For those following recent SEC developments, you know that the SEC has made a concerted effort this year to reign in the use of non-GAAP financial measures made by companies, or at least make sure their usage complies with Regulation G and Item 10(e) of Regulation S-K. Recently, I came across the below comment sent by the Staff of the Division of Corporation Finance to Activision Blizzard, Inc. regarding its first quarter earnings release. It is a friendly reminder to companies that disclose non-GAAP financial measures in earnings releases that the requirement to give equal or greater prominence to GAAP financial measures generally also applies to percentages and ratios calculated using a non-GAAP financial measure.
Form 8-K filed May 5, 2016
- Your headline references “Record Q1 Non-GAAP Revenues and EPS, Growing 29% and 44% Respectively Year-over-Year” but does not provide an equally prominent descriptive characterization of the comparable GAAP measure. We also note several instances where you present a non-GAAP measure without presenting the comparable GAAP measure. This is inconsistent with Question 102.10 of the updated Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations issued on May 17, 2016 (“the updated C&DI’s”). Please review this guidance when preparing your next earnings release.
The full comment letter is linked here.