Currency rate fluctuations
Changes in the relative values of non-U.S. currencies to the U.S. dollar affect the company’s results. At December 31, 2007, currency changes resulted in assets and liabilities denominated in local currencies being translated into more dollars than at year-end 2006. The company uses a variety of financial hedging instruments to limit specific currency risks related to financing transactions and other foreign currency-based transactions. Further discussion of currency and hedging appears in note K, “Derivatives and Hedging Transactions.”
The company earned approximately 47 percent of its pre-tax income from continuing operations in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. The company also maintains hedging programs to limit the volatility of currency impacts on the company’s financial results. These hedging programs limit the impact of currency changes on the company’s financial results but do not eliminate them. In addition to the translation of earnings and the company’s hedging programs, the impact of currency changes also will affect the company’s pricing and sourcing actions. For example, the company may procure components and supplies in multiple functional currencies and sell products and services in other currencies. Therefore, it is impractical to quantify the impact of currency on these transactions and on consolidated Net income. In 2007, the company believes the extended period of dollar weakness was positive for the company’s Net income, although the precise impact is difficult to assess.
For non-U.S. subsidiaries and branches that operate in U.S. dollars or whose economic environment is highly inflationary, translation adjustments are reflected in results of operations, as required by SFAS No. 52, “Foreign Currency Translation.” Generally, the company manages currency risk in these entities by linking prices and contracts to U.S. dollars and by entering into foreign currency hedge contracts.