Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 27, 2014
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  

Principles of Consolidation
The consolidated financial statements include the accounts and operations of Sun Hydraulics and its direct and indirect subsidiaries. All significant intercompany accounts and transactions are eliminated in consolidation. The Company used the equity method of accounting for its investment in WhiteOak until April 1, 2013, when it acquired the remaining 60% of WhiteOak (see Note 8). The Company did not have a majority ownership in or exercise control over this entity prior to that date.

Critical Accounting Policies and Use of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity 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 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. Actual results could differ from those estimates. Significant estimates are used in the determination of impairment of long-lived assets, inventory, goodwill, accruals, income taxes, and fair value of short-term investments.

Cash, Cash Equivalents and Short-term Investments
The Company considers all highly liquid investments purchased with an original maturity of three months or less to be cash equivalents.

The Company’s short-term investments have been classified and accounted for as available-for-sale. Management determines the appropriate classification of its investments at the time of purchase and reevaluates the designation at each balance sheet date. The Company may or may not hold securities with stated maturities greater than 12 months until maturity. As management views these securities as available to support current operations, the Company classifies securities with maturities beyond 12 months as current assets under the caption short-term investments in the accompanying Consolidated Balance Sheets. The Company’s short-term investments are carried at fair value, with the unrealized gains and losses, net of tax, reported as a component of shareholder’s equity. Realized gains and losses on sales of short-term investments are generally determined using the specific identification method, and are included in miscellaneous (income) expense in the Consolidated Statements of Operations.

Accounts Receivable
The Company sells to most of its customers on a recurring basis, primarily through distributors with which the Company maintains long-term relationships. As a result, bad debt experience has not been material. The allowance for doubtful accounts is determined on a specific identification basis by a review of those accounts that are significantly in arrears. There can be no assurance that a distributor or a large direct sale customer with overdue accounts receivable balances will not develop financial difficulties and default on payment. See the consolidated balance sheets for allowance amounts.

Inventories are valued at the lower of cost or market, with cost determined on a first-in, first-out basis. The Company offers a wide variety of standard products and as a matter of policy does not discontinue products. On an ongoing basis, component parts found to be obsolete through design or process changes are disposed of and charged to material cost. The Company reviews on-hand balances of products and component parts against specific criteria. Products and component parts without usage or that have excess quantities on hand are evaluated. An inventory reserve is then established for the full inventory carrying value of those products and component parts deemed to be obsolete or slow moving. See Note 5 to the Financial Statements for inventory reserve amounts.

Property, Plant and Equipment
Property, plant and equipment is stated at cost. Expenditures for repairs and improvements that significantly add to the productive capacity or extend the useful life of an asset are capitalized. Repairs and maintenance are expensed as incurred. Depreciation is computed using the straight line method over the following useful lives:

Computer Equipment
3 - 5
Machinery and equipment
4 - 12
Furniture and fixtures
4 - 10
Leasehold and land improvements
5 - 15
25 - 40

Gains or losses on the retirement, sale, or disposition of property, plant, and equipment are reflected in the Consolidated Statement of Operations in the period in which the assets are taken out of service.

Fair Value Measurements
The Company applies fair value accounting guidelines for all financial assets and liabilities and non-financial assets and liabilities that are recognized or disclosed at fair value in the financial statements on a recurring basis (at least annually). Under these guidelines, fair value is defined as the price that would be received for the sale of an asset or paid to transfer a liability (i.e. an exit price) in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. The guidance establishes a three-tier fair value hierarchy which prioritizes the inputs used in measuring fair value as follows:
Level 1 - Quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities.
Level 2 - Observable inputs other than quoted prices included in Level 1, such as quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities in active markets or quoted prices for identical assets or liabilities in inactive markets.
Level 3 - Unobservable inputs that are supported by little, infrequent, or no market activity and reflect the Company’s own assumptions about inputs used in pricing the asset or liability.
The fair value hierarchy also requires an entity to maximize the use of observable inputs and minimize the use of unobservable inputs when measuring fair value.

The Company’s valuation techniques used to measure the fair value of marketable equity securities were derived from quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities. The valuation techniques used to measure the fair value of all other financial instruments were valued based on quoted market prices or model driven valuations using significant inputs derived from or corroborated by observable market data.

Goodwill, which represents the excess of the purchase price of acquisition over the fair value of the net assets acquired, is carried at cost. Goodwill is tested for impairment annually or more often if events or circumstances indicate a reduction in the fair value below the carrying value. The carrying value of assets is calculated at the reporting unit. An impairment loss is recorded to the extent that the fair value of the goodwill within the reporting unit is less than its carrying value.

The Company completed its annual goodwill impairment testing and determined that the carrying amount of goodwill was not impaired. See Note 7 to the Financial Statements for goodwill amounts.

Impairment of Long-Lived Assets
Long-lived assets, such as property and equipment, and purchased intangibles subject to amortization, are reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. Recoverability of the asset is measured by comparison of its carrying amount to future net cash flows the asset is expected to generate. If such assets are considered impaired, the impairment to be recognized is measured as the amount by which the carrying amount of the asset exceeds its fair value.

The Company makes estimates related to certain employee benefits and miscellaneous accruals. Estimates for employee benefit accruals are based on management’s assessment of estimated liabilities related to workers’ compensation, health care benefits and annual contributions to an employee stock ownership plan (“ESOP”), established in 2004 as part of the Company’s retirement plan. Estimates for miscellaneous accruals are based on management’s assessment of estimated liabilities for costs incurred.

The Company accrues for health care benefit costs under a self-funded plan. The Company purchases re-insurance for both specific and aggregate stop losses on claims that exceed $155 on an individual basis and approximately $7,200 on an aggregate basis.

Revenue Recognition
The Company reports revenues, net of sales incentives, when title passes and risk of loss transfers to the customer. The effect of material non-recurring events is provided for when they become known.

Shipping and Handling Costs
Shipping and handling costs billed to distributors and customers are recorded in revenue. Shipping costs incurred by the Company are recorded in cost of goods sold.

Foreign Currency Translation and Transactions
The Pound Sterling is the functional currency of Sun Ltd. The Euro is the functional currency of Sun GmbH. The South Korean Won is the functional currency of Sun Korea. The U.S. Dollar is the functional currency for Sun Hydraulics and the reporting currency for the consolidated group. The assets and liabilities of Sun Ltd., Sun GmbH, and Sun Korea are translated at the exchange rate in effect at the balance sheet date, and income and expense items are translated at the average annual rate of exchange for the period. The resulting unrealized translation gains and losses are included as a component of shareholders’ equity designated as “accumulated other comprehensive income (loss).” Realized gains and losses from foreign currency transactions are included in the Consolidated Statement of Operations.

Income Taxes
The Company’s income tax policy provides for a liability approach under which deferred income taxes are provided for based upon enacted tax laws and rates applicable to the periods in which the taxes become payable. These differences result from items reported differently for financial reporting and income tax purposes, primarily depreciation, accrued expenses and reserves.

The Company reports a liability for unrecognized tax benefits resulting from uncertain tax positions taken or expected to be taken in a tax return. The Company recognizes potential interest and penalties related to its unrecognized tax benefits in income tax expense.

Stock-Based Compensation
All share-based compensation cost is measured at the grant date, based on the fair value of the award, and is recognized as an expense in earnings over the requisite service period. Benefits of tax deductions in excess of recognized compensation costs are reported as a financing cash inflow.