The Web search leader said it would present its third-quarter results on Oct. 20 in operating terms, excluding items such as the after-tax effect of expensing employee stock options, for the first time. Itin net terms only.
Mark Fuchs, chief accountant of the Mountain View, Calif.-based company, detailed the plan in a statement released on Google's company blog.
In the first four quarters after itsin August 2004, Google sought to challenge Wall Street conventions by fully expensing stock options in a single presentation of net income.
That practice--an attempt to strictly abide by U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP--put Google at odds with many U.S. listed companies, especially in the technology sector.
Quarterly earnings reports from most of these companies include a second set of so-called pro forma figures that distinguish between operating and non-operating items.
"In the past, we've only provided GAAP EPS (earnings per share)," Fuchs writes. "But because Wall Street analysts typically estimate and describe our results with non-GAAP EPS numbers, that resulted in some confusing apples-to-oranges analyses of our results."
Wall Street analysts often say they prefer this latter accounting presentation because it allows them to gain a clearer picture of a company's operating performance.