BGC Partners Updates its Outlook for the First Quarter of 2021
March 31, 2021 at 08:00 AM EDT
NEW YORK, March 31, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- BGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: BGCP) ("BGC Partners" or "BGC" or the "Company"), a leading global brokerage and financial technology company, today announced that it has updated its outlook for the quarter ending March 31, 2021.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Adjusted Earnings Defined
As compared with "Income (loss) from operations before income taxes" and "Net income (loss) for fully diluted shares", both prepared in accordance with GAAP, Adjusted Earnings calculations primarily exclude certain non-cash items and other expenses that generally do not involve the receipt or outlay of cash by the Company and/or which do not dilute existing stockholders. In addition, Adjusted Earnings calculations exclude certain gains and charges that management believes do not best reflect the ordinary results of BGC. Adjusted Earnings is calculated by taking the most comparable GAAP measures and adjusting for certain items with respect to compensation expenses, non-compensation expenses, and other income, as discussed below.
Calculations of Compensation Adjustments for Adjusted Earnings and Adjusted EBITDA
Treatment of Equity-Based Compensation Line Item for Adjusted Earnings and Adjusted EBITDA
The amounts of certain quarterly equity-based compensation charges are based upon the Company's estimate of such expected charges during the annual period, as described further below under "Methodology for Calculating Adjusted Earnings Taxes."
Virtually all of BGC's key executives and producers have equity or partnership stakes in the Company and its subsidiaries and generally receive deferred equity or limited partnership units as part of their compensation. A significant percentage of BGC's fully diluted shares are owned by its executives, partners and employees. The Company issues limited partnership units as well as other forms of equity-based compensation, including grants of exchangeability into shares of common stock, to provide liquidity to its employees, to align the interests of its employees and management with those of common stockholders, to help motivate and retain key employees, and to encourage a collaborative culture that drives cross-selling and revenue growth.
All share equivalents that are part of the Company's equity-based compensation program, including REUs, PSUs, LPUs, HDUs, and other units that may be made exchangeable into common stock, as well as RSUs (which are recorded using the treasury stock method), are included in the fully diluted share count when issued or at the beginning of the subsequent quarter after the date of grant. Generally, limited partnership units other than preferred units are expected to be paid a pro-rata distribution based on BGC's calculation of Adjusted Earnings per fully diluted share. However, out of an abundance of caution and in order to strengthen the Company's balance sheet due the uncertain macroeconomic conditions with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, BGC Holdings, L.P. has reduced its distributions of income from the operations of BGC's businesses to its partners.
Compensation charges are also adjusted for certain other cash and non-cash items, including those related to the amortization of GFI employee forgivable loans granted prior to the closing of the January 11, 2016 back-end merger with GFI.
Certain Other Compensation-Related Adjustments for Adjusted Earnings
Calculation of Non-Compensation Adjustments for Adjusted Earnings
Calculation of Adjustments for Other (income) losses for Adjusted Earnings
Methodology for Calculating Adjusted Earnings Taxes
The Company calculates its tax provision for post-tax Adjusted Earnings using an annual estimate similar to how it accounts for its income tax provision under GAAP. To calculate the quarterly tax provision under GAAP, BGC estimates its full fiscal year GAAP income (loss) from operations before income taxes and noncontrolling interests in subsidiaries and the expected inclusions and deductions for income tax purposes, including expected equity-based compensation during the annual period. The resulting annualized tax rate is applied to BGC's quarterly GAAP income (loss) from operations before income taxes and noncontrolling interests in subsidiaries. At the end of the annual period, the Company updates its estimate to reflect the actual tax amounts owed for the period.
To determine the non-GAAP tax provision, BGC first adjusts pre-tax Adjusted Earnings by recognizing any, and only, amounts for which a tax deduction applies under applicable law. The amounts include charges with respect to equity-based compensation; certain charges related to employee loan forgiveness; certain net operating loss carryforwards when taken for statutory purposes; and certain charges related to tax goodwill amortization. These adjustments may also reflect timing and measurement differences, including treatment of employee loans; changes in the value of units between the dates of grants of exchangeability and the date of actual unit exchange; variations in the value of certain deferred tax assets; and liabilities and the different timing of permitted deductions for tax under GAAP and statutory tax requirements.
After application of these adjustments, the result is the Company's taxable income for its pre-tax Adjusted Earnings, to which BGC then applies the statutory tax rates to determine its non-GAAP tax provision. BGC views the effective tax rate on pre-tax Adjusted Earnings as equal to the amount of its non-GAAP tax provision divided by the amount of pre-tax Adjusted Earnings.
Generally, the most significant factor affecting this non-GAAP tax provision is the amount of charges relating to equity-based compensation. Because the charges relating to equity-based compensation are deductible in accordance with applicable tax laws, increases in such charges have the effect of lowering the Company's non-GAAP effective tax rate and thereby increasing its post-tax Adjusted Earnings.
BGC incurs income tax expenses based on the location, legal structure and jurisdictional taxing authorities of each of its subsidiaries. Certain of the Company's entities are taxed as U.S. partnerships and are subject to the Unincorporated Business Tax ("UBT") in New York City. Any U.S. federal and state income tax liability or benefit related to the partnership income or loss, with the exception of UBT, rests with the unit holders rather than with the partnership entity. The Company's consolidated financial statements include U.S. federal, state, and local income taxes on the Company's allocable share of the U.S. results of operations. Outside of the U.S., BGC is expected to operate principally through subsidiary corporations subject to local income taxes. For these reasons, taxes for Adjusted Earnings are expected to be presented to show the tax provision the consolidated Company would expect to pay if 100 percent of earnings were taxed at global corporate rates.
Calculations of Pre- and Post-Tax Adjusted Earnings per Share
The share count for Adjusted Earnings excludes certain shares and share equivalents expected to be issued in future periods but not yet eligible to receive dividends and/or distributions. Each quarter, the dividend payable to BGC's stockholders, if any, is expected to be determined by the Company's Board of Directors with reference to a number of factors, including post-tax Adjusted Earnings per share. BGC may also pay a pro-rata distribution of net income to limited partnership units, as well as to Cantor for its noncontrolling interest. The amount of this net income, and therefore of these payments per unit, would be determined using the above definition of Adjusted Earnings per share on a pre-tax basis.
The declaration, payment, timing, and amount of any future dividends payable by the Company will be at the discretion of its Board of Directors using the fully diluted share count. For more information on any share count adjustments, see the table titled "Fully Diluted Weighted-Average Share Count under GAAP and for Adjusted Earnings".
Management Rationale for Using Adjusted Earnings
The term "Adjusted Earnings" should not be considered in isolation or as an alternative to GAAP net income (loss). The Company views Adjusted Earnings as a metric that is not indicative of liquidity, or the cash available to fund its operations, but rather as a performance measure. Pre- and post-tax Adjusted Earnings, as well as related measures, are not intended to replace the Company's presentation of its GAAP financial results. However, management believes that these measures help provide investors with a clearer understanding of BGC's financial performance and offer useful information to both management and investors regarding certain financial and business trends related to the Company's financial condition and results of operations. Management believes that the GAAP and Adjusted Earnings measures of financial performance should be considered together.
For more information regarding Adjusted Earnings, see the sections of this document and/or the Company's most recent financial results press release titled "Reconciliation of GAAP Income (Loss) from Operations before Income Taxes to Adjusted Earnings and GAAP Fully Diluted EPS to Post-Tax Adjusted EPS", including the related footnotes, for details about how BGC's non-GAAP results are reconciled to those under GAAP.
Adjusted EBITDA Defined
The Company's management believes that its Adjusted EBITDA measure is useful in evaluating BGC's operating performance, because the calculation of this measure generally eliminates the effects of financing and income taxes and the accounting effects of capital spending and acquisitions, which would include impairment charges of goodwill and intangibles created from acquisitions. Such items may vary for different companies for reasons unrelated to overall operating performance. As a result, the Company's management uses this measure to evaluate operating performance and for other discretionary purposes. BGC believes that Adjusted EBITDA is useful to investors to assist them in getting a more complete picture of the Company's financial results and operations.
Since BGC's Adjusted EBITDA is not a recognized measurement under GAAP, investors should use this measure in addition to GAAP measures of net income when analyzing BGC's operating performance. Because not all companies use identical EBITDA calculations, the Company's presentation of Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies. Furthermore, Adjusted EBITDA is not intended to be a measure of free cash flow or GAAP cash flow from operations because the Company's Adjusted EBITDA does not consider certain cash requirements, such as tax and debt service payments.
For more information regarding Adjusted EBITDA, see the section of this document and/or the Company's most recent financial results press release titled "Reconciliation of GAAP Net Income (Loss) Available to Common Stockholders to Adjusted EBITDA", including the footnotes to the same, for details about how BGC's non-GAAP results are reconciled to those under GAAP.
Timing of Outlook for Certain GAAP and Non-GAAP Items
For more information regarding Liquidity, see the section of this document and/or the Company's most recent financial results press release titled "Liquidity Analysis", including any footnotes to the same, for details about how BGC's non-GAAP results are reconciled to those under GAAP.
About BGC Partners, Inc.
BGC's customers include many of the world's largest banks, broker-dealers, investment banks, trading firms, hedge funds, governments, corporations, and investment firms. BGC's Class A common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol "BGCP". BGC Partners is led by Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Howard W. Lutnick. For more information, please visit http://www.bgcpartners.com. You can also follow BGC at https://twitter.com/bgcpartners, https://www.linkedin.com/company/bgc-partners and/or http://ir.bgcpartners.com/Investors/default.aspx.
Discussion of Forward-Looking Statements about BGC
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SOURCE BGC Partners, Inc.