Monolithic Power Systems Announces Results for the Fourth Quarter and Year Ended December 31, 2017, and an Increase in Quarterly Cash Dividend

SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. (MPS) (Nasdaq:MPWR), a leading company in high performance analog solutions, today announced financial results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2017. The Company also announced that its Board of Directors has approved an increase in its quarterly cash dividend from $0.20 per share to $0.30 per share. The first quarter dividend of $0.30 per share will be paid on April 13, 2018 to all stockholders of record as of the close of business on March 30, 2018.

The results for the quarter ended December 31, 2017 are as follows:

  • Revenue was $129.4 million, a 0.4% increase from $128.9 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2017 and a 24.9% increase from $103.6 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2016.
  • GAAP gross margin was 55.0%, compared with 54.5% for the quarter ended December 31, 2016.
  • Non-GAAP (1) gross margin was 55.7%, excluding the impact of $0.4 million for stock-based compensation expense and $0.5 million for the amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets, compared with 55.4% for the quarter ended December 31, 2016, excluding the impact of $0.4 million for stock-based compensation expense and $0.5 million for the amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets.
  • GAAP operating expenses were $46.1 million, compared with $39.0 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2016.
  • Non-GAAP (1) operating expenses were $33.9 million, excluding $11.5 million for stock-based compensation expense and $0.8 million for deferred compensation plan expense, compared with $28.4 million, excluding $10.4 million for stock-based compensation expense and $0.2 million for deferred compensation plan expense, for the quarter ended December 31, 2016.
  • GAAP operating income was $25.1 million, compared with $17.5 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2016.
  • Non-GAAP (1) operating income was $38.2 million, excluding $11.9 million for stock-based compensation expense, $0.5 million for the amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets and $0.8 million for deferred compensation plan expense, compared with $29.0 million, excluding $10.7 million for stock-based compensation expense, $0.5 million for the amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets and $0.2 million for deferred compensation plan expense, for the quarter ended December 31, 2016.
  • GAAP interest and other income, net was $1.6 million, compared with $0.9 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2016.
  • Non-GAAP (1) interest and other income, net was $1.0 million, excluding $0.6 million for deferred compensation plan income, compared with $0.7 million, excluding $0.2 million for deferred compensation plan income, for the quarter ended December 31, 2016.
  • GAAP income before income taxes was $26.7 million, compared with $18.4 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2016.
  • Non-GAAP (1) income before income taxes was $39.2 million, excluding $11.9 million for stock-based compensation expense, $0.5 million for the amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets and $0.1 million for deferred compensation plan expense, compared with $29.7 million, excluding $10.7 million for stock-based compensation expense and $0.5 million for the amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets, for the quarter ended December 31, 2016.
  • GAAP net income was $12.1 million and GAAP earnings per share were $0.27 per diluted share. Comparatively, GAAP net income was $16.6 million and GAAP earnings per share were $0.39 per diluted share for the quarter ended December 31, 2016.
  • Non-GAAP (1) net income was $36.3 million and non-GAAP earnings per share were $0.82 per diluted share, excluding stock-based compensation expense, amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets, net deferred compensation plan expense and related tax effects, compared with non-GAAP net income of $27.5 million and non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.65 per diluted share, excluding stock-based compensation income, amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets, net deferred compensation plan expense and related tax effects, for the quarter ended December 31, 2016.

The results for the year ended December 31, 2017 are as follows:

  • Revenue was $470.9 million, a 21.2% increase from $388.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2016.
  • GAAP gross margin was 54.8%, compared with 54.3% for the year ended December 31, 2016.
  • Non-GAAP (1) gross margin was 55.6%, excluding the impact of $1.7 million for stock-based compensation expense and $2.1 million for the amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets, compared with 55.2% for the year ended December 31, 2016, excluding the impact of $1.6 million for stock-based compensation expense and $2.1 million for the amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets.
  • GAAP operating expenses were $180.9 million, compared with $156.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2016.
  • Non-GAAP (1) operating expenses were $127.1 million, excluding $51.0 million for stock-based compensation expense and $2.8 million for deferred compensation plan expense, compared with $111.9 million, excluding $43.4 million for stock-based compensation expense and $1.1 million for deferred compensation plan expense, for the year ended December 31, 2016.
  • GAAP operating income was $77.4 million, compared with $54.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2016.
  • Non-GAAP (1) operating income was $134.9 million, excluding $52.6 million for stock-based compensation expense, $2.1 million for the amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets and $2.8 million for deferred compensation plan expense, compared with $102.6 million, excluding $45.0 million for stock-based compensation expense, $2.1 million for the amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets and $1.1 million for deferred compensation plan expense, for the year ended December 31, 2016.
  • GAAP interest and other income, net was $5.5 million, compared with $2.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2016.
  • Non-GAAP (1) interest and other income, net was $3.0 million, excluding $2.5 million for deferred compensation plan income, compared with $1.6 million, excluding $1.3 million for deferred compensation plan income, for the year ended December 31, 2016.
  • GAAP income before income taxes was $82.9 million, compared with $57.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2016.
  • Non-GAAP (1) income before income taxes was $137.9 million, excluding $52.6 million for stock-based compensation expense, $2.1 million for the amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets and $0.2 million for deferred compensation plan expense, compared with $104.1 million, excluding $45.0 million for stock-based compensation expense, $2.1 million for the amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets and $0.2 million for deferred compensation plan income, for the year ended December 31, 2016.
  • GAAP net income was $65.2 million and GAAP earnings per share were $1.50 per diluted share. Comparatively, GAAP net income was $52.7 million and GAAP earnings per share were $1.26 per diluted share for the year ended December 31, 2016.
  • Non-GAAP (1) net income was $127.5 million and non-GAAP earnings per share were $2.93 per diluted share, excluding stock-based compensation expense, amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets, net deferred compensation plan expense and related tax effects, compared with non-GAAP net income of $96.3 million and non-GAAP earnings per share of $2.30 per diluted share, excluding stock-based compensation expense, amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets, net deferred compensation plan income and related tax effects, for the year ended December 31, 2016.

On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “2017 Tax Act”) was enacted into law. For the fourth quarter and full year of 2017, the Company’s income tax provision included a net increase of $13.5 million as a result of the 2017 Tax Act.

The following is a summary of revenue by end market for the periods indicated, estimated based on MPS’s assessment of available end market data (in thousands):

Three Months Ended December 31, Year Ended December 31,
End Market 2017 2016 2017 2016
Consumer $ 54,888 $ 37,970 $ 189,757 $ 153,732
Computing and storage 26,679 23,405 100,782 80,562
Industrial 16,160 15,142 62,896 55,685
Automotive 15,846 10,048 53,888 33,954
Communications 15,857 17,053 63,606 64,732
Total $ 129,430 $ 103,618 $ 470,929 $ 388,665

The following is a summary of revenue by product family for the periods indicated (in thousands):

Three Months Ended December 31, Year Ended December 31,
Product Family 2017 2016 2017 2016
DC to DC $ 119,161 $ 93,977 $ 431,861 $ 350,930
Lighting Control 10,269 9,641 39,068 37,735
Total $ 129,430 $ 103,618 $ 470,929 $ 388,665

We continue to grow and continue to enhance shareholder value," said Michael Hsing, CEO and founder of MPS.

Business Outlook

The following are MPS’ financial targets for the first quarter ending March 31, 2018:

  • Revenue in the range of $122 million to $128 million.

  • GAAP gross margin between 54.8% and 55.8%. Non-GAAP (1) gross margin between 55.3% and 56.3%, which excludes an estimated impact of stock-based compensation expenses of 0.3% and amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets of 0.2%.

  • GAAP research and development (“R&D”) and selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expenses between $45.6 million and $50.6 million. Non-GAAP (1) R&D and SG&A expenses between $32.1 million and $35.1 million, which excludes an estimate of stock-based compensation expenses in the range of $13.5 million to $15.5 million.

  • Total stock-based compensation expense of $13.9 million to $15.9 million.

  • Litigation expenses of $250,000 to $350,000.

  • Interest and other income, net, of $600,000 to $700,000 before foreign exchange gains or losses.

  • Fully diluted shares outstanding between 43.9 million and 44.9 million.

  • Tax rate between 5% and 10%.

(1) Non-GAAP net income, non-GAAP earnings per share, non-GAAP gross margin, non-GAAP R&D and SG&A expenses, non-GAAP operating expenses, non-GAAP interest and other income, net, non-GAAP operating income and non-GAAP income before taxes differ from net income, earnings per share, gross margin, R&D and SG&A expenses, operating expenses, interest and other income, net, operating income and income before taxes determined in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in the United States (GAAP). Non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP earnings per share exclude the effect of stock-based compensation expense, amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets, deferred compensation plan income/expense and related tax effects. Non-GAAP gross margin excludes the effect of stock-based compensation expense and amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets. Non-GAAP operating expenses exclude the effect of stock-based compensation expense and deferred compensation plan income/expense. Non-GAAP interest and other income, net excludes the effect of deferred compensation plan income/expense. Non-GAAP operating income excludes the effect of stock-based compensation expense, amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets and deferred compensation plan income/expense. Non-GAAP income before taxes excludes the effect of stock-based compensation expense, amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets and deferred compensation plan income/expense. Projected non-GAAP gross margin excludes the effect of stock-based compensation expense and amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets. Projected non-GAAP R&D and SG&A expenses exclude the effect of stock-based compensation expense. These non-GAAP financial measures are not prepared in accordance with GAAP and should not be considered as a substitute for, or superior to, measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. A schedule reconciling non-GAAP financial measures is included at the end of this press release. MPS utilizes both GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures to assess what it believes to be its core operating performance and to evaluate and manage its internal business and assist in making financial operating decisions. MPS believes that the inclusion of non-GAAP financial measures, together with GAAP measures, provides investors with an alternative presentation useful to investors' understanding of MPS’ core operating results and trends. Additionally, MPS believes that the inclusion of non-GAAP measures, together with GAAP measures, provides investors with an additional dimension of comparability to similar companies. However, investors should be aware that non-GAAP financial measures utilized by other companies are not likely to be comparable in most cases to the non-GAAP financial measures used by MPS.

Conference Call
MPS plans to conduct an investor teleconference covering its quarter and year ended December 31, 2017 results at 2:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. ET, February 8, 2018. To access the conference call and the following replay of the conference call, go to http://ir.monolithicpower.com and click on the webcast link. From this site, you can listen to the teleconference, assuming that your computer system is configured properly. In addition to the webcast replay, which will be archived for all investors for one year on the MPS website, a phone replay will be available for seven days after the live call at (404) 537-3406, code number 2489619. This press release and any other information related to the call will also be posted on the website.

Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains, and statements that will be made during the accompanying teleconference will contain, forward-looking statements, as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, among other things, (i) projected revenues, GAAP and non-GAAP gross margin, GAAP and non-GAAP R&D and SG&A expenses, stock-based compensation expenses, amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets, litigation expenses, interest and other income, diluted shares outstanding and tax rate, (ii) our outlook for the long-term prospects of the company, including our performance against our business plan, revenue growth in certain of our market segments, our continued investment into R&D, expected revenue growth, customers’ acceptance of our new product offerings, the prospects of our new product development, and our expectations regarding market and industry segment trends and prospects, (iii) our ability to penetrate new markets and expand our market share, (iv) the seasonality of our business, (v) our ability to reduce our expenses, (vi) the impact of the 2017 Tax Act on our tax rate and provision; and (vii) statements of the assumptions underlying or relating to any statement described in (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), or (vi). These forward-looking statements are not historical facts or guarantees of future performance or events, are based on current expectations, estimates, beliefs, assumptions, goals, and objectives, and involve significant known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from the results expressed by these statements. Readers of this press release and listeners to the accompanying conference call are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include, but are not limited to, our ability to attract new customers and retain existing customers; acceptance of, or demand for, MPS’ products, in particular the new products launched recently, being different than expected; our ability to efficiently and effectively develop new products and receive a return on our R&D expense investment; competition generally and the increasingly competitive nature of our industry; any market disruptions or interruptions in MPS’ schedule of new product development releases; adverse changes in production and testing efficiency of our products; our ability to realize the anticipated benefits of companies and products that we acquire, and our ability to effectively and efficiently integrate these acquired companies and products into our operations; our ability to manage our inventory levels; adverse changes in government regulations in foreign countries where MPS has offices or operations; the effect of catastrophic events; adequate supply of our products from our third-party manufacturing partners; the risks, uncertainties and costs of litigation in which we are involved; the outcome of any upcoming trials, hearings, motions and appeals; the adverse impact on MPS’ financial performance if its tax and litigation provisions are inadequate; adverse changes or developments in the semiconductor industry generally, which is cyclical in nature; difficulty in predicting or budgeting for future customer demand and channel inventories, expenses and financial contingencies; the ongoing consolidation of companies in the semiconductor industry; and other important risk factors identified in MPS’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, including, but not limited to, our annual report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 1, 2017 and our quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on November 6, 2017.

The forward-looking statements in this press release and statements made during the accompanying teleconference represent MPS’ projections and current expectations, as of the date hereof, not predictions of actual performance. MPS assumes no obligation to update the information in this press release or in the accompanying conference call.

About Monolithic Power Systems
Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. (MPS) provides small, highly energy efficient, easy-to-use power solutions for systems found in industrial applications, telecom infrastructures, cloud computing, automotive, and consumer applications. MPS' mission is to reduce total energy consumption in its customers' systems with green, practical, compact solutions. The company was founded by Michael Hsing in 1997 and is headquartered in San Jose, CA. MPS can be contacted through its website at www.monolithicpower.com or its support offices around the world.

Monolithic Power Systems, MPS, and the MPS logo are registered trademarks of Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. in the U.S. and trademarked in certain other countries.

Contact:
Bernie Blegen
Chief Financial Officer
Monolithic Power Systems, Inc.
408-826-0777
investors@monolithicpower.com


Monolithic Power Systems, Inc.
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
(Unaudited, in thousands, except par value)

December 31,
2017 2016
ASSETS
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents$ 82,759 $ 112,703
Short-term investments 216,331 155,521
Accounts receivable, net 38,037 34,248
Inventories 99,281 71,469
Other current assets 12,762 9,043
Total current assets 449,170 382,984
Property and equipment, net 143,514 85,171
Long-term investments 5,256 5,354
Goodwill 6,571 6,571
Acquisition-related intangible assets, net 951 3,002
Deferred tax assets, net 15,917 633
Other long-term assets 30,068 27,411
Total assets$ 651,447 $ 511,126
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable$ 21,691 $ 17,427
Accrued compensation and related benefits 15,597 12,578
Accrued liabilities 27,507 22,916
Total current liabilities 64,795 52,921
Income tax liabilities 31,621 3,870
Other long-term liabilities 33,024 23,219
Total liabilities 129,440 80,010
Commitments and contingencies
Stockholders' equity:
Common stock and additional paid-in capital, $0.001 par value; shares authorized:
150,000; shares issued and outstanding: 41,614 and 40,793
as of December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively 376,586 315,969
Retained earnings 143,608 119,362
Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) 1,813 (4,215)
Total stockholders’ equity 522,007 431,116
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity$ 651,447 $ 511,126

Monolithic Power Systems, Inc.
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations
(Unaudited, in thousands, except per share amounts)

Three Months Ended December 31, Year Ended December 31,
2017 2016 2017 2016
Revenue $ 129,430 $ 103,618 $ 470,929 $ 388,665
Cost of revenue 58,269 47,107 212,646 177,792
Gross profit 71,161 56,511 258,283 210,873
Operating expenses:
Research and development 21,730 17,974 82,359 73,643
Selling, general and administrative 24,038 21,316 97,257 83,012
Litigation expense (benefit), net 340 (321) 1,243 (229)
Total operating expenses 46,108 38,969 180,859 156,426
Income from operations 25,053 17,542 77,424 54,447
Interest and other income, net 1,647 897 5,520 2,817
Income before income taxes 26,700 18,439 82,944 57,264
Income tax provision 14,629 1,866 17,741 4,544
Net income $ 12,071 $ 16,573 $ 65,203 $ 52,720
Net income per share:
Basic$ 0.29 $ 0.41 $ 1.58 $ 1.30
Diluted$ 0.27 $ 0.39 $ 1.50 $ 1.26
Weighted-average shares outstanding:
Basic 41,574 40,739 41,350 40,436
Diluted 44,160 42,404 43,578 41,915
Cash dividends declared per common share$ 0.20 $ 0.20 $ 0.80 $ 0.80
SUPPLEMENTAL FINANCIAL INFORMATION
STOCK-BASED COMPENSATION EXPENSE
(Unaudited, in thousands)
Three Months Ended December 31, Year Ended December 31,
2017 2016 2017 2016
Cost of revenue$ 391 $ 358 $ 1,654 $ 1,575
Research and development 3,519 3,039 14,816 14,041
Selling, general and administrative 7,948 7,350 36,147 29,373
Total stock-based compensation expense$ 11,858 $ 10,747 $ 52,617 $ 44,989
RECONCILIATION OF NET INCOME TO NON-GAAP NET INCOME
(Unaudited, in thousands, except per share amounts)
Three Months Ended December 31, Year Ended December 31,
2017 2016 2017 2016
Net income $ 12,071 $ 16,573 $ 65,203 $ 52,720
Net income as a percentage of revenue 9.3% 16.0% 13.8% 13.6%
Adjustments to reconcile net income to non-GAAP net income:
Stock-based compensation expense 11,858 10,747 52,617 44,989
Amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets 513 512 2,051 2,051
Deferred compensation plan expense (income) 148 29 238 (188)
Tax effect (1) 11,688 (364) 7,402 (3,265)
Non-GAAP net income$ 36,278 $ 27,497 $ 127,511 $ 96,307
Non-GAAP net income as a percentage of revenue 28.0% 26.5% 27.1% 24.8%
Non-GAAP net income per share:
Basic$ 0.87 $ 0.67 $ 3.08 $ 2.38
Diluted$ 0.82 $ 0.65 $ 2.93 $ 2.30
Shares used in the calculation of non-GAAP net income per share:
Basic 41,574 40,739 41,350 40,436
Diluted 44,160 42,404 43,578 41,915
(1) Tax effect for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2017 includes a one-time charge of $13.5 million associated with the enactment of the 2017 Tax Act due to its unique non-recurring nature.
RECONCILIATION OF GROSS MARGIN TO NON-GAAP GROSS MARGIN
(Unaudited, in thousands)
Three Months Ended December 31, Year Ended December 31,
2017 2016 2017 2016
Gross profit$ 71,161 $ 56,511 $ 258,283 $ 210,873
Gross margin 55.0% 54.5% 54.8% 54.3%
Adjustments to reconcile gross profit to non-GAAP gross profit:
Stock-based compensation expense 391 358 1,654 1,575
Amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets 513 512 2,051 2,051
Non-GAAP gross profit$ 72,065 $ 57,381 $ 261,988 $ 214,499
Non-GAAP gross margin 55.7% 55.4% 55.6% 55.2%
RECONCILIATION OF OPERATING EXPENSES TO NON-GAAP OPERATING EXPENSES
(Unaudited, in thousands)
Three Months Ended December 31, Year Ended December 31,
2017 2016 2017 2016
Total operating expenses$ 46,108 $ 38,969 $ 180,859 $ 156,426
Adjustments to reconcile total operating expenses to non-GAAP total operating expenses:
Stock-based compensation expense (11,467) (10,389) (50,963) (43,414)
Deferred compensation plan expense (776) (189) (2,769) (1,069)
Non-GAAP operating expenses$ 33,865 $ 28,391 $ 127,127 $ 111,943
RECONCILIATION OF OPERATING INCOME TO NON-GAAP OPERATING INCOME
(Unaudited, in thousands)
Three Months Ended December 31, Year Ended December 31,
2017 2016 2017 2016
Total operating income$ 25,053 $ 17,542 $ 77,424 $ 54,447
Operating income as a percentage of revenue 19.4% 16.9% 16.4% 14.0%
Adjustments to reconcile total operating income to non-GAAP total operating income:
Stock-based compensation expense 11,858 10,747 52,617 44,989
Amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets 513 512 2,051 2,051
Deferred compensation plan expense 776 189 2,769 1,069
Non-GAAP operating income$ 38,200 $ 28,990 $ 134,861 $ 102,556
Non-GAAP operating income as a percentage of revenue 29.5% 28.0% 28.6% 26.4%
RECONCILIATION OF INTEREST AND OTHER INCOME, NET, TO NON-GAAP INTEREST AND OTHER INCOME, NET
(Unaudited, in thousands)
Three Months Ended December 31, Year Ended December 31,
2017 2016 2017 2016
Total interest and other income, net$ 1,647 $ 897 $ 5,520 $ 2,817
Adjustments to reconcile interest and other income to non-GAAP interest and other income:
Deferred compensation plan income (628) (160) (2,531) (1,257)
Non-GAAP interest and other income, net$ 1,019 $ 737 $ 2,989 $ 1,560
RECONCILIATION OF INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES TO NON-GAAP INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES
(Unaudited, in thousands)
Three Months Ended December 31, Year Ended December 31,
2017 2016 2017 2016
Total income before income taxes$ 26,700 $ 18,439 $ 82,944 $ 57,264
Adjustments to reconcile income before income taxes to non-GAAP income before income taxes:
Stock-based compensation expense 11,858 10,747 52,617 44,989
Amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets 513 512 2,051 2,051
Deferred compensation plan expense (income) 148 29 238 (188)
Non-GAAP income before income taxes$ 39,219 $ 29,727 $ 137,850 $ 104,116

2018 FIRST QUARTER OUTLOOK
RECONCILIATION OF GROSS MARGIN TO NON-GAAP GROSS MARGIN
(Unaudited)
Three Months Ending
March 31, 2018
Low High
Gross margin 54.8% 55.8%
Adjustments to reconcile gross margin to non-GAAP gross margin:
Stock-based compensation expense 0.3% 0.3%
Amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets 0.2% 0.2%
Non-GAAP gross margin 55.3% 56.3%
RECONCILIATION OF R&D AND SG&A EXPENSES TO NON-GAAP R&D AND SG&A EXPENSES
(Unaudited, in thousands)
Three Months Ending
March 31, 2018
Low High
R&D and SG&A expense$ 45,600 $ 50,600
Adjustments to reconcile R&D and SG&A expense to non-GAAP R&D and SG&A expense:
Stock-based compensation expense (13,500) (15,500)
Non-GAAP R&D and SG&A expense$ 32,100 $ 35,100

Source:Monolithic Power Systems, Inc.