BASIS OF PRESENTATION AND SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Greif, Inc. and its subsidiaries (collectively, “Greif,” “our,” or the “Company”), principally manufacture rigid industrial packaging products, such as steel, fibre and plastic drums, rigid intermediate bulk containers, closure systems for industrial packaging products, transit protection products, water bottles and remanufactured and reconditioned industrial containers, and provides services, such as container life cycle management, filling, logistics, warehousing and other packaging services. The Company produces containerboard and corrugated products for niche markets in North America and is also a leading global producer of flexible intermediate bulk containers The Company has operations in over 45 countries. In addition, the Company owns timber properties in the southeastern United States, which are actively harvested and regenerated.
Due to the variety of its products, the Company has many customers buying different products and due to the scope of the Company’s sales, no one customer is considered principal in the total operations of the Company.
Because the Company supplies a cross section of industries, such as chemicals, paints and pigments, food and beverage, petroleum, industrial coatings, agricultural, pharmaceutical, mineral, packaging, automotive and building products, and must make spot deliveries on a day-to-day basis as its products are required by its customers, the Company does not operate on a backlog to any significant extent and maintains only limited levels of finished goods. Many customers place their orders weekly for delivery during the same week.
The Company’s raw materials are principally steel, resin, containerboard, old corrugated containers, pulpwood and used industrial packaging for reconditioning.
There were approximately 12,370 employees of the Company as of October 31, 2016.
Principles of Consolidation and Basis of Presentation
The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Greif, Inc., all wholly-owned and majority-owned subsidiaries, joint ventures controlled by the Company or for which the Company is the primary beneficiary, including the joint venture relating to the Flexible Products & Services segment, and equity earnings of unconsolidated affiliates. All intercompany transactions and balances have been eliminated in consolidation. Investments in unconsolidated affiliates are accounted for using the equity method based on the Company’s ownership interest in the unconsolidated affiliate.
The Company’s consolidated financial statements are presented in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”). Certain prior year and prior quarter amounts have been reclassified to conform to the current year presentation.
The Company’s fiscal year begins on November 1 and ends on October 31 of the following year. Any references to the year 2016, 2015 or 2014, or to any quarter of those years, relates to the fiscal year ended in that year.
The Company’s results of its Venezuelan businesses have been reported under highly inflationary accounting since 2010 and the functional currency was converted to US Dollars at that time. Prior to the third quarter of 2015, Greif utilized the official rate of 6.4 Bolivars/US Dollar to measure Bolivar-denominated monetary assets and liabilities and the respective historical rate to measure Bolivar-denominated nonmonetary assets for each reporting period. During the third quarter of 2015, due to the continued devaluation of the Bolivar and reconsideration of the exchange rate mechanism that best reflected the economics of the Company's business activities in Venezuela, the Company remeasured the local currency denominated balance sheet using the SIMADI exchange rate.
As a result of the change to the SIMADI rate, the Company recorded other income of $4.9 million related to the remeasurement of its Venezuelan monetary assets and liabilities during 2015. In addition, the Company determined that an adjustment of $9.3 million to increase cost of goods sold was needed to reflect the non-monetary inventory assets at net realizable value and, upon review of long-lived assets for impairment, the Company determined that the carrying amount of the long-lived asset was not recoverable in US dollar functional currency and recorded an impairment charge of $15.0 million.
Use of Estimates
The preparation of consolidated financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make certain estimates, judgments and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. The most significant estimates are related to the expected useful lives assigned to properties, plants and equipment, goodwill and other intangible assets, estimates of fair value, environmental liabilities, pension and postretirement benefits including plan assets, income taxes, net assets held for sale and contingencies. Actual amounts could differ from those estimates.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
The Company considers highly liquid investments with an original maturity of three months or less to be cash equivalents. The carrying value of cash equivalents approximates fair value.
The Company had total cash and cash equivalents held outside of the United States in various foreign jurisdictions of $96.6 million and $104.2 million as of October 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Under current tax laws and regulations, if cash and cash equivalents held outside the United States are repatriated to the United States in the form of dividends or otherwise, the Company may be subject to additional U.S. income taxes (subject to an adjustment for foreign tax credits) and foreign withholding taxes.
Allowance for Doubtful Accounts
Trade receivables represent amounts owed to the Company through its operating activities and are presented net of allowance for doubtful accounts. The allowance for doubtful accounts totaled $8.8 million and $11.8 million as of October 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively. The Company evaluates the collectability of its accounts receivable based on a combination of factors. In circumstances where the Company is aware of a specific customer’s inability to meet its financial obligations to the Company, the Company records a specific allowance for bad debts against amounts due to reduce the net recognized receivable to the amount the Company reasonably believes will be collected. In addition, the Company recognizes allowances for bad debts based on the length of time receivables are past due with allowance percentages, based on its historical experiences, applied on a graduated scale relative to the age of the receivable amounts. If circumstances such as higher than expected bad debt experience or an unexpected material adverse change in a major customer’s ability to meet its financial obligations to the Company were to occur, the recoverability of amounts due to the Company could change by a material amount. Amounts deemed uncollectible are written-off against an established allowance for doubtful accounts.
Concentration of Credit Risk and Major Customers
The Company maintains cash depository accounts with banks throughout the world and invests in high quality short-term liquid instruments. Such investments are made only in instruments issued by high quality institutions. These investments mature within three months and the Company has not incurred any related losses for the years ended October 31, 2016, 2015, and 2014.
Trade receivables can be potentially exposed to a concentration of credit risk with customers or in particular industries. Such credit risk is considered by management to be limited due to the Company’s many customers, none of which are considered principal in the total operations of the Company, and its geographic scope of operations in a variety of industries throughout the world. The Company does not have an individual customer that exceeds 10 percent of total revenue. In addition, the Company performs ongoing credit evaluations of its customers’ financial conditions and maintains reserves for credit losses. Such losses historically have been within management’s expectations.
The Company primarily uses the FIFO method of inventory valuation or the weighted average standard costing method for valuing inventory, which approximates FIFO. Reserves for slow moving and obsolete inventories are provided based on historical experience, inventory aging and product demand. The Company continuously evaluates the adequacy of these reserves and makes adjustments to these reserves as required.
The Paper Packaging & Services segment trades certain inventories with third parties. These inventory trades are accounted for as non-monetary exchanges and the Company records an asset or liability for any imbalance resulting from these trades.
Net Assets Held for Sale
Net assets held for sale represent land, buildings and other assets and liabilities for locations that have met the criteria of “held for sale” accounting, as specified by Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 360, “Property, Plant, and Equipment.” As of October 31, 2016, there was one asset group in the Rigid Industrial Packaging Products & Services segment and one asset group in the Flexible Products & Services segment that are recorded as assets and liabilities held for sale. The effect of suspending depreciation on the facilities held for sale is immaterial to the results of operations. The net assets held for sale are being marketed for sale and it is the Company’s intention to complete the sales of these assets within the upcoming year.
Goodwill and Indefinite-Lived Intangibles
Goodwill is the excess of the purchase price of an acquired entity over the amounts assigned to tangible and intangible assets and liabilities assumed in the business combination. The Company accounts for purchased goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets in accordance with ASC 350, “Intangibles – Goodwill and Other.” Under ASC 350, purchased goodwill and intangible assets with indefinite lives are not amortized, but instead are tested for impairment at least annually. The Company tests for impairment of goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets during the fourth quarter of each fiscal year as of August 1, or more frequently if certain indicators are present or changes in circumstances suggest that impairment may exist.
In accordance with ASC 350, the Company has the option to first assess qualitative factors to determine whether it is necessary to perform the two-step test for goodwill impairment. If the Company believes, as a result of its qualitative assessment, that it is more-likely-than-not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount, the quantitative impairment test is required. The quantitative test for goodwill impairment is conducted at the reporting unit level using a two-step approach. The first step requires a comparison of the carrying value of the reporting units to the estimated fair value of these units. If the carrying value of a reporting unit exceeds its estimated fair value, the Company performs the second step of the goodwill impairment to measure the amount of impairment loss, if any. The second step of the goodwill impairment test compares the estimated implied fair value of a reporting unit’s goodwill to its carrying value. The Company allocates the estimated fair value of a reporting unit to all of the assets and liabilities in that reporting unit, including intangible assets, as if the reporting unit had been acquired in a business combination. Any excess of the estimated fair value of a reporting unit over the amounts assigned to its assets and liabilities is the implied fair value of goodwill. When there is a disposition of a portion of a reporting unit, goodwill is allocated to the gain or loss on that disposition based on the relative fair values of the portion of the reporting unit subject to disposition and the portion of the reporting unit that will be retained.
The Company’s determinations of estimated fair value of the reporting units are based on both the market approach and a discounted cash flow analysis utilizing the income approach. Under the market approach, the principal inputs are market prices and valuation multiples for public companies engaged in businesses that are considered comparable to the reporting unit. Under the income approach, the principal inputs are the reporting unit’s cash-generating capabilities and the discount rate. The discount rates used in the income approach are based on a market participant’s weighted average cost of capital. The use of alternative estimates, including different peer groups or changes in the industry, or adjusting the discount rate, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, depletion and amortization forecasts or cash flow assumptions used could affect the estimated fair value of the reporting units and potentially result in goodwill impairment. Any identified impairment would result in an expense to the Company’s results of operations. Refer to Note 6 for additional information regarding goodwill and other intangible assets.
The Company accounts for intangible assets in accordance with ASC 350. Indefinite lived intangible assets are not amortized. Definite lived intangible assets are amortized over their useful lives on a straight-line basis. The useful lives for definite lived intangible assets vary depending on the type of asset and the terms of contracts or the valuation performed. The Company tests for impairment of intangible assets at least annually, or more frequently if certain indicators are present to suggest that impairment may exist. Amortization expense on intangible assets is recorded on the straight-line method over their useful lives as follows:
From time to time, the Company acquires businesses and/or assets that augment and complement its operations. In accordance with ASC 805, “Business Combinations,” these acquisitions are accounted for under the purchase method of accounting. The consolidated financial statements include the results of operations from these business combinations from the date of acquisition.
In order to assess performance, the Company classifies costs incurred in connection with acquisitions as acquisition-related costs. These costs consist primarily of transaction costs, integration costs and changes in the fair value of contingent payments (earn-outs) and are recorded within selling, general and administrative costs. Acquisition transaction costs are incurred during the initial evaluation of a potential targeted acquisition and primarily relate to costs to analyze, negotiate and consummate the transaction as well as financial and legal due diligence activities. Post-acquisition integration activities are costs incurred to combine the operations of an acquired enterprise into the Company’s operations.
Internal Use Software
Internal use software is accounted for under ASC 985, “Software.” Internal use software is software that is acquired, internally developed or modified solely to meet the Company’s needs and for which, during the software’s development or modification, a plan does not exist to market the software externally. Costs incurred to develop the software during the application development stage and for upgrades and enhancements that provide additional functionality are capitalized and then amortized over a three to ten year period. Internal use software is capitalized as a component of machinery and equipment on the Consolidated Balance Sheets.
Properties, plants and equipment are stated at cost. Depreciation on properties, plants and equipment is provided on the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the assets as follows:
Machinery and equipment
Depreciation expense was $107.4 million, $113.4 million and $129.8 million in 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively. Expenditures for repairs and maintenance are charged to expense as incurred. When properties are retired or otherwise disposed of, the cost and accumulated depreciation are eliminated from the asset and related allowance accounts. Gains or losses are credited or charged to income as incurred.
The Company capitalizes interest on long-term fixed asset projects using a rate that approximates the weighted average cost of borrowing. For the years ended October 31, 2016, 2015, and 2014, the Company capitalized interest costs of $2.6 million, $1.5 million, and $1.4 million, respectively.
The Company tests for impairment of properties, plants and equipment if certain indicators are present to suggest that impairment may exist. Long-lived assets are grouped together at the lowest level, generally at the plant level, for which identifiable cash flows are largely independent of cash flows of other groups of long-lived assets. As events warrant, we evaluate the recoverability of long-lived assets, other than goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets, by assessing whether the carrying value can be recovered over their remaining useful lives through the expected future undiscounted operating cash flows of the underlying business. Impairment indicators include, but are not limited to, a significant decrease in the market price of a long-lived asset; a significant adverse change in the manner in which the asset is being used or in its physical condition; a significant adverse change in legal factors or the business climate that could affect the value of a long-lived asset; an accumulation of costs significantly in excess of the amount originally expected for the acquisition or construction of a long-lived asset; current period operating or cash flow losses combined with a history of operating or cash flow losses associated with the use of the asset; or a current expectation that it is more likely than not that a long-lived asset will be sold or otherwise disposed of significantly before the end of its previously estimated useful life. Future decisions to change our manufacturing processes, exit certain businesses, reduce excess capacity, temporarily idle facilities and close facilities could also result in material impairment charges. Any impairment loss that may be required is determined by comparing the carrying value of the assets to their estimated fair value.
As of October 31, 2016, the Company's timber properties consisted of approximately 244,548 acres, all of which were located in the southeastern United States. The Company’s land costs are maintained by tract. Upon acquisition of a new timberland tract, the Company records separate amounts for land, merchantable timber and pre-merchantable timber allocated as a percentage of the values being purchased. The Company begins recording pre-merchantable timber costs at the time the site is prepared for planting. Costs capitalized during the establishment period include site preparation by aerial spray, costs of seedlings, including refrigeration rental and trucking, planting costs, herbaceous weed control, woody release, and labor and machinery use. The Company does not capitalize interest costs in the process. Property taxes are expensed as incurred. New road construction costs are capitalized as land improvements and depreciated over 20 years. Road repairs and maintenance costs are expensed as incurred. Costs after establishment of the seedlings, including management costs, pre-commercial thinning costs and fertilization costs, are expensed as incurred. Once the timber becomes merchantable, the cost is transferred from the pre-merchantable timber category to the merchantable timber category in the depletion block.
Merchantable timber costs are maintained by five product classes, pine sawtimber, pine chip-n-saw, pine pulpwood, hardwood sawtimber and hardwood pulpwood, within a depletion block, with each depletion block based upon a geographic district or subdistrict. Currently, the Company has eight depletion blocks. These same depletion blocks are used for pre-merchantable timber costs. Each year, the Company estimates the volume of the Company’s merchantable timber for the five product classes by each depletion block and depletion costs recognized upon sales are calculated as volumes sold times the unit costs in the respective depletion block. Depletion expense was $3.2 million, $2.8 million and $3.8 million in 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively.
Various lawsuits, claims and proceedings have been or may be instituted or asserted against the Company, including those pertaining to environmental, product liability and safety and health matters. While the amounts claimed may be substantial, the ultimate liability cannot currently be determined because of the considerable uncertainties that exist.
All lawsuits, claims and proceedings are considered by the Company in establishing reserves for contingencies in accordance with ASC 450, “Contingencies.” In accordance with the provisions of ASC 450, the Company accrues for a litigation-related liability when it is probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated. Based on currently available information known to the Company, the Company believes that its reserves for these litigation-related liabilities are reasonable and that the ultimate outcome of any pending matters is not likely to have a material effect on the Company’s financial position or results of operations.
Environmental Cleanup Costs
The Company accounts for environmental cleanup costs in accordance with ASC 410, “Asset Retirement and Environmental Obligations.” The Company expenses environmental expenditures related to existing conditions resulting from past or current operations and from which no current or future benefit is discernible. Expenditures that extend the life of the related property or mitigate or prevent future environmental contamination are capitalized. The Company determines its liability on a site-by-site basis and records a liability at the time when it is probable and can be reasonably estimated. The Company’s estimated liability is reduced to reflect the anticipated participation of other potentially responsible parties in those instances where it is probable that such parties are legally responsible and financially capable of paying their respective shares of the relevant costs.
The Company is self-insured for certain of the claims made under its employee medical and dental insurance programs. The Company had recorded liabilities totaling $4.4 million and $3.6 million for estimated costs related to outstanding claims as of October 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively. These costs include an estimate for expected settlements on pending claims, administrative fees and an estimate for claims incurred but not reported. These estimates are based on management’s assessment of outstanding claims, historical analyses and current payment trends. The Company recorded an estimate for the claims incurred, but not reported using an estimated lag period based upon historical information. The Company believes the reserves recorded are adequate based upon current facts and circumstances.
The Company has certain deductibles applied to various insurance policies including general liability, product, auto and workers’ compensation. The Company maintains liabilities totaling $11.8 million and $12.2 million for anticipated costs related to general liability, product, vehicle and workers’ compensation claims as of October 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively. These costs include an estimate for expected settlements on pending claims, defense costs and an estimate for claims incurred but not reported. These estimates are based on the Company’s assessment of its deductibles, outstanding claims, historical analysis, actuarial information and current payment trends.
Income taxes are accounted for under ASC 740, “Income Taxes.” In accordance with ASC 740, deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases, as measured by enacted tax rates that are expected to be in effect in the periods when the deferred tax assets and liabilities are expected to be settled or realized. Valuation allowances are established when management believes it is more likely than not that some portion of the deferred tax assets will not be realized.
The Company’s effective tax rate is impacted by the amount of income generated in each taxing jurisdiction, statutory tax rates and tax planning opportunities available to the Company in the various jurisdictions in which the Company operates. Significant judgment is required in determining the Company’s effective tax rate and in evaluating its tax positions.
Tax benefits from uncertain tax positions are recognized when it is more likely than not that the position will be sustained upon examination, including resolutions of any related appeals or litigation processes, based on the technical merits. The amount recognized is measured as the largest amount of tax benefit that is greater than 50 percent likely of being realized upon settlement. The Company’s effective tax rate includes the impact of reserve provisions and changes to reserves on uncertain tax positions that are not more likely than not to be sustained upon examination as well as related interest and penalties.
A number of years may elapse before a particular matter, for which the Company has established a reserve, is audited and finally resolved. The number of years with open tax audits varies depending on the tax jurisdiction. While it is often difficult to predict the final outcome or the timing of resolution of any particular tax matter, the Company believes that its reserves reflect the probable outcome of known tax contingencies. Unfavorable settlement of any particular issue would require use of the Company’s cash. Favorable resolution would be recognized as a reduction to the Company’s effective tax rate in the period of resolution.
Other Comprehensive Income
Our other comprehensive income is significantly impacted by foreign currency translation and defined benefit pension and postretirement benefit adjustments. The impact of foreign currency translation is affected by the translation of assets, liabilities and operations of our foreign subsidiaries which are denominated in functional currencies other than the U.S. dollar and the recognition of accumulated foreign currency translation upon the disposal of foreign entities. The primary assets and liabilities affecting the adjustments are: cash and cash equivalents; accounts receivable; inventory; properties, plants and equipment; accounts payable; pension and other postretirement benefit obligations; and certain intercompany loans payable and receivable. The primary currencies in which these assets and liabilities are denominated are the Euro, Brazilian Real, and Chinese Yuan. The impact of defined benefit pension and postretirement benefit adjustments is primarily affected by unrecognized actuarial gains and losses related to our defined benefit and other postretirement benefit plans, as well as the subsequent amortization of gains and losses from accumulated other comprehensive income in periods following the initial recording of such items. These actuarial gains and losses are determined using various assumptions, the most significant of which are (i) the weighted average rate used for discounting the liability, (ii) the weighted average expected long-term rate of return on pension plan assets, (iii) the method used to determine market-related value of pension plan assets, (iv) the weighted average rate of future salary increases and (v) the anticipated mortality rate tables.
The Company accounts for all exit or disposal activities in accordance with ASC 420, “Exit or Disposal Cost Obligations.” Under ASC 420, a liability is measured at its fair value and recognized as incurred.
Employee-related costs primarily consist of one-time termination benefits provided to employees who have been involuntarily terminated. A one-time benefit arrangement is an arrangement established by a plan of termination that applies for a specified termination event or for a specified future period. A one-time benefit arrangement exists at the date the plan of termination meets all of the following criteria and has been communicated to employees:
Management, having the authority to approve the action, commits to a plan of termination.
The plan identifies the number of employees to be terminated, their job classifications or functions and their locations, and the expected completion date.
The plan establishes the terms of the benefit arrangement, including the benefits that employees will receive upon termination (including but not limited to cash payments), in sufficient detail to enable employees to determine the type and amount of benefits they will receive if they are involuntarily terminated.
Actions required to complete the plan indicate that it is unlikely that significant changes to the plan will be made or that the plan will be withdrawn.
Facility exit and other costs consist of equipment relocation costs and project consulting fees. A liability for other costs associated with an exit or disposal activity shall be recognized and measured at its fair value in the period in which the liability is incurred (generally, when goods or services associated with the activity are received). The liability shall not be recognized before it is incurred, even if the costs are incremental to other operating costs and will be incurred as a direct result of a plan.
Pension and Postretirement Benefits
Under ASC 715, “Compensation – Retirement Benefits,” employers recognize the funded status of their defined benefit pension and other postretirement plans on the consolidated balance sheet and record as a component of other comprehensive income, net of tax, the gains or losses and prior service costs or credits that have not been recognized as components of the net periodic benefit cost.
Transfer and Servicing of Assets
An indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Greif, Inc. agrees to sell trade receivables meeting certain eligibility requirements that it had purchased from other indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries of Greif, Inc., under a non-U.S. factoring agreement. The structure of the transactions provide for a legal true sale, on a revolving basis, of the receivables transferred from the various Greif, Inc. indirect subsidiaries to the respective banks or their affiliates. The banks and their affiliates fund an initial purchase price of a certain percentage of eligible receivables based on a formula with the initial purchase price approximating 75 percent to 90 percent of eligible receivables. The remaining deferred purchase price is settled upon collection of the receivables. At the balance sheet reporting dates, the Company removes from accounts receivable the amount of proceeds received from the initial purchase price since they meet the applicable criteria of ASC 860, “Transfers and Servicing,” and continues to recognize the deferred purchase price in its other current assets. The receivables are sold on a non-recourse basis with the total funds in the servicing collection accounts pledged to the banks between settlement dates.
Stock-Based Compensation Expense
The Company recognizes stock-based compensation expense in accordance with ASC 718, “Compensation – Stock Compensation.” ASC 718 requires the measurement and recognition of compensation expense, based on estimated fair values, for all share-based awards made to employees and directors, including stock options, restricted stock, restricted stock units and participation in the Company’s employee stock purchase plan.
ASC 718 requires companies to estimate the fair value of share-based awards on the date of grant using an option-pricing model. The value of the portion of the award that is ultimately expected to vest is recognized as expense in the Company’s consolidated statements of income over the requisite service periods. No stock options were granted in 2016, 2015 or 2014. For any options granted in the future, compensation expense will be based on the grant date fair value estimated in accordance with the standard.
The Company recognizes revenue when title passes and risks and rewards of ownership have transferred to customers or services have been rendered, with appropriate provision for returns and allowances. Revenue is recognized in accordance with ASC 605, “Revenue Recognition.”
Timberland disposals, timber sales, higher and better use (“HBU”) land, surplus and development property sales revenues are recognized when closings have occurred, required down payments have been received, title and possession have been transferred to the buyer and all other criteria for sale and profit recognition have been satisfied.
The Company reports the sale of timberland property in "timberland gains," the sale of HBU and surplus property in “gain on disposal of properties, plants and equipment, net” and the sale of timber and development property under “net sales” and “cost of products sold" in its consolidated statements of income. All HBU and development property, together with surplus property, is used by the Company to productively grow and sell timber until the property is sold.
Shipping and Handling Fees and Costs
The Company includes shipping and handling fees and costs in cost of products sold.
Other Expense, Net
Other expense, net primarily represents non-United States trade receivables program fees, currency transaction gains and losses and other infrequent non-operating items.
In accordance with ASC 830, “Foreign Currency Matters,” the assets and liabilities denominated in a foreign currency are translated into United States dollars at the rate of exchange existing at period-end, and revenues and expenses are translated at average exchange rates.
The cumulative translation adjustments, which represent the effects of translating assets and liabilities of the Company’s international operations, are presented in the consolidated statements of changes in shareholders’ equity in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss). Transaction gains and losses on foreign currency transactions denominated in a currency other than an entity’s functional currency are credited or charged to income. The amounts included in other expense, net related to transaction losses were $6.7 million, $3.8 million and $1.2 million in 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively.
Derivative Financial Instruments
In accordance with ASC 815, “Derivatives and Hedging,” the Company records all derivatives in the consolidated balance sheet as either assets or liabilities measured at fair value. Dependent on the designation of the derivative instrument, changes in fair value are recorded to earnings or shareholders’ equity through other comprehensive income (loss).
The Company may from time to time use interest rate swap agreements to hedge against changing interest rates. For interest rate swap agreements designated as cash flow hedges, the effective portion of the net gain or loss on the derivative instrument is reported as a component of other comprehensive income (loss) and reclassified into earnings in the same period or periods during which the hedged transaction affects earnings.
The Company's interest rate swap agreements effectively convert a portion of floating rate debt to a fixed rate basis, thus reducing the impact of interest rate increases on future interest expense. The Company uses the regression method for assessing the effectiveness of these swaps. The effectiveness of these swaps is reviewed at least every quarter. Hedge ineffectiveness has not been material during any of the years presented herein.
The Company enters into currency forward contracts to hedge certain currency transactions and short-term intercompany loan balances with its international businesses. Such contracts limit the Company’s exposure to both favorable and unfavorable currency fluctuations. These contracts are adjusted to reflect market value as of each balance sheet date, with the resulting changes in fair value being recognized in other expense, net.
The Company has used derivative instruments to hedge a portion of its natural gas purchases. These derivatives were designated as cash flow hedges. The effective portion of the net gain or loss was reported as a component of other comprehensive income (loss) and reclassified into earnings in the same period during which the hedged transaction affects earnings.
Any derivative contract that is either not designated as a hedge, or is so designated but is ineffective, has its changes to market value recognized in earnings immediately. If a cash flow or fair value hedge ceases to qualify for hedge accounting, the contract would continue to be carried on the balance sheet at fair value until settled and have the adjustments to the contract’s fair value recognized in earnings. If a forecasted transaction were no longer probable to occur, amounts previously deferred in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) would be recognized immediately in earnings.
The Company uses ASC 820, “Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures” to account for fair value. ASC 820 defines fair value, establishes a framework for measuring fair value in GAAP and expands disclosures about fair value measurements. Additionally, this standard established a three-level fair value hierarchy that prioritizes the inputs used to measure fair value. This hierarchy requires entities to maximize the use of observable inputs and minimize the use of unobservable inputs.
The three levels of inputs used to measure fair values are as follows:
Level 1 – Observable inputs such as unadjusted quoted prices in active markets for identical assets and liabilities.
Level 2 – Observable inputs other than quoted prices in active markets for identical assets and liabilities.
Level 3 – Unobservable inputs that are supported by little or no market activity and that are significant to the fair value of the assets and liabilities.
The Company presents various fair value disclosures in Notes 10 and 13 to these consolidated financial statements.
Newly Adopted Accounting Standards
In April 2015, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") No. 2015-3, “Interest—Imputation of Interest (Subtopic 835-30)”. The objective of this update is to simplify the presentation of debt issuance costs in the financial statements. Under this ASU, the Company is required to present such costs in the balance sheet as a direct deduction from the related debt liability rather than as an asset, with amortization of the costs reported as interest expense. The ASU requires the Company to disclose in the first fiscal year after the entity’s adoption date, and in the interim periods within the first fiscal year, the following: (1) The nature and reason for the change in accounting principle; (2) The transition method; (3) A description of the prior-period information that has been retrospectively adjusted; and (4) The effect of the change on the financial statement line item (that is, the debt issuance costs asset and the debt liability). The Company adopted the new guidance beginning on November 1, 2016, and the adoption will not have a material impact on the Company's financial position, results of operations, comprehensive income (loss), cash flows or disclosures.
In February 2015, the FASB issued ASU 2015-2, “Consolidation (Topic 810): Amendments to the Consolidation Analysis,” which makes changes to both the variable interest model and the voting interest model and eliminates the indefinite deferral of FASB Statement No. 167, included in ASU 2010-10, for certain investment funds. All reporting entities that hold a variable interest in other legal entities were required to re-evaluate their consolidation conclusions as well as disclosure requirements. The Company adopted the new guidance beginning on November 1, 2016, and the adoption will not have a material impact on the Company's financial position, results of operations, comprehensive income (loss), cash flows or disclosures.
In November 2015, the FASB issued ASU 2015-17, "Balance Sheet Classification of Deferred Tax Items." This ASU amends ASC 740-10-45-4, which now states that in a classified statement of financial position an entity must classify deferred tax liabilities and assets as noncurrent amounts. This ASU also supersedes ASC 740-12-45-5, which required the valuation allowance for a particular tax jurisdiction to be allocated between current and noncurrent deferred tax assets for that tax jurisdiction on a pro rata basis. For public companies, this ASU is effective for periods beginning after December 15, 2016. The Company elected to adopt the new guidance beginning February 1, 2016 prospectively, resulting in deferred tax liabilities and assets being classified as noncurrent on the Company's balance sheet. Prior periods were not retrospectively adjusted. The adoption did not have a material impact on the Company's financial position, results of operations, comprehensive income (loss) or cash flows.
Recently Issued Accounting Standards
The FASB has issued ASUs through 2016-19. The Company has reviewed each recently issued ASU and the adoption of each ASU that is applicable to the Company, other than as explained below, will not have a material impact on the Company's financial position, results of operations, comprehensive income (loss) or cash flows, other than the related disclosures.
In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU No. 2014-09, “Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606),” which supersedes the revenue recognition requirements in ASC 605, Revenue Recognition. This ASU is based on the principle that revenue is recognized to depict the transfer of goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. The ASU 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. The update is effective in fiscal year 2019 using one of two retrospective application methods. The Company is in the process of analyzing the impact of adopting this guidance but does not anticipate that it will have a material impact on its financial position, results of operations, comprehensive income (loss), cash flow and disclosures.
In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-2, "Leases (Topic 842)," which amends the lease accounting and disclosure requirements in ASC 842, "Leases". The objective of this update is to increase transparency and comparability among organizations recognizing lease assets and lease liabilities on the balance sheet and disclosing key information about lease arrangements. This ASU will require the recognition of lease assets and lease liabilities for those leases classified as operating leases under previous GAAP. The update is effective in fiscal year 2020 using a modified retrospective approach. The Company is in the process of determining the potential impact of adopting this guidance on its financial position, results of operations, comprehensive income (loss), cash flows and disclosures.
In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-9, "Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting," which simplifies several aspects of the accounting for employee share-based payment transactions. This ASU is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2016 and early adoption is permitted, including any interim period. The Company is in the process of determining the potential impact of adopting this guidance on its financial position, results of operations, comprehensive income (loss), cash flows and disclosures.
In October 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-16, "Intra-Equity Transfers of Assets Other Than Inventory," which improves the accounting for income tax consequences of intra-entity transfers of assets other than inventory. This ASU is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017 and early adoption is permitted, including any interim period. The Company is in the process of determining the potential impact of adopting this guidance on its financial position, results of operations, comprehensive income (loss), cash flows and disclosures.
In October 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-17, "Interests Held through Related Parties That Are under Common Control," which amends the consolidation guidance for single decision makers of variable interest entities. This ASU is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2016 and early adoption is permitted, including any interim period. The Company is in the process of determining the potential impact of adopting this guidance on its financial position, results of operations, comprehensive income (loss), cash flows and disclosures.