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, 2005

OR

o

 

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

 

 

FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM                    TO                    

Commission file number 0-26944

Silicon Storage Technology, Inc.

(Exact name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)

California

77-0225590

(State or Other Jurisdiction of

(I.R.S. Employer

Incorporation or Organization)

Identification Number)

 

1171 Sonora Court
Sunnyvale, California  94086

(Address of Principal Executive Offices including Zip Code)

(408) 735-9110

(Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code)

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

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

Common Stock, no par value.

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

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 o   No x

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

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K 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.   Yes x   No o

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

Large accelerated filer   o

 

Accelerated filer   x

 

Non-accelerated filer   o

 

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

Aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of SST as of June 30, 2005: $359,725,905 based on the closing price of SST’s Common Stock as reported on the NASDAQ National Market. Number of shares outstanding of SST’s Common Stock, no par value, as of the latest practicable date, February 28, 2006: 103,146,352.

Documents incorporated by reference: Exhibits previously filed as noted on page 40. Part III - A portion of the Registrant’s definitive proxy statement for the Registrant’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders, to be held on or about June 12, 2006, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 




Silicon Storage Technology, Inc.
Form 10-K
For the Year Ended December 31, 2005
TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

Page

 

Part I.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 1.

 

Business

 

 

3

 

 

Item 1A.

 

Risk Factors

 

 

13

 

 

Item 1B.

 

Unresolved SEC Staff Comments

 

 

25

 

 

Item 2.

 

Properties

 

 

25

 

 

Item 3.

 

Legal Proceedings

 

 

25

 

 

Item 4.

 

Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders

 

 

26

 

 

Part II.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 5.

 

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

 

 

27

 

 

Item 6.

 

Selected Consolidated Financial Data

 

 

28

 

 

Item 7.

 

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

 

 

29

 

 

Item 7A.

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

 

48

 

 

Item 8.

 

Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

 

48

 

 

Item 9.

 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure     

 

 

50

 

 

Item 9A.

 

Controls and Procedures

 

 

50

 

 

Item 9B.

 

Other Information

 

 

51

 

 

Part III.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 10.

 

Directors and Executive Officers of the Registrant

 

 

52

 

 

Item 11.

 

Executive Compensation

 

 

52

 

 

Item 12.

 

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

 

 

52

 

 

Item 13.

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions

 

 

52

 

 

Item 14.

 

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

 

 

52

 

 

Part IV.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 15.

 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedule

 

 

53

 

 

Index to Exhibits

 

 

53

 

 

Signatures

 

 

56

 

 

Index to Consolidated Financial Statements

 

 

57

 

 

 

2




PART I

Item 1.                        Business

Overview

Silicon Storage Technology, Inc. (SST, us or we) is a leading supplier of flash memory semiconductor devices for the digital consumer, networking, wireless communications and Internet computing markets. Flash memory is a form of non-volatile memory that allows electronic systems to retain information when the system is turned off. Flash memory is now used in hundreds of millions of consumer electronics and computing products annually.

We produce and sell many products based on our SuperFlash design and manufacturing process technology. Our products are incorporated into products sold by many well-known companies including Apple, Asustek, BenQ, Cisco, Dell, First International Computer, or FIC, Gigabyte, Huawei, Infineon, Intel, IBM, Inventec, Legend Lenovo, LG Electronics, Freescale Semiconductor, Inc, NEC, Nintendo, Panasonic, Philips, Quanta, Samsung, Sanyo, Seagate, Sony, Sony Ericsson, Texas Instruments and VTech.

We also produce and sell other semiconductor products including smart cards, subscriber identification module, or SIM, cards, radio frequency, or RF, power amplifiers and transceivers and memory controllers.

We license our SuperFlash technology to leading semiconductor companies including 1st Silicon (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., Analog Devices, IBM, Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., National Semiconductor Corporation, NEC Corporation, Oki Electric Industry Co., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., SANYO Electric Co., Ltd., or Sanyo, Seiko Epson Corporation, Shanghai Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation, or Grace, Shanghai Huahong NEC Electronics Co., Ltd., Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd., or TSMC, Toshiba Corporation, Vanguard International Semiconductor Corporation, Powerchip Semiconductor Corporation and Winbond Electronics Corporation for applications in semiconductor devices that integrate flash memory with other functions on a single chip.

We have installed our semiconductor manufacturing processes at several leading wafer foundries and semiconductor manufacturers including Global Communication Semiconductor, Grace, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., SANYO Electric Co., Ltd., Seiko Epson Corporation, Shanghai Hua Hong NEC Electronics Co. Ltd., TSMC and Yasu Semiconductor Corporation, or Yasu. These companies produce silicon wafers for us that incorporate our process and product intellectual property. These wafers are electrically tested and then subdivided into many small rectangular chips, or die. We work with leading semiconductor assembly and test companies to finish our products by encapsulating and testing them. We are working with Grace, Powerchip Semiconductor Corporation and TSMC to develop new technology for manufacturing our products.

The semiconductor industry has historically been cyclical, characterized by periodic changes in business conditions caused by product supply and demand imbalance. When the industry experiences downturns, they often occur in connection with, or in anticipation of, maturing product cycles and declines in general economic conditions. These downturns are characterized by weak product demand, excessive inventory and accelerated decline of selling prices. We experienced a decrease in the average selling prices of our products as a result of the industry-wide oversupply and excessive inventory in the market in the second half of 2004 and the first half of 2005. Although we have seen strengthening of market demand in the second half of 2005, our business could be further harmed by industry-wide prolonged downturns in the future.

The consumer electronics manufacturing industry is concentrated in Asia. We manufacture virtually all of our products in Asia and we sell most of our products in Asia. We derived 90.0%, 86.0% and 87.6% of our net product revenues during 2003, 2004 and 2005, respectively, from product shipments to Asia.

3




Industry Background

Semiconductor integrated circuits are critical components used in an increasingly wide variety of applications, such as computers and computer systems, communications equipment, consumer products and industrial automation and control systems. As integrated circuit performance has improved and physical size and costs have decreased, the use of semiconductors in many applications has grown significantly.

Nonvolatile memory devices were originally used by the personal computer, or PC, industry to provide the BIOS (basic input/output system) to give the PC sufficient information to start up (boot) and to facilitate its access to its high volume non-volatile memory stored in magnetic media including today’s hard disks. Historically, the demand for semiconductors has been driven by the PC market. In recent years, growth in demand for semiconductors relating to PCs has been outpaced by growth in demand for semiconductors that are used in digital electronic devices for communication and consumer applications. Communications applications include digital subscriber line modems, cable modems, networking equipment, wireless local area network, or WLAN, devices, cellular phones and Global Positioning Systems, or GPS. Consumer-oriented digital electronic devices include digital cameras, DVD players, MP3 players, personal data assistants, or PDAs, set-top boxes, Digital TVs and video games.

In order to function correctly, PCs and other digital electronic devices require program code. The program code defines how devices function and affects how they are configured. In PCs, this program code, called BIOS, initiates the loading of the PC’s operating system, which is then read from the disk drive. In the case of other digital electronic devices, the program code is stored in its entirety in nonvolatile memory, generally flash memory. As a result, virtually every digital electronic system that uses a processor or controller for computing, consumer electronics, communications, and industrial applications requires nonvolatile memory. The predominant forms of nonvolatile memory include Read-Only Memory, Programmable Read-Only Memory and flash memory.

System manufacturers generally prefer nonvolatile memory devices that can be reprogrammed efficiently in the system in order to achieve several important advantages. With re-programmable memory, manufacturers can cost effectively change program codes in response to faster product cycles and changing market specifications. This in turn greatly simplifies inventory management and manufacturing processes. Reprogrammable memory also allows the manufacturer to reconfigure or update a system either locally or through a network connection. In addition, in-system reprogrammable devices can be used for data storage functions, such as storage of phone numbers for speed dialing in a cellular phone or captured images in a digital camera. Flash memory provides these features better than other forms of nonvolatile memory.

Flash memory is the predominant reprogrammable nonvolatile memory device used to store program code and data. Flash memory can electrically erase select blocks of data on the device much faster and more simply than with alternative solutions, such as Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory, or EPROM. Moreover, flash memory is significantly less expensive than other re-programmable solutions, such as Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory, or EEPROMs. As a result, the demand for flash memory has grown dramatically. This growth has been fueled by the need for code sharing and other storage functions in a wide array of digital devices. According to a January 2006 Webfeet Research report, worldwide flash memory revenue was $19.9 billion in 2005 and is expected to grow to $27.5 billion in 2006 and to $46.5 billion in 2010.

Our Solution

We are a leading supplier of flash memory semiconductor devices. We believe our proprietary flash memory technology, SuperFlash, offers superior performance, high reliability and a fast, fixed erase time. We further believe that our SuperFlash technology can be scaled to use the semiconductor industry’s most advanced technology nodes and can employ the industry’s lowest cost manufacturing processes.

4




Our memory devices have densities ranging from 256,000 bits (256 Kb) to 64 million bits (64 Mb) and are generally used for the storage of program code. These memory products are generally called NOR products. These products are generally used to store the instruction set used by the microprocessor or controller in the electronic system product to direct its function. NOR memory can also be used to store data for the system user, but it is generally less expensive to use NAND memory for this purpose. While NOR memory can be used to store data, NAND memory is generally not useful for the storage of instruction code as its interface allows only sequential access to data. As a result, electronic systems often use NOR alone or NOR and NAND together but virtually never NAND memory alone.

Our Strategy

Our objective is to be the leading worldwide supplier of NOR flash memory devices, a leading supplier of other semiconductor products in the consumer electronics market and the leading licensor of embedded flash technology. We intend to achieve our objectives by:

Maintaining a leading position in the program code storage market.   We believe that program code storage is an attractive segment of the flash memory market. The number, variety and performance of digital electronic applications continue to increase. Virtually all of these devices need some sort of nonvolatile memory to direct the function of the product’s microprocessor or controller. We believe that our proprietary SuperFlash technology is superior because it offers higher reliability and better performance at a lower cost than competing solutions. We regularly introduce additional standard and application specific memory products, including our ComboMemory products. ComboMemory products are used for wireless and portable applications that combine volatile and nonvolatile memory on a single monolithic device or on multiple die in a common package for optimized performance. We are extending our family of serial flash products which offer smaller form factors for manufacturers that are producing ever smaller and more compact consumer devices. In addition, we are continuing to develop versions of our products that consume less power. These lower voltage devices are particularly desirable when applied in battery-powered electronic systems. For PC BIOS applications, we are also expanding our Low Pin Count, or LPC, Firmware Flash product offering.

Continuing to enhance our leading flash memory technology.   We believe that our proprietary SuperFlash technology is less complicated, more reliable, more scalable and more cost-effective than competing flash memory technologies. Our ongoing research and development efforts are focused on enhancing our leading flash memory technology by working closely with technology partners who operate wafer fabrication facilities with advanced lithographic and other manufacturing equipment. As consumer electronics companies produce more complex and more compact products,  we intend to meet their needs and continue to produce some of the smallest and thinnest semiconductor products. We are also  developing and reducing the cost of the associated assembly technologies.

Leveraging our technology and supply chain to become a premier provider of additional semiconductor products.   Many consumer electronics products incorporate our flash memory products. We are expanding our product line to include additional devices that these manufacturers need for their products. We provide RF power amplifier and transceiver products for wireless applications such as cellular phones, GPS, WLAN, Bluetooth, data pagers and cordless telephones. We also provide programmable high-density (NAND) memory controllers that we believe give electronics systems manufacturers superior flexibility in the design and manufacture of their systems. We also offer a selection of our products in die form. This allows our customers to develop multi-chip module products for unusual or small form factor products such as Bluetooth earsets and GPS receivers. We also provide multi-chip module products that incorporate die from other semiconductor manufacturers. We intend to continue to develop products and our supply chain to take advantage of the significant growth opportunities in the wireless applications market with specific focus on cellular phone, GPS, WLAN and Bluetooth applications.

5




Maintaining a leading position in licensing embedded flash technology.   We believe that our proprietary SuperFlash technology is well-suited for embedded memory applications, which integrate flash memory and other functions onto a monolithic chip. Many electronic system manufacturers have incorporated our technology into the semiconductor devices that are at the heart of their products. We are expanding our licensing of SuperFlash technology to additional semiconductor wafer foundries at finer technology nodes for embedded flash applications to enhance the value of our technology to these electronic system manufacturers. Many digital electronic devices currently being introduced, such as MP3 players, digital cameras and PDAs, require high-density (NAND) flash memory for storing music, pictures and other data that require large data storage capacities in addition to the NOR memory required to operate the system’s controller. We believe that the market for high-density (NAND) flash memory is attractive based on its potential size and growth. We are further developing our technology to address the high-density (NAND) flash memory markets and are licensing our technology to semiconductor manufacturers that intend to compete in this market.

Our Products

Currently, we offer low and medium density devices (256 Kbit to 64 Mbit) that target a broad range of existing and emerging applications in the digital consumer, networking, wireless communications and Internet computing markets. Our products are segmented largely based upon attributes such as density, voltage, access speed, package and target application. We divide our products into four reportable segments: the Standard Memory Product Group, or SMPG, the Application Specific Product Group, or ASPG, the Special Product Group, or SPG and SST Communications Corporation, or SCC.

SMPG.   SMPG includes the Multi-Purpose Flash, or MPF, family, the Multi-Purpose Flash Plus, or MPF+, family and the Many-Time Programmable, or MTP, family. These product families allow us to produce products optimized for cost and functionality to support a broad range of mainstream applications that use nonvolatile memory products. Effective July 1, 2003, we transferred the Small Sector Flash, or SSF, family from SMPG to SPG. Effective January 1, 2004, we transferred the last MTP series of products from SMPG to SPG. Accordingly, our segment revenues and gross profit information have been reclassified for presentation purposes as if transfers occurred as of January 1, 2003.

ASPG.   ASPG includes Concurrent SuperFlash, Serial Flash, Firmware Hub, or FWH, and Low Pin Count, or LPC, flash products. These products are designed to address specific applications such as cellular phones, hard disk drives, optical drives and PCs. ASPG also includes flash embedded controllers such as the ATA flash disk controller for consumer, industrial and mass data storage applications. We acquired a majority ownership of Emosyn on September 10, 2004. On April 15, 2005, we acquired the remaining minority interest of Emosyn. As a result of the acquisition of the remaining minority interest, the management of Emosyn’s products was integrated into ASPG. Commencing in the second quarter of 2005, we no longer considered Emosyn its own reportable segment and Emosyn’s flash memory based smart-card IC’s were included in ASPG. These products are used primarily in cell phone applications and include such benefits of use as lower power consumption, long term data retention and high endurance of data access. Our segment revenues and gross margin information have been reclassified for presentation purposes as if the transfer occurred as of September 10, 2004. Effective January 1, 2003, we transferred FlashFlex51 microcontroller products from ASPG to SPG. Accordingly, our segment revenues and gross profit information have been reclassified for presentation purposes as if the transfer occurred as of January 1, 2003.

SPG.   SPG includes ComboMemory, ROM/RAM Combos, SSF, MTP, FlashFlex51 microcontroller and other special flash products. These products are used in applications requiring low power and a small form factor such as cellular phones, wireless modems, MP3 systems, pagers and digital organizers. Effective January 1, 2003, we transferred certain MTP products from SMPG to SPG and certain flash microcontroller products from ASPG to SPG. Effective July 1, 2003, we transferred the SSF family from

6




SMPG to SPG. Effective January 1, 2004, we transferred the last MTP series of products from SMPG to SPG. Accordingly, our segment revenues and gross profit information have been reclassified for presentation purposes as if the transfer occurred as of January 1, 2003.

SCC.   SCC products include RF transceiver, synthesizer, power amplifier and switch products. These products provide end-to-end RF solutions to enable wireless multimedia and broadband networking applications. We formed SST Communications Corporation and acquired substantially all of the assets of G-Plus, Inc. on November 5, 2004.

Technology Licensing

We license our SuperFlash technology to semiconductor manufacturers for use in embedded flash applications. We intend to increase our market share by entering into additional license agreements for our SuperFlash process and memory cell technology with leading wafer foundries and semiconductor manufacturers. We expect to continue to receive licensing fees and royalties from these agreements. We design our products using our patented memory cell technology and fabricate them using our patented process technology. As of December 31, 2005, we held 168 patents in the United States relating to certain aspects of our products and processes, with expiration dates ranging from 2010 to 2024 and have filed for several more. In addition, we hold several patents in Europe, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China.

Customers

We provide high-performance flash memory solutions and other products to customers in four major markets: digital consumer, networking, wireless communications and Internet computing. Our customers benefit by obtaining products that we believe are highly reliable, technologically advanced and have attractive cost structures. As a result of these highly desirable benefits, we have developed relationships with many of the industry’s leading companies. In digital consumer products, we provide products for consumer electronic companies including Funai, Orion, Apple, ALCO, Inventec, Reingncom, Sagem, Bang & Olufsen, BenQ, Canon, Creative Technologies, Daewoo, Hitachi, Hon Hai, JVC, LG, Lite-On, BBK, Kaon Media, Sandmartin, Matetel, Micro, Mustek, Nintendo, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp, Sony, TCL, TEAC, Toshiba, Thomson, TiVo and Micronas. In networking, we provide products for Broadcom, Atheros, Buffalo, Cameo Communications, Conexant, Austek, Gemtech, Hon Hai, Mitsumi, Sagem, Samsung, Tecom, Huawei, ZTE, Alpha Networks, Cybertan and Avocent. In wireless communications, we provide products for companies including Cambridge Silicon Radio, Sagem, Mitsumi, Alps, Bang & Olufsen, Binatone, CCT, Crestfounder, Eastern Peace Smart Card, GN Netcom, Haier, Hon Hai, Inventec, Ningbo Bird, Orga Samsung, Sagem, Syscom, Tecom, USI, Watchdata, Vtech , Xinwei and ZTE. In Internet computing, we provide a wide array of products for companies including Apple, Asustek, Compal, Dell, ECS, FIC, Fitjitsu, Gigabyte, Hon Hai, HP, Intel, Inventec, Lenovo, LG,  Lexmark, Lite-On, Matsushita, Mitac, Quanta, Samsung, Fujitsu, Siemens, Sharp, Seagate, Western Digital Maxtor and Wistron.

7




The following tables illustrate the geographic regions in which our customers or licensees operate based on the country to which the product is shipped by us or the logistics center or license revenue is generated.

 

 

Year ended December 31,

 

 

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

United States

 

$

19,600

 

$

32,833

 

$

21,261

 

Europe

 

9,957

 

28,863

 

32,008

 

Japan

 

27,575

 

35,233

 

26,455

 

Korea

 

25,214

 

36,715

 

32,702

 

Taiwan

 

109,254

 

125,491

 

74,753

 

China (including Hong Kong)

 

76,107

 

148,100

 

208,658

 

Other Asian Countries

 

27,334

 

41,963

 

35,062

 

 

 

$

295,041

 

$

449,198

 

$

430,899

 

 

Sales and Distribution

We sell a majority of our products to customers in Asia through our representatives. We distribute a majority of our products through our logistics center. We also sell and distribute our products in North America and Europe through manufacturers’ representatives and distributors. Our manufacturer representative and distributor relationships are generally cancelable, with reasonable notice, by either party.

Backlog

Our product sales are made primarily using short-term cancelable purchase orders. The quantities actually purchased by the customer, as well as shipment schedules, are frequently revised to reflect changes in the customer’s needs and in our supply of products.  Accordingly, the dollar amount associated our backlog of open purchase orders at any given time is not a meaningful indicator of future sales.  Changes in the amount of our backlog do not necessarily reflect a corresponding change in the level of actual or potential sales.

Applications

As the Digital Consumer, Networking, Wireless Communications and Internet Computing industries continue to expand and diversify, new applications are likely to be developed. We believe our products are designed to address this expanding set of applications:

Digital Consumer

 

Networking

 

Wireless
Communications

 

Internet
Computing

TV Replayer

 

Set-top Box

 

VoIP

 

Cellular Phone

 

Information Appliance

Digital TV

 

CD-ROM Drive

 

DSL Modem

 

Data Pager

 

Notebook PC

Digital Camera

 

CD-RW Drive

 

Cable Modem

 

Cordless

 

Desktop PC

Digital Camcorder

 

DVD-ROM Drive

 

V.90/56K Modem

 

Telephone

 

Hard Disk Drive

DVD Player

 

DVD-RAM Drive

 

Wireless LAN

 

GPS on Cellular

 

ICD Monitor

DVD Recorder

 

DVD-RW Drive

 

Network

 

Phone

 

Palm PC

VCD Player

 

Web Browser

 

Interface Card

 

Bluetooth

 

X-PC

MP3 Player

 

Hand-held GPS

 

Router/Switch

 

Applications

 

Server

Video Game

 

Electronic Toys

 

 

 

Wireless Modems

 

Graphics Card

PDA

 

Smart Cards

 

 

 

 

 

Printer

Electronic Book

 

Memory Cards

 

 

 

 

 

Copier/Scanner

Remote Controller

 

Electronic

 

 

 

 

 

Bar Code Scanner

 

 

Organizer

 

 

 

 

 

Thin Client System

 

8




Manufacturing

We purchase wafers and sorted die from semiconductor manufacturing foundries, have this product shipped directly to subcontractors for packaging, testing, and finishing, and then ship the final product to our customers. Virtually all of our subcontractors are located in Asia.

Wafer and Sorted Die.   During 2005, our major wafer fabrication foundries were TSMC, Grace, Sanyo, Samsung and Seiko-Epson. In 2005, wafer sort, which is the process of testing individual die on silicon wafer, was performed at King Yuan Electronics Company, Limited, or KYE, Lingsen, Samsung, Sanyo, Seiko-Epson and TSMC. Although capacity is not guaranteed, under our arrangements, we generally receive preferential treatment regarding wafer pricing and capacity. In order to obtain, on an ongoing basis, an adequate supply of wafers, we have considered and will continue to consider various possible options, including equity investments in foundries in exchange for guaranteed production volumes, the formation of joint ventures to own and operate foundries and the licensing of our proprietary technology. We have invested $83.2 million in Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation, or GSMC, a Cayman Islands company, which has been funded mostly by investors who reside outside of China. Grace is GSMC’s wafer foundry subsidiary and is located in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. Grace has been manufacturing our products since late 2003.

Packaging, Testing and Finishing.   In the assembly process, the individual dies are separated and assembled into packages. Following assembly, the packaged devices require testing and finishing to segregate conforming from nonconforming devices and to identify devices by performance levels. Currently, all devices are tested and inspected pursuant to our quality assurance program at our domestic or international subcontracted test facilities or at our test facilities in Sunnyvale, California before shipment to customers. Certain facilities currently perform consolidated assembly, packaging, test and finishing operations all at the same location. During 2005, most subcontracted facilities performing the substantial majority of our operations were in Taiwan. The subcontractors with the largest amount of our activity are KYE, Lingsen, and Powertech Technology, Incorporated, or PTI. We hold equity investments in three subcontractors: Apacer Technology, Inc., or Apacer, KYE and PTI. For newly released products, the initial test and finishing activities are performed at our Sunnyvale facility.

Research and Development

We believe that our future success will depend in part on the development of next generation technologies with reduced feature size. During 2003, 2004 and 2005, we spent $43.1 million, $46.9 million and $49.0 million, respectively, on research and development. Our research efforts are focused on process development and product development. Our research strategy is to collaborate with our partners to advance our technologies. We work simultaneously with several partners on the development of multiple generations of technologies. In addition, we allocate our resources and personnel into category-specific teams to focus on new product development. From time to time we invest in, jointly develop with, license or acquire technology from other companies in the course of developing products.

Competition

The semiconductor industry is intensely competitive and has been characterized by price erosion, rapid technological change and product obsolescence. We compete with major domestic and international semiconductor companies, many of whom have substantially greater financial, technical, marketing, distribution, manufacturing and other resources than us. Our low density memory products, sales of which presently account for substantially all of our revenues, compete against products offered by Spansion (AMD/Fujitsu), Atmel, Intel, Macronix, ST Microelectronics, PMC and Winbond. Our medium-density memory products compete with products offered by Spansion, Intel, ST Microelectronics, Mitsubishi, Samsung, Sharp Electronics and Toshiba. If we are successful in developing our high-density products,

9




these products will compete principally with products offered by Spansion, Atmel, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Intel, Mitsubishi, Samsung, SanDisk, Sharp Electronics, ST Microelectronics and Toshiba, as well as any new entrants to the market. In addition, competition may come from alternative technologies such as ferroelectric random access memory device, or FRAM, technology.

The competition in the existing markets for some of our other product families, such as the FlashFlex51 microcontroller product family, is extremely intense. We compete principally with major companies such as Atmel, Microchip Technology, Freescale Semiconductor, Inc, Philips and Winbond in the microcontroller market. We may, in the future, also experience direct competition from our foundry partners. We have licensed to our foundry partners the right to fabricate certain products based on our proprietary technology and circuit design, and to sell such products worldwide, subject to royalty payments back to us. Our SmartCard products compete with Masked ROM and flash or EEPROM offerings primarily from Infineon, Renesas, Samsung and ST Microelectronics. For radio frequency and IC products, the competition in the existing markets is also extremely intense. SCC competes primarily with Microsemi, SiGe, Micromobio, Anadigics and Maxim especially in the WLAN (WiFi 802) markets.

We compete principally on price, reliability, functionality and the ability to offer timely delivery to customers. While we believe that our low density memory products currently compete favorably on the basis of cost, reliability and functionality, it is important to note that some of our principal competitors have a significant advantage over us in terms of greater financial, technical and marketing resources. Our long-term ability to compete successfully in the evolving flash memory market will depend on factors both within and beyond our control, including access to advanced process technologies at competitive prices, successful and timely product development, wafer supply, product pricing, actions of our competitors and general economic conditions.

Employees

As of December 31, 2005, we employed 631 individuals on a full-time basis, all but 240 of whom reside in the United States. Of these 631 employees, 96 were employed in manufacturing support, 339 in engineering, 102 in sales and marketing and 94 in administration, finance and information technology. Our employees are not represented by a collective bargaining agreement, nor have we ever experienced any work stoppage related to strike activity. We believe that our relationship with our employees is good.

Executive Officers

The following table lists the names, ages and positions of our executive officers as of January 1, 2006. There are no family relationships between any executive officer of SST. Executive officers serve at the discretion of our board of directors.

Name

 

 

 

Age

 

Position

Bing Yeh

 

55

 

President and Chief Executive Officer

Yaw Wen Hu

 

56

 

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Derek Best

 

55

 

Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Michael Briner

 

58

 

Senior Vice President, Application Specific Product Group

Chen Tsai

 

54

 

Senior Vice President, Worldwide Backend Operations

Paul Lui

 

55

 

Vice President, Special Product Group

Jack K. Lai

 

51

 

Vice President, Administration and Corporate Development

Arthur O. Whipple

 

57

 

Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer

 

Bing Yeh, one of our co-founders, has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer and has been a member of our board of directors since our inception in 1989. Prior to that, Mr. Yeh served as a senior research and development manager of Xicor, Inc., a nonvolatile memory semiconductor company.

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From 1981 to 1984, Mr. Yeh held program manager and other positions at Honeywell Inc. From 1979 to 1981, Mr. Yeh was a senior development engineer of EEPROM technology of Intel Corporation. He was a Ph.D. candidate in Applied Physics and earned an Engineer degree at Stanford University. Mr. Yeh holds a M.S. and a B.S. in Physics from National Taiwan University.

Yaw Wen Hu, Ph.D., joined us in July 1993 as Vice President, Technology Development. In 1997, he was given the additional responsibility of wafer manufacturing and, in August 1999, he became Vice President, Operations and Process Development. In January 2000, he was promoted to Senior Vice President, Operations and Process Development. In April 2004, he was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Hu has been a member of our board of directors since September 1995. From 1990 to 1993, Dr. Hu served as deputy general manager of technology development of Vitelic Taiwan Corporation. From 1988 to 1990, he served as FAB engineering manager of Integrated Device Technology, Inc. From 1985 to 1988, he was the director of technology development at Vitelic Corporation. From 1978 to 1985, he worked as a senior development engineer in Intel Corporation’s Technology Development Group. Dr. Hu holds a B.S. in Physics from National Taiwan University and a M.S. in Computer Engineering and a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Stanford University.

Derek Best joined us in June 1997 as Vice President of Sales and Marketing. In June 2000 he was promoted to Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing. Prior to joining SST he worked for Micromodule Systems, a manufacturer of high-density interconnect technology, as vice president marketing and sales world wide from 1992 to 1996. From 1987 to 1992 he was a co-founder and owner of Mosaic Semiconductor, a SRAM and module semiconductor company. Mr. Best holds an Electrical Engineering degree from Portsmouth University in England.

Michael Briner joined us as Vice President, Design Engineering in November 1997, and became Vice President, Products during 1999. He was promoted to Senior Vice President of Application Specific Product Group in February 2001. From 1993 to 1997, he served as vice president of design engineering for Micron Quantum Devices, Inc., a subsidiary of Micron Technology, Inc., chartered to develop and manufacture flash memory products. From 1986 through 1992, he served as director of design engineering for the Nonvolatile Division of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. In this position, he was instrumental in helping AMD become a major nonvolatile memory manufacturer. Mr. Briner holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati.

Chen Tsai joined us in August 1996 as Senior Manager, Yield Enhancement and became Director, Product and Test Engineering the same year. In 1999, he became Director of Worldwide Backend Operations and in 2000 he was promoted to Vice President of Worldwide Backend Operations. In October 2004, Mr. Tsai was appointed Senior Vice President of Worldwide Backend Operations. From 1992 to 1996, Mr. Tsai was Manager of Process Development at Atmel Corporation, a manufacturer of semiconductors, where he was also a staff engineer of E2PROM from 1989 to 1992. From 1988 to 1989, he was vice president of technology at Tristar Technology, Inc., a wireless systems company. From 1980 to 1988 he held various positions at Xicor, Inc. and Teledyne Semiconductor. Mr. Tsai holds a B.S. in Physics from Show Chu University and a M.S. in both Physics and Electrical Engineering from Florida Institute of Technology.

Paul Lui joined us as Vice President and General Manager of the Linvex Product Line in June 1999 and became Vice President, Special Product Group in June 2001. From 1994 to 1999, he was the president and founder of Linvex Technology Corporation. From 1987 to 1994, he was the president and chief executive officer of Macronix, Inc. From 1981 to 1985, he served as group general manager at VLSI Technology, Inc. where he was responsible for transferring that company’s technology to Korea. In addition, Mr. Lui has held senior engineering positions at the Synertek Division of Honeywell and McDonnell Douglas. Mr. Lui holds an M.S.E.E. degree from University of California, Berkeley and a B.S.

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degree in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Jack Lai joined us as Vice President, Finance & Administration, Chief Financial Officer and Secretary in November 2003. In January 2006, Mr. Lai assumed the position of Vice President of Administration, Corporate Development and Secretary. Before joining SST, he was vice president and chief financial officer of Aplus Flash Technology, a memory design and manufacturing company, from 2001 to 2003. Prior to this, Mr. Lai had served as vice president of operations and finance and chief financial officer at WireX Communications, Inc., a software system developer, from 2000 to 2001 and vice president and chief financial officer at Genoa Electronics Corp., a manufacturer of computer and related systems, from 1998 to 1999. Mr. Lai holds M.B.A.’s from San Jose State University in San Jose, CA and Culture University in Taipei, Taiwan. He also holds a B.A. in business administration from Tamkang University in Taipei, Taiwan.

Arthur O. Whipple joined us in March 2005 as our Corporate Controller and was promoted to Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer in January 2006. Prior to joining SST, he was employed by QuickLogic Corp., a fabless manufacturer of field programmable logic products and embedded standard products, starting in April 1998 as its vice president of finance, chief financial officer and secretary. From July 2002 to October 2003, he served as QuickLogic’s vice president and general manager, logic products and from October 2003 to March 2005, he served as its vice president, business development. In 2004 and 2005, he also served as a financial consultant to Technovus, Inc., a privately-held fabless semiconductor manufacturer. Mr. Whipple holds a B.S.E.E. from the University of Washington and an M.B.A. from Santa Clara University.

Available Information

We were incorporated in California in 1989. Additional information is available free of charge through our Internet website, http://www.sst.com. This information includes our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and, if applicable, amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC.

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Item 1A.                Risk Factors

Business Risks

Risks Related to Our Business

Our operating results fluctuate materially, and an unanticipated decline in revenues may disappoint securities analysts or investors and result in a decline in our stock price.

Although we were profitable for the last quarter of 2005 and the year ended December 31, 2004, we incurred net losses for  the years ended December 31, 2005 and 2003. Our operating results have fluctuated significantly and our past financial performance should not be used to predict future operating results. Our recent quarterly and annual operating results have fluctuated, and may continue to fluctuate, due to the following factors, all of which are difficult to forecast and many of which are out of our control:

·       the availability, timely delivery and cost of wafers or other manufacturing and assembly services from our suppliers;

·       competitive pricing pressures and related changes in selling prices;

·       fluctuations in manufacturing yields and significant yield losses;

·       new product announcements and introductions of competing products by us or our competitors;

·       product obsolescence

·       lower of cost or market, obsolescence or other inventory adjustments;

·       changes in demand for, or in the mix of, our products;

·       the gain or loss of significant customers;

·       market acceptance of products utilizing our SuperFlash® technology;

·       changes in the channels through which our products are distributed and the timeliness of receipt of distributor resale information;

·       exchange rate fluctuations;

·       general economic, political and environmental-related conditions, such as natural disasters;

·       changes in our allowance for doubtful accounts;

·       valuation allowances on deferred tax assets based on changes in estimated future taxable income;

·       difficulties in forecasting, planning and management of inventory levels;

·       unanticipated research and development expenses associated with new product introductions; and

·       the timing of significant orders and of license and royalty revenue.

As recent experience confirms, a downturn in the market for goods that incorporate our products can also harm our operating results.

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Our operating expenses are relatively fixed, and we order materials in advance of anticipated customer demand. Therefore, we have limited ability to reduce expenses quickly in response to any revenue shortfalls.

Our operating expenses are relatively fixed, and we therefore have limited ability to reduce expenses quickly in response to any revenue shortfalls. Consequently, our operating results will be harmed if our revenues do not meet our projections. We may experience revenue shortfalls for the following reasons:

·       sudden drops in consumer demand which may cause customers to cancel backlog, push out shipment schedules, or reduce new orders, possibly due to a slowing economy or inventory corrections among our customers;

·       significant declines in selling prices that occur because of competitive price pressure during an over-supply market environment;

·       sudden shortages of raw materials for fabrication, test or assembly capacity constraints that lead our suppliers to allocate available supplies or capacity to other customers which, in turn, harm our ability to meet our sales obligations; and

·       the reduction, rescheduling or cancellation of customer orders.

In addition, political or economic events beyond our control can suddenly result in increased operating costs. In addition, we are now required to record compensation expense on stock option grants and purchases under our employee stock purchase plan which will substantially increase our operating costs and impact our earnings (loss) per share.

We incurred significant inventory valuation and adverse purchase commitment adjustments in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and we may incur additional significant inventory valuation adjustments in the future.

We typically plan our production and inventory levels based on internal forecasts of customer demand, which are highly unpredictable and can fluctuate materially. The value of our inventory is dependent on our estimate of future average selling prices, and, if our projected average selling prices are over estimated, we may be required to adjust our inventory value to reflect the lower of cost or market. As of December 31, 2005, we had $108.3 million of net inventory on hand, a decrease of $48.3 million, or 31%, from December 31, 2004. Total valuation adjustments to inventory and adverse purchase commitments were $6.7 million in 2003, $35.9 million in 2004 and $37.3 million in 2005. Due to the large number of units in our inventory, even a small change in average selling prices could result in a significant adjustment and could harm our financial results. Some of our customers have requested that we ship them product that has a finished goods date of manufacture that is less than one year old. As of December 31, 2005, our allowance for excess and obsolete inventories includes an allowance for our on hand finished goods inventory with a date of manufacture of greater than two years old and for certain products with a date of manufacture of greater than one year old. In the event that this becomes a common requirement, it may be necessary for us to provide for an additional allowance for our on hand finished goods inventory with a date of manufacture of greater than one year old, which could result in a significant adjustment and could harm our financial results.

Cancellations or rescheduling of backlog may result in lower future revenue and harm our business.

Due to possible customer changes in delivery schedules and cancellations of orders, our backlog at any particular date is not necessarily indicative of actual sales for any succeeding period. A reduction of backlog during any particular period, or the failure of our backlog to result in future revenue, could harm our business in the future. We experienced a decrease in the average selling prices of our products as a result of the industry-wide oversupply and excessive inventory in the market in the second half of 2004 and

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the first half of 2005. Although we have seen strengthening of market demand in the second half of 2005, our business could be further harmed by industry-wide prolonged downturns in the future.

Our business may suffer due to risks associated with international sales and operations.

During 2003, 2004 and 2005, our export product and licensing revenues accounted for 92.9%, 92.7% and 95.1% of our net revenues, respectively. Our international business activities are subject to a number of risks, each of which could impose unexpected costs on us that would harm our operating results. These risks include:

·       difficulties in complying with regulatory requirements and standards;

·       tariffs and other trade barriers;

·       costs and risks of localizing products for foreign countries;

·       reliance on third parties to distribute our products;

·       extended accounts receivable payment cycles;

·       potentially adverse tax consequences;

·       limits on repatriation of earnings; and

·       burdens of complying with a wide variety of foreign laws.

In addition, we have made equity investments in companies with operations in several Asian countries. The value of our investments is subject to the economic and political conditions particular to their industry, their countries and to foreign exchange rates and to the global economy. If we determine that a change in the recorded value of an investment is other than temporary, we will adjust the value of the investment. Such an expense could have a negative impact on our operating results.

We derived 90.0%, 86.0% and 87.6% of our net product revenues from Asia during 2003, 2004 and 2005, respectively. Additionally, substantially all of our wafer suppliers and packaging and testing subcontractors are located in Asia. Any kind of economic, political or environmental instability in this region of the world can have a severe negative impact on our operating results due to the large concentration of our production and sales activities in this region. If countries where we do business experience severe currency fluctuation and economic deflation, it can negatively impact our revenues and also negatively impact our ability to collect payments from customers. In this event, the lack of capital in the financial sectors of these countries may make it difficult for our customers to open letters of credit or other financial instruments that are guaranteed by foreign banks. Finally, the economic situation can exacerbate a decline in selling prices for our products as our competitors reduce product prices to generate needed cash.

It should also be noted that we are greatly impacted by the political, economic and military conditions in Taiwan. Taiwan and China are continuously engaged in political disputes and both countries have continued to conduct military exercises in or near the other’s territorial waters and airspace. Such disputes may continue and even escalate, resulting in an economic embargo, a disruption in shipping or even military hostilities. Any of these events can delay production or shipment of our products. Any kind of activity of this nature or even rumors of such activity can harm our operations, revenues, operating results, and stock price.

Terrorist attacks and threats, and government responses thereto, could harm our business.

Terrorist attacks in the United States or abroad against American interests or citizens, U.S. retaliation for these attacks, threats of additional terrorist activity and the war in Iraq have caused our customer base

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to become more cautious. Any escalation in these events or similar future events may disrupt our operations or those of our customers, distributors and suppliers, affect the availability of materials needed to manufacture our products, or affect the means to transport those materials to manufacturing facilities and finished products to customers. In addition, these events have had and may continue to have an adverse impact on the U.S. and world economy in general and consumer spending in particular, which could harm our business.

We do not typically enter into long-term contracts with our customers, and the loss of a major customer could harm our business.

We do not typically enter into long-term contracts with our customers. In addition, we cannot be certain as to future order levels from our customers. In the past, when we have entered into a long-term contract, the contract has generally been terminable at the convenience of the customer.

We depend on stocking representatives and distributors to generate a majority of our revenues.

We rely on stocking representatives and distributors to establish and maintain customer relationships and to sell our products. These stocking representatives and distributors could discontinue their relationship with us or discontinue selling our products at any time. The majority of our stocking representatives are located in Asia. The loss of our relationship with any stocking representative or distributor could harm our operating results by impairing our ability to sell our products to our end customers.

We depend on Silicon Professional Technology Ltd., or SPT, our logistics center, to support many of our customers in Asia.

We out-source our end customer service in Asia to SPT which supports our customers in Taiwan, China and other Southeast Asia countries. SPT provides forecasting, planning, warehousing, delivery, billing, collection and other logistic functions for us in these regions. SPT is a wholly owned subsidiary of Professional Computer Technology, or PCT, which is one of our stocking representatives in Taiwan. During 2003, 2004 and 2005, SPT serviced end customer shipments accounted for 64.2%, 52.9% and 58.5% of our net product revenues recognized, respectively. As of December 31, 2003, 2004, and 2005, SPT accounted for 73.4%, 55.1% and 69.6%, respectively, of our net accounts receivable. For further description of our relationships with PCT and SPT, please refer to “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation—Related Party Transactions.”

We do not have any long-term contracts with SPT, PCT or Silicon Professional Alliance Corporation, or SPAC, a subsidiary of PCT. SPT, PCT or SPAC may cease providing services to us at any time. If SPT, PCT or SPAC were to terminate their relationship with us we would experience a delay in reestablishing warehousing, logistics and distribution functions, and it could impair our ability to collect accounts receivable from SPT and may harm our business.

We depend on a limited number of foreign foundries to manufacture our products, and these foundries may not be able to satisfy our manufacturing requirements, which could cause our revenues to decline.

We outsource substantially all of our manufacturing and testing activities. We currently buy all of our wafers and sorted die from a limited number of suppliers. The majority of our products are manufactured by five foundries, TSMC in Taiwan, Seiko-Epson and Yasu in Japan and Grace and Shanghai Hua Hong NEC Electronic Company Limited, or HHNEC, in China. We have invested $83.2 million in GSMC, a Cayman Islands company, which owns a wafer foundry subsidiary, Grace, in Shanghai, China. We anticipate that these foundries, together with Sanyo in Japan, Samsung in Korea and Vanguard and Powerchip Semiconductor Corporation, or PSC, in Taiwan will manufacture substantially all of our

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products in 2006. If these suppliers fail to satisfy our requirements on a timely basis at competitive prices we could suffer manufacturing delays, a possible loss of revenues or higher than anticipated costs of revenues, any of which could harm our operating results.

Our revenues may be impacted by our ability to obtain adequate wafer supplies from our foundries. The foundries with which we currently have arrangements, together with any additional foundry at which capacity might be obtained, may not be willing or able to satisfy all of our manufacturing requirements on a timely basis at favorable prices. In addition, we have encountered delays in qualifying new products and in ramping-up new product production and we could experience these delays in the future. We are also subject to the risks of service disruptions, raw material shortages and price increases by our foundries. Such disruptions, shortages and price increases could harm our operating results.

Manufacturing capacity has in the past been difficult to secure and if capacity constraints arise in the future our revenues may decline.

In order to grow, we need to increase our present manufacturing capacity. We currently believe that the existing capacity plus additional future capacity from Grace, HHNEC and Vanguard available to us will be sufficient through 2006. However, events that we have not foreseen could arise which would limit our capacity. Similar to our $83.2 million investment in GSMC, we may determine that it is necessary to invest substantial capital in order to secure appropriate production capacity commitments. If we cannot secure additional manufacturing capacity on acceptable terms, our ability to grow will be impaired and our operating results will be harmed.

Our cost of revenues may increase if we are required to purchase manufacturing capacity in the future.

To obtain additional manufacturing capacity, we may be required to make deposits, equipment purchases, loans, joint ventures, equity investments or technology licenses in or with wafer fabrication companies. These transactions could involve a commitment of substantial amounts of our capital and technology licenses in return for production capacity. We may be required to seek additional debt or equity financing if we need substantial capital in order to secure this capacity and we cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain such financing.

If our foundries fail to achieve acceptable wafer manufacturing yields, we will experience higher costs of revenues and reduced product availability.

The fabrication of our products requires wafers to be produced in a highly controlled and ultra-clean environment. Semiconductor companies that supply our wafers have, from time to time, experienced problems achieving acceptable wafer manufacturing yields. Semiconductor manufacturing yields are a function of both our design technology and the foundry’s manufacturing process technology. Low yields may result from marginal design or manufacturing process drift. Yield problems may not be identified until the wafers are well into the production process, which often makes them difficult, time consuming and costly to correct. Furthermore, we rely on independent foundries for our wafers which increases the effort and time required to identify, communicate and resolve manufacturing yield problems. If our foundries fail to achieve acceptable manufacturing yields, we will experience higher costs of revenues and reduced product availability, which could harm our operating results.

If our foundries discontinue the manufacturing processes needed to meet our demands, or fail to upgrade the technologies needed to manufacture our products, we may face production delays and lower revenues.

Our wafer and product requirements typically represent a small portion of the total production of the foundries that manufacture our products. As a result, we are subject to the risk that a foundry will cease production on an older or lower-volume manufacturing process that it uses to produce our parts.

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Additionally, we cannot be certain our foundries will continue to devote resources to advance the process technologies on which the manufacturing of our products is based. Either one of these events could increase our costs and harm our ability to deliver our products on time.

Our dependence on third-party subcontractors to assemble and test our products subjects us to a number of risks, including an inadequate supply of products and higher costs of materials.

We depend on independent subcontractors to assemble and test our products. Our reliance on these subcontractors involves the following significant risks:

·       reduced control over delivery schedules and quality;

·       the potential lack of adequate capacity during periods of strong demand;

·       difficulties selecting and integrating new subcontractors;

·       limited warranties on products supplied to us;

·       potential increases in prices due to capacity shortages and other factors; and

·       potential misappropriation of our intellectual property.

These risks may lead to increased costs, delayed product delivery or loss of competitive advantage, which would harm our profitability and customer relationships.

Because our flash memory products typically have lengthy sales cycles, we may experience substantial delays between incurring expenses related to research and development and the generation of revenues.

Due to the flash memory product cycle we usually require more than nine months to realize volume shipments after we first contact a customer. We first work with customers to achieve a design win, which may take three months or longer. Our customers then complete the design, testing and evaluation process and begin to ramp up production, a period which typically lasts an additional six months or longer. As a result, a significant period of time may elapse between our research and development efforts and our realization of revenue, if any, from volume purchasing of our products by our customers.

We face intense competition from companies with significantly greater financial, technical and marketing resources that could harm sales of our products.

We compete with major domestic and international semiconductor companies, many of which have substantially greater financial, technical, marketing, distribution, and other resources than we do. Many of our competitors have their own facilities for the production of semiconductor memory components and have recently added significant capacity for such production. As noted under the section entitled Competition (see above), our low density memory products, medium density memory products, and high density memory products (if we are successful in developing these products) face substantial competition.

In addition, we may in the future experience direct competition from our foundry partners. We have licensed to our foundry partners the right to fabricate products based on our technology and circuit design, and to sell such products worldwide, subject to our receipt of royalty payments.

Competition may also come from alternative technologies such as ferroelectric random access memory devices, or FRAM, or other developing technologies.

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Our markets are subject to rapid technological change and, therefore, our success depends on our ability to develop and introduce new products.

The markets for our products are characterized by:

·       rapidly changing technologies;

·       evolving and competing industry standards;

·       changing customer needs;

·       frequent new product introductions and enhancements;

·       increased integration with other functions; and

·       rapid product obsolescence.

To develop new products for our target markets, we must develop, gain access to and use leading technologies in a cost-effective and timely manner and continue to expand our technical and design expertise. In addition, we must have our products designed into our customers’ future products and maintain close working relationships with key customers in order to develop new products that meet their changing needs.

In addition, products for communications applications are based on continually evolving industry standards. Our ability to compete will depend on our ability to identify and ensure compliance with these industry standards. As a result, we could be required to invest significant time and effort and incur significant expense to redesign our products and ensure compliance with relevant standards. We believe that products for these applications will encounter intense competition and be highly price sensitive. While we are currently developing and introducing new products for these applications, we cannot assure you that these products will reach the market on time, will satisfactorily address customer needs, will be sold in high volume, or will be sold at profitable margins.

We cannot assure you that we will be able to identify new product opportunities successfully, develop and bring to market new products, achieve design wins or respond effectively to new technological changes or product announcements by our competitors. In addition, we may not be successful in developing or using new technologies or in developing new products or product enhancements that achieve market acceptance. Our pursuit of necessary technological advances may require substantial time and expense. Failure in any of these areas could harm our operating results.

Our future success depends in part on the continued service of our key design engineering, sales, marketing and executive personnel and our ability to identify, recruit and retain additional personnel.

We are highly dependent on Bing Yeh, our President and Chief Executive Officer, as well as the other principal members of our management team and engineering staff. There is intense competition for qualified personnel in the semiconductor industry, in particular the highly skilled design, applications and test engineers involved in the development of flash memory technology. Competition is especially intense in Silicon Valley, where our corporate headquarters is located. We may not be able to continue to attract and retain engineers or other qualified personnel necessary for the development of our business or to replace engineers or other qualified personnel who may leave our employ in the future. Our anticipated growth is expected to place increased demands on our resources and will likely require the addition of new management and engineering personnel and the development of additional expertise by existing management personnel. The failure to recruit and retain key design engineers or other technical and management personnel could harm our business.

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Our ability to compete successfully depends, in part, on our ability to protect our intellectual property rights.

We rely on a combination of patent, trade secrets, copyrights, mask work rights, nondisclosure agreements and other contractual provisions and technical measures to protect our intellectual property rights. Policing unauthorized use of our products, however, is difficult, especially in foreign countries. Litigation may continue to be necessary in the future to enforce our intellectual property rights, to protect our trade secrets, to determine the validity and scope of the proprietary rights of others, or to defend against claims of infringement or invalidity. Litigation could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources and could harm our business, operating results and financial condition regardless of the outcome of the litigation. We hold 168 patents in the United States relating to certain aspects of our products and processes, with expiration dates ranging from 2010 to 2024 and have filed for several more. In addition, we hold several patents in Europe, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China. We cannot assure you that any pending patent application will be granted. Our operating results could be harmed by the failure to protect our intellectual property.

We are engaged in securities class action suits and derivative suits, which may become time consuming, costly and divert management resources and could impact our stock price.

Securities class action law suits are often brought against companies, particularly technology companies, following periods of volatility in the market price of their securities. Irrespective of the validity or the successful assertion of such claims, we could incur significant costs and management resources in defending against such claims.

In January and February 2005, multiple putative shareholder class action complaints were filed against SST and certain directors and officers, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, following our announcement of anticipated financial results for the fourth quarter of 2004. On March 24, 2005, the putative class actions were consolidated under the caption In re Silicon Storage Technology, Inc., Securities Litigation, Case No. C 05 00295 PJH (N.D. Cal.). On May 3, 2005, the Honorable Phyllis J. Hamilton appointed the “Louisiana Funds Group,” consisting of the Louisiana School Employees’ Retirement System and the Louisiana District Attorneys’ Retirement System, to serve as lead plaintiff and the law firms of Pomeranz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross LLP and Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo to serve as lead counsel and liason counsel, respectively, for the class. The lead plaintiff filed a Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint on July 15, 2005. The complaint seeks unspecified damages on alleged violations of federal securities laws during the period from April 21, 2004 to December 20, 2004. We moved to dismiss the complaint on September 16, 2005. Plaintiff served an opposition to the motion to dismiss on November 4, 2005. Our reply in further support of the motion to dismiss was filed on December 19, 2005. On January 18, 2006, the Court heard arguments on the motion to dismiss. On March 10, 2006, the Court granted our motion to dismiss the consolidated amended complaint, with leave to file an amended complaint. Pursuant to the Court’s Order, any amended complaint must be filed no later that April 14, 2006. We intend to take all appropriate action in response to these lawsuits. The impact related to the outcome of these matters is undeterminable at this time.

In January and February 2005, following the filing of the putative class actions, multiple shareholder derivative complaints were filed in California Superior Court for the County of Santa Clara, purportedly on behalf of SST against certain of our directors and officers. The factual allegations of these complaints are substantially identical to those contained in the putative shareholder class actions filed in federal court. The derivative complaints assert claims for, among other things, breach of fiduciary duty and violations of the California Corporations Code. These derivative actions have been consolidated under the caption In Re Silicon Storage Technology, Inc. Derivative Litigation, Lead Case No. 1:05CV034387 (Cal. Super. Ct., Santa Clara Co.). On April 28, 2005, the derivative action was stayed by court order. We intend to take all appropriate action in response to these lawsuits.

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Public announcements may hurt our stock price.   During the course of these lawsuits there may be public announcements of the results of hearings, motions, and other interim proceedings or developments in the litigation. If securities analysts or investors perceive these results to be negative, it could harm the market price of our stock.

Our litigation may be expensive, may be protracted and confidential information may be compromised.   We have incurred certain costs associated with defending these matters, and at any time, additional claims may be filed against us, which could increase the risk, expense and duration of the litigation. Further, because of the amount of discovery required in connection with this type of litigation, there is a risk that some of our confidential information could be compromised by disclosure. For more information with respect to our litigation, please also see “Part I, Item 3—Legal Proceedings.”

If we are accused of infringing the intellectual property rights of other parties we may become subject to time consuming and costly litigation. If we lose, we could suffer a significant impact on our business and be forced to pay damages.

Third parties may assert that our products infringe their proprietary rights, or may assert claims for indemnification resulting from infringement claims against us. Any such claims may cause us to delay or cancel shipment of our products or pay damages that could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, irrespective of the validity or the successful assertion of such claims, we could incur significant costs in defending against such claims.

In the past, we were sued by Atmel Corporation and Intel Corporation, among others, regarding patent infringement. Significant management time and financial resources were devoted to defending these lawsuits. We settled with Intel in May 1999 and with Atmel in June 2005.

In addition to the Atmel and Intel actions, we receive from time to time, letters or communications from other companies stating that such companies have patent rights that involve our products. Since the design of all of our products is based on SuperFlash technology, any legal finding that the use of our SuperFlash technology infringes the patent of another company would have a significantly negative effect on our entire product line and operating results. Furthermore, if such a finding were made, there can be no assurance that we could license the other company’s technology on commercially reasonable terms or that we could successfully operate without such technology. Moreover, if we are found to infringe, we could be required to pay damages to the owner of the protected technology and could be prohibited from making, using, selling, or importing into the United States any products that infringe the protected technology. In addition, the management attention consumed by and legal cost associated with any litigation could harm our operating results. During the course of these lawsuits there may be public announcements of the results of hearings, motions, and other interim proceedings or developments in the litigation. If securities analysts or investors perceive these results to be negative, it could harm the market price of our stock.

If an earthquake or other natural disaster strikes our manufacturing facility or those of our suppliers, we would be unable to manufacture our products for a substantial amount of time and we would experience lost revenues.

Our corporate headquarters are located in California near major earthquake faults. In addition, some of our suppliers are located near fault lines. In the event of a major earthquake or other natural disaster near our headquarters, our operations could be harmed. Similarly, a major earthquake or other natural disaster such as typhoon near one or more of our major suppliers, like the earthquakes in September 1999 and March 2002 or the typhoons in September 2001and July 2005 that occurred in Taiwan, could potentially disrupt the operations of those suppliers, which could then limit the supply of our products and harm our business.

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A virus or viral outbreak in Asia could harm our business.

We derive substantially all of our revenues from Asia and our logistics center is located in Taiwan. A virus or viral outbreak in Asia, such as the SARS outbreak in early 2003 or the current threat of the Avian flu, could harm the operations of our suppliers, distributors, logistics center and those of our end customers, which could harm our business.

Prolonged electrical power outages, energy shortages, or increased costs of energy could harm our business.

Our design and process research and development facilities and our corporate offices are located in California, which is susceptible to power outages and shortages as well as increased energy costs. To limit this exposure, all corporate computer systems at our main California facilities are on battery back-up. In addition, all of our engineering and back-up servers and selected corporate servers are on generator back-up. While the majority of our production facilities are not located in California, more extensive power shortages in the state could delay our design and process research and development as well as increase our operating costs.

Our growth has in the past placed a significant strain on our management systems and resources and if we fail to manage our growth, our ability to market or sell our products or develop new products may be harmed.

Our business has in the past experienced rapid growth which strained our internal systems and future growth will require us to continuously develop sophisticated information management systems in order to manage our business effectively. We have implemented a supply-chain management system and a vendor electronic data interface system. There is no guarantee that these measures, in themselves, will be adequate to address any growth, or that we will be able to foresee in a timely manner other infrastructure needs before they arise. Our success depends on the ability of our executive officers to effectively manage our growth. If we are unable to manage our growth effectively, our results of operations will be harmed. If we fail to successfully implement new management information systems, our business may suffer severe inefficiencies that may harm the results of our operations.

Future changes in financial accounting standards or practices or existing taxation rules or practices may cause adverse unexpected revenue fluctuations and affect our reported results of operations.

A change in accounting standards or practices or a change in existing taxation rules or practices can have a significant effect on our reported results and may even affect reporting of transactions completed before the change is effective. New accounting pronouncements and taxation rules and varying interpretations of accounting pronouncements and taxation practice have occurred and may occur in the future. Changes to existing rules or the questioning of current practices may adversely affect our reported financial results or the way we conduct our business.

For example, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, or FASB, has issued changes to generally accepted accounting principles in the United States that, when implemented in the first quarter of 2006, will require us to record charges to earnings for the stock options we grant and purchases of our common stock under our employee stock purchase plan.

Evolving regulation of corporate governance and public disclosure may result in additional expenses and continuing uncertainty

Changing laws, regulations and standards relating to corporate governance and public disclosure, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, new SEC regulations and NASDAQ National Market rules are creating uncertainty for public companies. We continually evaluate and monitor developments with respect

22




to new and proposed rules and cannot predict or estimate the amount of the additional costs we may incur or the timing of such costs. These new or changed laws, regulations and standards are subject to varying interpretations, in many cases due to their lack of specificity, and as a result, their application in practice may evolve over time as new guidance is provided by regulatory and governing bodies. This could result in continuing uncertainty regarding compliance matters and higher costs necessitated by ongoing revisions to disclosure and governance practices. We are committed to maintaining high standards of corporate governance and public disclosure. As a result, we have invested resources to comply with evolving laws, regulations and standards, and this investment has resulted in increased general and administrative expenses and a diversion of management time and attention from revenue-generating activities to compliance activities. If our efforts to comply with new or changed laws, regulations and standards differ from the activities intended by regulatory or governing bodies due to ambiguities related to practice, regulatory authorities may initiate legal proceedings against us and we may be harmed.

We, and our independent registered public accounting firm, determined that we had a material weakness in our internal controls over financial reporting in 2004. In the future, such events could cause our current and potential stockholders to lose confidence in our financial reporting, which would harm our business and the trading price of our stock.

Under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, we are required to evaluate and determine the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting. We have dedicated a significant amount of time and resources to ensure compliance with this legislation for the year ended December 31, 2005 and will continue to do so for future fiscal periods. We may encounter problems or delays in completing the review and evaluation, the implementation of improvements and the receipt of a positive attestation, or any attestation at all, by our independent regional accounting firm. Additionally, management’s assessment of our internal controls over financial reporting may identify deficiencies that need to be addressed in our internal controls over financial reporting or other matters that may raise concerns for investors.

As of December 31, 2004, we did not maintain effective control over accounting for and review of the valuation of inventory, the income tax provision and related balance sheet accounts and licensing revenue because we lacked a sufficient complement of personnel with a level of accounting expertise that is commensurate with our financial reporting requirements. Because of this material weakness, our management concluded that, as of December 31, 2004, we did not maintain effective internal control over financial reporting based on those criteria. As a result, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, issued an adverse opinion with respect to our internal controls over financial reporting and their report is included in our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2004. As of December 31, 2005, these material weaknesses had been remediated. For further information, see Item 9A—“Controls and Procedures” on page 43.

Should we, or our independent registered public accounting firm, determine in future fiscal periods that we have additional material weaknesses in our internal controls over financial reporting, the reliability of our financial reports may be impacted, and our results of operations or financial condition may be harmed and the price of our common stock may decline.

Acquisitions could result in operating difficulties, dilution and other harmful consequences.

Over the past two years we have acquired Emosyn, G-Plus and Actrans. We expect to continue to evaluate and consider a wide array of potential strategic transactions, including business combinations, acquisitions and dispositions of businesses, technologies, services, products and other assets, including interests in our existing subsidiaries and joint ventures. At any given time we may be engaged in discussions or negotiations with respect to one or more of such transactions. Any of such transactions could be material to our financial condition and results of operations. There is no assurance that any such discussions or negotiations will result in the consummation of any transaction. The process of integrating

23




any acquired business may create unforeseen operating difficulties and expenditures and is itself risky. The areas where we may face difficulties include:

·       diversion of management time, as well as a shift of focus from operating the businesses to issues of integration and future products;

·       declining employee morale and retention issues resulting from changes in compensation, reporting relationships, future prospects, or the direction of the business;

·       the need to integrate each company’s accounting, management information, human resource and other administrative systems to permit effective management, and the lack of control if such integration is delayed or not implemented;

·       the need to implement controls, procedures and policies appropriate for a public company at companies that prior to acquisition had lacked such controls, procedures and policies; and in some cases, the need to transition operations onto our platforms and

·       in some cases, the need to transition operations onto our technology platforms.

International acquisitions involve additional risks, including those related to integration of operations across different cultures and languages, currency risks, and the particular economic, political, and regulatory risks associated with specific countries. Moreover, we may not realize the anticipated benefits of any or all of our acquisitions. As a result of future acquisitions or mergers, we might need to issue additional equity securities, spend our cash, or incur debt, contingent liabilities, or amortization expenses related to intangible assets, any of which could reduce our profitability and harm our business.

Risks Related to Our Industry

Our success is dependent on the growth and strength of the flash memory market.

Substantially all of our products, as well as all new products currently under design, are stand-alone flash memory devices or devices embedded with flash memory. A memory technology other than SuperFlash may be adopted as an industry standard. Our competitors are generally in a better financial and marketing position than we are from which to influence industry acceptance of a particular memory technology. In particular, a primary source of competition may come from alternative technologies such as FRAM devices if such technology is commercialized for higher density applications. To the extent our competitors are able to promote a technology other than SuperFlash as an industry standard, our business will be seriously harmed.

The selling prices for our products are extremely volatile and have historically declined during periods of over capacity or industry downturns.

The semiconductor industry has historically been cyclical, characterized by periodic changes in business conditions caused by product supply and demand imbalance. When the industry experiences downturns, they often occur in connection with, or in anticipation of, maturing product cycles and declines in general economic conditions. These downturns are characterized by weak product demand, excessive inventory and accelerated declines of average selling prices. In some cases, downturns, such as the one we experienced from late 2000 through 2002, have lasted for more than a year. Our business could be further harmed by industry-wide prolonged downturns in the future. These downturns are characterized by weak product demand, excessive inventory and accelerated decline of selling prices. We experienced a decrease in the average selling prices of our products as a result of the industry-wide oversupply and excessive inventory in the market in the second half of 2004 and the first half of 2005. Although we have seen strengthening of market demand in the second half of 2005, our business could be further harmed by industry-wide prolonged downturns in the future.

24




There is seasonality in our business and if we fail to continue to introduce new products this seasonality may become more pronounced.

Sales of our products in the consumer electronics applications market are subject to seasonality. As a result, sales of these products are impacted by seasonal purchasing patterns with higher sales generally occurring in the second half of each year. In the past we have been able to mitigate such seasonality with the introduction of new products throughout the year. If we fail to continue to introduce new products, our business may suffer and the seasonality of a portion of our sales may become more pronounced.

Item 1B.               Unresolved Staff Comments

Not applicable.

Item 2.                        Properties

As of  December 31, 2005, we occupied three major facilities totaling 131 thousand square feet in Sunnyvale, California which our executive offices, research and development, principal manufacturing engineering and testing facilities are located. Of the three major facilities occupied, we own one facility totaling 20 thousand square feet and we lease two facilities totaling 111 thousand square feet. The leases on the two facilities expire in 2010.  We also have 94 thousand square feet of office space in various domestic and international sites with expiration ranging from 2006 to 2012. We believe these facilities are adequate to meet our needs for at least the next 12 months.

For information regarding long-lived assets by geography, see “Note 16—Segment Reporting’’ to our Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

Item 3.                        Legal Proceedings

In January and February 2005, multiple putative shareholder class action complaints were filed against SST and certain directors and officers, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, following our announcement of anticipated financial results for the fourth quarter of 2004. On March 24, 2005, the putative class actions were consolidated under the caption In re Silicon Storage Technology, Inc., Securities Litigation, Case No. C 05 00295 PJH (N.D. Cal.). On May 3, 2005, the Honorable Phyllis J. Hamilton appointed the “Louisiana Funds Group,” consisting of the Louisiana School Employees’ Retirement System and the Louisiana District Attorneys’ Retirement System, to serve as lead plaintiff and the law firms of Pomeranz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross LLP and Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo to serve as lead counsel and liason counsel, respectively, for the class. The lead plaintiff filed a Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint on July 15, 2005. The complaint seeks unspecified damages on alleged violations of federal securities laws during the period from April 21, 2004 to December 20, 2004. We moved to dismiss the complaint on September 16, 2005. Plaintiff served an opposition to the motion to dismiss on November 4, 2005. Our reply in further support of the motion to dismiss was filed on December 19, 2005. On January 18, 2006, the Court heard arguments on the motion to dismiss. On March 10, 2006, the Court granted our motion to dismiss the consolidated amended complaint, with leave to file an amended complaint. Pursuant to the Court’s Order, any amended complaint must be filed no later that April 14, 2006. We intend to take all appropriate action in response to these lawsuits. The impact related to the outcome of these matters is undeterminable at this time.

In January and February 2005, following the filing of the putative class actions, multiple shareholder derivative complaints were filed in California Superior Court for the County of Santa Clara, purportedly on behalf of SST against certain of our directors and officers. The factual allegations of these complaints are substantially identical to those contained in the putative shareholder class actions filed in federal court. The derivative complaints assert claims for, among other things, breach of fiduciary duty and violations of the California Corporations Code. These derivative actions have been consolidated under the caption In

25




Re Silicon Storage Technology, Inc. Derivative Litigation, Lead Case No. 1:05CV034387 (Cal. Super. Ct., Santa Clara Co.). On April 28, 2005, the derivative action was stayed by court order. We intend to take all appropriate action in response to these lawsuits. The impact related to the outcome of these matters is undeterminable at this time.

From time to time, we are also involved in other legal actions arising in the ordinary course of business. We have accrued certain costs associated with defending these matters. There can be no assurance that the shareholder class action complaints, the shareholder derivative complaints or other third party assertions will be resolved without costly litigation, in a manner that is not adverse to our financial position, results of operations or cash flows or without requiring royalty payments in the future which may adversely impact gross margins. No estimate can be made of the possible loss or possible range of loss associated with the resolution of these contingencies. As a result, no losses have been accrued in our financial statements as of December 31, 2005.

Item 4.                        Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders

No matters were submitted during the fourth quarter to a vote of security holders.

26




PART II

Item 5.                        Market for Registrant’s Common Stock, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Price Range of Common Stock

The principal U.S. market for our Common Stock is the NASDAQ National Market. The only class of our securities that is traded is our Common Stock. Our Common Stock has traded on the NASDAQ National Market since November 21, 1995, under the symbol SSTI. The following table sets forth the quarterly high and low closing sales prices of the Common Stock for the period indicated as reported by the NASDAQ National Market. These prices do not include retail mark-ups, markdowns, or commissions. The closing sales price of our Common Stock on December 30, 2005, the last trading day in 2005, was $5.07.

2004

 

 

 

 

 

High Close

 

Low Close

 

First Quarter:

 

January 1 - March 31, 2004

 

 

$

13.46

 

 

 

$

10.64

 

 

Second Quarter:

 

April 1 - June 30, 2004

 

 

16.77

 

 

 

9.55

 

 

Third Quarter:

 

July 1 - September 30, 2004

 

 

9.52

 

 

 

5.42

 

 

Fourth Quarter:

 

October 1 - December 31, 2004

 

 

7.77

 

 

 

5.72

 

 

 

2005

 

 

 

 

 

High Close

 

Low Close

 

First Quarter:

 

January 1 - March 31, 2005

 

 

$

5.72

 

 

 

$

3.47

 

 

Second Quarter:

 

April 1 - June 30, 2005

 

 

4.18

 

 

 

2.55

 

 

Third Quarter:

 

July 1 - September 30, 2005

 

 

5.67

 

 

 

4.12

 

 

Fourth Quarter:

 

October 1 - December 31, 2005

 

 

6.02

 

 

 

4.58

 

 

 

2006

 

 

 

 

 

High Close

 

Low Close

 

First Quarter:

 

January 1 - February 28, 2006

 

 

$

5.57

 

 

 

$

4.52

 

 

 

Approximate Number of Equity Security Holders

As of December 31, 2005, there were approximately 883 record holders of our Common Stock.

Dividends

We have never paid a cash dividend on our Common Stock and we intend to continue to retain earnings, if any, to finance future growth. Accordingly, we do not anticipate paying cash dividends to holders of Common Stock in the foreseeable future.

Equity Compensation Plan Information

Information regarding our equity compensation plans will be contained in our definitive Proxy Statement with respect to our Annual Meeting of Shareholders under the caption “Compensation—Equity Compensation Plan Information,” and is incorporated by reference into this report. All of our equity compensation plans have been approved by our shareholders.

27




Item 6.        Selected Consolidated Financial Data

The following selected consolidated financial data should be read in conjunction with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the Consolidated Financial Statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this report.

 

 

Year ended December 31,

 

 

 

2001

 

2002

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

 

 

(in thousands, except per share data)

 

Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net revenues:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product revenues—unrelated parties

 

$

168,593

 

$

100,620

 

$

86,549

 

$

180,234

 

$

157,499

 

Product revenues—related parties

 

90,025

 

143,401

 

169,980

 

224,497

 

236,597

 

License revenues—unrelated parties

 

35,412

 

30,637

 

38,512

 

44,311

 

35,226

 

License revenues—related parties

 

 

 

 

156

 

1,577

 

Total net revenues

 

294,030

 

274,658

 

295,041

 

449,198

 

430,899

 

Cost of revenues

 

248,161

 

206,246

 

218,775

 

322,093

 

353,128

 

Gross profit

 

45,869

 

68,412

 

76,266

 

127,105

 

77,771

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research and development

 

50,380

 

47,069

 

43,144

 

46,904

 

49,030

 

Sales and marketing

 

26,794

 

25,498

 

22,272

 

28,295

 

28,620

 

General and administrative

 

17,855

 

17,097

 

14,398

 

18,292

 

23,926

 

Other

 

1,346

 

 

37,849

 

7,375

 

2,945

 

Total operating expenses

 

96,375

 

89,664

 

117,663

 

100,866

 

104,521

 

Income (loss) from operations

 

(50,506

)

(21,252

)

(41,397

)

26,239

 

(26,750

)

Interest and other income

 

7,449

 

3,225

 

2,996

 

2,295

 

1,790

 

Interest and other expense

 

(437

)

(242

)

(350

)

(281

)

(266

)

Impairment of equity investments

 

(3,274

)

(7,757

)

 

(509

)

(2,240

)

Income (loss) before provision for (benefit from) income taxes and minority interest

 

(46,768

)

(26,026

)

(38,751

)

27,744

 

(27,466

)

Provision for (benefit from) income taxes

 

(17,772

)

(10,931

)

26,416

 

3,906

 

2,449

 

Minority interest

 

 

 

 

(90

)

(77

)

Net income (loss)

 

$

(28,996

)

$

(15,095

)

$

(65,167

)

$

23,929

 

$

(29,838

)

Net income (loss) per share—basic

 

$

(0.32

)

$

(0.16

)

$

(0.69

)

$

0.25

 

$

(0.29

)

Net income (loss) per share—diluted

 

$

(0.32

)

$

(0.16

)

$

(0.69

)

$

0.24

 

$

(0.29

)

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

 

$

446,760

 

$

440,606

 

$

396,361

 

$

502,331

 

$

477,837

 

Long-term obligations

 

$

1,793

 

$

1,873

 

$

1,423

 

$

1,307

 

$

2,627

 

Shareholders’ equity

 

$

391,411

 

$

381,851

 

$

331,497

 

$

375,984

 

$

379,833

 

 

28




Item 7.                        Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

Except for the historical information contained herein, the following discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. All forward-looking statements included in this document are based on information available to us on the date hereof, and we assume no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those discussed in Part I, Item 1A. “Risk Factors,” as well as those discussed elsewhere in this report.

Overview

We are a leading supplier of flash memory semiconductor devices addressing the needs of high volume applications. We believe our proprietary flash memory technology, SuperFlash, offers superior performance to other flash memory solutions. In addition, we believe SuperFlash has benefits that include high reliability, fast, fixed erase time, the ability to be scaled to a smaller size and a low-cost manufacturing process. Our products are produced to meet the needs of a wide range of digital consumer, networking, wireless communications and Internet computing markets. Our product offerings include standard flash products, application specific memory products, embedded controllers and mass data storage products. Our memory devices have densities ranging from 256 Kbit to 64 Mbit and are generally used for the storage of program code. Our flash embedded microcontrollers support concurrent flash read-while-write operations using In-Application Programming, or IAP. Our mass data storage products are used for storing images, music and other data in devices such as digital cameras and MP3 players.

One of our key initiatives is the active development of our non-memory business. Our objective is to transform SST from a pure-play in flash to a multi-product line company. We continue to execute on our plan to achieve, by mid-2008, 30%  revenue contribution from non-memory products, which includes embedded controllers, NAND controller based products, smart card ICs and radio frequency ICs and modules. During 2005, we achieved 16.0% product revenue contribution from non-memory products. We believe that non-memory products represent an area in which we have significant competitive advantages and can yield profitable revenue with higher and more stable gross margins than our memory products in the long run.

The semiconductor industry has historically been cyclical, characterized by periodic changes in business conditions caused by product supply and demand imbalance. When the industry experiences downturns, they often occur in connection with, or in anticipation of, maturing product cycles and declines in general economic conditions. These downturns are characterized by weak product demand, excessive inventory and accelerated decline of selling prices. We experienced a decrease in the average selling prices of our products as a result of the industry-wide oversupply and excessive inventory in the market in the second half of 2004 and the first half of 2005. Although we have seen strengthening of market demand in the second half of 2005, our business could be further harmed by industry-wide prolonged downturns in the future.

Our product sales are made primarily using short-term cancelable purchase orders. The quantities actually purchased by the customer, as well as shipment schedules, are frequently revised to reflect changes in the customer’s needs and in our supply of products. Accordingly, our backlog of open purchase orders at any given time is not a meaningful indicator of future sales. Changes in the amount of our backlog do not necessarily reflect a corresponding change in the level of actual or potential sales.

We derived 90.0%, 86.0% and 87.6% of our net product revenues during 2003, 2004 and 2005, respectively, from product shipments to Asia. Additionally, substantially all of our wafer suppliers and packaging and testing subcontractors are located in Asia.

29




Shipments to our top ten end customers, which exclude transactions through stocking representatives and distributors, accounted for 37.7%, 29.1% and 27.2% of our net product revenues in 2003, 2004 and 2005, respectively.

No single end customer, which we define as original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, original design manufacturers, or ODMs, contract electronic manufacturers, or CEMs, or end users, represented 10.0% or more of our net product revenues during 2003, 2004 and 2005.

We out-source our end customer service logistics in Asia to Silicon Professional Technology Ltd., or SPT, which supports our customers in Taiwan, China and other Southeast Asia countries. SPT provides forecasting, planning, warehousing, delivery, billing, collection and other logistic functions for us in these regions. SPT is a wholly-owned subsidiary of one of our stocking representatives in Taiwan, Professional Computer Technology Limited, or PCT. Please see a description of our relationship with PCT under “Related Party Transactions.”  Products shipped to SPT are accounted for as our inventory held at our logistics center, and revenue is recognized when the products have been delivered and are considered as a sale to our end customers by SPT. For the years ended December 31, 2003, 2004 and 2005, SPT serviced end customer sales accounting for 64.2%, 52.9% and 58.5% of our net product revenues recognized. As of December 31, 2003, 2004 and 2005, SPT represented 73.4%, 55.1% and 69.6% of our net accounts receivable, respectively.

We ship products to, and have accounts receivable from, OEMs, ODMs, CEMs, stocking representatives, distributors, and our logistics center. Our stocking representatives, distributors and logistics center reship our products to our end customers, including OEMs, ODMs, CEMs and end users. Shipments, by us or our logistic center, to our top three stocking representatives for reshipment accounted for 29.9%, 34.0% and 40.3% of our product shipments in 2003, 2004 and 2005, respectively. In addition, the same three stocking representatives solicited sales for 32.8%, 25.1% and 18.3% of our product shipments to end users in 2003, 2004 and 2005, respectively for which they received a commission.

Results of Operations: Years Ended December 31, 2003, 2004 and 2005

Net Revenues

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

 

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

2003 vs. 2004

 

2004 vs. 2005

 

Product revenues

 

$

256,529

 

$

404,731

 

$

394,096

 

$

148,202

 

57.8

%

$

(10,635

)

(2.6

)%

Technology licensing

 

38,512

 

44,467

 

36,803

 

5,955

 

15.5

%

(7,664

)

(17.2

)%

Total net revenues

 

$

295,041

 

$

449,198

 

$

430,899

 

$

154,157

 

52.2

%

$

(18,299

)

(4.1

)%

 

Net revenues for 2005 decreased $18.3 million, or 4.1%, from the prior year largely as a result of a 24.5% decrease in the average selling prices of our products due to industry oversupply and heavy competition over the first half of 2005. This decrease was offset by a 43.0% increase in unit shipments from the first to the second half of 2005. In addition to the decrease in the average selling prices of our products, we recognized lower up-front fees from our licensees due to the timing of new license agreements and milestone completions from existing agreements. Net revenues for 2004 increased $154.2 million, or 52.2%, compared to 2003 due to increased unit shipments and average selling prices as well as increased license and royalty revenues.

30




Product Revenues

The following charts and discussion are based on our reportable segments described in Note 16 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

 

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

2003 vs. 2004

 

2004 vs. 2005

 

SMPG revenue

 

$

166,776

 

$

269,376

 

$

205,234

 

$

102,600

 

61.5

%

$

(64,142

)

(23.8

)%

 

SMPG net revenues decreased $64.1 million, or 23.8%, for 2005 compared to 2004. SMPG revenue decreased year over year due to both a 1.8% decrease in unit shipments and a 22.7% decrease in the average selling price of SPMG products due to industry oversupply and heavy competition over the past year. However, we began to experience stronger demand and improved pricing in the second half of 2005 with shipments increasing 31.0% over the first half of 2005. SMPG net revenues increased 61.5% in 2004 from 2003. Increased market demand and product mix led to a 26.9% increase in units shipped in 2004 over 2003 with a 28.7% increase in the average selling price.

ASPG

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

 

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

2003 vs. 2004

 

2004 vs. 2005

 

ASPG Revenue

 

$

60,481

 

$

90,126

 

$

154,709

 

$

29,645

 

49.0

%

$

64,583

 

71.7

%

 

ASPG revenue increased $64.6 million, or 71.7%, for 2005 compared to 2004. The increase was largely a result of record unit shipments, increasing 112.2% year-over-year attributable to serial flash products and media controllers as well as  our smartcard business acquired through the Emosyn acquisition in 2004. ASPG net revenues increased 49.0% in 2004 from 2003. Increased market demand and the acquired smartcard business led to a substantial increase in units shipped in 2004 over 2003.

SPG

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

 

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

2003 vs. 2004

 

2004 vs. 2005

 

SPG revenue

 

$

29,272

 

$

44,636

 

$

30,954

 

$

15,364

 

52.5

%

$

(13,682

)

(30.7

)%

 

SPG revenue decreased from 2004 to 2005 by 30.7%. Unit shipments and average selling prices fell by 15.7% and 12.9%, respectively. These decreases were mainly due to significant pricing pressures we experienced over the past year as a result of industry oversupply and heavy competition. Revenue increased in 2004 from 2003 by 52.5% due to a 5.8% increase in shipments and a 34.3% increase in average selling prices.

SCC

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

 

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

2003 vs. 2004

 

2004 vs. 2005

 

SCC Revenue

 

 

$

 

 

$

593

 

$

3,199

 

$593

 

N/A

 

$

2,606

 

439.5

%

 

SCC revenue increased $2.6 million for 2005 due to the full year’s inclusion of SCC in 2005. Shipments of SCC products generally saw sequential increases during each quarter of 2005, however, revenue fluctuated during the year as pricing pressures eroded average selling prices. There was no segment revenue for the year ended December 31, 2003 as the SCC segment was purchased from G-Plus in November 2004.

31




Technology Licensing Revenue

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

 

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

2003 vs. 2004

 

2004 vs. 2005

 

Technology licensing

 

$

38,512

 

$

44,467

 

$

36,803

 

$

5,955

 

15.5

%

$

(7,664

)

(17.2

)%

 

Revenues from royalties and license fees decreased during 2005 from 2004 by $7.7 million. The decrease year over year was mainly due to the timing of milestone completion on new and existing licensees. The increase from 2003 to 2004 is due to increased license fees.

Gross Profit

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

 

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

2003 vs. 2004

 

2004 vs. 2005

 

Product gross profit

 

$

37,754

 

$

82,638

 

$

40,968

 

$

44,884

 

118.9

%

$

(41,670

)

(50.4

)%

Product gross margin

 

14.7

%

20.4

%

10.4

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technology licensing gross profit

 

38,512

 

44,467

 

36,803

 

5,955

 

15.5

%

(7,664

)

(17.2

)%

Technology licensing gross margin

 

100.0

%

100.0

%

100.0

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total gross profit

 

$

76,266

 

127,105

 

77,771

 

50,839

 

66.7

%

(49,334

)

(38.8

)%

Total gross margin

 

25.8

%

28.3

%

18.0

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both gross profit and gross margin decreased in 2005 compared to 2004. Industry oversupply and heavy competition in the first half of 2005 were the major contributors to the decreases and contributed to a 24.5% decrease in the average selling price of our products. In addition, we recognized lower up-front fees from our licensees due to the timing of new license agreements and milestone completions from existing agreements.

During the 2005 we experienced market softness during the first two quarters of the year with upwards trends in the second half. Units shipped in the second half of 2005 grew more than 40% over the first half and during the fourth quarter of 2005, unit shipments set a new record of more than 2 million units per calendar day, including an 8% increase from our previous record achieved in the third quarter of 2005. We also experienced shipment records in many high volume applications, including DVD recorders, DVD rewritable drives, MP3 players, digital TVs, desktop and notebook PCs, hard disk drives, printers and LCD monitors. We are continuing to drive manufacturing cost reductions through the transition to smaller geometries. Substantially all  new wafer starts are now in 0.25 micron and 0.18 micron geometries and we are in the process of intensively developing 0.13 micron and 0.12 micron process technologies for high density serial flash and a low cost 16 megabit product that are targeted for production in the second half of 2006. While our near term cost structure for 16 megabits and above densities is mainly determined by our 0.18 micron inventory, we believe that with our cost reduction efforts using more advanced 0.12 micron technology, we will begin to realize benefits during the later part of 2006.

Gross profit was $127.1 million, or 28.3% of net revenues, in 2004 and $76.3 million, or 25.8% of net revenues, in 2003. The increase in gross profit in 2004 when compared to 2003 is primarily due to improved manufacturing costs achieved by transitioning manufacturing technology to smaller geometries, the sale of previously reserved inventory, increases in average selling prices and unit shipments by 16.2% and 35.3%, respectively, as well as increased revenues from technology licensing, offset by a net increase of $28.5 million in our provision for inventory and adverse purchase commitments over the 2003 provision.

Gross margin for unrelated party shipments was 14.2% while gross margin for related party shipments was 7.9%. The primary reason for the difference in gross margin is that the majority of our high volume

32




customer shipments are in Asia and are serviced  through SPT, our logistics center. For more information related to SPT, please also see Part I, Item IA. “Risk Factors—Business Risks—We depend on Silicon Professional Technology Ltd., or SPT, our logistics center, to support many of our customers in Asia” on page 14.

SMPG

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

 

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

2003 vs. 2004

 

2004 vs. 2005

 

SMPG gross profit

 

$

21,428

 

$

48,352

 

$

6,510

 

$

26,924

 

125.6

%

$

(41,842

)

(86.5

)%

SMPG gross margin

 

12.8

%

17.9

%

3.2

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SMPG gross margins for 2005 decreased from 2004. The decrease in gross margin is primarily driven by price erosion as a result of industry over-supply and severe competition beginning in the second half of 2004 and continuing through the first half of 2005. We also experienced excessive inventory build late in 2004 and early 2005 as a result of the downturn in the market. The increase in revenue in 2004 compared to 2003 was the result of both an increase in unit shipments of 26.9% and an increase in average selling prices of 28.7%.

ASPG

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

 

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

2003 vs. 2004

 

2004 vs. 2005

 

ASPG gross profit

 

$

11,544

 

$

21,792

 

$

33,780

 

$

10,248

 

88.8

%

$

11,988

 

55.0

%

ASPG gross margin

 

19.1

%

24.2

%

21.8

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ASPG gross profit increased for 2005 compared to 2004 due to the increase in the number of units shipped, especially in serial flash products and media controllers, however, gross margin decreased primarily due to a 19.3 % decrease in the average selling price of ASPG products. There was some price improvement during the fourth quarter as the market strengthened and prices stabilized. ASPG gross profit for 2004 increased by $10.2 million compared to 2003 due to an 80.6% increase in the number of units shipped, although our average selling price decreased by 18.4%.

SPG

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

 

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

2003 vs. 2004

 

2004 vs. 2005

 

SPG gross profit

 

$

4,782

 

$

12,706

 

$

2,792

 

$

7,924

 

165.7

%

$

(9,914

)

(78.0

)%

SPG gross margin

 

16.3

%

28.5

%

9.0

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPG gross profit and gross margin decreased from 2004 to 2005. Price erosion as a result of industry over-supply and heavy competition caused the downturn in this sector which began in the fourth quarter of 2004. For 2004 compared to 2003, gross profit increased $7.9 million due a 5.8% increase in units shipped and a 34.3% increase in average selling price.

33




SCC

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

 

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

2003 vs. 2004

 

2004 vs. 2005

 

SCC gross profit

 

 

 

 

$

(212

)

$

(28

)

$

(12

)

N/A

 

$

184

 

(86.8

)%

SCC gross margin

 

 

 

 

(35.8

)%

(0.9

)%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The SCC segment remained insignificant during 2005 and we do not expect its significance to change until late 2006. The SCC segment was created through the acquisition of G-Plus in November 2004, and, as a result, there was no prior year comparable activity.

For other factors that could affect our gross profit, please also see Part I, Item IA. “Risk Factors—Business Risks—We incurred material inventory valuation adjustments in 2003, 2004 and 2005, and we may incur additional significant inventory valuation adjustments in the future.”

Operating Expenses

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

 

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

2003 vs. 2004

 

2004 vs. 2005

 

Research and development

 

$

43,144

 

$

46,904

 

$

49,030

 

$

3,760

 

8.7

%

$

2,126

 

4.5

%

Percent of revenue

 

14.6

%

10.4

%

11.4

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research and development

Research and development expenses include costs associated with the development of new products, enhancements to existing products, quality assurance activities and occupancy costs. These costs consist primarily of employee salaries and benefits and the cost of materials such as wafers and masks. Research and development expenses increased 4.5% from 2004 to 2005 mainly due to a $4.0 million increase in salaries and wages related to an increase in headcount from the acquisitions, partially offset by a $1.8 million decrease in profit sharing. Research and development expenses increased by 8.7% from 2003 to 2004 primarily due to increases in wafer, mask and evaluation part expenses of $2.0 million due to the completion of certain technology projects during 2004, and increased headcount related expenses of $2.2 million due to profit sharing payments and increased headcount. We expect research and development expenses will continue to increase in absolute dollars.

Sales and Marketing

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

 

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

2003 vs. 2004

 

2004 vs. 2005

 

Sales and marketing

 

$

22,272

 

$

28,295

 

$

28,620

 

$

6,023

 

27.0

%

$

325

 

1.1

%

Percent of revenue

 

7.5

%

6.3

%

6.6

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales and marketing expenses consist of commissions, headcount and related costs, as well as travel and other related costs. Sales and marketing expenses were relatively flat for 2005 compared to 2004. Salaries and wage increases of $1.8 million were mostly offset by decreases in commission expense of $1.7 million. The increase in sales and marketing expenses from 2003 to 2004 by 27.0% was primarily due to increased headcount related costs of $2.4 million from bonus and profit sharing payments and increased headcount, increased commission expense of $1.6 million due to increased sales and increased logistic center fees and other marketing expenses. We expect sales and marketing expenses will increase in absolute dollars as we continue to expand our sales and marketing efforts. In addition, fluctuations in revenues will cause fluctuations in sales and marketing expenses as it impacts our commission expense.

34




General and Administrative

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

 

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

2003 vs. 2004

 

2004 vs. 2005

 

General and administrative

 

$

14,398

 

$

18,292

 

$

23,926

 

$

3,894

 

27.0

%

$

5,634

 

30.8

%

Percent of revenue

 

4.9

%

4.1

%

5.6

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

General and administrative expenses consist of salaries and related costs for administrative, executive and finance personnel, recruiting costs, professional services and legal fees and allowances for doubtful accounts. The increase from 2004 to 2005 was largely due to increased accounting expenses and outside consulting fees of $3.2 million associated with Sarbanes-Oxley compliance work and a one-time increase in contingent tax consulting fees from a tax refund project, increased salaries and benefits of $1.6 million related to increased headcount and increased amortization of acquired intangible assets of $1.8 million and was partially offset by decreased  bad debt expense of $1.2 million. We will continue to have costs associated with Sarbanes-Oxley compliance although we anticipate these will stabilize in 2006. The increase in general and administrative expenses from 2003 to 2004 by 27.0% was primarily due to increases in accounting and outside consulting fees of $2.0 million due to the increase costs of complying with Sarbanes-Oxley reporting, headcount related expenses of $1.3 million due to profit sharing payments and increased headcount, and bad debt expenses of $597 thousand. We anticipate that general and administrative expenses will increase in absolute dollars as we scale our facilities, infrastructure, and headcount to support our overall expected growth.

Other Operating Expenses

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

 

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

2003 vs. 2004

 

2004 vs. 2005

 

Other operating expenses

 

$

37,849

 

$

7,375

 

$

2,945

 

$

(30,474

)

(80.5

)%

$

(4,430

)

(60.1

)%

Percent of revenue

 

12.8

%

1.6

%

0.7

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For 2005, other operating expenses of $2.9 million were related to expensed in-process research and development in conjunction with the acquisition of Actrans and the remaining minority interest in Emosyn and the settlement of our patent litigation case with Atmel. In 2004, these expenses were comprised of $5.9 million related to the write off of in-process research and development relating to the acquisition of Emosyn and G-Plus and a $1.5 million period charge related to an operating lease for an abandoned building. In 2003, other operating expenses were $37.8 million, which related entirely to the Atmel litigation settlement.

Interest and other income

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

 

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

2003 vs. 2004

 

2004 vs. 2005

 

Other income (expense), net

 

$

2,996

 

$

2,295

 

$

1,790

 

$

(701

)

(23.4

)%

$

(505

)

(22.0

)%

Percent of revenue

 

1.0

%

0.5

%

0.4

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other income and expense for 2003, 2004 and 2005 included mainly interest and dividend income on our cash and investments. Interest and other income decreased from 2004 to 2005 and from 2003 to 2004 primarily due to decreased realized gains from the sale of some of our investments.

35




Interest and other expense

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

Increase (Decrease)

 

 

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

2003 vs. 2004

 

2004 vs. 2005

 

Interest expense

 

$

350

 

$

281

 

$

266

 

$

(69

)

(19.7

)%

$

(15

)

(5.3

)%

Percent of revenue

 

0.1

%

0.1

%

0.1

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest expense remained relatively low for 2003, 2004 and 2005 since we did not have significant outstanding debt.

Impairment of equity investments

During 2005 and 2004 we recorded impairment charges on our equity investments of $2.2 million and $509 thousand, respectively. There were no impairments during 2003. During the fourth quarter of 2005, we wrote down one of our investments, Advanced Chip Engineering Technology, or ACET, since ACET issued a secondary round of equity funding at a lower per share price than our carrying value. Consequently, we recorded an impairment charge of $2.2 million on our existing investment. As of December 31, 2005, the recorded value of our investment in ACET was $1.8 million. During 2003, one of our investments, Insyde, saw a significant decline in the market value of their stock. We recognized a $509 thousand loss from the impairment of our investment in Insyde because its stock price had declined below the acquisition cost for more than six months. The impairment was considered to be “other-than-temporary” in nature, thus the investment value was permanently written down to reflect the fair value.

Provision for (Benefit from) Income Taxes

We maintained a full valuation allowance on our net deferred tax assets as of December 31, 2005. The valuation allowance was determined in accordance with the provisions of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 109, or SFAS No. 109, “Accounting for Income Taxes,” which requires an assessment of both positive and negative evidence when determining whether it is more likely than not that deferred tax assets are recoverable; such assessment is required on a jurisdiction by jurisdiction basis. Cumulative losses incurred by us in the U.S. in recent years represented sufficient negative evidence under SFAS No. 109 and accordingly, a full valuation allowance was recorded against U.S. deferred tax assets. We intend to maintain a full valuation allowance on the U.S. deferred tax assets until sufficient positive evidence exists to support reversal of the valuation allowance.

Our tax provision for 2005 was $2.4 million on a pre-tax loss of $27.5 million consisting primarily of foreign withholding taxes and foreign income taxes.

In 2004, our income tax expense was $3.9 million on net income before tax of $27.7 million. During 2004, we maintained a full valuation allowance on our net deferred tax assets. In 2003, we implemented an international tax structure, which in conjunction with the full valuation allowance, will mean that going forward we will record a tax expense as a result of foreign tax withholding and alternative minimum tax until such time that the valuation allowance against the deferred tax asset is no longer required.

Segment Reporting

Our operations involve the design, development, manufacturing, marketing and technical support of our nonvolatile memory technology and products. We offer low to medium density devices that target a broad range of existing and emerging applications in the digital consumer, networking, wireless communications and Internet computing markets. Our products are differentiated based upon attributes such as density, voltage, access speed, package and predicted endurance. We also license our technology for use in non-competing applications.

36




We manage our business in five reportable segments: the Standard Memory Product Group, or SMPG, the Application Specific Product Group, or ASPG, the Special Product Group, or SPG, the SST Communications Corporation Products, or SCC, and Technology Licensing. We do not allocate amortization expense, operating expenses, interest and other income, interest expense, impairment of equity investments and provision for or benefit from income taxes to any of these segments for internal reporting purposes, as we do not believe that allocating these expenses are material in evaluating a business unit’s performance.

SMPG includes our standard flash memory product families: the Multi-Purpose Flash, or MPF, family and the Multi-Purpose Flash Plus, or MPF+, family. These product families allow us to produce products optimized for cost and functionality to support a broad range of mainstream applications that use nonvolatile memory products. Effective July 1, 2003, we transferred the Small Sector Flash, or SSF, family from SMPG to SPG. Effective January 1, 2004, we transferred the last MTP series of products from SMPG to SPG. Accordingly, our segment revenues.

ASPG includes Concurrent SuperFlash, Serial Flash, Firmware Hub, or FWH, and Low Pin Count, or LPC, flash products. These products are designed to address specific applications such as cellular phones, hard disk drives and PCs. ASPG also includes flash embedded controllers such the ATA flash disk controller to consumer, industrial and mass data storage applications. We acquired a majority ownership of Emosyn on September 10, 2004. On April 15, 2005, we acquired the remaining minority interest of Emosyn. As a result of the acquisition of the remaining minority interest, the management of Emosyn’s products was integrated into ASPG. Effective for the second quarter of 2005, Emosyn is no longer considered its own reportable segment by us and Emosyn’s flash memory based smart-card IC’s are now included in ASPG. These products are used primarily in cell phone applications and include such benefits of use as lower power consumption, long term data retention and high endurance of data access. Our segment revenues and gross margin information have been reclassified for presentation purposes as if the transfer occurred as of September 10, 2004.

SPG includes ComboMemory, ROM/RAM Combos, the Small Sector Flash, or SSF, family, Multi-Time Programmable, or MTP, family, FlashFlex51 microcontrollers and other special flash products. These products are used in applications requiring low power and a small form factor such as cellular phones, wireless modems, MP3 players, pagers and personal digital organizers. Effective July 1, 2003, we transferred the SSF family from SMPG to SPG. Effective January 1, 2004, we transferred the last MTP series of products from SMPG to SPG. Accordingly, our segment revenues and gross profit information have been reclassified for presentation purposes as if the transfer occurred as of January 1, 2003.

SCC includes RF transmitter, receiver, synthesizer, power amplifier and switch products. These products provide end-to-end RF solutions to enable wireless multimedia and broadband networking applications. We formed SST Communications Corporation and acquired the operations of G-Plus on November 5, 2004. The segment data is reflected from this date forward.

Technology Licensing includes both license fees and royalties.

37




Related Party Transactions

The following table is a summary of our related party revenues and purchases (in thousands):

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

 

December 31, 2005

 

 

 

Revenues

 

Purchases

 

Silicon Technology Co., Ltd

 

$

3,711

 

 

$

 

 

Apacer Technology, Inc. & related entities

 

2,180

 

 

 

 

Professional Computer Technology Limited

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silicon Professional Technology Ltd

 

230,706

 

 

 

 

 

Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp

 

1,577

 

 

45,373

 

 

King Yuan Electronics Company, Limited

 

 

 

34,882

 

 

Powertech Technology, Incorporated

 

 

 

15,111

 

 

 

 

$

238,174

 

 

$

95,366

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

 

December 31, 2004

 

 

 

Revenues

 

Purchases

 

Silicon Technology Co., Ltd

 

$

7,943

 

$

 

Apacer Technology, Inc. & related entities

 

2,359

 

707

 

Silicon Professional Technology Ltd

 

214,195

 

 

Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp

 

156

 

59,278

 

King Yuan Electronics Company, Limited

 

 

38,248

 

Powertech Technology, Incorporated

 

 

14,718

 

 

 

$

224,653

 

$

112,951

 

 

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

 

December 31, 2003

 

 

 

Revenues

 

Purchases

 

Silicon Technology Co., Ltd

 

$

3,615

 

 

$

 

 

Apacer Technology, Inc. & related entities

 

1,555

 

 

2,361

 

 

Silicon Professional Technology Ltd

 

164,810

 

 

 

 

Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp

 

 

 

12

 

 

King Yuan Electronics Company, Limited

 

 

 

19,659

 

 

Powertech Technology, Incorporated

 

 

 

9,280

 

 

 

 

$

169,980

 

 

$

31,312

 

 

 

The following table is a summary of our related party accounts receivable and accounts payable and accruals (in thousands):

 

 

December 31, 2004

 

December 31, 2005

 

 

 

Trade
Accounts
Receivable

 

Accounts
Payable and
Accruals

 

Trade
Accounts
Receivable

 

Accounts
Payable and
Accruals

 

Silicon Technology Co., Ltd.

 

 

$

322

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

$

370

 

 

 

$

 

 

Apacer Technology, Inc. and related entities

 

 

458

 

 

 

3230

 

 

 

237

 

 

 

 

 

Professional Computer Technology Limited

 

 

 

 

 

72

 

 

 

 

 

 

123

 

 

Silicon Professional Technology Ltd.

 

 

32,037

 

 

 

694

 

 

 

53,785

 

 

 

846

 

 

Grace Semiconductor Mfg. Corp

 

 

156

 

 

 

17,227

 

 

 

1,466

 

 

 

4,949

 

 

King Yuan Electronics Company, Limited

 

 

 

 

 

13,702

 

 

 

 

 

 

10,004

 

 

Powertech Technology, incorporated

 

 

 

 

 

3,867

 

 

 

 

 

 

5,945

 

 

 

 

 

$

32,973

 

 

 

$

35,882

 

 

 

$

55,858

 

 

 

$

21,867

 

 

 

38




In 1996, we acquired a 14% interest in Silicon Technology Co., Ltd., or Silicon Technology, a privately held Japanese company, for $939 thousand in cash. Bing Yeh, our President, CEO and Chairman of our Board of Directors, is also a member of Silicon Technology’s board of directors. We acquired the interest in Silicon Technology in order to provide a presence for our products in Japan. We now have our own office in Japan, although Silicon Technology continues to sell our products. At December 31, 2005, our investment, which is carried at cost, represented 8.7% of the outstanding equity of Silicon Technology. Our sales to Silicon Technology were made at prevailing market prices and the payment terms are consistent with the payment terms extended to our other customers. We are not obligated to provide Silicon Technology with any additional financing.

In 2000, we acquired a 10% interest in Apacer Technology Inc, or Apacer, for $9.9 million in cash. Apacer, a privately held Taiwanese company and a related entity of Acer, is a memory module manufacturer. Bing Yeh, our President, CEO and Chairman of our Board of Directors, is also a member of Apacer’s board of directors. In 2001, we invested an additional $2.1 million in Apacer. In August 2002, we made an additional investment of $181 thousand. The investment was written down to $4.4 million during 2002. At December 31, 2005, our investment represented 9.5% of the outstanding equity of Apacer. Our sales to the related Acer entities were made at prevailing market prices and the payment terms are consistent with the payment terms extended to our other customers. Our purchases from Apacer are made pursuant to purchase orders at prevailing market prices. We do not have a long-term contract with Apacer to supply us with products. If Apacer were to terminate its relationship with us, we believe that we would be able to procure the necessary products from other production subcontractors. We are not obligated to provide Apacer with any additional financing.

In 2000, we acquired a 15% interest in Professional Computer Technology Limited, or PCT, a Taiwanese company, for $1.5 million in cash. Bing Yeh, our President, CEO and Chairman of our Board of Directors, is also a member of PCT’s board of directors. PCT is one of our stocking representatives. In May 2002, we made an additional investment of $179 thousand in PCT. During 2003, PCT completed an initial public offering on the Taiwan Stock Exchange and we sold a portion of our holdings. Under Taiwan security regulations, a certain number of shares must be held in a central custody and are restricted from sale for a period of time. The shares available for sale within one year are carried at the quoted market price and included in long-term available-for-sale investments in the balance sheet as of December 31, 2005. Shares required to be held in custody for greater than a one year period are carried at cost and included in equity investments. In February 2004, we purchased $1.7 million of PCT’s European convertible bonds. As of December 31, 2005, the value of the stock and convertible bond investment recorded as long-term available-for-sale is valued at $7.7 million and the restricted portion of the investment carried at cost is recorded at $807 thousand. At December 31, 2005 our investment represented 11.5% of the outstanding equity and 13.2% of the European convertible bonds of PCT.

PCT and its subsidiary, Silicon Professional Alliance Corporation, or SPAC, earn commissions for point-of-sales transactions to its customers. Commissions to PCT and SPAC are paid at the same rate as all of our other stocking representatives in Asia. In 2003, 2004 and 2005 we paid sales commissions of $1.2 million, $579 thousand and $315 thousand, respectively, to PCT and SPAC. Shipments, by us or our logistics center, to PCT and SPAC for reshipment accounted for 27.3%, 31.3% and 38.9% of our product shipments in 2003, 2004 and 2005. In addition, PCT and SPAC solicited sales, for which they earned a commission, for 12.0%, 3.3% and 2.0% of our shipments to end users in 2003, 2004 and 2005, respectively.

PCT has established a separate company and wholly-owned subsidiary, Silicon Professional Technology, Ltd., or SPT, to provide forecasting, planning, warehousing, delivery, billing, collection and other logistic functions for us in Taiwan. SPT now services substantially all of our end customers based in Taiwan, China and other Southeast Asia countries. Products shipped to SPT are accounted for as our inventory held at our logistics center, and revenue is recognized when the products have been delivered and are considered as a sale to our end customers by SPT. We pay SPT a fee based on a percentage of

39




revenue for each product sold through SPT to our end customers. The fee paid to SPT covers the cost of warehousing and insuring inventory and accounts receivable, personnel costs required to maintain logistics and information technology functions and the costs to perform billing and collection of accounts receivable. SPT receives extended payment terms and is obligated to pay us whether or not they have collected the accounts receivable.

We do not have any long-term contracts with SPT, PCT or SPAC, and SPT, PCT or SPAC may cease providing services to us at any time. If SPT, PCT or SPAC were to terminate their relationship with us we would experience a delay in reestablishing warehousing, logistics and distribution functions which would harm our business. We are not obligated to provide SPT, PCT or SPAC with any additional financing.

In 2000, we acquired a 1% interest in King Yuan Electronics Company, Limited, or KYE, a Taiwanese company, which is a production subcontractor, for $4.6 million in cash. A member of our management team holds a supervisor position at KYE. The role and responsibilities of a supervisor are defined and governed by Corporate Law in Taiwan. The investment was made in KYE in order to strengthen our relationship with KYE. During 2001, KYE completed an initial public offering on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. Accordingly, the investment has been included in long-term available-for-sale investments in the balance sheet as of December 31, 2004 and 2005. The investment was written down to $1.3 million during 2001 and is valued at $4.3 million as of December 31, 2005 based on the quoted market price.  At December 31, 2005, our investment represented 0.4% of the outstanding equity of KYE. Our purchases from KYE are made pursuant to purchase orders at prevailing market prices. We do not have a long-term contract with KYE to supply us with services. If KYE were to terminate its relationship with us, we believe that we would be able to procure the necessary services from other production subcontractors. We are not obligated to provide KYE with any additional financing.

In 2000, we acquired a 3% interest in Powertech Technology, Incorporated, or PTI, a Taiwanese company, which is a production subcontractor, for $2.5 million in cash. Bing Yeh, our President, CEO and Chairman of our Board of Directors, is also a member of PTI’s board of directors. The investment was made in PTI in order to strengthen our relationship with PTI. During 2003, PTI completed an initial public offering on the Taiwan Stock Exchange and we sold a portion of our holdings. Under Taiwan security regulations, a certain number of shares must be held in a central custody and are restricted from sale for a period of time. The shares available for sale within one year are carried at the quoted market price and included in long-term available-for-sale investments in the balance sheet as of December 31, 2004 and 2005. Shares required to be held in custody for greater than a one year period are carried at cost and included in equity investments. In August 2004, we invested $723 thousand cash in PTI shares available for sale. As of December 31, 2005, the value of the investment recorded as long-term available-for-sale is valued at $26.5 million and the restricted portion of the investment carried at cost is recorded at $445 thousand. At December 31, 2005, our investment represented 2.4% of the outstanding equity of PTI. During the first quarter of  2006, we sold four million common shares of PTI for a net gain of $12.2 million. We hold 5.5 million shares of PTI as of March 3, 2006. Refer to Note 19 of the Consolidated Financial Statements. Our purchases from and sales to PTI are made at prevailing market prices. We do not have a long-term contract with PTI to supply us with services. If PTI were to terminate its relationship with us, we believe that we would be able to procure the necessary services from other production subcontractors. We are not obligated to provide PTI with any additional financing.

We have invested $83.2 million in GSMC, a Cayman Islands company, which owns a wafer foundry subsidiary, Grace, in Shanghai, China.  Bing Yeh, our President, CEO and Chairman of our Board of Directors, is also a member of GSMC’s board of directors. In addition, a member of our management team holds one supervisor position at GSMC. The role and responsibilities of a supervisor are defined and governed by Corporate Law in the Cayman Islands. This investment is carried at cost. GSMC has a wholly owned subsidiary, Shanghai Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation, or Grace, which is a wafer foundry company with operations in China. Grace began to manufacture our products in late 2003. We do

40




not have a long-term contract with Grace to supply us with products. At December 31, 2005, our investment represented 9.8% of the outstanding equity of GSMC.

In 2002, we acquired a 6% interest in Insyde Software Corporation, or Insyde, a Taiwanese company, for $964 thousand in cash. Bing Yeh, our President, CEO and Chairman of our Board of Directors, is also a member of Insyde’s board of directors. During 2003, Insyde completed an initial public offering on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. Under Taiwan security regulations, a certain number of shares must be held in a central custody and are restricted from sale for a period of time. The shares available for sale within one year are carried at the quoted market price and included in long-term available-for-sale investments in the balance sheet as of December 31, 2004 and 2005. Shares required to be held in custody for greater than a one year period are carried at cost and included in equity investments. In January 2004, we invested an additional $133 thousand cash in Insyde’s convertible bonds. The stock investment was written down $509 thousand during 2004. Refer to Note 13 of these Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements. At December 31, 2005, our investment represented 6.2% of the outstanding equity and 6.3% of the convertible bonds of Insyde.

In June 2004, we acquired a 9% interest in Advanced Chip Engineering Technology, or ACET, a privately held Taiwanese company for $4.0 million cash. ACET, a related entity of KYE, is a production subcontractor. Chen Tsai, our Senior Vice President of Worldwide Backend Operations, is also a member of ACET’s board of directors. During 2005, we recorded a $2.2 million impairment charge related to our investment in ACET. ACET is in the process of raising an additional round of equity financing at a lower per share cost than our current basis. Consequently, our investment was overvalued. Refer to Note 13 of the Consolidated Financial Statements. At December 31, 2005 our investment, which is carried at cost, represented 9.4% of the outstanding equity of ACET.

In November 2004, we acquired a 30% interest in Nanotech Corporation, or Nanotech, a privately held Cayman Island company, for $3.8 million cash. Nanotech, a development stage company, has a wholly owned subsidiary which is in the process of establishing foundry operations in China. Bing Yeh, our President, CEO and Chairman of our Board of Directors, is also a member of Nanotech’s board of directors. Tsuyoshi Taira, a member of our Board of Directors, also invested in this round of financing. We are not obligated to provide Nanotech with any additional financing. During 2005, we loaned Nanotech $225,000. At December 31, 2005 our investment, which is accounted for under the equity method, represented 29% of the outstanding equity of Nanotech.

Critical Accounting Estimates

Our critical accounting estimates are as follows:

·       Revenue recognition;

·       Allowance for sales returns;

·       Allowance for doubtful accounts;

·       Allowance for excess and obsolete inventory and lower of cost or market;

·       Warranty accrual;

·       Litigation costs;

·       Valuation of equity investments;

·       Provision for adverse purchase commitments; and

·       Accounting for income taxes.

41




Revenue recognition.   Sales to direct customers and foreign stocking representatives are recognized net of an allowance for estimated returns. When product is shipped to direct customers or stocking representatives, or by our distributors or SPT to end users, prior to recognizing revenue, we also require that evidence of the arrangement exists, the price is fixed or determinable and collection is reasonably assured. Legal title generally passes to our customers at the time our products are shipped. Payment terms typically range from 30 to 65 days. Sales to distributors are made primarily under arrangements allowing price protection and the right of stock rotation on merchandise unsold. Because of the uncertainty associated with pricing concessions and future returns, we defer recognition of such revenues, related costs of revenues and related gross profit until the merchandise is sold by the distributor. Products shipped to SPT are accounted for as our inventory held at our logistics center, and revenue is recognized when the products have been delivered and are considered as a sale to our end customers by SPT.

Most of our technology licenses provide for the payment of up-front license fees and continuing royalties based on product sales. For license and other arrangements for technology that we are continuing to enhance and refine, and under which we are obligated to provide unspecified enhancements, revenue is recognized over the lesser of the estimated period that we have historically enhanced and developed refinements to the technology, approximately two to three years (the upgrade period), or the remaining portion of the upgrade period from the date of delivery, provided all specified technology and documentation has been delivered, the fee is fixed or determinable and collection of the fee is reasonably assured. From time to time, we reexamine the estimated upgrade period relating to licensed technology to determine if a change in the estimated upgrade period is needed. Revenue from license or other technology arrangements where we are not continuing to enhance and refine technology or are not obligated to provide unspecified enhancements is recognized upon delivery, if the fee is fixed or determinable and collection of the fee is reasonably assured.

Royalties received under these arrangements during the upgrade period are recognized as revenue based on the ratio of the elapsed portion of the upgrade period to the estimated upgrade period. The remaining portions of the royalties are recognized ratably over the remaining portion of the upgrade period. Royalties received after the upgrade period has elapsed are recognized when reported to us.

If we make different judgments or utilize different estimates in relation to the estimated period of technology enhancement and development, the amount and timing of our license and royalty revenues could be materially different.

Allowance for sales returns.   We maintain allowances for sales returns for estimated product returns by our customers. We estimate our allowance for sales returns based on our historical return experience, current economic trends, changes in customer demand, known returns we have not received and other estimates. The allowance for sales returns was $1.3 million, $2.0 million and $1.6 million as of December 31, 2003, 2004 and 2005, respectively. If we make different judgments or utilize different estimates, the amount and timing of our revenue could be materially different.

Allowance for doubtful accounts.   We maintain allowance for doubtful accounts for estimated losses from the inability of our customers to make required payments. We evaluate our allowance for doubtful accounts based on the aging of our accounts receivable, the financial condition of our customers and their payment history, our historical write-off experience and other estimates. If we were to make different judgments of the financial condition of our customers or the financial condition of our customers were to deteriorate, resulting in an impairment of their ability to make payments, additional allowances may be required. The allowance for doubtful accounts was $1.1 million, $1.2 million and $758 thousand as of December 31, 2003, 2004 and 2005, respectively.

Allowance for excess and obsolete inventory and lower of cost or market.   Our inventories are stated at the lower of cost (determined on a first-in, first-out basis) or market value. We typically plan our production and inventory levels based on internal forecasts of customer demand, which are highly

42




unpredictable and fluctuate substantially. The value of our inventory is dependent on our estimate of future average selling prices, and, if our projected average selling prices are over estimated, we may be required to reduce our inventory value to reflect the lower of cost or market. Our inventories include high technology parts and components that are specialized in nature or subject to rapid technological obsolescence. We maintain allowance for inventory for potentially excess and obsolete inventories and those inventories carried at costs that are higher than their market values. We review on-hand inventory including inventory held at the logistic center for potential excess, obsolete and lower of cost or market exposure and adjust the level of inventory reserve accordingly. Some of our customers have requested that we ship them product that has a finished goods date of manufacture that is less than one year old. In the event that this becomes a common requirement, it may be necessary for us to provide for an additional allowance for our on-hand finished goods inventory with a date of manufacture of greater than one year old, which could result in additional inventory write-downs. Our allowance for excess and obsolete inventories includes an allowance for our on-hand finished goods inventory with a date of manufacture of greater than two years old and for certain products with a date of manufacture of greater than one year old. For the obsolete inventory analysis, we review inventory items in detail and consider date code, customer base requirements, known product defects, planned or recent product revisions, end of life plans and diminished market demand. If we determine that market conditions are less favorable than those currently projected by management, such as an unanticipated decline in average selling prices or demand not meeting our expectations, additional inventory write-downs may be required. The allowance for excess and obsolete inventories and lower of cost or market was $11.2 million, $32.2 million and $50.0 million as of December 31, 2003, 2004 and 2005, respectively.

Warranty accrual.   Our products are generally subject to warranty and we provide for the estimated future costs of repair, replacement or customer accommodation upon shipment of the product in the accompanying statements of operations. Our warranty accrual is estimated based on historical claims compared to historical revenues and assumes that we will replace products subject to a claim. For new products, we use our historical percentage for the appropriate class of product. Should actual product failure rates differ from our estimates, revisions to the estimated warranty liability would be required. The recorded value of our warranty accrual was $187 thousand, $3.8 million and $803 thousand as of December 31, 2003, 2004 and 2005, respectively.

Litigation costs.   From time to time, we are also involved in legal actions arising in the ordinary course of business. We have incurred certain costs associated with defending these matters. There can be no assurance that shareholder class action complaints, shareholder derivative complaints or other third party assertions will be resolved without costly litigation, in a manner that is not adverse to our financial position, results of operations or cash flows or without requiring royalty payments in the future which may adversely impact gross margins. As of December 31, 2005, no estimate can be made of the possible loss or possible range of loss associated with the resolution of these contingencies. If additional information becomes available such that we estimate that there is a possible loss or possible range of loss associated with these contingencies, then we would record the minimum estimated liability, which could materially impact our results of operations and financial position.

Valuation of equity investments.   We hold minority interests in companies having operations in the semiconductor industry. We record an investment impairment charge when we believe an investment has experienced a decline in value that is other than temporary. Future adverse changes in market conditions or poor operating results of underlying investments could result in losses or an inability to recover the carrying value of the investments, thereby possibly requiring an impairment charge in the future. The recorded value of our equity investments was $70.1 million, $121.7 million and $135.2 million as of December 31, 2003, 2004 and 2005, respectively.

Provision for adverse purchase commitments.   We maintain a provision for adverse purchase commitments for in process orders at our vendors when there is a lower of cost or market valuation against

43




our on-hand inventory. Once production has begun against our purchase orders, we are committed to purchasing the inventory or, if we cancel the order, we are liable for all costs incurred up to the time of cancellation. If we have written down our on-hand inventory of the ordered product for lower of cost or market valuations, we must consider the impact to in process inventory at our vendor. We evaluate our in process orders to determine the impact of canceling the order and the impact of purchasing the inventory at a cost higher than the estimated current market value. If we determine that market conditions become less favorable than those currently projected by management, such as an unanticipated decline in average selling prices or demand not meeting our expectations, additional inventory write-downs may be required when the inventory is purchased. The recorded provision for adverse purchase commitments was $538 thousand, $8.3 million and $1.8 million as of December 31, 2003, 2004 and 2005, respectively.

Accounting for income taxes.   During the third quarter of 2003 we recorded a charge to establish a full valuation allowance against our deferred tax assets offset by a reduction in income tax payable as a result of a reassessment of expected liabilities for 2003 and certain exposures. Accordingly, for 2003 we recorded an income tax expense of $26.4 million. During the fourth quarter of 2003, we maintained a full valuation allowance on our net deferred tax assets. The valuation allowance was determined in accordance with the provisions of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 109, or SFAS No. 109, “Accounting for Income Taxes,” which requires an assessment of both positive and negative evidence when determining whether it is more likely than not that deferred tax assets are recoverable; such assessment is required on a jurisdiction by jurisdiction basis. Cumulative losses incurred in the U.S. in recent years represented sufficient negative evidence under SFAS No. 109 and accordingly, a full valuation allowance was recorded against U.S. deferred tax assets. We intend to maintain a full valuation allowance on the U.S. deferred tax assets until sufficient positive evidence exists to support reversal of the valuation allowance. During 2004 and 2005, we maintained a full valuation allowance on our deferred tax assets. At December 31, 2004 and 2005 the valuation allowance against our deferred tax assets was $27.2 million and $39.5 million, respectively.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

 

Dec 31,

 

Dec 31,

 

Dec 31,

 

 

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

Cash provided by (used in):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating activities

 

$

7,554

 

$

(13,992

)

$

(16,495

)

Investing activities

 

$

10,180

 

$

(26,012

)

$

52,799

 

Financing Activities

 

$

4,285

 

$

(8,881

)

$

5,713

 

 

Operating activities.   The major contributing factors to our use of operating cash over the past twelve months are the reduction of trade payables and accruals of $30.6 million, as a result of payments mainly for prior inventory related purchases, increased trade receivables of $20.4 million due to increased shipment volumes in the second half of the year offset by reductions in inventories and other assets of $4.9 million and $4.0 million, respectively. Although we had a net loss of $29.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2005, the net loss was offset by non-cash charges, primarily related to a provision for inventory of $37.3 million and depreciation and amortization expense of $10.0 million.

For 2004, our primary use of cash was for inventory purchases. Cash used in operating activities included an increase in inventory of $133.6 million to support increased sales activities and forecast customer demands, a $7.1 million increase in trade receivables from unrelated parties due to increased revenues and increases in other assets and deferred revenues of $4.3 million. Cash generated from operating activities included a net income of $23.9 million, a decrease in trade receivables from related parties of $8.1 million due mainly to decreased payment terms with our logistic center, SPT, an increase in related and unrelated trade accounts payable of $37.8 million due to increased purchases of inventories,

44




and an increase in accrued expenses and other liabilities of $7.5 million. Non-cash adjustments related to a provision for excess and obsolete inventories, write down of inventory to market and adverse purchase commitments of $35.9 million, depreciation and amortization expense of $7.4 million, in-process research and development of $5.9 million, a provision for sales returns and doubtful accounts of $2.2 million and a $1.5 million operating lease impairment charge.

For 2003, our primary source of operating cash flow was the timing of inventory purchases and payments to our vendors and service providers, offset by the payment of $37.8 million to Atmel. Cash generated from operating activities included decreases in inventories of $29.5 million due to increased sales, which reduced the amount of inventory held, and other current and non-current assets of $18.3 million, increases in trade accounts payable from related and unrelated parties of $12.4 million due to increased strategic purchasing of certain products, increases in deferred revenue of $1.0 million and non-cash related adjustments of $37.9 million. Non-cash adjustments related to $7.7 million of depreciation and amortization, $6.7 million of inventory valuation adjustments, $22.3 million decrease in net deferred tax assets and $1.3 million of tax benefit from employee stock plans, offset by a $228 thousand charge to expense for provision for doubtful accounts. Working capital uses of cash included a net loss of $65.2 million, increases in trade accounts receivable from related and non-related parties of $19.9 million due to increased revenue at the end of 2003.

Investing activities.   The primary source of cash from investing activities came from the net sales, maturities and purchases of available-for-sale investments which provided cash of $67.0 million, offset by the use of cash for other investing activities, mainly the acquisition of Actrans and the remaining minority interest in Emosyn as well as purchases of fixed assets to support our operations. During 2004, our investing activities used cash of $26.0 million primarily due to investments in equity securities of GSMC, ACET, Nanotech, PCT, PTI and Insyde of $33.2 million, $4.0 million, $3.8 million, $1.7 million, $723 thousand and $133 thousand, respectively, and the acquisitions of Emosyn and G-Plus which used cash of $16.0 million and $4.6 million, respectively. Investing activities also used cash for purchases of available for sale investments and restricted cash of $47.6 million and purchases of property and equipment of $8.0 million. Sales and maturities of available for sale investments provided cash from investing activities of $91.9 million. Our investing activities provided cash of $10.2 million during 2003, primarily due to a total of $12.0 million cash from the excess sales and maturities of available-for-sale investments and restricted cash over the purchases of such investments, offset by $1.8 million invested in capital expenditures.

Financing activities.   Cash generated from financing activities for the year ended December 31, 2005 primarily related to the borrowing against the line of credit of $3.0 million and the issuance of common stock under the employee stock purchase plan and the exercise of employee stock options.. During 2004, the repurchase of our common stock used cash of $14.9 million and the issuance of shares of common stock issued under our employee stock purchase plan and the exercise of employee stock options provided cash of $5.5 million. Repayment of loans used cash of $393 thousand and minority interest capital contributions provided cash of $820 thousand. During 2003, the cash provided was primarily from $4.5 million of common stock issued under our employee stock purchase plan and the exercise of employee stock options, offset by $250 thousand in loan repayments.

Principal sources of liquidity at December 31, 2005 consisted of $78.4 million of cash, cash equivalents, and short-term and long-term available-for-sale investments.

Contractual Obligations and Commitments

Purchase Commitments.   As of December 31, 2005, we had outstanding purchase commitments with our foundry vendors of $51.7 million for delivery in 2006. We have recorded a liability of $1.8 million for adverse purchase commitments.

45




Lease Commitments.   We have long-term, non-cancelable building lease commitments. In 2004, we recorded charges to other operating expense of $1.5 million relating to operating leases for an unoccupied building. These charges represent the estimated difference between the total discounted future sublease income and our discounted lease commitments relating to these buildings.

Future payments due under building lease, purchase commitments and other contractual obligations as of December 31, 2005 (in thousands):

 

 

 

 

Less than

 

 

 

 

 

More than

 

 

 

Total

 

1 year

 

1 - 3 years

 

3 - 5 years

 

5 years

 

Notes payable

 

$

39

 

 

$

39

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

$

 

 

Capital leases

 

3,910

 

 

2,200

 

 

 

1,710

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating leases

 

14,657

 

 

3,626

 

 

 

6,722

 

 

 

4,246

 

 

 

63

 

 

Purchase commitments

 

51,696

 

 

51,696

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

$

70,302

 

 

$

57,561

 

 

 

$

8,432

 

 

 

$

4,246

 

 

 

$

63

 

 

 

Credit Facilities

On August 11, 2005, we entered into a 1-year loan and security agreement with Cathay Bank, a U.S. bank, for a $35.0 million revolving line of credit, all of which was available to us as of December 31, 2005. The line of credit will be used for working capital but there are no restrictions in the agreement as to how the funds may be used. The interest rate for the line of credit is 1% below the prime rate reported from time to time by the Wall Street Journal, Western Edition (7.25% at December 31, 2005). The line of credit is collateralized by substantially all of the assets of SST other than intellectual property. The agreement contains certain financial covenants, including the levels of qualifying accounts receivable and inventories, which could limit the availability of funds under the agreement. There were no borrowings under this line as of December 31, 2005.

On July 16, 2004, we entered into a 2-year loan agreement with Cathay Bank, a U.S. bank, for a $3.0 million revolving line of credit. The interest rate for the line of credit is 3.475% per annum. The line of credit is collateralized by a $3.0 million certificate of deposit which is included in non-current other assets. The certificate of deposit matures in July 2006 and carries an interest rate of 2.6% per annum. As of December 31, 2004, there were no borrowings under this line of credit. As of December 31, 2005, we had borrowed $3.0 million under our line of credit.

Off Balance Sheet Arrangements.

At December 31, 2004 and 2005, we did not have any off-balance sheet arrangements or relationships with unconsolidated entities or financial partnerships, such as entities often referred to as structured finance or special purposes entities, which are typically established for the purpose of facilitating off-balance sheet arrangements or other contractually narrow or limited purposes.

Operating Capital Requirements.

We believe that our cash balances, together with funds we expect to generate from operations, will be sufficient to meet our projected working capital and other cash requirements through at least the next twelve months. However, there can be no assurance that future events will not require us to seek additional borrowings or capital and, if so required, that such borrowing or capital will be available on acceptable terms. Factors that could affect our short-term and long-term cash used or generated from operations and as a result, our need to seek additional borrowings or capital include:

·       the average selling prices of our products;

·       customer demand for our products;

46




·       the need to secure future wafer production capacity from our suppliers;

·       the timing of significant orders and of license and royalty revenue;

·       merger, acquisition or joint venture projects;

·       investments in strategic business partners;

·       unanticipated research and development expenses associated with new product introductions; and

·       the outcome of ongoing litigation.

Please also see Part I, Item 1A. “Risk Factors—Business Risks—Our operating results fluctuate significantly, and an unanticipated decline in revenues may disappoint securities analysts or investors and result in a decline in our stock price.”

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

In December 2004, the FASB issued SFAS 123R (revised 2004), or SFAS 123R, “Share Based Payment.” SFAS 123R is a revision of FASB 123 and supersedes APB No. 25. SFAS 123R establishes standards for the accounting for transactions in which an entity exchanges its equity instruments for good or services or incurs liabilities in exchange for goods or services that are based on the fair value of the entity’s equity instruments. SFAS 123R focuses primarily on accounting for transactions in which an entity obtains employee services in share-based payment transactions. SFAS 123R requires an entity to measure the cost of employee services received in exchange for an award of equity instruments based on the grant-date fair value of the award over the period during which an employee is required to provide service for the award. The grant-date fair value of employee share options and similar instruments must be estimated using option-pricing models adjusted fo r the unique characteristics of those instruments unless observable market prices for the same or similar instruments are available. In addition, SFAS 123R requires that a public entity measure the cost of employee services received in exchange for an award of liability instruments based on its current fair value and that the fair value of that award will be remeasured subsequently at each reporting date through the settlement date. SFAS 123R allows for either modified prospective recognition of compensation expense or retrospective recognition. We plan to apply the modified prospective recognition method. In April 2005, the SEC adopted a new rule that amends the compliance dates of SFAS 123R. The effective date of SFAS 123R for us is the first interim period of 2006. We have determined the adoption of SFAS 123R will result in amounts that are similar to the current pro forma disclosures under SFAS 123, and expect the adoption to have a significant adverse impact on our consolidated operating expenses.

In March 2005, the SEC issued Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 107, or SAB 107. SAB 107 includes interpretive guidance for the initial implementation of SFAS 123R. We expect to apply the principles of SAB 107 in conjunction with the adoption of SFAS 123R.

In May 2005, the FASB issued SFAS No. 154, “Accounting Changes and Error Corrections”, or SFAS 154. SFAS 154 replaces APB Opinion No. 20 “Accounting Changes” and SFAS No. 3, Reporting Accounting Changes in Interim Financial Statements”. SFAS 154 requires retrospective application to prior periods’ financial statements of changes in accounting principles, unless it is impractical to determine either the period-specific effects or the cumulative effect of the change. We do not expect the adoption of SFAS No. 154 to have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.

In September 2005, the FASB ratified Emerging Issues Task Force Issue No. 04-13, “Accounting for Purchases and Sales of Inventory with the Same Counterparty”, or EITF 04-13. EITF 04-13 discusses whether inventory purchase and sales transactions with the same counterparty that are entered into in contemplation of one another should be combined and treated as a nonmonetary exchange and addresses (a) under what circumstances should two or more transactions with the same counterparty

47




(counterparties) be viewed as a single nonmonetary transaction within the scope of APB Opinion No. 29, “Accounting for Nonmonetary Transactions”, or APB 29, and Financial Accounting Standard No. 153, “Exchanges of Nonmonetary Assets, an Amendment of APB 29”, or SFAS 153, and (b) if nonmonetary transactions within the scope of APB 29 and FAS 153 involve inventory, are there any circumstances under which the transactions should be recognized at fair value. The pronouncement is effective for new inventory arrangements entered into, or modifications or renewals of existing inventory arrangements occurring in interim or annual reporting periods beginning after March 15, 2006. We do not expect that this pronouncement will have a material effect on our consolidated financial statements.

Item 7A.                Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

We are exposed to risks associated with foreign exchange rate fluctuations due to our international manufacturing and sales activities. These exposures may change over time as business practices evolve and could negatively impact our operating results and financial condition. Currently, we do not hedge these foreign exchange rate exposures. All of our sales are denominated in U.S. dollars. An increase in the value of the U.S. dollar relative to foreign currencies could make our products more expensive and therefore reduce the demand for our products. Such a decline in the demand could reduce revenues and/or result in operating losses. In addition, a downturn in the economies of China, Japan or Taiwan could impair the value of our equity investments in companies with operations in these countries. If we consider the value of these companies to be impaired, we will write off, or expense, some or all of our investments. In 2001, we wrote down our investment in KYE by $3.3 million to $1.3 million due to an other than temporary decline in its market value. As of December 31, 2005, the market value of our KYE investment was $4.3 million based on the quoted market price. In the third quarter of 2002, we wrote down our investment in Apacer, a privately held memory module manufacturer located in Taiwan, by $7.8 million due to a other than temporary decline in its value. As of December 31, 2005, the recorded value of our Apacer investment was $4.4 million. During 2004, we wrote down our investment in Insyde by $509 thousand because Insyde’s stock price had declined below our cost basis on a other-than-temporary basis. During 2005, we wrote down our investment in ACET by $2.2 million since ACET issued a secondary round of equity funding at a lower per share price than our carrying value. As of December 31, 2005, the recorded value of our investment in ACET was $1.8 million.

At any time, fluctuations in interest rates could affect interest earnings on our cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments, or the fair value of our investment portfolio. A 10% move in interest rates as of December 31, 2005 would have an immaterial effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows. Currently, we do not hedge these interest rate exposures. As of December 31, 2005, the carrying value of our available-for-sale investments approximated fair value. The table below presents the carrying value and related weighted average interest rates for our unrestricted and restricted cash, cash equivalents and available-for-sale investments as of December 31, 2005 (in thousands):

 

 

Carrying

 

Interest

 

 

 

Value

 

Rate

 

Short-term available-for-sale investments—fixed rate

 

$

1,008

 

 

2.9

%

 

Cash and cash equivalents—variable rate

 

77,382

 

 

0.2

%

 

 

 

$

78,390

 

 

0.2

%

 

 

Item 8.                        Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

The consolidated financial statements are included in a separate section of this Annual Report.

Supplementary Data: Selected Consolidated Quarterly Data

The following table presents our unaudited consolidated statements of operations data for each of the eight quarters in the period ended December 31, 2005. In our opinion, this information has been presented

48




on the same basis as the audited consolidated financial statements included in a separate section of this report, and all necessary adjustments, consisting only of normal recurring adjustments, have been included in the amounts below to present fairly the unaudited quarterly results when read in conjunction with the audited consolidated financial statements and related notes. The operating results for any quarter should not be relied upon as necessarily indicative of results for any future period. We expect our quarterly operating results to fluctuate in future periods due to a variety of reasons, including those discussed in Part I, Item 1A. “Risks Factors.”

 

 

Quarter Ended

 

 

 

March 31,

 

June 30,

 

September 30,

 

December 31,

 

 

 

2005

 

2005

 

2005

 

2005

 

 

 

(in thousands, except per share data)

 

Net revenues:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product revenues

 

$

79,270

 

$

84,882

 

 

$

107,724

 

 

 

$

122,220

 

 

License revenues

 

7,045

 

8,417

 

 

10,348

 

 

 

10,993

 

 

Total net revenues

 

$

86,315

 

$

93,299

 

 

$

118,072

 

 

 

$

133,213

 

 

Gross profit

 

$

12,593

 

$

11,262

 

 

$

19,145

 

 

 

$

34,771

 

 

Income (loss) from operations

 

$

(13,414

)

$

(18,864

)

 

$

(5,470

)

 

 

$

10,998

 

 

Net Income (loss)

 

$

(13,897

)

$

(19,587

)

 

$

(4,794

)

 

 

$

8,440

 

 

Net Income (loss) per share—basic

 

$

(0.14

)

$

(0.19

)

 

$

(0.05

)

 

 

$

0.08

 

 

Net income (loss) per share—diluted

 

$

(0.14

)

$

(0.19

)

 

$

(0.05

)

 

 

$

0.08

 

 

 

 

 

Quarter Ended

 

 

 

March 31,

 

June 30,

 

September 30,

 

December 31,

 

 

 

2004

 

2004

 

2004

 

2004

 

 

 

(in thousands, except per share data)

 

Net revenues:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product revenues

 

$

91,370

 

$

115,571

 

 

$

101,260

 

 

 

$

96,530

 

 

License revenues

 

13,063

 

12,958

 

 

10,912

 

 

 

7,534

 

 

Total net revenues

 

$

104,433

 

$

128,529

 

 

$