Activision Reports Losses
As a consequence, the company's non-GAAP results exclude the impact of the change in deferred net revenues and related cost of sales associated with certain of the company’s online-enabled games for certain of the Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and PC platforms and for World of Warcraft boxed software, including the sale of expansion packs and other ancillary revenues, to provide comparable year-over-year performance.
Management believes that the use of non-GAAP measures that eliminate the impact of the change in deferred net revenues and related cost of sales in its operating results is important when evaluating Activision Blizzard’s operating performance, and when planning, forecasting and analyzing future periods.
Management also believes that non-GAAP measures that exclude Activision Blizzard’s non-core exit operations, costs related to the business combination between Activision, Inc. and Vivendi Games, Inc. (including transaction costs, integration costs, and restructuring activities), the amortization of intangibles and the impairment of intangible assets provide a better comparison to prior periods in which Activision, Inc. and Vivendi Games, Inc. were operating as stand-alone companies, and that the resulting effects arising from the business combination do not affect the ongoing economics of the combined entity.
Management also believes that excluding expenses related to share-based payments provides more comparable operating performance results. Management believes that the presentation of these non-GAAP financial measures provides investors with additional useful information to measure Activision Blizzard’s financial and operating performance because they facilitate comparison of operating performance between periods and help investors to better understand the operating results of Activision Blizzard. Internally, management uses these non-GAAP financial measures in assessing the company's operating results, as well as in planning and forecasting.
Activision Blizzard recognizes that there are limitations associated with the use of these non-GAAP financial measures as they do not reflect net revenues, net income (loss), earnings (loss) per share and operating margin as determined in accordance with GAAP, and this may reduce comparability with other companies that calculate similar non-GAAP measures differently. Management compensates for the limitations resulting from the exclusion of these items by considering the impact of these items separately and by considering Activision Blizzard's GAAP as well as non-GAAP results and outlook and, in this release, by presenting the most comparable GAAP measures directly ahead of non-GAAP measures, and by providing a reconciliation that indicates and describes the adjustments made.
Non-GAAP financial measures should be considered in addition to, not as a substitute for or superior to, financial measures determined in accordance with GAAP.
Activision Blizzard’s non-GAAP financial measures are not based on a comprehensive set of accounting rules or principles, and the terms non-GAAP net revenues, non-GAAP net income, non-GAAP earnings per share, and non-GAAP operating margin do not have a standardized meaning. Therefore, other companies may use the same or similarly named measures, but exclude different items, which may not provide investors a comparable view of Activision Blizzard's performance in relation to other companies.
Comparable-Basis Presentation by Segment -- Non-GAAP Comparable Measures
On July 9, 2008, the business combination between Activision, Inc. and Vivendi Games, Inc. was consummated. As a result of the consummation of the business combination, Activision, Inc. was renamed Activision Blizzard, Inc.
For accounting purposes, because the business combination resulted in Vivendi S.A. obtaining control of Activision, Inc. through the acquisition of a majority of common stock of Activision, Inc., the business combination was treated as a “reverse acquisition,” with Vivendi Games, Inc. deemed to be the accounting acquirer. As a result, the historical financial statements of Activision Blizzard prior to July 10, 2008 are those of Vivendi Games, Inc. and the results of Activision, Inc. prior to July 10, 2008 are not included as part of Activision Blizzard’s historical financial statements.