Quiver Quantitative

Risk Factors Dashboard

Once a year, publicly traded companies issue a comprehensive report of their business, called a 10-K. A component mandated in the 10-K is the ‘Risk Factors’ section, where companies disclose any major potential risks that they may face. This dashboard highlights all major changes and additions in new 10K reports, allowing investors to quickly identify new potential risks and opportunities.

Risk Factors - CRNC

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Item 1A. Risk Factors.

You should carefully consider all of the information in this Form 10-K and each of the risks described below, which we believe are the material risks that we face. Some of the risks relate to our business, others to our intellectual property and technology, and the consequences of the Spin-Off. Some risks relate to the securities markets, our indebtedness and ownership of our common stock. Any of the following risks could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and the actual outcome of matters as to which forward-looking statements are made in this Form 10-K.

Risk Factor Summary

Risks Relating to Our Business

Pandemics or disease outbreaks, such as COVID-19, have disrupted, and may continue to disrupt, our business, which could adversely affect our financial performance.

The market in which we operate is highly competitive and rapidly changing and we may be unable to compete successfully.

Adverse conditions in the automotive industry or the global economy more generally could have adverse effects on our results of operations.

Our strategy to increase cloud connected services may adversely affect our near-term revenue growth and results of operations.

Pricing pressures from our customers may adversely affect our business.

We invest effort and money seeking OEMs’ validation of our technology, and there can be no assurance that we will win or be able to renew service contracts, which could adversely affect our future business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our business could be materially and adversely affected if we lost any of our largest customers.

Our operating results may fluctuate significantly from period to period, and this may cause our stock price to decline.

We may not be successful with the adoption of new applications.

Some of our employees represented by workers councils or unions or are subject to local laws that are less favorable to employers than the laws of the U.S.

Cybersecurity and data privacy incidents or breaches may damage client relations and inhibit our growth.

A significant portion of our revenues and research and development activities originate outside the United States. Our results could be harmed by economic, political, regulatory, foreign currency fluctuations and other risks associated with these international regions.

Our business in China is subject to aggressive competition and is sensitive to economic, market and political conditions.

Interruptions or delays in our services or services from data center hosting facilities or public clouds could impair the delivery of our services and harm our business.

If our goodwill or other intangible assets become impaired, our operating results could be negatively impacted.

Risks Relating to our Intellectual Property and Technology

Third parties have claimed and may claim in the future that we are infringing their intellectual property, and we could be exposed to significant litigation or licensing expenses or be prevented from selling our products if such claims are successful.

Unauthorized use of our proprietary technology and intellectual property could adversely affect our business and results of operations.

Our software products may have bugs, which could result in delayed or lost revenue, expensive correction, liability to our customers and claims against us.

We may be unable to respond quickly enough to changes in technology and technological risks and to develop our intellectual property into commercially viable products.

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We utilize certain key technologies, content and services from, and integrate certain of our solutions with, third parties and may be unable to replace those technologies, content and services if they become obsolete, unavailable or incompatible with our solutions.

Risks Relating to the Spin-Off

If the Spin-Off were determined not to qualify as tax-free for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we could have an indemnification obligation to Nuance, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We have agreed to numerous restrictions to preserve the non-recognition treatment of the Spin-Off, which may reduce our strategic and operating flexibility.

We may be unable to achieve some or all of the benefits that we expect to achieve from the Spin-Off.

Our historical combined financial information is not necessarily representative of the results we would have achieved as an independent, publicly traded company.

We may have potential business conflicts of interest with Nuance with respect to our past and ongoing relationships.

A certain director may have actual or potential conflicts of interest because of their financial interests in Nuance.

The allocation of intellectual property rights and data between Nuance and Cerence as part of the Spin-Off, could adversely impact our reputation, our ability to enforce certain intellectual property rights that are important to us and our competitive position.

Risks Relating to Our Securities and Indebtedness

The terms of the Senior Credit Facilities restrict our current and future operations, particularly our ability to incur debt that we may need to fund initiatives in response to changes in our business, the industry in which we operate, the economy and governmental regulations.

We may evaluate whether to pay cash dividends on our common stock in the future, and the terms of our Senior Credit Facilities limit our ability to pay dividends on our common stock.

Servicing our debt may require a significant amount of cash. We may not have sufficient cash flow from our business to pay our indebtedness.

The conditional conversion feature of the Notes, if triggered, may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations and the value of our common stock.

The accounting method for convertible debt securities that may be settled in cash, such as the Notes, could have a material effect on our reported financial results.

Certain provisions in our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Amended and Restated By-Laws and Delaware law may discourage takeovers.

Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation designates the courts of the State of Delaware as the sole and exclusive forum for certain types of actions and proceedings, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes.

General Risk Factors

Tax matters may cause significant variability in our financial results and may impact our overall financial condition.

Our stock price may fluctuate significantly.

The commercial and credit environment may adversely affect our access to capital.

If we fail to maintain proper and effective internal controls, our ability to produce accurate and timely financial statements could be impaired and investors’ views of us could be harmed.

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Risks Relating to Our Business

Pandemics or disease outbreaks, such as COVID-19, have disrupted, and may continue to disrupt, our business, which could adversely affect our financial performance.

Our business depends on, and is directly affected by, the output and sales of the global automotive industry and the use of automobiles by consumers. Pandemics or disease outbreaks, such as COVID-19, have disrupted, and may continue to disrupt, global automotive industry customer sales and production volumes. Pandemics or disease outbreaks, such as COVID-19, have disrupted, and may continue to disrupt, global automotive industry customer sales and production volumes. Vehicle production initially decreased significantly in China, which was first affected by COVID-19, then Europe and also the United States. Subsequent events resulted in the shutdown of manufacturing operations in China, Europe and the United States, and even though manufacturing operations have resumed, the capacity of such global manufacturing operations remains uncertain. Subsequent events resulted in the shutdown of manufacturing operations in China, Europe and the United States, and even though manufacturing operations has begun, in part, the capacity of such global manufacturing operations remains uncertain. More recently, we have seen, and anticipate that we will continue to see, supply chain challenges in the automotive industry related to semiconductor devices that are used in automobiles. As a result, we have experienced, and may continue to experience, difficulties in entering into new contracts with our customers, a decline in revenues resulting from the decrease in the production and sale of automobiles by our customers, the use of automobiles, increased difficulties in collecting payment obligations from our customers and the possibility customers will stall or not continue existing projects. These all may be further exacerbated by the global economic downturn resulting from the pandemic which could further decrease consumer demand for vehicles or result in the financial distress of one or more of our customers.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, our business operations could be further disrupted or delayed. The pandemic has already resulted in, and may continue to result in, work stoppages, slowdowns and delays, travel restrictions, and other factors that cause a decrease in the production and sale of automobiles by our customers. The production of automobiles with our products has been and may continue to be adversely affected with production delays and our ability to provide engineering support and implement design changes for customers may be impacted by restrictions on travel and quarantine policies put in place by businesses and governments.

The full extent to which the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic adversely affects our financial performance will depend on future developments, many of which are outside of our control, are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including, but not limited to, the duration and spread of the pandemic, its severity, the effectiveness of actions to treat or contain the virus and its impact and how quickly and to what extent normal economic and operating conditions can resume. The COVID-19 pandemic could also result in additional governmental restrictions and regulations, which could adversely affect our business and financial results. In addition, a recession, depression or other sustained adverse market impact resulting from COVID-19 could materially and adversely affect our business, our access to needed capital and liquidity, and the value of our common stock. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic has lessened or subsided, we may continue to experience adverse impacts on our business and financial performance as a result of its global economic impact.

The market in which we operate is highly competitive and rapidly changing and we may be unable to compete successfully.

There are a number of companies that develop or may develop products that compete in the automotive voice assistance market. The market for our products and services is characterized by intense competition, evolving industry and regulatory standards, emerging business and distribution models, disruptive software technology developments, short product and service life cycles, price sensitivity on the part of customers, and frequent new product introductions, including alternatives for certain of our products that offer limited functionality at significantly lower costs or free of charge. In addition, some of our competitors have business objectives that may drive them to sell their alternative offerings at a significant discount to our offerings in the automotive voice assistant market. Current and potential competitors have established, or may establish, cooperative relationships among themselves or with third parties to increase the ability of their technologies to address the needs of our prospective customers. Furthermore, existing or prospective customers may decide to develop competing products or have established, or may in the future establish, strategic relationships with our competitors. We also face significant competition with respect to cloud-based solutions in the automotive cognitive assistance market where existing and new competitors may have or have already established significant market share and product offerings.

The competition in the automotive cognitive assistance market could adversely affect our operating results by reducing the volume of the products and solutions we license or sell or the prices we can charge. Some of our current or potential competitors are large technology companies that have significantly greater financial, technical and marketing resources than we do, and others are smaller specialized companies that possess automotive expertise or regional focus and may have greater price flexibility than we do. These competitors may be able to respond more rapidly than we can to new or emerging technologies or changes in customer requirements, or may decide to offer products at low or unsustainable cost to win new business. They may also devote greater resources to the development, promotion and sale of their products than we do, and in certain cases may be able to include or combine their competitive products or technologies with other of their products or technologies in a manner whereby the competitive functionality is available at lower cost or free of charge within the larger offering. To the extent they do so, penetration of our products, and therefore our revenue, may be adversely affected. Our large competitors may also have greater access to data, including customer data, which provides them with a competitive advantage in developing new products and technologies. Our success depends substantially upon our ability to enhance our products and technologies, to develop and introduce, on a timely and cost-effective basis, new products and features that meet changing customer requirements and incorporate technological enhancements, and to maintain

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our alignment with the OEMs, their technology and market strategies. If we are unable to develop new products and enhance functionalities or technologies to adapt to these changes and maintain our alignment with OEMs, our business will suffer.

Adverse conditions in the automotive industry or the global economy more generally could have adverse effects on our results of operations.

Our business depends on, and is directly affected by, the global automobile industry. Automotive production and sales are highly cyclical and depend on general economic conditions and other factors, including consumer spending and preferences, changes in interest rate levels and credit availability, consumer confidence, fuel costs, fuel availability, environmental impact, governmental incentives and regulatory requirements, and political volatility, especially in energy-producing countries and growth markets. Such factors may also negatively impact consumer demand for automobiles that include features such as our products. In addition, automotive production and sales can be affected by our customers’ ability to continue operating in response to challenging economic conditions, and in response to labor relations issues, regulatory requirements, trade agreements and other factors. The volume of global automotive production has fluctuated, sometimes significantly, from year to year, and such fluctuations give rise to fluctuations in the demand for our products. Any significant adverse change in any of these factors, including, but not limited to, general economic conditions and the resulting bankruptcy of a customer, the closure of a customer manufacturing facility or the ability of manufacturing to obtain supplies to manufacture automobiles and to ship or receive shipments of parts, supplies or finished product, may result in a reduction in automotive sales and production by our customers, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Any significant adverse change in any of these factors, including, but not limited to, general economic conditions and the resulting bankruptcy of a customer or the closure of a customer manufacturing facility, may result in a reduction in automotive sales and production by our customers, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our strategy to increase cloud connected services may adversely affect our near-term revenue growth and results of operations.

Our leadership position has historically been derived from our products and services based on edge software technology. We have been and are continuing to develop new products and services that incorporate cloud-connected components. The design and development of new cloud-connected components will involve significant expense. Our research and development costs have greatly increased in recent years and, together with certain expenses associated with delivering our connected services, are projected to continue to escalate in the near future. We may encounter difficulties with designing, developing and releasing new cloud-connected components, as well as integrating these components with our existing hybrid technologies. These development issues may further increase costs and may affect our ability to innovate in a manner demanded by the market. As a result, our strategy to incorporate more cloud-connected components may adversely affect our revenue growth and results of operations.

Pricing pressures from our customers may adversely affect our business.

We may experience pricing pressure from our customers in the future, which could result from the strong purchasing power of major OEMs. As a developer of automotive cognitive assistance components, we may be expected to quote fixed prices or be forced to accept prices with annual price reduction commitments for long-term sales arrangements or discounted reimbursements for our work. We may encounter customers unwilling to accept the terms of our software license or non-recurring engineering agreements. Any price reductions could impact our sales and profit margins. Our future profitability will depend upon, among other things, our ability to continuously reduce the costs for our components and maintain our cost structure. Our profitability is also influenced by our success in designing and marketing technological improvements in automotive cognitive assistance systems. If we are unable to offset any price reductions in the future, our business, results of operations and financial condition would be adversely affected.

We invest effort and money seeking OEMs’ validation of our technology, and there can be no assurance that we will win or be able to renew service contracts, which could adversely affect our future business, results of operations and financial condition.

We invest effort and money from the time an OEM or a tier 1 supplier begins designing for an upcoming program to the date on which the customer chooses our technology to be incorporated directly or indirectly into one or more specific vehicle models to be produced by the customer. This selection process is known as a “design win.” We could expend our resources without success. After a design win, it is typically quite difficult for a product or technology that did not receive the design win to displace the winner until the customer begins a new selection process because it is very unlikely that a customer will change complex technology until a vehicle model is revamped. In addition, the company with the winning design may have an advantage with the customer going forward because of the established relationship between the winning company and such customer, which could make it more difficult for such company’s competitors to win the designs for other service contracts. Even if we have an established relationship with a customer, any failure to perform under a service contract or innovate in response to their feedback may neutralize our advantage with that customer. If we fail to win a significant number of customer design competitions in the future or to renew a significant number of existing service contracts, our business, results of operations and financial condition would be adversely affected. Moreover, due to the evolution of our connected offerings and architecture, trending away from providing legacy infotainment and connected services and a change in our professional services pricing strategies, we expect our deferred revenue balances to decrease in the future, including due to a wind-down of a legacy connected service relationship with a major OEM, since the majority of the cash from the contract has

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been collected. To the extent we are unable to renew existing service contracts, such decrease could intensify. The period of time from winning a contract to implementation is long and we are subject to the risks of cancellation or postponement of the contract or unsuccessful implementation.

Our products are technologically complex and incorporate many technological innovations. Prospective customers generally must make significant commitments of resources to test and validate our products before including them in any particular vehicle model. The development cycles of our products with new customers are approximately six months to two years after a design win, depending on the customer and the complexity of the product. These development cycles result in us investing our resources prior to realizing any revenues from the customer contracts. Further, we are subject to the risk that a customer cancels or postpones implementation of our technology, as well as that we will not be able to implement our technology successfully. Further, our sales could be less than forecast if the vehicle model is unsuccessful, including reasons unrelated to our technology. Long development cycles and product cancellations or postponements may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our business could be materially and adversely affected if we lost any of our largest customers.

The loss of business from any of our major customers, whether by lower overall demand for vehicles, cancellation of existing contracts or the failure to award us new business, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Alternatively, there is a risk that one or more of our major customers could be unable to pay our invoices as they become due or that a customer will simply refuse to make such payments given its financial difficulties. If a major customer becomes subject to bankruptcy or similar proceedings whereby contractual commitments are subject to stay of execution and the possibility of legal or other modification, or if a major customer otherwise successfully procures protection against us legally enforcing its obligations, it is likely that we will be forced to record a substantial loss. In addition, certain of our customers that are tier 1 suppliers exclusively sell to certain OEMs, including some of our other customers. A bankruptcy of, or other significant disruption to, any of these OEMs could intensify any adverse impact on our business and results of operations.

Our operating results may fluctuate significantly from period to period, and this may cause our stock price to decline.

Our revenue and operating results may fluctuate materially in the future. These fluctuations may cause our results of operations to not meet the expectations of securities analysts or investors which would likely cause the price of our stock to decline. Factors that may contribute to fluctuations in operating results include:

given our limited customer base, the volume, timing and fulfillment of large customer contracts;

renewals of existing customer contracts and wins of new customer programs;

increased expenditures incurred pursuing new product or market opportunities;

the timing of the receipt of royalty reports;

fluctuating sales by our customers to their end-users;

contractual counterparties failing to meet their contractual commitments to us;

introduction of new products by us or our competitors;

cybersecurity or data breaches;

reduction in the prices of our products in response to competition, market conditions or contractual obligations;

impairment of goodwill or intangible assets;

accounts receivable that are not collectible;

higher than anticipated costs related to fixed-price contracts with our customers;

change in costs due to regulatory or trade restrictions;

expenses incurred in litigation matters, whether initiated by us or brought by third-parties against us, and settlements or judgments we are required to pay in connection with disputes;

changes in our stock compensation practices, as relates to employee short term incentive payments; and

general economic trends as they affect the customer bases into which we sell.

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Due to the foregoing factors, among others, our finanical and operating results may fluctuate significantly from period to period. Our expense levels are based in significant part on our expectations of future revenue, and we may not be able to reduce our expenses quickly to respond to near-term shortfalls in projected revenue. Therefore, our failure to meet revenue expectations would seriously harm our operating results, financial condition and cash flows.

We may not be successful with the adoption of new applications.

Part of our growth strategy includes the successful introduction of new products that will rely on subscription or transactional-based revenue generation. These represent new applications and we cannot assure the introduction of these new products, the level of adoption of these new products, or how quickly they can ramp to generate meaningful revenue. The development and launch of new products will require maintaining adequate resources, such as the appropriate personnel and technology to develop such products. We may experience delays between the time we incur expenses associated with the development and launch of new products and the revenue generated from the products. In addition, anticipated demand for the new products could decrease after we have spent time and resources on the development of the new product, or our efforts may not lead to the successful introduction of new products that are competitive, which would harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

If we are unable to attract and retain key personnel, our business could be harmed.

If any of our key employees were to leave, we could face substantial difficulty in hiring qualified successors and could experience a loss in productivity while any successor obtains the necessary training and experience. Although we have arrangements with some of our executive officers designed to promote retention, our employment relationships are generally at-will and we have had key employees leave in the past. We cannot assure you that one or more key employees will not leave in the future. We intend to continue to hire additional highly qualified personnel, including research and development and operational personnel, but may not be able to attract, assimilate or retain qualified personnel in the future. Any failure to attract, integrate, motivate and retain these employees could harm our business.

We depend on skilled employees and could be impacted by a shortage of critical skills.

Much of our future success depends on the continued service and availability of skilled employees, particularly with respect to technical areas. Skilled and experienced personnel in the areas where we compete are in high demand, and competition for their talents is intense. We expect that many of our key employees will receive a total compensation package that includes equity awards. New regulations or volatility in the stock market could diminish our use, and the value, of our equity awards. This would place us at a competitive disadvantage in attracting qualified personnel or force us to offer more cash compensation.

Some of our employees are represented by workers councils or unions or are subject to local laws that are less favorable to employers than the laws of the U.S.

Most of our employees in Europe are represented by workers councils or unions. Although we believe we have a good working relationship with our employees and their legal representatives, they must approve any changes in terms which may impede efforts to restructure our workforce.

Cybersecurity and data privacy incidents or breaches may damage client relations and inhibit our growth.

The confidentiality and security of our information, and that of third parties, is critical to our business. Our services involve the transmission, use, and storage of customers’ and their customers’ information, which may be confidential or contain personally identifiable information. Any cybersecurity or data privacy incidents could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. While we maintain a broad array of information security and privacy measures, policies and practices, our networks may be breached through a variety of means, resulting in someone obtaining unauthorized access to our information, to information of our customers or their customers, or to our intellectual property; disabling or degrading service; or sabotaging systems or information. In addition, hardware, software, systems, or applications we develop or procure from third parties may contain defects in design or manufacture or other problems that could unexpectedly compromise information security. Unauthorized parties may also attempt to gain access to our systems or facilities, or those of third parties with whom we do business, through fraud or other forms of deceiving our employees, contractors, and vendors. Because the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access, or to sabotage systems, change frequently and generally are not recognized until launched against a target, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate preventative measures. We will continue to incur significant costs to continuously enhance our information security measures to defend against the threat of cybercrime. Any cybersecurity or data privacy incident or breach may result in:

loss of revenue resulting from the operational disruption;

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loss of revenue or increased bad debt expense due to the inability to invoice properly or to customer dissatisfaction resulting in collection issues;

loss of revenue due to loss of customers;

material remediation costs to recreate or restore systems;

material investments in new or enhanced systems in order to enhance our information security posture;