SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
|3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2015
|Accounting Policies [Abstract]
|SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Nature of Operations. We collect, organize and manage various types of financial, demographic, employment and marketing information. Our products and services enable businesses to make credit and service decisions, manage their portfolio risk, automate or outsource certain human resources, employment tax and payroll-related business processes, and develop marketing strategies concerning consumers and commercial enterprises. We serve customers across a wide range of industries, including the financial services, mortgage, retail, telecommunications, utilities, automotive, brokerage, healthcare and insurance industries, as well as government agencies. We also enable consumers to manage and protect their financial health through a portfolio of products offered directly to consumers. We also provide information, technology and services to support debt collections and recovery management. As of March 31, 2015, we operated in the following countries: Argentina, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, or U.K., Uruguay, and the United States of America, or U.S. We also maintain support operations in the Republic of Ireland. We offer consumer credit services in Russia and India through joint ventures and also have an investment in a consumer and commercial credit information company in Brazil.
We develop, maintain and enhance secured proprietary information databases through the compilation of actual consumer data, including credit, employment, asset, liquidity, net worth and spending activity, and business data, including credit and business demographics, that we obtain from a variety of sources, such as credit granting institutions, public record information (including bankruptcies, liens and judgments), income and tax information primarily from large to mid-sized companies in the U.S., and survey-based marketing information. We process this information utilizing our proprietary information management systems.
Basis of Presentation. The accompanying unaudited Consolidated Financial Statements have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, the instructions to Form 10-Q and applicable sections of Regulation S-X. To understand our complete financial position and results, as defined by GAAP, this Form 10-Q should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and the notes thereto included in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 (“2014 Form 10-K”).
Our unaudited Consolidated Financial Statements reflect all adjustments which are, in the opinion of management, necessary for a fair presentation of the periods presented and are of a normal recurring nature. Certain prior year amounts have been reclassified to conform to current period presentation.
Earnings Per Share. Our basic earnings per share, or EPS, is calculated as net income attributable to Equifax divided by the weighted-average number of common shares outstanding during the period. Diluted EPS is calculated to reflect the potential dilution that would occur if stock options or other contracts to issue common stock were exercised and resulted in additional common shares outstanding. The net income amounts used in both our basic and diluted EPS calculations are the same. A reconciliation of the weighted-average outstanding shares used in the two calculations is as follows:
For the three months ended March 31, 2015 and 2014, the stock options that were anti-dilutive were not material.
Accelerated Share Repurchase Program. On October 24, 2014, we entered into an accelerated share repurchase(“ASR”) program to repurchase shares of our common stock under our approved share repurchase program. Under the ASR program, the number of shares to be repurchased is based generally on the daily volume weighted average price of our common stock during the term of the ASR program. On October 24, 2014, we paid $115 million in exchange for an initial delivery of 1.4 million shares to the Company, subject to a 10%, or $11.5 million, holdback. On February 4, 2015, we settled the ASR by receiving approximately 0.02 million additional shares, for a total shares received of 1.42 million from the ASR.
Financial Instruments. Our financial instruments consist of cash and cash equivalents, accounts and notes receivable, accounts payable and short- and long-term debt. The carrying amounts of these items, other than long-term debt, approximate their fair market values due to the short-term nature of these instruments. The fair value of our fixed-rate debt is determined using Level 2 inputs such as quoted market prices for publicly traded instruments, and for non-publicly traded instruments through valuation techniques depending on the specific characteristics of the debt instrument. As of March 31, 2015 and December 31, 2014, the fair value of our long-term debt, based on observable inputs was $1.3 billion, compared to its carrying value of $1.1 billion.
Fair Value Measurements. Fair value is determined based on the assumptions marketplace participants use in pricing the asset or liability. We use a three level fair value hierarchy to prioritize the inputs used in valuation techniques between observable inputs that reflect quoted prices in active markets, inputs other than quoted prices with observable market data and unobservable data (e.g., a company’s own data).
The following table presents items measured at fair value on a recurring basis:
(1) We maintain deferred compensation plans that allow for certain management employees to defer the receipt of compensation (such as salary, incentive compensation and commissions) until a later date based on the terms of the plan. The liability representing benefits accrued for plan participants is valued at the quoted market prices of the participants’ investment elections. The asset consists of mutual funds reflective of the partcipants’ investment selections and is valued at daily quoted market prices.
Other Current Assets. Other current assets on our Consolidated Balance Sheets primarily represent amounts in specifically designated accounts that hold the funds that are due to customers from our debt collection and recovery management services. As of March 31, 2015, these assets were approximately $47.1 million, with fully offsetting balance in other current liabilities. These amounts are restricted as to their current use, and will be released according to the specific customer agreements. Other current assets also include receivables related to life insurance policies covering certain officers of the Company, as well as certain current tax accounts.
Variable Interest Entities. We hold interests in certain entities, including credit data, information solutions and debt collections and recovery management ventures, that are considered variable interest entities, or VIEs. These variable interests relate to ownership interests that require financial support for these entities. Our investments related to these VIEs totaled $16.6 million at March 31, 2015, representing our maximum exposure to loss, with the exception of the guarantees referenced in Note 4. We are not the primary beneficiary and are not required to consolidate any of these VIEs, with the exception of a debt collections and recovery management venture, for which we meet the consolidation criteria under ASC 810. In regards to that consolidated VIE, we have a 75% equity ownership interest and control of the activities that most significantly impact the VIE's economic performance. The assets and liabilities of the VIE for which we are the primary beneficiary were not significant to the Company’s consolidated financial statements, and no gain or loss was recognized because of its consolidation.
In evaluating whether we have the power to direct the activities of a VIE that most significantly impact its economic performance, we consider the purpose for which the VIE was created, the importance of each of the activities in which it is engaged and our decision-making role, if any, in those activities that significantly determine the entity's economic performance as compared to other economic interest holders. This evaluation requires consideration of all facts and circumstances relevant to decision-making that affects the entity's future performance and the exercise of professional judgment in deciding which decision-making rights are most important.
In determining whether we have the right to receive benefits or the obligation to absorb losses that could potentially be significant to the VIE, we evaluate all of our economic interests in the entity, regardless of form (debt, equity, management and servicing fees, and other contractual arrangements). This evaluation considers all relevant factors of the entity's design, including: the entity's capital structure, contractual rights to earnings (losses), subordination of our interests relative to those of other investors, contingent payments, as well as other contractual arrangements that have the potential to be economically significant. The evaluation of each of these factors in reaching a conclusion about the potential significance of our economic interests is a matter that requires the exercise of professional judgment.
Certain of our VIEs have redeemable noncontrolling interests that are subject to classification outside of permanent equity on the Company's consolidated balance sheet. The redeemable noncontrolling interests are reflected using the redemption method as of the balance sheet date. Redeemable noncontrolling interest adjustments to the redemption values are reflected in retained earnings. The adjustment of redemption value at the period end that reflects a redemption value in excess of fair value is included as an adjustment to net income attributable to Equifax stockholders for the purposes of the calculation of earnings per share. None of the current period adjustments reflect a redemption in excess of fair value. Additionally, due to the immaterial balance of the redeemable noncontrolling interest, we have elected to maintain the noncontrolling interest in permanent equity, rather than temporary equity, within our consolidated balance sheet.
Other Assets. Other assets on our Consolidated Balance Sheets primarily represents our investment in unconsolidated affiliates, our cost method investment in Boa Vista Servicos (“BVS”), assets related to life insurance policies covering certain officers of the Company, and employee benefit trust assets. Our investment in BVS, which represents a 15% equity interest in BVS, was valued at 90 million Brazilian Reais ($27.3 million and $38.2 million at March 31, 2015 and December 31, 2014, respectively) and is accounted for using the cost method. The estimated fair value of the investment approximates carrying value at March 31, 2015.
Cost Method Investment. We monitor the status of our cost method investment in order to determine if conditions exist or events and circumstances indicate that it may be impaired in that its carrying amount may exceed the fair value of the investment. Significant factors that are considered that could be indicative of an impairment include: changes in business strategy, market conditions, underperformance relative to historical or expected future operating results; and negative industry or economic trends. If potential indicators of impairment exist, we estimate the fair value of the investment using a combination of a discounted cash flow analysis and an evaluation of EBITDA and transaction multiples for comparable companies. If the carrying value of the investment exceeds the estimated fair value, an impairment loss is recorded based on the amount by which the investment’s carrying amount exceeds its fair value. We did not record any impairment losses related to our cost method investment in the three months ended March 31, 2015 and the twelve months ended December 31, 2014. See Note 2 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in our 2014 Form 10-K for further discussion.
Other Current Liabilities. Other current liabilities on our Consolidated Balance Sheets consist of the offset to other current assets, related to amounts in specifically designated accounts that hold the funds that are due to customers from our debt collection and recovery management services. As of March 31, 2015, these funds were approximately $47.1 million. These amounts are restricted as to their current use, and will be released according to the specific customer agreements. Other current liabilities also include various accrued expenses such as interest expense, accrued employee benefits, accrued taxes, accrued payroll, and accrued legal expenses.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements. Presentation of Debt Issuance Costs. In April 2015, the FASB issued ASU 2015-03 “Interest - Imputation of Interest.” The guidance modified the presentation of debt issuance costs, to require that debt issuance costs related to a recognized debt liability be presented in the balance sheet as a direct deduction from the carrying amount of that debt liability, consistent with debt discounts. The guidance becomes effective for fiscal years and interim reporting periods beginning on or after December 14, 2015, with early adoption permitted. We do not expect the adoption of this standard to have a material impact on our consolidated financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
Discontinued Operations. In April 2014, the FASB issued ASU 2014-08 “Presentation of Financial Statements and Property, Plant, and Equipment: Reporting Discontinued Operations and Disclosures of Disposals of Components of an Entity.” The guidance modified the definition of a discontinued operation to include disposals that qualify as a strategic shift that has or will have a major effect on an entity’s operations and financial results. The guidance became effective for fiscal years and interim reporting periods beginning on or after December 14, 2014, with early adoption permitted. This statement did not have a material impact on our results of consolidated operations or financial position.
Revenue Recognition. In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU No. 2014-9, "Revenue from Contracts with Customers." ASU 2014-9 is a comprehensive new revenue recognition model that requires a company to recognize revenue to depict the transfer of goods or services to a customer at an amount that reflects the consideration it expects to receive in exchange for those goods or services. ASU 2014-9 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. ASU 2014-9 is effective for annual reporting periods, and interim periods within that period, beginning after December 15, 2016 and early adoption is not permitted. Companies may use either a full retrospective or a modified retrospective approach to adopt ASU 2014-9. The Company is evaluating the potential effects of the adoption of ASU 2014-9 on its Consolidated Financial Statements.
Going Concern. In August 2014, the FASB issued ASU 2014-15, "Presentation of Financial Statements - Going Concern". ASU 2014-15 is intended to define management's responsibility to evaluate whether there is substantial doubt about an organization's ability to continue as a going concern and to provide related footnote disclosures. This guidance is effective for us for the annual period ending December 31, 2017 and interim and annual periods thereafter. We do not expect the adoption of this standard to have a material impact on our consolidated financial position, results of operations and cash flows.