Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Organization and Significant Accounting Policies

v3.6.0.2
Organization and Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2016
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Organization and Significant Accounting Policies
ORGANIZATION AND SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Organization
Natus Medical Incorporated (“Natus”, the “Company”) was incorporated in California in May 1987 and reincorporated in Delaware in August 2000. Natus is a leading provider of newborn care and neurology healthcare products and services used for the screening, diagnosis, detection, treatment, monitoring and tracking of common medical ailments in newborn care, hearing impairment, neurological dysfunction, epilepsy, sleep disorders, neuromuscular diseases and balance and mobility disorders. Product offerings include computerized neurodiagnostic systems for audiology, neurology, polysomnography, and neonatology, as well as newborn care products such as hearing screening systems, phototherapy devices for the treatment of newborn jaundice, head-cooling products for the treatment of brain injury in newborns, incubators to control the newborn’s environment, and software systems for managing and tracking disorders and diseases for public health laboratories.
Basis of Presentation and Principles of Consolidation
The accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements include the accounts of the Company and its wholly-owned subsidiaries. All intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation. Certain reclassifications to the prior periods have been made to conform to the current period presentation. The consolidated statements of income for 2014 reflect reclassifications from Cost of revenue to Intangibles amortization, from Marketing and selling, Research and development, and General and administrative to Intangible amortization, and from General and administrative to Restructuring.
Use of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (U.S. GAAP) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities in the Consolidated Financial Statements and the reported amount of revenue and expenses during the reporting period. Such estimates include allowances for potentially uncollectible accounts receivable, valuation of inventory, intangible assets, goodwill, share-based compensation, deferred income taxes, reserves for warranty obligations, and the provision for income taxes. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
Revenue recognition
Revenue, net of discounts, is recognized from sales of medical devices and supplies, including sales to distributors, when the following conditions have been met: a purchase order has been received, title has transferred, the selling price is fixed or determinable, and collection of the resulting receivable is reasonably assured. Terms of sale for most domestic sales are FOB origin, reflecting that title and risk of loss are assumed by the purchaser at the shipping point; however, terms of sale for some neurology, sleep-diagnostic, and head cooling systems are FOB destination, reflecting that title and risk of loss are assumed by the purchaser upon delivery. Terms of sales to international distributors are generally EXW, reflecting that goods are shipped “ex works,” in which title and risk of loss are assumed by the distributor at the shipping point. For products shipped under FOB origin or EXW terms, delivery is generally considered to have occurred when the product is shipped. Freight charges billed to customers are included in revenue and freight-related expenses are charged to cost of revenue. The Company generally does not provide rights of return on products.
For products containing embedded software, the Company has determined that the hardware and software components function together to deliver the products’ essential functionality, and therefore, the revenue from the sale of these products does not fall within the scope of the software revenue recognition rules. The Company's revenue recognition policies for sales of these products are substantially the same as for other tangible products. 
Revenue from sales of certain products that remain within the scope of the software revenue recognition rules under ASC Subtopic 985-605 is not significant.
Revenue from extended service and maintenance agreements, for both medical devices and data management systems, is recognized ratably over the service period. Revenue from installation or training services is deferred until such time service is provided. Hearing screening and ambulatory EEG monitoring revenue is recorded when the procedure is performed at the estimated net realizable value based on contractual agreements with payers and historical collections.
Certain revenue transactions include multiple element arrangements. The Company allocates revenue in these arrangements to each unit of accounting using the relative selling price method. The selling prices used during the allocation process are based on vendor specific objective evidence (“VSOE”) if available, third party evidence (“TPE”) if VSOE is not available, or estimated selling price (“ESP”) if neither VSOE or TPE is available.
Group purchasing organization (“GPOs”) negotiate volume purchase prices for member hospitals, group practices, and other clinics. The Company's agreements with GPOs typically contain preferential terms for the GPO and its members, including provisions for some, if not all, of the following:
Payment of marketing fees by Natus to the GPO, usually based on purchasing experience of group members; and
Non-recourse cancellation provisions.
Natus does not sell products to GPOs. Hospitals, group practices, and other clinics that are members of a GPO purchase products directly from the Company under the terms negotiated by the GPO. Negotiated pricing and discounts are recognized as a reduction of the selling price of products at the time of the sale. Revenue from sales to members of GPOs is otherwise consistent with general revenue recognition policies as previously described.
Inventory
Inventories are carried at the lower of cost or market, with cost being determined using the first-in, first-out method. The carrying value of the Company's inventories is reduced for any difference between cost and estimated market value of inventories that is determined to be obsolete or unmarketable, based upon assumptions about future demand and market conditions. Adjustments to the value of inventory establish a new cost basis and are considered permanent even if circumstances later suggest that increased carrying amounts are recoverable. If demand is higher than expected, Natus may sell inventory that had previously been impaired.
Carrying value of intangible assets and goodwill
The Company amortizes intangible assets with finite lives over the useful lives; any future changes that would limit the useful lives or any determination that these assets are carried at amounts greater than the estimated fair value could result in additional charges.
Goodwill is not amortized but is subject to an annual impairment analysis, which is performed as of October 1st; this assessment is also performed whenever there is a change in circumstances that indicates the carrying value of goodwill may be impaired.
In 2016, 2015 and 2014, the Company performed a qualitative assessment to test goodwill for impairment. Qualitative factors considered in this assessment include industry and market considerations, overall financial performance and other relevant events and factors affecting each reporting unit. Based on the qualitative assessment, the Company determined that the fair value was more likely than not to be greater than its carrying amount, and no further analysis was needed.
If the fair value was less than its carrying amount, the Company would perform a two-step impairment test on goodwill. The first step of the goodwill impairment test, used to identify potential impairment, compares the fair value of a reporting unit to its carrying value, including goodwill. The Company uses a projected discounted cash flow model to determine the fair value of a reporting unit. If the fair value of the reporting unit exceeds its carrying amount, goodwill of the reporting unit is considered not impaired, and the second step of the impairment test is not required. The second step, if required, compares the implied fair value of the reporting unit goodwill with the carrying amount of that goodwill. The fair value of a reporting unit is allocated to all of the assets and liabilities of that unit (including any unrecognized intangible assets) as if the reporting unit had been acquired in a business combination and the fair value of the reporting unit was the price paid to acquire the reporting unit. If the carrying amount of the reporting unit’s goodwill exceeds its implied fair value, an impairment charge is recognized in an amount equal to that excess.
Prior to the assignment of definite lives to trade names in the second quarter of 2015 (See Note 6 - Intangible Assets), the Company tested indefinite lived intangibles for impairment by comparing the carrying value of those assets to be fair value as of the assessment date. The Company used the relief from royalty method to determine the fair value of the assets. This analysis is dependent upon a number of quantitative and qualitative factors including estimates of forecasted revenue, royalty rate, and taxes. The discount rate applied also has an impact on the estimates of fair value, as use of a higher rate will result in a lower estimate of fair value. As of the October 1, 2014 testing dates, the Company determined that certain trade names were impaired and the Company recorded impairment charges of $0.6 million.
Long lived assets
The Company continually monitors events and changes in circumstances that could indicate that carrying amounts of its long-lived assets, including property and equipment and intangible assets, may not be recoverable. When such events or changes in circumstances occur, the Company assess the recoverability by determining whether the carrying value of such assets will be recovered through undiscounted expected future cash flows. If the future undiscounted cash flows are less than the carrying amount of these assets, the Company will recognize an impairment loss based on the excess of the carrying amount over the fair value of the assets.
Liability for product warranties
The Company provides a warranty for products that is generally one year in length. In some cases, regulations may require the Company to provide repair or remediation beyond the typical warranty period. If any products contain defects, the Company may be required to incur additional repair and remediation costs. Service for domestic customers is provided by Company-owned service centers that perform all service, repair, and calibration services. Service for international customers is provided by a combination of Company-owned facilities and vendors on a contract basis.
A warranty reserve is included in accrued liabilities for the expected future costs of servicing products. Additions to the reserve are based on management’s best estimate of probable liability. The Company considers a combination of factors including material and labor costs, regulatory requirements, and other judgments in determining the amount of the reserve. The reserve is reduced as costs are incurred to honor existing warranty and regulatory obligations.
Share-based compensation
The Company recognizes share-based compensation expense associated with employee stock options under the single-option straight line method over the requisite service period, which is generally a four-year vesting period and ten-year contractual term pursuant to ASC Topic 718, Compensation-Stock Compensation. See Note 14 of the Consolidated Financial Statements.
For employee stock options, the value of each option is estimated on the date of grant using the Black-Scholes option pricing model, which was developed for use in estimating the value of freely traded options. Similar to other option pricing models, the Black-Scholes method requires the input of highly subjective assumptions, including stock price volatility. Changes in the subjective input assumptions can materially affect the estimated fair value of the employee stock options.
The Company recognizes share-based compensation associated with Restricted Stock Awards (“RSA”) and Restricted Stock Units (“RSU”). RSAs and RSUs vest ratably over a three-year period for employees. RSAs and RSUs for executives vest over a four-year period; 50% on the second anniversary of the awarded date and 25% on each of the third and fourth anniversaries. RSAs and RSUs for non employees (Board of Directors) vest over a one-year period; 100% on the first anniversary. The value is estimated based on the market value of Natus common stock on the date of issuance pursuant to ASC Topic 718, Compensation-Stock Compensation.
The Company issues new shares of common stock upon the exercise of stock options and the vesting of RSAs and RSUs.
Forfeitures of employee stock options and awards are estimated at the time of grant and revised, if necessary, in subsequent periods if actual forfeitures differ from initial estimates. Share-based compensation expense is recorded net of estimated forfeitures, such that expense is recorded only for those share-based awards that are expected to vest.
The Company elected to early adopt ASU 2016-09 in the first quarter of 2016. In 2015 and 2014, the cash flow from the tax benefits resulting from tax deductions in excess of the compensation cost recognized for employee options (excess tax benefits) was classified as a cash inflow from financing activities and a cash outflow from operating activities in the Statement of Cash Flows. The Company treated tax deductions from certain stock option exercises as being realized when the Company reduced taxes payable in accordance with relevant tax law.
Cash Equivalents and Short-term Investments
All highly liquid investments purchased with an original maturity of three months or less are classified as cash equivalents. Investments with maturities greater than one year are classified as current because management considers all investments to be available for current operations. Cash equivalents and investments are stated at amounts that approximate fair value based on quoted market prices.
The Company's investments have been classified and accounted for as available-for-sale. Such investments are recorded at fair value and unrealized holding gains and losses are reported as a separate component of comprehensive income until realized. Realized gains and losses on sales of investments, if any, are determined on the specific identification method and are reclassified from accumulated other comprehensive loss to results of operations as other income (expense).
Allowance for Doubtful Accounts
The Company estimates the allowance for potentially uncollectible accounts receivable based on historical collection experience within the markets in which the Company operates and other customer-specific information, such as bankruptcy filings or customer liquidity problems. When all internal efforts have been exhausted to collect the receivable, it is written off and relieved from the reserve.
Fair Value of Financial Instruments
Financial instruments include cash and cash equivalents, investments, accounts receivable, and accounts payable. Cash is reported at its fair value on the balance sheet dates. The recorded carrying amounts of investments, accounts receivable and accounts payable approximate the fair values due to the short-term maturities.
Property and Equipment
Property and equipment are stated at cost less accumulated depreciation. Depreciation expense is computed using the straight-line method over estimated useful lives of the respective assets, which are three to ten years for office furniture and equipment, three to five years or the length of the license for computer software and hardware, three to five years for demonstration and loaned equipment, and 30 to 40 years for buildings. Leasehold improvements are amortized over the shorter of the lease term or the estimated useful life. Land is not depreciated. Costs associated with acquiring and installing software to be used for internal purposes are capitalized and amortized on a straight-line basis over three years.
Research & Development Costs
Costs incurred in research and development are charged to operations as incurred.
Income Taxes
The Company accounts for income taxes under the asset and liability method, which requires the recognition of deferred tax assets and liabilities for the expected future tax consequences of events that have been included in the financial statements. Under this method, deferred tax assets and liabilities are determined based on the differences between the financial statements and tax basis of assets and liabilities using enacted tax rates in effect for the year in which the differences are expected to reverse. The effect of a change in tax rates on deferred tax assets and liabilities is recognized in income in the period that includes the enactment date.
The Company records net deferred tax assets to the extent it is more likely than not that the assets will be realized. In making such determination, the Company considers all available positive and negative evidence, including future reversals of existing taxable temporary differences, projected future taxable income, tax planning strategies and recent financial operations. To the extent that previously reserved deferred tax assets are estimated to be realizable, the Company adjusts the valuation allowance which reduces the provision for income taxes.
The Company recognizes the tax benefit of uncertain tax positions in the financial statements in accordance with ASC Topic 740, Income Tax. When the tax position is deemed more likely than not of being sustained, the Company recognizes the largest amount of tax benefit that is greater than 50 percent likely of being ultimately realized upon settlement, in accordance with ASC 740-10-05. 
Foreign Currency
The functional currency of the Company's subsidiaries outside of North America is generally the local currency of the country where the subsidiary is located. Accordingly, foreign currency translation adjustments relating to the translation of foreign subsidiary financial statements are included as a component of accumulated other comprehensive loss. The Company recorded $5.0 million, $8.4 million, and $11.2 million of foreign currency translation losses for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively.
Gains and losses from transactions denominated in currencies other than the functional currencies are included in other income and expense. In 2016, 2015, and 2014, net foreign currency transaction losses were $0.4 million, $1.4 million, and $0.0 million, respectively. Foreign currency gains and losses result primarily from fluctuations in the exchange rate between the U.S. Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Euro, Argentine Peso, British Pound, and Danish Kroner.
Comprehensive Income
The Company reports by major components and as a single total the change in net assets during the period from non-owner sources in accordance with ASC Topic 220, Comprehensive Income. The consolidated statement of comprehensive income has been included with the consolidated statements of operations. Accumulated other comprehensive income consists of translation gains and losses on foreign subsidiary financial statements as well as unrealized gains and losses on investments.
Basic and Diluted Net Income per Share
Natus computes net income per share in accordance with ASC Topic 260, Earnings per Share. Basic net income per share is based upon the weighted average number of common shares outstanding during the period. Diluted net income per share is based upon the weighted average number of common shares outstanding and dilutive common stock equivalents outstanding during the period. Common stock equivalents are options granted and shares of restricted stock issued under the stock awards plans and are calculated under the treasury stock method. Common equivalent shares from unexercised stock options and restricted stock are excluded from the computation when there is a loss as the effect is anti-dilutive, or if the exercise price of such options is greater than the average market price of the stock for the period.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued Accounting Standard Update No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606) (“ASU 2041-09”), which supersedes nearly all existing revenue recognition guidance. The standard's core principle is that an entity should recognize revenue when it transfers promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. The standard creates a five-step model to achieve its core principle: (i) identify the contract(s) with a customer; (ii) identify the performance obligations in the contract; (iii) determine the transaction price; (iv) allocate the transaction's price to the separate performance obligations in the contract; and (v) recognize revenue when (or as) the entity satisfies a performance obligation. In addition, entities must disclose sufficient information to enable users of financial statements to understand the nature, amount, timing, and uncertainty of revenue and cash flows arising from contracts with customers. Qualitative and quantitative disclosures are required about: (i) the entity's contracts with customers; (ii) the significant judgments, and changes in judgments, made in applying the guidance to those contracts; and (iii) any assets recognized from the costs to obtain or fulfill a contract with a customer. In August 2015, the FASB issued ASU 2015-14, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 616) - Deferral of the Effective Date, which deferred the effective date of ASU 2014-09 to interim and annual periods beginning January 1, 2018. The standard allows entities to apply the standard retrospectively to each prior period presented (“full retrospective adoption”) or retrospectively with the cumulative effect of initially applying the standard recognized at the date of initial application (“modified retrospective adoption”). The Company plans to adopt this guidance on January 1, 2018, and continues to evaluate the impact of adopting under the modified retrospective adoption versus the full retrospective method. The Company is currently in the process of determining the impact of the new revenue recognition guidance on its revenue transactions, including any impacts on associated processes, systems, and internal controls. The Company's preliminary assessment indicates implementation of this standard will not have a material impact on financial results. The Company's evaluation has included determining whether the unit of account (i.e., performance obligations) will change as compared to current GAAP, as well as determining the standalone selling price of each performance obligation. Standalone selling prices under the new guidance may not be substantially different from the Company's current methodologies of establishing fair value on multiple element arrangements. The Company continues to evaluate the impact of this guidance and its subsequent amendments on the consolidated financial position, results of operations, and cash flows, and any preliminary assessments are subject to change.
In July 2015, the FASB issued ASU 2015-11, Inventory (Topic 330). This standard requires an entity to measure inventory at the lower of cost or market. Market could be replacement cost, net realizable value, or net realizable value less an approximately normal profit margin. ASU 2015-11 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2016, including interim periods within those fiscal years. The Company plans to adopt ASU 2015-11 on January 1, 2017.
In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842). This standard requires a lessee to recognize the lease assets and lease liabilities arising from operating leases in the statement of financial position. Qualitative along with specific quantitative disclosures are required by lessees and lessors to meet the objective of enabling users of financial statements to assess the amount, timing, and uncertainty of cash flows arising from leases. ASU 2016-02 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018 including interim periods within those fiscal years. The Company is currently evaluating the impact that will result from adopting ASU 2016-02.

In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-09, Compensation - Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Improvement to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting. The new standard contains several amendments that simplify the accounting for employee share-based payment transactions, including the accounting for income taxes, forfeitures, statutory tax withholding requirements, classification of awards as either equity or liabilities, and classification on the statement of cash flows. The changes in the new standard eliminate the accounting for excess tax benefits to be recognized in additional paid-in capital and tax deficiencies recognized either in the income tax provision or in additional paid-in capital. The Company elected to early adopt ASU 2016-09 in the first quarter of 2016 which was applied using a modified retrospective approach. For the year ended December 31, 2016, the Company recognized all excess tax benefits and tax deficiencies as income tax expense or benefit as discrete items. An income tax benefit of approximately $1.6 million was recognized in the year ended December 31, 2016 as a result of the adoption of ASU 2016-09. There was no cumulative-effect adjustment required to retained earnings under the modified retrospective method as of the beginning of the year because all tax benefits had been previously recognized when the tax deductions related to stock compensation were utilized to reduce taxes payable. The Company is not recording deferred tax assets or tax losses as the result of the adoption of ASU 2016-09. The treatment of forfeitures has not changed as the Company is electing to continue the current process of estimating the number of forfeitures. With the early adoption of 2016-09, the Company has elected to present the cash flow statement on a prospective transition method and no prior periods have been adjusted.
In August 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-15, Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230): Classification of Certain Cash Receipts and Cash Payments. This standard provides guidance for eight cash flow classification issues in current GAAP. ASU 2016-15 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017 and interim periods within those fiscal years. The Company elected to early adopt ASU 2016-15 in the first quarter of 2016 including Contingent Consideration Payments Made after a Business Combination. For the year ended December 31, 2016, the Company recognized $1.0 million as a cash outflow for investing activities on the Statement of Cash Flows. This payment was made soon after the acquisition date of a business combination to settle the contingent consideration from the Monarch acquisition.