2016 U.S. Goodwill Impairment Study Goodwill Impairment

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The 2016 U.S. Goodwill Impairment Study, prepared in partnership with the Financial Executives Research Foundation, analyzed the general and industry trends of goodwill impairment for over 8,500 U.S. publicly-traded companies.

The report also includes the results of the annual goodwill impairment survey of Financial Executives International (FEI) members who represent both privately-owned and publicly-traded companies.

Highlights from the study include:

  • U.S. companies recorded $57 billion of goodwill impairment in 2015, the highest amount since the 2008 financial crisis and more than double the impairment reported during the prior year.
  • These record impairment levels occurred despite a robust year for M&A activity in 2015, which resulted in $458 billion of goodwill being added to U.S. companies’ balance sheets.
  • For the second year in a row the Energy industry recorded the highest amount of goodwill impairment with $18.2 billion in 2015, followed by Information Technology at $12.9 billion which included the top two impairments of 2015.
  • Use of the qualitative goodwill impairment test – known as Step 0 – by public company survey respondents indicates record use, increasing to 59 percent in the current year’s survey from 54 percent in the prior year.
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