Wednesday, October 9, 2019
U.S. firms with Sales in China through 2018.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Tracking  Pension Data in Calcbench

Friday, October 4, 2019
In Depth: Leasing Costs in Retail Sector

Thursday, September 19, 2019
Alibaba and Cloud Computing

Monday, September 16, 2019
Introducing Critical Audit Matters

Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Our Fireside Chat on Goodwill Assets

Friday, September 6, 2019
Pulling Forward Share Buybacks

Saturday, August 31, 2019
A Quick Catch-Up on VMWare

Friday, August 23, 2019
By the Numbers: Restructuring Costs Over Time

Wednesday, August 21, 2019
WeWork Liabilities, Part II

Tuesday, August 20, 2019
WeWork’s Liabilities in Perspective

Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Comparing LinkedIn, Twitter Revenue

Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Leasing’s Effect on Retail Balance Sheets

Thursday, August 1, 2019
Using Calcbench to Find China Exposure

Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Leasing Details: The Comcast Example

Monday, July 29, 2019
Easy Fundamental Equity Analysis in Python

Monday, July 22, 2019
Calcbench Data and Tax Reform Insight

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Downshifting in the Trucking World

Tuesday, July 16, 2019
New Report: Adoption of New Lease Accounting Standard

Friday, July 5, 2019
More Consequences of Lease Accounting

Archive  |  Search:
What Does ‘Other’ Mean? An Example
Wednesday, February 27, 2019

We’re always fascinated by unusual lines of business here at Calcbench, but one line of business intrigues us more than most — “Other.”

How do companies decide what qualifies as Other? How large can Other be, before the company gives it a more specific name? Does the person running Other have “vice president of Other” on his or her business card?

These questions were on our mind lately thanks to our recent post about American Water Works ($AWK), which has an Other division that seems to do nothing but lose money. We’re not even sure AWK’s Other division is a division, as much as it’s a hodge-podge of homeless operating costs that need to go into a segment somewhere.

As a simple experiment, we researched all firms that have filed 2018 financial statements so far an included an item tagged “Other Sundry Current Liabilities” and found 48. Then we compared that amount to the firm’s total current liabilities, expressed as a percentage. The table below shows our Top 10.

One logical question would be what these other current liabilities are or where they come from. Here’s the thing: lots of companies don’t say.

That is, you can find the disclosure itself. Just use our Multi-Company page and search by the XBRL tag for that line item, “OtherSundryLiabilitiesCurrent.” You’ll get a list of all companies that filed some line-item using that tag.

In theory, you could then use our Trace feature to follow that number back to some more detailed disclosure the company made about that line-item — except, for most companies, they have nothing to say about Other. Why would they? If it were material to the business, you’d call it something else.

Still, if you are Tyson Foods ($TSN) with $805 million in Other current liabilities, or Sprouts Farmers Market ($SFM) with nearly 20 percent of your current liabilities going to Other, that’s not exactly chump change.

So we continue to wonder about Other and what it means. At least our data analytics can help you get started on answering such questions, too.

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