As compared with "income (loss) from operations before income taxes," "net income (loss) for fully diluted shares," and "fully diluted earnings (loss) per share," all prepared in accordance with GAAP, distributable earnings calculations primarily exclude certain non-cash compensation and other expenses which generally do not involve the receipt or outlay of cash by the Company, which do not dilute existing stockholders, and which do not have economic consequences, as described below. In addition, distributable earnings calculations exclude certain gains and charges that management believes do not best reflect the ordinary operating results of BGC.
Revenues for distributable earnings are defined as GAAP revenues excluding the impact of BGC Partners, Inc.'s non-cash earnings or losses related to its equity investments, such as in Aqua Securities, L.P. and ELX Futures, L.P., and its holding company general partner, ELX Futures Holdings LLC. Revenues for distributable earnings also include the collection of receivables which would have been recognized for GAAP other than for the effect of acquisition accounting.
Pre-tax distributable earnings are defined as GAAP income (loss) from operations before income taxes excluding items that are primarily non-cash, non-dilutive, and non-economic, such as:
- Non-cash stock-based equity compensation charges for REUs granted or issued prior to the merger of BGC Partners, Inc. with and into eSpeed, as well as post-merger non-cash, non-dilutive equity-based compensation related to partnership unit exchange or conversion.
- Allocations of net income to founding/working partner and other units, including REUs, RPUs, PSUs and PSIs.
- Non-cash asset impairment charges, if any.
Distributable earnings calculations also exclude charges related to purchases, cancellations or redemptions of partnership interests and certain one-time or non-recurring items, if any."Compensation and employee benefits" expense for distributable earnings will also include broker commission payouts relating to the aforementioned collection of receivables. Beginning with the first quarter of 2011, BGC's definition of distributable earnings was revised to exclude certain gains and charges with respect to acquisitions, dispositions, and resolutions of litigation. This change in the definition of distributable earnings is not reflected in, nor does it affect the Company's presentation of prior periods. Management believes that excluding these gains and charges best reflects the operating performance of BGC.