Fair Value Measurements
|6 Months Ended|
Mar. 25, 2012
|Notes to Financial Statements [Abstract]|
|Note 10 - Fair Value Measurements||
Note 10 — 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.
The following table presents the Company’s fair value hierarchy for assets and liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis at March 25, 2012 (in millions):
Cash Equivalents and Marketable Securities. The Company considers all highly liquid investments, including repurchase agreements, with original maturities of three months or less to be cash equivalents. Cash equivalents are comprised of money market funds, certificates of deposit, commercial paper, government agencies’ securities and repurchase agreements fully collateralized by government agencies’ 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 of U.S. Treasury securities and government-related securities, corporate bonds and notes and common and preferred stock are 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 mutual funds is reported as published net asset values. The Company assesses the daily frequency and size of transactions at published net asset values and/or the fund’s underlying holdings to determine whether fair value is based on observable or unobservable inputs.
The fair value of highly rated 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, principally those rated below AAA, 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 certain 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 include foreign currency option and forward contracts to manage foreign exchange risk for certain foreign currency transactions and certain balances denominated in a foreign currency; option, forward and swap contracts to acquire or reduce foreign exchange risk and/or equity, prepayment and credit risks for portfolios of marketable securities classified as trading; warrants to purchase common stock of other companies at fixed prices; and written put options to repurchase shares of the Company’s common stock at fixed prices. 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, the Company’s stock price, 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 are invested in mutual funds. Other liabilities included in Level 3 are comprised of put rights held by third parties representing interests in certain of the Company’s subsidiaries. These put rights are valued with a conventional option pricing model using significant unobservable inputs.
Activity between Levels of the Fair Value Hierarchy. There were no significant transfers between Level 1 and Level 2 during the six months ended March 25, 2012 or March 27, 2011. When a determination is made to classify an asset or liability within Level 3, the determination is based upon the significance of the unobservable inputs to the overall fair value measurement. The following table includes the activity for marketable securities and other liabilities classified within Level 3 of the valuation hierarchy (in millions):
The Company recognizes 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 occurs. Transfers into Level 3 during the six months ended March 25, 2012 and March 27, 2011 primarily consisted of debt securities with significant inputs that became unobservable as a result of an increased likelihood of a shortfall in contractual cash flows or a significant downgrade in credit ratings.
Nonrecurring Fair Value Measurements. The Company measures certain assets at fair value on a nonrecurring basis. These assets include cost and equity method investments when they are deemed to be other-than-temporarily impaired, 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. During the six months ended March 25, 2012 and March 27, 2011, goodwill related to the Company’s Firethorn division was written down to its implied fair values of $23 million and $40 million, respectively, resulting in impairment charges of $16 million and $114 million, respectively. The impairment charges were recorded in other operating expenses. The implied fair values were based on significant unobservable inputs, and as a result, the fair value measurements were classified as Level 3. During the six months ended March 25, 2012 and March 27, 2011, the Company did not have any other significant assets or liabilities that were measured at fair value on a nonrecurring basis in periods subsequent to initial recognition.
The entire disclosure for the fair value of financial instruments (as defined), including financial assets and financial liabilities (collectively, as defined), and the measurements of those instruments as well as disclosures related to the fair value of non-financial assets and liabilities. Such disclosures about the financial instruments, assets, and liabilities would include: (1) the fair value of the required items together with their carrying amounts (as appropriate); (2) for items for which it is not practicable to estimate fair value, disclosure would include: (a) information pertinent to estimating fair value (including, carrying amount, effective interest rate, and maturity, and (b) the reasons why it is not practicable to estimate fair value; (3) significant concentrations of credit risk including: (a) information about the activity, region, or economic characteristics identifying a concentration, (b) the maximum amount of loss the entity is exposed to based on the gross fair value of the related item, (c) policy for requiring collateral or other security and information as to accessing such collateral or security, and (d) the nature and brief description of such collateral or security; (4) quantitative information about market risks and how such risks are managed; (5) for items measured on both a recurring and nonrecurring basis information regarding the inputs used to develop the fair value measurement; and (6) for items presented in the financial statement for which fair value measurement is elected: (a) information necessary to understand the reasons for the election, (b) discussion of the effect of fair value changes on earnings, (c) a description of [similar groups] items for which the election is made and the relation thereof to the balance sheet, the aggregate carrying value of items included in the balance sheet that are not eligible for the election; (7) all other required (as defined) and desired information.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef