Significant Accounting Policies
|12 Months Ended
Sep. 26, 2021
|Accounting Policies [Abstract]
|Significant Accounting Policies
|Significant Accounting Policies
We are a global leader in the development and commercialization of foundational technologies for the wireless industry. Our technologies and products are used in mobile devices and other wireless products, including those used in the internet of things (IoT) and automotive systems for telematics, connectivity and digital cockpit (also known as infotainment). We derive revenues principally from sales of integrated circuit products and through the licensing of our intellectual property, including patents and other rights.
Principles of Consolidation. The consolidated financial statements include the assets, liabilities and operating results of Qualcomm and its subsidiaries. Intercompany transactions and balances 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 our consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes. Examples of our significant accounting estimates and policies that may involve a higher degree of judgment and complexity than others include: the estimation of sales-based royalty revenues; the impairment of non-marketable equity investments; the valuation of inventories; the impairment of goodwill and long-lived assets; the recognition, measurement and disclosure of loss contingencies related to legal and regulatory proceedings; and the calculation of our income tax provision, 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. We operate and report using a 52-53 week fiscal year ending on the last Sunday in September. The fiscal years ended September 26, 2021, September 27, 2020 and September 29, 2019 each included 52 weeks.
Recently Adopted Accounting Pronouncements.
Financial Assets: In June 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued new accounting guidance that changed the accounting for recognizing impairments of financial assets (ASC 326). Under the new accounting guidance, credit losses for financial assets held at amortized cost (such as accounts receivable) are estimated based on expected losses rather than the previous incurred loss impairment model. The new accounting guidance also eliminated the concept of other-than-temporary impairment with credit losses related to available-for-sale debt securities recorded through an allowance for credit losses rather than as a reduction in the amortized cost basis of the securities. We adopted the new accounting guidance in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 under the modified retrospective transition method, except for certain available-for-sale debt securities where the prospective transition method was required, and as a result, prior period results have not been restated. The impact upon adoption was not material to our consolidated financial statements. The future impact of such accounting guidance will largely depend on the future composition and credit quality of our investment portfolio and accounts receivable, as well as future economic conditions.
Leases: In February 2016, the FASB issued new accounting guidance related to leases that outlines a new comprehensive lease accounting model and requires expanded disclosures (ASC 842). Under the new accounting guidance, we are required to recognize right-of-use assets and corresponding lease liabilities on the consolidated balance sheet. We adopted ASC 842 in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 using the modified retrospective approach, with the cumulative effect of initial adoption recorded as an adjustment to our opening consolidated balance sheet at September 30, 2019. We elected to not record leases with a term of 12 months or less on our consolidated balance sheet. In addition, we applied the package of practical expedients permitted under the transition guidance, which among other things, does not require reassessment of lease classification upon adoption. Finance leases were not material for all periods presented. Adoption of the new accounting guidance did not have a material impact on our consolidated statements of operations or cash flows. Results for fiscal 2019 have not been restated and continue to be reported in accordance with the accounting guidance in effect for those periods.
Revenue Recognition: In May 2014, the FASB issued new accounting guidance related to revenue recognition (ASC 606). We adopted ASC 606 in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 using the modified retrospective transition method only to those contracts that were not completed as of October 1, 2018. We recognized the cumulative effect of initially applying the new revenue accounting guidance as an adjustment to opening retained earnings.
Income Taxes: In October 2016, the FASB issued new accounting guidance that changes the accounting for the income tax effects of intra-entity transfers of assets other than inventory. We adopted the new accounting guidance in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 using the modified retrospective transition method, with the cumulative effect of applying the new accounting guidance recognized as an adjustment to opening retained earnings of $2.6 billion, primarily as the result of establishing a deferred tax asset on the basis difference of certain intellectual property distributed from one of our foreign subsidiaries to a subsidiary in the United States in fiscal 2018.
Cash Equivalents. We consider all highly liquid investments with original maturities of 90 days or less to be cash equivalents. Cash equivalents may be comprised of money market funds, certificates of deposit, commercial paper, corporate bonds and notes, certain bank time and demand deposits and government agencies’ securities. The carrying amounts approximate fair value due to the short maturities of these instruments.
Marketable Securities. As a result of the adoption of ASC 326, we revised our accounting policy beginning in fiscal 2021 as follows.
Marketable securities include marketable equity securities, available-for-sale debt securities and, from time-to-time, certain time deposits. We classify 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 with all realized and unrealized gains and losses on investments in marketable equity securities and realized gains and losses on available-for-sale debt securities recognized in investment and other income, net. Debt securities are classified as available for sale or held to maturity at the time of purchase and reevaluated at each balance sheet date. The realized and unrealized gains and losses on marketable securities are determined using the specific identification method.
If a debt security has an unrealized loss and we either intend to sell the security or it is more likely than not that we will be required to sell the security before its anticipated recovery, we record an impairment charge to investment and other income, net for the entire amount of the unrealized loss and adjust the amortized cost basis of the security. For the remaining debt securities, if an unrealized loss exists, we separate the impairment into the portion of the loss related to credit factors and the portion of the loss that is not related to credit factors. Unrealized gains or unrealized losses that are not related to credit factors on available-for-sale debt securities are recorded as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income, net of income taxes. Unrealized losses that are related to credit loss factors on available-for-sale debt securities and subsequent adjustments to the credit loss are recorded as an allowance for credit losses, which is included in investment and other income, net. In evaluating whether a credit loss exists, we consider a variety of 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; the security’s relative performance versus its peers, sector or asset class; the market and economy in general; 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.
Equity Method and Non-marketable Equity Investments. Equity investments for which we have significant influence, but not control, over the investee and are not the primary beneficiary of the investee’s activities are accounted for under the equity method. Our share of gains and losses in equity method investments are recorded in investment and other income, net. We eliminate unrealized profit or loss related to transactions with equity method investees in relation to our ownership interest in the investee, which is recorded as a component of equity in net earnings (losses) in investees in investment and other income, net. Non-marketable equity investments (for which we do not have significant influence or control) are investments without readily determinable fair values that are recorded based on initial cost minus impairment, if any, plus or minus adjustments resulting from observable price changes in orderly transactions for identical or similar securities, if any. All gains and losses on investments in non-marketable equity securities, realized and unrealized, are recognized in investment and other income, net. We monitor equity method and 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 anticipated financings, and recognize a charge to investment and other income, net for the difference between the estimated fair value and the carrying value. For equity method investments, we record impairment losses in earnings only when impairments are considered other-than-temporary.
Derivatives. Our primary objectives for holding derivative instruments are to manage foreign exchange risk for certain foreign currency revenues, operating expenses, receivables and payables and to manage interest rate risk on our long-term debt. 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 these derivative instruments are all major banking institutions.
Foreign Currency Hedges: We manage our 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. At September 26, 2021, these derivative instruments have maturity dates between one and 21 months. Gains and losses arising from 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 our earnings. 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 fair values of our 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 $42 million and negligible, respectively, at September 26, 2021. The fair values of our 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 $51 million and negligible, respectively, at September 27, 2020.
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 such 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 values of our foreign currency
forward and option contracts not designated as hedging instruments were negligible at September 26, 2021 and September 27, 2020.
Interest Rate Swaps: From time to time, we manage our exposure to certain interest rate risks related to our long-term debt through the use of interest rate swaps. Such swaps allow us 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. There were no outstanding interest rate swaps related to long-term debt at September 26, 2021 and September 27, 2020.
During fiscal 2021, we entered into forward-starting interest rate swaps to hedge the variability of forecasted interest payments on anticipated debt issuances through 2025. These transactions are designated as cash flow hedges of a forecasted transaction. The gains and losses arising from such contracts are recorded as a component in accumulated other comprehensive income as gains and losses on derivative instruments, net of taxes. When the anticipated debt issuances are completed, the hedging gains and losses in accumulated other comprehensive income are reclassified as interest expense over the terms of the related debt issued. The fair values of our forward-starting interest rate swaps recorded in total liabilities were $105 million at September 26, 2021.
Gross Notional Amounts: The gross notional amounts of our foreign currency and interest rate derivatives by instrument type were as follows (in millions):
The gross notional amounts of our derivatives by currency were as follows (in millions):
Other Hedging Activities. We have designated $1.5 billion of foreign currency-denominated liabilities, excluding accrued interest, related to the fines imposed by the European Commission as hedges of our net investment in certain foreign subsidiaries at September 26, 2021 and September 27, 2020. Gains and losses arising from the portion of these balances that are designated as net investment hedges are recorded as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income as foreign currency translation adjustment.
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 us. Unobservable inputs are inputs that reflect our 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:
•Level 1 includes financial instruments for which quoted market prices for identical instruments are available in active markets.
•Level 2 includes financial instruments for which there are inputs other than quoted prices included within Level 1 that are observable for the instrument.
•Level 3 includes financial instruments for which fair value is derived from valuation techniques in which one or more significant inputs are unobservable, including our own assumptions.
Assets and liabilities measured at fair value are classified based on the lowest level of input that is significant to the fair value measurement. We review 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. We recognize transfers into and out of levels within the fair value hierarchy at the end of the fiscal month in which the actual event or change in circumstances that caused the transfer to occur.
Cash Equivalents and Marketable Securities: With the exception of auction rate securities, we obtain pricing information from quoted market prices, pricing vendors or quotes from brokers/dealers. We conduct reviews of our 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 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 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.
The fair value of auction rate securities is estimated 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 we held were pools of student loans guaranteed by the United States government, prepayment speeds and illiquidity discounts are considered significant unobservable inputs, and therefore, auction rate securities were included in Level 3. During fiscal 2021, we sold all of our investments held in auction rate securities.
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 our deferred compensation plan liabilities and related assets, which consist of mutual funds and are included in other current assets and other assets. Gains and losses on the revaluation of our deferred compensation plan assets are recorded in investment and other income, net and are not allocated to our segments. Corresponding offsetting amounts related to the revaluation of our deferred compensation plan liabilities are included in unallocated operating expenses. Other investments included in Level 3 are comprised of contingently issuable equity instruments and warrants issued in connection with certain mergers and initial public offerings of our non-marketable equity investees and convertible debt instruments issued by private companies. The inputs we use to estimate the fair values of these instruments are generally unobservable, and therefore, they are included in Level 3.
Nonrecurring Fair Value Measurements: We measure certain assets and liabilities at fair value on a nonrecurring basis. These assets and liabilities include equity method and non-marketable equity investments, assets acquired and liabilities assumed in an acquisition or in a nonmonetary exchange, and property, plant and equipment and intangible assets that are written down to fair value when they are held for sale or determined to be impaired, all of which are generally measured based on unobservable inputs using an income or market approach.
Inventories. Inventories are valued at the lower of cost and 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 and our own forecasts of customer demand, among other factors. This valuation also requires us to make judgments and assumptions based on information currently available about market conditions, including competition, product pricing, product life cycle, development plans and other broader market conditions that may impact customer demand, such as the impact of certain capacity constraints experienced across the semiconductor industry in fiscal 2021 and the impacts of COVID-19 in fiscal 2020. As we move to smaller geometry process technologies, the manufacturing lead-time increases, resulting in an increased reliance on our own forecasts of customer demand, rather than our customers’ forecasts. If we overestimate demand for our products, the amount of our loss will be impacted by our contractual ability to reduce inventory purchases from our suppliers, including those under our multi-year capacity purchase commitments. Our assumptions of future product demand are inherently uncertain, and changes in our estimates and assumptions may cause us to record additional write-downs in the future if demand forecasted for specific products is greater than actual demand.
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 15 years. Leasehold improvements and buildings on leased land are amortized over the shorter of their estimated useful lives, not to exceed 15 years and 30 years, respectively, or the remaining term of the related lease. Other property, plant and equipment
have useful lives ranging from 2 to 25 years. Maintenance, repairs and minor renewals or betterments are charged to expense as incurred.
Operating Leases. Operating lease assets and liabilities are recognized for leases with lease terms greater than 12 months based on the present value of the future lease payments over the lease term at the commencement date. Operating leases are included in other assets, other current liabilities and other liabilities on our consolidated balance sheet. Our lease terms may include options to extend or terminate the lease when it is reasonably certain that we will exercise such option. We account for substantially all lease and related non-lease components together as a single lease component. Operating lease expense is recognized on a straight-line basis over the lease term.
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 nonmonetary 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. An estimate of fair value can be affected by many assumptions that require significant judgment. For example, the income approach generally requires us to use assumptions to estimate future cash flows including those related to total addressable market, pricing and share forecasts, competition, technology obsolescence, future tax rates and discount rates. Our estimate of the fair value of certain assets may differ materially from that determined by others who use different assumptions or utilize different business models and from the future cash flows actually realized.
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 events or changes in circumstances indicate that the assets may be impaired. If a qualitative assessment is used and we determine 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 and a reporting unit’s carrying value exceeds its fair value, the difference is recorded as an impairment. 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. Our judgments regarding the existence of impairment indicators and future cash flows related to goodwill and long-lived assets may be based on operational performance of our businesses, market conditions, expected selling price and/or other factors. Although there are inherent uncertainties in this assessment process, the estimates and assumptions we use, including estimates of future cash flows and discount rates, are consistent with our internal planning, when appropriate. If these estimates or their related assumptions change in the future, we may be required to record an impairment charge on a portion or all of our goodwill and/or long-lived assets. Furthermore, we cannot predict the occurrence of future impairment-triggering events nor the impact such events might have on our reported asset values. Future events could cause us to conclude that impairment indicators exist, and that goodwill associated with our acquired businesses are impaired.
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. We derive revenues principally from sales of integrated circuit products and licensing of our intellectual property. We also generate revenues from licensing system software and by performing development and other services and from other product sales. 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 our performance obligations.
Revenues from sales of our products are recognized upon transfer of control to the customer, which is generally at the time of shipment. Revenues from providing services are typically recognized over time as our performance obligation is satisfied. Revenues from providing services and licensing system software were each less than 5% of total revenues for all periods presented.
We grant licenses or otherwise provide rights to use portions of our intellectual property portfolio, which, among other rights, includes certain patent rights essential to and/or useful in the manufacture, sale or use of certain wireless products. Licensees pay royalties based on their sales of products incorporating or using our licensed intellectual property and may also pay a fixed license fee in one or more installments. Sales-based 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). We broadly provide per unit royalty caps that apply to certain
categories of complete wireless devices, namely smartphones, tablets, laptops and smartwatches, and provide for a maximum royalty amount payable per device. We estimate and recognize sales-based royalties on such licensed products in the period in which the associated sales occur, considering all relevant information (historical, current and forecasted) that is reasonably available to us. Our estimates of sales-based royalties are based largely on preliminary royalty estimates provided by our licensees and, to a lesser extent, an assessment of the volume of devices supplied into the market that incorporate or use our licensed intellectual property, combined with an estimate of the mix of such sales on a licensee-by-licensee basis, as well as the licensees’ average wholesale prices of such products. We have recognized immaterial differences between preliminary royalty estimates provided to us by licensees and actual amounts reported and paid by licensees, which are generally received the following quarter, as licensees have not completed their royalty reporting process at the time estimates are provided to us, and in certain cases, they do not provide all necessary information in order for us to calculate an estimate of royalties due, which requires us to independently estimate certain information. We also consider in our estimates of sales-based royalties any changes in pricing we plan or expect to make and certain constraints on our ability to estimate such royalties. As a result of recognizing revenues in the period in which the licensees’ sales occur using estimates, adjustments to revenues are required in subsequent periods to reflect changes in estimates as new information becomes available, primarily resulting from actual amounts reported by our licensees.
License agreements that require payment of license fees contain a single performance obligation that represents ongoing access to a portfolio of intellectual property over the license term since such agreements provide the licensee the right to access a portfolio of intellectual property that exists at inception of the license agreement and to updates and new intellectual property that is added to the licensed portfolio during the term of the agreement that are highly interdependent or interrelated. Since we expect to expend efforts to develop and transfer updates to our licensed portfolio on an even basis, license fees are recognized as revenues on a straight-line basis over the estimated period of benefit of the license to the licensee.
We account for a contract with a customer/licensee when it is legally enforceable, the parties are committed to perform their respective obligations, the rights of the parties regarding the goods and/or services to be transferred are identified, payment terms are identified, the contract has commercial substance and collectability of substantially all of the consideration is probable. If all such conditions are not met, revenues and any associated receivables are generally not recognized until such time that the required conditions are met. Cash collected from customers prior to a contract existing is recorded to other customer-related liabilities in other current liabilities.
From time to time, regulatory authorities investigate our business practices, particularly with respect to our licensing business, and institute proceedings against us. Depending on the matter, various remedies that could result from an unfavorable resolution include, among others, the loss of our ability to enforce one or more of our patents; injunctions; monetary damages or fines or other orders to pay money; the issuance of orders to cease certain conduct or modify our business practices, such as requiring us to reduce our royalty rates, reduce the base on which our royalties are calculated, grant patent licenses to chipset manufacturers, sell chipsets to unlicensed original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) or modify or renegotiate some or all of our existing license agreements; and determinations that some or all of our license agreements are invalid or unenforceable. Additionally, from time to time, companies initiate various strategies in an attempt to negotiate, renegotiate, reduce and/or eliminate their need to pay royalties to us for the use of our intellectual property, which may include disputing, underreporting, underpaying, not reporting and/or not paying royalties owed to us under their license agreements with us, or reporting to us in a manner that is not in compliance with their contractual obligations. In such cases, we estimate and recognize licensing revenues only when we have a contract, as defined in the revenue recognition guidance, which includes, among other items, evaluating whether our license agreements remain valid and enforceable and evaluating licensees’ conduct and whether they remain committed to perform their respective obligations. We also estimate and recognize licensing revenues only to the extent it is probable that a significant reversal of cumulative revenues recognized will not occur, which includes, among other items, determining the expected impact, if any, to revenues of any license agreements that may be renegotiated and/or are newly entered into. We analyze the risk of a significant revenue reversal considering both the likelihood and magnitude of the reversal and, if necessary, constrain the amount of estimated revenues recognized in order to mitigate this risk, which may result in recognizing revenues less than amounts contractually owed to us. These aforementioned estimates may require significant judgment.
We measure revenues (including our estimates of sales-based royalties) based on the amount of consideration we expect to receive in exchange for products or services. We record 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 our products and technologies, in the period that the related revenues are earned. For certain QCT (Qualcomm CDMA Technologies) customer incentive arrangements, there is complexity in applying certain contractual terms to determine the amount recorded as a reduction to revenues. No significant reversals of revenues have been made related to such amounts previously recorded. The amounts accrued for customer incentive arrangements are recorded as a reduction to accounts receivable, net or as other current liabilities based on whether we have the intent and contractual right of offset. Certain amounts recorded as a reduction to revenues for customer incentive arrangements are considered variable
consideration and are included in the transaction price primarily based on estimating the most likely amount expected to be provided to the customer/licensee.
Adjustments made to revenues in subsequent periods to reflect changes in estimates as new information becomes available are included in our disclosure of revenues recognized from previously satisfied performance obligations.
Revenues recognized from sales of our products and sales-based royalties are generally included in accounts receivable, net (including unbilled receivables) based on our unconditional right to payment for satisfied or partially satisfied performance obligations.
Concentrations. A significant portion of our revenues are concentrated with a small number of customers/licensees of our QCT (Qualcomm CDMA Technologies) and QTL (Qualcomm Technology Licensing) segments. The comparability of customer/licensee concentrations for the periods presented are impacted by the timing of customer/licensees device launches and/or innovation cycles, among other fluctuations in demand. Revenues from each customer/licensee that were 10% or greater of total revenues were as follows:
* Less than 10%
We rely on sole- or limited-source suppliers for some products, particularly products in the QCT segment, subjecting us to possible shortages of raw materials or manufacturing capacity. The loss of a supplier or the inability of a supplier to meet performance or quality specifications or delivery schedules could harm our ability to meet our delivery obligations and/or negatively impact our revenues, business operations and ability to compete for future business.
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. 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. Share-based compensation expense is adjusted to exclude amounts related to share-based awards that are expected to be forfeited.
Legal and Regulatory Proceedings. We are currently involved in certain legal and regulatory proceedings. Litigation and investigations are inherently uncertain, and we face difficulties in evaluating or estimating likely outcomes or ranges of possible loss in antitrust and trade regulation investigations in particular. Investigations by antitrust and trade regulation agencies are not conducted in a consistent manner across jurisdictions. Further, each country and agency has different sets of laws, rules and regulations, both substantive and procedural, as well as different legal principles, theories and potential remedies, and some agencies may seek to use the investigation to advance domestic policy goals. Depending on the jurisdiction, these investigations can involve non-transparent procedures under which we may not receive access to evidence relied upon by the enforcement agency or that may be exculpatory and may not be informed of the specific legal theories or evidence considered or relied upon by the agency. Unlike in civil litigation in the United States, in foreign proceedings, we may not be entitled to discovery or depositions, allowed to cross-examine witnesses or confront our accusers. As a result, we may not be aware of, and may not be entitled to know, all allegations against us, or the information or documents provided to, or discovered or prepared by, the agency. Accordingly, we may have little or no idea what an agency’s intent is with respect to liability, penalties or the timing of a decision. In many cases the agencies are given significant discretion, and any available precedent may have limited, if any, predictive value in their jurisdictions, much less in other jurisdictions. Accordingly, we cannot predict the outcome of these matters. A broad range of remedies with respect to our business practices that are deemed to violate applicable laws are potentially available. These remedies may include, among others, injunctions, monetary damages or fines or other orders to pay money and the issuance of orders to cease certain conduct and/or to modify our business practices.
If there is at least a reasonable possibility that a material loss may have been incurred associated with pending legal and regulatory proceedings, we disclose such fact, and if reasonably estimable, we provide an estimate of the possible loss or range of possible loss. We record our 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, we record the minimum estimated liability. As additional information becomes available, we assess the potential liability related to pending legal and regulatory proceedings and revise our estimates and update our disclosures accordingly. Significant judgment is required in both the determination of probability and the determination as to whether a loss is reasonably estimable. Our legal costs associated with defending ourself 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 recorded 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. We record a valuation allowance to reduce deferred tax assets to the amount that is more likely than not to be realized. We include interest and penalties related to income taxes, including unrecognized tax benefits, within income tax expense. We classify all deferred tax assets and liabilities as noncurrent in the consolidated balance sheets.
Our income tax returns are based on calculations and assumptions that are subject to examination by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other tax authorities. In addition, the calculation of our tax liabilities involves dealing with uncertainties in the application of complex tax regulations. We recognize 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 we believe we have appropriate support for the positions taken on our tax returns, we regularly assess the potential outcomes of examinations by tax authorities in determining the adequacy of our provision for income taxes. We continually assess the likelihood and amount of potential adjustments and adjust 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.
We recognize excess tax benefits and shortfall tax detriments associated with share-based awards in the consolidated statements of operations, as a component of income tax expense, when realized.
We are subject to income taxes in the United States and numerous foreign jurisdictions, and the assessment of our income tax positions involves dealing with uncertainties in the application of complex tax laws and regulations in various taxing jurisdictions. In addition, the application of tax laws and regulations is subject to legal and factual interpretation, judgment and uncertainty. Tax laws and regulations themselves are subject to change as a result of changes in fiscal policy, changes in legislation, the evolution of regulations and court rulings. Significant judgments and estimates are required in determining our provision for income taxes, including those related to special deductions such as FDII (foreign-derived intangible income), tax incentives, intercompany research and development cost-sharing arrangements, transfer pricing, tax credits and the realizability of deferred tax assets. While we believe we have appropriate support for the positions we have taken or that we plan to take on our tax returns, we regularly assess the potential outcomes of examinations by taxing authorities in determining the adequacy of our provision for income taxes. Therefore, the actual liability for U.S. or foreign taxes may be materially different from our estimates, which could result in the need to record additional tax liabilities or potentially reverse previously recorded tax liabilities. We are participating in the IRS Compliance Assurance Process program whereby we endeavor to agree with the IRS on the treatment of all issues prior to filing our federal return. A benefit of participation in this program is that post-filing adjustments by the IRS are less likely to occur.
Stock Repurchases. To reflect share repurchases in the consolidated balance sheet, we (i) reduce common stock for the par value of the shares, (ii) reduce paid-in capital for the amount in excess of par to zero during the quarter in which the shares are repurchased and (iii) record the residual amount, if any, to retained earnings.
Earnings (Loss) Per Share. Basic earnings (loss) per share is computed by dividing net income (loss) by the weighted-average number of common shares outstanding during the reporting period. Diluted earnings per share is computed by dividing net income by the combination of the weighted-average number of dilutive common share equivalents, comprised of shares issuable under our share-based compensation plans and shares subject to accelerated share repurchase programs, if any, and the weighted-average number of common shares outstanding during the reporting period. The following table provides information about the diluted earnings per share calculation (in millions):