Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Basis of Presentation and Principles of Consolidation
The consolidated financial statements of Viad Corp (“Viad” or the “Company”) are prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) and include the accounts of Viad and all of its subsidiaries. All intercompany account balances and transactions between Viad and its subsidiaries have been eliminated in consolidation.
Nature of Business
Viad’s reportable segments consist of Marketing & Events U.S., Marketing & Events International and Travel & Recreation Group.
Marketing & Events Group
The Marketing & Events Group, comprised of Global Experience Specialists, Inc. and affiliates (“GES”), specializes in all aspects of the design, planning and production of face-to-face events, immersive environments and brand-based experiences for clients, including show organizers, corporate brand marketers and retail shopping centers. In addition, the Marketing & Events Group provides a variety of immersive, entertaining attractions and brand-based experiences, sponsored events, mobile marketing and other branded entertainment and face-to-face marketing solutions for clients and venues, including shopping malls, movie studios, museums and leading consumer brands.
Travel & Recreation Group
The Travel & Recreation Group segment consists of Brewster Inc. (“Brewster”), Glacier Park, Inc. (“Glacier Park”) and Alaskan Park Properties, Inc. (“Alaska Denali Travel”). Brewster provides tourism services in the Canadian Rockies in Alberta and in other parts of Western Canada. Brewster’s operations include the Banff Gondola, Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure, motorcoach services, charter and sightseeing services, tour boat operations, inbound package tour operations and hotel operations. During 2013, Glacier Park, an 80 percent owned subsidiary of Viad, operated five lodges, three motor inns and one four-season resort hotel and provided food and beverage operations, retail operations and tour and transportation services in and around Glacier National Park in Montana and Waterton Lake National Park in Alberta, Canada. As discussed in Note 7 below, Glacier Park’s concession portion of its business with the U.S. National Park Service (the “Park Service”) for Glacier National Park expired on December 31, 2013. Thereafter, the ongoing operations of Glacier Park will include: Glacier Park Lodge in East Glacier, Montana; Grouse Mountain Lodge in Whitefish, Montana; St. Mary Lodge in St. Mary, Montana; Motel Lake McDonald, an in-holding within Glacier National Park and the Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada. Alaska Denali Travel operates Denali Backcountry Lodge and Denali Cabins. In addition to lodging, Alaska Denali Travel also provides food and beverage operations and package tour and transportation services in and around Denali National Park and Preserve.
Significant Accounting Policies
Use of Estimates. The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. These estimates and assumptions include, but are not limited to:
Fair value of Viad’s reporting units used to perform annual impairment testing of recorded goodwill;
Allowances for uncollectible accounts receivable;
Provisions for income taxes, including uncertain tax positions;
Valuation allowances related to deferred tax assets;
Liabilities for losses related to self-insured liability claims;
Liabilities for losses related to environmental remediation obligations;
Sublease income associated with restructuring liabilities;
Assumptions used to measure pension and postretirement benefit costs and obligations;
Assumptions used to determine share-based compensation costs under the fair value method and
Allocation of purchase price of acquired businesses.
Actual results could differ from these and other estimates.
Cash and Cash Equivalents. Viad considers all highly-liquid investments with remaining maturities when purchased of three months or less to be cash equivalents. Viad’s cash and cash equivalents consist of cash and bank demand deposits, bank time deposits and money market mutual funds. The Company’s investments in money market mutual funds are classified as available-for-sale and carried at fair value.
Inventories. Inventories, which consist primarily of exhibit design and construction materials and supplies used in providing convention show services, are stated at the lower of cost (first-in, first-out and specific identification methods) or market.
Property and Equipment. Property and equipment are stated at cost, net of accumulated depreciation. Property and equipment are depreciated using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the assets: buildings, 15 to 40 years; equipment, 3 to 12 years; and leasehold improvements, over the shorter of the lease term or useful life. Property and equipment are tested for potential impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the long-lived asset may not be recoverable through undiscounted cash flows.
Capitalized Software. Viad capitalizes certain internal and external costs incurred in developing or obtaining internal use software. Capitalized costs principally relate to costs incurred to purchase software from third parties, external direct costs of materials and services, and certain payroll-related costs for employees directly associated with software projects once application development begins. Costs associated with preliminary project activities, training and other post-implementation activities are expensed as incurred. Capitalized software costs are amortized using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the software, ranging from three to ten years. These costs are included in the consolidated balance sheets under the caption “Property and equipment, net.”
Goodwill. Goodwill is tested for impairment at the reporting unit level on an annual basis on October 31 of each year. Goodwill is also tested for impairment between annual tests if an event occurs or circumstances change that would more-likely-than-not reduce the fair value of a reporting unit below its carrying amount. Viad uses a discounted expected future cash flow methodology (income approach) in order to estimate the fair value of its reporting units for purposes of goodwill impairment testing. The estimates and assumptions regarding expected future cash flows, discount rates and terminal values require considerable judgment and are based on market conditions, financial forecasts, industry trends and historical experience. These estimates, however, have inherent uncertainties and different assumptions could lead to materially different results.
Cash Surrender Value of Life Insurance. Viad has Company-owned life insurance contracts which are intended to fund the cost of certain employee compensation and benefit programs. These contracts are carried at cash surrender value, net of outstanding policy loans. The cash surrender value represents the amount of cash the Company could receive if the policies were discontinued before maturity. The changes in the cash surrender value of the policies, net of insurance premiums, are included as a component of “Costs of Services” in the consolidated statements of operations.
Self-Insurance Liabilities. Viad is self-insured up to certain limits for workers’ compensation, automobile, product and general liability, property loss and medical claims. Viad has also retained certain liabilities related to workers’ compensation and general liability insurance claims in conjunction with previously sold operations. Provisions for losses for claims incurred, including estimated claims incurred but not yet reported, are made based on Viad’s prior historical experience, claims frequency and other factors. Viad has purchased insurance for amounts in excess of the self-insured levels.
Environmental Remediation Liabilities. Viad has retained certain liabilities representing the estimated cost of environmental remediation obligations primarily associated with previously sold operations. The amounts accrued primarily consist of the estimated direct incremental costs, on an undiscounted basis, for contractor and other services related to remedial actions and post-remediation site monitoring. Environmental remediation liabilities are recorded when the specific obligation is considered probable and the costs are reasonably estimable. Subsequent recoveries from third parties, if any, are recorded through discontinued operations when realized.
Fair Value of Financial Instruments. The carrying values of cash and cash equivalents, receivables and accounts payable approximate fair value due to the short-term maturities of these instruments. The estimated fair value of debt obligations is disclosed in Note 9.
Foreign Currency Translation. Viad conducts its foreign operations primarily in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and to a lesser extent in certain other countries. The functional currency of Viad’s foreign subsidiaries is their local currency. Accordingly, for purposes of consolidation, Viad translates the assets and liabilities of its foreign subsidiaries into U.S. dollars at the foreign exchange rates in effect at the balance sheet date. The unrealized gains or losses resulting from the translation of these foreign denominated assets and liabilities are included as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income in Viad’s consolidated balance sheets. In addition, for purposes of consolidation, the revenues, expenses and gains and losses related to Viad’s foreign operations are translated into U.S. dollars at the average foreign exchange rates for the period.
Revenue Recognition. Viad recognizes revenue when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, delivery has occurred or services have been rendered, the sales price is fixed or determinable and collectability is reasonably assured. GES derives revenues primarily by providing show services to exhibitors participating in exhibitions and events and from the design, construction and refurbishment of exhibit booths and holiday themed environments. Service revenue is recognized at the time services are performed. Exhibits and environments revenue is accounted for using the completed-contract method as contracts are typically completed within 3 months of contract signing. The Travel & Recreation Group generates revenues through its attractions, hotels and transportation and sightseeing services. Revenues are recognized at the time services are performed.
Share-Based Compensation. Viad recognizes and measures compensation costs related to all share-based payment awards using the fair value method of accounting. These awards generally include restricted stock, performance-based restricted stock (“PBRS”), stock options and liability-based awards (including performance units, restricted stock units and performance-based restricted stock units). These awards contain forfeiture and non-compete provisions.
The fair value of restricted stock and PBRS awards are based on Viad’s stock price on the date of grant. Viad issues restricted stock and PBRS awards from shares held in treasury. Future vesting of restricted stock and PBRS is generally subject to continued employment with Viad or its subsidiaries. Holders of restricted stock and PBRS have the right to receive dividends and vote the shares, but may not sell, assign, transfer, pledge or otherwise encumber the stock, except to the extent restrictions have lapsed.
Restricted stock awards vest between three and five years from the date of grant. Share-based compensation expense related to restricted stock is recognized using the straight-line method over the requisite service period of approximately three years except for certain awards with a five-year vesting period whereby expense is recognized based on an accelerated multiple-award approach over a five-year period. For these awards, 40 percent of the shares vest on the third anniversary of the grant and the remaining shares vest in 30 percent increments over the subsequent two anniversary dates.
Liability-based awards (including restricted stock units and PBRS units awarded to key employees at certain of the Company’s Canadian operations) are recorded at estimated fair value, based on the number of units expected to vest and the level of achievement of predefined performance goals (where applicable) and are remeasured on each balance sheet date based on Viad’s stock price until the time of settlement. To the extent earned, liability-based awards are settled in cash based on Viad’s stock price. Compensation expense related to liability-based awards is recognized ratably over the requisite service period of approximately three years.
Share-based compensation expense related to PBRS awards is recognized based on an accelerated multiple-award approach over the requisite service period of approximately three years. PBRS vests when certain incentive performance targets established in the year of grant are achieved at target levels. PBRS is subject to a graded vesting schedule whereby one third of the earned shares vest after the first year and the remaining earned shares vest in one-third increments each year over the next two years on the first business day in January.
The fair value of each stock option grant is estimated on the date of grant using the Black-Scholes option pricing model. Share-based compensation expense related to stock option awards is recognized using the straight-line method over the requisite service period of approximately five years. The exercise price of stock options is based on the market value of Viad’s common stock at the date of grant.
Common Stock in Treasury. Common stock purchased for treasury is recorded at historical cost. Subsequent share reissuances are primarily related to share-based compensation programs and recorded at weighted-average cost.
Income Per Common Share. Viad applies the two-class method in calculating income per common share as unvested share-based payment awards that contain nonforfeitable rights to dividends are considered participating securities. Accordingly, such securities are included in the earnings allocation in calculating income per share. Furthermore, Viad funds its matching contributions to employees’ 401(k) accounts through the Company’s leveraged Employee Stock Ownership Plan (“ESOP”) feature of the Company’s 401(k) defined contribution plan. ESOP shares are treated as outstanding for income per share calculations.
Impact of Recent Accounting Pronouncements
In February 2013, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued new guidance related to the reporting of amounts reclassified out of accumulated other comprehensive income, which is codified in Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic 220. The new guidance requires entities to provide information about the amounts reclassified out of accumulated other comprehensive income by component. In addition, entities are required to present significant amounts reclassified out of other comprehensive income by the respective line items of net income in certain circumstances, or otherwise cross-reference amounts to other disclosures. The adoption of this new guidance did not have an impact on Viad’s financial condition or results of operations. See Note 14 for required disclosures.
In July 2013, the FASB issued new guidance related to the financial statement presentation of an unrecognized tax benefit when a net operating loss carryforward, a similar tax loss or a tax credit carryforward exists, which is codified in ASC Topic 740. This new guidance is effective prospectively for fiscal years, and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2013. Retrospective application is permitted. Management does not believe that this guidance will have an impact on Viad’s financial condition or results of operations.
In January 2014, the FASB issued new guidance, which is codified in ASC Topic 853, related to the accounting for service concession arrangements between a public-sector entity grantor and an operating entity under which the operating entity operates the grantor’s infrastructure. The new guidance specifies that an entity should not account for a service concession arrangement that is within its scope as a lease. Furthermore, the guidance also specifies that the infrastructure used in a service concession arrangement should not be recognized as property, plant, and equipment of the operating entity. The guidance is effective for annual periods and interim periods beginning after December 15, 2014. Viad has not yet determined if the adoption of this new guidance will have a material impact on its financial condition or results of operations.