management’s discussion and analysis
of financial condition and results of operations

Market Risk

We are exposed to various types of market risk in the normal course of business, including the impact of interest rate changes, foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, changes in investment, equity and commodity prices and changes in corporate tax rates. We employ risk management strategies, which may include the use of a variety of derivatives including cross currency swaps, foreign currency and prepaid forwards and collars, interest rate and commodity swap agreements and interest rate locks. We do not hold derivatives for trading purposes.

It is our general policy to enter into interest rate, foreign currency and other derivative transactions only to the extent necessary to achieve our desired objectives in limiting our exposure to various market risks. Our objectives include maintaining a mix of fixed and variable rate debt to lower borrowing costs within reasonable risk parameters and to protect against earnings and cash flow volatility resulting from changes in market conditions. We do not hedge our market risk exposure in a manner that would completely eliminate the effect of changes in interest rates and foreign exchange rates on our earnings. We do not expect that our net income, liquidity and cash flows will be materially affected by these risk management strategies.

Interest Rate Risk

We are exposed to changes in interest rates, primarily on our short-term debt and the portion of long-term debt that carries floating interest rates. As of December 31, 2011, more than three-fourths in aggregate principal amount of our total debt portfolio consisted of fixed rate indebtedness, including the effect of interest rate swap agreements designated as hedges. The impact of a 100 basis point change in interest rates affecting our floating rate debt would result in a change in annual interest expense, including our interest rate swap agreements that are designated as hedges, of approximately $0.1 billion. The interest rates on our existing long-term debt obligations are unaffected by changes to our credit ratings.

The table that follows summarizes the fair values of our long-term debt, including current maturities, and interest rate swap derivatives as of December 31, 2011 and 2010. The table also provides a sensitivity analysis of the estimated fair values of these financial instruments assuming 100-basis-point upward and downward shifts in the yield curve. Our sensitivity analysis does not include the fair values of our commercial paper and bank loans, if any, because they are not significantly affected by changes in market interest rates.

(dollars in millions)

At December 31, 2011

Fair Value

 

Fair Value assuming
+ 100 basis point shift

 

Fair Value assuming
- 100 basis point shift

 

Long-term debt and related derivatives

$

61,870

 

$

58,117

 

$

66,326

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At December 31, 2010

Long-term debt and related derivatives

$

58,591

 

$

55,427

 

$

62,247

 

Interest Rate Swaps

We have entered into domestic interest rate swaps to achieve a targeted mix of fixed and variable rate debt. We principally receive fixed rates and pay variable rates based on LIBOR, resulting in a net increase or decrease to Interest expense. These swaps are designated as fair value hedges and hedge against changes in the fair value of our debt portfolio. We record the interest rate swaps at fair value on our consolidated balance sheets as assets and liabilities. Changes in the fair value of the interest rate swaps due to changes in interest rates are recorded to Interest expense, which are offset by changes in the fair value of the debt. The fair value of these contracts was $0.6 billion at December 31, 2011 and $0.3 billion at December 31, 2010 and is primarily included in Other assets and Long-term debt. As of December 31, 2011, the total notional amount of these interest rate swaps was $7.0 billion.

Foreign Currency Translation

The functional currency for our foreign operations is primarily the local currency. The translation of income statement and balance sheet amounts of our foreign operations into U.S. dollars is recorded as cumulative translation adjustments, which are included in Accumulated other comprehensive loss in our consolidated balance sheets. Gains and losses on foreign currency transactions are recorded in the consolidated statements of income in Other income and (expense), net. At December 31, 2011, our primary translation exposure was to the British Pound Sterling, the Euro and the Australian Dollar.

Cross Currency Swaps

During 2008, Verizon Wireless entered into cross currency swaps designated as cash flow hedges to exchange approximately $2.4 billion of British Pound Sterling and Euro-denominated debt into U.S. dollars and to fix our future interest and principal payments in U.S. dollars, as well as mitigate the impact of foreign currency transaction gains or losses. During December 2011, we repaid $0.9 billion upon maturity for the €0.7 billion of 7.625% Verizon Wireless Notes. The settlement of the related cross currency swap did not have a material impact on our financial statements. The fair value of the outstanding swaps, primarily included in Other assets, was approximately $0.1 billion at December 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010, respectively. During 2011, the pretax loss recognized in Other comprehensive income was not significant. During 2010, a pre-tax loss of $0.2 billion was recognized in Other comprehensive income. A portion of these gains and losses recognized in Other comprehensive income was reclassified to Other income and (expense), net to offset the related pretax foreign currency transaction gain or loss on the underlying debt obligations.