First Quarter COVID-19 Disclosure Examples – Part One

Now that first quarter 2020 Form 10-Q’s have been filed, companies have made COVID-19 disclosures addressing issues ranging from asset impairments to the CARES Act.  In this series of blog posts we hope to help you as you deal with the evolution of these disclosures by reviewing how some companies approached these challenging issues.

This first example is from Starbuck’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 29, 2020.  It is very lengthy.  The company grouped all its COVID-19 disclosures in this single financial statement footnote.  It includes:

 An overview of the situation

A summary of the impact on operations

Long-lived asset impairment discussion

Goodwill impairment considerations

Other asset impairment issues

Rent concession discussion

Deferred tax asset recoverability analysis

CARES Act overview

Discussion and emphasis of uncertainties in future periods

 You will also see that it includes disclosure that sounds like MD&A.  It is interesting that this risk-based disclosure is in the financial statements and that all Starbuck’s COVID-19 impacts were included in this single note rather than being addressed in individual notes for each accounting area.

Note 1



In December 2019, a novel strain of coronavirus (“COVID-19“) was first identified, and in March 2020, the World Health Organization categorized COVID-19 as a pandemic. To help control the spread of the virus and protect the health and safety of our partners (employees) and customers, we began temporarily closing or modifying operating models and hours of our retail stores in many markets both in response to governmental requirements and voluntarily, beyond the requirements of local authorities, during the second quarter of fiscal 2020.

Changes made in our operations, combined with reduced customer traffic, resulted in material reductions in revenues and operating income during the second quarter of fiscal 2020, which prompted us to update our impairment analyses of our company-operated retail store portfolios and related lease right-of-use assets. For certain lower-performing stores, we compared the carrying value of store assets to undiscounted cash flows with updated assumptions on near-term profitability. As a result, we recorded an immaterial asset impairment charge within store operating expenses on our consolidated statement of earnings during the quarter ended March 29, 2020.

We also evaluated our goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets at the end of the fiscal second quarter. Our most recently completed goodwill impairment analyses indicated significant excess fair values over carrying values across the different reporting units. Since we expect the negative financial impacts from the outbreak to be temporary, they do not significantly affect the assumptions underpinning our long-term revenue and cash flow growth rates, operating models and business strategies. Therefore, we do not consider the outbreak to be a triggering event to accelerate our annual goodwill impairment analysis. As a result, no impairment charges for goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets were recorded during the quarter.

We evaluated our remaining assets, particularly accounts receivable and inventory. Our accounts receivable are mainly comprised of net unpaid invoices for product sales to and royalties from our licensees. Our allowance for doubtful accounts is calculated based on historical experience, licensee credit risk and application of the specific identification method. We also assessed incremental risks due to COVID-19 on our licensees’ financial viability. To assist our international licensed partners during the outbreak, we provided a short-term payment extension for their outstanding receivables as of the end of the fiscal second quarter. We do not believe the form and length of the extension changed our revenue recognition policy or had a significant impact to future collectability. Based on these actions during the quarter ended March 29, 2020, we did not observe a significant deterioration of our receivable portfolio to warrant a significant increase in bad debt expense. We will continue to monitor our accounts receivable as we also committed to providing other forms of relief to certain licensees during the third quarter of fiscal 2020, which may reduce our revenues.

Our inventories are stated at the lower of cost (primarily moving average cost) or net realizable value. We record reserves for obsolete and slow-moving inventory and for estimated shrinkage between physical inventory counts. During the fiscal quarter ended March 29, 2020, we recorded significant inventory write-offs due to expired or the expected expiration of perishable ingredients and products as a result of excess inventory due to the temporary closure of our retail stores. See Note 5, Inventories, for additional details. Depending on the pace of reopening of company-operated stores as well as future customer behaviors, among other factors, we may incur additional inventory write-offs during the third quarter of fiscal 2020.

During the second quarter of fiscal 2020, we received an immaterial amount of COVID-19-related rent concessions for certain stores in China, generally correlating with the limited time period our stores were closed during stay-at-home mandates. Consistent with updated guidance from the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) in April 2020, we have elected to treat COVID-19-related rent concessions as variable rent. While we are having ongoing conversations with landlords in various markets in seeking commercially reasonable lease concessions given the current environment, we have not yet confirmed significant concessions for the remainder of the year.

On March 27, 2020, the U.S. government enacted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), which among other things, provides employer payroll tax credits for wages paid to employees who are unable to work during the COVID-19 outbreak and options to defer payroll tax payments. Based on our preliminary evaluation of the CARES Act, we qualify for certain employer payroll tax credits as well as the deferral of payroll and other tax payments in the future, which will be treated as government subsidies to offset relating operating expenses. During the quarter ended March 29, 2020, the qualified payroll tax credits reduced our store operating expenses by approximately $35 million on our consolidated statement of earnings. We expect to record additional payroll tax credits from the U.S. and other governments primarily in our fiscal third quarter to offset qualified wages paid to our partners. We intend to defer qualified payroll and other tax payments as permitted by the CARES Act.

We recorded our income tax expense, deferred tax assets and related liabilities based on management’s best estimates. Additionally, we assessed the likelihood of realizing the benefits of our deferred tax assets. As of the end of the fiscal quarter, we did not record significant valuation allowance adjustments based on available evidence. However, we will continue to monitor the realizability of our deferred tax assets, particularly in certain foreign jurisdictions where the outbreak has started to create significant net operating losses. Our ability to recover these deferred tax assets depends on several factors, including our results of operations and our ability to project future taxable income in those jurisdictions. If we determine that some portion of the tax benefit will not be realized, we would record a valuation allowance, which would increase our income tax expense. Total deferred tax assets as of the end of the fiscal second quarter were approximately $1.7 billion, of which approximately $100 million related to foreign jurisdictions where we expect to incur significant net operating losses in the near term, although the risks of failing to realize these benefits vary across the jurisdictions.

The COVID-19 pandemic remains a rapidly evolving situation. The continuation of the outbreak may cause prolonged periods of store closures and modified operating schedules and may result in changes in customer behaviors, including a potential reduction in consumer discretionary spending in our company-operated and licensed stores. These may lead to increased asset recovery and valuation risks, such as impairment of our company-operated store and other assets and an inability to realize deferred tax assets due to sustaining losses in certain jurisdictions. The uncertainties in the global economy will likely impact the financial viability of our suppliers, licensees and other business partners, which may interrupt our supply chain, limit our ability to collect receivables and require other changes to our operations. These and other factors will adversely impact our net revenues, operating income and earnings per share financial measures.

It should be noted that in this footnote, the discussion of impairment of assets including inventories and receivables comes after the discussion of goodwill impairment.  As a quick reminder, US GAAP requires that all impairment considerations such as inventories, accounts receivable and long-lived assets be taken into account before testing goodwill for impairment.

As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *