EBITDA represents net income before interest (including loss on debt extinguishment), taxes, depreciation and amortization. EBITDA is presented because NRG considers it an important supplemental measure of its performance and believes debt-holders frequently use EBITDA to analyze operating performance and debt service capacity. EBITDA has limitations as an analytical tool, and you should not consider it in isolation, or as a substitute for analysis of our operating results as reported under GAAP. Some of these limitations are:
- EBITDA does not reflect cash expenditures, or future requirements for capital expenditures, or contractual commitments;
- EBITDA does not reflect changes in, or cash requirements for, working capital needs;
- EBITDA does not reflect the significant interest expense, or the cash requirements necessary to service interest or principal payments, on debt or cash income tax payments;
- Although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated and amortized will often have to be replaced in the future, and EBITDA does not reflect any cash requirements for such replacements; and
- Other companies in this industry may calculate EBITDA differently than NRG does, limiting its usefulness as a comparative measure.
Because of these limitations, EBITDA should not be considered as a measure of discretionary cash available to use to invest in the growth of NRG’s business. NRG compensates for these limitations by relying primarily on our GAAP results and using EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA only supplementally. See the statements of cash flow included in the financial statements that are a part of this news release.
Adjusted EBITDA is presented as a further supplemental measure of operating performance. Adjusted EBITDA represents EBITDA adjusted for mark-to-market gains or losses, asset write offs and impairments; and factors which we do not consider indicative of future operating performance. The reader is encouraged to evaluate each adjustment and the reasons NRG considers it appropriate for supplemental analysis. As an analytical tool, adjusted EBITDA is subject to all of the limitations applicable to EBITDA. In addition, in evaluating adjusted EBITDA, the reader should be aware that in the future NRG may incur expenses similar to the adjustments in this news release.