Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)

Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2011
Significant Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
New Accounting Pronouncements
New Accounting Pronouncements
In September 2011, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, or FASB, issued Accounting Standards Update, or ASU, No. 2011-08, Testing Goodwill for Impairment. This ASU permits an entity to make a qualitative assessment of whether it is more likely than not that a reporting unit’s fair value is less than its carrying amount before applying the two-step goodwill impairment test. If an entity concludes it is not more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount, then there is no need to perform the two-step impairment test. This ASU is effective for annual and interim goodwill impairment tests performed for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2011. Early adoption is permitted. The adoption of this ASU will not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements, as it is intended to simplify the assessment for goodwill impairment.
In June 2011, the FASB issued ASU No. 2011-05, Comprehensive Income (Topic 220): Presentation of Comprehensive Income. This ASU will require companies to present the components of net and comprehensive income in either one or two consecutive financial statements and eliminates the option to present other comprehensive income in the statement of changes in shareholders’ equity. This ASU is effective for fiscal years and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2011. The Company is currently evaluating the potential impact of this adoption on its consolidated financial statements.
In May 2011, the FASB issued ASU No. 2011-04, Fair Value Measurement (Topic 820): Amendments to Achieve Common Fair Value Measurement and Disclosure Requirements in U.S. GAAP and IFRSs. This ASU expands existing disclosure requirements for fair value measurements and provides additional information on how to measure fair value. The Company is required to apply this ASU prospectively for interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2011. The Company is currently evaluating the potential impact of this adoption on its consolidated financial statements.
Change in Accounting Principle Policies
Change in Accounting Principle
In the second quarter of 2011, the Company changed its method of accounting for excess tax benefits recognized as a result of the exercise of employee stock options, stock appreciation rights, or SARs, and other share-based equity grants, from the tax-law-ordering method to the with-and-without method. Under the tax law ordering method, the deduction for share-based compensation is applied against income tax liabilities before other credits are applied, such as foreign tax credits. The with-and-without method applies the deduction for share-based compensation against taxable income after other credits have been applied against taxable income, to the extent allowable and subject to applicable limitations. The with-and-without method separately determines the impact of the tax benefit from share-based compensation after considering the tax effects related to the Company’s on-going operations. A benefit is recorded when deductions for share-based compensation reduces income taxes payable or increases income taxes refund receivable. The Company believes that the with-and-without method is a preferable method of determining the benefit applicable to share-based compensation because it better reflects the Company’s ongoing operations. This change in accounting method primarily impacts the allocation of income taxes and tax benefits between continuing operations, deferred tax items, and additional paid in capital for financial reporting purposes, but it does not have any impact on the ultimate amount of income tax reported on the Company’s income tax returns and it does not impact the Company’s income taxes payable included within its accompanying consolidated balance sheet. This change in accounting principle does not impact the consolidated financial statements related to fiscal years prior to 2010.
Foreign Currency Issues
In February 2011, Herbalife Venezuela purchased U.S. dollar denominated bonds with a face value of $20 million U.S. dollars in a bond offering from Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., a Venezuelan state-owned petroleum company, for 86 million Bolivars and then immediately sold the bonds for $15 million U.S. dollars, resulting in an average effective conversion rate of 5.7 Bolivars per U.S. dollar. The 86 million Bolivars were previously remeasured at the regulated system rate, or SITME rate, of 5.3 Bolivars per U.S. dollar and recorded as cash and cash equivalents of $16.3 million on the Company’s consolidated balance sheet at December 31, 2010. This Bolivar to U.S. dollar conversion resulted in the Company recording a net pre-tax loss of $1.3 million U.S. dollars during the first quarter of 2011 which is included in its condensed consolidated statement of income for the nine months ended September 30, 2011.
As of September 30, 2011, Herbalife Venezuela’s net monetary assets and liabilities denominated in Bolivars was approximately $21.5 million, and included approximately $29.0 million in Bolivar denominated cash and cash equivalents. The majority of these Bolivar denominated assets and liabilities were remeasured at the SITME rate. Although Venezuela is an important market in the Company’s South and Central America region, Herbalife Venezuela’s net sales represented less than 2% of the Company’s consolidated net sales for both the nine months ended September 30, 2011 and 2010, and its total assets represented less than 3% of the Company’s consolidated total assets as of both September 30, 2011 and December 31, 2010.
Segment Reporting
The Company is a network marketing company that sells a wide range of weight management products, nutritional supplements and personal care products within one industry segment as defined under the FASB Accounting Standards Codification, or ASC Topic 280, Segment Reporting. The Company’s products are manufactured by third party providers and by the Company in its Suzhou, China facility and in its Lake Forest, California facility, and are then sold to independent distributors who sell Herbalife products to retail consumers or other distributors. Revenues reflect sales of products by the Company to distributors and are categorized based on geographic location.
Derivatives and Hedging Policies
The Company assesses hedge effectiveness and measures hedge ineffectiveness at least quarterly. During the three and nine months ended September 30, 2011 and 2010, the ineffective portion relating to these hedges was immaterial and the hedges remained effective as of September 30, 2011. Consequently, all changes in the fair value of the derivatives are deferred and recorded in other comprehensive income (loss) until the related forecasted transactions are recognized in the consolidated statements of income. The fair value of the interest rate swap agreements are based on third-party bank quotes. At September 30, 2011 and December 31, 2010, the Company recorded the interest rate swaps as liabilities at their fair value of $6.0 million and $6.6 million, respectively.
Fair Value Measurement Policies
The Company applies the provisions of FASB ASC Topic 820, Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures, or ASC 820, for its financial and non-financial assets and liabilities. ASC 820 defines 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. ASC 820 establishes a fair value hierarchy, which prioritizes the inputs used in measuring fair value into three broad levels as follows:
Level 1 inputs are quoted prices (unadjusted) in active markets for identical assets or liabilities that the reporting entity has the ability to access at the measurement date.
Level 2 inputs include quoted prices for similar assets or 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 and inputs that are derived principally from or corroborated by observable market data by correlation or other means.
Level 3 inputs are unobservable inputs for the asset or liability.