Note 2—Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Significant Accounting Policies
Basis of Presentation
The accompanying interim unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”) for interim financial information and the instructions to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Form 10-Q and Article 8 of the SEC’s Regulation S-X. These condensed consolidated financial statements do not include all of the information and footnotes required by U.S. GAAP for complete financial statements. Therefore, these unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements should be read in conjunction with the Company’s audited consolidated financial statements and notes thereto as of and for the year ended December 30, 2017, included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 30, 2018.
The accompanying condensed consolidated financial statements as of and for the three months ended March 31, 2018 are unaudited; however, they contain all normal recurring accruals and adjustments that, in the opinion of the Company’s management, are necessary to present fairly the condensed consolidated financial position of the Company and its wholly-owned subsidiaries as of March 31, 2018 and the condensed consolidated statements of operations and statements of cash flows for the three months ended March 31, 2018 and April 1, 2017. The results of operations for the three months ended March 31, 2018 are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for any full year or any other interim period.
Principles of Consolidation
The accompanying condensed consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Netlist, Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiaries. All intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.
The Company operates under a 52 or 53 week fiscal year ending on the Saturday closest to December 31. For 2018, the Company’s fiscal year is scheduled to end on December 29, 2018 and will consist of 52 weeks, and each of the Company’s quarters within such fiscal year will be comprised of 13 weeks.
Use of Estimates
The preparation of the accompanying condensed consolidated financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the condensed consolidated financial statements, and the reported amounts of net revenues and expenses during the reporting period. By their nature, these estimates and assumptions are subject to an inherent degree of uncertainty. The Company bases its estimates and assumptions on its historical experience, knowledge of current conditions and the Company’s belief of what could occur in the future considering available information. The Company reviews its estimates and assumptions on an ongoing basis. Actual results may differ materially from these estimates, which may result in material adverse effects on the Company’s consolidated operating results and financial position.
The Company believes the following critical accounting policies involve its more significant assumptions and estimates used in the preparation of the accompanying condensed consolidated financial statements: provisions for uncollectible receivables and sales returns; warranty liability; valuation of inventories; fair value of financial instruments; recoverability of long-lived assets; valuation of stock-based transactions; estimates for completion of NRE and other revenue milestones and the realization of deferred tax assets. The Company bases its estimates on historical experience, knowledge of current conditions and the Company’s belief of what could occur in the future considering available information. The Company reviews its estimates on an ongoing basis. Actual results may differ materially from these estimates which may result in material adverse effects on the Company’s operating results and financial position.
Our net sales are generated primarily from (i) resales of NAND flash, DRAM products and other component products to end-customers that are not reached in the distribution models of the component manufacturers, including storage customers, appliance customers, system builders and cloud and datacenter customers and (ii) sales of high-performance modular memory subsystems primarily to original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”) in the server, high-performance computing and communications markets.
The Company’s products are sold through ship-and-bill performance obligations, and the revenue is recognized at the point in time when the ownership is transferred to customers. Customers are generally allowed limited rights of return for up to 30 days, except for sales of excess component inventories, which contain no right-of-return privileges. Product returns are estimated at the time of sale using the expected value method and are recorded as a reduction in sales. The Company offers a standard product warranty to its customers and has no other post-shipment obligations. All amounts billed to customers related to shipping and handling are included in net sales, while costs incurred by the Company for shipping and handling are included in cost of sales. See Note 3.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents consist of cash and short-term investments with original maturities of three months or less.
Restricted cash consists of cash to secure standby letters of credit. Restricted cash was $1.1 million as of March 31, 2018 and related to two standby letters of credit. Restricted cash was $2.8 million as of December 30, 2017 and related to three standby letters of credit.
Fair Value of Financial Instruments
The Company follows ASC Topic 820 to account for the fair value of certain assets and liabilities. ASC Topic 820 defines fair value, establishes a framework for measuring fair value and expands disclosures about fair value measurements. ASC Topic 820 emphasizes that fair value is a market-based measurement, not an entity-specific measurement. Therefore, a fair value measurement should be determined based on the assumptions that market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability. As a basis for considering market participant assumptions in fair value measurements, ASC Topic 820 establishes a fair value hierarchy that distinguishes between market participant assumptions based on market data obtained from sources independent of the reporting entity (observable inputs that are classified within Levels 1 and 2 of the hierarchy) and the reporting entity’s own assumptions about market participant assumptions (unobservable inputs classified within Level 3 of the hierarchy).
Level 1 inputs are quoted prices (unadjusted) in active markets for identical assets or liabilities that the Company has the ability to access. An active market is defined as a market in which transactions for the assets or liabilities occur with sufficient frequency and volume to provide pricing information on an ongoing basis. Level 2 inputs are inputs other than quoted prices included in Level 1 that are observable for the asset or liability, either directly or indirectly. Level 2 inputs may include quoted prices for similar assets and liabilities in active markets, as well as inputs that are observable for the asset or liability (other than quoted prices), such as interest rates, foreign exchange rates and yield curves that are observable at commonly quoted intervals. Level 3 inputs are unobservable inputs for the asset or liability, which are typically based on an entity’s own assumptions, as there is little, if any, related market activity. In instances where the determination of the fair value measurement is based on inputs from different levels of the fair value hierarchy, the level in the fair value hierarchy within which the entire fair value measurement falls is based on the lowest level input that is significant to the fair value measurement in its entirety. The Company’s assessment of the significance of a particular input to the fair value measurement in its entirety requires judgment and considers factors specific to the asset or liability.
The Company’s financial instruments consist principally of cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash, accounts receivable, accounts payable, accrued expenses, a revolving line of credit, a note payable and a convertible promissory note. The Company considers the carrying values of cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash, accounts receivable, accounts payable, accrued expenses, and a note payable to approximate the fair value for these financial instruments based upon an evaluation of the underlying characteristics, market data and because of the short period of time between origination of the instruments and their expected realization. The fair values of the Company’s revolving line of credit and convertible promissory note are determined using current applicable rates for similar instruments as of the balance sheet date and an assessment of the credit rating of the Company. The carrying value of the Company’s revolving line of credit at March 31, 2018 and December 30, 2017 approximates fair value because the Company’s interest rate yield is near current market rates for comparable debt instruments. The fair value of the Company’s convertible promissory note was estimated using a discounted cash flow analysis using borrowing rates available to the Company for debt instruments with similar terms and maturities. The Company has determined that the valuation of its convertible promissory note is classified in Level 2 of the fair value hierarchy. The carrying value and estimated fair value of the convertible promissory note as of March 31, 2018 were $14.2 million and $12.2 million, respectively. The carrying value and estimated fair value of the convertible promissory note as of December 30, 2017 were $14.1 million and $12.3 million, respectively.
Allowance for Doubtful Accounts
The Company performs credit evaluations of its customers’ financial condition and limits the amount of credit extended to its customers as deemed necessary, but generally requires no collateral. The Company evaluates the collectability of accounts receivable based on a combination of factors. In cases where the Company is aware of circumstances that may impair a specific customer’s ability to meet its financial obligations subsequent to the original sale, the Company will record an allowance against amounts due, and thereby reduce the net recognized receivable to the amount the Company reasonably believes will be collected. For all other customers, the Company records allowances for doubtful accounts based primarily on the length of time the receivables are past due based on the terms of the originating transaction, the current business environment, and its historical experience. Uncollectible accounts are charged against the allowance for doubtful accounts when all cost-effective commercial means of collection have been exhausted. Generally, the Company’s credit losses have been within expectations and the provisions established. However, the Company cannot guarantee that it will continue to experience credit loss rates similar to those experienced in the past.
The Company’s accounts receivable are generally highly concentrated among a small number of customers, and a significant change in the liquidity or financial position of one of these customers could have a material adverse effect on the collectability of its accounts receivable, liquidity and future operating results.
Concentration of Credit Risk
Financial instruments that potentially subject the Company to significant concentrations of credit risk consist principally of cash and cash equivalents, and accounts receivable.
The Company invests its cash equivalents primarily in money market mutual funds. Cash equivalents are maintained with high quality institutions, the composition and maturities of which are regularly monitored by management. At times, deposits held with financial institutions may exceed the amount of insurance provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.
The Company’s trade accounts receivable are primarily derived from sales to OEMs in the server, high-performance computing and communications markets, as well as from sales to storage customers, appliance customers, system builders and cloud and datacenter customers. The Company performs credit evaluations of its customers’ financial condition and limits the amount of credit extended when deemed necessary, but generally requires no collateral. The Company believes the concentration of credit risk in its trade receivables is moderated by its credit evaluation process, relatively short collection terms, a high level of credit worthiness of its customers (see Note 4), foreign credit insurance, and letters of credit issued in its favor. Reserves are maintained for potential credit losses, and such losses historically have not been significant and have been within management’s expectations.
Inventories are valued at the lower of actual cost to purchase or manufacture the inventory or the net realizable value of the inventory. Cost is determined on an average cost basis which approximates actual cost on a first-in, first-out basis and includes raw materials, labor and manufacturing overhead. Net realizable value is the estimated selling prices in the ordinary course of business, less reasonably predictable costs of completion, disposal, and transportation. At each balance sheet date, the Company evaluates its ending inventory quantities on hand and on order and records a provision for excess quantities and obsolescence. Among other factors, the Company considers historical demand and forecasted demand in relation to inventory on hand, competitiveness of product offerings, market conditions and product life cycles when determining obsolescence and net realizable value. In addition, the Company considers changes in the market value of components in determining the net realizable value of its inventory. Once established, lower of cost or net realizable value write-downs are considered permanent adjustments to the cost basis of the excess or obsolete inventories.
Property and Equipment
Property and equipment are recorded at cost and depreciated on a straight-line basis over their estimated useful lives, which generally range from three to seven years. Leasehold improvements are recorded at cost and amortized on a straight-line basis over the shorter of their estimated useful lives or the remaining lease term. Expenditures for repairs and maintenance are expensed as incurred. Upon retirement or sale, the cost and related accumulated depreciation and amortization of disposed assets are removed from the accounts and any resulting gain or loss is included in other expense, net.
Debt Issuance Costs, Debt Discount and Detachable Debt-Related Warrants
Costs incurred to issue debt are deferred and recorded as a reduction to the debt balance in the accompanying condensed consolidated balance sheets. The Company amortizes debt issuance costs over the expected term of the related debt using the effective interest method. Debt discounts relate to the relative fair value of warrants issued in conjunction with the debt and are also recorded as a reduction to the debt balance and accreted over the expected term of the debt to interest expense using the effective interest method.
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets
The Company evaluates the recoverability of the carrying value of long-lived assets held and used by the Company in its operations for impairment on at least an annual basis or whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that their carrying value may not be recoverable. When such factors and circumstances exist, the Company compares the projected undiscounted future net cash flows associated with the related asset or group of assets over their estimated useful lives against their respective carrying amount. These projected future cash flows may vary significantly over time as a result of increased competition, changes in technology, fluctuations in demand, consolidation of the Company’s customers and reductions in average selling prices. If the carrying value is determined not to be recoverable from future operating cash flows, the asset is deemed impaired and an impairment loss is recognized to the extent the carrying value exceeds the estimated fair value of the asset. The fair value of the asset or asset group is based on market value when available, or when unavailable, on discounted expected cash flows. The Company’s management believes there is no impairment of long-lived assets as of March 31, 2018. However, market conditions could change or demand for the Company’s products could decrease, which could result in future impairment of long-lived assets.
The Company offers standard product warranties generally ranging from one to three years, depending on the product and negotiated terms of any purchase agreements with its customers and has no other post-shipment obligations. Such warranties require the Company to repair or replace defective product returned to the Company during the warranty period at no cost to the customer. Warranties are not offered on sales of excess component inventory, and the Company does not offer separately priced extended warranty or product maintenance contracts. The Company records an estimate for warranty related costs at the time of sale in cost of sales based on its historical and estimated future product return rates and expected repair or replacement costs (see Note 4). While such costs have historically been within management’s expectations and the provisions established, unexpected changes in failure rates could have a material adverse impact on the Company, requiring additional warranty reserves and could adversely affect the Company’s gross profit and gross margins.
The Company accounts for equity issuances to non-employees in accordance with FASB ASC Topic 505. All transactions in which goods or services are the consideration received for the issuance of equity instruments are accounted for based on the fair value of the consideration received or the fair value of the equity instrument issued, whichever is more reliably measurable. The measurement date used to determine the estimated fair value of the equity instrument issued is the earlier of the date on which the third-party performance is complete or the date on which it is probable that performance will occur.
In accordance with FASB ASC Topic 718, employee and director stock-based compensation expense recognized during the period is based on the value of the portion of stock-based payment awards that is ultimately expected to vest during the period. Given that stock-based compensation expense recognized in the accompanying condensed consolidated statements of operations is based on awards ultimately expected to vest, it has been reduced for estimated forfeitures. The Company estimates its forfeitures at the time of grant and revises such estimates, if necessary, in subsequent periods if actual forfeitures differ from those estimates. The Company’s estimated average forfeiture rates are based on historical forfeiture experience and estimated future forfeitures.
The estimated fair value of common stock option awards to employees and directors is calculated using the Black-Scholes option pricing model. The Black-Scholes model requires subjective assumptions regarding future stock price volatility and expected time to exercise, along with assumptions about the risk-free interest rate and expected dividends, all of which affect the estimated fair values of the Company’s common stock option awards. The expected term of options granted is calculated as the weighted-average of the vesting period and the contractual expiration date of the option. This calculation is in accordance with FASB ASC Topic 718, as amended by certain SEC guidance providing for a safe harbor method in instances where the vesting and exercise terms of options granted meet certain conditions and where limited historical exercise data is available. The expected volatility is based on the historical volatility of the Company’s common stock. The risk-free rate selected to value any particular grant is based on the U.S. Treasury rate that corresponds to the expected term of the grant effective as of the date of the grant. The expected dividend assumption is based on the Company’s history and management’s expectation regarding dividend payouts. Compensation expense for common stock option awards with graded vesting schedules is recognized on a straight-line basis over the requisite service period for the last separately vesting portion of the award, provided that the accumulated cost recognized as of any date at least equals the value of the vested portion of the award.
If there are any modifications or cancellations of the underlying vested or unvested stock-based awards, the Company may be required to accelerate, increase or cancel any remaining unearned stock-based compensation expense, or record additional expense for vested stock-based awards. Future stock-based compensation expense and unearned stock- based compensation may increase to the extent that the Company grants additional stock options or other stock-based awards.
Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized to reflect the estimated future tax effects, calculated at currently effective tax rates, of future deductible or taxable amounts attributable to events that have been recognized on a cumulative basis in the accompanying consolidated financial statements. A valuation allowance related to a net deferred tax asset is recorded when it is more likely than not that some portion of the deferred tax asset will not be realized. Deferred tax liabilities, deferred tax assets and valuation allowances are classified as non-current in the accompanying condensed consolidated balance sheets.
FASB ASC Topic 740 prescribes a recognition threshold and measurement requirement for the financial statement recognition of a tax position that has been taken or is expected to be taken on a tax return and also provides guidance on de-recognition, classification, interest and penalties, accounting in interim periods, disclosure, and transition. Under FASB ASC Topic 740, the Company may only recognize or continue to recognize tax positions that meet a “more likely than not” threshold.
The application of tax laws and regulations is subject to legal and factual interpretation, judgment and uncertainty. Tax laws and regulations may change as a result of changes in fiscal policy, changes in legislation, the evolution of regulations and court rulings. Therefore, the actual liability for U.S. or foreign taxes may be materially different from the Company’s estimates, which could require the Company to record additional tax liabilities or to reduce previously recorded tax liabilities, as applicable.
Contingent Legal Expense
Contingent legal fees are expensed in the condensed consolidated statements of operations in the period that the related revenues are recognized. In instances where there are no recoveries from potential infringers, no contingent legal fees are paid; however, the Company may be liable for certain out of pocket legal costs incurred pursuant to the underlying legal services agreement.
Research and Development Expenses
Research and development expenditures are expensed in the period incurred.
Interest expense consists primarily of interest associated with our debt instruments, including fees related to the term loans, accretion of debt discounts and amortization of debt issuance costs. The Company recognizes the accretion of debt discounts and the amortization of interest costs using the effective interest method.
Foreign Currency Remeasurement
The functional currency of the Company’s foreign subsidiaries is the U.S. dollar. Local currency financial statements are remeasured into U.S. dollars at the exchange rate in effect as of the balance sheet date for monetary assets and liabilities and the historical exchange rate for nonmonetary assets and liabilities. Expenses are remeasured using the average exchange rate for the period, except items related to nonmonetary assets and liabilities, which are remeasured using historical exchange rates. All remeasurement gains and losses are included in determining net loss. Transaction gains and losses were not significant during the three months ended March 31, 2018 and April 1, 2017.
Net Loss Per Share
Basic net loss per share is calculated by dividing net loss by the weighted-average common shares outstanding during the period, excluding unvested shares issued pursuant to restricted share awards under the Company’s share-based compensation plans. Diluted net loss per share is calculated by dividing the net loss by the weighted-average shares and dilutive potential common shares outstanding during the period. Dilutive potential shares consist of dilutive shares issuable upon the exercise or vesting of outstanding stock options, warrants and restricted stock awards, computed using the treasury stock method and shares issuable upon conversion of the SVIC Note (see Note 6). In periods of losses, basic and diluted loss per share are the same, as the effect of stock options, warrants and unvested restricted share awards on loss per share is anti-dilutive.
Business Risks and Uncertainties
The Company’s results of operations, liquidity and financial condition are exposed to a number of risks and uncertainties. See the discussion in Item 1A. Risk Factors of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q in which these condensed consolidated financial statements are included for more discussion.
Adoption of New Accounting Pronouncements
In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606), which supersedes nearly all existing revenue recognition guidance, including industry-specific guidance. Subsequent to the issuance of ASU No. 2014-09, the FASB clarified the guidance through several Accounting Standards Updates; hereinafter the collection of revenue guidance is referred to as “Topic 606.” Topic 606 is based on the principle that an entity should recognize revenue to depict the transfer of goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. Topic 606 also requires additional disclosures about the nature, amount, timing and uncertainty of revenue and cash flows arising from customer contracts, including significant judgments and changes in judgments and assets recognized from costs incurred to fulfill a contract. The Company adopted Topic 606 on December 31, 2017 using the modified retrospective transition method; accordingly, Topic 606 has been applied to the fiscal 2018 financial statements and disclosures going forward, but the comparative information has not been restated and continues to be reported under the accounting standards in effect for those periods. We expect the impact of the adoption of Topic 606 to be immaterial to our operating results on an ongoing basis. See Note 3, “Revenue Recognition,” for additional details on this implementation and the required disclosures.
In August 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-15, Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230): Classification of Certain Cash Receipts and Cash Payments (“ASU 2016-15”), which is intended to reduce the existing diversity in practice in how certain cash receipts and cash payments are classified in the statement of cash flows. In November 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-18, Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230), Restricted Cash (“ASU 2016-18”), which enhances and clarifies the guidance on the classification and presentation of restricted cash in the statement of cash flows. The Company adopted these standards in the first quarter of 2018 by using the retrospective transition method, which required the following disclosures and changes to the presentation of its consolidated financial statements: cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash reported on the condensed consolidated statements of cash flows now includes restricted cash of $3.1 million, $3.1 million and $2.8 million as of December 31, 2016, April 1, 2017 and December 30, 2017, respectively, as well as previously reported cash and cash equivalents.
In October 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-16, Income Taxes (Topic 740), Intra-Entity Transfers of Assets Other Than Inventory (“ASU 2016-16”), which requires entities to recognize the income tax consequences of an intra-entity transfer of an asset other than inventory when the transfer occurs. This amends current U.S. GAAP which prohibits recognition of current and deferred income taxes for all types of intra-entity asset transfers until the asset has been sold to an outside party. ASU 2016-16 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods therein with early application permitted. The Company adopted ASU 2016-16 in the first quarter of 2018 by using the modified retrospective transition approach, which did not have an impact on its consolidated financial statements.
In May 2017, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-09, Compensation – Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Scope of Modification Accounting (“ASU 2017-09”), which provides clarity and reduces diversity in practice and reduce cost and complexity when calculating stock compensation, on a change to the terms and conditions of a share-based award. ASU 2017-09 is effective beginning after December 15, 2017 for annual reporting periods, and interim periods within those annual periods. The Company adopted ASU 2017-09 in the first quarter of 2018, which did not have an impact on its consolidated financial statements.
Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements
In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02, Leases (“ASU 2016-02”). Under ASU 2016-02, lessees will be required to recognize the following for all leases (with the exception of short-term leases) at the commencement date: a lease liability, which is a lessee’s obligation to make lease payments arising from a lease, measured on a discounted basis; and a right-of-use asset, which is an asset that represents the lessee’s right to use, or control the use of, a specified asset for the lease term. ASU 2016-02 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018 (fiscal year 2019 for the Company), including interim periods within those fiscal years. Early application is permitted. Lessees must apply a modified retrospective transition approach for leases existing at, or entered into after, the beginning of the earliest comparative period presented in the financial statements. The modified retrospective approach would not require any transition accounting for leases that expired before the earliest comparative period presented. Lessees may not apply a full retrospective transition approach. The Company is currently evaluating the impact of adopting ASU 2016-02 on its consolidated financial statements and disclosures.