Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2018
|Summary of Significant Accounting Policies|
|Significant Accounting Policies [Text Block]||
(2) Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash equivalents consist of investments which are readily convertible into cash and have maturities of three months or less at the time of acquisition.
Receivables are reflected net of an allowance for doubtful accounts and sales returns. A provision for bad debts is provided as a percentage of accounts receivable based on historical experience and included in selling, general and administrative expense. A provision for vendor receivables are determined based on an estimate of probable expected losses and included in cost of retail sales.
A summary of activity in the allowance for doubtful accounts is as follows:
Inventory, consisting primarily of products held for sale, is stated at the lower of cost or market. Cost is determined by the average cost method, which approximates the first-in, first-out method. Assessments about the realizability of inventory require the Company to make judgments based on currently available information about the likely method of disposition including sales to individual customers, returns to product vendors, liquidations and the estimated recoverable values of each disposition category. Inventory is stated net of inventory obsolescence reserves of $151 million and $93 million for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively.
All marketable equity and debt securities held by the Company are carried at fair value, generally based on quoted market prices and changes in the fair value of such securities are reported in realized and unrealized gain (losses) on financial instruments in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations. The Company elected the measurement alternative (defined as the cost of the security, adjusted for changes in fair value when there are observable prices, less impairments) for its equity securities without readily determinable fair values. The total value of equity securities for which the Company has elected the fair value option aggregated zero and $2,275 million as of December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively.
For those investments in affiliates in which the Company has the ability to exercise significant influence, the equity method of accounting is used, except in situations where the fair value option has been selected. Under the equity method of accounting, the investment, originally recorded at cost, is adjusted to recognize the Company's share of net earnings or losses of the affiliate as they occur rather than as dividends or other distributions are received. Losses are limited to the extent of the Company's investment in, advances to and commitments for the investee. In the event the Company is unable to obtain accurate financial information from an equity affiliate in a timely manner, the Company records its share of earnings or losses of such affiliate on a lag.
The Company performs a qualitative assessment each reporting period for its equity securities without readily determinable fair values to identify whether an equity security could be impaired. When our qualitative assessment indicates that an impairment could exist, we estimate the fair value of the investment and to the extent the fair value is less than the carrying value, we record the difference as an impairment in the consolidated statements of operations.
Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities
All of the Company's derivatives, whether designated in hedging relationships or not, are recorded on the balance sheet at fair value. If the derivative is designated as a fair value hedge, the changes in the fair value of the derivative and of the hedged item attributable to the hedged risk are recognized in earnings. If the derivative is designated as a cash flow hedge, the effective portions of changes in the fair value of the derivative are recorded in other comprehensive earnings and are recognized in the statements of operations when the hedged item affects earnings. Ineffective portions of changes in the fair value of cash flow hedges are recognized in earnings. If the derivative is not designated as a hedge, changes in the fair value of the derivative are recognized in earnings.
The Company generally enters into derivative contracts that it intends to designate as a hedge of a forecasted transaction or the variability of cash flows to be received or paid related to a recognized asset or liability (cash flow hedge). For all hedging relationships, the Company formally documents the hedging relationship and its risk management objective and strategy for undertaking the hedge, the hedging instrument, the hedged item, the nature of the risk being hedged, how the hedging instrument's effectiveness in offsetting the hedged risk will be assessed prospectively and retrospectively, and a description of the method of measuring ineffectiveness. The Company also formally assesses, both at the hedge's inception and on an ongoing basis, whether the derivatives that are used in hedging transactions are highly effective in offsetting cash flows of hedged items. Changes in the fair value of a derivative that is highly effective and that is designated and qualifies as a cash flow hedge are recorded in accumulated other comprehensive income to the extent that the derivative is effective as a hedge, until earnings are affected by the variability in cash flows of the designated hedged item. The ineffective portion of the change in fair value of a derivative instrument that qualifies as a cash flow hedge is reported in earnings.
Property and Equipment
Property and equipment consisted of the following:
Property and equipment, including significant improvements, is stated at amortized cost, less impairment losses, if any. Depreciation is computed using the straight-line method using estimated useful lives of 2 to 15 years for support equipment and 8 to 20 years for buildings and improvements. Depreciation expense for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016 was $211 million, $176 million and $171 million, respectively.
Intangible assets with estimable useful lives are amortized over their respective estimated useful lives to their estimated residual values, and reviewed for impairment upon certain triggering events. Goodwill and other intangible assets with indefinite useful lives (collectively, "indefinite lived intangible assets") are not amortized, but instead are tested for impairment at least annually. Our annual impairment assessment of our indefinite-lived intangible assets is performed during the fourth quarter of each year.
In January 2017, the FASB issued new accounting guidance to simplify the measurement of goodwill impairment. Under the new guidance, an entity no longer performs a hypothetical purchase price allocation to measure goodwill impairment. Instead, a goodwill impairment is measured using the difference between the carrying value and the fair value of the reporting unit. The Company early adopted this guidance during the fourth quarter of 2017.
In evaluating goodwill on a qualitative basis, the Company reviews the business performance of each reporting unit and evaluates other relevant factors as identified in the relevant accounting guidance to determine whether it was more likely than not that an indicated impairment exists for any of our reporting units. The Company considers whether there are any negative macroeconomic conditions, industry specific conditions, market changes, increased competition, increased costs in doing business, management challenges, the legal environments and how these factors might impact company specific performance in future periods. As part of the analysis the Company also considers fair value determinations for certain reporting units that have been made at various points throughout the current year and prior year for other purposes. If based on the qualitative analysis it is more likely than not that an impairment exists, the Company performs the quantitative impairment test.
The quantitative goodwill impairment test compares the estimated fair value of a reporting unit to its carrying value. Developing estimates of fair value requires significant judgments, including making assumptions about appropriate discount rates, perpetual growth rates, relevant comparable market multiples, public trading prices and the amount and timing of expected future cash flows. The cash flows employed in Qurate Retail's valuation analyses are based on management's best estimates considering current marketplace factors and risks as well as assumptions of growth rates in future years. There is no assurance that actual results in the future will approximate these forecasts.
The accounting guidance also permits entities to first perform a qualitative assessment to determine whether it is more likely than not that an indefinite-lived intangible asset, other than goodwill, is impaired. The accounting guidance also allows entities the option to bypass the qualitative assessment for any indefinite-lived intangible asset in any period and proceed directly to the quantitative impairment test. The entity may resume performing the qualitative assessment in any subsequent period. If the qualitative assessment supports that it is more likely than not that the carrying value of the Company’s indefinite-lived intangible assets, other than goodwill, exceeds its fair value, then a quantitative assessment is performed. If the carrying value of an indefinite-lived intangible asset exceeds its fair value, an impairment loss is recognized in an amount equal to that excess.
Impairment of Long-lived Assets
The Company periodically reviews the carrying amounts of its property and equipment and its intangible assets (other than goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets) to determine whether current events or circumstances indicate that such carrying amounts may not be recoverable. If the carrying amount of the asset group is greater than the expected undiscounted cash flows to be generated by such asset group, including its ultimate disposition, an impairment adjustment is to be recognized. Such adjustment is measured by the amount that the carrying value of such asset groups exceeds their fair value. The Company generally measures fair value by considering sale prices for similar asset groups or by discounting estimated future cash flows using an appropriate discount rate. Considerable management judgment is necessary to estimate the fair value of asset groups. Accordingly, actual results could vary significantly from such estimates. Asset groups to be disposed of are carried at the lower of their financial statement carrying amount or fair value less costs to sell.
The Company reports noncontrolling interests of subsidiaries within equity in the balance sheet and the amount of consolidated net income attributable to the parent and to the noncontrolling interest is presented in the statements of operations. Also, changes in ownership interests in subsidiaries in which the Company maintains a controlling interest are recorded in equity.
Foreign Currency Translation
The functional currency of the Company is the U.S. Dollar. The functional currency of the Company's foreign operations generally is the applicable local currency for each foreign subsidiary. Assets and liabilities of foreign subsidiaries are translated at the spot rate in effect at the applicable reporting date, and the consolidated statements of operations are translated at the average exchange rates in effect during the applicable period. The resulting unrealized cumulative translation adjustment, net of applicable income taxes, is recorded as a component of accumulated other comprehensive earnings in stockholders' equity.
Transactions denominated in currencies other than the functional currency are recorded based on exchange rates at the time such transactions arise. Subsequent changes in exchange rates result in transaction gains and losses which are reflected in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive earnings (loss) as unrealized (based on the applicable period-end exchange rate) or realized upon settlement of the transactions. These realized and unrealized gains and losses are reported in the Other, net line item in the consolidated statements of operations.
In May 2014, the FASB issued new accounting guidance on revenue from contracts with customers (“ASU 2014-09” or “ASC 606”). The new guidance requires an entity to recognize the amount of revenue to which it expects to be entitled for the transfer of promised goods or services to customers. This new guidance 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 obtain or fulfill a contract. In March 2016, the FASB issued additional guidance which clarifies principal versus agent considerations, and in April 2016, the FASB issued further guidance which clarifies the identification of performance obligations and the implementation guidance for licensing. On January 1, 2018, the Company adopted the revenue accounting standard using the modified retrospective method. The Company recognized the cumulative effect of initially applying the new revenue standard as an adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings. The comparative information has not been restated and continues to be reported under the accounting standards in effect for those periods. The Company does not expect the adoption of the new revenue standard to have a material impact to our net income on an ongoing basis. Refer to the table below for the adoption of this guidance.
In accordance with the new revenue standard requirements, the following table illustrates the impact on our reported results in the consolidated statements of operations assuming we did not adopt the new revenue standard on January 1, 2018. Other than as previously discussed, upon the adoption of the new revenue standard on January 1, 2018, there were no additional material adjustments to our consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2018.
The effect of changes of adoption is primarily due to changes in the timing of revenue recognition and the classification of credit card income for the QVC-branded credit card and the HSN-branded credit card. For the year ended December 31, 2018, revenue is recognized at the time of shipment to our customers consistent with when control passes and credit card income is recognized in revenue. For the year ended December 31, 2017, revenue was recognized at the time of delivery to the customers and deferred revenue, as well as inventory and related expenses, were recorded to account for the shipments in-transit. In addition, credit card income was recognized as an offset to selling, general and administrative expenses. The Company also recognized a separate $121 million asset (included in other current assets) relating to the expected return of inventory and a $266 million liability (included in other current liabilities) relating to its sales return reserve at December 31, 2018, instead of the net presentation that was used at December 31, 2017.
Disaggregated revenue by segment and product category consisted of the following:
Consumer Product Revenue and Other Revenue. Qurate Retail's revenue includes sales of consumer products in the following categories: home, apparel, beauty, accessories, electronics and jewelry, which are primarily sold through live merchandise-focused televised shopping programs and via our websites and other interactive media, including catalogs.
Other revenue consists primarily of income generated from our company branded credit cards in which a large consumer financial services company provides revolving credit directly to the Company’s customers for the sole purpose of purchasing merchandise or services with these cards. In return, the Company receives a portion of the net economics of the credit card program.
Revenue Recognition. Revenue is recognized when obligations with our customers are satisfied; generally this occurs at the time of shipment to our customers consistent with when control of the shipped product passes. The recognized revenue reflects the consideration we expect to receive in exchange for transferring goods, net of allowances for returns.
The Company recognizes revenue related to its company branded credit cards over time as the credit cards are used by Qurate Retail's customers.
Sales, value add, use and other taxes we collect concurrent with revenue-producing activities are excluded from revenue.
The Company has elected to treat shipping and handling activities that occur after the customer obtains control of the goods as a fulfillment cost and not as a promised good or service. Accordingly, the Company accrues the related shipping costs and recognizes revenue upon delivery of goods to the shipping carrier. In electing this accounting policy, all shipping and handling activities are treated as fulfillment costs.
The Company generally has payment terms with its customers of one year or less and has elected the practical expedient applicable to such contracts not to consider the time value of money.
Significant Judgments. Qurate Retail’s products are generally sold with a right of return and we may provide other credits or incentives, which are accounted for as variable consideration when estimating the amount of revenue to recognize. Returns and credits are estimated at contract inception and updated at the end of each reporting period as additional information becomes available. The Company has determined that it is the principal in vendor arrangements as the Company can establish control over the goods prior to shipment. Accordingly, the Company records revenue for these arrangements on a gross basis.
An allowance for returned merchandise is provided as a percentage of sales based on historical experience. The total reduction in sales due to returns for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016 aggregated $2,434 million, $1,861 million and $1,865 million, respectively. Sales tax collected from customers on retail sales is recorded on a net basis and is not included in revenue.
A summary of activity in the allowance for sales returns, is as follows:
Cost of Sales
Cost of sales primarily includes actual product cost, provision for obsolete inventory, buying allowances received from suppliers, shipping and handling costs and warehouse costs.
As more fully described in note 12, the Company has granted to its directors, employees and employees of its subsidiaries options, restricted stock and stock appreciation rights relating to shares of Qurate Retail and/or Liberty Ventures common stock ("Qurate Retail common stock") (collectively, "Awards"). The Company measures the cost of employee services received in exchange for an Award of equity instruments (such as stock options and restricted stock) based on the grant-date fair value (“GDFV”) of the Award, and recognizes that cost over the period during which the employee is required to provide service (usually the vesting period of the Award). The Company measures the cost of employee services received in exchange for an Award of liability instruments (such as stock appreciation rights that will be settled in cash) based on the current fair value of the Award, and remeasures the fair value of the Award at each reporting date.
Stock compensation expense was $88 million, $123 million and $97 million for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively, included in selling, general and administrative expense in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations.
In March 2016, the FASB issued new guidance which simplifies several aspects of the accounting for share-based payment award transactions, including the income tax consequences, forfeitures, classification of awards as either equity or liabilities, and classification on the statement of cash flows. The Company adopted this guidance in the third quarter of 2016. In accordance with the new guidance, excess tax benefits and tax deficiencies are recognized as income tax benefit or expense rather than as additional paid-in capital. The Company has elected to recognize forfeitures as they occur rather than continue to estimate expected forfeitures. In addition, pursuant to the new guidance, excess tax benefits are classified as an operating activity on the consolidated statements of cash flows. The recognition of excess tax benefits and deficiencies are applied prospectively from January 1, 2016. For tax benefits that were not previously recognized and for adjustments to compensation cost based on actual forfeitures, the Company has recorded a cumulative-effect adjustment in retained earnings as of January 1, 2016.
The Company accounts for income taxes using the asset and liability method. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying value amounts and income tax bases of assets and liabilities and the expected benefits of utilizing net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards. The deferred tax assets and liabilities are calculated using enacted tax rates in effect for each taxing jurisdiction in which the Company operates for the year in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. Net deferred tax assets are then reduced by a valuation allowance if the Company believes it more likely than not such net deferred tax assets will not be realized. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of an enacted change in tax rates is recognized in income in the period that includes the enactment date.
When the tax law requires interest to be paid on an underpayment of income taxes, the Company recognizes interest expense from the first period the interest would begin accruing according to the relevant tax law. Such interest expense is included in interest expense in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations. Any accrual of penalties related to underpayment of income taxes on uncertain tax positions is included in other income (expense) in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations.
In October 2016, the FASB issued new guidance amending the accounting for income taxes associated with intra-entity transfers of assets other than inventory. This accounting update, which is part of the FASB's simplification initiative, is intended to reduce diversity in practice and the complexity of tax accounting, particularly for those transfers involving intellectual property. This new guidance requires an entity to recognize the income tax consequences of an intra-entity transfer of an asset other than inventory when the transfer occurs. The new standard is effective for annual periods, and interim periods within those annual periods, beginning after December 15, 2017 with early adoption permitted. The Company adopted this guidance during the first quarter of 2018, and there was no significant effect of the standard on its consolidated financial statements.
Earnings (Loss) Attributable to Qurate Retail Stockholders and Earnings (Loss) Per Common Share
Net earnings (loss) attributable to Qurate Retail stockholders is comprised of the following (amounts in millions):
Basic earnings (loss) per common share ("EPS") is computed by dividing net earnings (loss) attributable to such common stock by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding (“WASO”) for the period. Diluted EPS presents the dilutive effect on a per share basis of potential common shares as if they had been converted at the beginning of the periods presented.
Series A and Series B Qurate Retail Common Stock
EPS for all periods through December 31, 2018, is based on the following weighted average shares outstanding. Excluded from diluted EPS for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016 are approximately 25 million, 20 million and 13 million potential common shares, respectively, because their inclusion would be antidilutive.
Series A and Series B Liberty Ventures Common Stock
EPS for all periods through December 31, 2018, is based on the following weighted average shares outstanding. Excluded from diluted EPS for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017, and 2016 are less than a million potential common shares because their inclusion would be antidilutive.
Reclasses and adjustments
Certain prior period amounts have been reclassified for comparability with the current year presentation.
As a result of repurchases of Series A Qurate Retail common stock, the Company’s additional paid-in capital balance was in a deficit position in certain quarterly periods during the year ended December 31, 2018. In order to maintain a zero balance in the additional paid-in capital account, we reclassified the amount of the deficit ($4,239 million) at December 31, 2018 to retained earnings.
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates. Qurate Retail considers (i) recurring and non-recurring fair value measurements, (ii) accounting for income taxes and (iii) estimates of retail-related adjustments and allowances to be its most significant estimates.
New Accounting Pronouncements Not Yet Adopted
Reclassification of Certain Tax Effects from Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income. In February 2018, the FASB issued new guidance which addresses the effect of the change in the U.S. federal corporate tax rate due to the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”) on items within accumulated other comprehensive income (loss). The guidance is effective for annual and interim reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018, with early adoption permitted. The Company is currently assessing the impact that adopting this new accounting standard will have on its consolidated financial statements.
Leases. In February 2016, the FASB issued new guidance which revises the accounting for leases. Under the new guidance, lessees will be required to recognize a lease liability and a right-of-use asset for all leases. The new guidance also simplifies the accounting for sale and leaseback transactions. The new standard is effective for the Company for fiscal years and interim periods beginning after December 15, 2018, with early adoption permitted. We plan to adopt this guidance on January 1, 2019 utilizing the modified retrospective transition approach and will not restate comparative periods. We will elect the package of practical expedients permitted under the transition guidance, which allows us to carryforward our historical lease classification, our determination regarding whether a contract contains a lease and any initial indirect costs that had existed prior to the adoption of this new standard. The Company will also elect to combine both lease and non-lease components and elect to expense all short-term leases with a term of less than 12 months and not record a related right of use asset and lease liability on the consolidated balance sheet. The Company expects that the discounted amount of operating leases in note 15 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements will be recognized as right-of-use assets and operating lease liabilities on the consolidated balance sheet upon adoption of the new standard. The Company does not expect the adoption of the new standard to have a material impact on the remaining consolidated financial statements.
Internal-Use Software. In August 2018, the FASB issued new guidance which aligns the requirements for capitalizing implementation costs incurred in a hosting arrangement that is a service contract with the requirements for capitalizing implementation costs incurred to develop or obtain internal-use software. The guidance will be effective for the Company in the first quarter of 2020 with early adoption permitted. The Company is currently assessing the impact that adopting this new accounting standard will have on its consolidated financial statements.
The entire disclosure for all significant accounting policies of the reporting entity.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef