RECENT POSTS
Tuesday, January 8, 2019
A Look at Climate Change Disclosures

Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Quants: Point-in-Time Data for Backtesting

Friday, December 28, 2018
Now Showing: Controls & Procedures

Thursday, December 27, 2018
A Reminder on Non-GAAP Reporting Rules

Monday, December 17, 2018
Researching PG&E’s Wildfire Risk

Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Tracking Brexit Disclosures

Thursday, December 6, 2018
Campbell Soup: Looking Behind the Label

Sunday, December 2, 2018
SEC Comment Letters: The Amazon Example

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Measuring Big Pharma’s Chemical Dependency

Monday, November 26, 2018
Analysts, Can You Relate? A True Story

Monday, November 19, 2018
Digging Up Historical Trend Data: Quest Example

Sunday, November 11, 2018
Cost of Revenue, SG&A: Q3 Update

Monday, November 5, 2018
Lease Accounting: FedEx vs. UPS

Saturday, November 3, 2018
New Email Alerting Powers

Wednesday, October 31, 2018
PTC and Two Tales of Revenue

Tuesday, October 30, 2018
10-K/Q Section Text Change Detection

Sunday, October 28, 2018
Finding Purchase Price Allocation

Sunday, October 21, 2018
Charting Netflix Growth in Three Ways

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Interesting Data on Interest Income

Thursday, October 11, 2018
The Decline of Sears in Three Charts

Archive  |  Search:
Our Latest Take on Goodwill Impairments
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

You may have seen word in the financial reporting media lately of a study from Duff & Phelps, which found that goodwill impairment had more than doubled from 2014 ($26 billion) to 2015 ($57 billion).

That caught our eye because Calcbench has done a few studies of goodwill impairment ourselves earlier this year—and we found goodwill impairment to be considerably higher than $57 billion.

In our first look at 2015 numbers, published on April 29, we found that total goodwill impairment among all corporate filers stood at $83 billion, with a fair number of filers who still hadn’t reported their 2015 numbers. After seeing the Duff & Phelps report this week, we ran the numbers again with a complete dataset. This time total goodwill impairment stood at $92.6 billion.

So what gives?

We are not here to question Duff & Phelps’ data. We can, however, say a few points about our own data: (1) as with all Calcbench data, we can trace back every goodwill impairment number we found to the filer’s original source document filed to the SEC; and (2) if you add all the goodwill impairment charges we found that were $1 billion or more, the total equals $57.41 billion. That is very close to the $57 billion that Duff & Phelps reported.

Our analysis found 465 companies that disclosed goodwill impairment last year, from General Electric at the top of the list ($13 billion in impairments) to Enhanced Skin Products at the bottom ($2,499).

If you are a devotee of goodwill impairment and haven’t seen our original April 29 posting yet, you may want to give it a read. We found that impairment is rising overall, that the average impairment is rising, and that the percentage of filers reporting an impairment is up, too. Not too comforting.

We also did a separate post looking at 2015 impairments specifically among the S&P 500, and the “not comforting” theme shone through in that one, too. Our brothers-in-arms at Radical Compliance also published a short piece exploring what rising goodwill impairment might say about corporate management, culture, and governance.


FREE Calcbench Premium
Two Week Trial

Research Financial & Accounting Data Like Never Before. More features and try our Excel add-in. Sign up now to try the Premium Suite.