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FFIV > SEC Filings for FFIV > Form 10-K on 21-Nov-2012All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for F5 NETWORKS INC

Form 10-K for F5 NETWORKS INC


Annual Report

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

The following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements about our plans, objectives, expectations, strategies, intentions or other characterizations of future events or circumstances and are generally identified by the words "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "seeks," "estimates," and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are based on current information and expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those discussed under "Item 1A. Risk Factors" herein and in other documents we file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We assume no obligation to revise or update any such forward-looking statements.


We are a global provider of appliances consisting of software and hardware and services that help companies efficiently and securely manage the delivery, optimization and security of application and data traffic on Internet-based networks, and to optimize the performance and utilization of data storage infrastructure and other network resources. We market and sell our products primarily through multiple indirect sales channels in the Americas (primarily the United States); Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); Japan; and the Asia Pacific region (APAC). Enterprise customers (Fortune 1000 or Business Week Global 1000 companies) in the technology, telecommunications, financial services, transportation, education, manufacturing and health care industries, along with government customers, continue to make up the largest percentage of our customer base.

Our management team monitors and analyzes a number of key performance indicators in order to manage our business and evaluate our financial and operating performance. Those indicators include:

Revenues. The majority of our revenues are derived from sales of our application delivery networking (ADN) products including our high end VIPRION chassis and related software modules; BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager, BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager, BIG-IP Link Controller, BIG-IP Application Security Manager, BIG-IP Edge Gateway, BIG-IP WAN Optimization module, BIG-IP Access Policy Manager, and WebAccelerator; FirePass SSL VPN appliance; and our ARX file virtualization products. We also derive revenues from the sales of services including annual maintenance contracts, training and consulting services. We carefully monitor the sales mix of our revenues within each reporting period. We believe customer acceptance rates of our new products and feature enhancements are indicators of future trends. We also consider overall revenue concentration by customer and by geographic region as additional indicators of current and future trends.

Cost of revenues and gross margins. We strive to control our cost of revenues and thereby maintain our gross margins. Significant items impacting cost of revenues are hardware costs paid to our contract manufacturers, third-party software license fees, amortization of developed technology and personnel and overhead expenses. Our margins have remained relatively stable; however, factors such as sales price, product mix, inventory obsolescence, returns, component price increases and warranty costs could significantly impact our gross margins from quarter to quarter and represent significant indicators we monitor on a regular basis.

Operating expenses. Operating expenses are substantially driven by personnel and related overhead expenses. Existing headcount and future hiring plans are the predominant factors in analyzing and

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forecasting future operating expense trends. Other significant operating expenses that we monitor include marketing and promotions, travel, professional fees, computer costs related to the development of new products, facilities and depreciation expenses.

Liquidity and cash flows. Our financial condition remains strong with significant cash and investments and no long term debt. The increase in cash and investments for fiscal year 2012 was primarily due to cash provided by operating activities of $495.4 million. This increase was partially offset by $184.8 million of cash used to repurchase outstanding common stock under our share repurchase program in fiscal year 2012. Going forward, we believe the primary driver of cash flows will be net income from operations. On February 22, 2012, we acquired all of the capital stock of Traffix Communication Systems Ltd. (Traffix Systems) for cash of $133.7 million. Capital expenditures of $29.9 million for fiscal year 2012 were comprised primarily of information technology infrastructure and equipment to support the growth of our core business activities. We will continue to evaluate possible acquisitions of, or investments in businesses, products, or technologies that we believe are strategic, which may require the use of cash.

Balance sheet. We view cash, short-term and long-term investments, deferred revenue, accounts receivable balances and days sales outstanding as important indicators of our financial health. Deferred revenues continued to increase in fiscal 2012 due to growth in the amount of annual maintenance contracts purchased on new products and maintenance renewal contracts related to our existing product installation base. Our days sales outstanding for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012 was 46.

Critical Accounting Policies

Our consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. 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 base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.

We believe the following critical accounting policies affect the more significant estimates and judgments used in the preparation of our financial statements.

Revenue Recognition. We sell products through distributors, resellers, and directly to end users. Revenue is recognized provided that all of the following criteria have been met:

Persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists. Evidence of an arrangement generally consists of a purchase order issued pursuant to the terms and conditions of a distributor, reseller or end user agreement.

Delivery has occurred. We use shipping or related documents, or written evidence of customer acceptance, when applicable, to verify delivery or completion of any performance terms.

The sales price is fixed or determinable. We assess whether the sales price is fixed or determinable based on payment terms associated with the transaction and whether the sales price is subject to refund or adjustment.

Collectability is reasonably assured. We assess collectability primarily based on the creditworthiness of the customer as determined by credit checks and related analysis, as well as the Customer's payment history.

In certain regions where we do not have the ability to reasonably estimate returns, we defer revenue on sales to our distributors until they have received information from the channel partner indicating that the product has been sold to the end-user customer. Payment terms to domestic customers are generally net 30 days to net 45

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days. Payment terms to international customers range from net 30 days to net 120 days based on normal and customary trade practices in the individual markets. We offer extended payment terms to certain customers, in which case, revenue is recognized when payments are due.

Whenever product, training services and post-contract customer support (PCS) elements are sold together, a portion of the sales price is allocated to each element based on their respective fair values as determined when the individual elements are sold separately. Revenue from the sale of products is recognized when the product has been shipped and the customer is obligated to pay for the product. When rights of return are present and we cannot estimate returns, we recognize revenue when such rights of return lapse. Revenues for PCS are recognized on a straight-line basis over the service contract term. PCS includes a limited period of telephone support updates, repair or replacement of any failed product or component that fails during the term of the agreement, bug fixes and rights to upgrades, when and if available. Consulting services are customarily billed at fixed hourly rates, plus out-of-pocket expenses, and revenues are recognized when the consulting has been completed. Training revenue is recognized when the training has been completed.

In October 2009, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) amended the accounting standards for revenue recognition to remove from the scope of industry-specific software revenue recognition guidance any tangible products containing software components and non-software components that operate together to deliver the products essential functionality. In addition, the FASB amended the accounting standards for certain multiple element revenue arrangements to:

Provide updated guidance on whether multiple elements exist, how the elements in an arrangement should be separated, and how the arrangement consideration should be allocated to the separate elements;

Require an entity to allocate arrangement consideration to each element based on a selling price hierarchy, where the selling price for an element is based on vendor-specific objective evidence (VSOE), if available, third-party evidence (TPE), if available and VSOE is not available; or the best estimate of selling price (BESP), if neither VSOE or TPE is available; and

Eliminate the use of the residual method and require an entity to allocate arrangement consideration using the selling price hierarchy.

The majority of our products are hardware appliances that contain software essential to the overall functionality of the products. Accordingly, we no longer recognize revenue on sales of these products in accordance with the industry-specific software revenue recognition guidance.

For all transactions entered into prior to the first quarter of fiscal year 2011 and for sales of nonessential and stand-alone software after October 1, 2010, we allocate revenue for arrangements with multiple elements based on the software revenue recognition guidance. Software revenue recognition guidance requires revenue earned on software arrangements involving multiple elements to be allocated to each element based on the relative fair values of those elements. The fair value of an element must be based on VSOE. Where fair value of certain elements is not available, revenue is recognized on the "residual method" based on the fair value of undelivered elements. If evidence of the fair value of one or more undelivered elements does not exist, all revenue is deferred and recognized at the earlier of the delivery of those elements or the establishment of fair value of the remaining undelivered elements.

For transactions entered into subsequent to the adoption of the amended revenue recognition standards that are multiple-element arrangements, the arrangement consideration is allocated to each element based on the relative selling prices of all of the elements in the arrangement using the fair value hierarchy in the amended revenue recognition guidance.

Consistent with the methodology used under the previous accounting guidance, we establish VSOE for our products, training services, PCS and consulting services based on the sales price charged for each element when

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sold separately. The sales price is discounted from the applicable list price based on various factors including the type of customer, volume of sales, geographic region and program level. Our list prices are generally not fair value as discounts may be given based on the factors enumerated above. We believe that the fair value of our consulting services is represented by the billable consulting rate per hour, based on the rates we charge customers when they purchase standalone consulting services. The price of consulting services is not based on the type of customer, volume of sales, geographic region or program level.

We use historical sales transactions to determine whether VSOE can be established for each of the elements. In most instances, VSOE is the sales price of actual standalone (unbundled) transactions within the past 12 month period that are priced within a reasonable range, which we have determined to be plus or minus 15% of the median sales price of each respective price list.

VSOE of PCS is based on standalone sales since we do not provide stated renewal rates to our customers. In accordance with our PCS pricing practice (supported by standalone renewal sales), renewal contracts are priced as a percentage of the undiscounted product list price. The PCS renewal percentages may vary, depending on the type and length of PCS purchased. We offer standard and premium PCS, and the term generally ranges from one to three years. We employ a bell-shaped-curve approach in evaluating VSOE of fair value of PCS. Under this approach, we consider VSOE of the fair value of PCS to exist when a substantial majority of our standalone PCS sales fall within a narrow range of pricing.

We are typically not able to determine TPE for our products or services. TPE is based on competitor prices for similar elements when sold separately. Generally, our go-to-market strategy differs from that of other competitive products or services in our markets and our offerings contain a significant level of differentiation such that the comparable pricing of products with similar functionality cannot be obtained. Furthermore, we are unable to reliably determine the selling prices on a stand-alone basis of similar products offered by our competitors.

When we are unable to establish the selling price of our non-software elements using VSOE or TPE, we use BESP in our allocation of arrangement consideration. The objective of BESP is to determine the price at which we would transact a sale if the product or service were sold on a stand-alone basis. We are generally not able to establish VSOE for non-software product sales. Under software revenue recognition guidance, these product sales were accounted for utilizing the residual method. With the adoption of the new revenue recognition guidance, we have been able to establish BESP for non-software product sales through the list price, less a discount deemed appropriate to maintain a reasonable gross margin. Management regularly reviews the gross margin information. Non-software product BESP is determined through our review of historical sales transactions within the past 12 month period. Additional factors considered in determining an appropriate BESP include, but are not limited to, cost of products, pricing practices, geographies, customer classes, and distribution channels.

We have established and regularly validate the VSOE of fair value and BESP for elements in our multiple element arrangements. We account for taxes collected from customers and remitted to governmental authorities on a net basis and excluded from revenues.

Reserve for Doubtful Accounts. Estimates are used in determining our allowance for doubtful accounts and are based upon an assessment of selected accounts and as a percentage of our remaining accounts receivable by aging category. In determining these percentages, we evaluate historical write-offs, current trends in the credit quality of our customer base, as well as changes in the credit policies. We perform ongoing credit evaluations of our customers' financial condition and do not require any collateral. If there is deterioration of a major customer's credit worthiness or actual defaults are higher than our historical experience, our allowance for doubtful accounts may not be sufficient.

Reserve for Product Returns. In some instances, product revenue from distributors is subject to agreements allowing rights of return. Product returns are estimated based on historical experience and are recorded at the

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time revenues are recognized. Accordingly, we reduce recognized revenue for estimated future returns at the time revenue is recorded. When rights of return are present and we cannot estimate returns, revenue is recognized when such rights lapse. The estimates for returns are adjusted periodically based upon changes in historical rates of returns and other related factors. It is possible that these estimates will change in the future or that the actual amounts could vary from our estimates.

Accounting for Income Taxes. We are required to estimate our income taxes in each of the jurisdictions in which we operate as part of the process of preparing our consolidated financial statements. This process involves estimating our actual current tax exposure, including assessing the risks associated with tax audits, together with assessing temporary differences resulting from the different treatment of items for tax and accounting purposes. These differences result in deferred tax assets and liabilities. Due to the evolving nature and complexity of tax rules combined with the large number of jurisdictions in which we operate, it is possible that our estimates of our tax liability could change in the future, which may result in additional tax liabilities and adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.

Stock-Based Compensation. We account for stock-based compensation using the straight-line attribution method for recognizing compensation expense over the requisite service period of the related award. We recognized $95.3 million and $89.7 million of stock-based compensation expense for the years ended September 30, 2012 and 2011, respectively. As of September 30, 2012, there was $134.9 million of total unrecognized stock-based compensation cost, the majority of which will be recognized over the next two years. Going forward, stock-based compensation expenses may increase as we issue additional equity-based awards to continue to attract and retain key employees.

We issue incentive awards to our employees through stock-based compensation consisting of restricted stock units (RSUs). The value of RSUs is determined using the fair value method, which in this case, is based on the number of shares granted and the quoted price of our common stock on the date of grant.

We recognize compensation expense for only the portion of RSUs that are expected to vest. Therefore, we apply estimated forfeiture rates that are derived from historical employee termination behavior. Based on historical differences with forfeitures of stock-based awards granted to our executive officers and Board of Directors versus grants awarded to all other employees, we developed separate forfeiture expectations for these two groups. In fiscal year 2012, the estimated forfeiture rate for grants awarded to our executive officers and Board of Directors was approximately 6% and the estimated forfeiture rate for grants awarded to all other employees was approximately 9%. If the actual number of forfeitures differs from those estimated by management, additional adjustments to stock-based compensation expense may be required in future periods.

We recognize compensation costs for awards with performance conditions when we conclude it is probable that the performance condition will be achieved. We reassess the probability of vesting at each balance sheet date and adjust compensation costs based on our probability assessment.

Common stock repurchase. On October 25, 2011, we announced that our Board of Directors authorized an additional $200 million for our common stock share repurchase program. This new authorization is incremental to the existing $400 million program, initially approved in October 2010 and expanded in August 2011. Acquisitions for the share repurchase programs will be made from time to time in private transactions or open market purchases as permitted by securities laws and other legal requirements. The programs can be terminated at any time. As of November 15, 2012, we had repurchased and retired 9,327,774 shares at an average price of $67.63 per share and we had $168.7 million remaining to purchase shares as part of our repurchase programs.

Goodwill and intangible assets. We have goodwill and intangible assets on our balance sheet related to acquisitions. Intangible assets are carried and reported at acquisition cost, net of accumulated amortization subsequent to acquisition. Intangible assets are amortized over the estimated useful lives, which generally range from three to five years. Intangible assets are reviewed for impairment whenever events or circumstances

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indicate impairment might exist. Projected undiscounted net cash flows expected to be derived from the use of those assets are compared to the respective net carrying amounts to determine whether any impairment exists. Impairment, if any, is based on the excess of the carrying amount over the fair value of those assets.

The determination of the net carrying value of goodwill and intangible assets and the extent to which, if any, there is impairment are dependent on material estimates and judgments on our part, including the useful life over which the intangible assets are to be amortized, and the estimates of the value of future net cash flows, which are based upon further estimates of future revenues, expenses and operating margins. We review our goodwill annually for impairment in the second fiscal quarter, or whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of goodwill may not be recoverable. We first perform a qualitative assessment to determine whether further impairment testing is necessary. If we believe, as a result of our qualitative assessment, that it is more-likely-than-not (i.e. greater than 50% chance) that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount, a quantitative impairment test will be required. Otherwise, no further testing will be required. Examples of events and circumstances that might indicate that a reporting unit's fair value is less than its carrying amount include macro-economic conditions such as deterioration in the entity's operating environment or industry or market considerations; entity-specific events such as increasing costs, declining financial performance, or loss of key personnel; or other events such as an expectation that a reporting unit will be sold or a sustained decrease in the stock price on either an absolute basis or relative to peers.

If it is determined, as a result of the qualitative assessment, that it is more-likely-than-not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount, the provisions of authoritative guidance require that we perform a two-step impairment test on goodwill. The first step of the test identifies whether potential impairment may have occurred, while the second step of the test measures the amount of the impairment, if any. Impairment is recognized when the carrying amount of goodwill exceeds its fair value. For our annual goodwill impairment analysis, we operate under one reporting unit and the fair value of the reporting unit is based on the Company's enterprise value. In March 2012, we completed a qualitative assessment of potential impairment indicators and concluded that it was more-likely-than-not that the fair value of our reporting unit exceeded its carrying amount. Additionally, we considered potential impairment indicators at September 30, 2012 and noted no indicators of impairment.

Investments. Our investments are diversified among high-credit quality debt securities in accordance with our investment policy. We classify our investments as available-for-sale, which are reported at fair market value with the related unrealized gains and losses included in accumulated other comprehensive income or loss in stockholders' equity. Realized gains and losses and declines in value of these investments judged to be other than temporary are included in other income (expense). To date, we have not deemed it necessary to record any charges related to other-than-temporary declines in the estimated fair values of our marketable debt securities. However, the fair value of our investments is subject to volatility. Declines in the fair value of our investments judged to be other than temporary could adversely affect our future operating results.

Our investments also include auction rate securities (ARS) that are classified as available-for-sale. ARS are reported at fair market value with the related unrealized gains and losses included in accumulated other comprehensive income or loss in stockholders' equity. We believe these investments may remain illiquid for longer than twelve months and as a result, we have classified these investments as long-term as of September 30, 2012. We used the income approach to determine the fair value of our ARS using a discounted cash flow analysis. The assumptions we used in preparing the discounted cash flow model include estimates for interest rates; estimates for discount rates using yields of comparable traded instruments adjusted for illiquidity and other risk factors, amount of cash flows and expected holding periods for the ARS.

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Results of Operations

The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

                                              Years Ended September 30,
                                        2012             2011            2010
                                         (in thousands, except percentages)
        Net Revenues
        Products                     $   818,555      $   721,975      $ 561,142
        Services                         558,692          429,859        320,830

        Total                        $ 1,377,247      $ 1,151,834      $ 881,972

        Percentage of net revenues
        Products                            59.4 %           62.7 %         63.6 %
        Services                            40.6             37.3           36.4

        Total                              100.0 %          100.0 %        100.0 %

Net Revenues. Total net revenues increased 19.6% in fiscal year 2012 from fiscal year 2011, compared to an increase of 30.6% in fiscal year 2011 from the prior year. Overall revenue growth for the year ended September 30, 2012 was primarily due to increased service and product revenues as a result of our increased installed base of products and increased demand for our core ADN products, including application security products. International revenues represented 47.1%, 45.5% and 45.4% of net revenues in fiscal years 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively. We expect international sales will continue to represent a significant portion of net revenues, although we cannot provide assurance that . . .

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