Note 1 — Significant Accounting Policies
(a) Description of Business
Veeco Instruments Inc. (together with its consolidated subsidiaries, “Veeco,” or the “Company”) operates in a segment: the development, manufacture, sales, and support of semiconductor and thin film process equipment primarily sold to make electronic devices.
(b) Basis of Presentation
The accompanying audited Consolidated Financial Statements of the Company have been prepared in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”). The Company reports interim quarters on a 13-week basis ending on the last Sunday of each period, which is determined at the start of each year. The Company’s fourth quarter always ends on the last day of the calendar year, December 31. During 2019 the interim quarters ended on March 31, June 30, and September 29, and during 2018 the interim quarters ended on April 1, July 1, and September 30. The Company reports these interim quarters as March 31, June 30, and September 30 in its interim consolidated financial statements.
(c) Use of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements and accompanying notes. Although these estimates are based on management’s knowledge of current events and actions it may undertake in the future, these estimates may ultimately differ from actual results. Significant items subject to such estimates and assumptions include: (i) stand-alone selling prices for the Company’s products and services; (ii) allowances for doubtful accounts; (iii) inventory obsolescence; (iv) the useful lives and expected future cash flows of property, plant, and equipment and identifiable intangible assets; (v) the fair value of the Company’s reporting unit and related goodwill; (vi) investment valuations and the valuation of derivatives, deferred tax assets, and assets acquired in business combinations; (vii) the recoverability of long-lived assets; (viii) liabilities for product warranty and legal contingencies; (ix) share-based compensation; (x) lease term and incremental borrowing rates used in determining operating lease assets and liabilities; and (xi) income tax uncertainties.
(d) Principles of Consolidation
The Consolidated Financial Statements include the accounts of the Company and its subsidiaries. Intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation. Companies acquired during each reporting period are reflected in the results of the Company effective from their respective dates of acquisition through the end of the reporting period.
(e) Foreign Currencies
Assets and liabilities of the Company’s foreign subsidiaries that operate using functional currencies other than the U.S. dollar are translated using the exchange rates in effect at the balance sheet date. Results of operations are translated using monthly average exchange rates. Adjustments arising from the translation of the foreign currency financial statements of the Company’s subsidiaries into U.S. dollars, including intercompany transactions of a long-term nature, are reported as currency translation adjustments in “Accumulated other comprehensive income” in the Consolidated Balance Sheets. Foreign currency transaction gains or losses are included in “Other operating expense (income), net” in the Consolidated Statements of Operations.
(f) Revenue Recognition
Revenue is recognized upon the transfer of control of the promised product or service to the customer in an amount that reflects the consideration the Company expects to receive in exchange for such product or service. The Company’s contracts with customers generally do not contain variable consideration. In the rare instances where variable
consideration is included, the Company estimates the amount of variable consideration and determines what portion of that, if any, has a high probability of significant subsequent revenue reversal, and if so, that amount is excluded from the transaction price. The Company’s contracts with customers frequently contain multiple deliverables, such as systems, upgrades, components, spare parts, installation, maintenance, and service plans. Judgment is required to properly identify the performance obligations within a contract and to determine how the revenue should be allocated among the performance obligations. The Company also evaluates whether multiple transactions with the same customer or related parties should be considered part of a single contract based on an assessment of whether the contracts or agreements are negotiated or executed within a short time frame of each other or if there are indicators that the contracts are negotiated in contemplation of one another.
When there are separate units of accounting, the Company allocates revenue to each performance obligation on a relative stand-alone selling price basis. The stand-alone selling prices are determined based on the prices at which the Company separately sells the systems, upgrades, components, spare parts, installation, maintenance, and service plans. For items that are not sold separately, the Company estimates stand-alone selling prices generally using an expected cost plus margin approach.
Most of the Company’s revenue is recognized at a point in time when the performance obligation is satisfied. The Company considers many facts when evaluating each of its sales arrangements to determine the timing of revenue recognition, including its contractual obligations and the nature of the customer’s post-delivery acceptance provisions. The Company’s system sales arrangements, including certain upgrades, generally include field acceptance provisions that may include functional or mechanical test procedures. For many of these arrangements, a customer source inspection of the system is performed in the Company’s facility, test data is sent to the customer documenting that the system is functioning to the agreed upon specifications prior to delivery, or other quality assurance testing is performed internally to ensure system functionality prior to shipment. Historically, such source inspection or test data replicates the field acceptance provisions that are performed at the customer’s site prior to final acceptance of the system. When the Company objectively demonstrates that the criteria specified in the contractual acceptance provisions are achieved prior to delivery either through customer testing or the Company’s historical experience of its tools meeting specifications, transfer of control of the product to the customer is considered to have occurred and revenue is recognized upon system delivery since there is no substantive contingency remaining related to the acceptance provisions at that date. For new products, new applications of existing products, or for products with substantive customer acceptance provisions where the Company cannot objectively demonstrate that the criteria specified in the contractual acceptance provisions have been achieved prior to delivery, revenue and the associated costs are deferred. The Company recognizes such revenue and costs upon obtaining objective evidence that the acceptance provisions can be achieved, assuming all other revenue recognition criteria have been met.
In certain cases, the Company’s contracts with customers contain a billing retention, typically 10% of the sales price, which is billed by the Company and payable by the customer when field acceptance provisions are completed. Revenue recognized in advance of the amount that has been billed is recorded as a contract asset on the Consolidated Balance Sheets.
The Company recognizes revenue related to maintenance and service contracts over time based upon the respective contract term. Installation revenue is recognized over time as the installation services are performed. The Company recognizes revenue from the sales of components, spare parts, and specified service engagements at a point in time, which is typically consistent with the time of delivery in accordance with the terms of the applicable sales arrangement.
The Company may receive customer deposits on system transactions. The timing of the transfer of goods or services related to the deposits is either at the discretion of the customer or expected to be within one year from the deposit receipt. As such, the Company does not adjust transaction prices for the time value of money. Incremental direct costs incurred related to the acquisition of a customer contract, such as sales commissions, are expensed as incurred since the expected performance period is one year or less.
The Company has elected to treat shipping and handling costs as a fulfillment activity, and the Company includes such costs in “Cost of sales” in the Consolidated Statements of Operations when the Company recognizes revenue for the related goods. Taxes assessed by governmental authorities that are collected by the Company from a customer are excluded from revenue.
(g) Warranty Costs
The Company typically provides standard warranty coverage on its systems for one year from the date of final acceptance by providing labor and parts necessary to repair the systems during the warranty period. The Company records the estimated warranty cost when revenue is recognized on the related system. Warranty cost is included in “Cost of sales” in the Consolidated Statements of Operations. The estimated warranty cost is based on the Company’s historical experience with its systems and regional labor costs. The Company calculates the average service hours by region and parts expense per system utilizing actual service records to determine the estimated warranty charge. The Company updates its warranty estimates on a quarterly basis when the actual product performance or field expense differs from original estimates.
(h) Shipping and Handling Costs
Shipping and handling costs are expenses incurred to move, package, and prepare the Company’s products for shipment and to move the products to a customer’s designated location. These costs are generally comprised of payments to third-party shippers. Shipping and handling costs are included in “Cost of sales” in the Consolidated Statements of Operations.
(i) Research and Development Costs
Research and development costs are expensed as incurred and include charges for the development of new technology and the transition of existing technology into new products or services.
(j) Advertising Expense
The cost of advertising is expensed as incurred and totaled $0.5 million, $0.9 million, and $0.9 million for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017, respectively.
(k) Accounting for Share-based Compensation
Share-based awards exchanged for employee services are accounted for under the fair value method. Accordingly, share-based compensation cost is measured at the grant date based on the estimated fair value of the award. The expense for awards is recognized over the employee’s requisite service period (generally the vesting period of the award). The Company has elected to treat awards with only service conditions and with graded vesting as one award. Consequently, the total compensation expense is recognized straight-line over the entire vesting period, so long as the compensation cost recognized at any date at least equals the portion of the grant date fair value of the award that is vested at that date.
In addition to stock options, restricted share awards (“RSAs”) and restricted stock units (“RSUs”) with time-based vesting, the Company grants performance share units and awards (“PSUs” and “PSAs”) that have either performance or market conditions. Compensation cost for PSUs and PSAs with performance conditions is recognized over the requisite service period based on the timing and expected level of achievement of the performance targets. A change in the assessment of performance attainment prior to the conclusion of the performance period is recognized in the period of the change in estimate. Compensation cost for PSUs and PSAs with market conditions is recognized over the requisite service period regardless of the expected level of achievement. For all PSUs and PSAs, the number of shares issued to the employee at the conclusion of the service period may vary from the original target based upon the level of attainment of the performance or market conditions.
The Company uses the Black-Scholes option-pricing model to compute the estimated fair value of option awards and purchase rights under the Employee Stock Purchase Plan. The Company uses a Monte Carlo simulation to compute the estimated fair value of awards with market conditions. The Black-Scholes model and Monte Carlo simulation include assumptions regarding dividend yields, expected volatility, expected option term, and risk-free interest rates. See Note 15, “Stock Plans,” for additional information.
(l) Income Taxes
Income taxes are accounted for under the asset and liability method. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases and operating loss and tax credit carryforwards. 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 from a change in tax rate is recognized in income in the period that includes the enactment date.
On December 22, 2017, the U.S. government enacted comprehensive tax legislation commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “2017 Tax Act”), which made broad and complex changes to the U.S. tax code. In response to the 2017 Tax Act, the SEC staff issued Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 118 (“SAB 118”) which provided guidance on accounting for the tax effects of 2017 Tax Act, including addressing any uncertainty or diversity of view in applying ASC 740, Income Taxes (“ASC 740”), in the reporting period in which the 2017 Tax Act was enacted. In addition, SAB 118 provided a measurement period that should not extend beyond one year from the 2017 Tax Act enactment date for companies to complete the accounting under ASC 740. During the year ended December 31, 2018, the Company finalized the accounting for the tax effects of 2017 Tax Act.
In January 2018, the FASB released guidance on the accounting for taxes under the global intangible low-taxed income (“GILTI”) provisions of the 2017 Tax Act. The GILTI provisions impose a tax on foreign income in excess of a deemed return on tangible assets of foreign operations. The Company has made a policy election to account for income taxes incurred under GILTI as a period cost.
(m) Concentration of Credit Risk
Financial instruments that potentially subject the Company to concentrations of credit risk consist primarily of cash and cash equivalents, investments, derivative financial instruments used in hedging activities, and accounts receivable. The Company invests in a variety of financial instruments and, by policy, limits the amount of credit exposure with any one financial institution or commercial issuer. Historically, the Company has not experienced any material credit losses on its investments.
The Company maintains an allowance reserve for potentially uncollectible accounts for estimated losses resulting from the inability of its customers to make required payments. The Company evaluates its allowance for doubtful accounts based on a combination of factors. In circumstances where specific invoices are deemed to be uncollectible, the Company provides a specific allowance for bad debt against the amount due to reduce the net recognized receivable to the amount reasonably expected to be collected. The Company also provides allowances based on its write-off history. The allowance for doubtful accounts totaled $0.6 million and $0.3 million at December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
To further mitigate the Company’s exposure to uncollectable accounts, the Company may request certain customers provide a negotiable irrevocable letter of credit drawn on a reputable financial institution. These irrevocable letters of credit are typically issued to mature between and 90 days from the date the documentation requirements are met, typically when a system ships or upon receipt of final acceptance from the customer. The Company, at its discretion, may monetize these letters of credit on a non-recourse basis after they become negotiable but before maturity. The fees associated with the monetization are included in “Selling, general, and administrative” in the Consolidated Statements of Operations and were immaterial for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017.
(n) Fair Value of Financial Instruments
The carrying amounts of financial instruments, including cash equivalents, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and accrued expenses reflected in the consolidated financial statements approximate fair value due to their short-term maturities. The fair value of debt for footnote disclosure purposes, including current maturities, if any, is estimated using recently quoted market prices of the instrument, or if not available, a discounted cash flow analysis based on the estimated current incremental borrowing rates for similar types of instruments.
(o) Cash, Cash Equivalents, and Short-term Investments
All financial instruments purchased with an original maturity of three months or less at the time of purchase are considered cash equivalents. Such items may include liquid money market funds, certificate of deposit and time deposit accounts, U.S. treasuries, government agency securities, and corporate debt. Investments that are classified as cash equivalents are carried at cost, which approximates fair value. The Company’s cash and cash equivalents includes $78.5 million and $69.6 million of cash equivalents at December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
A portion of the Company’s cash and cash equivalents is held by its subsidiaries throughout the world, frequently in each subsidiary’s respective functional currency, which is typically the U.S. dollar. Approximately 56% and 32% of cash and cash equivalents were maintained outside the United States at December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
Short-term investments consist of marketable debt securities, and are generally classified as available-for-sale for use in current operations, if required, and are reported at fair value, with unrealized gains and losses, net of tax, presented as a separate component of stockholders’ equity under the caption “Accumulated other comprehensive income” on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. These securities can include U.S. treasuries, government agency securities, corporate debt, and commercial paper, all with maturities of greater than three months when purchased. All realized gains and losses and unrealized losses resulting from declines in fair value that are other than temporary are included in “Other operating expense (income), net” in the Consolidated Statements of Operations. The specific identification method is used to determine the realized gains and losses on investments.
Non-marketable equity securities are equity securities without readily observable market prices and are included in “Other assets” in the Consolidated Balance Sheets. Non-marketable securities are measured at cost, adjusted for changes in observable prices minus impairment. Changes in fair value are included in “Other operating expense (income), net” in the Consolidated Statements of Operations.
Inventories are stated at the lower of cost or net realizable value, with cost determined on a first-in, first-out basis. Each quarter the Company assesses the valuation and recoverability of all inventories: materials (raw materials, spare parts, and service inventory); work-in-process; and finished goods. Obsolete inventory or inventory in excess of management’s estimated usage requirement is written down to its estimated net realizable value if less than cost. The Company evaluates usage requirements by analyzing historical usage, anticipated demand, alternative uses of materials, and other qualitative factors. Unanticipated changes in demand for the Company’s products may require a write down of inventory, which would be reflected in cost of sales in the period the revision is made. Inventory acquired as part of a business combination is recorded at fair value on the date of acquisition. See Note 5, “Acquisitions and Dispositions,” for additional information.
(q) Business Combinations
The Company allocates the fair value of the purchase consideration of the Company’s acquisitions to the tangible assets, intangible assets, including in-process research and development (“IPR&D”), if any, and liabilities assumed, based on
estimated fair values. The excess of the fair value of purchase consideration over the fair values of these identifiable assets and liabilities is recorded as goodwill. Acquisition-related expenses are recognized separately from the business combination and are expensed as incurred. See Note 5, “Acquisitions and Dispositions,” for additional information.
(r) Goodwill and Indefinite-Lived Intangible Assets
Goodwill is an asset representing the future economic benefits arising from assets acquired in a business combination that are not individually identified and separately recognized. Goodwill is measured as the excess of the consideration transferred over the net fair value of identifiable assets acquired and liabilities assumed. Intangible assets with indefinite useful lives are measured at their respective fair values on the acquisition date. Intangible assets related to IPR&D projects are considered to be indefinite-lived until the completion or abandonment of the associated research and development (“R&D”) efforts. If and when development is complete, the associated assets would be deemed long-lived and would then be amortized based on their respective estimated useful lives at that point in time. Goodwill and indefinite-lived intangibles are not amortized into results of operations but instead are evaluated for impairment. The Company performs the evaluation in the beginning of the fourth quarter of each year or more frequently if impairment indicators arise.
In testing goodwill for impairment, the Company may first perform a qualitative assessment of whether it is more likely than not that the reporting unit’s fair value is less than its carrying amount, and, if so, the Company then quantitatively compares the fair value of the reporting unit to its carrying amount. If the fair value exceeds the carrying amount, goodwill is not impaired. If the carrying amount exceeds fair value, the Company then records an impairment loss equal to the difference, up to the carrying value of goodwill.
The Company determines the fair value of its reporting unit based on a reconciliation of the fair value of the reporting unit to the Company’s adjusted market capitalization. The adjusted market capitalization is calculated by multiplying the average share price of the Company’s common stock for the last trading days prior to the measurement date by the number of outstanding common shares and adding a control premium. The control premium is estimated using historical transactions in similar industries.
In testing indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment, the Company may first perform a qualitative assessment of whether it is more likely than not that the fair value of the indefinite-lived intangible asset is less than its carrying amount, and, if so, the Company then quantitatively compares the fair value of the indefinite-lived intangible asset to its carrying amount. The Company determines the fair value of its indefinite-lived intangible assets using a discounted cash flow method.
(s) Long-lived Assets
Long-lived intangible assets consist of purchased technology, customer relationships, patents, trademarks and tradenames, and backlog and are initially recorded at fair value. Long-lived intangible assets are amortized over their estimated useful lives in a method reflecting the pattern in which the economic benefits are consumed or straight-lined if such pattern cannot be reliably determined.
Property, plant, and equipment are recorded at cost. Depreciation expense is calculated based on the estimated useful lives of the assets by using the straight-line method. Amortization of leasehold improvements is recognized using the straight-line method over the shorter of the remaining lease term or the estimated useful lives of the improvements.
Long-lived assets are reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. If circumstances require a long-lived asset or asset group be tested for possible impairment, a recoverability test is performed utilizing undiscounted cash flows expected to be generated by that asset or asset group compared to its carrying amount. If the carrying amount of the long-lived asset or asset group is not recoverable on an undiscounted cash flow basis, impairment is recognized to the extent the carrying amount exceeds
its fair value. Fair value is determined through various valuation techniques including discounted cash flow models or, when available, quoted market values and third-party appraisals.
Upon the adoption of ASC Topic 842, Leases (“ASC 842”) as of January 1, 2019, the Company determines at contract inception if an arrangement is a lease, or contains a lease, of an identified asset for which the Company has the right to obtain substantially all of the economic benefits from its use and the right to direct its use. Right-of-use (“ROU”) assets represent the Company’s right to use an underlying asset for the lease term, while lease liabilities represent the Company’s obligation to make lease payments arising from the lease. Operating lease ROU assets and liabilities are recognized at lease commencement date based on the present value of lease payments over the lease term. The implicit discount rate in the Company’s leases generally cannot readily be determined, and therefore the Company uses its incremental borrowing rate based on information available at lease commencement date in determining the present value of future payments. The Company has options to renew or terminate certain leases. These options are included in the determination of lease term when it is reasonably certain that the Company will exercise such options. The Company does not separate lease and non-lease components in determining ROU assets or lease liabilities for real estate leases. Additionally, the Company does not recognize ROU assets or lease liabilities for leases with original terms or renewals of one year or less.
(u) Recently Adopted Accounting Standards
The Company ASC Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (“ASC 606”), as of January 1, 2018, using the full method. All amounts and disclosures set forth in this Form 10-K reflect these changes. The most significant financial statement impacts of adopting ASC 606 are the elimination of the constraint on revenue associated with the billing retention related to the receipt of customer final acceptance and the identification of installation services as a performance obligation. The elimination of the constraint on revenue related to customer final acceptance, which is usually about 10 percent of a system sale, is now generally recognized at the time the Company transfers control of the system to the customer, which is earlier than under the Company’s previous revenue recognition model for certain contracts that were subject to the billing constraint. The performance obligation related to installation services is now recognized as the installation services are performed, which is later than the Company’s previous revenue recognition model.
The Company ASU 2016-01, Financial Instruments – Overall, as of January 1, 2018. This ASU requires certain equity investments to be measured at fair value, with changes in fair value recognized in net income. The Company measures equity investments without readily observable market prices at cost, adjusted for changes in observable prices minus impairment. Changes in measurement are included in “Other income (expense), net” in the Consolidated Statements of Operations. This ASU has not had a material impact on the consolidated financial statements upon adoption, and the Company will monitor its equity investments each reporting period for changes in observable market prices, if any, which may be material in future periods.
The Company ASC Topic 842, Leases (“ASC 842”), as of January 1, 2019. ASC 842 generally requires operating lessee rights and obligations to be recognized as assets and liabilities on the balance sheet. The new standard offers a transition option whereby companies can recognize a cumulative-effect adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings in the period of adoption rather than in the earliest period presented. The Company has adopted using this transition method, and therefore . In addition, ASC 842 provides for a number of optional exemptions in transition. The Company has elected certain exemptions whereby prior conclusions regarding lease identification, lease classification, and initial direct costs were not reassessed under the new standard. The adoption of the standard impacted the Company’s Consolidated Balance Sheets through the recognition of and lease liabilities of approximately $14.2 million each as of January 1, 2019 but did not have an impact on the Consolidated Statements of Operations, Statements of Comprehensive Income, or Statements of Cash Flows.
(v) Recent Accounting Pronouncements Not Yet Adopted
The Company is evaluating pronouncements recently issued but not yet adopted. The adoption of these pronouncements is not expected to have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.