Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 29, 2018
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Cash and Cash Equivalents:
Cash and cash equivalents consist of commercial paper, U.S. Treasury obligations, and other liquid securities purchased with initial maturities less than 90 days and are stated at cost which approximates fair value. The Company has foreign bank balances of approximately $6,943 and $6,035 at December 29, 2018 and December 30, 2017, respectively. The Company maintains cash and cash equivalent balances with financial institutions that exceed federally insured limits. The Company has not experienced any losses related to these balances. Management believes its credit risk is minimal.
Restricted Investments:
The Company's restricted investments are trading securities carried at fair market value which represent assets held in a Rabbi Trust to fund deferred compensation liabilities owed to the Company's employees. See Note 9 - Deferred Compensation Plan.
Accounts Receivable and Allowance for Doubtful Accounts:
The Company establishes the allowance for doubtful accounts using the specific identification method and also provides a reserve in the aggregate. The estimates for calculating the aggregate reserve are based on historical collection experience. Increases to the allowance for doubtful accounts result in a corresponding expense. The Company writes off individual accounts receivable when collection becomes improbable. The allowance for doubtful accounts was $846 and $1,121 as of December 29, 2018 and December 30, 2017, respectively.
In the years ended December 29, 2018 and December 30, 2017, the Company entered into agreements to sell, on an ongoing basis and without recourse, certain trade accounts receivable. The buyer is responsible for servicing the receivables. The sale of the receivables is accounted for in accordance with Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) ASC 860, Transfers and Servicing. Under that guidance, receivables are considered sold when they are transferred beyond the reach of the Company and its creditors, the purchaser has the right to pledge or exchange the receivables, and the Company has surrendered control over the transferred receivables. The Company has received proceeds from the sales of trade accounts receivable of approximately $215,833 and $214,527 for the years ended December 29, 2018 and December 30, 2017, respectively, and has included the proceeds in net cash provided by operating activities in the consolidated statements of cash flows. Related to the sale of accounts receivable, the Company recorded losses of approximately $2,233 and $1,426 for the years ended December 29, 2018 and December 30, 2017, respectively.
Inventories consisting predominantly of finished goods are valued at the lower of cost or net realizable value, cost being determined principally on the weighted average cost method. The historical usage rate is the primary factor used in assessing the net realizable value of excess and obsolete inventory. A reduction in the carrying value of an inventory item from cost to net realizable value is recorded for inventory with excess on-hand quantities as determined based on historic and projected sales, product category, and stage in the product life cycle.
Property and Equipment:
Property and equipment are carried at cost and include expenditures for new facilities and major renewals. Capital leases are recorded at the present value of minimum lease payments. For financial accounting purposes, depreciation is computed on the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the assets, generally two to 25 years. Assets acquired under capital leases are depreciated over the terms of the related leases. Maintenance and repairs are charged to expense as incurred. The Company capitalizes certain costs that are directly associated with the development of internally developed software, representing the historical cost of these assets. Once the software is completed and placed into service, such costs are amortized over the estimated useful lives. When assets are sold or otherwise disposed of, the cost and related accumulated depreciation are removed from their respective accounts, and the resulting gain or loss is reflected in income (loss) from operations.
Property and equipment, net, consists of the following at December 29, 2018 and December 30, 2017:
Useful Life




Leasehold improvements


Machinery and equipment


Computer equipment and software


Furniture and fixtures


Construction in process


Property and equipment, gross


Less: Accumulated depreciation


Property and equipment, net


The Company has adopted ASU 2017-04, Intangibles – Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment, which eliminates Step 2 from the goodwill impairment test and instead requires an entity to perform its annual, or interim, goodwill impairment test by comparing the fair value of a reporting unit with its carrying amount. If, after assessing the totality of events or circumstances, we determine that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than the carrying value, then we would recognize an impairment charge for the amount by which the carrying amount exceeds the reporting unit's fair value, not to exceed the total amount of goodwill allocated to the reporting unit.
The Company’s annual impairment assessment is performed for its reporting units as of October 1. An independent appraiser assessed the value of the reporting units based on a discounted cash flow model and multiple of earnings. Assumptions critical to our fair value estimates under the discounted cash flow model include the discount rate, projected average revenue growth and projected long-term growth rates in the determination of terminal values. The results of the quantitative assessment in 2018, 2017, and 2016 indicated that the fair value of each reporting unit was in excess of its carrying value.
No impairment charges were recorded in the years ended December 29, 2018, December 30, 2017, or December 31, 2016.
Goodwill amounts by reporting unit are summarized as follows:
Goodwill at
Goodwill at
December 30, 2017
December 29, 2018
United States (excl. recent acquisitions)





ST Fastening Systems










Big Time Products





Canada (excl. recent acquisitions)




MinuteKey Canada





Big Time Products Canada





Mexico (excl. recent acquisitions)





Big Time Products Mexico









See Note 5 - Acquisitions for additional information regarding the MinuteKEY and Big Time Products acquisitions.
The "Other" change to goodwill relates to adjustments resulting from fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates for the Canada and Mexico reporting units and adjustments to the opening balance sheet for the acquisition of ST Fastening Systems ("STFS"). STFS was acquired in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Intangible Assets:
Intangible assets are stated at the lower of cost or fair value.  With the exception of certain trade names, intangible assets are amortized on a straight-line basis over periods ranging from 5 to 20 years, representing the period over which we expect to receive future economic benefits from these assets. 
Other intangibles, net, as of December 29, 2018 and December 30, 2017 consist of the following:
Useful Life
December 29, 2018
December 30, 2017
Customer relationships


Trademarks - Indefinite


Trademarks - Other


Technology and patents


Intangible assets, gross


Less: Accumulated amortization


Intangible assets, net


Estimated annual amortization expense for intangible assets subject to amortization at December 29, 2018 for the next five fiscal years is as follows:
Fiscal Year Ended
Amortization Expense





The Company also evaluates indefinite-lived intangible assets (primarily trademarks and trade names) for impairment annually or more frequently if events and circumstances indicate that it is more likely than not that the fair value of an indefinite-lived intangible asset is below its carrying amount. In connection with the evaluation, an independent appraiser assessed the fair value of our indefinite-lived intangible assets based on a relief from royalties, excess earnings, and lost profits discounted cash flow model. An impairment charge is recorded if the carrying amount of an indefinite-lived intangible asset exceeds the estimated fair value on the measurement date. No impairment charges related to indefinite-lived intangible assets were recorded by the Company in 2018, 2017, or 2016 as a result of the quantitative annual impairment test.
Long-Lived Assets:
The Company evaluates its long-lived assets, including definite-lived intangibles assets, for impairment including an evaluation based on the estimated undiscounted future cash flows as events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of such assets may not be fully recoverable. In the year ended December 29, 2018, the Company recorded an impairment charge of $837 related to exiting certain lines of business recorded within other income/expense on the Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income. See Note 14 - Restructuring of Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements for more details. In the year ended December 30, 2017, the Company recorded an impairment charge of $1,569 related to the exit of a pilot program in the kiosk business in our U.S. operating segment. The charge was recorded to other income/expense in the statement of comprehensive income. No impairment charges were recognized for long-lived assets in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016.
Income Taxes:
Deferred income taxes are computed using the asset and liability method. Under this method, deferred income taxes are recognized for temporary differences between the financial reporting basis and income tax basis of assets and liabilities, based on enacted tax laws and statutory tax rates applicable to the periods in which the temporary differences are expected to reverse. Valuation allowances are provided for tax benefits where management estimates it is more likely than not that certain tax benefits will not be realized. Adjustments to valuation allowances are recorded for changes in utilization of the tax related item. See Note 6 - Income Taxes for additional information.
In accordance with guidance regarding the accounting for uncertainty in income taxes, the Company recognizes a tax position if, based solely on its technical merits, it is more likely than not to be sustained upon examination by the relevant taxing authority. If a tax position does not meet the more likely than not recognition threshold, the Company does not recognize the benefit of that position in its consolidated financial statements. A tax position that meets the more likely than not recognition threshold is measured to determine the amount of benefit to be recognized in the consolidated financial statements.
Risk Insurance Reserves:
The Company self-insures our product liability, automotive, workers' compensation, and general liability losses up to $250 per occurrence. Our policy is to estimate reserves based upon a number of factors, including known claims, estimated incurred but not reported claims, and outside actuarial analysis.  The outside actuarial analysis is based on historical information along with certain assumptions about future events.  These reserves are classified as other current and other long-term liabilities within the balance sheets.
The Company self-insures our group health claims up to an annual stop loss limit of $250 per participant. Historical group insurance loss experience forms the basis for the recognition of group health insurance reserves.
Retirement Benefits:
Certain employees of the Company are covered under a profit-sharing and retirement savings plan. The plan provides for a matching contribution for eligible employees of 50% of each dollar contributed by the employee up to 6% of the employee's compensation. In addition, the plan provides an annual contribution in amounts authorized by the Board of Directors, subject to the terms and conditions of the plan.
Hillman Canada sponsors a Deferred Profit Sharing Plan (“DPSP”) and a Group Registered Retirement Savings Plan (“RRSP”) for all qualified, full-time employees, with at least three months of continuous service. DPSP is an employer-sponsored profit sharing plan registered as a trust with the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”). On a periodic basis, Hillman Canada shares business profits with employees by contributing to the DPSP on each employee's behalf. Employees do not contribute to the DPSP. There is no minimum required contribution; however, DPSPs are subject to maximum contribution limits set by the CRA. The DPSP is offered in conjunction with a RRSP. All eligible employees may contribute an additional voluntary amount of up to eight percent of the employee's gross earnings. Hillman Canada is required to match 100% of all employee contributions up to 2% of the employee's compensation. The assets of the RRSP are held separately from those of Hillman Canada in independently administered funds.
Retirement benefit costs were $2,567, $2,222, and $2,101 in the years ended December 29, 2018, December 30, 2017, and December 31, 2016, respectively.
Revenue Recognition:
Revenue is recognized when control of goods or services is transferred to our customers, in an amount that reflects the consideration the Company expects to be entitled to in exchange for those goods or services. Sales and other taxes the Company collects concurrent with revenue-producing activities are excluded from revenue.
The Company offers a variety of sales incentives to its customers primarily in the form of discounts and rebates. Discounts are recognized in the consolidated financial statements at the date of the related sale. Rebates are based on the revenue to date and the contractual rebate percentage to be paid. A portion of the cost of the rebate is allocated to each underlying sales transaction. Discounts and rebate are included in the determination of net sales.
The Company also establishes reserves for customer returns and allowances. The reserve is established based on historical rates of returns and allowances. The reserve is adjusted quarterly based on actual experience. Returns and allowances are included in the determination of net sales.
The following table disaggregates our revenue by product category.
Fastening Solutions
Home and Access Solutions
Consumer Connected Solutions
Personal Protective Solutions
Total Revenue
Year Ended December 29, 2018
United States



















Year Ended December 30, 2017
United States















Year Ended December 31, 2016
United States















Fastening solutions revenues consist primarily of the delivery of fasteners, anchors, and specialty products as well as in-store merchandising services for the related product category.
Home and access solutions revenues consist primarily of the delivery of keys and key accessories, builders’ hardware, wall hanging, threaded rod products, letters, numbers, and signs (“LNS”) as well as in-store merchandising services for the related product categories and access to our proprietary key duplicating equipment.
Consumer connected solutions revenues consist primarily of sales of keys and identification tags through self service key duplication and engraving kiosks.
Personal protective solutions revenues consist primarily of the delivery of personal protective equipments such as gloves and eye-wear as well as in-store merchandising services for the related product category.
The Company’s performance obligations under its arrangements with customers are providing products, in-store merchandising services, and access to key duplicating and engraving equipment. Generally, the price of the merchandising services and the access to the key duplicating and engraving equipment is included in the price of the related products. Control of products is transferred at the point in time when the customer accepts the goods. Judgment was required in applying the new revenue standard in determining the time at which to recognize revenue for the in-store services and the access to key duplicating and engraving equipment. The Company’s obligation to provide in-store service and access to key duplicating and engraving equipment is satisfied when control of the related products is transferred. Therefore, consistent with the practice prior to the adoption of ASC 606, the entire amount of consideration related to the sale of products, in-store merchandising services, and access to key duplicating and engraving equipment is recognized upon the customer’s acceptance of the products. The revenues for all performance obligations are recognized upon the customer's acceptance of the products.
The costs to obtain a contract are insignificant, and generally contract terms do not extend beyond one year. Therefore, these costs are expensed as incurred. Freight and shipping costs and the cost of our in-store merchandising services teams are recognized in selling, general, and administrative expense when control over products is transferred to the customer.
The Company used the practical expedient regarding the existence of a significant financing component as payments are due in less than one year after delivery of the products.
Shipping and Handling:
The costs incurred to ship product to customers, including freight and handling expenses, are included in selling, general, and administrative (“SG&A”) expenses on the Company's consolidated statements of comprehensive income (loss).
Shipping and handling costs were $42,458, $39,205, and $36,283 in the years ended December 29, 2018, December 30, 2017, and December 31, 2016, respectively.
Research and Development:
The Company expenses research and development costs consisting primarily of internal wages and benefits in connection with improvements to the Company's fastening product lines along with the key duplicating and engraving machines. The Company's research and development costs were $2,181, $2,216, and $2,277 in the years ended December 29, 2018, December 30, 2017, and December 31, 2016, respectively.
Common Stock:
The Hillman Companies, Inc. has one class of common stock. All outstanding shares of The Hillman Companies, Inc. common stock are owned by Holdco. The management shareholders of Holdco do not have the ability to put their shares back to Holdco.
Stock Based Compensation:
The Company has a stock-based employee compensation plan pursuant to which Holdco may grant options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock, and other stock-based awards. Hillman reflects the options granted by HoldCo in its stand-alone consolidated financial statements in accordance with ASC 718. The Company uses a Black-Scholes option pricing model to determine the fair value of stock options on the dates of grant. The Black-Scholes pricing model requires various assumptions, including expected term, which is based on our historical experience and expected volatility which is estimated based on the average historical volatility of similar entities with publicly traded shares. The Company also makes assumptions regarding the risk-free interest rate and the expected dividend yield. The risk-free interest rate is based on the U.S. Treasury interest rate whose term is consistent with the expected term of the share-based award. The dividend yield on our common stock is assumed to be zero since we do not pay dividends and have no current plans to do so in the future. Determining the fair value of stock options at the grant date requires judgment, including estimates for the expected life of the share-based award, stock price volatility, dividend yield, and interest rate. These assumptions may differ significantly between grant dates because of changes in the actual results of these inputs that occur over time.
Stock-based compensation expense is recognized using a fair value based recognition method. Stock-based compensation cost is estimated at the grant date based on the fair value of the award and is recognized as expense over the requisite vesting period or performance period of the award on a straight-line basis. The stock-based compensation expense is recorded in general and administrative expenses. The plan is more fully described in Note 11 - Stock Based Compensation.
Fair Value of Financial Instruments:
The Company uses the accounting guidance that applies to all assets and liabilities that are being measured and reported on a fair value basis. The guidance defines fair value as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. A fair value hierarchy requires an entity to maximize the use of observable inputs, where available, and minimize the use of unobservable inputs when measuring fair value. Whenever possible, quoted prices in active markets are used to determine the fair value of the Company's financial instruments.
Derivatives and Hedging:
The Company uses derivative financial instruments to manage its exposures to (1) interest rate fluctuations on its floating rate senior debt and (2) fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates. The Company measures those instruments at fair value and recognizes changes in the fair value of derivatives in earnings in the period of change, unless the derivative qualifies as an effective hedge that offsets certain exposures. The Company enters into derivative instrument transactions with financial institutions acting as the counter-party. The Company does not enter into derivative transactions for speculative purposes and, therefore, holds no derivative instruments for trading purposes.
The relationships between hedging instruments and hedged items are formally documented, in addition to the risk management objective and strategy for each hedge transaction. For interest rate swaps, the notional amounts, rates, and maturities of our interest rate swaps are closely matched to the related terms of hedged debt obligations. The critical terms of the interest rate swap are matched to the critical terms of the underlying hedged item to determine whether the derivatives used for hedging transactions are highly effective in offsetting changes in the cash flows of the underlying hedged item. If it is determined that a derivative ceases to be a highly effective hedge, the hedge accounting is discontinued and all subsequent derivative gains and losses are recognized in the statement of comprehensive income or loss.
Derivative instruments designated in hedging relationships that mitigate exposure to the variability in future cash flows of the variable-rate debt and foreign currency exchange rates are considered cash flow hedges. The Company records all derivative instruments in other assets or other liabilities on the consolidated balance sheets at their fair values. If the derivative is designated as a cash flow hedge and the hedging relationship qualifies for hedge accounting, the effective portion of the change in the fair value of the derivative is recorded in other comprehensive income or loss. The change in fair value for instruments not qualifying for hedge accounting are recognized in the statement of comprehensive income or loss in the period of the change. See Note 12 - Derivatives and Hedging.
Translation of Foreign Currencies:
The translation of the Company's Canadian and Mexican local currency based financial statements into U.S. dollars is performed for balance sheet accounts using exchange rates in effect at the balance sheet date and for revenue and expense accounts using an average exchange rate during the period. Cumulative translation adjustments are recorded as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) in stockholder's equity.
Use of Estimates in the Preparation of Financial Statements:
The preparation of consolidated financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amount of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses for the reporting period. Actual results may differ from these estimates.