Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2013
|Summary of Significant Accounting Policies [Abstract]|
|Significant Accounting Policies [Text Block]||
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash equivalents consist of investments which are readily convertible into cash and have maturities of three months or less at the time of acquisition.
Receivables are reflected net of an allowance for doubtful accounts and sales returns. Such allowance aggregated $4 million and $1 million at December 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively. Activity in the year ended December 31, 2013 included an increase of $4 million of bad debt charged to expense and $1 million of write-offs. The amounts charged to bad debt expense and write-offs in 2012 and 2011 were less than a million each year.
All marketable equity and debt securities held by the Company are classified as available-for-sale ("AFS") and are carried at fair value generally based on quoted market prices. U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") permit entities to choose to measure many financial instruments, such as AFS securities, and certain other items at fair value and to recognize the changes in fair value of such instruments in the entity's statement of operations (the "fair value option"). Under other relevant GAAP, entities were required to recognize changes in fair value of AFS securities in the balance sheet in accumulated other comprehensive earnings. Liberty has entered into economic hedges for certain of its non-strategic AFS securities (although such instruments are not accounted for as fair value hedges by the Company). Changes in the fair value of these economic hedges are reflected in Liberty's statement of operations as unrealized gains (losses). In order to better match the changes in fair value of the subject AFS securities and the changes in fair value of the corresponding economic hedges in the Company's financial statements, Liberty has elected the fair value option for those of its AFS securities which it considers to be non-strategic ("Fair Value Option Securities"). Accordingly, changes in the fair value of Fair Value Option Securities, as determined by quoted market prices, are reported in realized and unrealized gain (losses) on financial instruments in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations. The total value of AFS securities for which the Company has elected the fair value option aggregated $1,253 million and $1,079 million as of December 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively.
Other investments in which the Company's ownership interest is less than 20% and are not considered marketable securities are carried at cost.
For those investments in affiliates in which the Company has the ability to exercise significant influence, the equity method of accounting is used. Under this method, the investment, originally recorded at cost, is adjusted to recognize the Company's share of net earnings or losses of the affiliate as they occur rather than as dividends or other distributions are received. Losses are limited to the extent of the Company's investment in, advances to and commitments for the investee. In the event the Company is unable to obtain accurate financial information from an equity affiliate in a timely manner, the Company records its share of earnings or losses of such affiliate on a lag. The Company's share of net earnings or loss of affiliates also includes any other than temporary declines in fair value recognized during the period.
Changes in the Company's proportionate share of the underlying equity of an equity method investee, which result from the issuance of additional equity securities by such equity investee, are recognized in the statement of operations through the other, net line item.
The Company continually reviews its equity investments and its AFS securities which are not Fair Value Securities to determine whether a decline in fair value below the cost basis is other than temporary. The primary factors the Company considers in its determination are the length of time that the fair value of the investment is below the Company's carrying value; the severity of the decline; and the financial condition, operating performance and near term prospects of the investee. In addition, the Company considers the reason for the decline in fair value, be it general market conditions, industry specific or investee specific; analysts' ratings and estimates of 12 month share price targets for the investee; changes in stock price or valuation subsequent to the balance sheet date; and the Company's intent and ability to hold the investment for a period of time sufficient to allow for a recovery in fair value. If the decline in fair value is deemed to be other than temporary, the cost basis of the security is written down to fair value. In situations where the fair value of an investment is not evident due to a lack of a public market price or other factors, the Company uses its best estimates and assumptions to arrive at the estimated fair value of such investment. The Company's assessment of the foregoing factors involves a high degree of judgment and accordingly, actual results may differ materially from the Company's estimates and judgments. Writedowns for AFS securities which are not Fair Value Option Securities are included in the consolidated statements of operations as other than temporary declines in fair values of investments. Writedowns for equity method investments are included in share of earnings (losses) of affiliates.
Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities
All of the Company's derivatives, whether designated in hedging relationships or not, are recorded on the balance sheet at fair value. If the derivative is designated as a fair value hedge, the changes in the fair value of the derivative and of the hedged item attributable to the hedged risk are recognized in earnings. If the derivative is designated as a cash flow hedge, the effective portions of changes in the fair value of the derivative are recorded in other comprehensive earnings and are recognized in the statement of operations when the hedged item affects earnings. Ineffective portions of changes in the fair value of cash flow hedges are recognized in earnings. If the derivative is not designated as a hedge, changes in the fair value of the derivative are recognized in earnings. None of the Company's derivatives are currently designated as hedges.
The fair value of certain of the Company's derivative instruments are estimated using the Black-Scholes model. The Black-Scholes model incorporates a number of variables in determining such fair values, including expected volatility of the underlying security and an appropriate discount rate. The Company obtained volatility rates from pricing services based on the expected volatility of the underlying security over the remaining term of the derivative instrument. A discount rate was obtained at the inception of the derivative instrument and updated each reporting period, based on the Company's estimate of the discount rate at which it could currently settle the derivative instrument. The Company considered its own credit risk as well as the credit risk of its counterparties in estimating the discount rate. Considerable management judgment was required in estimating the Black-Scholes variables.
Property and Equipment
Property and equipment consisted of the following:
Property and equipment, including significant improvements, is stated at cost. Depreciation is computed using the straight-line method using estimated useful lives. Depreciation expense for the years ended December 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011 was $200 million, $23 million and $24 million, respectively. During the year ended December 31, 2013, SIRIUS XM capitalized expenditures, including interest, of approximately $87 million related to the construction of one of its satellites, which was launched and placed into operation in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Intangible assets with estimable useful lives are amortized over their respective estimated useful lives to their estimated residual values, and reviewed for impairment upon certain triggering events. Goodwill and other intangible assets with indefinite useful lives (collectively, "indefinite lived intangible assets") are not amortized, but instead are tested for impairment at least annually. Equity method goodwill is also not amortized, but is evaluated for impairment upon certain triggering events.
The Company performs at least annually an impairment analysis of goodwill and other intangibles. The Company adopted current accounting guidance, in prior years, relating to the annual assessments of recoverability of goodwill and other intangibles and utilized a qualitative assessment for determining whether step one of the goodwill impairment analysis was necessary. The accounting guidance adopted was issued to simplify how entities test goodwill for impairment by permitting entities to first assess qualitative factors to determine whether it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount as a basis for determining whether it is necessary to perform the two-step goodwill impairment test. In evaluating goodwill on a qualitative basis the Company reviewed the business performance of each reporting unit and evaluated other relevant factors as identified in the relevant accounting guidance to determine whether it was more likely than not that an indicated impairment existed for any of our reporting units. The Company considered whether there was any negative macroenomic conditions, industry specific conditions, market changes, increased competition, increased costs in doing business, management challenges, the legal environments and how these factors might impact company specific performance in future periods. As part of the analysis the Company also considered fair value determinations for certain reporting units that had been made at various points throughout the year for other purposes.
If a step one test would have been necessary based on the qualitative factors the Company would compare the estimated fair value of a reporting unit to its carrying value. Developing estimates of fair value requires significant judgments, including making assumptions about appropriate discount rates, perpetual growth rates, relevant comparable market multiples, public trading prices and the amount and timing of expected future cash flows. The cash flows employed in Liberty's valuation analysis are based on management's best estimates considering current marketplace factors and risks as well as assumptions of growth rates in future years. There is no assurance that actual results in the future will approximate these forecasts. For those reporting units whose carrying value exceeds the fair value, a second test is required to measure the impairment loss (the "Step 2 Test"). In the Step 2 Test, the fair value of the reporting unit is allocated to all of the assets and liabilities of the reporting unit with any residual value being allocated to goodwill. The difference between such allocated amount and the carrying value of the goodwill is recorded as an impairment charge.
Impairment of Long-lived Assets
The Company periodically reviews the carrying amounts of its property and equipment and its intangible assets (other than goodwill and indefinite-lived intangibles) to determine whether current events or circumstances indicate that such carrying amounts may not be recoverable. If the carrying amount of the asset is greater than the expected undiscounted cash flows to be generated by such asset, an impairment adjustment is to be recognized. Such adjustment is measured by the amount that the carrying value of such assets exceeds their fair value. The Company generally measures fair value by considering sale prices for similar assets or by discounting estimated future cash flows using an appropriate discount rate. Considerable management judgment is necessary to estimate the fair value of assets. Accordingly, actual results could vary significantly from such estimates. Assets to be disposed of are carried at the lower of their financial statement carrying amount or fair value less costs to sell.
The Company reports noncontrolling interests of subsidiaries within equity in the balance sheet and the amount of consolidated net income attributable to the parent and to the noncontrolling interest is presented in the statement of operations. Also, changes in ownership interests in subsidiaries in which the Company maintains a controlling interest are recorded in equity.
Revenue is recognized as follows:
Accounting guidance was issued to remove from the scope of industry specific revenue accounting guidance for software and software related transactions, tangible products containing software components and non-software components that function together to deliver the product's essential functionality and amended outstanding guidance (1) to provide updated guidance on whether multiple deliverables exist, how the deliverables in an arrangement should be separated, and the consideration allocated; (2) to require an entity to allocate revenue in an arrangement using estimated selling prices of deliverables if a vendor does not have vendor-specific objective evidence or third-party evidence of selling price; and (3) to eliminate the use of the residual method and require an entity to allocate revenue using the relative selling price method. Adoption, at the election of the Company, was either on a prospective basis or by retrospective application.
The Company adopted the revenue guidance on a prospective basis as of January 1, 2011. There was no financial statement impact on that date as a result of the adoption of the accounting guidance. In the first quarter of 2011, TruePosition, a consolidated subsidiary of the Company, entered into an amended contract with AT&T (one of TruePosition's largest customers) that materially changed the terms of the existing contract. The transition provisions of the new accounting guidance require that when a contract is materially modified it is subject to the current accounting requirements. This resulted in TruePosition recognizing revenue for all the delivered elements meeting the separation criteria, previously deferred under the previous accounting guidance. TruePosition recognized approximately $538 million of revenue and $167 million of deferred cost associated with the delivered elements as of the modification date. Previously, TruePosition did not have Vendor Specific Objective Evidence for the undelivered specified upgrade, which changed the timing of revenue recognition for the entire arrangement. Under the current guidance TruePosition utilized the estimated selling price to determine what portion of the overall consideration to allocate to the delivered and undelivered elements. Additionally, TruePosition's contract with T-Mobile expired in mid-2011; however software maintenance services ordered prior to that date continued to be provided through the year ended December 31, 2011. TruePosition had deferred substantially all of the revenue earned from T-Mobile since the inception of the contract due to an obligation to provide specified upgrades which were not delivered and for which no Vendor Specific Objective Evidence existed. Upon expiration of the software maintenance period, this obligation ceased to exist and, accordingly, TruePosition recognized approximately $491 million and $242 million of previously deferred revenue and costs, respectively.
Cost of Subscriber Services
SIRIUS XM shares a portion of its subscription revenues earned from subscribers with certain automakers. The terms of the revenue share agreements vary with each automaker, but are typically based upon the earned audio revenue as reported or gross billed audio revenue.
Programming costs which are for a specified number of events are amortized on an event-by-event basis; programming costs which are for a specified season or period are amortized over the season or period on a straight-line basis. SIRIUS XM allocates a portion of certain programming costs which are related to sponsorship and marketing activities to Selling, general and administrative expense on a straight-line basis over the term of the agreement.
Subscriber Acquisition Costs
Subscriber acquisition costs consist of costs incurred to acquire new subscribers and include hardware subsidies paid to radio manufacturers, distributors and automakers, including subsidies paid to automakers who include a satellite radio and a prepaid subscription to SIRIUS XM service in the sale or lease price of a new vehicle; subsidies paid for chip sets and certain other components used in manufacturing radios; device royalties for certain radios; commissions paid to automakers as incentives to purchase, install and activate radios; product warranty obligations; freight; and provisions for inventory allowance. Subscriber acquisition costs do not include advertising, loyalty payments to distributors and dealers of radios and revenue share payments to automakers and retailers of radios.
Subsidies paid to radio manufacturers and automakers are expensed upon installation, shipment, receipt of product or activation and are included in Subscriber acquisition costs because SIRIUS XM is responsible for providing the service to the customers. Commissions paid to retailers and automakers are expensed upon either the sale or activation of radios. Chip sets that are shipped to radio manufacturers and held on consignment are recorded as inventory and expensed as subscriber acquisition costs when placed into production by radio manufacturers. Costs for chip sets not held on consignment are expensed as subscriber acquisition costs when the automaker confirms receipt.
SIRIUS XM records product warranty obligations in accordance with ASC 460, Guarantees , which requires a guarantor to recognize, at the inception of a guarantee, a liability for the fair value of the obligation undertaken by issuing the guarantee. SIRIUS XM warrants that certain products sold through retail and direct to consumer distribution channels will perform in all material respects in accordance with specifications in effect at the time of the purchase of the products by the customer. The product warranty period is 90 days from the purchase date for repair or replacement of components and/or products that contain defects of material or workmanship. A liability is recorded for costs expected to be incurred under warranty obligations when the product is shipped from the manufacturer. Factors affecting the warranty liability include the number of units sold, historical experience, anticipated rates of claims and costs per claim. SIRIUS XM periodically assesses the adequacy of its warranty liability based on changes in these factors.
Advertising expense aggregated $181 million, $4 million and $4 million for the years ended December 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011, respectively. Advertising costs are primarily attributable to costs incurred by SIRIUS XM. Media-related advertising costs are expensed when advertisements air, and advertising production costs are expensed as incurred. These costs are reflected in the Selling, general and administrative expenses line in our consolidated statements of operations.
As more fully described in note 15, Liberty has granted to its directors, employees and employees of its subsidiaries options, restricted stock and stock appreciation rights ("SARs") to purchase shares of Liberty common stock (collectively, "Awards"). The Company measures the cost of employee services received in exchange for an Award of equity instruments (such as stock options and restricted stock) based on the grant-date fair value of the Award, and recognizes that cost over the period during which the employee is required to provide service (usually the vesting period of the Award). The Company measures the cost of employee services received in exchange for an Award of liability instruments (such as stock appreciation rights that will be settled in cash) based on the current fair value of the Award, and remeasures the fair value of the Award at each reporting date.
Included in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations are the following amounts of stock-based compensation, a portion of which relates to SIRIUS XM as discussed in note 15 (amounts in millions):
The Company was included in the consolidated tax return of Liberty Interactive through the date of the Split-Off. Following the Split-Off the Company files its own consolidated tax return. The Company accounts for income taxes using the asset and liability method. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying value amounts and income tax bases of assets and liabilities and the expected benefits of utilizing net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards. The deferred tax assets and liabilities are calculated using enacted tax rates in effect for each taxing jurisdiction in which the company operates for the year in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. Net deferred tax assets are then reduced by a valuation allowance if the Company believes it more likely than not such net deferred tax assets will not be realized. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of an enacted change in tax rates is recognized in income in the period that includes the enactment date.
When the tax law requires interest to be paid on an underpayment of income taxes, the Company recognizes interest expense from the first period the interest would begin accruing according to the relevant tax law. Such interest expense is included in interest expense in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations. Any accrual of penalties related to underpayment of income taxes on uncertain tax positions is included in other income (expense) in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations.
Earnings attributable to Liberty Stockholders Per Common Share
Net earnings attributable to Liberty stockholders are comprised of the following:
Basic earnings (loss) per common share ("EPS") is computed by dividing net earnings (loss) by the weighted average number of common shares that were outstanding for the period at the Company. Diluted EPS presents the dilutive effect on a per share basis of potential common shares as if they had been converted at the beginning of the periods presented.
Series A and Series B Liberty Common Stock
The basic and diluted EPS calculation is based on the following weighted average shares outstanding (WASO) of Liberty's common stock, based on the conversion ratio of 1 to 1 utilized in the Split-Off, prior to the Split-Off, and the actual Liberty Capital common stock after the Split-Off. Excluded from diluted EPS for the year ended December 31, 2011 are less than a million potential common shares because their inclusion would be anti-dilutive.
Series A and Series B Liberty Starz Common Stock
The basic and diluted EPS calculation is based on the following WASO of Liberty Starz common stock, based on the conversion ratio of 1 to 1 utilized in the Split-Off, prior to the Split-Off, and the actual Liberty Starz common stock immediately after the Split-Off. As discussed in note 2, on November 28, 2011 the Company converted each share of Liberty Starz for 0.88129 of a share of the corresponding series of Liberty Capital common stock (plus cash in lieu of fractional shares) to eliminate the tracking stock structure. Therefore, as of December 31, 2011, there were zero shares of Liberty Starz Common stock outstanding and the Basic and Diluted EPS calculations are through the Conversion date.
Reclasses and adjustments
Certain prior period amounts have been reclassified for comparability with the current year presentation.
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates. The Company considers (i) recurring and nonrecurring fair value measurements, (ii) accounting for income taxes and (iii) assessments of other-than-temporary declines in fair value of its investments to be its most significant estimates.
The Company holds investments that are accounted for using the equity method. The Company does not control the decision making process or business management practices of these affiliates. Accordingly, the Company relies on management of these affiliates to provide it with accurate financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP that the Company uses in the application of the equity method. In addition, the Company relies on audit reports that are provided by the affiliates' independent auditors on the financial statements of such affiliates. The Company is not aware, however, of any errors in or possible misstatements of the financial information provided by its equity affiliates that would have a material effect on the Company's consolidated financial statements.
The entire disclosure for all significant accounting policies of the reporting entity.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef