Use of non-GAAP financial information
To supplement HP’s financial information presented on a generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) basis, HP provides net revenue on a constant currency basis, non-GAAP total operating expense, non-GAAP operating profit, non-GAAP operating margin, non-GAAP tax rate, non-GAAP net earnings, non-GAAP diluted net EPS, free cash flow, gross cash and net cash (debt) financial measures. HP also provides forecasts of non-GAAP diluted net EPS and free cash flow. Reconciliations of each of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures are included in the slides presented at the 2019 SAM. In addition, an explanation of the ways in which HP’s management uses these non-GAAP measures to evaluate its business, the substance behind HP’s decision to use these non-GAAP measures, the material limitations associated with the use of these non-GAAP measures, the manner in which HP’s management compensates for those limitations, and the substantive reasons why HP’s management believes that these non-GAAP measures provide useful information to investors is included below. This additional non-GAAP financial information is not meant to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for net revenue, operating expense, operating profit, operating margin, tax rate, net earnings, diluted net EPS, cash provided by operating activities or cash and cash equivalents prepared in accordance with GAAP.
Use and economic substance of non-GAAP financial measures
Net revenue on a constant currency basis excludes the effect of foreign currency exchange fluctuations calculated by translating current period revenues using monthly average exchange rates from the comparative period and excluding any hedging impact recognized in the current period. Non-GAAP operating margin is defined to exclude the effects of any amounts relating to restructuring and other charges, acquisition-related charges, defined benefit plan settlement charges, amortization of intangible assets and non-operating retirement-related (credits)/ charges. Non-GAAP net earnings and non-GAAP diluted net EPS consist of net earnings or diluted net EPS excluding those same charges, tax adjustments and the amount of additional taxes or tax benefits 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 the items mentioned above for these non-GAAP financial measures allows HP’s management to better understand HP’s consolidated financial performance in relation to the operating results of HP’s segments, as HP’s 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:
- Restructuring and other charges are (i) costs associated with a formal restructuring plan and are primarily related to employee termination and early retirement costs and related benefits, costs of real estate consolidation and other non-labor charges; and (ii) other charges, which include non-recurring costs that are distinct from ongoing operational costs. HP excludes these restructuring and other charges (and any reversals of charges recorded in prior periods) for purposes of calculating these non-GAAP measures because HP believes that these historical costs do not reflect expected future operating expenses and do not contribute to a meaningful evaluation of HP's current operating performance or comparisons to HP's operating performance in other periods.
- HP incurs cost related to its acquisitions, which it would not have otherwise incurred as part of its operations. The charges are direct expenses such as third-party professional and legal fees, and integration-related costs, as well as non-cash adjustments to the fair value of certain acquired assets such as inventory. These charges related to acquisitions are inconsistent in amount and frequency and are significantly impacted by the timing and nature of HP's acquisitions. HP believes that eliminating such expenses for purposes of calculating these non-GAAP measures facilitates a more meaningful evaluation of HP's current operating performance and comparisons to HP's past operating performance in other periods.
- HP incurs charges relating to the amortization of intangible assets. Those charges are included in HP’s GAAP earnings, operating margin, net earnings and diluted net EPS. Such charges are significantly impacted by the timing and magnitude of HP’s acquisitions and any related impairment charges. Consequently, HP excludes these charges for purposes of calculating these non-GAAP measures to facilitate a more meaningful evaluation of HP’s current operating performance and comparisons to HP’s operating performance in other periods.
- Non-operating retirement-related (credits)/charges includes certain market-related factors such as interest cost, expected return on plan assets, amortized actuarial gains or losses, and impacts from other market-related factors associated with HP’s defined benefit pension and post-retirement benefit plans. The market-driven retirement-related adjustments are primarily due to the changes in pension plan assets and liabilities which are tied to financial market performance and HP considers these adjustments to be outside the operational performance of the business. Non- operating retirement-related (credits)/charges also include certain plan curtailments, settlements and special termination benefits related to HP’s defined benefit pension and post-retirement benefit plans. HP believes that eliminating such adjustments for purposes of calculating non-GAAP measures facilitates a more meaningful evaluation of HP's current operating performance and comparisons to HP's operating performance in other periods.
- HP incurs defined benefit plan settlement charges relating to the U.S. HP pension plan. The charges are associated with the net settlement and remeasurement resulting from voluntary lump sum payments offered to certain terminated vested participants. HP excludes these charges for the purposes of calculating these non-GAAP measures to facilitate a more meaningful evaluation of HP’s current operating performance and comparisons to HP’s operating performance in other periods.
- Tax adjustments could include tax benefits and expenses primarily related to the realizability of certain deferred tax assets.
HP excludes these adjustments for the purposes of calculating these non-GAAP measures to facilitate a more meaningful evaluation of HP’s current operating performance and comparisons to HP’s operating performance in other periods.
Free cash flow is a non-GAAP measure that is defined as cash flow from operations less the net of investments in and proceeds from sale of property, plant and equipment, adjusted for the impact of changes in leasing receivables. 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 free cash flow and gross cash for the purpose of determining the amount of cash available for investment in HP’s businesses, repurchasing stock and other purposes. HP’s management also uses free cash flow and gross cash to evaluate HP’s historical and prospective liquidity. Because gross cash includes liquid assets that are not included in cash and cash equivalents, HP believes that gross cash provides a helpful assessment of HP’s liquidity. Because free cash flow includes the effect of investments in and proceeds from the sale of property, plant and equipment, adjusted for the impact of changes in leasing receivables that are not reflected in net cash provided by operating activities, HP believes that free cash flow provides a more accurate and complete assessment of HP’s liquidity and capital resources. Net cash (debt) is defined as gross cash less gross debt after adjusting the effect of unamortized premium/discount on debt issuance, debt issuance costs and unrealized gains/losses on fair value hedges and interest rate swaps.
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:
- Items such as amortization of intangible assets, though not directly affecting HP’s cash position, represent the loss in value of intangible assets over time. The expense associated with this change in value is not included in non-GAAP operating margin, non-GAAP net earnings and non-GAAP diluted net EPS, and therefore does not reflect the full economic effect of the change in value of those intangible assets.
- Items such as restructuring and other charges, acquisition-related charges, non-operating retirement-related (credits)/charges, defined benefit plan settlement charges, and tax adjustments that are excluded from non-GAAP operating margin, non-GAAP net earnings and non-GAAP diluted net EPS can have a material impact on the equivalent GAAP earnings measure and cash flows.
- HP may not be able to immediately liquidate the short-term and long-term investments included in gross cash, which may limit the usefulness of gross cash as a liquidity measure.
Other companies may calculate the non-GAAP financial measures differently than HP, limiting the usefulness of those measures for comparative purposes.