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|ALTRIA GROUP, INC. filed this Form 8-K on 02/01/2018|
Altria Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
Note 1. Background and Basis of Presentation
▪Background: At December 31, 2017, Altria Group, Inc.’s wholly-owned subsidiaries included Philip Morris USA Inc. (“PM USA”), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes in the United States; John Middleton Co. (“Middleton”), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of machine-made large cigars and pipe tobacco and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PM USA; Sherman Group Holdings, LLC and its subsidiaries (“Nat Sherman”), which are engaged in the manufacture and sale of super premium cigarettes and the sale of premium cigars; and UST LLC (“UST”), which through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, including U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company LLC (“USSTC”) and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Ltd. (“Ste. Michelle”), is engaged in the manufacture and sale of smokeless tobacco products and wine. Altria Group, Inc.’s other operating companies included Nu Mark LLC (“Nu Mark”), a wholly-owned subsidiary that is engaged in the manufacture and sale of innovative tobacco products, and Philip Morris Capital Corporation (“PMCC”), a wholly-owned subsidiary that maintains a portfolio of finance assets, substantially all of which are leveraged leases. Other Altria Group, Inc. wholly-owned subsidiaries included Altria Group Distribution Company, which provides sales and distribution services to certain Altria Group, Inc. operating subsidiaries, and Altria Client Services LLC, which provides various support services in areas such as legal, regulatory, consumer engagement, finance, human resources and external affairs to Altria Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries. Altria Group, Inc.’s access to the operating cash flows of its wholly-owned subsidiaries consists of cash received from the payment of dividends and distributions, and the payment of interest on intercompany loans by its subsidiaries. At December 31, 2017, Altria Group, Inc.’s principal wholly-owned subsidiaries were not limited by long-term debt or other agreements in their ability to pay cash dividends or make other distributions with respect to their equity interests.
At September 30, 2016, Altria Group, Inc. had an approximate 27% ownership of SABMiller plc (“SABMiller”), which Altria Group, Inc. accounted for under the equity method of accounting. In October 2016, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (“Legacy AB InBev”) completed its business combination with SABMiller, and Altria Group, Inc. received cash and shares representing a 9.6% ownership in the combined company (the “Transaction”). The newly formed Belgian company, which retained the name Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (“AB InBev”), became the holding company for the combined businesses. Subsequently, Altria Group, Inc. purchased approximately 12 million ordinary shares of AB InBev, increasing Altria Group, Inc.’s ownership to approximately 10.2% at December 31, 2016. At December 31, 2017, Altria Group, Inc. had an approximate 10.2% ownership of AB InBev, which Altria Group, Inc. accounts for under the equity method of accounting using a one-quarter lag. As a result of the one-quarter lag and the timing of the completion of the Transaction, no earnings from Altria Group, Inc.’s equity investment in AB InBev were recorded for the year
ended December 31, 2016. Altria Group, Inc. receives cash dividends on its interest in AB InBev if and when AB InBev pays such dividends. For further discussion, see Note 6. Investment in AB InBev/SABMiller.
In January 2017, Altria Group, Inc. acquired Nat Sherman, which joined PM USA and Middleton as part of Altria Group, Inc.’s smokeable products segment.
▪Basis of Presentation: The consolidated financial statements include Altria Group, Inc., as well as its wholly-owned and majority-owned subsidiaries. Investments in which Altria Group, Inc. has the ability to exercise significant influence are accounted for under the equity method of accounting. All intercompany transactions and balances have been eliminated.
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, the disclosure of contingent liabilities at the dates of the financial statements and the reported amounts of net revenues and expenses during the reporting periods. Significant estimates and assumptions include, among other things, pension and benefit plan assumptions, lives and valuation assumptions for goodwill and other intangible assets, marketing programs, income taxes, and the allowance for losses and estimated residual values of finance leases. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
Certain prior year amounts have been reclassified to conform with the current year’s presentation due primarily to Altria Group, Inc.’s 2017 adoption of Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2016-09, Compensation - Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting (“ASU No. 2016-09”). For further discussion, see Note 11. Stock Plans.
Note 2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
▪Cash and Cash Equivalents: Cash equivalents include demand deposits with banks and all highly liquid investments with original maturities of three months or less. Cash equivalents are stated at cost plus accrued interest, which approximates fair value.
▪Depreciation, Amortization, Impairment Testing and Asset Valuation: Property, plant and equipment are stated at historical costs and depreciated by the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the assets. Machinery and equipment are depreciated over periods up to 25 years, and buildings and building improvements over periods up to 50 years. Definite-lived intangible assets are amortized over their estimated useful lives up to 25 years.
Altria Group, Inc. reviews long-lived assets, including definite-lived intangible assets, for impairment whenever events or changes in business circumstances indicate that the carrying value of the assets may not be fully recoverable. Altria Group, Inc. performs undiscounted operating cash flow analyses to determine if an impairment exists. For purposes of recognition and measurement of an impairment for assets held for use, Altria