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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

(Mark One)

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

For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2019

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 No. 001-39110

 

ONTO INNOVATION INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

Delaware

 

94-2276314

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification Number)

 

16 Jonspin Road, Wilmington, MA 01887

(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (978253-6200

 

SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OF THE ACT:

 

Title of Each Class

Trading Symbol

Name of Exchange on Which Registered

Common Stock, $0.001 par value per share

 

ONTO

New York Stock

Exchange (NYSE)

 

SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(g) OF THE ACT:

None

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.  Yes      No 

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

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.  Yes      No 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).  Yes      No 

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

Large accelerated filer

 

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

 

Smaller reporting company

 

 

 

Emerging growth company

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

 

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

The aggregate market value of the registrant’s voting Common Stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $811,997,653 based on the closing price of the Common Stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on June 28, 2019.

The number of shares of the registrant’s Common Stock outstanding as of February 6, 2020 was 50,282,160.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K incorporate by reference information from the definitive proxy statement for the registrant’s annual meeting of stockholders scheduled to be held on May 12, 2020.

 


Table of Contents

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Item No.

 

Page

PART I

1.

Business

2

1A.

Risk Factors

11

1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

25

2.

Properties

25

3.

Legal Proceedings

25

4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

25

PART II

5.

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

26

6.

Selected Financial Data

28

7.

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

29

7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

38

8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

38

9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

39

9A.

Controls and Procedures

39

9B.

Other Information

40

PART III

10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

41

11.

Executive Compensation

41

12.

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

41

13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

41

14.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

41

PART IV

15.

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedule

42

Signatures

 

 

 


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Explanatory Note

 

On October 25, 2019, Onto Innovation Inc. (the “Company” or “Onto Innovation,” formerly known as Nanometrics Incorporated (“Nanometrics”)) consummated its previously announced merger (the “Merger”) with Rudolph Technologies, Inc. (“Rudolph”). Onto Innovation accounts for the Merger as a reverse acquisition using the acquisition method of accounting in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, with Rudolph being treated as the acquiring entity for accounting purposes. Because Rudolph is treated as the accounting acquirer in the Merger, the financial statements filed with this annual report on Form 10-K include the financial results of Rudolph for all periods presented and the financial results of the former Nanometrics for the periods on or after October 26, 2019. As used in this report, unless the context suggests otherwise, the terms “we,” “us” or “our” refer to (i) Rudolph and its consolidated subsidiaries for periods through October 25, 2019 and (ii) Onto Innovation and its consolidated subsidiaries for periods on or after October 26, 2019. The terms the “Company” and “Onto Innovation” refer to the combined company following the consummation of the Merger.

 

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Certain statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K of Onto Innovation are forward-looking statements, including those concerning our business momentum and future growth, acceptance of our products and services, our ability to deliver both products and services consistent with our customers’ demands and expectations and to strengthen our market position, our expectations of the semiconductor market outlook, future revenue, gross profits, research and development and engineering expenses, selling, general and administrative expenses, product introductions, technology development, manufacturing practices, cash requirements, our dependence on certain significant customers and anticipated trends and developments in and management plans for our business and the markets in which we operate, our anticipated revenue as a result of acquisitions, and our ability to be successful in managing our cost structure and cash expenditures and results of litigation. The statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as, but not limited to, “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “should,” “may,” “could,” “will,” “would,” “forecast,” “project” and words or phrases of similar meaning, as they relate to our management or us.

The forward-looking statements contained herein reflect our expectations with respect to future events and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Actual results may differ materially from those included in such forward-looking statements for a number of reasons including, but not limited to, the following: variations in the level of orders which can be affected by general economic conditions; seasonality and growth rates in the semiconductor manufacturing industry and in the markets served by our customers; the global economic and political climates; difficulties or delays in product functionality or performance; the delivery performance of sole source vendors; the timing of future product releases; failure to respond adequately to either changes in technology or customer preferences; changes in pricing by us or our competitors; our ability to manage growth; changes in management; risk of nonpayment of accounts receivable; changes in budgeted costs; our ability to leverage our resources to improve our position in our core markets, to weather difficult economic environments, to open new market opportunities and to target high-margin markets; the strength/weakness of the back-end and/or front-end semiconductor market segments; the imposition of tariffs or trade restrictions and costs, burdens and restrictions associated with other governmental actions; the ability to successfully integrate the businesses of Rudolph and Nanometrics promptly and effectively and to achieve the anticipated synergies and value-creation contemplated by the Merger within the expected time frame; unanticipated difficulties or expenditures relating to the Merger and integration of the Rudolph and Nanometrics businesses; the response of business partners and retention as a result of the Merger; the diversion of management time in connection with the integration; the effect of litigation related to the Merger; and the “Risk Factors” set forth in Item 1A. You should carefully review the cautionary statements and “Risk Factors” contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. You should also review any additional disclosures and cautionary statements and “Risk Factors” we include from time to time in our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The forward-looking statements reflect our position as of the date of this report and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

 

 

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PART I

Item 1.

Business.

General

Onto Innovation is the new entity resulting from the completion on October 25, 2019 of the Merger between Nanometrics and Rudolph, two long-time leaders in the semiconductor equipment industry that began operations in 1975 and 1940, respectively. Onto Innovation has been publicly traded since October 2019 (NYSE: ONTO).  

Onto Innovation is a worldwide leader in the design, development, manufacture and support of process control tools that perform macro defect inspections and metrology, lithography systems, and process control analytical software used by semiconductor wafer and advanced packaging device manufacturers. Our products are also used in a number of other high technology industries including: silicon wafer substrates; light emitting diode (“LED”); vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (“VCSEL”); micro-electromechanical system (“MEMS”); CMOS image sensor (“CIS”); power device; RF filter; data storage; and certain industrial and scientific applications. We have a combined installed base of over 9,000 systems in the majority of advanced semiconductor device production factories worldwide.

We provide process and yield management solutions used in bare silicon wafer production and wafer processing facilities, often referred to as “front-end” manufacturing and device packaging and test facilities (or “back-end” manufacturing), respectively through a portfolio of standalone systems for macro-defect inspection, packaging lithography, probe card test and analysis, as well as transparent and opaque thin film measurements. Our automated and integrated metrology systems measure critical dimensions, device structures, topography, shape, and various thin film properties, including three-dimensional features and film thickness, as well as optical, electrical and material properties. Our primary area of focus is products that provide critical yield-enhancing information, which is used by microelectronic device manufacturers to drive down costs and to decrease the time to market their devices. All Onto Innovation systems feature sophisticated software and production-worthy automation. In addition, our advanced process control software portfolio includes powerful solutions for standalone tools, groups of tools, factory-wide, and enterprise-wide suites to enhance productivity and achieve significant cost savings. Onto Innovation’s systems are backed by worldwide customer service and applications support.

Nanometrics and Rudolph Merger

On October 25, 2019, Nanometrics and Rudolph consummated their previously announced Merger pursuant to the agreement and plan of merger, dated as of June 23, 2019 (the “Merger Agreement”), by and among Nanometrics, Rudolph and PV Equipment Inc.  As a result of the Merger, Rudolph became a direct wholly-owned subsidiary of Nanometrics, which was renamed “Onto Innovation Inc.” At the effective time of the Merger, each issued and outstanding share of common stock of Rudolph, par value $0.001 per share (“Rudolph Common Stock”) (other than shares owned by Rudolph or Nanometrics), was automatically converted into the right to receive 0.8042 (the “Exchange Ratio”) shares of Onto Innovation common stock, par value $0.001 per share (“Onto Innovation Common Stock”), and cash in lieu of any fractional shares of Onto Innovation Common Stock any former holder of Rudolph Common Stock would otherwise be entitled to receive. Immediately following the effective time of the Merger, each of Nanometrics’ and Rudolph’s stockholders owned approximately 50% of the combined company, Onto Innovation. Pursuant to the Merger Agreement, Onto Innovation accounts for the Merger as a reverse acquisition using the acquisition method of accounting in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, with Rudolph being treated as the acquiring entity for accounting purposes.  

Industry Background

We participate in the sale, design, manufacture, marketing and support of process control systems for optical critical dimension metrology, thin film metrology, wafer inspection, 2D and 3D macro inspection and lithography tools for advanced packaging as well as advanced analytical software for semiconductor manufacturing and certain industrial applications and scientific research. Our principal market is semiconductors.  Semiconductors, primarily packaged as integrated circuits within electronic devices, include consumer electronics, server and enterprise systems, mobile computing (including smart phones and tablets), data storage devices, and embedded automotive and control systems. Our core focus is the measurement and control of the structure, composition, and geometry of the devices as they are fabricated on silicon wafers to improve device performance and manufacturing yields. Our end customers manufacture many types of integrated circuits for a multitude of applications, each having unique manufacturing challenges. This includes integrated circuits to enable information processing and management (logic integrated circuits), memory storage (3D NAND and DRAM), analog devices (e.g., Wi-Fi and 5G radio integrated circuits, power devices), MEMS sensor devices (accelerometers, pressure sensors, and microphones), image sensors, and components for hard disk drives, LEDs, and power management.

 

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Current Trends

Advanced Nodes refer to leading edge integrated circuits in which the feature sizes of transistors and other features continue to shrink in specified steps, or nodes measured in nanometers (nm). Demand for our products continues to be driven by our customers’ desire for higher overall chip performance without increasing the chip size, while improving power efficiency, logic processing capability, data storage volume and manufacturing yield. To achieve these goals, our customers have increased their use of more complex materials and processing methods in their manufacturing flow. The primary paths for performance gains are geometric scaling, known as node shrinks, or scaling in three dimensions. In some cases, our customers are implementing new materials and methods in high volume manufacturing, including materials and device architectures to reduce power consumption, and stacked devices. To scale NAND memory a new 3D stacking architecture has been implemented with as many as 128 device layers in production. Additional innovation continues in Data Storage, Power Devices, MEMS, and Image Sensors. We believe the use of these new materials and manufacturing methods has increased demand for our products such as the Atlas III+ that is capable of measuring these advanced nodes as certain features shrink to 7nm, 5nm and 3nm.

To shrink features, new methods, including multiple patterning lithography and extreme ultra-violet (“EUV”) lithography, have been developed. The EUV process is driving significantly higher requirements for the silicon wafers that are entering the EUV chamber. Small particles on the backside of the wafer measuring a few micrometers (microns) can distort the images being projected onto the top side. Our NovusEdge inspection tool has been installed at major silicon wafer manufacturers to detect backside contamination and edge cracking as a final quality control mechanism before wafers are shipped to the semiconductor fabrication manufacturers. The top side of these wafers must also be scanned for any impurities contained in the silicon. This compositional analysis is measured using Onto Innovation’s Fourier Transform Infrared (“FTIR”) systems.  

Advanced Packaging refers to a variety of technologies that enable the miniaturization of electronic products, such as portable consumer devices, including smartphones, watches, and tablets. In electronics manufacturing, integrated circuit packaging is the final stage of semiconductor device fabrication, in which a single circuit made from semiconducting material (a die or chip) is encased in a molded package that provides external connections to a printed circuit board and also prevents physical damage to the chip and corrosion.  Advanced Packaging refers to the conductors and other structures that often connect multiple die, feed them with electric power and create signal paths to and from the PC board, dissipate their heat, and protect them from damage.  Today, the drive to pack more functions into a small space and reduce their power requirements demands that chip packages do much more than ever before to combine multiple chips and functions into a single molded package.

One example of the technology used in Advanced Packaging is the 3D integration of semiconductors and other devices. The technology involves stacking individual die in one integrated package. Through-silicon vias (“TSVs”) are vertical copper interconnects that are embedded from the bottom surface of a die to the top surface, which allows power and communication to be shared among the individually stacked components. The processes required for 3D integration vary from one manufacturer to another and many continue to be optimized for yield and to ensure the functioning of individual stacked chips.

Fan-out wafer level packages are another advanced packaging technology using copper pillars/bumps to vertically connect a wide variety of stacked die and are considered the next disruptive technology for several reasons. First, fan-out wafer level packages significantly reduce the space needed inside an electronic device, such as a smartphone, by combining multiple chips/functions into a single package, often called a System-in-Package (“SIP”). Next, it improves the system’s performance by reducing power and signal conductor lengths, which previously were routed from package to package through a printed circuit (“PC”) board. Using thin redistribution layers (“RDLs”) to “fan out” power and signal connections to the larger contacts on the PC board eliminates the need for a ceramic or laminated substrate, which accounts for 35 percent of the packaging cost.  As a result of the small overall form factor, fan-out wafer level packages provide the functionality needed in high-end mobile and wearable products. We believe the growth of advanced packaging has increased demand for our products such as the Dragonfly G2 System that is capable of inspecting two-dimensional (2D) features to find flaws/defects and detect unwanted residual residue as well as measuring and reporting vertical attributes of 3D pillars and bumps.

Panel Manufacturing. The current process to manufacture advanced packaging involves attaching known good die to a 300mm wafer, used as a temporary carrier when adding components such as RDLs and copper pillars.  SIP packages can often contain side-by-side die, meaning the package can be large and limit the number of packages being placed on a reconstituted wafer. In order to meet the growing demand at reduced average selling prices, manufacturers are looking to scalable technology. Advanced packaging facilities looking to improve cost of ownership and increase productivity are transitioning from round 300mm wafers to large rectangular panels, which can be as large as 600mm x 600mm. This larger size and shape enables companies manufacturing large area packages to efficiently increase the number of devices being

 

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processed at each step as they are no longer limited to operating within the constraints of a round wafer. By responding to market opportunities and addressing the stringent demands of customers’ technical roadmaps, we believe that Onto Innovation is optimally positioned to capitalize on the emerging market of high-volume panel manufacturing.  For example, the JetStep® S lithography system is designed for processing RDLs on both glass and organic laminate panels in the semiconductor Advanced Packaging market. The Firefly™S Series, designed for high resolution inspection, can provide metrology and location information to the JetStep S tool for each die, which greatly improves lithography throughput using Onto Innovation’s exclusive StepFAST™ process.  The Firefly also delivers a combination of defect detection and substrate flexibility in a single platform, reducing capital investment requirements and providing a reliable pathway to transition from wafer to panel-based processes.

Technology

We believe that our expertise in our core technologies of optics and software and our combined investment in research and development will enable us to rapidly develop new technologies and products in order to quickly respond to emerging industry trends and competitive challenges. The breadth of our technology enables us to offer a diverse combination of process control products and solutions. Unique features have been designed into our lithography systems to meet our customers’ changing process requirements. Our metrology and inspection technologies provide process control for the majority of wafers processed today in a semiconductor wafer fab. In front-end processes, optical critical dimension (“OCD”) metrology, thin film metrology, wafer stress metrology and macro defect detection and classification technologies allow yield enhancement for critical processes such as photolithography, diffusion, etch, chemical mechanical planarization (“CMP”) and outgoing quality control. Within the final manufacturing (back-end) processes, our 2D/3D advanced macro defect inspection provides our customers with critical quality assurance and process information. Defects may be created during probing, bumping, dicing, assembly processes (RDLs, TSVs, copper pillars, etc.) or general handling and can have a major impact on device and process quality. Lastly, we turn all of the data gathered into useful knowledge for our customers to make yield-enhancing decisions, which lower their cost of goods sold (“COGS”) and improve their margins.

Onto Innovation’s Products

Metrology

Automated Metrology Systems. Our automated systems primarily consist of fully automated metrology systems that are employed in semiconductor production environments. The Atlas® family of products represents our line of high-performance metrology systems providing OCD and thin film metrology and wafer stress metrology for transistor and interconnect metrology applications. The thin film and OCD technology in the Atlas is supported by our NanoCD suite of solutions including our NanoDiffract® software, SpectraProbe™ software and NanoGen™ scalable computing engine that enables visualization, modeling, and analysis of complex structures.  Additionally, the S3000SX System is used for ultra-thin transparent films metrology in advanced semiconductor fabrication applications for advanced nodes.

NanoDiffract® is a modeling, visualization and analysis software that takes signals from the metrology systems, providing critical dimension, thickness, and optical properties from in-line measurements. The software has an intuitive three-dimensional modeling interface to provide visualization of today’s advanced and complex semiconductor devices. There are proprietary fitting algorithms in NanoDiffract that enable very accurate and very fast calculations for signal processing for high fidelity model-based measurements. SpectraProbe is a model-less fitting engine that enables fast time to solution for in-line excursion detection and control. SpectraProbe complements the high-fidelity modeling of NanoDiffract with a simple machine learning interface for rapid recipe deployment. The software is supported by NanoGen, an enterprise scale computing hardware system that is deployed to run the computing intensive analysis software. NanoGen leverages commercial server chips and networking architecture and is optimized to support the workload of NanoDiffract and SpectraProbe analysis.  

Integrated Metrology Systems. Our integrated metrology (“IM”) systems are installed directly onto wafer processing equipment to provide near real-time measurements for improved process control and maximum throughput. Our IM systems are sold directly to end user customers. The IMPULSE family of products includes the latest technology for OCD, and thin film metrology, and have been successfully qualified on numerous independent Wafer Fabrication Equipment Suppliers’ platforms. Our NanoCD suite of software solutions including NanoDiffract and SpectraProbe, is sold in conjunction with our IMPULSE systems.

Opaque Film Metrology. The MetaPULSE® systems allow customers to simultaneously measure the thickness and other properties of metal or non-metallic opaque film layers in a non-destructive manner without physically contacting product wafers. PULSE Technology is used in copper or aluminum interconnect processes, as well as various layers in 3D NAND chips and thick advanced packaging interconnect applications.  PULSE technology is expanding into new process

 

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applications such as RF filters and modules, driven by the need for on-product metrology as feature sizes decrease and pattern densities increase.

Inspection & Yield Management

Silicon Wafer All-surface Inspection/Characterization. All-surface refers to inspection of the wafer frontside, edge, and backside as well as the locator notch on the wafer. The AWX and NovusEdge tools utilize optical scattering and imaging technology to inspect these surfaces.  A primary reason for all-surface wafer inspection is to detect and contain any contamination that may spread throughout the wafer fab. For instance, it is critical that the wafer backside be free of defects prior to the EUV lithography process to prevent focus and exposure problems on the wafer frontside.

Epitaxial Thickness and Composition. Our materials characterization products include systems that are used to monitor the physical, optical, electrical and material characteristics of discrete electronic industry, opto-electronic, HB-LED (high brightness LEDs), solar PV (solar photovoltaics), compound semiconductor, strained silicon and silicon-on-insulator devices, including composition, crystal structure, layer thickness, dopant concentration, contamination and electron mobility. Our portfolio of products for materials characterization includes photoluminescence mapping in the RPM Blue and Vertex, and Fourier Transform Infrared (“FTIR”) spectroscopy in the QS Family (QS1200, QS2200, QS4300) systems for substrate quality and epitaxial thickness metrology.

Macro Defect Inspection. Chip manufacturers deploy advanced macro defect inspection throughout the production line to monitor key process steps, gather process-enhancing information and ultimately, lower manufacturing costs. Field-established tools such as the F30, NSX®, and the latest Dragonfly G2 inspection systems are found in wafer fab (front-end) and packaging (back-end) facilities around the world. These high-speed tools incorporate features such as wafer-less recipe creation, tool-to-tool correlation and multiple inspection resolutions. Using Discover® yield management software, the vast amounts of data gathered through automated inspection can be analyzed and classified to determine trends and locate root causes that directly affect yield.

 Automated Defect Classification and Pattern Analysis. Automating the defect detection and classification process is best done by a system that can mimic, or even extend, the response of the human eye, but at a much higher speed, with higher resolution and more consistency. Our TrueADC software performs this rapid comparison and classification enabling yield improvement across facilities with consistent results.  

 Yield Analysis. Using wafer maps, charts and graphs, the massive amounts of data gathered through automated inspection can be analyzed to determine trends across bumps, die, wafers and lots. Discover Yield and other tools in the Discover suite enable enterprise-wide analysis.  This analysis may determine where a process variation or deviation has occurred, allowing process engineers to make corrections or enhancements to increase yields. Defect data analysis is performed to identify, analyze and locate the source of defects and other manufacturing process excursions. Using either a single wafer map or a composite map created from multiple wafer maps, this analysis enables identification of defect patterns and distribution. When combined with inspection data from strategically placed inspection points, this analysis may pinpoint the source of the defects so corrective action can be taken.

Industrial, Scientific, and Research Markets: 4D Technology. In November of 2018, Nanometrics acquired 4D Technology Corporation, based in Tucson Arizona. The 4D business unit offers a line of interferometry systems for the measurement and inspection of high precision surfaces. End markets include high precision optics surfaces and components, aerospace and defense components, automotive and powertrain systems, and unique research and scientific instrumentation that requires the unique high-speed results of the 4D systems.

Lithography

Advanced Packaging Lithography. Our lithography steppers from the JetStep product family, use projection optics to expose circuit patterns from a mask or reticle onto a substrate to expose images with optimal fidelity. The JetStep systems are used principally for package level interconnect and bump layer patterning.  Our JetStep systems have been specifically designed for these layer applications. The JetStep W Series is designed for wafers and other round substrates while the JetStep S Series is designed for rectangular substrates (panels). Both systems boast a large printable field to maximize throughput while not limiting resolution. High-fidelity optics are able to image the fine features required while at the same time managing the non-flatness that is typical for advanced packaging applications. 

Flat Panel Display Lithography. In addition to semiconductor device applications with the JetStep S and W products, the JetStep G Series is engineered to address the needs of the flat panel display market.  The JetStep G is principally used in Gen 4 and Gen 5 panels for displays used in high resolution, smaller form factor devices, such as smart phones and smart watches.  


 

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Enterprise Software Solutions

Process Control Software. We provide a wide range of advanced process control solutions, all designed to improve factory profitability, including run-to-run control, fault detection, classification and tool automation. Our Advanced Process Control solutions are sold under the Discover™ brand and include Discover Enterprise, Discover Run-to-Run and other solutions.  Discover software can automatically detect or predict tool failure (fault detection) as well as calculate recipe settings for a process that will drive the yielded output to meet and exceed the target, despite variations in the incoming material and minor instabilities within the process equipment.  These process control software solutions enable the factory to increase capacity and yield while decreasing rework and scrap.

Yield Management Software. Semiconductor manufacturers use yield management software to obtain valuable process yield and equipment productivity information. Our Discover Yield, Discover Enterprise, and Discover Patterns software enables fab wide and enterprise wide (multiple factory) yield management based on data analytics from a broad range of sources.  These data sources include wafer fab inspection and metrology systems, tool sensors, tool recipes, electrical tests and the fab environment. The Discover platform utilizes machine learning, advanced analytics, and other analysis and visualization to enable yield management and excursion prevention, and to maximize productivity across the entire semiconductor manufacturing value chain.


 

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Products

 

WAFER AND CHIP MANUFACTURING

Market

Applications

Products

Unpatterned Silicon Wafer

 

 

Bare wafer edge and backside inspection

NovusEdge™ Wafer System

AWX Series

 

 

Epitaxial Thickness and Composition / Impurity Detection

QS1200 System

QS2200 System

QS4300 System

RPM Blue & Vertex Systems

OCD Metrology

 

 

Leading-edge 3D chip manufacturing

Atlas III+ System

IMPULSE+ System

Metal Film Metrology

 

 

Opaque metal and semi-transparent film metrology system

MetaPULSE G System

Transparent Film Metrology

 

 

Transparent thin film metrology system

Atlas III+ System

IMPULSE+ System

S3000™ System

Macro Defect Inspection

 

 

Front-side macro defect inspection system

DragonFly G2 System

F30™ Inspection Module

NSX® Inspection Systems

ADVANCED PACKAGING

Market

Applications

Products

System-in-Package Inspection

 

 

2D/3D Advanced Packaging inspection and bump metrology

Dragonfly™G2 System

NSX® Systems

Fan-out Panel Level Packaging

 

 

 

Sub-micron defect panel inspection

Firefly™ Systems

 

 

2x reduction step and repeat system for advanced packaging lithography on square or rectangular substrates up to Gen 3.5 size

JetStep® X700 System

 

 

Alignment metrology and lithography optimization

StepFAST Software

INTEGRATED SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS

Market

Applications

Products

Enterprise / Fabwide

Data

Management

 

 

Fabwide yield management system

Discover® Enterprise Software

Discover Yield Software

Discover Defect Software

TrueADC® Enterprise Software

Tool Centric Analytics

 

 

 

Tool-centric yield management system

Discover® Run-to-Run Software

Discover Patterns Software

 

 

Automatic defect classification software

Discover Review Software

 


 

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Customers

Over 150 microelectronic device manufacturers have purchased Onto Innovation tools and software for installation at multiple sites. We support a diverse customer base in terms of both geographic location and type of device manufactured. Our customers are located in over 20 countries.

In 2019, sales to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. and SK Hynix Inc. accounted for 13.4% and 13.1%, respectively, of our revenue.  In 2018, sales to SK Hynix Inc. accounted for 12.2% of our revenue.  No individual end user customer accounted for more than 10% of our revenue in 2017.  We do not have purchase contracts with any of our customers that obligate them to continue to purchase our products.

Sales, Customer Service and Application Support

We believe that the capability for direct sales and support is beneficial for developing and maintaining close customer relationships and for rapidly responding to changing customer requirements. We provide local direct sales, service and application support through our worldwide offices located in the United States, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, Singapore and Europe, and work with selected dealers and sales representatives on a more limited basis in various countries. Our applications team is composed of technically experienced sales engineers who are knowledgeable in the use of metrology systems generally and the unique features and advantages of our specific products. Supported by our technical applications team, our sales and support teams work closely with our customers to offer cost-effective solutions to complex measurement and process problems. As of December 31, 2019, we employed 647 sales and marketing, service and applications support personnel.

We believe that customer service and technical support for our systems are crucial factors that distinguish us from our competitors and are essential to building and maintaining close, long-term relationships with our customers. We generally provide a warranty for our products which range from twelve to fourteen months to cover defects in material and workmanship. We provide system support to our customers through factory technical support and globally deployed field service personnel. The factory technical support operations provide customers with telephonic technical support access, direct training programs, operating manuals and other technical support information to enable effective use of our metrology and measurement instruments and systems. We have field service operations based in various locations throughout the United States, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Japan, Singapore, Israel, and European locations.

Manufacturing

Our manufacturing operations are in Milpitas California, Tucson Arizona, Wilmington Massachusetts, Bloomington Minnesota, and at various contract manufacturers around the world. It is our strategy to outsource all assemblies that do not contain elements that we believe lead to a direct competitive advantage. Most of our automated and integrated products are currently manufactured at our Milpitas and Bloomington facilities. We currently do not expect our manufacturing operations to require additional major investments in capital equipment.

We manufacture key modular assemblies and integrated tools and make reasonable efforts to ensure that externally purchased parts or raw materials are available from multiple suppliers, if possible. Certain components, subassemblies and services necessary for the manufacture of our systems are obtained either from a sole supplier or limited group of suppliers. We also have long-term supply agreements with strategic suppliers for the supply of key assemblies for use in our products.

We rely on a number of limited source suppliers for certain parts and subassemblies. This reliance creates a potential inability to obtain an adequate supply of required components, and reduced control over pricing and time of delivery of components. An inability to obtain adequate supplies would require us to seek alternative sources of supply or might require us to redesign our systems to accommodate different components or subassemblies. To date, we have not experienced any significant delivery delays. However, if we were forced to seek alternative sources of supply, manufacture such components or subassemblies internally, or redesign our products, this could prevent us from shipping our products to our customers on a timely basis, which could have a material adverse effect on our operations. As of December 31, 2019, we employed 184 manufacturing personnel.

Research and Development

We continue to invest in research and development to provide our customers with products that add value to their manufacturing processes and that provide a better and differentiated solution than our competitors so that our products stay in the forefront of current and future market demands. Whether it is for an advancement of current technology, yield and manufacturing improvement, enabling new end device technology, or the development of a new application in our core or emerging markets, we are committed to product excellence and longevity.

 

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The markets for equipment and systems for manufacturing semiconductor devices and for performing OCD metrology, macro-defect inspection, advanced packaging lithography and thin film transparent and opaque process control metrology are characterized by continuous technological development and product innovations. We believe that the rapid and ongoing development of new products and enhancements to existing products is critical to our success. Accordingly, we devote a significant portion of our technical, management and financial resources to research and development programs.  As of December 31, 2019, we employed 376 engineering personnel in research and development.

Intellectual Property

We believe that our success will depend to a great degree upon innovation, technological expertise and our ability to adapt our products to new technology. As a result, we have a policy of seeking patents on inventions governing new products or technologies as part of our ongoing research, development, and manufacturing activities. As of December 31, 2019, we have been granted, or hold exclusive licenses to, 484 U.S. and foreign patents. The patents we own, jointly own or exclusively license have expiration dates ranging from 2020 to 2038. We also have 85 pending regular and provisional applications in the U.S. and other countries. Our patents and applications principally cover various aspects of metrology, macro-defect detection and classification, altered material characterization, lithography techniques and automation.

Our pending patents may never be issued, and even if they are, these patents, our existing patents and the patents we license may not provide sufficiently broad protection to protect our proprietary rights, or they may prove to be unenforceable. To protect our proprietary rights, we also rely on a combination of copyrights, trademarks, trade secret laws, contractual provisions and licenses and non-disclosure agreements. There can be no assurance (i) that any patents issued to or licensed by us will not be challenged, invalidated or circumvented, (ii) that the rights granted thereunder will provide us with a competitive advantage or (iii) that we will be able to fully protect our technology. Additionally, others may obtain patents and assert them against us. From time to time, we receive communications from third parties asserting that our systems may contain design features that such third parties claim may infringe upon their proprietary rights.

The laws of some foreign countries do not protect our proprietary rights to the same degree as do the laws of the United States, and many U.S. companies have encountered substantial infringement problems in protecting their proprietary rights against infringement in such countries, some of which are countries in which we have sold and continue to sell products. There is a risk that our means of protecting our proprietary rights may not be adequate. For example, our competitors may independently develop similar technology or duplicate our products. If we fail to adequately protect our intellectual property, it would be easier for our competitors to sell competing products.

Competition

We offer various products for various semiconductor manufacturing process steps, and several of our products extend across the same process flow. However, for process control of each of these process steps, we have multiple established and potential competitors, some of which may have greater financial, research, engineering, manufacturing and marketing resources than we have. We may also face future competition from new market entrants from other overseas and domestic sources. We expect our competitors to continue to improve the design and performance of their current products and processes, and to introduce new products and processes with improved price and performance characteristics. In order to remain competitive, we believe that we will require significant financial resources to offer a broad range of products, and to maintain customer service and support centers worldwide, and to invest in product research and development.  

In every market in which we participate, the global semiconductor equipment industry is intensely competitive, and driven by rapid technological adoption cycles. Our ability to effectively compete depends upon our ability to continually improve our products, applications and services, and our ability to develop new products, applications and services that meet constantly evolving customer requirements.

In automated systems for the semiconductor industry, our principal competitors are KLA Corporation (“KLA”) and Nova Measuring Instruments Ltd. (“Nova”) for thin film and critical dimension OCD metrology. Our principal competitor for advanced packaging inspection is Camtek Ltd. (“Camtek”). While the advanced packaging lithography market is served by various competitors, our primary competitors are Veeco Instruments, Inc. (“Veeco Instruments”) and, to a lesser extent, Nikon Corporation (“Nikon”). Our primary competitor for integrated metrology systems for the semiconductor industry is Nova. The opto-electronics, discrete device and industrial and scientific markets are addressed primarily by our material characterization and 4D business unit systems, served by numerous competitors, of which no single competitor or group of competitors has established a majority position.

We believe that our competitive position in each of our markets is based on the ability of our products and services to address customer requirements related to numerous competitive factors. Competitive selections are based on many factors

 

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involving technological innovation, productivity, total cost of ownership of the system, including impact on end of line yield, price, product performance and throughput capability, quality, reliability and customer support.

Backlog

We schedule production of our systems based upon order backlog and informal customer forecasts. We use the term “backlog” to refer to only those orders to which the customer has been assigned a purchase order number and for which delivery is anticipated within 12 months. Because shipment dates may be changed and customers may cancel or delay orders with little or no penalty, our backlog as of any particular date may not be a reliable indicator of actual sales for any succeeding period. At December 31, 2019, we had a backlog of approximately $71.7 million compared with a backlog of approximately $62.7 million at December 31, 2018.

Employees

At December 31, 2019, we employed a total of 1,340 persons worldwide with sales, applications and service support in key geographic areas aligned with our customer locations. None of our employees are represented by a union and we have never experienced a work stoppage because of union actions. We consider our employee relations to be good. Many of our employees have specialized skills that are of value to us. Our future success will depend in large part upon our ability to attract, retain and motivate highly skilled scientific, technical and managerial personnel, who are in great demand in our industry.

Environmental Matters

Our operations are subject to various federal, state and local environmental protection regulations governing the use, storage, handling and disposal of hazardous materials, chemicals, and certain waste products. We believe that compliance with federal, state and local environmental protection regulations will not have a material adverse effect on our capital expenditures, earnings and competitive and financial position.

If we fail to comply with such laws and regulations, we could be liable for damages, penalties and fines. We further discuss the impact of environmental regulation under the risk factor, “We are subject to various environmental laws and regulations that could impose substantial costs upon us and may harm our business, operating results and financial condition.” in Item 1A.

Available Information

Our Internet website address is http://www.ontoinnovation.com. The information on our website is not incorporated into this Annual Report. Our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K (and any amendments to those reports) are made available free of charge, on or through our Internet website, as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. All filings we make with the SEC are also available free of charge via EDGAR through the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. In addition, the historic reports and materials that were filed by Nanometrics and Rudolph with the SEC are available at our investor relations website at https://investors.ontoinnovation.com. These filings may also be obtained through the SEC’s website. Documents that are not available through the SEC’s website may also be obtained by submitting an online request to the SEC at http://www.sec.gov.

We also make available, free of charge, through our investor relations website, our corporate governance summary, Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, charters of the committees of our Board of Directors, and other information and materials, including information about how to contact our Board of Directors.

Investors and others should also note that we announce material financial information to our investors using our investor relations website, SEC filings, press releases, public conference calls and webcasts. We use these channels as well as social media to communicate with the public about the Company, our products and services and other matters. It is possible that the information we post on social media could be deemed to be material information. Therefore, we encourage investors, the media, and others interested in the Company to review the information we post on the social media channels listed on our investor relations website.

 

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Item 1A.

Risk Factors.

Risks Related to Our Business

Our operating results have varied and will likely continue to vary significantly from quarter to quarter in the future, causing volatility in our stock price.

Our quarterly operating results have varied in the past and will likely continue to vary significantly from quarter to quarter in the future, causing volatility in our stock price. Some of the factors that may influence our operating results and subject our stock to extreme price and volume fluctuations include:

 

changes in customer demand for our systems, which is influenced by economic conditions in the semiconductor device industry, demand for products that use semiconductors, market acceptance of our systems and products of our customers and changes in our product offerings;

 

seasonal variations in customer demand;

 

the timing, cancellation or delay of customer orders, shipments and acceptance;

 

the gain or loss of a key customer or significant changes in the financial condition of one or more key customers;

 

product development costs, including increased research, development, engineering and marketing expenses associated with our introduction of new products and product enhancements; and

 

the levels of our fixed expenses, including research and development costs associated with product development, relative to our revenue levels.

In light of these factors and the cyclical nature of the semiconductor industry, we expect to continue to experience significant fluctuations in quarterly and annual operating results. Moreover, many of our expenses are fixed in the short-term which, together with the need for continued investment in research and development, marketing and customer support, limits our ability to reduce expenses quickly. As a result, declines in net sales could harm our business and the price of our common stock could substantially decline.

Our largest customers account for a substantial portion of our revenue, and our revenue and cash flows could decline considerably if one or more of these customers were to purchase significantly fewer of our systems or delay or cancel a large order.

Sales to end user customers that individually represent at least five percent of our revenue typically account for, in the aggregate, a considerable amount of our revenue. We operate in the highly concentrated, capital-intensive semiconductor device manufacturing industry. Historically, a substantial portion of our revenue in each quarter and year has been derived from sales to relatively few customers, and this trend is expected to continue. If any of our key customers were to purchase significantly fewer of our systems in the future, or if they delay or cancel a large order, our revenue and cash flows could meaningfully decline. We expect that we will continue to depend on a small number of large customers for a sizable portion of our revenue. In addition, as large semiconductor device manufacturers seek to establish closer relationships with their suppliers, we expect that our customer base will become even more concentrated.

Our customers may be unable to pay us for our products and services.

Our customers include some companies that may, from time to time, encounter financial difficulties. If a customer’s financial difficulties become severe, the customer may be unwilling or unable to pay our invoices in the ordinary course of business, which could adversely affect collections of both our accounts receivable balance and unbilled services. The bankruptcy of a customer with a substantial account balance owed to us could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, if a customer declares bankruptcy after paying us certain invoices, a court may determine that we are not properly entitled to that payment and may require repayment of some or all of the amount we received, which could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Variations in the amount of time it takes for us to sell our systems may cause fluctuations in our operating results, which could cause our stock price to decline.

Variations in the length of our sales cycles could cause our revenue and cash flows, and consequently, our business, financial condition, operating results and cash flows to fluctuate widely from period to period. This variation could cause our stock price to decline. Our customers generally take a long time to evaluate our inspection and/or film metrology systems and many people are involved in the evaluation process. We expend significant resources educating and providing information to

 

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our prospective customers regarding the uses and benefits of our systems in the semiconductor fabrication process. The length of time it takes for us to make a sale depends upon many factors, including, but not limited to:

 

the efforts of our sales force;

 

the complexity of the customer’s fabrication processes;

 

the internal technical capabilities and sophistication of the customer;

 

the customer’s budgetary constraints; and

 

the quality and sophistication of the customer’s current metrology, inspection or lithography equipment.

Because of the number of factors influencing the sales process, the period between our initial contact with a customer and the time when we recognize revenue from that customer and receive payment, if ever, varies widely in length. Our sales cycles, including the time it takes for us to build a product to customer specifications after receiving an order to the time we recognize revenue, typically range from three to twenty-four months. Sometimes our sales cycles can be much longer, particularly with customers in Asia. During these cycles, we commit substantial resources to our sales efforts in advance of receiving any revenue, and we may never receive any revenue from a customer despite our sales efforts. If we do make a sale, our customers often purchase only one of our systems, the performance of which they then evaluate for a lengthy period before purchasing any more of our systems. The number of additional products a customer purchases, if any, depends on many factors, including the customer’s capacity requirements. The period between a customer’s initial purchase and any subsequent purchases can vary from three months to a year or longer, and variations in the length of this period could cause further fluctuations in our operating results and, possibly, in our stock price.

We are subject to order and shipment uncertainties. Our profitability will decline if we fail to accurately forecast customer demand when managing inventory.

We typically plan production and inventory levels based on internal forecasts of customer demand, which can be highly unpredictable and can fluctuate substantially, which could lead to excess inventory write-downs and resulting negative impacts on gross margin and net income. We have limited visibility into our customers' inventories, future customer demand and the product mix that our customers will require, which could adversely affect our production forecasts and operating margins. In addition, innovation in our industry could render significant portions of our inventory obsolete. If we overestimate our customers' requirements, we may have excess inventory, which could lead to obsolete inventory and unexpected costs. Conversely, if we underestimate our customers' requirements, we may have inadequate inventory, which could lead to foregone revenue opportunities, loss of potential market share and damage to customer relationships as product deliveries may not be made on a timely basis, disrupting our customers' production schedules. In response to anticipated long lead times to obtain inventory and materials from outside suppliers and foundries, we periodically order materials in advance of customer demand. This advance ordering has in the past and may in the future result in excess inventory levels or unanticipated inventory write-downs if expected orders fail to materialize, or other factors make our products less saleable. In addition, any significant future cancellation or deferral of product orders could adversely affect our revenue and margins, increase inventory write-downs due to obsolete inventory, and adversely affect our operating results and stock price.

Most of our revenue has been derived from customers outside of the United States, subjecting us to operational, financial and political risks, such as unexpected changes in regulatory requirements, tariffs, political and economic instability, outbreaks of hostilities, natural disasters, climate change and difficulties in managing foreign sales representatives and foreign branch operations, as well as risks associated with foreign currency fluctuations.

Due to the significant level of our international sales, we are subject to a number of material risks, including:

Compliance with foreign laws. Our business is subject to risks inherent in doing business internationally, including compliance with, inconsistencies among, and unexpected changes in, a wide variety of foreign laws and regulatory environments with which we are not familiar, including, among other issues, with respect to employees, protection of our intellectual property, and a wide variety of operational regulations and trade and export controls under domestic, foreign, and international law.

Unexpected changes in regulatory requirements including tariffs and other market barriers. The semiconductor device industry is a high-visibility industry in many of the European and Asian countries in which we sell our products. Because the governments of these countries have provided extensive financial support to our semiconductor device manufacturing customers in these countries, we believe that our customers could be disproportionately affected by any trade embargoes, excise taxes, tariffs or other restrictions imposed by their governments on trade with United States companies such as ourselves, particularly with respect to the ongoing trade negotiations between the United States and China. As of January

 

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2020, trade delegations from the United States and China reached partial agreement over tariffs on certain products, but if the United States and China do not continue negotiations and reach agreement on a trade policy, tariffs imposed by China may result in lower sales to customers in China as the costs of our products become more expensive to such customers. In addition, tariffs imposed by the United States will increase the cost of raw materials that we import from China.  Any restrictions of these types could result in a reduction in our sales to customers in these countries. In addition, given the relatively fluid regulatory environment in China, there could be additional tax or other regulatory changes in the future. Such actions in the future, as well as other changes in Chinese laws and regulations, including actions in furtherance of China’s stated policy of reducing its dependence on foreign semiconductor manufacturers, could increase the cost of doing business in China, foster the emergence of Chinese-based competitors, decrease the demand for our customers’ products in China, or reduce the supply of critical materials for our customers’ products, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

Political and economic instability. We are subject to various global risks related to political and economic instabilities in countries in which we derive sales. If terrorist activities, armed conflict, civil or military unrest or political instability occurs outside of the U.S., these events may result in reduced demand for our products. There is considerable political instability in Taiwan related to its disputes with China and in South Korea related to its disputes with North Korea. In addition, several Asian countries, particularly Japan, have experienced significant economic instability. An outbreak of hostilities or other political upheaval in China, Taiwan or South Korea, or an economic downturn in Japan or other countries, would likely harm the operations of our customers in these countries. The effect of these types of events on our revenue and cash flows could be material because we derive substantial revenue from sales to semiconductor device foundries in Taiwan such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd., from memory chip manufacturers in South Korea such as Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., and from semiconductor device manufacturers in Japan such as Toshiba Corporation.

Natural disasters and climate change. Natural disasters, changes in climate and geo-political events could materially adversely affect our worldwide operations (or those of our business partners). The occurrence of one or more natural disasters such as hurricanes, tropical storms, fires, cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, typhoons, volcanic eruptions and weather conditions such as major or extended winter storms, droughts and tornadoes, whether as a result of climate change or otherwise, may disrupt manufacturing or other operations. For example, our Milpitas operations are located near major earthquake fault lines in California. There may also be conflict or uncertainty in the countries in which we operate, including public health issues (for example, an outbreak of a contagious disease such as 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) as described below, avian influenza, measles or Ebola), safety issues, natural disasters, fire, disruptions of service from utilities, nuclear power plant accidents or general economic or political unrest, including war, civil unrest or terrorist attacks.

Our financial and operating performance may be adversely affected by epidemics. Our business and financial and operating performance could be materially and adversely affected by the outbreak of epidemics including but not limited to 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). As a result of the ongoing Novel Coronavirus, the operations of our customers in China and Taiwan are expected to experience a slowdown or temporary suspension in production. Our business could be materially and adversely affected in the event that the slowdown or suspension continues for a long period of time. During such epidemic outbreak, China and Taiwan may adopt certain hygiene measures, including quarantining visitors from places where any of the contagious diseases were rampant. Those restrictive measures may adversely affect and slow down economic development during that period. Any prolonged restrictive measures in order to control the contagious disease or other adverse public health developments in China and Taiwan may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Difficulties in staffing and managing foreign branch operations. During periods of tension between the governments of the United States and certain other countries, it is often difficult for United States companies such as us to staff and manage operations in such countries. Language and other cultural differences may also inhibit our sales and marketing efforts and create internal communication problems among our U.S. and foreign research and development teams, increasing the difficulty of managing multiple remote locations performing various development, quality assurance, and yield ramp analysis projects.

Currency fluctuations as compared to the U.S. Dollar. A substantial portion of our international sales are denominated in U.S. dollars. As a result, if the dollar rises in value in relation to foreign currencies, our systems will become more expensive to customers outside the United States and less competitive with systems produced by competitors outside the United States. These conditions could negatively impact our international sales. Foreign sales also expose us to collection risk in the event it becomes more expensive for our foreign customers to convert their local currencies into U.S. dollars. Additionally, in the event a larger portion of our revenue becomes denominated in foreign currencies, we would be subject to a potentially significant exchange rate risk.

 

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FCPA and Other Anti-Corruption Laws. We are subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 ("FCPA"), and other laws that prohibit improper payments or offers of payments to foreign governments and their officials and political parties by U.S. persons and issuers as defined by the statute, for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Also, similar worldwide anti-bribery laws, such as the U.K. Bribery Act and Chinese anti-corruption laws, generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to non-U.S. officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Some of our distribution partners are located in parts of the world that have experienced governmental corruption to some degree and, in certain circumstances, strict compliance with anti-bribery laws may conflict with local customs and practices. The policies and procedures we have implemented to discourage these practices by our employees, our existing safeguards and any future improvements may prove to be less than effective, and our employees, consultants, sales agents or distributors may engage in conduct for which we might be held responsible. Violations of the FCPA or international anti-corruption laws may result in severe criminal or civil sanctions, and we may be subject to other liabilities, which could negatively affect our business, operating results and financial condition. In addition, the U.S. government may seek to hold us liable for successor liability FCPA violations committed by companies in which we invest or that we acquire. We cannot assure you that our internal control policies and procedures will protect us from reckless or negligent acts committed by our employees, distributors, partners, consultants or agents.

If we deliver systems with defects, our credibility will be harmed and the sales and market acceptance of our systems will decrease.

Our systems are complex and have occasionally contained errors, defects and bugs when introduced. Defects may be created during probing, bumping, dicing or general handling, and can have a major impact on device and process quality. When this occurs, our credibility and the market acceptance and sales of our systems could be harmed. Further, if our systems contain errors, defects or bugs, computer viruses or malicious code as a result of cyber-attacks to our computer networks, we may be required to expend significant capital and resources to alleviate these problems. Defects could also lead to product liability as a result of product liability lawsuits against us or against our customers. We have agreed to indemnify our customers under certain circumstances against liability arising from defects in our systems. Our product liability insurance policy currently provides $2.0 million of aggregate coverage, with an overall umbrella limit of $14.0 million. In the event of a successful product liability claim, we could be obligated to pay damages significantly in excess of our product liability insurance limits.

If we are not successful in developing new and enhanced products for the semiconductor device manufacturing industry, we will lose sales and market share to our competitors.

We operate in an industry that is highly competitive and subject to evolving industry standards, rapid technological changes, rapid changes in consumer demands and the rapid introduction of new, higher performance systems with shorter product life cycles. To be competitive in our demanding market, we must continually design, develop and introduce in a timely manner new lithography, inspection and metrology process control systems that meet the performance and price demands of semiconductor device manufacturers. We must also continue to refine our current systems so that they remain competitive. We expect to continue to make significant investments in our research and development activities. We may experience difficulties or delays in our development efforts with respect to new systems, and we may not ultimately be successful in our product enhancement efforts to improve and advance products or in responding effectively to technological change, as not all research and development activities result in viable commercial products. In addition, we cannot provide assurance that we will be able to develop new products for the most opportunistic new markets and applications. Any significant delay in releasing new systems could cause our products to become obsolete, adversely affect our reputation, give a competitor a first-to-market advantage or cause a competitor to achieve greater market share.

Some of our competitors have greater financial, engineering, manufacturing, research and development, marketing and customer support resources than we do. As a result, our competitors may be able to respond more quickly to new or emerging technologies or market developments by devoting greater resources to the development, promotion and sale of products, which could impair sales of our products. Moreover, there has been merger and acquisition activity among our competitors and potential competitors. These transactions by our competitors and potential competitors may provide them with a competitive advantage over us by enabling them to rapidly expand their product offerings and service capabilities to meet a broader range of customer needs. Many of our customers and potential customers in the semiconductor industry are large companies that require global support and service for their metrology systems. Some of our larger or more geographically diverse competitors might be better equipped to provide this global support and service.

In addition, our competitors may provide innovative technology that may have performance advantages over systems we currently offer or may offer in the future. They may be able to develop products comparable or superior to those that we offer or may adapt more quickly to new technologies or evolving customer requirements. In particular, while we currently are developing additional product enhancements that we believe will address future customer requirements, we may fail in a

 

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timely manner to complete the development or introduction of these additional product enhancements successfully, or these product enhancements may not achieve market acceptance or be competitive.

Further, customers that may otherwise desire to purchase our products from us and purchase other products from our competitors may nevertheless purchase competing products from our competitors rather than purchase our products due to a variety of reasons, including to gain favor or volume pricing from our competitors.

If new products developed by us do not gain general market acceptance, we will be unable to generate revenue and recover our research and development costs.

Inspection, lithography and metrology product development is inherently risky because it is difficult to foresee developments in semiconductor device manufacturing technology, coordinate technical personnel, and identify and eliminate system design flaws. Further, our products are complex and often the applications to our customers’ businesses are unique. Any new systems we introduce may not achieve or sustain a significant degree of market acceptance and sales.

We expect to spend a significant amount of time and resources developing new systems and refining our existing systems. In light of the long product development cycles inherent in our industry, these expenditures will be made well in advance of the prospect of deriving revenue from the sale of those systems. Our ability to commercially introduce and successfully market new systems are subject to a wide variety of challenges during the development cycle, including start-up bugs, design defects, and other matters that could delay introduction of these systems. In addition, since our customers are not obligated by long-term contracts to purchase our systems, our anticipated product orders may not materialize, or orders that are placed may be canceled. As a result, if we do not achieve market acceptance of new products, we may be unable to generate sufficient revenue and cash flow to recover our research and development costs and our market share, revenue, operating results or stock price would be negatively impacted.

Even if we are able to develop new products that gain market acceptance, sales of these new products could impair our ability to sell existing products.

Competition from our new systems could have a negative effect on sales of our existing systems and the prices that we could charge for these systems. We may also divert sales and marketing resources from our current systems in order to successfully launch and promote our new or next generation systems. This diversion of resources could have a further negative effect on sales of our current systems and the value of inventory.

Our integrated metrology systems are integrated with systems sold independently by Wafer Fabrication Equipment Suppliers, and a decrease in sales by these suppliers, or the development of competing systems by these suppliers, could harm our business.

We believe that sales of integrated metrology systems will continue to be an important source of our net revenues. Sales of our integrated metrology systems depend upon the ability of a small number of Wafer Fabrication Equipment Suppliers to sell semiconductor manufacturing equipment products that are compatible with our metrology systems as components. If these suppliers, such as Applied Materials, Inc., Ebara Corporation, Lam Research Corporation and Tokyo Electron, are unable to sell such products, if they choose to focus their attention on products that do not integrate our systems, or if they choose to develop competing systems, our business could suffer.

If our relationships with our large customers deteriorate, our product development activities could be adversely affected.

The success of our product development efforts depends on our ability to anticipate market trends and the price, performance and functionality requirements of semiconductor device manufacturers. In order to anticipate these trends and ensure that critical development projects proceed in a coordinated manner, we must continue to collaborate closely with our largest customers. Our relationships with these and other customers provide us with access to valuable information regarding trends in the semiconductor device industry, which enables us to better plan our product development activities. If our current relationships with our large customers are impaired, or if we are unable to develop similar collaborative relationships with important customers in the future, our product development activities could be adversely affected.

 

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We may fail to adequately protect our intellectual property and, therefore, lose our competitive advantage.

Our future success and competitive position depend in part upon our ability to obtain and maintain proprietary technology for our principal product families, and we rely, in part, on patent and trade secret law and confidentiality agreements to protect that technology. If we fail to adequately protect our intellectual property, it will give our competitors a significant advantage. We own or have licensed a number of patents relating to our transparent and opaque thin film metrology, lithography and macro-defect inspection systems, and have filed applications for additional patents.  Any of our pending patent applications may be rejected, and we may be unable to develop additional proprietary technology that is patentable in the future.

In addition, the patents that we do own or that have been issued or licensed to us may not provide us with competitive advantages and may be challenged by third parties. Further, third parties may also design around these patents. In addition to patent protection, we rely upon trade secret protection for our confidential and proprietary information and technology. We routinely enter into confidentiality agreements with our employees and other third parties. Even though these agreements are in place, there can be no assurances that trade secrets and proprietary information will not be disclosed, that others will not independently develop substantially equivalent proprietary information and techniques or otherwise gain access to our trade secrets, or that we can fully protect our trade secrets and proprietary information. Violations by others of our confidentiality agreements and the loss of employees who have specialized knowledge and expertise could harm our competitive position and cause our sales and operating results to decline as a result of increased competition. Costly and time-consuming litigation might be necessary to enforce and determine the scope of our proprietary rights, and failure to obtain or maintain trade secret protection might adversely affect our ability to continue our research or bring products to market.

Protection of our intellectual property rights, or the efforts of third parties to enforce their own intellectual property rights against us, may result in costly and time-consuming litigation, substantial damages, lost product sales and/or the loss of important intellectual property rights.

We may be required to initiate litigation in order to enforce any patents issued to or licensed by us or to determine the scope or validity of a third party’s patent or other proprietary rights. Any litigation, regardless of outcome, could be expensive and time consuming and could subject us to significant liabilities or require us to re-engineer our products or obtain expensive licenses from third parties. There can be no assurance that any patents issued to or licensed by us will not be challenged, invalidated or circumvented, or that the rights granted thereunder will provide us with a competitive advantage.

In addition, our commercial success depends in part on our ability to avoid infringing or misappropriating patents or other proprietary rights owned by third parties. From time to time, we receive communications from third parties asserting that our products or systems infringe, or may infringe, on the proprietary rights of these third parties. These claims of infringement may lead to protracted and costly litigation, which could require us to pay substantial damages or have the sale of our products or systems stopped by an injunction. Infringement claims could also cause product or system delays or require us to redesign our products or systems, and these delays could result in the loss of substantial revenue. We may also be required to obtain a license from the third party or cease activities utilizing the third party’s proprietary rights. We may not be able to enter into such a license or such a license may not be available on commercially reasonable terms. Accordingly, the loss of important intellectual property rights could hinder our ability to sell our systems or to make the sale of these systems more expensive.

Our efforts to protect our intellectual property may be less effective in certain foreign countries where intellectual property rights are not as well protected as in the United States.

The laws of some foreign countries, including China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, where we do business, do not protect our proprietary rights to as great an extent as do the laws of the United States, and many U.S. companies have encountered substantial problems in protecting their proprietary rights against infringement abroad. For example, Taiwan is not a signatory of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, which is designed to specify rules and methods for defending intellectual property internationally. The publication of a patent in Taiwan prior to the filing of a patent in Taiwan would invalidate the ability of a company to obtain a patent in Taiwan. Similarly, in contrast to the United States where the contents of patents remain confidential during the patent application process, in Taiwan, the contents of a patent are published upon filing, which provides competitors an advance view of the contents of a patent application prior to the establishment of patent rights. Similarly, China’s protection of intellectual property rights historically has been less stringent and robust compared to other countries such as the United States, and consequently intellectual property rights and confidentiality protections in China may not be as effective as in the United States or other countries.  Monitoring and preventing unauthorized use are also difficult and the measures we take to protect our intellectual property rights may not be adequate.  Accordingly, infringement of our

 

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intellectual property rights poses a serious risk of doing business in China. Consequently, there is a risk that we may be unable to adequately protect our proprietary rights in certain foreign countries. If this occurs, it would be easier for our competitors to develop and sell competing products in these countries.

Some of our current and potential competitors have significantly greater resources than we do, and increased competition could impair sales of our products or cause us to reduce our prices.

The market for semiconductor capital equipment is highly competitive. We face substantial competition from established companies in each of the markets we serve. We principally compete with KLA Corporation, Nova Measuring Instruments, Camtek and Veeco Instruments. We compete to a lesser extent with Nikon. Each of our products also competes with products that use different metrology, inspection or lithography techniques. Some of our competitors have greater financial, engineering, manufacturing and marketing resources, broader product offerings and service capabilities and larger installed customer bases than we do. As a result, these competitors may be able to respond more quickly to new or emerging technologies or market developments by devoting greater resources to the development, promotion and sale of products, which, in turn, could impair sales of our products. Further, there may be significant merger and acquisition activity among our competitors and potential competitors, which, in turn, may provide them with a competitive advantage over us by enabling them to rapidly expand their product offerings and service capabilities to meet a broader range of customer needs.

Many of our customers and potential customers in the semiconductor device manufacturing industry are large companies that require global support and service for their semiconductor capital equipment. We believe that our global support and service infrastructure is sufficient to meet the needs of our customers and potential customers. However, some of our competitors have more extensive infrastructures than we do, which could place us at a disadvantage when competing for the business of global semiconductor device manufacturers. Many of our competitors are investing heavily in the development of new systems that will compete directly with our systems. We have, from time to time, selectively reduced prices on our systems in order to protect our market share, and competitive pressures may necessitate further price reductions. We expect our competitors in each product area to continue to improve the design and performance of their products and to introduce new products with competitive prices and performance characteristics. These product introductions would likely require us to decrease the prices of our systems and increase the level of discounts that we grant our customers. Price reductions or lost sales as a result of these competitive pressures would reduce our total revenue and could adversely impact our financial results.

Because of the high cost of switching equipment vendors in our markets, it is sometimes difficult for us to win new customers from our competitors even if our systems are superior to theirs.

We believe that once a semiconductor device manufacturer has selected one vendor’s capital equipment for a production-line application, the manufacturer generally relies upon that capital equipment and, to the extent possible, subsequent generations of the same vendor’s equipment for the life of the application. Once a vendor’s equipment has been installed in a production line application, a semiconductor device manufacturer must often make substantial technical modifications and may experience production-line downtime in order to switch to another vendor’s equipment. Accordingly, unless our systems offer performance or cost advantages that outweigh a customer’s expense of switching to our systems, it will be difficult for us to achieve significant sales to that manufacturer once it has selected another vendor’s capital equipment for an application.

We must attract and retain experienced senior executives and other key personnel with knowledge of semiconductor device manufacturing and inspection, metrology or lithography equipment and related software to help support our future growth, and competition for such personnel in our industry is high.

Our success depends, to a significant degree, upon the continued contributions of our key executive management, engineering, sales and marketing, customer support, finance and manufacturing personnel. The loss of any of these key personnel through resignations, retirement or other circumstances, each of whom would be extremely difficult to replace, could harm our business and operating results. Although we have employment and noncompetition agreements with key members of our senior management team, these individuals or other key employees may still leave us, which could have a material adverse effect on our business. We do not have key person life insurance on any of our executives. In addition, to support our future growth, we will need to attract and retain additional qualified employees. Competition for such personnel in our industry is intense, and we may not be successful in attracting and retaining qualified employees.

In order to attract and retain executives and other key employees, the Company must provide a competitive compensation package, including cash and stock-based compensation. If the anticipated value of the Company’s stock-based

 

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incentive awards does not materialize so that they cease to be viewed as valuable, if the Company’s profits decrease, or if the Company’s total compensation package is not viewed as competitive, the Company’s ability to attract, retain and motivate executives and key employees could be weakened.

We obtain some of the components and subassemblies included in our systems from a limited group of suppliers, and the partial or complete loss of one of these suppliers could cause production delays and a substantial loss of revenue.

We obtain some of the components and subassemblies included in our systems from a limited group of suppliers and do not have long-term contracts with many of our suppliers. Our dependence on limited source suppliers of components and our lack of long-term contracts with many of our suppliers expose us to several risks, including a potential inability to obtain an adequate supply of components, price increases, late deliveries and poor component quality. Disruption or termination of the supply of these components could delay shipments of our systems, damage our customer relationships and reduce our sales. From time to time in the past, we have experienced temporary difficulties in receiving shipments from our suppliers. The lead-time required for shipments of some of our components can be as long as six months. In addition, the lead time required to qualify new suppliers for lasers and certain optics could be as long as a year, and the lead time required to qualify new suppliers of other components could be as long as nine months. If we are unable to accurately predict our component needs, or if our component supply is disrupted, we may miss market opportunities by not being able to meet the demand for our systems. Further, a significant increase in the price of one or more of these components or subassemblies could seriously harm our results of operations and cash flows.

Any prolonged disruption in the operations of our manufacturing facilities could have a material adverse effect on our revenue.

We produce the majority of our systems in our manufacturing facilities located in Milpitas, California and Bloomington, Minnesota. We use contract manufacturers in China, Israel, Japan and the United States. Our manufacturing processes are highly complex and require sophisticated and costly equipment and a specially designed facility. As a result, any prolonged disruption in the operations of our manufacturing facilities, such as those resulting from acts of war, terrorism, political instability, health epidemics, fire, earthquake, flooding or other natural disaster could seriously harm our ability to satisfy our customer order deadlines. If we cannot timely deliver our systems, our results from operations and cash flows could be materially and adversely affected.

We may outsource select manufacturing activities to third-party service providers, which decreases our control over the performance of these functions and may result in lower quality and functionality of our products.

We may outsource product manufacturing to third-party service providers. Outsourcing reduces our control over the performance of the outsourced functions. Dependence on outsourcing may also adversely affect our ability to bring new products to market. If we do not effectively manage our outsourcing strategy or if third party service providers do not perform as anticipated, we may experience operational difficulties, increased costs, manufacturing interruptions or inefficiencies in the operation of our supply chain, any or all of which could delay our delivery of products to our customers, and materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

If our network security measures are breached and unauthorized access is obtained to a customer's data, to our data, or to our information technology systems, we may incur significant legal and financial exposure and liabilities.

As part of our business, we store our data and certain data about our customers, vendors and employees in our information technology system.  While we have security measures in place that are designed to protect this information and prevent data loss and other security breaches, if these measures are breached as a result of third-party action, employee error, malfeasance, break-ins or otherwise, and someone obtains unauthorized access to our customers’, vendors’ or employees’ data, we could face loss of business, regulatory investigations or court orders, our reputation could be severely damaged, we could be required to expend significant capital and other resources to alleviate the problem, as well as incur significant costs and liabilities, including due to litigation, indemnity obligations, damages for contract breach, penalties for violation of applicable laws or regulations, and costs for remediation and other incentives offered to customers.

Cyber-attacks and other malicious internet-based activities continue to increase. Because the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access or sabotage systems change frequently and generally are not identified until they are launched against a target, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate preventative measures. In addition, third parties may attempt to fraudulently induce employees or users to disclose information to gain access to our data or our customers’ data. If any of these events occur, our or our customers’ and vendors’ information could be accessed or disclosed

 

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improperly. Any or all of these issues could negatively affect our ability to attract new customers, cause existing customers to choose to purchase from our competitors, result in reputational damage or subject us to third-party lawsuits, regulatory fines or other action or liability, which could adversely affect our operating results.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in European Union (EU) law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA). It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas. We need to put in appropriate technical and organizational measures to implement these data protection principles. The GDPR requirements have been reviewed and are in the process of being implemented. We may also be subject to other data privacy laws in the United States and the other countries in which we operate.

Failure to adjust our orders for parts and subcomponents in an accurate and timely manner in response to changing market conditions or customer acceptance of our products could adversely affect our financial position and results of operations.

Our earnings could be negatively affected and our inventory levels could materially increase if we are unable to predict our inventory needs in an accurate and timely manner and adjust our orders for parts and subcomponents in the event that our needs increase or decrease materially due to unexpected increases or decreases in demand for our products. Any material increase in our inventories could result in an adverse effect on our financial position, while any material decrease in our ability to procure needed inventories could result in an inability to supply customer demand for our products, thus adversely affecting our revenue.

Our ability to fulfill our backlog may have an effect on our long-term ability to procure contracts and fulfill current contracts.

Our ability to fulfill our backlog may be limited by our ability to devote sufficient financial and human capital resources and may be limited by available material supplies. If we do not fulfill our backlog in a timely manner, we may experience delays in product delivery, which would postpone receipt of revenue from those delayed deliveries. Additionally, if we are consistently unable to fulfill our backlog, this may be a disincentive to customers to award large contracts to us in the future until they are comfortable that we can effectively manage our backlog.

If we do not manage our supply chain effectively, our operating results may be adversely affected.

We need to continually evaluate our global supply chains and assess opportunities to reduce costs. We must also enhance quality, speed and flexibility to meet changing demand for our products and product mix and uncertain market conditions. Our success also depends in part on refining our cost structure and supply chains so that we have flexibility and can maintain and improve profitability. Although the current tariff environment has not had a material adverse effect on our costs to date, further deterioration in the tariff environment, or changes in suppliers, may cause our costs to increase, which if we are not able to offset by charging higher sales prices, will cause a decline in our margins. To improve our margins on a product, we will need to establish high volume supply agreements with our vendors. We cannot be certain that we will be able to timely negotiate vendor supply agreements on improved terms and conditions, or at all. Failure to achieve the desired level of cost reductions could adversely affect our financial results. Despite our efforts to control costs and increase efficiency in our facilities, changes in demand could still cause us to realize lower operating margins and profitability.

 

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We may choose to acquire new and complementary businesses, products or technologies instead of developing them ourselves, and we may be unable to complete these acquisitions or may not be able to successfully integrate an acquired business in a cost-effective and non-disruptive manner.

Our success depends on our ability to continually enhance and broaden our product offerings in response to changing technologies, customer demands and competitive pressures. To this end, we have, from time to time, engaged in the process of identifying, analyzing and negotiating possible acquisition transactions, and, from time to time, acquiring one or more businesses, and we expect to continue to do so in the future. We may choose to acquire new and complementary businesses, products, technologies and/or services instead of developing them ourselves. We may, however, face competition for acquisition targets from larger and more established companies with greater financial resources, making it more difficult for us to complete acquisitions. We cannot provide any assurance that we will be successful in consummating future acquisitions on favorable terms or that we will realize the benefits that we anticipate from one or more acquisitions that we consummate. Integrating any business, product, technology or service into our current operations could be expensive and time-consuming and/or disrupt our ongoing business. Further, there are numerous risks associated with acquisitions and potential acquisitions, including, but not limited to:

 

diversion of management’s attention from day-to-day operational matters and current products and customers;

 

lack of synergy or the inability to successfully integrate the new business or to realize expected synergies;

 

failure to commercialize the new technology or business;

 

failure to meet the expected performance of the new technology or business;

 

failure to retain key employees and customer or supplier relationships;

 

lower-than-expected market opportunities or market acceptance of any new products; and

 

unexpected reduction of sales of existing products as a result of the introduction of new products.

Our inability to consummate one or more acquisitions on favorable terms, or our failure to realize the intended benefits from one or more acquisitions, could have a material adverse effect on our business, liquidity, financial position and/or results of operations, including as a result of our incurrence of indebtedness and related interest expense and our assumption of unforeseen contingent liabilities. We might need to raise additional funds through public or private equity or debt financings to finance any acquisition. In that event, we could be forced to obtain financing on terms that are not favorable to us and, in the case of equity financing, that result in dilution to our stockholders. In addition, any impairment of goodwill or other intangible assets, amortization of intangible assets, write-down of other assets or charges resulting from the costs of acquisitions and purchase accounting could harm our business and operating results.

If we cannot effectively manage growth, our business may suffer.

Over the long-term, we intend to grow our business by increasing our sales efforts and completing strategic acquisitions. To effectively manage growth, we must, among other things:

 

engage, train and manage a larger sales force and additional service personnel;

 

expand the geographic coverage of our sales force;

 

expand our information systems;

 

identify and successfully integrate acquired businesses into our operations; and

 

administer appropriate financial and administrative control procedures.

Growth of our business will likely place a significant strain on our management, financial, operational, technical, sales and administrative resources. Any failure to effectively manage our growth may cause our business to suffer and our stock price to decline.

Risks Related to Tax Laws, Financial Markets and the Environment

Changes in tax rates or tax liabilities could affect results.

As a global company, we are subject to taxation in the United States and various other countries. Significant judgment is required to determine and estimate worldwide tax liabilities. Our future annual and quarterly tax rates could be affected by numerous factors, including changes in the (1) applicable tax laws; (2) composition of earnings in countries with differing tax rates; or (3) recoverability of our deferred tax assets and liabilities.  In addition, we are subject to regular examination of our

 

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income tax returns by the Internal Revenue Service and other tax authorities. We regularly assess the likelihood of favorable or unfavorable outcomes resulting from these examinations to determine the adequacy of our provision for income taxes. Although we believe our tax estimates are reasonable, there can be no assurance that any final determination will not be materially different from the treatment reflected in our historical income tax provisions and accruals, which could materially and adversely affect our results of operations.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”), released guidance covering various topics, including country-by-country reporting, definitional changes to permanent establishment and Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“BEPS”), an initiative that aims to standardize and modernize global tax policy. Depending on the final form of guidance adopted by OECD members and legislation ultimately enacted, if any, there may be significant consequences for us due to our international business activities, including, but not limited to, an increase in our tax uncertainty and adverse effects on our provision for income taxes.

Turmoil or fluctuations in the credit markets and the financial services industry may negatively impact our business, results of operations, financial condition or liquidity, and our factoring arrangements may expose us to additional risks.

In the past, global credit markets and the financial services industry have experienced a period of unprecedented turmoil and upheaval characterized by the tightening of the credit markets, the weakening of the global economy and an unprecedented level of intervention from the United States and other governments. Adverse economic conditions, such as sustained periods of economic uncertainty or a crisis in the financial markets may have a material adverse effect on our liquidity and financial condition if our ability to obtain credit from the capital financial markets, or from trade creditors was impaired. In addition, a worsening economy or an economic crisis could also adversely impact our customers’ ability to finance the purchase of systems from us or our suppliers’ ability to provide us with product, either of which may negatively impact our business and results of operations. In addition, we enter into factoring arrangements with certain financial institutions to sell a certain portion of our trade receivables. If we were to stop entering into these factoring arrangements, our operating results, financial condition and cash flows could be adversely impacted by delays or failure to collect the trade receivables. However, by entering into these arrangements, we are exposed to additional risks.  If any of these financial institutions experiences financial difficulties or is otherwise unable to honor the terms of our factoring arrangements, we may experience material financial losses due to the failure of such arrangements, which could have an adverse impact upon our operating results, financial condition and cash flows.

We are subject to various environmental laws and regulations that could impose substantial costs upon us and may harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

Some of our operations use substances regulated under various federal, state, local, and international laws governing the environment, including those relating to the storage, use, discharge, disposal, labeling, and human exposure to hazardous and toxic materials. We could incur costs, fines and civil or criminal sanctions, third-party property damage or personal injury claims, or could be required to incur substantial investigation or remediation costs, if we were to violate or become liable under environmental laws. Liability under environmental laws can be joint and several and without regard to comparative fault. Compliance with current or future environmental laws and regulations could restrict our ability to expand our facilities or require us to acquire additional expensive equipment, modify our manufacturing processes, or incur other significant expenses. We may unintentionally violate environmental laws or regulations in the future as a result of human error, equipment failure or other causes.

Risks Related to Our Recently Completed Merger

Combining the businesses of Rudolph and Nanometrics may be more difficult, costly or time-consuming than expected and we may fail to realize the anticipated benefits of the Merger, which may adversely affect our business results and negatively affect the value of our common stock.

The success of the Merger depends on, among other things, our ability to combine the businesses of Rudolph and Nanometrics in a manner that realizes cost savings and facilitates growth opportunities.

In addition, we must achieve the anticipated growth and cost savings without adversely affecting current revenues and investments in future growth. If we are not able to successfully achieve these objectives, the anticipated benefits of the Merger may not be realized fully, or at all, or may take longer to realize than expected.

 

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An inability to realize the full extent of the anticipated benefits of the Merger, as well as any delays encountered in the integration process, could have an adverse effect upon our revenues, level of expenses and operating results, which may adversely affect the value of our common stock.

In addition, the integration may result in additional and unforeseen expenses, and the anticipated benefits of the integration plan may not be realized. Actual growth and cost savings, if achieved, may be lower than what we expect and may take longer to achieve than anticipated. If we are not able to adequately address integration challenges, we may be unable to realize the anticipated benefits of the integration of Rudolph and Nanometrics.

The failure to successfully integrate the businesses and operations of Rudolph and Nanometrics in the expected time frame may adversely affect our future results.

Prior to completion of the Merger, Rudolph and Nanometrics operated independently. There can be no assurances that their businesses can be integrated successfully. It is possible that the integration process could result in the loss of key Rudolph employees or key Nanometrics employees, the loss of customers, the disruption of our ongoing businesses, inconsistencies in standards, controls, procedures and policies, unexpected integration issues, higher than expected integration costs or an overall post-completion integration process that takes longer than originally anticipated. Specifically, the following issues, among others, must be addressed in integrating the operations of Rudolph and Nanometrics in order to realize the anticipated benefits of the Merger so we perform as expected:

combining the companies’ operations and corporate functions;

combining the businesses of Rudolph and Nanometrics and meeting our capital requirements, in a manner that permits us to achieve any cost savings or revenue synergies anticipated to result from the Merger, the failure of which would result in the anticipated benefits of the Merger not being realized in the time frame currently anticipated or at all;

integrating personnel from the two companies;

integrating and unifying the offerings and services available to customers;

harmonizing the companies’ operating practices, employee development and compensation programs, internal controls and other policies, procedures and processes;

maintaining existing agreements with customers, distributors, providers and vendors and avoiding delays in entering into new agreements with prospective customers, distributors, providers and vendors;

addressing possible differences in business backgrounds, corporate cultures and management philosophies;

consolidating the companies’ administrative and information technology infrastructure;

coordinating distribution and marketing efforts; and

coordinating geographically dispersed organizations.

In addition, at times the attention of certain members of management and resources may be focused on the integration of the businesses of the two companies and diverted from day-to-day business operations or other opportunities that may have been beneficial, which may disrupt our business.

We may not be able to retain customers or suppliers, or customers or suppliers may seek to modify contractual obligations with us, which could have an adverse effect on our business and operations. Third parties may terminate or alter existing contracts or relationships with Rudolph or Nanometrics.

As a result of the Merger, we may experience impacts on relationships with customers and suppliers that may harm our business and results of operations. Certain customers, licensors, business partners or suppliers may seek to terminate or modify contractual obligations whether or not contractual rights were triggered as a result of the Merger. There can be no guarantee that customers and suppliers of Rudolph or Nanometrics will remain with or continue to have a relationship with us or do so on the same or similar contractual terms to those they had with Rudolph or Nanometrics prior to the Merger. If any customers or suppliers seek to terminate or modify contractual obligations or discontinue the relationship with us, then our business and results of operations may be harmed. Furthermore, we do not have long-term arrangements with many of our significant suppliers. If our suppliers were to seek to terminate or modify an arrangement with us, then we may be unable to procure necessary supplies from other suppliers in a timely and efficient manner and on acceptable terms, or at all. Any of the aforementioned disruptions could limit our ability to achieve the anticipated benefits of the Merger.

 

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We may be exposed to increased litigation due to the Merger, which could have an adverse effect on our business and operations.

We may be exposed to increased litigation from stockholders, customers, suppliers, consumers and other third parties due to the combination of Rudolph’s business and Nanometrics’ business. Such litigation may have an adverse impact on our business and results of operations or may cause disruptions to our operations.

We may be unable to retain former Rudolph and Nanometrics personnel successfully.

The success of the Merger will depend in part on our ability to retain the talents and dedication of the professionals previously separately employed by Rudolph and Nanometrics. It is possible that these employees may decide not to remain with us. If key employees terminate their employment, or if an insufficient number of employees are retained to maintain effective operations, our business activities may be adversely affected and management’s attention may be diverted from successfully integrating Rudolph and Nanometrics to hiring suitable replacements, all of which may cause our business to suffer. In addition, we may not be able to locate suitable replacements for any key employees that leave the Company or offer employment to potential replacements on reasonable terms.

Risks Related to the Global Economy and Semiconductor Industry

Cyclicality in the semiconductor device industry has led to substantial decreases in demand for our systems and may, from time to time, continue to do so.

Our operating results are subject to significant variation due to global economic conditions and the cyclical nature of the semiconductor device industry. Our business depends upon the capital expenditures of semiconductor device manufacturers, which, in turn, depend upon the current and anticipated market demand for semiconductors and products using semiconductors. The timing, length and severity of the up-and-down cycles in the semiconductor equipment industry are difficult to predict. In recent years, the industry has experienced significant downturns, generally in connection with declines in economic conditions. This cyclical nature of the industry in which we operate affects our ability to accurately predict future revenue and, thus, future expense levels. When cyclical fluctuations result in lower than expected revenue levels, operating results may be adversely affected, and cost reduction measures may be necessary in order for us to remain competitive and financially sound. During a down cycle, we must be in a position to adjust our cost and expense structure to prevailing market conditions and to continue to motivate and retain our key employees. In addition, during periods of rapid growth, we must be able to increase manufacturing capacity and personnel to meet customer demand. We can provide no assurance that these objectives can be met in a timely manner in response to industry cycles. If we fail to respond to industry cycles, our business could be seriously harmed.

In addition, demand for our products is highly inelastic which means we have little ability to control product revenues created by customer demand for more capacity. The market for our products is characterized by constant and rapid technological change, price erosion, product obsolescence, evolving standards, short product life cycles and significant volatility in supply and demand. Due to the inelastic nature of demand in the semiconductor industry, we may need to take actions to reduce costs in the future, which could reduce our ability to significantly invest in research and development at levels we believe are necessary. If we are unable to effectively align our cost structure with prevailing market conditions, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

We may also experience supplier or customer issues as a result of adverse macroeconomic conditions. If our customers have difficulties in obtaining capital or financing, this could result in lower sales. Customers with liquidity issues could also result in an increase in bad debt expense. These conditions could also affect our key suppliers, which could affect their ability to supply parts and result in delays of our customer shipments.

Our future rate of growth is highly dependent on the development and growth of the market for microelectronic device inspection, lithography and metrology equipment.

We target our products to address the needs of microelectronic device manufacturers for defect inspection, metrology and lithography.  If for any reason the market for microelectronic device inspection, lithography or metrology equipment fails to grow in the long term, we may be unable to maintain current revenue levels in the short term and maintain our historical growth in the long term. Growth in the inspection market is dependent to a large extent upon microelectronic manufacturers replacing manual inspection with automated inspection technology. Growth in the metrology market is dependent to a large extent upon new chip designs and capacity expansion of microelectronic manufacturers. Growth in the lithography market is

 

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dependent on the development of cost-effective packaging with high fine pitch RDLs, ultimately migrating to multi-die, large, form-factor packages. There can be no assurance that manufacturers will undertake these actions at the rate we expect.

Risks Related to our Stock

Provisions of our charter documents and of Delaware law could discourage potential acquisition proposals and/or delay, deter or prevent a change in control of our company.

Provisions of our certificate of incorporation and by-laws may inhibit changes in control of our company not approved by our Board of Directors. These provisions also limit the circumstances in which a premium can be paid for our common stock and in which a proxy contest for control of our board may be initiated. These provisions provide for:

 

a prohibition on stockholder actions through written consent;

 

a requirement that special meetings of stockholders be called only by our chief executive officer or Board of Directors;

 

advance notice requirements for stockholder proposals and director nominations by stockholders;

 

limitations on the ability of stockholders to amend, alter or repeal our by-laws; and

 

the authority of our board to issue, without stockholder approval, preferred stock with such terms as the board may determine; and

 

The authority of our board, without stockholder approval, to adopt a stockholder rights plan.

We are also entitled to avail ourselves of the protections of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which could inhibit changes in control of the Company.

Our stock price is volatile.

The market price of our common stock has fluctuated widely. Consequently, the current market price of our common stock may not be indicative of future market prices, and we may be unable to sustain or increase the value of an investment in our common stock. Factors affecting our stock price may include:

 

variations in operating results from quarter to quarter;

 

changes in earnings estimates by analysts or our failure to meet analysts’ expectations;

 

changes in the market price per share of our public company customers;

 

market conditions in the semiconductor and other industries into which we sell products;

 

general economic conditions;

 

political changes, hostilities or natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods;

 

low trading volume of our common stock; and

 

the number of firms making a market in our common stock.

In addition, the stock market has experienced periods of significant price and volume fluctuations. These fluctuations have particularly affected the market prices of the securities of high technology companies like ours. Any such market fluctuations in the future could adversely affect the market price of our common stock.

There are various risks related to the legal and regulatory environments in which we perform our operations and conduct our business that may expose us to risk.

We are faced with various risks that may be associated with our compliance with existing, new, different, inconsistent or conflicting laws, regulations and rules enacted by governments and/or their regulatory agencies in the countries in which we operate as well as rules and policies implemented at our customer sites. These laws, regulations, rules and policies could relate to any of an array of issues including, but not limited to, environmental, tax, intellectual property, trade secrets, product liability, contracts, antitrust, employment, securities, import/export and unfair competition. In the event that we fail to comply with or violate U.S. or foreign laws or regulations or customer policies, we could be subject to civil or criminal claims or proceedings that may result in monetary fines, penalties or other costs against us or our employees, which may adversely affect our operating results, financial condition, customer relations and ability to conduct our business.

 

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Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments.

None.

Item 2.

Properties.

Our principal executive office building is located at 16 Jonspin Road in Wilmington, Massachusetts.  We own our Milpitas and Richardson facilities and lease facilities for corporate, engineering, manufacturing, sales and service-related purposes in the United States and six other countries - China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and France. The following table indicates the location, the general purpose and the square footage of our material facilities. Our leases expire at various times through July 1, 2029.

 

Location

 

Facility Purpose

 

Approximate

Square

Footage

 

Wilmington, Massachusetts

 

Corporate Headquarters, Engineering, Manufacturing and Service

 

 

50,000

 

Milpitas, California

 

Corporate, Engineering, Manufacturing and Service

 

 

134,000

 

Budd Lake, New Jersey

 

Corporate, Engineering and Service

 

 

49,000

 

Bend, Oregon

 

Engineering and Service

 

 

19,000

 

Bloomington, Minnesota

 

Engineering, Manufacturing and Service

 

 

98,500

 

Hillsboro, Oregon

 

Engineering and Service

 

 

20,000

 

Richardson, Texas

 

Engineering

 

 

21,000

 

Snoqualmie, Washington

 

Engineering and Service

 

 

20,500

 

Tucson, Arizona

 

Engineering, Manufacturing and Service

 

 

19,000

 

Taiwan

 

Sales and Service

 

 

43,500

 

China

 

Sales, Service and Engineering

 

 

37,500

 

South Korea

 

Sales and Service

 

 

34,000

 

Japan

 

Sales and Service

 

 

20,500

 

Singapore

 

Sales and Service

 

 

12,000

 

 

We also lease office space for other smaller sales and service offices in several locations throughout the world.

We believe that our existing facilities and capital equipment are adequate to meet our current requirements and that suitable additional or substitute space is available on commercially reasonable terms if needed.

Item 3.

The information set forth under Note 10, “Commitments and Contingencies” to the Consolidated Financial Statements is incorporated herein by reference.

 

 

Item 4.Mine Safety Disclosures.

None.

 

 

 

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Table of Contents

 

PART II

Item 5.

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

Our common stock is quoted on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “ONTO.” Prior to the Merger, Nanometrics’ common stock was quoted on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “NANO” and Rudolph’s common stock was quoted on the NYSE under the symbol “RTEC.” Set forth below is a line graph comparing the annual percentage change in the cumulative return to the stockholders of the Company’s common stock with the cumulative return of the NYSE Composite Index, the Nasdaq Composite Index and the industry specific index, PHLX Semiconductor Index, for the period commencing on December 31, 2014 and ending on December 31, 2019.  Historical data for Onto Innovation in the line graph for the period commencing on December 31, 2014 and ending on October 25, 2019 reflects the cumulative return to the stockholders of Nanometrics.

The information contained in the performance graph shall not be deemed to be “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the SEC, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, except to the extent that the Company specifically incorporates it by reference into such filing.

The graph assumes that $100 was invested on December 31, 2014 in the Company’s common stock and in each index. No cash dividends have been declared or paid on the Company’s common stock. Stockholder returns over the indicated period should not be considered indicative of future stockholder returns.

 

 

 

 

12/14

 

 

12/15

 

 

12/16

 

 

12/17

 

 

12/18

 

 

12/19

 

Onto Innovation Inc.

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

90.01

 

 

 

148.99

 

 

 

148.16

 

 

 

162.49

 

 

 

217.24

 

NYSE Composite

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

95.91

 

 

 

107.36

 

 

 

127.46

 

 

 

116.06

 

 

 

145.66

 

NASDAQ Composite

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

106.96

 

 

 

116.45

 

 

 

150.96

 

 

 

146.67

 

 

 

200.49

 

PHLX Semiconductor

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

98.41

 

 

 

137.10

 

 

 

192.69

 

 

 

181.04

 

 

 

295.57

 

 

 

26


Table of Contents

 

As of February 3, 2020, there were 153 stockholders of record of our common stock and approximately 16,358 beneficial stockholders.

We have never declared or paid a cash dividend on our common stock. The declaration of any future dividends by us is within the discretion of our Board of Directors and will be dependent on our earnings, financial condition and capital requirements as well as any other factors deemed relevant by our Board of Directors.

Following the Merger, we assumed the share repurchase authorization approved on March 14, 2019, by the former Nanometrics Board of Directors.  This share repurchase authorization allows us to purchase up to $80.0 million worth of shares of our common stock. Under the terms of this share repurchase authorization, shares may be repurchased through open market or privately negotiated transactions. No shares have been repurchased under this repurchase authorization as of December 31, 2019.  

For further information, see Note 18 in the accompanying Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

In addition to our share repurchase program, we withhold common stock shares associated with net share settlements to cover tax withholding obligations upon the vesting of restricted stock unit awards and stock option exercises under the Company’s equity incentive program. During the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2019, we withheld 51 thousand and 78 thousand shares through net share settlements, respectively.  For the three and twelve month periods ended December 31, 2019, net share settlements cost $1.8 million and $2.5 million, respectively. Please refer to Note 12 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for further discussion regarding our equity incentive plan.

The following table provides details of common stock purchased during the three month period ended December 31, 2019 (in thousands, except per share data):

Period

 

Total Number

of Shares

Purchased (1)

 

 

Average

Price

Paid per

Share

 

 

Total Number

of Shares

Purchased as

Part of Publicly

Announced

Program

 

 

Maximum

Approximate Dollar Value of

Shares that

May Yet Be

Purchased Under

the Program

 

October 1, 2019 to October 31, 2019

 

 

42

 

 

$

35.56

 

 

 

 

 

$

80,000

 

November 1, 2019 to November 30, 2019

 

 

7

 

 

$

33.44

 

 

 

 

 

$

80,000

 

December 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019

 

 

2

 

 

$

33.54

 

 

 

 

 

$

80,000

 

Three Months Ended December 31, 2019

 

 

51

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1  Includes shares withheld through net share settlements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

27


Table of Contents

 

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data.

The following selected financial data should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and the related Notes thereto appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, and Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” The Merger has been accounted for as a reverse acquisition under which Rudolph was considered the accounting acquirer.  As such, the selected financial data below comprises the operating results of Rudolph and its consolidated subsidiaries for periods through October 25, 2019 and Onto Innovation and its consolidated subsidiaries for periods on or after October 26, 2019. The balance sheet data as of December 31, 2019 and 2018 and the statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 set forth below were derived from our audited Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Form 10-K. The balance sheet data as of December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, and the statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015 were derived from our audited consolidated financial statements not included herein.

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2019 (1)

 

 

2018 (2)

 

 

2017 (2)

 

 

2016 (2)

 

 

2015 (2)

 

 

 

(In thousands, except per share data)

 

Statement of Operations Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue

 

$

305,896

 

 

$

273,784

 

 

$

255,098

 

 

$

232,780

 

 

$

221,690

 

Cost of revenue

 

 

170,868

 

 

 

125,505

 

 

 

120,503

 

 

 

109,229

 

 

 

102,284

 

Gross profit

 

 

135,028

 

 

 

148,279

 

 

 

134,595

 

 

 

123,551

 

 

 

119,406

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research and development

 

 

48,358

 

 

 

39,953

 

 

 

37,694

 

 

 

35,797

 

 

 

32,689

 

Sales and marketing

 

 

28,251

 

 

 

22,010

 

 

 

20,795

 

 

 

18,816

 

 

 

17,047

 

General and administrative

 

 

53,017

 

 

 

33,698

 

 

 

27,878

 

 

 

28,913

 

 

 

34,732

 

Amortization

 

 

10,445

 

 

 

1,534

 

 

 

1,940

 

 

 

2,320

 

 

 

2,145

 

Patent litigation income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(13,000

)

 

 

(14,643

)

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

 

 

140,071

 

 

 

97,195

 

 

 

75,307

 

 

 

71,203

 

 

 

86,613

 

Operating income (loss)

 

 

(5,043

)

 

 

51,084

 

 

 

59,288

 

 

 

52,348

 

 

 

32,793

 

Interest income (expense), net

 

 

3,666

 

 

 

2,206

 

 

 

971

 

 

 

(2,834

)

 

 

(5,688

)

Other income (expense), net

 

 

780

 

 

 

56

 

 

 

(457

)

 

 

354

 

 

 

(293

)

Income (loss) before provision (benefit) for income

   taxes

 

 

(597

)

 

 

53,346

 

 

 

59,802

 

 

 

49,868

 

 

 

26,812

 

Provision (benefit) for income taxes

 

 

(2,507

)

 

 

8,250

 

 

 

26,893

 

 

 

12,916

 

 

 

8,856

 

Net income

 

$

1,910

 

 

$

45,096

 

 

$

32,909

 

 

$

36,952

 

 

$

17,956

 

Earnings per share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

$

0.06

 

 

$

1.77

 

 

$

1.30

 

 

$

1.48

 

 

$

0.71

 

Diluted

 

$

0.06

 

 

$

1.74

 

 

$

1.27

 

 

$

1.45

 

 

$

0.69

 

Weighted average shares outstanding:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

 

29,729

 

 

 

25,470

 

 

 

25,325

 

 

 

25,033

 

 

 

25,258

 

Diluted

 

 

30,007

 

 

 

25,895

 

 

 

25,865

 

 

 

25,566

 

 

 

25,868

 

 

 

 

December 31,

 

 

 

2019 (1)

 

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

Balance Sheet Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

$

130,673

 

 

$

112,388

 

 

$

67,770

 

 

$

37,859

 

 

$

44,554

 

Marketable securities

 

 

189,563

 

 

 

62,684

 

 

 

109,589

 

 

 

87,872

 

 

 

116,924

 

Working capital

 

 

555,921

 

 

 

305,916

 

 

 

279,775

 

 

 

226,668

 

 

 

197,266

 

Total assets

 

 

1,448,580

 

 

 

418,040

 

 

 

385,922

 

 

 

338,699

 

 

 

379,563

 

Convertible senior notes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

57,846

 

Accumulated deficit

 

 

(4,863

)

 

 

(6,773

)

 

 

(51,869

)

 

 

(84,706

)

 

 

(121,658

)

Total stockholders’ equity

 

 

1,264,026

 

 

 

361,888

 

 

 

333,154

 

 

 

293,735

 

 

 

270,678

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) Selected financial data includes the operating results of the former Nanometrics subsequent to the closing of the Merger on October 25, 2019.

(2) Statement of Operations data reflects a reclassification within the categories of operating expenses.  Applications engineering expenses were reclassified from Research and development to Sales and marketing. Sales and marketing expenses were disaggregated from General and administrative expenses.

 

28


Table of Contents

 

Item 7.

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

Overview

We are a worldwide leader in the design, development, manufacture and support of process control tools that perform macro-defect inspection and metrology, lithography systems, and process control analytical software used by semiconductor and advanced packaging device manufacturers. We deliver comprehensive solutions throughout the semiconductor fabrication process with our families of proprietary products that provide critical yield-enhancing information, enabling microelectronic device manufacturers to drive down costs and time to market of their devices. We provide process and yield management solutions used in both wafer processing facilities, often referred to as “front-end” and device packaging and test facilities, or “back-end” manufacturing, through a portfolio of standalone systems for macro-defect inspection, lithography, probe card test and analysis, and transparent and opaque thin film measurements. All of our systems feature sophisticated software and production-worthy automation. In addition, our advanced process control software portfolio includes powerful solutions for standalone tools, groups of tools, or factory-wide suites to enhance productivity and achieve significant cost savings. Our systems are backed by worldwide customer service and applications support.

Our business is affected by the annual spending patterns of our customers on semiconductor capital equipment. The amount that our customers devote to capital equipment spending depends on a number of factors, including general worldwide economic conditions as well as other economic drivers such as personal computers, mobile devices, data centers, artificial intelligence and automotive sales. Current forecasts by industry analysts for the semiconductor device manufacturing industry project capital equipment spending to increase approximately 5% to 8% for 2020 as compared to 2019. Our revenue and profitability tend to follow the trends of certain segments within the semiconductor market.

Historically, a significant portion of our revenue in each quarter and year has been derived from sales to relatively few customers, and we expect this trend to continue. For the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, aggregate sales to customers that individually represented at least five percent of our revenue accounted for 42.7%, 18.3%, and 27.2% of our revenue, respectively.

Merger

On June 23, 2019, Rudolph and Nanometrics, a provider of advanced process control metrology and software analytics, entered into the Merger Agreement to combine in an all-stock merger of equals transaction. The Merger was completed on October 25, 2019.  As a result of the Merger, Rudolph became a direct wholly-owned subsidiary of Nanometrics, which was renamed “Onto Innovation Inc.” upon the consummation of the Merger. Shares of common stock of Rudolph (NYSE: RTEC) ceased trading on the New York Stock Exchange as of market close on October 25, 2019. Onto Innovation (NYSE: ONTO) shares began trading on the NYSE on October 28, 2019.  At the effective time of the Merger, each issued and outstanding share of Rudolph Common Stock was converted into the right to receive 0.8042 shares of Onto Innovation Common Stock (NYSE: ONTO). Immediately following the effective time of the Merger, each of Nanometrics’ and Rudolph’s stockholders owned approximately 50% of the combined company, Onto Innovation. Pursuant to the Merger Agreement, Onto Innovation accounts for the Merger as a reverse acquisition using the acquisition method of accounting in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, with Rudolph being treated as the acquiring entity for accounting purposes. As such, the results of operations data below comprise the operating results of Rudolph and its consolidated subsidiaries for periods through October 25, 2019 and Onto Innovation and its consolidated subsidiaries for periods on or after October 26, 2019. See Note 3 to the Consolidated Financial Statements set forth elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information regarding the Merger.

 

29


Table of Contents

 

Results of Operations

The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, our results of operations as percentages of our revenue. Our results of operations are reported as one business segment.

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

Revenue

 

 

100.0

%

 

 

100.0

%

 

 

100.0

%

Cost of revenue

 

 

55.9

%

 

 

45.8

%

 

 

47.2

%

Gross profit

 

 

44.1

%

 

 

54.2

%

 

 

52.8

%

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research and development

 

 

15.8

%

 

 

14.6

%

 

 

14.8

%

Sales and marketing

 

 

9.2

%

 

 

8.0

%

 

 

8.1

%

General and administrative

 

 

17.4

%

 

 

12.3

%

 

 

10.9

%

Amortization

 

 

3.4

%

 

 

0.6

%

 

 

0.8

%

Patent litigation income

 

 

%

 

 

%

 

 

(5.1

)%

Total operating expenses

 

 

45.8

%

 

 

35.5

%

 

 

29.5

%

Operating income (loss)

 

 

(1.7

)%

 

 

18.7

%

 

 

23.3

%