|CUMMINS INC filed this Form 10-K on 02/11/2019|
A slowdown in infrastructure development and/or depressed commodity prices could adversely affect our business.
Infrastructure development and strong commodity prices have been significant drivers of our historical growth, but as the pace of investment in infrastructure slowed in recent years (especially in China and Brazil), commodity prices were significantly lower and demand for our products in off-highway markets was weak. Weakness in commodity prices, such as oil, gas and coal, adversely impacted mining industry participants’ demand for vehicles and equipment that contain our engines and other products over the past several years. Although many of our off-highway markets began to recover in 2017 and 2018, additional deterioration, or renewed weakness, in infrastructure and commodities markets could adversely affect our customers’ demand for vehicles and equipment and, as a result, could adversely affect our business.
We are vulnerable to supply shortages from single-sourced suppliers.
During 2018, we single sourced approximately 20 percent of the total types of parts in our product designs, compared to approximately 20 percent in 2017. Any delay in our suppliers' deliveries may adversely affect our operations at multiple manufacturing locations, forcing us to seek alternative supply sources to avoid serious disruptions. Delays may be caused by factors affecting our suppliers (including capacity constraints, labor disputes, economic downturns, availability of credit, the impaired financial condition), suppliers' allocations to other purchasers, weather emergencies, natural disasters or acts of war or terrorism. Any extended delay in receiving critical supplies could impair our ability to deliver products to our customers and adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Our information technology systems and our products are exposed to potential security breaches or other disruptions which may adversely impact our competitive position, reputation, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
We rely on the capacity, reliability and security of our information technology systems and data security infrastructure in connection with various aspects of our business activities. We also rely on our ability to expand and continually update these systems and related infrastructure in response to the changing needs of our business. As we implement new systems, they may not perform as expected. We face the challenge of supporting our older systems and implementing necessary upgrades. In addition, some of these systems are managed by third party service providers and are not under our direct control. If we experience a problem with an important information technology system, including during system upgrades and/or new system implementations, the resulting disruptions could have an adverse effect on our business and reputation. As customers adopt and rely on cloud-based digital technologies and services we offer, any disruption of the confidentiality, integrity or availability of those services could have an adverse effect on our business and reputation.
The data handled by our information technology systems is vulnerable to security threats. Our operations routinely involve receiving, storing, processing and transmitting sensitive information pertaining to our business, customers, dealers, suppliers, employees and other sensitive matters. Information technology security threats, such as security breaches, computer malware, computer viruses and other "cyber attacks," which are increasing in both frequency and sophistication, along with power outages or hardware failures, could result in unauthorized public disclosures of information and create financial liability, subject us to legal or regulatory sanctions, disrupt our ability to conduct our business or damage our reputation with customers, dealers, suppliers and other stakeholders. In addition, our products, including our engines, contain interconnected and increasingly complex systems that control various processes and these systems are potentially subject to "cyber attacks" and disruption. The impact of a significant information technology event on either of our information technology systems or our products could have a material adverse effect on our competitive position, reputation, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Financial distress or a change-in-control of one of our large truck OEM customers could have a materially adverse impact on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
We recognize significant sales of engines and components to a few large on-highway truck OEM customers in North America which have been an integral part of our positive business results for several years. If one of our large truck OEM customers experiences financial distress, bankruptcy or a change-in-control, such circumstance could likely lead to significant reductions in our sales volumes, commercial disputes, receivable collection issues, and other negative consequences that could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
We derive significant earnings from investees that we do not directly control, with more than 50 percent of these earnings from our China-based investees.
For 2018, we recognized $394 million of equity, royalty and interest income from investees, compared to $357 million in 2017. Approximately half of our equity, royalty and interest income from investees is from four of our 50 percent owned joint ventures in China - Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Co., Ltd., Dongfeng Cummins Engine Company, Ltd., Chongqing Cummins Engine Company, Ltd.and Dongfeng Cummins Emission Solutions Co. Ltd. As a result, although a significant percentage of our net income is derived from these unconsolidated entities, we do not unilaterally control their management or