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Submitted By yamaha700
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(a) The depressed market values (less than book value) suggest that market participants are not very optimistic about the future prospects for these companies. Accounting numbers are based in many cases on historical costs, while market prices will reflect new information about the company prospects. This situation does not look very promising.

(b) Because the market value of each company is less than its book value of its net assets, it fails the first step in the goodwill impairment test, an impairment should be recorded.

A B C D E F G H (Columns C–D) (Columns B–F) (Columns D–G)
Company Market Value Book Value (Net Assets) Carrying Value of Goodwill ROA Estimated Fair Value of Net Assets Implied GW (NA-Market Value) Goodwill Impairment
Sprint Nextel $36,361 $51,271 $30,718 3.5% $20,553 $15,808 $14,910
Washington Mutual 11,742 23,941 9,062 2.4% 14,879 0 9,062
E Trade Financial 1,639 4,104 2,035 5.6% 2,069 0 2,035 Total $26,007

(c) As indicated in the expanded spreadsheet above, unless their market values increases dramatically, each of these companies is likely to recognize a goodwill impairment. For Washington Mutual and E-Trade, the impairment will result in a complete write-off of the goodwill asset. Apparently, the prior acquisitions from which the goodwill was recorded did not pan out for these companies.

Loss on Impairment 26,007 Goodwill 26,007

(d) Impairment losses are reported in operating income. Thus, the impair¬ments will reduce the numerator in the return on asset ratio. Without recognition of the impairments, these companies’ operating performance is overstated relative to other...

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