These financial covenants are measured on a trailing four quarter period basis and the material covenants are as follows:
•maximum Covanta Energy leverage ratio of 4.00 to 1.00, which measures Covanta Energy's Consolidated Adjusted Debt (which is the principal amount of its consolidated debt less certain restricted funds dedicated to repayment of project debt principal and construction costs) to its Adjusted EBITDA (which for purposes of calculating the leverage ratio and interest coverage ratio, is adjusted on a pro forma basis for acquisitions and dispositions made during the relevant period); and
•minimum Covanta Energy interest coverage ratio of 3.00 to 1.00, which measures Covanta Energy's Adjusted EBITDA to its consolidated interest expense plus certain interest expense of ours, to the extent paid by Covanta Energy.
In order to provide a meaningful basis for comparison, we are providing information with respect to our Adjusted EBITDA for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2012 and 2011, reconciled for each such periods to net income from continuing operations and cash flow provided by operating activities from continuing operations, which are believed to be the most directly comparable measures under GAAP.
Free Cash Flow
Free Cash Flow is defined as cash flow provided by operating activities from continuing operations, excluding the cash flow provided by or used in our insurance subsidiaries, less maintenance capital expenditures, which are capital expenditures primarily to maintain our existing facilities. We use the non-GAAP measure of Free Cash Flow as a criterion of liquidity and performance-based components of employee compensation. We use Free Cash Flow as a measure of liquidity to determine amounts we can reinvest in our core businesses, such as amounts available to make acquisitions, invest in construction of new projects, make principal payments on debt, or amounts we can return to our stockholders through dividends and/or stock repurchases.
In order to provide a meaningful basis for comparison, we are providing information with respect to our Free Cash Flow for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2012 and 2011, reconciled for each such periods to cash flow provided by operating activities from continuing operations, which we believe to be the most directly comparable measure under GAAP.
Adjusted EPS excludes certain income and expense items that are not representative of our ongoing business and operations, which are included in the calculation of Diluted Earnings Per Share in accordance with GAAP. The following items are not all-inclusive, but are examples of reconciling items in prior comparative and future periods. They would include the results of operations of our insurance subsidiaries, write-off of assets and liabilities, the effect of derivative instruments not designated as hedging instruments, significant gains or losses from the disposition or restructuring of businesses, gains and losses on assets held for sale, transaction-related costs, income and loss on the extinguishment of debt and other significant items that would not be representative of our ongoing business.
We will use the non-GAAP measure of Adjusted EPS to enhance the usefulness of our financial information by providing a measure which management internally uses to assess and evaluate the overall performance and highlight trends in the ongoing business.
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