Press Release: Zendesk Announces Fourth Quarter -5-
Real Estate Impairments: Due to a strategic initiative to increase the percentage of remote teams, Zendesk records impairments for certain assets associated with leased properties, or portions thereof, that it ceases to occupy. Any losses and gains associated with these activities are generally unrelated to financial and operational performance in any particular period and Zendesk believes the exclusion of such losses and gains provides for a more useful comparison of operational performance in comparative periods that may or may not include such losses and gains.
Loss on Early Extinguishment of Debt: In March 2018, Zendesk issued $575 million aggregate principal amount of 0.25% convertible senior notes due in 2023 (the "2023 Notes"). In June 2020, Zendesk issued $1,150 million aggregate principal amount of 0.625% convertible senior notes due in 2025 (the "2025 Notes"). In connection with the offering of the 2025 Notes, Zendesk used $618 million of the net proceeds from the offering of the 2025 Notes to repurchase $426 million aggregate principal amount of the 2023 Notes in cash through individual privately negotiated transactions (the "2023 Notes Partial Repurchase"). Of the $618 million consideration, $393 million and $225 million were allocated to the debt and equity components, respectively. As of the repurchase date, the carrying value of the 2023 Notes subject to the 2023 Notes Partial Repurchase, net of unamortized debt discount and issuance costs, was $367 million. The 2023 Notes Partial Repurchase resulted in a $26 million loss on early debt extinguishment. As of December 31, 2020, $149 million of principal remains outstanding on the 2023 Notes. The loss on early extinguishment of debt is a non-cash item, and we believe the exclusion of this expense will provide for a more useful comparison of our operational performance in different periods.
Amortization of Debt Discount and Issuance Costs: The imputed interest rates of the 2023 Notes and the 2025 Notes were approximately 5.26% and 5.00%, respectively. This is a result of the debt discounts recorded for the conversion features of the Notes that are required to be separately accounted for as equity, and debt issuance costs, which reduce the carrying value of the convertible debt instruments. The debt discounts are amortized as interest expense together with the issuance costs of the debt. The expense for the amortization of debt discount and debt issuance costs is a non-cash item, and we believe the exclusion of this interest expense will provide for a more useful comparison of our operational performance in different periods.
Income Tax Effects: Zendesk utilizes a fixed long-term projected tax rate in its computation of non-GAAP income tax effects to provide better consistency across interim reporting periods. In projecting this long-term non-GAAP tax rate, Zendesk utilizes a financial projection that excludes the direct impact of other non-GAAP adjustments. The projected rate considers other factors such as Zendesk's current operating structure, existing tax positions in various jurisdictions, and key legislation in major jurisdictions where Zendesk operates. For the year ended December 31, 2020, Zendesk has determined the projected non-GAAP tax rate to be 21%. Zendesk will periodically re-evaluate this tax rate, as necessary, for significant events, based on relevant tax law changes, material changes in the forecasted geographic earnings mix, and any significant acquisitions.
Zendesk provides disclosures regarding its free cash flow, which is defined as net cash from operating activities, plus repayment of convertible senior notes attributable to debt discount, less purchases of property and equipment and internal-use software development costs. Free cash flow margin is calculated as free cash flow as a percentage of total revenue. Zendesk uses free cash flow, free cash flow margin, and other measures, to evaluate the ability of its operations to generate cash that is available for purposes other than capital expenditures and capitalized software development costs. Zendesk believes that information regarding free cash flow and free cash flow margin provides investors with an important perspective on the cash available to fund ongoing operations.
Zendesk has not reconciled free cash flow guidance to net cash from operating activities for the year ending December 31, 2021 because Zendesk does not provide guidance on the reconciling items between net cash from operating activities and free cash flow, as a result of the uncertainty regarding, and the potential variability of, these items. The actual amount of such reconciling items will have a significant impact on Zendesk's free cash flow and, accordingly, a reconciliation of net cash from operating activities to free cash flow for the year ending December 31, 2021 is not available without unreasonable effort.
Zendesk does not provide a reconciliation of its non-GAAP operating margin guidance to GAAP operating margin for future periods beyond the current fiscal year because Zendesk does not provide guidance on the reconciling items between GAAP operating margin and non-GAAP operating margin for such periods, as a result of the uncertainty regarding, and the potential variability of, these items. The actual amount of such reconciling items will have a significant impact on Zendesk's non-GAAP operating margin and, accordingly, a reconciliation of GAAP operating margin to non-GAAP operating margin guidance for such periods is not available without unreasonable effort.
Zendesk's disclosures regarding its expectations for its non-GAAP gross margin include adjustments to its expectations for its GAAP gross margin that exclude share-based compensation and related expenses in Zendesk's cost of revenue, amortization of purchased intangibles primarily related to developed technology, and acquisition-related expenses. The share-based compensation and related expenses excluded due to such adjustments are primarily comprised of the share-based compensation and related expenses for employees associated with Zendesk's infrastructure and customer experience organization.
Zendesk does not provide a reconciliation of its non-GAAP gross margin guidance to GAAP gross margin for future periods because Zendesk does not provide guidance on the reconciling items between GAAP gross margin and non-GAAP gross margin, as a result of the uncertainty regarding, and the potential variability of, these items. The actual amount of such reconciling items will have a significant impact on Zendesk's non-GAAP gross margin and, accordingly, a reconciliation of GAAP gross margin to non-GAAP gross margin guidance for the period is not available without unreasonable effort.
Zendesk uses non-GAAP financial information to evaluate its ongoing operations and for internal planning and forecasting purposes. Zendesk's management does not itself, nor does it suggest that investors should, consider such non-GAAP financial measures in isolation from, or as a substitute for, financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP. Zendesk presents such non-GAAP financial measures in reporting its financial results to provide investors with an additional tool to evaluate Zendesk's operating results. Zendesk believes these non-GAAP financial measures are useful because they allow for greater transparency with respect to key metrics used by management in its financial and operational decision-making. This allows investors and others to better understand and evaluate Zendesk's operating results and future prospects in the same manner as management.
Zendesk's management believes it is useful for itself and investors to review, as applicable, both GAAP information that may include items such as share-based compensation and related expenses, amortization of debt discount and issuance costs, amortization of purchased intangibles, acquisition-related expenses, loss on early extinguishment of debt, and real estate impairments, and the non-GAAP measures that exclude such information in order to assess the performance of Zendesk's business and for planning and forecasting in subsequent periods. When Zendesk uses such a non-GAAP financial measure with respect to historical periods, it provides a reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measure to the most closely comparable GAAP financial measure. When Zendesk uses such a non-GAAP financial measure in a forward-looking manner for future periods, and a reconciliation is not determinable without unreasonable effort, Zendesk provides the reconciling information that is determinable without unreasonable effort and identifies the information that would need to be added or subtracted from the non-GAAP measure to arrive at the most directly comparable GAAP measure. Investors are encouraged to review the related GAAP financial measures and the reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to their most directly comparable GAAP financial measure as detailed above.
About Operating Metrics
Zendesk reviews a number of operating metrics to evaluate its business, measure performance, identify trends, formulate business plans, and make strategic decisions. These include the number of paid customer accounts on Zendesk Support, Zendesk Chat, and its other products, dollar-based net expansion rate, annual recurring revenue represented by its churned customers, the percentage of its annual recurring revenue from Support originating from customers with 100 or more agents on Support, and the percentage of its annual recurring revenue from customers with more than $100,000 in annual recurring revenue.
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February 04, 2021 16:15 ET (21:15 GMT)