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IDXX > SEC Filings for IDXX > Form 10-K on 18-Feb-2014All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for IDEXX LABORATORIES INC /DE



Annual Report


Description of Segments. Prior to January 1, 2013, we operated primarily through three business segments: diagnostic and information technology-based products and services for the veterinary market, which we continue to refer to as the Companion Animal Group ("CAG"); water quality products ("Water"); and diagnostic products for livestock and poultry health, which we referred to as Livestock and Poultry Diagnostics. We also operated two smaller operating segments that comprised products for milk quality and safety ("Dairy") and products for the human point-of-care medical diagnostics market ("OPTI Medical"). Financial information about our Dairy and OPTI Medical operating segments was combined and presented with our remaining pharmaceutical product line and our out-licensing arrangements in an "Other" category because they did not meet the quantitative or qualitative thresholds for reportable segments.

In 2013, we combined the management of our Livestock and Poultry Diagnostics, and Dairy lines of business to more effectively realize the market synergies between the product lines and to achieve operational efficiencies. We refer to this segment as Livestock, Poultry and Dairy ("LPD"). Our OPTI Medical operating segment remains combined and presented with our remaining pharmaceutical product line and our out-licensing arrangements in an "Other" category because they do not meet the quantitative or qualitative thresholds for reportable segments. The segment income (loss) from operations discussed within this report for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011 has been retrospectively revised to reflect this change in the composition of our reportable segments. See Note 15 to the consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2013 included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for financial information about our segments, including our product and service categories, and our geographic areas.

Items that are not allocated to our operating segments are as follows: a portion of corporate support function and personnel-related expenses; certain manufacturing costs; corporate research and development expenses that do not align with one of our existing business or service categories; the difference between estimated and actual share-based compensation expense; certain foreign currency exchange gains and losses; and variances from standard cost for products sold resulting from changes in certain currency exchange rates. In our segment disclosure, these amounts are shown under the caption "Unallocated Amounts."

The following is a discussion of the strategic and operating factors that we believe have the most significant effect on the performance of our business.

Companion Animal Group

Our strategy is to provide veterinarians with both the highest quality diagnostic information to support more advanced medical care and information management solutions that help demonstrate the value of diagnostics to pet owners and enable efficient practice management, which all results in a mutually successful partnership with our veterinarian customers based on healthy pets, loyal customers and expanding practice revenues.

CAG Diagnostics. We refer to the extensiveness and integration of our diagnostic and information management offerings as the IDEXX Diagnostic Advantage. We provide diagnostic capabilities that meet veterinarian's diverse needs through a variety of modalities including in-clinic diagnostic solutions and outside reference laboratories. Veterinarians that utilize our full line of diagnostic modalities obtain a single view of a patient's diagnostic results, which allows them to spot trends and achieve greater medical insight.

The breadth and complementary nature of our diagnostic solutions also provides us scale in sales and distribution. During 2013, we reorganized our companion animal diagnostic sales organization in North America, transitioning our specialty sales force that represented either in-clinic or outside reference laboratory diagnostics to account representatives who represent all CAG diagnostic modalities. In addition to this reorganization, we increased the size of our sales force resulting in smaller geographically sized sales territories. These changes allowed for more frequent customer contact by a consistent sales professional. We believe these changes will continue to strengthen customer loyalty and help support growth of our diagnostic revenues in North America.

Our diagnostic capabilities generate both recurring and non-recurring revenues. Revenues related to capital placements of our in-clinic VetLab suite of instruments are non-recurring in nature, while revenues from the associated proprietary VetLab consumables, SNAP rapid assay test kits, outside reference laboratory and consulting services, and extended maintenance agreements and accessories related to our VetLab instruments are recurring in nature. Instrument sales have significantly lower gross margins than those provided by our recurring revenues, especially in the case of VetLab consumables and rapid assay test kits. Therefore, the mix of nonrecurring and recurring revenues in a particular period will impact our gross margins.

Diagnostic Capital Revenue. Revenues related to the placement of the VetLab suite of instruments are non-recurring in nature, in that the customer will buy an instrument once over the course of many years, but will purchase consumables for that instrument on a recurring basis as they use that instrument for testing purposes. During the early stage of an instrument's life cycle, we derive relatively greater revenues from instrument placements, while consumable sales become relatively more significant in later stages as the installed base of instruments increases and instrument placement revenues begin to decline. In the early stage of an instrument's life cycle, placements are made primarily through sales transactions. As the market for the product matures, an increasing percentage of placements are made in transactions, sometimes referred to as "reagent rentals," in which instruments are placed at customer sites at little or no cost in exchange for a long-term customer commitment to purchase instrument consumables.

We place our Catalyst Dx chemistry analyzers through sales, leases, rental and other programs. In addition, we continue to place VetTest instruments through sales, lease, rental and other programs, with substantially all of our revenues from that product line currently derived from consumable sales. As of December 31, 2013, these two chemistry analyzers provided for a combined active installed base of approximately 35,000 units. A substantial portion of 2013 Catalyst Dx analyzer placements were to customers who had been using instruments from one of our competitors, sometimes referred to as competitive accounts. Generally, placement of an instrument with a competitive account is more attractive as the entire consumable stream associated with that placement represents incremental revenue, whereas the consumable stream associated with a Catalyst Dx placement at a VetTest customer substitutes a Catalyst Dx consumable stream for a VetTest consumable stream. Nonetheless, we have found that the consumables revenues increase when a customer upgrades from a VetTest analyzer to a Catalyst Dx analyzer due to the superior capability, flexibility and ease of use of the Catalyst Dx, which leads to additional testing by the customer.

In addition to the Catalyst Dx analyzer, we have begun pre-selling the Catalyst One instrument and currently have a customer marketing program underway through which customers preordering a Catalyst One are provided with the right to use a Catalyst Dx instrument through the Catalyst One release date. Under this marketing program, we do not recognize instrument revenue until delivery of the Catalyst One instrument, which we anticipate to occur throughout 2015. As we continue to experience growth in placements of Catalyst analyzers and in sales of related consumables, we expect this growth to be partly offset by a decline in placements of VetTest analyzers and in sales of related consumables.

The ProCyte Dx analyzer is our latest generation hematology analyzer, which we launched in 2010. In addition we sell the LaserCyte Dx and LaserCyte analyzers and VetAutoread analyzers. As of December 31, 2013, these four hematology analyzers provided for a combined active installed base of approximately 25,000 units. A substantial portion of ProCyte Dx analyzer placements continue to be made at veterinary clinics that elect to upgrade from their LaserCyte analyzer to a ProCyte Dx analyzer. However, an increasing number of placements have been made at competitive accounts since the launch of this instrument in 2010. We also continue to place a substantial number of LaserCyte Dx and LaserCyte instruments, both new and refurbished, as trade-ups from the VetAutoread analyzer and at new and competitive accounts. In 2013, a significant number of LaserCyte instruments that were placed were refurbished instruments that had been received in trade in the sale of a ProCyte Dx analyzer. As we continue to experience growth in placements of ProCyte Dx analyzers and in sales of related consumables, we expect this growth to be partly offset by a decline in placements of LaserCyte and VetAutoread analyzers and in sales of related consumables.

We seek to enhance the attractiveness of our SNAP rapid assay tests by providing the SNAPshot Dx, which automatically reads certain SNAP test results and records those results in the electronic medical record, and the upcoming SNAP Pro Mobile Device, which activates SNAP tests, captures and saves images of the results and records invoice charges in the patient record. This promotes practice efficiency by eliminating manual entry of test results in patient records and also helps ensure that the services are recorded and accurately invoiced. In addition, the SNAP Pro Mobile Device activates the test, properly times the run, and captures an image of the result, which can be shared with pet owners on the SNAP Pro screen or via VetConnect PLUS. We anticipate the SNAP Pro Mobile Device will begin shipping at the end of the first quarter of 2014. We continue to work on enhancing the functionality of our analyzers to read the results of additional tests from our canine and feline family of rapid assay products.

Our long-term success in this area of our business is dependent upon new customer acquisition, customer loyalty and retention and customer utilization of existing and new assays introduced for use on our analyzers. We continuously seek opportunities to enhance the care that veterinary professionals give to their patients and clients through supporting the implementation of real-time care testing work flows, which is performing tests and sharing test results with the client at the time of the patient visit. Our latest generation of chemistry and hematology instruments demonstrates this commitment by offering enhanced ease of use, faster time to results, greater sample throughput, broader test menu and connectivity to various information technology platforms that enhance the value of the diagnostic information generated by the instruments. In addition, we provide marketing tools and consultative services that help drive efficiencies in veterinary practice processes and allow practices to increase the number of clients they see on a daily basis.

With all of our instrument product lines, we seek to differentiate our products from our competitors' products based on time-to-result, ease-of-use, throughput, breadth of diagnostic menu, flexibility of menu selection, accuracy, reliability, ability to handle compromised samples, analytical capability of software, integration with the IDEXX VetLab Station and VetConnect PLUS, client communications capabilities, education and training, and superior sales and customer service. Our success depends, in part, on our ability to differentiate our products in a way that justifies a premium price.

Recurring Diagnostic Revenue. Revenues from our proprietary VetLab consumable products, our SNAP rapid assay test kits, outside reference laboratory and consulting services, and extended maintenance agreements and accessories related to our VetLab instruments are considered recurring in nature. Our in-clinic diagnostic solutions, consisting of our VetLab consumable products and SNAP rapid assay test kits, provide real-time reference lab quality diagnostic results for a variety of companion animal diseases and health conditions. Our outside reference laboratories provide veterinarians with the benefits of a more comprehensive list of diagnostic tests and access to consultations with board-certified veterinary specialists and pathologists, combined with the benefit of same-day or next-day turnaround times.

We derive substantial revenues and margins from the sale of consumables that are used in VetLab instruments and the multi-year consumable revenue stream is significantly more valuable than the placement of the instrument. Our strategy is to increase diagnostic testing within veterinary practices by placing VetLab instruments and increasing instrument utilization of consumables. Utilization can increase due to a greater number of patient samples being run or to an increase in the number of tests being run per patient sample. Our strategy is to increase both drivers. To increase utilization, we seek to educate veterinarians about best medical practices that emphasize the importance of chemistry and hematology testing for a variety of diagnostic purposes. In connection with the purchase of instruments, we also offer protocol-based rebate incentives when customers utilize the broad testing functionality of our analyzers.

Our in-clinic diagnostic solutions also include SNAP rapid assay tests that address important medical needs for particular diseases prevalent in the companion animal population. We seek to differentiate these tests from those of other in-clinic test providers and reference laboratory diagnostic service providers through ease-of-use, superior performance, sensitivity, specificity and by providing our customers with combination tests that test a single sample for up to six diseases at once. We further augment our product development and customer service efforts with sales and marketing programs that enhance medical awareness and understanding regarding certain diseases and the importance of diagnostic testing.

We believe that more than half of all diagnostic testing by U.S. veterinarians is provided by outside reference laboratories such as our IDEXX Reference Laboratories. In several markets outside the U.S., in-clinic testing is less prevalent and an even greater percentage of diagnostic testing is done in reference laboratories. We attempt to differentiate our reference laboratory testing services from those of competitive reference laboratories and competitive in-clinic offerings primarily on the basis of test menu, technology employed, quality, turnaround time, customer service and tools such as VetConnect PLUS that demonstrate the complementary manner in which our laboratory services work with our in-clinic offerings.

Profitability from our reference laboratory diagnostic and consulting services is largely the result of our ability to achieve efficiencies from both volume and operational improvements. Start-up laboratories that we open typically will operate at a loss until testing volumes achieve sufficient scale. Acquired laboratories frequently operate less profitably than our existing laboratories and acquired laboratories may not achieve the profitability of our existing laboratory network for several years until we complete the implementation of operating improvements and efficiencies. Therefore, in the short term, new and acquired reference laboratories generally will have a negative effect on our operating margin. Recurring revenue growth is achieved both through increased sales to existing customers and through the acquisition of new customers. We believe the reorganization of our sales force will lead to increased reference laboratory opportunities with customers who already use one of our in-clinic diagnostic modalities. In recent years, reoccurring reference laboratory diagnostic and consulting revenues have also been increased through reference laboratory acquisitions, customer list acquisitions, the opening of new reference laboratories, including laboratories that are co-located with large practice customers, and as a result of our up-front customer loyalty programs. Under these arrangements, we provide incentives to customers in the form of cash payments or IDEXX Points upon entering multi-year agreements to purchase annual minimum amounts of products or services in the future.

Health Monitoring and Biological Materials Testing. We believe the acquisition of the research and diagnostic laboratory business of the College of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Missouri allows us to leverage our expertise in veterinary diagnostics and expand our integrated offering of reference laboratory diagnostic and consulting services and in-clinic testing solutions in the adjacent bioresearch market.

Customer Information Management and Digital Imaging Systems. Our Cornerstone practice management system provides a superior integrated information solution, backed by exceptional customer support and education, to allow the veterinarian to practice better medicine and achieve the practice's business objectives, including a quality client experience, staff efficiency and practice profitability. We differentiate our practice management systems through enhanced functionality, ease of use and connectivity with in-clinic VetLab instruments and outside reference laboratory test results. Pet Health Network Pro online client communication and education service complements the entire IDEXX product offering by educating pet owners and building loyalty through engaging the pet owner before, during and after the visit, thereby building client loyalty and driving more patient visits.

Our digital imaging systems offer a convenient system that provides superior image quality and software capability that enables sharing of these images with clients virtually anywhere and enhanced diagnostic features and customer workflow, backed by the same customer support provided for our other products and services in CAG.


Our strategy in the water testing business is to develop, manufacture, market and sell proprietary products with superior performance, supported by exceptional customer service. Our customers primarily consist of water utilities, government laboratories and private certified laboratories that highly value strong relationships and customer support. Sales of water testing products outside of the U.S. represented 51% of total water product sales in 2013, and we expect that future growth in this business will be significantly dependent on our ability to increase international sales. Growth also will be dependent on our ability to enhance and broaden our product line. Most water microbiological testing is driven by regulation, and, in many countries, a test may not be used for compliance testing unless it has been approved by the applicable regulatory body. As a result, we maintain an active regulatory program that involves applying for regulatory approvals in a number of countries, primarily in Europe. Further, we seek to receive regulatory approvals from governing agencies as a means to differentiate our products from the competition.

Livestock, Poultry and Dairy

We develop, manufacture, market and sell a broad range of tests for various cattle, swine and poultry diseases and conditions, and have active research and development and in-licensing programs in this area. Our strategy is to offer proprietary tests with superior performance characteristics for use in government programs to control or eradicate disease and disease outbreaks and in livestock and poultry producers' disease and reproductive management programs. Disease outbreaks are episodic and unpredictable, and certain diseases that are prevalent at one time may be substantially contained or eradicated at a later time. In response to outbreaks, testing initiatives may lead to exceptional demand for certain products in certain periods. Conversely, successful eradication programs may result in significantly decreased demand for certain products. In addition, increases in government funding may lead to increased demand for certain products and budgetary constraints may lead to decreased demand for certain products.

Our strategy in the dairy testing business is to develop, manufacture and sell antibiotic residue and contaminant testing products that satisfy applicable regulatory requirements for testing of milk by processors and producers and provide reliable field performance. The manufacture of these testing products leverages, almost exclusively, the SNAP platform as well as the production equipment of our rapid assay business, incorporating customized reagents for antibiotic and contaminant detection. To successfully increase sales of dairy testing products, we believe that we need to increase penetration in the processor and producer segments of the dairy market and develop product line enhancements and extensions.

Based on the episodic nature of disease outbreaks, the performance of this business can fluctuate. In 2013, LPD organic revenues declined approximately 1%, resulting primarily from lower sales volumes of bovine tests resulting from changes in European testing requirements and lower sales volumes of Dairy SNAP tests used for the detection of the contaminant Aflatoxin M1 and antibiotic residues in milk.

In 2013, approximately 88% of our sales in this business were from markets outside of the U.S., most notably Europe. The performance of the business is particularly subject to the various risks that are associated with doing business internationally. See "Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors."


OPTI Medical Systems. Our strategy in the OPTI Medical Systems business for the human market is to develop, manufacture, and sell electrolyte and blood gas analyzers and related consumable products for the medical point-of-care diagnostics market worldwide, with a focus on small to mid-sized hospitals. We seek to differentiate our products based on ease of use, convenience, international distribution and service and instrument reliability. Similar to our veterinary instruments and consumables strategy, a substantial portion of the revenues from this product line is derived from the sale of consumables for use on the installed base of electrolyte and blood gas analyzers. During the early stage of an instrument's life cycle, relatively greater revenues are derived from instrument placements, while consumable sales become relatively more significant in later stages as the installed base of instruments increases and instrument placement revenues begin to decline. Our long-term success in this area of our business is dependent upon new customer acquisition, customer retention and increased customer utilization of existing and new assays introduced on these instruments.

Our strategy in the OPTI Medical Systems business for the veterinary market is to utilize this unit's know-how, intellectual property and manufacturing capability to continue to expand the menu and instrument capability of the VetStat and Catalyst Dx platforms for veterinary applications while reducing our cost of consumables by leveraging experience and economies of scale.

In 2013, approximately 83% of our sales in the OPTI Medical Systems business were from markets outside of the U.S., most notably Europe, the Middle-East and Asia. The performance of the business is particularly subject to the various risks that are associated with doing business internationally. See "Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors."


The discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations is based upon our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America ("U.S. GAAP"). The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses, and related disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities. We evaluate our estimates on an ongoing basis. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates. Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K describes the significant accounting policies used in preparation of these consolidated financial statements.

We believe the following critical accounting estimates and assumptions may have a material impact on reported financial condition and operating performance and involve significant levels of judgment to account for highly uncertain matters or are susceptible to significant change.

Revenue Recognition

We recognize revenue when four criteria are met: (i) persuasive evidence that an arrangement exists; (ii) delivery has occurred or services have been rendered;
(iii) the sales price is fixed or determinable; and (iv) collectability is reasonably assured. See Note 2(i) to the consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2013 included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information about our revenue recognition policy and criteria for recognizing revenue.

Multiple element arrangements ("MEAs"). Arrangements to sell products to customers frequently include multiple deliverables. Our most significant MEAs include the sale of one or more of the instruments from the IDEXX VetLab suite of analyzers, digital imaging systems or practice management software, combined with one or more of the following products: extended maintenance agreements ("EMAs"), consumables and reference laboratory diagnostic and consulting services. Practice management software is frequently sold with post-contract customer support and implementation services. Delivery of the various products or performance of services within the arrangement may or may not coincide. Delivery of our IDEXX VetLab instruments, digital imaging systems and practice management software generally occurs at the onset of the arrangement. EMAs, consumables, and reference laboratory diagnostic and consulting services typically are delivered over future periods, generally one to six years. In certain arrangements, revenue recognized is limited to the amount invoiced or received that is not contingent on the delivery of products and services in the future.

We allocate revenue to each element based on the relative selling price and recognize revenue when the elements have standalone value and the four criteria for revenue recognition, as discussed above, have been met for each element. If available, we establish the selling price of each element based on vendor-specific objective evidence ("VSOE"), which represents the price charged for a deliverable when it is sold separately. We use third-party evidence ("TPE") if VSOE is not available, or best estimate of selling price if neither VSOE nor TPE is available. We generally determine selling price based on amounts charged separately for the delivered and undelivered elements to similar customers in standalone sales of the specific elements. When these arrangements include a separately-priced EMA, we recognize revenue related to the EMA at the stated contractual price on a straight-line basis over the life of the agreement to the extent the separately stated price is substantive. If there is no stated . . .

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