Ch_10_day_1_solutions - Answers to Questions 1. The two...

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Answers to Questions 1. The two major issues related to the translation of foreign currency financial statements are: (a) which method should be used and (b) where should the resulting translation adjustment be reported in the consolidated financial statements. The first issue relates to determining the appropriate exchange rate (historical, current, or average for the current period) for the translation of foreign currency balances. Those items translated at the current exchange rate are exposed to translation adjustment. The second issue relates to whether the translation adjustment should be treated as a gain or loss in income, or should be deferred as a separate component of stockholders’ equity. 2. Balance sheet exposure arises when a foreign currency balance is translated at the current exchange rate. By translating at the current exchange rate, the foreign currency item in essence is being revalued in U.S. dollar terms on the consolidated financial statements. There will be either a net asset balance sheet exposure or net liability balance sheet exposure depending upon whether assets translated at the current rate are greater or less than liabilities translated at the current rate. Balance sheet exposure generates a translation adjustment which does not result in an inflow or outflow of cash. Transaction exposure, which results from the receipt or payment of foreign currency, generates foreign exchange gains and losses which are realized in cash. 3. Although balance sheet exposure does not result in cash inflows and outflows, it does nevertheless affect amounts reported in consolidated financial statements. If the foreign currency is the functional currency, translation adjustments will be reported in stockholders’ equity. If translation adjustments are negative and therefore reduce total stockholders’ equity, there is an adverse (inflationary) impact on the debt to equity ratio. Companies with restrictive debt covenants requiring them to stay below a maximum debt to equity ratio, may find it necessary to hedge their balance sheet exposure so as to avoid negative translation adjustments being reported. If the U.S. dollar is the functional currency or an operation is located in a high inflation country, remeasurement gains and losses are reported in income. Companies might want to hedge their balance sheet exposure in this situation to avoid the adverse impact remeasurement losses can have on consolidated income and earnings per share. The paradox in hedging balance sheet exposure is that, by agreeing to receive or deliver foreign currency in the future under a forward contract, a transaction exposure is created. This transaction exposure is speculative in nature, given that there is no underlying inflow or outflow of foreign currency that can be used to satisfy the forward contract. By hedging balance sheet exposure, a company might incur a realized foreign exchange loss to avoid an unrealized negative translation adjustment or unrealized remeasurement loss. 4.
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Ch_10_day_1_solutions - Answers to Questions 1. The two...

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