NEW YORK, March 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- BGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: BGCP) ("BGC Partners," "BGC," or "the Company"), a leading global brokerage company primarily servicing the wholesale financial markets, today updated its financial outlook for the quarter ending March 31, 2012.
The Company's financial results are expected to remain within the range of its previously stated guidance. It expects revenues to be above the mid-point and distributable earnings to be below the mid-point of the range provided for the first quarter of 2012. The Company's first quarter guidance was first published in its financial results press release dated February 24, 2012, and was as follows:
The Company expected to generate distributable earnings revenues of between $390 million and $410 million, an increase of approximately 7 to 12 percent compared with $365.5 million a year earlier. This included approximately $45 to $55 million expected from Newmark Knight Frank.
BGC Partners expected pre-tax distributable earnings to be between approximately $58 million and $66 million versus $64.3 million in the first quarter of 2011.
BGC Partners anticipated its effective tax rate for distributable earnings to be unchanged at approximately 15 percent.
BGC Partners expected post-tax distributable earnings to be between approximately $49 million and $56 million versus $54.8 million in the year earlier period.
Further, the Company expects to close the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Grubb & Ellis Company in early April.
Distributable Earnings BGC Partners uses non-GAAP financial measures including "Revenues for distributable earnings," "pre-tax distributable earnings" and "post-tax distributable earnings," which are supplemental measures of operating performance that are used by management to evaluate the financial performance of the Company and its subsidiaries. BGC Partners believes that distributable earnings best reflects the operating earnings generated by the Company on a consolidated basis and are the earnings which management considers available for distribution to BGC Partners, Inc. and its common stockholders, as well as to holders of BGC Holdings partnership units during any period.
As compared with "income (loss) from operations before income taxes," "net income (loss) for fully diluted shares," and "fully diluted earnings (loss) per share," all prepared in accordance with GAAP, distributable earnings calculations primarily exclude certain non-cash compensation and other expenses which generally do not involve the receipt or outlay of cash by the Company, which do not dilute existing stockholders, and which do not have economic consequences, as described below. In addition, distributable earnings calculations exclude certain gains and charges that management believes do not best reflect the ordinary operating results of BGC.
Revenues for distributable earnings are defined as GAAP revenues excluding the impact of BGC Partners, Inc.'s non-cash earnings or losses related to its equity investments, such as in Aqua Securities, L.P. and ELX Futures, L.P., and its holding company general partner, ELX Futures Holdings LLC. Revenues for distributable earnings also include the collection of receivables which would have been recognized for GAAP other than for the effect of acquisition accounting.
Pre-tax distributable earnings are defined as GAAP income (loss) from operations before income taxes excluding items that are primarily non-cash, non-dilutive, and non-economic, such as:
Non-cash stock-based equity compensation charges for REUs granted or issued prior to the merger of BGC Partners, Inc. with and into eSpeed, as well as post-merger non-cash, non-dilutive equity-based compensation related to partnership unit exchange or conversion.
Allocations of net income to founding/working partner and other units, including REUs, RPUs, PSUs and PSIs.
Non-cash asset impairment charges, if any.
Distributable earnings calculations also exclude charges related to purchases, cancellations or redemptions of partnership interests and certain one-time or non-recurring items, if any.
"Compensation and employee benefits" expense for distributable earnings will also include broker commission payouts relating to the aforementioned collection of receivables.
Beginning with the first quarter of 2011, BGC's definition of distributable earnings was revised to exclude certain gains and charges with respect to acquisitions, dispositions, and resolutions of litigation. This change in the definition of distributable earnings is not reflected in, nor does it affect the Company's presentation of prior periods. Management believes that excluding these gains and charges best reflects the operating performance of BGC.
Since distributable earnings are calculated on a pre-tax basis, management intends to also report "post-tax distributable earnings" and "post-tax distributable earnings per fully diluted share":
"Post-tax distributable earnings" are defined as pre-tax distributable earnings adjusted to assume that all pre-tax distributable earnings were taxed at the same effective rate.
"Post-tax distributable earnings per fully diluted share" are defined as post-tax distributable earnings divided by the weighted-average number of fully diluted shares for the period.
BGCs' distributable earnings per share calculations assume either that:
The fully diluted share count includes the shares related to the dilutive instruments, such as the Convertible Senior Notes, but excludes the associated interest expense, net of tax, when the impact would be dilutive, or;
The fully diluted share count excludes the shares related to the dilutive instruments, but includes the associated interest expense, net of tax.
Each quarter, the dividend to common stockholders is expected to be determined by the Company's Board of Directors with reference to post-tax distributable earnings per fully diluted share. In addition to the Company's quarterly dividend to common stockholders, BGC Partners expects to pay a pro-rata distribution of net income to BGC Holdings founding/working partner and other units, including REUs, RPUs, PSUs and PSIs, and to Cantor for its noncontrolling interest. The amount of all of these payments is expected to be determined using the above definition of pre-tax distributable earnings per share.
Certain employees who are holders of RSUs are granted pro-rata payments equivalent to the amount of dividends paid to common stockholders. Under GAAP, a portion of the dividend equivalents on RSUs is required to be taken as a compensation charge in the period paid. However, to the extent that they represent cash payments made from the prior period's distributable earnings, they do not dilute existing stockholders and are therefore excluded from the calculation of distributable earnings.
Distributable earnings is not meant to be an exact measure of cash generated by operations and available for distribution, nor should it be considered in isolation or as an alternative to cash flow from operations or GAAP net income (loss). The Company views distributable earnings as a metric that is not necessarily indicative of liquidity or the cash available to fund its operations.
Pre- and post-tax distributable earnings are not intended to replace the Company's presentation of GAAP financial results. However, management believes that they help provide investors with a clearer understanding of BGC Partners' financial performance and offer useful information to both management and investors regarding certain financial and business trends related to the Company's financial condition and results of operations. Management believes that distributable earnings and the GAAP measures of financial performance should be considered together.
Management does not anticipate providing an outlook for GAAP "revenues", "income (loss) from operations before income taxes", "net income (loss) for fully diluted shares," and "fully diluted earnings (loss) per share", because the items previously identified as excluded from pre-tax distributable earnings and post-tax distributable earnings are difficult to forecast. Management will instead provide its outlook only as it relates to revenues for distributable earnings, pre-tax distributable earnings and post-tax distributable earnings.
For more information on this topic, please see the sections of BGC's most recent financial results press release entitled "Distributable Earnings," "Distributable Earnings Results Compared with GAAP Results," and "Reconciliation of GAAP Income to Distributable Earnings" for a complete definition of these non-GAAP terms and how, when and why management uses them, as well as for the differences between results under GAAP and distributable earnings for the periods discussed in that release.
About BGC Partners, Inc. BGC Partners is a leading global brokerage company primarily servicing the wholesale financial markets with approximately 220 products brokered by over 2100 brokers and salespeople. Products include fixed income securities, interest rate swaps, foreign exchange, equities, equity derivatives, credit derivatives, commercial real estate, commodities, futures, and structured products. BGC also provides a full range of services, including trade execution, broker-dealer services, clearing, processing, information, and other back-office services to a broad range of financial and non-financial institutions. BGC's integrated platform is designed to provide flexibility to customers with regard to price discovery, execution and processing of transactions, and enables them to use voice, hybrid, or, fully electronic brokerage services in connection with transactions executed either OTC or through an exchange.
Through its eSpeed, BGC Trader™, and BGC Market Data brands, BGC offers financial technology solutions, market data, and analytics related to select financial instruments and markets. Through its Newmark Knight Frank brand, the Company a wide range of services including leasing and corporate advisory, investment sales and financial services, consulting, project and development management, and property and facilities management. BGC's customers include many of the world's largest banks, broker-dealers, investment banks, trading firms, hedge funds, governments, corporations, property owners, real estate developers, and investment firms. Named after fixed income trading innovator B. Gerald Cantor, BGC has offices in over 35 major markets, including New York and London, as well as in Atlanta, Beijing, Boston, Chicago, Copenhagen, Dubai, Hong Kong, Houston, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, Moscow, Nyon, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Washington D.C. and Zurich. For more information, please visit www.bgcpartners.com.
Discussion of Forward-Looking Statements by BGC Partners Statements in this press release regarding BGC Partners' business that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of additional risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see BGC Partners' Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, including, but not limited to, the risk factors set forth in our public filings, including our most recent Form 10-K and any updates to such risk factors contained in subsequent Form 10-Q or Form 8-K filings.
 Guidance does not include any potential impact from Grubb & Ellis.
 BGC's distributable earnings per share calculations assume either that the fully diluted share count includes the shares related to the dilutive instruments, such as the Convertible Senior Notes, but excludes the associated interest expense when the impact would be dilutive, or that the fully diluted share count excludes the shares related to these dilutive instruments, but includes the associated interest expense. In the first quarter of 2012, the pre-tax interest expense associated with the Convertible Senior Notes was expected to be $6.2 million while the post-tax interest expense was expected to be $5.2 million, and the associated weighted average share count was expected to be 38.8 million.