|AECOM filed this Form 10-Q on 02/06/2019|
Effective Interest Rate
Our average effective interest rate on our total debt, including the effects of the interest rate swap agreements, during the three months ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 was 4.7% and 4.8%, respectively.
Interest expense in the consolidated statement of operations included amortization of deferred debt issuance costs for the three months ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 was $2.4 million and $2.9 million, respectively.
We enter into various joint venture arrangements to provide architectural, engineering, program management, construction management and operations and maintenance services. The ownership percentage of these joint ventures is typically representative of the work to be performed or the amount of risk assumed by each joint venture partner. Some of these joint ventures are considered variable interest. We have consolidated all joint ventures for which we have control. For all others, our portion of the earnings is recorded in equity in earnings of joint ventures. See Note 5, Joint Ventures and Variable Interest Entities, in the notes to our consolidated financial statements.
Other than normal property and equipment additions and replacements, expenditures to further the implementation of our various information technology systems, commitments under our incentive compensation programs, amounts we may expend to repurchase stock under our stock repurchase program and acquisitions from time to time, we currently do not have any significant capital expenditures or outlays planned except as described below. However, if we acquire additional businesses in the future or if we embark on other capital-intensive initiatives, additional working capital may be required.
Under our secured revolving credit facility and other facilities discussed in Other Debt above, as of December 31, 2018, there was approximately $537.0 million outstanding under standby letters of credit primarily issued in connection with general and professional liability insurance programs and for contract performance guarantees. For those projects for which we have issued a performance guarantee, if the project subsequently fails to meet guaranteed performance standards, we may either incur significant additional costs or be held responsible for the costs incurred by the client to achieve the required performance standards.
We recognized on our balance sheet the funded status of our pension benefit plans, measured as the difference between the fair value of plan assets and the projected benefit obligation. At December 31, 2018, our defined benefit pension plans had an aggregate deficit (the excess of projected benefit obligations over the fair value of plan assets) of approximately $381.8 million. The total amounts of employer contributions paid for the three months ended December 31, 2018 were $2.5 million for U.S. plans and $7.9 million for non-U.S. plans. Funding requirements for each plan are determined based on the local laws of the country where such plan resides. In some countries, the funding requirements are mandatory while in other countries, they are discretionary. There is a required minimum contribution for one of our domestic plans; however, we may make additional discretionary contributions. In the future, such pension funding may increase or decrease depending on changes in the levels of interest rates, pension plan performance and other factors. In addition, we have collective bargaining agreements with unions that require us to contribute to various third party multiemployer pension plans that we do not control or manage.
New Accounting Pronouncements and Changes in Accounting
For information regarding recent accounting pronouncements, see Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part I, Item 1.
Financial Market Risks
Financial Market Risks
We are exposed to market risk, primarily related to foreign currency exchange rates and interest rate exposure of our debt obligations that bear interest based on floating rates. We actively monitor these exposures. Our objective is to reduce, where we deem appropriate to do so, fluctuations in earnings and cash flows associated with changes in foreign exchange rates and interest rates. In order to accomplish this objective, we sometimes enter into derivative financial instruments, such as forward contracts and interest rate hedge contracts. It is our policy and practice to use derivative financial instruments only to the extent necessary to manage our exposures. We do not use derivative financial instruments for trading purposes.