Discussion of Non-GAAP Financial Measures
The tables above and below include the following non-GAAP financial measures derived from our Preliminary Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations: product gross margin, product gross margin as a percentage of product revenue; service gross margin; service gross margin as a percentage of service revenue; gross margin; gross margin as a percentage of revenue; research and development expense; sales and marketing expense; general and administrative expense; operating expense; operating income; operating margin; provision for income taxes; income tax rate; net income; and net income per share. These measures are not presented in accordance with, nor are they a substitute for U.S. generally accepted accounting principles or GAAP. In addition, these measures may be different from non-GAAP measures used by other companies, limiting their usefulness for comparison purposes. The non-GAAP financial measures used in the table above should not be considered in isolation from measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. Investors are cautioned that there are material limitations associated with the use of non-GAAP financial measures as an analytical tool. In particular, many of the adjustments to our GAAP financial measures reflect the exclusion of items that are recurring and will be reflected in our financial results for the foreseeable future.
We utilize a number of different financial measures, both GAAP and non-GAAP, in analyzing and assessing the overall performance of our business, in making operating decisions, forecasting and planning for future periods, and determining payments under compensation programs. We consider the use of the non-GAAP measures presented above to be helpful in assessing the performance of the continuing operation of our business. By continuing operations we mean the ongoing revenue and expenses of the business excluding certain items that render comparisons with prior periods or analysis of on-going operating trends more difficult, such as expenses not directly related to the actual cash costs of development, sale, delivery or support of our products and services, or expenses that are reflected in periods unrelated to when the actual amounts were incurred or paid. Consistent with this approach, we believe that disclosing non-GAAP financial measures to the readers of our financial statements provides such readers with useful supplemental data that, while not a substitute for financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP, allows for greater transparency in the review of our financial and operational performance. In addition, we have historically reported non-GAAP results to the investment community and believe that continuing to provide non-GAAP measures provides investors with a tool for comparing results over time. In assessing the overall health of our business for the periods covered by the table above and, in particular, in evaluating the financial line items presented in the table above, we have excluded items in the following three general categories, each of which are described below: Acquisition-Related Charges, Other Items, and Share-Based Compensation Related Items. We also provide additional detail below regarding the shares used to calculate our non-GAAP net income per share. Notes identified for line items in the table above correspond to the appropriate note description below. Additionally, with respect to future financial guidance provided on a non-GAAP basis, we have excluded estimates for amortization of intangible assets, share based compensation expenses, acquisition related charges, restructuring charges, litigation settlement charges, gain or loss on equity investments, non-recurring income tax adjustments, valuation allowance on deferred tax assets, and income tax effect of non-GAAP exclusions.
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