Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)


9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2016
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Nature of Operations
Nature of Operations.   We collect, organize and manage various types of financial, demographic, employment and marketing information. Our 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 September 30, 2016, we operated in the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, India, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, or U.K., Uruguay, and the United States of America, or U.S. We also offer Equifax branded credit services in India and Russia through joint ventures, we have investments in consumer and/or commercial credit information companies through joint ventures in Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore, and 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 consumer specific data, including credit, income, 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, 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
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 SEC 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, 2015 (“2015 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.
Earnings Per Share
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.
Accelerated Share Repurchase Program
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.
Financial Instruments
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.
Derivatives and Hedging Activities
Derivatives and Hedging Activities.   Although derivative financial instruments are not utilized for speculative purposes or as the Company’s primary risk management tool, derivatives have been used as a risk management tool to hedge the Company’s exposure to changes in interest rates and foreign exchange rates. We have used interest rate swaps and interest rate lock agreements to manage interest rate risk associated with our fixed and floating-rate borrowings. Forward contracts on various foreign currencies have been used to manage the foreign currency exchange rate risk of certain firm commitments denominated in foreign currencies. We recognize all derivatives on the balance sheet at fair value. Derivative valuations reflect the value of the instrument including the value associated with any material counterparty risk. 

Economic Hedges.   In December 2015, in anticipation of the acquisition of Veda Group Limited ("Veda"), we purchased foreign currency options to buy Australian dollars with a weighted average strike price of $0.7225 and a notional value of 1.0 billion Australian dollars. These foreign currency options ("options") were designed to act as economic hedges for the pending Veda acquisition and have been marked to market.
Fair Value Measurements
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:
Fair Value Measurements at Reporting Date Using:
Fair Value of Assets
(Liabilities) at
September 30, 2016
Quoted Prices in
Active Markets for
Identical Assets
(Level 1)
(Level 2)
(Level 3)
(In millions)
Deferred Compensation Plan Assets(1)




Deferred Compensation Plan Liability(1)





(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 participants’ investment selections and is valued at daily quoted market prices.
Assets and Liabilities Measured at Fair Value on a Nonrecurring Basis. As disclosed in Note 3, we completed various acquisitions during the nine months ended September 30, 2016. The values of net assets acquired and the resulting goodwill were recorded at fair value using Level 3 inputs. The majority of the related current assets acquired and liabilities assumed were recorded at their carrying values as of the date of acquisition, as their carrying values approximated their fair values due to their short-term nature. The fair values of goodwill and definite-lived intangible assets acquired in this acquisition were internally estimated primarily based on the income approach. The income approach estimates fair value based on the present value of the cash flows that the assets are expected to generate in the future. We developed internal estimates for the expected cash flows and discount rates in the present value calculations. The fair value of the equity method investment assets acquired were internally estimated based on the market approach. Under the market approach, we estimated fair value based on market multiples of comparable companies.
Other Current Assets
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 September 30, 2016, these assets were approximately $23.8 million, with a corresponding 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 certain current tax accounts.
Variable Interest Entities
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 $14.4 million at September 30, 2016, representing our maximum exposure to loss, with the exception of the guarantees referenced in Note 6.  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 Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") 810, Consolidation. 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.  Other assets on our Consolidated Balance Sheets primarily represents our investment in unconsolidated affiliates, our cost method investment in Brazil, assets related to life insurance policies covering certain officers of the Company, and employee benefit trust assets.
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 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.
Other Current Liabilities
Other Current Liabilities. Other current liabilities on our Consolidated Balance Sheets consist of corresponding amounts of 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 September 30, 2016, these funds were approximately $23.8 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 liabilities such as interest expense, accrued employee benefits, accrued taxes, accrued payroll, and accrued legal expenses.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
Recent Accounting Pronouncements.    Statement of Cash Flows. In August 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-15 "Classification of Certain Cash Receipts and Cash Payments (Topic 230)". This standard provides guidance for eight targeted changes with respect to how cash receipts and cash payments are classified in the statements of cash flows, with the objective of reducing diversity in practice. The guidance is effective in 2018 with early adoption permitted. The Company is currently evaluating the impacts the adoption of this accounting standard will have on its Consolidated Financial Statements.

Share-based payments. In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-09 "Compensation - Stock Compensation (Topic 718)". This standard requires the recognition of the income tax effects of awards in the income statement when the awards vest or are settled, thus eliminating additional paid-in capital pools. The guidance also allows for the employer to repurchase more of an employee’s shares for tax withholding purposes without triggering liability accounting. In addition, the guidance allows for a policy election to account for forfeitures as they occur rather than on an estimated basis. The guidance is effective in 2017 with early adoption permitted. The Company is currently evaluating the impact of this guidance on its Consolidated Financial Statements.

Equity method investments. In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-07 "Investments - Equity Method and Joint Ventures (Topic 323)". This standard eliminates the requirement that an investor retrospectively apply equity method accounting when an investment that it had accounted for by another method initially qualifies for the equity method. The guidance requires that an equity method investor add the cost of acquiring the additional interest in the investee to the current basis of the investor’s previously held interest and adopt the equity method of accounting as of the date the investment becomes qualified for equity method accounting. The guidance is effective in 2017 with early adoption permitted. The guidance will not have a material impact on our Consolidated Financial Statements.

Leases. In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02 “Leases (Topic 842)”. This standard requires lessees to put most leases on their balance sheets but recognize expenses on their income statements in a manner similar to current lease accounting. The guidance also eliminates current real estate-specific provisions for all entities. For lessors, the guidance modifies the classification criteria and the accounting for sales-type and direct financing leases. All entities will classify leases to determine how to recognize lease-related revenue and expense. The guidance becomes effective for fiscal years and interim reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018. The Company is evaluating the potential effects of the adoption of this standard on its Consolidated Financial Statements.

Reporting of Provisional Amounts in a Business Combination. In September 2015, the FASB issued ASU 2015-03 “Business Combinations (Topic 805): Simplifying the Accounting for Measurement-Period Adjustments”. This standard eliminates the requirement to restate prior period financial statements for measurement period adjustments following a business combination. The new standard requires that the cumulative impact of a measurement period adjustment (including the impact on prior periods) be recognized in the reporting period in which the adjustment is identified. The prior period impact of the adjustment should be either presented separately on the face of the income statement or disclosed in the notes. The guidance became effective for fiscal years and interim reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2015. The adoption of this standard did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

Cloud Computing Arrangements. In April 2015, the FASB issued ASU 2015-05 “Intangibles—Goodwill and Other—Internal-Use Software: Customer's Accounting for Fees Paid in a Cloud Computing Arrangement.” The update provides criteria for customers in a cloud computing arrangement to use to determine whether the arrangement includes a license of software. The guidance becomes effective for fiscal years and interim reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2015. We have elected to adopt the standard prospectively. The adoption of this standard did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

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 was originally effective for annual reporting periods, and interim periods within that period, beginning after December 15, 2016 and early adoption was not permitted. On July 9, 2015, the FASB voted to defer the effective date by one year to December 15, 2017 for interim and annual reporting periods beginning after that date and permitted early adoption of the standard, but not before the original effective date of December 15, 2016. 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 this standard on its Consolidated Financial Statements.