|CUMMINS INC filed this Form 10-K on 02/11/2019|
As we continue to operate our business globally, our success will depend, in part, on our ability to anticipate and effectively manage these and other related risks. There can be no assurance that the consequences of these and other factors relating to our multinational operations will not have a material adverse effect upon us.
The adoption of new tax legislation or exposure to additional income tax liabilities could adversely affect our profitability.
On December 22, 2017, the U.S. enacted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Tax Legislation) and all adjustments to the 2017 estimates were incorporated into our financial results in 2018. There continues to be a risk that states or foreign jurisdictions may amend their tax laws in response to the Tax Legislation, which could have a material impact on our future results.
We are subject to income taxes in the U.S. and numerous international jurisdictions. Our income tax provision and cash tax liability in the future could be adversely affected by changes in earnings in countries with differing statutory tax rates, changes in the valuation of deferred tax assets and liabilities, changes in tax laws and the discovery of new information in the course of our tax return preparation process. The carrying value of deferred tax assets, which are predominantly in the U.S., is dependent on our ability to generate future taxable income in the U.S. We are also subject to ongoing tax audits. These audits can involve complex issues, which may require an extended period of time to resolve and can be highly judgmental. Tax authorities may disagree with certain tax reporting positions taken by us and, as a result, assess additional taxes against us. We regularly assess the likely outcomes of these audits in order to determine the appropriateness of our tax provision. The amounts ultimately paid upon resolution of these or subsequent tax audits could be materially different from the amounts previously included in our income tax provision and, therefore, could have a material impact on our tax provision.
Our global operations are subject to laws and regulations that impose significant compliance costs and create reputational and legal risk.
Due to the international scope of our operations, we are subject to a complex system of commercial and trade regulations around the world. Recent years have seen an increase in the development and enforcement of laws regarding trade compliance and anti-corruption, such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and similar laws from other countries, as well as new regulatory requirements regarding data privacy, such as the European Union General Data Protection Regulation. Our numerous foreign subsidiaries, affiliates and joint venture partners are governed by laws, rules and business practices that differ from those of the U.S. The activities of these entities may not comply with U.S. laws or business practices or our Code of Business Conduct. Violations of these laws may result in severe criminal or civil sanctions, could disrupt our business, and result in an adverse effect on our reputation, business and results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. We cannot predict the nature, scope or effect of future regulatory requirements to which our operations might be subject or the manner in which existing laws might be administered or interpreted.
We face the challenge of accurately aligning our capacity with our demand.
We can experience capacity constraints and longer lead times for certain products in times of growing demand while we can also experience idle capacity as economies slow or demand for certain products decline. Accurately forecasting our expected volumes and appropriately adjusting our capacity have been, and will continue to be, important factors in determining our results of operations and cash flows. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to increase manufacturing capacity to a level that meets demand for our products, which could prevent us from meeting increased customer demand and could harm our business. However, if we overestimate our demand and overbuild our capacity, we may have significantly underutilized assets and we may experience reduced margins. If we do not accurately align our manufacturing capabilities with demand it could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Our business is exposed to potential product liability claims.
We face an inherent business risk of exposure to product liability claims in the event that our products' failure to perform to specification results, or is alleged to result, in property damage, bodily injury and/or death. At any given time, we are subject to various and multiple product liability claims, any one of which, if decided adversely to us, may have a material adverse effect on our reported results of operation in the period in which our liability with respect to any such claim is recognized. While we maintain insurance coverage with respect to certain product liability claims, we may not be able to obtain such insurance on acceptable terms in the future, if at all, and any such insurance may not provide adequate coverage against product liability claims. In addition, product liability claims can be expensive to defend and can divert the attention of management and other personnel for significant periods of time, regardless of the ultimate outcome. Furthermore, even if we are successful in