|1||For the quarter ending March 31, 2019, our GAAP and non-GAAP net sales guidance are the same and both reflect GAAP sell-in revenue recognition. See the "Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures" section of this release for information regarding our non-GAAP guidance for items other than Net Sales.|
|2||We are not able to estimate the amount of Special Charges and Other, net that may be incurred during the quarter ending March 31, 2019. Therefore, our estimate of GAAP operating expenses excludes any amount that may be recognized as Special Charges and Other, net in the quarter ending March 31, 2019.|
|3||The forecast for GAAP tax expense excludes any unexpected tax events that may occur during the quarter, as these amounts cannot be forecasted.|
|4||Represents expected cash tax rate for fiscal 2019 excluding any transition tax payments associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.|
- Microchip's inventory days in the March 2019 quarter are expected to be in the range of 123 to 133 days. Our actual inventory level will depend on the inventory that our distributors decide to hold to support their customers, overall demand for our products and our production levels.
- Capital expenditures for the quarter ending March 31, 2019 are expected to be about $45 million. Capital expenditures for all of fiscal 2019 are expected to be about $235 million. We are continuing to invest in the equipment needed to support the growth of our production capabilities for fast-growing new products and technologies and to bring in-house more of the assembly and test operations that are currently outsourced.
Use of End-Market Demand Metric: End-market demand is the net dollar amount of our products, licensing revenue and other services delivered to our direct (non-distributor) customers and by our distributors to their customers. We are able to calculate end-market demand based on information that our distributors provide us about their product shipments to their customers and inventory holdings. The value of end-market demand from our distributors is calculated as the net transaction value of these shipments. We believe that our end-market demand metric reflects true end-market demand based on when product is sold to direct customers or by our distributors to an end customer.
Under the new GAAP revenue recognition standard, we are required to recognize revenue when control of the product changes from us to a customer or distributor. We focus our sales and marketing efforts on creating demand for our products in the end markets we serve and not on moving inventory into our distribution network. Therefore, the elements of our internal performance and executive and employee compensation metrics that are based on sales and operating results will be measured using the value of the end-market demand for our products. We use end-market demand for these purposes because we do not believe that the underlying value of our business benefits from increases in the value of inventory that is held in the supply chain. As many of our products are designed into customer applications with relatively long lives, such value is only realized when the end-market demand is created and the supply chain sells the inventory to the end customer. We believe the use of end-market demand is also important to investors and users of our financial statements as it reflects the final outcome of our sales activities whereas our GAAP net sales are based on estimates made earlier in (or before the end of) the process of creating and fulfilling demand is complete. We also manage our manufacturing and supply chain operations, including our distributor relationships, towards the goal of having our products available at the time and location the end customer desires. Management uses end-market demand to manage and assess the profitability of our business and when developing and monitoring our budgets and spending. Many of our investors have requested that we disclose end-market demand metric because they believe it is useful in understanding our performance as it provides better information regarding end-market demand for our products. Therefore, we believe that it is useful to investors for us to disclose end-market demand. Our determination of end-market demand metric might not be the same as similarly titled measures used by other companies.
Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures: Our non-GAAP adjustments, where applicable, include the effect of share-based compensation, expenses related to our acquisition activities (including intangible asset amortization, inventory valuation costs, excess capacity charges to normalize acquired inventory levels, severance and other restructuring costs, and legal and other general and administrative expenses associated with acquisitions), non-cash interest expense on our convertible debentures, adjustments for a manufacturing excursion issue with one of our suppliers, losses on the settlement of debt, and losses on available-for-sale investments. For the third quarter of fiscal 2019, our non-GAAP income tax expense is presented based on projected cash taxes for fiscal 2019, excluding transition tax payments under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. For the third quarter of fiscal 2018, our non-GAAP income tax expense is presented in a manner that excludes the tax impact of non-GAAP adjustments calculated using the applicable tax rates in the jurisdictions where the adjustments occurred, tax adjustments in accordance with ASC 740-270, and one-time tax events.
For the third quarter of fiscal 2019, we reported non-GAAP net sales based on end-market demand, which excluded the effect of our distributors increasing or decreasing their inventory holdings. This is consistent with the guidance we provided in our November 7, 2018 earnings press release. Beginning with the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, we will be changing the information included in our financial guidance and will provide net sales guidance based on sell-in revenue recognition under the new GAAP standard. We will also present an end-market demand metric which reflects the net dollar amount of our products, licensing revenue and other services delivered to our direct (non-distributor) customers and by our distributors to their customers. See the “Use of End-Market Demand” section of this press release.
We are required to estimate the cost of certain forms of share-based compensation, including employee stock options, restricted stock units and our employee stock purchase plan, and to record a commensurate expense in our income statement. Share-based compensation expense is a non-cash expense that varies in amount from period to period and is affected by the price of our stock at the date of grant. The price of our stock is affected by market forces that are difficult to predict and are not within the control of management. Our other non-GAAP adjustments are either non-cash expenses, unusual or infrequent items or other expenses related to transactions. Management excludes all of these items from its internal operating forecasts and models.
We are using non-GAAP operating expenses in dollars including non-GAAP research and development expenses and non-GAAP selling, general and administrative expenses, non-GAAP other expense, net, and non-GAAP income tax rate, which exclude the items noted above, as applicable, to permit additional analysis of our performance.
Management believes these non-GAAP measures are useful to investors because they enhance the understanding of our historical financial performance and comparability between periods. Many of our investors have requested that we disclose this non-GAAP information because they believe it is useful in understanding our performance as it excludes non-cash and other charges that many investors feel may obscure our underlying operating results.
Management uses these non-GAAP measures to manage and assess the profitability of our business and for compensation purposes. We also use our non-GAAP results when developing and monitoring our budgets and spending. Our determination of these non-GAAP measures might not be the same as similarly titled measures used by other companies, and it should not be construed as a substitute for amounts determined in accordance with GAAP. There are limitations associated with using these non-GAAP measures, including that they exclude financial information that some may consider important in evaluating our performance. Management compensates for this by presenting information on both a GAAP and non-GAAP basis for investors and providing reconciliations of the GAAP and non-GAAP results.
Generally, gross margin fluctuates over time, driven primarily by the mix of microcontrollers, mixed-signal products, analog products and memory products sold and licensing revenue; variances in manufacturing yields; fixed cost absorption; wafer fab loading levels; costs of wafers from foundries; inventory reserves; pricing pressures in our non-proprietary product lines; and competitive and economic conditions. Operating expenses fluctuate over time, primarily due to net sales and profit levels.