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10-K: CREDO TECHNOLOGY GROUP HOLDING LTD

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(EDGAR Online via COMTEX) -- Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed in those forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include those identified below and those discussed in the section titled "Risk Factors." For a discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations for our fiscal year ended April 30, 2020, and a comparison of our fiscal years ended April 20, 2021 and 2020, see the section titled "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in our prospectus dated January 26, 2022. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for any period in the future.

Overview

Credo is an innovator in providing secure, high-speed connectivity solutions that deliver improved power and cost efficiency as data rates and corresponding bandwidth requirements increase exponentially throughout the data infrastructure market. Our connectivity solutions are optimized for optical and electrical Ethernet applications, including the emerging 100G, 200G, 400G and 800G port markets. Our products are based on our proprietary SerDes and DSP technology. Our product families include ICs, AECs and SerDes Chiplets. Our IP solutions primarily are comprised of SerDes IP development and licensing.

Data generation has increased dramatically over the past ten years, creating new and complicated challenges in both circuit and system design. Our proprietary SerDes and DSP technologies enable us to disrupt competition in existing markets, lead the way into emerging markets, and innovate to create new market opportunities. While many others in the data infrastructure industry struggle to meet customers' increasing performance and energy efficiency requirements, we continue to innovate to deliver groundbreaking solutions. A recent example is the announcement of our HiWire Switch cable and open-source implementation with Microsoft that helps realize Microsoft's vision for a network-managed dual-ToR architecture, overcoming complex and slow legacy enterprise approaches, simplifying deployment, and improving connection reliability in the datacenter.

The multi-billion dollar data infrastructure market that we serve is driven largely by hyperscalers, HPC and 5G infrastructure. The demands for increased bandwidth, improved power and cost efficiency, and heightened security have simultaneously and dramatically expanded as work, education, and entertainment have rapidly digitized across billions of end-point users.

Since our founding in 2008, we have achieved several significant milestones:

From 2008 to 2012, we developed our proprietary, low-power, mixed-signal SerDes architecture which could scale from 25Gbps/lane to 50Gbps/lane and ultimately to 100Gbps/lane.

In 2013, we began commercializing our core SerDes technology by providing connectivity solutions for the electrical and optical links in data centers.

In 2014, we signed our first product contract with Non-Recurring Engineering (NRE) services as well as our first IP licensing contract.

In 2016, we commenced production shipments of our Line Card PHY products.

In 2017, we developed a 3.2Tbps chiplet for high bandwidth 12.8Tbps switches. This chiplet included 64 lanes of 50Gbps SerDes and was built in 28nm using Chip-on-Wafer-on-Substrate (CoWoS) packaging technology from TSMC.

In 2018, we created AECs, a new category of datacenter system products, beginning with developing 400G DDC solutions up to seven meters in length.

In 2019, we developed new DSP SerDes architectures optimizing the performance and power trade-offs for 400G and 800G solutions targeting Line Card PHYs, Optical PAM4 DSPs, and AECs.

In 2020, we demonstrated the industry's first 40Gbs PAM3 SerDes in silicon. In addition, we engineered breakthrough Line Card PHYs and Optical PAM4 DSPs with leading performance and power for 50G/lane and 100G/lane solutions.

In 2021, we launched new AEC solutions targeting ToR-to-NIC connections. Our solutions enabled dual-ToR server racks to seamlessly "switch" data traffic to the redundant ToR if a ToR port failed.

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We design, market and sell both product and IP solutions. We help define industry conventions and standards within the markets we target by collaborating with technology leaders and standards bodies. We contract with a variety of manufacturing partners to build our products based on our proprietary SerDes and DSP technologies. We develop standard solutions we can sell broadly to our end markets and also develop tailored solutions designed to address specific customer needs. Once developed, these tailored solutions can generally be broadly leveraged across our portfolio and we are able to sell the product or license the IP into the broader market.

During fiscal 2022 and 2021, we generated $106.5 million and $58.7 million in total revenue, respectively. Product sales and product engineering services revenue comprised 77% and 63% of our total revenue in fiscal 2022 and 2021, respectively, and IP license and IP license engineering services revenue represented 23% and 37% of our total revenue in fiscal 2022 and 2021, respectively. Geographically, 36% and 75% of our total revenue in fiscal 2022 and 2021, respectively, was generated from customers in North America, and 64% and 25% of our total revenue in fiscal 2022 and 2021, respectively, was generated from customers in the rest of the world, primarily in Asia. During fiscal 2022 and 2021, we generated $22.2 million and $27.5 million in net loss, respectively.

We derive the substantial majority of our revenue from a limited number of customers, and we anticipate we will continue to derive a significant portion of our revenue from a limited number of customers for the foreseeable future. We expect that as our products are more widely adopted and as our number of customers increase, customer concentration will decrease.

Our Business Model

We are a product-focused business with a strong foundation in IP, pioneering comprehensive connectivity solutions that deliver bandwidth, scalability, and end-to-end signal integrity for next-generation platforms. We also develop IP solutions to address the specific and complex needs of our customers. We earn revenue from these IP solutions primarily through licensing fees and royalties. In addition to product sales and IP license revenue, we also generated revenue from providing engineering services as part of our product and license arrangements with certain customers. Product sales and product engineering services revenue comprised 77% and 63% of our total revenue in fiscal 2022 and 2021, respectively, and IP license and IP license engineering services revenue represented 23% and 37% of our total revenue in fiscal 2022 and 2021, respectively. Over time, we expect to generate an increased proportion of our revenue from sales of our products. We expect to see a long-term benefit from improvements in our operating leverage as our business continues to gain scale.

We utilize a fabless business model, working with a network of third parties to manufacture, assemble and test our connectivity products. This approach allows us to focus our engineering and design resources on our core competencies and to control our fixed costs and capital expenditures.

We employ a two-pronged sales strategy targeting both the end users of our products, as well as the suppliers of our end users. By engaging directly with the end user, we are able to better understand the needs of our customers and cater our solutions to their most pressing connectivity requirements.

This strategy has enabled us to become the preferred vendor to a number of our customers who, in turn, in some cases, require their suppliers, OEMs, ODMs and optical module manufacturers to utilize our solutions.

Revenue Mix and Associated Gross Margins

We are a product-focused business with a strong foundation in IP and, as such, our customers engage with us through the purchase of our products or the licensing of our IP. In some instances, customers will engage us to develop tailored products or IP licenses to meet their specific application requirements. We charge these customers incremental fees for this tailored development which are in addition to product sales or IP license revenue, and we recognize these additional fees as product engineering or IP license engineering services revenue.

By providing tailored engineering services to our customers, we believe we strengthen our customer relationships, enable additional sales and establish ourselves for potential long-term revenue opportunities from associated product sales or IP license revenue.

A summary of our revenue and associated gross margin by these revenue sources for fiscal 2022 and 2021 is presented below (in thousands, except percentages):







                                                                    Year Ended April 30,
                                                                    2022            2021
        Revenue:
        Product sales                                           $   73,721       $ 27,477
        Product engineering services                                 7,741          9,579
        Total product sales and product engineering services        81,462         37,056
        IP license                                                  23,309         17,273
        IP license engineering services                              1,706          4,368
        Total IP license and IP license engineering services        25,015         21,641
        Total revenue                                           $  106,477       $ 58,697
        Gross margin:
        Product sales                                                 45.6  %        41.5  %
        Product engineering services                                  75.2  %        66.9  %
        Total product sales and product engineering services          48.4  %        48.1  %
        IP license                                                   100.0  %       100.0  %
        IP license engineering services                               72.9  %        73.0  %
        Total IP license and IP license engineering services          98.2  %        94.5  %
        Total gross margin                                            60.1  %        65.2  %
        


Over time, we anticipate that our revenues from product sales and IP license will become a larger proportion of total revenue relative to engineering services.

We incur certain costs associated with introducing new products to market which impact the gross margin associated with product sales. Over time, as revenue from our product sales increases, we expect these product introduction costs to decrease as a percentage of product sales revenue resulting in a higher gross margin on product sales revenue.

Factors Affecting Our Performance

Our results of operations and financial condition have been, and will continue to be, affected by a number of factors including the following:

Design Wins With New and Existing Customers

Our solutions enable our end customers to differentiate their product offerings and position themselves to meet the demands of increasingly advanced networks. We work closely with our end customers to understand their product roadmaps and strategies and help them develop new products. Our goal is to develop solutions that support their product roadmap and development. If an end customer has tested our product, verified that it meets their requirements and the customer has informed us that the end customer intends to have our customer build it into their product, we consider it a design win. We consider design wins important to our future success. The selection process is typically lengthy and may require us to incur significant design and development expenditures in pursuit of a design win with no assurance that our solutions will be selected. In addition, some design wins result in significant revenue and some do not, and the timing of such revenue is difficult to predict as it depends on the success of the end customer's product that uses our solutions. Thus, some design wins result in orders and significant revenue shortly after the design win is awarded and other design wins do not result in significant orders and revenue for several months or longer after the initial design win (if at all). As a result, the degree to which we are successful in achieving design wins and the speed and level at which end customers ramp

volume production of the products into which our product is designed will impact our success and financial results in future periods.

Customer Demand and Pipeline

Demand for our products is dependent on conditions in the markets in which our customers operate, which are subject to cyclicality and competitive conditions. We believe our relationships with the end customers of our products and the long-term implications of decisions to adopt our solutions, provide us with valuable visibility into customer demand. Furthermore, our customers generally provide us with periodic forecasts of their requirements. This provides an opportunity for us to monitor and refine our business operations and plans. The majority of our product sales are made pursuant to standard purchase orders. Changes in customer forecasts or the timing of orders from customers expose us to the risks of inventory shortages or excess inventory. Cancellations of orders could result in the loss of anticipated sales without allowing us sufficient time to reduce and manage our operating expenses.

Pricing and Product Gross Margins

Our revenue is also impacted by changes in the number and average selling prices of our products. Our products are typically characterized by a life cycle that begins with higher average selling prices and lower volumes, followed by broader market adoption, leading to higher volumes, and average selling prices lower than initial levels. Our product gross margins will be affected by the extent to which these declines are paired with improvements in manufacturing yields and lower wafer, assembly and test costs that offset some of the margin reduction that results from lower average selling prices as well as the extent to which we introduce new products with higher initial average selling prices and achieve market acceptance. Our gross margins may also be affected by changes in the price of silicon wafers, copper cables, printed circuit boards (PCBs), testing costs and commodities, and the extent to which we are able to offset any increases in our costs through increases prices to our customers, productivity actions or other means. In August 2021, TSMC, on which we rely as the foundry for all our semiconductor products, began informing its customers that it plans to increase the prices of its most advanced chips by roughly 10% and its less advanced chips by up to 20%, effective in late 2021 or early 2022 as a result of a global supply shortage that began in 2020. If we are unable to offset the increased costs associated with this price increase through pricing increases on our products, our gross margins may decrease. Our product gross margins may also fluctuate from period to period as a result of changes in average selling prices due to new product introductions or existing product transitions into larger scale commercial volumes and manufacturing costs as well as our product and customer mix.

Product Adoption

We develop and sell leading-edge connectivity solutions for digital infrastructure which are intended to replace existing legacy solutions and support our customers' future applications and needs. Our success is dependent on customers adopting our new technology and preferring our solutions over competing offerings or other current or future technologies.

Technology Development

We operate in industries characterized by rapidly changing technologies, industry standards and technological obsolescence. We work closely with our customers to understand their product roadmaps and strategies to forecast their future needs. This helps inform our technology roadmap and development priorities. We also monitor forecasts by industry analysts and the adoption curve of technology as well as potential competing forces which could hinder adoption of our solutions. Our revenue growth is dependent on our ability to continually develop and introduce new products to meet the changing technology and performance requirements of our customers, diversify our revenue base and generate new revenue to replace, or build upon, the success of previously introduced products which may be rapidly maturing. As a result, our revenue is impacted, to a more significant extent, by product life cycles for a variety of products and to a much lesser extent, if any, by any single product. In order to remain competitive, we have made, and expect to continue to make, significant expenses in research and

development, and our research and development expenses in a particular period may be significantly impacted by specific product or engineering initiatives that we undertake to maintain our competitiveness and expand our product portfolio. If we fail to anticipate or respond appropriately to new developments in technology, or to timely develop competitive new or enhanced products or technologies, our revenue could decrease and we could lose design wins to our competitors.

Industry Trends and Cyclicality

We continue to evaluate trends within the industry that affect our business performance. We design and develop high-speed connectivity solutions that deliver improved power and cost efficiency for the data infrastructure market. This market is driven by hyperscalers, HPC and 5G infrastructure. Accordingly, our revenue and business performance are influenced by the deployment and timing of broader market adoption of next generation technologies in data centers, particularly by hyperscalers, and in the HPC and 5G markets. The semiconductor industry is cyclical and is characterized by rapid technological change, evolving standards, product obsolescence, price erosion, and fluctuations in product supply and demand. Any prolonged or significant downturn in our industry generally could adversely affect our business and reduce demand for our products and otherwise harm our financial condition and results of operations.

Impact of COVID-19

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted global economic activity and caused business disruption worldwide. It has prompted governments and businesses to take unprecedented measures, including restrictions on travel, temporary business closures, quarantines and shelter-in-place orders.

Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, most of our employees have transitioned to remote work, and we have temporarily prohibited most business travel. We have complied with the recommendations of government health agencies in each jurisdiction in which we operate throughout the pandemic. We formed a task force to track the spread of COVID-19 and other relevant metrics to stay informed and took several precautions to operate safely.

We are very proud of the response of our employees, suppliers and customers to the demands of the pandemic. Our collective response meant that the impact to our business was significantly mitigated, and we believe the overall impact was relatively limited as a result. However, there has inevitably been some impact on our end customers - potentially delaying or scaling down purchasing decisions

Over the longer term, we may see some positive impacts on our business as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated requirements for increased bandwidth and lower latency, reduced power, and heightened the need for effective security as previously centralized work, school, and entertainment connections have disseminated across myriad end-point users.

Although we are optimistic that the global response to the pandemic will continue to support an improvement in conditions, we are actively monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our financial condition, liquidity, operations, customers, suppliers, industry and workforce.

The extent and nature of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and financial performance will be influenced by a variety of factors, including the duration and spread of the pandemic, as well as future spikes of COVID-19 infections or the emergence of additional COVID-19 variants that may result in additional preventative and mitigative measures. These factors may affect the timing and magnitude of demand from customers and the availability of portions of the supply chain, logistical services and component supply and may have a material net negative impact on our business and

financial results. For additional information regarding the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, see "Risk Factors-Risks Related to Our Business-The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted and will likely continue to disrupt normal business activity and may adversely impact our operations and financial results."

Customer Warrant

On December 28, 2021, we issued a warrant to Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings LLC (Holder) to purchase an aggregate of up to 4,080,000 of our ordinary shares at an exercise price of $10.74 per share (the Customer Warrant). The exercise period of the Customer Warrant is through the seventh anniversary of the issue date. Upon issuance of the Customer Warrant, 40,000 of the shares issuable upon exercise of the Customer Warrant vested immediately and the remainder of the shares issuable will vest in tranches over the contract term based on the amount of global payments by Holder and its affiliates to us, up to $201.0 million in aggregate payments.

Upon a change of control of us (including certain transfers of 50% or more of the voting power in the Company to a new person or group) in which the consideration to be received by our then existing shareholders consists solely of cash, the Customer Warrant, to the extent vested, will be deemed automatically net exercised immediately before the consummation of such change of control, and the remaining unvested shares under the Customer Warrant will thereafter automatically terminate. Upon a change of control of us in which the consideration to be received by our then existing shareholders consists of securities or other non-cash consideration, then we will cause the acquiring, surviving, or successor party to assume the obligations of the Customer Warrant, and the Customer Warrant will thereafter be exercisable for the same securities or other non-cash consideration that a holder of our ordinary shares would have been entitled to receive in connection with such transaction if such holder held the same number of shares as were purchasable under the Customer Warrant if the Customer Warrant had been exercised in full immediately before the consummation of such change of control, subject to further adjustment from time to time in accordance with the provisions of the Customer Warrant.

The Customer Warrant is accounted for as an equity instrument. When management determines that it is probable that a tranche of the Customer Warrant will vest and we recognize the related revenue, the grant date fair value of the associated tranche will be recognized in shareholders' equity and the underlying expense will be amortized as a reduction of revenue in proportion to the amount of related revenue recognized.

Components of Our Operating Results

Revenue

Our revenues consist of sale of our products, licensing of our IP and providing product engineering and IP license engineering services. Product sales primarily consists of shipment of our ICs and AEC products. IP license revenue includes fees from licensing of our SerDes IP and related support and royalties. Product engineering and IP license engineering services revenue consists of engineering fees associated with integration of our technology solutions into our customers' products and IP, respectively. Our customers are primarily OEMs who design and manufacture end market devices for the communications and enterprise networks markets. Our revenue is driven by various trends in these markets. Our revenue is also impacted by changes in the number and average selling prices of our IC products.

We recognize revenue upon transfer of control of promised goods and services in an amount that reflects the consideration we expect to receive in exchange for those goods and services. Where an arrangement includes multiple performance obligations, the transaction price is allocated to these on a relative standalone selling price (SSP) basis. We determine the SSP based on an observable standalone selling price when it is available, as well as other factors, including the price charged to customers and our overall pricing objectives, while maximizing observable inputs. Our policy is to record revenue net of

any applicable sales, use or excise taxes. Changes in our contract assets and contract liabilities primarily result from the timing difference between our performance and the customer's payment. We fulfill our obligations under a contract with a customer by transferring products or services in exchange for consideration from the customer. We recognize a contract asset when we transfer products or services to a customer and the right to consideration is conditional on something other than the passage of time. Accounts receivable are recorded when the customer has been billed or the right to consideration is unconditional. We recognize deferred revenue when we have received consideration or an amount of consideration is due from the customer and we have a future obligation to transfer products or services.

Product Sales - We transact with customers primarily pursuant to standard purchase orders for delivery of products and generally allow customers to cancel or change purchase orders within limited notice periods prior to the scheduled shipment date. We offer standard performance warranties of twelve months after product delivery and do not allow returns, other than returns due to warranty issues. We recognize product sales when we transfer control of promised goods in an amount that reflects the consideration to which we expect to be entitled to in exchange for those goods, net of accruals for estimated sales returns and rebates.

IP License Revenue - Our licensing revenue consists of a perpetual license, support and maintenance, and royalties. Our license arrangements do not typically grant the customer the right to terminate for convenience and where such rights exist, termination is prospective, with no refund of fees already paid by the customer. In connection with the license arrangements, we offer support and maintenance to assist customers in bringing up and qualifying the final product. Revenue from customer support is deferred and earned over the support period, which is typically one year.

In certain cases, we also charge licensees royalties related to the distribution . . .

Jun 08, 2022

COMTEX_408395460/2041/2022-06-08T16:44:42

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