Harbinger Group Inc.
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HRG GROUP, INC. filed this Form 10-Q on 08/14/2002
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Recent Accounting Pronouncements

In June 2002, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued SFAS No. 146, “Accounting for Exit or Disposal Activities.” SFAS No. 146 addresses significant issues regarding the recognition, measurement, and reporting of costs that are associated with exit and disposal activities, including restructuring activities that are currently accounted for pursuant to the guidance that the Emerging Issues Task Force (“EITF”) has set forth in EITF Issue No. 94-3, “Liability Recognition for Certain Employee Termination Benefits and Other Costs to Exit an Activity (including Certain Costs Incurred in a Restructuring).” The scope of SFAS No. 146 also includes (1) costs related to terminating a contract that is not a capital lease and (2) termination benefits that employees who are involuntarily terminated receive under the terms of a one-time benefit arrangement that is not an ongoing benefit arrangement or an individual deferred-compensation contract. SFAS No. 146 will be effective for exit or disposal activities that are initiated after December 31, 2002.

In April 2002, the FASB issued SFAS No. 145, which rescinds SFAS No. 4, “Reporting Gains and Losses from Extinguishment of Debt,” SFAS No. 44, “Accounting for Intangible Assets of Motor Carriers” and SFAS No. 64, “Extinguishments of Debt Made to Satisfy Sinking-Fund Requirements and amends SFAS No. 13, “Accounting for Leases.” This statement updates, clarifies and simplifies existing accounting pronouncements. As a result of rescinding SFAS No. 4 and SFAS No. 64, the criteria in Accounting Principles Bulletin No. 30 will be used to classify gains and losses from extinguishment of debt. This statement is effective for financial statements issued for fiscal years beginning after May 15, 2002. The Company does not expect the adoption of SFAS No. 145 to have a material impact on the Company’s financial position or its results of operations.

In October 2001, the FASB issued SFAS No. 144, “Accounting for the Impairment or Disposal of Long-Lived Assets.” SFAS No. 144 addresses the accounting model for long-lived assets to be disposed of by sale and resulting implementation issues. This statement requires that those long-lived assets be measured at the lower of carrying amount or fair value less cost to sell, whether reported in continuing operations or in discontinued operations. This statement is effective for financial statements issued for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2001. The Company’s adoption of the provisions of SFAS No. 144 on January 1, 2002 did not have a material impact on the Company’s financial position or its results of operations.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

The discussion and analysis of Zapata’s financial condition and results of operations are based upon our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America. The preparation of these financial statements requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect amounts reported therein. The estimates that require management’s most difficult, subjective or complex judgments are described below. We believe that the critical judgments impacting the financial statements include:

    Litigation reserves,
    Valuation allowances for deferred income taxes,
    Benefit plan components,
    Omega’s deferral of off-season costs,
    Omega’s lower-of-cost-or-market inventory analysis, and
    Omega’s accounting for self-insurance retentions.

The establishment of litigation reserves requires judgments concerning the ultimate outcome of pending litigation against the Company and its subsidiaries. In applying judgment, management utilizes opinions and estimates obtained from outside legal counsel.

The Company reduces its deferred tax assets to an amount that it believes is more likely than not to be realized. In so doing, the Company estimates future taxable income in determining if any valuation allowance is necessary.

On a consolidated basis, the Company has three defined benefit plans, under which participants earn a retirement benefit based upon a formula set forth in each plan. The Company records income or expense related to these plans using actuarially determined amounts that are calculated under the provisions of SFAS No. 87, “Employers’ Accounting for Pensions.” Key assumptions used in the actuarial valuations include the discount rate and the anticipated rate of return on plan assets. These rates are based on market interest rates, and therefore fluctuations in market interest rates could impact the amount of pension income or expense recorded for these plans.


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