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FLDM > SEC Filings for FLDM > Form 10-K on 12-Mar-2013All Recent SEC Filings

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Annual Report


The following discussion and analysis should be read together with our consolidated financial statements and the notes to those statements included elsewhere in this Form 10-K. This discussion contains forward-looking statements based on our current expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections about Fluidigm and our industry. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those indicated in these forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors, as more fully described in "Risk factors" in Item 1A of this Form 10-K, in this Item 7, and elsewhere in this Form 10-K. We undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason, even if new information becomes available or other events occur in the future.


We develop, manufacture, and market microfluidic systems for growth markets, such as single-cell genomics, applied genotyping, and sample preparation for targeted resequencing, in the life science and agricultural biotechnology, or Ag-Bio, industries. Our proprietary microfluidic systems consist of instruments and consumables, including IFCs, assays, and other reagents. Our systems are designed to significantly simplify experimental workflow, increase throughput and reduce costs, while providing the excellent data quality demanded by our customers. In addition, our proprietary technology enables genetic analysis that in many instances was previously impractical. We actively market four microfluidic systems, including 13 different IFCs for nucleic acid analysis, and three families of assay chemistries, to leading academic institutions, clinical laboratories, and pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and Ag-Bio companies. We have sold approximately 685 systems to customers in over 30 countries worldwide.

We have launched several product lines, including our BioMark system for gene expression analysis, genotyping, and digital polymerase chain reaction, or digital PCR, in 2006, our EP1 system for single nucleotide polymorphism, or SNP, genotyping, and digital PCR in 2008, our Access Array system for target enrichment in 2009, our BioMark HD real-time PCR system for high-throughput gene expression analysis, targeted single-cell gene expression analysis, SNP genotyping, and digital PCR in 2011, and our C1Single-Cell Auto Prep system for single cell sample preparation for single-cell analysis in June 2012. In addition, in May 2011, we launched assay products, including our DELTAgene assays for gene expression, our SNPtype assays for SNP genotyping, and our Access Array Target-Specific primers for targeted next-generation DNA sequencing. Our systems utilize one or more IFCs designed for particular applications and include specialized instrumentation and software, as well as assays and other reagents for certain applications.

We distribute our microfluidic systems through our direct sales force and support organizations located in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, and through distributors or sales agents in several European, Latin American, Middle Eastern, and Asia-Pacific countries. Our manufacturing operations are primarily located in Singapore. Our facility in Singapore manufactures our instruments and fabricates all of our IFCs for commercial sale and for our research and development purposes. Our South San Francisco facility fabricates IFCs for our research and development purposes, and manufactures our assays and produces other reagents for commercial sale.

From 2002 through 2011, we have received revenue from government grants. Our most significant grant relationship has been with the Singapore Economic Development Board, or EDB. The EDB, an agency of the Government of Singapore, promotes research, development, and manufacturing activities in Singapore and associated employment of Singapore nationals by providing incentive grants to companies conducting operations in Singapore that satisfy the requirements of EDB's government programs. Under our agreements with EDB, we were eligible to receive incentive grant payments from EDB, provided we satisfied certain agreed upon targets. Our agreements with EDB provided for incentive funding eligibility through May 2011. From January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2011, we recognized $1.2 million of grant revenue from EDB.

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We have grown our total revenue from $33.6 million in 2010 to $52.3 million in 2012. We have incurred significant net losses since our inception in 1999 and, as of December 31, 2012, our accumulated deficit was $240.8 million.

Critical Accounting Policies, Significant Judgments and Estimates

Our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this Form 10-K are prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. The preparation of these consolidated financial statements requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue, costs, and expenses and related disclosures. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances. Changes in accounting estimates may occur from period to period. Accordingly, actual results could differ significantly from the estimates made by our management. We evaluate our estimates and assumptions on an ongoing basis. To the extent that there are material differences between these estimates and actual results, our future financial statement presentation, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows will be affected.

We believe that the following critical accounting policies involve a greater degree of judgment and complexity than our other accounting policies. Accordingly, these are the policies we believe are the most critical to understanding and evaluating our consolidated financial condition and results of operations. Our accounting policies are more fully described in Note 2 of the notes to our audited consolidated financial statements.

Revenue Recognition

We generate revenue from sales of our products, license and collaboration arrangements, and government grants. Our products consist of instruments and consumables, including IFCs, assays and other reagents, related to our microfluidic systems. Product revenue includes services for instrument installation, training, and customer support services.

We recognize revenue when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, delivery has occurred or services have been rendered, the price to the customer is fixed or determinable, and collectability is reasonably assured. Revenue from the sales of our products that are not part of multiple element arrangements are recognized when no significant obligation remains undelivered and collection is reasonably assured, which is generally when delivery has occurred. Delivery occurs when there is a transfer of title and risk of loss passes to the customer. Payments received in advance of revenue recognition are classified as deferred revenue in the consolidated balance sheet.

The evaluation of these revenue recognition criteria requires significant management judgment. For instance, we use judgment to assess collectability based on factors such as the customer's creditworthiness and past collection history, if applicable. If we determine that collection is not reasonably assured, revenue recognition is deferred until receipt of payment. We also use judgment to assess whether a price is fixed or determinable, including, but not limited to, reviewing contractual terms and conditions related to payment.

Certain of our sales contracts involve the delivery or performance of multiple products or services. Significant contract interpretation is sometimes required to determine the appropriate accounting for revenue from multiple element arrangements, including whether the deliverables should be treated as separate units of accounting for revenue recognition purposes, how the related sales price should be allocated among the elements, when to recognize revenue for each element, and the period over which revenue should be recognized. Revenue recognition for contracts with multiple deliverables is based on the individual units of accounting determined to exist in the contract.

For sales contracts that include multiple deliverables, we allocate the contract consideration at the inception of the contract to each unit of accounting based upon their relative selling prices. We may use our best estimate

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of selling price for individual deliverables when vendor specific objective evidence or third-party evidence is unavailable. A delivered item is considered to be a separate unit of accounting when it has value to the customer on a stand-alone basis.

Our products, other than for service contracts, are delivered within a short time frame, generally within one to three months, of the contract date. Service contracts are entered into for one to two year terms, following the expiration of the warranty period.

For transactions entered into prior to 2011 that include multiple elements, we allocated revenue to each unit of accounting based on its relative fair value, and recognized revenue for each unit of accounting when the applicable revenue recognition criteria were met. When objective and reliable evidence of fair value existed for the undelivered items but not for the delivered items, the residual method was used to allocate arrangement consideration. Under the residual method, the amount of arrangement consideration allocated to the delivered items equaled the total arrangement consideration less the aggregate fair value of the undelivered items. When we were unable to establish stand-alone value for delivered items or when fair value of undelivered items had not been established, revenue was deferred until all elements were delivered and services had been performed, or until fair value could objectively be determined for any remaining undelivered elements.

Our products are sold without the right of return. Accruals for estimated warranty expenses are provided at the time the associated revenue is recognized. We use judgment to estimate these accruals and, if we were to experience an increase in warranty claims or if costs of servicing our products under warranty were greater than our estimates, our cost of product revenue could be adversely affected in future periods.

We have entered into license and collaboration agreements with third parties that generally provide us with up-front and periodic milestone payments. Revenue from license agreements is recognized when received, upfront payments are generally recognized over the term of the underlying agreement and milestone payments are generally recognized based upon the achievement of the milestones as defined in the agreement.

Revenue from government grants relates to the achievement of agreed upon milestones and expenditures and is recognized in the period in which the related costs are incurred, provided that the conditions under which the government grants are awarded have been substantially met and only perfunctory obligations remain outstanding. With respect to the EDB grants, upon satisfaction of grant conditions, we received incentive grant payments equal to a portion of qualifying expenses we incurred in Singapore. Qualifying expenses included salaries, overhead, outsourcing and subcontracting expenses, operating expenses, and raw material purchases. Royalties paid are not qualifying expenses under the incentive grant program. We submitted requests to the EDB for incentive grant payments on a quarterly basis, which were subject to the EDB's review and our satisfaction of the grant conditions. Our first grant agreement with the EDB was completed in July 2010, at which time we submitted our final progress report and evidence of achievement of our development targets under the letter agreement. In October 2010, we received confirmation from EDB that all of our obligations under the first grant had been met and, in October 2010, we received our final grant payment relating thereto. Our second grant agreement with the EDB was completed in May 2011. Based on correspondence with EDB, we believe we have satisfied our obligations applicable to our EDB grant revenue through December 31, 2012.

Changes in judgments and estimates regarding application of these revenue recognition guidelines as well as changes in facts and circumstances could result in a change in the timing or amount of revenue recognized in future periods.

Stock-Based Compensation

We measure the cost of employee services received in exchange for an award of equity instruments, including stock options and restricted stock units, based on the grant date fair value of the award. The fair value of options on the grant date is estimated using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model, which requires the use of

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certain subjective assumptions, including expected term, volatility, risk-free interest rate and the fair value of our common stock. These assumptions generally require significant judgment.

Our board of directors sets the terms, conditions, and restrictions related to the grant of stock options and restricted stock units, including the number of shares underlying the grants and the vesting criteria. With respect to performance-based stock options, depending on the extent to which the vesting criteria are met, our board of directors determines the number of shares that vest under the grants.

The resulting costs of our equity awards, net of estimated forfeitures, are recognized over the period during which an employee is required to provide service in exchange for the award, usually a time-based vesting period. We amortize the fair value of stock-based compensation on a straight-line basis over the requisite service periods. For performance-based stock options, we recognize stock-based compensation over the requisite service periods using the accelerated attribution method.

Our common stock has a limited trading history because our common stock was not publicly traded until our initial public offering, or IPO, in February 2011. Accordingly, the expected volatility of our common stock is derived from the historical volatilities of several unrelated public companies within the life science industry. When selecting our industry peer companies, we consider our stage of development, size, and financial leverage. These historical volatilities are weighted based on certain qualitative factors and combined to produce a single volatility factor. The risk-free interest rate is based on the U.S. Treasury yield in effect at the time of grant for zero coupon U.S. Treasury notes with maturities approximately equal to each grant's expected life. We estimate the expected lives of employee options using the "simplified" method as the midpoint of the expected time-to-vest and the contractual term.

The calculated fair value of our stock options could change significantly if we determine that another method is more reasonable, or if another method for calculating these input assumptions is prescribed by authoritative guidance. Higher volatility and longer expected lives result in an increase in stock-based compensation expense determined at the date of grant. Stock-based compensation expense affects our cost of product revenue, research and development expense, and selling, general and administrative expense.

We estimate our forfeiture rate based on an analysis of our actual forfeitures and we will continue to evaluate the appropriateness of the forfeiture rate based on actual forfeiture experience, analysis of employee turnover behavior, and other factors. Quarterly changes in the estimated forfeiture rate can have a significant effect on reported stock-based compensation expense, as the cumulative effect of adjusting the rate is recognized in the period the forfeiture estimate is changed. If a revised forfeiture rate is higher than the previously estimated forfeiture rate, an adjustment is made that will result in a decrease to the stock-based compensation expense recognized in the consolidated financial statements. If a revised forfeiture rate is lower than the previously estimated forfeiture rate, an adjustment is made that will result in an increase to the stock-based compensation expense recognized in the consolidated financial statements. The effect of forfeiture adjustments was insignificant during 2012, 2011, and 2010. We will continue to use judgment in evaluating the expected term, volatility, and forfeiture rate related to our stock-based compensation.

Also required to compute the fair value calculation of options is the fair value of the underlying common stock. We grant stock options at exercise prices not less than the fair value of our common stock at the date of grant. Prior to our IPO, our board of directors obtained contemporaneous valuations from an unrelated third-party valuation firm to determine the estimated fair value of common stock based on an analysis of relevant metrics, such as the price of the most recent convertible preferred stock sales to outside investors, the rights, preferences, and privileges of the convertible preferred stock, our operating and financial performance, the hiring of key personnel, the introduction of new products, the lack of marketability of the common stock, and additional factors relating to our business. There is inherent uncertainty in these estimates and if we or the valuation firm had made different assumptions, the amount of our stock-based compensation expense, net loss, and net loss per share amounts could have been significantly different. Following the completion of our IPO in February 2011,

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the fair value of options granted is based on the closing price of our common stock on the date of grant as quoted on the NASDAQ Global Market.

Historically, certain of our stock options were granted to officers, with vesting acceleration features based upon the achievement of certain performance milestones. The timing of the attainment of these milestones affected the timing of expense recognition since we recognize compensation expense only for the portion of stock options that are expected to vest.

We recorded stock-based compensation of $4.1 million, $2.8 million, and $1.6 million during 2012, 2011, and 2010, respectively. As of December 31, 2012, we had $10.5 million of unrecognized stock-based compensation costs, which are expected to be recognized over an average period of three years.

Income Taxes

We use the asset and liability method to account for income taxes. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax basis. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. Significant management judgment is required in determining our provision for income taxes, our deferred tax assets and liabilities, and any valuation allowance recorded against our deferred tax assets. Our provision for income taxes generally consists of tax expense/benefit related to current period earnings/losses. As part of the process of preparing our consolidated financial statements, we continuously monitor the circumstances impacting the expected realization of our deferred tax assets for each jurisdiction. We consider all available evidence, including historical operating results in each jurisdiction, expectations and risks associated with estimates of future taxable income, and ongoing prudent and feasible tax planning strategies in assessing the need for a valuation allowance. To the extent a deferred tax asset cannot be recognized, a valuation allowance is established to reduce our deferred tax assets to the amount that is more likely than not to be realized. We have recorded a full valuation allowance on our deferred tax assets due to uncertainties related to our ability to utilize our deferred tax assets in the foreseeable future. These deferred tax assets primarily consist of net operating loss carryforwards and research and development tax credits. We intend to maintain this valuation allowance until sufficient evidence exists to support its reduction. We make estimates and judgments about our future taxable income that are based on assumptions that are consistent with our plans and estimates. Should the actual amounts differ from our estimates, the amount of our valuation allowance could be materially impacted. Changes in these estimates may result in significant increases or decreases to our tax provision in a period in which such estimates are changed, which in turn would affect net income or loss.

We recognize the financial statement effects of a tax position when it is more likely than not, based on the technical merits, that the position will be sustained upon examination. Any interest and penalties related to uncertain tax positions will be reflected in income tax provision.

Effective January 1, 2010, we obtained approval for Pioneer Tax Status in Singapore. We do not expect this status to have a material impact on our business, operating results, or financial condition. We cannot predict whether Pioneer Tax Status will have a material impact on our business, operating results, or financial condition in future periods because the availability of the tax incentives will depend entirely on the long-term development of our business.

Inventory Valuation

We record adjustments to inventory for potentially excess, obsolete, slow-moving, or impaired goods in order to state inventory at its net realizable value. The business environment in which we operate is subject to rapid changes in technology and customer demand. We regularly review inventory for excess and obsolete products and components, taking into account product life cycle and development plans, product expiration and

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quality issues, historical experience, and our current inventory levels. If actual market conditions are less favorable than anticipated, additional inventory adjustments could be required.

Results of Operations


We generate revenue from sales of our products, license and collaboration agreements, and government grants. Our product revenue consists of sales of instruments and related services, and consumables, including IFCs, assays and other reagents. We have entered into license and collaboration agreements and have received government grants to conduct research and development activities.

The following table presents our revenue by source for each period presented (in thousands):

                                                   Year Ended December 31,
                                                2012         2011         2010
          Instruments                         $ 29,152     $ 25,190     $ 20,708
          Consumables                           22,336       15,391        9,754

          Product revenue                       51,488       40,581       30,462
          License and collaboration revenue        185        1,716        1,625
          Grant revenue                            661          568        1,473

          Total revenue                       $ 52,334     $ 42,865     $ 33,560

The following table presents our product revenue by geography and as a percentage of total product revenue by geography based on the billing address of our customers for each period presented (in thousands):

                                               Year Ended December 31,
                                2012                    2011                    2010
         United States   $ 27,325        53%     $ 21,644        53%     $ 16,619        55%
         Europe            13,086        26%       10,499        26%        7,577        25%
         Japan              3,840         7%        3,942        10%        2,700         9%
         Asia Pacific       6,321        12%        3,698         9%        2,800         9%
         Other                916         2%          798         2%          766         2%

         Total           $ 51,488       100%     $ 40,581       100%     $ 30,462       100%

Grant revenue is received from our incentive grants with the EDB and the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, or CIRM. Grant revenue from CIRM is generated in the United States and grant revenue with the EDB was generated in Singapore. License and collaboration revenue is primarily generated in the United States.

Our customers include academic research institutions, clinical laboratories, and pharmaceutical, biotechnology and Ag-Bio companies worldwide. Total revenue from our five largest customers in each of the periods presented comprised 17%, 16%, and 19% of revenue in 2012, 2011, and 2010, respectively.

Comparison of the Years Ended December 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011

Total Revenue

Total revenue increased by $9.4 million, or 22%, to $52.3 million for 2012 as compared to $42.9 million for 2011.

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Product Revenue

Product revenue increased by $10.9 million, or 27%, to $51.5 million for 2012 as compared to $40.6 million for 2011, reflecting increased revenue from sales of instruments and consumables. Consumables revenue increased by $6.9 million, or 45%, primarily due to increased sales of genotyping and gene expression IFCs, and to a lesser extent, Access Array IFCs and assays. IFC sales growth was driven by increases in the installed base of our instrument systems, analytical chip pull-through, and to a lesser extent, by higher IFC average selling prices. Instrument revenue increased by $4.0 million, or 16%, primarily due to the launch of our C1 Single-Cell Auto Prep system during the third quarter of 2012, and increased sales of our service offerings and aftermarket instruments. This was partially offset by decreased unit sales of the Access Array system and, to a much lesser extent, decreased unit sales of our analytical systems.

We expect unit sales of both instruments and consumables to continue to increase in future periods as we continue our efforts to grow our customer base and expand our geographic market coverage. However, we expect the average selling prices of our instruments to fluctuate over time based on product mix.

License and Collaboration Revenue

License and collaboration revenue decreased by $1.5 million to $0.2 million for 2012 as compared to $1.7 million for 2011 due to the termination of the collaboration agreement with Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics, Inc. (Novartis V&D) on May 1, 2012. The collaboration agreement with Novartis V&D was entered into in May 2010 to develop a new product and received an up-front payment of $0.7 million. Additionally, the collaboration agreement provided for payments to us upon the achievement of multiple defined milestones related to the design and development of product prototypes.

In March 2011, we entered into an amendment to the collaboration agreement and received an additional $0.3 million. Under the amendment, certain milestones were modified and payment terms related to this agreement associated with satisfaction of the milestones were revised.

During 2011, we recognized $1.0 million of milestone revenue related to this . . .

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