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United States
Securities and Exchange Commission
Washington, D.C. 20549 
FORM 10-K 
 
Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
(Mark one)
for the fiscal year ended January 01, 2022
Or
Transition Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 for the transition period from to
Commission file number 0-20388

LITTELFUSE, INC. 
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware36-3795742
(State or other jurisdiction of(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
incorporation or organization) 

8755 West Higgins Road Suite 500
Chicago, Illinois 60631
(Address of principal executive offices)

 773-628-1000
 (Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of Each ClassTrading SymbolName of Each Exchange On Which Registered
Common Stock, $0.01 par value LFUSNASDAQ
Global Select MarketSM

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 Section 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 and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (Section 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post 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 emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “small reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act:
Large accelerated filerAccelerated filerNon-accelerated filerSmaller reporting companyEmerging 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 has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

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 24,616,682 shares of voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $6,125,123,061 based on the last reported sale price of the registrant’s Common Stock as reported on the NASDAQ Global Select MarketSM on June 26, 2021.
 
As of February 11, 2022, the registrant had outstanding 24,689,579 shares of Common Stock, net of Treasury Shares. 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE 
Portions of the Littelfuse, Inc. Proxy Statement for the 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders (the “Proxy Statement”) are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K.  


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TABLE OF CONTENTS
 Page
  
   
  
Item 1.
Item 1A.
Item 1B.
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4.
   
  
Item 5.
Item 6.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
   
  
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
   
  
Item 15.
Item 16.
 
 
 

2

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FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
 
Certain statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K that are not historical facts are intended to constitute “forward-looking statements” entitled to the safe-harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (“PSRLA”). The Company cautions that forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made, are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, and actual results and outcomes may differ materially from those indicated or implied by the forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and other factors include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties relating to general economic conditions; the severity and duration of the coronavirus disease 2019 ("COVID-19") pandemic and the measures taken in response thereto and the effects of those items on the Company’s business; product demand and market acceptance; economic conditions; the impact of competitive products and pricing; product quality problems or product recalls; capacity and supply difficulties or constraints; coal mining exposures reserves; cybersecurity matters; failure of an indemnification for environmental liability; exchange rate fluctuations; commodity price fluctuations; the effect of the Company's accounting policies; labor disputes; restructuring costs in excess of expectations; pension plan asset returns less than assumed; uncertainties related to political or regulatory changes; integration of acquisitions may not be achieved in a timely manner, or at all; and other risks that may be detailed in Item 1A. "Risk Factors" below and in the Company’s other Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
 
AVAILABLE INFORMATION
 
The Company is subject to the reporting and information requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and as a result, are obligated to file annual, quarterly, and current reports, proxy statements, and other information with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The Company makes these filings available free of charge on its website (http://investor.littelfuse.com) as soon as reasonably practicable after it electronically files them with, or furnish them to, the SEC. Information on the Company’s website does not constitute part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. In addition, the SEC maintains a website (http://www.sec.gov) that contains the Company’s annual, quarterly, and current reports, proxy and information statements, and other information the Company electronically files with, or furnishes to, the SEC. The Company’s website and the information contained therein or connected thereto are not incorporated into this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
PART I
ITEM 1. BUSINESS.
 
GENERAL
 
Littelfuse, Inc., was incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware in 1991. References herein to the “Company,” “we,” “our” or “Littelfuse” refer to Littelfuse, Inc. and its subsidiaries. References herein to “2021”, “fiscal 2021” or “fiscal year 2021” refer to the fiscal year ended January 1, 2022. References herein to “2020”, “fiscal 2020” or “fiscal year 2020” refer to the fiscal year ended December 26, 2020. References herein to “2019”, “fiscal 2019” or “fiscal year 2019” refer to the fiscal year ended December 28, 2019. The Company operates on a 52-53 week fiscal year (4-4-5 basis) ending on the Saturday closest to December 31. Therefore, the financial results of certain fiscal years and the associated 14 week quarters will not be exactly comparable to the prior 52 week fiscal years and the associated quarters having only 13 weeks. As a result of using this convention, the fiscal year 2021 contained 53 weeks while each of fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2019 contained 52 weeks.
 
OVERVIEW
 
Founded in 1927, Littelfuse is an industrial technology manufacturing company empowering a sustainable, connected, and safer world. Across more than 15 countries, and with approximately 17,000 global associates, the Company partners with customers to design and deliver innovative, reliable solutions. Serving over 100,000 end customers, the Company’s products are found in a variety of industrial, transportation and electronics end markets – everywhere, every day.
 
Segments
 
The Company conducts its business through three reportable segments: Electronics, Transportation, and Industrial. Within these segments, the Company designs, manufactures and sells components, modules and subassemblies to empower the long-term structural themes of sustainability, connectivity and safety. Over the last decade the Company has positioned itself within the center of these global structural growth themes by helping to enable its customers’ applications focused on a more sustainable, connected, and safer world. The ever-increasing complexity of applications surrounding these themes continues to drive greater demand for the Company’s reliable products and a higher level of product content. As a result, the Company has evolved its presence across the industrial, transportation and electronics end markets it serves, which is relatively balanced. With a long list of target applications within each primary end market, the Company believes its balanced approach is healthy for the long-term sustainability of its business, increases diversification and creates additional growth opportunities. Across electronics end
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markets, product demand is largely driven by the amplified themes of electrification, energy efficiency, automation, and connectivity. In transportation end markets, including passenger and commercial vehicles, the ongoing electronification and electrification of applications is driving increased product demand. Across industrial end markets, product demand is driven by a more sustainable ecosystem. For example, solar and wind energy, and energy storage systems that enable lower carbon emissions, the ongoing proliferation of electric vehicles and charging stations, more efficient climate control units, increasing requirements for electrical safety, and the rising demand for factory and process automation. For segment and geographical information and consolidated net sales and operating income see Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and Note 16, Segment Information, of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report.
 
Electronics Segment: Consists of one of the broadest product offerings in the industry, including fuses and fuse accessories, positive temperature coefficient (“PTC”) resettable fuses, polymer electrostatic discharge (“ESD”) suppressors, varistors, reed switch based magnetic sensing, gas discharge tubes; semiconductor products such as discrete transient voltage suppressor (“TVS”) diodes, TVS diode arrays, protection and switching thyristors, silicon and silicon carbide metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistors (“MOSFETs”) and diodes; and insulated gate bipolar transistors (“IGBT”) technologies. The segment covers a broad range of end markets, including industrial motor drives and power conversion, automotive electronics, electric vehicle and related infrastructure, power supplies, data centers and telecommunications, medical devices, alternative energy and energy storage, building and home automation, appliances, and mobile electronics.

Transportation Segment: Formerly known as Automotive segment. The term “Transportation” represents a more comprehensive description of the Company’s broad range of products, and the applications and end markets it serves. Consists of a wide range of circuit protection, power control and sensing technologies for global original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”), Tier-one suppliers and parts and aftermarket distributors in passenger vehicle, heavy duty truck, off-road vehicles, material handling, agricultural, construction and other commercial vehicle end markets. Passenger vehicle products are used in internal combustion engine, hybrid and electric vehicles including blade fuses, battery cable protectors, resettable fuses, high-current fuses, high-voltage fuses, and sensor products designed to monitor the occupant’s safety and environment as well as the vehicle’s powertrain. Commercial vehicle products include fuses, switches, circuit breakers, relays, and power distribution modules and units used in applications serving a number of end markets, including heavy-duty truck, construction, agriculture, material handling and marine.

Industrial Segment: Consists of industrial circuit protection (industrial fuse), industrial controls (protection relay, contactors, transformers) and temperature sensors for use in various applications such as renewable energy and energy storage systems, electric vehicle infrastructure, HVAC systems, industrial safety, non-residential construction, MRO, mining and industrial automation.

Strategy

In February 2021, the Company announced its new five-year strategic plan which builds upon its strengths from its previous strategy. The Company is well-positioned within the center of the global structural growth themes of sustainability, connectivity, and safety, which will continue to drive increased demand for the company’s products across the transportation, industrial and electronics end markets that it serves. The Company is targeting average annual organic sales growth of 5-7 percent and average annual sales growth from strategic acquisitions of 5-7 percent. The Company expects to achieve this through content and share gains, expanded presence in high-growth markets and geographies, and targeting high-growth and niche applications. The Company will continue to invest in its people, as well as customer-driven innovation, eMobility, and its digital infrastructure to improve customer experience, and its operating systems. It plans to capitalize on growth opportunities where technologies and applications are converging across its product segments, while continuing to acquire and integrate businesses that fit its strategic focus areas.

Recent Acquisitions 

Carling Technologies: On November 30, 2021, the Company acquired Carling Technologies (“Carling”), a leader in switching, circuit protection and power distribution technologies with a strong global presence in commercial transportation, communications infrastructure and marine markets. At the time of acquisition, Carling had annualized sales of approximately $170 million. The purchase price for Carling was $315 million subject to change for working capital adjustments and the operations of Carling are included in the Transportation segment.

Hartland Controls: On January 28, 2021, the Company acquired Hartland Controls ("Hartland"), a manufacturer and leading supplier of electrical components used primarily in heating, ventilation, air conditioning ("HVAC") and other industrial and control systems applications. At the time of acquisition, Hartland had annualized sales of approximately
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$70 million. The purchase price for Hartland was $111.0 million and the operations of Hartland are included in the Industrial segment.
 
IXYS Corporation: On January 17, 2018, the Company acquired IXYS corporation ("IXYS"), a global pioneer in the power semiconductor and integrated circuit markets with a focus on medium to high voltage power semiconductors across the industrial, communications, consumer and medical markets. IXYS had a broad customer base, serving more than 3,500 customers through its direct sales force and global distribution partners. The purchase price for IXYS was $856.5 million, which included consideration of cash, Littelfuse common stock, and the value of converted, or cash settled IXYS equity awards. The operations of IXYS are included in the Electronics segment.

U.S. Sensor: On July 7, 2017, the Company acquired the assets of U.S. Sensor Corporation (“U.S. Sensor”) for $24.3 million. U.S. Sensor manufactures a variety of high quality negative temperature coefficient thermistor probes and assemblies across a number of industrial end markets. The operations of U.S. Sensor are included in the Industrial segment.

Monolith Semiconductor Inc.: On February 28, 2017, pursuant to a Securities Purchase Agreement between the Company and the stockholders of Monolith Semiconductor Inc. (“Monolith”), a U.S. start-up Company developing silicon carbide technology, the Company increased its investment in Monolith by acquiring approximately 62% of the outstanding common stock of Monolith for $15.0 million. During 2018, the Company acquired the remaining outstanding stock of Monolith for $9.0 million based on Monolith meeting certain technical and sales targets, and now owns 100% of Monolith. The operations of Monolith are included in the Electronics segment.
 

Sales and Operations
 
The Company conducts its business through three reportable segments: Electronics, Transportation, and Industrial.
 
Net sales by segment for the periods indicated are as follows:
 
 Fiscal Year
(in millions)202120202019
Electronics$1,300.7 $937.7 $961.1 
Transportation
528.1 395.8 428.5 
Industrial251.1 112.2 114.3 
Total$2,079.9 $1,445.7 $1,503.9 
 
The Company operates in three geographic regions: Asia-Pacific, the Americas, and Europe. The Company designs, manufactures products and sells to customers in all three regions.

Net sales in the Company’s three geographic regions, based upon the shipped-to destination, are as follows:
 
 Fiscal Year
(in millions)202120202019
Asia-Pacific$955.7 $670.5 $656.8 
Americas694.3 457.8 508.4 
Europe429.9 317.4 338.7 
Total$2,079.9 $1,445.7 $1,503.9 
 
The Company’s products are sold worldwide through distributors, direct sales force and manufacturers’ representatives in certain regions. For the fiscal year 2021, approximately 69% of the Company’s net sales were to customers outside the United States (“U.S.”), including approximately 30% to China.
 
The Company manufactures many of its products on fully integrated manufacturing and assembly equipment. The Company maintains product quality through a Global Quality Management System with most manufacturing sites certified under ISO 9001:2000. In addition, several of the Littelfuse manufacturing sites are also certified under IATF 16949 and ISO 14001.
 
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Additional information regarding the Company’s sales by geographic area and long-lived assets in different geographic areas is in Note 16, Segment Information, of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report.

BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
 
Electronics Segment 

The Company designs, manufactures and sells components and modules to empower the long-term mega sustainability themes. Over the last decade the Company has positioned itself within the center of these global structural growth themes by helping to enable its customers’ applications focused on a more sustainable, connected, and safer world. The ever-increasing complexity of applications surrounding these themes continues to drive greater demand for the Company’s reliable products and a higher level of product content. As a result, the Company has evolved its presence across the industrial, transportation and electronics end markets it serves.

Circuit protection technologies in the Electronics Segment are designed to protect against harmful occurrences like voltage spikes, short circuits, power surges and electrostatic discharge. Products include fuses and fuse accessories, PTC resettable fuses, ESD suppressors, varistors, gas discharge tubes, and semiconductor products such as discrete TVS diodes, TVS diode arrays, and protection thyristors.

The Company also offers a wide range of power control products used to convert and regulate energy and safely and efficiently control power across a broad spectrum of industrial applications like renewable energy and energy storage systems, motor drives and power conversion. Products include a comprehensive portfolio of semiconductor components and modules including thyristors, MOSFETs, rectifiers and fast recovery diodes, IGBTs and wide band gap devices. The 2018 acquisition of IXYS expanded the Company's power semiconductor portfolio in medium and high-power industrial applications and technology expertise. The Company expects to continue to diversify and expand its presence within the industrial market, leveraging the strong IXYS industrial OEM customer base.
 
As products become increasingly sophisticated, smarter and more connected, the need for complex sensor technologies continues to grow. Sensor products in the Electronics Segment are used in a wide variety of applications including appliances, building and home automation, industrial controls, and commercial vehicles.
 
Transportation Segment
 
The Company is a primary supplier of fuses and circuit protection technologies to global automotive OEMs, through sales made to Tier One automotive suppliers, main-fuse box, and wire harness manufacturers that incorporate the fuses into their products, as well as automotive component parts manufacturers, and automotive parts distributors. The Company also sells its fuses in the replacement parts market, with its products being sold through merchandisers, discount stores, and service stations, as well as under private label by national firms.

Passenger vehicle products are used in internal combustion engine, hybrid and electric vehicles including blade fuses, battery cable protectors, resettable fuses, high-current fuses, high-voltage fuses, and sensor products designed to monitor the occupant’s safety and environment as well as the vehicle’s powertrain.

The Company’s commercial vehicle business includes a variety of products including power distribution modules and units, low and high current switches, circuit breakers, relays, battery management products, ignition key switches, and trailer connectors. These products are used in applications serving a number of end markets, including heavy-duty truck, construction, agriculture, material handling and marine. Products are sold directly to a mix of OEMs, Tier One suppliers, aftermarket channels, as well as through general distribution. The acquisition of Carling Technologies significantly expanded the Company's switching, circuit protection and power distribution product portfolios. The Company expects to continue to expand its presence within transportation end markets, leveraging its strong OEM, Tier One and distributor customer base and go-to-market strength, and by continuing to expand its product portfolio through organic and inorganic investments.
 
Industrial Segment
 
The Company designs and sells a broad range of power fuses and holders, protection relays and controls, temperature sensors and other circuit protection products, contactors and transformers, for use in various industrial applications such as renewable energy and energy storage systems, electric vehicle infrastructure, HVAC systems, industrial safety, non-residential construction, MRO, mining and industrial automation. These products are used to protect personnel and equipment from excessive currents, over voltages, and electrical shock hazards.

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Products are sold direct to OEMs, and through electrical distributors and electronics distribution channels. The 2021 acquisition of Hartland expanded the Company’s contactors and transformers product portfolios. The Company expects to continue to expand its presence within industrial end markets, leveraging its strong customer base, and go-to-market strength, and by continuing to expand its product portfolio through organic and inorganic investments.

PRODUCT DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT
 
The Company employs scientific, engineering, and other personnel to continually improve its existing product lines and to develop new products at its research, product design, and development (“R&D”) and engineering facilities with primary locations in China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Philippines, Taiwan (China), United Kingdom ("U.K."), and the U.S. The Company maintains a staff of engineers, chemists, material scientists and technicians whose primary responsibility is to design and develop new products.
 
Proposals for the development of new products are initiated primarily by sales, marketing, and product management personnel with input from customers. The entire product development process usually ranges from a few months to a few years based on the complexity of development, with continuous efforts to reduce the development cycle. During fiscal years 2021, 2020, and 2019, the Company expended $65.9 million, $52.5 million, and $80.0 million, respectively, on R&D. 

PATENTS, TRADEMARKS, AND OTHER INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
 
The Company generally relies on patents, trademarks, licenses, and nondisclosure agreements to protect its intellectual property and proprietary products. In cases where it is deemed necessary by management, key employees are required to sign an agreement that they will maintain the confidentiality of the Company’s proprietary information and trade secrets.
 
The Company owns a large portfolio of patents worldwide and new products are continually being developed to replace older products. The Company regularly applies for patent protection on such new products. While, in the aggregate, the Company’s patents are important in the operation of its businesses, the Company believes that the loss by expiration or otherwise of any one patent or group of patents would not materially affect its business.
 
MANUFACTURING
 
The Company’s manufacturing facilities are in China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Philippines, Portugal, the U.K., and the U.S. The Company performs the majority of its own fabrication and maintains in-house capabilities for metal stamping, surface mount assembly, plating (silver, nickel, zinc, and oxides) and thermoplastic molding. In addition, the Company fabricates semiconductor wafers for certain applications and maintains in-house capability for epitaxy fabrication, die attach, and wafer probe testing. After sub-components are readied for assembly, final assembly is accomplished on fully automatic and semi-automatic assembly machines. Quality assurance and operations personnel, using techniques such as statistical process control, perform tests, checks and measurements during the production process to maintain the highest levels of product quality, including safety and reliability, and customer satisfaction. Additionally, the Company utilizes external wafer foundries and subcontracted test and assembly facilities for a portion of its semiconductor business.

The principal raw materials for the Company’s products include copper and copper alloys, resin and heat-resistant plastics, zinc, melamine, glass, silver, gold, raw silicon, solder, rubber, and various gases. The Company’s strategy is to prequalify suppliers for quality assurance and supply continuity, and when possible, to localize supply sources close to its manufacturing sites. This helps to minimize the transportation of materials, and ultimately reduces the Company’s environmental footprint by decreasing emissions, consistent with its sustainability strategy. For critical materials, the Company looks to diversify its supplier base by prequalifying second sources.

SALES AND MARKETING
 
The Company goes to market through selling organizations consisting of worldwide direct sales personnel, distribution partners and manufacturers’ representatives. The direct sales force closely works with global OEM, Tier One automotive, consulting engineers, and major end customers to design-in and sell all of the Company’s products. The distributors provide fulfillment for a majority of customers including those partnered with electronic manufacturing services ("EMS"). The Company has sales offices and direct sales channels in a number of countries around the world.
 
Electronics Segment
 
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Our Electronics segment products are used across a variety of applications. While certain of our products require less design support for our customers, many of our products are incorporated into applications with complex design technical support requirements. Most Electronics segment products are sold through our direct salesforce or through our channel distribution partners. The fulfillment of these products is primarily through our broad line distribution partners, including global distributors such as Arrow Electronics, Inc., Future Electronics and TTI, Inc., regional and high service distributors, including Digi-Key and Mouser, as well as directly to OEM's.

Transportation Segment
 
The Company primarily uses a direct sales force to service all of the major automotive and commercial vehicle OEMs, system suppliers, and Tier One automotive and aftermarket customers globally. In selected areas, the Company also uses distributors to service smaller customers and to provide supply chain fulfillment for certain customers.

The Company also leverages its transportation customer relationships to sell products from the Electronics segment into transportation end markets, primarily to Tier One automotive customers. These revenues are reported in the Electronics segment.

Industrial Segment
 
The Company markets and sells its Industrial segment products direct to OEMs, and through electrical distributors and electronics distribution channels to various end customers including electrical contractors, factories, municipalities, and utilities.
 
CUSTOMERS
 
The Company directly sells to over 6,900 customers and distributors worldwide. Sales to Arrow Electronics, Inc., which were reported in our Electronics, Transportation and Industrial segments, were 10.7%, 10.4% and 10.7% of consolidated net sales in 2021, 2020, and 2019, respectively. No other single customer accounted for more than 10% of net sales during any of the last three years. During fiscal 2021, 2020, and 2019, net sales to customers outside the U.S. accounted for approximately 69%, 73%, and 71%, respectively, of the Company’s total net sales.

CYBERSECURITY

The Company relies on its information technology systems and networks in connection with many of its business activities. Some of these networks and systems are managed directly by the Company, while others are managed by third-party service providers and are not under the Company's day-to-day control. We oversee the services provided by the third-party service providers. We continually evaluate ourselves for appropriate business continuity and disaster recovery planning, with test scenarios that include simulations and penetration tests. Our networks are monitored by intrusion detection services, and our systems and applications are routinely tested for vulnerabilities and are operated with an appropriate patch management program. We employ a skilled IT workforce to implement our cybersecurity programs and to handle specific security responsibilities. Our IT workforce is trained to address security and compliance-related issues as they arise.
 
COMPETITION
 
The Company’s products compete with similar products of other manufacturers, some of which may have substantially greater financial resources than the Company. In the Electronics segment, the Company’s competitors include Eaton Corporation, Bourns Inc., TDK, ON Semiconductor Corporation, Infineon Technologies, STMicroelectronics NV, Semtech Corporation, and Vishay Intertechnology Inc. In the Transportation segment, the Company’s competitors include Eaton Corporation, Pacific Engineering, MTA (Meccanotecnica Codognese), CTS Corporation, Amphenol Corporation, Sensata Technologies Holding NV, and TE Connectivity Ltd. In the Industrial segment, the Company’s major competitors include Eaton Corporation, GE Multilin, and Mersen. The Company believes that it globally competes on the basis of innovative products, the breadth of its product line, the quality, design and performance of its products based on their reliability, consistency and safety, its technical capabilities and application expertise, and the responsiveness of its customer service.
 
BACKLOG
 
The backlog of unfilled orders at January 1, 2022 was approximately $1,657.1 million, compared to $709.9 million at December 26, 2020 with the increase primarily driven by all segments and acquisition. Substantially all the orders currently in backlog are scheduled for delivery in 2022.
 
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HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT
 
A passion for engineering excellence and an innovative spirit have been a part of what it means to work at Littelfuse since its founding in 1927. The Company hires bright minds who want to make a big impact and are committed to improve the safety, reliability and performance of our customers’ products. As the Company's human capital is critical to its success, the Company strives to make Littelfuse a safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace, provide competitive compensation, benefits, and health and wellness programs, offer appropriate training and promote community involvement.

Employee Data

At January 1, 2022, the Company had approximately 17,000 full-time, part-time and temporary employees; of which 53% are female and 47% are male; and of which 52%, 37% and 11% are located in the Americas, Asia-Pacific region, and Europe, respectively.

Core Values

Littelfuse core values – Customer Focus, Teamwork, Results Driven, Integrity and Innovation – guide conversations, decisions, and interactions for our business. Together, they are the foundation of the Company's working relationships both internally and externally and the Company asks each of associates to exemplify these high standards every day.

Governance & Oversight

The Chief Human Resources Officer ("CHRO") is responsible for developing and executing the Company’s human capital strategy. This includes establishing and implementing the Company's global policies and programs for leadership and employee development, compensation, benefits, workforce planning, human resources systems, and ensuring effective and efficient internal company operations. The CHRO is responsible for developing and integrating the Company’s diversity, inclusion, and belonging strategy in its business operations. The Chief Executive Officer ("CEO") and CHRO regularly update the Company's board of directors on human capital matters.

Leadership and Employee Development

The Company is committed to identifying and developing our next generation of leaders. The Company's talent review and succession planning processes support the development of the Company's talent pipeline, as well as the diversity of its talent. The Company is focused on both the recruitment of diverse candidates and the development of the Company's diverse employees to provide the opportunity to advance their careers and move into leadership positions within the Company. Globally, the Company conducts enterprise-wide talent review processes with the CEO, business unit and function leaders focusing on the Company's high-performing and high-potential talent, diverse talent, and the succession for the Company's most critical roles. Also, the Company's board of directors reviews and assesses management development plans for senior executives and the succession plans relating to those positions.

From the Company's production lines to its engineering labs, the office or distribution center, the contributions of the Company's talented teams make a critical difference. The Company's goal is to ensure that every employee is provided with the appropriate resources and opportunities to enjoy a successful and rewarding career at Littelfuse. The Company's training programs cover topics including job-skills, enterprise six-sigma, Lean manufacturing, information security, and ethics and compliance. All global associates are required to take the Company's annual Code of Conduct training, which is made available in local languages for the Company's global workforce. The Company also has regional development programs that assist the Company's current and future leaders to develop leadership skills and grow their careers in Littelfuse.

Diversity and Inclusion

As part of driving sustainable success, The Company values and celebrates diversity in every aspect of work with customers, stakeholders, suppliers and each other. The Company's commitment to diversity and equity empowers its associates to innovate, deliver bold solutions and drive growth with the multifaceted insight that comes from true community. The Company believes that when everyone is included, everyone wins.
Our Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Council focuses on enhancing the diversity across the Company's stakeholders through bold solutions, to drive sustainable success across the company. In addition, the Company also has a number of employee resource groups, each sponsored by a member of our executive leadership team, that enhance its inclusive and diverse culture.
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One example is the Company's Women’s Initiative Network (WiN). WiN was established to provide a forum to inspire and accelerate associate advancement and development through networking, mentoring, coaching and education.

Compensation and Benefits

The Company provides compensation and benefits programs designed to be both competitive and equitable, in order to attract, retain and motivate highly qualified associates. The components of the Company's compensation program vary by region and employee-type, and include items such as base salary, performance-based bonus plans, equity awards, paid time off, and tuition reimbursement. Global programs include a combination of statutory and additional supplemental benefits in the areas of health, welfare and retirement.

Health, Safety and Wellness

The Company is committed to the safety, health, human rights, and well-being of our employees. The Company continuously evaluates opportunities to raise safety and health standards through the Company's environmental, health, and safety teams. Compliance audits and internal processes are in place to stay ahead of workplace hazards, and the Company strives for a zero-injury workplace and to further our strong culture of safety. The Company further supports the mental and physical well-being of the Company's employees through a range of wellness programs that promote a healthy lifestyle.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company has prioritized the health and safety of its associates and their families. In an effort to protect the health and safety of our associates, the Company has taken proactive steps in our facilities globally to implement safety procedures including hygiene and disinfection protocols, social distancing, and providing transportation alternatives for employees to get to work and personal protective equipment.

Community Involvement

The Company encourages and sponsors employees to donate their time and other resources to improve the communities where they live and work. The Company's teams around the globe regularly engage in local community outreach, sponsoring activities and initiatives that align with its overall community involvement strategy. The causes the Company supports include science, technology, engineering and mathematics ("STEM") education, community improvement and environmental stewardship.

SUSTAINABILITY

The Company is focused on creating long-term value for customers, employees, investors, and the communities where they live and work through sustainable business practices. Many of the Company's key end markets are linked to sustainable applications such as electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, renewable energy, and power management. Sustainable end markets have been a focus of the Company for decades and the Company published its first Sustainability Report in 2021, as the Company aims to further communicate its commitment and progress towards key internal sustainability initiatives. The initial focus areas in the Company's Sustainability Report include:

business ethics
innovation
climate change and greenhouse gas emissions
training, education, and career development
water and wastewater management
sustainable supply chain
health and safety in the workplace
diversity and equal opportunity
community involvement
economic performance
energy management
waste and hazardous material management

Additional information on how the Company manages each of these topics and the sustainability program progress is available in the Company's Sustainability Report, located on the Company's website at https://www.littelfuse.com/about-us/sustainability.aspx. The contents of the Company's Sustainability Report and website are not incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION
 
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The Company is subject to numerous foreign, federal, state, and local regulations relating to air and water quality, the disposal of hazardous waste materials, safety and health. Compliance with applicable environmental regulations has not significantly changed the Company’s competitive position, capital spending or earnings in the past and the Company does not presently anticipate that compliance with such regulations will change its competitive position, capital spending or earnings for the foreseeable future.
 
The Company believes that it is currently in compliance in all material respects with applicable environmental laws and regulations.

Littelfuse GmbH, which was acquired by the Company in May 2004, is responsible for maintaining closed coal mines in Germany from legacy operations. The Company is compliant with German regulations pertaining to the maintenance of the mines and has an accrual related to certain of these coal mine shafts based on an engineering study estimating the cost of remediating the dangers (such as a shaft collapse) of certain of these closed coal mine shafts in Germany. The accrual is reviewed annually and calculated based upon the estimated costs of remediating the shafts. Further information regarding the coal mine liability accrual is provided in Note 1, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies and Other Information, of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report.

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS.
 
The Company’s business, financial condition, and results of operations are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including the risk factors it has identified below. Any of the following risk factors could materially and adversely affect the Company’s business, financial condition, or results of operations. These factors are not necessarily listed in order of importance.

1) Operational Risks:
 
The Company’s industry is subject to intense competitive pressures.
 
The Company operates in markets that are highly competitive. The Company competes on the basis of price, product performance and quality, service, and / or brand name across the industries and markets it serves. Competitive pressures could affect the prices the Company is able to charge its customers or demand for its products.
 
The Company may not always be able to compete on price, particularly when compared to manufacturers with lower cost structures. Some of the Company’s competitors have substantially greater sales, financial and manufacturing resources and may have greater access to capital than the Company. As other companies enter its markets or develop new products, competition may further intensify. The Company’s failure to compete effectively could materially adversely affect its business, financial condition, and results of operations.
 
The Company engages in strategic acquisitions and may not realize the anticipated benefits of the acquisitions and / or may encounter difficulties in integrating these businesses.
 
The Company seeks to grow through strategic acquisitions. In the past, the Company has acquired a number of businesses or companies and additional product lines and assets. The Company intends to continue to expand and diversify its operations with additional future acquisitions.
 
An acquired business, technology, service or product could under-perform relative to the Company’s expectations and the price paid for it, or not perform in accordance with the Company’s anticipated timetable. This could cause the Company’s financial results to differ from expectations in any given fiscal period, or over the long term. The success of these transactions also depends on the Company’s ability to integrate the assets, operations, and personnel associated with these acquisitions. The Company may encounter difficulties in integrating acquisitions with the Company’s operations and may not realize the degree or timing of the benefits that are anticipated from an acquisition.
 
The Company may also discover liabilities or deficiencies associated with the companies or assets it acquires that were not identified in advance, which may result in significant unanticipated costs. The effectiveness of the Company’s due diligence review and its ability to evaluate the results of such due diligence are dependent upon the accuracy and completeness of statements and disclosures made or actions taken by the companies acquired or their representatives, as well as the limited amount of time in which acquisitions are executed. In addition, the Company may fail to accurately forecast the financial impact of an acquisition transaction, including tax and accounting charges. Acquisitions may also result in recording of significant additional expenses to the results of operations and recording of substantial intangible assets on the balance sheet upon closing. Any of these factors may adversely affect the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.
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Disruptions in the Company’s manufacturing, supply or distribution chain could result in an adverse impact on results of operations.
 
The Company sources materials and sells product through various global network channels. A disruption could occur within the Company’s manufacturing, distribution or supply chain network. This could include damage or destruction due to various causes including natural disasters or political instability which would cause one or more of these network channels to become non-operational. This could adversely affect the Company’s ability to manufacture or deliver its products in a timely manner, impair its ability to meet customer demand for products and result in lost sales or damage to its reputation. Such a disruption could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, financial condition and results of operations.

The Company may be unable to manufacture and deliver products in a manner that is responsive to its customers’ needs.
 
The end markets for the Company’s products are characterized by technological change, frequent new product introductions and enhancements, changes in customer requirements and emerging industry standards. The introduction of products embodying new technologies and the emergence of new industry standards could render its existing products obsolete and unmarketable before it can recover any or all of its research, development, and commercialization expenses on capital investments. Furthermore, the life cycles of its products may change and are difficult to estimate.

The Company’s future success will depend upon its ability to manufacture and deliver products in a manner that is responsive to its customers’ needs. The Company will need to develop and introduce new products and product enhancements on a timely basis that keep pace with technological developments and emerging industry standards and address increasingly sophisticated requirements of its customers. The Company invests heavily in research and development without knowing if it will recover these costs. The Company’s competitors may develop products or technologies that will render its products non-competitive or obsolete. If it cannot develop and market new products or product enhancements in a timely and cost-effective manner, its business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.

The Company’s business may be interrupted by labor disputes or other interruptions of supplies.
 
A work stoppage could occur at certain Company facilities, most likely as a result of disputes under collective bargaining agreements or in connection with negotiations of new collective bargaining agreements. In addition, the Company may experience a shortage of supplies for various reasons, such as financial distress, work stoppages, natural disasters, or production difficulties that may affect one of its suppliers. A significant work stoppage, or an interruption or shortage of supplies for any reason, if protracted, could substantially adversely affect the Company’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
Failure to attract and retain qualified personnel could affect the Company’s business results.
 
The Company’s success in its existing and acquired businesses, depends on the Company’s ability to attract, retain, and motivate a highly-skilled and diverse management team and workforce. Failure to ensure that the Company has the depth and breadth of personnel with the necessary skill set and experience could impede its ability to deliver growth objectives and execute the Company’s strategy. Competition for qualified employees among companies that rely heavily upon engineering and technology is at times intense, and the loss of qualified employees could hinder the Company’s ability to conduct research activities successfully and develop marketable products.
 
The Company may not be successful protecting its intellectual property.
 
The Company considers its intellectual property, including patents, trade names, and trademarks, to be of significant value to its business as a whole. The Company’s products are manufactured, marketed, and sold under a portfolio of patents, trademarks, licenses, and other forms of intellectual property, some of which expire or are allowed to lapse at various dates in the future. The Company develops and acquires new intellectual property on an ongoing basis and considers all of its intellectual property to be valuable. The Company's policy is to file applications and obtain patents for the great majority of its novel and innovative new products including product modifications and improvements. Based on the broad scope of its product lines, the Company believes that the loss or expiration of any single intellectual property right would not have a material adverse effect upon its consolidated results of operations, financial position and cash flows; however, multiple losses or expirations could have a material adverse effect upon the Company’s consolidated results of operations, financial position and cash flows.

2) Regulatory Risks:

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Climate change, and the regulatory and legislative developments related to climate change, may have a material adverse impact on our business and results of operations.

The potential physical impacts of climate change on our business operations are highly uncertain and differ in each geographic region where we operate. These impacts may include changes in weather patterns and increased weather intensity, water shortages, changing sea levels and changing temperatures. The impacts of climate change may materially and adversely impact the cost of production, insurance availability, and financial performance of our operations. Further, any impacts to our business and financial condition as a result of climate change are likely to occur over a sustained period of time and are therefore difficult to quantify with any degree of specificity. For example, extreme weather events may result in adverse physical effects on portions of our or others infrastructure, which could disrupt our supply chain and our customers and ultimately our business operations. In addition, disruption of transportation and distribution systems could result in reduced operational efficiency and customer service interruption. Climate-related events have the potential to disrupt our business, including the business of our suppliers and customers, and may cause us to experience higher attrition, and additional costs to resume operations.

Increased government or governmental bodies contemplating legislative and regulatory changes in response to the potential impact of climate change could impose significant costs on us and our suppliers and customers, including increased cost of materials and natural resources, sources and supply of energy, capital equipment, environmental monitoring and reporting, or other costs to comply with such regulations. Potential regulations or standards could mandate more restrictive manufacturing requirements, such as stricter limits on greenhouse gas emissions and material used in production. Any future climate change regulations could also adversely impact our ability to compete with companies not subject to such regulations.

Changes in U.S. and other countries trade policy, including the imposition of tariffs and the resulting consequences, may have a material adverse impact on our business and results of operations.

In the past several years, the U.S. government adopted a new approach to trade policy and in some cases to renegotiate, or potentially terminate, certain existing bilateral or multi-lateral trade agreements. It also imposed tariffs on certain foreign goods and products. These measures may materially increase costs for goods imported into the U.S. This in turn could require us to materially increase prices to our customers which may reduce demand, or, if we do not or are unable to increase prices, could result in lower margins on products sold. Changes in U.S. trade policy have resulted in, and could result in more, U.S. trading partners adopting responsive trade policies making it more difficult or costly for us to export our products to those countries. Additionally, continued geo-political issues may result in customers in China seeking to source products from local suppliers, which could result in lower sales or lost customers.

The Company is exposed to political, economic, and other risks that arise from operating a multinational business.
 
The Company's customers, suppliers, employees and operations are located in numerous countries around the world, and contribute significantly to its revenues and earnings. Sales to customers outside the U.S. constituted approximately 69% of the Company's net sales in fiscal 2021. Many of the Company's key customers are located outside of U.S. and maintain global operations. Serving a global customer base and remaining competitive in the global marketplace requires the Company to diversify its operations outside the U.S. to capitalize on customer and market opportunities, build a global workforce and maintain a cost efficient structure. In addition, the Company sources a significant amount of raw materials, components and finished goods from third-party suppliers and contract manufacturers. The Company’s operating activities are subject to a number of risks generally associated with multi-national operations, including risks relating to the following:

general economic conditions;
currency fluctuations and exchange restrictions;
import and export duties and restrictions;
the imposition of tariffs and other import or export barriers;
compliance with regulations governing import and export activities;
current and changing regulatory requirements;
political and economic instability;
potentially adverse income tax consequences;
transportation delays and interruptions;
labor unrest;
natural disasters;
terrorist activities;
public health concerns, including the outbreak of the coronavirus or other pandemics;
difficulties in staffing and managing multi-national operations; and
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limitations on the Company’s ability to enforce legal rights and remedies.

Any of these factors could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s consolidated results of operations, financial position and cash flows.

The COVID-19 pandemic could have a material adverse effect on our ability to operate, results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, and capital investments.

The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic in 2020, and the virus continues to spread in areas where we operate and sell our products. The COVID-19 pandemic and similar situations/circumstances in the future could have a material adverse effect on our ability to operate, results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, and capital investments. Several public health organizations have recommended, and some local governments have implemented, certain measures to slow and limit the transmission of the virus, including travel restrictions, shelter-in-place requirements and social distancing requirements. Such preventive measures, or others we may voluntarily put in place, may have a material adverse effect on our business for an indefinite period of time, such as the potential shut down of certain locations, decreased employee availability, potential increased vulnerability to cybersecurity incidents, including breaches of information systems security due to widespread remote working arrangements, potential border closures. Our suppliers and customers, including OEMs and distribution partners, may also face similar disruptions to their operations, which could lead to a disruption in our supply chain as well as decreased demand for our products. These issues may also materially affect our future access to our sources of liquidity, particularly our cash flows from operations, financial condition, capitalization, and capital investments. These disruptions may continue to occur and may result in future impairment, restructuring and other charges. To the extent the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affects our business and financial results, it may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks described in the risk factors disclosed in Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors, including those relating to our products and services, financial performance, debt covenant compliance and debt obligations. The ultimate magnitude of COVID-19, including the extent of its impact on our financial and operational results, which could be material, will be determined by the length of time that the pandemic continues, its effect on the demand for our services, as well as the effect of governmental regulations imposed in response to the pandemic. We cannot at this time predict the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and/or cash flows. 

Environmental liabilities could adversely impact the Company’s financial position.
 
Foreign, federal, state and local laws and regulations impose various restrictions and controls on the discharge of materials, chemicals and gases used in the Company’s manufacturing processes or in its finished goods. These environmental regulations have required the Company to expend a portion of its resources and capital on relevant compliance programs. Under these laws and regulations, the Company could be held financially responsible for remedial measures if its current or former properties are contaminated or if it sends waste to a landfill or recycling facility that becomes contaminated, even if the Company did not cause the contamination. The Company may be subject to additional common law claims if it releases substances that damage or harm third parties. In addition, future changes in environmental laws or regulations may require additional investments in capital equipment or the implementation of additional compliance programs. Any failure to comply with new or existing environmental laws or regulations could subject the Company to significant liabilities and could have a material adverse effect on its consolidated results of operations, financial position and cash flows.
 
In the conduct of manufacturing operations, the Company has handled and does handle materials that are considered hazardous, toxic or volatile under federal, state, and local laws. The risk of accidental release of such materials cannot be completely eliminated. In addition, the Company operates or owns facilities located on or near real property that was formerly owned and operated by others. Certain of these properties were used in ways that involved hazardous materials. Contaminants may migrate from, within or through these properties. These releases or migrations may give rise to claims. Where third parties are responsible for contamination, the third parties may not have funds, or not make funds available when needed, to pay remediation costs imposed upon the Company under environmental laws and regulations.
 
The Company is responsible for the maintenance of discontinued coal mining operations in Germany. The risk of environmental remediation exists, and the Company is in the process of remediating the mines considered to be the most at risk.

3) Financial Risks:
 
Reorganization activities may lead to additional costs and material adverse effects.
 
In the past, the Company has taken actions to restructure and optimize its production and manufacturing capabilities and efficiencies through relocations, consolidations, plant closings or asset sales. In the future, the Company may take additional restructuring actions including the consolidating, closing or selling of additional facilities. These actions could result in
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impairment charges and various charges for such items as idle capacity, disposition costs and severance costs, in addition to normal or attendant risks and uncertainties. The Company may be unsuccessful in any of its current or future efforts to restructure or consolidate its business. Plans to minimize or eliminate any loss of revenues during restructuring or consolidation may not be achieved. These activities may have a material adverse effect upon the Company’s business, financial condition and results of operations. 
 
The Company’s ability to manage currency or commodity price fluctuations or supply shortages is limited.
 
As a resource-intensive manufacturing operation, the Company is exposed to a variety of market and asset risks, including the effects of changes in commodity prices, foreign currency exchange rates, and interest rates. The Company has multiple sources of supply for the majority of its commodity requirements. However, significant shortages that disrupt the supply of raw materials or result in price increases could affect prices the Company charges its customers, its product costs, and the competitive position of its products and services. The Company monitors and manages these exposures as an integral part of its overall risk management program, which recognizes the unpredictability of markets and seeks to reduce the potentially adverse effects on its results. Nevertheless, changes in currency exchange rates, commodity prices and interest rates cannot always be predicted. In addition, because of intense price competition and the Company’s high level of fixed costs, it may not be able to address such changes even if they are foreseeable. Substantial changes in these rates and prices could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s results of operations and financial condition. In addition, significant portions of its revenues and earnings are exposed to changes in foreign currency rates. As it operates in multiple foreign currencies, changes in those currencies relative to the U.S. dollar will impact its revenues and expenses. The impact of possible currency devaluation in countries experiencing high inflation rates or significant exchange fluctuations can impact the Company’s results and financial guidance. For additional discussion of interest rate, currency or commodity price risk, see Item 7A, Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk.

The Company’s effective tax rate could materially increase as a consequence of various factors, including U.S. and/or international tax legislation, mix of the Company’s earnings by jurisdiction, and U.S. and non-U.S. jurisdictional tax audits.
 
The Company is subject to taxes in the U.S. and numerous non-U.S. jurisdictions. Therefore, it is subject to changes in tax laws in each of these jurisdictions, including changes discussed in the paragraphs below. The outcome of these and other legislative developments, including changes to interpretations of recently enacted legislation, could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s future effective tax rate and cash flows.

U.S. tax legislative proposals currently being considered in a bill referred to as “Build Back Better” could, among other things, increase the Company’s U.S. taxes on non-U.S. earnings, effective in 2023. In addition, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”) is working with a group of more than 100 countries to significantly change the tax treatment of multinational businesses, subjecting them to tax in additional jurisdictions, modifying the methods by which they allocate profits among jurisdictions, and subjecting them to a minimum level of tax. As part of this effort, during 2021, the OECD reached a near-unanimous agreement among the working group jurisdictions to apply a minimum income tax rate of 15%, on a country-by-country basis. In December of 2021, the OECD published model rules to assist with implementation of the minimum tax regime, proposed to be effective in 2023, and the European Union published a directive that would incorporate the OECD-led minimum tax proposals into European Union law. The Company’s income tax rate in certain non-U.S. jurisdictions is lower than 15%. Enactment of these minimum tax proposals, and the other proposals discussed above, could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s future effective tax rate and cash flows.

Certain European jurisdictions, including Germany and the Netherlands, have enacted or will enact tax legislation based upon directives from the European Union. Such legislation could potentially deny tax deductions for certain expenses and/or subject to tax the income earned in certain low tax jurisdictions.

The Company has two subsidiaries in China which benefit from lower income tax rates due to “tax holidays” which apply for three-year periods. The tax holiday for one of the subsidiaries expires at the end of 2022, and for the other subsidiary the tax holiday will expire at the end of 2023. Future year tax benefits will depend upon the Company’s ability to obtain extensions, after the three-year periods expire. There can be no assurance that future extensions will be granted.

The tax rates applicable in the jurisdictions within which the Company operates vary widely. Therefore, the Company’s effective tax rate may be adversely affected by changes in the mix of its earnings by jurisdiction.

The Company’s tax returns are subject to examination by various U.S. and non-U.S. tax authorities, including the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. The Company regularly assesses the likelihood of an adverse outcome resulting from these examinations to determine the adequacy of its provision for income taxes. However, there can be no assurance as to the outcome of these examinations.

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A decline in expected profitability of the Company or individual reporting units of the Company could result in the impairment of assets, including goodwill and other long-lived assets.
 
The Company continues to hold material amounts of goodwill and other long-lived assets on its balance sheet. A decline in expected profitability, particularly if there is a decline in the global economy, could call into question the recoverability of the Company’s related goodwill and other long-lived tangible and intangible assets and require the write-down or write-off of these assets. Such an occurrence could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s consolidated results of operations, financial position and cash flows.
 
A significant fluctuation between the U.S. dollar and other currencies could adversely impact the Company's revenue and earnings.
 
Although the Company's financial results are reported in U.S. dollars, the majority of the Company’s operations consist of manufacturing and sales activities in foreign countries. The Company’s most significant net long exposure is to the euro. The Company’s most significant net short exposures are to the Chinese renminbi, Mexican peso, and Philippine peso. Changes in foreign exchange rates could have an adverse effect on the Company's results of operations, financial position and cash flows.
 
The Company’s revenues may vary significantly from period to period.
 
The Company’s revenues may vary significantly from one period to another due to a variety of factors including:
 
changes in customers’ buying decisions;
changes in demand for its products;
changes in its distributor inventory stocking;
the Company’s product mix;
the Company’s effectiveness in managing manufacturing processes;
costs and timing of its component purchases;
the effectiveness of its inventory control;
the degree to which it is able to utilize its available manufacturing capacity;
the Company’s ability to meet delivery schedules;
general economic and industry conditions;
local conditions and events that may affect its production volumes, such as labor conditions and political instability; and
seasonality of certain product lines.

The bankruptcy or insolvency of a major customer could adversely affect the Company.
 
The bankruptcy or insolvency of a major customer could result in lower sales revenue and cause a material adverse effect on the Company’s consolidated results of operations, financial position and cash flows. In addition, the bankruptcy or insolvency of a major auto manufacturer or significant supplier likely could lead to substantial disruptions in the automotive supply base, resulting in lower demand for the Company’s products, which would likely cause a decrease in sales revenue and have a substantial adverse impact on the Company’s consolidated results of operations, financial position and cash flows.

The inability to maintain access to capital markets may adversely affect the Company’s business and financial results.
 
The Company’s ability to invest in its businesses, make strategic acquisitions, and refinance maturing debt obligations may require access to the capital markets and sufficient bank credit lines to support short-term borrowings. If the Company is unable to access the capital markets or bank credit facilities, it could experience a material adverse effect on its consolidated results of operations, financial position and cash flows.
 
Fixed costs may reduce operating results if sales fall below expectations.
 
The Company’s expense levels are based, in part, on its expectations for future sales. Many of the Company’s expenses, particularly those relating to capital equipment and manufacturing overhead, are relatively fixed. The Company might not be able to reduce spending quickly enough to compensate for reductions in sales. Accordingly, shortfalls in sales could materially and adversely affect the Company’s consolidated results of operations, financial position and cash flows.
 
The volatility of the Company’s stock price could affect the value of an investment in the Company’s stock and future financial position.
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The market price of the Company’s stock can fluctuate widely. Between December 26, 2020 and January 1, 2022, the closing sale price of the Company’s common stock ranged between a low of $234.59 and a high of $334.84. The volatility of the stock price may be related to any number of factors, such as volatility in the financial markets, general macroeconomic conditions, industry conditions, market expectations concerning the Company’s results of operations, or the volatility of its revenues as discussed above under “The Company’s Revenues May Vary Significantly from Period to Period.” The historic market price of the Company’s common stock may not be indicative of future market prices. The Company may not be able to sustain or increase the value of its common stock. Declines in the market price of the Company’s stock could adversely affect the Company’s ability to retain personnel with stock incentives, to acquire businesses or assets in exchange for stock and/or to conduct future financing activities with or involving the Company’s common stock.

The Company is exposed to, and may be adversely affected by, potential security breaches or other disruptions to its information technology systems and data security.
 
The Company relies on its information technology systems and networks in connection with many of its business activities. Some of these networks and systems are managed directly by the Company, while others are managed by third-party service providers and are not under the Company’s direct control. The Company’s operations routinely involve receiving, storing, processing and transmitting sensitive information pertaining to its business, customers, dealers, suppliers, employees, and other sensitive matters. As with most companies, the Company has experienced cyber-attacks, attempts to breach its systems, and other similar incidents, none of which have been material. Any future cyber incidents could, however, materially disrupt operational systems; result in loss of trade secrets or other proprietary or competitively sensitive information; compromise personally identifiable information regarding employees or customers or other third parties; and jeopardize the security of the Company’s facilities. A cyber incident could be caused by malicious outsiders using sophisticated methods to circumvent firewalls, encryption, and other security defenses. Because techniques used to obtain unauthorized access or to sabotage systems change frequently and generally are not recognized until they are launched against a target, the Company may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate preventative measures. Information technology security threats, including security breaches, computer malware, and other cyber-attacks are increasing in both frequency and sophistication and could create financial liability, subject the Company to legal or regulatory sanctions or damage the Company’s reputation with customers, dealers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. The Company continuously seeks to maintain a robust program of information security and controls, but the impact of a material information technology event could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s competitive position, reputation, results of operations, financial position and cash flows.
 
Customer demands and regulations related to conflict-free minerals may force the Company to incur additional expenses.
 
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act requires disclosure of use of “conflict” minerals mined from the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries and efforts to prevent the use of such minerals. In the semiconductor industry, these minerals are most commonly found in metals. As there may be only a limited number of suppliers offering “conflict free” metals, the Company cannot be certain that it will be able to obtain necessary metals in sufficient quantities or at competitive prices. Also, the Company may face challenges with its customers and suppliers if it is unable to sufficiently verify that the metals used in its products are “conflict free.”
  
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS. 
None.
 

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES. 

The Company’s engineering and research and development, manufacturing, sales, and distribution centers are located in approximately 77 owned or leased facilities worldwide with primary operations in China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, South Korea, U.K, and the U.S. totaling approximately 3.9 million square feet. The Company’s owned facilities include approximately 2.1 million square feet and the Company’s leased facilities include approximately 1.8 million square feet. The Company’s corporate headquarters is located in the U.S. in Chicago, Illinois.
 
The Company believes its facilities are adequate to meet its requirements for the foreseeable future.
 
ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS.
 
The Company is not a party to any material legal proceedings, other than routine litigation incidental to its business.
 
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ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES.
 
Not applicable.

Information about our Executive Officers.
 
The executive officers of the Company are as follows:
 
NameAgePosition
David W. Heinzmann58President and Chief Executive Officer
Meenal A. Sethna52Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Ryan K. Stafford54
Executive Vice President, Mergers and Acquisitions, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary
Maggie Chu53Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Matthew J. Cole50Senior Vice President, eMobility and Corporate Strategy
Alexander Conrad56Senior Vice President and General Manager, Passenger Vehicle Business
Deepak Nayar62Senior Vice President and General Manager, Electronics Business
 
David W. Heinzmann, President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Heinzmann began his career at Littelfuse in 1985 as a manufacturing engineer and has held positions of increasing responsibility since that time, including Vice President, Global Operations, from 2007 to 2014, and Chief Operating Officer from 2014 until assuming his current position in 2017.
 
Meenal A. Sethna, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Ms. Sethna joined Littelfuse in 2015 as Senior Vice President of Finance until assuming her current position in 2016. Prior to joining Littelfuse, Ms. Sethna served from 2011 to 2015 as Vice President and Corporate Controller of Illinois Tool Works Inc., a diversified manufacturer of specialized industrial equipment, consumables, and related service businesses. Ms. Sethna is a Certified Public Accountant in Illinois.
 
Ryan K. Stafford, Executive Vice President, Mergers and Acquisitions, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary. Mr. Stafford joined Littelfuse as its first General Counsel and Chief Human Resources Officer in 2007, became Corporate Secretary in 2017, and assumed his current position in 2021. Prior to joining Littelfuse, Mr. Stafford served in a number of roles at Tyco International Ltd., including Vice President of China Operations and Vice President & General Counsel for its Engineered Products & Services Business Segment.

Maggie Chu, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. Ms. Chu joined Littelfuse in 2021 as Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. Prior to joining Littelfuse, Ms. Chu served from 2018 to 2021 at Caterpillar, Inc., a leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives, as Segment Human Resources Director for the Energy & Transportation segment and Corporate Services group. Prior to Caterpillar, Ms. Chu spent 15 years with General Electric Company, a high-tech industrial company, in a number of global human resources leadership roles across several of General Electric’s industrial businesses.

Matthew J. Cole, Senior Vice President, eMobility and Corporate Strategy. Mr. Cole joined Littelfuse in 2015 as Senior Vice President and General Manager, Industrial Business Unit, and in 2019 became Senior Vice President, Business Development and Corporate Strategy until assuming his current position in 2021. Prior to joining Littelfuse, Mr. Cole served from 2009 to 2015 as Vice President and General Manager of the Advanced Measurement Technology division of AMETEK, a global leader in electronic instruments and electromechanical devices.

Alexander Conrad, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Passenger Vehicle Business. Mr. Conrad joined Littelfuse in 2005 as Sales Manager, Germany & Eastern Europe. He then held various positions of increasing responsibility at Littelfuse including Sales Director EMEA; Global Director of Sales; Managing Director, Passenger Car Products from 2013 to 2014; and Vice President, Passenger Car Products, from 2015 until assuming his current position in 2018.

Deepak Nayar, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Electronics Business. Mr. Nayar joined Littelfuse in 2005 as Business Line Director of the Electronics Business Unit. He then held various positions of increasing responsibility at Littelfuse including Vice President, Global Sales, Electronics Business Unit, and from 2011 until assuming his current position in 2020, Senior Vice President, Electronics Business Unit.
 
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PART II 

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS, AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES.
 
Shares of the Company’s common stock are traded under the symbol “LFUS” on the NASDAQ Global Select MarketSM.
 
Number of Holders
 
As of February 11, 2022, there were 56 holders of record of the Company’s common stock.
 
Dividend Policy
 
The future dividend policy will be determined by the Board of Directors based upon its evaluation of earnings, cash availability, and general business prospects. Currently, there are restrictions on the payment of dividends contained in the Company’s credit agreements that relate to the maintenance of certain financial ratios. However, the Company expects to continue paying cash dividends on a quarterly basis for the foreseeable future.
 
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities
 
There were no sales of unregistered securities by us or affiliates during the fiscal year ended January 1, 2022. 

Purchases of Equity Securities
 
On April 26, 2019, the Company's Board of Directors authorized a program to repurchase up to 1,000,000 shares of the Company's common stock for the period May 1, 2019 to April 30, 2020 ("2019 program"). On April 29, 2020, the Company announced that the Board of Directors authorized a new program to repurchase up to 1,000,000 shares of the Company's common stock for the period May 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021 (the "2020 program") to replace its previous expired 2019 program. On April 28, 2021, the Company announced that the Board of Directors authorized a new three-year program to repurchase up to $300 million in the aggregate of shares of the Company’s common stock for the period May 1, 2021 to April 30, 2024 to replace its previous 2020 program.

The Company did not repurchase shares of its common stock during the fiscal year ended January 1, 2022. There are $300 million in the aggregate of shares available for purchase under the new program as of January 1, 2022.

Stock Performance Graph
 
The following stock performance graph and related information shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or “filed” with the Securities and Exchange Commission, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filings under the Securities Act of 1933 or Securities Exchange Act of 1934, each as amended, except to the extent that the Company specifically incorporates it by reference into such filing.
 
The following stock performance graph compares the five-year cumulative total return on Littelfuse common stock to the five-year cumulative total returns on the Russell 1000 Index and the Dow Jones Electrical Components and Equipment Industry Group Index. The Company believes that the Russell 1000 Index and the Dow Jones Electrical Components and Equipment Industry Group Index represent a broad market index and peer industry group for total return performance comparison. The stock performance shown on the graph below represents historical stock performance and is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance. 

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https://cdn.kscope.io/e8fb731b41787aa9ba7bcd2f41dd405d-lfus-20220101_g1.jpg
 12/201612/201712/201812/201912/202012/2021
Littelfuse, Inc.$100 $131 $115 $129 $174 $217 
Russell 1000100 122 116 152 184 233 
Dow Jones US Electrical Components & Equipment100 127 112 138 167 209 
 
The Dow Jones Electrical Components and Equipment Industry Group Index includes the common stock of A. O. Smith Corp.; AAON, Inc.; American Superconductor Corp.; AMETEK, Inc.; Amphenol Corp.; Arrow Electronics, Inc.; Avnet, Inc.; AVX Corp.; Capstone Turbine Corp.; CTS Corp.; General Cable Corp.; Hubbell Inc. Class B; Jabil Circuit, Inc.; Littelfuse, Inc.; Methode Electronics, Inc.; Plexus Corp.; Powerwave Technologies, Inc.; Regal-Beloit Corp.; Vicor Corp.; and Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. 

For Littelfuse, Inc. and all indexes noted above, a $100 investment made on December 31, 2016 and reinvestment of all dividends is assumed. Returns for the Company’s fiscal years presented above are as of the last day of the respective fiscal year which was December 30, 2017, December 29, 2018, December 28, 2019, December 26, 2020, and January 1, 2022 for the fiscal years 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively.


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ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA.
 
The information presented below provides selected financial data of the Company during the past five fiscal years and should be read in conjunction with Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, and Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, for the respective years presented:
 
(in thousands, except per share data)20212020201920182017
Net sales$2,079,928 $1,445,695 $1,503,873 $1,718,468 $1,221,534 
Gross profit 771,926 501,172 546,295 653,415 506,533 
Operating income385,642 162,372 192,791 225,049 218,511 
Net income283,806 129,986 139,082 164,565 119,519 
Per share of common stock:
Income from continuing operations
- Basic11.54 5.33 5.66 6.62 5.27 
- Diluted11.38 5.29 5.60 6.52 5.21 
Cash dividends paid2.02 1.92 1.82 1.60 1.40 
Cash and cash equivalents478,473 687,525 531,139 489,733 429,676 
Total assets3,151,704 2,747,593 2,559,898 2,614,306 1,740,102 
Short-term debt25,000 — 10,000 10,000 6,250 
Long-term debt, less current portion611,897 687,034 669,158 684,730 489,361 


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS.
 
The following discussion of the Company's financial condition and results of operations should be read together with the Consolidated Financial Statements and notes to those statements included in Item 8 of Part II of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

BUSINESS
 
For a description of the Company’s business, segments and product offerings, see Item 1, Business.
 
2021 EXECUTIVE OVERVIEW

Net sales increased by $634.2 million or 43.9% including $27.4 million or 1.9% of favorable changes in foreign exchange rates in 2021 compared to 2020. The increase was due to volume growth across all segments and businesses while 2020 had temporary closures of manufacturing facilities resulting from government directives due to the impact of COVID-19. The increase was due to higher sales of $363.0 million, $138.9 million, and $132.3 million in the Electronics, Industrial, and Transportation segments, respectively, driven by higher volumes across all businesses within these segments. The volume increase within the Electronics segment was led by broad-based demand across electronics, transportation and industrial end markets. The increase with the Industrial segment was primarily due to $100.5 million of net sales resulting from the Hartland acquisition and volume growth across all businesses within the Industrial segment. The increase within the Transportation segment was due to volume growth driven by higher demand in the global auto and commercial vehicle markets, greater content growth across passenger vehicles due to vehicle mix, including growth in electric vehicles and some customers maintaining additional inventory of our products, and $15.3 million of net sales resulting from the Carling acquisition. The Company recognized net income of $283.8 million, or $11.38 per diluted share, in 2021 compared to net income of $130.0 million, or $5.29 per diluted share in 2020. The increase in net income reflects higher operating income of $223.3 million driven by a $156.9 million increase in operating income in the Electronics segment, the 2020 goodwill impairment charge of $33.8 million, a $24.3 million increase in operating income in the Transportation segment partially offset by higher foreign exchange losses of $32.0 million and a $19.9 million non-cash pension settlement charge associated with the completion of the buy-out of one of our U.K. pension plans.

Supply chain constraints, including transportation capacity shortages have and are expected to continue to impact the Company, our suppliers and our customers. This has resulted in higher transportation and input costs incurred by the Company.

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Net cash provided by operating activities was $373.3 million for the fiscal year ended January 1, 2022 representing an increase of $115.3 million as compared to the fiscal year ended December 26, 2020. The increase in net cash provided by operating activities was primarily due to higher cash earnings partially offset by increases in working capital resulting from higher sales growth.

On January 28, 2021, the Company acquired Hartland Controls, a manufacturer and leading supplier of electrical components used primarily in HVAC and other industrial and control systems applications. At the time of acquisition, Hartland had annualized sales of approximately $70 million. The purchase price for Hartland was $111.0 million and the operations of Hartland are included in the Industrial segment.

On November 30, 2021, the Company acquired Carling, a leader in switching, circuit protection and power distribution technologies with a strong global presence in commercial transportation, communications infrastructure and marine markets. At the time of acquisition, Carling had annualized sales of approximately $170 million. The purchase price for Carling was approximately $315 million and the operations of Carling are included in the Transportation segment.

Impact of COVID-19 on Business

The effects from COVID-19 continue to drive increased costs, though less than net costs incurred in 2020. Ongoing costs include spending on personal protective equipment ("PPE"), additional personnel and employee transportation costs, and manufacturing inefficiencies. as well as an increase in material costs and transportation costs due to global supply chain and logistics constraints around the world.

During 2021, all of our manufacturing facilities were operational and were generally running at normal capacity levels.

The Company anticipates that the disruptions caused by COVID-19 may continue to impact its business activity for the foreseeable future. It is currently difficult to estimate the magnitude of the COVID-19 disruption, if future disruptions will occur due to a resurgence in COVID-19 cases and its impact on our employees, customers, suppliers and vendors. The Company will continue to actively monitor the situation and may take further actions altering our business operations that we determine are in the best interests of our employees, customers, partners, suppliers, and other stakeholders, or as required by federal, state, or local authorities. It is not clear what the potential effects any such alterations or modifications may have on our business and operations, including the effects on our customers, employees, and prospects, or on our financial results for the fiscal year 2022.

OUTLOOK
 
Vision and Strategy
 
The Company closely collaborates with strategic customers to design and manufacture innovative and reliable solutions to help empower a sustainable, connected, and safer world in virtually every market that uses electrical energy.

Within transportation end markets, the Company’s products are found in passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles, like material handling equipment, heavy-duty truck and bus, off-road and recreational vehicles, construction equipment, agricultural machinery, rail and marine. The Company is also a key enabler of electrification, or eMobility, across these transportation applications, and EV charging infrastructure. The Company continues to advance its existing customer relationships with OEM, Tier one and channel partners while driving product content growth for advanced, high-growth applications.

Within industrial end markets, the Company’s products are found in renewable energy and energy storage applications, HVAC, factory automation and safety, industrial motor drives and power conversion, and heavy and general industrial type applications. The Company utilizes its deep technical engineering capabilities and design support to drive product content growth across high-growth applications like renewables, energy storage, HVAC, and industrial automation.

Within electronics end markets, the Company’s products are found in data center, cloud storage and telecom infrastructure applications, building technologies and automation, appliances, mobile electronics, medical devices, and gaming and entertainment applications. The Company leverages its strategic distribution partnerships and deep OEM relationships, coupled with its comprehensive product offerings, to drive product content growth across a broad range of applications.

The Company expects the ever-increasing complexity of application architectures, driven by ongoing electronification and electrification across these end markets, to drive increasing product content opportunities. Built upon that framework, the Company has positioned itself around the structural growth themes of sustainability, connectivity, and safety, which will
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continue to drive increased demand for the Company’s innovative, reliable solutions across the transportation, industrial and electronics end markets that it serves.

The Company’s five-year strategic plan, built around these structural growth themes, is focused on delivering top tier shareholder returns by driving double-digit sales growth, best-in-class profitability, earnings per share growth, strong cash flow generation, and deploying capital to drive value creation. The Company pursues the following major strategic objectives, which are summarized below, along with more specific areas of focus. The Company uses the financial measures below to gauge progress toward achieving these strategic objectives. These measures include organic sales growth, operating margins, cash flow from operations, and returns on invested capital.
 
Strategic Objectives Priorities
Double-digit sales growth 
Increased product content with existing and new customers, and expand market share
5-7% average annual growth from annual organic sales growth 
Expand portfolio into new and underpenetrated, high-growth geographies and end markets
5-7% average annual growth from strategic acquisitions 
Increase innovation capabilities and investments
  
Leverage breadth of go-to-market strategies
  Targeted mergers and acquisitions to enhance and sustain organic growth
    
EPS growth Focus on higher profitability growth opportunities
Earnings per share growth greater than revenue growth 
Improve operating margins through operational and commercial excellence
 Disciplined approach to balancing costs with long-term strategic investments
Capital allocation and returns Disciplined management of working capital
Cash flow from operations less capital expenditures is targeted to approximate or exceed net income
 Deployment of capital consistent with capital allocation priorities
Target 40% of free cash flow returned to shareholders  Mergers and acquisitions that align with strategy and financial metrics
Remainder focused on strategic acquisitions
 Grow dividend in line with earnings
Return on invested capital percentage in the high-teens
 Opportunistic share repurchases
 
The Company’s strategy is focused on accelerating organic growth by increasing its product content in applications and share gains, enhancing technology efforts to drive innovation, capitalizing on cross segment opportunities, and gaining traction in underpenetrated, high-growth geographies and end markets. The Company also leverages strategic acquisitions to enhance and sustain its organic growth. The Company will continue to make targeted strategic acquisitions that align to its strategy and financial metrics to drive growth across its business, products, markets, and technologies while leveraging existing customers and targeting new customers.

Management believes that profitable growth through a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions is critical to the Company’s competitiveness, while enhancing value the Company delivers to all of its stakeholders. In addition, the Company continues to implement initiatives across all platforms to enhance productivity while managing its cost structure to align with business conditions. Areas of focus include integration of operations and streamlining administrative and support activities to drive improved operating margins.

The Company seeks to deploy its capital consistent with capital allocation priorities. These priorities include investments to drive increased organic growth, targeted acquisitions that align to the Company’s strategic and financial metrics, and enhance and sustain its organic growth, and returning capital to shareholders through dividends and opportunistic share repurchases.

Critical Estimates and Significant Accounting Policies
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The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. The Company’s most critical accounting policies are those that are most important to the portrayal of its financial condition and results of operations, and which require the Company to make its most difficult and subjective judgments, often as a result of the need to make estimates of matters that are inherently uncertain. The Company has identified the following as its most critical accounting policies and judgments. Although management believes that its estimates and assumptions are reasonable, they are based upon information available when they are made, and therefore, actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions. The Company has reviewed these critical accounting policies and related disclosures with the Audit Committee of its Board of Directors. Significant accounting policies are more fully described in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report.

Critical Accounting Estimates
 
Goodwill
 
The Company’s methodology for allocating the purchase price of acquisitions is based on established valuation techniques that reflect the consideration of a number of factors, including valuations performed by third-party appraisers when appropriate. Goodwill is measured as the excess of the cost of an acquired entity over the fair value assigned to identifiable assets acquired and liabilities assumed. Based on its current organization structure, the Company has seven reporting units for which cash flows are determinable and to which goodwill has been allocated.
 
The Company annually tests goodwill for impairment on the first day of its fiscal fourth quarter, or more frequently if an event occurs or circumstances change that would more likely than not reduce the fair value of a reporting unit below its carrying value. The Company also performs an interim review for indicators of impairment each quarter to assess whether an interim impairment review is required for any reporting unit. As part of its interim reviews, management analyzes potential changes in the value of individual reporting units based on each reporting unit’s operating results for the period compared to expected results as of the prior year’s annual impairment test. In addition, management considers how other key assumptions, including discount rates and expected long-term growth rates, used in the last annual impairment test, could be impacted by changes in market conditions and economic events.
 
During the second quarter of 2020, the Company recorded a non-cash charge of $33.8 million to recognize the impairment of goodwill in the automotive sensors reporting unit within the Transportation segment. As of January 1, 2022, the automotive sensors reporting unit had $9.2 million of remaining goodwill.

Quantitative Assessment for Impairment
 
For the seven reporting units with goodwill, the Company compares the estimated fair value of each reporting unit to its carrying value. If the carrying value of a reporting unit exceeds the estimated fair value, the difference between the estimated fair value and carrying value is recorded as the amount of the goodwill impairment charge. The results of the goodwill impairment test as of September 26, 2021 indicated that the estimated fair values for each of the seven reporting units exceeded their respective carrying values. Accordingly, there were no goodwill impairment charges recorded as part of the Company’s 2021 annual goodwill impairment test.
 
As part of its impairment test for these reporting units, the Company engaged a third-party appraisal firm to assist in the Company’s determination of the estimated fair values. This determination included estimating the fair value of each reporting unit using both the income and market approaches. The income approach requires management to estimate a number of factors for each reporting unit, including projected operating results, economic projections, anticipated future cash flows, discount rates and the allocation of shared or corporate items. The market approach estimates fair values using comparable marketplace fair value data from within a comparable industry grouping. The Company weighted both the income and market approach equally to estimate the concluded fair value of each reporting unit. The determination of fair value requires the Company to make significant estimates and assumptions, which primarily include, but are not limited to: the selection of appropriate peer group companies; control premiums appropriate for acquisitions in which the Company competes; the discount rate; terminal growth rates; and forecasts of revenue, operating income, depreciation and amortization and capital expenditures.
 
Goodwill Impairment Assumptions
 
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Although the Company believes its estimates of fair value are reasonable, actual financial results could differ from those estimates due to the inherent uncertainty involved in making such estimates. Changes in assumptions concerning future financial results or other underlying assumptions could have a significant impact on the fair value of the reporting units. Future declines in the overall market value of the Company’s equity may also result in a conclusion that the fair value of one or more reporting units has declined below its carrying value.
 
One measure of the sensitivity of the amount of goodwill impairment charges to key assumptions is the amount by which each reporting unit “passed” (fair value exceeds the carrying value) the goodwill impairment test. All seven of the reporting units passed the goodwill impairment test, with fair values that exceeded the carrying values between 95% and 380% of their respective estimated fair values. As of the most recent annual test conducted on September 26, 2021, the Company noted that the excess of fair value over the carrying value was 380%, 104%, 255%, 217%, 95%, 144%, and 231% for its reporting units: Electronics-Passive Products and Sensors, Electronics-Semiconductor, Passenger Car Products, Commercial Vehicle Products, Automotive Sensors, Relays, and Power Fuse, respectively. Relatively small changes in the Company’s key assumptions would not have resulted in any reporting units failing the goodwill impairment test.
 
Generally, changes in estimates of expected future cash flows would have a similar effect on the estimated fair value of the reporting unit. That is, a 1.0% decrease in estimated annual future cash flows would decrease the estimated fair value of the reporting unit by approximately 1.0%. The estimated long-term net sales growth rate can have a significant impact on the estimated future cash flows, and therefore, the fair value of each reporting unit. A 1.0% decrease in the long-term net sales growth rate would have resulted in no reporting units failing the goodwill impairment test. Of the other key assumptions that impact the estimated fair values, most reporting units have the greatest sensitivity to changes in the estimated discount rate. The estimated discount rate was 8.9% for the Electronics-Passive Products and Sensors and the Passenger Car Products reporting units, 9.9% for the Electronics-Semiconductor, Commercial Vehicle Products and the Automotive Sensors reporting units, 10.9% for the Power Fuse reporting unit and 11.9% for the Relays reporting unit. A 1.0% increase in the estimated discount rates would have resulted in no reporting units failing the annual goodwill impairment test. The Company believes that its estimates of future cash flows and discount rates are reasonable, but future changes in the underlying assumptions could differ due to the inherent uncertainty in making such estimates. Additionally, price deterioration or lower volume could have a significant impact on the fair values of the reporting units.

Income Taxes
 
The Company accounts for income taxes using the asset and liability method. Deferred taxes are recognized for the future effects of temporary differences between financial and income tax reporting using tax rates in effect for the years in which the differences are expected to reverse. The Company recognizes deferred taxes for temporary differences, operating loss carryforwards and tax credit and other tax attribute carryforwards (excluding carryforwards where usage has been determined to be remote). Deferred tax assets are reduced by a valuation allowance if it is more likely than not that some portion, or all, of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. U.S. state and non-U.S. income taxes are provided on the portion of non-U.S. income that is expected to be remitted to the U.S. and be taxable (and non-U.S. income taxes are provided on the portion of non-U.S. income that is expected to be remitted to an upper-tier non-U.S. entity). Deferred tax assets and liabilities are adjusted for the effects of changes in tax laws and rates on the date of enactment.

Deferred income taxes are not provided on the excess of the investment value for financial reporting over the tax basis of investments in those non-U.S. subsidiaries for which such excess is considered to be permanently reinvested in those operations. Management regularly evaluates whether non-U.S. earnings are expected to be permanently reinvested. This evaluation requires judgment about the future operating and liquidity needs of the Company and its non-U.S. subsidiaries. Changes in economic and business conditions, non-U.S. or U.S. tax laws, or the Company’s financial situation could result in changes to these judgments and the need to record additional tax liabilities.

The Company recognizes the tax benefit from an uncertain tax position only if it is more likely than not that the tax position will be sustained on examination by the taxing authorities, based on the technical merits of the position. The tax benefits recognized in the financial statements from such a position are measured based on the largest benefit that has a greater than 50% likelihood of being realized upon ultimate settlement.

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "Tax Act"), among other things, imposed a one-time tax (the “Toll Charge”) on accumulated earnings of certain non-U.S. subsidiaries and included base broadening provisions commonly referred to as the global intangible low-taxed income provisions ("GILTI").

In accordance with guidance issued by the FASB staff, the Company has adopted an accounting policy to treat any GILTI inclusions as a period cost if and when incurred. Thus, for the fiscal years ended January 1, 2022, December 26, 2020, and
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December 28, 2019, deferred taxes were computed without consideration of the possible future impact of the GILTI provisions, and any current year impact was recorded as a part of the current portion of income tax expense.

Further information regarding income taxes, including a detailed reconciliation of current year activity, is provided in Note 14, Income Taxes, of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report. 

Critical Accounting Policies

Revenue Recognition 
 
Revenue Disaggregation
 
The following table disaggregates the Company’s revenue by primary business units for the fiscal years ended January 1, 2022 and December 26, 2020: 

 Fiscal Year Ended January 1, 2022
(in thousands)Electronics
Segment
Transportation
Segment
Industrial
Segment
 
Total
Electronics – Semiconductor$678,861 $— $— $678,861 
Electronics – Passive Products and Sensors621,883 — — 621,883 
Passenger Car Products— 266,020 — 266,020 
Commercial Vehicle Products— 160,300 — 160,300 
Automotive Sensors— 101,738 — 101,738 
Industrial Products— — 251,126 251,126 
Total$1,300,744 $528,058 $251,126 $2,079,928 
 
 Fiscal Year Ended December 26, 2020
(in thousands)Electronics
Segment
Transportation
Segment
Industrial
Segment
 
Total
Electronics – Semiconductor$522,352 $— $— $522,352 
Electronics – Passive Products and Sensors415,410 — — 415,410 
Passenger Car Products— 200,455 — 200,455 
Commercial Vehicle Products— 101,324 — 101,324 
Automotive Sensors— 93,985 — 93,985 
Industrial Products— — 112,169 112,169 
Total$937,762 $395,764 $112,169 $1,445,695 

See Note 16, Segment Information, for net sales by segment and countries.
 
Revenue Recognition
 
The Company recognizes revenue on product sales in the period in which the Company satisfies its performance obligation and control of the product is transferred to the customer. The Company’s sales arrangements with customers are predominately short term in nature and generally provide for transfer of control at the time of shipment as this is the point at which title and risk of loss of the product transfers to the customer. At the end of each period, for those shipments where title to the products and the risk of loss and rewards of ownership do not transfer until the product has been received by the customer, the Company adjusts revenues and cost of sales for the delay between the time that the products are shipped and when they are received by the customer. The amount of revenue recorded reflects the consideration to which the Company expects to be entitled in exchange for goods and may include adjustments for customer allowance, rebates and price adjustments. The Company’s sales channels are primarily through direct sales and independent third-party distributors.
 
The Company has elected the practical expedient under Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") 340-40-25-4 to expense commissions when incurred as the amortization period of the commission asset the Company would have otherwise recognized is less than one year.
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Revenue and Billing
 
The Company generally accepts orders from customers through receipt of purchase orders or electronic data interchange based on written sales agreements and purchasing contracts. Contract pricing and selling agreement terms are based on market factors, costs, and competition. Pricing is often negotiated as an adjustment (premium or discount) from the Company’s published price lists. The customer is invoiced when the Company’s products are shipped to them in accordance with the terms of the sales agreement. As the Company’s standard payment terms are less than one year, the Company has elected the practical expedient under ASC 606-10-32-18 to not assess whether a contract has a significant financing component. The Company also elected the practical expedient provided in ASC 606-10-25-18B to treat all product shipping and handling activities as fulfillment activities, and therefore recognize the gross revenue associated with the contract, inclusive of any shipping and handling revenue.

Ship and Debit Program
 
Some of the terms of the Company’s sales agreements and normal business conditions provide customers (distributors) the ability to receive price adjustments on products previously shipped and invoiced. This practice is common in the industry and is referred to as a “ship and debit” program. This program allows the distributor to debit the Company for the difference between the distributors’ contracted price and a lower price for specific transactions. Under certain circumstances (usually in a competitive situation or large volume opportunity), a distributor will request authorization for pricing allowances to reduce its price. When the Company approves such a reduction, the distributor is authorized to “debit” its account for the difference between the contracted price and the lower approved price. The Company establishes reserves for this program based on historic activity, electronic distributor inventory levels and actual authorizations for the debit and recognizes these debits as a reduction of revenue.

Return to Stock 
 
The Company has a return to stock policy whereby certain customers, with prior authorization from the Company's management, can return previously purchased goods for full or partial credit. The Company establishes an estimated allowance for these returns based on historic activity. Sales revenue and cost of sales are reduced to anticipate estimated returns.
 
Volume Rebates
 
The Company offers volume-based sales incentives to certain customers to encourage greater product sales. If customers achieve their specific quarterly or annual sales targets, they are entitled to rebates. The Company estimates the projected amount of rebates that will be achieved by the customer and recognizes this estimated cost as a reduction to revenue as products are sold.

Allowance for Doubtful Accounts

The Company currently measures the expected credit losses based on our historical credit loss experience. The Company has not experienced significant recent or historical credit losses and is not forecasting any significant credit losses which would require adjustments to our methodology. If current conditions and supportable forecasts indicate that our historical loss experience is not reasonable and no longer supportable, the Company may adjust its historical credit loss experience and to reflect these conditions and forecasts. The Company regularly analyzes its significant customer accounts and, when the Company becomes aware of a customer’s inability to meet its financial obligations, the Company records a specific reserve for bad debt to reduce the related receivable to the amount the Company reasonably believes is collectible. The Company also analyzes all other customers based on a variety of factors including the length of time the receivables are past due, the financial health of the customer, macroeconomic considerations and historical collection and loss experience. Historically, the allowance for doubtful accounts has been adequate to cover bad debts. If circumstances related to specific customers change, the estimates of the recoverability of receivables could be further adjusted.

Inventory
 
The Company performs regular detailed assessments of inventory, which include a review of, among other factors, demand requirements, product life cycle and development plans, component cost trends, product pricing, shelf life, and quality issues. Based on the analysis, the Company records adjustments to inventory for excess quantities, obsolescence or impairment when appropriate to reflect inventory at net realizable value. Historically, inventory reserves have been adequate to reflect inventory at net realizable value.
 
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Long-Lived Assets
 
The Company evaluates the recoverability of other long-lived assets, including property, plant and equipment and certain identifiable intangible assets, whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of an asset or asset group may not be recoverable. Factors which could trigger an impairment review include significant underperformance relative to historical or projected operating results, significant changes in the manner of use of the assets or the strategy for the overall business, a significant decrease in the market value of the assets or significant negative industry or economic trends. When the Company determines that the carrying value of long-lived assets may not be recoverable based upon the existence of one or more of the indicators, the assets are assessed for impairment based on the estimated future undiscounted cash flows expected to result from the use of the asset and its eventual disposition. If the carrying value of an asset exceeds its estimated future undiscounted cash flows, an impairment loss is recorded for the excess of the asset’s carrying value over its fair value. For the fiscal year ended December 26, 2020, the Company recognized a $2.2 million impairment charge related to the land and building associated with the Company’s announced consolidation of a manufacturing facility within the Industrial segment. For the year-ended December 28, 2019, the Company recognized non-cash impairment charges of $0.3 million for certain machinery and equipment related to the closure of a European manufacturing facility in the automotive sensors business within the Transportation segment.

Environmental Liabilities
 
Environmental liabilities are accrued based on estimates of the probability of potential future environmental exposure. Costs related to on-going maintenance of environmental sites are expensed as incurred. If actual or estimated probable future losses exceed the Company’s recorded liability for such claims, it would record additional charges as other expense during the period in which the actual loss or change in estimate occurred. The Company evaluates its reserve for coal mine remediation annually utilizing a third-party expert.
 
Pension Plans
 
The Company records annual income and expense amounts relating to its pension and postretirement benefits plans based on calculations which include various actuarial assumptions including discount rates, expected long-term rates of return and compensation increases. The Company reviews its actuarial assumptions on an annual basis as of the fiscal year-end balance sheet date (or more frequently if a significant event requiring remeasurement occurs) and modifies the assumption based on current rates and trends when it is appropriate to do so. The effects of modifications are recognized immediately on the Consolidated Balance Sheets but are generally amortized into operating earnings over future periods, with the deferred amount recorded in accumulated other comprehensive (loss) income. The Company believes that the assumptions utilized in recording its obligations under its plans are reasonable based on its experience, market conditions and input from its actuaries and investment advisors. The Company maintains several pension plans in international locations. The expected returns on plan assets and discount rates are determined based on each plan’s investment approach, local interest rates and plan participant profiles. The weighted-average discount rates for the Company’s defined benefit plans primarily in Europe and the Asia-Pacific regions at January 1, 2022 and December 26, 2020 were 3.1% and 1.2%, respectively.

A 50 basis point change in the discount rates at January 1, 2022 would have the following effect on the projected benefit obligation:
 
(in millions)0.5%
Increase
0.5%
Decrease
Projected benefit obligation$(5.9)$6.4 

On April 7, 2020, the Company entered into a definitive agreement to purchase a group annuity contract, under which an insurance company will be required to directly pay and administer pension payments to certain of the Company’s U.K. pension plan participants, or their designated beneficiaries. The Company completed the buy-out of this U.K. pension plan during the fourth quarter of 2021 and as a result recorded a non-cash pension settlement charge of $19.9 million (£14.9 million), inclusive of the accelerated recognition of prior service cost of $0.5 million (£0.4 million). The purchase of this group annuity contract reduced the Company’s outstanding pension benefit obligation by $47.1 million, representing 35% of the total obligation of the Company’s qualified pension plans.

Equity-based Compensation
 
Equity-based compensation expense is recorded for stock-option awards and restricted share units based upon the fair values of the awards. The fair value of stock-option awards is estimated at the grant date using the Black-Scholes option pricing model,
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which includes assumptions for volatility, expected term, risk-free interest rate and dividend yield. Expected volatility is based on implied volatilities from traded options on Littelfuse stock, historical volatility of Littelfuse stock and other factors. Historical data is used to estimate employee termination experience and the expected term of the options. The risk-free interest rate is based on the U.S. Treasury yield curve in effect at the time of grant. The Company initiated a quarterly cash dividend in 2010 and expects to continue making cash dividend payments for the foreseeable future. The fair value of restricted share units is determined based on the Company's stock price on the grant date reduced by the present value of expected dividends through the vesting period.
 
Total equity-based compensation expense for all equity compensation plans was $21.4 million, $19.1 million, and $19.9 million in 2021, 2020, and 2019, respectively. Further information regarding this expense is provided in Note 12, Stock-Based Compensation, of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report.

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

The Company does not have off-balance sheet arrangements as defined under SEC rules. The Company does not participate in transactions that generate relationships with unconsolidated entities or financial partnerships, such as entities often referred to as structured finance or special purpose entities.

In the financial review that follows, the Company discusses its consolidated results of operations, financial position, cash flows and certain other information. This discussion should be read in conjunction with the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements and related notes.
 
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS FOR THE YEAR ENDED JANUARY 01, 2022 AS COMPARED TO THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 26, 2020 

The fiscal year 2021 included approximately $12.6 million of non-segment charges, of which $8.4 million relates to purchase accounting inventory step-up charges, $7.0 million of acquisition-related and integration charges related to the Carling and Hartland acquisitions and other contemplated acquisitions, and $2.2 million of restructuring, impairment and other charges, primarily related to employee termination costs. See Note 8, Restructuring, Impairment and Other Charges, for further discussion. Additionally, partially offsetting the above amounts was a gain of $5.0 million recorded for the sale of buildings within the Electronics segment.

The fiscal year 2020 included approximately $44.0 million of non-segment charges, of which $2.3 million of charges are acquisition-related and integration charges related to the IXYS acquisition and other contemplated acquisitions. In addition, there were $41.7 million of restructuring, impairment and other charges, primarily related to the goodwill impairment charge of $33.8 million recorded in the second quarter associated with the automotive sensors reporting unit within the Transportation segment, employee termination costs of $5.5 million, $2.2 million of impairment charges recorded in the first quarter associated with the announced consolidation of a manufacturing facility within the Industrial segment and other restructuring charges of $0.2 million.

Fiscal year 2021 also included approximately $17.2 million in foreign currency exchange losses primarily attributable to changes in the value of the Euro, Chinese renminbi, Mexican peso, and Philippine peso against the U.S. dollar, while fiscal year 2020 included approximately $14.9 million in foreign currency exchange gains primarily attributable to changes in the value of the Euro, Philippine peso, and Chinese renminbi against the U.S. dollar.
 
 Fiscal Year  
(in thousands, except % change)20212020Change% Change
Net sales$2,079,928 $1,445,695 $634,233 43.9 %
Cost of sales1,308,002 944,523 363,479 38.5 %
Gross profit771,926 501,172 270,754 54.0 %
Operating expenses386,284 338,800 47,484 14.0 %
Operating income385,642 162,372 223,270 137.5 %
Other expense (income), net8,932 (5,083)14,015 (275.7)%
Income before income taxes341,025 161,253 179,772 111.5 %
Income taxes57,219 31,267 25,952 83.0 %
Net income283,806 129,986 153,820 118.3 %
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Net Sales
 
Net sales increased $634.2 million or 43.9% including $27.4 million or 1.9% of favorable changes in foreign exchange rates for 2021 compared to 2020. The increase was due to volume growth across all segments and businesses while 2020 had temporary closures of manufacturing facilities resulting from government directives due to the impact of COVID-19. The increase was due to higher sales of $363.0 million, $138.9 million, and $132.3 million in the Electronics, Industrial, and Transportation segments, respectively, primarily driven by higher volumes across all businesses within these segments. The volume increase within the Electronics segment was led by broad-based demand across electronics, transportation and industrial end markets. The increase within the Industrial segment was primarily due to $100.5 million of net sales resulting from the Hartland acquisition and volume growth across all businesses within the Industrial segment. The increase within the Transportation segment was due to volume growth driven by higher demand in the global auto and commercial vehicle markets, greater content growth across passenger vehicles due to vehicle mix, including growth in electric vehicles and some customers maintaining additional inventory of our products, and $15.3 million of net sales resulting from the Carling acquisition.

Cost of Sales

Cost of sales was $1,308.0 million, or 62.9% of net sales, in 2021, compared to $944.5 million, or 65.3% of net sales, in 2020. The increase in cost of sales was primarily due to greater volume across all segments driven by the factors discussed above along with the Hartland and Carling acquisitions. As a percent of net sales, cost of sales decreased 2.4% driven by volume leverage, partially offset by higher transportation, duty and tariff charges of 2.2%, the purchase accounting inventory charges of $8.4 million or 0.4% resulting from the Hartland and Carling acquisitions, and higher material costs.

Gross Profit
 
Gross profit was $771.9 million, or 37.1% of net sales, in 2021, compared to $501.2 million, or 34.7% of net sales, in 2020. The $270.8 million increase in gross profit was primarily due to higher volume across all segments while 2020 had additional costs associated with government-directed plant shutdowns and supply chain constraints. The increase in gross margin of 2.4% was primarily driven by volume leverage and favorable product mix within the Electronics segment, partially offset by higher transportation, duty and tariff charges as a percent of net sales of 2.2%, the purchase accounting inventory charges of $8.4 million or 0.4%, and higher material costs.
 
Operating Expenses
 
Total operating expenses were $386.3 million, or 18.6% of net sales, for 2021 compared to $338.8 million, or 23.4% of net sales, for 2020. The increase in operating expenses of $47.5 million is primarily due to higher selling, general, and administrative expenses of $71.0 million largely due to higher accrued incentive compensation, the Hartland and Carling acquisitions and higher acquisition-related and integration charges of $4.7 million, and higher research and development expenses of $13.4 million, partially offset by the 2020 goodwill impairment charge of $33.8 million, or 2.3% of net sales, in the automotive sensors reporting unit within the Transportation segment and impairment charges of $2.2 million related to the Company’s 2020 first quarter announcement to consolidate a manufacturing facility within the Industrial segment.
 
Operating Income
 
Operating income for 2021 was $385.6 million, an increase of $223.3 million or 137.5% compared to $162.4 million for 2020. The increase in operating income was primarily due to higher gross margin across all segments, led by the Electronics segment partially offset by higher operating expenses noted above. Operating margins increased from 11.2% in 2020 to 18.5% in 2021 primarily driven by the factors mentioned above. The 2020 goodwill impairment charge of $33.8 million negatively impacted the 2020 operating margin by 2.3%.

Income Before Income Taxes
 
Income before income taxes for 2021 was $341.0 million, or 16.4% of net sales compared to $161.3 million, or 11.2% of net sales, for 2020. In addition to the factors impacting comparative results for operating income discussed above, income before income taxes was impacted by foreign exchange losses of $17.2 million during the fiscal year ended January 1, 2022 compared to foreign exchange gains of $14.9 million during the fiscal year ended December 26, 2020, and a $19.9 million non-cash pension settlement charge, partially offset by a $4.0 million increase in unrealized investment gains associated with our equity investment, and lower interest expense of $2.6 million due to lower outstanding borrowings under the credit facility along with a lower effective interest rate and a reduction in coal mining charges of $1.6 million compared to 2020.

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Income Taxes
 
Income tax expense for 2021 was $57.2 million, or an effective tax rate of 16.8%, compared to income tax expense of $31.3 million, or an effective tax rate of 19.4% for 2020. The Company’s tax rates are lower than the applicable U.S. statutory tax rate primarily due to income earned in lower tax jurisdictions, partially offset by the impact of taxes on unremitted earnings, the GILTI tax provisions, and non-U.S. losses and expenses with no tax benefit. The effective tax rate for 2021 is lower than the effective tax rate for 2020, primarily due to an increase in the income earned in lower tax jurisdictions in 2021 as compared to 2020, as well as the impact of the goodwill impairment charge of $33.8 million recorded in 2020, the substantial majority of which did not result in a tax benefit. Further information regarding these items is provided in Note 14, Income Taxes, of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report.

Segment Information
 
The Company reports its operations by the following segments: Electronics, Transportation and Industrial. Segment information is described more fully in Note 16, Segment Information, of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report.
 
The following table is a summary of the Company’s net sales by segment:
 
 Fiscal Year  
(in millions)20212020Change% Change
Electronics$1,300.7 $937.7 $363.0 38.7 %
Transportation
528.1 395.8 132.3 33.4 %
Industrial251.1 112.2 138.9 123.8 %
Total$2,079.9 $1,445.7 $634.2 43.9 %
 
Electronics Segment
 
Net sales for the Electronics segment increased $363.0 million, or 38.7%, in 2021 compared to 2020 and included favorable changes in foreign exchange rates of $14.5 million or 1.5%. The sales increase was primarily due to increased volume for the electronics and semiconductor products businesses of $206.5 million and $156.5 million, respectively. The volume increases were driven by broad-based demand across electronics, transportation and industrial end markets while 2020 were negatively impacted by production disruptions and temporary plant shutdowns due to the impact of COVID-19. 

Transportation Segment
 
Net sales in the Transportation segment increased $132.3 million, or 33.4%, in 2021 compared to 2020 and included favorable changes in foreign exchange rates of $12.0 million or 3.0%. The sales increase was due to higher volume in passenger car products, commercial vehicle products, and the automotive sensors businesses of $65.6 million, $59.0 million, and $7.8 million, respectively, including the incremental net sales of $15.3 million from the Carling acquisition within the commercial vehicle products business. These increases were due to volume growth driven by higher demand in the global auto and commercial vehicle markets, greater content growth across passenger vehicles due to vehicle mix, including growth in electric vehicles and some customers maintaining additional inventory of our products as compared to 2020, which had production disruptions and temporary plant shutdowns due to the impact of COVID-19.

Industrial Segment
 
The Industrial segment net sales increased by $138.9 million, or 123.8%, in 2021 compared to 2020 and included favorable changes in foreign exchange rates of $0.9 million or 0.8%. The increase in net sales was primarily due to the incremental net sales of $100.5 million or 90% from the Hartland acquisition, growth across all product lines, and the transfer of the temperature sensor product line totaling $4.7 million which was previously reported in the Electronics segment and moved to Industrial segment in the third quarter of 2020. Additionally, 2020 was negatively impacted by production disruptions and temporary plant shutdowns due to the impact of COVID-19.

Geographic Net Sales Information
 
Net sales by geography represent net sales to customer or distributor locations. The following table is a summary of the Company’s net sales by geography:
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 Fiscal Year  
(in millions)20212020Change% Change
Asia-Pacific$955.7 $670.5 $285.2 42.5 %
Americas694.3 457.8 236.5 51.7 %
Europe429.9 317.4 112.5 35.4 %
Total$2,079.9 $1,445.7 $634.2 43.9 %
 
Asia-Pacific
 
Asia-Pacific net sales increased $285.2 million, or 42.5%, in 2021 compared to 2020 and included favorable changes in foreign exchange rates of $12.5 million. The increase in net sales was primarily due to higher volume across all segments and businesses compared to 2020 that had production disruptions due to the impact of COVID-19.
 
Americas
 
Net sales in the Americas increased $236.5 million, or 51.7%, in 2021 compared to 2020 and included favorable changes in foreign exchange rates of $0.7 million. The increase in net sales was primarily due to incremental sales from the Hartland and Carling acquisitions, higher volume across all segments and businesses compared to 2020 that had production disruptions due to the impact of COVID-19.
 
Europe
 
European net sales increased $112.5 million, or 35.4%, in 2021 compared to 2020 and included favorable changes in foreign exchange rates of $14.2 million. The increase in net sales was primarily due to higher volume across all businesses within the Electronics and Transportation segments compared to the 2020 that had production disruptions due to the impact of COVID-19.




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RESULTS OF OPERATIONS FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 26, 2020 AS COMPARED TO THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 28, 2019 

The fiscal year 2020 included approximately $44.0 million of non-segment charges, of which $2.3 million of charges are acquisition-related and integration charges related to the IXYS acquisition and other contemplated acquisitions. In addition, there were $41.7 million of restructuring, impairment and other charges, primarily related to the goodwill impairment charge of $33.8 million recorded in the second quarter associated with the automotive sensors reporting unit within the Transportation segment, employee termination costs of $5.5 million, $2.2 million of impairment charges recorded in the first quarter associated with the announced consolidation of a manufacturing facility within the Industrial segment and other restructuring charges of $0.2 million. See Note 8, Restructuring, Impairment and Other Charges, for further discussion.

The fiscal year 2019 included approximately $21.9 million of non-segment charges, of which $8.9 million of charges are acquisition-related and integration charges primarily related to the IXYS acquisition and other contemplated acquisitions, and $13.0 million of restructuring charges primarily related to employee termination costs.
 
Fiscal year 2020 also included approximately $14.9 million in foreign currency exchange gains primarily attributable to changes in the value of the Euro, Philippine peso, and Chinese renminbi against the U.S. dollar, while fiscal year 2019 included approximately $5.2 million in foreign currency exchange losses primarily attributable to changes in the value of the Euro, Chinese renminbi, and Japanese yen against the U.S. dollar.
 Fiscal Year  
(in thousands, except % change)20202019Change% Change
Net sales$1,445,695 $1,503,873 $(58,178)(3.9)%
Cost of sales944,523 957,578 (13,055)(1.4)%
Gross profit501,172 546,295 (45,123)(8.3)%
Operating expenses338,800 353,504 (14,704)(4.2)%
Operating income162,372 192,791 (30,419)(15.8)%
Other income, net(5,083)(583)(4,500)771.9 %
Income before income taxes161,253 165,884 (4,631)(2.8)%
Income taxes31,267 26,802 4,465 16.7 %
Net income129,986 139,082 (9,096)(6.5)%
 
Net Sales
 
Net sales of $1,445.7 million decreased $58.2 million, or 3.9%, for 2020 compared to the prior year primarily due to lower volume in the Transportation and Electronics segments which had net sales decreases of $32.7 million and $23.4 million, respectively, partially offset by $7.7 million or 0.5% of favorable changes in foreign exchange rates. These decreases were primarily driven by the production disruption due to temporary closures of manufacturing facilities resulting from government directives due to the impact of COVID-19 and a decline in global auto production driven by the temporary closures of customer manufacturing facilities during the first half of 2020. These sales declines were partially offset by increases in customer demand for consumer devices for work from home needs and strength in various end market demand across all businesses in the second half of the year. All businesses within the Transportation segment experienced lower sales in 2020 due to the production disruptions in the first half of 2020 mentioned above, which was partially offset in the second half of the year, driven by stronger end market demand.

Cost of Sales

Cost of sales was $944.5 million, or 65.3% of net sales, in 2020, compared to $957.6 million, or 63.7% of net sales, in 2019. The decrease in cost of sales was primarily due to lower volume in the Electronics and Transportation segments driven by the factors discussed above. As a percent of net sales, cost of sales increased 1.6% driven by higher freight costs of $5.6 million, additional costs associated with government-directed plant shutdowns and supply chain constraints, supplies and other costs due to the impact of COVID-19, and unfavorable product mix.

Gross Profit
 
Gross profit was $501.2 million, or 34.7% of net sales, in 2020, compared to $546.3 million, or 36.3% of net sales, in 2019. The decrease of $45.1 million in gross profit reflected lower volume across all segments driven by the disruption across all segments
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due to temporary closures of manufacturing facilities in the first half of the year resulting from government directives due to the impact of COVID-19. The decrease in gross margin of 1.6% was primarily from the lower volume mentioned previously, unfavorable price and product mix primarily in the Industrial segment. Additionally, higher freight cost of $5.6 million, costs associated with government-directed plant shutdowns and supply chain constraints, supplies and other costs due to the impact of COVID-19 negatively impacted gross margins.
 
Operating Expenses
 
Total operating expenses were $338.8 million, or 23.4% of net sales, for 2020 compared to $353.5 million, or 23.5% of net sales, for 2019. The decrease in operating expenses of $14.7 million is primarily due to lower research and development expenses of $27.5 million, or 1.7% of net sales, a reduction in discretionary expenses including travel and marketing expenses and a $6.6 million reduction in acquisition-related and integration charges, partially offset by the second quarter goodwill impairment charge of $33.8 million, or 2.3% of net sales, in the automotive sensors reporting unit within the Transportation segment and impairment charges of $2.2 million related to the Company’s first quarter announcement to consolidate a manufacturing facility within the Industrial segment.
 
Operating Income
 
Operating income for 2020 was $162.4 million, a decrease of $30.4 million or 15.8% compared to $192.8 million for 2019. The decrease in operating income is primarily due to lower gross margin across all segments and the $33.8 million goodwill impairment charge noted above partially offset by a reduction in operating expenses described above. Operating margins decreased from 12.8% in 2019 to 11.2% in 2020 primarily driven by the factors mentioned above. The second quarter goodwill impairment charge of $33.8 million negatively impacted the 2020 operating margin by 2.3% which was partially offset by the lower operating expenses and cost reductions noted above.

Income Before Income Taxes
 
Income before income taxes for 2020 was $161.3 million, or 11.2% of net sales compared to $165.9 million, or 11.0% of net sales, for 2019. In addition to the factors impacting comparative results for operating income discussed above, income before income taxes benefited from foreign exchange gains of $14.9 million during the fiscal year ended December 26, 2020 compared to foreign exchange losses of $5.2 million during the fiscal year ended December 28, 2019. Additionally, the increase in other income of $4.5 million was primarily due to the 2019 fiscal year impairment charges of $7.3 million for certain other investments and a $2.6 million loss on the disposal of a business within the Electronics segment and $1.7 million increase in unrealized investment gains associated with our equity investments, partially offset by lower interest income of $2.0 million and a $1.2 million increase in coal mining reserves in 2020 versus 2019.

Income Taxes
 
Income tax expense for 2020 was $31.3 million, or an effective tax rate of 19.4% compared to income tax expense of $26.8 million, or an effective tax rate of 16.2% for 2019. The Company’s tax rates are lower than the applicable U.S. statutory tax rate primarily due to income earned in lower tax jurisdictions, partially offset by the impact of taxes on unremitted earnings, the GILTI tax provisions, and non-U.S. losses and expenses with no tax benefit. Changes in the amount of these items from year to year impact the effective tax rates. In addition, the 2020 income tax expense included the impact of the goodwill impairment charge of $33.8 million that was recorded in the second quarter of 2020, the substantial majority of which related to non-U.S. entities and did not result in a tax benefit, and the 2019 income tax expense included a benefit of $3.3 million from the recognition of previously unrecognized tax benefits (and the reversal of the related accrued interest) due to a lapse in the statute of limitations. The impact of the items discussed above resulted in an increase in the effective tax rate in 2020, as compared to the effective tax rate in 2019. Further information regarding these items is provided in Note 14, Income Taxes, of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report.

Segment Information
 
The Company reports its operations by the following segments: Electronics, Transportation and Industrial. Segment information is described more fully in Note 16, Segment Information, of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report.
 
The following table is a summary of the Company’s net sales by segment:
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 Fiscal Year  
(in millions)20202019Change% Change
Electronics$937.7 $961.1 $(23.4)(2.4)%
Transportation
395.8 428.5 (32.7)(7.6)%
Industrial112.2 114.3 (2.1)(1.8)%
Total$1,445.7 $1,503.9 $(58.2)(3.9)%

Electronics Segment
 
Net sales for the Electronics segment decreased $23.4 million, or 2.4%, in 2020 compared to 2019 primarily due to declines in net sales for the semiconductor and electronics products businesses of $17.5 million and $5.9 million, respectively, driven by the production disruption due to temporary closures of manufacturing facilities resulting from government directives due to the impact of COVID-19 during the first half of the year. These declines were partially offset by increases in customer demand for consumer devices for work from home needs and strength in various end markets during the second half of the year along with favorable changes in foreign exchange rates of $3.6 million.
 
Transportation Segment
 
Net sales in the Transportation segment decreased $32.7 million, or 7.6%, in 2020 compared to 2019 due to decreased volume in passenger car products, commercial vehicle products, and automotive sensors businesses of $18.1 million, $10.6 million, and $4.0 million, respectively, driven by the production disruption due to temporary closures of manufacturing facilities resulting from government directives due to the impact of COVID-19 and a decline in global auto production driven by the temporary closures of customer manufacturing facilities during the first half of 2020. These sales declines were partially offset by increases in end market demand across all businesses in the second half of 2020 and favorable changes in foreign exchange rates of $4.1 million.

Industrial Segment
 
The Industrial segment net sales decreased slightly by $2.1 million, or 1.9%, in 2020 compared to 2019 primarily due to decreased volume across all businesses driven by the production disruption due to temporary closures of manufacturing facilities resulting from government directives due to the impact of COVID-19 in the first half of 2020, partially offset by the transfer of the temperature sensor product line in the third quarter of 2020 previously reported in the Electronics segment.

Geographic Net Sales Information
 
Net sales by geography represent net sales to customer or distributor locations. The following table is a summary of the Company’s net sales by geography:
 
 Fiscal Year  
(in millions)20202019Change% Change
Asia-Pacific$670.5 $656.8 $13.7 2.1 %
Americas457.8 508.4 (50.6)(10.0)%
Europe317.4 338.7 (21.3)(6.3)%
Total$1,445.7 $1,503.9 $(58.2)(3.9)%
 
Asia-Pacific
 
Asia-Pacific net sales increased $13.7 million, or 2.1%, in 2020 compared to 2019. The increase in net sales was primarily due to higher volume in the semiconductor business within the Electronics segment and favorable changes in foreign exchange rates of $2.2 million, partially offset by lower volume in the passenger car products business within the Transportation segment due to the production disruption associated with temporary closures of manufacturing facilities resulting from government directives due to the impact of COVID-19 in the first half of 2020.
 
Americas
 
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Net sales in the Americas decreased $50.6 million, or 10.0%, in 2020 compared to 2019 primarily due to lower volume across all segments driven by the production disruption due to temporary closures of manufacturing facilities resulting from government directives due to the impact of COVID-19, the temporary closures of customer manufacturing facilities during the first half of 2020 and unfavorable changes in foreign exchange rates of $0.3 million. These sales declines were partially offset by increases in end market demand across all businesses in the second half of the year.
 
Europe
 
European net sales decreased $21.3 million, or 6.3%, in 2020 compared to 2019. The decrease in net sales was primarily due to lower volume in the semiconductor business within the Electronics segment, lower volume in passenger car products and commercial vehicle products businesses within the Transportation segment driven by the production disruption due to temporary closures of manufacturing facilities resulting from government directives due to the impact of COVID-19 and the temporary closures of customer manufacturing facilities during the first half of 2020, partially offset by increased volume in the second half of 2020 due to higher end market demand in Electronics and Transportation businesses and favorable changes in foreign exchange rates of $5.8 million.

Liquidity and Capital Resources
 
Cash and cash equivalents were $478.5 million as of January 1, 2022, a decrease of $209.1 million as compared to December 26, 2020.
 
As of January 1, 2022, $326.1 million of the Company's $478.5 million cash and cash equivalents was held by non-U.S. subsidiaries. Of the $326.1 million, at least $171.2 million can be repatriated with minimal tax consequences, although in certain cases a non-U.S. withholding tax would be payable but subsequently refunded. With respect to the remaining $154.9 million, the Company has recognized deferred tax liabilities on approximately $68.6 million as of January 1, 2022 because the amounts are not considered to be permanently reinvested, and the Company may access additional amounts through loans and other means. Repatriation of some non-U.S. cash balances is restricted by local laws. Management regularly evaluates whether foreign earnings are expected to be permanently reinvested. This evaluation requires judgment about the future operating and liquidity needs of the Company and its foreign subsidiaries. Changes in economic and business conditions, non-U.S. or U.S. tax laws could result in changes to these judgments and the need to record additional tax liabilities.

The Company has historically supported its liquidity needs through cash flows from operations. Management expects that the Company’s (i) current level of cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities, (ii) current and forecasted cash flows from operations, (iii) availability under existing funding arrangements, and (iv) access to capital in the capital markets will provide sufficient funds to support the Company’s operations, capital expenditures, investments, and debt obligations on both a short-term and long-term basis.
 
Revolving Credit Facility
 
On April 3, 2020, the Company amended its existing credit agreement to effect certain changes, including, among others: (i) eliminating the $200.0 million unsecured term loan credit facility, the remaining outstanding balance ($140.0 million) of which was repaid in full on April 3, 2020 through the revolving credit facility; (ii) making certain financial and non-financial covenants less restrictive on the Company; (iii) modifying performance-based interest rate margins and undrawn fees; and (iv) extending the maturity date to April 3, 2025. The amended Credit Agreement also allows the Company to increase the size of the revolving credit facility or enter into one or more tranches of term loans if there is no event of default and the Company is in compliance with certain financial covenants. The Company made payments of $30.0 million on the amended revolving credit facility during the fiscal year ended January 1, 2022. The balance under the facility was $100.0 million as of January 1, 2022.

Outstanding borrowings under the amended credit agreement bear interest, at the Company’s option, at either LIBOR, fixed for interest periods of one, two, three or six-month periods, plus 1.25% to 2.00%, or at the bank’s Base Rate, as defined, plus 0.25% to 1.00%, based upon the Company’s Consolidated Leverage Ratio, as defined. The Company is also required to pay commitment fees on unused portions of the credit agreement ranging from 0.125% to 0.20%, based on the Consolidated Leverage Ratio, as defined in the agreement. The credit agreement includes representations, covenants and events of default that are customary for financing transactions of this nature. The effective interest rate on outstanding borrowings under the credit facility was 1.35% at January 1, 2022.
 
As of January 1, 2022, the Company had no outstanding in letters of credit and had available $600.0 million of borrowing capacity under the revolving credit facility. At January 1, 2022, the Company was in compliance with all covenants under the credit agreement.
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Senior Notes
 
On December 8, 2016, the Company entered into a Note Purchase Agreement, pursuant to which the Company issued and sold €212 million aggregate principal amount of senior notes in two series. The funding date for the Euro denominated senior notes occurred on December 8, 2016 for €117 million in aggregate amount of 1.14% Senior Notes, Series A, due December 8, 2023 (“Euro Senior Notes, Series A due 2023”), and €95 million in aggregate amount of 1.83% Senior Notes, Series B due December 8, 2028 (“Euro Senior Notes, Series B due 2028”) (together, the “Euro Senior Notes”). Interest on the Euro Senior Notes is payable semiannually on June 8 and December 8, commencing June 8, 2017.
 
On December 8, 2016, the Company entered into a Note Purchase Agreement, pursuant to which the Company issued and sold $125 million aggregate principal amount of senior notes in two series. On February 15, 2017, $25 million in aggregate principal amount of 3.03% Senior Notes, Series A, due February 15, 2022 (“U.S. Senior Notes, Series A due 2022”), and $100 million in aggregate principal amount of 3.74% Senior Notes, Series B, due February 15, 2027 (“U.S. Senior Notes, Series B due 2027”) (together, the “U.S. Senior Notes due 2022 and 2027”) were funded. Interest on the U.S. Senior Notes due 2022 and 2027 is payable semiannually on February 15 and August 15, commencing August 15, 2017.
 
On November 15, 2017, the Company entered into a Note Purchase Agreement pursuant to which the Company issued and sold $175 million in aggregate principal amount of senior notes in two series. On January 16, 2018, $50 million aggregate principal amount of 3.48% Senior Notes, Series A, due February 15, 2025 (“U.S. Senior Notes, Series A due 2025”) and $125 million in aggregate principal amount of 3.78% Senior Notes, Series B, due February 15, 2030 (“U.S. Senior Notes, Series B due 2030”) (together, the “U.S. Senior Notes due 2025 and 2030” and with the Euro Senior Notes and the U.S. Senior Notes due 2022 and 2027, the “Senior Notes”) were funded. Interest on the U.S. Senior Notes due 2025 and 2030 is payable semiannually on February 15 and August 15, commencing August 15, 2018.
 
The Company was in compliance with its debt covenants as of January 1, 2022. As of January 1, 2022, the Company met all the conditions required to borrow under the Credit Agreement and management expects the Company to continue to meet the applicable borrowing conditions.
 
Acquisitions

On January 28, 2021, the Company acquired Hartland, a manufacturer and leading supplier of electrical components used primarily in HVAC and other industrial and control systems applications. At the time of acquisition, Hartland had annualized sales of approximately $70 million. The total purchase price for Hartland was $111.0 million and the operations of Hartland are included in the Industrial segment. The net cash payment of $108.5 million was funded by the Company’s cash on hand.

On November 30, 2021, the Company acquired Carling, a leader in switching, circuit protection and power distribution technologies with a strong global presence in commercial transportation, communications infrastructure and marine markets. At the time of acquisition, Carling had annualized sales of approximately $170 million. The purchase price for Carling was $315 million subject to change for working capital adjustments and the operations of Carling are included in the Transportation segment. The net cash payment of $313.6 million was funded by the Company’s cash on hand.
 
Cash Flow Overview
 
Operating cash inflows are largely attributable to sales of the Company’s products. Operating cash outflows are largely attributable to recurring expenditures for raw materials, labor, rent, interest, taxes and other operating activities.
 
The following describes the Company’s cash flows for the fiscal year ended January 1, 2022 and December 26, 2020:
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 Fiscal Year
(in millions)20212020
Net cash provided by operating activities$373.3 $258.0 
Net cash used in investing activities(499.2)(51.4)
Net cash used in financing activities(69.0)(67.8)
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash(9.9)17.6 
(Decrease) increase in cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash(204.7)156.4 
Cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash at beginning of period687.5 531.1 
Cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash at end of period$482.8 $687.5 
 
Cash Flow from Operating Activities

Net cash provided by operating activities was $373.3 million for the fiscal year 2021, an increase of $115.3 million, compared to $258.0 million during the fiscal year 2020. The increase in net cash provided by operating activities was primarily due to higher cash earnings partially offset by increases in working capital resulting from higher sales growth.

Cash Flow from Investing Activities
 
Net cash used in investing activities was $499.2 million for the fiscal year 2021, compared to $51.4 million during the fiscal year 2020. Capital expenditures were $90.6 million, representing a decrease of $34.4 million compared to the fiscal year 2020. Net cash paid for the Hartland and Carling acquisitions was $422.1 million during the fiscal year 2021. The Company also received proceeds of $15.4 million from the sale of buildings within the Electronics segment during the fiscal year 2021 as compared to proceeds of $4.8 million as a result of the sale of a property within the Industrial segment during the fiscal year 2020.
 
Cash Flow from Financing Activities
 
Net cash used in financing activities was $69.0 million for the fiscal year 2021 compared to $67.8 million for the fiscal year 2020. The Company made payments of $30.0 million on the amended revolving credit facility during the fiscal year 2021. On March 25, 2020, the Company borrowed $100.0 million from its revolving credit facility to preserve financial flexibility and enhance liquidity, given the increasing levels of uncertainty related to COVID-19. On April 3, 2020, the Company amended the Credit Agreement to eliminate the $200.0 million unsecured term loan credit facility, with the remaining outstanding balance of $140.0 million repaid in full on April 3, 2020 through a new borrowing of $140.0 million under the amended revolving credit facility. The Company also made principal payments of $5.0 million on the term loan during fiscal year 2020 before amended the Credit Agreement. During the fiscal year 2020, the Company made payments of $110.0 million on the amended revolving credit facility.

During the fiscal year 2020, the Company repurchased 175,110 shares of its common stock totaling $22.9 million. Additionally, dividends paid increased $2.9 million from $46.8 million for the fiscal year 2020 to $49.7 million for the fiscal year 2021.
The following describes the Company’s cash flows for the twelve months ended December 26, 2020 and December 28, 2019:
 
 Fiscal Year
(in millions)20202019
Net cash provided by operating activities$258.0 $245.3 
Net cash used in investing activities(51.4)(56.4)
Net cash used in financing activities(67.8)(146.3)
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash17.6 (1.2)
Increase in cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash156.4 41.4 
Cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash at beginning of period531.1 489.7 
Cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash at end of period$687.5 $531.1 
 
Cash Flow from Operating Activities

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Net cash provided by operating activities was $258.0 million for the fiscal year 2020, compared to $245.3 million during the fiscal year 2019. The increase in net cash provided by operating activities was primarily due to lower annual incentive payments and favorable changes in net working capital partially offset by lower earnings largely due to the impact of COVID-19.

Cash Flow from Investing Activities
 
Net cash used in investing activities was $51.4 million for the fiscal year 2020, compared to $56.4 million during the fiscal year 2019. Capital expenditures were $56.2 million, representing a decrease of $5.7 million compared to the fiscal year 2019. The Company also received proceeds of $4.8 million and $6.2 million, respectively, in the fiscal year 2020 and the fiscal year 2019 primarily as a result of the sale of properties within the Industrial segment.
 
Cash Flow from Financing Activities
 
Net cash used in financing activities was $67.8 million for 2020 compared to $146.3 million for the fiscal year 2019. The Company made principal payments of $5.0 million and $10.0 million on the term loan during fiscal year 2020 and 2019, respectively. During fiscal year 2020, the company borrowed $100.0 million from its revolving credit facility to preserve financial flexibility and enhance liquidity, given the increasing levels of uncertainty related to COVID-19. On April 3, 2020, the Company amended the Credit Agreement to eliminate the $200.0 million unsecured term loan credit facility, with the remaining outstanding balance of $140.0 million repaid in full on April 3, 2020 through a new borrowing of $140.0 million under the recently amended revolving credit facility. The Company made payments of $110.0 million on the amended revolving credit facility during the fiscal year 2020. The balance under the facility was $130.0 million as of December 26, 2020.

For the fiscal year 2020 and 2019, the Company repurchased 175,110 and 579,916 shares of its common stock totaling $22.9 million and $95.0 million, respectively, but made payments of $99.4 million related to settled share repurchases during the fiscal year 2019. Additionally, dividends paid increased $2.2 million from $44.7 million for the fiscal year 2019 to $46.8 million for the fiscal year 2020.

Contractual Obligations and Commitments
 
The following table summarizes outstanding contractual obligations and commitments as of January 1, 2022:
 
Payments Due By Period
(in thousands)TotalLess than
1 Year
1 to 3
 Years
3 to 5
 Years
Greater
than
 5 Years
Long-term debt(a)
$639,984 $25,000 $132,444 $150,000 $332,540 
Interest payments(b)
80,435 14,488 26,710 20,202 19,035 
Operating lease payments(c)
34,307 10,080 15,163 4,457 4,607 
Income tax obligation(d)
20,754 3,000 9,515 8,239 — 
Purchase obligations(e)
13,544 10,091 1,263 1,166 1,024 
Total$789,024 $62,659 $185,095 $184,064 $357,206 
 
(a)Excludes offsetting issuance costs of $3.1 million. Euro denominated debt amounts are converted based on the Euro to U.S. Dollar spot rate at year end. For more information see Note 9, Debt, of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

(b)Amounts represent estimated contractual interest payments on outstanding debt. Rates in effect as of January 1, 2022 are used for variable rate debt. For more information see Note 9, Debt, of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

(c)For more information see Note 7, Lease Commitments, of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

(d)The Income tax obligation represents the remaining amounts payable regarding the 2017 Littelfuse Toll Charge. The Company has elected to pay the 2017 Littelfuse Toll Charge over the eight-year period prescribed by the Tax Act. For more information see Note 14, Income Taxes, of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

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(e)Purchase obligations include purchase commitments and commitments for capital expenditures not recognized in the Company’s Consolidated Balance Sheets.

In addition to the above contractual obligations and commitments, the Company had the following obligations at January 1, 2022: 

The Company has Company-sponsored defined benefit pension plans covering employees at various non-U.S. subsidiaries including the U.K., Germany, the Philippines, China, Japan, Mexico, Italy and France. At January 1, 2022, the Company had a net unfunded status of $38.2 million. The Company expects to make approximately $2.6 million of contributions to the plans in 2022. For additional information, see Note 11, Benefit Plans, of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
 
Dividends
 
Cash dividends paid totaled $49.7 million, $46.8 million and $44.7 million for 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively. On January 27, 2022, the Board of Directors of the Company declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.53 per share, payable on March 10, 2022 to stockholders of record as of February 24, 2022.
Capital Resources
 
The Company expends capital to support its operating and strategic plans. Such expenditures include strategic acquisitions, investments to maintain capital assets, develop new products or improve existing products, and to enhance capacity or productivity. Many of the associated projects have long lead-times and require commitments in advance of actual spending.
 
Share Repurchase Program

On April 26, 2019, the Company's Board of Directors authorized a program to repurchase up to 1,000,000 shares of the Company's common stock for the period May 1, 2019 to April 30, 2020 (the "2019 program"). On April 29, 2020, the Company announced that the Board of Directors authorized a new program to repurchase up to 1,000,000 shares of the Company's common stock for the period May 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021 (the "2020 program") to replace its previous expired 2019 program. On April 28, 2021, the Company announced that the Board of Directors authorized a new three-year program to repurchase up to $300 million in the aggregate of shares of the Company’s common stock for the period May 1, 2021 to April 30, 2024 to replace its previous 2020 program. There are $300 million in the aggregate of shares available for purchase under the new program as of January 1, 2022.

During the fiscal year 2021, the Company did not repurchase any shares of its common stock. During the fiscal year 2020 and 2019, the Company repurchased 175,110, and 579,916 shares of its common stock totaling $22.9 million and $95.0 million, respectively.

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
 
As of January 1, 2022, the Company did not have any off-balance sheet arrangements, as defined under SEC rules. Specifically, the Company was not liable for guarantees of indebtedness owed by third parties, the Company was not directly liable for the debt of any unconsolidated entity and the Company did not have any retained or contingent interest in assets. The Company does not participate in transactions that generate relationships with unconsolidated entities or financial partnerships, such as entities often referred to as structured finance or special purpose entities.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements
 
Recently issued accounting standards and their estimated effect on the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements are described in Note 1, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies and Other Information, of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.


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ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK.
 
The Company is exposed to market risk from changes in interest rates, foreign exchange rates and commodity prices.
 
Interest Rates Risk

The Company made payments of $30.0 million on the amended revolving credit facility during the fiscal year 2021. The balance under the facility was $100.0 million as of January 1, 2022. With variable interest rates, the Company is subject to future interest rate fluctuations in relation to these borrowings which could potentially have a negative impact on cash flows of the Company. A prospective increase of 100 basis points in the interest rate applicable to the Company’s outstanding borrowings under its credit facility would result in an increase of approximately $1.0 million in annual interest expense. This exposure would be partially if not fully offset by higher interest income from the Company's investments. The Company is not party to any currency exchange or interest rate protection agreements as of January 1, 2022.
 
Foreign Exchange Rate Risk
 
The majority of the company’s operations consist of manufacturing and sales activities in foreign countries. The Company has operations in China, Germany, Mexico, Philippines, U.K., Japan, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, and the U.S. During 2021, sales to customers outside the U.S. were approximately 69% of total net sales. During 2020, sales to customers outside the U.S. were approximately 73% of total net sales. Substantially all sales in Europe are denominated in euros and substantially all sales in the Asia-Pacific region are denominated in U.S. dollars, Chinese renminbi, Japanese yen, or Korean won.
 
The company’s foreign exchange exposures result primarily from inter-company loans, external borrowings, sale of products in foreign currencies, foreign currency denominated purchases, employee-related and other costs of running operations in foreign countries. The company’s most significant foreign currency exposures are to the euro, the Chinese renminbi, Mexican peso, and Philippine peso. Changes in foreign exchange rates could affect the company’s sales, costs, balance sheet values and earnings.
 
At January 1, 2022, the net value of the Company’s assets with exposure to foreign currency risk was approximately $148 million, with the largest exposure being a Japanese yen denominated inter-company loan with a Euro functional currency subsidiary. The reduction in earnings from a hypothetical instantaneous 10% adverse change in quoted foreign currency spot rates applied to foreign currency sensitive asset instruments would be $15 million at January 1, 2022. At January 1, 2022, the net value of the Company’s liabilities with exposure to foreign currency risk was $389 million, with the largest exposure being U.S. Dollar denominated inter-company loans with a Euro functional currency subsidiary. The reduction in earnings from a hypothetical instantaneous 10% adverse change in quoted foreign currency spot rates applied to foreign currency sensitive liability instruments would be $39 million at January 1, 2022. As a result of the mix in currencies impacting the hypothetical 10% changes, the movements in some instruments would offset movements in other instruments reducing the hypothetical exposure to the Company.
 
Commodity Price Risk
 
The Company uses various metals in the manufacturing of its products, including copper, zinc, tin, gold, and silver. Prices of these and other commodities can rise and result in materially higher costs of producing our products. The Company believes it has adequate primary and secondary sources of supply for each of our key materials. While the Company is exposed to significant changes in certain metal prices and expects higher material costs, the Company actively monitors these exposures and may take various actions, including price increases and productivity improvements to mitigate any negative impacts of these exposures.

Due to the continued impact from COVID-19, transportation costs increased significantly in 2021 and may further increase in 2022. The Company has taken and, in the future, may take further various actions, including price increases and changing freight modes or other alternative solutions to mitigate the impact of rising transportation costs.
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ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA.
 
IndexPage
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
 
 
Board of Directors and Shareholders 
Littelfuse, Inc.
 

Opinion on the financial statements

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Littelfuse, Inc. (a Delaware corporation) and subsidiaries (the “Company”) as of January 1, 2022 and December 26, 2020, the related consolidated statements of net income, comprehensive income, equity, and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended January 1, 2022, and the related notes and financial statement schedule included under Item 15(a) (collectively referred to as the “financial statements”). In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of January 1, 2022 and December 26, 2020, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended January 1, 2022, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (“PCAOB”), the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of January 1, 2022, based on criteria established in the 2013 Internal Control—Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (“COSO”), and our report dated February 17, 2022 expressed an unqualified opinion.
 
We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (“PCAOB”), the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of January 1, 2022, based on criteria established in the 2013 Internal Control—Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (“COSO”), and our report dated February 17, 2022, expressed an unqualified opinion.

Basis for opinion

These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

Critical audit matter
The critical audit matter communicated below is a matter arising from the current period audit of the financial statements that was communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that: (1) relates to accounts or disclosures that are material to the financial statements and (2) involved our especially challenging, subjective, or complex judgments. The communication of a critical audit matter does not alter in any way our opinion on the financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matter below, providing a separate opinion on the critical audit matter or on the accounts or disclosures to which it relates.

Business Acquisition – Carling Technologies – Valuation of acquired Intangible Assets

As discussed in Note 2, the Company acquired Carling Technologies, Inc., on November 30, 2021 for a total purchase price of approximately $314 million, net of cash acquired. The Company allocated the purchase price, on a preliminary basis, to the assets acquired and liabilities assumed based on their respective fair values, including identified intangible assets of $125.9 million. We identified the valuation of acquired intangible assets as a critical audit matter.

The principal considerations for our determination that the valuation of acquired intangible assets is a critical audit matter are (i) the significant judgment by management when determining assumptions used in the fair value measurement of acquired intangible assets (ii) the high degree of auditor judgment and subjectivity in performing procedures and evaluating
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management’s significant assumptions relating to revenue growth, royalty rates, and customer attrition rates and (iii) the audit effort involved the use of professionals with specialized skill and knowledge.

Our audit procedures related to the valuation of the acquired intangible assets included the following, among others:
we tested the design and operating effectiveness of the controls over the Company’s acquisition and valuation process, including review of the valuation model, significant assumptions used, and the completeness and accuracy of the underlying data used
we tested the forecasted revenues and cash flows by assessing the reasonableness of management’s forecasts compared to historical results and forecasted industry trends
with the assistance of our valuation specialists, we assessed the royalty, customer attrition, and revenue growth rates by developing a range of independent estimates and comparing those to the rates selected by management. We also involved our valuation specialists to evaluate the assumptions and methodologies used in valuing the intangible assets.
 
 
 
/s/ GRANT THORNTON LLP
 
We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2014.
 
 
Southfield, Michigan
February 17, 2022


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Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
 
 
Board of Directors and Shareholders
Littelfuse, Inc.
 
 
Opinion on internal control over financial reporting
We have audited the internal control over financial reporting of Littelfuse, Inc. (a Delaware corporation) and subsidiaries (the “Company”) as of January 1, 2022, based on criteria established in the 2013 Internal Control—Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission ("COSO"). In our opinion, the Company maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of January 1, 2022, based on criteria established in the 2013 Internal Control—Integrated Framework issued by COSO.
 
We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (“PCAOB”), the consolidated financial statements of the Company as of and for the year ended January 1, 2022, and our report dated February 17, 2022 expressed an unqualified opinion on those financial statements.
 
Basis for opinion
The Company’s management is responsible for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, included in the accompanying Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting (“Management’s Report”). Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s internal control over financial reporting based on our audit. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
 
We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects. Our audit included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk, and performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.

Our audit of, and opinion on, the Company’s internal control over financial reporting does not include the internal control over financial reporting of Carling Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary, whose financial statements reflect total assets and revenues constituting 5% and 1%, respectively, of the related consolidated financial statement amounts as of and for the year ended January 1, 2022. As indicated in Management’s Report, Carling Technologies, Inc. was acquired during 2021. Management’s assertion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting excluded internal control over financial reporting of Carling Technologies, Inc.
 
Definition and limitations of internal control over financial reporting
A company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the Company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the Company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the Company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the Company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

/s/ GRANT THORNTON LLP
Southfield, Michigan
February 17, 2022
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