The Company believes that the non-GAAP financial measures it presents are useful to investors in evaluating the Company’s operating performance for the following reasons:
- stock-based retailer incentive compensation is a non-cash GAAP accounting charge that is an offset to the Company’s actual revenues from operations as the Company has historically calculated them. This charge results from the monthly lapsing of the Company’s right to repurchase a portion of the 2,208,552 shares it issued to its largest distributor, Walmart, in May 2010. By adding back this charge to the Company’s GAAP 2010 and future total operating revenues, investors can make direct comparisons of the Company’s revenues from operations prior to and after May 2010 and thus more easily perceive trends in the Company’s core operations. Further, because the monthly charge is based on the then-current fair market value of the shares as to which the Company’s repurchase right lapses, adding back this charge eliminates fluctuations in the Company’s operating revenues caused by variations in its stock price and thus provides insight on the operating revenues directly associated with those core operations;
- the Company records employee stock-based compensation from period to period, and recorded employee stock-based compensation expenses of approximately $3.7 million and $2.5 million for the three-month periods ended December 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively. By comparing the Company’s adjusted EBITDA, non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share in different historical periods, investors can evaluate the Company’s operating results without the additional variations caused by employee stock-based compensation expense, which may not be comparable from period to period due to changes in the fair market value of the Company’s Class A common stock (which is influenced by external factors like the volatility of public markets and the financial performance of the Company’s peers) and is not a key measure of the Company’s operations;
- adjusted EBITDA is widely used by investors to measure a company’s operating performance without regard to items, such as interest expense, income tax expense, depreciation and amortization, employee stock-based compensation expense, and stock-based retailer incentive compensation expense, that can vary substantially from company to company depending upon their respective financing structures and accounting policies, the book values of their assets, their capital structures and the methods by which their assets were acquired; and
- securities analysts use adjusted EBITDA as a supplemental measure to evaluate the overall operating performance of companies.
The Company’s management uses the non-GAAP financial measures:
- as measures of operating performance, because they exclude the impact of items not directly resulting from the Company’s core operations;
- for planning purposes, including the preparation of the Company’s annual operating budget;
- to allocate resources to enhance the financial performance of the Company’s business;
- to evaluate the effectiveness of the Company’s business strategies; and
- in communications with the Company’s board of directors concerning the Company’s financial performance.
The Company understands that, although adjusted EBITDA and other non-GAAP financial measures are frequently used by investors and securities analysts in their evaluations of companies, these measures have limitations as an analytical tool, and you should not consider them in isolation or as substitutes for analysis of the Company’s results of operations as reported under GAAP. Some of these limitations are:
- that these measures do not reflect the Company’s capital expenditures or future requirements for capital expenditures or other contractual commitments;
- that these measures do not reflect changes in, or cash requirements for, the Company’s working capital needs;
- that these measures do not reflect interest expense or interest income;
- that these measures do not reflect cash requirements for income taxes;
- that, although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated or amortized will often have to be replaced in the future, and these measures do not reflect any cash requirements for these replacements; and
- that other companies in the Company’s industry may calculate these measures differently than the Company does, limiting their usefulness as comparative measures.
(2) This expense consists of the recorded fair value of the shares of Class A common stock for which the Company’s right to repurchase has lapsed pursuant to the terms of the May 2010 agreement under which they were issued to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., a contra-revenue component of the Company’s total operating revenues. Prior to the three months ended June 30, 2010, the Company did not record stock-based retailer incentive compensation expense. The Company will, however, continue to incur this expense through May 2015. In future periods, the Company does not expect this expense will be comparable from period to period due to changes in the fair value of its Class A common stock. The Company will also have to record additional stock-based retailer incentive compensation expense to the extent that a warrant to purchase its Class B common stock vests and becomes exercisable upon the achievement of certain performance goals by PayPal. The Company does not believe these non-cash expenses are reflective of ongoing operating results.