Tag-it Pacific, Inc (TAG) - Description of business
Tag-It Pacific is an apparel company that specializes in the distribution of a full range of apparel zippers and trim items to manufacturers of fashion apparel, specialty retailers and mass merchandisers. We manufacture and distribute zippers under our TALON brand name to manufacturers for apparel brands and retailers such as Levi Strauss & Co., Wal-Mart and JC Penny, among others. We act as a full service outsourced trim design, sourcing and management department for manufacturers of fashion apparel such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Kellwood. We also serve as a specified supplier of trim items to owners of specific brands, brand licensees and retailers, including Levi Strauss & Co., Express, The Limited, Lerner, Mother's Work and Miller's Outpost, among others. In our TEKFIT division, we develop and sell apparel components that utilize the patented Pro-Fit technology, including a stretch waistband sold to Levi Strauss & Co.
We were incorporated in the State of Delaware in 1997. We were formed to serve as the parent holding company of Tag-It, Inc., a California corporation, Tag-It Printing & Packaging Ltd., which changed its name in 1999 to Tag-It Pacific (HK) LTD, a BVI corporation, Tagit de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., A.G.S. Stationery, Inc., a California corporation, and Pacific Trim & Belt, Inc., a California corporation. All of these companies were consolidated under a parent limited liability company in October 1997. These companies became our wholly owned subsidiaries immediately prior to the effective date of our initial public offering in January 1998. In 2000, we formed two wholly owned subsidiaries of Tag-It Pacific, Inc: Tag-It Pacific Limited, a Hong Kong corporation, and Talon International, Inc., a Delaware corporation. Our Web site is WWW.TAGITPACIFIC.COM. Our Web site address provided in this Annual Report on Form 10-K is not intended to function as a hyperlink and the information on our website is not and should not be considered part of this report and is not incorporated by reference in this document.
We operate our business within three product groups, Talon, Trim, and Tekfit. In our Talon group, we design, engineer, test and distribute zippers under our TALON trademark and trade names to apparel brands and manufacturers. TALON enjoys brand recognition in the apparel industry worldwide. TALON is a 100-year-old brand, which is well known for quality and product innovation. TALON was the original pioneer of the formed wire metal zipper for the jeans industry and is a specified zipper brand for manufacturers in the sportswear and outerwear markets. We have introduced a revised line of high quality zippers, broadened distribution to Asia, Mexico and Central America and initiated a new sales and marketing effort for this brand. We have also developed, and are now implementing, what we refer to as our TALON franchise strategy, whereby we appoint suitable distributors in various geographic international regions to finish and sell zippers under the TALON brand name. Our distributors purchase and install locally equipment for dying and producing finished zippers. We expect this program to significantly expand the geographic footprint of our TALON products. TALON is promoted both within our trim packages, as well as a stand-alone product line.
In our Trim products group, we have positioned ourselves as a fully integrated single-source supplier, designer and sourcing agent of a full range of trim items for manufacturers of fashion apparel. Our business focuses on servicing all of the trim requirements of our customers at the manufacturing and retail brand level of the fashion apparel industry. Trim items include labels, buttons, rivets, printed marketing material, polybags, packing cartons, and hangers. Trim items comprise a relatively small part of the cost of most apparel products but comprise the vast majority of components necessary to fabricate a typical apparel product. We offer customers a one-stop outsourced service for all trim related matters. Our teams work with the apparel designers, and function as an extension of their staff. We are responsible for creating sample designs for all the trim our clients require.
For example, if one of our customers is creating a new pair of cargo pants for their fall collection, we will collaborate with them on their design vision, then present several examples of their vision in graphic form for all trim components. We will design the buttons, snaps, hang tags, labels, zipper pullers and other items. Once our customer selects the designs they like, our sourcing team will review our proprietary database of manufacturers worldwide to find the best manufacturers for the type of items being produced. The sourcing is a critical part of our service. Knowing exactly where to go for proper paper finishes, distressing or other types of material needs and manufacturing techniques is critical. Because we perform this function for many different global projects and apparel brands, we have a depth and breadth of knowledge in sourcing that our customers can not achieve, and therefore offer a significant value to our customers. In addition, because we are consistently innovating new items, manufacturing techniques and finishes, we bring many new, fresh and unique trim ideas to our customers. Once we find the appropriate manufacturers, we create production samples of all of our designs, and review the samples with our customers so they can make a final decision while looking at the actual items that will be used on the garments. Once our customer selects the appropriate items, we are nominated as the sole-source trim supplier for the project, and all of our customer's factories are then required to purchase their trim from us. Throughout the garment manufacturing process, Tag-It is consistently monitoring the timing and accuracy of the production items to ensure the production items exactly match all samples when delivered to our customer's apparel factories.
We also serve as a specified supplier for a variety of major retail brand and private label oriented companies. A specified supplier is a supplier that has been approved for quality and service by a major retail brand or private label company. Contractors manufacturing for the retail brand or private label company must purchase their trim requirements from a supplier that has been specified. We seek to expand our services as a vendor of select lines of trim items for such customers, to being a preferred or single source provider of all of such brand customer's authorized trim requirements. Our ability to offer brand name and private label oriented customers a full range of trim products is attractive because it enables our customers to address their quality and supply needs for all of their trim requirements from a single source, avoiding the time and expense necessary to monitor quality and supply from multiple vendors and manufacturer sources. Becoming a specified supplier to brand customers gives us an advantage to become the preferred or sole vendor of trim items for all manufacturers of apparel under that brand name.
Our team of sales representatives, program managers, creative design personnel and global production and distribution coordinators at our facilities located in the United States, China and the Caribbean enable us to take advantage of and address the increasingly complicated requirements of the large and expanding demand for complete trim packages. We plan to continue to expand operations in Asia, Europe, Central and South America and the Caribbean to take advantage of the large apparel manufacturing markets in these regions.
TALON BRAND ZIPPERS. We offer a full line of metal and synthetic zippers bearing the TALON brand name. TALON zippers are used primarily by manufacturers in the apparel industry and are distributed through our distribution facilities in the United States, Mexico and China and through distributors, who we refer to as franchisees, in other international markets.
We are negotiating with several distributors and agents that service local markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and are establishing several non-exclusive relationships to service these markets. Previously, we had established franchises with specific geographic territories. However, in the fourth quarter of 2005 we modified our strategy to a non-exclusive model, allowing our agents and franchises to operate on a non-exclusive basis. We are continuing to negotiate with distributors that service local apparel manufacturing regions in the United States and overseas, and this strategy will be a significant focus in 2006. We offer manufacturers technologically advanced equipment for efficiently handling TALON zippers and applying them into garments. The branded apparel zipper market is dominated by one company and we are positioning TALON to be a viable global alternative to this competitor and capture an increased market share position. We
plan to leverage the brand awareness of the TALON name by branding other products in our line with the TALON name.
MANAGED TRIM SOLUTION. We consider a high level of customer service essential to our success. We combine our high level of customer service with our MANAGED TRIM SOLUTION to offer our customers a complete trim service product. We believe this full-service product gives us a competitive edge over companies that only offer selected trim components because our MANAGED TRIM SOLUTION saves our customers time and work hours in ordering, designing, sampling and managing trim orders from several different suppliers. Our MANAGED TRIM SOLUTION is a trim development system that allows us to provide our customers with a customized, comprehensive system for the management of virtually all aspects of their trim programs. Our proprietary TRIMNET software, a web based e-sourcing system, has allowed us to seamlessly supply complete trim packages to apparel brands, retailers and manufacturers around the world over the past several years.
We produce customized woven, leather, synthetic, embroidered and novelty labels and tapes, which can be printed on or woven into a wide range of fabrics and other materials using various types of high-speed equipment. As an additional service, we may lease to our customers the machinery used to attach the buttons, rivets and snaps we distribute.
In 2005 we marketed and supplied our customers with complete trim packages on a per-garment basis which we assembled on behalf of our customers. Each trim package included all items of trim that a customer needed in the manufacture of a particular item of apparel. Our complete trim packages included a variety of trim items including thread, zippers, labels, buttons, rivets, polybags, packing cartons and hangers. We also included in our trim packages printed marketing materials including hang tags, bar-coded hang tags, pocket flashers, waistband tickets and size stickers that were attached to products to identify and promote the products, permit automated data collection, provide brand identification and communicate consumer information such as a product's retail price, size, fabric content and care instructions. We plan to continue to sell the trim package components separately, but phase-out the offering as a complete kit as our cost of labor for the assembly is no longer competitive, and the market is not willing to pay the premium for pre-assembly of the trim material. In 2005 we also decided to discontinue offering thread as a portion of our trim products and we negotiated an agreement with our major supplier for the return of substantially all of the company's thread products. We instead, are sharpening our focus on the market opportunity in which we add the most value, our MANAGED TRIM SOLUTION.
TEKFIT. We distribute a proprietary stretch waistband under our Exclusive License and Intellectual Property Rights agreement with Pro-Fit Holdings, Limited ("Pro-Fit"). The agreement gives us the exclusive rights to sell or sublicense stretch waistbands manufactured under the patented technology developed by Pro-Fit for garments manufactured anywhere in the world for the U.S. market and for all U.S. brands for the life of the patent and its related know-how. We offer apparel manufacturers advanced, patented fabric technologies to utilize in their garments under the TEKFIT name. This technology allows fabrics to be altered through the addition of stretch characteristics resulting in greatly improved fit and comfort. Currently, we are supplying Levi Strauss & Co. with TEKFIT waistbands for their Dockers(R) programs. Our exclusive supply arrangement with Levi Strauss & Co. is for twill type pants only. This technology allows pant manufacturers to build in a stretch factor into standard waistbands that does not alter the appearance of the garment, but will allow the waist to stretch out and back by as much as two waist sizes.
We are presently in litigation with Pro-Fit relating to our rights under the agreement, as described more fully in Item 3 "Legal Proceedings" below. As we derive a significant amount of revenue from the sale of products incorporating the stretch waistband technology, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected if our dispute with Pro-Fit is not resolved in a manner favorable to us.
DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT
Our in-house creative team produces products with innovative technology and designs that we believe distinguish our products from those of our competitors. We support our skills and expertise in
material procurement and product-manufacturing coordination with product technology and designs intended to meet fashion demands, as well as functional and cost parameters. Many specialty design companies with which we compete have limited sourcing or manufacturing experience. These companies create designs that often cannot be implemented due to difficulties in the manufacturing process, the expenses of required materials, or a lack of functionality in the resulting product. We design products to function within the limitations imposed by the applicable manufacturing framework. Using our manufacturing and sourcing experience, we minimize the time-consuming delays that often arise in coordinating the efforts of independent design houses and manufacturing facilities. By supporting our material procurement and product manufacturing services with design services, we believe that we reduce development and production costs and deliver products to our customers sooner than many of our competitors. Our development costs are low, most of which are borne by our customers. Our design teams are based out of our California and Hong Kong facilities.
We have more than 300 active customers. Our customers include the designated suppliers of well-known apparel manufacturers, such as Levi Strauss & Co., The Limited Group, Mother's Work, Kellwood, and VF Corporation, among others. Our customers also include contractors for specialty retailers such as Miller's Outpost and mass merchant retailers such as Wal-Mart.
In 2002, we entered into an exclusive supply contract with Levi Strauss & Co. Under the terms of the supply agreement, Levi Strauss & Co. agreed to purchase a minimum of $10 million of TEKFIT stretch waistbands, various other trim products, garment components and services over the two-year term of the agreement. On July 16, 2004, we amended our exclusive supply agreement with Levi Strauss & Co. to provide for an additional two-year term through November 2006. Levi Strauss & Co. also appointed TALON as an approved zipper supplier.
For the year ended December 31, 2005, no single customer represented more than 10% of our consolidated net sales; however, our three largest customers represented approximately 22% of our consolidated net sales. Two major customers accounted for approximately 22% of our net sales for the year ended December 31, 2004. Three major customers, two of which were related parties, accounted for approximately 64% of our consolidated net sales for the year ended December 31, 2003.
Our results of operations will depend to an extent upon the commercial success of these customers. If these customers fail to purchase trim products at anticipated levels, or the relationship terminates, it may have an adverse affect on our results of operations. If the financial condition of these customers were to deteriorate, resulting in an impairment of their ability to purchase inventories or repay receivables, it may also have an adverse affect on our results of operations. The financial position and operations of these customers are monitored on an ongoing basis. United States export sales are not a significant part of our business. Backlogs are not considered material in the industries in which we compete.
SALES AND MARKETING
We sell our principal products through our own sales force based in Los Angeles, California, various other cities in the United States, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Mexico. We also employ customer service representatives who are assigned to key customers and provide in-house customer service support. Our senior executives have developed relationships with our major customers at senior levels. These executives actively participate in marketing and sales functions and the development of our overall marketing and sales strategies. When we become the outsourcing vendor for a customer's packaging or trim requirements, we position ourselves as if we are an in-house department of the customer's trim procurement operation.
SOURCING AND ASSEMBLY
We have developed expertise in identifying high quality materials, competitive prices and approved vendors for particular products and materials. This expertise enables us to produce a broad range of
packaging and trim products at various price points. The majority of products that we procure and distribute are purchased on a finished good basis. Raw materials, including paper products and metals used to manufacture zippers, used in the assembly of our trim kits are available from numerous sources and are in adequate supply. We purchase products from several qualified material suppliers.
We create most product artwork and any necessary dies and molds used to design and manufacture our products. All other products that we design and sell are produced by third party vendors. We are confident in our ability to secure high quality alternative manufacturing sources. We intend to continue to outsource production to qualified vendors, particularly with respect to manufacturing activities that require substantial investment in capital equipment.
Through our Hong Kong facility, we distribute TALON zippers, trim items and apparel packaging and coordinate the manufacture and distribution of the full range of our products. Our Hong Kong facility supplies several significant packaging programs, services customers located in Asia and the Pacific Rim and sources products for our Los Angeles and Mexico based operations.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS AND LICENSES
We have trademarks as well as copyrights, software copyrights and trade names for which we rely on common law protection, including the TALON trademark. Several of our other trademarks are the subject of applications for federal trademark protection through registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, including "Tag-It", "Managed Trim Solution" and "TekFit". We also rely on our Exclusive License and Intellectual Property Rights agreement with Pro-Fit to sell our TEKFIT Stretch waistbands. The agreement gives us the exclusive rights to sell or sublicense stretch waistbands manufactured under the patented technology developed by Pro-Fit for garments manufactured anywhere in the world for the U.S. market and for all U.S. brands, for an indefinite term that extends for the duration of the patent and trade secrets licensed under the agreement. We are presently in litigation with Pro-Fit relating to our rights under the agreement, as described more fully elsewhere in this report.
We typically experience seasonal fluctuations in sales volume. These seasonal fluctuations result in sales volume decreases in the first and fourth quarters of each year due to the seasonal fluctuations experienced by the majority of our customers. The apparel industry typically experiences higher sales volume in the second quarter in preparation for back-to-school purchases, and the third quarter in preparation for year-end holiday purchases.
In order to meet the rapid delivery requirements of our customers, we may be required to purchase inventories based upon projections made by our customers. In these cases we may carry a substantial amount of inventory on their behalf. We attempt to manage this risk by obtaining customer commitments to purchase any excess inventories. These buyback arrangements provide that in the event that inventories remain with us in excess of six to nine months from our receipt of the goods from our vendors or the termination of production of a customer's product line related to the inventories, the customer is required to purchase the inventories from us under normal invoice and selling terms. While these agreements provide us some advantage in the negotiated disposition of these inventories, we cannot be assured that our customers will complete these agreements or that we can enforce these agreements without adversely affecting our business operations.
We compete in highly competitive and fragmented industries that include numerous local and regional companies that provide some or all of the products we offer. We also compete with United States and international design companies, distributors and manufacturers of tags, trim, packaging products and
zippers. Some of our competitors, including Paxar Corporation, YKK (R), Universal Button, Inc., Avery Denison Corporation and Scovill Fasteners, Inc. have greater name recognition, longer operating histories and greater financial and other resources.
Because of our integrated materials procurement and assembly capabilities and our full service MANAGED TRIM SOLUTION, we believe that we are able to effectively compete for our customers' business, particularly where our customers require coordination of separately sourced production functions. We believe that to successfully compete in our industry we must offer superior product pricing, quality, customer service, design capabilities, delivery lead times and complete supply-chain management. We also believe the TALON brand name and the quality of our TALON brand zippers will allow us to gain market share in the zipper industry. The unique stretch quality of our TEKFIT waistbands will also allow us to compete effectively in the market for waistband components.
We operate primarily in one industry segment, the distribution of a full range of apparel zipper and trim products to manufacturers of fashion apparel, specialty retailers and mass merchandisers.
FINANCIAL INFORMATION ABOUT GEOGRAPHIC AREA
We sell the majority of our products to U.S. based brands, retailers and manufacturers. The majority of these customers produce their products or outsource the production of their products in manufacturing facilities located outside of the U.S., primarily in Asia, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Central and South America.
A summary of our domestic and international net sales and long-lived assets is set forth in Item 8, "Notes to consolidated financial statements", Note 15. Approximately 81% of our overall net sales came from sales to U.S. based or contract manufacturers' facilities located outside of the United States during the year ended December 31, 2005.
We are subject to certain risks referred to in Item 1A, "Risk Factors" and Item 3, "Legal Proceedings", including those normally attending international and domestic operations, such as changes in economic or political conditions, currency fluctuations, foreign tax claims or assessments, exchange control regulations and the effect of international relations and domestic affairs of foreign countries on the conduct of business, legal proceedings, and the availability and pricing of raw materials.
As of December 31, 2005, we had approximately 131 full-time employees including 41 in the United States, 65 employees in Hong Kong, 6 employees in the Dominican Republic, and 19 employees in Mexico. Our labor forces are non-union. We believe that we have satisfactory employee and labor relations.
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE AND INFORMATION RELATED TO SEC FILINGS
Our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed with, or furnished to, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 are available free of charge through our Web site, www.tagitpacific.com (in the "Investor Relations" section, as soon as reasonably practical after electronic filing with or furnishing of such material to the SEC.) We make available at the Web site our (i) shareholder communications policies, (ii) Code of Ethical Conduct, (iii) the charters of the Audit and Nominating Committees of our Board of Directors, and (iv) Employee Complaint Procedures for Accounting and Auditing Matters. These materials are also available free of charge in print to stockholders who request them by writing to: Investor Relations, Tag-It Pacific, Inc., 21900 Burbank Boulevard, Suite 270, Woodland Hills, CA 91367. Our Web site address provided in this Annual Report on
Form 10-K is not intended to function as a hyperlink and the information on our website is not and should not be considered part of this report and is not incorporated by reference in this document.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
Several of the matters discussed in this document contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Factors associated with the forward-looking statements that could cause actual results to differ from those projected or forecast are included in the statements below. In addition to other information contained in this report, readers should carefully consider the following cautionary statements and risk factors.
OUR GROWTH AND OPERATING RESULTS COULD BE MATERIALLY, ADVERSELY EFFECTED IF WE ARE UNSUCCESSFUL IN RESOLVING A DISPUTE THAT NOW EXISTS REGARDING OUR RIGHTS UNDER OUR EXCLUSIVE LICENSE AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AGREEMENT ("AGREEMENT") WITH PRO-FIT. Pursuant to our agreement with Pro-Fit Holdings, Limited, we have exclusive rights in certain geographic areas to Pro-Fit's stretch and rigid waistband technology. We are in litigation with Pro-Fit regarding our rights. See Item 3, "Legal Proceedings" for discussion of this litigation. We derive a significant amount of revenues from the sale of products incorporating the stretch waistband technology. Our business, results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected if we are unable to conclude our present negotiations in a manner acceptable to us and ensuing litigation is not resolved in a manner favorable to us. Additionally, we have incurred significant legal fees in this litigation, and unless the case is settled, we will continue to incur additional legal fees in increasing amounts as the case accelerates to trial.
FAILURE TO MANAGE OUR CORPORATE RESTRUCTURING COULD IMPAIR OUR BUSINESS. In an effort to better align our organizational and cost structures with our future growth opportunities, in August 2005 our Board of Directors adopted a restructuring plan for our company that we believe was substantially completed by December 31, 2005. The plan included restructuring our global operations by eliminating redundancies in our Hong Kong operation, closing our Mexican facilities, converting our Guatemala facility from a manufacturing site to a distribution center, and closing our North Carolina manufacturing facility. We have also refocused our sales efforts on higher margin products, which may result in lower net sales over the next twelve months.
While we expect that the restructuring will result in reduced operating costs and improved operating results and cash flows, there can be no assurance that these results will be achieved. We recorded restructuring costs during 2005 of $6.4 million. We face many challenges related to our decision to implement this restructuring plan, including that we may not execute the restructuring effectively, and our expectation that we will benefit from greater efficiencies may not be realized. Any failure on our part to successfully manage these challenges or other unanticipated consequences may result in the loss of customers and sales, which could cause our results to differ materially from our current expectations. The challenges we face include:
o Our ability to execute successfully through business cycles while we continue to implement the restructuring plan and cost reductions;
o Our ability to meet and achieve the benefits of our cost-reduction goals and otherwise successfully adapt our cost structures to continuing changes in business conditions;
o The risk that our cost-cutting initiatives will impair our ability to develop products and remain competitive and to operate effectively;
o We may experience delays in implementing our restructuring plan and incur additional costs;
o We may experience decreases in employee morale; and
o We may experience unanticipated expenses winding down manufacturing operations, including labor costs, which may adversely affect our results of operations in the short term.
WE MAY BE UNABLE TO CONTINUE AS A GOING CONCERN IF WE DO NOT SUCCESSFULLY ACHIEVE CERTAIN OBJECTIVES. If we are unable to successfully fully implement our restructuring initiative, or collect the note receivable, or experience greater than anticipated reductions in sales, we may need to raise additional capital or further reduce the scope of our business to fully satisfy our future short-term liquidity requirements. If we cannot raise additional capital, or reduce the scope of our business in response to our failure to implement our restructuring initiative in accordance with our plan, or fail to achieve other operating objectives, we may be otherwise unable to achieve our goals or continue our operations. Our auditors have included in their report on our financial statements for the year ending December 31, 2005 an explanatory paragraph expressing substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.
IF WE LOSE OUR LARGER CUSTOMERS OR THEY FAIL TO PURCHASE AT ANTICIPATED LEVELS, OUR SALES AND OPERATING RESULTS WILL BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED. Our results of operations will depend to a significant extent upon the commercial success of our larger customers. If these customers fail to purchase our products at anticipated levels, or our relationship with these customers terminates, it may have an adverse affect on our results because:
o We will lose a primary source of revenue if these customers choose not to purchase our products or services;
o We may not be able to reduce fixed costs incurred in developing the relationship with these customers in a timely manner;
o We may not be able to recoup setup and inventory costs;
o We may be left holding inventory that cannot be sold to other customers; and
o We may not be able to collect our receivables from them.
CONCENTRATION OF RECEIVABLES FROM OUR LARGER CUSTOMERS MAKES RECEIVABLE BASED FINANCING DIFFICULT AND INCREASES THE RISK THAT IF OUR LARGER CUSTOMERS FAIL TO PAY US, OUR CASH FLOW COULD BE SEVERELY AFFECTED. Our business relies heavily on a relatively small number of customers. This concentration of our business reduces the amount we can borrow from our lenders under receivables based financing agreements. If we are unable to collect any large receivables due us, our cash flow would be severely impacted.
IF CUSTOMERS DEFAULT ON INVENTORY PURCHASE COMMITMENTS WITH US, WE WILL BE LEFT HOLDING NON-SALABLE INVENTORY. We hold significant inventories for specific customer programs, which the customers have committed to purchase. If any customer defaults on these commitments, or insists on markdowns, we may incur a charge in connection with our holding significant amounts of non-salable inventory and this would have a negative impact on our operations and cash flow.
OUR REVENUES MAY BE HARMED IF GENERAL ECONOMIC CONDITIONS WORSEN. Our revenues depend on the health of the economy and the growth of our customers and potential future customers. When economic conditions weaken, certain apparel manufacturers and retailers, including some of our customers may experience financial difficulties that increase the risk of extending credit to such customers. Customers adversely affected by economic conditions have also attempted to improve their own operating efficiencies by concentrating their purchasing power among a narrowing group of vendors. There can be no assurance that we will remain a preferred vendor to our existing customers. A decrease in business from or loss of a major customer could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. Further, if the economic conditions in the United States worsen or if a wider or global economic slowdown occurs, we may experience a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, and financial condition.
BECAUSE WE DEPEND ON A LIMITED NUMBER OF SUPPLIERS, WE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO ALWAYS OBTAIN MATERIALS WHEN WE NEED THEM AND WE MAY LOSE SALES AND CUSTOMERS. Lead times for materials we order can vary significantly and depend on many factors, including the specific supplier, the contract terms and the demand for particular materials at a given time. From time to time, we may experience fluctuations in the prices, and disruptions in the supply, of materials. Shortages or disruptions in the supply of materials, or our inability to procure materials from
alternate sources at acceptable prices in a timely manner, could lead us to miss deadlines for orders and lose sales and customers.
WE OPERATE IN AN INDUSTRY THAT IS SUBJECT TO SIGNIFICANT FLUCTUATIONS IN OPERATING RESULTS THAT MAY RESULT IN UNEXPECTED REDUCTIONS IN REVENUE AND STOCK PRICE VOLATILITY. We operate in an industry that is subject to significant fluctuations in operating results from quarter to quarter, which may lead to unexpected reductions in revenues and stock price volatility. Factors that may influence our quarterly operating results include:
o The volume and timing of customer orders received during the quarter;
o The timing and magnitude of customers' marketing campaigns;
o The loss or addition of a major customer;
o The availability and pricing of materials for our products;
o The increased expenses incurred in connection with the introduction of new products;
o Currency fluctuations;
o Delays caused by third parties; and
o Changes in our product mix or in the relative contribution to sales of our subsidiaries.
Due to these factors, it is possible that in some quarters our operating results may be below our stockholders' expectations and those of public market analysts. If this occurs, the price of our common stock could be adversely affected. In the past, following periods of volatility in the market price of a company's securities, securities class action litigation has often been instituted against such a company. In October 2005, a securities class action lawsuit was filed against us. See Item 3, "Legal Proceedings" for a detailed description of this lawsuit.
THE OUTCOME OF LITIGATION IN WHICH WE HAVE BEEN NAMED, AS A DEFENDANT IS UNPREDICTABLE AND AN ADVERSE DECISION IN ANY SUCH MATTER COULD HAVE A MATERIAL ADVERSE AFFECT ON OUR FINANCIAL POSITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS. We are defendants in a number of litigation matters. These claims may divert financial and management resources that would otherwise be used to benefit our operations. Although we believe that we have meritorious defenses to the claims made in each and all of the litigation matters to which we have been named a party, and intend to contest each lawsuit vigorously, no assurances can be given that the results of these matters will be favorable to us. An adverse resolution of any of these lawsuits could have a material adverse affect on our financial position and results of operations.
We maintain product liability and director and officer insurance that we regard as reasonably adequate to protect us from potential claims; however we cannot assure you that it will. Further, the costs of insurance have increased dramatically in recent years, and the availability of coverage has decreased. As a result, we cannot assure you that we will be able to maintain our current levels of insurance at a reasonable cost, or at all.
OUR CUSTOMERS HAVE CYCLICAL BUYING PATTERNS WHICH MAY CAUSE US TO HAVE PERIODS OF LOW SALES VOLUME. Most of our customers are in the apparel industry. The apparel industry historically has been subject to substantial cyclical variations. Our business has experienced, and we expect our business to continue to experience, significant cyclical fluctuations due, in part, to customer buying patterns, which may result in periods of low sales usually in the first and fourth quarters of our financial year.
OUR BUSINESS MODEL IS DEPENDENT ON INTEGRATION OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS ON A GLOBAL BASIS AND, TO THE EXTENT THAT WE FAIL TO MAINTAIN AND SUPPORT OUR INFORMATION SYSTEMS, IT CAN RESULT IN LOST REVENUES. We must consolidate and centralize the management of our subsidiaries and significantly expand and improve our financial and operating controls. Additionally, we must effectively integrate the information systems of our Hong Kong facility with the
information systems of our principal offices in California. Our failure to do so could result in lost revenues, delay financial reporting or adversely affect availability of funds under our credit facilities.
THE LOSS OF KEY MANAGEMENT AND SALES PERSONNEL COULD ADVERSELY AFFECT OUR BUSINESS, INCLUDING OUR ABILITY TO OBTAIN AND SECURE ACCOUNTS AND GENERATE SALES. Our success has and will continue to depend to a significant extent upon key management and sales personnel, many of whom would be difficult to replace. In connection with our restructuring, we significantly reduced the number of employees within our company, which has increased our reliance on those employees that have remained with the company. The loss of the services of key employees could have a material adverse effect on our business, including our ability to establish and maintain client relationships. Our future success will depend in large part upon our ability to attract and retain personnel with a variety of sales, operating and managerial skills.
IF WE EXPERIENCE DISRUPTIONS AT ANY OF OUR FOREIGN FACILITIES, WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO MEET OUR OBLIGATIONS AND MAY LOSE SALES AND CUSTOMERS. Currently, we do not operate duplicate facilities in different geographic areas. Therefore, in the event of a regional disruption where we maintain one or more of our facilities, it is unlikely that we could shift our operations to a different geographic region and we may have to cease or curtail our operations. This may cause us to lose sales and customers. The types of disruptions that may occur include:
o Foreign trade disruptions;
o Import restrictions;
o Labor disruptions;
o Government intervention;
o Natural disasters; or
o Regional pandemics.
INTERNET-BASED SYSTEMS THAT HOST OUR MANAGED TRIM SOLUTION MAY EXPERIENCE DISRUPTIONS AND AS A RESULT WE MAY LOSE REVENUES AND CUSTOMERS. Our MANAGED TRIM SOLUTION is an Internet-based business-to-business e-commerce system. To the extent that we fail to adequately continue to update and maintain the hardware and software implementing the system, our customers may experience interruptions in service due to defects in our hardware or our source code. In addition, since our software is Internet-based, interruptions in Internet service generally can negatively impact our customers' ability to use the MANAGED TRIM SOLUTION to monitor and manage various aspects of their trim needs. Such defects or interruptions could result in lost revenues and lost customers.
THERE ARE MANY COMPANIES THAT OFFER SOME OR ALL OF THE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES WE SELL AND IF WE ARE UNABLE TO SUCCESSFULLY COMPETE OUR BUSINESS WILL BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED. We compete in highly competitive and fragmented industries with numerous local and regional companies that provide some or all of the products and services we offer. We compete with national and international design companies, distributors and manufacturers of tags, packaging products, zippers and other trim items. Some of our competitors have greater name recognition, longer operating histories and greater financial and other resources than we do.
UNAUTHORIZED USE OF OUR PROPRIETARY TECHNOLOGY MAY INCREASE OUR LITIGATION COSTS AND ADVERSELY AFFECT OUR SALES. We rely on trademark, trade secret and copyright laws to protect our designs and other proprietary property worldwide. We cannot be certain that these laws will be sufficient to protect our property. In particular, the laws of some countries in which our products are distributed or may be distributed in the future may not protect our products and intellectual rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. If litigation is necessary in the future to enforce our intellectual property rights, to protect our trade secrets or to determine the validity and scope of the proprietary rights of others, such litigation could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources. This could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and
financial condition. Ultimately, we may be unable, for financial or other reasons, to enforce our rights under intellectual property laws, which could result in lost sales.
IF OUR PRODUCTS INFRINGE ANY OTHER PERSON'S PROPRIETARY RIGHTS, WE MAY BE SUED AND HAVE TO PAY LEGAL EXPENSES AND JUDGMENTS AND REDESIGN OR DISCONTINUE SELLING OUR PRODUCTS. From time to time in our industry, third parties allege infringement of their proprietary rights. Any infringement claims, whether or not meritorious, could result in costly litigation or require us to enter into royalty or licensing agreements as a means of settlement. If we are found to have infringed the proprietary rights of others, we could be required to pay damages, cease sales of the infringing products and redesign the products or discontinue their sale. Any of these outcomes, individually or collectively, could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.
OUR STOCK PRICE MAY DECREASE, WHICH COULD ADVERSELY AFFECT OUR BUSINESS AND CAUSE OUR STOCKHOLDERS TO SUFFER SIGNIFICANT LOSSES. The following factors could cause the market price of our common stock to decrease, perhaps substantially:
o The failure of our quarterly operating results to meet expectations of investors or securities analysts;
o Adverse developments in the financial markets, the apparel industry and the worldwide or regional economies;
o Interest rates;
o Changes in accounting principles;
o Intellectual property and legal matters;
o Sales of common stock by existing shareholders or holders of options;
o Announcements of key developments by our competitors; and
o The reaction of markets and securities analysts to announcements and developments involving our company.
IF WE NEED TO SELL OR ISSUE ADDITIONAL SHARES OF COMMON STOCK OR ASSUME ADDITIONAL DEBT TO FINANCE FUTURE GROWTH, OUR STOCKHOLDERS' OWNERSHIP COULD BE DILUTED OR OUR EARNINGS COULD BE ADVERSELY IMPACTED. Our business strategy may include expansion through internal growth, by acquiring complementary businesses or by establishing strategic relationships with targeted customers and suppliers. In order to do so or to fund our other activities, we may issue additional equity securities that could dilute our stockholders' value. We may also assume additional debt and incur impairment losses to our intangible assets if we acquire another company.
IF WE ARE NOT ABLE TO REGAIN COMPLIANCE WITH LISTING REQUIREMENTS, OUR SHARES MAY BE REMOVED FROM LISTING ON AMEX. We have been advised by AMEX that we are non-compliant with certain listing requirements related to the number of independent board members, and the number of members on our audit committee. The AMEX has allowed the company until July 28, 2006 to regain compliance with these matters. We have also suffered substantial recurring losses and may fail to comply with other listing requirements of AMEX. We may not be able to regain compliance with these matters within the time allowed by the exchange, and our shares of common stock may be removed from the listing on AMEX.
WE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO REALIZE THE ANTICIPATED BENEFITS OF ACQUISITIONS. We may consider strategic acquisitions as opportunities arise, subject to the obtaining of any necessary financing. Acquisitions involve numerous risks, including diversion of our management's attention away from our operating activities. We cannot assure you that we will not encounter unanticipated problems or liabilities relating to the integration of an acquired company's operations, nor can we assure you that we will realize the anticipated benefits of any future acquisitions.
OUR ACTUAL TAX LIABILITIES MAY DIFFER FROM ESTIMATED TAX RESULTING IN UNFAVORABLE ADJUSTMENTS TO OUR FUTURE RESULTS. The amount of income taxes we pay is subject to ongoing audits by federal, state and foreign tax authorities. Our estimate of the potential outcome of uncertain tax issues is subject to our assessment of relevant risks, facts, and circumstances existing at that time. Our future results may include favorable or unfavorable adjustments to our estimated tax liabilities in the period the assessments are made or resolved, which may impact our effective tax rate and our financial results. See Item 3 "Legal Proceedings" for discussion of certain tax claims.
WE HAVE ADOPTED A NUMBER OF ANTI-TAKEOVER MEASURES THAT MAY DEPRESS THE PRICE OF OUR COMMON STOCK. Our stockholders' rights plan, our ability to issue additional shares of preferred stock and some provisions of our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and of Delaware law could make it more difficult for a third party to make an unsolicited takeover attempt of us. These anti-takeover measures may depress the price of our common stock by making it more difficult for third parties to acquire us by offering to purchase shares of our stock at a premium to its market price.
INSIDERS OWN A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF OUR COMMON STOCK, WHICH COULD LIMIT OUR STOCKHOLDERS' ABILITY TO INFLUENCE THE OUTCOME OF KEY TRANSACTIONS. As of March 31, 2006, our officers and directors and their affiliates beneficially owned approximately 10.5% of the outstanding shares of our common stock. The Dyne family, which includes Mark Dyne, Colin Dyne, and Jonathan Burstein, who are also our directors; Larry Dyne and the estate of Harold Dyne; beneficially owned approximately 12.7% of the outstanding shares of our common stock at March 31, 2006. As a result, our officers and directors and the Dyne family are able to exert considerable influence over the outcome of any matters submitted to a vote of the holders of our common stock, including the election of our Board of Directors. The voting power of these stockholders could also discourage others from seeking to acquire control of us through the purchase of our common stock, which might depress the price of our common stock.
WE MAY FACE INTERRUPTION OF PRODUCTION AND SERVICES DUE TO INCREASED SECURITY MEASURES IN RESPONSE TO TERRORISM. Our business depends on the free flow of products and services through the channels of commerce. In response to terrorists' activities and threats aimed at the United States, transportation, mail, financial and other services may be slowed or stopped altogether. Extensive delays or stoppages in transportation, mail, financial or other services could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Furthermore, we may experience an increase in operating costs, such as costs for transportation, insurance and security as a result of the activities and potential delays. We may also experience delays in receiving payments from payers that have been affected by the terrorist activities. The United States economy in general may be adversely affected by the terrorist activities and any economic downturn could adversely impact our results of operations, impair our ability to raise capital or otherwise adversely affect our ability to grow our business.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS