TransCanada uses the measures Comparable Earnings, Comparable Earnings per Share, EBITDA, Comparable EBITDA, EBIT, Comparable EBIT, Comparable Interest Expense and Comparable Interest Income and Other, Comparable Income Taxes and Funds Generated from Operations in this MD&A. These measures do not have any standardized meaning as prescribed by CGAAP. They are, therefore, considered to be non-GAAP measures and may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other entities. Management of TransCanada uses these non-GAAP measures to improve its ability to compare financial results among reporting periods and to enhance its understanding of operating performance, liquidity and ability to generate funds to finance operations. These non-GAAP measures are also provided to readers as additional information on TransCanada's operating performance, liquidity and ability to generate funds to finance operations.
EBITDA is an approximate measure of the Company's pre-tax operating cash flow and is generally used to better measure performance and evaluate trends of individual assets. EBITDA comprises earnings before deducting interest and other financial charges, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, net income attributable to non-controlling interests and preferred share dividends. EBIT is a measure of the Company's earnings from ongoing operations and is generally used to better measure performance and evaluate trends within each segment. EBIT comprises earnings before deducting interest and other financial charges, income taxes, net income attributable to non-controlling interests and preferred share dividends.
Comparable Earnings, Comparable EBITDA, Comparable EBIT, Comparable Interest Expense, Comparable Interest Income and Other and Comparable Income Taxes comprise Net Income Applicable to Common Shares, EBITDA, EBIT, Interest Expense, Interest Income and Other and Income Taxes, respectively, and are adjusted for specific items that are significant but are not reflective of the Company's underlying operations in the period. Specific items are subjective, however, management uses its judgement and informed decision-making when identifying items to be excluded in calculating these non-GAAP measures, some of which may recur. Specific items may include but are not limited to certain fair value adjustments relating to risk management activities, income tax refunds and adjustments, gains or losses on sales of assets, legal and bankruptcy settlements, and write-downs of assets and investments.
The Company engages in risk management activities to reduce its exposure to certain financial and commodity price risks by utilizing derivatives. The risk management activities which TransCanada excludes from Comparable Earnings provide effective economic hedges but do not meet the specific criteria for hedge accounting treatment and, therefore, changes in their fair values are recorded in Net Income each year. The unrealized gains or losses from changes in the fair value of these derivative contracts and natural gas inventory in storage are not considered to be representative of the underlying operations in the current period or the positive margin that will be realized upon settlement. As a result, these amounts have been excluded in the determination of Comparable Earnings.
The Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Measures table in this MD&A presents a reconciliation of these non-GAAP measures to Net Income Attributable to Common Shares. Comparable Earnings per Common Share is calculated by dividing Comparable Earnings by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding for the year.
Funds Generated from Operations comprise Net Cash Provided by Operations before changes in operating working capital and allows management to better measure consolidated operating cash flow, excluding fluctuations from working capital balances which may not necessarily be reflective of underlying operations in the same period. A reconciliation of Funds Generated from Operations to Net Cash Provided by Operations is presented in the Summarized Cash Flow table in the Liquidity and Capital Resources section in this MD&A.