2016 (the “Series C Initial Dividend Date”) and shall be payable (i) for the period from the Series C Initial Dividend Date to, but excluding, October 31, 2016, on October 31, 2016, and (ii) for each subsequent quarterly dividend period commencing on the last day of each of January, April, July and October and ending on, and including, the day before the first day of the next succeeding dividend period, quarterly in equal amounts in arrears on the last day of each April, July, October and January, commencing on January 31, 2017 at the then applicable annual rate. Except under certain limited circumstances, the Series C Preferred Stock is generally not convertible into or exchangeable for any other property or any other securities of the Company at the election of the holders. On or after September 20, 2017, the Company may, at its option, redeem the shares at a redemption price of $25.00, plus any accrued unpaid distribution through the date of the redemption.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
For the three months ended March 31, 2017, the Company’s Operating Earnings were $38,623, or $0.41 per share. For the three months ended March 31, 2016, the Company’s Operating Earnings were $29,819, or $0.44 per share. Operating Earnings is a non-GAAP financial measure that is defined by the Company as net income available to common stockholders, computed in accordance with GAAP, adjusted for (i) equity-based compensation expense (a portion of which may become cash-based upon final vesting and settlement of awards should the holder elect net share settlement to satisfy income tax withholding), (ii) any unrealized gains or losses or other non-cash items included in net income available to common stockholders, (iii) unrealized income from unconsolidated joint ventures, (iv) foreign currency gains (losses) other than realized gains/(losses) related to interest income, (v) the non-cash amortization expense related to the reclassification of a portion of the convertible senior notes to stockholders’ equity in accordance with GAAP, and (vi) provision for loan losses. Operating Earnings may also be adjusted to exclude certain other non -cash items, as determined by the Manager and approved by a majority of the Company's independent directors.
In order to evaluate the effective yield of the portfolio, the Company uses Operating Earnings to reflect the net investment income of the Company’s portfolio as adjusted to include the net interest expense related to the Company’s derivative instruments. Operating Earnings allows the Company to isolate the net interest expense associated with the Company’s swaps in order to monitor and project the Company’s full cost of borrowings. The Company also believes that its investors use Operating Earnings or a comparable supplemental performance measure to evaluate and compare the performance of the Company and its peers and, as such, the Company believes that the disclosure of Operating Earnings is useful to its investors.
A significant limitation associated with Operating Earnings as a measure of the Company’s financial performance over any period is that it excludes net realized and unrealized gains (losses) from investments. In addition, the Company’s presentation of Operating Earnings may not be comparable to similarly-titled measures of other companies, who may use different calculations. As a result, Operating Earnings should not be considered as a substitute for the Company’s GAAP net income as a measure of its financial performance or any measure of its liquidity under GAAP.
Beginning with the quarter ended September 30, 2016, the Company has slightly modified its definition of Operating Earnings to include realized gains/(losses) on currency swaps related to interest income on investments denominated in a currency other than U.S. dollars. The Company believes that including the effects of realized gains/(losses) on currency swaps related to interest income more accurately reflects the Company's investment income for a particular period and will allow investors to more easily compare its operating results over various periods. The effects of such unrealized gains/(losses) in prior periods were not material to the Company's financial results. The Company intends to apply this modified definition for Operating Earnings for all future periods.