Goodwill Hunting: Will Facebook Write Down Its $1 Billion For Instagram?

The Wall Street Journal looked into goodwill levels and found something interesting: companies whose goodwill exceed their market caps.

These companies seem like good candidates for write-downs, as they’re carrying around goodwill that doesn’t appear to be worth anything. So, who are they?

Nasdaq (NDAQ) is one, with $5.1 billion in goodwill.

NDAQ Market Cap Chart

NDAQ Market Cap data by YCharts

Frontier Communications (FTR) has $6.3 billion in goodwill.

FTR Market Cap Chart

FTR Market Cap data by YCharts

And Republic Services (RSG) has $10.7 billion in goodwill.

RSG Market Cap Chart

RSG Market Cap data by YCharts

Indeed Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Microsoft (MSFT) and Boston Scientific (BSX) were also on this list, but in August HP announced an $8 billion write-down on its acquisition of EDS. In July Microsoft wrote off $6.2 billion of its aQuantive acquisition. And Boston Scientific has written off $9 billion in goodwill since 2007, according to the Journal.

The best comment left by a reader on the Journal’s story says: “Imagine the FB write down in Instagram,” which Zuckerberg and crew bought earlier this year for $1 billion. In fact, in a rare bright spot if you can call it that, Facebook (FB) seems to have goodwill under control. It has $809 million of goodwill and intangible assets on the balance sheet.

FB Market Cap Chart

FB Market Cap data by YCharts

And if you’re curious about Groupon’s (GRPN) situation, it has $167 million of goodwill on the balance sheet.

GRPN Market Cap Chart

GRPN Market Cap data by YCharts

Both of those companies, of course, have other problems -– like their business models.

From the editors of YCharts.YCharts Pro Investor Service includes professional stock charts, stock ratings and portfolio strategies.



Please note that this feature is only available as an add-on to YCharts subscriptions.

Please note that this feature requires full activation of your account and is not permitted during the free trial period.

Start My Free Trial {{}} No credit card required.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.