let me give you a simple example, moron. If you have a manufacturing company and you have a factory that produces widgets, under us gaap you have to depreciate the factory every year and take non-cash depreciation, which lowers your gaap earnings (by a significant amount if a company owns a lot of depreciable assets). You as the operator are concerned with what cash you make in your pocket at the end of the day. to calculate that you add back the depreciation expense to your gaap earnings. In reality many companies report negative earnings for gaap purposes since they report many non-cash expense items on their income statements, yet their free cash flow comes out very strong..this happens often. STON has a very complicated MLP structure where gaap accounting is really pretty much completely meaningless. The S&P "analyst" that made the downgrade seems to not understand what MLP's are and how distributable cash flow, which is relevant for STON, is calculated. Im sure STON's management team will have a laugh at this "analysis" during their presentation this Friday. You need to go back to school and take accounting 101 before you post on here idiot. Take your 20 bucks you made shorting here and apply that towards your tuition.