(1) Acquisition costs and integration related. We have incurred acquisition-related and other expenses which include legal, banker, accounting and other advisory fees of third parties, retention bonuses, integration and professional fees. We do not engage in acquisitions in the ordinary course of business. We believe that it is important to understand these charges; however, we do not believe that these charges are indicative of future operating results. We believe that eliminating these expenses from our non-GAAP measures is useful because we generally would not have otherwise incurred such expenses in the periods presented as part of our continuing operations.
(2) Amortization of acquired intangible assets. When conducting internal development of intangible assets (including developed technology, customer relationships, trademarks, etc.), GAAP accounting rules require that we expense the costs as incurred. In the case of acquired businesses, however, we are required to allocate a portion of the purchase price to the accounting value assigned to intangible assets acquired and amortize this amount over the estimated useful lives of the acquired intangibles. The acquired company, in most cases, has itself previously expensed the costs incurred to develop the acquired intangible assets, and the purchase price allocated to these assets is not necessarily reflective of the cost we would incur in developing the intangible asset. We eliminate these amortization charges for our non-GAAP operating results to provide better comparability of pre and post-acquisition operating results and comparability to results of businesses utilizing internally developed intangible assets.
(3) Severance and benefits costs. These costs are related to the closure of our New Jersey operations and were realized through the first three quarters of 2012. We have engaged in various restructuring and exit activities in 2011 and 2009 that have resulted in costs associated with severance and benefits. Such activity has been a discrete event based on a unique set of business objectives or circumstances, and each has differed from the others in terms of its operational implementation, business impact and scope. We do not engage in restructuring and/or exit activities in the ordinary course of business. We believe that it is important to understand significant severance and benefits costs and, we believe that investors benefit from excluding these charges from our operating results to facilitate a more meaningful evaluation of current operating performance and comparisons to past operating performance.
(4) Impairment of goodwill. This cost represents non-cash write-downs of our goodwill. During the third quarter of 2012, we determined that there were sufficient indicators such as the termination of our distribution agreement with Straumann for iTero intra-oral scanners as well as the market conditions and business trends within our Scanners and CAD/CAM Services reporting unit for an impairment of goodwill. We remove the impact of these charges to our operating performance to assist in assessing our ability to generate cash from operations. We believe this may be useful information to users of our financial statements and therefore we have excluded these charges for purposes of calculating these non-GAAP measures to facilitate an evaluation of our current operating performance, particularly in terms of liquidity.
(5) Income tax-related adjustments. Non-GAAP financial information for the quarter is adjusted for a tax rate equal to our annual estimated tax rate on non-GAAP income. This rate is based on our estimated annual GAAP income tax rate forecast, adjusted to account for discrete tax items and items excluded from GAAP income in calculating the non-GAAP financial measures presented above. Our estimated tax rate on non-GAAP income is determined annually and may be re-calculated during the year to take into account events or trends that we believe materially impact the estimated annual rate.
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