REPORTING INTERCORPORATE INVESTMENTS AND CONSOLIDATION OF WHOLLY OWNED SUBSIDIARIES WITH NO DIFFERENTIAL
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
Q2-1 (a) An investment in the voting common stock of another company is reported on an equity-method basis when the investor is able to significantly influence the operating and financial policies of the investee.
(b) The cost method normally is used for investments in common stock when the investor does not have significant influence and for investments in preferred stock and other securities. The cost method may also be used by the parent company for bookkeeping purposes when the investor owns a controlling interest because the investment account is eliminated in the consolidation process.
Q2-2* Significant influence occurs when the investor has the ability to influence the operating and financial policies of the investee. Representation on the board of directors of the investee is perhaps the strongest evidence, but other evidence such as routine participation in management decisions or entering into formal agreements that give the investor some degree of influence over the investee also may be used.
Q2-3* Equity-method reporting should not be used when (a) the investee has initiated litigation or complaints challenging the investor's ability to exercise significant influence, (b) the investor signs an agreement surrendering important shareholder rights, (c) majority ownership is concentrated in a small group that operates the company without regard to the investor's desires, (d) the investor is not able to acquire the information from the investee, or (e) the investor tries and fails to gain representation on the board of directors.
Q2-4 The balances will be the same at the date of acquisition and in the periods that follow whenever the cumulative dividends paid by the investee equal or exceed the investee's cumulative earnings since the date of acquisition. The latter case assumes there are no other adjustments needed under the equity method for amortization of differential or other factors.
Q2-5 When a company has used the cost method and purchases additional shares which cause it to gain significant influence, a retroactive adjustment is recorded to move from a cost basis to an equity-method basis in the preceding periods. Dividend income is replaced by income from the investee and dividends received are treated as an adjustment to the investment account.
Q2-6 An investor considers a dividend to be a liquidating dividend when the cumulative dividends received from the investee exceed a proportionate share of the cumulative earnings of the investee from the date ownership was acquired. For example, an investor would consider a dividend to be liquidating if it purchases shares of another company in early December and receives a dividend at year-end substantially in excess of its portion of the investee's net income for December.
Q2-7 Liquidating dividends decrease the investment account in both cases. All dividends are treated as a reduction of the investment account when equity-method reporting is used. When the cost method is used and dividends are received in excess of a proportionate share of investee earnings since acquisition, they are treated as a reduction of the investment account as well.
Q2-8 A dividend is treated as a reduction of the investment account under equity-method reporting. Unless it is a liquidating dividend, it is treated as dividend income under the cost method.
Q2-9 Dividends received by the investor are recorded as dividend income under both the cost and fair value methods. The change in the fair value of the shares held by the investor is recorded as an unrealized gain or loss under the fair value method. The fair value method differs from the equity method in two respects. Under the equity method the investor’s share of the earnings of the investee are included as investment income and dividends...
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