This excerpt taken from the PCL 10-K filed Mar 4, 2005.
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets
In general, the company evaluates its ability to recover its net investment in long-lived assets in accordance with Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) No. 144, Accounting for the Impairment or Disposal of Long-Lived Assets. SFAS No. 144 requires recognition of an impairment loss in connection with long-lived assets used in a business when the carrying value (net book value) of such assets exceeds the estimated future undiscounted cash flows attributable to such assets over their expected useful life. Impairment losses are measured by the extent to which the carrying value of a group of assets exceeds the fair value of such assets at a given point in time. When the fair values of the assets are not available, the company estimates the fair values by using the discounted expected future cash flows attributable to the assets. The cash flows are discounted at the risk-free rates of interest. Future cash flow estimates are based on probability-weighted projections for a range of possible outcomes. Furthermore, SFAS No. 144 requires recognition of an impairment loss in connection with long-lived assets held for sale when the carrying value of such assets exceeds an amount equal to their fair value less selling costs.
The company has grown substantially through acquisitions in recent years. A large portion of the carrying value of the companys Timber and Timberlands, and Property, Plant and Equipment represents amounts of the purchase price of recent acquisitions allocated to those assets. The allocation of the purchase price in a business combination is highly subjective. Management is required to estimate the fair values of acquired assets and liabilities as of the acquisition date. Subsequent to the original allocation, these assets are tested for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of the assets may not be recoverable through future operations. SFAS No. 144 requires that long-lived assets be grouped and evaluated for impairment at the lowest level for which there are independent cash flows. The company tracks cash flows for its 7.8 million acres of timberlands by grouping them into seven geographic areas in the Northern Resources Segment and nine geographic areas in the Southern Resources Segment. Additionally, the company tracks cash flows for each of its ten manufacturing facilities.
(1) Timber and Timberlands Used in Our Business. SFAS No. 144 provides that for assets used in a business, an impairment loss is recorded only when the carrying value of such assets is not recoverable through future operations. The recoverability test is based on undiscounted future cash flows over the expected life of the assets. The company uses one harvest cycle (which ranges between 20 and 90 years) for evaluating the recoverability of its timber and timberlands. As a result of the inherently long life of timber and timberlands, the company does not expect to incur an impairment loss in the future for the timber and timberlands used in its business.
(2) Timber and Timberlands Held for Sale. SFAS No. 144 provides that an impairment loss is recognized for long-lived assets held for sale when the carrying value of such asset exceeds an amount equal to its fair value less selling costs. An asset is generally considered to be held for sale when we have committed to a plan to sell the asset, the asset is available for immediate sale in its present condition, we
have initiated an active program to locate a buyer, and the sale is expected to close within one year. During 2004, the above criteria were met by a number of our timberland properties, and we recognized impairment losses of $21 million. Similarly, we recognized impairment losses of $14 million during 2003 in connection with timberlands held for sale. See Note 3 of the Notes to Financial Statements. We expect to continue to sell or exchange non-strategic timberlands to other forest products companies or non-industrial investors, and it is probable that we will recognize, in accordance with SFAS No. 144, additional impairment losses in the future in connection with sales of non-strategic timberlands.
(3) Property, Plant and Equipment. The carrying value of Property, Plant and Equipment represents primarily the net book value of our ten manufacturing facilities. Each manufacturing facility is tested for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount may not be recoverable through future operations. The estimated future cash flows over the remaining useful live of a manufacturing facility is highly subjective and is dependent upon estimates for future product pricing, raw material costs, volumes of product sold, and residual value of the facility. During the fourth quarter of 2004, we recognized an impairment loss of $9 million in connection with one of our lumber mills due to a declining supply of logs. The availability of logs in close proximity to our mills has been declining and is expected to decline further in the future. We currently estimate that the carrying value for our other nine manufacturing facilities is recoverable through future operations and that our estimate of future cash flows is reasonable. However, if wood product prices were to decline and remain weak for an extended period of time, or if log or raw material availability declines more than expected, the company may be required to record an impairment loss for one or more of its manufacturing facilities in a future period.