This excerpt taken from the HPQ 8-K filed Aug 18, 2009.
Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures
To supplement HP’s consolidated condensed financial statements presented on a GAAP basis, HP provides non-GAAP operating profit, non-GAAP operating margin, non-GAAP net earnings, non-GAAP diluted earnings per share and gross cash. HP also provides forecasts of non-GAAP diluted earnings per share. These non-GAAP financial measures are not in accordance with, or an alternative for, generally accepted accounting principles in the United States. The GAAP measure most directly comparable to non-GAAP operating profit is earnings from operations. The GAAP measure most directly comparable to non-GAAP operating margin is operating margin. The GAAP measure most directly comparable to non-GAAP net earnings is net earnings. The GAAP measure most directly comparable to non-GAAP diluted earnings per share is diluted net earnings per share. The GAAP measure most directly comparable to gross cash is cash and cash equivalents. Reconciliations of each of these non-GAAP financial measures to GAAP information are included in the tables above.
Use and Economic Substance of Non-GAAP Financial Measures Used by HP
Non-GAAP operating profit and non-GAAP operating margin are defined to exclude the effects of any restructuring charges, charges relating to the amortization of purchased intangible assets, acquisition-related charges and in-process research and development charges recorded during the relevant period. Non-GAAP net earnings and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share consist of net earnings or diluted net earnings per share excluding those same charges. In addition, non-GAAP net earnings and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share are adjusted by the amount of additional taxes or tax benefit associated with each non-GAAP item. HP’s management uses these non-GAAP financial measures for purposes of evaluating HP’s historical and prospective financial performance, as well as HP’s performance relative to its competitors. HP’s management also uses these non-GAAP measures to further its own understanding of HP’s segment operating performance. HP believes that excluding those items mentioned above from these non-GAAP financial measures allows HP management to better understand HP’s consolidated financial performance in relationship to the operating results of HP’s segments, as management does not believe that the excluded items are reflective of ongoing operating results. More specifically, HP’s management excludes each of those items mentioned above for the following reasons:
Gross cash is a non-GAAP measure that is defined as cash and cash equivalents plus short-term investments and certain long-term investments that may be liquidated within 90 days pursuant to the terms of existing put options or similar rights. HP’s management uses gross cash for the purpose of determining the amount of cash available for investment in HP’s businesses, funding strategic acquisitions, repurchasing stock and other purposes. HP’s management also uses gross cash for the purposes of evaluating HP’s historical and prospective liquidity, as well as to further its own understanding of HP’s segment operating results. Because gross cash includes liquid assets that are not included in GAAP cash and cash equivalents, HP believes that gross cash provides a more accurate and complete assessment of HP’s liquidity and segment operating results.
Material Limitations Associated with Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures
These non-GAAP financial measures may have limitations as analytical tools, and these measures should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of HP’s results as reported under GAAP. Some of the limitations in relying on these non-GAAP financial measures are:
Compensation for Limitations Associated with Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures
HP compensates for the limitations on its use of non-GAAP operating profit, non-GAAP operating margin, non-GAAP net earnings, non-GAAP diluted earnings per share and gross cash by relying primarily on its GAAP results and using non-GAAP financial measures only supplementally. HP also provides robust and detailed reconciliations of each non-GAAP financial measure to its most directly comparable GAAP measure within this press release and in other written materials that include these non-GAAP financial measures, and HP encourages investors to review carefully those reconciliations.
Usefulness of Non-GAAP Financial Measures to Investors
HP believes that providing non-GAAP operating profit, non-GAAP operating margin, non-GAAP net earnings, non-GAAP diluted earnings per share and gross cash to investors in addition to the related GAAP measures provides investors with greater transparency to the information used by HP’s management in its financial and operational decision-making and allows investors to see HP’s results “through the eyes” of management. HP further believes that providing this information better enables HP’s investors to understand HP’s operating performance and to evaluate the efficacy of the methodology and information used by management to evaluate and measure such performance. Disclosure of these non-GAAP financial measures also facilitates comparisons of HP’s operating performance with the performance of other companies in HP’s industry that supplement their GAAP results with non-GAAP financial measures that are calculated in a similar manner.