Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)

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Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2013
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Basis of Presentation
Basis of Presentation
 
We prepared the consolidated financial statements included herein without audit pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Certain information and footnote disclosures normally included in financial statements prepared in accordance with United States (“U.S.”) generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) have been condensed or omitted pursuant to such rules and regulations. We believe that the disclosures are adequate to make the information presented not misleading. We recommend that these financial statements be read in conjunction with the audited financial statements and the notes thereto included in our latest annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012, filed with the SEC on March 15, 2013.
 
In our opinion, these unaudited financial statements contain all adjustments (consisting of normal recurring adjustments) necessary to present fairly our financial position as of September 30, 2013, our results of operations for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 and our cash flows for the nine months ended September 30, 2013.  The results of operations for the interim periods are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for the year ending December 31, 2013.
Principles of Consolidation
Principles of Consolidation
 
The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Stamps.com Inc. and PhotoStamps Inc. In October 2009, we formed PhotoStamps Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary, for the purpose of managing our retail gift card operations. Because 100% of the voting control is held by us, we have consolidated PhotoStamps Inc. in the accompanying consolidated financial statements. All significant intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated.
Use of Estimates and Risk Management
Use of Estimates and Risk Management
 
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements and the accompanying notes.  Actual results could differ from those estimates, and such differences may be material to the financial statements. Examples include estimates of loss contingencies, promotional coupon redemptions, the number of PhotoStamps retail boxes that will not be redeemed, deferred income taxes and estimates regarding the useful lives of our building, patents and other amortizable intangible assets.
Contingencies and Litigation
Contingencies and Litigation
 
We are subject to various routine litigation matters as a claimant and a defendant. We record any amounts recovered in these matters when received. We record liabilities for claims against us when the loss is both probable and estimable. Amounts recorded are based on reviews by outside counsel, in-house counsel and management. Actual results could differ from estimates.
Fair Value of Financial Instruments
Fair Value of Financial Instruments
 
Carrying amounts of certain of our financial instruments, including cash, cash equivalents, accounts receivable and accounts payable, approximate fair value due to their short maturities. The fair values of investments are determined using quoted market prices for those securities or similar financial instruments.
Property and Equipment
Property and Equipment
 
We account for property and equipment at cost less accumulated depreciation and amortization. We compute depreciation using the straight-line method over the estimated useful life of the asset, generally three to five years for furniture, fixtures and equipment and ten to forty years for building and building improvements. We have a policy of capitalizing expenditures that materially increase assets’ useful lives and charging ordinary maintenance and repairs to operations as incurred. When property or equipment is disposed of, the cost and related accumulated depreciation and amortization are removed, and any gain or loss is included in operations.
 
            On January 23, 2012, we completed the purchase of our new corporate headquarters in El Segundo, California, for an aggregate purchase price of $13.4 million of which approximately $7.2 million was allocated to land value and $5.5 million was allocated to building value. The purchase was accounted for as a business combination.  The building is being depreciated on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful life of 40 years; the land is an asset that does not get depreciated.  As a result of the purchase we also acquired existing leases of building tenants, and $700,000 of the initial purchase price was allocated to lease-in-place intangible assets. We are amortizing these intangible assets over the remaining lease terms.
Income Taxes
Income Taxes
 
We account for income taxes in accordance with Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) ASC Topic No. 740, Income Taxes (“ASC 740”), which requires that deferred tax assets and liabilities be recognized using enacted tax rates for the effect of temporary differences between the book and tax basis of recorded assets and liabilities. ASC 740 also requires that deferred tax assets be reduced by a valuation allowance if it is more likely than not that some or all of the net deferred tax assets will not be realized. We record a valuation allowance to reduce our gross deferred tax assets, which are primarily comprised of U.S. Federal and State tax loss carry-forwards, to the amount that is more likely than not (a likelihood of more than 50 percent) to be realized.  In order for us to realize our deferred tax assets, we must be able to generate sufficient taxable income. We evaluate the appropriateness of our deferred tax assets and related valuation allowance in accordance with ASC 740 based on all available positive and negative evidence.
Revenue Recognition
Revenue Recognition
 
We recognize revenue from product sales or services rendered, as well as commissions from advertising or sale of products by third party vendors to our customer base when the following four revenue recognition criteria are met: persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, delivery has occurred or services have been rendered, the selling price is fixed or determinable, and collectability is reasonably assured.
 
Service revenue is primarily derived from monthly subscription and transaction fees and is recognized in the period that services are provided. Product sales, net of return allowances, are recorded when the products are shipped and title passes to customers. Sales of items, including PhotoStamps, sold to customers are made pursuant to a sales contract that provides for transfer of both title and risk of loss upon our delivery to the carrier. Return allowances for expected product returns, which reduce product revenue, are estimated using historical experience. Commissions from the advertising or sale of products by a third party vendor to our customer base are recognized when the revenue is earned and collection is deemed probable.
 
Customers pay face value for postage purchased for use through our PC Postage software, and the funds are transferred directly from the customers to the United States Postal Service (“USPS”). We do not recognize revenue for this postage, as it is purchased by our customers directly from the USPS.
 
PhotoStamps revenue, which includes the face value of postage, from the sale of PhotoStamps sheets and rolls is made pursuant to a sales contract that provides for transfer of both title and risk of loss upon our delivery to the carrier.
 
Sale of PhotoStamps retail boxes are initially recorded as deferred revenue.  PhotoStamps revenue related to the sale of these PhotoStamps retail boxes is subsequently recognized when either: 1) the PhotoStamps retail box is redeemed, or 2) the likelihood of the PhotoStamps retail box being redeemed is deemed remote (“breakage”) and there is no legal obligation to remit the value of the unredeemed PhotoStamps retail boxes.
 
On a limited basis, we allow third parties to offer products and promotions to our customer base. These arrangements generally provide payment in the form of a flat fee or revenue sharing arrangements where we receive payment upon customers accessing third party products and services. Total revenue from such advertising arrangements was not significant during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 and 2012.
 
We provide our customers with the opportunity to purchase parcel insurance directly through our software. Insurance revenue represents the gross amount charged to the customer for purchasing insurance and the related cost represents the amount paid to the insurance broker, Parcel Insurance Plan. We recognize revenue on insurance purchases upon the ship date of the insured package.
PhotoStamps Retail Boxes
PhotoStamps Retail Boxes
 
We sell PhotoStamps retail boxes that are redeemable for PhotoStamps on our website.  The PhotoStamps retail boxes are sold through various third party retail partners.  Our PhotoStamps retail boxes are not subject to administrative fees on unredeemed boxes and have no expiration date.  PhotoStamps retail box sales are recorded as deferred revenue.  Prior to the second quarter of 2011, revenue was recognized only on boxes that were actually redeemed on our website.
 
During the second quarter of 2011, we concluded that sufficient company-specific historical evidence existed to determine the period of time after which the likelihood of the PhotoStamps retail boxes being redeemed was remote.  Based on our analysis of the redemption data, we estimate that period of time to be 60 months after the sale of our PhotoStamps retail boxes.
 
Beginning in the second quarter of 2011, we began recognizing breakage revenue related to our PhotoStamps retail boxes utilizing the redemption recognition method. Under the redemption recognition method, we recognize breakage revenue from unredeemed retail boxes in proportion to the revenue recognized from the retail boxes that have been redeemed.  Revenue from our PhotoStamps retail boxes is included in PhotoStamps revenue. We continue to recognize retail box breakage revenue from PhotoStamps retail boxes using the redemption recognition method.  PhotoStamps retail box breakage revenue during the third quarter of 2013 was not significant to our consolidated financial statements.
Subsequent Events
Subsequent Events
 
We are not aware of any material subsequent events or transactions that have occurred that would require recognition in the financial statements or disclosure in the notes to the consolidated financial statements.