FORM 10-K
Table of Contents

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D. C. 20549

 


Form 10-K

 


 

FOR ANNUAL AND TRANSITION REPORTS

PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE

SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

(Mark One)

þ ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE

SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2004

 

OR

 

¨ TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

 

Commission File Number 0-23827

 


PC CONNECTION, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware   02-0513618

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

  (I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

Rt. 101A, 730 Milford Road

Merrimack, New Hampshire

 

03054

(Zip Code)

(Address of principal executive offices)

   

 

(603) 683-2000

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code

 


 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act: None

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: Common Stock, $.01 par value

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

 

YES  þ    NO  ¨

 

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  ¨

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is an accelerated filer (as defined in Exchange Act Rule 12b-2).

 

YES  ¨    NO  þ

 

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant, based upon the closing price of the Registrant’s Common Stock as reported on the NASDAQ National Market on June 30, 2004, was $49,434,705. Although directors and executive officers of the registrant were assumed to be “affiliates” of the registrant for the purposes of this calculation, this classification is not to be interpreted as an admission of such status.

 

The number of outstanding shares of the Registrant’s Common Stock on March 14, 2005 was 25,135,721.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

Portions of the definitive Proxy Statement for the 2005 Annual Meeting of Shareholders for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2004, which is to be filed within 120 days of the end of the Company’s fiscal year, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K. The incorporation by reference herein of portions of the Proxy Statement shall not be deemed to specifically incorporate by reference the information referred to in Item 402(a) (8) of Regulation S-K.

 



Table of Contents

PC CONNECTION, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

FORM 10-K ANNUAL REPORT

YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2004

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

         Page

    PART I     
ITEM 1.   Business    1
ITEM 2.   Properties    10
ITEM 3.   Legal Proceedings    10
ITEM 4.   Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders    11
    PART II     
ITEM 5.   Market for the Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters, and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities    12
ITEM 6.   Selected Financial and Operating Data    13
ITEM 7.   Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations    14
ITEM 7A.   Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosure About Market Risk    35
ITEM 8.   Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data    36
ITEM 9.   Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure    36
ITEM 9A.   Controls and Procedures    36
ITEM 9B.   Other Information    37
    PART III     
ITEM 10.   Directors and Executive Officers of the Registrant    38
ITEM 11.   Executive Compensation    38
ITEM 12.   Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Shareholder Matters    38
ITEM 13.   Certain Relationships and Related Transactions    38
ITEM 14.   Principal Accountant Fees and Services    38
    PART IV     
ITEM 15.   Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules    39
SIGNATURES    44

 

 

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PART I

 

Item 1.    Business

 

This section contains forward-looking statements based on management’s current expectations, estimates, and projections about the industry in which we operate, management’s beliefs, and certain assumptions made by management. All statements, trends, analyses, and other information contained in this report relative to trends in net sales, gross margin, and anticipated expense levels, as well as other statements, including words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “plan,” “estimate,” “expect,” “may,” “project,” “will,” “would,” and “intend” and other similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those anticipated or expressed in such statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, those set forth under the caption “Factors That May Affect Future Results and Financial Condition” included in Item 7 “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” Particular attention should be paid to the cautionary statements involving the industry’s rapid technological change and exposure to inventory obsolescence, availability and allocations of goods, reliance on vendor support and relationships, competitive risks, pricing risks, and the overall level of economic activity and the level of business investment in information technology products. Except as required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Readers, however, should carefully review the factors set forth in other reports or documents that the Company files from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

GENERAL

 

We are a direct marketer of information technology products and solutions, including brand-name personal computers and related peripherals, software, accessories, and networking products through our three primary sales subsidiaries, PC Connection Sales Corporation, GovConnection, Inc., and MoreDirect, Inc. Our principal customers are small- and medium-sized businesses, known as SMBs (comprised of 20 to 500 employees), governmental agencies and educational organizations, and medium-to-large corporate accounts. We sell products through a combination of outbound telemarketing, field sales, targeted direct mail catalogs, our Internet Web sites, and advertisements on the Internet and in selected computer magazines. We offer a broad selection of approximately 100,000 products targeted for business use at competitive prices, including products from Acer, Apple Computer, Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard (“HP”), IBM, Microsoft, Sony, Symantec, and Toshiba. Our most frequently ordered products are carried in inventory and are typically shipped to customers the same day that the order is received.

 

We are subject to the informational requirements of the Exchange Act, and, accordingly, file reports, proxy statements, and other information with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Such reports, proxy statements, and other information can be read and copied at the public reference facilities maintained by the Securities and Exchange Commission at the Public Reference Room, 450 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20549. Information regarding the operation at the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the Securities and Exchange Commission at 1-800-SEC-0330. The Securities and Exchange Commission maintains a web site (http://www.sec.gov) that contains material regarding issuers that file electronically with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We maintain a Web site with the address www.pcconnection.com. We are not including the information contained in our Web site as part of, or incorporating it by reference into, this annual report on Form 10-K. We make available free of charge through our Web site our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to these reports, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file these materials with, or otherwise furnish them to, the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

Since our founding in 1982, we have consistently served our customers’ needs by providing innovative, reliable, and timely service and technical support, and by offering an extensive assortment of branded products,

 

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through knowledgeable, well-trained sales and support teams. Our strategy’s effectiveness is reflected in the recognition we have received, including being recently named to the Fortune 1000 and the VAR Business 500.

 

We believe that our consistent customer focus has also resulted in the development of strong brand name recognition and a broad and loyal customer base. At December 31, 2004, our mailing list consisted of approximately 3,350,000 customers, of which approximately 398,000 had purchased products from us within the last twelve months. Approximately 89% of our net sales in the year ended December 31, 2004 were made to customers who had previously purchased products from us. We believe we also have strong relationships with vendors, resulting in favorable product allocations and marketing assistance.

 

Our business-to-business marketing efforts are targeted to SMBs, government and educational organizations, and medium-to-large corporate accounts. As of December 31, 2004, we employed 591 account managers, including 137 new account managers with less than 12 months of outbound telemarketing experience with us. Account managers are responsible for managing corporate accounts and focus on outbound sales calls to prospective customers. We are continuing to focus on increasing the productivity of our account managers.

 

We publish several catalogs, including PC Connection®, focusing on PCs and compatible products, and MacConnection®, focusing on Apple personal computers and compatible products. We also issue, from time to time, specialty catalogs, including GovConnection catalogs directed to government and education organizations. With colorful illustrations, concise product descriptions, relevant technical information, along with toll-free telephone numbers for ordering, our catalogs are recognized as a leading source for personal computer hardware, software, and other related products. We distributed approximately 31 million catalogs during the year ended December 31, 2004.

 

We also market our products and services through our Web sites, www.pcconnection.com, www.govconnection.com, www.macconnection.com, and www.moredirect.com. Our Web sites provide customers and prospective customers with product information and enable customers to place electronic orders for products. For the fiscal year 2004, Internet sales processed directly online were $275.4 million, or 20.3% of net sales, compared to 16.2% in 2003. These sales during the fourth quarter of 2004 were $74.8 million, or 22.0% of that quarter’s net sales, compared to 16.5% for the fourth quarter of 2003.

 

The Internet supports three key business initiatives for us:

 

  Customer choice — We have built our business on the premise that our customers should be able to choose how they interact with us, be it by mail, telephone, fax, e-mail, or over the Internet.

 

  Lowering transactions costs — Our Web site tools, including robust product search features, Internet Business Accounts, and special interest pages, allow customers to quickly and easily find information about products of interest to them. If customers still have questions, they may call into our Telesales Representatives or Outbound Account Managers. Such phone calls are typically shorter and have higher close rates than calls from customers who have not first visited our Web sites.

 

  Leveraging the time of experienced Account Managers — Our investments in technology-based sales and service programs allow our Account Managers more time to build and maintain relationships with our customers and help them to solve their business problems.

 

MARKET AND COMPETITION

 

We generate approximately 59% of our sales from the small- and medium-sized business market, 19% from governmental agencies and educational organizations, and 22% from medium-to-large corporate accounts (Fortune 1000). The overall U.S. Information Technology market that we serve is estimated at approximately $200 billion. The largest segment of the market is served by local and regional “value added

 

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resellers” (“VARs”), many of whom we believe are transitioning from the hardware and software business to IT services, which generally have higher margins.

 

We have transitioned from an end-user or desktop-centric computing supplier to a network or enterprise-wide computing supplier. We have also partnered with third-party technology and telecommunications service providers. We now offer access to the same services and technical expertise to our customers as local and regional VARs, but with more extensive product selection at lower prices.

 

Intense competition for customers has led manufacturers of PCs and related products to use all available channels, including direct marketers, to distribute products. Although certain manufacturers who have traditionally used resellers to distribute their products have established or attempted to establish their own direct marketing operations, including sales through the Internet, to our knowledge, only one has replaced its traditional indirect selling channels as the principal means of distribution. Accordingly, we believe that these manufacturers of PCs and related products will continue to provide us and other third-party direct marketers favorable product allocations and marketing support.

 

We believe new entrants to the direct marketing channel must overcome a number of obstacles, including:

 

  the substantial time and resources required to build a customer base of meaningful size, quality, and responsiveness for cost-effective circulation;

 

  the high costs of developing the information and operating infrastructure required by direct marketers;

 

  the advantages enjoyed by larger and more established competitors in terms of purchasing and operating efficiencies;

 

  the difficulty of building relationships with manufacturers to achieve favorable product allocations and attractive pricing terms; and

 

  the difficulty of identifying and recruiting management personnel with significant direct marketing experience in the industry.

 

BUSINESS STRATEGIES

 

Our objective is to become the principal supplier of information technology products and solutions, including personal computers and related products and services, to our customers. The key elements of our business strategies include:

 

  Providing consistent award-winning customer service before, during, and after the sale.    We believe that we have earned a reputation for providing superior customer service by consistently focusing on our customers’ needs. We deliver value to our customers through high quality service and technical support provided by our knowledgeable, well-trained personnel. We also have efficient delivery programs and offer our customers reasonable return policies.

 

  Offering a broad product selection at competitive prices.    We offer our customers a wide assortment of information technology products and solutions, including personal computers and related products and networking products, at competitive prices. Our merchandising programs feature products that provide customers with aggressive price and performance and the convenience of one-stop shopping for their personal computer and related needs.

 

  Maintaining a strong brand name and customer awareness.    Since our founding in 1982, we have built a strong brand name and customer awareness. We have been named to the Fortune 1000 and the VAR Business 500. Our mailing list includes approximately 3,350,000 names, of which approximately 398,000 have purchased products from us during the last 12 months.

 

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  Maintaining long-standing vendor relationships.    We have a history of strong relationships with vendors, and were among the first direct marketers qualified by manufacturers to market computer systems to end users. We provide our vendors with both information concerning customer preferences and an efficient channel for the advertising and distribution of their products.

 

GROWTH STRATEGIES

 

Our growth strategies are to increase revenues derived from our penetration of our existing customers, broaden our product offerings, and expand our customer base. The key elements of our growth strategies include:

 

  Targeting customer segments.    Through targeted mailings, we seek to expand the number of our active customers and generate additional sales from our existing customers. We have developed specialty catalogs, as well as standard catalogs with special cover pages, featuring product offerings designed to address the needs of specific customer populations, including new product inserts targeted to purchasers of graphics, server, and networking products.

 

  Expanding product and service offerings.    We continually evaluate information technology products and services focused on business users, adding new products and services as they become available or in response to customer demand. We work closely with vendors to identify and source first-to-market product offerings at aggressive prices, and believe that the expansion of our corporate outbound marketing program will enhance our access to such product offerings. In addition to using our own inventories, we utilize our distribution and manufacturing suppliers to drop ship products directly to our customers. We drop shipped 38.3% of our net sales in 2004.

 

  Expanding electronic commerce channel.    Our Web-based catalog provides detailed product descriptions, product search capabilities, and online order processing. This channel provides our customers with a convenient means of shopping with us, and it also allows us to leverage our account managers more effectively. The number of Internet Business Account users grew from 77,000 at December 31, 2003 to approximately 138,000 at December 31, 2004. We plan to further improve online sales capabilities, customer service and product information and customer support available on our Web site. We also plan to expand our online affinity sales programs with major customers and thereby solidify our long-term relationship with these customers.

 

  Increasing outbound telemarketing productivity.    We believe that higher sales productivity is the key to leveraging our expense structure and driving future profitability improvements. We plan to expand and focus our training and evaluation programs, system enhancements, and sales tools more towards assisting our sales personnel in improving their productivity. As we increase our productivity, we plan to increase the number of our corporate account managers and assign them a greater number of our customers.

 

  Pursuing strategic acquisitions and alliances.    We seek acquisitions and alliances that add new customers, strengthen our product offerings, add management talent, and produce operating results which are accretive to our core business earnings. In 2002, we acquired MoreDirect, a premier e-procurement supplier of IT products for medium-to-large corporate organizations nationwide.

 

SERVICE AND SUPPORT

 

Since our founding in 1982, our primary objective has been to provide products that meet the demands and needs of customers and to supplement those products with up-to-date product information and excellent customer service and support. We believe that offering our customers superior value, through a combination of product knowledge, consistent and reliable service, and leading products at competitive prices, differentiates us from other direct marketers and provides the foundation for developing a broad and loyal customer base.

 

We invest in training programs for our service and support personnel, with an emphasis on putting customer needs and service first. We provide toll-free technical support from 9:00 a.m. through 5:30 p.m., Eastern time,

 

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Monday through Friday. Product support technicians assist callers with questions concerning compatibility, installation, determination of defects, and more difficult questions relating to product use. The product support technicians authorize customers to return defective or incompatible products to either the manufacturer or to us for warranty service. In-house technicians perform both warranty and non-warranty repair on most major systems and hardware products.

 

Using our customized information system, we send our customer orders to our distribution center for processing immediately after a customer receives credit approval. Through our Everything Overnight® service, orders accepted up until 2:00 a.m. Eastern time, (until midnight on most custom-configured systems) are generally shipped for overnight delivery via DHL Worldwide. We also configure approximately 15% of the computer systems we ship from our distribution center. Configuration typically consists of the installation of memory, accessories, and/or software.

 

MARKETING AND SALES

 

We sell our products through our direct marketing channels to SMBs, governmental agencies and educational organizations, and medium-to-large corporate accounts. We seek to be the primary supplier of information technology products and solutions, including personal computers and related products, to our existing customers and to expand our customer base. We use multiple marketing approaches to reach existing and prospective customers, including:

 

  outbound telemarketing and field sales;

 

  catalogs and inbound telesales;

 

  Web and print media advertising; and

 

  marketing programs targeted to specific customer populations.

 

All of our marketing approaches emphasize our broad product offerings, fast delivery, customer support, competitive pricing, and multiple payment options.

 

We believe that our ability to establish and maintain long-term customer relationships and to encourage repeat purchases is largely dependent on the strength of our telemarketing personnel and programs. Because our customers’ primary contact with us is through our telemarketers, we are committed to maintaining a qualified, knowledgeable, and motivated sales staff with its principal focus on customer service.

 

The following table sets forth our percentage of net sales by sales channel:

 

     Years Ended December 31,

 

Sales Channel


   2004

    2003

    2002

 

Outbound Telemarketing and Field Sales

   74 %   77 %   78 %

Inbound Telesales

   6     7     7  

Online Internet

   20     16     15  
    

 

 

Total

   100 %   100 %   100 %
    

 

 

 

Outbound Telemarketing and Field Sales.    We seek to build loyal relationships with our potential high-volume customers by assigning them to individual account managers. We believe that customers respond favorably to a one-on-one relationship with personalized, well-trained account managers. Once established, these one-on-one relationships are maintained and enhanced through frequent telecommunications and targeted catalogs and other marketing materials designed to meet each customer’s specific computing needs. We pay most of our account managers a base annual salary plus incentive compensation. Incentive compensation is tied to gross profit dollars produced by the individual account manager. Account managers historically have

 

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significantly increased productivity after approximately twelve months of training and experience. At December 31, 2004, we employed 591 sales representatives, including 137 with less than twelve months of outbound telemarketing experience with us.

 

Inbound Telesales.    Our inbound sales representatives answer customer telephone calls generated by our catalog, magazine, and other advertising programs. These representatives also assist customers in making purchasing decisions, process product orders, and respond to customer inquiries on order status, product pricing, and availability. Using our proprietary information systems, sales representatives can quickly access customer records which detail purchase history and billing and shipping information, expediting the ordering process. In addition to receiving orders through our toll-free numbers, orders are also received via fax, mail, and electronic mail. Our two principal catalogs are PC Connection® for the PC market and MacConnection® for the Apple market. In 2004, we published twelve editions of the PC Connection catalog and eleven editions of the MacConnection catalog. We distribute catalogs to purchasers on our in-house mailing list as well as to other prospective customers. In addition, we mail specialty catalogs or customized versions of our catalogs to selected customers. We distribute specialty catalogs to educational and governmental customers and prospects on a periodic basis. We also distribute our monthly catalogs customized with special covers and inserts, offering a wider assortment of special offers on products in specific areas such as graphics, server/netcom, and mobile computing, or for specific customers, such as developers. These customized catalogs are distributed to targeted customers included in our customer database using past identification or purchase history, as well as to outside mailing lists.

 

Online Internet. (www.pcconnection.com, www.govconnection.com, www.macconnection.com, and www.moredirect.com)    We provide product descriptions and prices of all products online. Our PC Connection Web site also provides updated information for over 67,000 items and on-screen images for more than 46,000 items. We offer, and continuously update, selected product offerings and other special buys. We believe that our Web sites will be an increasingly important sales source and communication tool for improving customer service.

 

Business Segments.    We conduct our business operations through three primary business segments: (1) consumer, small- and medium-sized business customers (“SMB”); (2) federal, state and local governments, and education institutions (“Public Sector”); and (3) large corporate (Fortune 1000) organizations (“Large Account”).

 

SMB Segment.    While we continue to generate credit card sales to consumers, our principal target customers in this segment are small-to-medium-sized business customers with 20 to 500 employees. Our primary means of marketing to this segment incorporate all three sales channels—inbound telesales, particularly to our consumer group, outbound telemarketing, primarily to our business customers, and online Internet sales to both consumer and business customers.

 

Public Sector Segment.    We use a combination of outbound telemarketing, including some on-site sales solicitation by field sales account managers, and online Internet sales through Internet Business Accounts, to reach these customers. Through our GovConnection subsidiary, we target each of the four distinct market sectors within this segment—federal government, higher educational institutions, school grades K through 12, and state and local governments.

 

Large Account Segment.    Through our MoreDirect subsidiary’s custom designed Web-based system, we are able to offer our larger corporate customers an efficient and effective method of sourcing, evaluating, purchasing, and tracking a wide variety of IT products. MoreDirect’s account managers typically have ten to twenty years of experience and are located strategically across the United States. This allows them to work directly with customers, often on site. MoreDirect generally places all product orders with manufacturers and/or distribution companies for drop shipment directly to its customers.

 

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The following table sets forth the relative distribution of our net sales by business segment:

 

     Years Ended December 31,

 

Business Segment


   2004

    2003

    2002

 

SMB

   59 %   57 %   59 %

Public Sector

   19     24     25  

Large Account

   22     19     16  
    

 

 

Total

   100 %   100 %   100 %
    

 

 

 

Specialty Marketing.    Our specialty marketing activities include direct mail, other inbound and outbound telemarketing services, bulletin board services, “fax on demand” services, package inserts, fax broadcasts, and electronic mail. We also market call-answering and fulfillment services to certain of our product vendors.

 

Customers.    We maintain an extensive database of customers and prospects currently aggregating approximately 3,350,000 names. During the year ended December 31, 2004, we received orders from approximately 398,000 customers. Approximately 89% of our net sales in the year ended December 31, 2004 were made to customers who had previously purchased products from us. Except for sales to the federal government, no single customer accounted for more than 2% of our consolidated revenue in 2004. The loss of any single customer will not have a material adverse effect on any of our product segments. In addition, we do not have individual orders in our backlog that are material to our business.

 

PRODUCTS AND MERCHANDISING

 

We continuously focus on expanding the breadth of our product offerings. We currently offer our customers approximately 100,000 information technology products designed for business applications from more than 1,000 manufacturers, including hardware and peripherals, accessories, networking products, and software. We select the products that we sell based upon their technology and effectiveness, market demand, product features, quality, price, margins, and warranties. As part of our merchandising strategy, we also offer products related to PCs, such as digital cameras.

 

The following table sets forth our percentage of net sales (in dollars) of notebooks and personal digital assistants (“PDAs”), desktops and servers, storage devices, software, networking communications products, printers and printer supplies, video, imaging, and sound, memory and system enhancements, and accessories and other products during the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002.

 

     PERCENTAGE OF NET SALES

 
     Years Ended December 31,

 
     2004

    2003

    2002

 

Notebooks and PDAs

   21 %   20 %   17 %

Desktops/Servers

   14     15     15  

Storage Devices

   8     9     9  

Software

   12     11     14  

Net/Com Products

   7     8     8  

Printers and Printer Supplies

   11     11     12  

Video, Imaging, and Sound

   12     12     11  

Memory and System Enhancements

   5     5     5  

Accessories/Other

   10     9     9  
    

 

 

Total

   100 %   100 %   100 %
    

 

 

 

We offer a 30-day right of return generally limited to defective merchandise. Returns of non-defective products are subject to restocking fees. Substantially all of the products marketed by us are warranted by the manufacturer. We generally accept returns directly from the customer and then either credit the customer’s account or ship the customer a similar product from our inventory.

 

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PURCHASING AND VENDOR RELATIONS

 

During the year ended December 31, 2004, we purchased approximately 41% of our products directly from manufacturers and the balance from distributors and aggregators. We ship the majority of our purchases directly to our distribution facility in Wilmington, Ohio. During the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002, product purchases from Ingram Micro, Inc., our largest vendor, accounted for approximately 27%, 22%, and 28%, respectively, of our total product purchases. Purchases from Tech Data Corporation comprised 14%, 15%, and 14% of our total product purchases in the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002, respectively. Effective May 3, 2002, HP completed its acquisition of Compaq Computer Corporation. Our combined purchases from HP and Compaq constituted 11%, 15%, and 15% of our total product purchases in 2004, 2003, and 2002, respectively. No other vendor accounted for more than 10% of our total product purchases in the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002. We believe that alternative sources for products obtained from Ingram Micro, Tech Data, and HP are available to us.

 

Many product suppliers reimburse us for advertisements or other cooperative marketing programs in our catalogs or advertisements in personal computer magazines that feature a manufacturer’s product. Reimbursements may be in the form of discounts, advertising allowances, and/or rebates. We also receive reimbursements from certain vendors based upon the volume of purchases or sales of the vendors’ products by us.

 

Some of our vendors offer limited price protection in the form of rebates or credits against future purchases. We may also participate in end-of-life-cycle and other special purchases which may not be eligible for price protection.

 

We believe that we have excellent relationships with vendors. We generally pay vendors within stated terms and take advantage of all appropriate discounts. We believe that because of our volume purchases we are able to obtain product pricing and terms that are competitive with those available to other major direct marketers. Although brand names and individual product offerings are important to our business, we believe that competitive products are available in substantially all of the merchandise categories offered by us.

 

DISTRIBUTION

 

At our approximately 205,000 square foot distribution and fulfillment complex in Wilmington, Ohio, we receive and ship inventory, configure computer systems, and process returned products. Orders are transmitted electronically from our Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire sales facilities to our Wilmington distribution center after credit approval, where packing documentation is printed automatically and order fulfillment takes place. Through our Everything Overnight® service, orders accepted up until 2:00 a.m. Eastern time, (until midnight on custom-configured systems) are generally shipped for overnight delivery via DHL Worldwide Express. We ship approximately 56% of our orders through DHL. Upon request, orders may also be shipped by other common carriers.

 

We also place product orders directly with manufacturers and/or distribution companies for drop shipment by those manufacturers and/or suppliers directly to customers. Our MoreDirect subsidiary generally places all product orders with manufacturers and/or distribution companies for drop shipment directly to customers. Order status with distributors is tracked online and in all circumstances, a confirmation of shipment from manufacturers and/or distribution companies is received prior to recording revenue. Products drop shipped by suppliers accounted for 38% of net sales in both 2004 and 2003. In future years, we expect that products drop shipped from suppliers will increase, both in dollars and as a percentage of net sales, as we seek to lower our overall inventory and distribution costs while maintaining excellent customer service.

 

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MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS

 

All of our subsidiaries, except for MoreDirect, use management information systems, principally comprised of applications software running on IBM AS/400 and RS6000 computers and Microsoft Windows 2000-based servers, which we have customized for our use. These systems permit centralized management of key functions, including order taking and processing, inventory and accounts receivable management, purchasing, sales, and distribution, and the preparation of daily operating control reports on key aspects of the business. We also operate advanced telecommunications equipment to support our sales and customer service operations. Key elements of the telecommunications systems are integrated with our computer systems to provide timely customer information to sales and service representatives, and to facilitate the preparation of operating and performance data.

 

MoreDirect has developed a custom designed Internet-based system, Traxx, which is comprised of applications software running on Linux and Sun Solaris servers. This system is an integrated application of sales order processing, integrated supply chain visibility, and full EDI links with major manufacturers distribution partners for product information, availability, pricing, ordering, delivery, and tracking, including related accounting functions.

 

We believe that our customized information systems enable us to improve our productivity, ship customer orders on a same-day basis, respond quickly to changes in our industry, and provide high levels of customer service.

 

Our success is dependent in large part on the accuracy and proper use of our information systems, including our telephone systems, to manage our inventory and accounts receivable collections, to purchase, sell, and ship our products efficiently and on a timely basis, and to maintain cost-efficient operations. We expect to continually upgrade our information systems to more effectively manage our operations and customer database.

 

COMPETITION

 

The direct marketing and sale of information technology products, including personal computers and related products, is highly competitive. PC Connection competes with other direct marketers of IT products, including CDW Computer Centers, Inc. and Insight Enterprises, Inc. We also compete with:

 

  certain product manufacturers that sell directly to customers, such as Dell Computer Corporation and Gateway, Inc., and more recently HP, IBM, and Apple;

 

  distributors that sell directly to certain customers;

 

  various cost-plus aggregators, franchisers, and national computer retailers; and

 

  companies with more extensive Web sites and commercial online networks.

 

Additional competition may arise if other new methods of distribution, such as broadband electronic software distribution, emerge in the future.

 

We compete not only for customers, but also for favorable product allocations and cooperative advertising support from product manufacturers. Several of our competitors are larger and have substantially greater financial resources than we have.

 

We believe that price, product selection and availability, and service and support are the most important competitive factors in our industry.

 

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INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

 

Our trademarks include PC Connection®, GovConnection, MacConnection®, and MoreDirect®, and their related logos; Everything Overnight®, The Connection®, Raccoon Character®, Service Connection®, Graphics Connection®, and Education Connection®, Your Brands, Your Way, Next Day®, and Epiq PC Systems®. We intend to use and protect these and our other marks, as we deem necessary. We believe our trademarks have significant value and are an important factor in the marketing of our products. We do not maintain a traditional research and development group, but we work closely with computer product manufacturers and other technology developers to stay abreast of the latest developments in computer technology, both with respect to the products we sell and use.

 

WORK FORCE

 

As of December 31, 2004, we employed 1,390 persons, of whom 722 were engaged in sales related activities, 106 were engaged in providing customer service and support, 286 were engaged in purchasing, marketing, and distribution related activities, 80 were engaged in the operation and development of management information systems, and 196 were engaged in administrative and accounting functions. We consider our employee relations to be good. Our employees are not represented by a labor union, and we have never experienced a work stoppage since our inception.

 

Item 2.    Properties

 

In November 1997, we entered into a fifteen year lease for our corporate headquarters and telemarketing center located at 730 Milford Road, Merrimack, New Hampshire 03054-4631, with an affiliated entity, G&H Post, which is related to us through common ownership. The total lease is valued at approximately $7.0 million, based upon an independent property appraisal obtained at the date of lease, and interest is calculated at an annual rate of 11%. The lease requires us to pay our proportionate share of real estate taxes and common area maintenance charges as additional rent and also to pay insurance premiums for the leased property. We have the option to renew the lease for two additional terms of five years each. The lease has been recorded as a capital lease in the financial statements.

 

We also lease 205,000 square feet in two facilities in Wilmington, Ohio, which houses our distribution and order fulfillment operations. The leases governing these two facilities expire in the fourth quarter of 2005 and the first quarter of 2007, respectively. We have the option to renew the former for an additional two-year term. We also operate telemarketing centers in Dover and Keene, New Hampshire, Marlborough, Massachusetts, Rockville, Maryland, Fairfield, Connecticut, and Boca Raton, Florida. We are relocating our Dover sales office to Portsmouth, New Hampshire during the second quarter of 2005. Leasehold improvements associated with these properties are amortized over the terms of the leases or their useful lives, whichever is shorter. We believe that existing distribution facilities in Wilmington, Ohio will be sufficient to support our anticipated needs through the next twelve months.

 

Item 3.    Legal Proceedings

 

On March 20, 2002, The Lemelson Medical, Education & Research Foundation, L.P. filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona naming us as an additional defendant in the so-called “Federal Express” case. The Federal Express case involves approximately eighty-eight defendants and pertains to claims made by the foundation relating to its right to royalties for the use of bar code scanners that allegedly utilize technology covered by patents now owned by the foundation. The foundation had previously filed claims against manufacturers of bar code scanners in U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada alleging patent infringement. The manufacturers of bar code scanners prevailed on most points in litigation in the Nevada action relating to the validity of the patents at issue. However, Lemelson has appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The defendants in the Arizona litigation have requested the U.S. District Court to stay the proceedings pending the outcome of the Nevada litigation, which the Court granted. Until the Nevada patent litigation is resolved, we will expend little, if any, legal fees in the Arizona case. If the bar code manufacturers are successful in the Nevada case, we expect the Arizona court to dismiss the action against us.

 

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The foundation has not specified the amount of damages it seeks in its complaint, but such damages may be material. If the foundation ultimately prevails in the Arizona litigation, the damages assessed against us may be material and may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition. In addition, we may be required to modify the methods by which we track inventories and ship products that may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. We intend to vigorously defend this claim and, to the extent we are found liable, we believe we have indemnification claims against certain manufacturers of bar code scanners.

 

While we may ultimately decide to seek indemnity from certain manufacturers of bar code scanners, we can provide no assurance that we would be successful in obtaining such indemnity. At a minimum, if the Nevada or Arizona litigation proceeds, we may incur material legal fees in the defense of the foundation’s claims or in seeking indemnity from certain manufacturers of bar code scanners.

 

On October 7, 2003, Commissariat A L’Energie Atomiquie filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, naming us as a defendant, along with several other computer-related resellers, in a patent infringement case. We are attempting under contract provision and the Uniform Commercial Code to be defended and indemnified by the manufacturers of the allegedly infringing products. In the event that the manufacturers do not agree to indemnify us, we may have to expend some defense costs and we may be liable for some amount of damages. No specific amount has been claimed as damages.

 

On September 10, 2004, NCR Corporation filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, alleging patent infringement against us. NCR alleges that our e-commerce web sites employ methods covered by certain patents held by NCR. We have filed a Motion to Dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, which has not yet been ruled upon. We also plan to enter non-binding mediation with NCR but are unable to determine the outcome of this matter.

 

Item 4.    Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders

 

There were no matters submitted during the fourth quarter of 2004 to a vote of security holders.

 

Executive Officers of PC Connection

 

The executive officers of PC Connection and their ages as of March 14, 2005 are as follows:

 

Name


   Age

  

Position


Patricia Gallup

   50    Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Robert F. Wilkins

   43    Executive Vice President

Jack L. Ferguson

   66    Treasurer and Interim Chief Financial Officer

Bradley G. Mousseau

   53    Vice President of Human Resources

 

Patricia Gallup is a co-founder of PC Connection and has served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board since September 2002. Ms. Gallup also assumed the role of President of PC Connection upon the resignation of its former president on March 21, 2003. Ms. Gallup served as Chairman from June 2001 to August 2002. Ms. Gallup has served as a member of our executive management team since its inception in 1982.

 

Robert F. Wilkins has served as Executive Vice President of PC Connection since January 2000. Mr. Wilkins served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing from January 1999 to January 2000 and Senior Vice President of Merchandising and Product Management from January 1998 to January 1999. From December 1995 to January 1998, Mr. Wilkins served as Vice President of Merchandising and Product Management of PC Connection.

 

Jack L. Ferguson has served as Treasurer since November 1997 and as Interim Chief Financial Officer since October 2004. Mr. Ferguson served as a Director of Finance from December 1992 to November 1997. Prior to joining PC Connection, Mr. Ferguson was a partner with Deloitte & Touche LLP.

 

Bradley G. Mousseau has served as Vice President of Human Resources since January 2000. Prior to joining PC Connection, Mr. Mousseau served as Vice President of Global Workforce Strategies for Systems & Computer Technology Corporation (SCT) from April 1997 to January 2000.

 

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PART II

 

Item 5.   Market for the Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters, and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

Market Information

 

PC Connection’s Common Stock commenced trading on March 3, 1998 on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol “PCCC.” As of March 14, 2005, there were 25,135,721 shares outstanding of our common stock held by approximately 114 stockholders of record.

 

The following table sets forth for the fiscal periods indicated the range of high and low sales prices for our common stock on the Nasdaq National Market.

 

2004


   High

   Low

Quarter Ended:

             

December 31

   $ 10.00    $ 6.66

September 30

     7.74      6.21

June 30

     8.64      6.52

March 31

     10.90      6.45

2003


         

Quarter Ended:

             

December 31

   $ 11.90    $ 6.50

September 30

     13.47      6.54

June 30

     10.82      4.94

March 31

     8.33      4.69

 

We have never declared or paid cash dividends on our capital stock. We anticipate that we will retain all future earnings, if any, to fund the development and growth of our business, and we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our Common Stock in the foreseeable future. Our secured credit agreement contains restrictions that may limit our ability to pay dividends in the future.

 

Share Repurchase Authorization

 

We announced on March 28, 2001, that our Board of Directors authorized the spending of up to $15.0 million to repurchase our common stock. Share purchases will be made in the open market from time to time depending on market conditions. We have repurchased an aggregate of 362,267 shares for $2.3 million as of December 31, 2004, which are reflected as treasury stock on the consolidated balance sheet. We did not repurchase any shares of our common stock in the year ended December 31, 2004.

 

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Item 6.    Selected Financial and Operating Data

 

The following selected financial and operating data should be read in conjunction with the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements and the Notes thereto, and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and other financial information included elsewhere in this Form 10-K.

 

     Years Ended December 31,

 
     2004

    2003

    2002

    2001

    2000

 
     (dollars in thousands, except per share and selected operating data)  

Statement of Operations Data:

                                        

Net sales

   $ 1,353,834     $ 1,312,891     $ 1,191,497     $ 1,186,217     $ 1,440,227  

Cost of sales

     1,201,780       1,175,212       1,062,311       1,054,631       1,264,573  
    


 


 


 


 


Gross profit

     152,054       137,679       129,186       131,586       175,654  

Selling, general, and administrative expenses

     132,729       124,824       121,964       117,610       123,834  

Special charges (1)

     5,232       1,929       1,636       2,204       —    
    


 


 


 


 


Income from operations

     14,093       10,926       5,586       11,772       51,820  

Interest expense

     (1,385 )     (1,305 )     (1,152 )     (1,179 )     (2,086 )

Other, net

     152       117       513       1,307       589  
    


 


 


 


 


Income before income taxes

     12,860       9,738       4,947       11,900       50,323  

Income tax provision

     (4,556 )     (3,850 )     (1,700 )     (4,521 )     (19,126 )
    


 


 


 


 


Net income

   $ 8,304     $ 5,888     $ 3,247     $ 7,379     $ 31,197  
    


 


 


 


 


Basic net income per share

   $ .33     $ .24     $ .13     $ .30     $ 1.30  
    


 


 


 


 


Diluted net income per share

   $ .33     $ .23     $ .13     $ .30     $ 1.22  
    


 


 


 


 


Selected Operating Data:

                                        

Active customers (2)

     398,000       499,000       469,000       471,000       626,000  

Catalogs distributed

     31,125,000       31,525,000       28,765,000       41,683,000       45,028,000  

Orders entered (3)

     1,281,000       1,333,000       1,243,000       1,265,000       1,521,000  

Average order size (3)

   $ 1,230     $ 1,169     $ 1,119     $ 1,116     $ 1,115  
     December 31,

 
     2004

    2003

    2002

    2001

    2000

 
     (dollars in thousands)  

Balance Sheet Data:

                                        

Working capital

   $ 103,637     $ 96,883     $ 91,289     $ 120,442     $ 111,048  

Total assets

     286,542       310,605       268,682       243,645       249,514  

Short-term debt:

                                        

Current maturities of capital lease obligations:

                                        

To affiliate

     373       334       200       171       153  

To third party

     391       —         —         —         —    

Notes payable

     4,810       5,614       —         1,000       1,000  

Long-term debt:

                                        

Capital lease obligations, less current maturities:

                                        

To affiliate

     5,715       6,088       6,421       6,621       6,792  

To third party

     841       —         —         —         —    

Note payable

     —         —         —         —         1,000  

Total stockholders’ equity

     166,158       157,189       150,144       146,762       138,066  

(1) Our 2004 special charges consist of $860 for the cost of workforce reductions, $101 for the remaining uninsured portion of a 2003 employee defalcation, $3,559 related to our review of the 2003 General Services Administration (“GSA”) contract cancellation and costs related to securing a new schedule, $512 in professional fees related to a review of certain prior year rebate-related transactions, and $200 related to a proposed litigation settlement. Our 2003 special charges consist of $407 for the cost of workforce reductions, $1,130 for an uninsured portion of an employee defalcation, and $392 for an internal review of GovConnection’s GSA contract cancellation. Our 2002 special charges consist of $886 for the cost of workforce reductions and $750 for costs relating to the Microsoft settlement. Our 2001 special charges consist of $1,510 for the cost of workforce reductions and $694 for costs relating to a proposed acquisition that was abandoned.
(2) Represents estimates of all customers included in our mailing list who have made a purchase within the last twelve month period.
(3) Does not reflect cancellations or returns.

 

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

 

The following discussion and analysis of the Company’s financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

 

The following Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations contains forward-looking statements based on management’s current expectations, estimates, and projections about the Company’s industry, management’s beliefs, and certain assumptions made by management. All statements, trends, analyses, and other information contained in this report relative to trends in net sales, gross margin, and anticipated expense levels, as well as other statements, including words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “plan,” “estimate,” “expect,” “may,” “project,” “will,” “would,” and “intend” and other similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those anticipated or expressed in such statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, those set forth under the caption “Factors That May Affect Future Results and Financial Condition” included within this section. Particular attention should be paid to the cautionary statements involving the industry’s rapid technological change and exposure to inventory obsolescence, availability and allocations of goods, reliance on vendor support and relationships, competitive risks, pricing risks, and the overall level of economic activity, and the level of business investment in information technology products. Except as required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Readers, however, should carefully review the factors set forth in other reports or documents that the Company files from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

OVERVIEW

 

PC Connection is a national direct marketer of a wide range of information technology products and services—including computer systems, software and peripheral equipment, networking communications, and other products, and accessories that we purchase from manufacturers, distributors, and other suppliers. We also offer a growing range of repair, installation, and other services performed by third-party providers. We operate through three primary business segments: (a) consumers and small- to medium-sized businesses (“SMB”) through our PC Connection Sales subsidiary, (b) federal, state, and local government and educational institutions (“Public Sector”) through our GovConnection subsidiary, and (c) large corporate accounts (“Large Account”) through our MoreDirect subsidiary.

 

We generate sales through (i) outbound telemarketing and field sales contacts by account managers focused on the business, education, and government markets, (ii) our Web sites, and (iii) inbound calls from customers responding to our catalogs and other advertising media.

 

Opportunities and Challenges

 

With our sales representing less than 1% of the overall approximate $200 billion United States Information Technology (“IT”) market, we believe we have an excellent opportunity to grow and gain a larger share of this market. We anticipate that most of this additional market share will come from smaller value-added resellers, or VARs, who have the largest share of the current IT market. We expect our expanding service offerings to compete effectively with these historical service providers.

 

Annual sales productivity per sales representative in 2004 was flat compared to 2003 as we focused our SMB and Public Sector sales efforts on improving gross margins. We implemented a number of sales and gross profit improvement initiatives in early 2004 in these two segments, including more stringent management of discounting, more extensive and focused sales training on costs and margins, and targeted improvements in sales pricing, sales incentives, and account management. With these initiatives, we saw our sales personnel generate more add-on sales, thereby further increasing sales per transaction as well as improving over-all gross margins.

 

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As noted in our 2003 Annual Report on Form 10-K, the GSA cancelled its contract with GovConnection, following its review of that subsidiary’s contract management system and procedures and the possibility of the sale of unqualified items and underpayment of required fees. We applied for a new contract, and in August 2004, the GSA awarded GovConnection authorization to sell to the federal government under a new GSA schedule. During the year ended December 31, 2004, we saw a significant year-over-year decline in our federal government sales, largely due to the loss of the GSA contract in November 2003. Accordingly, our revenues derived from sales to the federal government may continue to be negatively impacted as GovConnection seeks to regain sales under the new GSA contract. This matter is further discussed below in the section entitled “Factors That May Affect Future Results and Financial Condition.”

 

The primary challenges we face in effectively managing our business are: (1) continuing our sales growth while stabilizing and ultimately improving our gross profit margins in all three business segments, (2) improving the productivity of our sales personnel, and (3) effectively managing and leveraging our selling, general, and administrative (“SG&A”) expenses over a higher sales base. With only modest growth projected in the overall IT industry, any significant sales growth for us must come through increased market share. Competition is expected to be even more intense in the future, which could put more pressure on margins. We will seek to increase sales while maintaining or improving margins by continuing the initiatives described above.

 

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

The following table sets forth for the periods indicated information derived from our statements of income expressed as a percentage of net sales.

 

     Years Ended December 31,

 
     2004

    2003

    2002

 

Net sales (in millions)

   $ 1,353.8     $ 1,312.9     $ 1,191.5  
    


 


 


Net sales

     100.0 %     100.0 %     100.0 %

Gross profit

     11.2       10.5       10.8  

Selling, general, and administrative expenses

     9.8       9.5       10.2  

Special charges

     0.4       0.2       0.1  

Income from operations

     1.0       0.8       0.5  

 

The increase in gross profit as a percentage of sales resulted primarily from an increased focus on gross margins and product mix as described above. Additionally in the second half of 2004, we revised our estimates relating to vendor consideration as a result of Emerging Issues Task Force (“EITF”) Issue No. 02-16, “Accounting by a Customer (Including a Reseller) for Certain Consideration Received from a Vendor” (“EITF 02-16”) and reclassified $5.4 million of additional advertising reimbursements in excess of advertising costs incurred from SG&A expenses to cost of goods sold and inventory. Such excess advertising reimbursements had previously been recorded as an offset to SG&A expense, and that reclassification resulted in an increase, on a consolidated basis, of 0.4% in both gross margin and SG&A expenses as a percentage of net sales for 2004.

 

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Table of Contents

Sales Distribution

 

The following table sets forth our percentage of net sales by business segment, sales channel, and product mix:

 

     Years Ended December 31,

 
     2004

    2003

    2002

 

Business Segment


                  

SMB

   59 %   57 %   59 %

Public Sector

   19     24     25  

Large Account

   22     19     16  
    

 

 

Total

   100 %   100 %   100 %
    

 

 

Sales Channel


                  

Outbound Telemarketing and Field Sales

   74 %   77 %   78 %

Inbound Telesales

   6     7     7  

Online Internet

   20     16     15  
    

 

 

Total

   100 %   100 %   100 %
    

 

 

Product Mix


                  

Notebooks and PDAs

   21 %   20 %   17 %

Desktop/Servers

   14     15     15  

Storage Devices

   8     9     9  

Software

   12     11     14  

Net/Com Products

   7     8     8  

Printers and Printer Supplies

   11     11     12  

Video, Imaging, and Sound

   12     12     11  

Memory and System Enhancements

   5     5     5  

Accessories/Other

   10     9     9  
    

 

 

Total

   100 %   100 %   100 %
    

 

 

 

Gross Profit Margins

 

The following table summarizes our overall gross profit margins, as a percentage of net sales, for the last three years:

 

     Years Ended December 31,

 
     2004

    2003

    2002

 

Segment


                  

SMB

   12.2 %   11.2 %   11.8 %

Public Sector

   9.4     8.2     8.6  

Large Account

   10.2     11.3     10.8  

Total

   11.2 %   10.5 %   10.8 %

 

Our SMB segment implemented a number of gross margin improvement initiatives in early 2004, which contributed to an increased gross margin rate. Additionally, as discussed previously, revising our estimates relating to vendor consideration as a result of EITF 02-16 resulted in a 0.6% improvement in gross margin rate in the SMB segment. Despite an increase in competition in its education and government markets, our Public Sector segment was able to improve its gross margin rates by implementing many of the same initiatives as our SMB segment. Changes in MoreDirect’s customer mix and reduced supplier rebates led to a decrease in our Large Account segment’s margin rate for 2004.

 

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Gross margin on sales to corporate accounts that purchase at volume discounts is generally lower than gross margins on consumer or smaller business sales. Gross margin on sales to public sector customers has historically been lower than that for commercial sales. However, the gross profit dollar contribution per public sector and large account order is generally higher as average order sizes are usually larger. We believe that sales to larger businesses and public sector customers will continue to represent a growing portion of our business mix in future periods. We also expect the increasing migration of customers to our web sites to continue to increase the percentage of online Internet sales, which generally have higher margins.

 

Gross margins also vary by product mix. Sales of notebooks and PDAs accounted for 21% of our overall sales in 2004, an increase from 20% in 2003. The increase in these two product lines served to decrease our overall gross margin rates. Sales of all computer systems (including desktops, servers, and notebooks) result in a relatively high dollar sales order and generally provide the largest gross profit dollar contribution per order of all our products. However they usually yield the lowest gross margin percentage.

 

Operating Expenses

 

The following table breaks out our more significant operating expenses for the last three years (in millions of dollars):

 

     Years Ended December 31,

 
     2004

    2003

    2002

 

Personnel costs

   $ 93.5     $ 89.7     $ 84.1  

Facilities operations

     9.3       9.4       10.1  

Credit card fees

     7.4       7.6       7.1  

Depreciation and amortization

     7.1       8.4       8.4  

Bad debts

     2.4       3.1       6.6  

Other – net, including advertising

     13.0       6.6       5.7  
    


 


 


Total

   $ 132.7     $ 124.8     $ 122.0  
    


 


 


Percentage of net sales

     9.8 %     9.5 %     10.2 %
    


 


 


 

Personnel costs continue to represent the majority of our operating expenses, with sales personnel representing the largest portion of these costs. Our other operating costs, except for credit card fees and bad debts, tend to be relatively fixed over changing sales levels. Our bad debt losses have decreased significantly from their high in 2002, due to more stringent credit management, lower customer bankruptcies, and an overall improvement in the economy.

 

Most product manufacturers provide us with co-op advertising support in exchange for product coverage in our catalogs as well as other advertising promotions. EITF 02-16, which addresses the income classification of vendor consideration, became effective for the periods beginning January 1, 2003. This pronouncement requires that such consideration be recorded as a reduction of cost of sales unless the consideration represents reimbursement for costs incurred for a specific advertising program funded by an individual vendor. For the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002, we recorded advertising expense of $22.5 million, $22.8 million, and $19.9 million, respectively. For the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002, we received total vendor advertising funding of $29.1 million, $29.4 million, and $28.3 million, respectively. We reclassified $7.5 million, $2.2 million, and $2.8 million of these reimbursements to cost of sales and inventory. As discussed earlier, we revised our estimates used to determine excess vendor advertising in 2004, and accordingly, $5.4 million of the 2004 reclassification referred to above relates to this revision in our estimates. Our net advertising expense was as a result higher in 2004. Although the level of vendor co-op advertising support available to us from certain manufacturers has declined, and may decline further in the future, the overall level of co-op advertising support has remained consistent with our levels of spending for catalog and other advertising programs. We believe that the overall levels of co-op advertising support available over the next twelve months will be consistent with our planned advertising programs.

 

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YEAR-OVER-YEAR COMPARISONS

 

Year Ended December 31, 2004 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2003

 

Net sales increased 3.1% to $1,353.8 million in 2004 from $1,312.9 million in 2003. Our SMB and Large Account segments both increased, offsetting the decrease in our Public Sector’s sales. Changes in net sales and gross profit by business segment are shown in the following table (dollars in millions):

 

     Years Ended December 31,

       
     2004

    2003

       
     Amount

   % of
Net Sales


    Amount

   % of
Net Sales


    %
Change


 

Sales:

                                

SMB

   $ 802.3    59.3 %   $ 744.4    56.7 %   7.8 %

Public Sector

     253.0    18.7       320.6    24.4     (21.1 )

Large Account

     298.5    22.0       247.9    18.9     20.4  
    

  

 

  

     

Total

   $ 1,353.8    100.0 %   $ 1,312.9    100.0 %   3.1 %
    

  

 

  

     

Gross Profit:

                                

SMB

   $ 98.0    12.2 %   $ 83.4    11.2 %   17.5 %

Public Sector

     23.8    9.4       26.3    8.2     (9.5 )

Large Account

     30.3    10.2       28.0    11.3     8.2  
    

        

            

Total

   $ 152.1    11.2 %   $ 137.7    10.5 %   10.5 %
    

        

            

 

  Net sales for our SMB segment increased due to the increase in the number of sales account managers employed in 2004 while maintaining sales productivity. Sales representatives for the SMB segment totaled 415 at December 31, 2004, up from 378 at December 31, 2003. Sales productivity was flat in 2004 compared to 2003 because we implemented company-wide gross margin improvement initiatives in early 2004. As discussed below, these initiatives inhibited our sales growth as we refrained from low-margin sales but resulted in improved over-all operating margins.

 

  Net sales for our Public Sector segment decreased due primarily to a 58.5% decrease in sales to the federal government. Our federal government sales decreased from the prior year due to the late 2003 cancellation of our GSA contract described previously. Although we were issued a new GSA contract in August 2004, it was too late into the federal buying season to recover this business. However, sales to state and local governmental and educational institutions (“SLED”) increased 14.7% due to improvement in average sales productivity per account manager. Sales account managers for the Public Sector segment totaled 107 at December 31, 2004, up from 104 at December 31, 2003. The headcount mix between our federal and SLED account managers was unchanged from year to year due to our investment decision to maintain our federal account managers despite the nine month absence of our GSA contract.

 

  Net sales for our Large Account segment increased due to an improvement in average sales productivity per account manager. IT spending grew at a faster pace for our large Fortune 1000 customers than those of our other two business segments. Sales account managers for the Large Account segment totaled 69 at December 31, 2004, down from 85 at the end of 2003. This reduction in headcount resulted from a planned reduction in under-performing sales representatives.

 

Gross profit increased in our SMB and Large Account areas as shown by the above, whereas the gross margin percentage of net sales improved for our SMB and Public Sector segments.

 

 

Gross profit for the SMB segment improved due to increases in both net sales and gross margin rate. We were able to improve gross margin rates by increasing add-on sales of accessories and other companion products to our system sales, as well increasing sales of third-party warranty, installation, and other services.

 

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These initiatives were implemented in both our SMB and Public Sector segments in early 2004. Additionally, as discussed earlier, our revised estimates of advertising reimbursements in excess of costs incurred accounted for 60 basis points of our 1.0% increase in gross margin rate in the SMB segment.

 

  Despite an increase in gross margin rate, gross profit for the Public Sector segment decreased due to the decline in federal sales discussed above. Similar to our SMB segment, we were able to improve margin rates by increasing add-on sales of accessories and other companion products to our system sales, as well as increasing sales of third-party warranty, installation, and other services. As a result of losing its GSA contract in late 2003, the Public Sector increased its agency revenues from sales through third-party GSA schedules in 2004, which contributed to its improved gross margin rate. Revising our estimates used in EITF 02-16 led to an impact of less than 0.1% on this segment’s gross margin rate.

 

  Gross profit for the Large Account segment increased due to the increase in sales explained earlier, despite a decrease in the gross margin rate. Changes in customer mix and continuing competitive pressures caused gross margin rates to decrease on a year-over-year basis.

 

Selling, general, and administrative expenses increased in both dollars and as a percentage of sales in 2004 from 2003.

 

We have concentrated our efforts on managing our overall operating costs. Personnel costs generally account for approximately two-thirds of our SG&A expenses, as shown earlier in the table of SG&A expenses. While we plan to continue our focus on controlling discretionary expenditures, we expect that our SG&A expense may vary depending on changes in sales volume, as well as the levels of continued investments in key growth initiatives such as hiring more experienced outbound sales account managers, improving marketing programs, and deploying next generation technology to support the sales organization.

 

SG&A expenses attributable to our operating segments are summarized below (dollars in millions):

 

     Year Ended December 31,

   

%
Change


 
     2004

    2003

   
     Amount

   % of Net
Sales


    Amount

   % of Net
Sales


   

SMB

   $ 85.3    10.6 %   $ 82.3    11.1 %   3.6 %

Public Sector

     31.9    12.6       28.5    8.9     11.9  

Large Account

     15.5    5.2       14.0    5.6     10.7  
    

        

            

Total

   $ 132.7    9.8 %   $ 124.8    9.5 %   6.3 %
    

        

            

 

SG&A expenses for the SMB segment increased slightly in 2004, while decreasing as a percentage of net sales from 2003. This segment has a relatively fixed cost structure, and the increase in its 2004 net sales resulted in a lower expense rate for this year. As discussed earlier, in 2004 we revised our estimates relating to vendor consideration as a result of EITF 02-16 and reclassified in our SMB segment $5.4 million of advertising reimbursements in excess of advertising costs from SG&A expense to cost of goods sold and inventory. The resulting net increase in advertising expenses was the primary reason for our increased expense on a dollar basis but was partially offset by decreases in depreciation expense and bad debt expense.

 

The Public Sector segment’s SG&A expenses increased in 2004 but were significantly higher as a percentage of net sales from 2003. The significant decrease in our federal sales described above accounted for the increase in this segment’s SG&A expense as a percentage of sales. We retained our experienced sales personnel in anticipation of our new GSA contract, which was awarded in August 2004.

 

SG&A expenses for the Large Account segment increased on a dollar basis but decreased as a percentage of net sales. SG&A expenses for this segment represent the lowest of the three segments as a percentage of net sales, reflecting the nature and efficiency of this segment’s variable cost field sales and drop-shipping operating model.

 

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Special charges totaled $5.2 million and $1.9 million for the years ended December 31, 2004 and 2003, respectively. A roll forward of special charges for the two years ended December 31, 2004 is shown below (in thousands of dollars). There were no changes in estimates in any of the periods presented.

 

     Workforce
Reductions


    Employee
Defalcation


    GSA
Review


    Other

    Total

 

Balance December 31, 2002

   $ 208     $ —       $ —       $ —       $ 208  

Charges

     407       1,130       392       —         1,929  

Cash payments

     (502 )     (1,130 )     (155 )     —         (1,787 )
    


 


 


 


 


Balance December 31, 2003

     113       —         237       —         350  
    


 


 


 


 


Charges

     860       101       3,559       712       5,232  

Cash payments

     (724 )     (101 )     (3,072 )     (497 )     (4,394 )
    


 


 


 


 


Balance December 31, 2004

   $ 249     $ —       $ 724     $ 215     $ 1,188  
    


 


 


 


 


 

The charges for the employee defalcation represent the loss sustained by one of our commercial subsidiaries in excess of the amount covered by insurance. The charges for the GSA contract review represent costs of our review relating to the cancellation by the GSA in late 2003 of its contract with our subsidiary, GovConnection, and costs related to securing a new GSA schedule, which was awarded in August 2004. The other charges in 2004 include $200 accrued as an estimated liability in a patent infringement case currently in litigation and $512 in professional fees relating to our review of certain calendar year 2000 and 2003 transactions. We concluded our review of these transactions in October 2004.

 

Income from operations increased by $3.2 million, or 29.4%, to $14.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2004 from $10.9 million compared to 2003. MoreDirect, our Large Account segment, accounted for $14.6 million and $12.9 million of our income from operations in 2004 and 2003, respectively. Excluding MoreDirect, we incurred a loss from operations of $0.5 million for 2004 and $2.0 million in 2003.

 

Income from operations as a percentage of net sales increased from 0.8% in 2003 to 1.0% in 2004. This increase was attributable to the changes in net sales, gross margin, and SG&A expenses as discussed above.

 

Interest expense was $1.4 million in 2004 and $1.3 million in 2003. Interest expense increased due to slightly higher average borrowings outstanding and slightly higher interest rates in 2004 as compared to 2003.

 

Our effective tax rate was 35.4% for 2004 and 39.5% for 2003. This year-over-year decrease was due to a decrease in our accrual for state tax contingencies in certain states in which we operate. We anticipate that our effective tax rate will be approximately 39% in 2005 due to anticipated changes in mix of state income taxes to which we are subject.

 

Net income increased by $2.4 million, or 40.7%, to $8.3 million in 2004 from $5.9 million in 2003, principally as a result of the increase in income from operations.

 

Year Ended December 31, 2003 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2002

 

Net sales increased 10.2% to $1,312.9 million in 2003 from $1,191.5 million in 2002. The increase was due largely to the inclusion of MoreDirect for the full year in 2003 but only from its early April acquisition date in 2002. Had that acquisition taken place at the beginning of 2002, net sales would have increased in 2003 by only 5.4%.

 

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Table of Contents

Changes in net sales and gross profit by business segment are shown in the following table (dollars in millions):

 

     Years Ended December 31,

   

%
Change


 
     2003

    2002

   
     Amount

   % of Net
Sales


    Amount

   % of Net
Sales


   

Sales:

                                

SMB

   $ 744.4    56.7 %   $ 703.5    59.0 %   5.8 %

Public Sector

     320.6    24.4       293.9    24.7     9.1  

Large Account

     247.9    18.9       194.1    16.3     27.7  
    

  

 

  

     

Total

   $ 1,312.9    100.0 %   $ 1,191.5    100.0 %   10.2 %
    

  

 

  

     

Gross Profit:

                                

SMB

   $ 83.4    11.2 %   $ 82.8    11.8 %   0.7 %

Public Sector

     26.3    8.2       25.4    8.6     3.5  

Large Account

     28.0    11.3       21.0    10.8     33.3  
    

        

            

Total

   $ 137.7    10.5 %   $ 129.2    10.8 %   6.6 %
    

        

            

 

Net sales for our SMB segment increased due to the increase in the number of sales representatives in the year while also improving sales productivity. Sales representatives for the SMB segment totaled 378 at December 31, 2003, up from 341 at December 31, 2002.

 

Net sales for our Public Sector segment increased due primarily to a 19.2% growth in sales to state and local government units and educational organizations. Sales to the federal government increased slightly from 2002, which included first quarter sales relating to the September 11, 2001 disaster. Sales account managers for the Public Sector segment totaled 104 at December 31, 2003, up from 99 at the end of 2002. The cancellation of the GSA contract described above did not have a significant impact on our 2003 sales, as most of the federal sales orders had been placed prior to the cancellation.

 

Net sales for our Large Account segment increased due to the inclusion of this segment for only nine months in 2002. MoreDirect was acquired in early April of 2002, and accordingly, net sales for that company are included only from the date of its acquisition. Had the acquisition taken place at the beginning of 2002, net sales for this segment would have been substantially flat over the two years. Sales account managers for the Large Account segment totaled 85 at December 31, 2003, up from 72 at December 31, 2002.

 

Gross profit increased as shown by the above table, although the corresponding gross margin percentage of net sales decreased.

 

Gross profit for the SMB segment was substantially flat, as the increase from higher sales was offset by the decline in the gross margin rate, reflecting continuing competitive pressures and the shift in product mix shown in previous tables. We expect to offset this decline in gross margin rates by increasing add-on sales of accessories and other companion products to our system sales, as well as continuing to increase the level of enterprise product sales and sales of third-party warranty, installation, and other services.

 

Gross profit for the Public Sector segment increased due to the increase in sales discussed above, offset by a decline in the gross margin rate. The decline in margin was attributable to aggressive sales growth promotions to state and local government and educational customers.

 

Gross profit for the Large Account segment increased due to the increase in sales explained earlier, plus an increase in the gross margin rate. This growth was attributable to changes in customer mix, plus higher rebates obtained from suppliers.

 

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Selling, general, and administrative expenses increased in 2003 from 2002 but decreased as a percentage of sales. The dollar increase is attributable to the inclusion of MoreDirect for the full year in 2003, as explained above.

 

We have concentrated our efforts on managing our overall operating costs. Personnel costs generally account for approximately two-thirds of our SG&A expenses, as shown earlier in the table of SG&A expenses. While we plan to continue our focus on controlling discretionary expenditures, we expect that our SG&A expense may vary depending on changes in sales volume, as well as the levels of continued investments in key growth initiatives such as hiring more experienced outbound sales account managers, improving marketing programs, and deploying next generation Internet Web technology to support the sales organization.

 

SG&A expenses attributable to our operating segments are summarized below (dollars in millions):

 

     Year Ended December 31,

   

%
Change


 
     2003

    2002

   
     Amount

   % of Net
Sales


    Amount

   % of Net
Sales


   

SMB

   $ 82.3    11.1 %   $ 82.4    11.7 %   (0.1 )%

Public Sector

     28.5    8.9       28.9    9.8     (1.4 )

Large Account

     14.0    5.6       10.7    5.5     30.8  
    

        

            

Total

   $ 124.8    9.5 %   $ 122.0    10.2 %   2.3 %
    

        

            

 

SG&A expenses for the SMB segment remained flat in 2003 compared to 2002, while decreasing as a percentage of net sales. This segment has a relatively fixed cost structure, and the significant decrease in its 2002 net sales resulted in an unusually high expense rate for that year. We believe that the SMB segment’s expense rate is higher than that for the other two segments, primarily due to lower sales productivity of its sales force and the additional costs associated with the level of its inventory procurement, stocking, and warehousing operations. The SMB segment can support a higher sales level in future periods.

 

The Public Sector segment’s SG&A expenses decreased slightly in 2003 while also decreasing as a percentage of net sales from 2002. This decrease is indicative of this segment’s improvement in sales productivity by the generation of more sales per account manager and greater leveraging of its fixed costs.

 

SG&A expenses for the Large Account segment increased in line with the full year reporting period in 2003 and the partial year period in 2002 discussed earlier. SG&A expenses for this segment represent the lowest of the three segments as a percentage of net sales, reflecting the nature and efficiency of this segment’s variable cost field sales and drop-shipping operating model.

 

Special charges totaled $1.9 million and $1.6 million for 2003 and 2002, respectively. A roll forward of special charges for the two years ended December 31, 2003 is shown below (in thousands of dollars). There were no changes in estimates in any of the periods presented.

 

     Workforce
Reductions


    Litigation
Settlement


    Employee
Defalcation


    GSA
Review


    Total

 

Balance December 31, 2001

   $ 425     $ —       $ —       $ —       $ 425  

Charges

     886       750       —         —         1,636  

Cash payments

     (1,103 )     (750 )     —         —         (1,853 )
    


 


 


 


 


Balance December 31, 2002

     208       —         —         —         208  

Charges

     407       —         1,130       392       1,929  

Cash payments

     (502 )     —         (1,130 )     (155 )     (1,787 )
    


 


 


 


 


Balance December 31, 2003

   $ 113     $ —       $ —       $ 237     $ 350  
    


 


 


 


 


 

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Table of Contents

The 2003 charges for the GSA contract review represent costs of our investigations relating to the GSA’s cancellation in late 2003 of its contract with our subsidiary, GovConnection. The 2003 charges for employee defalcation represent the loss sustained by one of our commercial subsidiaries in excess of the amount covered by insurance. In 2002, we settled litigation commenced by Microsoft Corporation involving alleged trademark and copyright infringement. While denying these allegations, we recorded $0.8 million in settlement costs and legal fees related to this matter. We have also recognized $0.4 million and $0.9 million in charges related to staff reductions in 2003 and 2002, respectively.

 

Income from operations increased by $5.3 million, or 94.6%, to $10.9 million for 2003 from $5.6 million for 2002. MoreDirect, our Large Account segment, accounted for $12.9 million and $10.3 million of our income from operations in 2003 and 2002, respectively. Excluding MoreDirect, we incurred a loss from operations of $2.0 million for 2003 and $4.7 million in 2002.

 

Income from operations as a percentage of net sales increased from 0.5% in 2002 to 0.8% in 2003. This increase was attributable to the changes in net sales, gross margin, and SG&A expenses as discussed above.

 

Interest expense was $1.3 million in 2003 and $1.2 million in 2002. Interest expense increased due to slightly higher average borrowings outstanding offset by lower interest rates in 2003 as compared to 2002.

 

Our effective tax rate was 39.5% for 2003 and 34.4% for 2002. This year-over-year increase was due to our recognition in 2002 of a New Hampshire business enterprise tax credit. Such a tax credit was not recognized in 2003. The relative size of our tax provisions tends to magnify the beneficial impact of such credit on a percentage basis. We anticipate that our effective tax rate will be approximately 39% in 2004 due to the expected changes and mix of state income taxes.

 

Net income increased by $2.7 million, or 84.4%, to $5.9 million in 2003 from $3.2 million in 2002, principally as a result of the increase in income from operations. MoreDirect’s net income was $7.8 million in 2003 and $6.3 million in 2002. Excluding MoreDirect, our operations incurred a net loss of $1.9 million in 2003 and $3.1 million in 2002.

 

LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES

 

Liquidity Overview

 

Our primary sources of liquidity have historically been internally generated funds from operations and borrowings under our bank line of credit. We have used those funds to meet our capital requirements, which consist primarily of operational needs, capital expenditures for computer equipment and software used in our business, and more recently, earn-out payments required under our acquisition of MoreDirect.

 

We believe that funds generated from operations, together with available credit under our bank line of credit, will be sufficient to finance our working capital, capital expenditure, and other requirements for at least the next twelve calendar months. We expect our capital needs for 2005 to consist primarily of capital expenditures of $3.0 to $3.5 million, payments on capital and operating lease obligations of approximately $4.6 million, and final payment of approximately $6.9 million under our MoreDirect merger agreement. We expect to meet our cash requirements for 2005 through a combination of cash on hand, cash generated from operations and, if necessary, additional borrowings on our bank line of credit, as follows:

 

  Cash on Hand. At December 31, 2004 we had approximately $6.8 million in unrestricted accounts.

 

  Cash Generated from Operations.    We expect to generate cash flows from operations in excess of operating cash needs by generating earnings and balancing net changes in inventories and receivables with compensating changes in payables to generate a positive cash flow. Historically, we have consistently generated positive cash flows from operations.

 

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Table of Contents
  Credit Facilities.    As of December 31, 2004, we had drawn $4.8 million of our $45.0 million bank line of credit. This line of credit can be increased, at our option, to $65 million for approved acquisitions or other uses authorized by the bank. Borrowings are, however, limited by certain minimum collateral and earnings requirements, as described more fully below.

 

Our ability to continue funding our planned growth, both internally and externally, is dependent upon our ability to generate sufficient cash flow from operations or to obtain additional funds through equity or debt financing, or from other sources of financing, as may be required. While at this time we do not anticipate needing any additional sources of financing to fund our operations, if demand for information technology products declines, our cash flows from operations may be substantially affected. See also related risks listed below under “Factors That May Affect Future Results and Financial Condition.”

 

Summary Sources and Uses of Cash

 

The following table summarizes our sources and uses of cash over the last three years (in millions):

 

     Years Ended
December 31,


 
     2004

    2003

    2002

 

Net cash provided by operating activities

   $ 13.3     $ 3.3     $ 5.0  

Net cash used for investing activities

     (8.9 )     (8.3 )     (37.6 )

Net cash (used for) provided by financing activities

     (0.5 )     6.2       (1.2 )
    


 


 


Increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents

   $ 3.9     $ 1.2     $ (33.8 )
    


 


 


 

Cash provided by operating activities increased in 2004 but decreased in 2003. The primary reasons for the increase in 2004 were an increase in net earnings before depreciation and a decrease in receivables, partially offset by a decrease in payables. The decrease in 2003 resulted primarily from significant increases in receivables, inventory, and other current assets from prior levels, not fully offset by the increase in accounts payable.

 

At December 31, 2004, we had $79.7 million in outstanding accounts payable. Such accounts are generally paid within 30 days of incurrence and will be financed by cash flows from operations or short-term borrowings under the line of credit. This amount includes $8.2 million payable to two financial institutions under security agreements to facilitate the purchase of inventory. We believe we will be able to meet our obligations under our accounts payable with cash flows from operations and our existing line of credit.

 

Cash used for investing activities include our capital expenditures in the three years presented, primarily for computer equipment and capitalization of internally-developed software. Additionally, MoreDirect was acquired in April 2002, which accounted for $32.6 million of the use of cash in 2002. We continued to use cash in both 2003 and 2004 to fund earn-out payments due to the former shareholder of MoreDirect. These payments totaled $11.1 million and $10.8 million in 2004 and 2003, respectively. The final payment in 2005 is expected to approximate $6.9 million.

 

Cash used for financing activities in 2004 related to a decrease in our net borrowings by $0.8 million under our bank line of credit, whereas there was an increase in our net borrowings of $5.6 million in 2003. Further, our 2002 financing activities included a $1.0 million repayment of a note payable and purchases of treasury stock aggregating $0.8 million. There was no change in our net bank borrowings in 2002.

 

Debt Instruments, Contractual Agreements, and Related Covenants

 

Below is a summary of certain provisions of our credit facilities and other contractual obligations. It is qualified in its entirety by the terms of the actual agreements, which are on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. For more information about the restrictive covenants in our debt instruments and inventory

 

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Table of Contents

financing agreements, see “Factors Affecting Sources of Liquidity.” For more information about our obligations, commitments, and contingencies, see our consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes included in this annual report.

 

Bank Line of Credit.    Our bank line of credit provides us with a borrowing capacity of up to $45 million, with an option to increase the facility up to $65 million, based on sufficient levels of trade receivables to meet borrowing base requirements, and depending on meeting minimum EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) and equity requirements, described below under “Factors Affecting Sources of Liquidity.” Amounts outstanding under this facility were $4.8 million at December 31, 2004; these amounts bear interest at the prime rate (5.25% at December 31, 2004). Substantially all of our assets are collateralized as security for this facility, and all of our subsidiaries are guarantors under the line of credit. Borrowing availability under the line was $40.2 million at December 31, 2004. In 2005, we received a letter of commitment from the bank to increase the line to $50 million and extend it for three years, on substantially the same terms, including the uplift feature. We are in the process of negotiating definitive documentation for this extended facility.

 

This facility operates under an automatic cash management program whereby disbursements in excess of available cash are added as borrowings at the time disbursement checks clear the bank, and available cash receipts are first applied against any outstanding borrowings and then invested in short-term qualified cash investments. Accordingly, borrowings under the line are classified as current.

 

Inventory Trade Credit Arrangements.    We have security agreements with two financial institutions to facilitate the purchase of inventory from various suppliers under certain terms and conditions. These agreements allow a collateralized first position in certain branded products inventory financed by these financial institutions. Although the agreements provide for financing up to an aggregate of $45 million, any outstanding financing must be fully secured by available inventory. We do not pay any interest or discount fees on such inventory financing; such costs are borne by the suppliers as an incentive for us to purchase their products.

 

Liquidity Table for Contractual Obligations.    The following table sets forth information with respect to our long-term obligations payable in cash as of December 31, 2004 (in thousands):

 

     Payments Due By Period

     Total

  

Less Than

1 Year


  

1 – 3

Years


  

3 – 5

Years


  

More Than

5 Years


Contractual Obligations:

                                  

Capital lease obligations(1)

   $ 11,037    $ 1,504    $ 2,897    $ 2,174    $ 4,462

Operating lease obligations

     6,875      3,124      2,588      1,040      123

Earn-out obligation for acquisition

     6,921      6,921      —        —        —  
    

  

  

  

  

Total

   $ 24,833    $ 11,549    $ 5,485    $ 3,214    $ 4,585
    

  

  

  

  


(1) Including interest, excluding taxes, insurance, and common area maintenance charges.

 

We do not have any other off-balance sheet arrangements that have or are reasonably likely to have, a current or future material effect on our financial condition, changes in financial condition, revenues or expenses, results of operations, liquidity, capital expenditures, or capital resources.

 

Capital Leases.    We have a fifteen-year lease for our corporate headquarters with an affiliated company related through common ownership. We also have a three-year lease for certain computer equipment with an unrelated party. We are required to make lease payments aggregating from $1.0 million to $1.5 million per year. In addition to the rent payable under the facility lease, we are required to pay real estate taxes, insurance, and common area maintenance charges.

 

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Table of Contents

Operating Leases.    We also lease facilities from our principal stockholders and facilities and equipment from third parties under non-cancelable operating leases. See the “Liquidity Table for Contractual Obligations” above for lease commitments under these leases.

 

Earn-out Provisions of MoreDirect Merger Agreement.    We completed the acquisition of MoreDirect in April 2002. Under the terms of this agreement, we were required to make additional payments to the MoreDirect shareholder if certain earnings levels were achieved through December 31, 2004. An earn-out payment of $6.9 million is due in 2005 based on MoreDirect’s 2004 earnings. Earn-out payments aggregating $11.l million and $10.8 million were made in 2004 and 2003 based on MoreDirect’s 2003 and 2002 earnings, respectively.

 

Factors Affecting Sources of Liquidity

 

Internally Generated Funds.    The key factors affecting our internally generated funds are our ability to minimize costs and fully achieve our operating efficiencies, timely collection of our customer receivables, and management of our inventory levels.

 

Bank Line of Credit.    Our credit facility contains certain financial ratios and operational covenants and other restrictions (including restrictions on additional debt, guarantees, dividends and other distributions, investments, and liens) with which the Company and all of its subsidiaries must comply. Any failure to comply with these covenants would not only prevent us from borrowing additional funds under this line of credit, but would also constitute a default. This credit facility contains two financial tests:

 

  The funded debt ratio (defined as the average outstanding advances under the line for the quarter, divided by the consolidated EBITDA for the four quarters) must not be more than 2.0 to 1.0. Our actual funded debt ratio at December 31, 2004 was 0.3 to 1.0.

 

  Minimum Consolidated Net Worth must be at least $125.0 million, plus 50% of consolidated net income for each quarter since December 31, 2001 (loss quarters not counted). Such amount was calculated at December 31, 2004 as $134.8 million, whereas our actual consolidated stockholders’ equity at this date was $166.2 million.

 

The borrowing base under this facility is set at 80% of qualified commercial receivables, plus 50% of qualified government receivables, less $20 million of the formula availability which must be held in reserves. As of December 31, 2004, $40.2 million was available for additional borrowings.

 

Inventory Trade Credit Agreements.    These agreements contain similar financial ratios and operational covenants and restrictions as those contained in our bank line of credit described above. Such agreements also contain cross-default provisions whereby a default under the bank agreement would also constitute a default under these agreements. Financing under these agreements is limited to the purchase of specific branded products from authorized suppliers, and amounts outstanding must be fully collateralized by inventories of those products on hand.

 

MoreDirect Merger Agreement.    The merger agreement with MoreDirect contemplated an earn-out period of three years following the closing whereby if MoreDirect maintained certain earnings levels, additional payments were to be made to MoreDirect’s shareholder. We accrued liabilities to MoreDirect’s shareholder for $6.9 million, $11.6 million, and $10.8 million in earn-out consideration for the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002, respectively, and have paid the amounts relating to 2003 and 2002. We expect to pay the earn-out consideration for 2004 in early 2005.

 

Capital Markets.    Our ability to raise additional funds in the capital market depends upon, among other things, general economic conditions, the condition of the IT industry, our financial performance and stock price, and the state of the capital markets.

 

 

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APPLICATION OF CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES AND ESTIMATES

 

The SEC requires that all registrants disclose their most “critical accounting policies” in “Management’s Discussion of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” A “critical accounting policy” has been defined as one that is both important to the portrayal of the registrant’s financial condition and results and requires management’s most difficult, subjective or complex judgments, often as a result of the need to make estimates about the effect of matters that are inherently uncertain. Further, “critical accounting policies” are those that are reflective of significant judgments and uncertainties, and potentially result in materially different results under different assumptions and conditions.

 

We believe that our accounting policies described below fit the definition of “critical accounting policies.” We have reviewed our policies for the year ended December 31, 2004 and determined that they remain our most critical accounting policies.

 

Revenue Recognition

 

Revenue on product sales is recognized at the point in time when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, the price is fixed and final, delivery has occurred, and there is a reasonable assurance of collection of the sales proceeds. We generally obtain oral or written purchase authorizations from our customers for a specified amount of product at a specified price. Because we either (i) have a general practice of covering customer losses while products are in transit despite title transferring to the customer at the point of shipment or (ii) have FOB – destination specifically set out in our arrangements with federal agencies, delivery is deemed to have occurred at the point in time when the product is received by the customer. We provide our customers with a limited thirty-day right of return generally limited to defective merchandise. Revenue is recognized at delivery and a reserve for sales returns is recorded. We have demonstrated the ability to make reasonable and reliable estimates of product returns in accordance with Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 48 (“SFAS No. 48”), “Revenue Recognition When Right of Return Exists,” based on significant historical experience. Should such returns no longer prove estimable, we believe that the impact on our financials would not necessarily be significant, since the return privilege expires 30 days after shipment.

 

Revenue for certain third party service contracts and software licenses that we sell are recorded on a net sales recognition basis because we do not assume the risks and rewards of ownership in these transactions. For such contracts and licenses, we evaluate whether the sales of such services should be recorded as gross sales or net sales as required under the guidelines described in Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 104, “Revenue Recognition” and EITF Issue No. 99-19, “Reporting Revenue Gross as a Principal versus Net as an Agent.” Under gross sales recognition, we are the primary obligor, and the entire selling process is recorded in sales with our cost to the third party service provider recorded as a cost of sales. Under net sales recognition, we are not the primary obligor, and the cost to the third party service provider is recorded as a reduction to sales, with no cost of goods sold, thus leaving the entire gross profit as the reported net sale for the transaction.

 

Similarly, we recognize revenue from agency sales transactions on a net sales basis. In agency sales transactions, we facilitate product sales by equipment manufacturers directly to our customers and receive agency fees for such transactions. We do not take title to the products in these transactions; title is passed directly from the supplier to our customer.

 

Accounts Receivable

 

We perform ongoing credit evaluations of our customers and adjust credit limits based upon payment history and customers’ current credit worthiness. Our allowance is generally computed by (1) applying specific percentage reserves on accounts that are past due; and (2) specifically reserving for customers known to be in financial difficulty. Therefore, if the financial condition of certain of our customers were to deteriorate, or if we noted there was a lengthening of the timing of the settlement of receivables that was symptomatic of a general deterioration in the ability of our customers to pay, we would have to increase our allowance for doubtful

 

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accounts. This would negatively impact our earnings. Our cash flows would be impacted to the extent that receivables could not be collected.

 

In addition to accounts receivable from customers, we record receivables from our vendors/suppliers for cooperative advertising, price protection, supplier reimbursements, rebates, and other similar arrangements. A portion of such receivables is estimated based on information available from our vendors at discrete points in time. While such estimates have historically approximated actual cash received, an unanticipated change in a promotional program could give rise to a reduction in the receivable. This could negatively impact our earnings and our cash flows.

 

Considerable judgment is used in assessing the ultimate realization of customer receivables and vendor/supplier receivables, including reviewing the financial stability of a customer, vendor information, and gauging current market conditions. If our evaluations are incorrect, we may incur future charges to our income statement.

 

Vendor Consideration

 

We receive allowances from merchandise vendors for price protections, discounts, product rebates, and other programs. These allowances are treated as a reduction of the vendor’s prices and are recorded as adjustments to cost of sales or inventory, as applicable. We also receive vendor co-op advertising funding for our catalogs and other programs. Vendors have the ability to place advertisements in the catalogs for which we receive advertising allowances. These vendor allowances, to the extent that they represent specific reimbursements of such specific, incremental, and identifiable costs, are offset against selling, general, and administrative expense on the consolidated statements of income. Advertising reimbursements that cannot be associated with a specific program funded by an individual vendor or that exceed the fair value of advertising expense associated with that program are reclassified to cost of sales in accordance with EITF 02-16. The level of allowances received from certain merchandise vendors has declined in past years and may do so again. Such a decline could have a material impact on gross margin and operating income.

 

Inventories – Merchandise

 

Inventories (all finished goods) consisting of software packages, computer systems, and peripheral equipment are stated at cost (determined under the first-in, first-out method) or market, whichever is lower. Inventory quantities on hand are reviewed regularly, and provisions are made for obsolete, slow moving, and non-salable inventory, based primarily on management’s forecast of customer demand for those products in inventory. The IT industry is characterized by rapid technological change and new product development that could result in increased obsolescence of inventory on hand. Increased obsolescence or decreased customer demand beyond management’s expectations could require additional provisions. This could negatively impact our earnings. Our obsolescence charges have historically approximated $6 million per annum. There have been no unusual charges precipitated by specific technological or forecast issues.

 

Contingencies

 

From time to time we are subject to potential claims and assessments from third parties. We continually assess whether or not such claims have merit and warrant accrual under the “probable and estimable” criteria of Statement of Financial Accounting Standard No. 5, “Accounting for Contingencies.” In 2003, we were subject to audit by the General Services Administration. While we have accrued an estimate of our anticipated liability in the financial statements, such estimate is subject to change based on incremental findings by the government auditors. Any such change in estimate will impact both our results of operations and our cash flows.

 

Value of Long-Lived Assets, Including Intangibles

 

We carry a variety of long-lived assets on our balance sheet. These are all currently classified as held for use. These include property and equipment, identifiable intangibles, and goodwill. An impairment review is

 

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undertaken on (1) an annual basis for assets such as goodwill and indefinite lived intangible assets; and (2) on an event-driven basis for all long-lived assets (including indefinite lived intangible assets and goodwill) when facts and circumstances suggest that cash flows emanating from such assets may be diminished. We may review the carrying value of all these assets based partly on our projections of anticipated cash flows – projections which are, in part, dependent upon anticipated market conditions, operational performance, and legal status. Any impairment charge that is recorded negatively impacts our earnings. Cash flows are generally not impacted.

 

Over the last several years, we have incurred no impairment charges. While we believe that our future estimates are reasonable, different assumptions regarding items such as future cash flows and the volatility inherent in markets which we serve could materially effect our valuations and result in impairment charges against the carrying value of those assets.

 

Employee Compensation and Benefits

 

Our employee compensation model has several elements that we consider variable. These include our obligation to our employees for health care. We have selected a plan that results in our being self-insured up to certain stop-loss limits. Accordingly, we have to estimate the amount of health care claims outstanding at a given point in time. These estimates are based on historical experience and could be subject to change. Such change could negatively impact both our earnings and our cash flows.

 

We also have granted stock options to our employees. In general, such grants since 1998 have been made at the current fair value of our stock and accordingly, given that we account for option awards under APB Opinion 25, “Accounting for Stock Issued to Employees,” no compensation charge has been recorded. In previous years, most specifically those years prior to our initial public offering, there was a difference between the strike price of the option and the then current fair value of the stock. This difference resulted in a fixed and determinable compensation charge. We have not modified option grants in a manner that would cause either re-measurement of the awards or the commencement of variable accounting.

 

As described in the notes to the financial statements, pro-forma disclosure has been provided as if we applied the fair value methodology to option awards. The recognition of compensation for awards, as will be required upon the adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting Standard No. 123(R), “Share-Based Payment” (SFAS 123(R)) on July 1, 2005, will have an adverse effect on our earnings. As discussed below, we are currently evaluating the extent of the impact SFAS 123(R) will have on our consolidated statements of operations.

 

We have also engaged in workforce reduction actions in each of the last three years. These actions included formula driven termination benefits. These benefits were or are being paid relatively quickly and have not been subject to change. We do not foresee a circumstance where there could be significant variability in our workforce reduction estimates. However, if we did experience significant variability, such change could negatively impact our cash flows.

 

RECENTLY ISSUED FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING STANDARDS

 

In January and December 2003, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued FASB Interpretation No. 46 (FIN No. 46) and No. 46, revised (FIN No. 46(R)), respectively, “Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities.” These statements address accounting for entities commonly known as special-purpose or off-balance-sheet entities and require that the assets, liabilities, and results of the activity of variable interest entities be consolidated into the financial statements of the company that has the controlling financial interest. Certain provisions of FIN No. 46(R) related to interests in special purpose entities were effective for the period ended December 31, 2003. The adoption of FIN No. 46(R) did not have a material effect on our consolidated financial position or results of operations

 

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In December 2004, the FASB issued SFAS 123(R). This Statement is a revision of SFAS 123 and supersedes APB 25 and its related implementation guidance. SFAS 123(R) requires a company to measure the grant date fair value of equity awards given to employees in exchange for services and recognize that cost over the period that such services are performed. SFAS 123(R) is effective for the first interim or annual reporting period that begins after June 15, 2005 and will be effective for our interim quarter ending September 30, 2005. We are evaluating the two methods of adoption allowed by SFAS 123(R): the modified-prospective transition method and the modified-retrospective transition method. Adoption of SFAS 123(R) may materially increase stock compensation expense and decrease net income. In addition, SFAS 123(R) requires that the excess tax benefits related to stock compensation be reported as a cash inflow from financing activities rather than as a reduction of taxes paid in cash from operations.

 

INFLATION

 

We have historically offset any inflation in operating costs by a combination of increased productivity and price increases, where appropriate. We do not expect inflation to have a significant impact on our business in the foreseeable future.

 

FACTORS THAT MAY AFFECT FUTURE RESULTS AND FINANCIAL CONDITION

 

Our future results and financial condition are dependent on our ability to continue to successfully market, sell, and distribute information technology products and services, including computers, hardware, and software. Inherent in this process are a number of factors that we must successfully manage in order to achieve a favorable financial condition and favorable operating results. Potential risks and uncertainties that could affect our future financial condition and operating results include, without limitation, the following factors:

 

We have experienced variability in sales , and there is no assurance that we will be able to maintain profitable operations.

 

Several factors have caused our sales and results of operations to fluctuate and we expect these fluctuations to continue on a quarterly basis. Causes of these fluctuations include:

 

  changes in the overall level of economic activity;

 

  changes in the level of business investment in information technology products;

 

  the condition of the personal computer industry in general;

 

  shifts in customer demand for hardware and software products;

 

  industry shipments of new products or upgrades;

 

  the timing of new merchandise and catalog offerings;

 

  fluctuations in response rates;

 

  fluctuations in postage, paper, shipping, and printing costs and in merchandise returns;

 

  adverse weather conditions that affect response, distribution, or shipping;

 

  shifts in the timing of holidays;

 

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  changes in our product offerings;

 

  changes in consumer demand for information technology products; and

 

  changes in vendor distribution of products.

 

In addition, customer response rates for our catalogs and other marketing vehicles are subject to variations. The first and last quarters of the year generally have higher response rates while the two middle quarters typically have lower response rates.

 

We base our operating expenditures on sales forecasts. If our revenues do not meet anticipated levels in the future, we may not be able to reduce our staffing levels and operating expenses in a timely manner to avoid significant losses from operations.

 

Despite our August 2004 award of an authorization to sell to the federal government under a new General Services Administration schedule, our sales to that organization may not regain prior years’ sales levels, which would negatively impact our business.

 

In November 2003, we were advised that the GSA cancelled its contract with our subsidiary, GovConnection, following a review of its contract management system and procedures that may have resulted in the sale of unqualified items or underpayment of required fees. The matter has been referred to the Department of Justice for review, and we are cooperating in that review. While we were awarded authorization in August 2004 to resume selling to the federal government under a new GSA schedule, we saw a significant year-over-year decline in our 2004 federal government sales. Accordingly, our revenues may continue to be adversely impacted as we attempt to regain this business.

 

We are exposed to inventory obsolescence due to the rapid technological changes occurring in the personal computer industry.

 

The market for personal computer products is characterized by rapid technological change and the frequent introduction of new products and product enhancements. Our success depends in large part on our ability to identify and market products that meet the needs of customers in that marketplace. In order to satisfy customer demand and to obtain favorable purchasing discounts, we have and may continue to carry increased inventory levels of certain products. By so doing, we are subject to the increased risk of inventory obsolescence. Also, in order to implement our business strategy, we intend to continue, among other things, to place larger than typical inventory stocking orders, and increase our participation in first-to-market purchase opportunities. We may also participate in end-of-life-cycle purchase opportunities and market products on a private-label basis, which would increase the risk of inventory obsolescence. In addition, we sometimes acquire special purchase products without return privileges. There can be no assurance that we will be able to avoid losses related to obsolete inventory. In addition, manufacturers are limiting return rights and are also taking steps to reduce their inventory exposure by supporting “build-to-order” programs authorizing distributors and resellers to assemble computer hardware under the manufacturers’ brands. These trends reduce the costs to manufacturers and shift the burden of inventory risk to resellers like us which could negatively impact our business.

 

We acquire products for resale from a limited number of vendors; the loss of any one of these vendors could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

We acquire products for resale both directly from manufacturers and indirectly through distributors and other sources. The five vendors supplying the greatest amount of goods to us constituted 63%, 63%, and 67% of our total product purchases in the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002, respectively. Among these five vendors, purchases from Ingram Micro, Inc. represented 27%, 22%, and 28% of our total product purchases

 

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in the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002, respectively. Purchases from Tech Data Corporation comprised 14%, 15%, and 14% of our total product purchases in the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002, respectively. Effective May 3, 2002, Hewlett-Packard Company (“HP”) completed its acquisition of Compaq Computer Corporation. Our combined purchases from HP and Compaq constituted 11%, 15%, and 15% of our total product purchases in the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002, respectively. No other vendor supplied more than 10% of our total product purchases in the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002. If we were unable to acquire products from Ingram, Tech Data, or HP, we could experience a short-term disruption in the availability of products and such disruption could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and cash flows.

 

Substantially all of our contracts and arrangements with our vendors that supply significant quantities of products are terminable by such vendors or us without notice or upon short notice. Most of our product vendors provide us with trade credit, of which the net amount outstanding at December 31, 2004 was $79.7 million. Termination, interruption, or contraction of relationships with our vendors, including a reduction in the level of trade credit provided to us, could have a material adverse effect on our financial position.

 

Some product manufacturers either do not permit us to sell the full line of their products or limit the number of product units available to direct marketers such as us. An element of our business strategy is to continue to increase our participation in first-to-market purchase opportunities. The availability of certain desired products, especially in the direct marketing channel, has been constrained in the past. We could experience a material adverse effect to our business if we are unable to source first-to-market purchase or similar opportunities, or if we face the reemergence of significant availability constraints.

 

We may experience a reduction in the incentive programs offered to us by our vendors.

 

Some product manufacturers and distributors provide us with incentives such as supplier reimbursements, payment discounts, price protection, rebates, and other similar arrangements. The increasingly competitive computer hardware market has already resulted in the following:

 

  reduction or elimination of some of these incentive programs;

 

  more restrictive price protection and other terms; and

 

  reduced advertising allowances and incentives, in some cases.

 

Many product suppliers provide us with co-op advertising support and in exchange we feature their products in our catalogs. This support significantly defrays our catalog production expense. In the past, we have experienced a decrease in the level of co-op advertising support available to us from certain manufacturers. The level of co-op advertising support we receive from some manufacturers may further decline in the future. Such a decline could decrease our gross margin and increase our SG&A expenses as a percentage of sales and have a material adverse effect on our cash flows.

 

We face many competitive risks.

 

The direct marketing industry and the computer products retail business, in particular, are highly competitive. We compete with consumer electronics and computer retail stores, including superstores. We also compete with other direct marketers of hardware and software and computer related products, including an increasing number of Internet retailers. Certain hardware and software vendors, such as HP, IBM, and Apple, who provide products to us, are also selling their products directly to end users through their own catalogs and over the Internet. We compete not only for customers, but also for co-op advertising support from personal computer product manufacturers. Some of our competitors have larger catalog circulations and customer bases and greater financial, marketing, and other resources than we do. In addition, some of our competitors offer a wider range of products and services than we do and may be able to respond more quickly to new or changing

 

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opportunities, technologies, and customer requirements. Many current and potential competitors also have greater name recognition, engage in more extensive promotional activities, and adopt more aggressive pricing policies than us. We expect competition to increase as retailers and direct marketers who have not traditionally sold computers and related products enter the industry.

 

In addition, product resellers and direct marketers are combining operations or acquiring or merging with other resellers and direct marketers to increase efficiency. Moreover, current and potential competitors have established or may establish cooperative relationships among themselves or with third parties to enhance their products and services. Accordingly, it is possible that new competitors or alliances among competitors may emerge and acquire significant market share.

 

We cannot assure you that we can continue to compete effectively against our current or future competitors. If we encounter new competition or fail to compete effectively against our competitors, our business may be harmed.

 

We face and will continue to face significant price competition.

 

Generally, pricing is very aggressive in the personal computer industry and we expect pricing pressures to continue. An increase in price competition could result in a reduction of our profit margins. There can be no assurance that we will be able to offset the effects of price reductions with an increase in the number of customers, higher sales, cost reductions, or otherwise. Also, our sales of personal computer hardware products are generally producing lower profit margins than those associated with software products. Such pricing pressures could result in an erosion of our market share, reduced sales, and reduced operating margins, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

The methods of distributing personal computers and related products are changing and such changes may negatively impact us and our business.

 

The manner in which personal computers and related products are distributed and sold is changing, and new methods of distribution and sale, such as online shopping services, have emerged. Hardware and software manufacturers have sold, and may intensify their efforts to sell, their products directly to end users. From time to time, certain manufacturers have instituted programs for the direct sales of large order quantities of hardware and software to certain major corporate accounts. These types of programs may continue to be developed and used by various manufacturers. Some of our vendors, including Apple, HP, and IBM, currently sell some of their products directly to end users and have stated their intentions to increase the level of such direct sales. In addition, manufacturers may attempt to increase the volume of software products distributed electronically to end users. An increase in the volume of products sold through or used by consumers of any of these competitive programs or distributed electronically to end users could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

 

We could experience system failures which would interfere with our ability to process orders.

 

We depend on the accuracy and proper use of our management information systems including our telephone system. Many of our key functions depend on the quality and effective utilization of the information generated by our management information systems, including:

 

  our ability to manage inventory and accounts receivable collection;

 

  our ability to purchase, sell, and ship products efficiently and on a timely basis; and

 

  our ability to maintain operations.

 

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Our management information systems require continual upgrades to most effectively manage our operations and customer database. Although we maintain some redundant systems, with full data backup, a substantial interruption in management information systems or in telephone communication systems, including those resulting from natural disasters as well as power loss, telecommunications failure, and similar events, would substantially hinder our ability to process customer orders and thus could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

We rely on the continued development of electronic commerce and Internet infrastructure development.

 

We have had an increasing amount of sales made over the Internet in part because of the growing use and acceptance of the Internet by end users. No one can be certain that acceptance and use of the Internet will continue to develop or that a sufficiently broad base of consumers will adopt and continue to use the Internet and other online services as a medium of commerce. Sales of computer products over the Internet do not currently represent a significant portion of overall computer product sales. Growth of our Internet sales is dependent on potential customers using the Internet in addition to traditional means of commerce to purchase products. We cannot accurately predict the rate at which they will do so.

 

Our success in growing our Internet business will depend in large part upon the development of an infrastructure for providing Internet access and services. If the number of Internet users or their use of Internet resources continues to grow rapidly, such growth may overwhelm the existing Internet infrastructure. Our ability to increase the speed with which we provide services to customers and to increase the scope of such services ultimately is limited by and reliant upon the speed and reliability of the networks operated by third parties and these networks may not continue to be developed.

 

We depend heavily on third-party shippers to deliver our products to customers.

 

We ship approximately 56% of our products to customers by DHL Worldwide Express (“DHL”), with the remainder being shipped by United Parcel Service, Inc. and other overnight delivery and surface services. A strike or other interruption in service by these shippers could adversely affect our ability to market or deliver products to customers on a timely basis.

 

We may experience potential increases in shipping, paper, and postage costs, which may adversely affect our business if we are not able to pass such increases on to our customers.

 

Shipping costs are a significant expense in the operation of our business. Increases in postal or shipping rates and paper costs could significantly impact the cost of producing and mailing our catalogs and shipping customer orders. Postage prices and shipping rates increase periodically and we have no control over future increases. We have a long-term contract with DHL whereby DHL ships products to our customers. We believe that we have negotiated favorable shipping rates with DHL. We generally invoice customers for shipping and handling charges. There can be no assurance that we will be able to pass on to our customers the full cost, including any future increases in the cost, of commercial delivery services such as DHL.

 

We also incur substantial paper and postage costs related to our marketing activities, including producing and mailing our catalogs. Paper prices historically have been cyclical and we have experienced substantial increases in the past. Significant increases in postal or shipping rates and paper costs could adversely impact our business, financial condition, and results of operations, particularly if we cannot pass on such increases to our customers or offset such increases by reducing other costs.

 

Privacy concerns with respect to list development and maintenance may materially adversely affect our business.

 

We mail catalogs and send electronic messages to names in our proprietary customer database and to potential customers whose names we obtain from rented or exchanged mailing lists. World-wide public concern

 

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regarding personal privacy has subjected the rental and use of customer mailing lists and other customer information to increased scrutiny. Any domestic or foreign legislation enacted limiting or prohibiting these practices could negatively affect our business.

 

We face many uncertainties relating to the collection of state sales or use tax.

 

We presently collect sales and use taxes on sales of products to residents in many states. Taxable sales to customers were approximately 29% of our net sales during the year ended December 31, 2004. Various states have sought to impose on direct marketers the burden of collecting state sales and use taxes on the sales of products shipped to their residents. In 1992, the United States Supreme Court affirmed its position that it is unconstitutional for a state to impose sales or use tax collection obligations on an out-of-state mail-order company whose only contacts with the state are limited to the distribution of catalogs and other advertising materials through the mail and the subsequent delivery of purchased goods by United States mail or by interstate common carrier. However, legislation that would expand the ability of states to impose sales and use tax collection obligations on direct marketers has been introduced in Congress on many occasions. Moreover, due to our presence on various forms of electronic media and other operational factors, our contacts with many states may exceed the limited contacts involved in the Supreme Court case. We cannot predict the level of contacts that is sufficient to permit a state to impose on us a sales or use tax collection obligation. Two of our competitors have elected to collect sales and use taxes in all states. If the Supreme Court changes its position or if legislation is passed to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision, or, if a court were to determine that our contacts with a state exceed the constitutionality permitted contacts, the imposition of a sales or use tax collection obligation on us in states to which we ship products would result in additional administrative expenses to us, could result in tax liability for past sales as well as price increases to our customers, and could reduce demand for our product.

 

We are dependent on key personnel.

 

Our future performance will depend to a significant extent upon the efforts and abilities of our senior executives. The competition for qualified management personnel in the computer products industry is very intense, and the loss of service of one or more of these persons could have an adverse effect on our business. Our success and plans for future growth will also depend on our ability to hire, train, and retain skilled personnel in all areas of our business, including sales account managers and technical support personnel. There can be no assurance that we will be able to attract, train, and retain sufficient qualified personnel to achieve our business objectives.

 

We are controlled by two principal stockholders.

 

Patricia Gallup and David Hall, our two principal stockholders, beneficially own or control, in the aggregate, approximately 68% of the outstanding shares of our common stock. Because of their beneficial stock ownership, these stockholders can continue to elect the members of the Board of Directors and decide all matters requiring stockholder approval at a meeting or by a written consent in lieu of a meeting. Similarly, such stockholders can control decisions to adopt, amend, or repeal our charter and our bylaws, or take other actions requiring the vote or consent of our stockholders and prevent a takeover of us by one or more third parties, or sell or otherwise transfer their stock to a third party, which could deprive our stockholders of a control premium that might otherwise be realized by them in connection with an acquisition of us. Such control may result in decisions that are not in the best interest of our public stockholders. In connection with our initial public offering, the principal stockholders placed substantially all shares of common stock beneficially owned by them into a voting trust, pursuant to which they are required to agree as to the manner of voting such shares in order for the shares to be voted. Such provisions could discourage bids for our common stock at a premium as well as have a negative impact on the market price of our common stock.

 

Item 7A.    Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosure About Market Risk

 

We invest cash balances in excess of operating requirements in short-term securities, generally with maturities of 90 days or less. In addition, our unsecured credit agreement provides for borrowings which bear

 

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interest at variable rates based on the prime rate. We had $4.8 million in borrowings outstanding pursuant to the credit agreement as of December 31, 2004. We believe the effect, if any, of reasonably possible near-term changes in interest rates on our financial position, results of operations, and cash flows should not be material. Our credit agreement exposes earnings to changes in short-term interest rates since interest rates on the underlying obligations are variable. However, as noted above, $4.8 million in borrowings were outstanding on the credit agreement at December 31, 2004, and the average outstanding borrowings during the year were not material. Accordingly, the change in earnings resulting from a hypothetical 10% increase or decrease in interest rates is not material.

 

Item 8.    Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

The information required by this Item is included in this Report beginning at page F-1.

 

Item 9.    Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

Not applicable.

 

Item 9A.    Controls and Procedures

 

Our management, with the participation of our Chief Executive Officer and Interim Chief Financial Officer, evaluated the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures as of December 31, 2004. The term “disclosure controls and procedures,” as defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Exchange Act, means controls and other procedures of a company that are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by a company in the reports that it files or submits under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized, and reported, within the time periods specified in the SEC’s rules and forms. Disclosure controls and procedures include, without limitation, controls and procedures designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by a company in the reports that it files or submits under the Exchange Act is accumulated and communicated to the company’s management, including its principal executive and principal financial officers, as appropriate to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure. Management recognizes that any controls and procedures, no matter how well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable assurance of achieving their objectives and management necessarily applies its judgment in evaluating the cost-benefit relationship of possible controls and procedures.

 

Based on this evaluation, our Chief Executive Officer and Interim Chief Financial Officer concluded that, as of December 31, 2004, our disclosure controls and procedures were in the reasonable assurance level.

 

Except as stated below, no change in our internal controls over financial reporting (as defined in Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Exchange Act) occurred during the fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2004 that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.

 

Upon the request of the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of our Board of Directors, the Audit Committee of our Board conducted a review of certain transactions that occurred in 2000 and 2003. This review was completed in October 2004. Although the Audit Committee determined that no adjustments to our financial statements were required, it concluded that there were instances in which existing internal controls relating to the authorization, review, and processing of such transactions were overridden, and document retention policies with respect to certain vendor rebates were not followed or were deficient. Accordingly, we implemented certain corrective actions in the fourth quarter of 2004. These included enhancing management review procedures over significant sales and rebate transactions, and modifying our document retention policies relating to rebate-related vendor reporting as necessary. We have evaluated and realigned certain senior management responsibilities and authority.

 

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Concurrent with the completion of our documentation and testing of our internal controls over financial reporting, and as a matter of course, we will arrange for additional Sarbanes-Oxley training for our management personnel. In addition, we have implemented an on-line business-ethics training program for substantially all employees of our organization.

 

Item 9B.    Other Information

 

On February 14, 2005, our subsidiary MoreDirect, Inc. entered into a five-year lease with Boca Technology Center, LLC for office property located in Boca Raton, Florida. The lease commences April 1, 2005 and requires monthly payments of $8,091 in year one of the lease. Subsequent years’ rents are subject to a 4% annual increase. MoreDirect occupied this facility in March 2005 and is expected to terminate its previous Boca Raton lease, as required, on April 30, 2005.

 

On February 28, 2005, our subsidiary Merrimack Services Corporation, entered into a two-year amendment to its lease with EWE Warehouse Investments V, LTD. for property located in Wilmington, Ohio. The lease, one of two that we have for our Wilmington distribution center, was effective March 1, 2005 and requires a monthly payment of $45,739.

 

On March 5, 2005, our subsidiary Merrimack Services Corporation entered into a five-year lease with 222 International, LP for office property located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The lease commences May 1, 2005 and requires a monthly payment of $16,205.

 

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PART III

 

Item 10.    Directors and Executive Officers of the Registrant

 

The information included under the headings, “Executive Officers of PC Connection” in Item 4 of Part I hereof and “Information Concerning Directors, Nominees, and Executive Officers,” “Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance” and “Code of Business Conduct” in our definitive Proxy Statement for our 2005 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held on June 9, 2005 (the “Proxy Statement”) is incorporated herein by reference. We anticipate filing the Proxy Statement within 120 days after December 31, 2004. With the exception of the foregoing information and other information specifically incorporated by reference into this Form 10-K, the Proxy Statement is not being filed as a part hereof.

 

Item 11.    Executive Compensation

 

The information included under the heading “Executive Compensation” in the Proxy Statement is incorporated herein by reference.

 

Item 12.    Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Shareholder Matters

 

The information included under the heading “Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management” and “Equity Compensation Plan Information” in the Proxy Statement is incorporated herein by reference.

 

Item 13.    Certain Relationships and Related Transactions

 

The information included under the heading “Certain Transactions and Relationships” in the Proxy Statement is incorporated herein by reference.

 

Item 14.    Principal Accountant Fees and Services

 

The information included under the heading “Principal Accountant Fees and Services” in the Proxy Statement is incorporated herein by reference.

 

38


Table of Contents

PART IV

 

Item 15.    Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

 

(a) List of Documents Filed as Part of This Report:

 

  (1) Consolidated Financial Statements

 

The consolidated financial statements listed below are included in this document.

 

Consolidated Financial Statements


   Page
References


Report of Management

   F-2

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

   F-3

Consolidated Balance Sheets

   F-4

Consolidated Statements of Income

   F-5

Consolidated Statement of Changes in Stockholders’ Equity

   F-6

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows

   F-7

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

   F-8

 

  (2) Consolidated Financial Statement Schedule:

 

The following Consolidated Financial Statement Schedule, as set forth below, is filed with this report:

 

Schedule


   Page
Reference


Schedule II—Valuation and Qualifying Accounts

   S-1

 

All other schedules have been omitted because they are either not applicable or the relevant information has already been disclosed in the financial statements.

 

  (3) Supplementary Data

 

Not applicable.

 

39


Table of Contents
(b) Exhibits

 

The exhibits listed below are filed herewith or are incorporated herein by reference to other filings.

 

EXHIBIT INDEX

 

Exhibits

    
3.2(1)   

Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation of Registrant.

3.4(1)   

Bylaws of Registrant.

4.1(1)   

Form of specimen certificate for shares of Common Stock, $0.01 par value per share, of the Registrant.

9.1(1)   

Form of 1998 PC Connection Voting Trust Agreement among the Registrant, Patricia Gallup individually and as a trustee, and David Hall individually and as trustee.

10.1(1)   

1993 Incentive and Non-Statutory Stock Option Plan, as amended.

10.2(1)   

1997 Stock Incentive Plan.

10.3(1)   

Lease between the Registrant and Gallup & Hall partnership, dated June 1, 1987, as amended, for property located in Marlow, New Hampshire.

10.4(1)   

Employment Agreement between the Registrant and Robert F. Wilkins, dated December 23, 1995.

10.5(1)   

Lease between the Registrant and Gallup & Hall partnership, dated May 1, 1997, for property located at 442 Marlboro Street, Keene, New Hampshire.

10.6(1)   

Agreement between the Registrant and Ingram Micro, Inc., dated October 30, 1997, as amended.

10.7(1)   

Amended and Restated Lease between the Registrant and G&H Post, LLC, dated December 29, 1997 for property located at Route 101A, Merrimack, New Hampshire.

10.8(1)   

Employment Agreement, dated as of January 1, 1998, between the Registrant and Patricia Gallup.

10.9(1)   

Form of Registration Rights Agreement among the Registrant, Patricia Gallup, David Hall, and the 1998 PC Connection Voting Trust.

10.10(2)   

Employment Agreement between the Registrant and Mark A. Gavin, dated February 5, 1998.

10.11(3)   

Agreement for Wholesale Financing, dated as of March 25, 1998, between the Registrant and Deutsche Financial Services Corporation.

10.12(3)   

Amendment to Agreement for Wholesale Financing, dated as of March 25, 1998, between the Registrant and Deutsche Financial Services Corporation.

10.13(1)   

Lease between the Registrant and Gallup & Hall partnership, dated July 22, 1998, for property located at 450 Marlboro Street, Keene, New Hampshire.

10.14(4)   

Amendment, dated January 1, 1999, to the Lease Agreement between the Registrant and Gallup & Hall Partnership, dated June 1, 1987, as amended for property located in Marlow, New Hampshire.

10.15(2)   

Amendment No. 1 to Amended and Restated Lease between the Registrant and G&H Post, LLC, dated December 29, 1998, for property located at Route 101A, Merrimack, New Hampshire.

10.16(4)   

Lease between PC Connection, Inc. and The Hillsborough Group, dated January 5, 2000, for property located at 706 Route 101A, Merrimack, New Hampshire.

10.17(3)   

Amendment to Agreement for Wholesale Financing, dated as of February 25, 2000, between the Registrant and Deutsche Financial Services Corporation.

10.18(3)   

Guaranty, dated as of February 25, 2000, entered into by PC Connection, Inc. in connection with the Amendment to Agreement for Wholesale Financing, dated as of February 25, 2000, between the Registrant and Deutsche Financial Services Corporation.

10.19(3)   

Amended and Restated Credit Agreement, dated February 25, 2000, between PC Connection, Inc., the Lenders Party hereto and Citizens Bank of Massachusetts.

10.20(4)   

Amendment to Employment Agreement between the Registrant and Robert F. Wilkins dated December 23, 1995.

10.21(4)   

Lease between PC Connection Sales and Dover Mills L.P., dated May 1, 2000, for property located at 100 Main Street, Dover, New Hampshire.

 

40


Table of Contents
Exhibits

    
10.22(4)   

Amendment, dated June 26, 2000 to the Lease Agreement between Merrimack Services Corporation and EWE Warehouse Investments V, LTD., dated July 31, 1998 for property located at 2840 Old State Route 73, Wilmington, Ohio.

10.23(4)   

Lease between ComTeq Federal, Inc. and Rockville Office/Industrial Associates dated December 14, 1993, for property located at 7503 Standish Place, Rockville, Maryland.

10.24(4)   

Amendment, dated November 1, 1996 to the Lease Agreement between ComTeq Federal, Inc. and Rockville Office/Industrial Associates for property located in Rockville, Maryland.

10.25(4)   

Amendment, dated March 31, 1998 to the Lease Agreement between ComTeq Federal, Inc. and Rockville Office/Industrial Associates, dated November 1, 1996, as amended for property located in Rockville, Maryland.

10.26(4)   

Amendment, dated August 31, 2000 to the Lease Agreement between ComTeq Federal, Inc. and Rockville Industrial Associates, dated March 31, 1998, as amended for property located in Rockville, Maryland.

10.27(4)   

Lease between Merrimack Services Corporation and Schleicher & Schuell, Inc., dated November 16, 2000, for property located at 10 Optical Avenue, Keene, New Hampshire.

10.28(5)   

Amendment, dated December 27, 2000, to the Amended and Restated Credit Agreement, dated February 25, 2000, between PC Connection, Inc., the Lender’s Party hereto and Citizens Bank of Massachusetts.

10.29(5)   

Amendment, dated May 4, 2001 to the Amended and Restated Credit Agreement, dated December 27, 2000, between PC Connection, Inc., the Lender’s Party hereto and Citizens Bank of Massachusetts.

10.30(6)   

Amendment, dated August 22, 2001 to the Amended and Restated Credit Agreement, dated May 4, 2001, between PC Connection, Inc., the Lender’s Party hereto and Citizens Bank of Massachusetts.

10.31(6)   

Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated March 25, 2002, by and among PC Connection, Inc., Boca Acquisition Corp., MoreDirect, Inc. and the stockholders of MoreDirect, Inc. set forth on Schedule 1 thereto.

10.32(7)   

Amendment No. 1 to the Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated April 5, 2002, by and among PC Connection, Inc., Boca Acquisition Corp., MoreDirect, Inc., Russell Madris, the sole stockholder of MoreDirect, Inc. and Michael Diamant, James Garrity, and Scott Madris.

10.33(8)   

Amended and Restated Credit and Security Agreement, dated May 31, 2002, among Citizens Bank of Massachusetts, as lender and agent, other financial institutions party thereto from time to time, as lenders, PC Connection, Inc., as borrower, Comteq Federal of New Hampshire, Inc., GovConnection, Inc., Merrimack Services Corporation, PC Connection Sales Corporation, PC Connection Sales of Massachusetts, Inc., and MoreDirect, Inc., each as guarantors.

10.34(9)   

Amendment, dated June 1, 2002, to the Lease Agreement between Merrimack Services Corporation and Gallup & Hall, dated May 1, 1997, for property located at 442 Marlboro Street, located in Keene, New Hampshire.

10.35(9)   

Amendment, dated July 31, 2002 to the Lease Agreement between Merrimack Services and EWE Warehouse Investments V, LTD, dated June 26, 2000 for property located at Old State Route 73, Wilmington, Ohio.

10.36(9)   

Lease between Merrimack Services Corporation and Audio Accessories, Inc., dated November 1, 2002 for property located at Mill Street, Marlow, New Hampshire.

10.37(9)   

Lease between MoreDirect.com, Inc. and Bryam Hill Realty Corporation, dated April 1, 2000, for property located at 7300 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton, FL.

10.38(9)   

Lease between MoreDirect.com, Inc. and Bryam Hill Realty Corporation, dated February 2001, for property located at 7300 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton, FL.

10.39(9)   

Assignment of lease dated August 27, 2002, between MoreDirect, Inc. and Robert Leone Trust, for property located at 7300 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton, FL.

 

41


Table of Contents
Exhibits

    
10.40(9)   

Amendment, dated November 20, 2002, to the Lease Agreement between GovConnection (formerly known as ComTeq Federal, Inc.) and Rockville Office/Industrial Associates, dated March 31, 1998, as amended for property located in Rockville, Maryland.

10.41(10)   

Lease between GovConnection, Inc. and Fairhaven Investors Limited Partnership, dated April 30, 2003, for property located at 2150 Post Road, Fairfield, Connecticut.

10.42(11)(+)   

National Account Agreement between Airborne Express, Inc. and Merrimack Services Corporation d/b/a PC Connection Services, dated June 2, 2003.

10.43(12)   

Amendment to Agreement for Wholesale Financing and Guaranty, dated as of December 18, 2001, by and among the Registrant, PC Connection Sales Corporation, Merrimack Services Corporation, and Deutsche Financial Services Corporation.

10.44(12)   

First Amendment, dated June 14, 2002 to the Amended and Restated Credit and Security Agreement, dated May 31, 2002, between PC Connection, Inc., Comteq Federal of New Hampshire, Inc., GovConnection, Inc., PC Connection Sales Corporation, MoreDirect, Inc., the Lender’s Party hereto and Citizens Bank of Massachusetts.

10.45(12)   

Second Amendment, dated July 29, 2002 to the Amended and Restated Credit and Security Agreement, dated May 31, 2002, between PC Connection, Inc., Comteq Federal of New Hampshire, Inc., GovConnection, Inc., PC Connection Sales Corporation, MoreDirect, Inc., the Lender’s Party hereto and Citizens Bank of Massachusetts.

10.46(12)   

Agreement for Inventory Financing, dated as of October 31, 2002, by and among the Registrant, Merrimack Services Corporation, GovConnection, Inc., MoreDirect, Inc., and IBM Credit Corporation.

10.47(12)   

Guaranty, dated as of November 14, 2002, entered into by Registrant in connection with the Agreement for Inventory Financing, dated as of October 31, 2002, by and among the Registrant, Merrimack Services Corporation, GovConnection, Inc., MoreDirect, Inc., and IBM Credit Corporation.

10.48(12)   

Guaranty, dated as of November 14, 2002, entered into by PC Connection Sales Corporation in connection with the Agreement for Inventory Financing, dated as of October 31, 2002, by and among the Registrant, Merrimack Services Corporation, GovConnection, Inc., MoreDirect, Inc., and IBM Credit Corporation.

10.49(12)   

Amendment, dated April 23, 2003 to the Lease Agreement between Merrimack Services and EWE Warehouse Investments V, LTD, as amended June 19, 2001, for property located at Old State Route 73, Wilmington, Ohio.

10.50(12)   

Third Amendment, dated October 1, 2003 to the Amended and Restated Credit and Security Agreement, dated May 31, 2002, between PC Connection, Inc., Comteq Federal of New Hampshire, Inc., GovConnection, Inc., PC Connection Sales Corporation, MoreDirect, Inc., the Lender’s Party hereto and Citizens Bank of Massachusetts.

10.51(12)   

Acknowledgement, Waiver and Amendment to Agreement for Inventory Financing, dated as of November 25, 2003, by and among the Registrant, Merrimack Services Corporation, GovConnection, Inc., MoreDirect, Inc. and IBM Credit LLC.

10.52(13)   

Amendment, dated September 7, 2004 to the Lease Agreement between Merrimack Services Corporation and The Hillsborough Group, dated January 5, 2000, for property located at 706 Route 101A, Merrimack, New Hampshire.

10.53(13)   

Amendment, dated September 24, 2004 to the Lease Agreement between Merrimack Services Corporation and Bronx II, LLC, dated October 27, 1988, as amended for property located in Marlborough, MA.

10.54(13)   

Separation Agreement by and between the Company and Mark A. Gavin, dated October 20, 2004.

10.55   

Lease between MoreDirect, Inc. and Boca Technology Center, LLC, dated February 14, 2005, for property located in Boca Raton, Florida.

10.56   

Fifth Amendment, dated February 28, 2005, to the Lease Agreement between Merrimack Services Corporation and EWE Warehouse Investments V, LTD., for property located at 2780-2880 Old State Route 73, Wilmington, Ohio.

 

42


Table of Contents
Exhibits

   
10.57  

Sublease between Merrimack Services Corporation and 222 International, LP, dated March 4, 2005, for property located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

10.58  

Summary of Compensation for Executive Officers.

10.59  

Summary of Compensation for Non-Employee Directors.

14.1(12)  

Code of Business Conduct.

21.1  

Subsidiaries of Registrant.

23.1  

Consent of Deloitte & Touche LLP.

31.1  

Certification of the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer pursuant to Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

31.2  

Certification of the Company’s Treasurer and Interim Chief Financial Officer pursuant to Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

32.1  

Certification of the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 1350, as adopted pursuant to Section 906 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

32.2  

Certification of the Company’s Treasurer and Interim Chief Financial Officer pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 1350, as adopted pursuant to Section 906 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.


(1) Incorporated by reference from the exhibits filed with the Company’s registration statement (333-41171) on Form S-1 filed under the Securities Act of 1933.
(2) Incorporated by reference from exhibits filed with the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K, File Number 0-23827, filed on March 31, 1999.
(3) Incorporated by reference from exhibits filed with the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K/A Amendment No. 1, File Number 0-23827, filed on April 4, 2000.
(4) Incorporated by reference from exhibits filed with the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K, File Number 0-23827, filed on March 30, 2001.
(5) Incorporated by reference from exhibits filed with the Company’s quarterly report on Form 10-Q, File Number 0-23827, filed on August 14, 2001.
(6) Incorporated by reference from exhibits filed with the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K, File Number 0-23827, filed on April 1, 2002.
(7) Incorporated by reference from exhibits filed with the Company’s current report on Form 8-K, dated April 5, 2002.
(8) Incorporated by reference from exhibits filed with the Company’s current Report on Form 8-K, dated June 5, 2002.
(9) Incorporated by reference from exhibits filed with the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K, File Number 0-23827, filed on March 31, 2003.
(10) Incorporated by reference from exhibits filed with the Company’s quarterly report on Form 10-Q, File Number 0-23827, filed on August 13, 2003.
(11) Incorporated by reference from exhibits filed with the Company’s quarterly report on Form 10-Q, File number 0-23827, filed November 20, 2003.
(12) Incorporated by reference from exhibits filed with the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K, File Number 0-23827, filed on March 30, 2004.
(13) Incorporated by reference from exhibits filed with the Company’s quarterly report on Form 10-Q, File Number 0-23827, filed November 15, 2004.
(+) Confidential treatment requested for this agreement.

 

43


Table of Contents

SIGNATURES

 

Pursuant to the requirements of Section 13 or 15 (d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.

 

    

PC CONNECTION, INC.

Date:  March 31, 2005

         
    

By:

  

/s/     PATRICIA GALLUP        


         

Patricia Gallup,

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

 

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, this report has been signed below by the following persons on behalf of the registrant and in the capacities and on the dates indicated.

 

Name


  

Title


 

Date


/s/     BRUCE BARONE        


Bruce Barone

  

Director

  March 31, 2005

/s/    JOSEPH BAUTE        


Joseph Baute

  

Director

  March 31, 2005

/s/    PETER BAXTER        


Peter Baxter

  

Director

  March 31, 2005
        

/s/    DAVID BEFFA-NEGRINI        


David Beffa-Negrini

  

Director

  March 31, 2005

/s/    JACK FERGUSON        


Jack Ferguson

  

Treasurer and Interim Chief Financial Officer (Principal Financial and Accounting Officer)

  March 31, 2005

/s/    PATRICIA GALLUP        


Patricia Gallup

  

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

  March 31, 2005

/s/    DAVID HALL        


David Hall

  

Director

  March 31, 2005

 

44


Table of Contents

PC CONNECTION, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

 

     Page

Report of Management

   F-2

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

   F-3

Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2004 and 2003

   F-4

Consolidated Statements of Income for the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002

   F-5

Consolidated Statement of Changes in Stockholders’ Equity for the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002

   F-6

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002

   F-7

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

   F-8

 

F-1


Table of Contents

REPORT OF MANAGEMENT

 

Responsibility for the integrity and objectivity of the financial information presented in this Annual Report on Form 10-K rests with PC Connection, Inc. and its subsidiaries (“the Company”) management. The accompanying consolidated financial statements have been prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, applying certain estimates and judgments as required.

 

The Company maintains an effective internal control structure. It consists, in part, of an organization with clearly defined lines of responsibility and delegation of authority, comprehensive systems and control procedures. We believe that, after the implementation of the control changes described in Item 9A, “Controls and Procedures” of our Annual Report on Form 10-K, this structure provides reasonable assurance that transactions are executed in accordance with management authorization and accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

 

To assure the effective administration of internal control, we carefully select and train our employees, develop and disseminate written policies and procedures, provide appropriate communication channels, and foster an environment conducive to the effective functioning of controls. We believe that it is essential for the Company to conduct its business affairs in accordance with the highest ethical standards.

 

Deloitte & Touche LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, are retained to audit the Company’s consolidated financial statements. Its accompanying report is based on an audit conducted in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States).

 

The Audit Committee of the Board of Directors is composed solely of outside directors and is responsible for recommending to the Board of Directors the independent accounting firm to be retained for the coming year. The Audit Committee meets periodically and privately with the independent auditors, as well as with Company management, to review accounting, auditing, internal control structure, and financial reporting matters.

 

    Patricia Gallup

   Jack L. Ferguson

    President and

   Treasurer and

    Chief Executive Officer

   Interim Chief Financial Officer

 

F-2


Table of Contents

REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

 

To the Board of Directors of

PC Connection, Inc.

Merrimack, New Hampshire

 

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of PC Connection, Inc. and subsidiaries (the “Company”) as of December 31, 2004 and 2003, and the related consolidated statements of income, changes in stockholders’ equity, and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2004. Our audits also included the financial statement schedule listed in the Index at Item 15. These financial statements and financial statement schedule are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the financial statements and financial statement schedule based on our audits.

 

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. The Company is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. An audit includes consideration of internal control over financial reporting as a basis for designing audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion. An audit also includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements, assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

 

In our opinion, such consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of PC Connection, Inc. and subsidiaries as of December 31, 2004 and 2003, and the results of their operations and their cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2004, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Also, in our opinion, such financial statement schedule, when considered in relation to the basic consolidated financial statements taken as a whole, presents fairly in all material respects the information set forth therein.

 

Deloitte & Touche LLP

March 21, 2005

 

F-3


Table of Contents

PC CONNECTION, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(amounts in thousands, except per share data)

 

     December 31,

 
     2004

    2003

 
ASSETS                 

Current Assets:

                

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 6,829     $ 2,977  

Restricted cash

     —         5,000  

Accounts receivable, net

     120,752       144,337  

Inventories – merchandise

     78,390       80,140  

Deferred income taxes

     3,039       3,051  

Income taxes receivable

     1,325       2,190  

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

     3,644       3,649  
    


 


Total current assets

     213,979       241,344  

Property and equipment, net

     17,647       20,396  

Goodwill, net

     51,687       45,264  

Other intangibles, net

     3,040       3,393  

Other assets

     189       208  
    


 


Total Assets

   $ 286,542     $ 310,605  
    


 


LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY                 

Current Liabilities:

                

Current maturities of capital lease obligations:

                

To affiliate

   $ 373     $ 334  

To third party

     391       —    

Note payable – bank

     4,810       5,614  

Accounts payable

     79,709       112,538  

Accrued expenses and other liabilities

     18,138       14,382  

Acquisition earn-out obligation

     6,921       11,593  
    


 


Total current liabilities

     110,342       144,461  

Capital lease obligations, less current maturities:

                

To affiliate

     5,715       6,088  

To third party

     841       —    

Deferred income taxes

     3,486       2,867  
    


 


Total Liabilities

     120,384       153,416  
    


 


Commitments and Contingencies (Note 13)

                

Stockholders’ Equity:

                

Preferred Stock, $.01 par value, 10,000 shares authorized, none issued

     —         —    

Common Stock, $.01 par value, 100,000 shares authorized, 25,462 and 25,342 issued, 25,100 and 24,980 outstanding at December 31, 2004 and December 31, 2003, respectively

     255       253  

Additional paid-in capital

     77,091       76,428  

Retained earnings

     91,098       82,794  

Treasury stock at cost

     (2,286 )     (2,286 )
    


 


Total Stockholders’ Equity

     166,158       157,189  
    


 


Total Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity

   $ 286,542     $ 310,605  
    


 


 

See notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

F-4


Table of Contents

PC CONNECTION, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME

(amounts in thousands, except per share data)

 

     Years Ended December 31,

 
     2004

    2003

    2002

 

Net sales

   $ 1,353,834     $ 1,312,891     $ 1,191,497  

Cost of sales

     1,201,780       1,175,212       1,062,311  
    


 


 


Gross profit

     152,054       137,679       129,186  

Selling, general, and administrative expenses

     132,729       124,824       121,964  

Special charges

     5,232       1,929       1,636  
    


 


 


Income from operations

     14,093       10,926       5,586  

Interest expense

     (1,385 )     (1,305 )     (1,152 )

Other, net

     152       117       513  
    


 


 


Income before taxes

     12,860       9,738       4,947  

Income taxes

     (4,556 )     (3,850 )     (1,700 )
    


 


 


Net income

   $ 8,304     $ 5,888     $ 3,247  
    


 


 


Earnings per common share:

                        

Basic

   $ .33     $ .24     $ .13  
    


 


 


Diluted

   $ .33     $ .23     $ .13  
    


 


 


Shares used in computation of earnings per common share:

                        

Basic

     25,028       24,713       24,555  
    


 


 


Diluted

     25,269       25,114       24,860  
    


 


 


 

 

See notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

F-5


Table of Contents

PC CONNECTION, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

(amounts in thousands)

 

     Common Stock

  

Additional
Paid-In

Capital


  

Retained

Earnings


   Treasury Shares

    Total

 
     Shares

   Amount

         Shares

    Amount

   

Balance, January 1, 2002

   24,748    $ 247    $ 74,393    $ 73,659    (205 )   $ (1,537 )   $ 146,762  
    
  

  

  

  

 


 


Exercise of stock options, including income tax benefits

   108      1      371      —      —         —         372  

Issuance of stock under employee stock purchase plan

   141      2      510      —      —         —         512  

Net income and comprehensive income

   —        —        —        3,247    —         —         3,247  

Repurchase of common stock for Treasury

   —        —        —        —      (157 )     (749 )     (749 )
    
  

  

  

  

 


 


Balance, December 31, 2002

   24,997      250      75,274      76,906    (362 )     (2,286 )     150,144  
    
  

  

  

  

 


 


Exercise of stock options, including income tax benefits

   257      2      728      —      —         —         730  

Issuance of stock under employee stock purchase plan

   88      1      426      —      —         —         427  

Net income and comprehensive income

   —        —        —        5,888    —         —         5,888  
    
  

  

  

  

 


 


Balance, December 31, 2003

   25,342      253      76,428      82,794    (362 )     (2,286 )     157,189  
    
  

  

  

  

 


 


Exercise of stock options, including income tax benefits

   47      1      259      —      —         —         260  

Issuance of stock under employee stock purchase plan

   73      1      404      —      —         —         405  

Net income and comprehensive income

   —        —        —        8,304    —         —         8,304  
    
  

  

  

  

 


 


Balance, December 31 2004

   25,462    $ 255    $ 77,091    $ 91,098    (362 )   $ (2,286 )   $ 166,158  
    
  

  

  

  

 


 


 

See notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

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PC CONNECTION, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

(amounts in thousands)

 

     Years Ended December 31,

 
     2004

    2003

    2002

 

Cash Flows from Operating Activities:

                        

Net income

   $ 8,304     $ 5,888     $ 3,247  

Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:

                        

Depreciation and amortization

     7,127       8,363       8,145  

Deferred income taxes

     632       (888 )     1,475  

Provision for doubtful accounts

     4,280       2,953       7,238  

Loss on disposal of fixed assets

     8       41       1  

Changes in assets and liabilities:

                        

Accounts receivable

     19,305       (11,976 )     (6,478 )

Inventories

     1,750       (27,661 )     5,295  

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

     870       (1,267 )     83  

Other non-current assets

     19       126       (48 )

Accounts payable

     (32,829 )     27,045       (12,808 )

Income tax benefits from exercise of stock options

     97       349       117  

Accrued expenses and other liabilities

     3,755       328       (1,279 )
    


 


 


Net cash provided by operating activities

     13,318       3,301       4,988  
    


 


 


Cash Flows from Investing Activities:

                        

Purchases of property and equipment

     (2,804 )     (2,517 )     (5,075 )

Proceeds from sale of property and equipment

     3       2       17  

Payments for acquisition, net of cash acquired

     (11,095 )     (10,829 )     (22,585 )

Cash escrow distributed (funded) for acquisition

     5,000       5,000       (10,000 )
    


 


 


Net cash used for investing activities

     (8,896 )     (8,344 )     (37,643 )
    


 


 


Cash Flows from Financing Activities:

                        

Proceeds from short-term borrowings

     369,285       238,259       69,836  

Repayment of short-term borrowings

     (370,089 )     (232,645 )     (69,836 )

Repayment of notes payable

     —         —         (1,000 )

Repayment of capital lease obligation to affiliate

     (334 )     (199 )     (171 )

Exercise of stock options

     163       381       255  

Issuance of stock under employee stock purchase plan

     405       427       512  

Purchase of treasury shares

     —         —         (749 )
    


 


 


Net cash (used for) provided by financing activities

     (570 )     6,223       (1,153 )
    


 


 


Increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents

     3,852       1,180       (33,808 )

Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of year

     2,977       1,797       35,605  
    


 


 


Cash and cash equivalents, end of year

   $ 6,829     $ 2,977     $ 1,797  
    


 


 


Supplemental Cash Flow Information:

                        

Interest paid

   $ 1,155     $ 899     $ 901  

Income taxes paid

     2,819       6,065       1,734  

Acquisition earn-out obligation, net of adjustments

     6,423       11,560       10,800  

Purchase of assets through capital lease obligation

     1,232       —         —    

 

See notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

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PC CONNECTION, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(amounts in thousands, except per share data)

 

1.    SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES

 

PC Connection, Inc. and subsidiaries is a direct marketer of information technology products and solutions, including brand-name personal computers and related peripherals, software, accessories, and networking products through our three primary sales subsidiaries, PC Connection Sales Corporation, GovConnection, Inc., and MoreDirect, Inc. Our primary customers are small- and medium-sized businesses, governmental agencies and educational organizations, and medium-to-large corporate accounts. The following is a summary of significant accounting policies.

 

Principles of Consolidation

 

The Consolidated Financial Statements include the accounts of PC Connection, Inc. and subsidiaries. Intercompany transactions and balances are eliminated in consolidation.

 

Use of Estimates in the Preparation of Financial Statements

 

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires management to make estimates and assumptions. These estimates and assumptions affect the amounts reported in the accompanying consolidated financial statements. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

 

Revenue Recognition

 

Revenue on product sales is recognized at the point in time when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, the price is fixed and final, delivery has occurred, and there is a reasonable assurance of collection of the sales proceeds. We generally obtain oral or written purchase authorizations from our customers for a specified amount of product at a specified price. Because we either (i) have a general practice of covering customer losses while products are in-transit despite title transferring at the point of shipment or (ii) have FOB—destination specifically set out in our arrangements with federal agencies, delivery is deemed to have occurred at the point in time when the product is received by the customer.

 

We provide our customers with a limited thirty-day right of return generally limited to defective merchandise. Revenue is recognized at delivery and a reserve for sales returns is recorded. We have demonstrated the ability to make reasonable and reliable estimates of product returns in accordance with Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (“SFAS”) No. 48, “Revenue Recognition When Right of Return Exists,” based on significant historical experience. Should such returns no longer prove estimable, we believe that the impact on our financials would not necessarily be significant since the return privilege expires 30 days after shipment.

 

All amounts billed to a customer in a sale transaction related to shipping and handling, if any, represent revenues earned for the goods provided and have been classified as “net sales.” Costs related to such shipping and handling billings are classified as “cost of sales.”

 

Revenue for certain third party service contracts and software licenses that we sell are recorded on a net sales recognition basis because we do not assume the risks and rewards of ownership in these transactions. For such contracts and licenses, we evaluate whether the sales of such services should be recorded as gross sales or net sales as required under the guidelines described in Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 104, “Revenue Recognition” and Emerging Issues Task Force (“EITF”) Issue No. 99-19, “Reporting Revenue Gross as a Principal versus Net as an Agent.” Under gross sales recognition, we are the primary obligor, and the entire

 

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selling process is recorded in sales with our cost to the third party service provider recorded as a cost of sales. Under net sales recognition, we are not the primary obligor, and the cost to the third party service provider is recorded as a reduction to sales, with no cost of goods sold, thus leaving the entire gross profit as the reported net sale for the transaction.

 

Similarly, we recognize revenue from agency sales transactions on a net sales basis. In agency sales transactions, we facilitate product sales by equipment manufacturers directly to our customers and receive agency fees for such transactions. We do not take title to the products in these transactions; title is passed directly from the supplier to our customer.

 

Cash and Cash Equivalents

 

We consider all highly liquid short-term investments with original maturities of 90 days or less to be cash equivalents. The carrying value of our cash equivalents approximates fair value.

 

Restricted Cash

 

In connection with the acquisition of MoreDirect, Inc. in 2002 (see Note 3 – Acquisitions), we established a $10,000 cash escrow to fund a portion of the contingent consideration. In the first quarter of 2003, we used $5,000 of these escrowed funds to satisfy a portion of the 2002 earn-out obligation payable by us. We used the remaining $5,000 to satisfy a portion of our 2003 obligation paid in 2004.

 

Accounts Receivable

 

We perform ongoing credit evaluations of our customers and adjust credit limits based on payment history and customer credit-worthiness. We maintain an allowance for estimated doubtful accounts based on our historical experience and the customer credit issues identified. We monitor collections regularly and adjust the allowance for doubtful accounts as necessary to recognize any changes in credit exposure.

 

Inventories—Merchandise

 

Inventories (all finished goods) consisting of software packages, computer systems, and peripheral equipment, are stated at cost (determined under the first-in, first-out method) or market, whichever is lower. Inventory quantities on hand are reviewed regularly, and allowances are maintained for obsolete, slow moving, and nonsalable inventory.

 

Vendor Allowances

 

We receive allowances from merchandise vendors for price protections, discounts, product rebates, and other programs. These allowances are treated as a reduction of the vendor’s prices and are recorded as adjustments to cost of sales or inventory, as applicable.

 

Advertising Costs and Reimbursements

 

Costs of producing and distributing catalogs are deferred and charged to expense over the period that each catalog remains the most current selling vehicle (generally one to two months) which approximate the period of probable benefits. Other advertising costs are expensed as incurred. Vendors have the ability to place advertisements in the catalogs for which we receive advertising allowances. These vendor allowances, to the extent that they represent specific reimbursements of such specific, incremental, and identifiable costs, are offset against selling, general, and administrative expense on the consolidated statements of income. Advertising reimbursements that cannot be associated with a specific program funded by an individual vendor or that exceed the fair value of advertising expense associated with that program are reclassified to cost of sales in accordance

 

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with EITF Issue No. 02-16, “Accounting by a Customer (Including a Reseller) for Certain Consideration Received from a Vendor” (“EITF 02-16”).

 

Advertising costs charged to expense were $22,494, $22,764, and $19,871 for the respective years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002. Total advertising reimbursements received from vendors were $29,119, $29,430, and $28,347 for the respective years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002. We reclassified $7,498, $2,247, and $2,819 of these reimbursements to cost of sales or inventory in the respective years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002.

 

Property and Equipment

 

Property and equipment are stated at cost, net of accumulated depreciation and amortization. Depreciation and amortization is provided for both financial and income tax reporting purposes over the estimated useful lives of the assets ranging from three to seven years. Computer software, including licenses and internally developed software is capitalized and amortized over lives ranging from three to five years, except that certain capitalized internally developed software is expensed for income tax reporting purposes. Depreciation is and has been provided using accelerated methods for property acquired prior to 1996 and on the straight-line method for property acquired thereafter. Leasehold improvements and facilities under capital leases are amortized over the terms of the related leases or their useful lives, whichever is shorter, whereas for income tax reporting purposes, they are amortized over the applicable tax lives. We periodically evaluate the carrying value of property and equipment based upon current and anticipated undiscounted cash flows, and recognize an impairment when it is probable that such estimated future cash flows will be less than the asset carrying value. We did not recognize any impairments in 2004, 2003, or 2002.

 

Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets

 

Our intangible assets consist of: (1) goodwill, which commencing in 2002, is not being amortized; (2) indefinite lived intangibles, which consist of certain trademarks that are not subject to amortization; and (3) amortizing intangibles, which consist of customer lists, which are being amortized over their useful lives. All intangible assets are subject to impairment tests on a periodic basis.

 

Note 2 describes the impact of accounting for the adoption of SFAS No. 142, “Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets,” and the annual impairment methodology that we will employ on January 1st of each year in calculating the recoverability of goodwill. This same impairment test will be performed at other times during the course of a year should an event occur which suggests that the recoverability of goodwill should be challenged. Non-amortizing intangibles are also subject to annual impairment tests.

 

Amortizing intangibles are currently evaluated for impairment using the methodology set forth in SFAS No. 144. Recoverability of these assets is assessed only when events have occurred that may give rise to an impairment. When a potential impairment has been identified, forecasted undiscounted net cash flows of the operations to which the asset relates are compared to the current carrying value of the long-lived assets present in that operation. If such cash flows are less than such carrying amounts, long-lived assets including such intangibles, are written down to their respective fair values.

 

Income Taxes

 

Deferred income tax assets and liabilities are computed for differences between the financial statement and tax bases of assets and liabilities that will result in taxable or deductible amounts in the future, based on anticipated tax laws and rates applicable to the periods in which the differences are expected to affect taxable income. Valuation allowances are established when necessary to reduce deferred tax assets to the amount that is more likely than not to be realized.

 

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Accruals for tax contingencies are recorded when certain positions taken in filed tax returns, although supported, are probable of being successfully challenged, resulting in additional tax liabilities. Accruals are not recorded for tax contingencies not likely to be successfully challenged. Such accruals are adjusted as necessary in light of changing facts and circumstances.

 

Concentrations

 

Concentrations of credit risk with respect to trade account receivables are limited due to the large number of customers comprising our customer base. Ongoing credit evaluations of customers’ financial condition are performed by management on a regular basis.

 

During the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002, product purchases from Ingram Micro, Inc., our largest vendor, accounted for approximately 27%, 22%, and 28%, respectively, of our total product purchases. Purchases from Tech Data Corporation comprised 14%, 15%, and 14% of our total product purchases in the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002, respectively. Effective May 3, 2002, Hewlett-Packard Company (“HP”) completed its acquisition of Compaq Computer Corporation. Our combined purchases from HP and Compaq constituted 11%, 15%, and 15% of our total product purchases in 2004, 2003, and 2002, respectively. No other vendor supplied more than 10% of our total product purchases in the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002.

 

No single customer other than the federal government accounted for more than 2% of total net sales in 2004. Net sales to the federal government in 2004, 2003, and 2002 were $64,900, $156,600, and $156,400, or 4.8%, 11.9%, and 13.1% of total net sales, respectively.

 

Earnings Per Share

 

Basic earnings per common share is computed using the weighted average number of shares outstanding. Diluted earnings per share is computed using the weighted average number of shares outstanding adjusted for the incremental shares attributed to options outstanding to purchase common stock, if dilutive.

 

The following table sets forth the computation of basic and diluted earnings per share:

 

     2004

   2003

   2002

Numerator:

                    

Net income

   $ 8,304    $ 5,888    $ 3,247
    

  

  

Denominator:

                    

Denominator for basic earnings per share

     25,028      24,713      24,555

Effect of dilutive securities:

                    

Employee stock options

     241      401      305
    

  

  

Denominator for diluted earnings per share

     25,269      25,114      24,860
    

  

  

Earnings per share:

                    

Basic

   $ .33    $ .24    $ .13
    

  

  

Diluted

   $ .33    $ .23    $ .13
    

  

  

 

The following unexercised stock options were excluded from the computation of diluted earnings per share for years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002 because the exercise prices of the options were generally greater than the average market price of the common shares during the respective periods:

 

     2004

   2003

   2002

Anti-dilutive stock options

   1,426    1,516    2,447

 

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Stock-Based Compensation

 

Compensation expense associated with awards of stock or options to employees and directors is measured using the intrinsic value method in accordance with APB Opinion No. 25, “Accounting for Stock Issued to Employees.” The intrinsic value method requires that compensation expense, if any, be measured by the difference between the fair value of our common stock and the strike price of the option as of a measurement date. This measurement date is generally when both the number of shares and the strike price of the options are determined. Information concerning the impact of the utilization of the fair market value model prescribed by SFAS No. 123, “Accounting for Stock-Based Compensation,” is shown below:

 

We did not record any compensation expense under the intrinsic value method in 2004, 2003, or 2002. Had we recorded compensation expense using the fair value method under SFAS No. 123, pro forma net income and diluted net income per share for the years ended December 31 would have been as follows:

 

     2004

   2003

   2002

Net income, as reported

   $ 8,304    $ 5,888    $ 3,247

Compensation expense, net of taxes,
under SFAS No. 123

     1,110      1,877      1,982

Net income, under SFAS No. 123

     7,194      4,011      1,265

Basic net income per share, as reported

     .33      .24      .13

Basic net income per share, under SFAS No. 123

     .29      .16      .05

Diluted net income per share, as reported

     .33      .23      .13

Diluted net income per share, under SFAS No. 123

     .28      .16      .05

 

We measured the fair value of options on their grant date using the Black/Scholes option-pricing model. The key weighted-average assumptions we used to apply this pricing model were as follows:

 

     2004

     2003

     2002

Risk-free interest rates

   3.08%      3.20%      2.80%

Volatility

   94.5%      68.6%      125.5%

Expected life of option grants

   4 years      4 years      4 years

Dividend yield

   0%      0%      0%

 

Share Repurchase Authorization

 

We announced on March 28, 2001, that our Board of Directors authorized the spending of up to $15,000 to repurchase our common stock. Share purchases will be made in the open market from time to time depending on market conditions. We have repurchased an aggregate of 362,267 shares for $2,286 as of December 31, 2004, which are reflected as treasury stock on the consolidated balance sheet.

 

Recently Issued Financial Accounting Standards

 

In January and December 2003, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued FASB Interpretation No. 46 (FIN No. 46) and No. 46, revised (FIN No. 46(R)), respectively, “Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities.” These statements address accounting for entities commonly known as special-purpose or off-balance-sheet entities and require that the assets, liabilities, and results of the activity of variable interest entities be consolidated into the financial statements of the company that has the controlling financial interest. Certain provisions of FIN No. 46(R) related to interests in special purpose entities were effective for the period ended December 31, 2003. The adoption of FIN No. 46(R) did not have a material effect on our consolidated financial position or results of operations.

 

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In December 2004, the FASB issued SFAS No. 123(R), “Share-Based Payment” (SFAS 123(R)). This Statement is a revision of SFAS 123 and supersedes APB 25 and its related implementation guidance. SFAS 123(R) requires a company to measure the grant date fair value of equity awards given to employees in exchange for services and recognize that cost over the period that such services are performed. SFAS 123(R) is effective for the first interim or annual reporting period that begins after June 15, 2005 and will be effective for our interim quarter ending September 30, 2005. We are evaluating the two methods of adoption allowed by SFAS 123(R): the modified-prospective transition method and the modified-retrospective transition method. Adoption of SFAS 123(R) may materially increase stock compensation expense and decrease net income. In addition, SFAS 123(R) requires that the excess tax benefits related to stock compensation be reported as a cash inflow from financing activities rather than as a reduction of taxes paid in cash from operations.

 

Reclassifications

 

Certain amounts in the 2003 and 2002 financial statements have been reclassified to conform to the 2004 presentation.

 

2.    GOODWILL AND OTHER INTANGIBLE ASSETS

 

We apply the provisions of SFAS No. 142, “Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets.” SFAS No. 142 required, among other things, the discontinuance of the amortization of goodwill and certain other identified intangibles. SFAS No. 142 also includes provisions for the assessment of the value and useful lives of existing recognized intangibles (including goodwill), reclassification of certain intangibles both in and out of previously reported goodwill and the identification of reporting units for purposes of assessing potential future impairments of goodwill and other intangibles. We perform the assessment annually on January 1st. We completed the impairment review required by SFAS No. 142 on January 1, 2004 and 2005, and determined that our goodwill and intangible assets were not impaired.

 

Intangible assets not subject to amortization are as follows:

 

     December 31,

     2004

   2003

Goodwill

   $ 51,687    $ 45,264

Trademarks

     1,190      1,190

 

A rollforward of goodwill is as follows:

 

Balance, January 1, 2002

   $ 8,807  

MoreDirect acquisition April 5, 2002

     14,097  

MoreDirect contingent consideration

     10,800  
    


Balance, December 31, 2002

     33,704  

Adjustment to MoreDirect acquisition

     (62 )

Adjustment to 2002 contingent consideration

     29  

MoreDirect contingent consideration

     11,593  
    


Balance, December 31, 2003

     45,264  

Adjustment to 2003 contingent consideration

     (498 )

MoreDirect contingent consideration

     6,921  
    


Balance, December 31, 2004

   $ 51,687  
    


 

Intangible assets subject to amortization, consisting of customer lists, were $1,850 and $2,203 at December 31, 2004 and 2003, respectively (net of accumulated amortization of $970 and $617, respectively). For the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002, we recorded amortization expense of $353, $353, and $264, respectively.

 

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The estimated amortization expense relating to customer lists for each of the five succeeding years and thereafter is as follows:

 

For the Year Ended December 31,


    

2005

   353

2006

   353

2007

   353

2008

   353

2009

   353

2010 and thereafter

   85

 

3.    ACQUISITIONS

 

On April 5, 2002, we completed the acquisition of MoreDirect. Under the terms of the agreement, all outstanding stock options of MoreDirect were cashed out for approximately $4,100, which was funded by us, and we paid the sole shareholder of MoreDirect approximately $18,000 in cash at closing. MoreDirect also distributed approximately $7,900 to its sole shareholder from available cash balances for previously taxed but undistributed S Corporation earnings. Acquisition costs of $600 have been included in the purchase price. In addition we paid additional cash to the MoreDirect shareholder based upon MoreDirect achieving targeted levels of annual earnings before income taxes through December 31, 2004. For the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002, we accrued earn-out consideration owed to MoreDirect’s shareholder of $6,921, $11,593, and $10,829, respectively. We also escrowed $10,000 in cash at closing to fund a portion of these contingent payments, of which $5,000 was used to satisfy a portion of the 2002 liability paid by us in 2003, and the balance was used to satisfy a portion of the 2003 liability paid by us in 2004.

 

The transaction was accounted for by the purchase method, and accordingly, MoreDirect’s results of operations are included in our consolidated financial statements only for periods after April 5, 2002.

 

The following table summarizes the fair values of the assets acquired and liabilities assumed at the date of the acquisition. The fair values of certain intangible assets were determined by management through a third party valuation.

 

At April 5, 2002

      

Current assets

   $ 29,675

Property, plant and equipment and other assets

     1,587

Intangible assets

     4,010

Goodwill

     14,097
    

Total acquired

     49,369

Less current liabilities

     26,669
    

Net assets acquired

     22,700

Less cash acquired

     115
    

Purchase price for acquisition, net of cash acquired

   $ 22,585
    

 

Of the $4,010 of acquired intangible assets, $1,190 was assigned to registered trademarks that are not subject to amortization. The remaining $2,820 of acquired intangible assets represents customer relationships (8 year weighted-average useful life).

 

Additional goodwill of $6,423 (net of a $498 adjustment), $11,560 (net of a $33 adjustment), and $10,800 was added in 2004, 2003, and 2002, respectively, relating to the payment of contingent consideration. The goodwill was assigned to the Large Account segment. All of this goodwill is expected to be deductible for income tax purposes as a result of this acquisition.

 

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4.    ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE

 

Accounts receivable consisted of the following:

 

     December 31,

     2004

   2003

Trade

   $ 119,797    $ 138,653

Co-op advertising

     2,837      4,331

Vendor returns, rebates, and other

     3,579      6,800

Due from employees

     165      202
    

  

Total

     126,378      149,986

Less allowances for:

             

Sales returns

     1,493      1,520

Doubtful accounts

     4,133      4,129
    

  

Accounts receivable, net

   $ 120,752    $ 144,337
    

  

 

5.    PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT

 

Property and equipment consisted of the following:

 

     December 31,

     2004

   2003

Facilities and equipment under capital lease

   $ 8,447    $ 7,215

Leasehold improvements

     5,968      5,912

Furniture and equipment

     25,415      27,114

Computer software, including licenses and internally-developed software

     29,051      28,055

Automobiles

     169      157
    

  

Total

     69,050      68,453

Less accumulated depreciation and amortization

     51,403      48,057
    

  

Property and equipment, net

   $ 17,647    $ 20,396
    

  

 

We recorded depreciation and amortization expense, including capital lease amortization, of $6,774, $8,074, and $8,094 for the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002, respectively.

 

6.    SPECIAL CHARGES

 

In 2004, we recorded a charge of $3,559 related to our review of the General Services Administration (“GSA”) contract cancellation and costs related to securing a new schedule. We also recorded in 2004 a charge of $860 related to staff reductions, a charge of $512 for professional fees incurred relating to a review of certain calendar year 2000 and 2003 transactions, a charge of $101 related to the remaining uninsured portion of a 2003 employee defalcation, and a charge of $200 related to a proposed litigation settlement involving alleged patent infringement.

 

In 2003, we recorded a charge of $407 related to staff reductions, a charge of $392 related to the GSA contract cancellation, and a charge of $1,130 related to the uninsured portion of an employee defalcation.

 

On March 15, 2002, we announced that we had settled litigation commenced by Microsoft Corporation involving alleged trademark and copyright infringement. While denying the allegations, we recorded a $750 charge in settlement costs and legal fees related to this matter. We recorded a charge of $886 related to staff reductions in 2002.

 

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A rollforward of special charges for the three years in the period ended December 31, 2004 is shown below. There were no changes in estimates in the interim periods.

 

     Workforce
Reduction


    Litigation
Matters


    GSA
Review


    Employee
Defalcation


    Other

    Total

 

Balance January 1, 2002

   $ 425     $ —       $ —       $ —       $ —       $ 425  

Charges

     886       750       —         —         —         1,636  

Cash Payments

     (1,103 )     (750 )     —         —         —         (1,853 )
    


 


 


 


 


 


Balance December 31, 2002

     208       —         —         —         —         208  
    


 


 


 


 


 


Charges

     407       —         392       1,130       —         1,929  

Cash Payments

     (502 )     —         (155 )     (1,130 )     —         (1,787 )
    


 


 


 


 


 


Balance December 31, 2003

     113       —         237       —         —         350  
    


 


 


 


 


 


Charges

     860       200       3,559       101       512       5,232  

Cash payments

     (724 )     —         (3,072 )     (101 )     (497 )     (4,394 )
    


 


 


 


 


 


Liabilities at December 31, 2004

   $ 249     $ 200     $ 724     $ —       $ 15     $ 1,188  
    


 


 


 


 


 


 

Liabilities at December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002 are included in accrued expenses and other liabilities on the balance sheet.

 

7.    BANK BORROWINGS

 

We have a $45,000 credit facility secured by substantially all of our business assets. This facility was amended as of October 1, 2003 to give us the option of increasing the borrowing by up to $20,000. Amounts outstanding under this facility bear interest at the prime rate (5.25% at December 31, 2004). The credit facility includes various customary financial and operating covenants, including minimum net worth and maximum funded debt ratio requirements, and restrictions on the payment of dividends, and default acceleration provisions, none of which we believe significantly restricts our operations. The maximum allowable funded debt ratio under the agreement is 2.0 to 1.0; our actual funded debt ratio at December 31, 2004 was only 0.3 to 1.0. Funded debt ratio is the ratio of average outstanding advances under the facility to EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest Expense, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization). Borrowing availability under the agreement was $40,190 at December 31, 2004.

 

Borrowings of $4,810 and $5,614 were outstanding under this credit facility at December 31, 2004 and 2003, respectively. The credit facility matures on December 31, 2005, at which time amounts outstanding become due. We received a commitment from the bank dated March 1, 2005 to extend the facility for an additional three years to March 31, 2008 and to raise the facility to $50,000 and retain the $20,000 option to increase further, on substantially the same terms as the existing facility. We are in the process of negotiating definitive documentation for the new agreement.

 

Certain information with respect to short-term borrowings were as follows:

 

     Weighted Average
Interest Rate


    Maximum Amount
Outstanding


   Average Amount
Outstanding


Year ended December 31,

                   

2004

   4.3 %   $ 22,441    $ 9,447

2003

   4.1       27,623      5,452

2002

   4.1       10,408      1,038

 

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8.    TRADE CREDIT ARRANGEMENTS

 

At December 31, 2004 and 2003, we had security agreements with two financial institutions to facilitate the purchase of inventory from various suppliers under certain terms and conditions. The agreements allow a collateralized position in inventory financed by the financial institutions up to an aggregated amount of $45,000. The cost of such financing under these agreements is borne by the suppliers by discounting their invoices to the financial institutions as an incentive for us to purchase their products. We do not pay any interest or discount fees on such inventory financing. At December 31, 2004 and 2003, accounts payable included $8,215 and $6,397, respectively, owed to these financial institutions.

 

9.    CAPITAL LEASE

 

In November 1997, we entered into a fifteen-year lease for our corporate headquarters with an affiliated company related to us through common ownership. We occupied the facility upon completion of construction in late November 1998, and the lease payments commenced in December 1998.

 

Annual lease payments under the terms of the lease, as amended, are approximately $911 for the first five years of the lease, increasing to $1,025 for years six through ten and $1,139 for years eleven through fifteen. The lease requires us to pay our proportionate share of real estate taxes and common area maintenance charges as additional rent and also to pay insurance premiums for the leased property. We have the option to renew the lease for two additional terms of five years each. The lease has been recorded as a capital lease.

 

In December 2004, we entered into a sale-leaseback transaction with a three-year lease for certain computer equipment. The cost of the leased equipment included in furniture and equipment was approximately $1,232. Annual lease payments under the terms of the lease are approximately $442 for each of the three years. At the termination of the lease we have the option of either continuing the lease at the current rate, returning the equipment, or purchasing the equipment at fair market value.

 

The net book value of capital lease assets was $5,521 and $4,770 as of December 31, 2004 and 2003, respectively.

 

Future aggregate minimum annual lease payments under these leases at December 31, 2004 are as follows:

 

Year Ending December 31


   Payments

2005

   $ 1,504

2006

     1,467

2007

     1,430

2008

     1,035

2009

     1,139

2010 and thereafter

     4,462
    

Total minimum payments (excluding taxes, maintenance, and insurance)

     11,037

Less amount representing interest

     3,717
    

Present value of minimum lease payments

     7,320

Less current maturities (excluding interest)

     764
    

Long-term portion

   $ 6,556
    

 

10.    STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

 

Preferred Stock

 

Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation (the “Restated Certificate”) authorized the issuance of up to 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock, $.01 par value per share (the “Preferred Stock”). Under the terms

 

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of the Restated Certificate, the Board is authorized, subject to any limitations prescribed by law, without stockholder approval, to issue by a unanimous vote such shares of Preferred Stock in one or more series. Each such series of Preferred Stock shall have such rights, preferences, privileges, and restrictions, including voting rights, dividend rights, redemption privileges, and liquidation preferences, as shall be determined by the Board. There were no preferred shares outstanding at 2004 and 2003.

 

Incentive and Non-Statutory Stock Option Plans

 

In December 1993, the Board adopted and the stockholders approved the 1993 Incentive and Non-Statutory Stock Option Plan (the “1993 Plan”). Under the terms of the 1993 Plan, we are authorized to make awards of restricted stock and to grant incentive and non-statutory options to our employees, consultants, and advisors to purchase shares of our stock. A total of 1,686 shares of our Common Stock was authorized for issuance upon exercise of options granted or awards made under the 1993 Plan. Options vest over varying periods up to four years and have contractual lives up to ten years.

 

In November 1997, the Board adopted and the stockholders approved the 1997 Stock Incentive Plan (the “1997 Plan”), which became effective on the closing of our initial public offering in 1998. The 1997 Plan provides for the grant of incentive stock options, non-statutory stock options, stock appreciation rights, performance shares, and awards of restricted stock and unrestricted stock. A total of 3,600 shares have been reserved for issuance under this Plan.

 

Information regarding the 1993 and 1997 Plans is as follows:

 

     Option
Shares


    Weighted
Average
Exercise Price


   Weighted
Average
Fair Value


Outstanding January 1, 2002

   2,894     13.40     
    

        

Granted

   485     6.63    5.36

Exercised

   (108 )   5.52     

Forfeited

   (721 )   14.42     
    

        

Outstanding December 31, 2002

   2,550     12.29     
    

        

Granted

   1,070     6.74    3.63

Exercised

   (257 )   8.59     

Forfeited

   (636 )   13.56     
    

        

Outstanding, December 31, 2003

   2,727     10.78     
    

        

Granted

   260     7.85    4.55

Exercised

   (46 )   9.06     

Forfeited

   (594 )   9.59     
    

        

Outstanding, December 31, 2004

   2,347     10.90     
    

        

 

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The following table summarizes the status of outstanding stock options as of December 31, 2004:

 

     Options Outstanding

   Options Exercisable

Exercise Price
Range


   No. of
Shares


   Weighted
Average
Remaining
Life (Years)


   Weighted
Average
Exercise Price


   No. of
Shares


   Weighted
Average
Exercise Price


$0.51

   17    0.50    $ 0.51    17    $ 0.51

$3.81—$6.95

   590    7.29      5.19    279      4.96

$7.10—$9.98

   762    6.91      7.91    197      8.89

$10.01—$14.35

   679    5.06      11.19    550      11.42

$15.25—$34.83

   208    5.16      19.97    208      19.98

$51.81—$52.75

   91    5.56      51.98    91      51.98

  
  
  

  
  

$ 0.51—$52.75

   2,347    6.22    $ 10.90    1,342    $ 13.65

  
  
  

  
  

 

Total exercisable options and their weighted average exercise price at December 31, 2003 and 2002 were 1,204 shares at $13.92 and 1,267 shares at $11.62, respectively.

 

1997 Employee Stock Purchase Plan

 

In November 1997, the Board adopted and the stockholders approved the 1997 Employee Stock Purchase Plan (the “Purchase Plan”), which became effective on February 1, 1999. The Purchase Plan authorizes the issuance of Common Stock to participating employees. Under the terms of the Purchase Plan, the purchase price is an amount equal to 85% of the fair market value per share of the Common Stock on either the first day or the last day of the offering period, whichever is lower. An aggregate of 638 shares of Common Stock has been reserved for issuance under the Purchase Plan, of which 581 shares were purchased.

 

11.    INCOME TAXES

 

The 2004, 2003, and 2002 provision for income taxes consisted of the following:

 

     Years Ended December 31,

 
     2004

    2003

    2002

 

Paid or currently payable:


                  

Federal

   $ 3,985     $ 4,108     $ (142 )

State

     (60 )     630       367  
    


 


 


Total current

     3,925       4,738       225  
    


 


 


Deferred:


                  

Federal

     600       (697 )     1,567  

State

     31       (191 )     (92 )
    


 


 


Net deferred

     631       (888 )     1,475  
    


 


 


Net provision

   $ 4,556     $ 3,850     $ 1,700  
    


 


 


 

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The components of the deferred taxes at December 31, 2004 and 2003 are as follows:

 

     2004

    2003

 

Current:


            

Provisions for doubtful accounts

   $ 1,571     $ 1,374  

Inventory costs capitalized for tax purposes

     274       317  

Inventory and sales returns reserves

     556       699  

Deductible expenses, primarily employee-benefit related

     126       4  

Other

     512       657  
    


 


Net deferred tax asset—current

   $ 3,039       3,051  
    


 


Non-Current:


            

Compensation under non-statutory stock option agreements

   $ 37       53  

State tax credit carryforwards

     1,465       1,015  

Excess of book value over the tax basis of goodwill and other intangibles

     (2,528 )     (1,389 )

Excess of book value over the tax basis of property and equipment

     (1,595 )     (2,131 )
    


 


Subtotal

     (2,621 )     (2,452 )

Valuation allowance

     (865 )     (415 )
    


 


Net deferred tax liability—non-current

     (3,486 )     (2,867 )
    


 


Net deferred tax (liability) asset

   $ (447 )   $ 184  
    


 


 

The state tax credit carryforwards are available to offset future state income taxes in years with sufficient state income levels to create creditable tax and within the applicable carryforward period for these credits. Total carryforwards aggregated $1,465 and $1,015 at December 31, 2004 and 2003, respectively, against which we have provided valuation allowances of $865 and $415, respectively, representing the portion of carryforward credits that we believe is not likely to be realized due to these restrictions. These credits are subject to a five-year carryforward period, with $150 expiring beginning in 2006 and $450, $415, and $450 expiring respectively on an annual basis through 2009.

 

The reconciliation of our 2004, 2003, and 2002 income tax provision to the statutory federal tax rate is as follows:

 

     2004

    2003

    2002

 

Statutory tax rate

   35.0 %   35.0 %   35.0 %

State income taxes, net of federal benefit

   3.5     4.5     4.8  

Prior year tax matters

   (3.5 )   —       —    

State tax credits carried forward, net of federal tax

   —       —       (5.9 )

Nondeductible expenses

   0.4     0.1     0.2  

Other—net

   —       (0.1 )   0.2  
    

 

 

Effective income tax rate

   35.4 %   39.5 %   34.3 %
    

 

 

 

We have established accruals for certain state and federal tax contingencies when, despite our belief that our tax return positions are fully supported, we believe that certain positions are probable of being successfully challenged. These accruals relate primarily to various state tax jurisdictional issues concerning the nature and extent of our operations and activities in those states.

 

The tax contingency accruals are adjusted in light of changing facts and circumstances. Total tax contingency reserves were $1,197 at December 31, 2004.

 

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Table of Contents

12.    EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLAN

 

We have a contributory profit-sharing and employee savings plan covering all qualified employees. No contributions to the profit-sharing element of the plan were made by us in 2004, 2003, or 2002. We made matching contributions to the employee savings element of the plan of $653, $602, and $614 in 2004, 2003, and 2002, respectively.

 

13.    COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES

 

Operating Leases

 

We lease certain office facilities from our principal stockholders under 20-year noncancelable operating leases. The lease agreement for one facility requires us to pay all real estate taxes and insurance premiums related thereto. We also lease several other buildings from our principal stockholders on a month-to-month basis.

 

In addition, we lease office, distribution facilities, and equipment from unrelated parties with remaining terms of one to six years.

 

Future aggregate minimum annual lease payments under these leases at December 31, 2004 are as follows:

 

Year Ending December 31


   Related Parties

   Others

   Total

2005

   $ 147    $ 2,254    $ 2,401

2006

     147      1,310      1,457

2007

     144      728      872

2008

     82      651      733

2009

     —        307      307

2010 and thereafter

     —        123      123

 

Total rent expense aggregated $4,905, $4,952, and $5,732 for the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002, respectively, under the terms of the leases described above. Such amounts included $147, $147, and $173 in 2004, 2003, and 2002, respectively, paid to related parties.

 

Contingencies

 

We are subject to various legal proceedings and claims which have arisen during the ordinary course of business. These claims include certain patent infringement litigation alleging damages of $800. We have accrued $200 and expect to enter non-binding mediation to settle this litigation. In the opinion of management, the outcome of such matters is not expected to have a material effect on our financial position, results of operations, and cash flows.

 

We are also subject to audit by various government agencies relating to sales under certain government contracts. An audit was conducted on our GSA contract for the period May 1, 1997 to March 31, 2002, and in November 2003, the GSA’s contract with our subsidiary, GovConnection, was cancelled. Management has concluded that such cancellation was precipitated by an audit of contractual compliance, although we have not received an audit report or received a claim from the GSA concerning amounts that might be owed pursuant to this audit. A new GSA contract was awarded in August 2004.

 

Based on our own internal review of contractual compliance, we have noted that several internal control deficiencies have existed at GovConnection surrounding its compliance with the GSA contract. Actions have been taken to address these deficiencies. We believe that we have provided adequate reserves to cover any claims as they relate to payment of fees required under the contract or any penalties assessed. We have reserved $0.8 million for such fees or any penalties assessed. However, we will continue to evaluate such reserves in light of additional information that comes to our attention.

 

We have been informally advised that audit matters related to GovConnection have been referred to the Department of Justice for its review. Such a referral exposes us to possible civil damages for non-compliance

 

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Table of Contents

with the GSA contract. Such damages can be substantial. No reserves have been provided for such a claim because of the preliminary nature of this matter. We will continue to evaluate our reserves—as they relate both to the GSA audit and the Department of Justice investigation—in light of additional information that comes to our attention. The ultimate outcome of these matters cannot be determined. Future events may result in conclusions that could have a material impact, either positively or negatively, on our results of operations or financial condition. We have no indication of intentional wrongdoing by GovConnection regarding the GSA contract. In order to assist in this evaluation, we have engaged outside counsel and an independent accounting firm to undertake a review of our systems, policies, and procedures relative to its federal, state, and local government contracts.

 

14.    OTHER RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

 

As described in Notes 9 and 13, we have leased certain facilities from related parties. Other related-party transactions include the transactions summarized below. Related parties consist primarily of affiliated companies related to us through common ownership.

 

     Years Ended December 31

     2004

   2003

   2002

Revenue:

                    

Sales of various products

   $ 0    $ 1    $ 3

Sales of services to affiliated companies

     74      64      132

Costs:

                    

Purchase of services from affiliated companies

     0      0      1

 

15.    SEGMENT AND RELATED DISCLOSURES

 

SFAS No. 131, “Disclosures About Segments of an Enterprise and Related Information,” requires that public companies report profits and losses and certain other information on their “reportable operating segments” in their annual and interim financial statements. The internal organization used by our Chief Operating Decision Maker (CODM) to assess performance and allocate resources determines the basis for our reportable operating segments. Our CODM is our Chief Executive Officer.

 

Our operations are organized under three reportable operating segments — the “SMB” segment, which serves small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as consumers, the “Public Sector” segment, which serves federal, state and local government organizations, and educational institutions, and the “Large Account” segment, acquired in April 2002, which serves medium-to-large corporations.

 

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Table of Contents

Segment information applicable to our reportable operating segments for the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002 is shown below:

 

     Year Ended December 31, 2004

 
     SMB
Segment


    Public Sector
Segment


    Large Acct.
Segment


   Eliminations

    Consolidated

 

Sales to external customers

   $ 802,303     $ 253,073     $ 298,458    $ —       $ 1,353,834  

Transfers between segments

     224,114       —         —        (224,114 )     —    
    


 


 

  


 


Net sales

   $ 1,026,417     $ 253,073     $ 298,458    $ (224,114 )   $ 1,353,834  
    


 


 

  


 


Operating income (loss) before allocations

   $ 58,103     $ 2,746     $ 16,217    $ (62,973 )   $ 14,093  

Allocations

     46,856       14,502       1,615      (62,973 )     —    
    


 


 

  


 


Operating income (loss)

     11,247       (11,756 )     14,602      —         14,093  

Interest and other — net

     (987 )     (285 )     39      —         (1,233 )
    


 


 

  


 


Income (loss) before taxes

   $ 10,260     $ (12,041 )   $ 14,641    $ —       $ 12,860  
    


 


 

  


 


Selected Operating Expenses:

                                       

Depreciation and amortization

   $ 6,306     $ 115     $ 706    $ —       $ 7,127  

Special charges

     1,389       3,618       225      —         5,232  

Balance Sheet Data:

                                       

Total assets

   $ 197,914     $ 54,116     $ 93,178    $ (58,666 )   $ 286,542  

Goodwill, net

     1,173       7,634       42,880