10-K 1 daio_10k.htm ANNUAL REPORT daio_10k
 

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
FORM 10-K
 
(Mark One)
☒   ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
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: 0-10394
DATA I/O CORPORATION
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 
Washington
91-0864123
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
 
6645 185th Ave NE, Suite 100, Redmond, Washington, 98052
(425) 881-6444
(Address, including zip code, of registrant’s principle executive offices and telephone number, including area code)
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act

Title of each class
Trading Symbol(s)
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock
DAIO
NASDAQ
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act
None
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.     Yes ☐   No ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.  Yes ☐  No ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒  No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).  Yes  ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer”, ”accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
 
Accelerated filer ☐
Smaller reporting company ☒
Large accelerated filer ☐
Emerging growth company ☐
Non-accelerated filer ☐
 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.    ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ☒
 
Aggregate market value of voting and non-voting common equity held
by non-affiliates on the registrant as of June 30, 2020:
$27,952,330
 
Shares of Common Stock, no par value, outstanding as of March 22, 2021:
 
8,421,599
 
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
 
Portions of the registrant’s Proxy Statement relating to its May 20, 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 

 
DATA I/O CORPORATION
 
FORM 10-K
For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2020
 
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PART I
 
Item 1. Business
 
This Annual Report on Form 10-K and the documents incorporated herein by reference contain forward-looking statements based on current expectations, estimates and projections about Data I/O Corporation’s industry, management’s beliefs and certain assumptions made by management. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Forward Looking Statements.”
 
General
 
Data I/O Corporation (“Data I/O”, “We”, “Our”, “Us”) is a global market leader for advanced programming, security deployment, security provisioning and associated Intellectual Property (“IP”) protection and management solutions used in electronics manufacturing with flash memory, microcontrollers, and flash memory-based intelligent devices as well as secure element devices, authentication devices and secure microcontrollers. We collectively refer to IP protection, security provisioning of devices, provisioning of security into devices, and related services such as cloud onboarding and device and provisioning documentation management as “security deployment”. Data I/O® designs, manufactures and sells programming and security deployment systems and services for electronic device manufacturers, specifically targeting high-growth areas such as high-volume users of flash memory and flash memory-based microcontrollers. Most electronic products today incorporate a number of programmable semiconductor devices that contain data, operating instructions and security credentials essential for the proper operation of the product and more and more products require security deployment.
 
Our mission is to bring the world’s electronic devices to life. Programmable devices are used in products such as automobile electronics, smartphones, HDTV, tablets, gaming systems and a broad category called Internet of Things (“IoT”). IoT is a broad term that addresses the interconnectivity of devices and other electronic or smart products. Our solutions, some of which include security deployment and process control capabilities, enable us to address the demanding requirements of the electronic device market, where applications security and IP protection are essential to our customer’s success. Our largest customers are heavy users of programmable semiconductor devices and include original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”) in automotive electronics, consumer electronics and IoT markets as well as their programming center partners and electronic manufacturing service (“EMS”) contract manufacturers.
 
Data I/O was incorporated in the State of Washington in 1969 and its business was founded in 1972. Our website address is www.dataio.com.
 
COVID-19
 
In 2020, we had to react to the global COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has impacted all aspects of our business, from customer demand, to supply chain integrity, employee safety, business processes, and financial management. As a global company, we had to manage each of these while working within the guidelines of local and national policy in the U.S., China and Germany. Our philosophy at the start of the outbreak was simple:
 
1.
Keep our people and their families safe;
2.
Keep our facilities safe and operational while we serve our customers as an essential business; and
3.
Preserve cash.
 
We have managed this issue successfully to date, with no known employee transmissions in the workplace and significant preservation of our cash and working capital throughout the year. Our resilient supply chain model kept our facilities in Shanghai, China and Redmond, Washington open, and serving customers globally. We supported customers rapidly transitioning to medical device support. We did this while facing unique international travel restrictions, shipping delays, and inability to meet with customers in person. All the while we preserved and slightly grew our cash balances, while moving more cash to the U.S.
 
COVID-19 has continued to impact our demand, particularly capacity related, evidenced by many automotive and other plant shut downs in the second quarter, their re-openings and now, in a believed ripple effect, the impact of chip shortages on their production plans. This appears to be a short-term issue and the outlook for automotive electronics remains strong for a decade. Waves of COVID-19 infection rates have kept or re-imposed revised travel restrictions. Customers largely have not permitted in-person sales and other visits. Converting these interactions to remote and virtual means has meant new processes and technology usage.
 
 
In production, in addition to adding protective health measures for our employees, we have focused on supply chain resilience and duplicating production capability for some products in both our Shanghai, China and Redmond, USA facilities. We implemented additional supplier financial and other monitoring, as well as adding additional local suppliers and increasing inventory stock levels of key parts. Other than production employees who necessarily are onsite, most Redmond employees are working remotely with some flexibility to be onsite and this is expected to continue until COVID-19 risks are reduced by vaccination coverage.
 
Industry Background
 
We enable companies to improve productivity, increase supply-chain security and reduce costs by providing device data programming and security deployment solutions that allow our customers to take IP (large design and data files) and protect and program it into memory, microcontroller and logic devices quickly and cost-effectively. We also provide services related to hardware support, system installation and repair, and device programming. Companies that design and manufacture products utilizing programmable electronic devices, ranging from automobiles to cell phones, purchase programming solutions from us. Trends of increasing device densities, shrinking device packages, increased demands for security, and customers increasing their software content file sizes, combined with the increasing numbers of intelligent devices such as automotive electronics and IoT applications, are driving demand for our solutions.
 
Traditionally, our programming market opportunity focused on the number of semiconductor devices to be programmed, but because of the rapid increase in the density of devices, and increasing demands for supply-chain security, the focus has shifted in many cases from the number and type of devices to the number and type of bits per device to be programmed or securely provisioned. With expected growth in IoT applications, the business opportunity for this market differentiates on quality, security and automation.
 
Some of our automated programming systems integrate data programming, automated handling functions and/or security deployment into a single product solution. During 2020, we continued to simplify and integrate security deployment into some of our solutions. Quality and security-conscious customers, particularly those in high-volume manufacturing and programming, drive this portion of our business.
 
Products
 
To accommodate the expanding variety and quantities of programmable devices being manufactured today, we offer multiple solutions for the numerous types of device mix and volume usage by our customers in the various market segments and applications. We work closely with leading manufacturers of programmable devices to develop our products to meet the requirements of a particular device. Our newer products are positioned and recognized as some of the most advanced programming and security deployment solutions.
 
Our programming solutions include a broad range of products, systems, modules and accessories, grouped into two general categories: automated programming systems and manual programming systems. We provide two categories of automated programming systems: off-line and in-line. Our PSV family of automated programming systems delivers a broad range of programming capacity and capability to the marketplace. Our recently announced PSV2800 Automated Programming System focuses on dedicated high-volume manufacturing in a lower cost platform. Our PSV7000 Automated Programming System continues to be well adopted in the marketplace, in particular for automotive electronics customers and as a base for security deployment upgrades. Our PSV5000 automated programming system combines mid-range capacity and flexibility with competitive pricing. Our PSV3000 Automated Programming System, developed for the Asian automation market, is a lower cost platform for basic programming needs. Our PSV family of handlers has won multiple industry awards for technical excellence and innovation. In 2018 our Lumen®X programmer won five industry awards for Universal Flash Storage (“UFS”) support.  Our ConneX® software won the 2017 Circuits Assembly NPI Award, the EM Asia Innovation Award and the SMT China Vision Award.  Our SentriX® security provisioning system won the Global Technology Award at Productronica and the Embedded Award for Innovation at the Embedded World show. Our Job Composer software for LumenX won the Circuits Assembly NPI Award in January 2019 and January 2020. In October 2019 our Job Composer software won the Mexico Technology Award for Device Programming and in November 2019, our PSV2800 won the Global Technology Award at Productronica and in February 2020, the Circuits Assembly NPI Award. In January 2019 and February 2020, Data I/O won the Circuits Assembly Service Excellence Award.
 
Our automated systems have list selling prices ranging from $75,000 to $615,000 and our manual systems have list selling prices ranging from $10,000 to $35,000. Our security deployment system, SentriX®, is currently offered for security provisioning on a pay per part use basis along with related fees.
 
Data I/O programming technology is integrated with the PSV family to create highly-flexible systems that deliver outstanding performance with low total cost of ownership. The LumenX programming engine is the fastest solution available for eMMC and UFS programming of large NAND FLASH. Increasing memory densities and the need for faster data interfaces are resulting in an expected transition to the use of UFS devices. LumenX is available on our PSV7000 and PSV5000 and as a standalone manual programmer. FlashCORE™, and our universal job setup tool, Tasklink™ for Windows®, are available in each family of our automated programming systems and in FlashPAK™, our manual programming system. The SentriX security system adds security deployment capability to our data programming system. SentriX allows customers of any size and demand-profile to securely add keys, certificates, and other security information to specialized regions of authentication integrated circuits ("ICs”), secure elements and secure microcontrollers. We provide device support and service on all of our products. Device support is a critical aspect of our business and consists of writing software algorithms for devices and developing socket adapters to hold and connect to the device for programming.
 
Our products have both an upfront solution sale and recurring revenue elements. Adapters are a consumable item and software and maintenance are typically recurring under subscription contracts. Our SentriX system revenue typically comes from per part use fees, set-up or minimum quarterly fees, consumables, non-recurring engineering fees, service fees and the sale of equipment related to SentriX.
 
 
Sales Percentage of Total Sales Breakdown by Type
Sales Type
2020
2019
Drivers
  Equipment Sales
56%
58%
Capacity, Process improvement, Technology
  Adapter Sales
28%
26%
Capacity utilization, New customer products
  Software and Maintenance Sales
16%
16%
Installed base, Added capabilities
Total
100%
100%
 
 
The table below presents our main products and the key features that benefit our customers:

Products
Key Features
Customer Benefits
PSV Handlers: Off-line (Automated)
Fast program and verify speeds
Up to 112 programming sites
Up to 3000 devices per hour throughput
UFS Support
Supports LumenX and FlashCORE III programmers
Supports multiple media types
Supports quality options – fiber laser marking, 3D coplanarity
 
ConneX Factory Integration, Job Composer & other Software
Managed and secure programming
High throughput for high density Flash programming
High flexibility with respect to I/O options (tray, tape, tube), marking/labeling and vision for coplanarity inspection
SentriX Security Deployment System
Unique ability to securely provision keys and certificates one device at a time
Pay per use model reduces capital spending requirements as the market develops.
Create Secure IoT devices across a global network
Maintain IP control over the lifecycle of their products
RoadRunner & RoadRunner3 Series Handlers:
In-line,
(Automated)
 
Just-in-time in-line programming
Direct integration with placement machine supporting SIPLACE, Fuji NXT, Panasonic, Universal/Genesis and Assembleon/K&S
Factory Integration Software
Supports FlashCORE III programmers
Dramatic reduction in inventory carrying and rework costs
“Zero” footprint
Rapid return on investment (“ROI”) typically realized in a matter of months
Integration with factory systems
LumenX Programmer
 
Extensible architecture for fast program, verify and download speeds
Supports UFS, microcontrollers, Serial FLASH and other device types
Large file size support
Secure Job creation
8 sockets with tool-less changeover with single socket adapters
Managed and secure programming
Fast setup and job changeover
Highest yield and low total cost of programming
High performance
FlashPAK III programmer:
(Non-Automated)
 Scalability
 Network control via Ethernet
 Stand-alone operation or PC compatible
 Parallel programming
Validate designs before moving down the firmware supply chain
Unmatched ease of use in manual production systems
Unifamily programmers: Off-line, Low Volume and Engineering
(Non-Automated)
(Legacy Equipment)
 Breadth of device coverage
 Universal programmer
 Support for legacy devices
 
 
 
Customers/Markets
 
We sell our solutions to customers worldwide, many of whom are world-class manufacturers of electronic devices used in a broad range of industries, as described in the following table:
 
 
OEMs
EMS
Programming Centers
Automotive Electronics
IoT, Industrial, Consumer Electronics, including Wireless
Contract Manufacturers
 
Notable end customers
Borg Warner, Bosch, Alpine, Visteon, Kostal, Harman Becker, Denso, Continental, Panasonic, Magna, Marelli
LG, TCL, Siemens, Danfoss, Philips, Schneider, Endress+Hauser, Insta, Microsoft, Sony, Amazon, UTEC
Pegatron, Flextronics, Jabil, Wistron, Sanmina SCI, Foxconn, Leesys, Calcomp
Arrow, Avnet, BTV, CPS, EPS, Elsil, Elmitech, Noa Leading
Business drivers
Infotainment, Advanced Driver Assist (ADAS), Electrification, Connectivity and Security
Higher functionality driven by increasing electronic content. Shift from analog to connected intelligent devices, security
Production contract wins
Value-added services, logistics, security
Programming equipment drivers
Growing Electronic Content, Global Support, Resilient Supply Chains, new product rollouts, growing file sizes, quality control and traceability, security
Growing Electronic Content, need for IP protection. Process improvement and simplification as well as new product rollouts, memory and new technology, security
New contracts from OEMs, programming solutions specified by OEMs
Capacity utilization of their installed base of equipment, small parts handling, security
Buying criteria
Quality, reliability, configuration control, traceability, global support, IP protection, security
Quality, reliability, configuration control, traceability, global support, IP protection, Security.
Lowest equipment procurement cost, global support
Flexibility, lowest life-cycle cost-per programmed-part, low changeover time; use of multiple vendors provides negotiating leverage, device support availability
Security Deployment
 
End customer focus
End customer focus
End customer and partner Focus
Current partner focus of our SentriX
deployments
 
Our solutions address the data programming of devices and security deployment needs of programmable semiconductor devices. Semiconductor devices are a large, growing market, in terms of devices, bits programmed and need for security. We believe that our sales are driven by many of the same forces that propel the semiconductor industry. We sell to the same firms that buy the semiconductors. When their business grows, they buy more semiconductors which, in turn, require additional programming equipment to maintain production speeds or program new device technologies.
 
Our device programming solutions currently target two high volume, growing markets: automotive electronics and IoT systems including Industrial and Consumer devices.
 
Growth drivers for automotive electronics
Consumers desire advanced car features requiring higher levels of sophistication, including autonomous cars, infotainment options (audio, radio, dashboard displays, navigation), ADAS, wireless connectivity and electrification
Proliferation of programmable microcontrollers to support the next-generation electronic car systems
Increasing use of high-density flash to provide memory for advanced applications that require programming
Increasing complexity to support autonomous vehicles
Increasing need for security solutions for a secure supply chain and lifecycle firmware integrity
 
 
Growth drivers for IoT: including industrial, consumer electronics and wireless
Securely controlling groups of connected devices through a secure supply chain and lifecycle firmware integrity management
Adding intelligence and processing into devices
Connecting previously unconnected devices to networks and the internet (such as smart home, including intelligent thermostats and lighting)
Emergence of new devices and applications (such as health and wellness wearable devices and applications)
 
All of the above growth drivers are long term and are likely to be adversely impacted, at least temporarily, due to the global pandemic of COVID-19 in our markets. Annual projections on spending, growth, mix, and profitability are likely to be revised substantially as new information is obtained.
 
Diversification of accounts receivable and net sales
 
During 2020, we sold products to approximately 200 customers throughout the world.
 
The following represented greater than 10% of net sales for the applicable year
 
Percentage of Net Sales
 
2020
 
 
2019
 
 
2018
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Number of customers
  1 
  1 
  2 
 
    
    
    
Approximate percentage of net sales
  12%
  11%
  29%
 
    
    
    
    Percentage of each
  12%
  11%
  16%
    Percentage of each
  n/a 
  n/a 
  13%
 
The following represented greater than 10% of our consolidated accounts receivable for the applicable year:
 
Percentage of Consolidated Accounts Receivable
 
2020
 
 
2019
 
 
2018
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Number of customers
  3 
  2 
  3 
 
    
    
    
Approximate percentage of consolidated accounts receivable balance
  41%
  32%
  35%
 
    
    
    
    Percentage of each
  17%
  17%
  12%
    Percentage of each
  12%
  15%
  12%
    Percentage of each
  12%
  n/a 
  11%
 
 
Geographic Markets and Distribution
 
We market and sell our products through a combination of direct sales, internal telesales, indirect sales representatives and distributors, as well as services through programming centers. We continually evaluate our sales channels against our evolving markets and customers and realign them as necessary to ensure that we reach our existing and potential customers in the most effective and efficient manner possible.
 
U.S. Sales
 
We market our products throughout the U.S. using a variety of sales channels, including our own field sales management personnel, independent sales representatives and direct telesales. Our U.S. independent sales representatives obtain orders on an agency basis, with shipments made directly to the customer by us. Net sales in the U.S. for 2020, 2019 and 2018 were (in millions) $1.5, $1.7 and $3.4, respectively. Some of our customers’ orders delivered internationally are heavily influenced by U.S. sales-based efforts.
 
International Sales
 
International sales represented approximately 93%, 92% and 88% of net sales in 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. We make foreign sales through our wholly-owned subsidiaries in Germany and China, as well as through independent distributors and sales representatives operating in 45 countries. Our independent foreign distributors purchase our products for resale and we generally recognize the sale at the time of shipment to the distributor. As with U.S. sales representatives, sales made by international sales representatives are on an agency basis, with sales made directly to the customer by us.
 
Net international sales for 2020, 2019 and 2018 were (in millions) $18.8, $19.8 and $25.8, respectively. We determine international sales by the international geographic destination into which the products are sold and delivered, and include not only sales by foreign subsidiaries but also export sales from the U.S. to our foreign distributors and to our representatives’ customers. International sales do not include transfers between Data I/O and our foreign subsidiaries. Export sales are subject to U.S. Department of Commerce regulations. We have not, however, experienced difficulties to date as a result of these requirements. Our products typically do not require export licenses. We have not made sales to Iran or any Iranian governmental entities or any other blacklisted companies or countries.
 
Fluctuating exchange rates and other factors beyond our control, such as the coronavirus, international monetary stability, tariff and trade policies and U.S. and foreign tax and economic policies, may affect the level and profitability of international sales. We cannot predict the effect of such factors on our business, but we try to consider and respond to changes in these factors, particularly as the majority of our costs are U.S. based while the vast majority of our sales are international.
 
Competition
 
The competition in the programming systems market is highly fragmented with a small number of organizations selling directly competitive solutions and a large number of smaller organizations offering less expensive solutions. In particular, low cost automated solutions have gained market share in recent years, where the competition is primarily based on price. Typically, their equipment meets a “good enough” standard, but with reduced quality, traceability, upgradability, security and other software features such as factory integration software. Many of these competitors compete on a regional basis, with local language and support. Although competition in the security deployment market is developing, we expect competition in the market to increase as security deployment becomes more important. There are alternative security deployment solutions such as software-based security, rather than the hardware-based security of our SentriX equipment.
 
In addition, we compete with multiple substitute forms of device programming including “home grown” solutions. Programming after device placement may be done with In Circuit Test (“ICT”), In System Programming (“ISP”), and End of Line Downloading (“EOL”). Some automotive products may also be programmed over the air (“OTA”). IoT devices may also be programmed with ICT, ISP, EOL or OTA. In addition, new security devices may be required to be programmed using device-specific programmers developed by the semiconductor manufacturer.
 
While we are not aware of any published industry market information covering the programming systems or security deployment market, according to our internal analysis of competitors’ revenues, we believe we continue to be the largest competitor in the programming systems equipment market and have been gaining market share in recent years, especially with our new products.
 
 
Manufacturing, Raw Materials and Backlog
 
We strive to manufacture and provide the best solutions for advanced programming. We primarily assemble and test our products at our principal facilities in Redmond, Washington and Shanghai, China. Both of these locations are ISO 9001:2015 certified. We outsource our circuit board manufacturing and fabrication. As a resilient supply chain strategy, we manufacture various products in both of our production facilities. This strategy allows opportunity to mitigate some of the risks of having only one location, as well as enabling tariff and tax optimization strategies. We use a combination of standard components and fabricated parts manufactured to our specifications. Most components used are available from a number of different suppliers and subcontractors but certain items, such as some handler and programmer and security deployment subassemblies, custom integrated circuits, hybrid circuits and connectors, are purchased from single sources. We believe that additional sources can be developed for present single-source components without significant difficulties. We cannot be sure that single-source components will always continue to be readily available. If we cannot develop alternative sources for these components, or if we experience deterioration in relationships with these suppliers, there may be price increases, minimum order quantities, end of life purchase requirements, costs associated with integrating alternatively sourced parts, and delays or reductions in product introductions or shipments, which may materially adversely affect our operating results.
 
In accordance with industry practices, generally all orders are subject to cancellation prior to shipment without penalty, except for contracts calling for custom configuration. To date, such cancellations have not had a material effect on our sales volume. To meet customers’ delivery requirements, we manufacture certain products based upon a combination of backlog and anticipated orders. Most orders are scheduled for delivery within 1 to 90 days after receipt of the order. Our backlog of pending orders was approximately (in millions) $3.9, $2.9 and $1.9 as of December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. The size of backlog at any particular date is not necessarily a meaningful indicator of the trend of our business.
 
Research and Development
 
We believe that continued investment in research and development is critical to our future success. We continue to develop new technologies and products and enhance existing products. Future growth is, to a large extent, dependent upon the timely development and introduction of new products, as well as the development of technology and algorithms to support the latest programmable devices. Where possible, we may pursue partnerships and other strategic relationships to add new products, capabilities and services, particularly in security deployment. We are currently focusing our research and development efforts on strategic growth markets, including automotive electronics, IoT and security deployment. We are continuing to develop technology for security deployment to program new categories of semiconductors, including Secure Elements, TPMs, Authentication Chips, and Secure Microcontrollers. We plan to deliver new programming technology, automated handling systems and enhancements for security deployment in the manufacturing environment. We also continue to focus on increasing our capacity and responsiveness for new device support requests from customers and programmable integrated circuit manufacturers by revising and enhancing our internal processes and tools. Our research and development efforts have resulted in the release of significant new products and product enhancements over the past several years.
 
During 2020, 2019 and 2018, we made expenditures for research and development of (in millions) $6.4, $6.5 and $7.4, respectively, representing 31%, 29.9% and 25.2% of net sales, respectively. Research and development costs are generally expensed as incurred.
 
Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks and Licenses
 
We rely on a combination of patents, copyrights, trade secrets and trademarks to protect our IP, as well as product development and marketing skill to establish and protect our market position. We continue to apply for and add new patents to our patent portfolio as we develop strategic new technologies.
 
We attempt to protect our rights in proprietary systems (architecture, implementations, software), including the SentriX Security Deployment System. We attempt to protect our software, including Lumen®X software, Flashcore software, TaskLink software, ConneX smart programming software and other software products, by retaining the title to and copyright of the software and documentation, by including appropriate contractual restrictions on use and disclosure in our licenses, and by requiring our employees to execute non-disclosure agreements. Our software products are not typically sold separately from sales of programming systems. However, when we sell software separately, we recognize revenue upon the transfer of control of the software, which is generally upon shipment, provided that only inconsequential performance obligations remain on our part and substantive acceptance conditions, if any, have been met.
 
Because of the rapidly changing technology in the semiconductor, electronic equipment and software industries, portions of our products might infringe upon existing patents or copyrights, and we may be required to obtain licenses or discontinue the use of the infringing technology. We believe that any exposure we may have regarding possible infringement claims is a reasonable business risk similar to that assumed by other companies in the electronic equipment and software industries. However, any claim of infringement, with or without merit, could be costly and a diversion of management’s attention, and an adverse determination could adversely affect our reputation, preclude us from offering certain products, and subject us to substantial liability. As of December 31, 2020, there were no pending actions regarding infringement claims.
 
 
Employees
 
As of December 31, 2020, we had a total of 96 employees, of which 46 were located outside the U.S. and 8 of which were part time. We also utilize independent contractors for specialty work, primarily in research and development, and utilize temporary workers to adjust capacity to fluctuating demand and for special projects. Many of our employees are highly skilled, trained and experienced in specialized areas and our continued success will depend in part upon our ability to attract and retain employees who can be in great demand within the industry. None of our employees are represented by a collective bargaining unit and we believe relations with our employees are favorable. In foreign countries we have employment agreements or, in China, the Shanghai Foreign Services Co., Ltd. (“FSCO”) labor agreement.
 
When hiring and retaining talent, we create specialized knowledge that is difficult to replace short term. During COVID-19, we specifically avoided layoffs and other short-term measures to retain specialized skills and advance our research and development efforts while some other competitors were forced to reduce their research and development efforts.
 
Environmental Compliance
 
Data I/O is a leader in ESG in the programming industry. We are the only supplier with a published conflict mineral policy, and public company governance. To our knowledge, we are the only programming industry supplier with a diverse Board of Directors. Our facilities are subject to numerous laws and regulations concerning the discharge of materials or otherwise relating to the environment.
Data I/O is committed to all of the responsibilities associated with modern age ESG. The Company’s key pillars for ESG support a framework for sustainable growth and include Leadership & Governance, Environment, Innovation, Human Capital, Social Capital, and Financial Excellence. Initiatives within these areas apply to the company’s daily global operations as well as within its supply chains.
In addition to this commitment, the company has a track record of meeting its regulatory obligations, being a solid corporate citizen, delivering superior value to its customers and partners, and demonstrating enduring corporate stewardship while consistently returning capital to shareholders.
As the largest and only publicly traded company in its sector, Data I/O has led its industry in disclosing significant operational and financial information. The Company's Board currently includes Data I/O's CEO and four Independent Directors.  It is diverse in gender, education, professional experience and differences in viewpoints and skills. Data I/O believes it was the first [and remains the only] in its industry to adopt a conflict minerals policy. Through its continuous improvement practices and our operations focus on assembly and test with no fabrication, the company consumes relatively little energy, has minimal or no emissions or pollutants to air and wastewater, and complies with workplace labor, safety and business practices on 3 continents.
Data I/O is also committed to giving back to our local communities through volunteer and internship programs. The Company provides employees time-off to volunteer and also coordinates group projects. In addition, the Company provides internships to local high school and college students through STEM and technical colleges.
 
Compliance with environmental laws has not had, nor is it expected to have, a material effect on our capital expenditures, financial position, results of operations or competitive position.
 
Executive Officers of the Registrant
 
Set forth below is certain information concerning the executive officers of Data I/O as of March 22, 2021:
 
Name
 
Age
 
Position
 
 
 
 
 
Anthony Ambrose
 
59
 
President and Chief Executive Officer
 
 
 
 
 
Joel S. Hatlen
 
62
 
Vice President, Chief Operating and Financial Officer,
Secretary and Treasurer
Rajeev Gulati
 
57
 
Chief Technology Officer, Vice President of Engineering
 
Michael Tidwell
 
52
 
Vice President Marketing and Business Development
 
 
Anthony Ambrose, age 59, joined Data I/O October 25, 2012 and is our President and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”), and a member of the Board of Directors.  Prior to Data I/O, Mr. Ambrose was Owner and Principal of Cedar Mill Partners, LLC, a strategy consulting firm since 2011.  From 2007 to 2011, he was Vice President and General Manager at RadiSys Corporation, a leading provider of embedded wireless infrastructure solutions, where he led all product divisions and worldwide engineering.  Until 2007, he was general manager and held several other progressively responsible positions at Intel Corporation, where he led development and marketing of standards-based telecommunications platforms, and grew the industry standard server business to over $1B in revenues.  He is Chair of the EvergreenHealth Foundation Board of Trustees.  In 2019 he also became a board member of CipherLoc Corporation (OTCQB: CLOK). Mr. Ambrose has a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering from Princeton University, and completed the Stanford Graduate School of Business Director Symposium.
 
Joel S. Hatlen joined Data I/O in September 1991 and in July 2017 became our Chief Operating Officer in addition to serving as our Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer since January 1998. He was Chief Accounting Officer since February 1997 and served as Corporate Controller from December 1993 to December 1997. Previously, he was Tax Manager and Senior Tax Accountant. From September 1981 until joining Data I/O, Joel was employed by Ernst & Young LLP as a Certified Public Accountant, where his most recent position was Senior Manager. Joel is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Masters in Taxation from Golden Gate University and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Accounting from Pacific Lutheran University.
 
Rajeev Gulati joined Data I/O in July 2013 and is our Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Engineering. Prior to Data I/O, Rajeev served as Director of Software Engineering for AMD responsible for tools, compiler strategy and execution from 2006 to 2013.  He has an extensive background in software, systems and applying technology to develop new markets.  Previously, he served as Director of Strategy and Planning at Freescale from 2004 to 2006; as Director of Embedded Products at Metrowerks (acquired by Motorola) from 2000 to 2004 and Director of Compilers, Libraries & Performance Tools from 1997 to 2000; and engineering and programmer positions at Apple Computer, IBM and Pacific-Sierra Research.  Rajeev holds a Master of Science in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the University of Texas, Austin and a BE in Electrical Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering, New Delhi.
 
Michael Tidwell joined Data I/O in May 2019 and is our Vice President of Marketing and Business Development. Prior to Data I/O, he was Vice President of Marketing & Business Development at Tignis, an AI and machine learning startup. From 2012 to 2018 Michael was head of Marketing and Business Development at Sansa Security, a leading software security IP provider that was sold to ARM Holdings. Prior to Sansa, Michael was Vice President of Business and Market Development at BSQUARE Corporation. Michael has a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (Summa Cum Laude) from Georgia Institute of Technology.
 
Item 1A. Risk Factors
 
Cautionary Factors That May Affect Future Results
 
Our disclosure and analysis in this Annual Report contains some forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include our current expectations or forecasts of future events. The reader can identify these statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. In particular, these include statements relating to future action, the impact of the coronavirus, prospective products, expected market growth, new technologies and trends, industry partnerships, foreign operations, economic expectations, future performance or results of current and anticipated products, sales efforts, expenses, outcome of contingencies, impact of regulatory requirements, tariffs and financial results.
 
Any or all of the forward-looking statements in this Annual Report or in any other public statement made may turn out to be wrong. They can be affected by inaccurate assumptions we might make, or known or unknown risks and uncertainties can affect these forward-looking statements. Many factors -- for example, product competition and product development -- will be important in determining future results. Moreover, neither Data I/O nor anyone else assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of these forward-looking statements. Actual future results may materially vary.
 
We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements after the date of this Annual Report, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The reader should not unduly rely on our forward-looking statements. The reader is advised, however, to consult any future disclosures we make on related subjects in our 10-Q, 8-K and 10-K reports to the SEC and press releases. Also, note that we provide the following cautionary discussion of risks, uncertainties and possible inaccurate assumptions relevant to our business. These are factors that we think could cause our actual results to differ materially from expected and historical results. Other factors besides those listed here could also adversely affect us. This discussion is permitted by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
 
 
RISK FACTORS:
 
CORONAVIRUS
 
The coronavirus that causes the serious disease COVID-19 (“coronavirus”), has and may continue to adversely affect our business, including revenues, suppliers, employees and facilities.
 
As a global company with 93% of its 2020 sales in international markets, we have been and may continue to be, significantly impacted by the word wide coronavirus outbreak, which has affected all markets we serve. Thirty of our employees are based in Shanghai, China and we have a manufacturing facility there which manufactures some of our equipment and develops most of the adapters and algorithms for our equipment. Although our facilities in Shanghai, Redmond and Germany are currently operating, they could be closed for an extended period of time if the coronavirus spreads significantly. Additionally, we source other components from China and other countries that are used to manufacture our equipment in China and in our Redmond, Washington facility and these components may not be readily available. Many of our Redmond based employees and executives are working from home and we are limiting visitors to our Redmond facility. All of our facilities are subject to restrictions and closure by governmental entities. Travel restrictions have in some cases prevented and may continue to impact equipment installations, repairs and selling at customer sites. As the coronavirus continues as a pandemic, it has and may continue to impact our revenues, our ability to obtain key components and to manufacture our products, as well as sell, install and support our products around the world.
 
The coronavirus has and continues to impact key tradeshows and travel plans for our employees. Because of the coronavirus we are not able to visit many of our customers and prospects. Many tradeshows, marketing activities and conferences have been canceled, postponed or made virtual.
 
TARIFFS AND TRADE ISSUES
 
Changes in tariffs and trade issues may adversely affect our business, including revenues and/or gross margins.
 
We produce products in the United States and China. Currently, certain of our products are subject to tariffs imposed by one country on goods manufactured in the other country. This has materially impacted our gross margins negatively. There is uncertainty regarding the tariffs expected to be imposed, and any increase in tariff rates and subjecting additional items to tariffs, could impact our costs, revenues and the competitiveness of our products due to our manufacturing locations. Trade and tariff issues are creating business uncertainty and may spread to and impact other jurisdictions.
 
Additionally, trade tensions between the United States and China are impacting our ability to seamlessly design, build, market and sell our products. Some customers have moved production away from China, further from our facilities and engineers. We endeavor to have multi-sourced manufacturing, but this is not currently practical for all products in all locations.
 
Brexit has not had any significant impact on our business, however as further effects become apparent its impact on us could change.
 
NEW PRODUCTS OR SERVICES
 
We are pursuing new product or service initiatives, and business models that may develop more slowly and/or to a lesser extent than expected
 
In order to lead in new and potentially lucrative market opportunities, for example in security deployment of programmable devices, circuit boards and electronic systems, we are making significant investments in people, technology and business development while the market is developing and uncertain. Due to the length of time to market from design to production in security provisioning, if these markets develop more slowly than planned, or if our security deployment solutions are not widely accepted, then we may not achieve our expected return on investment in new technologies and this may significantly affect the results of our existing business.
 
In the security deployment area, we have introduced a new pay per use business model and service fees that may not be accepted by our customers who are accustomed to paying for capital equipment upfront, rather than paying per use charges.
 
 
Failure to adapt to technology trends in our industry may impact our competitiveness and financial results.
 
Product and service technology in our industry evolves rapidly, making timely product innovation essential to success in the marketplace. Introducing products and services with improved technologies or features may render our existing products obsolete and unmarketable. Technological advances and trends that may negatively impact our business include:
 
new device package types, densities, chip interfaces and technologies requiring hardware and software changes in order to be programmed by our products, particularly certain segments of the high-density flash memory markets where after placement programming is recommended by certain semiconductor manufacturers
 
reduction in semiconductor process geometries for certain 3 Dimensional (3D), Multi Level Cell (MLC) and Triple Level Cell (TLC) NAND and eMMC FLASH memories impact the product data retention through Surface Mount Technology (SMT) reflow or X-ray inspection. Improper SMT process control can negatively impact the end customer’s ability to successfully program devices.  This can cause them to change their programing methods away from pre-programming to post placement programming techniques, including ISP, ICT. Data I/O is working with several semiconductor manufacturers to develop best practices to minimize the impact of reflow and potential concerns about X-ray induced data loss.
 
changes in Flash technology speeds will eventually require us to change the architecture of our programming engines
 
electronics equipment manufacturing practices, such as widespread use of in-circuit programming or downloading
 
adoption of proprietary security and programming protocols and additional security capabilities and requirements
 
customer software platform preferences different from those on which our products operate
 
customer adoption of newer unsupported semiconductor device technologies such as UFS memory or device interface methods, particularly if these technologies are adopted by automotive electronics, IoT or wireless customers
 
more rigid industry standards, which would decrease the value-added element of our products and support services
 
If we cannot develop products or services in a timely manner in response to industry changes, or if our products or services do not perform well, our business and financial condition may be adversely affected. Also, our new products or services may contain defects or errors that give rise to product liability claims against us or cause our products to fail to gain market acceptance. Our future success depends on our ability to successfully compete with other technology firms in attracting and retaining key technical personnel.
 
Failure to adapt to increasing automotive electronics customer requirements may impact our competitiveness and result in a decline in sales or increased costs.
 
Concentration in Automotive Electronics and our orders related to automotive electronics customers has been dominant in recent years at 53% in 2020, 60% in 2019 and 60% in 2018. As we have been concentrated on automotive electronics customers, any decrease in demand from these customers (for example, many had plant shut downs during the second quarter of 2020) may materially impact our results, as it will take some time to transition our product line to other markets. Quality standards and business requirements by our automotive electronics customers, driven in turn by their automotive manufacturer customers, may demand processes, and certifications at a higher level than we currently are structured to provide. For example, although we currently meet the ISO 9001:2015 standard, new quality standards may be demanded by our customers with even more rigorous requirements. In addition, contractual provisions may expose us to greater potential liability and costs and we may be required to provide higher service levels than we currently provide. If we cannot adapt to these industry requirements or manage these contractual provisions, our business may be adversely affected.
 
 
Delays in development, introduction and shipment of new products or services may result in a decline in sales or increased costs.
 
We develop new engineering and automated programming systems and services. Significant technological, supplier, manufacturing or other problems may delay the development, introduction or production of these products or services.
 
For example, we may encounter these problems:
 
technical problems in the development of a new programming and/or security deployment systems or the robotics for new automated handing systems
 
inability to hire qualified personnel or turnover in existing personnel or inability to engage or retain key technology partners
 
delays or failures to perform by us or third parties, including some smaller early stage or recently acquired companies, involved in our development projects
 
dependence on large semiconductor companies for cooperation and support to securely provision their devices. These companies must enable us with specific technical information, and support Data I/O as a qualified solution to their customers and channel partners.
 
development of new products or services that are not accepted by the market
 
These problems may result in a delay or decline in sales or increased costs.
 
We may pursue business acquisitions that could impair our financial position and profitability.
 
We may pursue acquisitions of complementary technologies, product lines or businesses. Future acquisitions may include risks, such as:
 
burdening management and our operating teams during the integration of the acquisition
 
diverting management’s attention from other business concerns
 
failing to successfully integrate or monetize the acquired products or technologies
 
lack of acceptance of the acquired products by our sales channels or customers
 
entering markets where we have no or limited prior experience
 
potential loss of key employees of the acquired company
 
additional burden of support for an acquired programmer architecture
 
 
Future acquisitions may also impact our financial position. For example, we may use significant cash or incur debt, which would weaken our balance sheet, or issue additional shares, potentially diluting existing shareholders. We may also capitalize goodwill and intangible assets acquired, the amortization or impairment of which would reduce our profitability. We cannot guarantee that future acquisitions will improve our business or operating results.
 
If we are unable to protect our IP, we may not be able to compete effectively or operate profitably.
 
We rely on patents, copyrights, trade secrets and trademarks to protect our IP, as well as product development and marketing skill to establish and protect our market position. In particular, patents are a key part of our security deployment strategy, and if we are not able to successfully enforce these patents, we might lose our competitive advantage in the security deployment market. We attempt to protect our rights in proprietary software products, including our user interface, product firmware, software module options and other software products by retaining the title to and copyright of the software and documentation, by including appropriate contractual restrictions on use and disclosure in our licenses, and by requiring our employees to execute non-disclosure agreements.
 
Because of the rapidly changing technology in the semiconductor, electronic equipment and software industries, portions of our products might possibly infringe upon existing patents or copyrights, and we might be required to obtain licenses or discontinue the use of the infringing technology. We believe that any exposure we may have regarding possible infringement claims is a reasonable business risk similar to that assumed by other companies in the electronic equipment and software industries. However, any claim of infringement, with or without merit, could be costly and a diversion of management’s attention, and an adverse determination could adversely affect our reputation, preclude us from offering certain products, and subject us to substantial liability.
 
We might face increased competition and might not be able to compete successfully with current and future competitors.
 
Technological advances have reduced the barriers of entry into the programming systems market. We expect competition to increase from both established and emerging companies. If we fail to compete successfully against current and future sources of competition, our profitability and financial performance will be adversely impacted.
 
 
THIRD PARTY RELATIONSHIPS
 
If we do not develop, enhance and retain our relationships with security partners, our business may be adversely affected and we may not be able to timely develop new and cost effective managed and secure programming solutions.
 
We may be required to complement our skills and expertise with partners’ expertise. Some of these partners are operating with more limited capital and/or management expertise than established firms or recently acquired firms that may have different priorities. Other partners are very large companies where prioritizing work with us may be difficult in light of competing priorities. For some of our then earlier stage partners, we have obtained unique product features and capabilities in exchange for NRE payments, pre-paid royalties, marketing incentives and sales cooperation. As these unique features and capabilities are no longer available, we face more competition. If our partners are unable to develop and deliver solutions that we need to integrate into our solutions, our products might be delayed, we might have to locate alternate partners and suppliers or develop the technology ourselves, and we have been, and could be, in future arrangements still responsible for paying the costs of any related pre-paid royalties or NRE payments, and have, and might result in, write-offs of any excess equipment or inventory. In 2020, we significantly reduced our dependence on third parties for our SentriX platform.
 
If we do not develop and enhance our relationships with semiconductor manufacturers, our business may be adversely affected.
 
We work closely with most semiconductor manufacturers to ensure that our data programming and security deployment systems comply with their requirements. In addition, many semiconductor manufacturers recommend our managed and secure programming systems for use by users of their programmable devices. These working relationships enable us to keep our programming systems product lines up to date and provide end-users with broad and current programmable device support. As technology changes occur that could limit the effectiveness of pre-placement programming, particularly for very small high-density NAND, e-MMC and UFS devices, certain semiconductor manufacturers may not recommend or may not continue recommending our programming systems for these devices. Our business may be adversely affected if our relationships with semiconductor manufacturers deteriorate or if semiconductor manufacturers are not willing to closely work with us on security deployment. Consolidation within the semiconductor industry may also impact us. As we develop more security deployment solutions, we will need to partner more closely with semiconductor manufacturers.
 
Our reliance on a small number of suppliers may result in a shortage of key components, which may adversely affect our business, and our suppliers may experience financial difficulties which could impact their ability to service our needs.
 
Certain parts or software used in our products are currently available from either a single supplier or from a limited number of suppliers. Our small relative level of business means we frequently lack influence and significant purchasing power. If we cannot develop alternative sources of these components, if sales of parts or software are discontinued by the supplier, if we experience deterioration in our relationship with these suppliers, or if these suppliers require financing which is not available, there may be delays or reductions in product introductions or shipments, which may materially adversely affect our operating results.
 
Because we rely on a small number of suppliers for certain parts, we are subject to possible price increases by these suppliers. Also, we may be unable to accurately forecast our production schedule. If we underestimate our production schedule, suppliers may be unable to meet our demand for components. This delay in the supply of key components may have a materially adverse effect on our business. For suppliers who discontinue parts, we may be required to make lifetime purchases covering future requirements. Over estimation of demand or excessive minimum order quantities will lead to excess inventories that may become obsolete.
 
Some of our sockets, parts, subassemblies and boards are currently manufactured to our specifications by third-party foreign contract manufacturers and we are sourcing certain parts or options from foreign manufacturers, particularly in China. For example, due to the coronavirus or other viruses impacting workers, suppliers or travel, we may not be able to obtain a sufficient quantity of these products if and when needed or the quality of these parts or options may not meet our standards, which may result in lost sales.
 
If we are unable to attract and retain qualified third-party distributors and representatives, our business may be adversely affected.
 
We have an internal sales force and also utilize third-party distributors and representatives. Therefore, the financial stability of these distributors and representatives is important. Their ability to operate, timely pay us, and to acquire any necessary financing may be affected by the current economic climate. Highly skilled professional engineers use most of our products. To be effective, third-party distributors and representatives must possess significant technical, marketing, customer relationships and sales resources and must devote their resources to sales efforts, customer education, training and support. These required qualities limit the number of potential third-party distributors and representatives. Our business will suffer if we cannot attract and retain a sufficient number of qualified third-party distributors and representatives to market our products.
 
 
MARKET CONDITIONS
 
A decline in economic and market conditions may result in delayed or decreased capital spending and delayed or defaulted payments from our customers.
 
The coronavirus appears likely to affect economic and market conditions as it continues to spread. Our business is highly impacted by capital spending plans and other economic cycles that affect the users and manufacturers of integrated circuits. The industries are highly cyclical and are characterized by rapid technological change, short product life cycles and fluctuations in manufacturing capacity and pricing and gross margin pressures. As we experienced in this and recent prior years, our operations may in the future reflect substantial fluctuations from period-to-period as a consequence of these industry patterns, general economic conditions affecting the timing of orders from major customers, and other factors affecting capital spending. In a difficult economic climate, it may take us longer to receive payments from our customers and some of our customers’ business may fail, resulting in non-payment. Our market growth forecasts and related business decisions may be wrong. These factors could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.
 
Our international operations may expose us to additional risks that may adversely affect our business.
 
International sales represented approximately 93%, 92% and 88% of net sales in 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. We expect that international sales will continue to be a significant portion of our net revenue. International sales may fluctuate due to various factors, including:
 
the impact of the coronavirus or other viruses
 
fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates because 93% of our sales are to international markets, volatile exchange rates may also impact our competitiveness and margins
 
economic uncertainty related to the European sovereign debt situation
 
migration of manufacturing to low cost geographies
 
unexpected changes in regulatory requirements, including Brexit
 
tariffs and taxes
 
Bi-lateral and Multi-lateral trade agreements
 
difficulties in staffing and managing foreign operations
 
longer average payment cycles and difficulty in collecting accounts receivable
 
compliance with applicable export licensing requirements and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
 
product safety and other certification requirements
 
difficulties in integrating foreign and outsourced operations
 
civil unrest, political and economic instability
 
 
Because we have customers located throughout the world, we have significant foreign receivables. We may experience difficulties in collecting these amounts as a result of payment practices of certain foreign customers, economic uncertainty and regulations in foreign countries, the availability and reliability of foreign credit information, and potential difficulties in enforcing collection terms.
 
The European Union and European Free Trade Association (“EU”) has established certain electronic emission and product safety requirements (“CE”). As applicable, our products currently meet these requirements; however, failure to obtain either a CE certification or a waiver for any product may prevent us from marketing that product in Europe. The EU also has directives concerning the Reduction of Hazardous Substances (“RoHS”) and we believe we are classified within the EU RoHS Directive category list as Industrial Monitoring and Control Equipment (category 9). We believe all current products meet the RoHS directives. Failure to meet applicable directives or qualifying exemptions may prevent us from marketing certain products in Europe or other territories with similar requirements.
 
We have subsidiaries in Germany and China and large balances of cash are in our foreign subsidiaries. Our business and financial condition is sensitive to currency exchange rates and any restrictions imposed on their currencies including restrictions on repatriations of cash. A repatriation of cash has, and could in the future, result in tax costs and corresponding deferred tax assets with related tax valuation allowances. Currency exchange fluctuations in these countries may adversely affect our investment in our subsidiaries.
 
OPERATIONS
 
Quarterly fluctuations in our operating results may adversely affect our stock price.
 
Our operating results tend to vary from quarter to quarter. Our revenue in each quarter substantially depends upon orders received within that quarter. Conversely, our expenditures are based on investment plans and estimates of future revenues. We may, therefore, be unable to quickly reduce our spending if our revenues decline in a given quarter. As a result, operating results for that quarter will suffer. Our results of operations for any one quarter are not necessarily indicative of results for any future periods.
 
Other factors, which may cause our quarterly operating results to fluctuate, include:
 
increased competition
 
timing of new product announcements and timing of development expenditures
 
product or service releases and pricing changes by us or our competitors
 
market acceptance or delays in the introduction of new products or services
 
production constraints
 
quality issues
 
labor or material constraints
 
timing of significant orders
 
timing of installation or customer acceptance requirements
 
sales channel mix of direct vs. indirect distribution
 
 
civil unrest, war or terrorism
 
health issues such as the outbreak of the coronavirus or other viruses impacting workers, suppliers, customers, travel, or our facilities
 
customers’ budgets
 
changes in accounting rules, tax or other legislation
 
adverse movements in exchange rates, interest rates or tax rates
 
cyclical and seasonal nature of demand for our customers’ products
 
general economic conditions in the countries where we sell products
 
expenses and delays obtaining authorizations in setting up new operations or locations
 
facilities relocations
 
Due to any of the foregoing factors, it is possible that in some future quarters, our operating results will be below expectations of analysts and investors.
 
We have a history of operating losses and may be unable to generate enough revenue to achieve and maintain profitability.
 
We have incurred operating losses in four of the last ten years. We operate in a cyclical industry. We will continue to examine our level of operating expense based upon our projected revenues. Any planned increases in operating expenses may result in losses in future periods if projected revenues are not achieved or the investment level required is too large. As a result, we may need to generate greater revenues than we have recently in order to maintain profitability. However, we cannot provide assurance that our revenues will continue to increase and our business strategies may not be successful, resulting in future losses.
 
The loss of key employees may adversely affect our operations.
 
We have employees located in the U.S., Germany and China. We also utilize independent contractors for specialty work, primarily in research and development, and utilize temporary workers to adjust capacity to fluctuating demand. Many of our employees are highly skilled and our continued success will depend in part upon our ability to attract and retain employees who can be in great demand within the industry. None of our employees are represented by a collective bargaining unit and we believe relations with our employees are favorable, though no assurance can be made that this will be the case in the future. In China, our workers have benefits and similar arrangements provided under a “FSCO” labor agreement and we could be adversely affected if we were unable to continue that arrangement.
 
We may need to raise additional capital and our future access to capital is uncertain.
 
Our past revenues have sometimes been, and our future revenues may again be, insufficient to support the expense of our operations and any expansion of our business. We may therefore need additional equity or debt capital to finance our operations. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flows from operations or to obtain funds through additional debt, lease or equity financing, we may have to reduce some or all of our development and sales and marketing efforts and limit the expansion of our business.
 
 
We believe that we have sufficient cash or working capital available under our operating plan to fund our operations and capital requirements through at least the next one-year period. In the event we require additional cash for U.S. operations or other needs, we may choose to repatriate some, or all, of the $6.8 million held in our foreign subsidiaries. Although we have no current repatriation plans, there may be tax, legal and other impediments to any repatriation actions. Our working capital may be used to fund possible losses, business growth, project initiatives, share repurchases and business development initiatives including acquisitions, which could reduce our liquidity and result in a requirement for additional cash before that time. Any substantial inability to achieve our current business plan could have a material adverse impact on our financial position, liquidity, or results of operations and may require us to reduce expenditures and/or seek additional financing.
 
Therefore, we may seek additional funding through public or private debt or equity financing or from other sources. We have no commitments for additional financing, and given a potential future unfavorable economic climate and our financial results, we may experience difficulty in obtaining funding on favorable terms, if at all. Any financing we obtain may contain covenants that restrict our freedom to operate our business or may require us to issue securities that have rights, preferences or privileges senior to our Common Stock and may dilute your ownership interest.
 
Cyber security breaches or terrorism could result in liabilities or costs as well as damage to or loss of our data or customer access to our website and information systems. The collection, storage, transmission, use and disclosure of user data and personal information, if accessed improperly, could give rise to liabilities or additional costs as a result of laws, governmental regulations and evolving views of personal privacy rights.
 
Cyber security breaches or terrorism could result in the exposure or theft of private or confidential information as well as interrupt our business, including denying customer access to our website and information systems. We transmit, and in some cases store, end-user data, including personal information. In jurisdictions around the world, personal information is becoming increasingly subject to legislation and regulations intended to protect consumers’ privacy and security. The interpretation of privacy and data protection laws and regulations regarding the collection, storage, transmission, use and disclosure of such information in some jurisdictions is unclear and evolving. These laws may be interpreted and applied in conflicting ways from country to country and in a manner that is not consistent with our current data protection practices. Complying with these varying international requirements could cause us to incur additional costs and change our business practices. Because our services are accessible in many foreign jurisdictions, some of these jurisdictions may claim that we are required to comply with their laws, even where we have no local entity, employees or infrastructure. We could be forced to incur significant expenses if we were required to modify our products, our services or our existing security and privacy procedures in order to comply with new or expanded regulations.
 
Our stock price may be volatile and, as a result, our shareholders may lose some or all of their investment.
 
The stock prices of technology companies tend to fluctuate significantly. We believe factors such as announcements of new products or services by us or our competitors and quarterly variations in financial results and outlook may cause the market price of our Common Stock to fluctuate substantially. In addition, overall volatility in the stock market, particularly in the technology company sector, is often unrelated to the operating performance of companies. If these market fluctuations continue in the future, they may adversely affect the price of our Common Stock. Additionally, securities of certain companies have recently experienced significant and extreme volatility in stock price due short sellers of shares of common stock, known as a “short squeeze.” These short squeezes have caused extreme volatility in both the stock prices of those companies and in the market, and have led to the price per share of those companies to trade at a significantly inflated rate that is disconnected from the underlying value of the company. Many investors who have purchased shares in those companies at an inflated rate face the risk of losing a significant portion of their original investment, as in many cases the price per share has declined steadily as interest in those stocks have abated. While we have no reason to believe our shares would be the target of a short squeeze, there can be no assurance that we won’t be in the future, and you may lose a significant portion or all of your investment if you purchase our shares at a rate that is significantly disconnected from our underlying value.
 
REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS
 
Failure to comply with increasing regulatory requirements may adversely affect our stock price and business.
 
As a public company, we are subject to numerous governmental and stock exchange requirements, with which we believe we are in compliance. Our failure to meet regulatory requirements and exchange listing standards may result in actions such as: the delisting of our stock, impacting our stock’s liquidity; SEC enforcement actions; and securities claims and litigation.
 
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have requirements that we may fail to meet or we may fall out of compliance with, such as the internal controls auditor attestation required under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, with which we are not currently required to comply as we are a smaller reporting company. We assume that we will continue to have the status of a smaller reporting company based on the aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting shares held as of June 30, 2020. If we fail to achieve and maintain the adequacy of our internal controls, as such standards are modified, supplemented or amended from time to time, we may not be able to ensure that we can conclude on an ongoing basis that we have effective internal controls over financial reporting in accordance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Moreover, effective internal controls, particularly those related to revenue recognition, are necessary for us to produce reliable financial reports and are important to help prevent financial fraud. If we cannot provide reliable financial reports or prevent fraud, our business and operating results could be harmed, investors could lose confidence in our reported financial information, and the trading price of our stock could drop significantly.
 
 
While we have policies and procedures in place designed to prevent corruption and bribery, because our business is significantly international, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) could have a significant adverse effect on our business due to the disruption and distraction of an investigation, financial penalties and criminal penalties.
 
Government regulations regarding the use of "conflict" minerals could adversely affect our prospects and results of operations.
 
Regulatory requirements regarding disclosure of our use of “conflict” minerals mined from the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries could affect the sourcing and availability of minerals used in the manufacture of certain products. Although we do not buy raw materials, manufacture, or produce any electronic equipment using conflict minerals directly, some components provided by our suppliers and contained in our products contain conflict minerals. Our goal is for our products to be conflict free. As a result, there may only be a limited pool of suppliers who provide conflict free metals, and we cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain products in sufficient quantities or at competitive prices. Single source suppliers may not respond or respond negatively regarding conflict mineral sourcing and we may be unable to find alternative sources to replace them. Also, because our supply chain is complex, we may face reputational challenges with our customers and other stakeholders if we are unable to sufficiently verify the origins for all metals used in the products that we sell. Further, if we are unable to comply with the new laws or regulations or if our efforts to comply with new laws, regulations and standards differ from the activities intended by regulatory or governing bodies due to ambiguities related to practice, regulatory authorities may initiate legal proceedings against us. We may need to incur additional costs and invest additional resources, including management’s time, in order to comply with the new regulations and anticipated additional reporting and disclosure obligations.
 
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
 
None.
 
Item 2. Properties
 
During the third quarter of 2017, we amended our lease agreement for the Redmond, Washington headquarters facility, extending the lease to July 31, 2022. Previously on June 8, 2015 the lease had been amended to relocate our headquarters to a nearby building and lower the square footage to approximately 20,460. The lease base annual rental payments during 2020 and 2019 were approximately $361,000 and $351,000, respectively.
 
In addition to the Redmond facility, approximately 24,000 square feet is leased at two foreign locations, including our sales, service, operations and engineering office located in Shanghai, China, and our German sales, service and engineering office located near Munich, Germany.
 
We signed a lease agreement effective November 1, 2015 that extends through October 31, 2021 for a facility located in Shanghai, China. This lease is for approximately 19,400 square feet. The lease base annual rental payments during 2020 and 2019 were approximately $301,000 and $305,000, respectively.
 
During the fourth quarter of 2016, we signed a lease agreement for a new facility located near Munich, Germany which was effective March 1, 2017 and extends through February 28, 2022 with a five year further extension to 2027. This lease is for approximately 4,895 square feet. The lease base annual rental payments during 2020 and 2019 were approximately $62,000 and $57,000, respectively.
 
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
 
From time to time, we may be involved in litigation relating to claims arising out of our operations in the normal course of business. As of December 31, 2020, we were not a party to any legal proceedings or aware of any indemnification agreement claims, the adverse outcome of which in management’s opinion, individually or in the aggregate, would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial position.
 
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
 
Not Applicable.
 
 
PART II
 
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
 
Our Common Stock is listed on the NASDAQ Capital Market (NASDAQ symbol is DAIO). The closing price was $4.12 on December 31, 2020.
 
The approximate number of shareholders of record as of March 22, 2021 was 431.
 
Except for special cash dividend of $4.15 per share paid on March 8, 1989, we have not paid cash dividends on our Common Stock and do not anticipate paying regular cash dividends in the foreseeable future.
 
No sales of unregistered securities were made by us during the periods ended December 31, 2020, 2019 or 2018.
 
See Item 12 for the Equity Compensation Plan Information.
 
Item 6. Selected Financial Data
 
Not applicable.
 
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
 
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
 
This Annual Report on Form 10-K includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  This Act provides a “safe harbor” for forward-looking statements to encourage companies to provide prospective information about themselves as long as they identify these statements as forward-looking and provide meaningful cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ from the projected results.  All statements other than statements of historical fact made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are forward-looking.  In particular, statements herein regarding economic outlook, impact of novel coronavirus or COVID-19; industry prospects and trends; expected business recovery; industry partnerships; future results of operations or financial position; future spending; breakeven revenue point; expected market decline bottom or growth; market acceptance of our newly introduced or upgraded products or services; the sufficiency of our cash to fund future operations and capital requirements; development, introduction and shipment of new products or services; changing foreign operations; trade issues and tariffs; expected inventory levels; expectations for unsupported platform or product versions and related inventory and other charges; and any other guidance on future periods are forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements reflect management’s current expectations and are inherently uncertain.  Although we believe that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance, achievements, or other future events.  Moreover, neither Data I/O nor anyone else assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of these forward-looking statements.  We are under no duty to update any of these forward-looking statements after the date of this Annual Report.  The Reader should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.  The following discussions and the section entitled “Risk Factors – Cautionary Factors That May Affect Future Results” describes some, but not all, of the factors that could cause these differences.
 
OVERVIEW
 
We sustained our second loss in 6 years due to a pandemic related downturn in orders, combined with continued significant investments in our security deployment business. Our strong cash position and balance sheet combined with our long-term view of the market gives us the financial flexibility to make these security business decisions. At Data I/O, we are investing for the long term to retain and extend our leadership position. On the product side, we continue to invest with a long-term focus towards expanding our markets and creating unique value for our customers. This is true for both our traditional core business as well as the emerging security deployment business.
 
 
The automotive electronics market is cyclical and has been impacted by the pandemic, and, we experienced the downturn in capital and consumable spending related to it and the electronics industry. We continued our focus on automotive electronics and managing the core programming business to conserve cash and working capital during 2020 while positioning us for growth and profitability. Customer and industry sources have communicated expectations for automotive electronics to have a decade of growth at a 10 to 15% compound annual growth rate, confirming our focus on this market. In addition, the IoT market expected growth is the driver of future revenue and earnings growth as we invest resources in the security deployment market. During 2020, we launched a new generation of SentriX tools and capability. We made the strategic decision to control key pieces of the technology and enhance the ability to both simplify the security deployment process, own the end-to-end intellectual property and scale our business. As a result of this decision, we impaired the earlier generation of security deployment tools, inventory, and assets. This enables us to move forward and support customers with enhanced new technology unburdened by the restrictions, costs, and complexity of the previous tools. Our challenge continues to be operating in a cyclical and rapidly evolving industry environment. Our efforts are to balance industry changes, industry partnerships, new technologies, business geography shifts, exchange rate volatility, trade issues and tariffs, coronavirus impacts, increasing costs and strategic investments in our business with the level of demand and mix of business we expect. We continue to manage our costs carefully and execute strategies for cost reduction.
 
We are focusing our research and development efforts in our strategic growth markets, namely automotive electronics and IoT new programming technologies, secure supply chain solutions, automated programming systems and their enhancements for the manufacturing environment and software. We are developing technology and products to securely provision new categories of semiconductors, including Secure Elements, Authentication Chips, and Secure Microcontrollers. We plan to deliver new programming technology and automated handling systems for managed and secure programming in the manufacturing environment. We continue to focus on extending the capabilities and support for our product lines and supporting the latest semiconductor devices, including various configurations of NAND Flash, e-MMC, UFS, TPM and microcontrollers on our newer products.
 
Our customer focus has been on global and strategic high-volume manufacturers in key market segments like automotive electronics, IoT, industrial controls and consumer electronics as well as programming centers.
 
Although the long-term prospects for our strategic growth markets should be good, these markets and our business have been, and are likely to continue to be, adversely impacted, at least temporarily, by the global pandemic of coronavirus. See also the detailed discussion of the impacts of the coronavirus on our business and markets in Item 1A, Risk Factors. Annual and quarterly projections on spending, growth, mix, and profitability are likely to be revised substantially with changing pandemic impacts and as new information is obtained.
 
CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICY JUDGMENTS AND ESTIMATES
 
The preparation of financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires that we make estimates and judgments, which affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses, and related disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities. On an on-going basis, we evaluate our estimates, including those related to revenue recognition, sales returns, bad debts, inventories, intangible assets, income taxes, warranty obligations, restructuring charges, contingencies such as litigation and contract terms that have multiple elements and other complexities typical in the capital equipment industry. We base our estimates on historical experience and other assumptions that we believe are reasonable under the circumstances. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.
 
We believe the following critical accounting policies affect the more significant judgments and estimates used in the preparation of our financial statements:
 
Revenue Recognition: Topic 606 provides a single, principles-based five-step model to be applied to all contracts with customers. It generally provides for the recognition of revenue in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the Company expects to be entitled, net of allowances for estimated returns, discounts or sales incentives, as well as taxes collected from customers when control over the promised goods or services are transferred to the customer.
 
We expense contract acquisition costs, primarily sales commissions, for contracts with terms of one year or less and will capitalize and amortize incremental costs with terms that exceed one year. During 2020 and 2019, the impact of capitalization of incremental costs for obtaining contracts was immaterial. We exclude sales, use, value added, some excise taxes and other similar taxes from the measurement of the transaction price.
 
We recognize revenue upon transfer of control of the promised products or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration we expect to receive in exchange for those products or services. We have determined that our programming equipment has reached a point of maturity and stability such that product acceptance can be assured by testing at the factory prior to shipment and that the installation meets the criteria to be a separate performance obligation. These systems are standard products with published product specifications and are configurable with standard options. The evidence that these systems could be deemed as accepted was based upon having standardized factory production of the units, results from batteries of tests of product performance to our published specifications, quality inspections and installation standardization, as well as past product operation validation with the customer and the history provided by our installed base of products upon which the current versions were based.
 
 
The revenue related to products requiring installation that is perfunctory is recognized upon transfer of control of the product to customers, which generally is at the time of shipment. Installation that is considered perfunctory includes any installation that is expected to be performed by other parties, such as distributors, other vendors, or the customers themselves. This considers the complexity, skill and training needed as well as customer expectations regarding installation.
 
We enter into arrangements with multiple performance obligations that arise during the sale of a system that includes an installation component, a service and support component and a software maintenance component. We allocate the transaction price of each element based on relative selling prices. Relative selling price is based on the selling price of the standalone system. For the installation and service and support performance obligations, we use the value of the discount given to distributors who perform these components. For software maintenance performance obligations, we use what we charge for annual software maintenance renewals after the initial year the system is sold. Revenue is recognized on the system sale based on shipping terms, installation revenue is recognized after the installation is performed, and hardware service and support and software maintenance revenue is recognized ratably over the term of the agreement, typically one year. Deferred revenue includes service, support and maintenance contracts and represents the undelivered performance obligation of agreements that are typically for one year.
 
When we sell software separately, we recognize revenue upon the transfer of control of the software, which is generally upon shipment, provided that only inconsequential performance obligations remain on our part and substantive acceptance conditions, if any, have been met.
 
We recognize revenue when there is an approved contract that both parties are committed to perform, both parties rights have been identified, the contract has substance, collection of substantially all the consideration is probable, the transaction price has been determined and allocated over the performance obligations, the performance obligations including substantive acceptance conditions, if any, in the contract have been met, the obligation is not contingent on resale of the product, the buyer’s obligation would not be changed in the event of theft, physical destruction or damage to the product, the buyer acquiring the product for resale has economic substance apart from us and we do not have significant obligations for future performance to directly bring about the resale of the product by the buyer. We establish a reserve for sales returns based on historical trends in product returns and estimates for new items. Payment terms are generally 30 days from shipment.
 
We transfer certain products out of service from their internal use and make them available for sale. The products transferred are typically our standard products in one of the following areas: service loaners, rental or test units; engineering test units; or sales demonstration equipment. Once transferred, the equipment is sold by our regular sales channels as used equipment inventory. These product units often involve refurbishing and an equipment warranty, and are conducted as sales in our normal and ordinary course of business. The transfer amount is the product unit’s net book value and the sale transaction is accounted for as revenue and cost of goods sold.
 
Allowance for Doubtful Accounts: We base the allowance for doubtful accounts receivable on our assessment of the collectability of specific customer accounts and the aging of accounts receivable. If there is deterioration of a major customer’s credit worthiness or actual defaults are higher than historical experience, our estimates of the recoverability of amounts due to us could be adversely affected.
 
Inventory: Inventories are stated at the lower of cost or net realizable value. Adjustments are made to standard cost, which approximates actual cost on a first-in, first-out basis. We estimate reductions to inventory for obsolete, slow-moving, excess and non-salable inventory by reviewing current transactions and forecasted product demand. We evaluate our inventories on an item by item basis and record inventory adjustments accordingly. If there is a significant decrease in demand for our products, uncertainty during product line transitions, or a higher risk of inventory obsolescence because of rapidly changing technology and customer requirements, we may be required to increase our inventory adjustments and our gross margin could be adversely affected.
 
Warranty Accruals: We accrue for warranty costs based on the expected material and labor costs to fulfill our warranty obligations. If we experience an increase in warranty claims, which are higher than our historical experience, our gross margin could be adversely affected.
 
Tax Valuation Allowances: Given the uncertainty created by our loss history, as well as the current and ongoing cyclical and COVID-19 related uncertain economic outlook for our industry and capital and geographic spending as well as income and current net deferred tax assets by entity and country, we expect to continue to limit the recognition of net deferred tax assets and accounting for uncertain tax positions and maintain the tax valuation allowances. At the current time, we expect, therefore, that reversals of the tax valuation allowance will take place as we are able to take advantage of the underlying tax loss or other attributes in carry forward or their use by future income or circumstances allow us to realize these attributes. The transfer pricing and expense or cost sharing arrangements are complex areas where judgments, such as the determination of arms-length arrangements, can be subject to challenges by different tax jurisdictions.
 
Share-based Compensation: We account for share-based awards made to our employees and directors, including employee stock option awards and restricted stock unit awards, using the estimated grant date fair value method of accounting. For options, we estimate the fair value using the Black-Scholes valuation model and an estimated forfeiture rate, which requires the input of highly subjective assumptions, including the option’s expected life and the price volatility of the underlying stock. The expected stock price volatility assumption was determined using the historical volatility of our common stock. Changes in the subjective assumptions required in the valuation model may significantly affect the estimated value of the awards, the related stock-based compensation expense and, consequently, our results of operations. Restricted stock unit awards are valued based on the average of the high and low price on the date of the grant and an estimated forfeiture rate. For both options and restricted awards, expense is recognized as compensation expense on the straight-line basis. Employee Stock Purchase Plan (“ESPP”) shares were issued under provisions that do not require us to record any equity compensation expense.
 
 
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS:
 
NET SALES
 
Net sales by product line
 
2020
 
 
Change
 
 
2019
 
(in thousands)
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
Automated programming systems
 $16,509 
  (0.8%) 
 $16,642 
Non-automated programming systems
  3,819 
  (22.5%) 
  4,926 
Total programming systems
 $20,328 
  (5.7%) 
 $21,568 
 
Net sales by location
 
2020
 
 
Change
 
 
2019
 
(in thousands)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
United States
 $1,516 
  (12.6%) 
 $1,735 
% of total
  7.5%
    
  8.0%
International
 $18,812 
  (5.1%) 
 $19,833 
% of total
  92.5%
    
  92.0%
 
Net sales by type
 
2020
 
 
Change
 
 
2019
 
(in thousands)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Equipment Sales
 $11,480 
  (8.5%) 
 $12,553 
Adapter Sales
  5,527 
  (0.1%) 
  5,535 
Software and Maintenance Sales
  3,321 
  (4.6%) 
  3,480 
Total
 $20,328 
  (5.7%) 
 $21,568 
 
Net sales for the year ended December 31, 2020 declined approximately 5.7% to $20.3 million compared to 2019 primarily as a result of COVID-19 related downturn in capital spending resulting in lower demand in Automotive Electronics and Programming Centers during 2020. On a regional basis, net sales increased approximately 13% in Asia and decreased approximately 23% in the Americas and 5% in Europe.
 
Order bookings were $20.8 million for 2020, down approximately 8% compared to $22.5 million in 2019. Backlog at December 31, 2020 and 2019 was $3.9 million and $2.9 million, respectively. Deferred revenue was $1.1 million at December 31, 2020 compared to $1.5 million at December 31, 2019.
 
 
GROSS MARGIN
 
 
 
2020
 
 
Change
 
 
2019
 
(in thousands)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gross margin
 $10,822 
  (13.8%) 
 $12,550 
Percentage of net sales
  53.2%
    
  58.2%
 
Gross margin as a percentage of sales for the year ended December 31, 2020 was 53.2%, compared to 58.2% in 2019. The decline in gross margin percentage was due to the impact of channel and price mix, factory charges, including impairment obsolescence of $291,000 for certain end of service support and first generation SentriX parts, as well as lower sales volumes relative to fixed production costs.
 
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
 
 
 
2020
 
 
Change
 
 
2019
 
(in thousands)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Research and development
 $6,357 
  (1.5%) 
 $6,451 
Percentage of net sales
  31.3%
    
  29.9%
 
Research and development (“R&D”) expense decreased $94,000 for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to 2019. The decrease was primarily related to lower employee related costs and lower incentive compensation. R&D as a percentage of sales increased primarily due to the decline in 2020 sales.
 
We believe it is essential to invest in R&D to significantly enhance our existing products and to create new products as markets develop and technologies change. During 2020, we strategically invested in creating a second generation of SentriX, which was introduced in the fourth quarter. In addition to product development, a significant part of R&D spending is on creating software and support for new devices introduced by the semiconductor companies. We are currently focusing our research development efforts on strategic growth markets, including automotive electronics and IoT. We are developing technology and the SentriX product line to securely program new categories of semiconductors, including Secure Elements, Authentication Chips, and Secure Microcontrollers. We delivered new enhanced programming technology and automated handling systems for managed and secure programming in the manufacturing environment and extending the capabilities and support for our programmer architecture. Our R&D spending fluctuates based on the number, type, and the development stage of our product initiatives and projects.
 
SELLING, GENERAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE
 
 
 
2020
 
 
Change
 
 
2019
 
(in thousands)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Selling, general & administrative
 $6,891 
  (6.6%) 
 $7,377 
Percentage of net sales
  33.9%
    
  34.2%
 
Selling, General and Administrative (“SG&A”) expenses decreased $486,000 for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to 2019. The decrease was primarily related to reduced sales commissions on lower sales volume, lower incentive compensation and travel related expenses and partly offset by higher consulting costs and other third party costs and stock-based compensation. Cost control measures contributed to the reduction.
 
 
INTEREST
 
Interest income was lower for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to 2019, primarily due to lower invested cash balances and lower interest rates.
 
INCOME TAXES
 
 
 
2020
 
 
Change
 
 
2019
 
(in thousands)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Income tax (expense) benefit
 $(387)
  1148.4%
 $(31)
 
Income tax (expense) increased by $356,000 for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to 2019. The increase was primarily a result of the withholding tax of $257,000 on the repatriation of cash from subsidiaries in 2020. Income tax (expense) in 2020 and 2019 is primarily the result of foreign subsidiary income tax and minimal US state income tax.
 
The effective tax rate for 2020 of (10.8%) and 2019 of (2.7%) differed from the statutory tax rates in our tax reporting jurisdictions primarily due to the effect of valuation allowances. We have a valuation allowance of $8.9 million and $7.5 million as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. Our deferred tax assets and valuation allowance have been increased by approximately $365,000 and $348,000 associated with the requirements of accounting for uncertain tax positions as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. Given the uncertainty created by our loss history particularly in the U.S. which is where most of our net deferred tax assets are located, and the ongoing uncertain economic outlook for our industry as well as capital and geographic spending, we currently expect to continue to limit the recognition of net deferred tax assets and maintain the tax valuation allowances.
 
Due to repatriations of cash from China and Canada, we were required to pay $257,000 in withholding tax during 2020, as compared with no withholding tax during 2019. Movements of cash that generated local country withholding taxes are a current tax expense that created additional deferred tax assets that resulted in additional tax valuation allowances.
 
INFLATION AND CHANGES IN FOREIGN CURRENCY EXCHANGE RATES
 
Sales and expenses incurred by foreign subsidiaries are denominated in the subsidiary’s local currency and translated into U.S. Dollar amounts at average rates of exchange during the year. We recognized foreign currency transaction loss of $(513,000) in 2020 and foreign transaction gain of $5,000 in 2019. The transaction gains or losses resulted primarily from translation adjustments to foreign inter-company accounts and U.S. Dollar accounts held by foreign subsidiaries and sales by our German subsidiary to certain customers, which were invoiced in U.S. Dollars. Because approximately 93% of our sales are to international markets, volatile exchange rates may also impact our competitiveness and margins.
 
IMPAIRMENT & RELATED CHARGES
 
During the fourth quarter of 2020, we launched a new generation of SentriX tools and capability. We made the strategic decision to control key pieces of the technology and enhance the ability to simplify the security deployment process, own the end-to-end intellectual property and scale our business. We accelerated the transition to second generation of SentriX by immediately upgrading all customers’ deployed first generation SentriX systems to the new hardware and software. This obsoleted components of the first generation hardware, software and inventory.
 
We also ended support for some legacy automated handlers, impairing the remaining service inventory.
 
As a result, certain capital equipment assets, advance payments and inventory were analyzed and determined to be impaired, totaling $943,000. This included impairment of $652,000, consisting of $252,000 of equipment and software, $400,000 of prepaid royalties, as well as impairment related charges of $291,000, due to inventory obsolescence (cost of goods sold) for end of certain product support.
 
 
FINANCIAL CONDITION:
 
LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES
 
 
 
2020
 
 
Change
 
 
2019
 
(in thousands)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Working capital
 $18,059 
 $(438)
 $18,497 
 
At December 31, 2020, our principal sources of liquidity consisted of existing cash and cash equivalents which increased $231,000 primarily due to shifts in working capital. Our working capital decreased in 2020 due to our operating loss offset in part by the CARES Act acceleration of the AMT credit refund to current assets. Our current ratio was 4.5 and 4.4 for December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. The company continues to have no debt.
 
Although we have no significant external capital expenditure plans currently, we expect to continue to carefully make and manage capital expenditures to support our business. We plan to increase our internally developed rental, security provisioning, sales demonstration and test equipment as we develop and release new products. Capital expenditures are currently expected to be funded by existing and internally generated funds.
 
As a result of our cyclical and seasonal industry, significant product development, customer support and selling and marketing efforts, we have required substantial working capital to fund our operations. We have tried to balance our level of development spending with the goal of profitable operations or managing down business levels related to COVID-19. We have implemented or have initiatives to implement geographic shifts in our operations, optimize real estate usage, reduce exposure to the impact of currency volatility and tariffs, increase product development differentiation, and reduce costs.
 
We believe that we have sufficient cash or working capital available under our operating plan to fund our operations and capital requirements through at least the next one-year period. We may require additional cash at the U.S. headquarters, which could cause potential repatriation of cash that is held in our foreign subsidiaries. We have liquidated our subsidiary in Canada and repatriated its cash. For any repatriation, there may be tax and other impediments to any repatriation actions. As many repatriations typically have associated withholding taxes, those withheld will be a current tax without generating a current or deferred tax benefit. Our working capital may be used to fund possible losses, business growth, project initiatives, share repurchases and business development initiatives including acquisitions, which could reduce our liquidity and result in a requirement for additional cash before that time. Any substantial inability to achieve our current business plan could have a material adverse impact on our financial position, liquidity, or results of operations and may require us to reduce expenditures and/or seek possible additional financing.
 
OFF-BALANCE SHEET ARRANGEMENTS
 
Except as noted in the accompanying consolidated financial statements in Note 6, “Operating Lease Commitments” and Note 7, “Other Commitments”, we had no material off-balance sheet arrangements.
 
SHARE REPURCHASE PROGRAMS
 
Data I/O did not offer a share repurchase program in 2020. In August of 2019, Data I/O completed the share repurchase program authorized in 2018.
 
NON-GENERALLY ACCEPTED ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES (GAAP) FINANCIAL MEASURES
 
Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (“EBITDA”) and Adjusted EBITDA excluding equity compensation and impairment & related charges (non-cash, one-time items) are set forth below. Non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered a substitute for, or superior to, measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. We believe that these non-GAAP financial measures provide meaningful supplemental information regarding our results and facilitate the comparison of results.
 
During the fourth quarter of 2020, certain capital equipment assets, advance payments and inventory were analyzed and determined to be impaired totaling $943,000. This included impairment of assets consisting of $252,000 of equipment and software, $400,000 of prepaid royalties, of $652,000 as well as impairment related charges of $291,000 due primarily to end of certain product support.
 
 
A reconciliation of net income to EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA follows:
 
 
 
For Year Ended December 31,
 
 
 
2020
 
 
2019
 
(in thousands)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net Income (loss)
 $(3,964)
 $(1,187)
   Interest (income)
  (14)
  (53)
   Taxes
  387 
  31 
   Depreciation and amortization
  815 
  868 
EBITDA
 $(2,776)
 $(341)
 
    
    
   Equity compensation
  1,467 
  1,171 
   Impairment & related charges
  943 
  - 
Adjusted EBITDA, excluding equity compensation
    
    
and impairment & related charges
 $(366)
 $830 
 
    
    
 
    
    
 (in thousands)
    
    
Gross Margin
 $10,822 
 $12,550 
Impairment related obsolete inventory charges
  291 
  - 
    Adjusted gross margin excluding
    
    
    impairment related obsolete inventory charges
 $11,113 
 $12,550 
 
    
    
 
    
    
Gross Margin as a % of sales
  53.2%
  58.2%
Impairment related obsolete
    
    
inventory charges as a % of sales
  1.4%
  0.0%
    Adjusted gross margin excluding impairment
    
    
    related obsolete inventory charges as a % of sales
  54.7%
  58.2%
 
    
    
Impairment & related charges include the following:
    
    
 (in thousands)
    
    
Impairment charges
 $652 
  - 
Obsolete inventory charges
  291 
  - 
    Total impairment & related charges
 $943 
  - 
 
 
NEW ACCOUNTING PRONOUNCEMENTS
 
In June 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") No. 2016-13, "Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments," which amends the impairment model by requiring entities to use a forward-looking approach based on expected losses rather than incurred losses to estimate credit losses on certain types of financial instruments. We are planning to adopt the standard effective for years after December 15, 2022 and do not expect this to have a material impact on our financial statements.
 
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
 
Not applicable.
 
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
 
See pages 31 through 55.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
 
 
Board of Directors and Stockholders
Data I/O Corporation
 
Opinion on the financial statements
Board of Directors and Stockholders
Data I/O Corporation
 
Opinion on the financial statements
We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Data I/O Corporation (a Washington corporation) and subsidiaries (the “Company”) as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, the related consolidated statements of operations, comprehensive income (loss), stockholders’ equity, and cash flows for each of the two years in the period ended December 31, 2020, and the related notes and financial statement schedule included under Item 15(a)(2) (collectively referred to as the “financial statements”). In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the two years in the period ended December 31, 2020, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.
 
Basis for opinion
These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (“PCAOB”) and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
 
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. The Company is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. As part of our audits we are required to obtain an understanding of internal control over financial reporting but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion.
 
Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.
 
Critical audit matter
The critical audit matter communicated below is a matter arising from the current period audit of the financial statements that was communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that: (1) relates to accounts or disclosures that are material to the financial statements and (2) involved especially challenging, subjective, or complex judgments. The communication of critical audit matters does not alter in any way our opinion on the financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matter below, providing separate opinion on the critical audit matter or on the accounts or disclosures to which it relates.
 
 
Net realizable value of inventory
 
As described further in Note 1 to the financial statements, management measures the net realizable value of inventory based on estimated reductions to inventory for obsolete, slow-moving, excess and non-salable inventory by reviewing current transactions and forecasted demand. We identified the net realizable value of inventory specifically as a critical audit matter.
 
The principal considerations for our determination that the net realizable value of inventory represents a critical audit matter are that the assessment of the valuation of inventory is complex and includes an estimate of forecasted demand. The demand estimate is subjective and requires the Company to consider significant assumptions such as economic conditions, technological advances, historical usage, and consumer trends, which are subject to significant uncertainty and therefore require significant auditor judgement.
 
Our audit procedures related to the net realizable value of inventory included the following, among others:
 
obtained management’s analysis of parts in inventory and expected customer demand, recalculated inputs into the analysis. This included, among other inputs, historical usage compared to quantities on hand, age, and general ledger balances.
 
tested selected inventory items by making inquiries of management and evaluating the appropriateness of judgments, assumptions and documentation supporting adjustments to the reserve estimate.
 
inquired with management and various staff members outside of the finance team to obtain support for selected forecast demand inputs as well as product specific trends.
 
 
/s/ GRANT THORNTON LLP
 
We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2001.
 
Seattle, Washington
March 26, 2021
 
 
DATA I/O CORPORATION
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(in thousands, except share data)
 
 
 
December 31,
2020
 
 
December 31,
2019
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ASSETS
 
 
 
 
 
 
CURRENT ASSETS:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
 $14,167 
 $13,936 
Trade accounts receivable, net of allowance for
    
    
         doubtful accounts of $66 and $80, respectively
  2,494 
  4,099 
Inventories
  5,270 
  5,020 
Other current assets
  1,319 
  924 
TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS
  23,250 
  23,979 
 
    
    
Property, plant and equipment – net
  1,216 
  1,668 
Income tax receivable
  - 
  640 
Other assets
  1,126 
  1,994 
TOTAL ASSETS
 $25,592 
 $28,281 
 
    
    
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
    
    
CURRENT LIABILITIES:
    
    
Accounts payable
 $1,245 
 $1,151 
Accrued compensation
  1,509 
  1,541 
Deferred revenue
  1,068 
  1,387 
Other accrued liabilities
  1,307 
  1,372 
Income taxes payable
  62 
  31 
TOTAL CURRENT LIABILITIES
  5,191 
  5,482 
 
    
    
Operating lease liabilities
  588 
  1,178 
Long-term other payables
  174 
  91 
 
    
    
COMMITMENTS
  - 
  - 
 
    
    
STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
    
    
Preferred stock -
    
    
Authorized, 5,000,000 shares, including
    
    
200,000 shares of Series A Junior Participating
    
    
Issued and outstanding, none
  - 
  - 
Common stock, at stated value -
    
    
Authorized, 30,000,000 shares
    
    
Issued and outstanding, 8,416,335 shares as of December 31,
    
    
2020 and 8,212,748 shares as of December 31, 2019
  20,071 
  18,748 
Accumulated earnings (deficit)
  (1,456)
  2,508 
Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)
  1,024 
  274 
TOTAL STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
  19,639 
  21,530 
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
 $25,592 
 $28,281 
 
See notes to consolidated financial statements
 
 
DATA I/O CORPORATION
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(in thousands, except per share amounts)
 
 
 
For the Years EndedDecember 31,
 
 
 
2020
 
 
2019
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net sales
 $20,328 
 $21,568 
Cost of goods sold
  9,506 
  9,018 
Gross margin
  10,822 
  12,550 
Operating expenses:
    
    
Research and development
  6,357 
  6,451 
Selling, general and administrative
  6,891 
  7,377 
Impairment
  652 
  - 
Total operating expenses
  13,900 
  13,828 
Operating income (loss)
  (3,078)
  (1,278)
Non-operating income (loss):
    
    
Interest income
  14 
  53 
Gain on sale of assets
  - 
  64 
Foreign currency transaction gain (loss)
  (513)
  5 
Total non-operating income (loss)
  (499)
  122 
Income (loss) before income taxes
  (3,577)
  (1,156)
Income tax (expense) benefit
  (387)
  (31)
Net income (loss)
 $(3,964)
 $(1,187)
 
    
    
 
    
    
Basic earnings (loss) per share
 $(0.48)
 $(0.14)
Diluted earnings (loss) per share
 $(0.48)
 $(0.14)
Weighted-average basic shares
  8,333 
  8,247 
Weighted-average diluted shares
  8,333 
  8,247 
 
See notes to consolidated financial statements
 
 
DATA I/O CORPORATION
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS)
(in thousands)
 
 
 
For the Years EndedDecember 31,
 
 
 
2020
 
 
2019
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net Income (loss)
 $(3,964)
 $(1,187)
Other comprehensive income:
    
    
Foreign currency translation gain (loss)
  750 
  (134)
Comprehensive income (loss)
 $(3,214)
 $(1,321)
 
See notes to consolidated financial statements
 
 
DATA I/O CORPORATION
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
(in thousands, except share amounts)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Accumulated
 
 
 
 
 
 
Common Stock
 
 
Accumulated
 
 
and Other
 
 
Total
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Earnings
 
 
Comprehensive
 
 
Stockholders'
 
 
 
Shares
 
 
Amount
 
 
(Deficit)
 
 
Income (Loss)
 
 
Equity
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Balance at December 31, 2018
  8,338,628 
 $19,254 
 $3,695 
 $408 
 $23,357 
Stock options exercised
  - 
  - 
  - 
  - 
  - 
Repurchased shares
  (301,710)
  (1,464)
  - 
  - 
  (1,464)
Stock awards issued, net of tax withholding
  169,653 
  (243)
  - 
  - 
  (243)
Issuance of stock through: Employee Stock Purchase Plan
  6,177 
  30 
  - 
  - 
  30 
Share-based compensation
  - 
  1,171 
  - 
  - 
  1,171 
Net income (loss)
  - 
  - 
  (1,187)
  - 
  (1,187)
Other comprehensive income gain (loss)
  - 
  - 
  - 
  (134)
  (134)
Balance at December 31, 2019
  8,212,748 
 $18,748 
 $2,508 
 $274 
 $21,530 
 
    
    
    
    
    
Stock options exercised
  - 
  - 
    
    
  - 
Repurchased shares
  - 
  - 
  - 
  - 
  - 
Stock awards issued, net of tax withholding
  195,773 
  (173)
  - 
  - 
  (173)
Issuance of stock through: Employee Stock Purchase Plan
  7,814 
  29 
  - 
  - 
  29 
Share-based compensation
  - 
  1,467 
  - 
  - 
  1,467 
Net income (loss)
  - 
  - 
  (3,964)
  - 
  (3,964)
Other comprehensive income gain (loss)
  - 
  - 
  - 
  750 
  750 
Balance at December 31, 2020
  8,416,335 
 $20,071 
 $(1,456)
 $1,024 
 $19,639 
 
See notes to consolidated financial statements
 
 
DATA I/O CORPORATION
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
(in thousands)
 
 
 
For the Twelve Months Ended December 31,
 
 
 
2020
 
 
2019
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
CASH FLOWS FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net income (loss)
 $(3,964)
 $(1,187)
Adjustments to reconcile net income (loss)
    
    
to net cash provided by (used in) operating activities:
    
    
Depreciation and amortization
  815 
  867 
Gain on sale of assets
  - 
  (64)
Equipment transferred to cost of goods sold
  245 
  63 
Share-based compensation
  1,467 
  1,171 
Impairment and related charges
  943 
  - 
Net change in:
    
    
Trade accounts receivable
  1,664 
  (375)
Inventories
  (414)
  139 
Other current assets
  (398)
  (307)
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities
  (38)
  (2,031)
Deferred revenue
  (380)
  (98)
Other long-term liabilities
  (491)
  (29)
Deposits and other long-term assets
  1,182 
  (245)
     Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities
  631 
  (2,096)
 
    
    
CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES:
    
    
Purchases of property, plant and equipment
  (860)
  (612)
Net proceeds from sale of assets
  - 
  64 
Cash provided by (used in) investing activities
  (860)
  (548)
 
    
    
CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES:
    
    
Net proceeds from issuance of common stock, less payments
    
    
     for shares withheld to cover tax
  (144)
  (213)
Repurchase of common stock
  - 
  (1,464)
Cash provided by (used in) financing activities
  (144)
  (1,677)
Increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents
  (373)
  (4,321)
 
    
    
Effects of exchange rate changes on cash
  604 
  (86)
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period
  13,936 
  18,343 
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period
 $14,167 
 $13,936 
 
    
    
Supplemental disclosure of cash flow information:
    
    
Cash paid during the period for:
    
    
    Income taxes
 $137 
 $307 
 
See notes to consolidated financial statements
 
 
DATA I/O CORPORATION
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
 
NOTE 1 – SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
 
Nature of Operations
 
Data I/O Corporation (“Data I/O”, “We”, “Our”, “Us”) designs, manufactures and sells programming systems used by designers and manufacturers of electronic products. Our programming system products are used to program integrated circuits (“ICs” or “devices” or “semiconductors”) with the specific unique data necessary for the ICs contained in various products, and are an important tool for the electronics industry experiencing growing use of programmable ICs. Customers for our programming system products are located around the world, primarily in Asia, Europe and the Americas. Our manufacturing operations are currently located in Redmond, Washington, United States and Shanghai, China.
 
Principles of Consolidation
 
The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Data I/O Corporation and our wholly-owned subsidiaries. Intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.
 
Use of Estimates
 
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements, and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
 
Significant estimates include:
 
Revenue Recognition
Allowance for Doubtful Accounts
Inventory
Warranty Accruals
Tax Valuation Allowances
Share-based Compensation
 
Foreign Currency Translation
 
Assets and liabilities of foreign subsidiaries are translated at the exchange rate on the balance sheet date. Revenues, costs and expenses of foreign subsidiaries are translated at average rates of exchange prevailing during the year. Translation adjustments resulting from this process are charged or credited to stockholders’ equity. Realized and unrealized gains and losses resulting from the effects of changes in exchange rates on assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies are included in non-operating expense as foreign currency transaction gains and losses.
 
Cash and Cash Equivalents
 
All highly liquid investments purchased with an original maturity of 90 days or less are considered cash equivalents.  We maintain our cash and cash equivalents with major financial institutions in the United States of America, which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and in foreign jurisdictions.  Deposits in U.S. banks exceed the FDIC insurance limit.  We have not experienced any losses on our cash and cash equivalents.  Cash and cash equivalents held in foreign bank accounts in China and Germany, totaled (in millions) $6.8 at December 31, 2020 and $8.7 at December 31, 2019.
 
 
Fair Value of Financial Instruments
 
Certain financial instruments are carried at cost on the consolidated balance sheets, which approximates fair value due to their short-term, highly liquid nature. These instruments include cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable, accounts payable and accrued expenses, and other short-term liabilities.
 
Accounts Receivable
 
The majority of our accounts receivable are due from companies in the electronics manufacturing industries. Credit is extended based on an evaluation of a customer’s financial condition and, generally, collateral is not required. Accounts receivable are typically due within 30 to 60 days and are stated at amounts due from customers net of an allowance for doubtful accounts. Accounts receivable outstanding longer than the contractual payment terms are considered past due. We determine the allowance by considering a number of factors, including the length of time trade accounts receivable are past due, the industry and geographic payment practices involved, our previous bad debt experience, the customer’s current ability to pay their obligation to us, and the condition of the general economy and the industry as a whole. We write off accounts receivable when they become uncollectible, and payments subsequently received on such receivables are credited to the allowance for doubtful accounts. Interest may be charged, at the discretion of management and according to our standard sales terms, beginning on the day after the due date of the receivable. However, interest income is subsequently recognized on these accounts either to the extent cash is received, or when the future collection of interest and the receivable balance is considered probable by management.
 
Inventories
 
Inventories are stated at the lower of cost or net realizable value with cost being the currently adjusted standard cost, which approximates cost on a first-in, first-out basis. We estimate changes to inventory for obsolete, slow-moving, excess and non-salable inventory by reviewing current transactions and forecasted product demand. We evaluate our inventories on an item by item basis and record an adjustment (lower of cost or net realizable value) accordingly.
 
Property, Plant and Equipment
 
Property, plant and equipment, including leasehold improvements, are stated at cost and depreciation is calculated over the estimated useful lives of the related assets or lease terms on the straight-line basis. We depreciate substantially all manufacturing and office equipment over periods of three to seven years. We depreciate leasehold improvements over the remaining portion of the lease or over the expected life of the asset if less than the remaining term of the lease.
 
We regularly review all of our property, plant and equipment for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable. If the total of future undiscounted cash flows is less than the carrying amount of these assets, an impairment loss, if any, based on the excess of the carrying amount over the fair value of the assets, is recorded. Based on this evaluation, approximately $252,000 of impairment was noted and recorded for property, plant and equipment for the year ended December 31, 2020. For the year ended December 31, 2019, no impairment was noted or recorded for property, plant and equipment.
 
Patent Costs
 
We expense external costs, such as filing fees and associated attorney fees, incurred to obtain initial patents, but capitalize patents obtained through acquisition as intangible assets. We also expense costs associated with maintaining and defending patents subsequent to their issuance.
 
Income Taxes
 
Income taxes are computed at current enacted tax rates, less tax credits using the asset and liability method. Deferred taxes are adjusted both for items that do not have tax consequences and for the cumulative effect of any changes in tax rates from those previously used to determine deferred tax assets or liabilities. Tax provisions include amounts that are currently payable, changes in deferred tax assets and liabilities that arise because of temporary differences between the timing of when items of income and expense are recognized for financial reporting and income tax purposes, and any changes in the valuation allowance caused by a change in judgment about the realization of the related deferred tax assets. A valuation allowance is established when necessary to reduce deferred tax assets to amounts expected to be realized. The CARES Act, enacted in Q1 2020, accelerated the AMT credit refund of $640,000 to be a current asset instead of non-current.
 
 
Share-Based Compensation
 
All stock-based compensation awards are measured based on estimated fair values on the date of grant and recognized as compensation expense on the straight-line single-option method. Our share-based compensation is reduced for estimated forfeitures at the time of grant and revised as necessary in subsequent periods if actual forfeitures differ from those estimates.
 
Revenue Recognition
 
Topic 606 provides a single, principles-based five-step model to be applied to all contracts with customers. It generally provides for the recognition of revenue in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the Company expects to be entitled, net of allowances for estimated returns, discounts or sales incentives, as well as taxes collected from customers when control over the promised goods or services are transferred to the customer.
 
We expense contract acquisition costs, primarily sales commissions, for contracts with terms of one year or less and will capitalize and amortize incremental costs with terms that exceed one year. During 2020 and 2019, the impact of capitalization of incremental costs for obtaining contracts was immaterial. We exclude sales, use, value added, some excise taxes and other similar taxes from the measurement of the transaction price.
 
We recognize revenue upon transfer of control of the promised products or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration we expect to receive in exchange for those products or services. We have determined that our programming equipment has reached a point of maturity and stability such that product acceptance can be assured by testing at the factory prior to shipment and that the installation meets the criteria to be a separate performance obligation. These systems are standard products with published product specifications and are configurable with standard options. The evidence that these systems could be deemed as accepted was based upon having standardized factory production of the units, results from batteries of tests of product performance to our published specifications, quality inspections and installation standardization, as well as past product operation validation with the customer and the history provided by our installed base of products upon which the current versions were based.
 
The revenue related to products requiring installation that is perfunctory is recognized upon transfer of control of the product to customers, which generally is at the time of shipment. Installation that is considered perfunctory includes any installation that is expected to be performed by other parties, such as distributors, other vendors, or the customers themselves. This considers the complexity, skill and training needed as well as customer expectations regarding installation.
 
We enter into arrangements with multiple performance obligations that arise during the sale of a system that includes an installation component, a service and support component and a software maintenance component. We allocate the transaction price of each element based on relative selling prices. Relative selling price is based on the selling price of the standalone system. For the installation and service and support performance obligations, we use the value of the discount given to distributors who perform these components. For software maintenance performance obligations, we use what we charge for annual software maintenance renewals after the initial year the system is sold. Revenue is recognized on the system sale based on shipping terms, installation revenue is recognized after the installation is performed, and hardware service and support and software maintenance revenue is recognized ratably over the term of the agreement, typically one year. Deferred revenue includes service, support and maintenance contracts and represents the undelivered performance obligation of agreements that are typically for one year.
 
When we sell software separately, we recognize revenue upon the transfer of control of the software, which is generally upon shipment, provided that only inconsequential performance obligations remain on our part and substantive acceptance conditions, if any, have been met.
 
We recognize revenue when there is an approved contract that both parties are committed to perform, both parties rights have been identified, the contract has substance, collection of substantially all the consideration is probable, the transaction price has been determined and allocated over the performance obligations, the performance obligations including substantive acceptance conditions, if any, in the contract have been met, the obligation is not contingent on resale of the product, the buyer’s obligation would not be changed in the event of theft, physical destruction or damage to the product, the buyer acquiring the product for resale has economic substance apart from us and we do not have significant obligations for future performance to directly bring about the resale of the product by the buyer. We establish a reserve for sales returns based on historical trends in product returns and estimates for new items. Payment terms are generally 30 days from shipment.
 
We transfer certain products out of service from their internal use and make them available for sale. The products transferred are typically our standard products in one of the following areas: service loaners, rental or test units; engineering test units; or sales demonstration equipment. Once transferred, the equipment is sold by our regular sales channels as used equipment inventory. These product units often involve refurbishing and an equipment warranty, and are conducted as sales in our normal and ordinary course of business. The transfer amount is the product unit’s net book value and the sale transaction is accounted for as revenue and cost of goods sold.
 
 
The following table represents our revenues by major categories:
 
Net sales by type
 
2020
 
 
2019
 
(in thousands)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Equipment Sales
 $11,480 
 $12,553 
Adapter Sales
  5,527 
  5,535 
Software and Maintenance Sales *
  3,321 
  3,480 
Total
 $20,328 
 $21,568 
 
* includes an insignificant amount of service and part sales
 
Leases - Accounting Standards Codification 842
 
Leases arise from contracts which convey the right to control the use of identified property or equipment for a period of time in exchange for consideration. Our leasing arrangements are primarily for office space we use to conduct our operations. In addition, there are automobiles and a small amount of office equipment leased. We determine whether contracts include a lease at the inception date, which is generally upon contract signing, considering factors such as whether the contract includes an asset which is physically distinct, which party obtains substantially all of the capacity and economic benefit of the asset, and which party directs how, and for what purpose, the asset is used during the contractual period of use. Our leases commence when the lessor makes the asset available for our use. At commencement, we record a lease liability at the present value of future lease payments, net of any future lease incentives to be received. Some of our lease agreements include cancellable future periods subject to termination or extension options. We include cancellable lease periods in our future lease payments when we are reasonably certain to continue to utilize the asset for those periods. We calculate the present value of future lease payments at commencement using a discount rate which we estimate as the collateralized borrowing rate we believe that would be incurred on our future lease payments over a similar term. At commencement, we also record a corresponding right-of-use asset, which is calculated based on the amount of the lease liability, adjusted for any advance lease payments paid, initial direct costs incurred or lease incentives received prior to commencement. Right-of-use assets are subject to evaluation for impairment or disposal on a basis consistent with other long-lived assets.
 
Leases are classified at commencement, as either operating or finance leases. As of December 31, 2020, all of our leases are classified as operating leases. Rent expense for operating leases is recognized on the straight-line method over the term of the agreement beginning on the lease commencement date.
 
In accounting for leases, we utilize certain practical expedients and policy elections available under the lease accounting standard. For example, we do not record right-of-use assets or lease liabilities for leases with terms of 12 months or less. For contracts containing real estate leases, we do not combine lease and non-lease components. The primary impact of this policy election is that we do not include in our calculation of lease liabilities any fixed and non-cancelable future payments due under the contract for items such as common area maintenance, utilities and other costs. Lease-related costs which are variable rather than fixed are expensed in the period incurred.
 
Assumptions, judgments and estimates impacting the carrying value of our right-of-use assets and liabilities include evaluating whether an arrangement contains a lease, determining whether the lease term should include any cancellable future periods, estimating the discount rate used to calculate our lease liabilities, estimating the fair value and useful life of the leased asset for the purpose of classifying the lease as an operating or finance lease, evaluating whether a lease contract amendment represents a new lease agreement or a modification to the existing lease and evaluating our right-of-use assets for impairment.
 
Research and Development
 
Research and development costs are generally expensed as incurred.
 
 
Advertising Expense
 
Advertising costs are expensed as incurred. Total advertising expenses were approximately $127,000 and $173,000 in 2020 and 2019, respectively.
 
Warranty Expense
 
We record a liability for an estimate of costs that we expect to incur under our basic limited warranty when product revenue is recognized. Factors affecting our warranty liability include the number of units sold and historical and anticipated rates of claims and costs per claim. We normally provide a warranty for our products against defects for periods ranging from ninety days to one year. We provide for the estimated cost that may be incurred under our product warranties and periodically assess the adequacy of our warranty liability based on changes in the above factors. We record revenues on extended warranties on a straight-line basis over the term of the related warranty contracts. Service costs are expensed as incurred.
 
Earnings (Loss) Per Share
 
Basic earnings (loss) per share exclude any dilutive effects of stock options. Basic earnings (loss) per share are computed using the weighted-average number of common shares outstanding during the period. Diluted earnings per share are computed using the weighted-average number of common shares and common stock equivalent shares outstanding during the period. The common stock equivalent shares from equity awards used in calculating diluted earnings per share were 74,000 and 65,000 for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. Options to purchase 25,000 and 29,752 shares of common stock were outstanding as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, but were excluded from the computation of diluted EPS for the period then ended because the options were anti-dilutive.
 
Diversification of Credit Risk
 
Financial instruments, which potentially subject us to concentrations of credit risk, consist primarily of trade receivables. Our trade receivables are geographically dispersed and include customers in many different industries. Our consolidated accounts receivable balance as of December 31, 2020 and 2019 includes foreign accounts receivable in the functional currency of our foreign subsidiaries amounting to $587,000 and $1,255,000, respectively. We generally do business with our foreign distributors in U.S. Dollars. We believe that risk of loss is significantly reduced due to the diversity of our end-customers and geographic sales areas. We perform on-going credit evaluations of our customers’ financial condition and require collateral, such as letters of credit and bank guarantees, or prepayment whenever deemed necessary.
 
The following represented greater than 10% of our consolidated accounts receivable for the applicable year:
 
Percentage of Consolidated Accounts Receivable
 
2020
 
 
2019
 
 
2018
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Number of customers
  3 
  2 
  3 
 
    
    
    
Approximate percentage of consolidated accounts receivable balance
  41%
  32%
  35%
 
    
    
    
    Percentage of each
  17%
  17%
  12%
    Percentage of each
  12%
  15%
  12%
    Percentage of each
  12%
  n/a 
  11%
 
 
Diversification of net sales
 
The following represented greater than 10% of net sales for the applicable year:
 
Percentage of Net Sales
 
2020
 
 
2019
 
 
2018
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Number of customers
  1 
  1 
  2 
 
    
    
    
Approximate percentage of net sales
  12%
  11%
  29%
 
    
    
    
    Percentage of each
  12%
  11%
  16%
    Percentage of each
  n/a 
  n/a 
  13%
 
COVID-19
 
In 2020, we had to react to the global COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has impacted all aspects of our business, from customer demand, to supply chain integrity, employee safety, business processes, and financial management. As a global company, we had to manage each of these while working within the guidelines of local and national policy in the U.S., China and Germany. Our philosophy at the start of the outbreak was simple:
 
1.
Keep our people and their families safe;
2.
Keep our facilities safe and operational while we serve our customers as an essential business; and
3.
Preserve cash.
 
We have managed this issue successfully to date, with no known employee transmissions in the workplace and significant preservation of our cash and working capital throughout the year. Our resilient supply chain model kept our facilities in Shanghai, China and Redmond, Washington open, and serving customers globally. We supported customers rapidly transitioning to medical device support. We did this while facing unique international travel restrictions, shipping delays, and inability to meet with customers in person. All the while we preserved and slightly grew our cash balances, while moving more cash to the U.S.
 
COVID-19 has continued to impact our demand, particularly capacity related, evidenced by many automotive and other plant shut downs in the second quarter, their re-openings and now, in a believed ripple effect, the impact of chip shortages on their production plans. This appears to be a short-term issue and the outlook for automotive electronics remains strong for a decade. Waves of COVID-19 infection rates have kept or re-imposed revised travel restrictions. Customers largely have not permitted in-person sales and other visits. Converting these interactions to remote and virtual means has meant new processes and technology usage.
 
In production, in addition to adding protective health measures for our employees, we have focused on supply chain resilience and duplicating production capability for some products in both our Shanghai, China and Redmond, USA facilities. We implemented additional supplier financial and other monitoring, as well as adding additional local suppliers and increasing inventory stock levels of key parts. Other than production employees who necessarily are onsite, most Redmond employees are working remotely with some flexibility to be onsite and this is expected to continue until COVID-19 risks are reduced by vaccination coverage.
 
New Accounting Pronouncements
 
In June 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") No. 2016-13, "Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments," which amends the impairment model by requiring entities to use a forward-looking approach based on expected losses rather than incurred losses to estimate credit losses on certain types of financial instruments. We are planning to adopt the standard effective for years after December 15, 2022 and do not expect this to have a material impact on our financial statements.
 
 
NOTE 2 – ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE, NET
 
 
 
December 31,
2020
 
 
December 31,
2019
 
 (in thousands)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Trade accounts receivable
 $2,560 
 $4,179 
Less allowance for doubtful receivables
  66 
  80 
Trade accounts receivable, net
 $2,494 
 $4,099 
 
Changes in Data I/O’s allowance for doubtful accounts are as follows:
 
 
 
December 31,
2020
 
 
December 31,
2019
 
 (in thousands)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Beginning balance
 $80 
 $75 
Bad debt expense (reversal)
  (14)
  5 
Accounts written-off
  - 
  - 
Recoveries
  - 
  - 
Ending balance
 $66 
 $80 
 
    
    
 
NOTE 3 – INVENTORIES
 
 
 
December 31,
2020
 
 
December 31
,2019
 
 (in thousands)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Raw material
 $3,143 
 $2,416 
Work-in-process
  1,204 
  1,832 
Finished goods
  923 
  772 
Inventories
 $5,270 
 $5,020 
 
    
    
 
 
NOTE 4 – PROPERTY, PLANT AND EQUIPMENT, NET
 
 
 
December 31,
2020
 
 
December 31,
2019
 
 (in thousands)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Leasehold improvements
 $421 
 $395 
 Equipment
  5,625 
  5,606 
 Sales demonstration equipment
  963 
  778 
 
  7,009 
  6,779 
 Less accumulated depreciation
  5,793 
  5,111 
 Property and equipment, net
 $1,216 
 $1,668 
 
Total depreciation expense recorded for 2020 and 2019 was $815,000 and $867,000, respectively.
 
NOTE 5 – OTHER ACCRUED LIABILITIES
 
Other accrued liabilities consisted of the following components:
 
 
 
December 31,
2020
 
 
December 31,
2019
 
 (in thousands)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Lease liability - short term
 $673 
 $678 
 Product warranty
  371 
  367 
 Sales return reserve
  61 
  77 
 Other taxes
  109 
  126 
 Other
  93 
  124 
 Other accrued liabilities
 $1,307 
 $1,372 
 
    
    
 
 
The changes in our product warranty liability for the year ending December 31, 2020 are follows:
 
 
 
December 31,
2020
 
 (in thousands)
 
 
 
 Liability, beginning balance
 $367 
 Net expenses
  728 
 Warranty claims
  (728)
 Accrual revisions
  4 
 Liability, ending balance
 $371 
 
    
 
NOTE 6 – OPERATING LEASE COMMITMENTS
 
We have commitments under non-cancelable operating leases and other agreements, primarily for factory and office space, with initial or remaining terms of one year or more as follows:
 
For the years ending December 31:
 
 
 
Operating
Lease
Commitments
 
 (in thousands)
 
 
 
2021
 $747 
2022
  331 
2023
  101 
2024
  89 
2025
  69 
Thereafter
  85 
Total
 $1,422 
   Less Imputed interest
  (162)
Total operating lease liabilities
 $1,260 
 
Cash paid for operating lease liabilities for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, was $770,000 and $757,000. There were three new or modified leases during the twelve months ended December 31, 2020 that are considered minor, and are accounted for in the amounts disclosed above.
 
 
The following table presents supplemental balance sheet information related to leases as of December 31, 2020:
 
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
 
2020
 
 
2019
 
 (in thousands)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Right-of-use assets (Long-term other assets)
 $1,081 
 $1,574 
 Lease liability-short term (Other accrued liabilities)
 $673 
 $678 
 Lease liability-long term (Operating lease liabilities)
 $588 
 $1,178 
 
At December 31, 2020, the weighted average remaining lease term is 2.9 years and the weighted average discount rate used is 5%.
 
The components of our lease expense for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, include operating lease costs of $692,000 and $685,000, which includes short-term lease costs of $34,000 and $32,000. Variable payments were not material, and were treated as non-lease components and were recognized in the period for which the costs occur.
 
Our real estate facility leases are described below:
 
During the third quarter of 2017, we amended our lease agreement for the Redmond, Washington headquarters facility, extending the lease to July 31, 2022. Previously on June 8, 2015 the lease had been amended to relocate our headquarters to a nearby building and lower the square footage to approximately 20,460. The lease base annual rental payments during 2020 and 2019 were approximately $361,000 and $351,000, respectively.
 
In addition to the Redmond facility, approximately 24,000 square feet is leased at two foreign locations, including our sales, service, operations and engineering office located in Shanghai, China, and our German sales, service and engineering office located near Munich, Germany.
 
We signed a lease agreement effective November 1, 2015 that extends through October 31, 2021 for a facility located in Shanghai, China. This lease is for approximately 19,400 square feet. The lease base annual rental payments during 2020 and 2019 were approximately $301,000 and $305,000, respectively.
 
During the fourth quarter of 2016, we signed a lease agreement for a new facility located near Munich, Germany which was effective March 1, 2017 and extends through February 28, 2022 with a five year further extension to 2027. This lease is for approximately 4,895 square feet. The lease base annual rental payments during 2020 and 2019 were approximately $62,000 and $57,000, respectively.
 
NOTE 7 – OTHER COMMITMENTS
 
We have purchase obligations for inventory and production costs as well as other obligations such as capital expenditures, service contracts, marketing, and development agreements. Arrangements are considered purchase obligations if a contract specifies all significant terms, including fixed or minimum quantities to be purchased, a pricing structure and approximate timing of the transaction. Most arrangements are cancelable without a significant penalty, and with short notice, typically less than 90 days. At December 31, 2020, the purchase commitments and other obligations totaled $1.3 million of which all but $124,000 are expected to be paid over the next twelve months.
 
 
NOTE 8 – CONTINGENCIES
 
As of December 31, 2020, we were not a party to any legal proceedings or aware of any indemnification agreement claims, the adverse outcome of which in management’s opinion, individually or in the aggregate, would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial position.
 
NOTE 9 – STOCK AND RETIREMENT PLANS
 
Stock Option Plans
 
At December 31, 2020, there were 124,393 shares available for future grant under Data I/O Corporation 2000 Stock Compensation Incentive Plan (“2000 Plan”). At December 31, 2020, there were shares of Common Stock reserved for issuance consisting of 62,500 inducement reserve shares and 605,728 shares under the 2000 Plan. The inducement reserve shares were granted in 2019 consisting of 25,000 options and 50,000 RSU (37,500 unvested and unissued), which were not from the 2000 Plan, but were made under the terms of the 2000 Plan. During 2020, 12,500 shares were issued from the inducement reserve. Pursuant to the 2000 Plan, options are granted to our officers and key employees with exercise prices equal to the fair market value of the Common Stock at the date of grant and generally vest over four years. Options granted under the plans have a maximum term of six years from the date of grant. Stock awards are also granted under the 2000 Plan which generally vest over four years and one year for nonemployee Directors.
 
Employee Stock Purchase Plan
 
Under the Employee Stock Purchase Plan (“ESPP”), eligible employees may purchase shares of our Common Stock at six-month intervals at 95% of the fair market value on the last day of each six-month period. Employees may purchase shares having a value not exceeding ten percent of their gross compensation during an offering period. During 2020 and 2019, a total of 7,814 and 6,177 shares, respectively, were purchased under the plan at average prices of $3.71 and $4.88 per share, respectively. At December 31, 2020 and 2019, 31,769 and 39,249 shares were reserved for future issuance respectively.
 
Stock Appreciation Rights Plan
 
We have a Stock Appreciation Rights (“SAR”) Plan under which each director, executive officer or holder of 10% or more of our Common Stock has a SAR with respect to each exercisable stock option. The SAR entitles the SAR holder to receive cash from us for the difference between the market value of the stock and the exercise price of the option in lieu of exercising the related option. SARs are only exercisable following a tender offer or exchange offer for our stock, or following approval by shareholders of Data I/O of any merger, consolidation, reorganization or other transaction providing for the conversion or exchange of more than 50% of the common shares outstanding. As no event has occurred, which would make the SARs exercisable, and no such event is deemed probable, no compensation expense has been recorded under this plan. At December 31, 2020 and 2019, there were 25,000 SARs outstanding.
 
Director Fee Plan
 
We have a Director Fee Plan available to compensate directors who are not employees of Data I/O Corporation with equity. During 2020, 20,559 shares were issued from the plan and no shares were issued from the plan in 2019. At December 31, 2020 and 2019 130,763 and 151,322 shares remain available in the plan respectively.
 
Retirement Savings Plan
 
We have a savings plan that qualifies as a cash or deferred salary arrangement under Section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code. Under the plan, participating U.S. employees may defer their pre-tax salary or post-tax salary if Roth is elected, subject to IRS limitations. In fiscal years 2020 and 2019, we contributed one dollar for each dollar contributed by a participant, with a maximum contribution of four percent of a participant’s eligible earnings. Our matching contribution expense for the savings plan, net of forfeitures, was approximately $184,000 and $239,000 in 2020 and 2019, respectively. Employer matching contributions owed to the plan were $200,000 and $211,000 at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
 
 
NOTE 10 – SHARE-BASED COMPENSATION
 
For share-based awards granted, we have recognized compensation expense based on the estimated grant date fair value method. For these awards we have recognized compensation expense using a straight-line amortization method and reduced for estimated forfeitures. The impact on our results of operations of recording share-based compensation for the year ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 was as follows:
 
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
 
2020
 
 
2019
 
 (in thousands)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cost of goods sold
 $44 
 $28 
Research and development
  371 
  288 
Selling, general and administrative
  1,052 
  855 
Total share-based compensation
 $1,467 
 $1,171 
 
An immaterial amount of share-based compensation was capitalized into inventory as overhead for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
 
The fair values of share-based awards for employee stock option awards were estimated at the date of grant using the Black-Scholes valuation model. The volatility and expected life of the options used in calculating the fair value of share-based awards may exclude certain periods of historical data that we considered atypical and not likely to occur in future periods. There were no options granted during the year ended December 31, 2020. The following weighted average assumptions were used to calculate the fair value of options granted during the year ended December 31, 2019:
 
 
 
Employee Stock
 
 
 
Options
 
 
 
2020
 
 
2019
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Risk-free interest rates
  n/a 
  2.31%
Volatility factors
  n/a 
  62.05%
Expected life of the option in years
  n/a 
  4.0 
Expected dividend yield
  n/a 
 
None
 
 
The risk-free interest rate used in the Black-Scholes valuation method is based on the implied yield currently available in U.S. Treasury securities at maturity with an equivalent term. We have not recently declared or paid any dividends and do not currently have plans to do so in the future. The expected term of options represents the period that our stock-based awards are expected to be outstanding and has been determined based on historical weighted average holding periods and projected holding periods for the remaining unexercised shares. Consideration was given to the contractual terms of our stock-based awards, vesting schedules and expectations of future employee behavior. Expected volatility is based on the annualized daily historical volatility of our stock over a representative period.
 
 
The following table summarizes stock option activity under our stock option plans for the twelve months ended December 31:
 
 
 
2020
 
 
2019
 
 
 
Options
 
 
Weighted-Average
Exercise Price
 
 
Weighted-Average Remaining Contractual Life in Years
 
 
Options
 
 
Weighted-Average
Exercise Price
 
 
Weighted-Average Remaining Contractual Life in Years
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Outstanding at beginning of year