This excerpt taken from the VRSN 10-K filed Mar 3, 2009.
Goodwill and Other Long-lived Assets
Goodwill represents the excess of costs over fair value of net assets of businesses acquired. Goodwill and other intangible assets acquired in a purchase business combination and determined to have an indefinite useful life are not amortized, but instead tested for impairment at least annually during the second quarter. Such goodwill and other intangible assets may also be tested for impairment between annual tests in the presence of impairment indicators such as, but not limited to,: (a) a significant adverse change in legal factors or in the business climate; (b) an adverse action or assessment by a regulator; (c) unanticipated competition; (d) loss of key personnel; (e) a more-likely-than-not expectation of sale or disposal of a reporting unit or a significant portion thereof; (f) testing for recoverability of a significant asset group within a reporting unit; or (g) recognition of a goodwill impairment loss in the financial statements of a subsidiary that is a component of a reporting unit. As of December 31, 2008, the Company has an indefinite-lived intangible asset, other than goodwill, with a carrying value of $11.7 million.
VeriSign performs its goodwill impairment analysis at its reporting unit level, which is one level below its operating segment level. The fair value of VeriSigns reporting units is determined using either the income or the market valuation approach or a combination thereof. Under the income approach, the fair value of the reporting unit is based on the present value of estimated future cash flows that the reporting unit is expected to generate over its remaining life. Under the market approach, the value of the reporting unit is based on an analysis that compares the value of the reporting unit to values of publicly traded companies in similar lines of business. In the
VERISIGN, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS(Continued)
DECEMBER 31, 2008, 2007 AND 2006
application of the income and market valuation approaches, VeriSign is required to make estimates of future operating trends and judgments on discount rates and other variables. Actual future results related to assumed variables could differ from these estimates. The Company recorded an impairment charge of $45.8 million to its Post-pay business as part of its annual impairment test conducted during the second quarter of 2008. There were no impairment charges for goodwill from the annual impairment tests conducted during the second quarter of 2007 and 2006.
During the fourth quarter of 2008, VeriSign performed an interim impairment test of its reporting units due the existence of impairment indicators arising from the adverse changes in the macroeconomic environment, and recorded a goodwill impairment charge of $77.6 million related to its VeriSign Japan reporting unit. During the fourth quarter of 2007, VeriSign performed an interim impairment test due to its decision to divest its non-core businesses and as a result recorded an impairment charge of $182.2 million for goodwill related to the Companys former Content Services reporting unit. See Note 7, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets, for further information.
Long-lived assets, such as property, plant, and equipment, and purchased intangible assets subject to amortization, are reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. Such events or circumstances include, but are not limited to, a significant decrease in the fair value of the underlying business, a significant decrease in the benefits realized from an acquired business, difficulties or delays in integrating the business or a significant change in the operations of an acquired business. Recoverability of assets to be held and used is measured by a comparison of the carrying amount of an asset, or asset group, to estimated undiscounted future cash flows expected to be generated by the asset, or asset group, an impairment charge is recognized by the amount by which the carrying amount of the asset exceeds its fair value. In 2007, the Company recorded an impairment charge of $80.7 million related to long-lived assets, of which $66.9 million was related to its former Content Services business. In 2006, the company recorded an impairment charge of $2.0 million of other long-lived assets specifically related to abandoned technology acquired for a specific customer.
VeriSign amortizes intangible assets with estimable useful lives on a straight-line basis over their useful lives.