SCHN 2017 Annual Report

SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC. NOTES TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS 60 / Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Form 10-K 2017 Accounts Receivable, net Accounts receivable represent amounts primarily due from customers on product and other sales. These accounts receivable, which are reduced by an allowance for doubtful accounts, are recorded at the invoiced amount and do not bear interest. The Company evaluates the collectability of its accounts receivable based on a combination of factors, includingwhether sales weremade pursuant to letters of credit or credit insurance is in place. In cases where management is aware of circumstances that may impair a customer’s ability to meet its financial obligations, management records a specific allowance against amounts due and reduces the receivable to the amount the Company believes will be collected. For all other customers, the Company maintains an allowance that considers the total receivables outstanding, historical collection rates and economic trends. Accounts are written off when all efforts to collect have been exhausted. The allowance for doubtful accounts was $2 million as of August 31, 2017 and 2016. Inventories The Company’s inventories consist of processed and unprocessed scrap metal (ferrous, nonferrous, and nonferrous recovered joint product arising from the manufacturing process), semi-finished steel products (billets), finished steel products (primarily rebar, wire rod and merchant bar), used and salvaged vehicles, and supplies. Inventories are stated at the lower of cost or market. The Company determines the cost of ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal inventories using the average cost method and capitalizes substantially all direct processing costs and yard costs into inventory. The Company allocates material and production costs to joint products using the gross margin method. AMR determines the cost of used and salvaged vehicle inventory at its auto parts stores, which is reported within finished goods, based on the average price the Company pays for a vehicle and capitalizes the vehicle cost and substantially all production costs into inventory. CSS determines the cost of its semi-finished and finished steel product inventories based on average costs and capitalizes all direct and indirect costs of manufacturing into inventory. Indirect costs of manufacturing include general plant costs, maintenance and yard costs. The Company determines the cost of its supplies inventory using the average cost method and reduces the carrying value for losses due to obsolescence. The Company considers estimated future selling prices when determining the estimated net realizable value of its inventory. As the Company generally sells its export recycled ferrous metal under contracts that provide for shipment within 30 to 60 days after the price is agreed, it utilizes the selling prices under committed contracts and sales orders for determining the estimated market price of quantities on hand that will be shipped under these contracts and orders. The Company performs periodic physical inventories to verify the quantity of inventory on hand. Due to the inherent nature of the Company's scrap metal inventories, including variations in product density, holding period and production processes utilized to manufacture the products, physical inventories will not necessarily detect all variances for scrap metal inventory such that estimates of quantities are required. To mitigate this risk, the Company adjusts its ferrous physical inventories when the volume of a commodity is low and a physical inventory count can more accurately estimate the remaining volume. Property, Plant and Equipment, net Property, plant and equipment are recorded at cost. Expenditures for major additions and improvements are capitalized, while routine repair and maintenance costs are expensed as incurred. Interest related to the construction of qualifying assets is capitalized as part of the construction costs and was not material to any of the periods presented. When assets are retired or sold, the related cost and accumulated depreciation are removed from the accounts and resulting gains or losses are generally included in operating expense. Gains and losses from sales of assets related to an exit activity are reported within restructuring charges and other exit- related activities in the Consolidated Statements of Operations. Depreciation is recorded on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives of the assets. Upon idling an asset, depreciation continues to be recorded. Leasehold improvements are amortized over the shorter of their estimated useful lives or the remaining lease term. As of August 31, 2017, the useful lives used for depreciation and amortization were as follows: Useful Life (In Years) Machinery and equipment 3 to 40 Land improvements 3 to 35 Buildings and leasehold improvements 5 to 40 Office equipment 3 to 20 Enterprise Resource Planning (“ERP”) systems 6 to 17