2013 Form 10-K

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 7 of 50

6 Dollar amounts in millions except per share amounts or as otherwise specified technology, innovation, quality, reputation and reliability. Our competition may respond more quickly to new or emerging technologies, undertake more extensive marketing campaigns, have greater financial, marketing and other resources than us or be more successful in attracting potential customers, employees and strategic partners. Given these factors, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to continue our level of success in the industry. Competition in research, involving the development and improvement of new and existing products, is particularly significant and results from time to time in product obsolescence. The markets in which we operate are highly competitive, and new products and surgical procedures are introduced on an ongoing basis. Such marketplace changes may cause some of our products to become obsolete. If actual product life cycles, product demand or acceptance of new product introductions are less favorable than projected by management, a higher level of inventory write downs may result. We may be unable to maintain adequate working relationships with healthcare professionals. We seek to maintain close working relationships with respected physicians and medical personnel in hospitals and universities who assist in product research and development. We rely on these professionals to assist us in the development of proprietary products and product improvements to complement and expand our existing product lines. If we are unable to maintain these relationships, our ability to develop, market and sell new and improved products could decrease. We are subject to additional risks associated with our extensive international operations. We develop, manufacture and distribute our products throughout the world. Our international operations are subject to a number of additional risks and potential costs, including changes in foreign medical reimbursement policies and programs, unexpected changes in foreign regulatory requirements, differing local product preferences and product requirements, diminished protection of intellectual property in some countries, trade protection measures and import or export licensing requirements, difficulty in staffing and managing foreign operations, political and economic instability. Our results of operations and/or financial condition could be adversely impacted if we are unable to successfully manage these and other risks of international operations in an increasingly volatile environment. We may be unable to capitalize on previous or future acquisitions. In addition to internally developed products, we rely upon investment in new technologies through acquisitions. Investments in medical technology are inherently risky, and we cannot guarantee that any acquisition will be successful or will not have a material unfavorable impact on us. These risks include the activities required by us to integrate new businesses, which may result in the need to allocate more resources to integration and product development activities than originally anticipated, diversion of management's time, which could adversely affect management's ability to focus on other projects, the inability to realize the expected benefits, savings or synergies from the acquisition, the loss of key personnel of the acquired company, and exposure to unexpected liabilities of the acquired company. In addition, we cannot be certain that the businesses we acquire will become profitable or remain so, which may result in unexpected impairment charges. We may record future goodwill impairment charges related to one or more of our business units, which could materially adversely impact our results of operations. We perform our annual impairment test for goodwill in the fourth quarter of each year, or more frequently if indicators are present or changes in circumstances suggest that impairment may exist. In evaluating the potential for impairment we make assumptions regarding revenue projections, growth rates, cash flows, tax rates, and discount rates. These assumptions are uncertain and by nature may vary from actual results. A significant reduction in the estimated fair values could result in impairment charges that could materially affect our results of operations. Our results of operations could be negatively impacted by future changes in the allocation of income to each of the income tax jurisdictions in which we operate. We operate in multiple income tax jurisdictions both in the United States and internationally. Accordingly, our management must determine the appropriate allocation of income to each jurisdiction based on current interpretations of complex income tax regulations. Income tax authorities regularly perform audits of our income tax filings. Income tax audits associated with the allocation of income and other complex issues, including inventory transfer pricing and cost sharing, product royalty and foreign branch arrangements, may require an extended period of time to resolve and may result in significant income tax adjustments. If changes to the income allocation are required between jurisdictions with different income tax rates, the related adjustments could have a material unfavorable impact on our results of operations. Failure of a key information technology system, process or site could have a material adverse impact on our business. We rely extensively on information technology systems to conduct business. These systems include, but are not limited to, ordering and managing materials from suppliers, converting materials to finished products, shipping products to customers, processing transactions, summarizing and reporting results of operations, complying with regulatory, legal or tax requirements, providing data security and other processes necessary to manage our business. If our systems are damaged or cease to function properly due to any number of causes, ranging from catastrophic events to power outages to security breaches, and our business continuity plans do not effectively compensate on a timely basis, we may suffer interruptions in our operations. We may be unable to attract and retain key employees. Our sales, technical and other key personnel play an integral role in the development, marketing and selling of new and existing products. If we are unable to recruit, hire, develop and retain a talented, competitive work force, we may not be able to meet our strategic business objectives. ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS. None.

Articles in this issue

view archives of STRYKER - 2013 Form 10-K