Ashland Global Holdings Inc.
ASHLAND INC. (Form: 10-Q, Received: 01/28/2015 16:15:19)


 
 
 
 
 

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C.  20549
 

___________________________
 
FORM 10-Q
                 
(Mark One)
 
 
 
 
 
þ
QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES
EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
For the quarterly period ended December 31, 2014
 
OR
 
 
o
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES 
EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
For the transition period from _________ to ___________

Commission file number 1-32532

ASHLAND INC.

(a Kentucky corporation)
I.R.S. No. 20-0865835

50 E. RiverCenter Boulevard
P.O. Box 391
Covington, Kentucky 41012-0391
Telephone Number (859) 815-3333

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant: (1)  has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.  Yes  þ No  o     
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to submit and post such files).     Yes þ No o
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company.  See the definitions of  “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company”  in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.  (Check One):
 
 Large Accelerated Filer þ
 
 Accelerated Filer o   
 
 Non-Accelerated Filer o
 
Smaller Reporting Company o   
 
 (Do not check if a smaller reporting company.)
 
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes o No þ
At December 31, 2014 , there were 69,264,646 shares of Registrant’s Common Stock outstanding.
 
 
 
 
 




PART I - FINANCIAL INFORMATION

ITEM 1.  FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
 
 
 
 
 

ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
STATEMENTS OF CONSOLIDATED COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
 
 
 
 
 
 
Three months ended
 
December 31
(In millions except per share data - unaudited)
2014

 
2013

Sales
$
1,391

 
$
1,432

Cost of sales
982

 
1,048

Gross profit
409

 
384

 
 
 
 
Selling, general and administrative expense
226

 
235

Research and development expense
25

 
27

Equity and other income
11

 
21

Operating income
169

 
143

 
 
 
 
Net interest and other financing expense
41

 
42

Net gain (loss) on divestitures
(85
)
 
5

Income from continuing operations before income taxes
43

 
106

Income tax expense - Note I
3

 
18

Income from continuing operations
40

 
88

Income (loss) from discontinued operations (net of tax) - Note C
(8
)
 
22

Net income
$
32

 
$
110

 
 
 
 
PER SHARE DATA
 
 
 
Basic earnings per share - Note L
 

 
 

Income from continuing operations
$
0.58

 
$
1.14

Income (loss) from discontinued operations
(0.11
)
 
0.28

Net income
$
0.47

 
$
1.42

 
 
 
 
Diluted earnings per share - Note L
 

 
 

Income from continuing operations
$
0.57

 
$
1.12

Income (loss) from discontinued operations
(0.11
)
 
0.28

Net income
$
0.46

 
$
1.40

 
 
 
 
DIVIDENDS PAID PER COMMON SHARE
$
0.34

 
$
0.34

 
 
 
 
COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS)
 
 
 
Net income
$
32

 
$
110

Other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax - Note M
 
 
 
Unrealized translation gain (loss)
(127
)
 
39

Pension and postretirement obligation adjustment
(5
)
 
(4
)
Other comprehensive income (loss)
(132
)
 
35

Comprehensive income (loss)
$
(100
)
 
$
145









SEE NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.

2

 
 
 
 
 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

 
 
 

 
December 31

 
September 30

(In millions - unaudited)
2014

 
2014

 
 
 
 
ASSETS
 
 
 
Current assets
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
$
1,256

 
$
1,393

Accounts receivable  (a)
1,032

 
1,202

Inventories - Note F
746

 
765

Deferred income taxes
118

 
118

Other assets
89

 
83

Total current assets
3,241

 
3,561

Noncurrent assets
 

 
 

Property, plant and equipment
 
 
 
Cost
4,118

 
4,275

Accumulated depreciation
1,865

 
1,861

Net property, plant and equipment
2,253

 
2,414

Goodwill - Note G
2,586

 
2,643

Intangibles - Note G
1,254

 
1,309

Asbestos insurance receivable - Note K
423

 
433

Equity and other unconsolidated investments
81

 
81

Other assets
511

 
510

Total noncurrent assets
7,108

 
7,390

Total assets
$
10,349

 
$
10,951

 
 
 
 
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
 

 
 

Current liabilities
 

 
 

Short-term debt - Note H
$
323

 
$
329

Current portion of long-term debt - Note H
9

 
9

Trade and other payables
529

 
674

Accrued expenses and other liabilities
513

 
675

Total current liabilities
1,374

 
1,687

Noncurrent liabilities
 

 
 

Long-term debt - Note H
2,943

 
2,942

Employee benefit obligations - Note J
1,449

 
1,468

Asbestos litigation reserve - Note K
690

 
701

Deferred income taxes
95

 
110

Other liabilities
473

 
460

Total noncurrent liabilities
5,650

 
5,681

Commitments and contingencies - Note K


 


Stockholders’ equity
3,325

 
3,583

 
 
 
 
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity
$
10,349

 
$
10,951

 
 
 
 
(a)
Accounts receivable includes an allowance for doubtful accounts of $12 million and $13 million at December 31, 2014 and September 30, 2014 , respectively.








SEE NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.

3

 
 
 
 
 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
STATEMENT OF CONSOLIDATED STOCKHOLDERS EQUITY

 
 
 

(In millions - unaudited)
Common
stock

 
Paid-in
capital

 
Retained
earnings

 
Accumulated
other
comprehensive
income (loss)

(a)
Total

BALANCE AT SEPTEMBER 30, 2014
$
1

 
$

 
$
3,475

 
$
107


$
3,583

Total comprehensive income (loss)
 

 
 
 
32

 
(132
)

(100
)
Regular dividends, $.34 per common share
 

 
 

 
(24
)
 
 

 
(24
)
Common shares issued under stock
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

   incentive and other plans (b)
 

 
 
 
(7
)
 
 

 
(7
)
Repurchase of common shares (c)
 
 


 
(127
)
 
 
 
(127
)
BALANCE AT DECEMBER 31, 2014
$
1

 
$

 
$
3,349

 
$
(25
)

$
3,325

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(a)
At December 31, 2014 and September 30, 2014 , the after-tax accumulated other comprehensive loss of $25 million and gain of $107 million , respectively, was comprised of unrecognized prior service credits as a result of certain employee benefit plan amendments of $54 million and $59 million , respectively, and net unrealized translation loss of $79 million and gain of $48 million , respectively.
(b)
Common shares issued were 196,739 for the three months ended December 31, 2014 and includes the impact of the modification of certain performance shares. See Note N of the Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements for further information.
(c)
Common shares repurchased were 1,227,440 for the three months ended December 31, 2014 . See Note M of the Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements.











































SEE NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.

4

 
 
 
 
 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
STATEMENTS OF CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED CASH FLOWS

 
 
 

 
Three months ended
 
December 31
(In millions - unaudited)
2014

 
2013

CASH FLOWS PROVIDED (USED) BY OPERATING ACTIVITIES FROM
 
 
 
CONTINUING OPERATIONS
 
 
 
Net income
$
32

 
$
110

Loss (income) from discontinued operations (net of tax)
8

 
(22
)
Adjustments to reconcile income from continuing operations to
 

 
 

cash flows from operating activities
 

 
 

Depreciation and amortization
85

 
88

Debt issuance cost amortization
4

 
3

Deferred income taxes
(10
)
 
(3
)
Equity income from affiliates
(4
)
 
(6
)
Distributions from equity affiliates
3

 
6

Stock based compensation expense
7

 
8

Net loss (gain) on divestitures
85

 
(5
)
Change in operating assets and liabilities (a)
(160
)
 
(161
)
Total cash flows provided by operating activities from continuing operations
50

 
18

CASH FLOWS PROVIDED (USED) BY INVESTING ACTIVITIES FROM
 

 
 

CONTINUING OPERATIONS
 

 
 

Additions to property, plant and equipment
(43
)
 
(45
)
Proceeds from disposal of property, plant and equipment
1

 
1

Proceeds from sale of operations or equity investments
106

 
4

Total cash flows provided (used) by investing activities from continuing operations
64

 
(40
)
CASH FLOWS PROVIDED (USED) BY FINANCING ACTIVITIES FROM
 

 
 

CONTINUING OPERATIONS
 

 
 

Repayment of long-term debt

 
(12
)
Proceeds (repayment) from short-term debt
(6
)
 
6

Repurchase of common stock
(127
)
 

Cash dividends paid
(24
)
 
(26
)
Excess tax benefits related to share-based payments
2

 
3

Total cash flows used by financing activities from continuing operations
(155
)
 
(29
)
CASH USED BY CONTINUING OPERATIONS
(41
)
 
(51
)
Cash provided (used) by discontinued operations
 

 
 

Operating cash flows
(84
)
 
7

Investing cash flows
(2
)
 
(6
)
Total cash provided (used) by discontinued operations
(86
)
 
1

Effect of currency exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents
(10
)
 
(1
)
DECREASE IN CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS
(137
)
 
(51
)
CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS - BEGINNING OF PERIOD
1,393

 
346

CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS - END OF PERIOD
$
1,256

 
$
295

 
 
 
 
(a)
Excludes changes resulting from operations acquired or sold.












SEE NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.

5

 
 
 
 
 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 
 
 



NOTE A   SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Basis of presentation  
The accompanying unaudited Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States for interim financial reporting and Securities and Exchange Commission regulations.  In the opinion of management, all adjustments considered necessary for a fair presentation have been included.  These statements omit certain information and footnote disclosures required for complete annual financial statements and, therefore, should be read in conjunction with Ashland’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2014 .  Results of operations for the period ended December 31, 2014 are not necessarily indicative of results to be expected for the year ending September 30, 2015 .  
Ashland is composed of three reportable segments:  Ashland Specialty Ingredients (Specialty Ingredients), Ashland Performance Materials (Performance Materials) and Valvoline. On July 31, 2014, Ashland completed the sale of the assets and liabilities of Ashland Water Technologies (Water Technologies). As a result of this sale, all prior period operating results and cash flows related to Water Technologies have been reflected as discontinued operations in the Statements of Consolidated Comprehensive Income and Statements of Condensed Consolidated Cash Flows. In addition to the sale of Water Technologies, Ashland realigned certain components remaining in its portfolio of businesses, which includes divesting its Casting Solutions joint venture on June 30, 2014 and the Elastomers division within the Performance Materials reportable segment on December 1, 2014. See Notes B, C, D and O for additional information on this activity and related results as well as Ashland’s current reportable segment results.
Use of estimates, risks and uncertainties
The preparation of Ashland’s Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of certain assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses and related disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities as well as qualifying subsequent events.  Significant items that are subject to such estimates and assumptions include, but are not limited to, long-lived assets (including goodwill and intangible assets), employee benefit obligations, income taxes and liabilities and receivables associated with asbestos litigation and environmental remediation.  Although management bases its estimates on historical experience and various other assumptions that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances, actual results could differ significantly from the estimates under different assumptions or conditions.
Ashland’s results are affected by domestic and international economic, political, legislative, regulatory and legal actions.  Economic conditions, such as recessionary trends, inflation, interest and monetary exchange rates, government fiscal policies and changes in the prices of certain key raw materials, can have a significant effect on operations.  While Ashland maintains reserves for anticipated liabilities and carries various levels of insurance, Ashland could be affected by civil, criminal, regulatory or administrative actions, claims or proceedings relating to asbestos, environmental remediation or other matters.
New accounting standards
A description of new U.S. GAAP accounting standards issued and adopted during the current year is required in interim financial reporting.  A detailed listing of all new accounting standards relevant to Ashland is included in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2014 . The following standards were either adopted in the current period or will become effective in a subsequent period.
In May 2014, the FASB issued accounting guidance outlining a single comprehensive five step model for entities to use in accounting for revenue arising from contracts with customers (ASC 606 Revenue from Contracts with Customers). The new guidance supersedes most current revenue recognition guidance, in an

6

 
 
 
 
 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIAIRES
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 
 
 
NOTE A   SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES (continued)
 

effort to converge the revenue recognition principles within U.S. GAAP. This new guidance also requires entities to disclose certain quantitative and qualitative information regarding the nature, amount, timing and uncertainty of qualifying revenue and cash flows arising from contracts with customers. Entities have the option of using a full retrospective or a modified retrospective approach to adopt the new guidance. This guidance will become effective for Ashland on October 1, 2017. Ashland is currently evaluating the new accounting standard and the available implementation options the standard allows as well as the impact this new guidance will have on Ashland's Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements.
In April 2014, the FASB issued accounting guidance amending the requirements for reporting discontinued operations (ASC 205 Presentation of Financial Statements and ASC 360 Property, Plant and Equipment). This guidance limits the requirement for discontinued operations treatment to the disposal of a component of an entity, or a group of components of an entity, that represents a strategic shift that has (or will have) a major effect on an entity’s operations and financial results. Additionally, this new guidance no longer precludes discontinued operations presentation based on continuing involvement or cash flows following the disposal. Ashland adopted this guidance on October 1, 2014, which is applicable only to divestitures subsequent to the adoption date, and evaluated the Elastomers divestiture under this new guidance. Ashland determined the Elastomers divestiture did not represent a strategic shift that had or will have a major effect on Ashland's operations. As such, the loss on the sale of Elastomers is included in the net gain (loss) on divestitures caption within the Statements of Consolidated Comprehensive Income and Statements of Condensed Consolidated Cash Flows. No reclassification to discontinued operations has been made for the disposition of Elastomers.
NOTE B - DIVESTITURES
Elastomers
On October 9, 2014, Ashland entered into a definitive agreement to sell the Elastomers division of the Performance Materials reportable segment, which operates a 250 -person manufacturing facility in Port Neches, Texas, to Lion Copolymer Holdings, LLC. The Elastomers division, which primarily serves the North American replacement tire market, accounted for approximately 5% of Ashland's 2014 sales of $6.1 billion and 18% of Ashland Performance Materials' $1.6 billion in sales in 2014. The sale was completed on December 1, 2014 in a transaction valued at approximately $120 million which was subject to working capital adjustments. The total post-closing adjusted cash proceeds received before taxes by Ashland during the current quarter was $106 million , which includes estimates for working capital adjustments and transaction costs, as defined in the definitive agreement. Ashland expects an estimated $3 million in proceeds to be received during 2015.
Elastomers' net assets as of November 30, 2014 were $191 million which primarily included accounts receivable, inventory, property, plant and equipment, non-deductible goodwill and other intangibles and payables. Since the net proceeds received were less than book value, Ashland recorded a loss of $85 million pre-tax within the net gain (loss) on divestiture caption within the Statements of Consolidated Comprehensive Income. The related tax effect was a benefit of $28 million included in the income tax expense caption within the Statements of Consolidated Comprehensive Income.
As part of this definitive agreement, Ashland will provide certain transition services to Lion Copolymer Holdings, LLC for a fee. While the transition services vary in duration depending upon the type of service provided, Ashland expects to reduce any legacy costs as the transition services are completed.
As a result of the adoption of the new discontinued operations accounting guidance discussed in Note A, Ashland determined that the sale of Elastomers did not represent a strategic shift that had or will have a major effect on Ashland's operations and financial results. As such, Elastomers' results were included in the Performance Materials reportable segment results of operations and financial position within the Statements

7

 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 
NOTE B – DIVESTITURES (continued)



of Consolidated Comprehensive Income and Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheet, respectively, until its December 1, 2014 sale.
Water Technologies
The sale of the Water Technologies business to a fund managed by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) was completed on July 31, 2014 in a transaction valued at approximately $1.8 billion . The total post-closing adjusted cash proceeds received by Ashland during 2014, before taxes, was $1.6 billion , which includes estimates for certain working capital and other post-closing adjustments, as defined in the definitive agreement. Ashland expects to receive an additional $48 million once a foreign entity completes certain regulatory closing requirements. Receipt of the additional cash proceeds and final settlement of working capital and other post-closing adjustments are expected to occur in fiscal 2015.
Since this transaction signified Ashland’s exit from the Water Technologies business, Ashland has classified Water Technologies’ results of operations and cash flows within the Statements of Consolidated Comprehensive Income and Statements of Condensed Consolidated Cash Flows as discontinued operations for all periods presented. Certain indirect corporate costs included within the selling, general and administrative expense caption of the Statements of Consolidated Comprehensive Income that were previously allocated to the Water Technologies reportable segment do not qualify for classification within discontinued operations and are now reported as selling, general and administrative expense within continuing operations on a consolidated basis and within the Unallocated and other segment. These costs were $9 million during the three months ended December 31, 2013 .
Ashland retained and agreed to indemnify CD&R for certain liabilities of the Water Technologies business arising prior to the closing of the sale, including certain pension and postretirement liabilities, environmental remediation liabilities and certain legacy liabilities relating to businesses disposed or discontinued by the Water Technologies business. Costs directly related to these retained liabilities have been included within the discontinued operations caption of the Statements of Consolidated Comprehensive Income during the three months ended December 31, 2013 . The ongoing effects of the pension and postretirement plans for former Water Technologies employees are reported within the Unallocated and other segment.
Ashland provides certain transition services to CD&R for a fee. During the three months ended December 31, 2014 , Ashland recognized transition service fees of $9 million , which offset costs within the selling, general and administrative expense caption of the Statements of Consolidated Comprehensive Income. While the transition services vary in duration depending upon the type of service provided, Ashland will continue to reduce costs as the transition services are completed. See Note C for further information on the results of operations of Water Technologies for all periods presented.
Casting Solutions joint venture
On June 30, 2014, Ashland, in conjunction with its partner, sold the ASK joint venture to investment funds affiliated with Rhône Capital, LLC (Rhône), a London and New York-based private equity investment firm. Total pre-tax proceeds to the sellers, which were split evenly between Ashland and its partner under the terms of the 50 / 50 joint venture, were $205 million , which included $176 million in cash and a $29 million note from Rhône due in calendar year 2022.
NOTE C – DISCONTINUED OPERATIONS
In previous periods, Ashland has divested certain businesses that have qualified as discontinued operations. The operating results from these divested businesses and subsequent adjustments related to ongoing assessments of certain retained liabilities and tax items have been recorded within the discontinued operations

8

 
 
 
 
 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 
 
 
NOTE C – DISCONTINUED OPERATIONS (continued)

caption in the Statements of Consolidated Comprehensive Income for all periods presented and are discussed further within this note.
Ashland is subject to liabilities from claims alleging personal injury caused by exposure to asbestos.  Such claims result primarily from indemnification obligations undertaken in 1990 in connection with the sale of Riley Stoker Corporation (Riley), a former subsidiary of Ashland, which qualified as a discontinued operation, and from the 2009 acquisition of Hercules, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ashland.  Adjustments to the recorded litigation reserves and related insurance receivables are recorded within discontinued operations.  See Note K for more information related to the adjustments on asbestos liabilities and receivables.
As previously described in Note B, on July 31, 2014, Ashland completed the sale of the Water Technologies business to CD&R. Sales for the three months ended December 31, 2013 were $436 million . The results of operations for the three months ended December 31, 2013 are included in the table below. Ashland has made post-closing adjustments as defined by the definitive agreement during the three months ended December 31, 2014 .
Components of amounts reflected in the Statements of Consolidated Comprehensive Income related to discontinued operations are presented in the following table for the three months ended December 31, 2014 and 2013 .
 
Three months ended
 
December 31
(In millions)
2014

 
2013

Income (loss) from discontinued operations (net of tax)
 
 
 
Asbestos-related litigation
$
(1
)
 
$
(1
)
Water Technologies (a)
(3
)
 
23

Loss on disposal of discontinued operations (net of tax)
 

 
 

Water Technologies
(4
)
 

Total income (loss) from discontinued operations (net of tax)
$
(8
)
 
$
22

 
 
 
 
(a)
For the three months ended December 31, 2013 , pretax operating income recorded for Water Technologies was $36 million .
NOTE D – RESTRUCTURING ACTIVITIES
Ashland periodically implements corporate restructuring programs related to acquisitions, divestitures or other cost reduction programs in order to enhance profitability through streamlined operations and an improved overall cost structure for each business.
During 2014, Ashland announced a global restructuring program to streamline the resources used across the organization. As part of this global restructuring program, Ashland announced a voluntary severance offer (VSO) to certain U.S. employees. Approximately 400 employees were formally approved for the VSO. Additionally, during 2014, an involuntary program for employees was also initiated as part of the global restructuring program. Substantially all payments related to the VSO and involuntary programs are expected to be paid by March 31, 2015. As of December 31, 2014 and September 30, 2014 , the remaining restructuring reserve for this global restructuring program was $38 million and $53 million , respectively.
As of December 31, 2014 and September 30, 2014 , the remaining $3 million , respectively, in restructuring reserves for other previously announced programs principally consisted of expected future severance payments for programs implemented during 2011. In addition, as of December 31, 2014 and September 30, 2014 , the remaining restructuring reserve for all qualifying facility costs totaled $8 million and $9 million , respectively.

9

 
 
 
 
 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 
 
 
NOTE D – RESTRUCTURING ACTIVITIES (continued)

The following table summarizes the related activity in these reserves for the three months ended December 31, 2014 and 2013 .  The severance reserves are included in accrued expenses and other liabilities while facility costs reserves are primarily within other noncurrent liabilities in the Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets.
 
 
 
Facility

 
 
(In millions)
Severance

 
costs

 
Total

Balance as of September 30, 2014
$
56

 
$
9

 
$
65

Utilization (cash paid or otherwise settled)
(15
)
 
(1
)
 
(16
)
Balance at December 31, 2014
$
41

 
$
8

 
$
49

 
 
 
 
 
 
Balance as of September 30, 2013
$
17

 
$
8

 
$
25

Reserve adjustments
1

 

 
1

Utilization (cash paid or otherwise settled)
(4
)
 
(1
)
 
(5
)
Balance at December 31, 2013
$
14

 
$
7

 
$
21

NOTE E – FAIR VALUE MEASUREMENTS
As required by U.S. GAAP, Ashland uses applicable guidance for defining fair value, the initial recording and periodic remeasurement of certain assets and liabilities measured at fair value and related disclosures for instruments measured at fair value.  Fair value accounting guidance establishes a fair value hierarchy, which prioritizes the inputs to valuation techniques used to measure fair value into three broad levels.  The fair value hierarchy gives the highest priority to quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities (Level 1) and the lowest priority to unobservable inputs (Level 3).  An instrument’s categorization within the fair value hierarchy is based upon the lowest level of input that is significant to the instrument’s fair value measurement.  
For assets that are measured using quoted prices in active markets (Level 1), the total fair value is the published market price per unit multiplied by the number of units held without consideration of transaction costs.  Assets and liabilities that are measured using significant other observable inputs (Level 2) are primarily valued by reference to quoted prices of similar assets or liabilities in active markets (market approach), adjusted for any terms specific to that asset or liability.  For all other assets and liabilities for which unobservable inputs are used (Level 3), fair value is derived through the use of fair value models, such as a discounted cash flow model or other standard pricing models that Ashland deems reasonable.
The following table summarizes financial instruments subject to recurring fair value measurements as of December 31, 2014 .


10

 
 
 
 
 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 
 
 
NOTE E – FAIR VALUE MEASUREMENTS (continued)

(In millions)
Carrying
value

 
Total
fair
value

 
Quoted prices
in active
markets for
identical
assets
Level 1

 
Significant
other
observable
inputs
Level 2

 
Significant
unobservable
inputs
Level 3

Assets
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
$
1,256

 
$
1,256

 
$
1,256

 
$

 
$

Deferred compensation investments (a)
186

 
186

 
44

 
142

 

Investments of captive insurance company (a)
3

 
3

 
3

 

 

Foreign currency derivatives
3

 
3

 

 
3

 

Total assets at fair value
$
1,448

 
$
1,448

 
$
1,303

 
$
145

 
$

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Liabilities
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Foreign currency derivatives
$
6

 
$
6

 
$

 
$
6

 
$

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(a)
Included in other noncurrent assets in the Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets.
The following table summarizes financial asset instruments subject to recurring fair value measurements as of September 30, 2014 .
(In millions)
Carrying
value

 
Total
fair
value

 
Quoted prices
in active
markets for
identical
assets
Level 1

 
Significant
other
observable
inputs
Level 2

 
Significant
unobservable
inputs
Level 3

Assets
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Cash and cash equivalents
$
1,393

 
$
1,393

 
$
1,393

 
$

 
$

Deferred compensation investments (a)
184

 
184

 
45

 
139

 

Investments of captive insurance company (a)
3

 
3

 
3

 

 

Foreign currency derivatives
11

 
11

 

 
11

 

Total assets at fair value
$
1,591

 
$
1,591

 
$
1,441

 
$
150

 
$

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Liabilities
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Foreign currency derivatives
$
9

 
$
9

 
$

 
$
9

 
$

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(a)
Included in other noncurrent assets in the Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets.
Derivative and hedging activities
Currency hedges
Ashland conducts business in a variety of foreign currencies.  Accordingly, Ashland regularly uses foreign currency derivative instruments to manage exposure on certain transactions denominated in foreign currencies to curtail potential earnings volatility effects of certain assets and liabilities, including short-term inter-company loans, denominated in currencies other than Ashland’s functional currency of an entity. These derivative contracts generally require exchange of one foreign currency for another at a fixed rate at a future date and generally have maturities of less than twelve months.  All contracts are marked-to-market with net changes in fair value recorded within the selling, general and administrative expense caption.  The impacts of these

11

 
 
 
 
 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 
 
 
NOTE E – FAIR VALUE MEASUREMENTS (continued)

contracts were largely offset by gains and losses resulting from the impact of changes in exchange rates on transactions denominated in non-functional currencies. The following table summarizes the gains and losses recognized during the three months ended December 31, 2014 and 2013 within the Statements of Consolidated Comprehensive Income.
 
Three months ended
 
December 31
(In millions)
2014

 
2013

Foreign currency derivative gain (loss)
$
(4
)
 
$
3

The following table summarizes the fair values of the outstanding foreign currency derivatives as of December 31, 2014 and September 30, 2014 included in accounts receivable and accrued expenses and other liabilities of the Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets.
 
December 31

 
September 30

(In millions)
2014

 
2014

Foreign currency derivative assets
$
1

 
$
2

Notional contract values
59

 
88

 
 
 
 
Foreign currency derivative liabilities
$
4

 
$
4

Notional contract values
335

 
281

Net investment hedges
During 2014, Ashland entered into foreign currency contracts in order to manage the foreign currency exposure of the net investment in certain foreign operations, as a result of certain proceeds from the sale of Water Technologies being received in non-U.S. denominated currencies. During the three months ended December 31, 2014, these foreign currency contracts were settled and Ashland entered into new foreign currency contracts. Ashland designated the foreign currency contracts as hedges of net investment in its foreign subsidiaries. As a result, Ashland records these hedges at fair value using forward rates, with the effective portion of the gain or loss reported as a component of the cumulative translation adjustment within accumulated other comprehensive income (AOCI) and subsequently recognized in the Statements of Consolidated Comprehensive Income when the hedged item affects net income. There was no hedge ineffectiveness with these instruments during the three months ended December 31, 2014 .
As of December 31, 2014 and September 30, 2014 , the total notional value of foreign currency contracts equaled $197 million and $206 million , respectively. The fair value of Ashland's net investment hedge assets and liabilities are calculated using forward rates. Accordingly, these instruments are deemed to be Level 2 measurements within the fair value hierarchy. Counterparties to these net investment hedges are highly rated financial institutions which Ashland believes carry only a nominal risk of nonperformance. The following table summarizes the fair value of the outstanding net investment hedge instruments as of December 31, 2014 and September 30, 2014 .
 
 
December 31

 
September 30

(In millions)
Consolidated balance sheet caption
2014

 
2014

Net investment hedge assets
Accounts receivable
$
2

 
$
9

Net investment hedge liabilities
Accrued expenses and other liabilities
2

 
5


12

 
 
 
 
 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 
 
 
NOTE E – FAIR VALUE MEASUREMENTS (continued)

The following table summarizes the unrealized gain on the net investment hedge instruments recognized within the cumulative translation adjustment within AOCI during the three months ended December 31, 2014 . No portion of the loss was reclassified to income during the quarter.
Three months ended
 
 
 
December 31

 
(In millions)
2014

 
Change in unrealized gain in AOCI
$

(a)
Tax impact of change in unrealized gain in AOCI
(1
)
 
 
 
 
(a)
Denotes a value that nets to less than $1 million.
Other financial instruments
At December 31, 2014 and September 30, 2014 , Ashland’s long-term debt had a carrying value of $2,952 million and $2,951 million , respectively, compared to a fair value of $3,132 million and $3,102 million , respectively.  The fair values of long-term debt are based on quoted market prices or, if market prices are not available, the present values of the underlying cash flows discounted at Ashland’s incremental borrowing rates, which are deemed to be Level 2 measurements within the fair value hierarchy.
NOTE F – INVENTORIES
Inventories are carried at the lower of cost or market.  Inventories are primarily stated at cost using the weighted-average cost method. In addition, certain chemicals, plastics and lubricants are valued at cost using the last-in, first-out (LIFO) method.  
The following table summarizes Ashland’s inventories as of the reported Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheet dates.
 
December 31

 
September 30

(In millions)
2014

 
2014

Finished products
$
539

 
$
557

Raw materials, supplies and work in process
259

 
239

LIFO reserve
(52
)
 
(31
)
 
$
746

 
$
765

NOTE G – GOODWILL AND OTHER INTANGIBLES
Goodwill
Ashland reviews goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment annually or when events and circumstances indicate an impairment may have occurred.  This annual assessment is performed as of July 1 and consists of Ashland determining each reporting unit’s current fair value compared to its current carrying value.  For its July 1, 2014 assessment, Ashland determined that its reporting units for allocation of goodwill included the Specialty Ingredients and Valvoline reportable segments, and the Composites, Intermediates/Solvents, and Elastomers reporting units within the Performance Materials reportable segment, and determined at that time that no impairment existed. As discussed in Note B, Ashland sold the Elastomers division on December 1, 2014 and as a result, Elastomers is no longer a reporting unit as of December 31, 2014 .

13

 
 
 
 
 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 
 
 
NOTE G – GOODWILL AND OTHER INTANGIBLES (continued)

The following is a progression of goodwill by reportable segment for the three months ended December 31, 2014 .
 
Specialty

 
Performance

 
 
 
 

(In millions)
Ingredients

 
Materials

(a)
Valvoline

 
Total

Balance at September 30, 2014
$
2,129

 
$
346

 
$
168

 
$
2,643

Divestiture

 
(10
)
 

 
(10
)
Currency translation adjustment
(41
)
 
(6
)
 

 
(47
)
Balance at December 31, 2014
$
2,088

 
$
330

 
$
168

 
$
2,586

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(a)
As of December 31, 2014 , goodwill consisted of $172 million for the Intermediates/Solvents reporting unit and $158 million for the Composites reporting unit.
Other intangible assets
Intangible assets principally consist of trademarks and trade names, intellectual property, customer relationships, and in-process research and development (IPR&D). Intangible assets classified as finite are amortized on a straight-line basis over their estimated useful lives.  The cost of trademarks and trade names is amortized principally over 4 to 25 years, intellectual property over 5 to 20 years, and customer relationships over 3 to 24 years.
IPR&D and certain intangible assets within trademarks and trade names have been classified as indefinite-lived and had a balance of $322 million as of December 31, 2014 and September 30, 2014 , respectively. Ashland annually reviews indefinite-lived intangible assets for possible impairment or whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that carrying amounts may not be recoverable.  
Intangible assets were comprised of the following as of December 31, 2014 and September 30, 2014 .
 
 
December 31, 2014
 
Gross

 
 
 
Net

 
carrying

 
Accumulated

 
carrying

(In millions)
amount

 
amortization

 
amount

Definite-lived intangible assets
 
 
 
 
 
Trademarks and trade names (a)
$
66

 
$
(45
)
 
$
21

Intellectual property (a)
809

 
(233
)
 
576

Customer relationships
461

 
(126
)
 
335

Total definite-lived intangible assets
1,336

 
(404
)
 
932

 
 
 
 
 
 
Indefinite-lived intangible assets
 
 
 
 
 
IPR&D
19

 

 
19

Trademarks and trade names
303

 

 
303

Total intangible assets
$
1,658

 
$
(404
)
 
$
1,254

 
 
 
 
 
 
(a)
Elastomers had a gross carrying amount for trademarks/trade names and intellectual property of $6 million and $18 million , respectively, with $5 million of accumulated amortization for each caption.


14

 
 
 
 
 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 
 
 
NOTE G – GOODWILL AND OTHER INTANGIBLES (continued)

 
September 30, 2014
 
Gross

 
 
 
Net

 
carrying

 
Accumulated

 
carrying

(In millions)
amount

 
amortization

 
amount

Definite-lived intangible assets
 
 
 
 
 
Trademarks and trade names
$
72

 
$
(49
)
 
$
23

Intellectual property
827

 
(226
)
 
601

Customer relationships
481

 
(118
)
 
363

Total definite-lived intangible assets
1,380

 
(393
)
 
987

 
 
 
 
 
 
Indefinite-lived intangible assets
 
 
 
 
 
IPR&D
19

 

 
19

Trademarks and trade names
303

 

 
303

Total intangible assets
$
1,702

 
$
(393
)
 
$
1,309

Amortization expense recognized on intangible assets was $21 million and $22 million for the three months ended December 31, 2014 and 2013 , respectively, and is included in the selling, general and administrative expense caption of the Statements of Consolidated Comprehensive Income. Estimated amortization expense for future periods is $82 million in 2015 (includes three months actual and nine months estimated), $80 million in 2016 , $80 million in 2017 , $79 million in 2018 and $75 million in 2019 .
NOTE H – DEBT
The following table summarizes Ashland’s current and long-term debt as of the reported Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheet dates.
 
December 31

 
September 30

(In millions)
2014

 
2014

4.750% notes, due 2022
$
1,120

 
$
1,120

3.875% notes, due 2018
700

 
700

3.000% notes, due 2016
600

 
600

6.875% notes, due 2043
376

 
376

Accounts receivable securitization (a)
220

 
255

6.50% junior subordinated notes, due 2029  
134

 
134

Revolving credit facility
80

 
45

Other international loans, interest at a weighted-
 

 
 

average rate of 7.0% at December 31, 2014 (6.0% to 10.2%)
23

 
29

Medium-term notes, due 2015-2019, interest at a weighted-
 

 
 

average rate of 8.7% at December 31, 2014 (8.4% to 9.4%)
14

 
14

Other
8

 
7

Total debt
3,275

 
3,280

Short-term debt
(323
)
 
(329
)
Current portion of long-term debt
(9
)
 
(9
)
Long-term debt (less current portion)
$
2,943

 
$
2,942

 
 
 
 
(a)
During the three months ended December 31, 2014 , the potential funding for qualified receivables was reduced from $275 million to $250 million .

15

 
 
 
 
 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIAIRES
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 
 
 
NOTE H – DEBT (continued)

The scheduled aggregate maturities of debt by year are as follows:  $251 million remaining in 2015 , $600 million in 2016 , none in 2017 , $780 million in 2018 and $5 million in 2019 .  The borrowing capacity remaining under the $1.2 billion senior unsecured revolving credit facility (the 2013 Senior Credit Facility) was $1,047 million , due to an outstanding balance of $80 million , as well as a reduction of $73 million for letters of credit outstanding at December 31, 2014 . No capacity remained under the accounts receivable securitization facility as the amount borrowed equaled the value of qualifying receivables at December 31, 2014 .
Covenant restrictions
Ashland's debt contains usual and customary representations, warranties and affirmative and negative covenants, including financial covenants for leverage and interest coverage ratios, limitations on liens, additional indebtedness, further negative pledges, investments, mergers, sale of assets and restricted payments and other customary limitations.   As of December 31, 2014 , Ashland is in compliance with all debt agreement covenant restrictions.
Financial covenants
The maximum consolidated leverage ratio permitted under the 2013 Senior Credit Facility during its entire duration is 3.25 .  At December 31, 2014 , Ashland’s calculation of the consolidated leverage ratio was 2.0 , which is below the maximum consolidated leverage ratio of 3.25 .
The minimum required consolidated interest coverage ratio under the 2013 Senior Credit Facility during its entire duration is 3.0 .  At December 31, 2014 , Ashland’s calculation of the interest coverage ratio was 6.5 , which exceeds the minimum required consolidated ratio of 3.0 .
NOTE I – INCOME TAXES
Current fiscal year
Ashland’s estimated annual effective income tax rate used to determine income tax expense in interim financial reporting for the year ending September 30, 2015 is 24.6% . Ashland’s effective tax rate in any interim period is subject to adjustments related to discrete items and changes within foreign effective tax rates resulting from income or loss fluctuations.  The overall effective tax rate was 7.0% for the three months ended December 31, 2014 and includes $31 million of discrete tax benefits on pretax charges of $93 million , primarily related to the sale of the Elastomers division.
Prior fiscal year
Ashland’s estimated annual effective income tax rate used to determine income tax expense in interim financial reporting for the year ending September 30, 2014 was 21.1% . The overall effective tax rate was 17.0% for the three months ended December 31, 2013 and was impacted by favorable discrete items of $5 million , primarily related to the release of a foreign valuation allowance and certain non-taxable pretax income amounts.
Unrecognized tax benefits
Changes in unrecognized tax benefits are summarized as follows for the three months ended December 31, 2014 .

16

 
 
 
 
 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 
 
 
NOTE I – INCOME TAXES (continued)

 (In millions)
 

Balance at October 1, 2014
$
155

Increases related to positions taken on items from prior years
1

Decreases related to positions taken on items from prior years
(1
)
Increases related to positions taken in the current year
7

Balance at December 31, 2014
$
162

In the next twelve months, Ashland expects a decrease in the amount accrued for uncertain tax positions of up to $17 million for continuing operations and $13 million for discontinued operations related primarily to audit settlements and statute of limitations expirations in various tax jurisdictions. It is reasonably possible that there could be other material changes to the amount of uncertain tax positions due to activities of the taxing authorities, settlement of audit issues or the reassessment of existing uncertain tax positions; however, Ashland is not able to estimate the impact of these items at this time.
As of December 31, 2014 , Ashland has recorded valuation allowances related to state net operating loss carry forwards and other state deferred tax asset balances. Ashland will continue to assess, based upon all available evidence both positive and negative, whether the valuation allowances are supportable and it is possible that an amount equal to $20 million to $30 million could be reversed in fiscal year 2015.
NOTE J – EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLANS
For the three months ended December 31, 2014 , Ashland contributed $4 million to its U.S. pension plans and $2 million to its non-U.S. pension plans.  Ashland expects to make additional contributions to the U.S. plans of approximately $76 million and to the non-U.S. plans of approximately $13 million during the remainder of 2015 .  
For segment reporting purposes, service cost for continuing operations is proportionately allocated to each segment, excluding the Unallocated and other segment, while all other costs for continuing operations are recorded within the Unallocated and other segment. In accordance with U.S. GAAP, a portion of the other components of pension and other postretirement benefit costs (i.e. interest cost, expected return on assets, and amortization of prior service credit) related to Water Technologies has been reclassified from the Unallocated and other segment to the discontinued operations caption of the Statements of Consolidated Comprehensive Income. For the three months ended December 31, 2013 , income of $2 million was classified within discontinued operations.
The following table details the components of pension and other postretirement benefit costs for both continuing and discontinued operations.


17

 
 
 
 
 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 
 
 
NOTE J – EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLANS (continued)

 
 
 
 
 
Other postretirement
 
Pension benefits
 
benefits
(In millions)
2014

 
2013

 
2014

 
2013

Three months ended December 31
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Service cost (a)
$
7

 
$
11

 
$

 
$

Interest cost
44

 
49

 
2

 
2

Expected return on plan assets
(54
)
 
(59
)
 

 

Amortization of prior service credit
(1
)
 
(1
)
 
(4
)
 
(5
)
 
$
(4
)
 
$

 
$
(2
)
 
$
(3
)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(a)
Service cost and net pension benefit costs of $0 denote values less than $1 million.
NOTE K – LITIGATION, CLAIMS AND CONTINGENCIES
Asbestos litigation
Ashland and Hercules, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ashland that was acquired in 2009, have liabilities from claims alleging personal injury caused by exposure to asbestos.  To assist in developing and annually updating independent reserve estimates for future asbestos claims and related costs given various assumptions, Ashland retained Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Associates, Inc. (HR&A).  The methodology used by HR&A to project future asbestos costs is based largely on recent experience, including claim-filing and settlement rates, disease mix, enacted legislation, open claims and litigation defense.  The claim experience of Ashland and Hercules are separately compared to the results of previously conducted third party epidemiological studies estimating the number of people likely to develop asbestos-related diseases.  Those studies were undertaken in connection with national analyses of the population expected to have been exposed to asbestos.  Using that information, HR&A estimates a range of the number of future claims that may be filed, as well as the related costs that may be incurred in resolving those claims.  Changes in asbestos-related liabilities and receivables are recorded on an after-tax basis within the discontinued operations caption in the Statements of Consolidated Comprehensive Income.
Ashland asbestos-related litigation
The claims alleging personal injury caused by exposure to asbestos asserted against Ashland result primarily from indemnification obligations undertaken in 1990 in connection with the sale of Riley, a former subsidiary.  The amount and timing of settlements and number of open claims can fluctuate from period to period.  A summary of Ashland asbestos claims activity, excluding Hercules claims, follows.
 
Three months ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
December 31
 
  Years ended September 30
(In thousands)
2014

 
2013

 
2014

 
2013

 
2012

Open claims - beginning of period
65

 
65

 
65

 
66

 
72

New claims filed
1

 
1

 
2

 
2

 
2

Claims settled

 

 
(1
)
 
(1
)
 
(1
)
Claims dismissed

 

 
(1
)
 
(2
)
 
(7
)
Open claims - end of period
66

 
66

 
65

 
65

 
66

Ashland asbestos-related liability
From the range of estimates, Ashland records the amount it believes to be the best estimate of future payments for litigation defense and claim settlement costs, which generally approximates the mid-point of the estimated

18

 
 
 
 
 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 
 
 
NOTE K – LITIGATION, CLAIMS AND CONTINGENCIES (continued)


range of exposure from model results.  Ashland reviews this estimate and related assumptions quarterly and annually updates the results of a non-inflated, non-discounted approximate 50-year model developed with the assistance of HR&A.  As a result of the most recent annual update of this estimate, completed during the June 2014 quarter, it was determined that the liability for asbestos claims should be increased by $4 million .  Total reserves for asbestos claims were $431 million at December 31, 2014 compared to $438 million at September 30, 2014 .
A progression of activity in the asbestos reserve is presented in the following table.
 
Three months ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
December 31
 
  Years ended September 30
(In millions)
2014

 
2013

 
2014

 
2013

 
2012

Asbestos reserve - beginning of period
$
438

 
$
463

 
$
463

 
$
522

 
$
543

Reserve adjustment

 

 
4

 
(28
)
 
11

Amounts paid
(7
)
 
(8
)
 
(29
)
 
(31
)
 
(32
)
Asbestos reserve - end of period
$
431

 
$
455

 
$
438

 
$
463

 
$
522

Ashland asbestos-related receivables
Ashland has insurance coverage for most of the litigation defense and claim settlement costs incurred in connection with its asbestos claims, and coverage-in-place agreements exist with the insurance companies that provide most of the coverage currently being accessed.  As a result, any increases in the asbestos reserve have been largely offset by probable insurance recoveries.  The amounts not recoverable generally are due from insurers that are insolvent, rather than as a result of uninsured claims or the exhaustion of Ashland’s insurance coverage.
For the Ashland asbestos-related obligations, Ashland has estimated the value of probable insurance recoveries associated with its asbestos reserve based on management’s interpretations and estimates surrounding the available or applicable insurance coverage, including an assumption that all solvent insurance carriers remain solvent.  Approximately 70% of the estimated receivables from insurance companies are expected to be due from domestic insurers. Of the insurance companies rated by A. M. Best, all have a credit rating of B+ or higher as of December 31, 2014 .  The remainder of the insurance receivable is due from London insurance companies, which generally have lower credit quality ratings, and from Underwriters at Lloyd’s, whose insurance policy obligations have been transferred to a Berkshire Hathaway entity.  Ashland discounts this portion of the receivable based upon the projected timing of the receipt of cash from those insurers unless likely settlement amounts can be determined.
In October 2012, Ashland and Hercules initiated various arbitration proceedings against Underwriters at Lloyd’s, certain London companies and/or Chartis (AIG) member companies seeking to enforce these insurers’ contractual obligations to provide indemnity for asbestos liabilities and defense costs under existing coverage-in-place agreements. In addition, Ashland and Hercules initiated a lawsuit in Kentucky state court against certain Berkshire Hathaway entities (National Indemnity Company and Resolute Management, Inc.) on grounds that these Berkshire entities wrongfully interfered with Underwriters' and Chartis' performance of their respective contractual obligations to provide asbestos coverage by directing the insurers to reduce and delay certain claim payments.
On January 13, 2015, Ashland and Hercules entered into a comprehensive settlement with Underwriters at Lloyd’s, certain London Companies and Chartis (AIG) member companies, along with National Indemnity and Resolute Management, Inc., under which Ashland and Hercules received a total of $398 million and, in exchange, released all claims against these entities for past, present and future coverage obligations arising

19

 
 
 
 
 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 
 
 
NOTE K – LITIGATION, CLAIMS AND CONTINGENCIES (continued)


out of the asbestos coverage-in-place agreements that were the subject of the pending arbitration proceedings. In addition, as part of this settlement, Ashland and Hercules released all claims against National Indemnity and Resolute Management, Inc. in the Kentucky state court action. As a result, the arbitration proceedings and the Kentucky state court action have been terminated. Ashland intends to segregate a significant portion of the funds received in the settlement to pay for ongoing and future litigation defense and claim settlement costs incurred in connection with asbestos claims.
As a result of this settlement, during the quarter ending March 31, 2015, Ashland expects to record an after-tax gain of approximately $110 million to $130 million , within the discontinued operations caption of the Statement of Consolidated Comprehensive Income and an approximately $250 million reduction in the receivable balance within the Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheet. The ranges reflect certain current estimates and assumptions with respect to tax consequences of the transaction that may change as certain tax attributes are finalized.
At December 31, 2014 , Ashland’s receivable for recoveries of litigation defense and claim settlement costs from insurers amounted to $392 million , of which $80 million relates to costs previously paid.  Receivables from insurers amounted to $402 million at September 30, 2014 .  During the June 2014 quarter, the annual update of the model used for purposes of valuing the asbestos reserve described above, and its impact on valuation of future recoveries from insurers, was updated.  This model update resulted in a $7 million increase in the receivable for probable insurance recoveries. In 2014 , subsequent to the model update, a $15 million increase to the receivable was recorded to reflect a change to certain model assumptions related to the timing of receipts.
A progression of activity in the Ashland insurance receivable is presented in the following table.
 
Three months ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
December 31
 
Years ended September 30
(In millions)
2014

 
2013

 
2014

 
2013

 
2012

Insurance receivable - beginning of period
$
402

 
$
408

 
$
408

 
$
423

 
$
431

Receivable adjustment

 

 
22

 
(3
)
 
19

Amounts collected
(10
)
 
(3
)
 
(28
)
 
(12
)
 
(27
)
Insurance receivable - end of period
$
392

 
$
405

 
$
402

 
$
408

 
$
423

Hercules asbestos-related litigation
Hercules has liabilities from claims alleging personal injury caused by exposure to asbestos.  Such claims typically arise from alleged exposure to asbestos fibers from resin encapsulated pipe and tank products which were sold by one of Hercules’ former subsidiaries to a limited industrial market.  The amount and timing of settlements and number of open claims can fluctuate from period to period.  A summary of Hercules’ asbestos claims activity follows.
 
Three months ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
December 31
 
    Years ended September 30
(In thousands)
2014

 
2013

 
2014

 
2013

 
2012

Open claims - beginning of period
21

 
21

 
21

 
21

 
21

New claims filed

 

 
1

 
1

 
1

Claims dismissed

 

 
(1
)
 
(1
)
 
(1
)
Open claims - end of period
21

 
21

 
21

 
21

 
21



20

 
 
 
 
 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 
 
 
NOTE K – LITIGATION, CLAIMS AND CONTINGENCIES (continued)


Hercules asbestos-related liability
From the range of estimates, Ashland records the amount it believes to be the best estimate of future payments for litigation defense and claim settlement costs, which generally approximates the mid-point of the estimated range of exposure from model results.  Ashland reviews this estimate and related assumptions quarterly and annually updates the results of a non-inflated, non-discounted approximate 50-year model developed with the assistance of HR&A.  As a result of the most recent annual update of this estimate, completed during the June 2014 quarter, it was determined that the liability for Hercules asbestos-related claims should be increased by $10 million .  Total reserves for asbestos claims were $324 million at December 31, 2014 compared to $329 million at September 30, 2014 .
A progression of activity in the asbestos reserve is presented in the following table.
 
Three months ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
December 31
 
Years ended September 30
(In millions)
2014

 
2013

 
2014

 
2013

 
2012

Asbestos reserve - beginning of period
$
329

 
$
342

 
$
342

 
$
320

 
$
311

Reserve adjustment

 

 
10

 
46

 
30

Amounts paid
(5
)
 
(5
)
 
(23
)
 
(24
)
 
(21
)
Asbestos reserve - end of period
$
324

 
$
337

 
$
329

 
$
342

 
$
320

Hercules asbestos-related receivables
For the Hercules asbestos-related obligations, certain reimbursement obligations pursuant to coverage-in-place agreements with insurance carriers exist.  As a result, any increases in the asbestos reserve have been partially offset by probable insurance recoveries.  Ashland has estimated the value of probable insurance recoveries associated with its asbestos reserve based on management’s interpretations and estimates surrounding the available or applicable insurance coverage, including an assumption that all solvent insurance carriers remain solvent.  The estimated receivable consists exclusively of domestic insurers. Of the insurance companies rated by A. M. Best, all have a credit rating of B+ or higher as of December 31, 2014 .
As of December 31, 2014 and September 30, 2014 , the receivables from insurers amounted to $77 million , respectively. During the June 2014 quarter, the annual update of the model used for purposes of valuing the asbestos reserve and its impact on valuation of future recoveries from insurers was completed.  This model update caused a $3 million increase in the receivable for probable insurance recoveries. As a result of the January 13, 2015, settlement reported above, Hercules has resolved all disputes with Chartis (AIG) member companies under their existing coverage-in-place agreement for past, present and future Hercules asbestos claims, and an adjustment in the insurance receivable will be made in the next quarterly report.
A progression of activity in the Hercules insurance receivable is presented in the following table.
 
Three months ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
December 31
 
Years ended September 30
(In millions)
2014

 
2013

 
2014

 
2013

 
2012

Insurance receivable - beginning of period
$
77

 
$
75

 
$
75

 
$
56

 
$
48

Receivable adjustment

 

 
3

 
19

 
9

Amounts collected

 

 
(1
)
 

 
(1
)
Insurance receivable - end of period
$
77

 
$
75

 
$
77

 
$
75

 
$
56



21

 
 
 
 
 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 
 
 
NOTE K – LITIGATION, CLAIMS AND CONTINGENCIES (continued)


Asbestos liability projection
Projecting future asbestos costs is subject to numerous variables that are extremely difficult to predict.  In addition to the significant uncertainties surrounding the number of claims that might be received, other variables include the type and severity of the disease alleged by each claimant, the long latency period associated with asbestos exposure, dismissal rates, costs of medical treatment, the impact of bankruptcies of other companies that are co-defendants in claims, uncertainties surrounding the litigation process from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and from case to case, and the impact of potential changes in legislative or judicial standards.  Furthermore, any predictions with respect to these variables are subject to even greater uncertainty as the projection period lengthens.  In light of these inherent uncertainties, Ashland believes that the asbestos reserves for Ashland and Hercules represent the best estimate within a range of possible outcomes.  As a part of the process to develop these estimates of future asbestos costs, a range of long-term cost models was developed.  These models are based on national studies that predict the number of people likely to develop asbestos-related diseases and are heavily influenced by assumptions regarding long-term inflation rates for indemnity payments and legal defense costs, as well as other variables mentioned previously.  Ashland has currently estimated in various models ranging from approximately 40 to 50 year periods that it is reasonably possible that total future litigation defense and claim settlement costs on an inflated and undiscounted basis could range as high as approximately $870 million for the Ashland asbestos-related litigation and approximately $670 million for the Hercules asbestos-related litigation (or approximately $1.5 billion in the aggregate), depending on the combination of assumptions selected in the various models.  If actual experience is worse than projected, relative to the number of claims filed, the severity of alleged disease associated with those claims or costs incurred to resolve those claims, Ashland may need to further increase the estimates of the costs associated with asbestos claims and these increases could be material over time.
Environmental remediation and asset retirement obligations
Ashland is subject to various federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations that require environmental assessment or remediation efforts (collectively environmental remediation) at multiple locations.  At December 31, 2014 , such locations included 81 waste treatment or disposal sites where Ashland has been identified as a potentially responsible party under Superfund or similar state laws, 139 current and former operating facilities (including certain operating facilities conveyed to Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC (MAP) in 2005) and about 1,225 service station properties, of which 82 are being actively remediated.
Ashland’s reserves for environmental remediation amounted to $195 million at December 31, 2014 compared to $197 million at September 30, 2014 , of which $156 million at December 31, 2014 and $158 million at September 30, 2014 were classified in other noncurrent liabilities on the Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets.
The following table provides a reconciliation of the changes in the environmental contingencies and asset retirement obligations during the three months ended December 31, 2014 and 2013 .
 
Three months ended
 
December 31
(In millions)
2014

 
2013

Reserve - beginning of period
$
197

 
$
211

Disbursements, net of cost recoveries
(8
)
 
(8
)
Revised obligation estimates and accretion
6

 
5

Reserve - end of period
$
195

 
$
208


22

 
 
 
 
 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 
 
 
NOTE K – LITIGATION, CLAIMS AND CONTINGENCIES (continued)


The total reserves for environmental remediation reflect Ashland’s estimates of the most likely costs that will be incurred over an extended period to remediate identified conditions for which the costs are reasonably estimable, without regard to any third-party recoveries.  Engineering studies, probability techniques, historical experience and other factors are used to identify and evaluate remediation alternatives and their related costs in determining the estimated reserves for environmental remediation.  Ashland continues to discount certain environmental sites and regularly adjusts its reserves as environmental remediation continues.  Ashland has estimated the value of its probable insurance recoveries associated with its environmental reserve based on management’s interpretations and estimates surrounding the available or applicable insurance coverage.  At December 31, 2014 and September 30, 2014 , Ashland’s recorded receivable for these probable insurance recoveries was $23 million and $24 million , respectively, which were classified in other noncurrent assets on the Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets.
Components of environmental remediation expense included within the selling, general and administrative expense caption of the Statements of Consolidated Comprehensive Income are presented in the following table for the three months ended December 31, 2014 and 2013 .
 
Three months ended
 
December 31
(In millions)
2014

 
2013

Environmental expense
$
5

 
$
4

Accretion
1

 
1

Legal expense
1

 

Total expense
7

 
5

 
 
 
 
Insurance receivable

 
(1
)
Total expense, net of receivable activity (a)
$
7

 
$
4

 
 
 
 
(a)
Net expense of $1 million for the three months ended December 31, 2013 relates to divested businesses which qualified for treatment as discontinued operations and for which certain environmental liabilities were retained by Ashland.  These amounts are classified within the income from discontinued operations caption of the Statements of Consolidated Comprehensive Income.
Environmental remediation reserves are subject to numerous inherent uncertainties that affect Ashland’s ability to estimate its share of the costs.  Such uncertainties involve the nature and extent of contamination at each site, the extent of required cleanup efforts under existing environmental regulations, widely varying costs of alternate cleanup methods, changes in environmental regulations, the potential effect of continuing improvements in remediation technology, and the number and financial strength of other potentially responsible parties at multiparty sites.  Although it is not possible to predict with certainty the ultimate costs of environmental remediation, Ashland currently estimates that the upper end of the reasonably possible range of future costs for identified sites could be as high as approximately $430 million .  No individual remediation location is significant, as the largest reserve for any site is 13% or less of the remediation reserve.
Other legal proceedings and claims
In addition to the matters described above, there are other various claims, lawsuits and administrative proceedings pending or threatened against Ashland and its current and former subsidiaries.  Such actions are with respect to commercial matters, product liability, toxic tort liability, and other environmental matters, which seek remedies or damages, some of which are for substantial amounts.  While Ashland cannot predict with certainty the outcome of such actions, it believes that adequate reserves have been recorded and losses already recognized with respect to such actions were immaterial as of December 31, 2014 and September 30, 2014 .  There is a reasonable possibility that a loss exceeding amounts already recognized may be incurred

23

 
 
 
 
 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 
 
 
NOTE K – LITIGATION, CLAIMS AND CONTINGENCIES (continued)


related to these actions; however, Ashland believes that such potential losses were immaterial as of December 31, 2014 .
NOTE L   EARNINGS PER SHARE
The following is the computation of basic and diluted earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations.  Stock appreciation rights (SARs) and warrants available to purchase shares outstanding for each reporting period whose grant price was greater than the average market price of Ashland Common Stock for each applicable period were not included in the computation of income from continuing operations per diluted share because the effect of these instruments would be antidilutive.  The total number of these shares outstanding was approximately 1.2 million and 0.6 million at December 31, 2014 and 2013 , respectively.  Earnings per share is reported under the treasury stock method. 
 
Three months ended
 
December 31
(In millions except per share data)
2014

 
2013

Numerator
 
 
 
Numerator for basic and diluted EPS – Income
 
 
 
from continuing operations
$
40

 
$
88

Denominator
 

 
 

Denominator for basic EPS – Weighted-average
 

 
 

common shares outstanding
69

 
77

Share-based awards convertible to common shares
1

 
1

Denominator for diluted EPS – Adjusted weighted-
 

 
 

average shares and assumed conversions
70

 
78

 
 
 
 
EPS from continuing operations
 

 
 

Basic
$
0.58

 
$
1.14

Diluted
0.57

 
1.12

NOTE M STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY ITEMS
Stock repurchase programs
During the March 2014 quarter, the Board of Directors of Ashland authorized a $1.35 billion common stock repurchase program, of which $270 million is still available as of December 31, 2014 . This new authorization replaced Ashland’s previous $600 million share repurchase authorization, approved in May 2013, which had $450 million remaining. Under the new program, Ashland’s common shares may be repurchased in open market transactions, privately negotiated transactions or pursuant to one or more accelerated stock repurchase programs or Rule 10b5-1 plans. This new repurchase program will expire on December 31, 2015.
As part of the $1.35 billion common stock repurchase program, Ashland announced in the September 30, 2014 quarter that it had entered into an agreement with each of Deutsche Bank Securities and JPMorgan to repurchase an aggregate of $250 million of Ashland's common stock. Under the terms of the agreement, the financial institutions purchased a pre-determined number of shares on various trading days dependent upon Ashland's prevailing stock price on that date. The term of the agreements is through June 30, 2015. During the December 31, 2014 quarter, Ashland completed these agreements, receiving 1.2 million shares of common stock for a total cost of $127 million . The settlement price, which represents the average amount spent after

24

 
 
 
 
 
 
ASHLAND INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 
 
 
NOTE M – STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY ITEMS (continued)

commissions over the common shares repurchased throughout the program, was $104.51 per share. In total, Ashland paid $250 million and received 2.4 million shares of common stock under the agreements.
In addition, Ashland also announced in the September 30, 2014 quarter that it has entered into accelerated share repurchase agreements (2014 ASR Agreements) with each of Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch (Deutsche Bank), and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (JPMorgan), to repurchase an aggregate of $750 million of Ashland's common stock. Under the 2014 ASR Agreements, Ashland paid an initial purchase price of $ 750 million , split evenly between the financial institutions. As of September 30, 2014, Ashland received an initial delivery of approximately 5.9 million shares of common stock under the 2014 ASR Agreements. The 2014 ASR Agreements have a variable maturity, at the financial institutions option, with a scheduled termination date of no later than June 30, 2015. No shares were received in the December 31, 2014 quarter under the 2014 ASR Agreements.
Stockholder dividends
During the December 2014 quarter, the Board of Directors of Ashland announced and paid a quarterly cash dividend of 34 cents per share to eligible shareholders of record. The same amount was paid for quarterly dividends in each quarter of fiscal 2014 .
Accumulated other comprehensive income
Components of other comprehensive income recorded in the Statements of Consolidated Comprehensive Income are presented below, before tax and net of tax effects.
 
2014
 
2013
 
 
 
Tax

 
 
 
 
 
Tax

 
 
 
Before

 
(expense)

 
Net of

 
Before

 
(expense)

 
Net of

(In millions)
tax

 
benefit

 
tax

 
tax

 
benefit

 
tax

Three months ended December 31
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other comprehensive income (loss)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unrealized translation gain (loss)
$
(126
)
 
$
(1
)
 
$
(127
)
 
$
39

 
$

 
$
39

Pension and postretirement obligation adjustment:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Amortization of unrecognized prior service
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
credits included in net income (a)
(5
)
 

 
(5
)
 
(6
)
 
2

 
(4
)