Discussion of Non-GAAP Financial Measures
We use a number of different financial measures, both United States generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") and non-GAAP, in assessing the overall performance of our business. To supplement our assessment of results prepared in accordance with GAAP, we use the measures of Adjusted EBITDA, Free Cash Flow, and Adjusted EPS, which are non-GAAP measures as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The non-GAAP financial measures of Adjusted EBITDA, Free Cash Flow, and Adjusted EPS as described below, and used in the tables above, are not intended as a substitute or as an alternative to net income, cash flow provided by operating activities or diluted earnings per share as indicators of our performance or liquidity or any other measures of performance or liquidity derived in accordance with GAAP. In addition, our non-GAAP financial measures may be different from non-GAAP measures used by other companies, limiting their usefulness for comparison purposes.
The presentations of Adjusted EBITDA, Free Cash Flow and Adjusted EPS are intended to enhance the usefulness of our financial information by providing measures which management internally use to assess and evaluate the overall performance of its business and those of possible acquisition candidates, and highlight trends in the overall business.
We use Adjusted EBITDA to provide further information that is useful to an understanding of the financial covenants contained in the credit facilities as of December 31, 2012 of our most significant subsidiary, Covanta Energy, through which we conduct our core waste and energy services business, and as additional ways of viewing aspects of its operations that, when viewed with the GAAP results and the accompanying reconciliations to corresponding GAAP financial measures, provide a more complete understanding of our core business. The calculation of Adjusted EBITDA is based on the definition in Covanta Energy's credit facilities as of December 31, 2012, which we have guaranteed. Adjusted EBITDA is defined as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, as adjusted for additional items subtracted from or added to net income. Because our business is substantially comprised of that of Covanta Energy, our financial performance is substantially similar to that of Covanta Energy. For this reason, and in order to avoid use of multiple financial measures which are not all from the same entity, the calculation of Adjusted EBITDA and other financial measures presented herein are ours, measured on a consolidated basis for continuing operations, less the results of operations of our insurance subsidiaries.
Under the credit facilities as of December 31, 2012, Covanta Energy is required to satisfy certain financial covenants, including certain ratios of which Adjusted EBITDA is an important component. Compliance with such financial covenants is expected to be the principal limiting factor which will affect our ability to engage in a broad range of activities in furtherance of our business, including making certain investments, acquiring businesses and incurring additional debt. Covanta Energy was in compliance with these covenants as of December 31, 2012. Failure to comply with such financial covenants could result in a default under these credit facilities, which default would have a material adverse affect on our financial condition and liquidity.
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