10-K 1 form10-k.htm

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

(Mark One)

 

[X]  

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

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016

     
[  ]  

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

For the transition period from _________ to _________

 

Commission file number 001-33660

 

CLEARONE, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Utah   87-0398877
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
  (I.R.S. employer
identification number)

 

5225 Wiley Post Way, Suite 500, Salt Lake City, Utah   84116
(Address of principal executive offices)   (Zip Code)

 

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code) 801-975-7200

 

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

 

Title of each class   Name on each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $0.001 par value   The NASDAQ Capital Market

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act   None

 

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

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). [X] Yes [  ] No

 

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§ 229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. [X]

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting Company. See the definitions of “larger accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting Company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

 

Larger Accelerated Filer [  ] Accelerated Filer [X] Non-Accelerated Filer [  ] Smaller Reporting Company [  ]
    (Do not check if a smaller reporting Company)  

 

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

 

The aggregate market value of the shares of voting common stock held by non-affiliates was approximately $65.2 million at June 30, 2016, (the Company’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter), based on the $11.20 closing price for the Company’s common stock on the NASDAQ Capital Market on such date. For purposes of this computation, all officers, directors, and 10% beneficial owners of the registrant are deemed to be affiliates. Such determination should not be deemed to be an admission that such officers, directors, or 10% beneficial owners are, in fact, affiliates of the registrant.

 

The number of shares of ClearOne common stock outstanding as of March 15, 2017 was 8,746,870.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

Information required by Part III is incorporated by reference from registrant’s proxy statement for the 2017 annual meeting of shareholders or an amendment to this Annual Report on Form 10-K, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of its fiscal year ended December 31, 2016.

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

CLEARONE, INC.
 
ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2016
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

      Page
    PART I  
Item 1.   Business 1
Item 1A.   Risk Factors 12
Item 1B.   Unresolved Staff Comments 21
Item 2.   Properties 21
Item 3.   Legal Proceedings 21
Item 4.   Mine Safety Disclosures 21
    PART II  
Item 5.   Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities 22
Item 6.   Selected Financial Data 23
Item 7.   Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations 25
Item 7A.   Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk 33
Item 8.   Financial Statements and Supplementary Data 33
Item 9.   Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure 33
Item 9A.   Controls and Procedures 33
Item 9B.   Other Information 34
    PART III  
Item 10.   Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance 35
Item 11.   Executive Compensation 35
Item 12.   Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters 35
Item 13.   Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence 35
Item 14.   Principal Accounting Fees and Services 35
    PART IV  
Item 15.   Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules 36
Item 16.   Form 10-K Summary 36

 

 

Table of Contents

 

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

This report contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements reflect our views with respect to future events based upon information available to us at this time. These forward-looking statements are subject to uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these statements. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by the use of the words “believe,” “may,” “could,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “project,” “propose,” “plan,” “intend,” and similar words and expressions. Examples of forward-looking statements are statements that describe the proposed development, manufacturing, and sale of our products; statements that describe expectations regarding pricing trends, the markets for our products, our anticipated capital expenditures, our cost reduction and operational restructuring initiatives, and future impact of regulatory developments; statements with regard to the nature and extent of competition we may face in the future; statements with respect to the anticipated sources of and need for future financing; and statements with respect to future strategic plans, goals, and objectives and forecasts of future growth and value. Forward-looking statements are contained in this report under “Business” included in Item 1 of Part I, and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included in Item 7 of Part II of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The forward-looking statements are based on present circumstances and on our predictions respecting events that have not occurred, that may not occur, or that may occur with different consequences and timing than those now assumed or anticipated. Actual events or results may differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including the risk factors discussed in this report under the caption “Item 1A Risk Factors.” These cautionary statements are intended to be applicable to all related forward-looking statements wherever they appear in this report. The cautionary statements contained or referred to in this report should also be considered in connection with any subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements that may be issued by us or persons acting on our behalf. Any forward-looking statements are made only as of the date of this report and we assume no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

 

PART I

 

References in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to “ClearOne,” “we,” “us,” “CLRO” or “the Company” refer to ClearOne, Inc., a Utah corporation, and, unless the context otherwise requires or is otherwise expressly stated, its subsidiaries.

 

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

 

GENERAL

 

ClearOne (the Company) was formed as a Utah corporation in 1983 organized under the laws of the State of Utah. The Company is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, with locations in Gainsville, Florida; Austin, Texas; Corvallis, Oregon; Hong Kong; Israel, Spain and United Arab Emirates.

 

We are a global company that designs, develops and sells conferencing, collaboration, network streaming and digital signage solutions for audio/voice and visual communications. The performance and simplicity of our advanced comprehensive solutions enhance the quality of life and offer unprecedented levels of functionality, reliability and scalability.

 

We design, develop, market, and service a comprehensive line of high-quality conferencing products for personal use, as well as traditional tabletop, mid-tier premium and higher-end professional products for large, medium and small businesses. We occupy the number one global market share position, with more than 50% market share in the professional audio conferencing market for our products used by large businesses and organizations such as enterprise, healthcare, education and distance learning, government, legal and finance. Our solutions save organizations time and money by creating a natural environment for collaboration and communication.

 

We have an established history of product innovation and plan to continue to apply our expertise in audio, video and network engineering to develop and introduce innovative new products and enhance our existing products. Our end-users range from some of the world’s largest and most prestigious companies and institutions to small and medium-sized businesses, higher education and government organizations, as well as individual consumers. We sell our commercial products to these end-users primarily through a global network of independent distributors who, in turn, sell our products to dealers, systems integrators and other value-added resellers.

 

 1 

 

ITEM 1-BUSINESS 

 

Acquisitions

 

On April 1, 2014, we completed the acquisition of Spontania from Spain-based Dialcom Networks, S.L. in an all-cash deal for €3.66 million (approximately US$5.1 million). Spontania, a software-based cloud collaboration solution, combines the benefits of video conferencing and web conferencing into an enterprise solution that can scale to tens of thousands of users. The addition of Spontania was made with the intent to make us the only company offering an entirely software-based video conferencing product line and to provide on-premise cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solutions complementing our existing premise-based, enterprise video conferencing offering, COLLABORATE®.

 

On March 7, 2014, we completed the acquisition of Sabine, Inc. (“Sabine”) through a stock purchase agreement (“SPA”). Sabine manufactured, designed and sold Sacom professional wireless microphone systems for live and installed audio. It also manufactured the FBX Feedback Exterminator for reliable automatic feedback control. With the addition of Sabine, we have reliable and exclusive access to the wireless microphones that are a critical component of our complete microphone portfolio. Pursuant to the SPA, we (i) paid initial consideration of $6.89 million in cash and approximately $1.68 million in ClearOne shares. In addition, we paid off Sabine debt of $1.25 million and may be required to make earn-out payments over a three-year period from the acquisition date based on achievement of certain performance criteria.

 

On February 16, 2012, we completed the acquisition of the video conferencing business of Israel-based VCON Video Conferencing, Ltd. (“VCON”). VCON was a pioneer in software based video conferencing solutions with product offerings that include group video conferencing endpoints, desktop video conferencing endpoints, video conferencing infrastructure solutions and software development kits. This acquisition and the combination of our streaming and digital signage technologies has provided us with complementary technology opportunities allowing us to enter new growth markets. Pursuant to the asset purchase agreement, ClearOne paid consideration of $4.6 million in cash to VCON in consideration for all the assets, including intellectual property, fixed assets and inventory, and assumed no debt.

 

Company Information

 

Our website address is www.clearone.com. Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and any amendments to such reports are available, free of charge, on our website in the “Investor Relations” section under “Company.” These reports are made available as soon as reasonably practicable after we file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC.

 

For a discussion of certain risks applicable to our business, results of operations, financial position, and liquidity, see the risk factors described in “Item 1A, Risk Factors” below.

 

Our Business Strategy

 

We currently participate in the following markets:

 

Professional audio visual, including audio conferencing, web conferencing and video conferencing and collaboration;
Professional microphones which includes our patented beamforming microphones, ceiling microphones and wireless microphones;
Media collaboration including interactive whiteboarding, webinar and training tools
Network streaming and digital signage which includes audio and video networking, media streaming, video walls and digital signage.
Unified communications, including telephony

 

 2 

 

ITEM 1- BUSINESS 

 

Our business goals are to:

 

Maintain our leading global market share in professional audio conferencing products for large businesses and organizations;
Position ClearOne as the preferred AV channel partner uniquely offering a complete value-chain of natively integrated solutions from audio to video maximizing AV partner profitability;
Extend total addressable market from installed audio beachhead to adjacent complementary markets – microphones, video collaboration and networked audio and video streaming;
Continue to leverage the video conferencing, collaboration and network streaming technologies to enter new growth markets;
Focus on the small and medium business (SMB) market with scaled, lower cost and less complex products and solutions;
Capitalize on the growing adoption of information technology channels and introduce more products to these channels;
Capitalize on emerging market trends as audio visual, information technology, and digital signage converge to meet enterprise and commercial multimedia needs and the users shift from high-priced systems to low cost appliances and cloud solutions;
Leverage software-based platforms to provide disruptive cloud and networked video conferencing, collaboration and streaming solutions that complement our audio solutions;
Expand and strengthen our sales channels;
Consider disciplined strategic acquisitions

 

We will continue to focus on our core strengths, which include the following:

 

Providing a superior conferencing and collaboration experience;
Delivering the complete value chain for audio visual communication;
Significantly impacting network streaming and control;
Offering greater innovation, interoperability and value to our customers and partners;
Leveraging and extending ClearOne technology, leadership and innovation;
Leveraging our strong domestic and international channels to distribute new products; and
Strengthening existing customer and partner relationships through dedicated support.

 

PRODUCTS

 

Our products can be broadly categorized into the following:

 

Professional audio conferencing including professional microphones
Visual communication products including media collaboration and network streaming.
Unified communications audio end points

 

PROFESSIONAL AUDIO CONFERENCING INCLUDING MICROPHONES

 

Our full range of professional audio communication products includes (i) professional conferencing and sound-reinforcement products used in enterprise, healthcare, education and distance learning, government, legal and finance organizations, (ii) mid-tier premium conferencing products for smaller rooms and small and medium businesses which interface with video and web conferencing systems, and (iii) professional microphones used in various applications.

 

Our professional audio communication products, including premium conferencing and professional microphones, contributed 78%, 80% and 77% of our consolidated revenue in 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively.

 

Our professional audio communication products and unified communications audio end points feature our proprietary HDConference®, Distributed Echo Cancellation® and noise cancellation technologies to enhance communication during a conference call by eliminating echo and background noise. Most of our products also feature some of our other HDConference proprietary audio processing technologies such as adaptive modeling and first-microphone priority, which combine to deliver clear, crisp and full-duplex audio. These technologies enable natural and fatigue-free communication between distant conferencing participants.

 

 3 

 

ITEM 1 - BUSINESS

 

Professional Conferencing, Sound Reinforcement

 

We occupy the number one position in the global professional audio conferencing market with more than 50% of the total global market share. We have been developing high-end, professional conferencing products since 1991 and believe we have established strong brand recognition for these products worldwide. Our professional conferencing products include the CONVERGE® Pro, CONVERGE Pro 2 and CONVERGE SR product lines.

 

Our flagship CONVERGE Pro product line leads our professionally installed audio products line. The CONVERGE Pro product line includes the CONVERGE Pro 880, CONVERGE Pro 880T, CONVERGE Pro 880TA, CONVERGE Pro 840T, CONVERGE Pro 8i, CONVERGE Pro TH20 and CONVERGE Pro VH20, and CONVERGE SR product line including CONVERGE SR1212 and SR1212A which together offer various levels of integration and features to allow a commercial system integrator to optimize a system to fit diverse conferencing applications and environments.

 

We started shipping some of the SKUs of the next generation of CONVERGE Pro products broadly called as CONVERGE Pro 2. CONVERGE Pro 2’s DSP platform satisfies clients’ diverse audio needs with these features:

 

The very latest and most powerful audio DSP algorithms, including acoustic echo cancellation, noise cancellation, feedback elimination, gain and level control, and microphone gating;
More microphone inputs to supply greater flexibility;
Integration of VoIP or telephony, USB, and Dante™ for maximum functionality;
A new expansion bus that delivers increased audio-channel scalability to support large audio projects;
New native interface that enables daisy-chaining for any combination of ClearOne peripheral devices, such as the new Beamforming Microphone Array 2 and/or the new DIALOG® 20 Wireless Microphone system; and
New software that includes both a traditional matrix view and the unique ClearOne FlowView™.

 

Mid-Tier Premium Conferencing

 

Our INTERACT® product line is a mid-tier, lower cost, conferencing product line designed to meet the needs of our larger customers with smaller conferencing rooms as well as small and medium businesses. The INTERACT product series is comprised of the INTERACT AT and the INTERACT Pro. Both systems can be easily connected to enterprise telephones, analog POTS lines, existing HD video codecs and soft video clients. These INTERACT systems also include a USB audio interface to connect to PCs, laptops and tablets, as well as to rich multimedia devices, such as video or web conferencing systems and emerging unified communication systems for enhanced collaboration.

 

Professional Microphones: Beamforming Microphone Array

 

The ClearOne Beamforming Microphone Array is the Pro-Audio industry’s first professional-grade microphone array with Beamforming and adaptive steering technology and ClearOne’s next-generation Acoustic Echo Cancellation. The ultra-sleek design fits into any conferencing environment and delivers the clearest audio pickup available. The 24 microphone element industry-leading Beamforming Microphone Array has focused acoustic beams, digital signal processing, adaptive steering, and acoustic echo canceling to produce the clearest and most intelligible conferencing sound possible. ClearOne began shipping the Beamforming Microphone Array in March 2013. During the first quarter of 2014, we began shipping the Beamforming Microphone Array, including table, wall and ceiling applications, in black to increase market compatibility.

 

Beamforming Microphone Array 2, the next generation Beamforming Microphone Arrays started shipping in the last quarter of 2016. The Beamforming Microphone Array 2 affirms ClearOne’s clear industry leadership in delivering:

 

 4 

 

ITEM 1 - BUSINESS

 

Significantly enhanced and new echo cancellation, using direction of arrival determination for demanding acoustic environments;
Faster convergence and better adaptation to changes in room acoustics, such as ambient noise from chairs moving, doors closing, chatter in the background, or any spikes in sound that alter the path of the audio, using separate acoustic echo cancellation for each fixed beam and inhibiting beam selection when the far end is active;
Dramatically better mic pickup, including using an augmenting microphone signal, sharpening the capability to detect softer voices;
Natural and clearly intelligible audio, even when two people speak at once; and
Zero consumption of analog mic inputs in the CONVERGE Pro 2 DSP mixer.

 

Professional Microphones: Ceiling Microphone Array

 

The ClearOne Ceiling Microphone Array enhances almost any professional conferencing application which demands high-quality audio. The Ceiling Microphone Array is easily installed and combines affordability with exceptional audio quality. With three wide-range microphones mounted together into a single unit array, the Ceiling Microphone Array provides the rich sound of three individual unidirectional microphones while maintaining full 360-degree coverage.

 

Professional Microphones: Wireless Microphones

 

ClearOne also introduced WS800 Wireless Microphone Systems, including four new models of wireless microphones/transmitters (Tabletop/boundary, Gooseneck, Handheld, Bodypack) and a base-station receiver with either 4 or 8 channels, which connect to professional audio mixers. The wireless system combines ease-of-use with the most reliable security and power. ClearOne began shipping the WS800 Wireless Microphone Systems in January 2013. Through the Sabine acquisition, we also began shipping Sacom branded Wireless Microphone Systems in 2014. During 2015, our portfolio of wireless microphone systems was enhanced by the introduction of digital compressed versions, Dante standard compatible versions and more frequency ranges catering to various international markets.

 

UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS AUDIO END POINTS

 

Our unified communications audio end points include (i) traditional tabletop conferencing phones used in conference rooms and offices and (ii) affordable personal conferencing products that can be used with PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other portable devices. Our unified communications audio end points contributed approximately 11%, 13% and 17% of our consolidated revenue in 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively.

 

Traditional Tabletop Conferencing

 

Our MAX® product line is comprised of the following product families: MAX EX and MAXAttach® wired phones; MAX Wireless and MAXAttach Wireless; and MAX IP and MAXAttach IP VoIP tabletop conferencing phones. Designed for use in executive offices or small conference rooms with multiple participants, MAX Wireless can be moved from room to room within 150 feet of its base station. MAXAttach Wireless was the industry’s first and remains the only dual-phone, completely wireless solution. This system gives customers tremendous flexibility in covering larger conference room areas. MAX EX and MAXAttach wired phones can be daisy chained together, up to a total of four phones. This provides even distribution of microphones, loudspeakers, and controls for better sound quality and improved user access in medium to large conference rooms. In addition, all MAXAttach wired phones can be used separately when they are not needed in a daisy-chain configuration. MAX IP and MAXAttach IP are VoIP tabletop conference phones which are based on the industry-standard SIP signaling protocol. These phones can also be daisy-chained together, up to a total of four phones.

 

Personal Conferencing Products

 

Our CHAT® product line includes affordable and stylish personal speakerphones and USB headsets. CHAT speaker phones provide full-duplex and rich full bandwidth frequency response for superior audio clarity. CHAT products are designed for a wide variety of applications and devices (fixed or portable) for greatly enhanced collaboration wherever and whenever needed. CHAT speaker phones are offered as personal speakerphones and group speakerphones.

 

 5 

 

ITEM 1 - BUSINESS

 

CHAT personal speakerphones are approximately the size of a deck of cards, and connect to PCs and MACs, laptops, tablets, enterprise handsets, smartphones, cell phones, and MP3 players for rich, clear, hands-free audio and playback. CHAT group speakerphones are designed for small group use. These can also connect many of the same devices and applications as the CHAT personal speakerphones, but feature three microphones in larger design for use by a larger number of participants. CHAT group speakerphones have the ability to add high-quality, full-duplex speakerphones to user enterprise telephone handsets such as Avaya and Cisco. CHAT group speakerphones make it possible to introduce rich, crystal clear conferencing capability without the need for introducing a separate traditional conference phone. CHATAttach® is comprised of two CHAT group speakerphones which can be daisy-chained together to function as a single conferencing system.

 

VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS

 

Our visual communication products include media collaboration and network streaming products. Our visual communication products contributed 11%, 7% and 6% of our consolidated revenue in 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively.

 

Media Collaboration:

 

Our comprehensive portfolio of industry-leading COLLABORATE® branded HD videoconferencing solutions bring cutting-edge software-based full HD (1080p) video conferencing technology with H.264 High Profile encoding that reduces bandwidth utilization up to 50 percent. COLLABORATE is comprised of feature-rich room systems and desktop video applications, as well as enhanced network management, infrastructure solutions and software development kits.

 

COLLABORATE Infrastructure is for customers who desire an on-premise infrastructure solution. ClearOne offers a single-unit infrastructure server that will serve the needs of both the small to mid-sized businesses and enterprise customers hoping to expand locations. The heavy burden of adding video collaboration pervasively has always been the cost of expensive infrastructure solutions. ClearOne’s single-unit solution provides the infrastructure component at a low price, including directory services, firewall traversal, MCU, H.323 gatekeeper, SIP registrar, license server, call control, and a full management system.

 

COLLABORATE Desktop is a versatile application for any PC or laptop user in organizations of any size. Available with up to 1080p resolution, the COLLABORATE Desktop offers multiple media transmitting capabilities for video, audio and data. Using ClearOne’s DualStream™ technology, the application has the ability to send and receive video and data streams simultaneously with its additional streaming capability, ClearOne’s Simulcast™ allows COLLABORATE Desktop users to chair or participate in corporate broadcasts.

 

COLLABORATE Room is a best-in-class video conferencing and collaboration solution offering a price-point and feature set vastly superior to that of competing room conferencing solutions. Designed for small and medium businesses and corporate meeting rooms, the COLLABORATE Room features software-based and server-less embedded multipoint (up to 9-way) video conferencing, SIP/H.323 bridging interoperability, built-in recording and streaming, built-in remote content and data sharing, and interactive multicast.

 

The new COLLABORATE® Room Pro all-in-one appliance combines high-definition 1080p60 video with ClearOne’s wildly popular Beamforming Microphone Array for the best audio available on any self-contained video conferencing solution, without using an external DSP unit for audio processing. This new system, available with a 9-party MCU, also includes many media collaboration tools that usually purchased separately, such as: streaming, recording and content creation, presentation.

 

UNITE™ PTZ Camera complements the COLLABORATE product line, and comes with DVI-I (for digital and analog output) and USB 3.0 connectivity that enables users to easily add Full-HD video to UC or video applications running on desktop/laptop. With powerful optical zoom and wide field of view make this camera more suitable for medium to large meeting spaces. Full high definition video in up to 1080p60 resolution helps the remote sites in video conferencing see every detail, even when displayed on a large screen. During the first quarter of 2016 we launched the ClearOne UNITE® 200 PTZ Camera, a superbly versatile, professional-grade, HD video camera complete with USB, HDMI, and IP connections that can be used for the widest possible range of applications at a price significantly lower than competitive models.

 

 6 

 

ITEM 1 - BUSINESS

 

Through the Spontania acquisition in 2014, ClearOne started offering Spontania cloud-based Media Collaboration solutions. Spontania empowers customers to deploy video collaboration without the heavy burden of expensive infrastructure. It also allows service providers and partners to expand their offerings by deploying the technology within their own networks. Spontania complements ClearOne’s premise-based COLLABORATE enterprise video collaboration portfolio. The complete ClearOne video portfolio now can serve a full range of video collaboration needs for enterprise, SMB, healthcare, education, and other customers, whether they are seeking those solutions deployed in their private data centers or in the ClearOne Spontania cloud. ClearOne now offers its partners and end users a clear choice between public cloud, private cloud, and on-premise solutions.

 

Network Streaming and Digital Signage:

 

Our network streaming products are primarily sold under VIEW™ and VIEW Pro brands deliver the ultimate IP A/V experience by streaming time sensitive high definition audio and video and control over TCP/IP networks. By combining audio and/or video content, meta-data and control signals into one digital stream in harmony with industry standards, its distributed, edge of the network architecture allows the hardware and the processing power to be distributed across any existing TCP/IP network. This leverages many of the advantages of using TCP/IP over traditional analog systems and other centrally controlled IP-based systems. The ClearOne VIEW and VIEW Pro products are powered by ClearOne’s patented StreamNet® technology. A user can activate and control a single audio source or combination of audio sources, video sources, security systems, HVAC systems, lighting, and other room or facility monitoring functions such as paging or security access by just a single touch to its attractive touch screens. Alternatively, any PC, laptop, tablet, iPod, or other device with a built-in web browser with Flash can control the equipment connected to the system. The VIEW and VIEW Pro systems have no limits on the numbers of sources, displays, or amplifiers in a project and can be used in venues from high-end residential homes to large-scale commercial projects.

 

Converting an audio or video signal to TCP/IP preserves the digital quality of the signal across the network. Unlike analog systems, which lose quality over long distances, TCP/IP packets are decoded to retain the same digital quality as contained when they were encoded. The addition of Digital Encoder and Digital Decoder products with DVI/HDMI input and output enhances the flexibility of complete AV distribution system and makes it as easy to use as analog devices.

 

VIEW Pro solution provides 1080p60, H.264 high definition HDMI video-audio, 4:4:4 true-color, 24 bit per pixel video output. It comes with dual inputs encoder and single output decoder with balanced audio, general purpose control ports and clock synchronized video output. VIEW Pro system also provides multi-view video composition and video-wall features using its built-in video processing engine, without using external expensive hardware video processors. This continues to be truly differentiated in the professional market by offering complete AV streaming and distribution systems that can scale to fulfill projects of any size and complexity, from light commercial to the very largest environments. VIEW Pro products include E110 and E120 encoders and D110 and D210 decoders. VIEW Pro solution also comes with multiple license options including audio mixing, video composition, video wall, multicast RTSP, local playback and USB HID.

 

During the second quarter of 2016, we introduced the new VIEW CONSOLE configuration management software. This software gives integrators a comprehensive platform from which to configure, manage, monitor, and control VIEW system installation using an easy, modern interface. The new toolset, which spotlights the latest in advanced software development technologies, works across ClearOne’s full line of VIEW/VIEW Pro products.

 

At the end of May 2016, we introduced a new flexible and single-channel-priced VIEW® Pro E110 Encoder — designed for single-media input settings. E110 Encoder delivers high-quality video with configurable 4:4:4 and 4:2:0 color sampling; standards-based streaming formats; 1080p60, H.264-based, high-profile encoding with lossless compression; very low end-to-end latency; and full HDCP support. We also introduced the innovative new entry-level VIEW Pro D310 Decoder featuring all the basic functionality to fully satisfy simple applications while delivering superb price-to-performance value. D310 Decoder features convenience in its small footprint and easy mounting behind any display. It delivers full-screen, single-image video; high-quality video with 4:2:0 video color sampling; and 1080p60, H.264-based high-profile decoding with lossless compression.

 

 7 

 

ITEM 1 - BUSINESS

 

MARKETING AND SALES

 

We primarily use a two-tier channel model through which we sell our commercial products to a worldwide network of independent audiovisual, information technology and telecommunications distributors, who then sell our products to independent systems integrators, dealers, and value-added resellers, who in turn work directly with the end-users of our products for product fulfillment and installation, if needed. Our products are also specified and recommended by professional audio-video consultants. We also sell our commercial products directly to certain dealers, systems integrators, value-added resellers, and end-users.

 

Our product sales generated in the United States and outside the United States for the years ended December 31 are as follows:

 

Revenue in millions  2016   2015   2014 
   Revenue   %   Revenue   %   Revenue   % 
In the United States  $31.8    65%  $39.6    68%  $39.8    69%
Outside United States  $16.8    35%  $18.2    32%  $18.1    31%
   $48.6    100%  $57.8    100%  $57.9    100%

 

We sell directly to our distributors, resellers and end-users in approximately 60 countries worldwide. We anticipate that the portion of our total product revenue from international sales will continue to be a significant portion of our total revenue as we further enhance our focus on developing new products, establishing new channel partners, strengthening our presence in key growth areas, complying with regional environmental regulatory standards, and improving product localization with country-specific product documentation and marketing materials.

 

Distributors, Resellers and Independent Integrators

 

We sold our products directly to approximately 341 distributors and direct resellers throughout the world during 2016. Distributors and resellers purchase our products at a discount from list price and resell them worldwide to hundreds of independent systems integrators, telephony value-added resellers, IT value-added resellers, and PC dealers on a non-exclusive basis. Our distributors maintain their own inventory and accounts receivable and are required to provide technical and non-technical support for our products to the next level of distribution participants. We work with our distributors and resellers to establish appropriate inventory stocking levels. We also work with our distributors and resellers to maintain relationships with our existing systems integrators, dealers, and other value-added resellers.

 

While dealers, resellers, and system integrators all sell our products directly to the end-users, system integrators typically add significant value to each sale by combining our products with products from other manufacturers as part of an integrated system solution. Commercial dealers and value-added resellers usually purchase our products from distributors and may bundle our products with products from other manufacturers for resale to the end-user. We maintain close working relationships with all our reseller partners and offer them education and training on all of our products.

 

Marketing

 

Much of our marketing effort is conducted in conjunction with our channel partners who provide leverage for us in reaching existing and prospective customers worldwide. We also regularly attend industry forums and exhibit our products at multiple regional and international trade shows, often with our channel partners. These trade shows provide exposure for our brand and products to a wide audience. We market our ClearOne-branded commercial products on our website www.clearone.com and our MagicBox branded digital signage products on our website www.magicboxinc.com. We also conduct public relations initiatives to get press coverage and product reviews in industry and non-industry publications alike.

 

 8 

 

ITEM 1 - BUSINESS

 

Customers

 

We do not get comprehensive reports from our distributors and resellers that identify our end-users. As a result, we do not know whether any end-user accounted for more than 10 percent of our total revenue during any of the periods reported in this Annual Report. However, revenues included sales to Starin Marketing, which represented approximately 16.3% of consolidated revenue during the year ended December 31, 2016 with no other end-user accounting for more that 10 percent. During the year ended December 31, 2015 sales to Starin Marketing and VSO Marketing represented approximately 14.2% and 10.4% of consolidated revenue, respectively. During the year ended December 31, 2014 sales to Starin Marketing represented approximately 16% of consolidated revenue with no other end-user accounting for more that 10 percent.

 

As discussed above, distributors facilitate product sales to a large number of independent systems integrators, dealers, and value-added resellers, and subsequently to their end-users. The loss of one or more distributors could reduce revenue and have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations. Our shipped orders on which we had not recognized revenue were $3.9 million and $4.5 million as of December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively. We had a backlog of unshipped orders of approximately $0.6 million and $0.2 million as of December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

 

Competition

 

The audio-visual product markets are characterized by intense competition, rapidly evolving technology, and increased business consolidation. We compete with businesses having substantially greater financial, research and product development, manufacturing, marketing, and other resources. If we are not able to continually design, manufacture, and successfully market new or enhanced products or services that are comparable or superior to those provided by our competitors and at comparable or better prices, we could experience pricing pressures and reduced sales, gross profit margins, profits, and market share, each of which could have a materially adverse effect on our business. Our competitors vary within each product category. We believe we are able to differentiate ourselves and therefore successfully compete as a result of the high audio quality of our products resulting from a combination of proprietary and highly advanced audio signal processing technologies and networking technology in the form of trade secrets and patented intellectual property, technical and channel support services, and the strength of our channels and brands.

 

We believe the principal factors driving sales are the following:

 

Quality, features and functionality, and ease of use of the products;
Broad and deep global channel partnerships;
Significant established history of successful worldwide installations for diverse vertical markets;
Brand name recognition and acceptance;
Quality of customer and partner sales and technical support services; and
Effective sales and marketing.

 

In the professional audio conferencing system and sound reinforcement markets our main competitors include AcousticMagic, Biamp, Bose, Crestron, Extron, Harman, Peavey, Phoenix Audio, Polycom, QSC, Symetrix, Vaddio and Yamaha and their original equipment manufacturing (OEM) partners, along with several other companies potentially poised to enter the market. We occupy the number one position in the global professional audio conferencing market with more than 50% of the global market share.

 

In the professional microphones market, our primary competitors include AKG, Audio Technica, Audix, Avlex, Beyerdynamic, Biamp, Clock Audio, Lectrosonics, Media Vision, Nureva, Phoenix Audio, Polycom, Sennheiser, Shure, TeachLogic, TOA and Yamaha and their OEM partners.

 

In the traditional tabletop conferencing market, we face significant competition from Avaya/Konftel, Phoenix Audio, Polycom and Yamaha, and especially from their OEM partnerships. A significant portion of the tabletop market is covered by sales through OEM partnerships. While we believe MAX products have unique features and superior quality, our limited OEM partnerships and pricing pressures from higher volume competitors limit our ability to expand our existing share of this market.

 

Our primary competitors in the personal conferencing market are GN Netcom (Jabra), Logitech, Phoenix Audio, Plantronics, Polycom and Yamaha and their OEM partners.

 

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ITEM 1 - BUSINESS

 

Our video conferencing products face tremendous competition from well established players as well as emerging players, including Acano, Avaya, Aver, Barco, Blue Jeans, Cisco, Citrix, FuzeBox, Huawei, InFocus, Kramer, Logitech, Magor, Microsoft, Pexip, Polycom, Starleaf, Telylabs, UNIFY, Vidyo, Yealink, Zoom and ZTE. We believe the migration of video conferencing from hardware-based codecs to software-based codecs provides an opportunity for us to differentiate our products and gain market share.

 

Our network streaming products which includes digital signage products face intense competition from a few well-established corporations of diversified capabilities and strengths, including Atlona, Aurora Multimedia, Barco, Biamp, Broadsign, Cisco, Crestron, Extron, Gefen, Goopie, Haivision, Hall Research, Infocus (Jupiter), Key Digital, Kramer, Liberty AV, Magenta Research, Matrox, Mediasite, Ncast, RGB Spectrum, Scala, Spinetix, SVSi Volante, Teracue, Tightrope, tvONE, UCView, VBrick, Visionary Solutions, Visix, WyreStorm and ZeeVee. We believe that our pioneering and patented StreamNet technology delivers superior audio and video streaming performance and flexibility and provides us with a competitive edge over other industry players.

 

Regulatory Environment

 

Regulations regarding product safety, product operational agency compliance, the materials used in manufacturing, the process of disposing of electronic equipment and the efficient use of energy may require extensive lead-time to obtain regulatory approvals of new products in both domestic and international markets. Such regulations may impact our ability to expand our sales in a timely and cost-effective manner and, as a result, our business could be harmed.

 

Sources and Availability of Raw Materials

 

We manufacture our products through electronics manufacturing services (“EMS”) providers, who are generally responsible for sourcing and procuring required raw materials and components. Most of the components that our EMS providers require for manufacturing our products are readily available from a number of sources.

 

We continually work with our EMS providers to seek alternative sources for all our components and raw material requirements to ensure higher quality and better pricing. Most of our EMS providers and their vendors are duly qualified by our corporate quality assurance process. We work with our EMS providers to ensure that raw materials and components conform to our specifications.

 

Manufacturing

 

Currently, all of our products except a few digital signage products are manufactured by EMS providers. Our primary EMS provider is Flextronics. The digital signage products are assembled in our Salt Lake City, Utah facility.

 

Seasonality

 

Our revenue has historically been the strongest in the fourth quarter and the weakest in the first quarter, even though a consistent pattern could not be established for seasonality between the quarters. There can be no assurance that any historic sales patterns will continue and, as a result, sales for any prior quarter are not necessarily indicative of the sales to be expected in any future quarter.

 

Research and Product Development

 

We are committed to research and product development and view our continued investment in research and product development as a key ingredient to our long-term business success. Our research and product development expenditures were approximately $8.6 million, $8.3 million and $9.0 million, during the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively.

 

Our core competencies in research and product development include (a) many audio technologies, including acoustic echo cancellation, noise cancellation and other advanced adaptive digital signal processing technologies, (b) networking and multimedia streaming technologies, and (c) video technologies. We also have expertise in wireless technologies, VoIP, software and network application, and digital signage system development. We believe that continued investment in our core technological competencies is vital to developing new products and to enhancing existing products.

 

 10 

 

ITEM 1 - BUSINESS

 

Intellectual Property and Other Proprietary Rights

 

We believe that our success depends in part on our ability to protect our proprietary rights. We rely on a combination of patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret laws and confidentiality agreements and processes to protect our proprietary rights. The laws of foreign countries may not protect our intellectual property to the same degree as the laws of the United States.

 

We generally require our employees, certain customers and partners to enter into confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements before we disclose any confidential aspect of our technology, services, or business. In addition, our employees are required to assign to us any proprietary information, inventions, or other technology created during the term of their employment with us. However, these precautions may not be sufficient to protect us from misappropriation or infringement of our intellectual property.

 

Employees

 

As of December 31, 2016, we had 151 full-time employees. Of these employees, 93 were located in our Salt Lake City location, 31 in other U.S. locations, and 27 in locations outside the U.S. None of our employees are subject to a collective bargaining agreement and we believe our relationship with our employees is good. We also hire contractors with specific skill sets to meet our operational needs.

 

 11 

 

ITEM 1A - RISK FACTORS

 

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

 

Investors should carefully consider the risks described below. The risks described below are not the only ones we face and there are risks that we are not presently aware of or that we currently believe are immaterial that may also impair our business operations. Any of these risks could harm our business. The trading price of our common stock could decline significantly due to any of these risks, and investors may lose all or part of their investment. In assessing these risks, investors should also refer to the other information contained or incorporated by reference in this annual report on Form 10-K, including our consolidated financial statements and related notes.

 

Risks Relating to Our Business

 

We face intense competition in all markets for our products and services and our operating results will be adversely affected if we cannot compete effectively against other companies.

 

The markets for our products and services are characterized by intense competition, pricing pressures and rapid technological change. Our competitive landscape continues to rapidly evolve, in particular with respect to our video-related services and products, as we move into new markets for video collaboration such as mobile, social and cloud-delivered video. We compete with businesses having substantially greater financial, research and product development, manufacturing, marketing, and other resources than we do. If we are not able to continually design, manufacture, and successfully introduce new or enhanced products or services that are comparable or superior to those provided by our competitors and at comparable or better prices, we could experience pricing pressures and reduced sales, gross profit margins, profits, and market share, each of which could have a materially adverse effect on our business.

 

Difficulties in estimating customer demand in our products segment could harm our profit margins.

 

Orders from our distributors and other distribution participants are based on demand from end-users. Prospective end-user demand is difficult to measure. This means that our revenue during any fiscal quarter could be adversely impacted by low end-user demand, which could in turn negatively affect orders we receive from distributors and dealers. Our expectations for both short and long-term future net revenues are based on our own estimates of future demand. Revenue for any particular time period is difficult to predict with any degree of certainty. We typically ship products within a short time after we receive an order; consequently, unshipped backlog has not historically been a good indicator of future revenue. We believe that the level of backlog is dependent in part on our ability to forecast revenue mix and plan our manufacturing accordingly. A significant portion of our customers’ orders are received during the last month of the quarter. We budget the amount of our expenses based on our revenue estimates. If our estimates of sales are not accurate and we experience unforeseen variability in our revenue and operating results, we may be unable to adjust our expense levels accordingly and our gross profit and results of operations will be adversely affected. Higher inventory levels or stock shortages may also result from difficulties in estimating customer demand.

 

Our sales depend to a certain extent on government funding and regulation.

 

In the audio conferencing products market, the revenue generated from sales of our audio conferencing products for distance learning and courtroom facilities depends on government funding. In the event government funding for such initiatives was reduced or became unavailable, our sales could be negatively impacted. Additionally, many of our products are subject to governmental regulations. New regulations could impact sales in a materially adverse manner.

 

Environmental laws and regulations subject us to a number of risks and could result in significant costs and impact on revenue.

 

Regulations regarding the materials used in manufacturing, the process of disposing of electronic equipment and the efficient use of energy require us to take additional time to obtain regulatory approvals of new products in international markets. Such regulations may impact our ability to expand our sales in a timely and cost-effective manner and, as a result, our business could be harmed.

 

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ITEM 1A - RISK FACTORS

 

Our profitability may be adversely affected by our continuing dependence on our distribution channels.

 

We market our products primarily through a network of distributors who in turn sell our products to value-added resellers. All of our agreements with such distributors and other distribution participants are non-exclusive, terminable at will by both party, and generally short-term. No assurances can be given that any or all such distributors or other distribution participants will continue their relationship with us. Distributors and, to a lesser extent, value-added resellers cannot easily be replaced and any loss of revenues from these and other sources or our inability to reduce expenses to compensate for such loss of revenue could adversely affect our net revenue and profit margins.

 

Although we rely on our distribution channels to sell our products, our distributors and other distribution participants are not obligated to devote any specified amount of time, resources, or efforts to the marketing of our products, or to sell a specified number of our products. There are no prohibitions on distributors or other resellers offering products that are competitive with our products, and some do offer competitive products. The support of our products by distributors and other distribution participants may depend on the competitive strength of our products and the price incentives we offer for their support. If our distributors and other distribution participants are not committed to our products, our revenue and profit margins may be adversely affected.

 

Additionally, we offer our distributors price protection on their inventory of our products. If we reduce the list price of our products, we will compensate our distributors for the respective products that remain in their inventory on the date the price adjustment becomes effective, provided that they have been providing inventory reports consistently and the inventory was bought within the six months preceding the price adjustment date. Our net revenue and profit margins could be adversely affected if we reduce product prices significantly or distributors happen to have significant on-hand inventory of the affected product at the time of a price reduction. Further, if we do not have sufficient cash resources to compensate distributors on terms satisfactory to them or us, our price protection obligations may prevent us from reacting quickly to changing market conditions.

 

Product development delays or defects could harm our competitive position and reduce our revenue.

 

We have in the past experienced, and may again experience, technical difficulties and delays with the development and introduction of new products. Many of the products we develop contain sophisticated and complicated circuitry, software and components and utilize manufacturing techniques involving new technologies. Potential difficulties in the development process that we may experience include the following: (a) meeting required specifications and regulatory standards; (b) hiring and keeping a sufficient number of skilled developers; (c) meeting market expectations for performance; (d) obtaining prototype products at anticipated cost levels; (e) having the ability to identify problems or product defects in the development cycle; and (f) achieving necessary manufacturing efficiencies.

 

Once new products reach the market, they may have defects, or may be met by unanticipated new competitive products, which could adversely affect market acceptance of these products and our reputation. If we are not able to manage and minimize such potential difficulties, our business and results of operations could be negatively affected.

 

We rely on reporting of distribution channel inventory by our distributors to recognize revenue from product sales to them, which could turn out to be inaccurate.

 

We defer recognition of revenue from product sales to distributors until the return privilege has expired, which approximates when product is sold-through to customers of our distributors. At each quarter-end, we evaluate the inventory in the channel through information provided by our distributors. We use this information to determine the amount of inventory in the channel, and the appropriate revenue and cost of goods sold associated with those channel products. We cannot guarantee that the third party data as reported will be accurate. We sample test the inventory of a limited number of distributors on an annual basis, most recently in the fourth quarter of 2016, to gain a comfort level of inventory levels reported, however, inventory levels could contain inaccuracies for items we do not sample.

 

 13 

 

ITEM 1A - RISK FACTORS

 

We depend on an outsourced manufacturing strategy, and any disruption in outsourced services could negatively impact our product availability and revenues.

 

We outsource the manufacturing of all of our products except digital signage and wireless microphone products to electronics manufacturing services (“EMS”) providers located in both the U.S. and Asia. If any of these EMS providers experience (i) difficulties in obtaining sufficient supplies of components, (ii) component prices significantly exceeding anticipated costs, (iii) an interruption in their operations, or (iv) otherwise suffers capacity constraints, we could experience a delay in production and shipping of these products, which would have a negative impact on our revenue. Should there be any disruption in services due to natural disaster, economic or political difficulties, transportation restrictions, acts of terror, quarantines or other restrictions associated with infectious diseases, or other similar events, or any other reason, such disruption could have a material adverse effect on our business. Operating in the international outsourcing environment exposes us to certain inherent risks, including unexpected changes in regulatory requirements and tariffs, and potentially adverse tax consequences, which could materially affect our results of operations. Currently, we have no second source of manufacturing for a portion of our products.

 

Switching from one EMS provider to another is an expensive, difficult and a time consuming process, with serious risks to our ability to successfully transfer our manufacturing operations. Our operations, and consequently our revenues and profitability, could be materially adversely affected if we are forced to switch from any of our EMS providers to another EMS provider due to any of a number of factors, including financial difficulties faced by the manufacturer, disagreements in pricing negotiations between us and the manufacturer or organizational changes in the manufacturer.

 

The cost of delivered product from our EMS providers is a direct function of their ability to buy components at a competitive price and to realize efficiencies and economies of scale within their overall business structures. If they are unsuccessful in driving efficient cost models, our delivered costs could rise, affecting our profitability and ability to compete. In addition, if the EMS providers are unable to achieve greater operational efficiencies, delivery schedules for new product development and current product delivery could be negatively impacted.

 

Recent regulatory requirements regarding the use of “conflict minerals” could affect the sourcing and availability of raw materials to our EMS providers in the manufacture of certain of our products. We may be subject to costs associated with the new regulations, including for the diligence pertaining to the presence of any conflict minerals used in our products and the cost of remediation and other changes to products, processes, or sources of supply as a consequence of such verification activities. The impact of the regulations may result in a limited pool of suppliers who provide conflict free minerals, and we cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain products in sufficient quantities, at competitive prices, or at all. We may face reputational challenges with our customers and other stakeholders if we are unable to sufficiently verify the origins for the metals used in the products we sell. As a result, we may not be able to obtain the materials necessary to manufacture our products, which could force us to cease production or search for alternative supply sources, possibly at a higher cost. Such disruptions may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

 

Global economic conditions have adversely affected our business in the past and could adversely affect our revenues and harm our business in the future.

 

Adverse economic conditions worldwide have contributed to slowdowns in the communications industry and have caused a negative impact on the specific segments and markets in which we operate. Adverse changes in general global economic conditions can result in reductions in capital expenditures by end-user customers for our products, longer sales cycles, the deferral or delay of purchase commitments for our products and increased competition. These factors have adversely impacted our operating results in prior periods and could also impact us again in the future. Global economic concerns, such as the varying pace of global economic recovery, European and domestic debt and budget issues, the slowdown in economic growth in large emerging markets such as China and India, and international currency fluctuations, may continue to create uncertainty and unpredictability in the global and national economy. A global economic downturn would negatively impact technology spending for our products and services and could materially adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition. Further, global economic conditions may result in a tightening in the credit markets, low liquidity levels in many financial markets, decrease in customer demand and ability to pay obligations, and extreme volatility in credit, equity, foreign currency and fixed income markets.

 

 14 

 

ITEM 1A - RISK FACTORS

 

Such adverse economic conditions could negatively impact our business, particularly our revenue potential, potentially causing losses on investments and the collectability of our accounts receivable. These factors potentially include: the inability of our customers to obtain credit to finance purchases of our products and services, customer or partner insolvencies or bankruptcies, decreased customer confidence to make purchasing decisions resulting in delays in their purchasing decisions, decreased customer demand or demand for lower-end products, or decreased customer ability to pay their obligations when they become due to us.

 

We are a smaller Company than some of our competitors and may be more susceptible to market fluctuations, other adverse events, increased costs and less favorable purchasing terms.

 

Since we are a relatively small Company, there is a risk that we may be more susceptible to market fluctuations and other adverse events. In particular, we may be more susceptible to reductions in government and corporate spending from our government and enterprise customers. We may also experience increased costs and less favorable terms from our suppliers than some of our larger competitors who may have greater leverage in their purchasing spend. Any of these outcomes could result in loss of sales or our products being more costly to manufacture and thus less competitive. Any such unfavorable market fluctuations, reductions in customer spending or increased manufacturing costs could have a negative impact on our business and results of operations.

 

Difficulties in integrating past or future acquisitions could adversely affect our business.

 

Any acquisition involves numerous risks and challenges, including difficulties and time involved in integrating the operations, technologies and products of the acquired companies, entering new business or product lines, the diversion of our management’s attention from other business concerns, geographic dispersion of operations, generating market demand for expanded product lines and the potential loss of key customers or employees of an acquired Company. Failure to achieve the anticipated benefits of these and any future acquisitions or to successfully integrate the operations of these or any other companies or assets we acquire, could also harm our business, results of operations and cash flows. Additionally, we cannot assure you that we will not incur material charges in future periods to reflect additional costs associated with these acquisitions or any future acquisitions we may make.

 

Profitability could be negatively impacted if we do not adequately forecast the demand for our products and are unable to monetize our long-term inventories.

 

We hold approximately $1.7 million in long-term inventories. There can be no assurance that we will be able to successfully anticipate changing consumer preferences and product trends or economic conditions and, as a result, we may not successfully monetize our long-term inventory. Inventory levels in excess of consumer demand may result in inventory write-downs and the sale of excess inventory at discounted prices, which could have an adverse effect on the image and reputation of our brands and negatively impact profitability.

 

Conditions in Israel and the Middle East may affect the operations of our subsidiary in Israel.

 

We have formed a subsidiary located in Israel in connection with the acquisition of the assets of VCON Video Conferencing, Ltd. Political, economic, security and military conditions in the Middle East in general, and in Israel in particular, directly affect our Israeli subsidiary’s operations. Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, a number of armed conflicts have taken place between Israel and its Arab neighbors and a state of hostility, varying in degree and intensity, has led to security and economic problems for Israel. Despite negotiations to effect peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors, the future of these peace efforts is uncertain.

 

Recent social unrest in various countries in the Middle East have led to severe political instability in those countries. This continuing instability may lead to deterioration of the political and trade relationships that exist between the State of Israel and these countries. In addition, this instability may affect the economy in the Middle East as well as the global economy and marketplace. Any armed conflicts or political instability in the region, including acts of terrorism or any other hostilities involving or threatening Israel, would likely negatively affect business conditions and could make it more difficult for us to conduct our operations in Israel, which could increase our costs and adversely affect our financial results.

 

 15 

 

ITEM 1A - RISK FACTORS

 

Product obsolescence could harm demand for our products and could adversely affect our revenue and our results of operations.

 

Our industry is subject to technological innovations that could render existing technologies in our products obsolete and thereby decrease market demand for such products. If any of our products becomes slow-moving or obsolete and the recorded value of our inventory is greater than its market value, we will be required to write down the value of our inventory to its fair market value, which would adversely affect our results of operations. In limited circumstances, we are required to purchase components that our outsourced manufacturers use to produce and assemble our products. Should technological innovations render these components obsolete, we will be required to write down the value of this inventory, which could adversely affect our results of operations.

 

If we are unable to protect our intellectual property rights or have insufficient proprietary rights, our business would be materially impaired.

 

We currently rely primarily on a combination of trade secrets, copyrights, trademarks, patents, patents pending, and nondisclosure agreements to establish and protect our proprietary rights in our products. Our success is dependent in part on obtaining, maintaining and enforcing our intellectual property rights If we are unable to obtain, maintain and enforce intellectual property legal protection covering our products, then no assurances can be given that others will not independently develop technologies similar to ours, or duplicate or design around aspects of our technology. In addition, we cannot assure that any patent or registered trademark owned by us will not be invalidated, circumvented or challenged, or that the rights granted thereunder will provide competitive advantages to us. Costly litigation may be necessary to enforce our intellectual property rights. We believe our products and other proprietary rights do not infringe upon any proprietary rights of third parties; however, we cannot ensure that third parties will not assert infringement claims in the future. In addition, we may initiate litigation to enforce our intellectual property rights, which may prompt our adversaries in such litigation to challenge the validity, scope or enforceability of our intellectual property. Our industry is characterized by vigorous protection of intellectual property rights. Such claims and the resulting litigation can be expensive and could divert our attention, regardless of the merit of such claims. In the event of a successful claim, we might be required to license third-party technology or redesign our products, which may not be possible or economically feasible.

 

We currently hold only a limited number of patents. To the extent that we have patentable technology that is material to our business and for which we have not filed patent applications, others may be able to use such technology or even gain priority over us by patenting such technology themselves, which could have a material adverse effect on our business. With respect to any patent application we have filed, we cannot ensure that a patent will be awarded.

 

International sales account for a significant portion of our net revenue and risks inherent in international sales could harm our business.

 

International sales represent a significant portion of our total product revenue. We anticipate that the portion of our total product revenue from international sales will continue to increase as we further enhance our focus on developing new products for new markets, establishing new distribution partners, strengthening our presence in emerging economies, and improving product localization with country-specific product documentation and marketing materials. Our international business is subject to the financial and operating risks of conducting business internationally, including the following:

 

 16 

 

ITEM 1A - RISK FACTORS

 

unexpected changes in, or the imposition of, additional legislative or regulatory requirements;
unique or more onerous environmental regulations;
fluctuating exchange rates;
tariffs and other barriers;
difficulties in staffing and managing foreign sales operations;
import and export restrictions;
greater difficulties in accounts receivable collection and longer payment cycles;
potentially adverse tax consequences;
potential hostilities and changes in diplomatic and trade relationships; and
disruption in services due to natural disaster, economic or political difficulties, transportation, quarantines or other restrictions associated with infectious diseases.

 

We may not be able to hire and retain qualified key and highly-skilled technical employees, which could affect our ability to compete effectively and may cause our revenue and profitability to decline.

 

We depend on our ability to hire and retain qualified key and highly skilled employees to manage, research and develop, market, and service new and existing products. Competition for such key and highly-skilled employees is intense, and we may not be successful in attracting or retaining such personnel. To succeed, we must hire and retain employees who are highly skilled in the rapidly changing communications and Internet technologies. Individuals who have the skills and can perform the services we need to provide our products and services are in great demand. Because the competition for qualified employees in our industry is intense, hiring and retaining employees with the skills we need is both time-consuming and expensive. We may not be able to hire enough skilled employees or retain the employees we do hire. In addition, provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and related rules of the SEC impose heightened personal liability on some of our key employees. The threat of such liability could make it more difficult to identify, hire and retain qualified key and highly-skilled employees. We have relied on our ability to grant stock options as a means of recruiting and retaining key employees. Accounting regulations requiring the expensing of stock options will impair our future ability to provide these incentives without incurring associated compensation costs. If we are unable to hire and retain employees with the skills we seek, our ability to sell our existing products, systems, or services or to develop new products, systems, or services could be hindered with a consequent adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial position, or liquidity. In addition, given the current political climate regarding the U.S. immigration laws, we may not be able attract highly-skilled technical employees from abroad.

 

We rely on third-party technology and license agreements, the loss of any of which could negatively impact our business.

 

We have licensing agreements with various suppliers for software and hardware incorporated into our products. These third-party licenses may not continue to be available to us on commercially reasonable terms, if at all. The termination or impairment of these licenses could result in delays of current product shipments or delays or reductions in new product introductions until equivalent designs can be developed, licensed, and integrated, if at all possible, which would have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

We may have difficulty in collecting outstanding receivables.

 

We grant credit to substantially all of our customers without requiring collateral. In times of economic uncertainty, the risks relating to the granting of such credit will typically increase. Although we monitor and mitigate the risks associated with our credit policies, we cannot ensure that such mitigation will be effective. We have experienced losses due to customers failing to meet their obligations. Future losses could be significant and, if incurred, could harm our business and have a material adverse effect on our operating results and financial position.

 

 17 

 

ITEM 1A - RISK FACTORS

 

Interruptions to our business could adversely affect our operations.

 

As with any Company, our operations are at risk of being interrupted by earthquake, fire, flood, and other natural and human-caused disasters, including disease and terrorist attacks. Our operations are also at risk of power loss, telecommunications failure, human error, physical or electronic security breaches and computer viruses (which could leave us vulnerable to the loss of confidential proprietary information as well as disruption of our business activities) and other infrastructure and technology based problems. To help guard against such risks, we carry business interruption loss insurance to help compensate us for losses that may occur, but we cannot assure that such coverage would protect us from all such possible losses.

 

We may become subject to adverse determinations with respect to certain legal claims.

 

On or about October 24, 2016, we received written notice from the United States Department of Labor, Occupational Health and Safety Administration ("OSHA") that a complaint had been filed against the Company by a former employee.  Among other things, the complaint to OSHA alleges harassment, retaliation, and violations of 18 U.S.C.A. Section 1514A, et seq. (the "Sarbanes-Oxley Act") arising out of allegations previously made by the employee and the termination of the person’s employment with the Company on or about August 17, 2016 (the “OSHA Complaint”). The Company denies the allegations in the OSHA Complaint, has not discovered any evidence of wrongdoing with respect to the allegations previously made by the former employee, and is vigorously defending the claims. As of February 28, 2017, we have incurred approximately $927,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs relating to the OSHA Complaint. On March 2, 2017, the Company received notice that the same former employee who initiated the OSHA Complaint also has filed a complaint with the Utah Labor Commission, Anti-Discrimination & Labor Division (the “Utah Complaint”) alleging that the employee's termination was discriminatory based upon a disability or, in the alternative, retaliatory for substantially the same reasons alleged in the OSHA Complaint. The Company is in the process of assessing the Utah Complaint and intends to vigorously defend it. We may incur additional expenses related to legal and related services rendered in connection with these matters and/or related matters in future periods and will recognize these expenses when they are incurred. Expenses related to the defense of the OSHA Complaint, the Utah Complaint and/or related matters may include uncertain but potential liabilities from any future unspecified governmental investigations and/or proceedings; any future unspecified civil litigation; and future unspecified expenses. We have not accrued any amount for contingent liability with respect to this matter. Due to the uncertainty and expense of litigation, there exists the possibility of adverse outcomes which are neither predictable nor estimable at this time. An adverse outcome with respect to the OSHA Complaint, the Utah Complaint and/or the allegations set forth therein could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows in the future.

 

Changes in our tax rates could adversely affect our future results.

 

We are a U.S. based Company subject to tax in U.S. and foreign tax jurisdictions. Unanticipated changes in our tax rates could affect our future results of operations. Our future effective tax rates, which are difficult to predict, could be unfavorably affected by changes in, or interpretation of, tax rules and regulations in the jurisdictions in which we do business, by unanticipated decreases in the amount of revenue or earnings in countries with low statutory tax rates, or by changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities. Further, the accounting for stock compensation expense in accordance with ASC 718 and uncertain tax positions in accordance with ASC 740 could result in more unpredictability and variability to our future effective tax rates.

 

Security breaches and other disruptions could compromise our information and expose us to liability, which would cause our business and reputation to suffer.

 

In the ordinary course of our business, we collect and store sensitive data, including intellectual property, our proprietary business information and that of our employees, customers, licensors, vendors and business partners, including personally identifiable information of our customers and employees, in our data centers and on our networks. Despite our security measures, our information technology and infrastructure may be vulnerable to attacks by hackers or breached due to employee error, malfeasance or other disruptions. Security breaches have occurred with increased frequency and sophistication in recent years. Any such breach could compromise our networks and the information stored there could be accessed, publicly disclosed, lost or stolen. Any such access, disclosure or other loss of information could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability under laws that protect the privacy of personal information, disrupt our operations, and damage our reputation, which could adversely affect our business.

 

 18 

 

ITEM 1A - RISK FACTORS

 

Risks Relating to Share Ownership

 

Our stock price fluctuates as a result of the conduct of our business and stock market fluctuations.

 

The market price of our common stock has experienced significant fluctuations and may continue to fluctuate significantly. The market price of our common stock may be significantly affected by a variety of factors, including the following:

 

statements or changes in opinions, ratings, or earnings estimates made by brokerage firms or industry analysts relating to the market in which we do business or relating to us specifically;
disparity between our reported results and the projections of analysts;
the shift in sales mix of products that we currently sell to a sales mix of lower-gross profit product offerings;
the level and mix of inventory held by our distributors;
the announcement of new products or product enhancements by us or our competitors;
technological innovations by us or our competitors;
success in meeting targeted availability dates for new or redesigned products;
the ability to profitably and efficiently manage our supply of products and key components;
the ability to maintain profitable relationships with our customers;
the ability to maintain an appropriate cost structure;
quarterly variations in our results of operations;
general consumer confidence or market conditions, or market conditions specific to technology industry;
domestic and international economic conditions;
unexpected changes in regulatory requirements and tariffs;
our ability to report financial information in a timely manner;
the markets in which our stock is traded;
our ability to integrate the companies we have acquired; and
our ability to successfully utilize our cash reserves resulting from the settlement of litigation and arbitration matters.

 

Rights to acquire our common stock could result in dilution to other holders of our common stock.

 

As of December 31, 2016, there were outstanding options to acquire approximately 0.85 million shares of our common stock at a weighted average exercise price of $8.06 per share. During the terms of these options, the holders thereof will have the opportunity to profit from an increase in the market price of the common stock. The existence of these options may adversely affect the terms on which we can obtain additional financing, and the holders of these options can be expected to exercise such options at a time when we, in all likelihood, would be able to obtain additional capital by offering shares of our common stock on terms more favorable to us than those provided by the exercise of these options.

 

The sale of additional shares of our common stock could have a negative effect on the market price of our common stock.

 

The sale of substantial amounts of our common stock in the public market could adversely affect prevailing market prices and could impair our ability to raise capital through the sale of our equity securities. Most shares of common stock currently outstanding are eligible for sale in the public market, subject in certain cases to compliance with the requirements of Rule 144 under the securities laws. Shares issued upon the exercise of stock options granted under our stock option plan generally will be eligible for sale in the public market. We also have the authority to issue additional shares of common stock and shares of one or more series of preferred stock. The issuance of such shares could dilute the voting power of the currently outstanding shares of our common stock and could dilute earnings per share.

 

 19 

 

ITEM 1A - RISK FACTORS

 

We are required to evaluate our internal control over financial reporting under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and any adverse results from such evaluation could result in a loss of investor confidence in our financial reports and have an adverse effect on our stock price.

 

Pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“Section 404”), we are required to furnish a report by our management on our internal control over financial reporting. Such report contains, among other matters, an assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of the end of our fiscal year, including a statement as to whether or not our internal control over financial reporting is effective. This assessment must include disclosure of any material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting identified by management. Further, we must continue to monitor and assess our internal control over financial reporting. Any future failure of our own internal controls or the internal controls at any of our outsourced manufacturers or partners could result in reported material weaknesses. In addition, our control framework may suffer if we are unable to adapt our control framework appropriately as we continue to grow our business. If we are unable to assert in any future reporting period that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, we could lose investor confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, which would have an adverse effect on our stock price, market capitalization, results of operations or financial position or other adverse consequences.

 

If equity research analysts do not publish research or reports about our business or if they issue unfavorable commentary or downgrade our common stock, the price of our common stock could decline.

 

The liquidity of the trading market for our common stock may be affected in part by the research and reports that equity research analysts publish about us and our business. We do not control the opinions of these analysts. The price of our stock could decline if one or more equity analysts downgrade our stock or if those analysts issue other unfavorable commentary or cease publishing reports about us or our business.

 

 20 

 

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

Not applicable.

 

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

 

We occupy a 5,000 square-foot facility in Gainsville, Florida under the terms of an operating lease that expires in February 2021 with the possibility of renewing the lease for 10 more years. The Gainesville facility was used primarily to support out research and development activities.

 

We lease a 4,700 square-foot office facility in Hod Hasharon, Israel under the terms of an operating lease expiring in December 2017 which serves to support our research and development activities. Upon expiration, we will have the option to extend the lease for two additional years.

 

We currently occupy a 31,000 square-foot facility in Salt Lake City, Utah under the terms of an operating lease expiring in May 2019, which supports our principal administrative, sales, marketing, customer support, and research and product development activities.

 

We occupy a 7,070 square-foot facility in Austin, Texas - under the terms of an operating lease expiring in October 2019. This facility support our administrative, sales, marketing, customer support, and research and development activities.

 

We occupy a 40,000 square-foot warehouse in Salt Lake City, Utah under the terms of an operating lease expiring in December 2021, which serves as our primary inventory fulfillment and repair center. This facility also serves as our assembly workshop for digital signage products.

 

We believe our current facilities are adequate to meet our needs for the foreseeable future and that suitable additional or alternative space will be available in the future on commercially reasonable terms as needed.

 

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

See Note 8 – Commitments and Contingencies of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements (Part II, Item 8) for information regarding legal proceedings in which we are involved, which is incorporated in this Item 3 by reference.

 

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

 

Not Applicable.

 

 21 

 

PART II 

 

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

 

Market Information

 

Our common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol CLRO. On March 15, 2017, there were 8,746,870 shares of our common stock issued and outstanding held by approximately 322 shareholders of record. Each broker dealer or a clearing corporation that holds shares for customers is counted as a single shareholder of record.

 

The high and low common stock sales prices per share were as follows:

 

  

First

Quarter

  

Second

Quarter

  

Third

Quarter

  

Fourth

Quarter

   Full Year 
2016                    
High  $13.15   $11.68   $12.36   $11.40   $13.15 
Low  10.60   10.21   10.32   10.40   10.21 
2015                         
High  $11.32   $14.65   $14.05   $13.45   $14.65 
Low   9.25    10.07    9.95    11.36   9.25 

 

Dividends

 

During 2016 and 2015, our Board of Directors declared the following dividends:

 

Declaration Date  Record Date   Payment Date   Dividend
per share
   Dividends
(S thousands)
 
March 12, 2015  May 04, 2015   May 15, 2015   $0.035   $319 
July 15, 2015  July 27, 2015   August 10, 2015    0.035   320 
October 21, 2015  November 04, 2015   November 18, 2015   0.035   320 
November 12, 2015  December 04, 2015   December 21, 2015   0.050   457 
February 25, 2016  March 07, 2016   March 18, 2016   0.050   459 
May 17, 2016  June 01, 2016   June 15, 2016   0.050   465 
August 02, 2016  August 17, 2016   August 31, 2016   0.050   449 
November 01, 2016  November 16, 2016   November 30, 2016   0.050   444 

 

In addition, on March 1, 2017, our Board of Directors authorized an increase in our quarterly dividend from $0.05 per share to $0.07 per share beginning with the second quarter dividend in 2017 expected to be paid on or about June 1, 2017.

 

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

In May 2012, our Board of Directors authorized a stock repurchase program authorizing the Company to repurchase up to $2 million of our outstanding common stock. On July 30, 2012, the Board of Directors increased the repurchase amount to $3 million from the original $2 million. On February 20, 2013, the Board of Directors again increased the repurchase amount to $10 million from $3 million. On December 2, 2014, ClearOne, Inc. issued a press release announcing the declaration of future cash dividends by the Company’s Board of Directors and reported the discontinuance of this stock repurchase program. At the time of the discontinuance of this stock repurchase program, the Company had repurchased approximately $5.4 million of the Company’s stock.

 

On March 9, 2016, the Board of Directors of the Company authorized the repurchase of up to $10 million of the Company’s outstanding shares of common stock under a new stock repurchase program. In connection with the repurchase authorization, the Company was authorized to complete the repurchase through open market transactions or through an accelerated share repurchase program, in each case to be executed at management’s discretion based on business and market conditions, stock price, trading restrictions, acquisition activity and other factors. The repurchase program may be suspended or discontinued at any time without prior notice. The transactions effectuated to date occurred in open market purchases.

 

 22 

 

On March 1, 2017, the Board of Directors of the Company renewed and extended the repurchase program for up to an additional $10 million of common stock over the next twelve months. In connection with the repurchase extension authorization, the Company was authorized to complete the repurchase through open market transactions or through an accelerated share repurchase program, in each case to be executed at management’s discretion based on business and market conditions, stock price, trading restrictions, acquisition activity and other factors. The repurchase program may be suspended or discontinued at any time without prior notice. The transactions effectuated to date occurred in open market purchases.

 

During the three months ended December 31, 2016 we acquired the following shares of common stock under the current stock repurchase program:

 

Period  (a)
Total Number of Shares Purchased
   (b)
Average Price
Paid per Share
   (c)
Total Number of
Shares Purchased
as Part of Publicly
Announced Plans
or Programs
  

(d)
Approximate Dollar Value of Shares that May Yet Be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs

(in $ millions)

 
October 2016   13.743   $11.08    13,743   $4.7 
November 2016   30,348    10.93    30,348   4.4 
December 2016   42,088    11.02    42,088   3.9 
Total   86,179    11.00    86,179      

 

From March 11, 2016 to March 17, 2016, the Company offered to repurchase eligible vested options to purchase shares under the 1998 Plan and the 2007 Plan from employees and directors. The Company repurchased delivered options at a repurchase price equal to the difference between the closing market price on the date of the employee’s communication of accepting the repurchase offer and the exercise price of such employee’s delivered options, subject to applicable withholding taxes and charges. The Company repurchased 225,542 stock options from employees and directors at an average purchase price of $7.77.

 

ITEM 6. SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

 

Selected Financials

(Dollar in thousands, except per share data)

Year Ended June 30,   2016     2015     2014     2013     2012  
Revenue   $ 48,637     $ 57,796     $ 57,909     $ 49,592     $ 46,417  
Gross margin     29,487       36,719       35,323       29,897       27,328  
Operating income     3,566       10,262       7,975       7,622       42,521 (1)
Net income     2,444       6,776       5,596       5,179       26,647  
Diluted earnings per share     0.26       0.71       0.58       0.55       2.89  
Cash dividends declared per share     0.20       0.155       0.10       0       0  
Cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments     17,130       20,573       14,434       20,392       55,509 (1)
Working capital     30,819       36,539       30,202       39,417       56,467  
Total assets     88,124       93,529       88,860       81,061       91,939  
Long-term obligations     1,354       1,353       2,089       2,077       2,451  
Stockholders’ equity     77,449       82,569       76,016       70,335       66,668  

 

(1) Includes $38,500 proceeds from litigation settlement.

 

    Quarterly Data for 2016  
    First
Quarter
    Second
Quarter
    Third
Quarter
    Fourth
Quarter
 
Net Sales   $ 13,033     $ 11,966     $ 12,908     $ 10,730  
Gross Profit     8,465       7,664       7,668       5,690  
Net Income (Loss)     1,368       955       1,209      

(1,088

) 
Diluted Earnings (Loss) Per Common Share     0.14       0.10       0.13       (0.12 ) 

 

 23 

 

    Quarterly Data for 2015  
    First
Quarter
    Second
Quarter
    Third
Quarter
    Fourth
Quarter
 
Net Sales   $ 13,586     $ 14,013     $ 15,913     $ 14,284  
Gross Profit     8,462       8,991       10,188       9,078  
Net Income     1,272       1,515       2,417       1,572  
Diluted Earnings Per Common Share     0.13       0.16       0.25       0.16  

 

 24 

 

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

 

The following discussion should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes included in this report, as well as our other filings with the SEC. This discussion contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations that involve risks and uncertainties, such as our plans, objectives, expectations, and intentions, as set forth under “Disclosure Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.” Our actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those set forth in the following discussion and under the caption “Risk Factors” in Item 1A and elsewhere in this report.

 

OVERVIEW

 

ClearOne is a global Company that designs, develops and sells conferencing, collaboration, and network streaming & signage solutions for voice and visual communications. The performance and simplicity of our advanced, comprehensive solutions offer unprecedented levels of functionality, reliability and scalability.

 

We derive most of our revenue from professional audio conferencing products by promoting our products in the professional audio visual channel. We have extended our total addressable market from installed audio conferencing market to adjacent complementary markets – microphones, video collaboration and networked audio and video streaming. We have achieved this through strategic technological acquisitions as well as by internal product development.

 

During 2016, we devoted most of our attention to the introduction of our full line of next-gen DSP conferencing platform and Beamforming Microphone Array. We also fine-tuned our product and go-to-market strategy for our media collaboration and network streaming products. On the operations side, we successfully transitioned our wireless microphones manufacturing operations from Alachua, Florida to an outsourced contract manufacturing facility in Singapore.

 

Overall revenue declined in 2016 despite a significant increase in revenue from video products. The declines in revenue from professional audio products and unified communications end points more than offset the increase in revenue from video products. Our gross profit margin decreased in 2016 to 61% compared to 64% in 2015 primarily due to the decrease in the mix of higher margin products and the price reductions associated with transition from CONVERGE Pro 1 to CONVERGE Pro 2. Net income decreased to $2.4 million from $6.8 million in 2015. Net income in 2016 decreased primarily due to decrease in gross margins.

 

Industry conditions

 

We operate in a very dynamic and highly competitive industry which is dominated on the one hand by a few players with respect to certain products like traditional video conferencing appliances while on the other influenced heavily by a fragmented reseller market consisting of numerous regional and local players. The industry is also characterized by the influx of venture capitalist funded start-ups and private companies keen to win market share even at the expense of mounting financial losses.

 

Economic conditions, challenges and risks

 

The global economics conditions through 2016 were challenging due to a number of reasons, including conditions related to the Brexit vote and uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. The decline in oil prices and commodity prices continued to affect certain countries and the operating budgets of large companies in the oil and gas industry.

 

The audio-visual products market is characterized by intense competition and rapidly evolving technology. Our competitors vary within each product category. Our professional audio communication products, which contribute the most to our revenue, continues to be ahead of the competition despite the reduction in revenues through our transition from the CONVERGE Pro 1 platform to the next generation CONVERGE Pro 2 platform. Our strength in this space is largely due to our professional microphone products, especially Beamforming Microphone Arrays. Despite our strong leadership position in the professional audio communications products market, we face challenges to revenue growth due to the limited size of the market and pricing pressures from new competitors attracted to the commercial market due to higher margins.

 

 25 

 

MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

Revenue from our video products in the overall revenue mix has been improving on the back of a strong growth for our video products in 2016. We face intense competition in this market from well-established market leaders as well as emerging players rich with marketing funds. We expect our strategy of combining Spontania, our cloud-based video conferencing product, Collaborate, our appliance based media collaboration product and our high-end audio conferencing technology to provide high growth in revenue in the near future. We believe we are also well positioned to capitalize on the continuing migration away from the traditional hardware based video conferencing systems to software based video conferencing applications.

 

We derive a major portion of our revenue (about 35%) from international operations and expect this trend to continue in the future. Most of our revenue from outside the U.S. are billed in US Dollars and is not exposed to any significant currency risk. However, we are exposed to foreign exchange risk if the US dollar continues to be strong against other currencies as it will make U.S. Dollar denominated prices of our products less competitive.

 

Deferred Revenue

 

Each quarter-end, we evaluate the inventory in the distribution channel through information provided by certain of our distributors. The level of inventory in the channel fluctuates up or down each quarter based upon our distributors’ individual operations. Accordingly, each quarter-end revenue deferral is calculated and recorded based upon the underlying channel inventory at quarter-end. Deferred revenue decreased by $0.7 million to $3.9 million in 2016. In 2015 deferred revenue decreased by $0.5 million from $5.0 million at the end of 2014 to $4.5 million at the end of 2015.

 

DISCUSSION OF RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

The following table sets forth certain items from our consolidated statements of operations for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014, together with the percentage change each item represents. Throughout this discussion, we compare results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2016 (“2016”) to the year ended December 31, 2015 (“2015” or “the comparable period”) and to the year ended December 31, 2014 (“2014” or “the comparable period”).

 

(In thousands, except percentages)  2016   2015   2014  

Percentage Change

2016 vs 2015

   Percentage Change
2015 vs 2014
 
Revenue  $48,637   $57,796   $57,909    -16%   0%
Cost of goods sold   19,150    21,077    22,586    -9%   -7%
Gross profit   29,487    36,719    35,323    -20%   4%
Sales and marketing   10,032    10,646    11,227    -6%   -5%
Research and product development   8,564    8,318    8,969    3%   -7%
General and administrative   7,325    7,493    7,152    -2%   5%
Operating expenses   25,921    26,457    27,348    -2%   -3%
Operating income   3,566    10,262    7,975    -65%   29%
Income before income taxes   3,878    10,551    8,229    -63%   28%
Provision for income taxes   1,434    3775    2633    -62%   43%
Net income   2,444    6,776    5,596    -64%   21%

 

Revenue

 

Our revenue decreased to $48.6 million in 2016 compared to $57.8 million in 2015. The 40% increase in revenue from video products was more than offset by a 19% decline in professional audio conferencing revenue and a 23% decline in revenue from unified communication end points. Tabletop audio conferencing products declined the most while media collaboration products increased the most. The decline in revenue from professional audio conferencing products was mostly due to overall weakness in the economy, decline in orders due to transition from Converge Pro 1 to Converge Pro 2 and reductions in Converge Pro 1 pricing in the last quarter of 2016. The share of professional audio communications products (which includes microphone products but not premium products) in our product mix declined from 80% in 2015 to 77% in 2016. Share of video products in the revenue mix increased from 6.5% in 2015 to 11% in 2016. The increase in revenue from video products was due to the success of Unite camera, favorable reception to the new Collaborate SKUs containing integrated audio solutions and increasing acceptance of View Pro in major projects. Share of UC end points declined marginally from 13% in 2016 to 12% in 2015.

 

 26 

 

MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

During 2016, revenue declined across all major markets except parts of Asia. The decline was pronounced in Australia, Canada, Middle East and all regions of Europe. Asia Pacific including Middle East decreased by 12%; Europe and Africa declined by 31% and Americas declined by about 14%. The revenue decline was primarily caused by the delay in the transition to our next generation audio platform, Converge Pro 2 and Beamforming Microphone Array 2 combined with price reduction offered to stimulate customer interest and sales in the current generation of products. Revenue was also negatively affected by less than robust infrastructure and capital equipment spending and political uncertainty – first in Europe with Brexit and then in the fourth quarter with US elections. We believe we will return to growth path as key products forming part of the new audio platform has already started shipping in early 2017 and the overall investor confidence and consumer confidence has started improving in the US. However, the growth will depend on the speed at which our customers transition to new platform and the economic recovery in certain key markets like Europe, Canada and Australia which remains weak.

 

Our revenue remained essentially the same at $57.8 million in 2015 compared to $57.9 million in 2014. While the revenue from professional audio conferencing products increased by 4%, and the video products increased by 11%, the revenue from unified communication end points declined by 22%. The share of professional audio communications products (which includes microphone products but not premium products) showed an increase to approximately 80% in 2015 from approximately 77% in 2014. This increase was due to an increase in the revenue from microphone products and also due to licensing fees included in professional audio revenue. During 2015, revenue from Asia Pacific including Middle East increased by 4% while Europe and Africa declined by 2% and Americas declined by about 1%.

 

Cost of Goods Sold and Gross Profit

 

Cost of goods sold (“COGS”) includes expenses associated with finished goods purchased from outsourced manufacturers, the manufacture of our products (including material and direct labor), our manufacturing and operations organization, property and equipment depreciation, warranty expense, freight expense, royalty payments, and the allocation of overhead expenses.

 

Our gross profit during 2016 was approximately $29.5 million or 61% compared to approximately $36.7 million or 64% in 2015. Gross margin declined due to the following reasons: (1) Price reductions made to CONVERGE Pro 1 products to encourage CONVERGE Pro 1 sales while customers were awaiting CONVERGE Pro 2 products (2) Decline in higher margin professional audio conferencing products in the mix (3) Higher inventory obsolescence costs (4) Increased overhead absorption due to sharp declines in inventory (5) Scrap of inventory related to transition of wireless microphones manufacturing.

 

Our gross profit during 2015 was approximately $36.7 million or 64% compared to approximately $35.3 million or 61% in 2014. This increase in margin was mainly due to favorable change in product mix and contribution of licensing fees to the revenue.

 

Our profitability in the near-term continues to depend significantly on our revenues from professional audio conferencing products. We hold long-term inventory and if we are unable to sell our long-term inventory, our profitability might be affected by inventory write-offs and price mark-downs.

 

Operating Expenses and Profits (Losses)

 

Operating income, or income from operations, is the surplus after operating expenses are deducted from gross profits. Operating expenses include sales and marketing (“S&M”) expenses, research and product development (“R&D”) expenses and general and administrative (“G&A”) expenses. Total operating expenses were $25.9 million in 2016 compared to $26.5 million in 2015 and $27.3 million in 2014. The following contains a more detailed discussion of expenses related to sales and marketing, research and product development, general and administrative, and other items.

 

Sales and Marketing. S&M expenses include sales, customer service, and marketing expenses such as employee-related costs, allocations of overhead expenses, trade shows, and other advertising and selling expenses.

 

S&M expenses in 2016 declined by 6% from $10.6 million in 2015 to $10.0 million in 2016 mainly due to reductions in commissions paid to independent agents and reductions in employee-related salaries, benefits and commissions.

 

S&M expenses were approximately $10.6 million in 2015 compared to $11.2 million in 2014. The decrease in S&M expenses in 2015 was primarily due to a reduction in employee-related costs and commissions paid to employees.

 

 27 

 

MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

Research and Product Development. R&D expenses include research and development, product line management, engineering services, and test and application expenses, including employee-related costs, outside services, expensed materials, depreciation, and an allocation of overhead expenses.

 

R&D expenses increased marginally during 2016 to $8.6 million from $8.3 million in 2015. The increase was primarily due to an increase in R&D project costs and employee-related costs partially offset by a reduction in overhead allocated to R&D.

 

R&D expenses decreased by 7% in 2015 from $9.0 million in 2014 to $8.3 million in 2015. The decrease was primarily due to reductions in R&D project costs, consulting expenses and employee related costs.

 

General and Administrative. G&A expenses include employee-related costs, professional service fees, allocations of overhead expenses, litigation costs, and corporate administrative costs, including costs related to finance and human resources.

 

G&A expenses were approximately $7.3 million in 2016 compared with approximately $7.5 million in 2015. The decrease in G&A expenses was primarily due to a reduction in audit and accounting fees and employee-related costs partially offset by an increase in legal expenses, especially in the fourth quarter.

 

G&A expenses were approximately $7.5 million in 2015 compared with approximately $7.2 million in 2014. As a percentage of revenue, G&A expenses were 13% in 2015 compared to 12% in 2014 The increase in G&A expenses was primarily due to the increases in various expenses including audit fees incurred on re-audit and reviews of previously filed financial information, information technology costs, legal expenses, stock based compensation and allowance for bad debts. These increases were partially offset by amounts credited for reduced earn-out payments.

 

Provision for income taxes

 

The tax expense of $1.4 million during 2016 was primarily the result of tax on current year income. This compared to tax expense of $3.8 million during 2015, also primarily the result of tax on current year income. This decrease of $2.4 million resulted primarily from a decrease in the overall pre-tax income for the period, as well as reduced R&D tax credit utilization.

 

The tax expense of $3.8 million during 2015 was primarily the result of tax on current year income. This increase compared to a tax expense of $2.6 million during 2014, was also primarily the result of tax on current year income. This increase of $1.2 million resulted from a decrease in the estimated research and development credit, as well as increases in the losses of foreign jurisdictions for which no benefit can be claimed. In addition, overall pre-tax income increased $2.3 million from 2014, resulting in additional tax expense.

 

LIQUIDITY, CAPITAL RESOURCES AND FINANCIAL POSITION

 

As of December 31, 2016, our cash and cash equivalents were approximately $12.1 million compared to $12.5 million as of December 31, 2015. Our working capital was $30.8 million and $36.5 million as of December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

 

Net cash flows provided by operating activities were approximately $7.8 million during 2016, an increase of approximately $0.2 million from $7.6 million provided by operating activities in 2015. The increase was primarily due to increase in cash inflows due to change in operating assets and liabilities of $4.8 million mostly offset by a decrease in non-cash charges of $0.2 million and a reduction in net income of $4.3 million. Net cash flows used in investing activities were $0.9 million during 2016 compared to net cash flows used in investing activities of $0.6 million during 2015, an increase of $0.3 million during 2016. The increase was primarily due to an increase of $0.5 million in purchases of property, plant and equipment and intangibles partially offset by a reduction in net purchases of marketable securities. Net cash used in financing activities increased in 2016 by $7.3 million primarily due to payments for stock repurchases and cancellation of stock options of $7.8 million and increased dividend payments of $0.4 million partially offset by increased proceeds from equity-based compensation programs and related tax benefits of $1.0 million.

 

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MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

Net cash flows provided by operating activities were approximately $7.6 million during 2015, an increase of approximately $0.9 million from $6.7 million provided by operating activities in 2014. The increase was primarily due to increased net income of $1.2 million and an increase in non-cash charges of $0.8 million, partially offset by changes in operating assets and liabilities of $1.1 million. Net cash flows used in investing activities were $0.6 million during 2015 compared to net cash flows used in investing activities of $14.4 million during 2014. During 2015, the cash outflows on investing activities consisted of purchases of property, plant and equipment of $0.4 million and net outflow of $0.3 million on account of marketable securities. During 2014, the cash outflows for investing activities consisted of outflows of $13.1 million for the acquisitions of Sabine and Spontania, net outflow of $0.6 million on account of marketable securities and $0.6 million for the purchase of property and equipment and $90 thousand for the purchase of intangibles. Please refer to Note 3 - Business Combinations, Goodwill and Intangibles in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements (Part IV) for details on the Company’s acquisitions.

 

Net cash used in financing activities in 2015 consisted of proceeds received from the exercise of stock options amounting to $0.5 million and associated tax benefits of $41 thousand, offset by cash dividends of $1.4 million. Net cash used in financing activities in 2014 consisted of proceeds from the exercise of stock options totaling $1.3 million and associated tax benefits totaling $0.2 million, offset by the acquisition of outstanding stock totaling $2.6 million under the stock repurchase program.

 

We believe that future income from operations and effective management of working capital will provide the liquidity needed to meet our short-term and long-term operating requirements and finance our growth plans. We also believe that our strong financial position and sound business structure will enable us to raise additional capital if and when needed to meet our short and long-term financing needs. In addition to capital expenditures, we may use cash in the near future for selective infusions of technology, sales and marketing, infrastructure, and other investments to fuel our growth, as well as acquisitions that may strategically fit our business and are accretive to our performance. We also intend to use cash to pay quarterly cash dividends and repurchase stock under our repurchase program.

 

At December 31, 2016, we had open purchase orders related to our electronics manufacturing service providers of approximately $13.6 million, primarily related to inventory purchases.

 

At December 31, 2016, we had inventory totaling $13.0 million, of which non-current inventory accounted for $1.7 million. This compares to total inventories of $15.5 million and non-current inventory of $2.0 million as of December 31, 2015.

 

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

 

We have no off-balance-sheet arrangements that have or are reasonably likely to have a current or future material effect on our financial condition, changes in financial conditions, revenues or expenses, results of operations, liquidity, capital expenditures or capital resources, results of operations or liquidity.

 

CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES AND ESTIMATES

 

Our discussion and analysis of our results of operations and financial position are based upon our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. We review the accounting policies used in reporting our financial results on a regular basis. The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reporting period. We evaluate our assumptions and estimates on an ongoing basis and may employ outside experts to assist in our evaluations. We believe that the estimates we use are reasonable; however, actual results could differ from those estimates. Our significant accounting policies are described in Note 1 - Business Description, Basis of Presentation and Significant Accounting Policies to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part IV of this report. We believe the following critical accounting policies identify our most critical accounting policies, which are the policies that are both important to the representation of our financial condition and results and require our most difficult, subjective or complex judgments, often as a result of the need to make estimates about the effect of matters that are inherently uncertain.

 

 29 

 

MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

Revenue and Associated Allowances for Revenue Adjustments and Doubtful Accounts

 

Included in continuing operations is product revenue, primarily from product sales to distributors, dealers, and end-users. Product revenue is recognized when (i) the products are shipped and any right of return expires, (ii) persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, (iii) the price is fixed and determinable, and (iv) collection is reasonably assured.

 

We provide a right of return on product sales to certain distributors under a product rotation program. Under this seldom-used program, once a quarter, a distributor is allowed to return products purchased during the prior quarter for a total value generally not exceeding 15% of the distributor’s net purchases during the preceding quarter. The distributor is, however, required to place a new purchase order for an amount not less than the value of products returned under the stock rotation program. When products are returned, the associated revenue, cost of goods sold, inventory and accounts receivable originally recorded are reversed. When the new order is placed, the revenue, associated cost of goods sold, inventory and accounts receivable are recorded and the product revenue is subject to the deferral analysis described below. In a small number of cases, the distributors are also permitted to return the products for other business reasons.

 

Revenue from product sales to distributors is not recognized until the return privilege has expired or until it can be determined with reasonable certainty that the return privilege has expired, which approximates when the product is sold-through to customers of our distributors (dealers, system integrators, value-added resellers, and end-users), rather than when the product is initially shipped to a distributor. At each quarter-end, we evaluate the inventory in the distribution channel through information provided by our distributors. The level of inventory in the channel will fluctuate up-ward or down-ward each quarter based upon our distributors’ individual operations. Accordingly, each quarter-end deferral of revenue and associated cost of goods sold are calculated and recorded based upon the actual channel inventory reported at quarter-end. Further, with respect to distributors and other channel partners not reporting the channel inventory, the revenue and associated cost of goods sold are deferred until we receive payment for the product sales made to such distributors or channel partners.

 

The accuracy of the deferred revenue and costs depend to a large extent on the accuracy of the inventory reports provided by our distributors and other resellers, and any material error in those reports would affect our revenue deferral. However, we believe that the controls we have in place, including periodic physical inventory verifications and analytical reviews, would help us identify and prevent any material errors in such reports. As part of these controls, we sample test the inventory of a limited number of distributors on an annual basis, most recently in the fourth quarter of 2016, to verify inventory levels reported.

 

The amount of deferred cost of goods sold was included in distributor channel inventories. The following table details the amount of deferred revenue, cost of goods sold, and gross profit:

 

   As of December 31, 
   2016   2015   2014 
Deferred revenue  $3,882   $4,549   $5,004 
Deferred cost of goods sold   1,530    1,628    1,698 
Deferred gross profit  $2,352   $2,921   $3,306 

 

We offer rebates and market development funds to certain of our distributors, dealers/resellers, and end-users based upon volume of product purchased by them. We record rebates quarterly as a reduction of revenue in accordance with GAAP.

 

We offer credit terms on the sale of our products to a majority of our channel partners and perform ongoing credit evaluations of our customers’ financial condition. We maintain an allowance for doubtful accounts for estimated losses resulting from the inability or unwillingness of our channel partners to make required payments based upon our historical collection experience and expected collectability of all accounts receivable. Our actual bad debts in future periods may differ from our current estimates and the differences may be material, which may have an adverse impact on our future accounts receivable and cash position.

 

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MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

Impairment of Goodwill and Intangible Assets

 

We perform impairment tests of goodwill and intangible assets with indefinite useful lives on an annual basis in the fourth fiscal quarter, or sooner if a triggering event occurs suggesting possible impairment of the values of these assets. The Company tests goodwill and other intangible assets with indefinite lives for impairment at least annually at the beginning of the fourth quarter, or sooner if a triggering event occurs suggesting possible impairment of the values of these assets. Impairment testing for these assets involves a two-step process. In the first step, the fair value of the reporting unit holding the assets is compared to its carrying amount. If the carrying amount of the reporting unit exceeds its fair value, the second step of the impairment test is performed to measure the amount of the impairment loss, if any. In the second step, the fair value of the reporting unit is allocated to all of its assets and liabilities, including intangible assets and liabilities not recorded on the balance sheet. The excess, if any, of the fair value of the reporting unit over the sum of the fair values allocated to identified assets and liabilities is the value of goodwill to be compared to its carrying value.

 

There were no related impairments recorded in 2016, 2015 or 2014 as no impairment indicators existed. However, due to uncertainty in the industrial, technological, and competitive environments in which we operate, we might be required to exit or dispose of the assets acquired through the past acquisitions, which could result in an impairment of goodwill and intangible assets.

 

Impairment of Long-Lived Assets

 

We assess the impairment of long-lived assets, such as property and equipment and definite-lived intangibles subject to amortization, annually or whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of an asset may not be recoverable. Recoverability of assets to be held and used is measured by a comparison of the carrying amount of an asset or asset group to estimated future undiscounted net cash flows of the related asset or group of assets over their remaining lives. If the carrying amount of an asset exceeds its estimated future undiscounted cash flows, an impairment charge is recognized for the amount by which the carrying amount exceeds the estimated fair value of the asset. Impairment of long-lived assets is assessed at the lowest levels for which there are identifiable cash flows that are independent of other groups of assets. The impairment of long-lived assets requires judgments and estimates. If circumstances change, such estimates could also change. Assets held for sale are reported at the lower of the carrying amount or fair value, less the estimated costs to sell.

 

Accounting for Income Taxes

 

We are subject to income taxes in both the United States and in certain non-U.S. jurisdictions. We estimate our current tax position together with our future tax consequences attributable to temporary differences resulting from differing treatment of items, such as deferred revenue, depreciation, and other reserves for tax and accounting purposes. These temporary differences result in deferred tax assets and liabilities. We must then assess the likelihood that our deferred tax assets will be recovered from future taxable income, prior year carryback, or future reversals of existing taxable temporary differences. To the extent we believe that recovery is not more likely than not, we establish a valuation allowance against these deferred tax assets. Significant judgment is required in determining our provision for income taxes, our deferred tax assets and liabilities, and any valuation allowance recorded against our deferred tax assets.

 

To the extent we establish a valuation allowance in a period, we must include and expense the allowance within the tax provision in the consolidated statement of operations. In accordance with ASC Topic 740, “Accounting for Income Taxes”, we analyzed our valuation allowance at December 31, 2016 and determined that based upon available evidence it is more likely than not that certain of our deferred tax assets related to foreign net operating loss carryovers, foreign intangible assets, state R&D tax credit carryovers, and capital loss carryovers will not be realized and, accordingly, we have recorded a valuation allowance against these deferred tax assets in the amount of $1.4 million. Please refer to Note 12 - Income Taxes in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.

 

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MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

We perform a quarterly analysis of obsolete and slow-moving inventory to determine if any inventory needs to be written down. In general, we write-down our excess and obsolete inventory by an amount that is equal to the difference between the cost of the inventory and its estimated market value if market value is less than cost, based upon assumptions about future product life-cycles, product demand, shelf life of the product, inter-changeability of the product and market conditions. Those items that are found to have a supply in excess of our estimated current demand are considered to be slow-moving or obsolete and classified as long-term. An appropriate reserve is made to write down the value of that inventory to its expected realizable value. These charges are recorded in cost of goods sold. The reserve against slow-moving or obsolete inventory is increased or reduced based on several factors which, among other things, require us to make an estimate of a product’s life-cycle, potential demand and our ability to sell these products at estimated price levels. While we make considerable efforts to calculate reasonable estimates of these variables, actual results may vary. If there were to be a sudden and significant decrease in demand for our products, or if there were a higher incidence of inventory obsolescence because of changing technology and customer requirements, we could be required to increase our inventory allowances, and our gross profit could be adversely affected.

 

Share-Based Payments

 

We estimate the fair value of stock options using the Black-Scholes option pricing model, which requires certain estimates, including an expected forfeiture rate and expected term of options granted. We also make decisions regarding the method of calculating expected volatilities and the risk-free interest rate used in the option-pricing model. The resulting calculated fair value of stock options is recognized as compensation expense over the requisite service period, which is generally the vesting period. When there are changes to the assumptions used in the option-pricing model, including fluctuations in the market price of our common stock, there will be variations in the calculated fair value of our future stock option awards, which results in variation in the compensation cost recognized.

 

IMPACT OF RECENTLY ISSUED ACCOUNTING PRONOUNCEMENTS

 

In May 2015, the FASB issued ASU 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606), requiring an entity to recognize the amount of revenue to which it expects to be entitled for the transfer of promised goods or services to customers. The updated standard will replace most existing revenue recognition guidance in U.S. GAAP when it becomes effective and permits the use of either a full retrospective or retrospective with cumulative effect transition method. Early adoption is permitted. The updated standard becomes effective for the Company on January 1, 2018. The Company expects to adopt this accounting standard update on a modified retrospective basis in the first quarter of fiscal 2019, and it is currently evaluating the impact of this accounting standard update on the consolidated financial statements.

 

On February 25, 2016, FASB released Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842) to bring transparency to lessee balance sheets. The ASU will require organizations that lease assets (lessees) to recognize assets and liabilities on the balance sheet for the rights and obligations created by all leases with terms of more than 12 months. The standard will apply to both types of leases-capital (or finance) leases and operating leases. Previously, GAAP has required only capital leases to be recognized on lessee balance sheets. The standard will take effect the Company for fiscal years, and interim periods within those fiscal years, beginning after December 15, 2018. Early application will be permitted for all organizations. The Company has not yet selected a transition method and is currently evaluating the effect that the updated standard will have on the consolidated financial statements.

 

In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-09, Compensation - Stock Compensation: Improvements to Employee Shared-Based Payment Accounting. The standard is intended to simplify several areas of accounting for share-based compensation arrangements, including the income tax impact, classification on the statement of cash flows and forfeitures. ASU 2016-09 is effective for the Company on January 1, 2017. This is expected to affect our income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements for all periods starting January 1, 2017, especially with respect to the tax benefit from the exercise of stock options.

 

 32 

 

ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

Market risk represents the risk of changes in the value of a financial instrument, derivative or non-derivative, caused by fluctuations in interest rates, foreign exchange rates, and equity prices. Changes in these factors could cause fluctuations in the results of our operations and cash flows. In the ordinary course of business, we are exposed to foreign currency and interest rate risks. These risks primarily relate to the sale of products and services to foreign customers and changes in interest rates on any interest-bearing investments or notes receivable, notes payable, or capital leases.

 

Financial instruments which potentially expose us to concentrations of credit risk primarily consist of cash and cash equivalents, short-term and long-term investments, accounts receivable and unbilled accounts receivable.

 

Our fixed-income portfolio consisting primarily of investment-grade securities is managed by professional money managers. Our investment securities also consist of triple-A rated short-term money market funds that typically invest in U.S. Treasury, U.S. government agency, and highly rated corporate securities. Since these funds are managed in a manner designed to preserve capital we do not expect any material changes in market values, as a result of increase or decrease in interest rates.

 

We believe that our credit policies reflect normal industry terms and business risk. We do not anticipate non-performance by the counterparties and, accordingly, do not require collateral. Credit losses and write-offs of accounts receivable balances have historically not been material to our financial statements and have not exceeded our expectations.

 

We did not have any notes payable and capital lease obligations as of December 31, 2016. Accordingly, we do not have significant exposure to changing interest rates. We have not undertaken any additional actions to cover market interest rate market risk and are not a party to any other interest rate market risk management activities. We do not purchase or hold any derivative financial instruments.

 

Although we enter into non-US Dollar transactions, foreign currency exposures arising from these transactions are not material.

 

ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

 

Financial statements and supplementary data required by this are included herein as a separate section of this Form 10-K, beginning on page F-1, and are incorporated in this Item 8 by reference.

 

ITEM 9. CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

 

None.

 

ITEM 9A. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

 

Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures

 

We maintain disclosure controls and procedures designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed in our reports filed under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), is recorded, processed, summarized, and reported within the required time periods, and that such information is accumulated and communicated to our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Principal Financial Officer, as appropriate, to allow for timely decisions regarding required disclosure. As required by Rule 13a-15 under the Exchange Act, we have completed an evaluation, under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including the Chief Executive Officer and the Principal Financial Officer, of the effectiveness and the design and operation of our disclosure controls and procedures as of December 31, 2016. Our disclosure controls and procedures are designed to provide reasonable assurance of achieving their objectives and, based upon this evaluation, our Chief Executive Officer and Principal Financial Officer concluded that, as of the end of the period covered by this Annual Report, our disclosure controls and procedures are effective at a reasonable assurance level.

 

 33 

 

The effectiveness of any system of disclosure controls and procedures is subject to certain limitations, including the exercise of judgment in designing, implementing, and evaluating the controls and procedures, the assumptions used in identifying the likelihood of future events, and the inability to eliminate improper conduct completely. A controls system, no matter how well designed and operated, cannot provide absolute assurance that the objectives of the controls system are met, and no evaluation of controls can provide absolute assurance that all control issues and instances of fraud, if any, within a Company have been detected. As a result, there can be no assurance that our disclosure controls and procedures will detect all errors or fraud.

 

Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

 

Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting as defined in Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Exchange Act. Our internal control over financial reporting is designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles.

 

Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

 

Our management conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2016 based on the framework set forth in Internal Control - Integrated Framework (2013 framework) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. Based on our assessment using that criteria, management concluded that the design and operation of our internal control over financial reporting were effective as of December 31, 2016.

 

Changes in Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

 

There were no changes in our internal control over financial reporting that occurred during the fourth fiscal quarter that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.

 

ITEM 9B. OTHER INFORMATION

 

None.

 

 34 

 

PART III

 

ITEM 10. DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

The information required by this item is incorporated herein by reference to the definitive proxy statement for our 2016 annual meeting of shareholders or an amendment to this Annual Report on Form 10-K, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of our fiscal year covered by this Annual Report on form 10-K.

 

ITEM 11. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

 

The information required by this item is incorporated herein by reference to the definitive proxy statement for our 2016 annual meeting of shareholders or an amendment to this Annual Report on Form 10-K, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of our fiscal year covered by this Annual Report on form 10-K.

 

ITEM 12. SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

 

The information required by this item is incorporated herein by reference to the definitive proxy statement for our 2016 annual meeting of shareholders or an amendment to this Annual Report on Form 10-K, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of our fiscal year covered by this Annual Report on form 10-K.

 

ITEM 13. CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE

 

The information required by this item is incorporated herein by reference to the definitive proxy statement for our 2016 annual meeting of shareholders or an amendment to this Annual Report on Form 10-K, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of our fiscal year covered by this Annual Report on form 10-K.

 

ITEM 14. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTING FEES AND SERVICES

 

The information required by this item is incorporated herein by reference to the definitive proxy statement for our 2016 annual meeting of shareholders or an amendment to this Annual Report on Form 10-K, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of our fiscal year covered by this Annual Report on form 10-K.

 

 35 

 

PART IV

 

ITEM 15. EXHIBITS, FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES

 

1. Financial Statements: Financial statements set forth under Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K are filed in a separate section of this Form 10-K. See the “Index to Consolidated Financial Statements”.
   
2.  Financial Statement Schedules: All schedules are omitted since they either are not required, not applicable or the information is presented in the accompanying consolidated financial statements and notes thereto.
   
3. Exhibits: The exhibits listed under the Index of exhibits in the next page are filed or incorporated by reference as part of this Form 10-K.

 

ITEM 16. FORM 10-K SUMMARY

 

Not applicable.

 

 36 

 

INDEX TO EXHIBITS

 

Exhibit Number   Exhibit Description   Form   Exhibit Incorporated Herein by Reference   Filing Date
2.1   Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of November 3, 2009, by and among ClearOne Communications, Inc., Alta-Wasatch Acquisition Corporation, NetStreams, Inc., Austin Ventures VIII, L.P., and Kevin A. Reinis.   8-K   2.2   11/09/09
3.1   Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation of ClearOne, Inc.   10-K   3.1   03/25/13
3.2   Bylaws   10-K   3.2   03/31/11
10.1   1997 Employee Stock Purchase Plan   S-8   4.9   10/06/06
10.2   1998 Stock Option Plan   S-8   4.8   10/06/06
10.3   2007 Equity Incentive Plan   S-8   4.7   01/22/08
10.4   ClearOne, Inc. Equity Incentive Plan   S-8   4.8   01/26/16
10.5   Amendment No. 1 to the ClearOne, Inc. Equity Incentive Plan   S-8   4.11   06/30/16
10.6   ClearOne, Inc. Employee Stock Purchase Plan   S-8   4.3   06/30/15
10.7   Office Lease between Edgewater Corporate Park, LLC and ClearOne Communications, Inc. dated June 5, 2006   10-K   10.19   09/14/06
10.8   Stock Purchase Agreement Between ClearOne, Inc. and Doran M. Oster Dated March 4, 2014 for the Sabine Acquisition.   10-K   10.7   03/20/14
10.9   Manufacturing Services Agreement between Flextronics Industrial, Ltd. and ClearOne Communications, Inc. dated November 3, 2008   10-K   10.21   10/13/09
10.10   Framework Agreement between ClearOne, Inc. and Dialcom Networks S.L., dated December 20, 2013   8-K   10.1   04/07/14
10.11   Amendment to Framework Agreement between ClearOne, Inc. and Dialcom Networks S.L., dated March 31, 2014   8-K   10.2   04/07/14
10.12   Purchase Agreement between ClearOne, Inc. and Dialcom Networks S.L., dated March 31, 2014   10-Q   10.3   05/14/14
10.13   Form of Offer to Repurchase Eligible Options for Cash   10-Q   10.1  

05/10/16

14.1   Code of Ethics, approved by the Board of Directors on August 23, 2006   10-K   14.1   09/14/06
21.1†   Subsidiaries of the registrant            
23.1†   Consent of Tanner LLC, Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm            
31.1†   Section 302 Certification of Chief Executive Officer            
31.2†   Section 302 Certification of Chief Financial Officer            
32.1†   Section 906 Certification of Chief Executive Officer            
32.2†   Section 906 Certification of Chief Financial Officer            
101.INS‡   XBRL Instance Document            
101.SCH‡   XBRL Taxonomy Extension Schema            
101.CAL‡   XBRL Taxonomy Extension Calculation Linkbase            
101.DEF‡   XBRL Taxonomy Extension Definitions Linkbase            
101.LAB‡   XBRL Taxonomy Extension Label Linkbase            
101.PRE‡   XBRL Taxonomy Extension Presentation Linkbase            

 

 

* Constitutes a management contract or compensatory plan or arrangement.

† Filed herewith

‡ Information furnished herewith shall not be deemed to be “filed” for the purposes of Section 18 of the 1934 Act

 

 37 

 

SIGNATURES

 

Pursuant to the requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.

 

CLEARONE, INC.

Registrant

 

/s/ Zeynep Hakimoglu  
Zeynep Hakimoglu  
President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board  
March 16, 2017  

 

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, this report has been signed below by the following persons on behalf of the registrant and in the capacities and on the dates indicated.

 

/s/ Zeynep Hakimoglu   /s/ Narsi Narayanan
Zeynep Hakimoglu   Narsi Narayanan
President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board   Senior Vice President of Finance

(principal executive officer)

  (principal accounting and principal financial officer)
March 16, 2017   March 16, 2017
     
/s/ Brad R. Baldwin   /s/ Larry R. Hendricks
Brad R. Baldwin   Larry R. Hendricks
Director   Director
March 16, 2017   March 16, 2017
     
/s/ Eric L. Robinson    
Eric L. Robinson    
Director    
March 16, 2017    

 

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CLEARONE, INC.

 

INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

  Page
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm F-1
   
Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015 F-2
   
Consolidated Statements of Income and Comprehensive Income for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014 F-3
   
Consolidated Statements of Shareholders’ Equity for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014 F-4
   
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014 F-5
   
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements F-7

 

 39 

 

REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

 

To the Board of Directors and Shareholders of ClearOne, Inc.

 

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of ClearOne, Inc. and subsidiaries (collectively, ClearOne) as of December 31, 2016 and 2015, and the related consolidated statements of income and comprehensive income, shareholders’ equity, and cash flows for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2016. We also have audited ClearOne’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2016, based on criteria established in Internal Control-Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO). ClearOne’s management is responsible for these financial statements, for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting, and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, included in the accompanying form 10-K. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements and an opinion on ClearOne’s internal control over financial reporting based on our audits.

 

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audits to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement and whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects. Our audits of the financial statements included examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements, assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, and evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. Our audit of internal control over financial reporting included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, and testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk. Our audits also included performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinions.

 

A Company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A Company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the Company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the Company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the Company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the Company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

 

Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

 

In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the consolidated financial position of ClearOne, Inc. and subsidiaries as of December 31, 2016 and 2015, and the consolidated results of their operations and their cash flows for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2016 in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Also in our opinion, ClearOne Inc. and subsidiaries maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2016, based on criteria established in Internal Control-Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO).

 

/s/ TANNER LLC  
   
Salt Lake City, Utah  
March 16, 2017  

 

 │F-1 

 

CLEARONE, INC.

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(Dollars in thousands, except par value)

 

   December 31,
2016
   December 31,
2015
 
ASSETS          
Current assets:          
Cash and cash equivalents  $12,100   $13,412 
Marketable securities   5,030    7,161 

Receivables, net of allowance for doubtful accounts of $187 and $54, as of December 31, 2016 and 2015 respectively

   7,461    8,692 
Inventories   11,377    13,447 
Distributor channel inventories   1,530    1,628 
Prepaid expenses and other assets   2,642    1806 
Total current assets   40,140    46,146 
Long-term marketable securities   21,365    19,204 
Long-term inventories, net   1,664    2,018 
Property and equipment, net   1,513    1,589 
Intangibles, net   5,677    6,638 
Goodwill   12,724    12,724 
Deferred income taxes   4,654    5,093 
Other assets   387    117 
Total assets  $88,124   $93,529 
LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY          
Current liabilities:          
Accounts payable  $3,545   $

2,815

 
Accrued liabilities   1,894    2,243 
Deferred product revenue   3,882    4,549 
Total current liabilities   9,321    9,607 
Deferred rent   103    150 
Other long-term liabilities   1,251    1,203 
Total liabilities  10,675   10,960 
Shareholders’ equity:          

Common stock, par value $0.001, 50,000,000 shares authorized, 8,812,644 and 9,183,957 shares issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2016 and 2015 respectively

   9    9 
Additional paid-in capital   46,669    46,291 
Accumulated other comprehensive loss   (205)   (166)
Retained earnings   30,976    36,435 
Total shareholders’ equity   77,449    82,569 
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity  $88,124   $93,529 

 

See accompanying notes

 

 │F-2 

 

CLEARONE, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME AND COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

(Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)

 

   Year ended December 31, 
   2016   2015   2014 
Revenue  $48,637   $57,796   $57,909 
Cost of goods sold   19,150    21,077    22,586 
Gross profit   29,487    36,719    35,323 
                
Operating expenses:               
Sales and marketing   10,032    10,646    11,227 
Research and product development   8,584    8,318    8,969 
General and administrative   7,325    7,493    7,152 
Total operating expenses   25,921    26,457    27,348 
                
Operating income   3,566    10,262    7,975 
Other income, net   312    289    254 
Income before income taxes   3,878    10,551    8,229 
Provision for income taxes   (1,434)    (3,775)   (2,633)
Net income  $2,444   $6,776   $5,596 
                
Basic earnings per common share  $0.27   $0.74   $0.61 
Diluted earnings per common share  $0.26   $0.71   $0.58 
                
Basic weighted average shares outstanding   9,021,980    9,127,385    9,166,769 
Diluted weighted average shares outstanding   9,306,034    9,594,659    9,581,326 
                
Comprehensive income:               
Net income  $2,444   $6,776   $5,596 
Other comprehensive income:               
Unrealized gain (loss) on available-for-sale securities, net of tax   

(1

)    (81)   14 
Change in foreign currency translation adjustment   (38)   (77)   (45)
Comprehensive income  $2,405   $6,618   $5,565 

 

See accompanying notes

 

 │F-3 

 

CLEARONE, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY

(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)

 

   Common Stock   Additional Paid-in   Accumulated Other Comprehensive   Retained   Total Shareholders’ 
   Shares   Amount   Capital   Income (Loss)   Earnings   Equity 
Balances at December 31, 2013   8,986,080   $9   $41,311   $23   $28,992   $70,335 
Exercise of stock options   234,432    -    1,337    -    -    1,337 
Stock repurchased   (272,767)   -    -    -    (2,598)   (2,598)
Cash dividends, $0.10 per share   -    -    -    -    (914)   (914)
Stock issued - Sabine acquisition   150,000    -    1,679    -    -    1,679 
Tax benefit - stock option exercises   -    -    211    -    -    211 
Stock-based compensation expense   -    -    401    -    -    401 
Proceeds from employee stock purchase plan   82    -    -    -    -    - 
Unrealized gain on available-for-sale securities, net of tax   -    -    -    14    -    14 
Foreign currency translation adjustment   -    -    -    (45)   -    (45)
Net income   -    -    -    -    5,596    5,596 
Balances at December 31, 2014   9,097,827    9    44,939    (8)   31,076    76,016 
Exercise of stock options   56,143    -    308    -    -    308 
Proceeds from employee stock purchase plan   14,982    -    155    -    -    155 
Cash dividends, $0.155 per share   -    -    -    -    (1,417)   (1,417)
Stock-based compensation expense   15,005    -    848    -    -    848 
Tax benefit - stock option exercises   -    -    41    -    -    41 
Unrealized loss on available-for-sale securities, net of tax   -    -    -    (81)   -    (81)
Foreign currency translation adjustment   -    -    -    (77)   -    (77)
Net income   -    -    -    -    6,776    6,776 
Balances at December 31, 2015   9,183,957    9    46,291    (166)   36,435    82,569 
Exercise of stock options   149,315    -    686    -    -    686 
Options repurchased   -    -    (1,752)   -    -    (1,752)
Stock repurchased   (542,259)   -    -    -    (6,086)   (6,086)
Cash dividends, $0.20 per share   -    -    -    -    (1,817)   (1,817)
Stock-based compensation expense   12,491    -    667    -    -    667 
Tax benefit - stock option exercises   -    -    690    -    -    690 
Proceeds from employee stock purchase plan   9,140    -    87    -    -    87 
Unrealized loss on available-for-sale securities, net of tax   -    -    -    (1)   -    (1)
Foreign currency translation adjustment   -    -    -    (38)   -    (38)
Net income   -    -    -    -    2,444    2,444 
Balances at December 31, 2016   8,812,644   $9   $46,669   $(205)  $30,976   $77,449 

 

See accompanying notes

 

 │F-4 

 

CLEARONE, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

 

   Year ended December 31, 
   2016   2015   2014 
Cash flows from operating activities:               
Net income  $2,444   $6,776   $5,596 
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:               
Depreciation and amortization expense   1,873    2,058    1,972 
Amortization of deferred rent   (73)   (95)   (79)
Stock-based compensation expense   667    848    401 
Provision for (recoveries of) doubtful accounts, net   132    (4)   (71)
Write-down of inventory to net realizable value   653    496    946 
Loss on disposal of assets   54    7    - 
Tax benefit from exercise of stock options   (690)   (41)   (211)
Deferred income taxes   439    (4)   (495)
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:               
Receivables   1,085    1,201    (251)
Inventories   1,869    (2,249)   (2,614)
Prepaid expenses and other assets   (209)   824    844 
Accounts payable   733    (242)   (84)
Accrued liabilities   (319)   (1,219)   1,451 
Income taxes payable   (207)   323    (947)
Deferred product revenue   (665)   (447)   858 
Other long-term liabilities   48    (638)   (606)
Net cash provided by operating activities   7,834    7,594    6,710 
                
Cash flows from investing activities:               
Payment towards business acquisitions   -    -    (13,068)
Purchase of property and equipment   (730)   (359)   (642)
Purchase of intangibles   (161)   -    (90)
Proceeds from maturities and sales of marketable securities   9,795    7,341    4,650 
Purchase of marketable securities   (9,826)   (7,630)   (5,266)
Net cash used in investing activities   (922)   (648)   (14,416)
                
Cash flows from financing activities:               
Net proceeds from equity-based compensation programs   773    463    1,337 
Repurchase and cancellation of stock options   (1,752)   -    - 
Tax benefits from equity-based compensation programs   690    41    211 
Stock registration costs   -    -    (55)
Dividend payments   (1,817)   (1,417)   (914)
Payments for stock repurchases   (6,086)   -    (2,598)
Net cash used in financing activities   (8,192)   (913)   (2,019)
                
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents   (32)   (61)   (27)
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents   (1,312)   5,972    (9,752)
Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the year   13,412    7,440    17,192 
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the year  $12,100   $13,412   $7,440 

 

 │F-5 

 

CLEARONE, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

 

   Year ended December 31, 
   2016   2015   2014 
Supplemental disclosure of cash flow information:               
Cash paid for interest  $-   $-   $3 
Cash paid for income taxes  $1,154   $3,730   $3,017 
Supplemental disclosure of non-cash investing and financing activities:              
Issuance of common stock in connection with acquisition of Sabine  $-   $-   $1,679 

 

See accompanying notes

 

 │F-6 

 

CLEARONE, INC.

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Dollars in thousands, except share and per share amounts)

 

1. Business Description, Basis of Presentation and Significant Accounting Policies

 

Business Description:

 

ClearOne, Inc., together with its subsidiaries (collectively, “ClearOne” or the “Company”), is a global Company that designs, develops and sells conferencing, collaboration, network streaming and digital signage solutions for audio and visual communications. The performance and simplicity of our advanced comprehensive solutions offer unprecedented levels of functionality, reliability, and scalability.

 

Basis of Presentation:

 

Fiscal Year – This report on Form 10-K includes consolidated balance sheets for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015 and the related consolidated statements of income and comprehensive income, cash flows, and shareholders’ equity for each of the years 2016, 2015 and 2014.

 

Consolidation – These consolidated financial statements include the financial statements of ClearOne, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiaries. All inter-Company accounts and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation. Certain prior year amounts have been reclassified to conform to the current year presentation.

 

Use of Estimates – The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of sales and expenses during the reporting periods. Key estimates in the accompanying consolidated financial statements include, among others, revenue recognition, allowances for doubtful accounts and product returns, provisions for obsolete inventory, potential impairment of goodwill and of long-lived assets, and deferred income tax asset valuation allowances. Actual results could differ materially from these estimates.

 

Foreign Currency Translation – We are exposed to foreign currency exchange risk through our foreign subsidiaries. Other than our Spain subsidiary, our foreign subsidiaries are U.S. dollar functional, for which gains and losses arising from remeasurement are included in earnings. Our Spain subsidiary is Euro functional, for which gains and losses arising from translation are included in accumulated other comprehensive income or loss. We translate and remeasure foreign assets and liabilities at exchange rates in effect at the balance sheet dates. We translate revenue and expenses using average rates during the year.

 

Concentration Risk – We depend on an outsourced manufacturing strategy for our products. We outsource the manufacture of all of our products (except digital signage products) to third party manufacturers located in both the U.S. and Asia. If any of these manufacturers experience difficulties in obtaining sufficient supplies of components, component prices significantly exceeding the anticipated costs, an interruption in their operations, or otherwise suffer capacity constraints, we would experience a delay in production and shipping of these products, which would have a negative impact on our revenues. Should there be any disruption in services due to natural disaster, economic or political difficulties, transportation restrictions, acts of terror, quarantine or other restrictions associated with infectious diseases, or other similar events, or any other reason, such disruption may have a material adverse effect on our business. Operating in the international environment exposes us to certain inherent risks, including unexpected changes in regulatory requirements and tariffs, and potentially adverse tax consequences, which could materially affect our results of operations. Currently, we have no second source of manufacturing for a portion of our products.

 

Significant Accounting Policies:

 

Cash Equivalents – The Company considers all highly-liquid investments with a maturity of three months or less, when purchased, to be cash equivalents. The Company places its temporary cash investments with high-quality financial institutions. At times, such investments may be in excess of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insurance limits.

 

 │F-7 

 

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Dollars in thousands, except share and per share amounts)

 

Marketable Securities - The Company has classified its marketable securities as available-for-sale securities. These securities are carried at estimated fair value with unrealized holding gains and losses included in accumulated other comprehensive income/loss in shareholders’ equity until realized. Gains and losses on marketable security transactions are reported on the specific-identification method. Dividend and interest income are recognized when earned.

 

A decline in the market value of any available-for-sale security below cost that is deemed other than temporary results in a charge to earnings and establishes a new cost basis for the security. Losses are charged against “Other income” when a decline in fair value is determined to be other than temporary. We review several factors to determine whether a loss is other than temporary. These factors include, but are not limited to: (i) the extent to which the fair value is less than cost and the cause for the fair value decline, (ii) the financial condition and near term prospects of the issuer, (iii) the length of time a security is in an unrealized loss position and (iv) our ability to hold the security for a period of time sufficient to allow for any anticipated recovery in fair value. There were no other-than-temporary impairments recognized during the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014.

 

Accounts Receivable – Accounts receivable are recorded at the invoiced amount. Generally, credit is granted to customers on a short-term basis without requiring collateral, and as such, these accounts receivable, do not bear interest, although a finance charge may be applied to such receivables that are past due. The Company extends credit to customers who it believes have the financial strength to pay. The Company has in place credit policies and procedures, an approval process for sales returns and credit memos, and processes for managing and monitoring channel inventory levels.

 

The allowance for doubtful accounts is the Company’s best estimate of the amount of probable credit losses in the Company’s existing accounts receivable. Management regularly analyzes accounts receivable including current aging, historical write-off experience, customer concentrations, customer creditworthiness, and current economic trends when evaluating the adequacy of the allowance for doubtful accounts. We review customer accounts quarterly by first assessing accounts with aging over a specific duration and balance over a specific amount. We review all other balances on a pooled basis based on past collection experience. Accounts identified in our customer-level review as exceeding certain thresholds are assessed for potential allowance adjustment if we conclude the financial condition of that customer has deteriorated, adversely affecting their ability to make payments. Delinquent account balances are written off if the Company determines that the likelihood of collection is not probable. If the assumptions that are used to determine the allowance for doubtful accounts change, the Company may have to provide for a greater level of expense in future periods or reverse amounts provided in prior periods.

 

The Company’s allowance for doubtful accounts activity for the years ended as follows:

 

   Year Ended December 31, 
   2016   2015   2014 
Balance at beginning of the year  $54   $58   $129 
Allowance increase (decrease)   148    36    (49)
Write offs, net of recoveries   (15)   (40)   (22)
Balance at end of the year  $187   $54   $58 

 

Inventories – Inventories are valued at the lower of cost or market, with cost computed on a first-in, first-out (“FIFO”) basis. In addition to the price of the product purchased, the cost of inventory includes the Company’s internal manufacturing costs, including warehousing, engineering, material purchasing, quality and product planning expenses and applicable overhead, not in excess of estimated realizable value. Consideration is given to obsolescence, excessive levels, deterioration, direct selling expenses, and other factors in evaluating net realizable value.

 

Distributor channel inventories include products that have been delivered to customers for which revenue recognition criteria have not been met.

 

The inventory also includes advance replacement units (valued at cost) provided by the Company to end-users to service defective products under warranty. The value of advance replacement units included in the inventory was $21 and $75, as of December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

 

 │F-8 

 

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Dollars in thousands, except share and per share amounts)

 

Property and Equipment – Property and equipment are stated at cost less accumulated depreciation and amortization. Expenditures that materially increase values or capacities or extend useful lives of property and equipment are capitalized. Routine maintenance, repairs, and renewal costs are expensed as incurred. Gains or losses from the sale, trade-in, or retirement of property and equipment are recorded in current operations and the related book value of the property is removed from property and equipment accounts and the related accumulated depreciation and amortization accounts. Estimated useful lives are generally two to ten years. Depreciation and amortization are calculated over the estimated useful lives of the respective assets using the straight-line method. Leasehold improvement amortization is computed using the straight-line method over the shorter of the lease term or the estimated useful life of the related assets.

 

Goodwill and Intangible Assets – Intangible assets acquired in a purchase business combination are amortized over their useful lives unless these lives are determined to be indefinite. Intangible assets are carried at cost, less accumulated amortization. Amortization is computed over the estimated useful lives of the respective assets, which are generally three to ten years. Goodwill represents the excess of costs over the fair value of net assets of businesses acquired. Goodwill and intangible assets acquired in a purchase business combination and determined to have an indefinite useful life are not amortized. In accordance with the provisions of FASB ASC Topic 350, Intangibles – Goodwill and Other, the Company tests goodwill and other intangible assets with indefinite lives for impairment at least annually at the beginning of the fourth quarter, or sooner if a triggering event occurs suggesting possible impairment of the values of these assets. Impairment testing for these assets involves a two-step process. In the first step, the fair value of the reporting unit holding the assets is compared to its carrying amount. If the carrying amount of the reporting unit exceeds its fair value, the second step of the impairment test is performed to measure the amount of the impairment loss, if any. In the second step, the fair value of the reporting unit is allocated to all of its assets and liabilities, including intangible assets and liabilities not recorded on the balance sheet. The excess, if any, of the fair value of the reporting unit over the sum of the fair values allocated to identified assets and liabilities is the value of goodwill to be compared to its carrying value (See Note 3 – Business Combinations, Goodwill and Intangibles). ClearOne and all of its subsidiaries are considered as one reporting unit for this purpose.

 

Impairment of Long-Lived Assets – Long-lived assets, such as property, equipment, and definite-lived intangibles subject to depreciation and amortization, are reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of an asset may not be recoverable. Recoverability of assets to be held and used is measured by a comparison of the carrying amount of an asset or asset group to estimated future undiscounted net cash flows of the related asset or group of assets over their remaining lives. If the carrying amount of an asset exceeds its estimated future undiscounted cash flows, an impairment charge is recognized for the amount by which the carrying amount exceeds the estimated fair value of the asset. Impairment of long-lived assets is assessed at the lowest levels for which there are identifiable cash flows that are independent of other groups of assets. The impairment of long-lived assets requires judgments and estimates. If circumstances change, such estimates could also change.

 

Revenue Recognition – Product revenue is recognized when (i) the products are shipped, (ii) persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, (iii) the price is fixed and determinable, and (iv) collection is reasonably assured.

 

The Company provides a right of return on product sales to certain distributors and other resellers under a product rotation program. Under this seldom-used program, once a quarter, a distributor or reseller is allowed to return products purchased during the prior 180 days for a total value generally not exceeding 15% of the distributor’s or reseller’s net purchases during the preceding quarter. The distributor or reseller is, however, required to place a new purchase order for an amount not less than the value of products returned under the stock rotation program. When products are returned, the associated revenue, cost of goods sold, inventory and accounts receivable originally recorded are reversed. When the new order is fulfilled, the revenue, associated cost of goods sold, inventory and accounts receivable are recorded and the product revenue is subject to the deferral analysis described below. In a small number of cases, the distributors are also permitted to return products for other business reasons.

 

 │F-9 
 

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Dollars in thousands, except share and per share amounts)

 

Revenue from product sales to distributors is not recognized until the return privilege has expired or until it can be determined with reasonable certainty that the return privilege has expired, which approximates when product is sold-through to customers of the Company’s distributors (dealers, system integrators, value-added resellers, and end-users) rather than when the product is initially shipped to a distributor. At each quarter-end, the Company evaluates the inventory in the channel through information provided by our distributors. The level of inventory in the channel will fluctuate up-ward or down-ward each quarter, based upon its distributors’ individual operations. Accordingly, at each quarter-end, the deferral for revenue and associated cost of goods sold are calculated and recorded based upon the actual channel inventory reported at quarter-end. Further, with respect to distributors and other channel partners not reporting the channel inventory, the revenue and associated cost of goods sold are deferred until the Company receives payment for the product sales made to such distributors or channel partners.

 

The amount of deferred cost of goods sold is included in distributor channel inventories.

 

The details of deferred revenue and associated cost of goods sold and gross profit are as follows:

 

   As of December 31, 
   2016   2015 
Deferred revenue  $3,882   $4,549 
Deferred cost of goods sold   1,530    1,628 
Deferred gross profit  $2,352   $2,921 

 

The Company offers rebates and market development funds to certain of its distributors, dealers/resellers, and end-users based upon the volume of product purchased by them. The Company records rebates as a reduction of revenue in accordance with GAAP.

 

The Company provides, at its discretion, advance replacement units to end-users on defective units of certain products under warranty. Since the purpose of these units is not revenue generating, the Company tracks the units due from the end-user, until the defective unit has been returned. Any amount due from the customer upon failure to return the products is accounted as receivable only after establishing customer's failure to return the products. The inventory due from the customer is accounted at cost or market value whichever is lower.

 

Sales and Similar Taxes - Taxes collected from customers and remitted to government authorities are reported on a net basis and thus are excluded from revenues.

 

Shipping and Handling Costs – Shipping and handling billed to customers is recorded as revenue. Shipping and handling costs are included in cost of goods sold.

 

Warranty Costs – The Company accrues for warranty costs based on estimated warranty return rates and estimated costs to repair. These reserve costs are classified as accrued liabilities on the consolidated balance sheets. Factors that affect the Company’s warranty liability include the number of units sold, historical and anticipated rates of warranty returns, and repair cost. The Company reviews the adequacy of its recorded warranty accrual on a quarterly basis.

 

The details of changes in the Company’s warranty accrual are as follows:

 

   Year Ended December 31, 
   2016   2015   2014 
Balance at the beginning of year  $288   $331   $338 
Accruals/additions   361    442    511 
Usage/claims   (403)   (485)   (518)
Balance at end of year  $246   $288   $331 

 

Advertising – The Company expenses advertising costs as incurred. Advertising costs consist of trade shows, magazine advertisements, and other forms of media. Advertising expenses for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014 totaled $836, $728, and $768, respectively, and are included under the caption “Sales and Marketing”.

 

Research and Product Development Costs – The Company expenses research and product development costs as incurred.

 

 │F-10 

 

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Dollars in thousands, except share and per share amounts)

 

Income Taxes – The Company uses the asset and liability method of accounting for income taxes. Under the asset and liability method, deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to temporary differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases, and operating loss and tax credit carry-forwards. These temporary differences will result in deductible or taxable amounts in future years when the reported amounts of the assets or liabilities are recovered or settled. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of a change in tax rates is recognized in income in the period that includes the enactment date. A valuation allowance is provided when it is more likely than not that some or all of the deferred tax assets may not be realized. The Company evaluates the realizability of its net deferred tax assets on a quarterly basis and valuation allowances are provided, as necessary. Adjustments to the valuation allowance increase or decrease the Company’s income tax provision or benefit. As of December 31, 2016 and 2015, the Company had a valuation allowance of $1,404 and $1,071, respectively against foreign net operating losses, foreign intangible assets, capital losses carryforwards, and state research and development credits.

 

The Company follows the provisions contained in ASC Topic 740, Income Taxes. The Company recognizes the tax benefit from an uncertain tax position only if it is at least more likely than not that the tax position will be sustained on examination by the taxing authorities, based on the technical merits of the position.

 

Judgment is required in determining the provision for income taxes and related accruals, deferred tax assets and liabilities. In the ordinary course of business, there are transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax outcome is uncertain. Additionally, the Company’s tax returns are subject to audit by various tax authorities. Although the Company believes that its estimates are reasonable, actual results could differ from these estimates.

 

Earnings Per Share – The following table sets forth the computation of basic and diluted earnings per common share:

 

   Year Ended December 31, 
   2016   2015   2014 
Numerator:               
Net income  $2,444   $6,776   $5,596 
Denominator:               
Basic weighted average shares   9,021,980    9,127,385    9,166,769 
Dilutive common stock equivalents using treasury stock method   284,054    467,274    414,557 
Diluted weighted average shares   9,306,034    9,594,659    9,581,326 
                
Basic earnings per common share:  $0.27   $0.74   $0.61 
Diluted earnings per common share:  $0.26   $0.71   $0.58 
                
Weighted average options outstanding   885,163    1,053,785    975,696 
Anti-dilutive options not included in the computation   323,644    177,125    209,751 

 

Share-Based Payment – We estimate the fair value of stock options using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model, which requires certain estimates, including an expected forfeiture rate and expected term of options granted. We also make decisions regarding the method of calculating expected volatilities and the risk-free interest rate used in the option-pricing model. The resulting calculated fair value of stock options is recognized as compensation expense over the requisite service period, which is generally the vesting period. When there are changes to the assumptions used in the option-pricing model, including fluctuations in the market price of our common stock, there will be variations in the calculated fair value of our future stock option awards, which results in variation in the compensation cost recognized.

 

 │F-11 

 

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Dollars in thousands, except share and per share amounts)

 

Recent Accounting Pronouncements - In May 2015, the FASB issued ASU 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606), requiring an entity to recognize the amount of revenue to which it expects to be entitled for the transfer of promised goods or services to customers. The updated standard will replace most existing revenue recognition guidance in U.S. GAAP when it becomes effective and permits the use of either a full retrospective or retrospective with cumulative effect transition method. Early adoption is permitted. The updated standard becomes effective for the Company on January 1, 2018. The Company expects to adopt this accounting standard update on a modified retrospective basis in the first quarter of fiscal 2019, and it is currently evaluating the impact of this accounting standard update on the consolidated financial statements.

 

On February 25, 2016, FASB released Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842) to bring transparency to lessee balance sheets. The ASU will require organizations that lease assets (lessees) to recognize assets and liabilities on the balance sheet for the rights and obligations created by all leases with terms of more than 12 months. The standard will apply to both types of leases-capital (or finance) leases and operating leases. Previously, GAAP has required only capital leases to be recognized on lessee balance sheets. The standard will take effect the Company for fiscal years, and interim periods within those fiscal years, beginning after December 15, 2018. Early application will be permitted for all organizations. The Company has not yet selected a transition method and is currently evaluating the effect that the updated standard will have on the consolidated financial statements.

 

In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-09, Compensation - Stock Compensation: Improvements to Employee Shared-Based Payment Accounting. The standard is intended to simplify several areas of accounting for share-based compensation arrangements, including the income tax impact, classification on the statement of cash flows and forfeitures. ASU 2016-09 is effective for the Company on January 1, 2017 and it is currently evaluating the impact that ASU 2016-09 will have on our consolidated financial statements.

 

 │F-12 

 

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Dollars in thousands, except share and per share amounts)

 

2. Marketable Securities

 

The Company has classified its marketable securities as available-for-sale securities. These securities are carried at estimated fair value with unrealized holding gains and losses included in accumulated other comprehensive income/loss in shareholders’ equity until realized. Gains and losses on marketable security transactions are reported on the specific-identification method. Dividend and interest income are recognized when earned.

 

The amortized cost, gross unrealized holding gains, gross unrealized holding losses, and fair value for available-for-sale securities by major security type and class of security at December 31, 2016 and 2015 were as follows:

 

  

Amortized

cost

  

Gross unrealized holding

gains

  

Gross unrealized holding

losses

   Estimated fair value 
December 31, 2016                    
Available-for-sale securities:                    
Corporate bonds and notes  $20,028   $64   $(122)  $19,970 
Municipal bonds   6,463    6    (44)   6,425 
Total available-for-sale securities  $26,491   $70   $(166)  $26,395 
                     
December 31, 2015                    
Available-for-sale securities:                    
Corporate bonds and notes  $20,827   $50   $(133)  $20,744 
Municipal bonds   5,608    18    (5)   5,621 
Total available-for-sale securities  $26,435   $68   $(138)  $26,365 

 

 │F-13 

 

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Dollars in thousands, except share and per share amounts)

 

Maturities of marketable securities classified as available-for-sale securities were as follows at December 31, 2016:

 

  

Amortized

  

Estimated

 
   cost   fair value 
         
Due within one year  $5,029   $5,030 
Due after one year through five years   21,353    21,256 
Due after five years through ten years   109    109 
Total available-for-sale securities  $26,491   $26,395 

 

Debt securities in an unrealized loss position as of December 31, 2016 were not deemed impaired at acquisition and subsequent declines in fair value are not deemed attributed to declines in credit quality. Management believes that it is more likely than not that the securities will receive a full recovery of par value. The available-for-sale marketable securities in a gross unrealized loss position as of December 31, 2016 are summarized as follows:

 

   Less than 12 months   More than 12 months   Total 
  

Estimated

fair value

  

Gross

unrealized

holding

losses

  

Estimated

fair value

  

Gross

unrealized

holding

losses

  

Estimated

fair value

  

Gross

unrealized

holding

losses

 
As of December 31, 2016                              
Corporate bonds and notes  $

10,294

   $(112)   

1,029

   $(9)  $

11,323

   $(121)
Municipal bonds   

3,910

    (45)           3,910    (45)
   $

14,204

   $(157)  $

1,029

   $(9)  $15,233   $(166)

 

3. Business Combinations, Goodwill and Intangibles

 

Acquisition of Sabine

 

On March 7, 2014, the Company completed the acquisition of Sabine, Inc. (“Sabine”) through a stock purchase agreement (“SPA”). Sabine manufactures, designs and sells Sacom professional wireless microphone systems for live and installed audio. It also makes FBX Feedback Exterminator for reliable automatic feedback control. With the addition of Sabine, ClearOne will have reliable and exclusive access to the wireless microphones that are a critical component of ClearOne’s complete microphone portfolio.

 

Pursuant to the SPA, the Company (i) paid initial consideration of $8,141 in cash, (ii) accrued for possible additional earn-out payments over the next two years, estimated to be $657, and (iii) issued 150,000 shares of restricted common stock of the Company, valued at $1,679 (determined on the basis of the closing market price of the Company’s stock on the acquisition date). The purchase price was paid out of cash on hand. The SPA contains representations, warranties and indemnifications customary for a transaction of this type.

 

The following table summarizes the consideration paid for the acquisition:

 

   Consideration 
Cash  $8,141 
Common stock   1,679 
Contingent consideration   657 
Total  $10,477 

 

The fair values of Sabine assets acquired and liabilities assumed are based on the information that was available during the measurement period of twelve months from the date of acquisition. The fair value of identified assets and liabilities acquired and goodwill is as follows:

 

 │F-14 

 

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Dollars in thousands, except share and per share amounts)

 

   Fair value 
Cash  $125 
Accounts receivable   255 
Inventories   844 
Prepaid and other   105 
Intangibles   3,970 
Property and equipment   292 
Other long-term assets   11 
Goodwill   5,510 
Deferred tax asset   245 
Trade accounts payable   (420)
Accrued liabilities   (405)
Stock registration costs   (55)
Total  $10,477 

 

The goodwill of $5,510 related to the acquisition of Sabine is composed of expected synergies in utilizing Sabine technology in ClearOne product offerings, reduction in future combined research and development expenses, and intangible assets including acquired workforce that do not qualify for separate recognition. The goodwill balance of $5,510 related to the acquisition of Sabine is expected to be deductible for tax purposes.

 

Spontania business of Spain-based Dialcom Networks, S.L.

 

On April 1, 2014 ClearOne closed on the acquisition of the Spontania business of Spain-based Dialcom Networks, S.L. The Spontania cloud-based service empowers customers to deploy HD video conferencing, web collaboration, and more with equipment most businesses have and use every day - video-conferencing endpoints, desktops, laptops, web browsers, tablets, and smartphones. With Spontania there is no hardware investment and the service operates off of a reservation-less model, enabling on-demand video communications from virtually anywhere, anytime, with anyone on any device.

 

The aggregate purchase price under the terms of the transaction was approximately €3.66 million in cash (approximately US$5.1 million), after certain closing adjustments. ClearOne did not assume any debt or cash. The cash purchase price was paid out of cash on hand. The addition of this technology was an integral part of the Company’s strategy to build an all-inclusive video collaboration portfolio.

 

The fair value of identified assets and liabilities acquired from the Spontania acquisition was as follows:

 

   Fair value 
Intangibles  $1,335 
Property and equipment   47 
Goodwill   3,741 
Accrued liabilities   (71)
Total  $5,052 

 

The goodwill of $3,741 relates to the acquisition of Spontania cloud-based technology and intangible assets including acquired workforce that does not qualify for separate recognition.

 

Acquisitions Expenses

 

The Company incurred $588 in acquisition related expenses for the Sabine and Spontania acquisitions, all of which were categorized under General and administrative expenses in the Consolidated Statement of Income and Comprehensive Income for the year ended December 31, 2014.

 

 │F-15 

 

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Dollars in thousands, except share and per share amounts)

 

Goodwill

 

Changes in the carrying amount of the Company’s goodwill for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015, and 2014 were as follows:

 

   2016   2015   2014 
Balance as of January 1,               
Goodwill  $12,724   $12,724   $3,472 
Accumulated impairment losses            
    12,724    12,724    3,472 
Goodwill acquired during the year           9,252 
Balance as of December 31,               
Goodwill   12,724    12,724    12,724 
Accumulated impairment losses            
   $12,724   $12,724   $12,724 

 

Intangible Assets

 

Intangible assets as of December 31, 2016, and 2015 consisted of the following:

 

   Estimated  As of December 31, 
   useful lives  2016   2015 
Tradename  5 to 7 years  $555   $555 
Patents and technological know-how  10 years   6,010    5,850 
Proprietary software  3 to 15 years   4,341