Press Release: Proofpoint Announces Fourth -3-
Non-GAAP operating income. We define non-GAAP operating income as operating loss, adjusted to exclude stock-based compensation expense, the amortization of intangibles, costs associated with acquisitions, litigations and facility exit costs related to the relocation of our corporate headquarters. Costs associated with acquisitions include legal, accounting, and other professional fees, as well as changes in the fair value of contingent consideration obligations. We consider this non-GAAP financial measure to be a useful metric for management and investors because it excludes the effect of stock-based compensation expense and the amortization of intangibles and costs associated with acquisitions, litigations and facility exit costs so that our management and investors can compare our recurring core business operating results over multiple periods. There are a number of limitations related to the use of non-GAAP operating income versus operating loss calculated in accordance with GAAP. For example, as noted above, non-GAAP operating income excludes stock-based compensation expense. In addition, the components of the costs that we exclude in our calculation of non-GAAP operating income may differ from the components that our peer companies exclude when they report their non-GAAP results of operations, and some of these items are cash-based. Management compensates for these limitations by providing specific information regarding the GAAP amounts excluded from non-GAAP operating income and evaluating non-GAAP operating income together with operating loss calculated in accordance with GAAP.
Non-GAAP net income. We define non-GAAP net income as net loss, adjusted to exclude stock-based compensation expense, amortization of intangibles, costs associated with acquisitions, litigations, facility exit costs related to the relocation of our corporate headquarters, non-cash interest expense related to the convertible debt discount and issuance costs for the convertible debt offering, and tax effects. We consider this non-GAAP financial measure to be a useful metric for management and investors for the same reasons that we use non-GAAP operating income.
Our current and deferred income tax expense is commensurate with the non-GAAP measure of profitability using a non-GAAP tax rate of 17% for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2020 and 2019. We use an annual projected tax rate in a computation of the non-GAAP income tax provision, and exclude the impact of stock-based compensation, intangible amortization expenses, costs associated with acquisitions, litigations, facility exit costs related to the relocation of our corporate headquarters, and non-cash interest expense related to the debt discount and issuance costs for the convertible notes. The projected rate considers other factors such as our current operating structure, existing tax positions in various jurisdictions, and key legislation in major jurisdictions where we operate.
Billings. We define billings as revenue recognized plus the change in deferred revenue and customer prepayments less change in unbilled accounts receivable from the beginning to the end of the period, but excluding additions to deferred revenue and customer prepayments from acquisitions. Customer prepayments represent billed amounts for which the contract can be terminated and the customer has a right of refund. Unbilled accounts receivable represent amounts for which the company has recognized revenue, pursuant to its revenue recognition policy, for subscription software already delivered and professional services already performed, but billed in arrears and for which the company believes it has an unconditional right to payment. We consider billings to be a useful metric for management and investors because billings drive deferred revenue, which is an important indicator of the health and visibility of our business, and has historically represented a majority of the quarterly revenue that we recognize. There are a number of limitations related to the use of billings versus revenue calculated in accordance with GAAP. Billings include amounts that have not yet been recognized as revenue, but exclude additions to deferred revenue from acquisitions. We may also calculate billings in a manner that is different from other companies that report similar financial measures. Management compensates for these limitations by providing specific information regarding GAAP revenue and evaluating billings together with revenues calculated in accordance with GAAP.
Free cash flow. We define free cash flow as net cash provided by operating activities minus capital expenditures. We consider free cash flow to be a liquidity measure that provides useful information to management and investors about the amount of cash generated by the business that, after the acquisition of property and equipment, can be used for strategic opportunities, including investing in our business, making strategic acquisitions, and strengthening the balance sheet. Analysis of free cash flow facilitates management's comparisons of our operating results to competitors' operating results. A limitation of using free cash flow versus the GAAP measure of net cash provided by operating activities as a means for evaluating our company is that free cash flow does not represent the total increase or decrease in the cash balance from operations for the period because it excludes cash used for capital expenditures during the period. Management compensates for this limitation by providing information about our capital expenditures on the face of the cash flow statement and in the "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources" section of our quarterly and annual reports filed with the SEC.
Consolidated Statements of Operations
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Consolidated Balance Sheets
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