FINANCE

Marriott International 2011 Annual Report

The consolidated financial statements present the results of operations, financial position, and cash flows of Marriott International, Inc. (“Marriott,” and together with its subsidiaries “we,” “us,” or the “Company”). In order to make this report easier to read, we refer throughout to (i) our Consolidated Financial Statements as our “Financial Statements,” (ii) our Consolidated Statements of Income as our “Income Statements,” (iii) our Consolidated Balance Sheets as our “Balance Sheets,” (iv) our properties, brands, or markets in the United States and Canada as “North America” or “North American,” (v) our properties, brands, or markets outside of the United States and Canada as “international,” and (vi) Accounting Standards Update No. 2009-16, “Transfers and Servicing (Topic 860): Accounting for Transfers of Financial Assets” (“ASU No. 2009-16”) and Accounting Standards Update No. 2009-17, “Consolidations (Topic 810): Improvements to Financial Reporting by Enterprises Involved with Variable Interest Entities” (“ASU No. 2009-17”) both of which we adopted on the first day of 2010 as the “new Transfers of Financial Assets and Consolidation standards.”

On November 21, 2011 (“the spin-off date”), the Company completed a spin-off of its timeshare operations and timeshare development business through a special tax-free dividend to our shareholders of all of the issued and outstanding common stock of our wholly owned subsidiary Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation (“MVW”). On the spin-off date, Marriott shareholders of record as of the close of business on November 10, 2011 received one share of MVW common stock for every ten shares of Marriott common stock. As of the spin-off date, Marriott does not beneficially own any shares of MVW common stock and does not consolidate MVW’s financial results for periods after the spin-off date as part of its financial reporting. However, because of Marriott’s significant continuing involvement in MVW future operations (by virtue of license and other agreements between Marriott and MVW), our former Timeshare segment’s historical financial results prior to the spin-off date will continue to be included in Marriott’s historical financial results as a component of continuing operations. See Footnote No. 17, “Spin-off,” for additional information on the spin-off.

In accordance with the guidance for noncontrolling interests in consolidated financial statements, references in this report to our earnings per share, net income, and shareholders’ equity attributable to Marriott do not include noncontrolling interests (previously known as minority interests), which we report separately.

Preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities as of the date of the financial statements, the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting periods, and the disclosures of contingent liabilities. Accordingly, ultimate results could differ from those estimates.

In our opinion, the accompanying consolidated financial statements reflect all normal and recurring adjustments necessary to present fairly our financial position at fiscal year-end 2011 and fiscal year-end 2010 and the results of our operations and cash flows for fiscal years 2011, 2010, and 2009. We have eliminated all material intercompany transactions and balances between entities consolidated in these financial statements. We have also reclassified certain prior year amounts to conform to our 2011 presentation. See Footnote No. 16, “Business Segments,” for additional information on the reclassification of segment revenues, segment financial results, and segment assets to reflect movement of data associated with properties in Hawaii to our North American segments from our International segment.

Adoption of New Accounting Standards Resulting in Consolidation of Special Purpose Entities

On January 2, 2010, the first day of the 2010 fiscal year, we adopted the new Transfers of Financial Assets and Consolidation standards (which were originally known as Financial Accounting Standards Nos. 166 and 167).

Prior to the spin-off date, our former Timeshare segment used certain special purpose entities to securitize Timeshare segment notes receivables, which prior to our adoption of these new standards we treated as off-balance sheet entities. Our former Timeshare segment retained the servicing rights and varying subordinated interests in the securitized notes. Pursuant to GAAP in effect prior to the 2010 fiscal year, we did not consolidate these special purpose entities in our financial statements because the securitization transactions qualified as sales of financial assets.

As a result of adopting the new Transfers of Financial Assets and Consolidation standards on the first day of 2010, we consolidated 13 existing qualifying special purpose entities associated with past securitization transactions. We recorded a one-time non-cash pretax reduction to shareholders’ equity of $238 million in 2010, representing the cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle. Including the related $92 million decrease in deferred tax liabilities, the after-tax reduction to shareholders’ equity totaled $146 million.

We recorded the cumulative effect of the adoption of these standards to our financial statements in 2010. This consisted primarily of reestablishing the notes receivable (net of reserves) that we had transferred to special purpose entities as a result of the securitization transactions, eliminating residual interests that we initially recorded in connection with those transactions (and subsequently revalued on a periodic basis), the impact of recording debt obligations associated with third-party interests held in the special purpose entities, and related adjustments to inventory balances accounted for using the relative sales value method. We adjusted the inventory balance to include anticipated future revenue from the resale of inventory that we expected to acquire when we foreclosed on defaulted notes.

Adopting these topics had the following impacts on our Balance Sheet at January 2, 2010: (1) assets increased by $970 million, primarily representing the consolidation of notes receivable (and corresponding reserves) partially offset by the elimination of our retained interests; (2) liabilities increased by $1,116 million, primarily representing the consolidation of debt obligations associated with third party interests; and (3) shareholders’ equity decreased by approximately $146 million. Adopting these topics also impacted our 2010 Income Statement by increasing interest income (reflected in Timeshare sales and services revenue) from securitized notes and increasing interest expense from consolidation of debt obligations, partially offset by the absence of accretion income on residual interests that were eliminated. Our adoption of these topics on January 2, 2010 did not have a significant impact on our Consolidated Statement of Cash Flow because the resulting increase in assets and liabilities was primarily non-cash.

Please also see the 2010 parenthetical disclosures on our Balance Sheet that show the amounts of consolidated assets and liabilities associated with variable interest entities (including those associated with our former Timeshare segment securitizations) that we consolidated.

Fiscal Year

Our fiscal year ends on the Friday nearest to December 31. The fiscal years in the following table encompass a 52-week period, except for 2002 and 2008, which both encompass a 53-week period. Unless otherwise specified, each reference to a particular year in this Annual Report means the fiscal year ended on the date shown in the following table, rather than the corresponding calendar year:

Our revenues include: (1) base management and incentive management fees; (2) franchise fees (including licensing fees from MVW after the spin-off of $4 million for 2011); (3) revenues from lodging properties owned or leased by us; and (4) cost reimbursements. Management fees comprise a base fee, which is a percentage of the revenues of hotels, and an incentive fee, which is generally based on hotel profitability. Franchise fees comprise initial application fees and continuing royalties generated from our franchise programs, which permit the hotel owners and operators to use certain of our brand names. Cost reimbursements include direct and indirect costs that are reimbursed to us by properties that we manage or franchise. For periods prior to the spin-off date, our revenues also include timeshare sales and services revenue (which also includes resort rental revenue, interest income associated with “Loans to timeshare owners,” Timeshare segment note securitization gains, and revenue from the points-based use system) and cost reimbursements revenue associated with our former Timeshare segment.

Base Management and Incentive Management Fees: We recognize base management fees as revenue when earned in accordance with the contract. In interim periods and at year-end, we recognize incentive management fees that would be due as if the contract were to terminate at that date, exclusive of any termination fees payable or receivable by us.

Franchise Fee and License Fee Revenue: We recognize franchise fees and license fees as revenue in each accounting period as fees are earned from the franchisee or licensee.

Owned and Leased Units: We recognize room sales and revenues from other guest services for our owned and leased units when rooms are occupied and services have been rendered.

Cost Reimbursements: We recognize cost reimbursements from managed, franchised, and timeshare properties (for periods prior to the spin-off date) when we incur the related reimbursable costs.

Other Revenue: Includes other third-party licensing fees, branding fees for third party residential sales and credit card licensing, land rental income, and other revenue.

Timeshare and Fractional Intervals and Condominiums: Prior to the spin-off date, we recognized sales when: (1) we had received a minimum of ten percent of the purchase price; (2) the purchaser’s period to cancel for a refund had expired; (3) we deemed the receivables to be collectible; and (4) we had attained certain minimum sales and construction levels. We deferred all revenue using the deposit method for sales that did not meet all four of these criteria. For sales that did not qualify for full revenue recognition as the project had progressed beyond the preliminary stages but had not yet reached completion, all revenue and profit were deferred and recognized in earnings using the percentage of completion method. Timeshare segment deferred revenue at year-end 2010 was $56 million. The 2011 balance was transferred to MVW at the time of spin-off. See Footnote No. 17, “Spin-off” for additional information.

Timeshare Points-Based Use System Revenue: Prior to the spin-off date, as sales under this points-based use system were considered to be the sale of real estate, we recognized these sales when the criteria noted in the “Timeshare and Fractional Intervals and Condominiums” caption were met.

Timeshare Residential (Stand-Alone Structures): Prior to the spin-off date, we recognized sales under the full accrual method of accounting when we received our proceeds and transferred title at settlement.

Ground Leases

We are both the lessor and lessee of land under long-term operating leases, which include scheduled increases in minimum rents. We recognize these scheduled rent increases on a straight-line basis over the initial lease term.

Real Estate Sales

We reduce gains on sales of real estate by the maximum exposure to loss if we have continuing involvement with the property and do not transfer substantially all of the risks and rewards of ownership. In sales transactions where we retain a management contract, the terms and conditions of the management contract are generally comparable to the terms and conditions of the management contracts obtained directly with third-party owners in competitive bid processes.

Profit Sharing Plan

We contribute to a profit sharing plan for the benefit of employees meeting certain eligibility requirements and electing participation in the plan. Contributions are determined based on a specified percentage of salary deferrals by participating employees. We recognized compensation costs from profit sharing of $91 million in 2011, $86 million in 2010, and $94 million in 2009.

Self-Insurance Programs

We are self-insured for certain levels of property, liability, workers’ compensation and employee medical coverage. We accrue estimated costs of these self-insurance programs at the present value of projected settlements for known and incurred but not reported claims. We use a discount rate of 2.0 percent to determine the present value of the projected settlements, which we consider to be reasonable given our history of settled claims, including payment patterns and the fixed nature of the individual settlements.

We are subject to a variety of assessments related to our insurance activities, including those by state guaranty funds and workers’ compensation second-injury funds. Our liabilities recorded for assessments are reflected within the amounts shown in our Balance Sheets on the other current liabilities line, are not discounted, and totaled $4 million at year-end 2011 and $5 million at year-end 2010. The $4 million liability for assessments as of year-end 2011 is expected to be paid by the end of 2012.

Our Rewards Programs

Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards are our frequent guest loyalty programs. Program members earn points based on their monetary spending at our lodging operations, purchases of timeshare interval, fractional ownership, and residential products (through MVW for periods after the spin-off date) and, to a lesser degree, through participation in affiliated partners’ programs, such as those offered by car rental, and credit card companies. Points, which we track on members’ behalf, can be redeemed for stays at most of our lodging operations, airline tickets, airline frequent flyer program miles, rental cars, and a variety of other awards; however, points cannot be redeemed for cash. We provide Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards as marketing programs to participating properties, with the objective of operating the programs on a break-even basis to us. As members earn points at properties and other program partners, we sell the points for amounts that we expect will, in the aggregate, equal the costs of point redemptions and program operating costs over time.

We defer revenue received from managed, franchised, and Marriott-owned/leased hotels and program partners equal to the fair value of our future redemption obligation. We determine the fair value of the future redemption obligation based on statistical formulas that project timing of future point redemption based on historical levels, including an estimate of the “breakage” for points that will never be redeemed, and an estimate of the points that will eventually be redeemed. These judgment factors determine the required liability for outstanding points. Our rewards programs’ liability totaled $1,948 million and $1,799 million at year-end 2011 and 2010, respectively. A ten percent reduction in the estimate of “breakage” would have resulted in an estimated $101 million increase in the liability at year-end 2011.

Our management and franchise agreements require that we be reimbursed currently for the costs of operating the program, including marketing, promotion, communication with, and performing member services for rewards program members. Due to the requirement that properties reimburse us for program operating costs as incurred, we recognize the related cost reimbursements revenues from properties in connection with our rewards programs at the time such costs are incurred and expensed. We recognize the component of revenue from program partners that corresponds to program maintenance services over the expected life of the points awarded. Upon the redemption of points, we recognize as revenue the amounts previously deferred and recognize the corresponding expense relating to the costs of the awards redeemed.

Guarantees

We record a liability for the fair value of a guarantee on the date we issue or modify a guarantee. The offsetting entry depends on the circumstances in which the guarantee was issued. Funding under the guarantee reduces the recorded liability. When no funding is forecasted, the liability is amortized into income on a straight-line basis over the remaining term of the guarantee. On a quarterly basis, we evaluate all material estimated liabilities based on the operating results and the terms of the guarantee. If we conclude that it is probable that we will be required to fund a greater amount than previously estimated, we will record a loss unless the advance would be recoverable in the form of a loan.

Rebates and Allowances

We participate in various vendor rebate and allowance arrangements as a manager of hotel properties. There are three types of programs that are common in the hotel industry that are sometimes referred to as “rebates” or “allowances,” including unrestricted rebates, marketing (restricted) rebates, and sponsorships. The primary business purpose of these arrangements is to secure favorable pricing for our hotel owners for various products and services or enhance resources for promotional campaigns co-sponsored by certain vendors. More specifically, unrestricted rebates are funds returned to the buyer, generally based upon volumes or quantities of goods purchased. Marketing (restricted) allowances are funds allocated by vendor agreements for certain marketing or other joint promotional initiatives. Sponsorships are funds paid by vendors, generally used by the vendor to gain exposure at meetings and events, which are accounted for as a reduction of the cost of the event.

We account for rebates and allowances as adjustments of the prices of the vendors’ products and services. We show vendor costs and the reimbursement of those costs to us as reimbursed costs and cost reimbursements revenue, respectively; therefore, rebates are reflected as a reduction of these line items.

Cash and Equivalents

We consider all highly liquid investments with an initial maturity of three months or less at date of purchase to be cash equivalents.

Restricted Cash

Restricted cash in our Balance Sheets at year-end 2011 and year-end 2010 is recorded as zero and $55 million, respectively, in the “Other current assets” line and $16 million and $30 million, respectively, in the “Other long-term assets” line. Restricted cash primarily consists of cash held internationally that we have not repatriated due to statutory, tax and currency risks.

Assets Held for Sale

We consider properties (other than Timeshare segment interval, fractional ownership, and residential products, which we classified as inventory prior to the spin-off date) to be assets held for sale when all of the following criteria are met:

  • management commits to a plan to sell a property;
  • it is unlikely that the disposal plan will be significantly modified or discontinued;
  • the property is available for immediate sale in its present condition;
  • actions required to complete the sale of the property have been initiated;
  • sale of the property is probable and we expect the completed sale will occur within one year; and
  • the property is actively being marketed for sale at a price that is reasonable given its current market value.

Upon designation as an asset held for sale, we record the carrying value of each property at the lower of its carrying value or its estimated fair value, less estimated costs to sell, and we cease depreciation.

At year-end 2011 and 2010, we had no assets held for sale and no liabilities related to assets held for sale.

Loan Loss Reserves

Senior, Mezzanine, and Other Loans

We sometimes make loans to owners of hotels that we operate or franchise, typically to facilitate the development of a hotel and sometimes to facilitate brand programs or initiatives. We expect the owners to repay the loans in accordance with the loan agreements, or earlier as the hotels mature and capital markets permit. We use metrics such as loan-to-value ratios, debt service coverage, collateral, etc., to assess the credit quality of the loan receivable upon entering into the loan agreement and on an ongoing basis as applicable.

On a regular basis, we individually assess all of these loans for impairment. Internally generated cash flow projections are used to determine if the loans are expected to be repaid in accordance with the terms of the loan agreements. If it is probable that a loan will not be repaid in accordance with the loan agreement, we consider the loan impaired and begin recognizing interest income on a cash basis. To measure impairment, we calculate the present value of expected future cash flows discounted at the loan’s original effective interest rate or the estimated fair value of the collateral. If the present value or the estimated collateral is less than the carrying value of the loan receivable, we establish a specific impairment reserve for the difference.

If it is likely that a loan will not be collected based on financial or other business indicators, including our historical experience, it is our policy to charge off the loans in the quarter when it is deemed uncollectible.

Loans to Timeshare Owners

Prior to the spin-off date, we recorded an estimate of expected uncollectibility on all notes receivable from timeshare purchasers as a reduction of revenue at the time we recognized profit on a timeshare sale. We fully reserved all defaulted notes in addition to recording a reserve on the estimated uncollectible portion of the remaining notes. For those notes not in default, we assessed collectibility based on pools of receivables because we held large numbers of homogeneous timeshare notes receivable. We estimated uncollectibles for the pool based on historical activity for similar timeshare notes receivable.

Although we considered loans to timeshare owners past due if we did not receive payment within 30 days of the due date, we suspended accrual of interest only on those that were over 90 days past due. We considered loans over 150 days past due to be in default. We applied payments we received for loans on nonaccrual status first to interest, then principal, and any remainder to fees. We resumed accruing interest when loans were less than 90 days past due.

We did not accept payments for notes during the foreclosure process unless the amount was sufficient to pay all principal, interest, fees and penalties owed and fully reinstate the note. We wrote off uncollectible notes against the reserve once we received title through the foreclosure or deed-in-lieu process.

On November 21, 2011, we transferred all balances related to loans to timeshare owners (both securitized and non-securitized) to MVW as part of the spin-off. For additional information on our notes receivable, including information on the related reserves, see Footnote No. 10, “Notes Receivable.”

Valuation of Goodwill

We assess goodwill for potential impairments at the end of each fiscal year, or during the year if an event or other circumstance indicates that we may not be able to recover the carrying amount of the asset. In evaluating goodwill for impairment, we first assess qualitative factors to determine whether it is more likely than not (that is, a likelihood of more than 50 percent) that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount. If we conclude that it is not more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying value, then no further testing of the goodwill assigned to the reporting unit is required. However, if we conclude that it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying value, then we perform a two-step goodwill impairment test to identify potential goodwill impairment and measure the amount of goodwill impairment to be recognized, if any.

In the first step of the review process, we compare the estimated fair value of the reporting unit with its carrying value. If the estimated fair value of the reporting unit exceeds its carrying amount, no further analysis is needed.

If the estimated fair value of the reporting unit is less than its carrying amount, we proceed to the second step of the review process to calculate the implied fair value of the reporting unit goodwill in order to determine whether any impairment is required. We calculate the implied fair value of the reporting unit goodwill by allocating the estimated fair value of the reporting unit to all of the assets and liabilities of the reporting unit as if the reporting unit had been acquired in a business combination. If the carrying value of the reporting unit’s goodwill exceeds the implied fair value of the goodwill, we recognize an impairment loss for that excess amount. In allocating the estimated fair value of the reporting unit to all of the assets and liabilities of the reporting unit, we use industry and market data, as well as knowledge of the industry and our past experiences.

We base our calculation of the estimated fair value of a reporting unit on the income approach. For the income approach, we use internally developed discounted cash flow models that include, among others, the following assumptions: projections of revenues and expenses and related cash flows based on assumed long-term growth rates and demand trends; expected future investments to grow new units; and estimated discount rates. We base these assumptions on our historical data and experience, third-party appraisals, industry projections, micro and macro general economic condition projections, and our expectations.

We have had no goodwill impairment charges for the last three fiscal years, and as of the date of each of the most recent detailed tests, the estimated fair value of each of our reporting units exceeded its’ respective carrying amount by more than 100 percent based on our models and assumptions.

For additional information related to goodwill, including the amounts of goodwill by segment, see Footnote No. 16, “Business Segments.”

Investments

We consolidate entities that we control. We account for investments in joint ventures using the equity method of accounting when we exercise significant influence over the venture. If we do not exercise significant influence, we account for the investment using the cost method of accounting. We account for investments in limited partnerships and limited liability companies using the equity method of accounting when we own more than a minimal investment. Our ownership interest in these equity method investments varies generally from 10 percent to 49 percent.

The fair value of our available-for-sale securities totaled $50 million and $18 million at year-end 2011 and year-end 2010, respectively. The amount of net losses reclassified out of accumulated other comprehensive income as a result of an other-than-temporary impairment of available-for-sale securities totaled $18 million and zero for 2011 and 2010, respectively. The amount of net losses reclassified out of accumulated other comprehensive income as a result of the sale of available-for-sale securities totaled zero for both 2011 and 2010. We determined the cost basis of the securities sold using specific identification.

Valuation of Intangibles and Long-Lived Assets

We test intangibles and long-lived asset groups for recoverability when changes in circumstances indicate the carrying value may not be recoverable, for example, when there are material adverse changes in projected revenues or expenses, significant underperformance relative to historical or projected operating results, and significant negative industry or economic trends. We also perform a test for recoverability when management has committed to a plan to sell or otherwise dispose of an asset group and the plan is expected to be completed within a year. We evaluate recoverability of an asset group by comparing its carrying value to the future net undiscounted cash flows that we expect will be generated by the asset group. If the comparison indicates that the carrying value of an asset group is not recoverable, we recognize an impairment loss for the excess of carrying value over the estimated fair value. When we recognize an impairment loss for assets to be held and used, we depreciate the adjusted carrying amount of those assets over their remaining useful life.

We base our calculations of the estimated fair value of an intangible asset or asset group on the income approach or the market approach. The assumptions and methodology we utilize for the income approach are the same as those described in the “Valuation of Goodwill” caption. For the market approach, we use internal analyses based primarily on market comparables and assumptions about market capitalization rates, growth rates, and inflation.

For information on impairment losses that we recorded in 2011 and 2009 associated with intangibles and long-lived assets, see Footnote No. 18, “Timeshare Strategy-Impairment Charges” and Footnote No. 19, “Restructuring Costs and Other Charges” of the Notes to the Financial Statements of this Annual Report. For information on impairment losses that we recorded in 2010 associated with long-lived assets, see Footnote No. 7, “Property and Equipment” of the Notes to the Financial Statements of this Annual Report.

Valuation of Investments in Ventures

We sometimes hold a minority equity interest in ventures established to develop or acquire and own hotel properties and prior to the spin-off date held a minority interest in ventures established to develop timeshare interval, fractional ownership and residential properties. These ventures are generally limited liability companies or limited partnerships, and our equity interest in these ventures generally ranges from 10 percent to 49 percent.

We evaluate an investment in a venture for impairment when circumstances indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable, for example due to loan defaults, significant under performance relative to historical or projected operating performance, and significant negative industry or economic trends.

We impair investments accounted for using the equity and cost methods of accounting when we determine that there has been an “other than temporary” decline in the estimated fair value as compared to the carrying value, of the venture. Additionally, a commitment to a plan to sell some or all of the assets in a venture could cause a recoverability evaluation for the individual long-lived assets in the venture and possibly the venture itself.

We calculate the estimated fair value of an investment in a venture using either a market approach or an income approach. The assumptions and methodology we utilize for the income approach are the same as those described in the “Valuation of Goodwill” caption. For the market approach, we use internal analyses based primarily on market comparables and assumptions about market capitalization rates, growth rates, and inflation.

For information regarding impairment losses that we recorded in 2009 associated with investments in ventures, see Footnote No. 18, “Timeshare Strategy-Impairment Charges” and Footnote No. 19, “Restructuring Costs and Other Charges” of the Notes to the Financial Statements of this Annual Report.

Fair Value Measurements

We have various financial instruments we must measure at fair value on a recurring basis, including certain marketable securities and derivatives. See Footnote No. 4, “Fair Value of Financial Instruments,” for further information. We also apply the provisions of fair value measurement to various non-recurring measurements for our financial and non-financial assets and liabilities.

Applicable accounting standards define fair value as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date (an exit price). We measure our assets and liabilities using inputs from the following three levels of the fair value hierarchy:

Level 1 inputs are unadjusted quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities that we have the ability to access at the measurement date.
Level 2 inputs include quoted prices for similar assets and liabilities in active markets, quoted prices for identical or similar assets or liabilities in markets that are not active, inputs other than quoted prices that are observable for the asset or liability (i.e., interest rates, yield curves, etc.), and inputs that are derived principally from or corroborated by observable market data by correlation or other means (market corroborated inputs).
Level 3 includes unobservable inputs that reflect our assumptions about what factors market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability. We develop these inputs based on the best information available, including our own data.

Derivative Instruments

The designation of a derivative instrument as a hedge and its ability to meet the hedge accounting criteria determine how we reflect the change in fair value of the derivative instrument in our Financial Statements. A derivative qualifies for hedge accounting if, at inception, we expect the derivative to be highly effective in offsetting the underlying hedged cash flows or fair value and we fulfill the hedge documentation standards at the time we enter into the derivative contract. We designate a hedge as a cash flow hedge, fair value hedge, or a net investment in non-U.S. operations hedge based on the exposure we are hedging. The asset or liability value of the derivative will change in tandem with its fair value. For the effective portion of qualifying hedges, we record changes in fair value in other comprehensive income (“OCI”). We release the derivative’s gain or loss from OCI to match the timing of the underlying hedged items’ effect on earnings.

We review the effectiveness of our hedging instruments on a quarterly basis, recognize current period hedge ineffectiveness immediately in earnings, and discontinue hedge accounting for any hedge that we no longer consider to be highly effective. We recognize changes in fair value for derivatives not designated as hedges or those not qualifying for hedge accounting in current period earnings. Upon termination of cash flow hedges, we release gains and losses from OCI based on the timing of the underlying cash flows or revenue recognized, unless the termination results from the failure of the intended transaction to occur in the expected timeframe. Such untimely transactions require us to immediately recognize in earnings, gains and losses that we previously recorded in OCI.

Changes in interest rates, currency exchange rates, and equity securities expose us to market risk. We manage our exposure to these risks by monitoring available financing alternatives, as well as through development and application of credit granting policies. We also use derivative instruments, including cash flow hedges, net investment in non-U.S. operations hedges, fair value hedges, and other derivative instruments, as part of our overall strategy to manage our exposure to market risks. As a matter of policy, we only enter into transactions that we believe will be highly effective at offsetting the underlying risk, and we do not use derivatives for trading or speculative purposes. See Footnote No. 4, “Fair Value of Financial Instruments,” for additional information.

Non-U.S. Operations

The U.S. dollar is the functional currency of our consolidated and unconsolidated entities operating in the United States. The functional currency for our consolidated and unconsolidated entities operating outside of the United States is generally the currency of the primary economic environment in which the entity primarily generates and expends cash. For consolidated entities whose functional currency is not the U.S. dollar, we translate their financial statements into U.S. dollars, and we do the same, as needed, for unconsolidated entities whose functional currency is not the U.S. dollar. We translate assets and liabilities at the exchange rate in effect as of the financial statement date, and translate income statement accounts using the weighted average exchange rate for the period. We include translation adjustments from currency exchange and the effect of exchange rate changes on intercompany transactions of a long-term investment nature as a separate component of shareholders’ equity. We report gains and losses from currency exchange rate changes related to intercompany receivables and payables that are not of a long-term investment nature, as well as gains and losses from non-U.S. currency transactions, currently in operating costs and expenses, and those amounted to a loss of $7 million in 2011, a loss of $7 million in 2010, and a loss of less than $1 million in 2009. Gains and other income for 2011 included $2 million attributable to currency translation adjustment gains, net of losses, from the sale or complete or substantially complete liquidation of investments. Gains and other income for 2010 included $2 million attributable to currency translation adjustment losses, net of gains, from the sale or complete or substantially complete liquidation of investments. There were no similar gains or losses in 2009.

Legal Contingencies

We are subject to various legal proceedings and claims, the outcomes of which are subject to significant uncertainty. We record an accrual for legal contingencies when we determine that it is probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated. In making such determinations we evaluate, among other things, the degree of probability of an unfavorable outcome and, when it is probable that a liability has been incurred, our ability to make a reasonable estimate of the loss. We review these accruals each reporting period and make revisions based on changes in facts and circumstances.

Income Taxes

We record the amounts of taxes payable or refundable for the current year, as well as deferred tax liabilities and assets for the future tax consequences of events that we have recognized in our financial statements or tax returns. We use judgment in assessing future profitability and the likely future tax consequences of events that we have recognized in our financial statements or tax returns. We base our estimates of deferred tax assets and liabilities on current tax laws, rates and interpretations, and, in certain cases, business plans and other expectations about future outcomes. We develop our estimates of future profitability based on our historical data and experience, industry projections, micro and macro general economic condition projections, and our expectations.

Changes in existing tax laws and rates, their related interpretations, as well as the uncertainty generated by the current economic environment may affect the amounts of deferred tax liabilities or the valuations of deferred tax assets over time. Our accounting for deferred tax consequences represents management’s best estimate of future events that can be appropriately reflected in the accounting estimates.

For tax positions we have taken or expect to take in a tax return, we apply a more likely than not threshold, under which we must conclude a tax position is more likely than not to be sustained, assuming that the position will be examined by the appropriate taxing authority that has full knowledge of all relevant information, in order to continue to recognize the benefit. In determining our provision for income taxes, we use judgment, reflecting our estimates and assumptions, in applying the more likely than not threshold.

For information about income taxes and deferred tax assets and liabilities, see Footnote No. 2, “Income Taxes.”

New Accounting Standards

Accounting Standards Update No. 2010-06 – “Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures (Topic 820): Improving Disclosures about Fair Value Measurements” (“ASU No. 2010-06”)

Certain provisions of ASU No. 2010-06 became effective during our 2011 first quarter. Those provisions, which amended Subtopic 820-10, require us to present as separate line items all purchases, sales, issuances, and settlements of financial instruments valued using significant unobservable inputs (Level 3) in the reconciliation of fair value measurements, in contrast to the previous aggregate presentation as a single line item. The adoption did not have a material impact on our financial statements or disclosures.

Accounting Standards Update No. 2011-08 – “Intangibles - Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Testing Goodwill for Impairment” (“ASU No. 2011-08”)

We early adopted ASU No. 2011-08 in the 2011 fourth quarter, which amends existing guidance by giving an entity the option to first assess qualitative factors to determine whether it is more likely than not (that is, a likelihood of more than 50 percent) that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount. Based on our examination of qualitative factors at year-end 2011, we concluded that it was not more likely than not that the fair value of any of our reporting units was less than their respective carrying values; therefore, no further testing of the goodwill assigned to our reporting units was required. The adoption of this update did not have a material impact on our financial statements.

Future Adoption of Accounting Standards

Accounting Standards Update No. 2011-04 – “Fair Value Measurement (Topic 820): Amendments to Achieve Common Fair Value Measurement and Disclosure Requirements in U.S. GAAP and IFRSs” (“ASU No. 2011-04”)

ASU No. 2011-04 generally provides a uniform framework for fair value measurements and related disclosures between GAAP and International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”). Additional disclosure requirements in this update include: (1) for Level 3 fair value measurements, quantitative information about unobservable inputs used, a description of the valuation processes used by the entity, and a qualitative discussion about the sensitivity of the measurements to changes in the unobservable inputs; (2) for an entity’s use of a nonfinancial asset that is different from the asset’s highest and best use, the reason for the difference; (3) for financial instruments not measured at fair value but for which disclosure of fair value is required, the fair value hierarchy level in which the fair value measurements were determined; and (4) the disclosure of all transfers between Level 1 and Level 2 of the fair value hierarchy. ASU No. 2011-04 will be effective for interim and annual periods beginning on or after December 15, 2011, which for us will be our 2012 first quarter. We do not believe the adoption of this update will have a material impact on our financial statements.

See the “Fair Value Measurements” caption of this footnote for additional information on the three levels of fair value measurements.

Accounting Standards Update No. 2011-05 -“Comprehensive Income (Topic 220): Presentation of Comprehensive Income” (“ASU No. 2011-05”) and Accounting Standards Update No. 2011-12 - “Comprehensive Income (Topic 220): Deferral of the Effective Date for Amendments to the Presentation of Reclassifications of Items Out of Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income in ASU No. 2011-05” (“ASU No. 2011-12”)

ASU No. 2011-05 amends existing guidance by allowing only two options for presenting the components of net income and other comprehensive income: (1) in a single continuous financial statement, statement of comprehensive income or (2) in two separate but consecutive financial statements, consisting of an income statement followed by a separate statement of other comprehensive income. ASU No. 2011-12 defers until further notice ASU No. 2011-05’s requirement that items that are reclassified from other comprehensive income to net income be presented on the face of the financial statements. ASU No. 2011-05 requires retrospective application, and both ASU Nos. 2011-05 and 2011-12 are effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2011 (for us this will be our 2012 first quarter), with early adoption permitted. We believe the adoption of these updates will change the order in which we present certain financial statements, but will not have any other impact on our financial statements.

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