ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 28, 2019, or
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Commission File Number 1-7724
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State of incorporation)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
2801 80th Street
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $1.00 par value
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐ No ☒
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 ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer ☒ Accelerated filer ☐ Non-accelerated filer ☐
Smaller reporting company ☐ Emerging growth company ☐
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ☒
The aggregate market value of voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates (excludes 667,320 shares held by directors and executive officers) computed by reference to the price ($165.64) at which common equity was last sold as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter (June 28, 2019) was $9.0 billion.
The number of shares of Common Stock ($1.00 par value) of the registrant outstanding as of February 7, 2020, was 54,659,446 shares.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K incorporates by reference certain information that will be set forth in Snap-on’s Proxy Statement, which is expected to first be mailed to shareholders on or about March 11, 2020, prepared for the Annual Meeting of Shareholders scheduled for April 23, 2020.
Consent of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
Statements in this document that are not historical facts, including statements that (i) are in the future tense; (ii) include the words “expects,” “plans,” “targets,” “estimates,” “believes,” “anticipates,” or similar words that reference Snap-on Incorporated (“Snap-on” or “the company”) or its management; (iii) are specifically identified as forward-looking; or (iv) describe Snap-on’s or management’s future outlook, plans, estimates, objectives or goals, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Snap-on cautions the reader that any forward-looking statements included in this document that are based upon assumptions and estimates were developed by management in good faith and are subject to risks, uncertainties or other factors that could cause (and in some cases have caused) actual results to differ materially from those described in any such statement. Accordingly, forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as a prediction of actual results or regarded as a representation by the company or its management that the projected results will be achieved. For those forward-looking statements, Snap-on cautions the reader that numerous important factors, such as those listed below, as well as those factors discussed in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, particularly those in “Item 1A: Risk Factors,” could affect the company’s actual results and could cause its actual consolidated results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statement made by, or on behalf of, Snap-on.
These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, uncertainties related to estimates, statements, assumptions and projections generally, and the timing and progress with which Snap-on can attain value through its Snap-on Value Creation Processes, including its ability to realize efficiencies and savings from its rapid continuous improvement and other cost reduction initiatives, improve workforce productivity, achieve improvements in the company’s manufacturing footprint and greater efficiencies in its supply chain, and enhance machine maintenance, plant productivity and manufacturing line set-up and change-over practices, any or all of which could result in production inefficiencies, higher costs and/or lost revenues. These risks also include uncertainties related to Snap-on’s capability to implement future strategies with respect to its existing businesses, its ability to refine its brand and franchise strategies, retain and attract franchisees, further enhance service and value to franchisees and thereby help improve their sales and profitability, introduce successful new products, successfully pursue, complete and integrate acquisitions, as well as its ability to withstand disruption arising from natural disasters, planned facility closures or other labor interruptions, the effects of external negative factors, including adverse developments in world financial markets, weakness in certain areas of the global economy (including as a result of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union), and significant changes in the current competitive environment, inflation, interest rates and other monetary and market fluctuations, changes in tax rates, laws and regulations as well as uncertainty surrounding potential changes, and the impact of energy and raw material supply and pricing, including steel and gasoline, as well as tariffs and other trade protection measures put in place by the U.S. or other countries, the amount, rate and growth of Snap-on’s general and administrative expenses, including health care and postretirement costs, continuing and potentially increasing required contributions to pension and postretirement plans, the impacts of non-strategic business and/or product line rationalizations, and the effects on business as a result of new legislation, regulations or government-related developments or issues, risks associated with data security and technological systems and protections, potential reputational damages and costs related to litigation, the ability to effectively manage personnel, and other world or local events outside Snap-on’s control, including terrorist disruptions. Snap-on disclaims any responsibility to update any forward-looking statement provided in this document, except as required by law.
In addition, investors should be aware that generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (“GAAP”) prescribe when a company should reserve for particular risks, including litigation exposures. Accordingly, results for a given reporting period could be significantly affected if and when a reserve is established for a major contingency. Reported results, therefore, may appear to be volatile in certain accounting periods.
Snap-on’s fiscal year ends on the Saturday that is on or nearest to December 31. Unless otherwise indicated, references in this document to “fiscal 2019” or “2019” refer to the fiscal year ended December 28, 2019; references to “fiscal 2018” or “2018” refer to the fiscal year ended December 29, 2018; and references to “fiscal 2017” or “2017” refer to the fiscal year ended December 30, 2017. Snap-on’s 2019, 2018 and 2017 fiscal years each contained 52 weeks of operating results. References in this document to 2019, 2018 and 2017 year end refer to December 28, 2019, December 29, 2018, and December 30, 2017, respectively.
2019 ANNUAL REPORT
Item 1: Business
Snap-on was incorporated under the laws of the state of Wisconsin in 1920 and reincorporated under the laws of the state of Delaware in 1930. Snap-on is a leading global innovator, manufacturer and marketer of tools, equipment, diagnostics, repair information and systems solutions for professional users performing critical tasks. Products and services include hand and power tools, tool storage, diagnostics software, handheld and PC-based diagnostic products, information and management systems, shop equipment and other solutions for vehicle dealerships and repair centers, as well as for customers in industries, such as aviation and aerospace, agriculture, construction, government and military, mining, natural resources, power generation and technical education. Snap-on also derives income from various financing programs designed to facilitate the sales of its products and support its franchise business.
Snap-on markets its products and brands worldwide through multiple sales distribution channels in more than 130 countries. Snap-on’s largest geographic markets include the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia Pacific. Snap-on reaches its customers through the company’s franchised, company-direct, distributor and internet channels.
The company began with the development of the original Snap-on interchangeable socket set in 1920 and subsequently pioneered mobile tool distribution in the automotive repair market, where well stocked vans sell to professional vehicle technicians at their place of business. Today, Snap-on defines its value proposition more broadly, extending its reach “beyond the garage” to deliver a broad array of unique solutions that make work easier for serious professionals performing critical tasks. The company’s “coherent growth” strategy focuses on developing and expanding its professional customer base in its legacy automotive market, as well as in adjacent markets, additional geographies and other areas, including in critical industries, where the cost and penalties for failure can be high. In addition to its coherent growth strategy, Snap-on is committed to its “Value Creation Processes” – a set of strategic principles and processes designed to create value and employed in the areas of (i) safety; (ii) quality; (iii) customer connection; (iv) innovation; and (v) rapid continuous improvement (“RCI”). Snap-on’s RCI initiatives employ a structured set of tools and processes across multiple businesses and geographies intended to eliminate waste and improve operations. Savings from Snap-on’s RCI initiatives reflect benefits from a wide variety of ongoing efficiency, productivity and process improvements, including savings generated from product design cost reductions, improved manufacturing line set-up and change-over practices, lower-cost sourcing initiatives and facility consolidations.
Snap-on’s primary customer segments include: (i) commercial and industrial customers, including professionals in critical industries and emerging markets; (ii) professional vehicle repair technicians who purchase products through the company’s mobile tool distribution network; and (iii) other professional customers related to vehicle repair, including owners and managers of independent and original equipment manufacturer (“OEM”) dealership service and repair shops (“OEM dealerships”). Snap-on’s Financial Services customer segment includes: (i) franchisees’ customers, principally serving vehicle repair technicians, and Snap-on customers who require financing for the purchase or lease of tools and diagnostics and equipment products on an extended-term payment plan; and (ii) franchisees who require financing for vehicle leases and business loans.
Snap-on’s business segments are based on the organization structure used by management for making operating and investment decisions and for assessing performance. Snap-on’s reportable business segments are: (i) the Commercial & Industrial Group; (ii) the Snap-on Tools Group; (iii) the Repair Systems & Information Group; and (iv) Financial Services. The Commercial & Industrial Group consists of business operations serving a broad range of industrial and commercial customers worldwide, including customers in the aerospace, natural resources, government, power generation, transportation and technical education market segments (collectively, “critical industries”), primarily through direct and distributor channels. The Snap-on Tools Group consists of business operations primarily serving vehicle service and repair technicians through the company’s worldwide mobile tool distribution channel. The Repair Systems & Information Group consists of business operations serving other professional vehicle repair customers worldwide, primarily owners and managers of independent repair shops and OEM dealerships, through direct and distributor channels. Financial Services consists of the business operations of Snap-on Credit LLC (“SOC”), the company’s financial services business in the United States, and Snap-on’s other financial services subsidiaries in those international markets where Snap-on has franchise operations. See Note 19 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for information on business segments and foreign operations.
Snap-on evaluates the performance of its operating segments based on segment revenues, including both external and intersegment net sales, and segment operating earnings. Snap-on accounts for intersegment sales and transfers based primarily on standard costs with reasonable mark-ups established between the segments. Identifiable assets by segment are those assets used in the respective reportable segment’s operations. Corporate assets consist of cash and cash equivalents (excluding cash held at Financial Services), deferred income taxes and certain other assets. Intersegment amounts are eliminated to arrive at Snap-on’s consolidated financial results.
On August 7, 2019, Snap-on acquired Cognitran Limited (“Cognitran”) for a preliminary cash purchase price of $30.4 million (or $29.4 million, net of cash acquired). The preliminary purchase price is subject to change based upon finalization of a working capital adjustment that is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020. Cognitran, based in Chelmsford, U.K., specializes in flexible, modular and highly scalable “Software as a Service” (SaaS) products for OEM customers and their dealers, focused on the creation and delivery of service, diagnostics, parts and repair information to the OEM dealers and connected vehicle platforms. The acquisition of Cognitran enhanced and expanded Snap-on’s capabilities in providing shop efficiency solutions through integrated upstream services to OEM customers in automotive, heavy duty, agricultural and recreational applications.
On April 2, 2019, Snap-on acquired Power Hawk Technologies, Inc. (“Power Hawk”) for a cash purchase price of $7.9 million. Power Hawk, based in Rockaway, New Jersey, designs, manufactures and distributes rescue tools and related equipment for a variety of military, governmental, fire and rescue, and emergency operations. The acquisition of the Power Hawk product line complemented and increased Snap-on’s existing product offering and broadened its established capabilities in serving critical industries.
On January 25, 2019, Snap-on acquired substantially all of the assets of TMB GeoMarketing Limited (“TMB”) for a cash purchase price of $1.3 million. TMB, based in Dorking, U.K., designs planning software used by OEMs to optimize dealer locations and manage the performance of dealer outlets. The acquisition of TMB extended Snap-on’s product line in its core dealer network solutions business.
On January 31, 2018, Snap-on acquired substantially all of the assets of George A. Sturdevant, Inc. (d/b/a Fastorq) for a cash purchase price of $3.0 million. Fastorq, based in New Caney, Texas, designs, assembles and distributes hydraulic torque and hydraulic tensioning products for use in critical industries. The acquisition of the Fastorq product line complemented and increased Snap-on’s existing torque product offering and broadened its established capabilities in serving in critical industries.
On July 28, 2017, Snap-on acquired Torque Control Specialists Pty Ltd (“TCS”) for a cash purchase price of $3.6 million (or $3.5 million, net of cash acquired). TCS, based in Adelaide, Australia, distributes a full range of torque products, including wrenches, multipliers and calibrators, for use in critical industries. The acquisition of TCS enhanced and expanded Snap-on’s capabilities in providing solutions that address torque requirements, which are increasingly essential to critical mechanical performance.
On May 4, 2017, Snap-on acquired Norbar Torque Tools Holdings Limited, along with its U.S. and Chinese joint ventures (“Norbar”), for a cash purchase price of $71.6 million (or $69.9 million, net of cash acquired). Norbar, based in Banbury, U.K., designs and manufactures a full range of torque products, including wrenches, multipliers and calibrators, for use in critical industries. The acquisition of Norbar enhanced and expanded Snap-on’s capabilities in providing solutions that address torque requirements.
On January 30, 2017, Snap-on acquired BTC Global Limited (“BTC”) for a cash purchase price of $9.2 million. BTC, based in Crewe, U.K., designs and implements automotive vehicle inspection and management software for OEM franchise repair shops. The acquisition of BTC enhanced Snap-on’s capabilities to grow enterprise revenues and add increased productivity for repair workshops.
For segment reporting purposes, the results of operations and assets of Cognitran, TMB and BTC have been included in the Repair Systems & Information Group since the respective acquisition dates, and the results of operations and assets of Power Hawk, Fastorq, TCS and Norbar have been included in the Commercial & Industrial Group since the respective acquisition dates.
Pro forma financial information has not been presented for any of these acquisitions as the net effects, individually and collectively, were neither significant nor material to Snap-on’s results of operations or financial position.
2019 ANNUAL REPORT
Information Available on the Company’s Website
Additional information regarding Snap-on and its products is available on the company’s website at www.snapon.com. Snap-on is not including the information contained on its website as a part of, or incorporating it by reference into, this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Snap-on’s Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Proxy Statements on Schedule 14A and Current Reports on Form 8-K, as well as any amendments to those reports, are made available to the public at no charge through the Investors section of the company’s website at www.snapon.com. Snap-on makes such material available on its website as soon as reasonably practicable after it electronically files such material with, or furnishes it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Copies of any materials the company files with the SEC can also be obtained free of charge through the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. In addition, Snap-on’s (i) charters for the Audit, Corporate Governance and Nominating, and Organization and Executive Compensation Committees of the company’s Board of Directors; (ii) Corporate Governance Guidelines; and (iii) Code of Business Conduct and Ethics are available on the company’s website. Snap-on will also post any amendments to these documents, or information about any waivers granted to directors or executive officers with respect to the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, on the company’s website at www.snapon.com.
Products and Services
Tools; Diagnostics, Information and Management Systems; and Equipment
Snap-on offers a broad line of products and complementary services that are grouped into three product categories: (i) tools; (ii) diagnostics, information and management systems; and (iii) equipment. Further product line information is not presented as it is not practicable to do so. The following table shows the consolidated net sales of these product categories for the last three years:
(Amounts in millions)
Diagnostics, information and management systems
The tools product category includes hand tools, power tools, tool storage products and other similar products. Hand tools include wrenches, sockets, ratchet wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers, punches and chisels, saws and cutting tools, pruning tools, torque measuring instruments and other similar products. Power tools include cordless (battery), pneumatic (air), hydraulic and corded (electric) tools, such as impact wrenches, ratchets, screwdrivers, drills, sanders, grinders and similar products. Tool storage includes tool chests, roll cabinets and other similar products. For many industrial customers, Snap-on creates specific, engineered solutions, including facility-level tool control and asset management hardware and software, custom kits in a wide range of configurations, and custom-built tools designed to meet customer requirements. The majority of products are manufactured by Snap-on and, in completing the product offering, other items are purchased from external manufacturers.
The diagnostics, information and management systems product category includes handheld and PC-based diagnostic products, service and repair information products, diagnostic software solutions, electronic parts catalogs, business management systems and services, point-of-sale systems, integrated systems for vehicle service shops, OEM purchasing facilitation services, and warranty management systems and analytics to help OEM dealerships manage and track performance.
The equipment product category includes solutions for the service of vehicles and industrial equipment. Products include wheel alignment equipment, wheel balancers, tire changers, vehicle lifts, test lane systems, collision repair equipment, vehicle air conditioning service equipment, brake service equipment, fluid exchange equipment, transmission troubleshooting equipment, safety testing equipment, battery chargers and hoists.
Snap-on supports the sale of its diagnostics and vehicle service shop equipment by offering training programs as well as after-sales support for its customers, primarily focusing on the technologies and the application of specific products developed and marketed by Snap-on.
Products are marketed under a number of brand names and trademarks, many of which are well known in the vehicle service and industrial markets served. Some of the major trade names and trademarks and the products and services with which they are associated include the following:
Products and Services
Hand tools, power tools, tool storage products (including tool control software and hardware), diagnostics, certain equipment and related accessories, mobile tool stores, websites, electronic parts catalogs, warranty analytics solutions, business management systems and services, OEM specialty tools and equipment development and distribution, and OEM facilitation services
Aircraft hand tools and machine tools
Vehicle inspection and training services
Saw blades, cutting tools, pruning tools, hand tools, power tools and tool storage
Collision repair equipment
Hand tools, power tools, tool storage, diagnostics, certain equipment and related accessories
Safety testing, brake testers, test lane equipment, dynamometers, suspension testers, emission testers and other equipment
Collision repair equipment, and information and truck alignment systems
OEM SaaS products
Vehicle air conditioning service equipment
Hydraulic torque and tensioning products
Fish and Hook
Saw blades, cutting tools, pruning tools, hand tools, power tools and tool storage
Wheel balancers, vehicle lifts, tire changers, wheel aligners, brake testers and test lane equipment
Saw blades, cutting tools, hand tools, power tools and tool storage
Wheel balancers, vehicle lifts, tire changers, wheel aligners, brake testers and test lane equipment
Heavy duty alignment and collision repair solutions
Repair and service information, shop management systems and business services
Diagnostic tools, information and program distributions for fleet and heavy duty equipment
Rescue tools and related equipment for military, government, fire and rescue
Repair and service information, shop management systems and business services
Diagnostic tools, wheel balancers, vehicle lifts, tire changers, wheel aligners, air conditioning products and emission testers
Commercial vehicle OEM factory solutions
Hand tools, tool storage, certain equipment and related accessories
2019 ANNUAL REPORT
Snap-on also generates revenue from various financing programs that include: (i) installment sales and lease contracts arising from franchisees’ customers and Snap-on customers who require financing for the purchase or lease of tools and diagnostic and equipment products on an extended-term payment plan; and (ii) business loans and vehicle leases to franchisees. The decision to finance through Snap-on or another financing source is solely by election of the customer. When assessing customers for potential financing, Snap-on considers various factors regarding ability to pay, including the customers’ financial condition, debt-servicing ability, past payment experience, and credit bureau and proprietary Snap-on credit model information, as well as the value of the underlying collateral.
Snap-on offers financing through SOC and the company’s international finance subsidiaries in most markets where Snap-on has franchise operations. Financing revenue from contract originations is recognized over the life of the underlying contracts, with interest or finance charges computed primarily on the average daily balances of the underlying contracts.
Sales and Distribution
Snap-on markets and distributes its products and related services principally to professional tool and equipment users around the world. The two largest market sectors are the vehicle service and repair sector and the industrial sector.
Vehicle Service and Repair Sector
The vehicle service and repair sector has three main customer groups: (i) professional technicians who purchase tools and diagnostic and equipment products for use in their work; (ii) other professional customers related to vehicle repair, including owners and managers of independent repair shops and OEM dealerships who purchase tools and diagnostic and equipment products for use by multiple technicians within a service or repair facility; and (iii) OEMs.
Snap-on provides innovative tool, equipment and business solutions, as well as technical sales support and training, designed to meet technicians’ evolving needs. Snap-on’s mobile tool distribution system offers technicians the convenience of purchasing quality tools at their place of business with minimal disruption of their work routine. Snap-on also provides owners and managers of repair shops, where technicians work, with tools, diagnostic equipment, and repair and service information, including electronic parts catalogs and shop management products. Snap-on’s OEM facilitation business provides OEMs with products and services including special and essential tools as well as consulting and facilitation services, which include product procurement, distribution and administrative support to customers for their dealership equipment programs.
The vehicle service and repair sector is characterized by an increasing rate of technological change within motor vehicles, vehicle population growth and increasing vehicle life, and the resulting effects of these changes on the businesses of both our suppliers and customers. Snap-on believes it is a meaningful participant in the vehicle service and repair market sector.
Snap-on markets its products and services globally to a broad cross-section of commercial and industrial customers, including maintenance and repair operations; manufacturing and assembly facilities; various government agencies, facilities and operations, including military operations; schools with vocational and technical programs; aviation and aerospace operations; oil and gas developers; mining operations; energy and power generation operations; equipment fabricators and operators; railroad manufacturing and maintenance; customers in agriculture; infrastructure construction companies; and other customers that require instrumentation, service tools and/or equipment for their products and business needs. The industrial sector for Snap-on focuses on providing value-added products and services to an increasingly expanding global base of customers in critical industries.
The industrial sector is characterized by a highly competitive environment with multiple suppliers offering either a full line or industry specific portfolios for tools and equipment. Industrial customers increasingly require specialized solutions that provide repeatability and reliability in performing tasks of consequence that are specific to the particular end market in which they operate. Snap-on believes it is a meaningful participant in the industrial tools and equipment market sector.
Snap-on serves customers primarily through the following channels of distribution: (i) the mobile van channel; (ii) company direct sales; (iii) distributors; and (iv) e-commerce. The following discussion summarizes Snap-on’s general approach for each channel and is not intended to be all-inclusive.
Mobile Van Channel
In the United States, a significant portion of sales to the vehicle service and repair sector is conducted through Snap-on’s mobile franchise van channel. Snap-on’s franchisees primarily serve vehicle repair technicians and vehicle service shop owners, generally providing weekly contact at the customer’s place of business. Franchisees’ sales are concentrated in hand and power tools, tool storage products, shop equipment, and diagnostic and repair information products, which can be transported in a van or trailer and demonstrated during a sales call. Franchisees purchase Snap-on’s products at a discount from suggested list prices and resell them at prices established by the franchisee. U.S. franchisees are provided a list of calls that serves as the basis of the franchisee’s sales route. Snap-on’s franchisees also have the opportunity to add a limited number of additional franchises.
Snap-on charges nominal initial and ongoing monthly franchise fees. Franchise fee revenue, including nominal, non-refundable initial and ongoing monthly fees (primarily for sales and business training, and marketing and product promotion programs), is recognized as the fees are earned. Franchise fee revenue totaled $15.4 million, $16.2 million and $15.2 million in fiscal 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively.
Snap-on also has a company-owned route program that is designed to: (i) provide another pool of potential field organization personnel; (ii) service customers in select new and/or open routes not currently serviced by franchisees; and (iii) allow Snap-on to pilot new sales and promotional ideas prior to introducing them to franchisees. As of 2019 year end, company-owned routes comprised approximately 4% of the total route population. Snap-on may elect to increase or reduce the number of company-owned routes in the future.
In addition to its mobile van channel in the United States, Snap-on has replicated its U.S. franchise distribution model in certain other countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Germany, Netherlands, South Africa, New Zealand, Belgium and Ireland. In many of these markets, as in the United States, purchase decisions are generally made or influenced by professional vehicle service technicians as well as repair shop owners and managers. As of 2019 year end, Snap-on’s worldwide route count was approximately 4,800, including approximately 3,450 routes in the United States.
Through SOC, financing is available to U.S. franchisees, including financing for van leases, working capital loans and loans to help enable new franchisees to fund the purchase of the franchise or the expansion of an existing franchise. In many international markets, Snap-on offers a variety of financing options to its franchisees and/or customer networks through its international finance subsidiaries. The decision to finance through Snap-on or another financing source is solely at the customer’s election.
Snap-on supports its franchisees with a field organization of regional offices, franchise performance teams, customer care centers and distribution centers. Snap-on also provides sales and business training, and marketing and product promotion programs, as well as customer and franchisee financing programs through SOC and the company’s international finance subsidiaries, all of which are designed to strengthen franchisee sales. National Franchise Advisory Councils in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, composed primarily of franchisees that are elected by franchisees, assist Snap-on in identifying and implementing enhancements to the franchise program.
Company Direct Sales
A significant proportion of shop equipment sales in North America under the John Bean, Hofmann, Blackhawk, Car-O-Liner, Challenger and Pro-Cut brands, diagnostic products under the Snap-on brand and information products under the Mitchell1 brand are made by direct and independent sales forces that have responsibility for national and other accounts. As the vehicle service and repair sector consolidates (with more business conducted by national chains and franchised service centers), Snap-on believes these larger organizations can be serviced most effectively by sales people who can demonstrate and sell the full line of diagnostic and equipment products and services. Snap-on also sells these products and services directly to OEMs and their franchised dealers.
Snap-on brand tools and equipment are marketed to industrial and governmental customers worldwide through both industrial sales associates and independent distributors. Selling activities focus on industrial customers whose main purchase criteria are quality and integrated solutions. As of 2019 year end, Snap-on had industrial sales associates and independent distributors primarily in the United States, Canada and in various European, Latin American, Middle Eastern, Asian and African countries, with the United States representing the majority of Snap-on’s total industrial sales.
Snap-on also sells software, services and solutions to the automotive, commercial, heavy duty, agriculture, power equipment and power sports segments. Products and services are marketed to targeted groups, including OEMs and their dealerships, fleets and individual repair shops. To effectively reach OEMs, which frequently have a multi-national presence, Snap-on has deployed focused business teams globally.
2019 ANNUAL REPORT
Sales of certain tools and equipment are made through independent distributors who purchase the items from Snap-on and resell them to end users. Hand tools sold under the BAHCO, Irimo, Lindström, CDI, ATI, Fastorq, Norbar, Sioux, Sturtevant Richmont and Williams brands and trade names, for example, are sold through distributors worldwide. Wheel service and other vehicle service equipment are sold through distributors primarily under brands including Hofmann, John Bean, Car-O-Liner, Challenger, Pro-Cut, Cartec, Blackhawk and Ecotechnics. Diagnostic and equipment products are marketed through distributors in South America and Asia, and through both a direct sales force and distributors in Europe under the Snap-on, Sun and Blue-Point brands.
Snap-on offers current and prospective customers online access to research and purchase products through its public website at www.snapon.com. The site features an online catalog of Snap-on hand tools, power tools, tool storage units and diagnostic equipment available to customers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. E-commerce and certain other system enhancement initiatives are designed to improve productivity and further leverage the one-on-one relationships and service Snap-on has with its current and prospective customers. Sales through the company’s e-commerce distribution channel were not significant in any of the last three years.
Snap-on competes on the basis of its product quality and performance, product line breadth and depth, service, brand awareness and imagery, technological innovation and availability of financing (through SOC or its international finance subsidiaries). While Snap-on does not believe that any single company competes with it across all of its product lines and distribution channels, various companies compete in one or more product categories and/or distribution channels.
Snap-on believes it is a leading manufacturer and distributor of professional tools, tool storage, diagnostic and equipment products, and repair software and solutions, offering a broad line of these products to both vehicle service and industrial marketplaces. Various competitors target and sell to professional technicians in the vehicle service and repair sector through the mobile tool distribution channel. Snap-on also competes with companies that sell tools and equipment to vehicle service and repair technicians online and through retail stores, vehicle parts supply outlets and tool supply warehouses/distributorships. Within the power tools category and the industrial sector, Snap-on has various other competitors, including companies with offerings that overlap with other areas discussed herein. Major competitors selling diagnostics, shop equipment and information to vehicle dealerships and independent repair shops include OEMs and their proprietary electronic parts catalogs and diagnostics and information systems, and other companies that offer products serving this sector.
Raw Materials and Purchased Product
Snap-on’s supply of raw materials and purchased components are generally and readily available from numerous suppliers. Snap-on believes it has secured an ample supply of both bar and coil steel for the near future to ensure stable supply to meet material demands. The company does not currently anticipate experiencing any significant impact in 2020 from steel pricing or availability issues, though it is continuing to monitor the impact of tariffs and other trade protection measures put in place by the U.S. and other countries.
Patents, Trademarks and Other Intellectual Property
Snap-on vigorously pursues and relies on patent protection to protect its intellectual property and position in its markets. As of 2019 year end, Snap-on and its subsidiaries held approximately 780 active and pending patents in the United States and approximately 2,150 active and pending patents outside of the United States. Sales relating to any single patent did not represent a material portion of Snap-on’s revenues in any of the last three years.
Examples of products that have features or designs that benefit from patent protection include hand tools (including sealed ratchets and ratcheting screwdrivers), power tools, wheel alignment systems, wheel balancers, tire changers, vehicle lifts, tool storage, tool control, collision measurement, test lanes, brake lathes, electronic torque instruments, emissions-sensing devices and diagnostic equipment.
Much of the technology used in the manufacture of vehicle service tools and equipment is in the public domain. Snap-on relies primarily on trade secret protection to protect proprietary processes used in manufacturing. Methods and processes are patented when appropriate. Copyright protection is also utilized when appropriate.
Trademarks used by Snap-on are of continuing importance to Snap-on in the marketplace. Trademarks have been registered in the United States and many other countries, and additional applications for trademark registrations are pending. Snap-on vigorously polices proper use of its trademarks. Snap-on’s right to manufacture and sell certain products is dependent upon licenses from others; however, these products under license do not represent a material portion of Snap-on’s net sales.
Domain names have become a valuable corporate asset for companies around the world, including Snap-on. Domain names often contain a trademark or service mark or even a corporate name and are often considered intellectual property. The recognition and value of the Snap-on name, trademark and domain name are core strengths of the company.
Snap-on strategically licenses the Snap-on brand to carefully selected manufacturing and distribution companies for items such as apparel and a variety of other goods, in order to further build brand awareness and market presence for the company’s strongest brand.
Snap-on is subject to various environmental laws, ordinances, regulations, and other requirements of government authorities in the United States and other nations. At Snap-on, these environmental liabilities are managed through the Snap-on Environmental, Health and Safety Management System (“EH & SMS”), which is applied worldwide. The system is based upon continual improvement and is certified to ISO 14001:2015 and OHSAS 18001:2007, verified through Det Norske Veritas (DNV) Certification, Inc.
Snap-on believes that it complies with applicable environmental control requirements in its operations. Expenditures on environmental matters through EH & SMS have not had, and Snap-on does not for the foreseeable future expect them to have, a material effect upon Snap-on’s capital expenditures, earnings or competitive position.
Snap-on employed approximately 12,800 people at the end of January 2020 and 12,600 people at the end of January 2019. The year-over-year increase in employees reflects acquisitions during 2019.
Approximately 2,650 employees, or 21% of Snap-on’s worldwide workforce, are represented by unions and/or covered under collective bargaining agreements. The number of covered union employees whose contracts expire over the next five years approximates 1,825 employees in 2020, 650 employees in 2021, and 175 employees in 2022; there are no contracts currently scheduled to expire in 2023 or 2024. In recent years, Snap-on has not experienced any significant work slowdowns, stoppages or other labor disruptions.
There can be no assurance that these and other future contracts with Snap-on’s unions will be renegotiated upon terms acceptable to Snap-on.
Most of Snap-on’s businesses are not seasonal and their inventory needs are relatively constant. Snap-on did not have a significant backlog of orders at 2019 year end. In recent years, Snap-on has been using its working capital to fund, in part, the growth of the company’s financial services portfolio, increased inventory to support new product introductions and the acquisitions discussed above.
Snap-on’s liquidity and capital resources and use of working capital are discussed herein in “Part II, Item 7: Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”
Snap-on does not have any single customer or government that represents 10% or more of its revenues in any of the indicated periods.
2019 ANNUAL REPORT
Snap-on is committed to conducting business and making decisions honestly, ethically, fairly and within the law, and is guided by the beliefs and values in the company’s “Who We Are” mission statement. Snap-on is dedicated to earning and keeping the trust and confidence of its shareholders, customers, franchisees, distributors and associates, as well as of the communities where the company does business.Paramount to the company’s commitment to integrity and social responsibility is the manner in which Snap-on treats its employees and the way in which others within its supply chain treat their employees. Snap-on has adopted policies that seek to eliminate human trafficking, slavery, forced labor and child labor from its global supply chain. In addition, Snap-on is committed to non-negotiable product and workplace safety. As a permanent and priority agenda item at all operational meetings, safety comes first. Snap-on strives to maintain a safe workplace and expects its employees to broadly embrace the company’s safety programs.Snap-on invests in its strong safety culture and in elevating the importance of worker and product safety throughout all levels of the organization.
Item 1A: Risk Factors
In evaluating the company, careful consideration should be given to the following risk factors, in addition to the other information included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including the Consolidated Financial Statements and the related notes. Each of these risk factors could adversely affect the company’s business, operating results, cash flows and/or financial condition, as well as adversely affect the value of an investment in the company’s common stock.
Economic conditions and world events could affect our operating results.
We, our franchisees and our customers, may be adversely affected by changing economic conditions, including conditions that may particularly impact specific regions. These conditions may result in reduced consumer and investor confidence, instability in the credit and financial markets, volatile corporate profits, and reduced business and consumer spending. We, our franchisees and our customers, and the economy as a whole, also may be affected by future world or local events outside our control, such as tariffs and other trade protection measures put in place by the United States or other countries, acts of terrorism, developments in the war on terrorism, conflicts in international situations, weather events and natural disasters, outbreaks of infectious diseases, as well as government-related developments or issues. These factors may affect our results of operations by reducing our sales, margins and/or net earnings as a result of a slowdown in customer orders or order cancellations, impact the availability and/or pricing of raw materials and/or the supply chain, and could potentially lead to future impairment of goodwill or other intangible assets. In addition, political and social turmoil related to international conflicts and terrorist acts may put pressure on economic conditions abroad. Unstable political, social and economic conditions may make it difficult for our franchisees, customers, suppliers and us to accurately forecast and plan future business activities. If such conditions persist, our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be negatively affected.
In 2016, the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to exit the European Union (“Brexit”), which resulted in significant currency exchange rate fluctuations and volatility. The U.K. formally left the European Union on January 31, 2020, and is in a transition period that is currently scheduled to end on December 31, 2020 (the “transition period”). During the transition period, the U.K. essentially remains in the European Union’s customs union and single market. Negotiations continue to determine the terms of Brexit. Given the lack of comparable precedent and the status of the negotiations, the implications of Brexit, or how such implications might affect Snap-on, continue to remain unclear at this time. Brexit could, among other impacts, disrupt trade and the movement of goods, services and people between the U.K. and the European Union or other countries, lead to additional volatility in currency exchange rates, as well as create legal and global economic uncertainty. These and other potential implications could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
In 2018, Canada, Mexico and the United States negotiated the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (the “USMCA”), which is intended to update and replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”). The USMCA must be ratified by all three countries before it becomes fully effective. Mexico and the U.S. ratified the USMCA in 2019 and January 2020, respectively; however, timing of the potential ratification of the USMCA by Canada is currently unknown. While the USMCA is somewhat similar to NAFTA, it contains several new compliance obligations addressing such issues as rules of origin, labor standard, certificate of origin documentation and de minimis thresholds, as well as new policies on labor and environmental standards, intellectual property protections and some digital trade provisions. Snap-on is currently analyzing the expected impact of the USMCA. While certain aspects of the USMCA are expected to be positive, others, including potentially higher regulatory compliance costs, may have an adverse impact on our business.
These and other matters significantly impacting the regulation of trade could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Price fluctuations and shortages of raw materials, components, certain finished goods inventory and energy sources could adversely affect the ability to obtain needed materials or products and could adversely affect our results of operations.
The principal raw material used in the manufacture of our products is steel, which we purchase in competitive, price-sensitive markets. To meet Snap-on’s high quality standards, our steel needs range from specialized alloys, which are available only from a limited group of approved suppliers, to common alloys, which are available from multiple suppliers. Some of these materials have been, and in the future may be, in short supply, particularly in the event of mill shutdowns or production cut backs. As some steel alloys require specialized manufacturing procedures, we could experience inventory shortages if we were required to use an alternative manufacturer on short notice. These and other raw materials, components and certain finished goods inventory can exhibit price and demand cyclicality, including as a result of tariffs and other trade protection measures. Associated unexpected price increases could result in an erosion of the margins on our products or require us to pass higher prices on to our customers.
We use various energy sources to transport, produce and distribute products, and some of our products have components that are petroleum based. Petroleum and energy prices have periodically increased significantly over short periods of time; future volatility and changes may be caused by market fluctuations, supply and demand, currency fluctuations, production and transportation disruptions, world events and changes in governmental programs. Energy price increases raise both our operating costs and the costs of our materials, and we may not be able to increase our prices enough to offset these costs. Higher prices also may reduce the level of future customer orders and our profitability.
The performance of Snap-on’s mobile tool distribution business depends on the success of its franchisees and the health of the vehicle repair market.
Approximately 40% of our consolidated net revenues in 2019 were generated by the Snap-on Tools Group, which consists of Snap-on’s business operations primarily serving vehicle service and repair technicians through the company’s worldwide mobile tool distribution channel. Snap-on’s success is dependent on its relationships with franchisees, individually and collectively, as they are the primary sales and service link between the company and vehicle service and repair technicians, who are an important class of end users for Snap-on’s products and services.
If our franchisees are not successful, or if we do not maintain an effective relationship with our franchisees, the delivery of products, the collection of receivables and/or our relationship with end users could be adversely affected and thereby negatively impact our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
In addition, if we are unable to maintain effective relationships with franchisees, Snap-on or the franchisees may choose to terminate the relationship, which may result in: (i) open routes, in which end-user customers are not provided reliable service; (ii) litigation resulting from termination; (iii) reduced collections or increased charge-offs of franchisee receivables owed to Snap-on; and/or (iv) reduced collections or increased charge-offs of finance and contract receivables.
We believe our ability to sell our products is also dependent on the number of vehicles on the road, the number of miles driven and the general aging of vehicles. These factors affect the frequency, type and amount of service and repair performed on vehicles by technicians, and therefore affect the demand for the number of technicians, the prosperity of technicians and, consequently, the demand technicians have for our tools, other products and services, and the value technicians place on those products and services. The use of other methods of transportation, including more frequent use of public transportation, could result in a decrease in the use of privately operated vehicles. A decrease in the use of privately operated vehicles may lead to fewer repairs and less demand for our products.
Exposure to credit risks of customers and resellers may make it difficult to collect receivables, and our allowances for credit losses for receivables may prove inadequate, which could adversely affect operating results and financial condition.
Our financial services portfolio represents a significant portion of the company’s assets. A decline in industry and/or economic conditions could have the potential to weaken the financial position of some of our customers, including financial services customers. If circumstances surrounding our customers’ ability to repay their credit obligations were to deteriorate and result in the write-down or charge-off of such receivables, it would negatively affect our operating results for the relevant period and, if large, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We maintain allowances for credit losses for receivables to provide for defaults and nonperformance, which represent an estimate of losses on our receivables portfolios. The determination of the appropriate levels of the allowances for credit losses involves a high degree of subjectivity and judgment, and requires the company to make estimates of current credit risks, which may undergo material changes. The allowances may not be adequate to cover actual losses, and future allowances for credit losses could materially and adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
2019 ANNUAL REPORT
Our inability to provide acceptable financing alternatives to franchisees and other end-user customers could adversely impact our operating results.
An integral component of our business and profitability is our ability to offer competitive financing alternatives to franchisees and other end-user customers. The lack of our ability to offer such alternatives or obtain capital resources or other financing to support our receivables on terms that we believe are attractive, whether resulting from the state of the financial markets, our own operating performance, or other factors, would negatively affect our operating results and financial condition. Adverse fluctuations in interest rates and/or our ability to provide competitive financing programs could also have an adverse impact on our revenue and profitability.
Adverse developments in the credit and financial markets could negatively impact the availability of credit that we and our customers need to operate our businesses.
We depend upon the availability of credit to operate our business, including the financing of receivables from end-user customers that are originated by our financial services businesses. Our end-user customers, franchisees and suppliers also require access to credit for their businesses. At times, world financial markets have been unstable and subject to uncertainty. Adverse developments in the credit and financial markets, or unfavorable changes in Snap-on’s credit rating, could negatively impact the availability of future financing and the terms on which it might be available to Snap-on, its end-user customers, franchisees and suppliers. Inability to access credit or capital markets, or a deterioration in the terms on which financing might be available, could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Increasing our financial leverage could affect our operations and profitability.
The maximum available credit under our multi-currency revolving credit facility is $800 million. The company’s leverage ratio may affect both our availability of additional capital resources as well as our operations in several ways, including:
•The terms on which credit may be available to us could be less attractive, both in the economic terms of the credit and the covenants stipulated by the credit terms;
•The possible lack of availability of additional credit or access to the commercial paper market;
•The potential for higher levels of interest expense to service or maintain our outstanding debt;
•The possibility of additional borrowings in the future to repay our indebtedness when it comes due; and
•The possible diversion of capital resources from other uses.
While we believe we will have the ability to service our debt and obtain additional resources in the future if and when needed, that will depend upon our results of operations and financial position at the time, the then-current state of the credit and financial markets, and other factors that may be beyond our control. Therefore, we cannot give assurances that credit will be available on terms that we consider attractive, or at all, if and when necessary or beneficial to us.
Furthermore, a portion of our indebtedness bears interest at rates that fluctuate with changes in certain short-term prevailing interest rates, including LIBOR.Although we attempt to manage our exposure to rate fluctuations via hedging arrangements, such arrangements may be ineffective or may not protect us to the extent we expect.In addition, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority announced that after 2021 it would no longer persuade or compel panel banks to submit the rates required to calculate LIBOR, and it is unclear whether the banks currently reporting information used to set LIBOR will stop doing so after 2021.Although the consequences of these developments cannot be predicted at this time, should a suitable replacement for LIBOR not be available, the rates under our variable rate indebtedness could increase and access to capital could be limited.
Data security and information technology infrastructure and security are critical to supporting business objectives; failure of our systems to operate effectively could adversely affect our business and reputation.
We depend heavily on information technology infrastructure to achieve our business objectives and to protect sensitive information, and continually invest in improving such systems. Problems that impair or compromise this infrastructure, including natural disasters, power outages, major network failures, security breaches or malicious attacks, or during system upgrades and/or new system implementations, could impede our ability to record or process orders, manufacture and ship in a timely manner, manage our financial services operations including originating, processing, accounting for and collecting receivables, protect sensitive data of the company, our customers, our suppliers and business partners, or otherwise carry on business in the normal course. Any such events, if significant, could cause us to lose customers and/or revenue and could require us to incur significant expense to remediate, including as a result of legal or regulatory claims, proceedings, fines or penalties, and could also damage our reputation. While we have taken steps to maintain adequate data security and address these risks and uncertainties by implementing security technologies, internal controls, network and data center resiliency, and redundancy and recovery processes, as well as by securing insurance, these measures may be inadequate.
In association with initiatives to better integrate business units, rationalize operating footprint and improve responsiveness to franchisees and customers, Snap-on is continually replacing and enhancing its global Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) management information systems. As we integrate, implement and deploy new information technology processes and enhance our information infrastructure across our global operations, we could experience disruptions in our business that could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Changes to legislation and regulations may affect our business, reputation, results of operations and financial condition.
Significant changes to legislative and regulatory activity and compliance burdens, including those associated with: (i) sales to our government, military and defense contractor customers; and (ii) classification of third parties, including our franchisees, as independent from the company, as well as the manner in which they are applied, could significantly impact our business and the economy as a whole.
Financial services businesses of all kinds are subject to significant and complex regulations and enforcement. In addition to potentially increasing the costs and other requirements of doing business due to compliance obligations, new laws and regulations, or changes to existing laws and regulations, as well as the enforcement thereof, may affect the relationships between creditors and debtors, inhibit the rights of creditors to collect amounts owed to them, expand liability for certain actions or inactions, or limit the types of financial products or services offered, any or all of which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Failure to comply with any of these laws or regulations could also result in civil, criminal, monetary and/or non-monetary penalties, damage to our reputation, and/or the incurrence of remediation costs.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the United States (the “Tax Act”), which made significant changes to the U.S. Tax Code and affects, among other items, the company’s tax rate, previously unremitted foreign earnings and valuations of deferred tax assets and liabilities. If new guidance is issued on the Tax Act, depending on the circumstances, this (and other) tax legislation could adversely affect our results of operations.
These developments, and other potential future legislation and regulations, as well as the factors in the strict regulatory environment, including the growing international regulation of privacy rights, may also adversely affect the customers to which, and the markets into which, we sell our products, and increase our costs and otherwise negatively affect our business, reputation, results of operations and financial condition, including in ways that cannot yet be foreseen.
Risks associated with the disruption of manufacturing operations could adversely affect profitability or competitive position.
We manufacture a significant portion of the products we sell. Any prolonged disruption in the operations of our existing manufacturing facilities, whether due to technical or labor difficulties, facility consolidation or closure actions, lack of raw material or component availability, destruction of or damage to any facility (as a result of natural disasters, weather events, use and storage of hazardous materials, acts of war, sabotage or terrorism, or other events), or other reasons, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
2019 ANNUAL REPORT
The inability to continue to introduce new products that respond to customer needs and achieve market acceptance could result in lower revenues and reduced profitability.
Sales from new products represent a significant portion of our net sales and are expected to continue to represent a significant component of our future net sales. We may not be able to compete effectively unless we continue to enhance existing products or introduce new products to the marketplace in a timely manner. Product improvements and new product introductions require significant financial and other resources, including significant planning, design, development, and testing at the technological, product and manufacturing process levels. Our competitors’ new products may beat our products to market, be more effective with more features, be less expensive than our products, and/or render our products obsolete. Any new products that we develop may not receive market acceptance or otherwise generate any meaningful net sales or profits for us relative to our expectations based on, among other things, existing and anticipated investments in manufacturing capacity and commitments to fund advertising, marketing, promotional programs and research and development.
Failure to maintain effective distribution of products and services could adversely impact revenue, gross margin and profitability.
We use a variety of distribution methods to sell our products and services. Successfully managing the interaction of our distribution efforts to reach various potential customer segments for our products and services is a complex process. Moreover, since each distribution method has distinct risks, costs and gross margins, our failure to implement the most advantageous balance in the delivery model for our products and services could adversely affect our revenue, gross margins and profitability.
The global tool, equipment, and diagnostics and repair information industries are competitive.
We face strong competition in all of our market segments. Price competition in our various industries is intense and pricing pressures from competitors and customers continue to increase. In general, as a manufacturer and marketer of premium products and services, the expectations of Snap-on’s customers and its franchisees are high and continue to increase. Any inability to maintain customer satisfaction could diminish Snap-on’s premium image and reputation and could result in a lessening of our ability to command premium pricing. We expect that the level of competition will remain high in the future, which could limit our ability to maintain or increase market share or profitability.
Product liability claims and litigation could affect our business, reputation, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
The products that we design and/or manufacture, and/or the services we provide, can lead to product liability claims or other legal claims being filed against us. To the extent that plaintiffs are successful in showing that a defect in a product’s design, manufacture or warnings led to personal injury or property damage, or that our provision of services resulted in similar injury or damage, we may be subject to claims for damages. Although we are insured for damages above a certain amount, we bear the costs and expenses associated with defending claims, including frivolous lawsuits, and are responsible for damages up to the insurance retention amount. In addition to claims concerning individual products, as a manufacturer, we can be subject to costs, potential negative publicity and lawsuits related to product recalls, which could adversely impact our results of operations and damage our reputation.
Legal disputes could adversely affect our business, reputation, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
From time to time we are subject to legal disputes that are being litigated and/or settled in the ordinary course of business. Disputes or future lawsuits could result in the diversion of management’s time and attention away from business operations. Additionally, negative developments with respect to legal disputes and the costs incurred in defending ourselves, even if successful, could have an adverse impact on the company and its reputation. Successful outcomes, at trial or on appeal, can never be assured. Adverse outcomes or settlements could also require us to pay damages, potentially in excess of amounts reserved, or incur liability for other remedies that could have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Failure to adequately protect intellectual property, or claims of infringement, could adversely affect our business, reputation, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Intellectual property rights are an important and integral component of our business and failure to obtain or maintain adequate protection of our intellectual property rights for any reason could have a material adverse effect on our business. We attempt to protect our intellectual property rights through a combination of patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret laws, as well as licensing agreements and third-party nondisclosure and assignment agreements. In addition, we have been, and in the future may be, subject to claims of intellectual property infringement against us by third parties; whether or not these claims have merit, we could be required to expend significant resources in defense of those claims. Adverse determinations in a judicial or administrative proceeding or via a settlement could prevent us from manufacturing and selling our products, prevent us from stopping others from manufacturing and selling competing products, and/or result in payments for damages. In the event of an infringement claim, we may also be required to spend significant resources to develop alternatives or obtain licenses, which may not be available on reasonable terms or at all, and may reduce our sales and disrupt our production. Failure to obtain or maintain adequate protection of our intellectual property rights for any reason could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Failure to achieve expected investment returns on pension plan assets, as well as changes in interest rates or plan demographics, could adversely impact our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Snap-on sponsors various defined benefit pension plans (the “pension plans”). The assets of the pension plans are diversified in an attempt to mitigate the risk of a large loss. Required funding for the company’s domestic defined benefit pension plans is determined in accordance with guidelines set forth in the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”); foreign defined benefit pension plans are funded in accordance with local statutes or practice. Additional contributions to enhance the funded status of the pension plans can be made at the company’s discretion. However, there can be no assurance that the value of the pension plan assets, or the investment returns on those plan assets, will be sufficient to meet the future benefit obligations of such plans. In addition, during periods of adverse investment market conditions and declining interest rates, the company may be required to make additional cash contributions to the pension plans that could reduce our financial flexibility. Changes in plan demographics, including an increase in the number of retirements or changes in life expectancy assumptions, may also increase the costs and funding requirements of the obligations related to the company’s pension plans.
Our pension plan obligations are affected by changes in market interest rates. Significant fluctuations in market interest rates have added, and may further add, volatility to our pension plan obligations. In periods of declining market interest rates, our pension plan obligations generally increase; in periods of increasing market interest rates, our pension plan obligations generally decrease. While our plan assets are broadly diversified, there are inherent market risks associated with investments; if adverse market conditions occur, our plan assets could incur significant or material losses. Since we may need to make additional contributions to address changes in obligations and/or a loss in plan assets, the combination of declining market interest rates, past or future plan asset investment losses, and/or changes in plan demographics could adversely impact our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
The company’s pension plan expense is comprised of the following factors: (i) service cost; (ii) interest on projected benefit obligations; (iii) expected return on plan assets; (iv) the amortization of prior service costs and credits; (v) effects of actuarial gains and losses; and (vi) settlement/curtailment costs, when applicable. The accounting for pensions involves the estimation of a number of factors that are highly uncertain. Certain factors, such as the interest on projected benefit obligations and the expected return on plan assets, are impacted by changes in market interest rates and the value of plan assets. A significant decrease in market interest rates and a decrease in the fair value of plan assets would increase net pension expense and may adversely affect the company’s future results of operations. See Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information on the company’s pension plans.
2019 ANNUAL REPORT
Foreign operations are subject to political, economic, currency exchange and other risks that could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Approximately 31% of our revenues in 2019 were generated outside of the United States. Future growth rates and success of our business depends in large part on continued growth in our non-U.S. operations, including growth in emerging markets and critical industries. Numerous risks and uncertainties affect our non-U.S. operations. These risks and uncertainties include political, economic and social instability, such as acts of war, civil disturbance or acts of terrorism, local labor conditions, Brexit-related developments, trade relations with China, changes in government policies and regulations, including imposition or increases in withholding and other taxes on remittances and other payments by international subsidiaries, as well as the exposure to liabilities under anti-corruption laws in various countries, such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, currency volatility, transportation delays or interruptions, sovereign debt uncertainties and difficulties in enforcement of contract and intellectual property rights, as well as natural disasters. Should the economic environment in our non-U.S. markets deteriorate from current levels, our results of operations and financial position could be materially impacted, including as a result of the effects of potential impairment write-downs of goodwill and/or other intangible assets related to these businesses.
The reporting currency for Snap-on’s consolidated financial statements is the U.S. dollar. Certain of the company’s assets, liabilities, expenses and revenues are denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. In preparing Snap-on’s Consolidated Financial Statements, those assets, liabilities, expenses and revenues are translated into U.S. dollars at applicable exchange rates. Increases or decreases in exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and other currencies affect the U.S. dollar value of those items, as reflected in the Consolidated Financial Statements. Substantial fluctuations in the value of the U.S. dollar could have a significant impact on the company’s financial condition and results of operations.
We are also affected by changes in inflation rates and interest rates. Additionally, cash generated in certain non-U.S. jurisdictions may be difficult to repatriate to the United States in a tax-efficient manner. Our foreign operations are also subject to other risks and challenges, such as the need to staff and manage diverse workforces, respond to the needs of multiple national and international marketplaces, and differing business climates and cultures in various countries.
We may not successfully integrate businesses we acquire, which could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
The pursuit of growth through acquisitions, including participation in joint ventures, involves significant risks that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. These risks include:
•Loss of the acquired businesses’ customers;
•Inability to integrate successfully the acquired businesses’ operations;
•Inability to coordinate management and integrate and retain employees of the acquired businesses;
•Unforeseen or contingent liabilities of the acquired businesses;
•Large write-offs or write-downs, or the impairment of goodwill or other intangible assets;
•Difficulties in implementing and maintaining consistent standards, controls, procedures, policies and information systems;
•Failure to realize anticipated synergies, economies of scale or other anticipated benefits, or to maintain operating margins;
•Strain on our personnel, systems and resources, and diversion of attention from other priorities;
•Incurrence of additional debt and related interest expense; and
•The dilutive effect in the event of the issuance of additional equity securities.
The recognition of impairment charges on goodwill or other intangible assets would adversely impact our future financial condition and results of operations.
We have a substantial amount of goodwill and purchased intangible assets, almost all of which are booked in the Commercial & Industrial Group and in the Repair Systems & Information Group. We are required to perform impairment tests on our goodwill and other intangibles annually or at any time when events occur that could impact the value of our business segments. Our determination of whether impairment has occurred is based on a comparison of each of our reporting units’ fair market value with its carrying value.
Significant and unanticipated changes in circumstances, such as significant and long-term adverse changes in business climate, adverse actions by regulators, unanticipated competition, the loss of key customers, and/or changes in technology or markets, could require a provision for impairment in a future period that could substantially impact our reported earnings and reduce our consolidated net worth and shareholders’ equity. Should the economic environment in these markets deteriorate, our results of operations and financial position could be materially impacted, including as a result of the effects of potential impairment write-downs of goodwill and/or other intangible assets related to these businesses.
Our operations expose us to the risk of environmental liabilities, costs, litigation and violations that could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and reputation.
Certain of our operations are subject to environmental laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which they operate, which impose limitations on the discharge of pollutants into the ground, air and water and establish standards for the generation, treatment, use, storage and disposal of hazardous wastes. We must also comply with various health and safety regulations in the United States and abroad in connection with our operations. Failure to comply with any of these laws could result in civil and criminal, monetary and non-monetary penalties and damage to our reputation. In addition, we may incur costs related to remedial efforts or alleged environmental damage associated with past or current waste disposal practices. We cannot provide assurance that our costs of complying with current or future environmental protection and health and safety laws will not exceed our estimates.
The inability to successfully defend claims from taxing authorities could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We conduct business in many countries, which requires us to interpret the income tax laws and rulings in each of those taxing jurisdictions. Due to the subjectivity of tax laws between those jurisdictions, as well as the subjectivity of factual interpretations, our estimates of income tax liabilities may differ from actual payments or assessments. Claims from taxing authorities related to these differences could have an adverse impact on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Failure to attract, retain and effectively manage qualified personnel could lead to a loss of revenue and/or profitability.
Snap-on’s success depends, in part, on the efforts and abilities of its senior management team and other key employees. Their skills, experience and industry contacts significantly benefit our operations and administration. The failure to attract and retain members of our senior management team and other key employees, to effectively develop personnel and to execute succession plans could have a negative effect on our operating results. In addition, transitions of important responsibilities to new individuals inherently include the possibility of disruptions to our business and operations, which could negatively affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
The steps taken to restructure operations, rationalize operating footprint, lower operating expenses and achieve greater efficiencies in the supply chain could disrupt business.
We have taken steps in the past, and expect to take additional steps in the future, intended to improve customer service and drive further efficiencies and reduce costs, some of which could be disruptive to our business. These actions, collectively across our operating groups, are focused on the following:
•Continuing to invest in initiatives focused on building a strong sales and operating presence in emerging growth markets;
•Continuing to enhance service and value to our franchisees and customers;
•Continuing to implement efficiency and productivity initiatives throughout the company to drive further efficiencies and reduce costs;
•Continuing on the company’s existing path to improve and transform global manufacturing and the supply chain into a market-demand-based replenishment system with lower costs;
•Continuing to invest in developing and marketing new, innovative, higher-value-added products and advanced technologies;
•Extending our products and services into additional and/or adjacent markets or to new customers; and
•Continuing to provide financing for, and grow our portfolio of, receivables within our financial services businesses.
A failure to succeed in the implementation of any or all of these actions could result in an inability to achieve our financial goals and could be disruptive to the business.
2019 ANNUAL REPORT
In addition, any future reductions to headcount and other cost reduction measures may result in the loss of technical expertise and could adversely affect our research and development efforts as well as our ability to meet product development schedules. Efforts to reduce components of expense could result in the recording of charges for inventory and technology-related write-offs, workforce reduction costs or other charges relating to the consolidation or closure of facilities. If we were to incur a substantial charge to further these efforts or are unable to effectively manage our cost reduction and restructuring efforts, our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be adversely affected.
Item 1B: Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2: Properties
Snap-on maintains leased and owned manufacturing, software development, warehouse, distribution, research and development and office facilities throughout the world. Snap-on believes that its facilities currently in use are suitable and have adequate capacity to meet its present and foreseeable future demand. Snap-on’s facilities in the United States occupy approximately 3.8 million square feet, of which 74% is owned, including its corporate and general office facility located in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Snap-on’s facilities outside the United States occupy approximately 4.6 million square feet, of which approximately 73% is owned. Certain Snap-on facilities are leased through operating and finance lease agreements. See Note 16 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for information on the company’s operating and finance leases. Snap-on management continually monitors the company’s capacity needs and makes adjustments as dictated by market and other conditions.
The following table provides information about our corporate headquarters and financial services operations, and each of Snap-on’s principal active manufacturing locations, distribution centers and software development locations (exceeding 50,000 square feet) as of 2019 year end:
Principal Property Use
Manufacturing and distribution
City of Industry, California
San Diego, California
San Jose, California
Crystal Lake, Illinois
Owned and leased
Manufacturing and distribution
Owned and leased
Manufacturing and distribution
Olive Branch, Mississippi
Carson City, Nevada
Owned and leased
Murphy, North Carolina
Manufacturing and distribution
Owned and leased
Distribution and corporate
SOT, C&I, RS&I
Santo Tome, Argentina
New South Wales, Australia
Distribution and financial services
Santa Bárbara d’Oeste, Brazil
Manufacturing and distribution
Manufacturing and distribution
Manufacturing and distribution
Distribution and financial services
Owned and leased
SOT, C&I, FS
Vila do Conde, Portugal
Manufacturing and distribution
Manufacturing and distribution
* Segment abbreviations:
C&I – Commercial & Industrial Group
SOT – Snap-on Tools Group
RS&I – Repair Systems & Information Group
FS – Financial Services
2019 ANNUAL REPORT
Item 3: Legal Proceedings
Snap-on is involved in various legal matters that are being litigated and/or settled in the ordinary course of business. Although it is not possible to predict the outcome of these legal matters, management believes that the results of these legal matters will not have a material impact on Snap-on’s consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
Item 4: Mine Safety Disclosures
Item 5: Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Snap-on had 54,650,224 shares of common stock outstanding as of 2019 year end. Snap-on’s stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “SNA.” At February 7, 2020, there were 4,540 registered holders of Snap-on common stock.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
The following chart discloses information regarding the shares of Snap-on’s common stock repurchased by the company during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, all of which were purchased pursuant to the Board’s authorizations that the company has publicly announced. Snap-on has undertaken stock repurchases from time to time to offset dilution created by shares issued for employee and franchisee stock purchase plans, and equity plans, and for other corporate purposes, as well as when the company believes market conditions are favorable. The repurchase of Snap-on common stock is at the company’s discretion, subject to prevailing financial and market conditions.
Average price per share
Shares purchased as part of publicly announced plans or programs
Approximate value of shares that may yet be purchased under publicly announced plans or programs*
09/29/19 to 10/26/19
10/27/19 to 11/23/19
11/24/19 to 12/28/19
N/A: Not applicable
* Subject to further adjustment pursuant to the 1996 Authorization described below, as of December 28, 2019, the approximate value of shares that may yet be purchased pursuant to the outstanding Board authorizations discussed below is $359.6 million.
•In 1996, the Board authorized the company to repurchase shares of the company’s common stock from time to time in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions (“the 1996 Authorization”). The 1996 Authorization allows the repurchase of up to the number of shares issued or delivered from treasury from time to time under the various plans the company has in place that call for the issuance of the company’s common stock. Because the number of shares that are purchased pursuant to the 1996 Authorization will change from time to time as (i) the company issues shares under its various plans; and (ii) shares are repurchased pursuant to this authorization, the number of shares authorized to be repurchased will vary from time to time. The 1996 Authorization will expire when terminated by the Board. When calculating the approximate value of shares that the company may yet purchase under the 1996 Authorization, the company assumed a price of $166.64, $158.89 and $169.20 per share of common stock as of the end of the fiscal 2019 months ended October 26, 2019, November 23, 2019, and December 28, 2019, respectively.
•On February 14, 2019, the Board authorized the repurchase of an aggregate of up to $500 million of the company’s common stock (the “2019 Authorization”). The 2019 Authorization will expire when the aggregate repurchase price limit is met, unless terminated earlier by the Board. The 2019 Authorization replaced the Board’s 2017 $500 million authorization, under which $206 million of the authorization remained at the time of its replacement.