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Photo by Jackal Pan/VCG via Getty Images

Axios has spoken to WeWork president and COO Artie Minson about "community adjusted EBITDA," a controversial new financial metric that appeared in his company's first-ever bond offering (which yesterday was upsized from $500 million to $700 million).

Bottom line: WeWork's intention is to best quantify its unit economics, as it continues to prepare for an IPO.

The introduction of community adjusted EBITDA generated much snickering on finance Twitter, thanks to this WSJ description:

"It subtracted not only interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, but also basic expenses like marketing, general and administrative, and development and design costs."

Axios has since learned that the metric includes costs and expenses specific to existing WeWork facilities. More:

  • Community adjusted EBITDA includes all tenant fees, rent expense, staffing expense, facilities management expense, etc. for active WeWork buildings.
  • The exclusions are company-wide expenditures, which do not get pro rated. Much of that relates to growth efforts, although not all of it (executive salaries, for example).
  • One comp, and its not perfect, could be how Shake Shack reports "shack-level operating profit margins."
  • So yes it's still kind of silly, but less silly than it at first appears. And obviously the ratings agencies and bond markets didn't seem put off.

Below is additional WeWork financial data from the bond offering documents:

  • Revenue more than doubled between 2016 and 2017, from $436 million to $886 million. Nearly 93% of revenue is tied to membership.
  • Net loss increased by 117.2% to $933 million. The largest expense increase was general/admin (+294%), followed by sales and marketing (+230%).
  • $2.02 billion in cash at the end of 2017.

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Updated 3 mins ago - Science

NASA's delays Mars helicopter test flight

Ingenuity (left) with Perseverance on Mars. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA announced Saturday it rescheduled its Ingenuity Mars helicopter's first experimental flight, planned for Sunday.

The latest: "During a high-speed spin test of the rotors on Friday, the command sequence controlling the test ended early due to a 'watchdog' timer expiration," NASA said in a statement. "This occurred as it was trying to transition the flight computer from ‘Pre-Flight’ to ‘Flight’ mode."

42 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel escorted out of RNC retreat

Ohio Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel. Photo: Chris Maddaloni / Getty Images

During this weekend’s highly anticipated donor retreat hosted by the Republican National Committee in Palm Beach, Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel was escorted off the premises while his primary opponent, Jane Timken, was allowed to stay, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation tell Axios.

What we’re hearing: The invitation-only event is taking place at the Four Seasons Resort, and the RNC reserved the entire hotel. While Timken, former Ohio GOP chair, was invited to the event “because she is a major donor” — Mandel was not, so he was asked to leave, according to one of the sources

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Report: John Kerry plans to visit China ahead of Biden's climate summit

John Kerry. Photo: Zach Gibson / Stringer

John Kerry, President Biden's special climate envoy, is expected to travel to China next week for meetings with officials aimed at boosting collaboration, the Washington Post reported Saturday.

Why it matters: China is the world's largest carbon dioxide emitter and the U.S. is second-largest.

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