This excerpt taken from the ACI 10-K filed Mar 1, 2010.
The Company generally utilizes derivative instruments to manage exposures to commodity prices. Additionally, the Company may hold certain coal derivative instruments for trading purposes. Derivative financial instruments are recognized in the balance sheet at fair value. Certain coal contracts may meet the definition of a derivative instrument, but because they provide for the physical purchase or sale of coal in quantities expected to be used or sold by the Company over a reasonable period in the normal course of business, they are not recognized on the balance sheet.
Certain derivative instruments are designated as the hedge instrument in a hedging relationship. In a fair value hedge, the Company hedges the risk of changes in the fair value of a firm commitment, typically a fixed-price coal sales contract. Changes in both the hedged firm commitment and the fair value of a derivative used as a hedge instrument in a fair value hedge are recorded in earnings. In a cash flow hedge, the Company hedges the risk of changes in future cash flows related to a forecasted purchase or sale. Changes in the fair value of the derivative instrument used as a hedge instrument in a cash flow hedge are recorded in other comprehensive income. Amounts in other comprehensive income are reclassified to earnings when the hedged transaction affects earnings and are classified in a manner consistent with the transaction being hedged. The Company formally documents the relationships between hedging instruments and the respective hedged items, as well as its risk management objectives for hedge transactions.
The Company evaluates the effectiveness of its hedging relationships both at the hedges inception and on an ongoing basis. Any ineffective portion of the change in fair value of a derivative instrument used as a hedge instrument in a fair value or cash flow hedge is recognized immediately in earnings. The ineffective portion is based on the extent to which exact offset is not achieved between the change in fair value of the hedge instrument and the cumulative change in expected future cash flows on the hedged transaction from inception of the hedge in a cash flow hedge or the change in the fair value. The amount of ineffectiveness recognized in other operating income, net in the accompanying consolidated statements of income resulting from heating oil derivatives was a gain of $1.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2007. Ineffectiveness was insignificant for the years ended December 31, 2009 and 2008.
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (Continued)