Stryker 2014 Annual Report

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS STRYKER CORPORATION 2014 Form 10-K 23 Dollar amounts in millions except per share amounts or as otherwise specified. NOTE 1 - SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES Nature of Operations: Stryker Corporation (the "Company," "we," "us," or "our") is one of the world's leading medical technology companies. Our products include implants used in joint replacement and trauma surgeries; surgical equipment and surgical navigation systems; endoscopic and communications systems; patient handling and emergency medical equipment; neurosurgical, neurovascular and spinal devices; as well as other medical device products used in a variety of medical specialties. Basis of Presentation and Consolidation: The Consolidated Financial Statements include the Company and its subsidiaries. All significant intercompany accounts and transactions are eliminated in consolidation. We have no material interests in variable interest entities and none that require consolidation. Certain prior year amounts have been reclassified to conform with the presentation of our consolidated statements of earnings in 2014. Use of Estimates: Preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (GAAP) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the Consolidated Financial Statements and accompanying disclosures. These estimates are based on management's best knowledge of current events and actions we may undertake in the future. Estimates are used in accounting for, among other items, pensions, stock options, valuation of acquired intangible assets, useful lives for depreciation and amortization of long-lived assets, future cash flows associated with impairment testing for goodwill, indefinite- lived intangible assets and other long-lived assets, excess and obsolete inventory, deferred tax assets and liabilities, uncertain income tax positions and contingencies. Actual results may ultimately differ from estimates. Revenue Recognition: Sales are recognized when revenue is realized or realizable and has been earned. Our policy is to recognize revenue when title to the product, ownership and risk of loss transfer to the customer, which can be on the date of shipment, the date of receipt by the customer or, for most orthopaedics products, when we receive appropriate notification that the product has been used or implanted. A provision for estimated sales returns, discounts, rebates and other sales incentives is recorded as a reduction of net sales in the same period that the revenue is recognized. Shipping and handling costs charged to customers are included in net sales. Cost of Sales: Cost of sales is primarily comprised of direct materials and supplies consumed in the manufacture of product, as well as manufacturing labor, depreciation expense and direct overhead expense necessary to acquire and convert the purchased materials and supplies into finished product. Cost of sales also includes the cost to distribute products to customers, inbound freight costs, warehousing costs and other shipping and handling activity. Research, Development and Engineering Expenses: Research and development costs are charged to expense as incurred. Costs include research, development and engineering activities relating to the development of new products, improvement of existing products, technical support of products and compliance with governmental regulations for the protection of customers and patients. Costs primarily consist of salaries, wages, consulting and depreciation and maintenance of research facilities and equipment. Selling, General and Administrative Expenses: Selling, general and administrative expense is primarily comprised of selling expenses, marketing expenses, administrative and other indirect overhead costs, amortization of loaner instrumentation, depreciation and amortization expense of non-manufacturing assets and other miscellaneous operating items. Currency Translation: Financial statements of subsidiaries outside the United States generally are measured using the local currency as the functional currency. Adjustments to translate those statements into United States dollars are recorded in other comprehensive income (OCI). Transactional exchange gains and losses are included in earnings. Cash Equivalents: Highly liquid investments with remaining stated maturities of three months or less when purchased are considered cash equivalents and recorded at cost. Marketable Securities: Marketable securities consist of marketable debt securities, certificates of deposit and mutual funds. Mutual funds are acquired to offset changes in certain liabilities related to deferred compensation arrangements and are expected to be used to settle these liabilities. Pursuant to our investment policy, all individual marketable security investments must have a minimum credit quality of single A (per Standard & Poor's and Fitch) and A2 (per Moody's Corporation) at the time of acquisition, while the overall portfolio of marketable securities must maintain a minimum average credit quality of double A (per Standard & Poor's and Fitch) or Aa (per Moody's Corporation). In the event of a rating downgrade below the minimum credit quality subsequent to purchase, the marketable security investment is evaluated to determine the appropriate action to take to minimize the overall risk to our marketable security investment portfolio. Our marketable securities are classified as available-for-sale and trading securities. Accounts Receivable: Accounts receivable consists of trade and other miscellaneous receivables. An allowance is maintained for doubtful accounts for estimated losses in the collection of accounts receivable. Estimates are made regarding the ability of customers to make required payments based on historical credit experience and expected future trends. Accounts receivable are written off when all reasonable collection efforts are exhausted. Inventories: Inventories are stated at the lower of cost or market, with cost generally determined using the first-in, first-out (FIFO) cost method. For excess and obsolete inventory resulting from the potential inability to sell specific products at prices in excess of current carrying costs, reserves are maintained to reduce current carrying cost to market prices. Financial Instruments: Our financial instruments consist of cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities, accounts receivable, other investments, accounts payable, debt and foreign currency exchange contracts. With the exception of our long-term debt, which is discussed in further detail in Note 8, our estimates of fair value for financial instruments approximate their carrying amounts as of December 31, 2014 and 2013. All marketable securities are recognized at fair value. Adjustments to the fair value of marketable securities that are classified as available-for-sale are recorded as increases or decreases, net of income taxes, within accumulated other comprehensive income (AOCI) in shareholders' equity and adjustments to the fair value of marketable securities that are classified as trading are recorded in earnings. The amortized cost of marketable debt securities is adjusted for amortization of premiums and discounts to maturity computed under the effective interest method. Such amortization is included in other income (expense) along with interest and realized gains and losses. The cost of securities sold is determined by the specific identification method.

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