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)
6 Months Ended
Jun. 30, 2017
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Basis of Presentation
Basis of Presentation

We prepared the consolidated financial statements included herein 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 consolidated financial statements be read in conjunction with the audited consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included in our latest annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, filed with the SEC on March 1, 2017.

In our opinion, these unaudited consolidated financial statements contain all adjustments (consisting only of normal recurring adjustments) considered necessary to present fairly our financial position as of June 30, 2017, our results of operations for the three and six months ended June 30, 2017, and our cash flows for the six months ended June 30, 2017.  The results of operations for the interim period are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2017.
Principles of Consolidation
Principles of Consolidation

The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Stamps.com Inc., Auctane LLC (ShipStation), Interapptive, Inc. (ShipWorks), PSI Systems Inc. (Endicia), ShippingEasy Group, Inc. (ShippingEasy) and PhotoStamps Inc.  In July 2016, we completed our acquisition of 100% of the outstanding shares of ShippingEasy.

Because 100% of the voting control of ShipStation, ShipWorks, Endicia and ShippingEasy is held by us, we have consolidated the results of operations of ShipStation, ShipWorks, Endicia and ShippingEasy from the date we obtained control in the accompanying consolidated financial statements. Similarly, due to our 100% control of PhotoStamps, Inc., PhotoStamps, Inc. is also consolidated in the accompanying consolidated financial statements from the date of its inception. Intercompany accounts and transactions between consolidated entities have been eliminated in consolidation.
Use of Estimates
Use of Estimates

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 consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes.  Actual results could differ from those estimates, and such differences may be material to the consolidated financial statements. Examples include estimates of loss contingencies, realizability of deferred income taxes, the estimates and assumptions used to calculate stock-based compensation, the estimates and assumptions used to calculate the allocation of the purchase price related to our acquisitions, and estimates regarding the useful lives of our building, amortizable intangible assets, and goodwill.
Business Combinations
Business Combinations

The acquisition method of accounting is used for business combinations. The results of operations of acquired businesses are included in our consolidated financial statements prospectively from the date of acquisition. The fair value of purchase consideration is allocated to the assets acquired and liabilities assumed from the acquired entity and is generally based on their fair value at the acquisition date. The excess of the fair value of purchase consideration over the fair value of the assets acquired and liabilities assumed is recorded as goodwill. Historically, the primary items that have generated goodwill include anticipated synergies between the acquired business and the Company and the acquired assembled workforce, neither of which qualifies for recognition as an intangible asset. Acquisition-related expenses are recognized in our consolidated financial statements as incurred.
Contingencies and Litigation
Contingencies and Litigation

In the ordinary course of business, 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 establish loss provisions for claims against us when the loss is both probable and can be reasonably estimated.  If either or both of the criteria are not met, we assess whether there is at least a reasonable possibility that a loss, or additional losses, may have been incurred. If there is a reasonable possibility that a loss or additional loss may have been incurred for such proceedings, we disclose the estimate of the amount of loss or possible range of loss, or disclose that an estimate of loss cannot be made, as applicable.
Deferred Revenue
Deferred Revenue

Our deferred revenue relates mainly to service revenue, which generally arises due to the timing of payment versus the provision of services for certain customers billed in advance.
Fair Value of Financial Instruments
Fair Value of Financial Instruments

Carrying amounts of certain of our financial instruments, including cash and 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.  The Company’s outstanding debt held by third-party financial institutions is carried at cost, adjusted for debt issuance costs. The Company’s debt is not publicly traded and the carrying amount typically approximates fair value for debt that accrues interest at a variable rate for companies with similar financial characteristics as the Company, which are considered Level 2 inputs.
Goodwill
Goodwill

Goodwill represents the excess of the fair value of consideration given over the fair value of the tangible assets, identifiable intangible assets and liabilities assumed in a business combination.  We are required to test goodwill for impairment annually and whenever events or circumstances indicate the fair value of a reporting unit may be below its carrying value.  Goodwill is reviewed for impairment annually on October 1. A reporting unit is the operating segment or a business that is one level below that operating segment. Reporting units are aggregated as a single reporting unit if they have similar economic characteristics. We aggregated our reporting units into a single reporting unit because we determined they have similar economic characteristics.

Goodwill is reviewed for impairment annually on October 1 utilizing either a qualitative assessment or a two-step process.  We have an option to make a qualitative assessment of a reporting unit's goodwill for impairment.  If we choose to perform a qualitative assessment and determine the fair value more likely than not exceeds the carrying value, no further evaluation is necessary.  For reporting units where we perform the two-step process, the first step requires us to compare the fair value of each reporting unit, which we primarily determine using an income approach based on the present value of discounted cash flows, to the respective carrying value, which includes goodwill.  If the fair value of the reporting unit exceeds its carrying value, the goodwill is not considered impaired.  If the carrying value is higher than the fair value, there is an indication that impairment may exist and the second step is required.  In step two, the implied fair value of goodwill is calculated as the excess of the fair value of a reporting unit over the fair values assigned to its assets and liabilities.  If the implied fair value of goodwill is less than the carrying value of the reporting unit's goodwill, the difference is recognized as an impairment loss. As of June 30, 2017, we are not aware of any indicators of impairment that would require an impairment analysis other than our annual impairment analysis.
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets and Intangible Assets
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets and Intangible Assets

Long-lived assets including intangible assets with finite useful lives are reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. Recoverability of assets to be held and used is measured by a comparison of the carrying amount of an asset to future net cash flows expected to be generated by the asset.  If such assets are considered to be impaired, the impairment to be recognized is measured by the amount by which the carrying amount of the assets exceeds the fair value of the assets.  Assets to be disposed of are reported at the lower of the carrying amount or fair value less costs to sell.

Intangible assets that have indefinite useful lives are not amortized but, instead, are tested at least annually for impairment while intangible assets that have finite useful lives are amortized over their respective useful lives.
Income Taxes
Income Taxes

We account for income taxes in accordance with Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) ASC Topic No. 740, Income Taxes (Income Taxes), 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. Income Taxes 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 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 Income Taxes based on all available positive and negative evidence. As of June 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016, we do not have any valuation allowance recorded to reduce our gross deferred tax assets as we believe we have met the more likely than not threshold and we will realize our tax loss carry-forwards in the foreseeable future.
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. Leasehold improvements are capitalized and amortized over the shorter of the useful life of the asset or the remaining term of the lease.  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.
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.

We earn service revenue in several different ways: (1) customers may pay us a monthly fee based on a subscription plan; (2) we may be compensated directly by the United States Postal Service (USPS) for certain qualifying customers under our USPS partnership; (3) we may earn transaction related revenue based on customers purchasing postage or printing shipping labels; (4) we may earn compensation by offering customers a discounted postage rate that is provided to the customers by our integration partners; and (5) we may earn other types of revenue shares or other compensation from specific customers or integration partners.  Revenue is recognized in the period that services are provided.

Customers purchase postage from the USPS through our mailing and shipping solutions.  Postage purchase funds that are transferred directly from the customers to the USPS are not recognized as revenue for this postage, as it is purchased by our customers directly from the USPS.
 
Customized postage revenue, which includes the face value of postage, from the sale of PhotoStamps and PictureItPostage 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 and revenue is recognized at that time.

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 six months ended June 30, 2017 and June 30, 2016, respectively.

We provide our customers with the opportunity to purchase parcel insurance directly through our solutions. Insurance revenue represents the gross amount charged to the customer for purchasing insurance and the related cost represents the amount paid to our insurance providers. We recognize insurance revenue on insurance purchases upon the ship date of the insured package.
Short-Term Financing Obligations
Short-Term Financing Obligations

We utilize short-term financing, which is separate from our debt, to fund certain Company operations.  Short-term financing obligations are included in accounts payable and accrued expenses in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets.  As of June 30, 2017, we had $15.2 million in short-term financing obligations and $90.3 million of unused short-term financing obligations credit. As of December 31, 2016, we had $15.6 million in short-term financing obligations and $90.0 million of unused credit.
Trademarks and Intangible Assets
Trademarks and Intangible Assets

Acquired trademarks and intangibles include both amortizable and non-amortizable assets and are included in intangible assets, net in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets. Intangible assets are carried at cost less accumulated amortization. Cost associated with internally developed intangible assets is typically expensed as incurred as research and development costs.  Amortization of amortizable intangible assets is calculated on a straight-line basis, which is consistent with the expected future cash flows.
Treasury Stock
Treasury Stock

During the six-months ended June 30, 2017 and June 30, 2016, we repurchased approximately 730,000 shares and 335,000 shares for $87.9 million and $30.0 million, respectively. Also, 6,670 shares were withheld to satisfy income tax obligations related to performance-based inducement equity awards issued to the General Manager and Chief Technology Officer of ShippingEasy on March 31, 2017.
Accounting Guidance Adopted in 2017
Accounting Guidance Adopted in 2017
 
Share-based Payment Transactions to Employees

On January 1, 2017, the Company adopted Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-09, Compensation-Stock Compensation (Topic 718):  Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting (ASU 2016-09) issued by the FASB on a prospective basis that changes the reporting for certain aspects of share-based payments. One aspect of the guidance requires that the income tax effects of share-based awards be recognized in the income tax provision in the consolidated statement of operations when the awards vest or are settled. Under the previous guidance, excess tax benefits and deficiencies were recognized in additional paid-in capital in the consolidated balance sheets when the awards vested or were settled.  For the six months ended June 30, 2017, the amount of excess tax benefits recognized in the income tax provision was approximately $18.3 million.  For the six months ended June 30, 2016, the amount of excess tax benefits recognized in additional paid-in capital was not material. In addition, because excess tax benefits are no longer recognized in additional paid-in capital under the new guidance, such amounts are no longer included in the determination of assumed proceeds in applying the treasury stock method when computing earnings per share.
 
A net cumulative-effect adjustment of $2.1 million, which was an increase to retained earnings and the deferred tax asset balance as of January 1, 2017, was recorded to reflect the recognition of the previously unrecognized excess tax benefits using the modified retrospective method.

Another aspect of the new guidance requires that excess tax benefits be classified as a cash flow from operating activities, rather than a cash flow from financing activities, in the consolidated statement of cash flows. For the six months ended June 30, 2017, the amount of excess tax benefits presented as a cash flow from operating activities was $18.3 million; this amount is included within the change of other current assets, net of excess tax benefit from stock-based award activity line item in the consolidated statement of cash flowsFor the six months ended June 30, 2016, the amount of excess tax benefits presented as a cash flow from financing was not material.  The presentation requirements for cash flows related to excess tax benefits were adopted prospectively. Accordingly, the operating activity cash flows were not adjusted for the year ended December 31, 2016.

The new standard also provides an accounting policy election to account for forfeitures as they occur.  We elected to account for forfeitures as they occur, rather than estimate expected forfeitures. The impact of this was not material.

Another aspect of the new guidance clarifies that all cash payments made to tax authorities on an employee’s behalf for withheld shares should be presented as a financing activity on our consolidated statements of cash flows. The presentation requirements for cash flows related to employee taxes paid for withheld shares were adopted retrospectively. The Company did not withhold shares for employee taxes in fiscal 2016; as such, there was no change to the December 31, 2016 consolidated statement of cash flows related to employee taxes. The Company accrued $0.8 million of employee taxes in the first quarter of 2017, which were classified as a financing activity on our consolidated statements of cash flows when paid in the second quarter of 2017.

The other aspects of the new guidance did not have any material effect on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

Inventory Measurement Principle

In July 2015, the FASB issued ASU 2015-11, a new accounting standard which changed the measurement principle for inventory from the lower of cost or market to the lower of cost and net realizable value for entities that do not use the last-in, first-out (LIFO) or retail inventory method. The changes also eliminate the requirement to consider replacement cost or net realizable value less an approximately normal profit margin when measuring inventory for entities that do not use the LIFO or retail inventory method. The changes were effective for the Company in the first quarter of 2017 using a prospective transition approach. The adoption of the new guidance did not have a material effect on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.
Accounting Guidance Not Yet Adopted
Accounting Guidance Not Yet Adopted

Revenue Recognition

In May 2014, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (ASU 2014-09) an updated standard on revenue recognition. This ASU will supersede the revenue recognition requirements in Accounting Standards Codification Topic 605, Revenue Recognition, and most industry-specific guidance.  ASU 2014-09 provides enhancements to the quality and consistency of how revenue is reported while also improving comparability in the financial statements of companies reporting using U.S. GAAP and International Financial Reporting Standards.  The core principle of the new standard is for companies to recognize revenue to depict the transfer of goods or services to customers in amounts that reflect the consideration to which the company expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. In doing so, the companies may be required to use more judgment and make more estimates than under current authoritative guidance. ASU 2014-09 will be effective for the Company in the first quarter of fiscal 2018 and may be applied on a full retrospective or modified retrospective approach. The Company is currently in the process of reviewing its material contracts to assess the impact of the new standard.  While the Company has performed a review of the impact on certain contracts, it has not completed a review of all material contracts.  As a result, the Company is currently still in the process of evaluating the adoption method and the impact the adoption of this standard will have on its consolidated financial statements.
 
Leases

In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02, a new accounting standard for leases. The new standard generally requires the recognition of financing and operating lease liabilities and corresponding right-of-use assets on the balance sheet. For financing leases, a lessee recognizes amortization of the right-of-use asset as an operating expense over the lease term separately from interest on the lease liability. For operating leases, a lessee recognizes its total lease expense as an operating expense over the lease term. The amendments are effective for the Company in the first quarter of 2019 using a modified retrospective approach with early adoption permitted. The Company is currently evaluating the impact the adoption of this standard will have on its consolidated financial statements.

Goodwill Impairment

In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2017-04, a standard which simplifies the accounting for goodwill impairment. The guidance removes Step 2 of the goodwill impairment test, which requires a hypothetical purchase price allocation. Goodwill impairment will now be the amount by which a reporting unit’s carrying value exceeds its fair value, not to exceed the carrying amount of goodwill.  The guidance will become effective on a prospective basis for the Company on January 1, 2020 and is not expected to have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

Definition of a Business

In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2013-12, guidance that changes the definition of a business for accounting purposes. Under the new guidance, an entity first determines whether substantially all of the fair value of a set of assets acquired is concentrated in a single identifiable asset or a group of similar identifiable assets. If this threshold is met, the set of assets is not deemed to be a business. If this threshold is not met, the entity then evaluates whether the set of assets meets the requirement to be deemed a business, which at minimum, requires there to be an input and a substantive process that together significantly contribute to the ability to create outputs. The guidance will become effective on a prospective basis for the Company on January 1, 2020 and is not expected to have a material impact on the Company’s 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 financial statements, except those described in the following paragraph.

Effective July 31, 2017, we entered an agreement with our co-president and corporate & business development officer, pursuant to which he will transition out of such position and will be available to provide services to us for the term of the agreement.  We expect to record a charge of approximately $6 million in the third quarter of 2017 in connection with the execution of this agreement.