Risk Management Objective of Using Derivatives
The Company enters into derivative financial instruments to manage differences in the amount, timing and duration of its known or expected cash payments related to its variable-rate debt. As of March 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, the Company’s interest rate derivative instruments for this purpose consist of interest rate swaps and interest rate cap agreements. The interest rate swaps hedge the variable rate debt by effectively converting floating-rate payments to fixed-rate payments. The interest rate cap agreements cap a portion of the Company’s variable rate debt if interest rates rise above the strike rate on the contract.
In May 2018, the Company entered into additional interest rate cap and swap agreements and the Company paid an upfront premium of approximately $8.1 million for the interest rate caps. As of March 31, 2019, the Company’s interest rate caps, including those executed in prior years, had a fair value of $15.9 million, classified within other current and non-current assets on the Company’s consolidated statements of financial position. The interest rate swaps and caps (collectively “interest rate contracts”) are designated as cash flow hedges for accounting purposes.
Accounting for Derivative Instruments
In August 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2017-12, Derivatives and Hedging (Topic 815): Targeted Improvements to Accounting for Hedging Activities, which amends and simplifies existing guidance to better align an entity’s risk management activities and financial reporting for hedging relationships through changes to both the designation and measurement guidance for qualifying hedging relationships and the presentation of hedge results. The Company adopted this ASU as of January 1, 2019 with an immaterial impact on the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements.
The Company recognizes derivatives in other current and non-current assets or liabilities in the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Financial Position at their fair values. Refer to Note 10 - Fair Value Measurements for a detailed discussion of the fair value of its derivatives. The Company designates its interest rate contracts as cash flow hedges of forecasted interest rate payments related to its variable-rate debt.
The Company formally documents all relationships between hedging instruments and underlying hedged transactions, as well as its risk management objective and strategy for undertaking hedge transactions. This process includes linking all derivatives that are designated as cash flow hedges to forecasted transactions. A formal assessment of hedge effectiveness is performed both at inception of the hedge and on an ongoing basis to determine whether the hedge is highly effective in offsetting changes in cash flows of the underlying hedged item. Hedge effectiveness is assessed using a regression analysis. If it is determined that a derivative ceases to be highly effective during the term of the hedge, the Company will discontinue hedge accounting for such derivative.
The Company’s interest rate contracts qualify for hedge accounting under ASC 815, Derivatives and Hedging. Therefore, the gain or loss on the derivative is recorded in AOCI and subsequently reclassified into earnings in the same period during which the hedged transactions affect earnings.