The Company and Its Significant Accounting Policies
|12 Months Ended|
Sep. 24, 2017
|Accounting Policies [Abstract]|
|The Company and Its Significant Accounting Policies||
The Company and Its Significant Accounting Policies
The Company. QUALCOMM Incorporated, a Delaware corporation, and its subsidiaries (collectively the Company or Qualcomm) develop, design, manufacture, have manufactured on its behalf and market digital communications products, which principally consist of integrated circuits and system software based on CDMA, OFDMA and other technologies, for use in mobile devices, wireless networks, devices used in the Internet of Things (IoT), broadband gateway equipment, consumer electronic devices and automotive telematics and infotainment systems. The Company also grants licenses to use portions of its intellectual property portfolio, which includes certain patent rights essential to and/or useful in the manufacture and sale of certain wireless products and receives fixed license fees (payable in one or more installments) as well as ongoing royalties based on sales by licensees of wireless products incorporating its patented technologies.
Principles of Consolidation. The Company’s consolidated financial statements include the assets, liabilities and operating results of majority-owned subsidiaries, including its joint venture RF360 Holdings Singapore Pte. Ltd (RF360 Holdings) (Note 9). In addition, the Company consolidated its investment in an immaterial less than majority-owned variable interest entity as the Company was the primary beneficiary until the end of fiscal 2017. The ownership of the other interest holders of consolidated subsidiaries and the immaterial less than majority-owned variable interest entity is presented separately in the consolidated balance sheets and statements of operations. All significant intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated.
Financial Statement Preparation. The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAP) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts and the disclosure of contingent amounts in the Company’s consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes. Examples of the Company’s significant accounting estimates that may involve a higher degree of judgment and complexity than others include: the determination of other-than-temporary impairments of marketable securities and other investments; the valuation of inventories; the valuation and assessment of the recoverability of goodwill and other indefinite-lived and long-lived assets; the recognition, measurement and disclosure of loss contingencies related to legal and regulatory proceedings; and the calculation of tax liabilities, including the recognition and measurement of uncertain tax positions. Actual results could differ from those estimates. Certain prior year amounts have been reclassified to conform to the current year presentation.
Fiscal Year. The Company operates and reports using a 52-53 week fiscal year ending on the last Sunday in September. The fiscal years ended September 24, 2017, September 25, 2016 and September 27, 2015 included 52 weeks.
Cash Equivalents. The Company considers all highly liquid investments with original maturities of 90 days or less to be cash equivalents. Cash equivalents are comprised of money market funds, certificates of deposit, commercial paper, government agencies’ securities, corporate bonds and notes, certain bank time deposits and repurchase agreements fully collateralized by government agencies’ securities. The carrying amounts approximate fair value due to the short maturities of these instruments.
Marketable Securities. Marketable securities include available-for-sale securities and certain time deposits for which classification is determined at the time of purchase and reevaluated at each balance sheet date. The Company also held trading securities and securities for which the Company had elected the fair value option that would have otherwise been recorded using the equity method. These investments were exited during fiscal 2016, and the related changes in fair value associated with these investments were recognized in investment and other income, net and were negligible in fiscal 2016 and 2015. The Company classifies marketable securities as current or noncurrent based on the nature of the securities and their availability for use in current operations. Marketable securities are stated at fair value. The net unrealized gains or losses on available-for-sale securities are recorded as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income, net of income taxes. The realized gains and losses on marketable securities are determined using the specific identification method.
At each balance sheet date, the Company assesses available-for-sale securities in an unrealized loss position to determine whether the unrealized loss is other than temporary. The Company considers factors including: the significance of the decline in value as compared to the cost basis; underlying factors contributing to a decline in the prices of securities in a single asset class; how long the market value of the security has been less than its cost basis; the security’s relative performance versus its peers, sector or asset class; expected market volatility; the market and economy in general; analyst recommendations and price targets; views of external investment managers; news or financial information that has been released specific to the investee; and the outlook for the overall industry in which the investee operates.
If a debt security’s market value is below amortized cost and the Company either intends to sell the security or it is more likely than not that the Company will be required to sell the security before its anticipated recovery, the Company records an other-than-temporary impairment charge to investment and other income, net for the entire amount of the impairment. For the remaining debt securities, if an other-than-temporary impairment exists, the Company separates the other-than-temporary impairment into the portion of the loss related to credit factors, or the credit loss portion, which is recorded as a charge to investment and other income, net, and the portion of the loss that is not related to credit factors, or the noncredit loss portion, which is recorded as a component of other accumulated comprehensive income, net of income taxes.
For equity securities, the Company considers the loss relative to the expected volatility and the likelihood of recovery over a reasonable period of time. If events and circumstances indicate that a decline in the value of an equity security has occurred and is other than temporary, the Company records a charge to investment and other income, net for the difference between fair value and cost at the balance sheet date. Additionally, if the Company has either the intent to sell the equity security or does not have both the intent and the ability to hold the equity security until its anticipated recovery, the Company records a charge to investment and other income, net for the difference between fair value and cost at the balance sheet date.
Equity and Cost Method Investments. The Company generally accounts for non-marketable equity investments either under the equity or the cost method. Equity investments over which the Company has significant influence, but not control over the investee and is not the primary beneficiary of the investee’s activities are accounted for under the equity method. Other non-marketable equity investments are accounted for under the cost method. The Company’s share of gains and losses in equity method investments are recorded in investment and other income, net. The Company monitors non-marketable equity investments for events or circumstances that could indicate the investments are impaired, such as a deterioration in the investee’s financial condition and business forecasts and lower valuations in recently completed or proposed financings, and records a charge to investment and other income, net for the difference between the estimated fair value and the carrying value.
The carrying values of the Company’s non-marketable equity investments are recorded in other noncurrent assets and were as follows (in millions):
Transactions with equity method investees are considered related party transactions. Revenues from certain licensing and services contracts with two of the Company’s equity method investees were $165 million, $196 million and negligible in fiscal 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. The Company eliminates unrealized profit or loss related to such transactions in relation to its ownership interest in the investee, which is recorded as a component of equity in net losses in investees in investment and other income, net. Aggregate accounts receivable from these equity method investees were $29 million and $73 million at September 24, 2017 and September 25, 2016, respectively.
Derivatives. The Company’s primary objectives for holding derivative instruments are to manage interest rate risk on its long-term debt and to manage foreign exchange risk for certain foreign currency revenues, operating expenses, receivables and payables. Derivative instruments are recorded at fair value and included in other current or noncurrent assets or other current or noncurrent liabilities based on their maturity dates. Counterparties to the Company’s derivative instruments are all major banking institutions.
Interest Rate Swaps: The Company manages its exposure to certain interest rate risks related to its long-term debt through the use of interest rate swaps. Such swaps allow the Company to effectively convert fixed-rate payments into floating-rate payments based on LIBOR. These transactions are designated as fair value hedges, and the gains and losses related to changes in the fair value of the interest rate swaps substantially offset changes in the fair value of the hedged portion of the underlying debt that are attributable to changes in the market interest rates. The net gains and losses on the interest rate swaps, as well as the offsetting gains or losses on the related fixed-rate debt attributable to the hedged risks, are recognized in earnings as interest expense in the current period. The interest settlement payments associated with the interest rate swap agreements are classified as cash flows from operating activities in the consolidated statements of cash flows.
At September 24, 2017 and September 25, 2016, the aggregate fair value of the Company’s interest rate swaps related to its long-term debt issued in May 2015 was negligible and $65 million, respectively. The fair values of the swaps were recorded in noncurrent assets, other current liabilities and other noncurrent liabilities at September 24, 2017 and in noncurrent assets at September 25, 2016. The swaps had an aggregate notional amount of $3.0 billion, which effectively converted all of the fixed-rate debt due in 2018 and approximately 43% and 50% of the fixed-rate debt due in 2020 and 2022, respectively, into floating-rate debt. The maturities of the swaps match the Company’s fixed-rate debt due in 2018, 2020 and 2022.
Foreign Currency Hedges: The Company manages its exposure to foreign exchange market risks, when deemed appropriate, through the use of derivative instruments, including foreign currency forward and option contracts with financial counterparties, that may or may not be designated as hedging instruments. These derivative instruments mature between one and twelve months. Gains and losses arising from the effective portion of such contracts that are designated as cash flow hedging instruments are recorded as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income as gains and losses on derivative instruments, net of income taxes. The hedging gains and losses in accumulated other comprehensive income are subsequently reclassified to revenues or costs and expenses, as applicable, in the consolidated statements of operations in the same period in which the underlying transactions affect the Company’s earnings. Gains and losses arising from the ineffective portion of such contracts are recorded in investment and other income, net as gains and losses on derivative instruments. The cash flows associated with derivative instruments designated as cash flow hedging instruments are classified as cash flows from operating activities in the consolidated statements of cash flows, which is the same category as the hedged transaction. The cash flows associated with the ineffective portion of such derivative instruments are classified as cash flows from investing activities in the consolidated statements of cash flows. The fair values of the Company’s foreign currency forward and option contracts used to hedge foreign currency risk designated as cash flow hedges recorded in total assets and in total liabilities were $10 million and $22 million, respectively, at September 24, 2017 and negligible at September 25, 2016.
For foreign currency forward and option contracts not designated as hedging instruments, the changes in fair value are recorded in investment and other income, net in the period of change. The cash flows associated with derivative instruments not designated as hedging instruments are classified as cash flows from operating activities in the consolidated statements of cash flows, which is the same category as the hedged transaction. The fair value of the Company’s foreign currency forward and option contracts not designated as hedging instruments was negligible at September 24, 2017. There were no foreign currency forward and option contracts not designated as hedging instruments at September 25, 2016.
Gross Notional Amounts: The gross notional amounts of the Company’s interest rate and foreign currency derivatives by instrument type were as follows (in millions):
The gross notional amounts by currency were as follows (in millions):
Fair Value Measurements. Fair value is defined as the exchange price that would be received for an asset or paid to transfer a liability (an exit price) in the principal or most advantageous market for the asset or liability in an orderly transaction between market participants as of the measurement date. Applicable accounting guidance provides an established hierarchy for inputs used in measuring fair value that maximizes the use of observable inputs and minimizes the use of unobservable inputs by requiring that the most observable inputs be used when available. Observable inputs are inputs that market participants would use in valuing the asset or liability and are developed based on market data obtained from sources independent of the Company. Unobservable inputs are inputs that reflect the Company’s assumptions about the factors that market participants would use in valuing the asset or liability. There are three levels of inputs that may be used to measure fair value:
Assets and liabilities are classified based on the lowest level of input that is significant to the fair value measurements. The Company reviews the fair value hierarchy classification on a quarterly basis. Changes in the observability of valuation inputs may result in a reclassification of levels for certain securities within the fair value hierarchy.
Cash Equivalents and Marketable Securities: With the exception of auction rate securities, the Company obtains pricing information from quoted market prices, pricing vendors or quotes from brokers/dealers. The Company conducts reviews of its primary pricing vendors to determine whether the inputs used in the vendor’s pricing processes are deemed to be observable. The fair value for interest-bearing securities includes accrued interest.
The fair value of U.S. Treasury securities and government-related securities, corporate bonds and notes and common and preferred stock is generally determined using standard observable inputs, including reported trades, quoted market prices, matrix pricing, benchmark yields, broker/dealer quotes, issuer spreads, two-sided markets and/or benchmark securities.
The fair value of debt and equity funds is reported at published net asset values. The Company assesses the daily frequency and size of transactions at published net asset values and/or the funds’ underlying holdings to determine whether fair value is based on observable or unobservable inputs.
The fair value of mortgage- and asset-backed securities is derived from the use of matrix pricing (prices for similar securities) or, in some cases, cash flow pricing models with observable inputs, such as contractual terms, maturity, credit rating and/or securitization structure to determine the timing and amount of future cash flows. Certain mortgage- and asset-backed securities may require the use of significant unobservable inputs to estimate fair value, such as default likelihood, recovery rates and prepayment speed.
The fair value of auction rate securities is estimated by the Company using a discounted cash flow model that incorporates transaction details, such as contractual terms, maturity and timing and amount of future cash flows, as well as assumptions related to liquidity, default likelihood and recovery, the future state of the auction rate market and credit valuation adjustments of market participants. Though most of the securities held by the Company are pools of student loans guaranteed by the U.S. government, prepayment speeds and illiquidity discounts are considered significant unobservable inputs. These additional inputs are generally unobservable, and therefore, auction rate securities are included in Level 3.
Derivative Instruments: Derivative instruments that are traded on an exchange are valued using quoted market prices and are included in Level 1. Derivative instruments that are not traded on an exchange are valued using conventional calculations/models that are primarily based on observable inputs, such as foreign currency exchange rates, volatilities and interest rates, and therefore, such derivative instruments are included in Level 2.
Other Investments and Other Liabilities: Other investments and other liabilities included in Level 1 are comprised of the Company’s deferred compensation plan liability and related assets, which consist of mutual funds classified as trading securities, and are included in other assets. Other investments and other liabilities included in Level 3 are comprised of convertible debt instruments issued by private companies and contingent consideration related to business combinations, respectively. The fair value of convertible debt instruments is estimated by the Company based on the estimated timing and amount of future cash flows, as well as assumptions related to liquidity, default likelihood and recovery. The fair value of contingent consideration related to business combinations is estimated by the Company using a real options approach, which includes inputs, such as projected financial information, market volatility, discount rates and timing of contractual payments. The inputs used by the Company to estimate the fair values of the convertible debt instruments and contingent consideration are generally unobservable, and therefore, they are included in Level 3.
Allowances for Doubtful Accounts. The Company maintains allowances for doubtful accounts for estimated losses resulting from the inability of the Company’s customers to make required payments. The Company considers the following factors when determining if collection of required payments is reasonably assured: customer credit-worthiness; past transaction history with the customer; current economic industry trends; changes in customer payment terms; and bank credit-worthiness for letters of credit. If the Company has no previous experience with the customer, the Company may request financial information, including financial statements or other documents, to determine that the customer has the means of making payment. The Company may also obtain reports from various credit organizations to determine that the customer has a history of paying its creditors. If these factors do not indicate collection is reasonably assured, revenue is deferred as a reduction to accounts receivable until collection becomes reasonably assured, which is generally upon receipt of cash. If the financial condition of the Company’s customers was to deteriorate, adversely affecting their ability to make payments, additional allowances would be required.
Inventories. Inventories are valued at the lower of cost or market (replacement cost, not to exceed net realizable value) using the first-in, first-out method. Recoverability of inventories is assessed based on review of future customer demand that considers multiple factors, including committed purchase orders from customers as well as purchase commitment projections provided by customers, among other things.
Property, Plant and Equipment. Property, plant and equipment are recorded at cost and depreciated or amortized using the straight-line method over their estimated useful lives. Upon the retirement or disposition of property, plant and equipment, the related cost and accumulated depreciation or amortization are removed, and a gain or loss is recorded, when appropriate. Buildings on owned land are depreciated over 30 years, and building improvements are depreciated over their useful lives ranging from 7 to 15 years. Leasehold improvements are amortized over the shorter of their estimated useful lives, not to exceed 15 years, or the remaining term of the related lease. Other property, plant and equipment have useful lives ranging from 2 to 25 years. Leased property meeting certain capital lease criteria is capitalized, and the net present value of the related lease payments is recorded as a liability. Amortization of assets under capital leases is recorded using the straight-line method over the shorter of the estimated useful lives or the lease terms. Maintenance, repairs and minor renewals or betterments are charged to expense as incurred.
Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets. Goodwill represents the excess of purchase price over the value assigned to the net tangible and identifiable intangible assets of businesses acquired. Acquired intangible assets other than goodwill are amortized over their useful lives unless the lives are determined to be indefinite. For intangible assets purchased in a business combination, the estimated fair values of the assets received are used to establish their recorded values. For intangible assets acquired in a non-monetary exchange, the estimated fair values of the assets transferred (or the estimated fair values of the assets received, if more clearly evident) are used to establish their recorded values, unless the values of neither the assets received nor the assets transferred are determinable within reasonable limits, in which case the assets received are measured based on the carrying values of the assets transferred. Valuation techniques consistent with the market approach, income approach and/or cost approach are used to measure fair value.
Impairment of Goodwill, Other Indefinite-Lived Assets and Long-Lived Assets. Goodwill and other indefinite-lived intangible assets are tested annually for impairment in the fourth fiscal quarter and in interim periods if certain events occur indicating that the carrying amounts may be impaired. If a qualitative assessment is used and the Company determines that the fair value of a reporting unit or indefinite-lived intangible asset is more likely than not (i.e., a likelihood of more than 50%) less than its carrying amount, a quantitative impairment test will be performed. If goodwill is quantitatively assessed for impairment, a two-step approach is applied. First, the Company compares the estimated fair value of the reporting unit in which the goodwill resides to its carrying value. The second step, if necessary, measures the amount of impairment, if any, by comparing the implied fair value of goodwill to its carrying value. Other indefinite-lived intangible assets are quantitatively assessed for impairment, if necessary, by comparing their estimated fair values to their carrying values. If the carrying value exceeds the fair value, the difference is recorded as an impairment.
Long-lived assets, such as property, plant and equipment and intangible assets subject to amortization, are reviewed for impairment when there is evidence that events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset or asset group may not be recoverable. Recoverability of assets to be held and used is measured by comparing the carrying amount of an asset or asset group to estimated undiscounted future cash flows expected to be generated by the asset or asset group. If the carrying amount of an asset or asset group exceeds its estimated future cash flows, an impairment charge is recognized for the amount by which the carrying amount of the asset or asset group exceeds the estimated fair value of the asset or asset group. Long-lived assets to be disposed of by sale are reported at the lower of their carrying amounts or their estimated fair values less costs to sell and are not depreciated.
Revenue Recognition. The Company derives revenues principally from sales of integrated circuit products and licensing of its intellectual property and also generates revenues through sales of products that connect medical devices and by performing software hosting, software development and other services. The timing of revenue recognition and the amount of revenue actually recognized in each case depends upon a variety of factors, including the specific terms of each arrangement and the nature of the Company’s deliverables and obligations. Unearned revenues consist primarily of license fees for intellectual property with continuing performance obligations.
Revenues from sales of the Company’s products are recognized at the time of shipment, or when title and risk of loss pass to the customer and all other criteria for revenue recognition are met, if later. Revenues from providing services are recognized when earned. Revenues from providing services were less than 10% of total revenues for all periods presented.
The Company grants licenses or otherwise provides rights to use portions of its intellectual property portfolio, which, among other rights, includes certain patent rights essential to and/or useful in the manufacture and sale of certain wireless products. Licensees typically pay a fixed license fee in one or more installments and royalties based on their sales of products incorporating or using the Company’s licensed intellectual property. License fees are recognized over the estimated period of benefit of the license to the licensee, typically 5 to 15 years. Royalties are generally based upon a percentage of the wholesale (i.e., licensee’s) selling price of complete licensed products, net of certain permissible deductions (including transportation, insurance, packing costs and other items). The Company broadly provides per unit running royalty caps that apply to certain categories of complete wireless devices, namely smartphones, tablets and laptops, which in general, effectively provide for a maximum running royalty amount per device (i.e., the royalty caps limit the running royalties due on a per unit basis). The Company earns royalties on such licensed products sold worldwide by its licensees at the time that the licensees’ sales occur. The Company’s licensees, however, do not report and pay royalties owed for sales in any given quarter until after the conclusion of that quarter, which is generally the following quarter. The Company recognizes royalty revenues based on royalties reported by licensees during the quarter and when all other revenue recognition criteria are met.
The Company records reductions to revenues for customer incentive arrangements, including volume-related and other pricing rebates and cost reimbursements for marketing and other activities involving certain of the Company’s products and technologies. The charges for such arrangements are recorded as a reduction to accounts receivable or as other current liabilities based on whether the Company has the contractual right of offset. The Company recognizes the liability based on the estimated amount of the incentive, or if not reasonably estimated, the maximum potential liability, at the later of the date at which the Company records the related revenues or the date at which the Company offers the incentive or, if payment is contingent, when the contingency is resolved. In certain arrangements, the liabilities are based on customer forecasts. The Company reverses accruals for unclaimed incentive amounts to revenues when the unclaimed amounts are no longer subject to payment.
Concentrations. Revenues in fiscal 2017 were negatively impacted by the actions of Apple Inc. and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd./Foxconn, its affiliates and other suppliers to Apple as well as the dispute with another licensee, who did not report or pay royalties due in the third or fourth quarter of fiscal 2017. Apple’s contract manufacturers did not fully report and did not pay royalties due on sales of Apple products for a portion of the fiscal year, which resulted in higher accounts receivable from those suppliers (Note 2). A significant portion of the Company’s revenues is concentrated with a small number of customers/licensees of the Company’s QCT and QTL segments. Revenues related to the products of two customers/licensees comprised 18% and 17% of total consolidated revenues in fiscal 2017, compared to 24% and 16% in fiscal 2016 and 25% and 20% in fiscal 2015. Excluding the unpaid royalty receivables due from suppliers to Apple (Note 2), aggregate accounts receivable from one customer/licensee comprised 10% and 14% of accounts receivable at September 24, 2017 and September 25, 2016, respectively.
The Company relies on sole- or limited-source suppliers for some products, particularly products in the QCT segment, subjecting the Company to possible shortages of raw materials or manufacturing capacity. While the Company has established alternate suppliers for certain technologies that the Company considers critical, the loss of a supplier or the inability of a supplier to meet performance or quality specifications or delivery schedules could harm the Company’s ability to meet its delivery obligations and/or negatively impact the Company’s revenues, business operations and ability to compete for future business.
Shipping and Handling Costs. Costs incurred for shipping and handling are included in cost of revenues. Amounts billed to a customer for shipping and handling are reported as revenues.
Share-Based Compensation. Share-based compensation expense for equity-classified awards, principally related to restricted stock units (RSUs), is measured at the grant date, or at the acquisition date for awards assumed in business combinations, based on the estimated fair value of the award and is recognized over the employee’s requisite service period. Share-based compensation expense is adjusted to exclude amounts related to share-based awards that are expected to be forfeited.
The fair values of RSUs are estimated based on the fair market values of the underlying stock on the dates of grant or dates the RSUs are assumed. If RSUs do not have the right to participate in dividends, the fair values are discounted by the dividend yield. The weighted-average estimated fair values of employee RSUs granted during fiscal 2017, 2016 and 2015 were $66.54, $53.56 and $68.77 per share, respectively. Upon vesting, the Company issues new shares of common stock. For the majority of RSUs, shares are issued on the vesting dates net of the amount of shares needed to satisfy statutory tax withholding requirements to be paid by the Company on behalf of the employees. As a result, the actual number of shares issued will be fewer than the number of RSUs outstanding. The annual pre-vest forfeiture rate for RSUs was estimated to be approximately 5%, 4% and 3% in fiscal 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.
Total share-based compensation expense, related to all of the Company’s share-based awards, was comprised as follows (in millions):
Legal and Regulatory Proceedings. The Company is currently involved in certain legal and regulatory proceedings. The Company discloses a loss contingency if there is at least a reasonable possibility that a material loss has been incurred. The Company records its best estimate of a loss related to pending legal and regulatory proceedings when the loss is considered probable and the amount can be reasonably estimated. Where a range of loss can be reasonably estimated with no best estimate in the range, the Company records the minimum estimated liability. As additional information becomes available, the Company assesses the potential liability related to pending legal and regulatory proceedings and revises its estimates and updates its disclosures accordingly. The Company’s legal costs associated with defending itself are recorded to expense as incurred.
Foreign Currency. Certain foreign subsidiaries use a local currency as the functional currency. Resulting translation gains or losses are recognized as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income. Transaction gains or losses related to balances denominated in a currency other than the functional currency are recognized in the consolidated statements of operations.
Income Taxes. The asset and liability approach is used to recognize deferred tax assets and liabilities for the expected future tax consequences of temporary differences between the carrying amounts and the tax bases of assets and liabilities. Tax law and rate changes are reflected in income in the period such changes are enacted. The Company records a valuation allowance to reduce deferred tax assets to the amount that is more likely than not to be realized. The Company includes interest and penalties related to income taxes, including unrecognized tax benefits, within income tax expense. The Company classifies all deferred tax assets and liabilities as noncurrent in the consolidated balance sheets.
The Company’s income tax returns are based on calculations and assumptions that are subject to examination by the Internal Revenue Service and other tax authorities. In addition, the calculation of the Company’s tax liabilities involves dealing with uncertainties in the application of complex tax regulations. The Company recognizes liabilities for uncertain tax positions based on a two-step process. The first step is to evaluate the tax position for recognition by determining if the weight of available evidence indicates that it is more likely than not that the position will be sustained on audit, including resolution of related appeals or litigation processes, if any. The second step is to measure the tax benefit as the largest amount that is more than 50% likely of being realized upon settlement. While the Company believes it has appropriate support for the positions taken on its tax returns, the Company regularly assesses the potential outcomes of examinations by tax authorities in determining the adequacy of its provision for income taxes. The Company continually assesses the likelihood and amount of potential adjustments and adjusts the income tax provision, income taxes payable and deferred taxes in the period in which the facts that give rise to a revision become known.
The Company recognizes windfall tax benefits associated with share-based awards directly to stockholders’ equity when realized. A windfall tax benefit occurs when the actual tax benefit realized by the Company upon an employee’s disposition of a share-based award exceeds the deferred tax asset, if any, associated with the award that the Company had recorded. The Company records windfall tax benefits to stockholders’ equity. A shortfall occurs when the actual tax benefit realized by the Company upon an employee’s disposition of a share-based award is less than the deferred tax asset, if any, associated with the award that the Company has recorded. The Company records shortfall tax detriments when realized to stockholders’ equity to the extent that previous windfall tax benefits exist (referred to as the APIC windfall pool), with any remainder recognized in income tax expense. The Company had a sufficient APIC windfall pool to absorb all shortfalls that occurred in fiscal 2017. When assessing whether a tax benefit relating to share-based compensation has been realized, the Company follows the tax law ordering method, under which current year share-based compensation deductions are assumed to be utilized before net operating loss carryforwards and other tax attributes.
Earnings Per Common Share. Basic earnings per common share are computed by dividing net income attributable to Qualcomm by the weighted-average number of common shares outstanding during the reporting period. Diluted earnings per common share are computed by dividing net income attributable to Qualcomm by the combination of dilutive common share equivalents, comprised of shares issuable under the Company’s share-based compensation plans and shares subject to written put options and/or accelerated share repurchase agreements, if any, and the weighted-average number of common shares outstanding during the reporting period. Dilutive common share equivalents include the dilutive effect of in-the-money share equivalents, which are calculated based on the average share price for each period using the treasury stock method. Under the treasury stock method, the exercise price of an award, if any, the amount of compensation cost for future service that the Company has not yet recognized, if any, and the estimated tax benefits that would be recorded in paid-in capital when an award is settled, if any, are assumed to be used to repurchase shares in the current period. The dilutive common share equivalents, calculated using the treasury stock method, for fiscal 2017, 2016 and 2015 were 12,989,000, 13,864,000 and 20,724,000, respectively. Shares of common stock equivalents outstanding that were not included in the computation of diluted earnings per common share because the effect would be anti-dilutive or certain performance conditions were not satisfied at the end of the period were 2,955,000, 2,435,000 and 4,652,000 during fiscal 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements. In May 2014, the FASB issued new guidance related to revenue recognition, which outlines a comprehensive revenue recognition model and supersedes most current revenue recognition guidance. The new guidance requires a company to recognize revenue as control of goods or services transfers to a customer at an amount that reflects the expected consideration to be received in exchange for those goods or services. It defines a five-step approach for recognizing revenue, which may require a company to use more judgment and make more estimates than under the current guidance. The Company will adopt the new guidance in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 and currently expects to apply the modified retrospective approach, which means that the cumulative effect of applying the new guidance is recognized as an adjustment to the opening retained earnings balance. Given the scope of work required to implement the recognition and disclosure requirements under the new guidance, the Company has made progress in the identification of changes to policy, processes, systems and controls, and the Company continues to assess data availability and presentation necessary to meet the additional disclosure requirements of the guidance in the notes to the consolidated financial statements.
The Company currently expects the adoption of this new guidance to most significantly impact its licensing business. Specifically, the Company expects a change in the timing of revenues recognized from sales-based royalties. The Company currently recognizes sales-based royalties as revenues in the period in which such royalties are reported by licensees, which is after the conclusion of the quarter in which the licensees’ sales occur and when all other revenue recognition criteria are met. Under the new guidance, the Company will be required to estimate and recognize sales-based royalties in the period in which the associated sales occur, resulting in an acceleration of revenue recognition compared to the current method. Upon adoption of the new guidance, licenses to use portions of the Company’s intellectual property portfolio will be considered one performance obligation, and license fees will be recognized as revenues on a straight-line basis over the term of the license agreement, which is similar to the recognition of license revenues under the current guidance. The Company currently accounts for customer incentive arrangements in its licensing and semiconductor businesses, including volume-related and other pricing rebates or cost reimbursements for marketing and other activities involving certain of the Company’s products and technologies in part based on the maximum potential liability. Under the new guidance, the Company expects to estimate the amount of all customer incentives. The Company does not otherwise expect the adoption of the new guidance will have a material impact on its businesses.
In January 2016, the FASB issued new guidance on classifying and measuring financial instruments, which requires that (i) all equity investments, other than equity-method investments, in unconsolidated entities generally be measured at fair value through earnings and (ii) when the fair value option has been elected for financial liabilities, changes in fair value due to instrument-specific credit risk be recognized separately in other comprehensive income. Additionally, it changes the disclosure requirements for financial instruments. The new guidance will be effective for the Company starting in the first quarter of fiscal 2019. Early adoption is permitted for certain provisions. The Company does not intend adopt any of the provisions early and is in the process of determining the effects the adoption will have on its consolidated financial statements.
In February 2016, the FASB issued new guidance related to leases that outlines a comprehensive lease accounting model and supersedes the current lease guidance. The new guidance requires lessees to recognize lease liabilities and corresponding right-of-use assets for all leases with lease terms of greater than 12 months. It also changes the definition of a lease and expands the disclosure requirements of lease arrangements. The new guidance must be adopted using the modified retrospective approach. The Company will adopt the new guidance in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 and is in the process of determining the effects the adoption will have on its consolidated financial statements.
In March 2016, the FASB issued new guidance that changes the accounting for share-based payments, including income taxes, classification of awards and classification in the statement of cash flows. The new guidance will increase the number of shares an employer can withhold to cover income taxes on share-based payment awards and still qualify for the exemption to liability classification. In addition, under the new guidance, excess tax benefits or deficiencies associated with share-based payment awards will be recognized through earnings when the awards vest or settle, rather than in stockholders’ equity. As a result, subsequent to adoption, the Company’s income tax expense and associated effective tax rate will be impacted by fluctuations in stock price between the grant dates and vesting dates of equity awards. The new guidance will be effective for the Company starting in the first quarter of fiscal 2018.
In June 2016, the FASB issued new guidance that changes the accounting for recognizing impairments of financial assets. Under the new guidance, credit losses for certain types of financial instruments will be estimated based on expected losses. The new guidance also modifies the impairment models for available-for-sale debt securities and for purchased financial assets with credit deterioration since their origination. The new guidance will be effective for the Company starting in the first quarter of fiscal 2021. Early adoption is permitted starting in the first quarter of fiscal 2020. The Company is in the process of determining the effects the adoption will have on its consolidated financial statements as well as whether to adopt the new guidance early.
In August 2016, the FASB issued new guidance related to the classification of certain cash receipts and cash payments on the statement of cash flows. The new guidance will be effective for the Company beginning in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 on a retrospective basis, and early adoption is permitted. The Company does not intend to adopt the new guidance early and is currently evaluating the impact of this accounting standard update on its consolidated financial statements.
In October 2016, the FASB issued new guidance that changes the accounting for income tax effects of intra-entity transfers of assets other than inventory. Under the new guidance, the selling (transferring) entity is required to recognize a current tax expense or benefit upon transfer of the asset. Similarly, the purchasing (receiving) entity is required to recognize a deferred tax asset or deferred tax liability, as well as the related deferred tax benefit or expense, upon receipt of the asset. The new guidance will be effective for the Company starting in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 on a modified retrospective basis, and early adoption is permitted. The Company does not intend to adopt the new guidance early and is currently evaluating the impact of this accounting standard update on its consolidated financial statements.
In August 2017, the FASB issued new guidance that expands and refines hedge accounting for both financial and non-financial risks, aligns the recognition and presentation of the effects of hedging instruments and hedged items in the financial statements, and includes targeted improvements related to the assessment of hedge effectiveness. The new guidance also modifies disclosure requirements for hedging activities. The new guidance will be effective for the Company starting in the first quarter of fiscal 2020, and early adoption is permitted in any interim period. The Company is currently evaluating the impact of the new guidance on its consolidated financial statements as well as whether to adopt the new guidance early.
The entire disclosure for organization, consolidation and basis of presentation of financial statements disclosure.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef