Block Adjusts its Adjusted EBITDA Calculation Method
The company is now excluding additional expenses related to a $13.8 billion acquisition.
May 9, 2022
Block (SQ), which got 43.6% of the quarter’s sales from Bitcoin, has added to the list of expenses it excludes from its Adjusted EBITDA calculation. Besides items it deems nonrecurring like acquisition costs, the company now excludes integration costs which include professional services and consulting fees necessary to integrate acquired businesses. Block did not provide an explanation as to why these expenses were included in its prior profitability calculations.

Similarly, Block also announced that beginning in the first quarter of 2022 it has included the tax impact of the non-GAAP adjustments in determining the Adjusted EPS. The company determines the adjusted provision (benefit) for income taxes by calculating the estimated annual effective tax rate based on adjusted pre-tax income and applying it to Adjusted Net Income before income taxes.

Block did not make it easy for investors to see the impact of the new methodology. Rather than quantify the prior period adjustments, Block simply revised the prior period Adjusted EPS presentation to conform with its new calculation and presentation. However, a closer look at the prior year’s quarterly filing reveals no change in first quarter 2021 Adjusted EBITDA or EPS.

This suggests the changes are aimed at minimizing the future expenses associated with the January 31, 2022 acquisition of Afterpay, a buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) platform for which Block paid $13.8 billion, of which 84.4% is goodwill. The new calculation is not a coincidence as Block acknowledges Afterpay has generated net losses.
Related: PYPL, COIN, MA, V, DFA
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