Hillshire Brands Co 10-K 2014
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
For the fiscal year ended June 28, 2014
For the transition period from to
Commission file number 001-03344
The Hillshire Brands Company
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (312) 614-6000
SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OF THE ACT:
SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(g) OF THE ACT:
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. þ Yes ¨ No
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. ¨ Yes þ No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. þ Yes ¨ No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). þ Yes ¨ No
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). ¨ Yes þ No
The aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant on December 27, 2013, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, was approximately $4.1 billion (based upon the closing price per share of the registrant’s common stock on the New York Stock Exchange on that date).
On August 2, 2014, the registrant had outstanding 124,513,834 shares of common stock, par value $.01 per share, which is the registrant’s only class of common stock.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the definitive proxy statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the solicitation of proxies for the Company's 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference into Part III, or, in the event the Registrant does not prepare and file such proxy statement, will be provided instead by an amendment to this report containing the applicable disclosures within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this report. (With the exception of those portions which are specifically incorporated by reference in this report, any such proxy statement is not deemed to be filed or incorporated by reference as part of this report.)
Table of Contents
Item 1. Business
The Hillshire Brands Company is a manufacturer and marketer of branded, convenient foods. The company generated $4 billion in annual sales in fiscal 2014 and had more than 9,000 employees. Hillshire Brands' portfolio includes iconic brands such as Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, State Fair, Van's, Sara Lee frozen bakery and Chef Pierre pies as well as artisanal brands Aidells, Gallo Salame, and Golden Island premium jerky. The company was organized as a corporation in Baltimore, Maryland in 1941 as The C.D. Kenny Company, was renamed Sara Lee Corporation in 1985 and adopted its current name in June 2012. Hillshire Brands' principal executive offices are at 400 S. Jefferson Street, Chicago, Illinois 60607 and our telephone number is (312) 614-6000.
In this Annual Report on Form 10-K, the terms “Hillshire Brands”, “we”, “us”, “our” or the “company” refer both to The Hillshire Brands Company and its predecessor company, Sara Lee Corporation.
Pending Transaction with Tyson
On July 1, 2014, Hillshire Brands, Tyson Foods, Inc. (“Tyson”) and HMB Holdings, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Tyson (“Tyson merger sub”), entered into a definitive agreement and plan of merger under which Tyson would acquire Hillshire Brands (the “Merger Agreement”). Pursuant to the Merger Agreement, Tyson merger sub has commenced a tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of Hillshire Brands common stock for $63 per share in cash. Tyson merger sub’s obligation to consummate the tender offer and accept for payment and pay for shares of Hillshire Brands common stock tendered is subject to certain conditions, including (i) that the number of shares tendered represents at least two-thirds of the total number of outstanding shares of Hillshire Brands common stock as of the expiration of the tender offer and (ii) that the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (the “HSR Act”), will have expired or been terminated at the expiration of the tender offer. Consummation of the tender offer is not subject to any financing condition.
Upon the consummation of the tender offer, subject to the terms and conditions of the Merger Agreement, the Tyson merger sub will merge with and into Hillshire Brands, with Hillshire Brands surviving as a wholly owned subsidiary of Tyson. As a result of the merger, any outstanding shares of Hillshire common stock not owned, directly or indirectly, by Tyson, Tyson merger sub or Hillshire Brands will be converted into the right to receive the offer price in the tender offer of $63 per share, and Hillshire Brands common stock will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.
In connection with the acquisition, Tyson and Hillshire Brands each filed the required notification and report forms under the HSR Act on July 28, 2014. On August 12, 2014, each of Tyson and Hillshire Brands received a request for additional information (each, a “Second Request”) from the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (the “Antitrust Division”) in connection with the proposed acquisition. The Second Requests relate only to a very small portion of the combined Tyson/Hillshire Brands business, and the parties are working expeditiously to resolve this matter with the Antitrust Division. Tyson and Hillshire Brands expect that the acquisition, which remains subject to customary closing conditions, will be completed by or before September 27, 2014.
As previously announced, on May 12, 2014, Hillshire Brands and Pinnacle Foods Inc. (“Pinnacle”) entered into an agreement and plan of merger (the “Pinnacle Merger Agreement”) under which Hillshire Brands would have acquired Pinnacle in a cash and stock transaction. On June 16, 2014, in accordance with the terms of the Pinnacle Merger Agreement, Hillshire Brands’ board of directors withdrew its recommendation that Hillshire Brands’ stockholders approve the issuance of Hillshire Brands common stock in connection with the acquisition of Pinnacle. In light of Hillshire Brands’ board of directors’ withdrawal of its recommendation, on June 30, 2014, Pinnacle delivered to Hillshire Brands a written notice of termination of the merger agreement. On July 2, 2014, Tyson made, on behalf of Hillshire Brands, a payment to Pinnacle of the $163 million termination fee in connection with the termination of the Pinnacle Merger Agreement.
The foregoing descriptions of the Merger Agreement and Pinnacle Merger Agreement do not purport to be comprehensive and are qualified in all respects by reference to (i) the Merger Agreement filed as Exhibit 2.1 to Hillshire Brands’ Current Report on Form 8-K filed on July 2, 2014 and (ii) the Pinnacle Merger Agreement filed as Exhibit 2.1 to Hillshire Brands’ Current Report on Form 8-K filed on May 12, 2014.
General Development of the Business
In fiscal 2012, Hillshire Brands completed a significant transformation of its business. On June 28, 2012, Sara Lee Corporation (the former name of Hillshire Brands) completed the spin-off of its international coffee and tea business (the “Spin-Off”) into an independent, publicly traded Dutch company named D.E MASTER BLENDERS 1753 N.V. (“DEMB”). The Spin-Off was completed by Sara Lee Corporation effecting a stock dividend of 100% of the outstanding shares of common stock of the U.S. subsidiary holding the international coffee and tea business (“CoffeeCo”) to holders of Sara Lee common stock, after which CoffeeCo merged with a subsidiary of DEMB and each share of CoffeeCo was exchanged for one ordinary share of DEMB. In conjunction with the Spin-Off, CoffeeCo paid a $3.00 per share one-time special cash dividend to stockholders who received the stock dividend in the Spin-Off. Immediately after the Spin-Off, Sara Lee Corporation completed a 1-for-5 reverse stock split of its common stock (the “Reverse Stock Split”) and changed its name to The Hillshire Brands Company.
Over the past several years, Hillshire Brands has completed divestitures of a significant portion of its former portfolio of businesses. In fiscal 2013, it completed the sale of its Australian bakery. During fiscal 2012, Hillshire Brands completed the divestitures of its North American refrigerated dough (Store Brands) business, its North American Foodservice Coffee business, its Spanish bakery and French refrigerated dough businesses, the remaining portion of its International Household and Body Care businesses that was not sold in fiscal 2011 and its North American Fresh Bakery business. During fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2010, Hillshire Brands completed the sale of substantial portions of its International Household and Body Care businesses. Results of operations for DEMB and the other divested businesses are reported as discontinued operations for all periods presented, except for the balance sheet presentation of Australian bakery which was not reclassified in prior periods.
As a result of the Spin-Off and the business divestitures, Hillshire Brands is now a highly focused, branded food company that conducts business predominantly in the United States. In fiscal 2014, it completed acquisitions of the maker of Golden Island jerky products, a leader in the gourmet jerky category, and Healthy Frozen Food, Inc. ("Van’s"), a leading better-for-you food brand that offers multiple product lines in frozen breakfast and snack foods.
Hillshire Brands has two stock repurchase programs that remain in effect, one of which has 2.7 million shares authorized for repurchase and the other has $1.2 billion of shares authorized for repurchase. There is no expiration date for either program. Hillshire Brands does not currently expect to repurchase shares under its repurchase programs.
Narrative Description of the Business
Hillshire Brands' operations are organized around two business segments - Retail and Foodservice/Other. Results of operations for all periods are presented based upon this reporting structure.
Retail sells a variety of packaged meat and frozen bakery products to retail customers in North America. Products include hot dogs, corn dogs, breakfast sausages, breakfast convenience items, including breakfast sandwiches and bowls, dinner sausages, gourmet artisanal sausage, salami, jerky, premium deli and luncheon meats and cooked hams, as well as frozen baked products and specialty items including pies, cakes and cheesecakes. Our significant brands include Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, State Fair, Van's, Sara Lee frozen bakery and Chef Pierre pies as well as artisanal brands Aidells, Gallo Salame, and Golden Island premium jerky.
Substantially all of the sales of the Retail business are generated in the U.S. Sales are made in the retail channel to supermarkets, warehouse clubs and national chains and generally are transacted through Hillshire Brands’ own sales force and outside brokers.
The primary raw materials for the segment’s products include pork and beef, which are purchased almost entirely from third party suppliers and independent farmers, and poultry. We raise turkeys and contract with turkey growers to meet our raw material needs. Hillshire Brands does not rely on any one or small group of suppliers for these raw materials, and prices fluctuate based on supply and demand in the marketplace, weather and government price supports. We utilize commodity financial derivative instruments and forward purchase contracts to manage our exposure to short-term cost fluctuations.
The branded meat business is highly competitive, with an emphasis on product quality, innovation and value. New product innovations are a key component to our success. The Retail segment competes with other international, national, regional and local companies in each of the product categories.
Retail’s business accounted for 73%, 74% and 73% of Hillshire Brands’ consolidated sales on a continuing operations basis during fiscal years 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively.
Foodservice/Other sells a variety of meat and bakery products to foodservice customers in North America. Products include hot dogs and corn dogs, breakfast sausages and sandwiches, dinner sausages, premium deli and luncheon meats, ham, beef and turkey as well as a variety of bakery products, including pastries, muffins, frozen pies, cakes and cheesecakes. This segment also includes results for the company’s commodity pork and turkey businesses as well as the former Senseo coffee business in the United States that was exited in March 2012.
During fiscal 2014, virtually all of the segment’s sales were generated in the U.S. Sales are made in the foodservice channel to broad-line foodservice distributors, restaurants, hospitals and other large institutions. Volumes in our non-commodity Foodservice/Other business generally are a function of consumer eating patterns outside of the home. Volumes in our turkey operations generally are a function of supply versus internal production demand.
The primary raw materials for Foodservice/Other’s products include pork, beef and poultry and, to a lesser extent, wheat flour, sugar, corn syrup, cooking oils, butter, fruit and eggs, which are purchased from independent suppliers and farmers. We also raise turkeys and contract with independent growers to meet our raw material needs. The Foodservice/Other segment does not rely on any one or small group of suppliers for these raw materials, and prices fluctuate based upon supply and demand in the marketplace, weather and government price supports. We utilize commodity financial derivative instruments and forward purchase contracts to manage our exposure to short-term cost fluctuations.
The Foodservice/Other segment competes with other international, national, regional and local companies in each of its product categories.
Foodservice/Other’s business accounted for 27%, 26% and 26% of Hillshire Brands’ consolidated sales on a continuing operations basis during fiscal years 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively.
Discontinued Operations-Australian Bakery
On February 4, 2013, Hillshire Brands completed the sale of its Australian bakery business. Accordingly, the results of operations of this business are reported as discontinued operations for all periods presented, except for the balance sheet presentation of Australian bakery which was not reclassified in prior periods.
Hillshire Brands considers major mass retailers and supermarket chains in the United States to be its most significant customers. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and its affiliates was Hillshire Brands’ largest customer in fiscal 2014, accounting for approximately $1 billion or approximately 27% of Hillshire Brands’ consolidated revenues from continuing operations. Virtually all of these revenues were generated by the Retail segment. Although no other single customer accounts for 10% or more of Hillshire Brands’ consolidated revenues from continuing operations, the loss of one of our major mass retailer or supermarket chain customers, or a significant Foodservice customer, could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Hillshire Brands is the owner of approximately 1,000 active trademark registrations and applications in countries around the world, which includes registrations held by Aidells Sausage Company, Golden Island Jerky Company, Inc. and Van's International Foods, Inc. Hillshire Brands believes that, as a branded food company, its trademarks are among its most valuable assets. Although the laws vary by jurisdiction, trademarks generally are valid as long as they are in use and/or their registrations are properly maintained and have not been found to have become generic. Trademark registrations generally can be renewed indefinitely as long as the trademarks are in use. Hillshire Brands believes that its core brands are covered by trademark registrations in most jurisdictions in which Hillshire Brands does business, and Hillshire Brands has an active program designed to ensure that its marks and other intellectual property rights are registered, renewed, protected and maintained. Some of Hillshire Brands’ products are sold under brands that have been licensed from third parties. Hillshire Brands also owns a number of valuable patents. In addition, Hillshire Brands owns numerous copyrights, both registered and unregistered, and proprietary trade secrets, technology, know-how processes and other intellectual property rights that are not registered.
Generally, seasonal changes in demand for certain Hillshire Brands products are offset by Hillshire Brands’ diverse product offerings. For example, in the Retail segment, sales of grilling items, such as hot dogs and smoked sausage, increase during the summer months, and cocktail links, frozen pies and breakfast sausage sales increase during the winter holiday periods. Hillshire
Brands’ consolidated net sales from continuing operations for fiscal 2014 were recognized 24% in the first quarter, 27% in the second quarter, 23% in the third quarter and 26% in the fourth quarter.
Hillshire Brands’ Retail and Foodservice operations, food products and packaging materials are subject to regulations administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) and the Food and Drug Administration (the “FDA”). Among other things, these agencies enforce statutory prohibitions against misbranded and adulterated foods; establish safety standards for food processing; establish standards for ingredients and manufacturing procedures for certain foods; establish standards for identifying certain foods; determine the safety of food additives; and establish labeling standards and nutrition labeling requirements for food products. In addition, various states regulate these businesses by enforcing federal and state standards of identity for selected food products, grading food products, inspecting plants and imposing their own food safety and labeling requirements on food products.
The Food Safety Modernization Act was enacted in 2011 and, when fully effective, will impose new food safety standards on FDA regulated products. The Act is aimed at moving food safety from a reactive mode to a proactive one, similar to food safety procedures in USDA regulated plants. Hillshire Brands plans to be in full compliance with the implementing regulations as they are finalized.
Hillshire Brands buys livestock, meat and poultry products and processed food ingredients from numerous sources based on factors such as price, quality and availability. Many of these products and processed food ingredients are subject to governmental agricultural programs. These programs have substantial effects on prices and supplies and are subject to U.S. Congressional and administrative review.
Hillshire Brands’ operations, like those of similar businesses, also are subject to various federal, regional, state and local environmental and safety laws and regulations including the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Solid Waste Disposal Act (as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, Emergency Planning Community Right-to-Know Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (collectively “ESH Laws”). These ESH Laws may require permits for the discharge of pollutants into the air or water; impose limitations on the discharge of pollutants into the air or water; require the installation of pollution control equipment; establish standards for the treatment, storage, transportation and disposal of solid and/or hazardous wastes; impose obligations to investigate and remediate soil and/or groundwater contamination in certain circumstances; regulate storage tank use; require certain employee and facility safety programs; require reporting of certain information to a government and/or the public; and impose other requirements intended to protect the environment and employee and public health and safety.
While Hillshire Brands expects to make capital and other expenditures to comply with ESH Laws, it does not anticipate that such compliance will have a material adverse effect on its consolidated results of operations, financial position or cash flows. Hillshire Brands has an ongoing program to monitor compliance with ESH Laws.
At the end of fiscal year 2014, Hillshire Brands employed approximately 9,000 employees in its continuing operations.
Executive Officers of Hillshire Brands
Set forth below are Hillshire Brands’ executive officers and other senior corporate officers as of August 21, 2014. There are no family relationships between any of the executive officers listed below or between any of our executive officers and any of our directors.
Sean M. Connolly, Age 49. President and Chief Executive Officer of The Hillshire Brands Company since June 2012, and Executive Vice President of Sara Lee Corporation and Chief Executive Officer, Sara Lee North American Retail and Foodservice, from January to June 2012. Prior to joining Hillshire Brands, Mr. Connolly served as President of Campbell North America, the largest division of Campbell Soup Company (branded convenience food products), from October 2010 to December 2011, President, Campbell USA from 2008 to 2010 and President, North American Foodservice from 2007 to 2008. Before joining Campbell Soup in 2002, Mr. Connolly served in various marketing and brand management roles at Procter & Gamble (branded consumer packaged goods) for a decade.
Maria Henry, age 47. Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of The Hillshire Brands Company since June 2012, and Chief Financial Officer of Sara Lee Corporation's North American operations from July 2011 to June 2012. Prior to joining Sara Lee, Ms. Henry served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Culligan International (water filtration) from October 2005 to June 2011, and as Chief Financial Officer of Vastera, Inc. (global trade management solutions) from October 2002 to May 2005. She previously served as Vice President of Corporate Development of Acterna Corporation (telecommunications equipment) from October 2001 to October 2002, and as Chief Financial Officer, North America and Senior Vice President of Finance, Planning and Analysis of U.S. Office Products (office products supply) from May 1999 to May 2001.
Andrew P. Callahan, Age 48. Executive Vice President and President, Retail of The Hillshire Brands Company, since June 2012, Senior Vice President, Chief Customer Officer for Sara Lee Corporation's North American operations from April 2011 to June 2012, President, of Sara Lee's North American Foodservice segment from November 2009 to April 2011, and Vice President of Marketing for Sara Lee's breakfast and snacking business unit. Prior to joining Sara Lee, Mr. Callahan worked at Kraft Foods, Inc. (branded food products) for 13 years in various marketing, sales and general management positions, including Vice President, Customer Development on Kraft's SUPERVALU business and General Manager of The Churny Company.
Thomas P. Hayes, Age 49. Executive Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer of The Hillshire Brands Company since June 2012, Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer for Sara Lee Corporation's North American Retail and Foodservice businesses from 2009 to 2012, President of Sara Lee Foodservice from 2007 to 2009, and Chief Customer Officer, Foodservice from 2006 to 2007. Prior to joining Sara Lee in 2006, Mr. Hayes served as group president of US Foodservice, Inc. (foodservice distributor) from 2004 to 2006 and held general management, sales and marketing positions with ConAgra Foods (diversified food company), The Fort James Corporation (paper mills), Stella Foods (food products) and Kraft Foods, Inc.
Kent B. Magill, Age 61. Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of The Hillshire Brands Company since June 2012. Before joining Hillshire Brands, Mr. Magill was an attorney with Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP (law firm) from March 2012 to June 2012, and prior to that was employed by Hostess Brands, Inc. (formerly Interstate Bakeries Corporation) (fresh-baked bread and sweet goods baker) from November 2000 to March 2012, most recently serving as its Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. He also served as Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Layne Christensen Company (global water management, construction and mineral exploration company) from August 1992 to November 2000, and held various legal positions with The Marley Company (diversified manufacturer of industrial and consumer products) from May 1980 to August 1992, including Vice President and Associate General Counsel. Hostess Brands, Inc. (formerly Interstate Bakeries Corporation) filed voluntary petitions for business reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in September 2004 and March 2012.
Donald C. Davis, Age 53. Senior Vice President and President, Foodservice of The Hillshire Brands Company since June 2012, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Sara Lee Corporation's North American Foodservice business from April 2011 to May 2012, and Senior Vice President of Sales for Sara Lee's North American Foodservice business from February 2008 to March 2011. Prior to joining Sara Lee in 2005, Mr. Davis held various positions with ConAgra Foodservice (branded food company) from January 2000 to September 2005, including Senior Vice President of Sales for Culinary Products, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Hunt Wesson, and Vice President of Sales and Marketing for ConAgra Poultry. Mr. Davis previously worked for Sara Lee Corporation from November 1988 to July 1998.
Sally Grimes, Age 43. Senior Vice President, Chief Innovation Officer and President, Gourmet Food Group, of The Hillshire Brands Company since July 2012. Prior to joining Hillshire Brands, Ms. Grimes served as Global Vice President, Marketing, for the writing and creative expression business unit at Newell Rubbermaid, Inc. (global marketer of consumer and commercial products) from July 2007 to June 2012, and worked at Kraft Foods, Inc. in a variety of brand management positions from 1997 to 2007.
Mary Oleksiuk, Age 52. Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer for The Hillshire Brands Company since October 2012. Prior to joining Hillshire Brands, Ms. Oleksiuk served as Chief Human Resources Officer and Senior Vice President for Discover Financial Services (direct banking and payment services company) from October 2011 to October 2012. From June 2010 to October 2011, she served as Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources with Alberto Culver Company (branded beauty care, food and household products) and as Vice President, Global Human Resources with Alberto Culver Company from November 2007 to June 2010. Before that, Oleksiuk held numerous leadership roles in human resources at companies such as Limited Brands, Inc. (clothing retailer), Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. (global online travel company), and Solucient/Thompson Reuters (healthcare information company). She began her career at Honeywell/AlliedSignal (diversified technology and manufacturing company).
Brian C. Davison, Age 48. Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Development of The Hillshire Brands Company since January 2013. Prior to joining Hillshire Brands, Mr. Davison held various strategy roles at Kraft Foods, Inc. from August 2001 to December 2012, most recently serving as Vice President, Strategic Planning. Prior to Kraft, Mr. Davison was principal at Booz & Company, Inc. (management consulting firm) from August 1995 to August 2001. Mr. Davison began his career at Kraft, spending six years working in both product and process development.
Sean Reid, Age 47. Senior Vice President, Chief Customer Officer of The Hillshire Brands Company since August 2012. Prior to joining Hillshire Brands, Mr. Reid served as Senior Vice President, U.S. and International Sales at Schwan Food Company (branded food products) from September 2010 to August 2012. Prior to Schwan, Mr. Reid held several vice president roles at Kraft Foods, Inc. from January 2001 to August 2010, most recently as Vice President, U.S. Retail Sales. He also held several positions at Nabisco Biscuits & Snacks, including Region Vice President, Nabisco Biscuits as well as positions in sales and category management in earlier years.
Information Available on Hillshire Brands’ Web Site
This Annual Report on Form 10-K and Hillshire Brands’ Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, any amendments to those reports, and other documents filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) are available free of charge on Hillshire Brands’ Web site (www.hillshirebrands.com, under “Investor Relations-Financial Reports”) as soon as reasonably practicable after such documents are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. These documents also are made available to read and copy at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. You may obtain information about the Public Reference Room by contacting the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. Reports filed with the SEC are also made available on its website at www.sec.gov.
The following documents also are available free of charge on Hillshire Brands’ Web site, www.hillshirebrands.com, under the captions indicated:
A copy of Hillshire Brands’ Corporate Governance Guidelines, Global Business Standards, or the charter of Hillshire Brands’ Audit, Compensation and Employee Benefits, or Corporate Governance, Nominating and Policy Committees will be sent to any stockholder without charge upon written request addressed to Hillshire Brands Corporation, Attn: Investor Relations Department, at 400 S. Jefferson Street, Chicago, Illinois 60607 or by calling (312) 614-8100.
Financial Information about Industry Segments
For financial reporting purposes, Hillshire Brands’ businesses are divided into two business segments-Retail and Foodservice/Other. Former business segments, including our former Australian bakery, International Coffee and Tea, North American Fresh Bakery, International Household and Body Care, as well as the North American refrigerated dough (Store Brands) business are reported as discontinued operations. The financial information about Hillshire Brands’ business segments in Note 19 - Business Segment Information to our Consolidated Financial Statements is incorporated herein by reference.
Financial Information about Foreign and Domestic Operations
Hillshire Brands conducts business predominantly in the United States. The financial information about Hillshire Brands’ foreign and domestic operations in Note 19 - Business Segment Information to our Consolidated Financial Statements is incorporated herein by reference.
Item 1A. Risk Factors
You are encouraged to read the following risk factors carefully in connection with evaluating our business and the forward-looking information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Any of the following risks could materially and adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition. We believe we have identified and discussed below the key risk factors affecting our business, however there may be additional risks and uncertainties that are not presently known or that are not currently believed to be significant that may adversely affect our business, performance or financial condition in the future.
Risk Factors Related to the Merger Agreement
The conditions under the Merger Agreement to Tyson’s consummation of the tender offer and our subsequent merger with a subsidiary of Tyson may not be satisfied at all or in the anticipated timeframe.
Under the terms of the Merger Agreement, the consummation of Tyson’s pending tender offer and subsequent merger is subject to customary conditions. Satisfaction of certain of the conditions is not within our control, and difficulties in otherwise satisfying the conditions may prevent, delay or otherwise materially adversely affect the consummation of the tender offer and subsequent merger. These conditions include, among other things, (i) the expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the HSR Act and (ii) there being validly tendered and not validly withdrawn a number of shares of Hillshire Brands common stock equal to at least two-thirds of the total outstanding shares of Hillshire Brands common stock upon expiration of the tender offer. It also is possible that an event, change, effect, development, state of facts, condition, circumstance or occurrence resulting in a material adverse effect (as defined in the Merger Agreement) on Hillshire Brands may occur, the non-occurrence of which is a condition to the consummation of the tender offer and subsequent merger. We cannot predict with certainty whether and when any of the required conditions will be satisfied. If the acquisition does not receive, or timely receive, the required regulatory approvals and clearances, or if another event occurs delaying or preventing the acquisition, such delay or failure to complete the acquisition may create uncertainty or otherwise have negative consequences that may materially and adversely affect our sales, financial condition and results of operations, as well as the price per share for our common stock.
While Tyson’s tender offer and merger are pending, we are subject to business uncertainties and contractual restrictions that could disrupt our business.
Whether or not Tyson’s pending tender offer and subsequent merger are consummated, the proposed acquisition may disrupt our current plans and operations, which could have an adverse effect on our business and financial results. The pendency of the acquisition may also divert management’s attention and our resources from ongoing business and operations and our employees and other key personnel may have uncertainties about the effect of the pending acquisition, and the uncertainties may impact our ability to retain, recruit and hire key personnel while the acquisition is pending or if it fails to close. We may incur unexpected costs, charges or expenses resulting from the acquisition. Furthermore, we cannot predict how our suppliers, customers and other business partners will view or react to the acquisition upon consummation. If we are unable to reassure our customers, suppliers and other business partners to continue transacting business with us, our sales, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.
The preparations for integration between Tyson and Hillshire Brands have placed and we expect will continue to place a significant burden on many of our employees and on our internal resources. If, despite our efforts, key personnel depart because of these uncertainties and burdens, or because they do not wish to remain with the combined company, our business and results of operations may be adversely affected. In addition, whether or not the merger is consummated, while it is pending we will continue to incur costs, fees, expenses and charges related to the proposed merger, which may materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, the Merger Agreement generally requires Hillshire Brands to operate its business in the ordinary course of business consistent with past practice pending consummation of the merger and also restricts us from taking certain actions with respect to our business and financial affairs without Tyson’s consent, including, without limitation, the payment of dividends other than regular quarterly cash dividends in the ordinary course of business consistent with past practice not exceeding $0.175 per share. Such restrictions will be in place until either the merger is consummated or the Merger Agreement is terminated. For these and other reasons, the pendency of the tender offer and merger could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
In the event that our proposed merger with a wholly owned subsidiary of Tyson is not consummated, the trading price of our common stock and our future business and results of operations may be negatively affected.
The conditions to the consummation of the proposed acquisition may not be satisfied as noted above. If the acquisition is not consummated, we would remain liable for significant transaction costs, and the focus of our management would have been diverted from seeking other potential strategic opportunities, in each case without realizing any benefits of the proposed acquisition. For these and other reasons, not consummating the acquisition could adversely affect our business and results of operations. Furthermore, if we do not consummate the acquisition, the price of our common stock may decline significantly from the current market price, which we believe reflects a market assumption that the tender offer and the merger will be consummated. Certain costs associated with the acquisition have already been incurred or may be payable even if the acquisition is not consummated. Further, a failed transaction may result in negative publicity and a negative impression of us in the investment community. Finally, any disruptions to our business resulting from the announcement and pendency of the tender offer and merger and from intensifying competition from our competitors, including any adverse changes in our relationships with our customers, vendors and employees or recruiting and retention efforts, could continue or accelerate in the event of a failed acquisition.
If the Merger Agreement is terminated, we may, under certain circumstances, be obligated to pay a termination fee to Tyson. These costs could require us to use available cash that would have otherwise been available for other uses.
If the proposed acquisition is not completed, in certain circumstances, we could be required to pay a termination fee of $261 million to Tyson and to reimburse Tyson $163 million, the amount of the termination fee paid by Tyson to Pinnacle on our behalf under the Pinnacle Merger Agreement. If the Merger Agreement is terminated, the termination fee we may be required to pay, if any, under the Merger Agreement may require us to use available cash that would have otherwise been available for general corporate purposes or other uses. For these and other reasons, termination of the Merger Agreement could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations or financial condition, which in turn would materially and adversely affect our business or financial condition as well as the price per share of our common stock.
Litigation against us and our directors could result in an injunction preventing consummation of the Tyson tender offer and subsequent merger, and significant litigation costs that could adversely affect our financial condition.
One of the conditions to the consummation of the Tyson tender offer and the subsequent merger is that no law or order is in effect that prohibits, enjoins or makes illegal the consummation of the tender offer and merger. Consequently, if any person or entity were to secure injunctive or other relief prohibiting, delaying or otherwise adversely affecting our ability to consummate the tender offer, then such injunctive or other relief may prevent the merger from being consummated at all or within the expected time frame. If consummation of the tender offer or merger is prevented or delayed, it could result in substantial costs to us, as noted above.
Our executive officers and directors may have interests that are different from, or in addition to, those of our stockholders generally.
Our executive officers and directors may have interests in the merger that are different from, or are in addition to, those of Hillshire Brands stockholders generally. These interests may include direct or indirect ownership of Hillshire Brands common stock, stock options and restricted stock units (including performance-based restricted stock units) and the potential receipt of change in control payments by certain Hillshire Brands executive officers in connection with the proposed merger.
Risks Relating to the Industry and our Business
Our profitability may suffer as a result of the highly competitive markets in which we operate.
The retail branded food and foodservice industries are intensely competitive, with an emphasis on product quality, innovation and value, and our products are subject to significant price competition. We compete with companies that have various product ranges and geographic reach and some of our competitors have significant financial resources. From time to time in response to competitive and customer pressures or to maintain market share, we may need to reduce the prices for some of our products or increase or reallocate spending on marketing, advertising and promotions and new product innovation. Such pressures also may restrict our ability to increase prices in response to raw material and other cost increases. Any reduction in prices as a result of competitive pressures, or any failure to increase prices to offset cost increases, would harm our profit margins. If we reduce prices but we cannot increase sales volumes to offset the price changes, then our financial condition and results of operations will suffer. Alternatively, if we do not reduce our prices and our competitors seek advantage through pricing or promotional changes, our revenues and market share would be adversely affected.
Fluctuations in commodity costs could cause volatility in our operating costs and may reduce profits.
We use large quantities of commodities and inputs such as pork, beef, poultry, packaging and energy and, to a lesser extent, cheese, fruit, seasoning blends, flour, corn, corn syrup, soybean and corn oils, butter and sugar. We also raise turkeys and contract with turkey growers to meet our raw material requirements for whole birds and processed turkey products. Our costs for turkey are affected by the cost and supply of feed grains, including corn and soybean meal. Prices for all of these commodities are volatile and fluctuate due to factors that are difficult to predict and beyond our control, such as fluctuations in the commodity market, outbreaks of disease, the availability of supply, severe weather, consumer or industrial demand and changes in governmental and international trade, alternative energy and agricultural programs. We experienced material input cost inflation throughout 2014 and expect continued inflationary input costs in 2015.
Volatility in our commodity and other input costs directly impact our gross margin and profitability. The company’s objective is to offset commodity price increases with pricing actions over time and to offset any operating cost increases with continuous improvement savings. We may not be able to increase our product prices enough to sufficiently offset increased raw material costs due to consumer price sensitivity or the pricing postures of our competitors. In addition, if we increase prices to offset higher costs, we could experience lower sales volumes. Conversely, decreases in our commodity and other input costs may create pressure on us to decrease our prices. Further, continuous improvement savings may not be sufficient to fully offset any operating cost increases. While we use commodity financial derivative instruments and forward purchase contracts to manage our exposure to short-term cost fluctuations, we do not fully hedge against changes in commodities prices. Our strategies may not be adequate to limit our exposure to sustained cost increases and also may delay our ability to benefit from cost decreases, if commodity costs decrease below those secured under our hedging programs. Over time, if we are unable to price our products to cover increased costs, to offset operating cost increases with continuous improvement savings or are not successful in our commodity hedging program, then commodity and other input price volatility or increases could materially and adversely affect our profitability, financial condition and results of operations.
Our results may be negatively impacted if consumers do not maintain their favorable perception of our brands and products.
We have a number of iconic brands with significant value. Maintaining and continually enhancing the value of these brands is critical to the success of our business. Brand value is based in large part on consumer perceptions. Success in promoting and enhancing brand value depends in large part on our ability to provide high-quality products. Brand value could diminish significantly due to a number of factors, including consumer perception that we have acted in an irresponsible manner, adverse publicity about our products (whether or not valid), our failure to maintain the quality of our products, the failure of our products to deliver consistently positive consumer experiences or the products becoming unavailable to consumers.
There also are a number of trends in consumer preferences that may impact us and the industry as a whole. Prolonged negative perceptions concerning the health implications of certain food products or ingredients could influence consumer preferences and acceptance of some of our products and marketing programs. We strive to respond to consumer preferences and social expectations, but we may not be successful in our efforts. Continued negative perceptions and failure to satisfy consumer preferences could materially and adversely affect our product sales, financial condition and results of operations.
Our financial success is dependent on our continued innovation, successful launch of new products and maintaining our brand image through marketing investments.
Our financial success is dependent on anticipating changes in consumer preferences and dietary habits and successfully developing and launching new products and product extensions that consumers want. We devote significant resources to new product development and product extensions, however we may not be successful in developing innovative new products or our
new products may not be commercially successful. To the extent we are not able to effectively gauge the direction of our key markets and successfully identify, develop, manufacture and market new or improved products in these changing markets, our financial results and our competitive position will suffer. In addition, our introduction of new products or product extensions may generate litigation or other legal proceedings against us by competitors claiming infringement of their intellectual property or other rights, which could negatively impact our results of operations.
We also seek to maintain and extend our brand image through marketing investments, including advertising, consumer promotions and trade spend. Due to inherent risks in the marketplace associated with advertising, promotions and new product introductions, including uncertainties about trade and consumer acceptance, our marketing investments may not prove successful in maintaining or increasing our market share and could result in lower sales and profits. Continuing global focus on health and wellness, including weight management, and increasing media attention to the role of food marketing could adversely affect our brand image or lead to stricter regulations and greater scrutiny of food marketing practices.
Our success in maintaining, extending and expanding our brand image also depends on our ability to adapt to a rapidly changing media environment, including our increasing reliance on social media and online dissemination of advertising campaigns. The growing use of social and digital media increases the speed and extent that information or misinformation and opinions can be shared. We are subject to a variety of legal and regulatory restrictions on how and to whom we market our products, for instance marketing to children, which may limit our ability to maintain or extend our brand image. Negative posts or comments about us, our brands or our products on social or digital media could seriously damage our reputation and brand image. If we do not maintain or extend our brand image, then our product sales, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.
Outbreaks of disease among livestock and poultry flocks could harm the Company's revenues and operating margins.
As a producer of branded meat products, we are subject to risks associated with the outbreak of disease in pork, beef livestock and poultry flocks, including porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), avian influenza and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The outbreak of disease could adversely affect our supply of raw materials, increase the cost of production and reduce operating margins. Additionally, the outbreak of disease may hinder our ability to market and sell products. We have developed business continuity plans for various disease scenarios; however there can be no assurance that these plans will be effective in eliminating the negative effects of any such diseases on our operating results.
We must leverage our brand value propositions to compete against private label products and maintain profitability during economic downturns.
In many product categories, we compete not only with other widely advertised branded products, but also with private label products that generally are sold at lower prices. Consumers are more likely to purchase our products if they believe that our products provide a higher quality and greater value than less expensive alternatives. If the difference in quality between our brands and private label products narrows, or if there is a perception of such a narrowing, consumers may choose not to buy our products at prices that are profitable for us. In addition, in periods of economic uncertainty, consumers tend to purchase more lower-priced private label or other economy brands. We experienced this type of shift to lower-priced products during periods when we increased product prices in response to higher commodity costs. To the extent this occurs again, we could experience a reduction in the sales volume of our higher margin products or a shift in our product mix to lower margin offerings. In addition, in times of economic uncertainty, consumers reduce the amount of food that they consume away from home at our foodservice customers, which in turn reduces our product sales.
Changes in our relationships with our major customers, or in the trade terms required by such customers, may reduce sales and profits.
Our largest customer, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and its affiliates, accounted for approximately 27% of our net sales from continuing operations in fiscal 2014 and our top 10 customers, including Wal-Mart, collectively accounted for approximately 59% of our fiscal 2014 net sales from continuing operations. Besides Wal-Mart, no other customer accounted for more than 10% of our net sales from continuing operations during fiscal 2014. Our Retail customers typically do not enter into written contracts and if they do sign contracts they generally are limited in scope and duration. There can be no assurance that significant customers will continue to purchase our products in the same mix or quantities or on the same terms as in the past. As the retail grocery trade continues to consolidate and mass marketers become larger, our large Retail customers may seek to use their position to improve their profitability through improved inventory efficiency, lower pricing, increased promotional programs and increased emphasis on private label products, including premium label offerings. If we are unable to use our scale, marketing expertise, product innovation and category leadership positions to respond, our profitability or volume growth could be negatively affected. To the extent we provide concessions or trade terms that are favorable to our customers, our margins would be reduced. In addition, we sell to many large foodservice distributors and group purchasing organizations, which sales are frequently secured through
competitive bidding. The loss of a significant customer or a material reduction in sales to, or adverse change to trade terms with, a significant customer could materially and adversely affect our product sales, financial condition and results of operations.
If our food products become contaminated or mislabeled, we might need to recall those items and may experience product liability claims if consumers are injured.
Selling products for human consumption involves a number of legal risks. We may need to recall some of our products if they spoil, become contaminated, are tampered with or are mislabeled. A widespread product recall could result in significant losses due to the costs of a recall, the destruction of product inventory and lost sales due to the unavailability of product for a period of time. Such a product recall also could result in adverse publicity, damage to our reputation, and a loss of consumer confidence in our products, which could have a material adverse effect on our business results and the value of our brands. We also may incur significant liability if our products or operations violate applicable laws or regulations, or in the event our products cause injury, illness or death. In addition, we could be the target of claims that our advertising is false or deceptive under U.S. federal and state laws as well as foreign laws, including consumer protection statutes of some states. Even if a product liability or consumer fraud claim is unsuccessful or without merit, the negative publicity surrounding such assertions regarding our products could adversely affect our reputation and brand image.
Concerns with the safety and quality of food products could cause consumers to avoid certain food products or ingredients.
We could be adversely affected if consumers lose confidence in the safety and quality of certain food products or ingredients, or the food safety system generally. Adverse publicity about these types of concerns, whether or not valid, may discourage consumers from buying our products or cause production and delivery disruptions.
Indemnification agreements with D.E MASTER BLENDERS 1753 N.V. (“DEMB”) and buyers of other divested businesses may not fully protect us against certain liabilities.
On June 28, 2012, we divested our international coffee and tea business segment through the Spin-Off of DEMB. In addition to the Spin-Off, Hillshire Brands has completed the divestitures of a number of other businesses, both within North America and internationally. Before they were divested, these businesses were subject to Hillshire Brands' internal controls and accounting and reporting policies and procedures; however, there may be undiscovered issues that existed within DEMB or the other businesses that we divested that could adversely impact our historical financial statements. For example, on August 1, 2012, DEMB announced that it had discovered accounting irregularities and other adjustments within its Brazilian operations, which were not known before the Spin-Off and have resulted in Hillshire Brands restating its financial statements for fiscal years 2010 and 2011. In connection with the Spin-Off, we and DEMB generally agreed to indemnify each other for liabilities that arise out of our respective businesses and for certain specified legacy liabilities arising from businesses divested prior to the Spin-Off. In addition, DEMB agreed to indemnify us for certain tax liabilities that could result from the Spin-Off and certain related transactions (as more fully described below). There can be no assurance that (1) our indemnity agreements with DEMB will be sufficient to protect us against liabilities that may arise relating to the conduct of the spun-off international coffee and tea business, including certain tax liabilities, (2) we will not be required to indemnify DEMB for liabilities arising out of the conduct of our business or certain legacy liabilities, or (3) DEMB will be able to fully satisfy its indemnification obligations to us. Moreover, even if we ultimately succeed in recovering payment from DEMB for indemnifiable liabilities that may arise, we may be temporarily required to bear financial responsibility for such liabilities until such time as the indemnity is paid. Our inability to enforce these indemnification obligations or obtain indemnification payments in a timely manner, or our failure to recover losses for which we are entitled to be indemnified, could adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
We have also entered into agreements with the buyers of other divested businesses not related to the Spin-Off that contain mutual indemnification obligations for matters relating to those businesses. These indemnification agreements and obligations are subject to the same risks as the Spin-Off related indemnification obligations noted above.
We and our stockholders could incur substantial tax liabilities as a result of the Spin-Off.
We intend for the Spin-Off and certain related transactions to qualify as tax-free under Sections 355, 368(a)(1)(D), and 361 and related provisions of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, which we refer to as the Code, and we received a private letter ruling from the IRS substantially to the effect that the Spin-Off and certain related transactions, including the debt exchange, will qualify as tax-free to us and our stockholders for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Although a private letter ruling generally is binding on the IRS, if the factual representations or assumptions made in the private letter ruling request are untrue or incomplete in any material respect, or any material forward-looking covenants or undertakings are not complied with, then we would not be able to rely on the ruling. In addition, the ruling is based on current law, and cannot be relied upon if the applicable law changes with retroactive effect. As a matter of practice the IRS does not rule on every requirement for a tax-free spin-off or tax-free debt-for-debt exchange, and the parties relied solely on the opinion of counsel for comfort that such additional requirements should be satisfied. The opinion of counsel relies on, among other things, the continuing validity of the ruling and various assumptions and
representations as to factual matters made by us and DEMB which, if inaccurate or incomplete in any material respect, would jeopardize the conclusions reached by counsel in its opinion. The opinion is not binding on the IRS or the courts, and there can be no assurance that the IRS or the courts will not challenge the conclusions stated in the opinion or that any such challenge would not prevail. Accordingly, even though we obtained a ruling and a “should” opinion of counsel, the IRS could assert that we have not satisfied the requirements for tax-free treatment and such assertion, if successful, could result in significant U.S. federal income tax liabilities for us and for our stockholders.
Events subsequent to the Spin-Off could cause the Spin-Off to become taxable. Under the terms of the tax sharing agreement we entered into with DEMB in connection with the Spin-Off, DEMB will generally be required to indemnify us for 100% of any taxes imposed on DEMB and its subsidiaries or us and our subsidiaries in the event that the Spin-Off and certain related transactions were to fail to qualify for tax-free treatment as a result of an acquisition of DEMB (including the acquisition of DEMB by J.A. Benckiser), or actions or omissions (including breaches of certain representations and warranties made in the tax sharing agreement) by DEMB or any of its affiliates. However, if the Spin-Off or certain related transactions were to fail to qualify for tax-free treatment because of actions or omissions by us or any of our affiliates, we would be responsible for all such taxes. In addition, we would be responsible for 50% of any taxes resulting from the failure of the Spin-Off and certain related transactions to qualify as tax-free, which failure is not due to actions or omissions (including breaches of certain representations and warranties made in the tax sharing agreement) by us, DEMB or any of our or DEMB's respective subsidiaries. There can be no assurance that the tax sharing agreement will be sufficient to protect us against any tax liabilities that may arise, or that DEMB will be able to fully satisfy its indemnification obligations. Our inability to enforce the indemnification provisions of the tax sharing agreement or obtain indemnification payments in a timely manner could adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
If we don't achieve targeted cost reductions and realize anticipated efficiencies, our results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
Our future success and profitability depends in part on our ability to be efficient in managing revenue, the manufacture and distribution of our products and in processing transactions with our customers and vendors. We have invested significant resources and made significant capital expenditures to improve our operational efficiency. In addition, we have a number of initiatives that are expected to deliver significant savings by 2016. Our failure to generate significant cost savings and margin improvement from our previous investments and our current cost reduction and productivity improvement initiatives could adversely affect our profitability, impact our ability to invest in growth initiatives and weaken our competitive position.
Multiemployer Pension Plan could adversely affect our business.
We participate in a “multiemployer” pension plan administered by a labor union representing some of our employees. We make periodic contributions to this plan to allow them to meet their pension benefit obligations to their participants. Our required contributions to this fund could increase because of a shrinking contribution base as a result of the insolvency or withdrawal of other companies that currently contribute to this fund, inability or failure of withdrawing companies to pay their withdrawal liability, lower than expected returns on pension fund assets or other funding deficiencies. In the event that we withdraw from participation in this plan, then applicable law could require us to make an additional lump-sum contribution to the plan, and we would have to reflect that as an expense in our consolidated statement of operations and as a liability on our consolidated balance sheet. Our withdrawal liability would depend on the extent of the plan's funding of vested benefits. The multiemployer plan in which we participate is reported to have significant underfunded liabilities. Such underfunding could increase the size of our potential withdrawal liability. In the event a withdrawal or partial withdrawal was to occur with respect to the multiemployer plan, the impact to our consolidated financial statements could be material.
Disruption of our supply chain or distribution capabilities could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our ability to make, move and sell products is critical to our success. Damage or disruption to our manufacturing or distribution capabilities, or the manufacturing or distribution capabilities of our suppliers and contract manufacturers, due to disputes, weather, natural disaster, fire, explosion, terrorism, raw material shortage, pandemics, labor strikes or climate change could impair our ability to manufacture or sell our products. For example, during March 2014, a fire occurred at our turkey processing facility in Iowa. The fire caused significant damage to both the plant and equipment and resulted in a shutdown in production. We currently estimate the facility will resume production within 9-12 months from the date of the fire. We are presently maintaining pre-fire production volumes through the use of alternate processors while the facility is under repair and anticipate that we will continue to do so until production resumes. Any potential delays in resuming production or our inability to maintain sufficient pre-fire production volumes through the use of alternate processors could have an adverse impact on our business.
Changes in the business operations or financial performance of our suppliers or contract manufacturers also could disrupt our supply chain or distribution capabilities. Failure to take adequate steps to mitigate the likelihood or potential impact of such events, or to effectively manage such events if they occur, could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, as well as require additional resources to restore our supply chain.
New or more stringent governmental regulations could adversely affect our business.
Food production and marketing are highly regulated by a variety of federal, state, local and foreign agencies. Changes in laws or regulations that impose additional regulatory requirements on us could increase our cost of doing business or restrict our actions, causing our results of operations to be adversely affected. For example, increased governmental interest in advertising practices may result in regulations that could require us to change or restrict our advertising practices. Also, food safety practices and procedures in the meat processing industry recently have been subject to more intense scrutiny and oversight and future outbreaks of diseases among cattle, poultry or pigs could lead to further governmental regulation.
Increased government regulations to limit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions as a result of concern over climate change may result in increased compliance costs, capital expenditures and other financial obligations for us. We use natural gas, diesel fuel and electricity in the manufacturing and distribution of our products. Legislation or regulation affecting these inputs could materially affect our profitability. In addition, climate change could affect our ability to procure needed commodities at costs and in quantities we currently experience and may require us to make additional unplanned capital expenditures.
Legal claims or other regulatory enforcement actions could subject us to civil and criminal penalties that affect our product sales, reputation and profitability.
We operate in a highly regulated environment with constantly evolving legal and regulatory frameworks. Consequently, we are subject to heightened risk of legal claims or other regulatory enforcement actions. Although we have implemented policies and procedures designed to ensure compliance with existing laws and regulations, there can be no assurance that our employees, contractors, or agents will not violate our policies and procedures. Moreover, a failure to maintain effective control processes could lead to violations, unintentional or otherwise, of laws and regulations. Legal claims or regulatory enforcement actions arising out of our failure or alleged failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations could subject us to civil and criminal penalties that could materially and adversely affect our product sales, reputation, financial condition and results of operations.
Weak financial performance, downgrades in our credit ratings, illiquid capital markets and volatile economic conditions could limit our access to the capital markets, reduce our liquidity, or increase our borrowing costs.
From time to time we may need to access the short-term and long-term capital markets to obtain financing. Our financial performance, the liquidity of the overall capital markets and the state of the economy, including the food and beverage industry, will affect our access to, and the availability of, financing on acceptable terms and conditions in the future. In addition, we have credit facilities in place and Hillshire Brands' credit rating is a significant factor that determines the pricing under these credit facilities. Negative changes in our credit ratings could increase our borrowing costs. Further, our current short-term credit rating allows us to participate in a commercial paper market that has a large number of potential investors and a high degree of liquidity. We may access the commercial paper market for daily funding requirements. A downgrade in our credit ratings, particularly our short-term credit rating, would likely reduce the amount of commercial paper we could issue, increase our commercial paper borrowing costs, or both. Our business also could be negatively impacted if our suppliers or customers experience disruptions from tighter capital and credit markets or a slowdown in the general economy.
Volatility in the capital markets or interest rates could adversely impact our pension costs and the funded status of our pension plans.
We sponsor a number of defined benefit plans for employees in the United States. The difference between plan obligations and assets, which signifies the funded status of our plans, is a significant factor in determining the net periodic benefit costs of our pension plans and our ongoing funding requirements. As of the end of fiscal 2014, the funded status of Hillshire Brands' defined benefit pension plans related to continuing operations was an underfunded position of $120 million, as compared to an underfunded position of $123 million at the end of fiscal 2013. Changes in interest rates and the market value of plan assets can impact the funded status of our plans and cause volatility in the net periodic benefit cost and our future funding requirements. The exact amount of cash contributions made to pension plans in any year is dependent upon a number of factors, including minimum funding requirements.
Failures or security breaches of our information technology systems could disrupt our operations and negatively impact our business.
Information technology is an important part of our business operations and we increasingly rely on information technology systems to manage business data and increase efficiencies in our production and distribution facilities and inventory management processes. We also use information technology to process financial information and results of operations for internal reporting purposes and to comply with regulatory, legal and tax requirements. In addition, we depend on information technology for digital marketing and electronic communications between our facilities, personnel, customers and suppliers. Like other companies, our information technology systems may be vulnerable to a variety of interruptions, including during the process of upgrading or replacing software, databases or components thereof, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, telecommunications failures, computer viruses, cyber-attacks, hackers, unauthorized access attempts and other security issues. We have implemented technology security initiatives and disaster recovery plans to mitigate our exposure to these risks, but these measures may not be adequate. Any significant failure of our systems, including failures that prevent our systems from functioning as intended, could cause transaction errors, processing inefficiencies, loss of customers and sales, have negative consequences on our employees and our business partners and have a negative impact on our operations or business reputation.
In addition, if we are unable to prevent security breaches, we may suffer financial and reputational damage or penalties because of the unauthorized disclosure of confidential information belonging to us or to our partners, customers, consumers or suppliers. In addition, the disclosure of non-public sensitive information through external media channels could lead to the loss of intellectual property or damage our reputation and brand image.
Failure to maximize or to successfully assert our intellectual property rights could impact our competitiveness.
We consider our intellectual property rights, particularly and most notably our trademarks, but also our trade secrets, patents and copyrights, to be a significant and valuable aspect of our business. We attempt to protect our intellectual property rights through a combination trademark, trade secret, patent and copyright laws, as well as licensing agreements, third party nondisclosure and assignment agreements and policing of third party misuses of our intellectual property. We cannot be sure that these intellectual property rights will be maximized or that they can be successfully asserted. There is a risk that we will not be able to obtain and perfect our own or, where appropriate, license intellectual property rights necessary to support new product introductions. We cannot be sure that these rights, if obtained, will not be invalidated, circumvented or challenged in the future. In addition, even if such rights are obtained in the United States, the laws of some of the other countries in which our products are or may be sold do not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. Our failure to perfect or successfully assert our intellectual property rights could make us less competitive and could have an adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition.
If we pursue strategic acquisitions or divestitures, we may not be able to successfully consummate favorable transactions or successfully integrate acquired businesses.
From time to time, we may evaluate acquisitions, joint ventures and divestitures that would enhance stockholder value and further our strategic objectives. Acquisitions and joint ventures involve financial and operational risks and uncertainties, including difficulty identifying suitable candidates or consummating a transaction on terms that are favorable to us; difficulties in achieving expected returns that justify the investments made; difficulties integrating acquired companies and operating joint ventures; challenges in retaining the acquired businesses' customers and key employees; inability to achieve the expected financial results and benefits of the transaction, such as cost savings and revenue growth from geographic expansion or product extensions; inability to implement and maintain consistent standards, controls, procedures and information systems; adverse effects on existing customer and supplier business relationships; indemnities and potential disputes with the sellers; and diversion of management's attention from our core businesses.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2. Properties
Hillshire Brands' corporate headquarters are located in approximately 230,000 square feet of leased facilities in Chicago, Illinois. We also lease an approximately 73,000 square foot facility outside Chicago, Illinois where our research and development team is located.
As of June 28, 2014, Hillshire Brands operated sixteen food processing and product manufacturing facilities, of which twelve manufacture meat-based products and four manufacture bakery products in the U.S. We also operate five mixing centers that each
contain more than 145,000 square feet in building area and numerous other warehouse and distribution facilities. In addition, we operate seven facilities for raising and processing turkeys.
Hillshire Brands or its subsidiaries own most of these key facilities, and the majority of the leased facilities are subject to lease terms of less than 10 years. Management believes that Hillshire Brands' facilities are maintained in good condition and are generally suitable and of sufficient capacity to support Hillshire Brands' current business operations.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
Aris Philippines. Hillshire Brands (formerly named Sara Lee Corporation) is a party to a consolidation of cases filed by individual complainants with the Republic of the Philippines, Department of Labor and Employment and the National Labor Relations Commission (the “NLRC”) from 1998 through July 1999. The complaint is filed against Aris Philippines, Inc., Sara Lee Corporation, Sara Lee Philippines, Inc., Fashion Accessories Philippines, Inc., and Attorney Cesar C. Cruz. The complaint primarily alleges unfair labor practices due to the termination of manufacturing operations in the Philippines by Aris Philippines, Inc., a former subsidiary of the company. In 2006, the arbitrator ruled against the defendants and awarded the complainants PHP3,453,664,710 (approximately USD $82 million) in damages and fees. The defendants appealed this ruling and it was subsequently set aside by the NLRC in December 2006. The parties have filed motions for reconsideration. Hillshire Brands continues to believe that the complainants’ claims are without merit; however, it is reasonably possible that this case will be ruled against us and have a material adverse impact on our results of operations and cash flows. The company has initiated settlement discussions and established an accrual for the estimated settlement amount.
SEC Subpoena. On November 1, 2012, the Staff of the SEC's Division of Enforcement issued a subpoena to Hillshire Brands focused on DEMB's accounting irregularities involving previously issued financial results for its Brazilian operations. See the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012 for additional information regarding Hillshire Brand's restatement of the historical financial results of its discontinued operations to reflect the correction of the accounting irregularities in the Brazilian operations. Hillshire Brands is cooperating fully with the SEC Staff's investigation.
Environmental. Hillshire Brands is a party to various other pending legal proceedings and claims. Some of the proceedings and claims against Hillshire Brands are for alleged environmental contamination and arise under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA” or “Superfund”). CERCLA imposes liability, regardless of fault, on certain classes of parties that are considered to be potentially responsible parties for contamination at a site. Although any one party can be held responsible for all the costs of investigation and cleanup, those costs are usually allocated among parties based on a variety of factors, such as the amount of waste or other materials each contributed to the site.
Although the outcome of the pending legal proceedings, including Superfund claims, cannot be determined with certainty, Hillshire Brands believes that the final outcomes should not have a material adverse effect on Hillshire Brands’ consolidated results of operations, financial position or cash flows.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Item 5. Market for the Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Hillshire Brands' common stock is traded on the exchanges listed on the cover page of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The principal market in the United States for our common stock is the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”). As of August 2, 2014, Hillshire Brands had approximately 39,324 holders of record of its common stock. Information regarding market prices on the NYSE and cash dividends declared on Hillshire Brands’ common stock during the past two fiscal years is included in Note 20 - Quarterly Financial Data (Unaudited) to our Consolidated Financial Statements and is incorporated herein by reference. The Merger Agreement with Tyson restricts our ability to pay dividends other than regular quarterly cash dividends in the ordinary course of business consistent with past practice not exceeding $0.175 per share. The amount of any future dividends will be determined by the company's Board of Directors, subject to the terms of the Merger Agreement, and is not guaranteed.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Hillshire Brands has two stock repurchase programs under which it may repurchase shares of common stock in either open market or private transactions. As of June 28, 2014, under one of these programs, the company is authorized to repurchase up to $1.2 billion of its shares of common stock. Under the other program, the company is authorized to repurchase up to 2.7 million shares of its common stock. There is no expiration date for either program. Hillshire Brands does not currently expect to repurchase shares under its repurchase programs.
The following table outlines Hillshire Brands' purchases of shares of its common stock during the fourth quarter of 2014.
Item 6. Selected Financial Data
The following table sets forth selected historical financial data for the five-year period ended June 28, 2014. The selected financial data set forth below should be read in conjunction with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations ” and the audited financial statements.
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
The following discussion and analysis provides a summary of the company's results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and significant accounting policies and critical estimates. This discussion should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and related notes thereto contained elsewhere in this Annual Report. The company's fiscal year ends on the Saturday closest to June 30. Fiscal years 2014, 2013 and 2012 were 52-week years. Unless otherwise stated, references to years relate to fiscal years.
The following is an outline of the analysis included herein:
•Summary of Results/Outlook
•Review of Consolidated Results
•Operating Results by Business Segment
•Non-GAAP Financial Measures
•Critical Accounting Estimates
•Issued But Not Yet Effective Accounting Standards
Hillshire Brands is a manufacturer and marketer of high-quality, brand name food products. Sales are principally in the United States, where it is one of the leaders in branded food solutions for the retail and foodservice markets. In the retail channel, the company sells a variety of packaged meat products that include hot dogs, corn dogs, breakfast sausages, breakfast convenience items, including breakfast sandwiches and bowls, dinner sausages, gourmet artisanal sausage, salami, jerky, premium deli and luncheon meats and cooked hams, as well as a variety of frozen baked products and specialty items including pies, cakes, and cheesecakes. These products are sold primarily to supermarkets, warehouse clubs and national chains. The company also sells a variety of meat and bakery products to foodservice customers.
The company's portfolio of brands includes Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, State Fair, Sara Lee frozen bakery, Chef Pierre pies and Van's, as well as artisanal brands Aidells, Gallo Salame and Golden Island Jerky.
The company is focused on delivering long-term value creation through strengthening the core of its business through brand building and innovation; leveraging its heritage brand equities to extend into new adjacent categories; and fueling growth by driving operating efficiencies.
Pending Transaction with Tyson
On July 1, 2014, Hillshire Brands, Tyson and Tyson merger sub entered into a Merger Agreement under which Tyson would acquire Hillshire Brands. Pursuant to the Merger Agreement, Tyson merger sub has commenced a tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of Hillshire Brands common stock for $63 per share in cash. Tyson merger sub’s obligation to consummate the tender offer and accept for payment and pay for shares of Hillshire Brands common stock tendered is subject to certain conditions, including (i) that the number of shares tendered represents at least two-thirds of the total number of outstanding shares of Hillshire Brands common stock as of the expiration of the tender offer and (ii) that the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, will have expired or been terminated at the expiration of the tender offer.
Upon the consummation of the tender offer, subject to the terms and conditions of the Merger Agreement, Tyson merger sub will merge with and into Hillshire Brands, with Hillshire Brands surviving as a wholly owned subsidiary of Tyson. As a result of the merger, any outstanding shares of Hillshire common stock not owned, directly or indirectly, by Tyson, Tyson merger sub or Hillshire Brands will be converted into the right to receive the offer price in the tender offer of $63 per share, and Hillshire Brands common stock will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. For additional information regarding the pending acquisition, see Part I, Item 1, “Business - Pending Transaction with Tyson”.
Summary of Results/Outlook
The business highlights for 2014 include the following:
Fiscal Year 2015 Outlook
The company expects Fiscal 2015 results to be impacted by a number of factors including higher raw material costs, continued investments in brand building and innovation and competitive dynamics. These factors will be partially offset by expected savings from the company's productivity planning.
Review of Consolidated Results
The following tables summarize net sales and operating income for 2014 versus 2013, and 2013 versus 2012 and certain items that affected the comparability of these amounts:
2014 Versus 2013
2013 Versus 2012
Management measures and reports Hillshire Brands' financial results in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"). In this report, Hillshire Brands highlights certain items that have significantly impacted the company's financial results and uses several non-GAAP financial measures to help investors understand the financial impact of these
significant items. See the "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" section of this Item for additional information regarding these financial measures.
Management believes that these non-GAAP financial measures reflect an additional way of viewing aspects of Hillshire Brands' business that, when viewed together with Hillshire Brands' financial results computed in accordance with GAAP, provide a more complete understanding of factors and trends affecting Hillshire Brands' historical financial performance and projected future operating results, greater transparency of underlying profit trends and greater comparability of results across periods. These non-GAAP financial measures are not intended to be a substitute for the comparable GAAP measures and should be read only in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP.
Management also uses certain of these non-GAAP financial measures, in conjunction with the GAAP financial measures, to understand, manage and evaluate our businesses, in planning for and forecasting financial results for future periods, and as one factor in determining achievement of incentive compensation. Two of the eight performance measures under Hillshire Brands' annual incentive plan are adjusted net sales and adjusted operating income, which are the reported amounts as adjusted for significant items and select other charges and gains. Many of the significant items will recur in future periods; however, the amount and frequency of each significant item varies from period to period.
Net sales in 2014 were $4.1 billion, an increase of $165 million, or 4.2% over the comparable 2013 period. Acquisitions during fiscal year 2014 increased net sales by $20 million. The remaining increase in net sales was driven by favorable mix and pricing actions taken to offset input cost inflation, which were partially offset by a decline in volume and lower commodity meat sales.
Net sales in 2013 were $3.9 billion, a decrease of $38 million, or 1.0% over the comparable 2012 period. Net sales were impacted by dispositions after the beginning of 2012, which reduced net sales by $55 million. Adjusted net sales increased $17 million, or 0.4% due to a 1.4% increase in volumes, which were only partially offset by an unfavorable shift in sales mix and pricing actions in response to lower commodity costs. Sales were negatively impacted by a material one-time reduction in inventory levels held by a large retail customer in the fourth quarter of 2013 and issues with the lunchmeat packaging transition.
Operating income increased by $9 million in 2014 over the comparable 2013 period. The year-over-year net impact of the change in significant items and business dispositions identified in the preceding table of consolidated results increased operating income by $15 million. As a result, adjusted operating income increased $24 million, or 6.5%, driven primarily by higher sales and lower SG&A expense partially offset by increased input costs.
Operating income decreased by $221 million in 2013 over the comparable 2012 period. The year-over-year net impact of the change in significant items and the business dispositions identified in the preceding table of consolidated results decreased operating income by $181 million. As a result, adjusted operating income increased $40 million, or 12.5% due to a significant decline in general corporate expense, excluding significant items, lower commodity costs net of pricing actions and higher volumes, partially offset by increased investments in media, advertising and promotion ("MAP") spending.
The gross margin, which represents net sales less cost of sales, increased by $3 million in 2014 over the comparable 2013 period. The increase was driven by pricing actions and favorable sales mix, partially offset by lower volumes and increased input costs.
The gross margin percentage decreased from 29.6% in 2013 to 28.5% in 2014. The decrease was primarily driven by increased input costs, partially offset by pricing actions and favorable sales mix.
The gross margin increased by $61 million in 2013 over the comparable 2012 period. The increase was driven by the impact of lower commodity costs and the benefits of cost saving initiatives. These were only partially offset by a negative shift in sales mix, higher bakery manufacturing costs and the generally weak economic conditions in the foodservice category.
The gross margin percentage increased from 27.8% in 2012 to 29.6% in 2013 due to gross margin percentage increases in the Retail segment. The gross margin percentage was positively impacted by lower commodity costs partially offset by higher bakery manufacturing costs.
Selling, General and Administrative Expenses
Total SG&A expenses reported in 2014 by the business segments decreased by $35 million, or 4.6%, versus the comparable 2013 period primarily due to lower MAP spending.
Unallocated general corporate expenses increased by $25 million in 2014 over the comparable prior year period primarily due to increased spending on efficiency programs and deal costs.
Total SG&A expenses reported in 2013 by the business segments increased by $41 million, or 5.6%, versus the comparable 2012 period primarily due to higher MAP spending.
Unallocated general corporate expenses decreased by $114 million in 2013 over the comparable prior year period due to a $86 million decrease in charges related to restructuring actions, costs incurred in conjunction with the spin-off and other significant items as well as the favorable impact of headcount reductions, lower benefit plan expenses and a reduction in information technology costs.
As previously noted, reported SG&A reflects amounts recognized for restructuring actions, spin-off related costs and other significant amounts. These amounts include the following:
Additional information regarding the restructuring and spin-off related costs can be found in Note 6 - Exit, Disposal and Restructuring Activities.
Exit Activities, Asset and Business Dispositions
Exit activities, asset and business dispositions are as follows:
The net charges in 2014 are $5 million higher than the comparable 2013 period as a result of higher severance costs, partially offset by lower lease and contractual obligation exit costs.
The net charges in 2013 are $72 million lower than the comparable 2012 period as a result of lower severance and lease and contractual obligation exit costs. The 2012 charges were incurred in conjunction with the spin-off.
The company did not incur impairment charges in 2014. In 2013, the company recognized a $1 million impairment charge, which related to the writedown of machinery and equipment associated with the Retail segment that was determined to no longer have any future use by the company. In 2012, the company recognized a $14 million impairment charge, which related to the writedown of computer software which was no longer in use. The charge was recognized as part of general corporate expenses.
Additional details regarding these impairment charges are discussed in Note 4 - Impairment Charges.
Net Interest Expense
Net interest expense of $39 million in 2014 was $2 million lower than the comparable prior year period. This was due to a $2 million increase in interest income from short-term investments. Net interest expense of $41 million in 2013 was $31 million lower than the comparable 2012 period. This was due to a decline in interest expense as a result of the repayment of approximately $2 billion of debt during 2012 primarily using proceeds from the completed business dispositions, as well as the transfer of $650 million of debt to DEMB as part of the spin-off.
Debt Extinguishment Costs
In 2012, the company completed a cash tender offer for $348 million of its 6.125% Notes due November 2032 and $122 million of its 4.10% Notes due 2020 and it redeemed all of its 3.875% Notes due 2013, with an aggregate principal amount of $500 million, and recognized $39 million of charges associated with the early extinguishment of this debt.
Income Tax Expense
The effective tax rate on continuing operations in 2014, 2013 and 2012 was impacted by a number of significant items that are shown in the reconciliation of the company's effective tax rate to the U.S. statutory rate in Note 18 - Income Taxes. Additional information regarding income taxes can be found in "Critical Accounting Estimates" within Management's Discussion and Analysis.
2014 versus 2013 In 2014, the company recognized a tax expense for continuing operations of $55 million, or an effective tax rate of 20.5%, compared to tax expense of $72 million, or an effective tax rate of 28.1%, in 2013. The tax rate in 2014 was primarily impacted by a $44 million tax benefit for the release of a valuation allowance on state deferred tax assets, primarily related to net operating loss and credit carryovers that became more-likely-than not realizable during the year. See the tax rate reconciliation table in Note 18 - Income Taxes for additional information.
2013 versus 2012 In 2013, the company recognized tax expense on continuing operations of $72 million, or an effective tax rate of 28.1%, compared to a tax benefit of $15 million, or an effective tax rate of 44.2%, in 2012. The tax rate in 2013 was impacted by contingent tax obligations, deductions associated with domestic production activities, non-taxable indemnification agreements, employee benefit deductions and tax provision adjustments. See the tax rate reconciliation table in Note 18 - Income Taxes for additional information.
Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations and Diluted Earnings Per Share (EPS) from Continuing Operations
Income from continuing operations in 2014 was $212 million, an increase of $28 million over the comparable prior year period. The improvement was primarily due to decreased SG&A and income tax expense (benefit), partially offset by increased net charges for exit activities, asset and business dispositions. Income from continuing operations in 2013 was $184 million, an
increase of $204 million over the comparable prior year period. The improvement was due to a $165 million decrease in net after tax charges incurred in conjunction with the spin-off, restructuring actions and other significant items.
Diluted EPS from continuing operations was $1.71 in 2014, $1.49 in 2013 and a loss of $0.16 in 2012. Adjusted diluted EPS was $1.80 in 2014, $1.72 in 2013 and $1.45 in 2012. The diluted EPS from continuing operations in the current year is unfavorably impacted by higher average shares outstanding primarily as a result of the exercise of stock options and increase in average share price.
The results of the company's North American Fresh Bakery, Refrigerated Dough and Foodservice Beverage businesses and the International Coffee and Tea, Household and Body Care and European and Australian Bakery businesses, which have been classified as discontinued operations, are summarized below. See Note 1 - Nature of Operations and Basis of Presentation for additional information.
Net Sales and Income (Loss) from Discontinued Operations before Income Taxes There were no net sales for discontinued operations in 2014. Net sales for discontinued operations were $80 million in 2013, compared to $5.4 billion in 2012. The year-over-year change was due to the completion of the disposition of most of the businesses that were part of the discontinued operations prior to the end of 2012. The net sales in 2013 all relate to the Australian Bakery operations, which were disposed of in February 2013. Income from discontinued operations was $1 million in 2014, a decline of $67 million over the comparable 2013 period as a result of the completion of the disposition of most of the businesses that were part of discontinued operations. The operating results reported in 2013 relate to the Australian Bakery operations, as well as adjustments of prior year tax provision estimates related to the business dispositions completed in 2012. Income from discontinued operations in 2013 was $68 million, a decrease of $800 million compared to 2012. The decrease was again driven by the completion of the disposition of most of the businesses that were part of discontinued operations. The year-over-year change was also impacted by the nonrecurrence of significant impairment charges and tax benefits that were recognized in 2012, as discussed in more detail below.
Gain on Sale of Discontinued Operations There were no gains on the sale of discontinued operations in 2014. In 2013, the company completed the disposition of the Australian Bakery business and recognized a pretax gain of $56 million ($42 million after tax), as well as gains related to a final purchase price adjustment associated with the North American Fresh Bakery operation, a gain on the sale of manufacturing facilities related to the sale of the North American Foodservice Beverage operations and adjustments to the prior year tax provision estimates associated with previous business dispositions. In 2012, the company completed the disposition of the Fresh Bakery, Foodservice Beverage and Refrigerated Dough businesses in North America as well as the European Bakery businesses in Spain and France. It also completed the disposition of the remainder of the businesses that comprised the Household and Body Care business, primarily the Non-European Insecticides business and portions of the Air Care and Shoe Care businesses. It recognized a pretax gain of $772 million ($405 million after tax) on the disposition of these businesses in 2012. The tax provision on the disposition of the Refrigerated Dough business was negatively impacted by a book/tax basis difference related to $254 million of goodwill that is not deductible for tax purposes. Further details regarding these transactions are included in Note 5 - Discontinued Operations.
Consolidated Net Income and Diluted Earnings Per Share (EPS)
The consolidated net income and related diluted earnings per share includes the results of both continuing and discontinued operations - see the Consolidated Statements of Income in this report for additional information. Net income was $213 million in 2014, a decrease of $39 million over the comparable prior year period. The decrease was primarily driven by increased input costs, partially offset by lower SG&A and Income tax expense (benefit).
Net income was $252 million in 2013, a decrease of $596 million over the comparable prior year period. The decrease in net income was primarily due to a $800 million decline in the results associated with discontinued operations, partially offset by a $204 million increase in results associated with continuing operations noted previously.
The net income attributable to Hillshire Brands was $213 million in 2014, $252 million in 2013 and $845 million in 2012.
Diluted EPS were $1.72 in 2014, $2.04 in 2013 and $7.13 in 2012. The decrease in EPS is primarily the result of the change in net income from discontinued businesses. Further, the diluted EPS from continuing operations in the current year is unfavorably impacted by higher average shares outstanding primarily as a result of the exercise of stock options and increase in average share price.
Operating Results by Business Segment
The company's structure is currently organized around two business segments, which are described below:
Retail sells a variety of packaged meat and frozen bakery products to retail customers in North America. It also includes gourmet artisanal sausage, salami and jerky products.
Foodservice/Other sells a variety of meat and bakery products to foodservice customers in North America such as broad-line foodservice distributors, restaurants, hospitals and other large institutions. This segment also includes sales results for the commodity pork and turkey businesses as well as the former Senseo coffee business in the United States that was exited in March 2012.
The following is a summary of results by business segment:
The following tables summarize the components of the percentage change in net sales as compared to the prior year:
Operating segment income, which excludes the impact of significant items and business dispositions, and income from continuing operations before income taxes for 2014, 2013 and 2012 are as follows:
A discussion of each business segment's sales and operating segment income is presented on the following pages. The change in volumes for each business segment excludes the impact of acquisitions and dispositions.
General corporate expenses, which are not allocated to the individual business segments, were $38 million in 2014, an increase of $2 million over the prior year primarily due to increased benefit plan, stock based compensation and medical expenses which were partially offset by the positive impact of foreign exchange rates. General corporate expenses were $36 million in 2013, a decrease of $28 million over the prior year primarily due to a reduction in stock based compensation expenses, the impact of headcount reductions and a reduction in information technology costs.
The company uses derivative financial instruments to manage its exposure to commodity prices. A commodity derivative not declared a hedge in accordance with the accounting rules is accounted for under mark-to-market accounting with changes in fair value recorded in the Consolidated Statements of Income. The company excludes these unrealized mark-to-market gains and losses from the operating segment results until such time that the exposure being hedged affects the earnings of the business segment. At that time, the cumulative gain or loss previously reported as mark-to-market derivative gains/(losses) for the derivative instrument will be reclassified into the business segment's results.
The unrealized mark-to-market gain/loss incurred on commodity derivative contracts was a gain of $4 million in 2014 as compared to a loss of $1 million in 2013 and a loss of $1 million in 2012. The unrealized mark-to-market gains and losses are primarily related to commodity derivative contracts.
The amortization of intangibles in the table relates to acquired trademarks and customer relationships. It does not include software amortization, a portion of which is recognized in the earnings of the segments and a portion of which is recognized as part of general corporate expenses.
2014 versus 2013 Net sales increased by $98 million, or 3.4%, as pricing and a favorable shift in sales mix were partially offset by declines in volume. Volumes declined 1.1% as volume increases for Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches and Aidells specialty sausages were offset by volume declines for Ball Park hot dogs, deli meats and frozen sweet goods.
Operating segment income increased $10 million, or 2.9%. The increase was due to the impact of pricing, favorable mix, and cost actions partially offset by higher input costs and declines in volumes.
2013 versus 2012 Net sales increased by $10 million, or 0.3%, due to a favorable shift in sales mix partially offset by price decreases in an environment of lower commodity costs and slightly lower volumes. Volumes declined 0.1%, as volume increases for Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches and sausages and Aidells specialty sausages were offset by a one-time material change in the fourth quarter inventory levels held by a large retail customer, softness in Hillshire Farm lunchmeat and declining volumes for Ball Park hot dogs, sweet goods, and Sara Lee deli meats.
Operating segment income increased $16 million, or 5.5%. The increase was due to lower commodities costs net of pricing actions and a favorable shift in sales mix, which was partially offset by increased manufacturing and SG&A expenses. MAP investment increases were driven by higher spending behind certain core brands and new products, notably with respect to Jimmy Dean and Ball Park.
2014 versus 2013 Net sales increased by $67 million, or 6.6%, due to pricing and favorable sales mix which were partially offset by a decrease in volume. Overall volumes decreased 3.6% primarily driven by decreased commodity meat sales as a result of improved internal utilization.
Operating segment income increased by $12 million, or 16.3%. The increase was primarily driven by pricing, favorable mix and expense management which was partially offset by increased input costs and lower volume.
2013 versus 2012 Net sales increased by $1 million, or 0.1%. The favorable impact of higher volumes was mostly offset by an unfavorable shift in sales mix and negative pricing actions in response to lower commodity costs. Volumes increased 4.5% as higher volumes for processed meat and commodity meat products were only partially offset by lower bakery volumes due to the continued weak economic conditions.
Operating segment income decreased by $4 million, or 5.0%. The decrease was primarily driven by an unfavorable shift in sales mix and investments in bakery plant improvements partially offset by increased volumes and lower commodity costs. Increased investments in MAP were offset by lower SG&A costs.
The company's cash flow statements include amounts related to discontinued operations through the date of disposal. The discontinued operations had an impact on the cash flows from operating, investing and financing activities in each fiscal year.
Cash from Operating Activities
The net cash from operating activities generated by continuing and discontinued operations is summarized in the following table:
2014 versus 2013 Cash from operating activities was $251 million in 2014, a decrease of $2 million. The most significant driver of the change was a $102 million increase in working capital management, specifically in inventory and favorable accounts payable and accrued liabilities changes, partially offset by a $99 million decrease in deferred income taxes. Discontinued operations related to the Australian bakery operations generated $1 million of cash in 2014 and $10 million of cash in 2013.
2013 versus 2012 The increase in cash from operating activities of $4 million in 2013 was due to a $410 million decrease in cash paid for restructuring actions, a $205 million decrease in pension contributions, and a $194 million decrease in cash taxes
paid, as well as improved operating results on an adjusted basis. These increases in cash generated from operations were offset by the completion of business dispositions in the prior fiscal year as well as an increase in cash used to fund operating activities.
Cash used in Investing Activities
The net cash used in investing activities generated by continuing and discontinued operations is summarized in the following table:
2014 versus 2013 In 2014, $335 million of cash was used in investing activities compared to $41 million in 2013. The year-over-year increase is primarily due to a net $91 million increase in the cash used to invest in short-term commercial paper and corporate note investments and $200 million in acquisitions of businesses.
The company made two acquisitions during 2014 to further broaden its product offerings and to facilitate extension into additional categories. On September 6, 2013, the Retail segment acquired 100% of the common stock of Formosa Meat Company, Inc. (“Golden Island”) for $35 million. On May 15, 2014, the Retail segment acquired 100% of the capital stock of Healthy Frozen Food, Inc. (“Van's”) for approximately $165 million, net of cash acquired.
2013 versus 2012 In 2013, $41 million of cash was used in investing activities compared with $521 million in 2012. The decrease in cash used was primarily due to a $179 million decrease in cash paid for property and equipment, a $183 million decline in cash paid for software and other intangibles and a $124 million increase in net cash proceeds received related to business dispositions.
The company spent $135 million in 2013 for the purchase of property and equipment as compared to $314 million in 2012, which included $158 million related to discontinued operations. The year-over-year decline related to continuing operations was due primarily to the higher expenditures in 2012 related to expanded meat production capacity.
The cash paid for the purchase of software and other intangibles declined by $183 million as the prior year included a $153 million payment to acquire the remaining ownership interest in the Senseo coffee trademark, which was subsequently transferred to DEMB as part of the spin-off.
The company received $96 million on the disposition of businesses in 2013, of which approximately $85 million (82 million AUD) was received upon the disposition of its Australian bakery business. In 2012, business dispositions resulted in a net use of cash of $28 million as the $2.033 billion of cash received from various business dispositions was offset by $2.061 billion of cash transferred as part of the spin-off. The $30 million of expenditures for business acquisitions in 2012 related to beverage companies that were subsequently transferred to DEMB as part of the spin-off.
Cash used in Financing Activities
The net cash used in financing activities is split between continuing and discontinued operations as follows:
The cash used in the financing activities of the discontinued operations primarily represents the net transfers of cash with the corporate office as most of the cash of these businesses has been retained as a corporate asset, with the exception of the cash related to the International Coffee and Tea business, which was transferred as part of the spin-off.
2014 versus 2013 The cash used in financing activities in 2014 increased by $35 million when compared to the prior year primarily due to a $34 million year over year increase in dividend payments as well as $30 million for the repurchases of common
stock. This activity is partially offset by a $26 million decrease in repayment of debt and derivatives. The majority of the $20 million repayment of debt in 2014 represents 10% Zero Coupon Note payments, the face value of which was $19 million.
In 2014, the company recognized a $13 million windfall tax benefit related to stock compensation that occurs when compensation cost from non-qualified share-based compensation recognized for tax purposes exceeds compensation cost from equity-based compensation recognized in the financial statements. This tax benefit increased net cash provided by financing activities.
The company paid $80 million of dividends during 2014 as compared to $46 million in 2013.
2013 versus 2012 The cash used in financing activities in 2013 decreased by $1.301 billion over the prior year driven primarily by $1.164 billion in net debt repayments in 2012 and a year-over-year decrease in dividends paid of $225 million, partially offset by a decrease in cash received related to common stock issuances. In 2013, the company paid approximately $40 million upon the settlement of two cross currency swaps maturing in June 2013 that were associated with certain foreign denominated debt instruments. In 2012, the company repaid $348 million of its 6.125% Notes due November 2032 and $122 million of its 4.10% Notes due 2020 as part of a tender offer. It also redeemed all of its 3.875% Notes due 2013, which had an aggregate principal amount of $500 million. The company also repaid $841 million of long-term debt and derivatives, which included the payment of $156 million related to derivatives associated with this debt, and $204 million of debt with maturities less than 90 days. The company utilized cash on hand and new borrowings to repay this debt. The company issued $851 million of new borrowings in 2012, which included a note purchase agreement with a group of institutional investors related to the private placement of $650 million aggregate principal amount of indebtedness. On June 28, 2012, the company transferred its obligation under the private placement debt as part of the spin-off.
Additionally, in 2012 the company recognized a $15 million windfall tax benefit related to stock compensation that occurs when compensation cost from non-qualified share-based compensation recognized for tax purposes exceeds compensation cost from equity-based compensation recognized in the financial statements. This tax benefit increased net cash provided by financing activities.
Dividends paid during 2013 were $46 million as compared to $271 million in 2012. The dividends paid in 2013 represent the first three quarterly dividends of Hillshire Brands.
Cash from stock issuances totaled $47 million in 2013 compared to $84 million in 2012, driven primarily by stock award activity.
Cash and Equivalents, Short-Term Investments and Cash Flow
At the end of 2014, the company's cash and equivalents balance was $236 million, which was primarily held in bank demand deposit accounts.
The quarterly dividend amounts paid in 2014 were $0.175 per share, or $0.70 on an annualized basis. The Merger Agreement with Tyson restricts our ability to pay dividends other than regular quarterly cash dividends in the ordinary course of business consistent with past practice not exceeding $0.175 per share. The amount of any future dividends will be determined by the company's Board of Directors, subject to the terms of the Merger Agreement, and is not guaranteed.
Business Dispositions in 2013
In February 2013, the company closed on the sale of its Australian bakery business to McCain Foods for 82 million AUD (approximately $85 million U.S. dollars). Also included in the transaction were the license rights to certain intellectual property used by the Australian bakery business in the Asia-Pacific region.
Business Dispositions in 2012
In September 2011, the company closed on the sale of its North American refrigerated dough business to Ralcorp for $545 million. In November 2011, the company closed on the sale of its North American fresh bakery business to Grupo Bimbo for $709 million, which included the assumption of $34 million of debt. In December 2011, the company closed on the sale of its North American food service beverage operations to J. M. Smucker for $350 million. In August 2011, the company also made the decision to divest its Spanish bakery business to Grupo Bimbo for €115 million and closed on this sale in the second quarter of 2012. The company also divested its French refrigerated dough business for €115 million and closed on this deal in the third
quarter of 2012. The company closed on the divestiture of certain of the international household and body care businesses during 2012 and received proceeds of approximately $117 million.
In 2012, immediately after the spin-off, DEMB paid a $3.00 per share special dividend, which totaled $1.8 billion, to the company's shareholders who received shares of the spun-off business.
As of June 28, 2014, approximately $1.2 billion were authorized for share repurchase by the board of directors, in addition to a 2.7 million share authorization remaining under a prior share repurchase program, after adjusting for the 1-for-5 reverse stock split in June 2012. In August 2013, the company announced that it was targeting repurchases of approximately $200 million of shares of its common stock over the next two fiscal years under its pre-existing stock repurchase authorizations. The timing of the share buybacks would depend, in part, on our share price, the state of the financial markets and other factors. During 2014, the company repurchased 0.9 million shares at a cost of $30 million. The company does not currently expect to repurchase additional shares under its repurchase programs.
The total debt outstanding at June 28, 2014 is $944 million, a decrease of $7 million over the prior year as result of the repayments of zero coupon note debt. The company's long-term debt was virtually 100% fixed-rate debt as of June 28, 2014 and June 29, 2013.
The debt is due to be repaid as follows: $105 million in 2015, $400 million in 2016, nil in 2017, nil in 2018, $1 million in 2019 and $438 million thereafter. The debt obligations are expected to be satisfied with cash on hand, cash from operating activities or with additional borrowings.
From time to time, the company opportunistically may repurchase or retire its outstanding debt through cash purchases and/or exchanges for equity securities, in open market purchases, privately negotiated transactions or otherwise. Such repurchases or exchanges, if any, will depend on prevailing market conditions, the company's liquidity requirements, contractual restrictions and other factors. The amounts involved could be material.
As shown in Note 16 - Defined Benefit Pension Plans, the funded status of the company's defined benefit pension plans is defined as the amount the projected benefit obligation exceeds the plan assets. The funded status of the plans for total continuing operations is an underfunded position of $120 million at the end of fiscal 2014 as compared to an underfunded position of $123 million at the end of fiscal 2013.
The company expects to contribute approximately $5 million of cash to its pension plans in 2015 as compared to approximately $9 million in 2014 and $8 million in 2013. The contribution amounts are for pension plans of continuing operations and pension plans where the company has agreed to retain the pension liability after certain business dispositions were completed. The exact amount of cash contributions made to pension plans in any year is dependent upon a number of factors, including minimum funding requirements. As a result, the actual funding in 2015 may be materially different from the estimate.
The company participates in one multi-employer pension plan (MEPP) that provided retirement benefits to certain employees covered by collective bargaining agreements. Participating employers in a MEPP are jointly responsible for any plan underfunding. MEPP contributions are established by the applicable collective bargaining agreements; however, the MEPPs may impose increased contribution rates and surcharges based on the funded status of the plan and the provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA). The PPA imposes minimum funding requirements on the plans. Plans that fail to meet certain funding standards as defined by the PPA are categorized as being either in a critical or endangered status. The company has received notice that the plan to which it contributes has been designated in critical status. The trustees of critical status multi-employer plans must adopt a rehabilitation or funding improvement plan designed to improve the plan's funding within a prescribed period of time. Rehabilitation and funding improvement plans may include increased employer contributions, reductions in benefits or a combination of the two. Unless otherwise agreed upon, any requirement to increase employer contributions will not take effect until the current collective bargaining agreements expire. However, a five percent surcharge for the initial critical year (increasing to ten percent for the following and subsequent years) is imposed on contributions to plans in critical status and remains in effect until the bargaining parties agree on modifications consistent with the rehabilitation plan adopted by the trustees. In addition, the failure of a plan to meet funding improvement targets provided in its rehabilitation or funding improvement plan could result in the imposition of an excise tax on contributing employers.
Under current law regarding multi-employer pension plans, a withdrawal or partial withdrawal from any plan that was underfunded would render the company liable for its proportionate share of that underfunding. This potential unfunded pension liability also applies ratably to other contributing employers. Information regarding underfunding is generally not provided by plan administrators and trustees on a current basis and when provided, is difficult to independently validate. Any public information available relative to multi-employer pension plans may be dated as well. In the event that a withdrawal or partial withdrawal was to occur with respect to the MEPP to which the company makes contributions, the impact to the consolidated financial statements could be material. Withdrawal liability triggers could include the company's decision to close a plant or the dissolution of a collective bargaining unit.
The company's regularly scheduled contributions to MEPPs related to continuing operations totaled approximately $1 million in 2014, $1 million in 2013 and $2 million in 2012. For continuing operations, the company incurred withdrawal liabilities of nil in 2014 and 2013 and $3 million in 2012.
Cost Savings Initiatives
The company has a number of initiatives that are expected to deliver significant savings by 2016. The cost savings are expected to result from improved revenue management, supply chain and support processes. The company expects to achieve the savings targets previously disclosed. In 2014, there were approximately $43 million of cash charges related to these cost saving initiatives.
Repatriation of Foreign Earnings and Income Taxes
The company intends to permanently reinvest all of its earnings from continuing operations outside of the U.S. and, therefore, has not recognized U.S. tax expense on these earnings. Subsequent to 2012, there is not a significant amount of income generated outside of the U.S. and thus U.S. federal income tax and withholding tax on these foreign unremitted earnings would be immaterial. In 2012, the discontinued operations of the international coffee and tea business recognized $15.5 million of expense for repatriating a portion of 2012 and prior year foreign earnings to the U.S. In addition, the company recognized $25 million of tax expense in 2012 related to the repatriation of the proceeds on the sale of the insecticides business.
In the third quarter of 2010, the company established a deferred tax liability in anticipation of the repatriation of foreign earnings required to satisfy commitments to shareholders. This deferred liability was subsequently updated each quarter as proceeds of non-US divestments and other cash movements were realized. As a consequence of the spin-off of the international coffee and tea business, the repatriation of unremitted earnings was no longer required. As such, in 2012 the company released approximately $623 million of deferred tax liabilities on its balance sheet with a corresponding reduction in the tax expense of the discontinued international coffee and tea business.
Credit Facilities and Ratings
The company has a $750 million credit facility that expires in June 2017. The $750 million credit facility has an annual fee of 0.15% as of June 28, 2014 and pricing under this facility is based on the company's current credit rating. At June 28, 2014, the company did not have any borrowings outstanding under this facility but it did have approximately $3 million of letters of credit outstanding under this credit facility. In addition, in the first quarter of 2014, the company entered into a $65 million uncommitted bilateral letter of credit facility agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, there is no annual fee for the facility and the company is subject to an annual interest rate of 0.85% on issuances. As of June 28, 2014, the company had letters of credit totaling $42 million outstanding under this facility.
The company's debt agreements and credit facility contain customary representations, warranties and events of default, as well as affirmative, negative and financial covenants with which the company is in compliance. One financial covenant includes a requirement to maintain an interest coverage ratio of not less than 2.0 to 1.0. The interest coverage ratio is based on the ratio of EBIT to consolidated net interest expense with consolidated EBIT equal to net income plus interest expense, income tax expense, and extraordinary or non-recurring non-cash charges and gains. For the 12 months ended June 28, 2014, the company's interest coverage ratio was 9.1 to 1.0.
The financial covenants also include a requirement to maintain a leverage ratio of not more than 3.5 to 1.0. The leverage ratio is based on the ratio of consolidated total indebtedness to an adjusted consolidated EBITDA. For the 12 months ended June 28, 2014, the leverage ratio was 2.1 to 1.0.
The company's credit ratings by Standard & Poor's, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, as of June 28, 2014 were as follows:
During the fourth quarter of 2014, the company’s long-term and short-term credit ratings were downgraded by Fitch from BBB to BB and from F-2 to B, respectively. The downgrades were due to the company’s announced definitive agreement to acquire Pinnacle and the intended issuance of debt to finance the acquisition. Based on the subsequent termination of the Pinnacle Merger Agreement in the first quarter of 2015, Fitch upgraded the company’s ratings to BBB and F-2.
Changes in the company's credit ratings result in changes in the company's borrowing costs. The company's current short-term credit rating allows it to participate in a commercial paper market that has a number of potential investors and a historically high degree of liquidity. A downgrade of the company's short-term credit rating would place the company in a commercial paper market that would contain significantly less market liquidity than it operates in with a rating of A-2, P-2 and F-2. This would reduce the amount of commercial paper the company could issue and raise its commercial paper borrowing cost. The facility does not mature or terminate upon a credit rating downgrade. See Note 15 - Financial Instruments for more information. To the extent that the company's operating requirements were to exceed its ability to issue commercial paper following a downgrade of its short-term credit rating, the company has the ability to use available credit facilities to satisfy operating requirements, if necessary.
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
The off-balance sheet arrangements that are reasonably likely to have a current or future effect on the company's financial condition are lease transactions for facilities, warehouses, office space, vehicles and machinery and equipment.
The company has numerous operating leases for manufacturing facilities, warehouses, office space, vehicles and machinery and equipment. Operating lease obligations are scheduled to be paid as follows: $21 million in 2015, $15 million in 2016, $13 million in 2017, $12 million in 2018, $11 million in 2019 and $88 million thereafter. The company is also contingently liable for certain long-term leases on property operated by others. These leased properties relate to certain businesses that have been sold. The company continues to be liable for the remaining terms of the leases on these properties in the event that the owners of the businesses are unable to satisfy the lease liability. The minimum annual rentals under these leases are as follows: $8 million in 2015 and $1 million in 2016.
Future Contractual Obligations and Commitments
The company has no material unconditional purchase obligations as defined by the accounting principles associated with the Disclosure of Long-Term Purchase Obligations. The following table aggregates information on the company's contractual obligations and commitments:
The company is a party to a variety of agreements under which it may be obligated to indemnify a third party with respect to certain matters. Typically, these obligations arise as a result of contracts entered into by the company under which the company agrees to indemnify a third party against losses arising from a breach of representations and covenants related to such matters as title to assets sold, the collectibility of receivables, specified environmental matters, lease obligations assumed and certain tax matters. In each of these circumstances, payment by the company is conditioned on the other party making a claim pursuant to the procedures specified in the contract. These procedures allow the company to challenge the other party's claims. In addition, the company's obligations under these agreements may be limited in terms of time and/or amount, and in some cases the company may have recourse against third parties for certain payments made by the company. It is not possible to predict the maximum potential amount of future payments under certain of these agreements, due to the conditional nature of the company's obligations and the unique facts and circumstances involved in each particular agreement. Historically, payments made by the company under these agreements have not had a material effect on the company's business, financial condition or results of operations. The company believes that if it were to incur a loss in any of these matters, such loss would not have a material effect on the company's business, financial condition or results of operations.
The material guarantees for which the maximum potential amount of future payments can be determined, include the company's contingent liability on leases on property operated by others that is described above, and the company's guarantees of certain third-party debt. These debt guarantees require the company to make payments under specific debt arrangements in the event that the third parties default on their debt obligations. The maximum potential amount of future payments that the company could be required to make in the event that these third parties default on their debt obligations is approximately $24 million. At the present time, the company does not believe it is probable that any of these third parties will default on the amount subject to guarantee.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
The following is an explanation of the non-GAAP financial measures presented in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Adjusted net sales excludes from net sales the impact of businesses that have been exited or divested for all periods presented. Adjusted operating income excludes from operating income the impact of significant items recognized during the fiscal period and businesses exited or divested for all periods presented. It also adjusts for the impact of an additional week in those fiscal years that include a 53rd week. Adjusted Income from Continuing Operations excludes from income from continuing operations the impact of significant items related to continuing operations recognized in the fiscal period presented. It does not exclude the impact of businesses that have been exited or divested and does not exclude the impact of businesses acquired after the start of the fiscal period presented. Adjusted EPS excludes from diluted EPS for continuing operations the impact of significant items and the 53rd week.
Significant Items Affecting Comparability
The reported results for 2014, 2013 and 2012 reflect amounts recognized for restructuring actions and other significant amounts that impact comparability.
Significant items are income or charges (and related tax impact) that management believes have had a significant impact on the earnings of the applicable business segment or on the total company for the period in which the item is recognized, are not indicative of the company's core operating results and affect the comparability of underlying results from period to period. Significant items may include, but are not limited to: charges for exit activities; various restructuring programs; spin-off related costs; impairment charges; pension partial withdrawal liability charges; benefit plan curtailment gains and losses; plant shutdown costs and related insurance recoveries; deal costs; tax charges on deemed repatriated earnings; tax costs and benefits resulting from the disposition of a business; impact of tax law changes; changes in tax valuation allowances; and favorable or unfavorable resolution of open tax matters based on the finalization of tax authority examinations or the expiration of statutes of limitations.
The impact of the above items on net income and diluted earnings per share is summarized on the following page.
Impact of Significant Items on Income from Continuing Operations, Net Income and Diluted Earnings Per Share