NOTE 1 - BASIS OF PRESENTATION AND SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Nature of Existing Business
Founded in 1847, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. is the largest and oldest independent iron ore mining company in the United States. We are a major supplier of iron ore pellets to the North American steel industry from our mines and pellet plants located in Michigan and Minnesota. In 2020, we expect to be the sole producer of HBI in the Great Lakes region with the startup of our first production plant in Toledo, Ohio.
Our Company’s continuing operations are organized and managed in two operating segments according to our differentiated products. Our Mining and Pelletizing segment is a major supplier of iron ore pellets to the North American steel industry from our mines and pellet plants located in Michigan and Minnesota. Our Metallics segment includes our HBI production plant in Toledo, Ohio, which is currently under construction and expected to be completed during the first half of 2020. During the second quarter of 2019, Northshore mine began supplying DR-grade pellets to our Metallics segment, which will be used as feedstock for the HBI production plant when we begin production in 2020.
Unless otherwise noted, discussion of our business and results of operations in this Annual Report on Form 10-K refers to our continuing operations on a stand-alone basis without giving effect to the Merger.
Proposed Merger with AK Steel
On December 2, 2019, we entered into the Merger Agreement with AK Steel and Merger Sub, pursuant to which, upon the terms and subject to the conditions set forth therein, Merger Sub will merge with and into AK Steel, with AK Steel surviving the Merger as a wholly owned subsidiary of Cliffs.
Pursuant to the Merger Agreement, at the effective time of the Merger, each share of AK Steel common stock issued and outstanding prior to the effective time of the Merger will be converted into, and become exchangeable for, 0.400 of a share of our common stock, par value $0.125 per share.
We expect to complete the Merger in the first quarter of 2020. Completion of the Merger is subject to various conditions, such as satisfaction or waiver of certain specified closing conditions, and it is possible that factors outside of our control could result in the Merger being completed at a later time or not at all. The Merger Agreement also contains certain termination rights that may be exercised by either us or AK Steel. We plan to complete the Merger as soon as reasonably practicable following the satisfaction of all applicable conditions.
Significant Accounting Policies
We consider the following policies to be beneficial in understanding the judgments involved in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements and the uncertainties that could impact our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Certain prior period amounts have been reclassified to conform with the current year presentation.
Use of Estimates
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 and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. The more significant areas requiring the use of management estimates and assumptions relate to mineral reserves; future realizable cash flow; environmental, reclamation and closure obligations; valuation of long-lived assets, inventory, tax assets and post-employment, post-retirement and other employee benefit liabilities; reserves for contingencies and litigation; and the fair value of derivative instruments. Actual results could differ from estimates. Management reviews its estimates on an ongoing basis. Changes in facts and circumstances may alter such estimates and affect the results of operations and financial position in future periods.
Basis of Consolidation
The consolidated financial statements include our accounts and the accounts of our wholly owned subsidiaries, including the following iron ore operations at December 31, 2019:
Status of Operations
Mining and Pelletizing
Mining and Pelletizing
Mining and Pelletizing
Mining and Pelletizing
Intercompany transactions and balances are eliminated upon consolidation.
Equity Method Investment
We have an investment in an unconsolidated joint venture that we have the ability to exercise significant influence over, but not control, and is accounted for under the equity method.
Our 23% ownership interest in Hibbing is recorded as an equity method investment. As of December 31, 2019 and 2018, our investment in Hibbing was $18.0 million and $15.4 million, respectively, classified in Other non-current liabilities in the Statements of Consolidated Financial Position.
Our share of equity income is eliminated against consolidated product inventory upon production, and against Cost of goods sold and operating expenses when sold. This effectively reduces the cost of our share of the mining venture's production, reflecting the cost-based nature of our participation in the unconsolidated joint venture.
During 2017, our ownership interest in Empire increased to 100% as we reached an agreement to distribute the noncontrolling interest net assets of $132.7 million to ArcelorMittal USA, in exchange for its interest in Empire. The parties agreed that the net assets were to be distributed in three installments of $44.2 million each, the balance of which was recorded in Other current liabilities in the Statements of Consolidated Financial Position. The final installment was paid in August 2019. Upon payment of the first installment, we assumed ArcelorMittal USA's 21% interest and reflected the ownership percentage change in our consolidated financial statements. During the year ended December 31, 2017, we accounted for the increase in ownership as an equity transaction, which resulted in a net $12.1 million decrease in equity attributable to Cliffs' shareholders and a $116.7 million decrease in Noncontrolling interest. The net loss attributable to the noncontrolling interest of the Empire mining venture was $3.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2017.
During 2017, we also acquired the remaining 15% equity interest in Tilden owned by U.S. Steel for $105.0 million. With the closing of this transaction, we have 100% ownership of the mine. During the year ended December 31, 2017, we accounted for the increase in ownership as an equity transaction, which resulted in an $89.1 million decrease in equity attributable to Cliffs' shareholders and a $15.9 million decrease in Noncontrolling interest.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents include cash on hand and on deposit as well as all short-term securities held for the primary purpose of general liquidity. We consider investments in highly liquid debt instruments with an original maturity of three months or less from the date of acquisition and longer maturities when funds can be withdrawn in three months or less without a significant penalty to be cash equivalents. We routinely monitor and evaluate counterparty credit risk related to the financial institutions in which our short-term investment securities are held.
Trade Accounts Receivable and Allowance for Doubtful Accounts
Trade accounts receivable are recorded at the point control transfers and represents the amount of consideration we expect to receive in exchange for transferred goods and do not bear interest. The allowance for doubtful accounts is our best estimate of the expected credit losses over the life of our existing accounts receivable. We establish provisions for expected lifetime losses on accounts receivable at the time a receivable is recorded based on historical experience, customer credit quality and forecasted economic conditions. We regularly review our accounts receivable balances and establish or adjust the allowance as necessary using the specific identification method.
The Mining and Pelletizing segment cost of product inventories is determined using the LIFO method and is stated at the lower of cost or market. The Metallics segment cost of product inventories is determined using the weighted-average method and is stated at the lower of cost or net realizable value.
Supplies and Other Inventories
Supply inventories include replacement parts, fuel, chemicals and other general supplies, which are expected to be used or consumed in normal operations. Supply inventories also include critical spares. Critical spares are replacement parts for equipment that is critical for the continued operation of the mine or processing facilities.
Supply inventories are stated at the lower of cost or net realizable value using average cost, less an allowance for obsolete and surplus items.
Refer to NOTE 4 - INVENTORIES for further information.
Derivative Financial Instruments and Hedging Activities
We are exposed to certain risks related to the ongoing operations of our business, including those caused by changes in commodity prices and energy rates. We have established policies and procedures, including the use of certain derivative instruments, to manage such risks, if deemed necessary.
Derivative financial instruments are recognized as either assets or liabilities in the Statements of Consolidated Financial Position and measured at fair value. On the date a qualifying hedging instrument is executed, we designate the hedging instrument as a hedge of the variability of cash flows to be received or paid related to a forecasted transaction (cash flow hedge). We formally document all relationships between hedging instruments and hedged items, as well as our risk-management objective and strategy for undertaking various hedge transactions. This process includes linking all derivatives that are designated as cash flow hedges to specific firm commitments or forecasted transactions. We also formally assess, 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 changes in cash flows of the related hedged items. When it is determined that a derivative is not highly effective as a hedge or that it has ceased to be a highly effective hedge, we discontinue hedge accounting prospectively and record all future changes in fair value in the period of the instrument's earnings or losses.
For derivative instruments that have been designated as cash flow hedges, the changes in fair value are recorded in Accumulated other comprehensive loss. Amounts recorded in Accumulated other comprehensive loss are reclassified to earnings or losses in the period the underlying hedged transaction affects earnings or when the underlying hedged transaction is no longer reasonably possible of occurring.
For derivative instruments that have not been designated as cash flow hedges, such as provisional pricing arrangements and supplemental revenue or refunds contained within a customer supply agreement, changes in fair value are recorded in the period of the instrument's earnings or losses.
Refer to Revenue Recognition below for discussion of derivatives recorded as a result of pricing terms in our sales contracts. Additionally, refer to NOTE 12 - DERIVATIVE INSTRUMENTS AND HEDGING ACTIVITIES for further information.
Property, Plant and Equipment
Our properties are stated at the lower of cost less accumulated depreciation or fair value. Depreciation of plant and equipment is computed principally by the straight-line method based on estimated useful lives, not to exceed the mine lives. Depreciation continues to be recognized when operations are idled temporarily. Depreciation and depletion is recorded over the following estimated useful lives:
Land rights and mineral rights
Units of production
Life of mine
Office and information technology
3 to 15 years
Straight line/Double declining balance
3 to 20 years
10 to 45 years
Electric power facilities
10 to 45 years
20 to 45 years
Asset retirement obligation
Life of mine
Refer to NOTE 5 - PROPERTY, PLANT AND EQUIPMENT for further information.
Other Intangible Assets
Our mine permits are subject to periodic amortization on a straight line basis over their estimated useful life, which corresponds with the life of mine.
We monitor conditions that may affect the carrying value of our long-lived tangible and intangible assets when events and circumstances indicate that the carrying value of the asset groups may not be recoverable. In order to determine if assets have been impaired, assets are grouped and tested at the lowest level for which identifiable, independent cash flows are available ("asset group"). An impairment loss exists when projected net undiscounted cash flows are less than the carrying value of the asset group. The measurement of the impairment loss to be recognized is based on the difference between the fair value and the carrying value of the asset group. Fair value can be determined using a market approach, income approach or cost approach.
For the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, no impairment factors were present that would indicate the carrying value of any of our asset groups may not be recoverable; as a result, no impairment assessments were required.
Fair Value Measurements
ASC Topic 820, Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures, establishes a three-level valuation hierarchy for classification of fair value measurements. The valuation hierarchy is based upon the transparency of inputs to the valuation of an asset or liability as of the measurement date. Inputs refer broadly to the assumptions that market participants would use in pricing an asset or liability. Inputs may be observable or unobservable. Observable inputs are inputs that reflect the assumptions market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability developed based on market data obtained from independent sources. Unobservable inputs are inputs that reflect our own views about the assumptions market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability developed based on the best information available in the circumstances. The three-tier hierarchy of inputs is summarized below:
Level 1 — Valuation is based upon quoted prices (unadjusted) for identical assets or liabilities in active markets.
Level 2 — Valuation is based upon quoted prices for similar assets and liabilities in active markets, or other inputs that are observable for the asset or liability, either directly or indirectly, for substantially the full term of the financial instrument.
Level 3 — Valuation is based upon other unobservable inputs that are significant to the fair value measurement.
The classification of assets and liabilities within the valuation hierarchy is based upon the lowest level of input that is significant to the fair value measurement in its entirety.
Refer to NOTE 7 - FAIR VALUE OF FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS and NOTE 8 - PENSIONS AND OTHER POSTRETIREMENT BENEFITS for further information.
Pensions and Other Postretirement Benefits
We offer defined benefit pension plans, defined contribution pension plans and OPEB plans, primarily consisting of retiree healthcare benefits, to most employees as part of a total compensation and benefits program.
We recognize the funded or unfunded status of our pension and OPEB obligations on our December 31, 2019 and 2018 Statements of Consolidated Financial Position based on the difference between the market value of plan assets and the actuarial present value of our retirement obligations on that date, on a plan-by-plan basis. If the plan assets exceed the pension and OPEB obligations, the amount of the surplus is recorded as an asset; if the pension and OPEB obligations exceed the plan assets, the amount of the underfunded obligations is recorded as a liability. Year-end balance sheet adjustments to pension and OPEB assets and obligations are recorded as Accumulated other comprehensive loss in the Statements of Consolidated Financial Position.
The actuarial estimates of the PBO and APBO incorporate various assumptions including the discount rates, the rates of increases in compensation, healthcare cost trend rates, mortality, retirement timing and employee turnover. The discount rate is determined based on the prevailing year-end rates for high-grade corporate bonds with a duration matching the expected cash flow timing of the benefit payments from the various plans. The remaining assumptions are based on our estimates of future events by incorporating historical trends and future expectations. The amount of net periodic cost that is recorded in the Statements of Consolidated Operations consists of several components including service cost, interest cost, expected return on plan assets, and amortization of previously unrecognized amounts. Service cost represents the value of the benefits earned in the current year by the participants. Interest cost represents the cost associated with the passage of time. Certain items, such as plan amendments, gains and/or losses resulting from differences between actual and assumed results for demographic and economic factors affecting the obligations and assets of the plans, and changes in other assumptions are subject to deferred recognition for income and expense purposes. The expected return on plan assets is determined utilizing the weighted average of expected returns for plan asset investments in various asset categories based on historical performance, adjusted for current trends. Service costs are classified within Cost of goods sold and operating expenses, Selling, general and administrative expenses and Miscellaneous - net while the interest cost, expected return on assets, amortization of prior service costs/credits, net actuarial gain/loss, and other costs are classified within Other non-operating income.
Refer to NOTE 8 - PENSIONS AND OTHER POSTRETIREMENT BENEFITS for further information.
Asset Retirement Obligations
Asset retirement obligations are recognized when incurred and recorded as liabilities at fair value. The fair value of the liability is determined as the discounted value of the expected future cash flows. The asset retirement obligation is accreted over time through periodic charges to earnings. In addition, the asset retirement cost is capitalized and amortized over the life of the related asset. Reclamation costs are adjusted periodically to reflect changes in the estimated present value resulting from the passage of time and revisions to the estimates of either the timing or amount of the reclamation costs. We review, on an annual basis, unless otherwise deemed necessary, the asset retirement obligation at each mine site in accordance with the provisions of ASC Topic 410, Asset Retirement and Environmental Obligations. We perform an in-depth evaluation of the liability every three years in addition to our routine annual assessments.
Future reclamation costs for inactive mines are accrued based on management’s best estimate at the end of each period of the costs expected to be incurred at a site. Such cost estimates include, where applicable, ongoing maintenance and monitoring costs. Changes in estimates at inactive mines are reflected in earnings in the period an estimate is revised.
Refer to NOTE 11 - ENVIRONMENTAL AND MINE CLOSURE OBLIGATIONS for further information.
Environmental Remediation Costs
We have a formal policy for environmental protection and restoration. Our mining and exploration activities are subject to various laws and regulations governing protection of the environment. We conduct our operations to protect the public health and environment and believe our operations are in compliance with applicable laws and regulations in all material respects. Our environmental liabilities, including obligations for known environmental remediation exposures at active and closed mining operations and other sites, have been recognized based on the estimated cost of investigation and remediation at each site. If the cost can only be estimated as a range of possible amounts with no point in the range being more likely, the minimum of the range is accrued. Future expenditures are not discounted unless the amount and timing of the cash disbursements reasonably can be estimated. It is possible that additional environmental obligations could be incurred, the extent of which cannot be assessed. Potential insurance recoveries have not been reflected in the determination of the liabilities.
Refer to NOTE 11 - ENVIRONMENTAL AND MINE CLOSURE OBLIGATIONS for further information.
Revenue Recognition - Pre-Adoption of Topic 606 (2017)
Prior to the adoption of Topic 606, revenue was recognized from a sale when persuasive evidence of an arrangement existed, the price was fixed or determinable, the product was delivered in accordance with shipping terms, title and risk of loss were transferred to the customer in accordance with the specified provisions of each supply agreement and collection of the sales price reasonably was assured. Our supply agreements provide that title and risk of loss transfer to the customer either upon loading of the vessel, shipment or when payment is received. Under certain supply agreements, we ship the product to ports on the lower Great Lakes or to the customers’ facilities prior to the transfer of title. Our rationale for shipping iron ore products to certain customers and retaining title until payment is received for these products is to minimize credit risk exposure.
Sales were recorded at a sales price specified in the relevant supply agreements resulting in revenue and a receivable at the time of sale. The majority of our contracts have pricing mechanisms that require price estimation at the time of delivery with price finalization at a future period. Upon revenue recognition for provisionally priced sales, a derivative was created for the difference between the sales price used and expected future settlement price. The derivative was adjusted to fair value through Revenues from product sales and services as a revenue adjustment each reporting period based upon current market data and forward-looking estimates determined by management until the final sales price was determined. The principal risks associated with recognition of sales on a provisional basis include Platts 62% price, Atlantic Basin pellet premium and index freight fluctuations between the date initially recorded and the date of final settlement. For revenue recognition, we estimated the future settlement rate; however, if significant changes in inputs occurred between the provisional pricing date and the final settlement date, we were required to either return a portion of the sales proceeds received or bill for the additional sales proceeds due based on the provisional sales price.
Revenue Recognition - Post-Adoption of Topic 606 (2018 and 2019)
We sell a single product, iron ore pellets, in the North American market. With the adoption of Topic 606 as of January 1, 2018, revenue is recognized generally when iron ore is delivered to our customers. Revenue is measured at the point that control transfers and represents the amount of consideration we expect to receive in exchange for transferring goods. We offer standard payment terms to our customers, generally requiring settlement within 30 days.
We enter into supply contracts of varying lengths to provide customers iron ore pellets to use in their blast furnaces. Blast furnaces run continuously with a constant feed of iron ore and once shut down, cannot easily be restarted. As a result, we ship iron ore in large quantities for storage and use by customers at a later date. Customers do not simultaneously receive and consume the benefits of the iron ore. Based on our assessment of the factors that indicate the pattern of satisfaction, we transfer control of the iron ore at a point in time upon shipment or delivery of the product. The customer is able to direct the use of, and obtain substantially all of the benefits from, the product at the time the product is delivered.
Most of our customer supply agreements specify a provisional price, which is used for initial billing and cash collection. Revenue recorded in accordance with Topic 606 is calculated using the expected revenue rate at the point when control transfers. The final settlement includes market inputs for a specified period of time, which may vary by customer, but typically include one or more of the following: Platts 62% price, Atlantic Basin pellet premium, Platts international indexed freight rates and changes in specified PPI, including industrial commodities, energy and steel. Changes in the expected revenue rate from the date control transfers through final settlement of contract terms is recorded in accordance with Topic 815. Refer to NOTE 12 - DERIVATIVE INSTRUMENTS AND HEDGING ACTIVITIES for further information on how our estimated and final revenue rates are determined.
A supply agreement with a customer provides for supplemental revenue or refunds based on the hot-rolled coil steel price in the year the iron ore is consumed in the customer’s blast furnaces. As control transfers prior to consumption, the supplemental revenue is recorded in accordance with Topic 815. Refer to NOTE 12 - DERIVATIVE INSTRUMENTS AND HEDGING ACTIVITIES for further information on supplemental revenue or refunds.
Included within Revenues from product sales and services is derivative revenue related to Topic 815 of $7.5 million, $422.6 million and $120.6 million for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively.
As of December 31, 2019 and 2018, under Topic 606, we had finished goods of 1.0 million long tons and 0.8 million long tons, respectively, in transit or stored at ports and customer facilities on the lower Great Lakes to service customers, for which revenue had yet to be recognized. Under the previous accounting standard, we did not recognize revenue and related cost of goods sold until title transferred to the customer, usually when payment was received. As of December 31, 2017, under the previous accounting standard, we had finished goods of 1.5 million long tons stored at ports and customer facilities on the lower Great Lakes to service customers, for which revenue had yet to be recognized.
Practical expedients and exemptions
We have elected to treat all shipping and handling costs as fulfillment costs because a significant portion of these costs are incurred prior to control transfer.
We have various long-term sales contracts with minimum purchase and supply requirement provisions that extend beyond the current reporting period. The portion of our transaction price for these contracts that is allocated entirely to wholly unsatisfied performance obligations is based on market prices that have not yet been determined and therefore is variable in nature. As such, we have not disclosed the value of unsatisfied performance obligations pursuant to the practical expedient.
Cost of Goods Sold
Cost of goods sold and operating expenses represents all direct and indirect costs and expenses applicable to the sales from our mining operations.
In some circumstances, as requested by the customer, we will coordinate and ship our product via vessel directly to the port nearest to the customer's blast furnace. In this type of contract, the customer will pay one amount inclusive of both product and freight. We recognize revenue for both product revenue and the amount reimbursed for the vessel freight to the final port. We separate these revenue types in NOTE 2 - SUPPLEMENTARY FINANCIAL STATEMENT INFORMATION. Accordingly, the revenue we record for freight is offset by an equal amount included in Cost of goods sold and operating expenses for costs we incur for that freight, resulting in no impact on sales margin.
Operating expenses represented the portion of the Tilden mining venture costs prior to our 100% ownership; that is, the costs attributable to the share of the mine’s production owned by the other joint venture partner in the Tilden mine until we acquired the remaining 15% noncontrolling interest during 2017. The mining venture functioned as a captive cost company, supplying product only to its owners effectively for the cost of production. Accordingly, the noncontrolling interests’ revenue amounts were stated at cost of production and were offset by an equal amount included in Cost of goods sold and operating expenses resulting in no sales margin reflected for the noncontrolling partner participant. As we were responsible for product fulfillment under the venture, we acted as a principal in the transaction and, accordingly, recorded revenue under these arrangements on a gross basis.
We received management fees or royalties, which were earned as pellets were produced for our joint ownership mines, until we ceased our mine manager duties at Hibbing and until we purchased the remaining interest in Tilden.
Repairs and Maintenance
Repairs, maintenance and replacement of components are expensed as incurred. The cost of major equipment overhauls is capitalized and depreciated over the estimated useful life, which is the period until the next scheduled overhaul, generally five years. All other planned and unplanned repairs and maintenance costs are expensed when incurred.
The fair value of each performance share grant is estimated on the date of grant using a Monte Carlo simulation to forecast relative TSR performance. A correlation matrix of historic and projected stock prices was developed for both the Company and its predetermined peer group of mining and metals companies. The fair value assumes that objective will be achieved. The expected term of the grant represents the time from the grant date to the end of the service period. We estimate the volatility of our common shares and that of the peer group of mining and metals companies using daily price intervals for all companies. The risk-free interest rate is the rate at the grant date on zero-coupon government bonds, with a term commensurate with the remaining performance period.
The fair value of the restricted stock units is determined based on the closing price of our common shares on the grant date.
Upon vesting of share-based compensation awards, we issue shares from treasury shares before issuing new shares. Forfeitures are recognized when they occur.
The fair value of stock options is estimated on the date of grant using a Black-Scholes model using the grant date price of our common shares and option exercise price, and assumptions regarding the option’s expected term, the volatility of our common shares, the risk-free interest rate, and the dividend yield over the option’s expected term.
Refer to NOTE 9 - STOCK COMPENSATION PLANS for additional information.
Income taxes are based on income for financial reporting purposes, calculated using tax rates by jurisdiction, and reflect a current tax liability or asset for the estimated taxes payable or recoverable on the current year tax return and expected annual changes in deferred taxes. Any interest or penalties on income tax are recognized as a component of Income tax benefit (expense).
We account for income taxes under the asset and liability method, which requires the recognition of deferred tax assets and liabilities for the expected future tax consequences of events that have been included in the financial statements. Under this method, deferred tax assets and liabilities are determined based on the differences between the financial statement and tax basis of assets and liabilities using enacted tax rates in effect for the year in which the differences are expected to reverse. The effect of a change in tax rates on deferred tax assets and liabilities is recognized within Net income in the period that includes the enactment date.
We record net deferred tax assets to the extent we believe these assets will more likely than not be realized. In making such determination, we consider all available positive and negative evidence, including scheduled reversals of deferred tax liabilities, projected future taxable income, tax planning strategies and recent financial results of operations.
Accounting for uncertainty in income taxes recognized in the financial statements requires that a tax benefit from an uncertain tax position be 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 technical merits.
See NOTE 10 - INCOME TAXES for further information.
Asia Pacific Iron Ore Operations
During 2018, we committed to a course of action leading to the permanent closure of the Asia Pacific Iron Ore mining operations and sold all of the assets of our Asia Pacific Iron Ore business through a series of sales to third parties. As a result of our exit, management determined that our Asia Pacific Iron Ore operating segment met the criteria to be classified as held for sale and a discontinued operation under ASC Topic 205, Presentation of Financial Statements. As such, all current and historical Asia Pacific Iron Ore operating segment results are classified within discontinued operations.
During 2015, we announced that the Bloom Lake Group and the Wabush Group commenced restructuring proceedings in Montreal, Quebec under the CCAA to address the immediate liquidity issues and to preserve and protect their assets for the benefit of all stakeholders while restructuring and/or sale options were explored. Our Canadian exit represented a strategic shift in our business. For this reason, all Eastern Canadian Iron Ore costs to exit are classified as discontinued operations.
Refer to NOTE 13 - DISCONTINUED OPERATIONS for further discussion of the Asia Pacific Iron Ore segment and Eastern Canadian Iron Ore discontinued operations.
Our financial statements are prepared with the U.S. dollar as the reporting currency and the functional currency of all subsidiaries is the U.S. dollar. In August 2018, management determined that there were significant changes in economic factors related to our Australian subsidiaries. The change in economic factors was a result of the sale and conveyance of substantially all assets and liabilities of our Australian subsidiaries to third parties, representing a significant change in operations. As such, the functional currency for the Australian subsidiaries changed from the Australian dollar to the U.S. dollar and all remaining Australian denominated monetary balances will be remeasured prospectively through the Statements of Consolidated Operations.
As a result of the liquidation of the Australian subsidiaries' assets, the historical impact of foreign currency translation recorded in Accumulated other comprehensive loss in the Statements of Consolidated Financial Position of $228.1 million was reclassified and recognized as a gain in Income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of tax in the Statements of Consolidated Operations for the year ended December 31, 2018.
Refer to NOTE 13 - DISCONTINUED OPERATIONS for further information regarding our Australian subsidiaries.
Earnings Per Share
We present both basic and diluted earnings per share amounts for continuing operations and discontinued operations. Total basic earnings per share amounts are calculated by dividing Net income attributable to Cliffs shareholders by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding during the period presented. Total diluted earnings per share amounts are calculated by dividing Net income attributable to Cliffs shareholders by the weighted average number of common shares, common share equivalents under stock plans using the treasury-stock method and the calculated common share equivalents in excess of the conversion rate related to our 2025 Convertible Senior Notes using the treasury-stock method. Common share equivalents are excluded from EPS computations in the periods in which they have an anti-dilutive effect.
See NOTE 6 - DEBT AND CREDIT FACILITIES and NOTE 17 - EARNINGS PER SHARE for further information.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
Issued and Adopted
In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842). The new standard requires lessees to recognize a right-of-use asset and a lease liability on the balance sheet for all leases except for short-term leases. For lessees, leases are classified as either operating or finance leases. We adopted this standard on its effective date of January 1, 2019 using the optional alternative approach, which requires application of the new guidance at the beginning of the standard's effective date. Adoption of the updated standard did not have a material effect on our consolidated financial statements.
In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments-Credit Losses (Topic 326), which introduces a new accounting model, Current Expected Credit Losses ("CECL"). CECL requires earlier recognition of credit losses, while also providing additional transparency about credit risk. CECL utilizes a lifetime expected credit loss measurement objective for the recognition of credit losses at the time the financial asset is originated or acquired. The expected credit losses are adjusted each period for changes in expected lifetime credit losses. We elected to early adopt this standard on December 31, 2019. Adoption of the updated standard did not have a material effect on our consolidated financial statements.
On January 1, 2018, we adopted Topic 606 and applied it to all contracts that were not completed using the modified retrospective method. We recognized the cumulative effect of initially applying Topic 606 as an adjustment of $34.0 million to the opening balance of Retained deficit. The comparative period information for the year ended December 31, 2017, has not been retrospectively revised and continues to be reported under the accounting standards in effect for that period. The adoption of Topic 606 increased 2018 Revenues from product sales and services and Net income by $68.1 million and $46.2 million, respectively.
Under Topic 606, revenue is generally recognized upon delivery to our customers, which is earlier than under the previous guidance. As an example, for certain iron ore shipments where revenue was previously recognized upon title transfer when payment was received, we now recognize revenue when control transfers, which is generally upon delivery. While we continue to retain title until we receive payment in many cases, we determined upon review of our customer contracts that the preponderance of control indicators pass to our customers' favor when we deliver our products; thus, we generally concluded that control transfers at that point. As a result of the adoption of Topic 606 and vessel deliveries not occurring during the winter months because of the closure of the Soo Locks at Sault Ste. Marie and the Welland Canal, our revenues and net income will be relatively lower than historical levels during the first quarter of each year and relatively higher than historical levels during the remaining three quarters of each year. However, the total amount of revenue recognized during the year should remain substantially the same as under previous accounting standards, assuming revenue rates and volumes are consistent between years. The adoption of Topic 606 did not have an impact on net cash flows in our Statements of Consolidated Cash Flows.