Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)


12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2018
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Nature of Operations
Natural Health Trends Corp., a Delaware corporation (whether or not including its subsidiaries, the “Company”), is an international direct-selling and e-commerce company. Subsidiaries controlled by the Company sell personal care, wellness, and “quality of life” products under the “NHT Global” brand.
The Company’s wholly-owned subsidiaries have an active physical presence in the following markets: the Americas, which consists of the United States, Canada, Cayman Islands, Mexico and Peru; Greater China, which consists of Hong Kong, Taiwan and China; Southeast Asia, which consists of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam; South Korea; Japan; India; and Europe. The Company also operates in Russia and Kazakhstan through an engagement with a local service provider.

In January 2019, the Company relocated its corporate headquarters from Rolling Hills Estates, California to Hong Kong.

Principles of Consolidation
The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of the Company and all of its wholly-owned subsidiaries. All significant inter-company balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.

Certain prior year balances in the statement of operations have been reclassified to conform to current year presentation. Additionally, in accordance with the adoption of Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2016-18, Statement of Cash Flows - Restricted Cash, the Company has included amounts classified as restricted cash or restricted cash equivalents with cash and cash equivalents when reconciling beginning-of-period and end-of-period total cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash amounts, as presented in its consolidated statements of cash flows.

Use of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reported period.

The most significant accounting estimates inherent in the preparation of the Company’s financial statements include estimates associated with revenue recognition, as well as those used in the determination of liabilities related to sales returns, commissions and income taxes. Various assumptions and other factors prompt the determination of these significant estimates. The process of determining significant estimates is fact specific and takes into account historical experience and current and expected economic conditions. The actual results may differ materially and adversely from the Company’s estimates. To the extent that there are material differences between the estimates and actual results, future results of operations will be affected.

Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents include the Company’s investments in debt securities, comprising municipal notes, bonds and corporate debt, money market funds and time deposits. The Company considers all highly liquid investments with original maturities of three months or less, when purchased, to be cash equivalents. Debt securities classified as cash equivalents are required to be accounted for in accordance with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 320, Investments - Debt and Equity Securities. As such, the Company determined its investments in debt securities held at December 31, 2018 should be classified as available-for-sale and are carried at fair value with unrealized gains and losses reported in accumulated other comprehensive loss in stockholders’ equity. The cost of debt securities is adjusted for amortization of premiums and discounts to maturity. This amortization is included in other income. Realized gains and losses, as well as interest income, are also included in other income. The fair values of securities are based on quoted market prices.

The Company includes credit card receivables due from certain of its credit card processors in its cash and cash equivalents as the cash proceeds are received within two to five days.

The Company maintains certain cash balances at several institutions located in the United States, Hong Kong and Malaysia which at times may exceed insured limits.  The Company has not experienced any losses in such accounts and believes it is not exposed to any significant credit risk.

Restricted Cash
In June 2015, the Company funded a bank deposit account in the amount of CNY 20 million ($2.9 million and $3.1 million at December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively) in anticipation of submitting a direct selling license application in China. Such deposit is required by Chinese laws to establish a consumer protection fund.

The Company periodically maintains a cash reserve with certain credit card processing companies to provide for potential uncollectible amounts and chargebacks. Those cash reserves held by credit card processing companies located in South Korea are reflected in noncurrent assets since they require the Company to provide 100% collateral before processing transactions, which must be maintained indefinitely.
Inventories are stated at the lower of cost or net realizable value, using the first-in, first-out method. The Company reviews its inventory for obsolescence and any inventory identified as obsolete is reserved or written off. The Company’s determination of obsolescence is based on assumptions about the demand for its products, product expiration dates, estimated future sales, and management’s future plans.
Property and Equipment
Property and equipment are stated at cost less accumulated depreciation and amortization. Depreciation is computed using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the assets, generally three to five years for office equipment, office software and capitalized internal-use software development costs and five to seven years for furniture and fixtures. Leasehold improvements are amortized over the shorter of the lease term or the estimated useful life of the assets. Expenditures for maintenance and repairs are charged to expense as incurred. Depreciation and amortization expenses are included in the statement of operations as selling, general and administrative expenses. Such expense totaled $424,000 and $536,000 during 2018 and 2017, respectively.
The Company reviews property and equipment for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. Recoverability of these assets is measured by comparison of its carrying amounts to future undiscounted cash flows the assets are expected to generate. If property and equipment are considered to be impaired, the impairment to be recognized equals the amount by which the carrying value of the asset exceeds its fair value.
The Company assesses qualitative factors in order to determine whether it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount. If, through this qualitative assessment, the conclusion is made that it is more likely than not that a reporting unit’s fair value is less than its carrying amount, a two-step impairment test is performed. The Company’s policy is to test for impairment annually during the fourth quarter. Considerable management judgment is necessary to measure fair value. The Company did not recognize any impairment charges for goodwill during the periods presented.
Income Taxes
The Company recognizes income taxes under the liability method of accounting for income taxes. Deferred income taxes are recognized for differences between the financial reporting and tax bases of assets and liabilities at enacted statutory tax rates in effect for the years in which the temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. Deferred tax expense or benefit is a result of changes in deferred tax assets and liabilities. Valuation allowances are established when necessary to reduce deferred tax assets to the amounts expected to be ultimately realized based on the more likely than not recognition criteria. The Company recognizes tax benefits from uncertain tax positions 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 Company has evaluated its tax positions and determined that there are no uncertain tax positions for the current year or years prior. The tax benefits recognized in the financial statements from such a position are measured based on the largest benefit that has a greater than fifty percent likelihood of being realized upon ultimate resolution.  The Company recognizes interest and penalties related to unrecognized tax benefits as a component of income tax expense.  Deferred taxes are not provided for state income tax purposes on the portion of undistributed earnings of subsidiaries outside of the United States when these earnings are considered permanently reinvested.

Amounts Held in eWallets
The Company requires commission payments of certain members in Hong Kong to be first recorded into an electronic wallet (eWallet) account in lieu of being paid out directly to members. The eWallet functionality allows members to place new product orders utilizing eWallet available balance and/or request commission payout via multiple payment methods. Amounts held in eWallets are reflected on the balance sheet as a current liability.

Long-Term Incentive
Financial rewards earned under the 2014 Long-Term Incentive Plan (the “LTI Plan”) are recognized over the performance period as specified performance or other goals are achieved or exceeded. In accordance with the LTI Plan, fifty percent of any cash payment earned is payable in thirty-five equal consecutive monthly installments commencing in February of the calendar year immediately following the conclusion of the performance period and the remaining fifty percent of the payment earned is payable in thirty-five equal consecutive monthly installments commencing in February 2021 and ending in December 2023. As of December 31, 2018, unpaid installments for long-term incentive compensation total $9.0 million, of which $7.8 million is reflected on the balance sheet as a non-current liability and $1.2 million is reflected in other accrued expenses.

At the sole discretion of the Compensation Committee of the Company’s Board of Directors, distributions under the LTI Plan are made in cash, or alternatively awarded in the form of common stock or other common stock rights having an equivalent cash value under the terms of the Natural Health Trends Corp. 2016 Equity Incentive Plan. A determination of the form of distribution, if any, is made by the Compensation Committee subsequent to the end of each calendar year. As such, amounts earned are considered non-equity awards. See Note 7 for grant information of distributions settled in common stock.
Foreign Currency
The functional currency of the Company’s international subsidiaries is generally their local currency. Local currency assets and liabilities are translated at the rates of exchange on the balance sheet date, and local currency revenues and expenses are translated at average rates of exchange during the period. Equity accounts are translated at historical rates.  The resulting translation adjustments are recorded directly into accumulated other comprehensive income.
Aggregate transaction gains or losses, including gains or losses related to foreign-denominated cash and cash equivalents and the re-measurement of certain inter-company balances, are included in the statement of operations as other income and expense. Loss on foreign exchange totaling $739,000 and $451,000 was recognized during 2018 and 2017, respectively.
Independent members earn commissions based on total personal and group bonus volume points per weekly sales period.  Each of the Company’s products are designated a specified number of bonus volume points, which is essentially a percentage of the product’s wholesale price.  The Company accrues commissions when earned and as the related revenue is recognized and pays commissions on product sales generally two weeks following the end of the weekly sales period.
In some markets, the Company also pays certain bonuses on purchases by up to three generations of personally sponsored members, as well as bonuses on commissions earned by up to seven generations of personally sponsored members. Independent members may also earn incentives based on meeting certain qualifications during a designated incentive period, which may range from several weeks to up to a year.  The Company estimates and accrues all costs associated with the incentives as the members meet the qualification requirements.
From time to time the Company makes modifications and enhancements to the Company’s compensation plan to help motivate members, which can have an impact on member commissions. The Company also enters into performance-based agreements for business or market development, which may result in additional compensation to specific members.

Operating Leases

The Company leases its physical properties under operating leases. Certain lease agreements include rent holidays and incentives. The Company recognizes rent holiday periods on a straight-line basis over the lease term beginning when the Company has the right to the leased space.

Stock-Based Compensation
Stock-based compensation expense is determined based on the grant date fair value of each award, net of estimated forfeitures which are derived from historical experience, and is recognized on a straight-line basis over the requisite service period for the award.
Net Income Per Common Share
Diluted net income per common share is determined using the weighted-average number of common shares outstanding during the period, adjusted for the dilutive effect of common stock equivalents. The dilutive effect of non-vested restricted stock is reflected by application of the treasury stock method. Under the treasury stock method, the amount of compensation cost for future service that the Company has not yet recognized and the amount of tax benefit that would be recorded in additional paid-in capital when the award becomes deductible are assumed to be used to repurchase shares.

Certain Risks and Concentrations
A substantial portion of the Company’s sales are generated in Hong Kong (see Note 11). Substantially all of the Company’s Hong Kong revenues are derived from the sale of products that are delivered to members in China. In contrast to the Company’s operations in other parts of the world, the Company’s China subsidiary has not implemented a direct sales model in China. The Chinese government permits direct selling only by organizations that have a license, which the Company has applied for, and has also adopted anti-pyramid selling and multilevel marketing legislation. The Company operates an e-commerce direct selling model in Hong Kong and recognizes the revenue derived from sales to both Hong Kong and Chinese members as being generated in Hong Kong. Products purchased by members in China are delivered to third parties that act as the importers of record under agreements to pay applicable duties. In addition, through a Chinese entity, the Company sells products in China using an e-commerce retail model. The Chinese entity operates separately from the Hong Kong entity, and a Chinese member may elect to participate separately or in both.

The Company continually evaluates its operations in China and Hong Kong for compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including seeking the input of outside professionals and certain Chinese authorities. This process can and has resulted in the identification of certain matters of potential noncompliance. The Company works on a continuing basis to satisfactorily address such matters, however there can be no assurance that adequate steps are taken or that applicable laws and regulations are properly interpreted. Should the government authorities determine that the Company’s activities violate applicable laws and regulations, including China’s direct selling, pyramid selling or multilevel marketing laws and regulations, or should new laws or regulations be adopted, there could be a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
Although the Company attempts to work closely with both national and local Chinese governmental agencies in conducting its business, the Company’s efforts to comply with national and local laws may be harmed by a rapidly evolving regulatory climate, concerns about activities resembling violations of direct selling, pyramid selling or multi-level marketing legislation, and subjective interpretations of laws and regulations. Any determination that the Company’s operations or activities, or the activities of its individual members or employee sales representatives, or importers of record are not in compliance with applicable laws and regulations could result in the imposition of substantial fines, extended interruptions of business, restrictions on the Company’s future ability to obtain business licenses or expand into new locations, changes to its business model, the termination of required licenses to conduct business, or other actions, any of which could materially harm the Company’s business, financial condition and results of operations.

No single market other than Hong Kong had net sales greater than 10% of total sales. Sales are made to the Company’s members and no single customer accounted for 10% or more of its net sales. However, the Company’s business model can result in a concentration of sales to several different members and their network of members. Although no single member accounted for 10% or more of net sales, the loss of a key member or that member’s network could have an adverse effect on the Company’s net sales and financial results.

The Company’s Premium Noni Juice and Enhanced Essential Probiotics® products each account for more than 10% of the Company’s total revenue. The Company currently sources each such product from a single supplier. If demand decreases significantly, government regulation restricts their sale, the Company is unable to adequately source or deliver the products, or the Company ceases offering the products for any reason without suitable replacements, the Company’s business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

Fair Value of Financial Instruments
The carrying amounts of the Company’s financial instruments, including cash and cash equivalents and accounts payable, approximate fair value because of their short maturities. The carrying amount of the noncurrent restricted cash approximates fair value since, absent the restrictions, the underlying assets would be included in cash and cash equivalents.
Accounting standards permit companies, at their option, to choose to measure many financial instruments and certain other items at fair value.  The Company has elected to not fair value existing eligible items.

Recently Issued and Adopted Accounting Pronouncements

In November 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-18 that requires amounts generally described as restricted cash or restricted cash equivalents be included with cash and cash equivalents when reconciling the beginning-of-period and end-of-period total amounts shown on the statement of cash flows. The new standard was effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within those fiscal years. The Company adopted the new standard effective January 1, 2018 using the retrospective transition method. Its adoption did not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

In February 2016, the FASB established Topic 842, Leases, by issuing ASU No. 2016-02, which requires lessees to recognize the rights and obligations created by leases on the balance sheet and disclose key information about leasing arrangements. Topic 842 was subsequently amended by ASU No. 2018-11, Targeted Improvements, ASU No. 2018-10, Codification Improvements to Topic 842, and ASU No. 2018-01, Land Easement Practical Expedient for Transition to Topic 842. The new standard establishes a right-of-use model (ROU) that requires a lessee to recognize a ROU asset and lease liability on the balance sheet for all leases with a term longer than 12 months. Leases will be classified as finance or operating, with classification affecting the pattern and classification of expense recognition in the statement of operations.

The new standard will be effective January 1, 2019. A modified retrospective transition approach is required, applying the new standard to all leases existing at the date of initial application. An entity may choose to use either (1) its effective date or (2) the beginning of the earliest comparative period presented in the financial statements as its date of initial application. If an entity chooses the second option, the transition requirements for existing leases also apply to leases entered into between the date of initial application and the effective date. The entity must also recast its comparative period financial statements and provide the disclosures required by the new standard for the comparative periods. The Company expects to adopt the new standard on January 1, 2019 using the effective date as our date of initial application. Consequently, financial information will not be updated and the disclosures required under the new standard will not be provided for dates and periods before January 1, 2019.

The new standard provides a number of optional practical expedients in transition. The Company expects to elect the “package of practical expedients”, which permits entities not to reassess under the new lease standard prior conclusions about lease identification, lease classification and initial direct costs. The Company does not expect to elect the use-of-hindsight or the practical expedient pertaining to land easements.

While the Company continues to assess all of the effects of adoption, it currently believes that most significant effects relate to the recognition of new ROU assets and lease liabilities on our balance sheet for office operating leases and providing significant new disclosures about our leasing activities. On adoption, the Company expects to recognize an operating lease liability of $4.6 million, with corresponding ROU assets of the same amount based on the present value of the remaining minimum rental payments under current leasing standards for existing operating leases.

The new standard also provides practical expedients for an entity’s ongoing accounting. The Company currently expects to elect the short-term leases recognition exemption for all leases that qualify. This means that the Company will not recognize ROU assets or lease liabilities, and this includes not recognizing ROU assets and lease liabilities for existing short-term leases of those assets in transition. The Company also currently expects to elect the practical expedient to not separate lease and nonlease components for its leases.

In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU No. 2014-09, Revenue From Contracts With Customers, that outlines a single comprehensive model for entities to use in accounting for revenue arising from contracts with customers and supersedes most current revenue recognition guidance, including industry-specific guidance. ASU 2014-09 is based on the principle that an entity should recognize revenue to depict the transfer of goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services.  It also requires additional disclosure about the nature, amount, timing and uncertainty of revenue and cash flows arising from customer contracts, including significant judgments and changes in judgments and assets recognized from costs incurred to fulfill a contract. In July 2015, the FASB approved the deferral of the effective date for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim reporting periods. The Company adopted the new standard effective January 1, 2018 using the modified retrospective transition method. The adoption of this guidance did not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements. See Note 2 for additional information.

Other recently issued accounting pronouncements did not or are not believed by management to have a material impact on the Company’s present or future financial statements.