended December 31, 2013, we recorded IPO and secondary offering- related expenses of $75 million.
(g)
Includes the impact of consolidating five months of CDW UK’s financial results for the year ended December 31, 2015.
(5)
Non-GAAP net income excludes, among other things, charges related to the amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets, non-cash equity-based compensation, acquisition and integration expenses, and gains and losses from the extinguishments of long-term debt. Non-GAAP net income is considered a non-GAAP financial measure. Generally, a non-GAAP financial measure is a numerical measure of a company’s performance or financial position that either excludes or includes amounts that are not normally included or excluded in the most directly comparable measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP. Non-GAAP measures used by management may differ from similar measures used by other companies, even when similar terms are used to identify such measures. We believe that non-GAAP net income provides analysts, investors and management with helpful information regarding the underlying operating performance of our business, as this measure removes the impact of items that management believes are not reflective of underlying operating performance. Management uses this measure to evaluate period-over-period performance as management believes it provides a more comparable measure of the underlying business.
The following unaudited table sets forth a reconciliation of net income to non-GAAP net income for the periods presented:
 
 
Years Ended December 31,
(in millions)
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015(h)
 
2014
 
2013
Net income
 
$
523.0

 
$
424.4

 
$
403.1

 
$
244.9

 
$
132.8

Amortization of intangibles(a)
 
185.1

 
187.2

 
173.9

 
161.2

 
161.2

Non-cash equity-based compensation
 
43.7

 
39.2

 
31.2

 
16.4

 
8.6

Non-cash equity-based compensation related to equity investment(b)
 

 

 
20.0

 

 

Net loss on extinguishments of long-term debt
 
57.4

 
2.1

 
24.3

 
90.7

 
64.0

Acquisition and integration expenses(c)
 
2.5

 
7.3

 
10.2

 

 

Gain on remeasurement of equity investment(d)
 

 

 
(98.1
)
 

 

Reinstatement of prior year unclaimed property balances(e)
 
4.1

 

 

 

 

Other adjustments(f)
 
4.9

 
(5.4
)
 
3.7

 
(0.3
)
 
61.2

Aggregate adjustment for income taxes(g)
 
(214.9
)
 
(85.8
)
 
(64.8
)
 
(103.0
)
 
(113.5
)
Non-GAAP net income
 
$
605.8

 
$
569.0

 
$
503.5

 
$
409.9

 
$
314.3

(a)
Includes amortization expense for acquisition-related intangible assets, primarily customer relationships, customer contracts and trade names.
(b)
Represents our 35% share of an expense related to certain equity awards granted by one of the sellers to CDW UK coworkers in July 2015 prior to our acquisition of CDW UK.
(c)
Comprised of expenses related to CDW UK.
(d)
Represents the gain resulting from the remeasurement of our previously held 35% equity investment to fair value upon the completion of the acquisition of CDW UK.
(e)
Comprised of the reinstatement of prior year unclaimed property balances as a result of a retroactive Illinois law change enacted during 2017.
(f)
Primarily includes expenses related to payroll taxes on equity-based compensation during 2017. The year ended December 31, 2016 primarily includes our share of the settlement payments received from the Dynamic Random Access Memory class action lawsuits and the favorable resolution of a local sales tax matter, partially offset by

28


expenses related to the consolidation of office locations north of Chicago. The amount in 2013 primarily relates to IPO and secondary offering-related expenses.
(g)
Aggregate adjustment for income taxes consists of the following:
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
Total Non-GAAP adjustments
$
297.7

 
$
230.4

 
$
165.2

 
$
268.0

 
$
295.0

Weighted-average statutory effective rate
36.0
%
 
36.0
%
 
38.0
%
 
39.0
%
 
39.0
%
Income tax
(107.2
)
 
(82.9
)
 
(62.8
)
 
(104.5
)
 
(115.1
)
Deferred tax adjustment due to law changes
1.3

 
(1.5
)
 
(4.0
)
 

 

Excess tax benefits from equity-based compensation
(36.2
)
 
(1.8
)
 

 

 

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

(75.5
)
 

 

 

 

Withholding tax expense on the unremitted earnings of our Canadian subsidiary

 

 
3.3

 

 

Non-deductible adjustments and other
2.7

 
0.4

 
(1.3
)
 
1.5

 
1.6

Total aggregate adjustment for income taxes
$
(214.9
)
 
$
(85.8
)
 
$
(64.8
)
 
$
(103.0
)
 
$
(113.5
)
(h)
Includes the impact of consolidating five months for the year ended December 31, 2015 of CDW UK’s financial results.
(6)
Includes the impact of consolidating five months of CDW UK’s financial results for the year ended December 31, 2015.
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Unless otherwise indicated or the context otherwise requires, as used in this “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” the terms “we,” “us,” “the Company,” “our,” “CDW” and similar terms refer to CDW Corporation and its subsidiaries. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this report. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. See “Forward-Looking Statements” above.
Overview
CDW Corporation is a Fortune 500 company and a leading provider of integrated IT solutions to small, medium and large business, and government, education and healthcare customers in the US, the UK and Canada. Our broad array of offerings
ranges from discrete hardware and software products to integrated IT solutions such as mobility, security, data center optimization, cloud computing, virtualization and collaboration.
We are technology “agnostic,” with a product portfolio including more than 100,000 products and services from more than 1,000 leading and emerging brands. Our solutions are delivered in physical, virtual and cloud-based environments through over 6,000 customer-facing coworkers, including sellers, highly-skilled technology specialists and advanced service delivery engineers. We are a leading sales channel partner for many original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”), software publishers and cloud providers (collectively, our “vendor partners”), whose products we sell or include in the solutions we offer. We provide our vendor partners with a cost-effective way to reach customers and deliver a consistent brand experience through our established end-market coverage, technical expertise and extensive customer access.
In August 2015, we acquired CDW UK, which enhanced our ability to provide IT solutions to US based customers with multinational locations. It also extended our footprint into the United Kingdom. Financial results of CDW UK are included in our Consolidated Financial Statements from the date of acquisition.
We have three reportable segments, Corporate, Small Business and Public. Our Corporate segment primarily serves private sector business customers with more than 250 employees. Our Small Business segment primarily serves private sector business customers with up to 250 employees. Our Public segment is comprised of government agencies and education and healthcare institutions in the US. We also have two other operating segments: Canada and CDW UK, each of which do not meet the reportable segment quantitative thresholds and, accordingly, are included in an all other category (“Other”).
We may sell all or only select products that our vendor partners offer. Each vendor partner agreement provides for specific terms and conditions, which may include one or more of the following: product return privileges, price protection policies, purchase discounts and vendor incentive programs, such as purchase or sales rebates and cooperative advertising reimbursements. We also resell software for major software publishers. Our agreements with software publishers allow the end-user customer to acquire

29


software or licensed products and services. In addition to helping our customers determine the best software solutions for their needs, we help them manage their software agreements, including warranties and renewals. A significant portion of our advertising and marketing expenses is reimbursed through cooperative advertising programs with our vendor partners. These programs are at the discretion of our vendor partners and are typically tied to sales or other commitments to be met by us within a specified period of time.
Trends and Key Factors Affecting our Financial Performance
We believe the following trends and key factors may have an important impact on our financial performance:
General economic conditions are a key factor affecting our ability to generate sales and achieve our targeted operating results as they impact our customers’ willingness to spend on information technology. This is particularly the case for business customers, as their purchases tend to reflect confidence in their business prospects, which are driven by their perceptions of business conditions. Purchasing behavior may be different between our Corporate customers and Small Business customers due to their perception of business conditions.
Changes in spending policies, budget priorities and revenue levels are a key factor influencing government purchasing levels. Our Government results also reflect increased interest in meeting public safety needs through technology solutions by State and Local customers, as well as our ability to address strategic changes made by the Federal government toward a more programmatic technology strategy.
Customer focus on security has been, and we expect will continue to be, an ongoing trend. Customers are seeking solutions to protect their internal systems against threats and are implementing solutions that provide enterprise-wide visibility, detection expertise and investigation workflows. They are also implementing endpoint security, firewall segmentation and user authentication tools. 
The Healthcare industry continues to experience uncertainty given recent proposed legislative action and concerns related to funding, which is impacting healthcare spending as customers seek more clarity.
Our Education sales channel performance continues to benefit from the creation of new learning environments for students. It has also been positively affected by the implementation of networking projects related to the US Federal Communications Commission E-Rate program. Within the higher education market, networking projects continue to be a key priority across campuses. While technology is an opportunity to create cost savings and improve productivity, funding is a key determinant of technology spending in education.
There continues to be substantial uncertainty regarding the impact of the Referendum on the United Kingdom’s (“UK”) Membership of the European Union (“EU”), advising for the exit of the UK from the EU (referred to as “Brexit”). Potential adverse consequences of Brexit such as global market uncertainty, volatility in currency exchange rates, greater restrictions on imports and exports between UK and EU countries and increased regulatory complexities could have a negative impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations. To date, CDW UK is not seeing significant changes in the buying behavior of its customers even with the uncertainty related to the timing and terms of Brexit.
Technology trends drive customer purchase behaviors and we are seeing continuing evolution in the market. Innovation influences customer purchases across all of our customer end-markets. Key trends in technology include increasing adoption of cloud-based solutions for certain key workloads, including backup and recovery, collaboration and security, as well as adoption of hyper-converged appliances to deliver greater flexibility and efficiency. In addition, hybrid IT solutions are being adopted, along with software being embedded into solutions.
Key Business Metrics

We monitor a number of financial and non-financial measures and ratios on a regular basis in order to track the progress of our business and make adjustments as necessary. We believe that the most important of these measures and ratios include average daily sales, gross margin, operating margin, Net income, Non-GAAP income before income taxes, Non-GAAP net income, Net income per common share, Non-GAAP net income per diluted share, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA margin, free cash flow, return on working capital, Cash and cash equivalents, net working capital, cash conversion cycle (defined to be days of sales outstanding in Accounts receivable plus days of supply in Inventory minus days of purchases outstanding in Accounts payable, based on a rolling three-month average), debt levels including available credit and leverage ratios, sales per coworker and coworker turnover. These measures and ratios are compared to standards or objectives set by management, so that actions can be taken, as necessary, in order to achieve the standards and objectives.


30


In this Form 10-K, we discuss Non-GAAP income before income taxes, Non-GAAP net income, Non-GAAP net income per diluted share, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin, which are non-GAAP financial measures.

We believe these measures provide analysts, investors and management with helpful information regarding the underlying operating performance of our business, as they remove the impact of items that management believes are not reflective of underlying operating performance. Management uses these measures to evaluate period-over-period performance as management believes they provide a more comparable measure of the underlying business. Additionally, Adjusted EBITDA is a measure in the credit agreement governing our Senior Secured Term Loan Facility (“Term Loan”), which is used to evaluate our ability to make certain investments, incur additional debt, and make restricted payments, such as dividends and share repurchases, as well as whether we are required to make additional principal prepayments on the Term Loan beyond the quarterly amortization payments. For further details regarding the Term Loan, see Long-Term Debt and Financing Arrangements within Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and Note 10 (Long-Term Debt) to the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements. For the definitions of Non-GAAP income before income taxes, Non-GAAP net income and Adjusted EBITDA and reconciliations to Net income, see “Results of Operations”.
The results of certain key business metrics are as follows:
 
Years Ended December 31,
(dollars in millions)
2017
 
2016
 
2015
Net sales
$
15,191.5

 
$
13,981.9

 
$
12,988.7

Gross profit
2,449.9

 
2,327.2

 
2,115.8

Income from operations
866.1

 
819.2

 
742.0

Net income
523.0

 
424.4

 
403.1

Non-GAAP net income
605.8

 
569.0

 
503.5

Adjusted EBITDA
1,185.6

 
1,117.3

 
1,018.5

Average daily sales
59.8

 
55.0

 
51.1

Net debt(1)
3,091.3

 
2,970.7

 
3,222.1

Cash conversion cycle (in days)(2)
19

 
19

 
21

(1)
Defined as Total debt minus Cash and cash equivalents.
(2)
Cash conversion cycle is defined as days of sales outstanding in Accounts receivable and certain receivables due from vendors plus days of supply in Merchandise inventory minus days of purchases outstanding in Accounts payable and Accounts payable-inventory financing, based on a rolling three-month average.


31


Results of Operations
Year Ended December 31, 2017 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2016
Results of operations, in dollars and as a percentage of Net sales are as follows:
 
 
Years Ended December 31,
 
 
2017
 
2016
 
 
Dollars in
Millions
 
Percentage of
Net Sales (1)
 
Dollars in
Millions
 
Percentage of
Net Sales (1)
Net sales
 
$
15,191.5

 
100.0
 %
 
$
13,981.9

 
100.0
 %
Cost of sales
 
12,741.6

 
83.9

 
11,654.7

 
83.4

Gross profit
 
2,449.9

 
16.1

 
2,327.2

 
16.6

Selling and administrative expenses
 
1,410.1

 
9.3

 
1,345.1

 
9.6

Advertising expense
 
173.7

 
1.1

 
162.9

 
1.2

Income from operations
 
866.1

 
5.7

 
819.2

 
5.9

Interest expense, net
 
(150.5
)
 
(1.0
)
 
(146.5
)
 
(1.0
)
Net loss on extinguishments of long-term debt
 
(57.4
)
 
(0.4
)
 
(2.1
)
 

Other income, net
 
2.1

 

 
1.8

 

Income before income taxes
 
660.3

 
4.3

 
672.4

 
4.8

Income tax expense
 
(137.3
)
 
(0.9
)
 
(248.0
)
 
(1.8
)
Net income
 
$
523.0

 
3.4
 %
 
$
424.4

 
3.0
 %
(1)
Percentages may not total due to rounding.
Net sales
Net sales by segment, in dollars and as a percentage of total Net sales, and the year-over-year dollar and percentage change in Net sales are as follows:
 
 
Years Ended December 31,
 
 
 
 
 
 
2017
 
2016
 
 
 
 
(dollars in millions)
 
Net Sales
 
Percentage
of Total Net Sales
 
Net Sales
 
Percentage
of Total Net Sales
 
Dollar
Change
 
Percent
Change
(1)
Corporate(2)
 
$
6,347.0

 
41.8
%
 
$
5,889.8

 
42.1
%
 
$
457.2

 
7.8
 %
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Small Business(2)
 
1,246.5

 
8.2

 
1,140.1

 
8.2

 
106.4

 
9.3

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Public:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Government
 
2,167.5

 
14.3

 
1,863.7

 
13.3

 
303.8

 
16.3

Education
 
2,211.4

 
14.6

 
2,018.3

 
14.4

 
193.1

 
9.6

Healthcare
 
1,658.6

 
10.9

 
1,707.4

 
12.2

 
(48.8
)
 
(2.9
)
Total Public
 
6,037.5

 
39.7

 
5,589.4

 
40.0

 
448.1

 
8.0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other
 
1,560.5

 
10.3

 
1,362.6

 
9.7

 
197.9

 
14.5

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total Net sales
 
$
15,191.5

 
100.0
%
 
$
13,981.9

 
100.0
%
 
$
1,209.6

 
8.7
 %
(1)
There were 254 selling days for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016.
(2)
Amounts have been recast for 2016 to present Small Business as its own operating and reportable segment.
Total Net sales in 2017 increased $1,210 million, or 8.7%, to $15,192 million, compared to $13,982 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. Net sales on a constant currency basis, which excludes the impact of currency translation, for the year ended December 31, 2017 increased $1,238 million, or 8.9%, to $15,192 million, compared to $13,954 million for the year ended December 31, 2016.

32


For the year ended December 31, 2017, sales growth was driven by gains in all our customer markets except Healthcare, which saw a Net sales decline year over year. During the year, and in contrast to 2016, we saw an acceleration of hardware sales, driven by strong growth within client device sales due to customer refresh, which impacted categories such as notebooks, mobile devices and desktops. Additionally, we saw growth in several other categories, including video and networking. We also saw ongoing customer focus on designing IT securely, which led to strong sales growth across our entire security portfolio and the adoption of more efficient architectures, which drove strong growth in hyper-converged infrastructure and solutions delivered via the cloud, as well as the continuing trend of greater integration of software into solutions.
Corporate segment Net sales in 2017 increased $457 million, or 7.8%, compared to 2016, as customer confidence improved throughout the year. Growth was primarily driven by customer refresh of client devices and networking.
Small Business segment Net sales in 2017 increased by $106 million, or 9.3%, compared to 2016. Sales growth was primarily driven by customer refresh of client devices and video.
Public segment Net sales in 2017 increased $448 million, or 8.0%, compared to 2016. The growth was primarily driven by Government and Education customers. Net sales to Federal government customers reflected a focus on spending existing budgets on planned projects and ongoing successful alignment with strategic programs, as well as success meeting the Department of Defense mandated move to new client devices with stronger security features. Strong Net sales to our State and Local government customers was driven by a continued focus on public safety and the on-going success executing against recently added contracts. Net sales to our Higher Education customers were driven by networking and software as we continued to see the benefit from “connected campus” strategies to ensure network infrastructures can handle multiple devices used by students, faculty and visitors across the entire campus. K-12 growth was driven by success in delivering collaborative learning environments and networking. Net sales to Healthcare customers decreased 2.9%, reflecting continued customer uncertainty related to reimbursements and funding.
Net sales in Other for 2017 increased $198 million, or 14.5%, compared to 2016. Other is comprised of results from our Canadian and UK operations. Both operations had strong growth in local currency as we continued to take share in the local markets, as well as the benefit from increased sales for referrals from US customers to the UK. The impact of foreign currency exchange decreased Other sales growth by approximately 250 basis points, due to the impact resulting from the British pound to US dollar translation, partially offset by favorable translation of the Canadian to US dollar.
Gross profit
Gross profit increased $123 million, or 5.3%, to $2,450 million in 2017, compared to $2,327 million in 2016. As a percentage of Net sales, Gross profit decreased 50 basis points to 16.1% in 2017, down from 16.6% in 2016. Although there was an increase in Gross profit due to higher sales volumes, we experienced a decline in our Gross profit margin. This decline was primarily driven by product margin compression due to increased hardware sales, which generally have lower profit margins, and an ongoing competitive marketplace.
Gross profit margin may fluctuate based on various factors, including vendor incentive and inventory price protection programs, cooperative advertising funds classified as a reduction of cost of sales, product mix, net service contract revenue, commission revenue, pricing strategies, market conditions and other factors.
Selling and administrative expenses
Selling and administrative expenses increased $65 million, or 4.8%, to $1,410 million in 2017, compared to $1,345 million in 2016. This was driven by higher sales payroll costs, including sales commissions, year over year, primarily due to higher Gross profit, as well as higher coworker costs between years consistent with increased coworker count. Total coworker count was 8,726 at December 31, 2017, up 210 from 8,516 at December 31, 2016. Additionally, equity-based compensation expense and the associated payroll taxes increased $8 million, or 19.8%, during 2017 compared to 2016, primarily due to the impact of annual equity awards granted under our Long-Term Incentive Plan and the vesting of an equity grant made at the time of our initial public offering. Also during 2017, a retroactive Illinois state law change was enacted which required the reinstatement of unclaimed property balances, resulting in an additional $4 million of expenses. These increases were partially offset by lower senior management incentive compensation.
As a percentage of total Net sales, Selling and administrative expenses decreased 30 basis points to 9.3% in 2017, down from 9.6% in 2016.

33


Income from operations
Income from operations by segment, in dollars and as a percentage of Net sales, and the year-over-year percentage change was as follows:
 
 
Years Ended December 31,
 
 
 
 
2017
 
2016
 
 
 
 
Dollars in
Millions
 
Operating
Margin
 
Dollars in
Millions
 
Operating
Margin
 
Percent Change
in Income
from Operations
Segments:(1)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Corporate(2)
 
$
487.0

 
7.7
%
 
$
453.6

 
7.7
%
 
7.4
%
Small Business(2)
 
74.4

 
6.0

 
68.9

 
6.0

 
8.0

Public
 
374.0

 
6.2

 
368.0

 
6.6

 
1.6

Other(3)
 
57.9

 
3.7

 
43.6

 
3.2

 
32.8

Headquarters(4)
 
(127.2
)
 
nm*

 
(114.9
)
 
nm*

 
10.7

Total Income from operations
 
$
866.1

 
5.7
%
 
$
819.2

 
5.9
%
 
5.7
%
 
* Not meaningful
(1)
Segment income from operations includes the segment’s direct operating income, allocations for certain Headquarters’ costs, allocations for income and expenses from logistics services, certain inventory adjustments and volume rebates and cooperative advertising from vendors.
(2)
Amounts have been recast for 2016 to present Small Business as its own operating and reportable segment.
(3)
Includes the financial results for our other operating segments, CDW Canada and CDW UK, which do not meet the reportable segment quantitative thresholds.
(4)
Includes Headquarters’ function costs that are not allocated to the segments.
Income from operations was $866 million in 2017, an increase of $47 million, or 5.7%, compared to $819 million in 2016. Although Income from operations increased, total operating margin percentage decreased 20 basis points to 5.7% in 2017, from 5.9% in 2016. The decrease was primarily due to Gross profit margin compression from higher hardware sales and an ongoing competitive marketplace. Also contributing to lower operating margin percentage was the reinstatement of prior year unclaimed property balances in 2017 and the non-recurrence of the settlement payments received from the Dynamic Random Access Memory class action lawsuits in 2016. Partially offsetting these decreases were lower sales payroll, consistent with our variable compensation cost structure, lower senior management incentive compensation and a decline in intangible asset amortization expense as a percentage of Net sales.    
Corporate segment Income from operations was $487 million in 2017, an increase of $33 million, or 7.4%, compared to $454 million in 2016. Corporate segment operating margin remained flat at 7.7% for 2017 and 2016. Although Income from operations increased, primarily due to an increase in sales volume, Corporate segment operating margin percentage remained flat. The flat operating margin percentage reflects higher hardware sales and an ongoing competitive marketplace, which were fully offset by lower sales payroll expenses.
Small Business segment Income from operations was $74 million in 2017, an increase of $5 million, or 8.0%, compared to $69 million in 2016. Income from operations increased due to an increase in sales volume, while operating margin remained flat at 6.0% for 2017 and 2016. The flat operating margin percentage reflects higher hardware sales and an ongoing competitive marketplace, which were fully offset by lower sales payroll expenses.
Public segment Income from operations was $374 million in 2017, an increase of $6 million, or 1.6%, compared to $368 million in 2016. Public segment operating margin decreased 40 basis points to 6.2% in 2017, from 6.6% in 2016. This decrease in operating margin percentage was primarily driven by higher hardware sales, which were partially offset by lower sales payroll expenses.
Other Income from operations was $58 million in 2017, an increase of $14 million, or 32.8%, compared to $44 million in 2016. Other Income from operations increased primarily due to higher sales volumes and Gross profit as we continue to take share in the local markets. Other operating margin percentage increased 50 basis points to 3.7% in 2017, from 3.2% in 2016. This increase was primarily driven by a decline in intangible asset amortization expense as a percentage of Net sales.

34


Interest expense, net
Net interest expense in 2017 was $151 million, an increase of $4 million, compared to $147 million in 2016. This increase was primarily driven by mark-to-market gains recognized on our interest rate cap agreements in 2016, with no comparable activity in 2017 due to the election of hedge accounting in February 2017 and by a rising interest rate environment which resulted in higher interest expense on the Term Loan. This was partially offset by a reduced coupon rate due to the refinancing activity that occurred during 2017.
Net loss on extinguishments of long-term debt
For information regarding our debt, see Note 10 (Long-Term Debt) to the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements. During 2017, we recorded a net loss on extinguishments of long-term debt of $57 million compared to $2 million in 2016.
Net loss on extinguishments of long-term debt are as follows:
Month of Extinguishment
Debt Instrument
 
(in millions)
 
 
Amount Extinguished
 
Loss Recognized
 
For the Year Ended December 31, 2017
 
 
 
 
 
February 2017
Senior Secured Term Loan Facility
 
$
1,483.0

 
$
(13.7
)
 
March 2017
Senior Notes due 2022
 
600.0

 
(42.5
)
(1) 
March 2017
Senior secured asset-based revolving credit facility
 

 
(1.2
)
 
 
Total Loss Recognized
 

 
$
(57.4
)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
For the Year Ended December 31, 2016
 
 
 
 
 
August 2016
Senior Secured Term Loan Facility
 
$
1,490.4

 
$
(2.1
)
 
 
Total Loss Recognized
 
 
 
$
(2.1
)
 

(1)
We repaid all of the remaining aggregate principal amount outstanding. The loss recognized represents the difference between the aggregate principal amount and the net carrying amount of the purchased debt, adjusted for the remaining unamortized deferred financing costs and premium.
Income tax expense

On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was enacted into law. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changes several aspects of US federal tax law including: reducing the US corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% beginning on January 1, 2018; establishing a territorial tax system, which includes a one-time tax on the deemed mandatory repatriation of our international operations’ unremitted earnings which have not been subject to US tax; imposing a minimum US tax on foreign earnings; providing for the immediate expensing of certain qualified property; and changing the tax treatment of performance based executive compensation and certain employee fringe benefits. GAAP requires the income tax effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to be accounted for in the period of enactment.

The SEC issued Staff Accounting Bulletin 118 allowing for provisional amounts to be recorded during a measurement period not to exceed one year. We recorded provisional amounts for the impact of revaluing deferred tax assets and liabilities, the deemed mandatory repatriation tax of our international operations’ unremitted earnings and the state income tax effects from the change in federal tax law. We continue to analyze the income tax effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as well as monitor guidance from the Internal Revenue Service and the US Treasury Department. Any additional income tax effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are expected to be recorded within the measurement period.
Income tax expense was $137 million in 2017, compared to $248 million in 2016. The effective income tax rate, expressed by calculating income tax expense as a percentage of Income before income taxes, was 20.8% and 36.9% for 2017 and 2016, respectively. We expect to have an effective tax rate of between 24% and 25% in 2018. The 2018 effective tax rate may change due to various factors including: adjustments we make to the estimates of the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that were recorded as of December 31, 2017, as well as additional guidance that the Internal Revenue Service, US Treasury Department and state taxing authorities may issue, changes in the estimated excess tax benefits due to the changes in the market value of our common stock and changes in the number of awards vesting and changes in state tax laws.

35


For 2017, the effective tax rate differed from the US federal statutory rate primarily due to a one-time benefit of $96 million to reflect the revaluation of deferred tax assets and liabilities, excess tax benefits on equity compensation and lower corporate tax rates on our international income, partially offset by state income taxes and a one-time charge of $20 million for the mandatory repatriation tax. For 2016, the effective tax rate differed from the US federal statutory rate primarily due to state income taxes and non-deductible meals and entertainment expenses, which were partially offset by lower corporate tax rates on our international income, a deferred tax benefit as a result of a tax rate reduction in the UK and excess tax benefits on equity-based compensation as a result of adopting ASU 2016-09, Compensation - Stock Compensation. The lower effective tax rate for 2017 as compared to 2016 was primarily attributable to the impact of revaluing deferred tax assets and liabilities, and excess tax benefits on equity compensation, offset by a one-time charge for the mandatory repatriation tax.
Non-GAAP Financial Measure Reconciliations

We have included reconciliations of Non-GAAP income before income taxes, Non-GAAP net income, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA margin and consolidated Net sales growth on a constant currency basis for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 below.
Non-GAAP income before income taxes and Non-GAAP net income exclude, among other things, charges related to the amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets, equity-based compensation and associated taxes, gains and losses from the extinguishment of debt and integration expenses. EBITDA is defined as consolidated net income before interest expense, net, income tax expense, depreciation and amortization. Adjusted EBITDA, which is a measure defined in our credit agreements, means EBITDA adjusted for certain items which are described in the table below. Adjusted EBITDA margin is defined as Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of Net sales. Consolidated Net sales growth on a constant currency basis is defined as consolidated Net sales growth excluding the impact of foreign currency translation on net sales compared to the prior period.
Non-GAAP income before income taxes, Non-GAAP net income, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA margin and consolidated Net sales growth on a constant currency basis are considered non-GAAP financial measures. Generally, a non-GAAP financial measure is a numerical measure of a company’s performance or financial position that either excludes or includes amounts that are not normally included or excluded in the most directly comparable measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP. Non-GAAP measures used by management may differ from similar measures used by other companies, even when similar terms are used to identify such measures.
We believe these measures provide analysts, investors and management with helpful information regarding the underlying operating performance of our business, as they remove the impact of items that management believes are not reflective of underlying operating performance. Management uses these measures to evaluate period-over-period performance as management believes they provide a more comparable measure of the underlying business. Additionally, Adjusted EBITDA is a measure in the credit agreement governing our Term Loan used to evaluate our ability to make certain investments, incur additional debt and make restricted payments, such as dividends and share repurchases, as well as whether we are required to make additional principal prepayments on the Term Loan beyond the quarterly amortization payments. For further details regarding the Term Loan, see Note 10 (Long-Term Debt) to the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements.
Non-GAAP income before income taxes and Non-GAAP net income
Non-GAAP net income was $606 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, an increase of $37 million, or 6.5%, compared to $569 million for the year ended December 31, 2016.

36


 
 
Year Ended December 31, 2017
 
Year Ended December 31, 2016
(in millions)
 
Income before income taxes
 
Income tax benefit (expense)
 
Net income
 
Income before income taxes
 
Income tax benefit (expense)
 
Net income
GAAP (as reported)
 
$
660.3

 
$
(137.3
)
 
$
523.0

 
$
672.4

 
$
(248.0
)
 
$
424.4

Amortization of intangibles(1)
 
185.1

 
(66.6
)
 
118.5

 
187.2

 
(67.4
)
 
119.8

Equity-based compensation(2)
 
43.7

 
(51.9
)
 
(8.2
)
 
39.2

 
(15.9
)
 
23.3

Net loss on extinguishments of long-term debt
 
57.4

 
(20.7
)
 
36.7

 
2.1

 
(0.8
)
 
1.3

Integration expenses(3)
 
2.5

 
(0.9
)
 
1.6

 
7.3

 
(2.6
)
 
4.7

Reinstatement of prior year unclaimed property balances(4)
 
4.1

 
(1.5
)
 
2.6

 

 

 

Deferred tax adjustment due to state law changes
 

 
1.3

 
1.3

 

 
(1.5
)
 
(1.5
)
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
 

 
(75.5
)
 
(75.5
)
 

 

 

Other adjustments(5)
 
4.9

 
0.9

 
5.8

 
(5.4
)
 
2.4

 
(3.0
)
Non-GAAP
 
$
958.0

 
$
(352.2
)
 
$
605.8

 
$
902.8

 
$
(333.8
)
 
$
569.0

(1)
Includes amortization expense for acquisition-related intangible assets, primarily customer relationships, customer contracts and trade names.
(2)
Includes excess tax benefits related to equity-based compensation.
(3)
Comprised of expenses related to CDW UK.
(4)
Comprised of the reinstatement of prior year unclaimed property balances as a result of a retroactive Illinois state law change enacted during 2017.
(5)
Primarily includes expenses related to payroll taxes on equity-based compensation during 2017. The year ended December 31, 2016 primarily includes our share of the settlement payments received from the Dynamic Random Access Memory class action lawsuits and the favorable resolution of a local sales tax matter, partially offset by expenses related to the consolidation of office locations north of Chicago.
Adjusted EBITDA
Adjusted EBITDA was $1,186 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, an increase of $69 million, or 6.1%, compared to $1,117 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. As a percentage of Net sales, Adjusted EBITDA was 7.8% and 8.0% for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively.

37


 
 
Years Ended December 31,
(in millions)
 
2017
 
Percentage of
Net Sales
 
2016
 
Percentage of
Net Sales
Net income
 
$
523.0

 
3.4%
 
$
424.4

 
3.0%
Depreciation and amortization
 
260.9

 
 
 
254.5

 
 
Income tax expense
 
137.3

 
 
 
248.0

 
 
Interest expense, net
 
150.5

 
 
 
146.5

 
 
EBITDA
 
1,071.7

 
7.1%
 
1,073.4

 
7.7%
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Adjustments:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Equity-based compensation
 
43.7

 
 
 
39.2

 
 
Net loss on extinguishments of long-term debt
 
57.4

 
 
 
2.1

 
 
Income from equity investment(1)
 
(0.7
)
 
 
 
(1.1
)
 
 
Integration expenses(2)
 
2.5

 
 
 
7.3

 
 
Reinstatement of prior year unclaimed property balances(3)
 
4.1

 
 
 

 
 
Other adjustments(4)
 
6.9

 
 
 
(3.6
)
 
 
Total adjustments
 
113.9

 
 
 
43.9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Adjusted EBITDA
 
$
1,185.6

 
7.8%
 
$
1,117.3

 
8.0%
(1)
Represents our share of net income from our equity investment.
(2)
Comprised of expenses related to CDW UK.
(3)
Comprised of the reinstatement of prior year unclaimed property balances as a result of a retroactive Illinois state law change enacted during 2017.
(4)
Primarily includes expenses related to payroll taxes on equity-based compensation and historical retention costs during 2017. The year ended December 31, 2016 primarily includes our share of the settlement payments received from the Dynamic Random Access Memory class action lawsuits and the favorable resolution of a local sales tax matter, partially offset by expenses related to the consolidation of office locations north of Chicago.
Consolidated Net sales growth on a constant currency basis
Consolidated Net sales increased $1,210 million, or 8.7%, to $15,192 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to $13,982 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. Consolidated Net sales on a constant currency basis, which excludes the impact of foreign currency translation, increased $1,238 million, or 8.9%, to $15,192 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to $13,954 million for the year ended December 31, 2016.
 
 
Years Ended December 31,
 
 
 
(in millions)
 
2017
 
2016
 
% Change
Average Daily % Change(1)
Net sales, as reported
 
$
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