|INTUITIVE SURGICAL INC filed this Form 10-K on 02/02/2018|
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offering consulting services targeted at analyzing the cost-effectiveness of hospitals' robotic surgery programs, including procedures performed, placement of systems, and consumption of instruments and accessories. We currently provide similar services and analysis to our customers, but it is difficult to assess the impact that this may have on our business. If we are unable to compete successfully with any third-party service providers, our revenues may suffer.
OUR CUSTOMERS MAY USE UNAUTHORIZED OR UNAPPROVED INSTRUMENTS AND ACCESSORIES, WHICH WOULD RESULT IN REDUCED REVENUE AND LOSS OF MARKET SHARE.
A large portion of our revenue is generated through our sales of instruments and accessories. Third parties have attempted to and may discover ways to manufacture and sell counterfeit reprocessed instruments and/or alter instruments that are compatible and function with the da Vinci Surgical System, and such activities may reduce our market share. While our sales arrangements with customers generally prohibit the use of unauthorized or unapproved instruments and accessories with da Vinci Surgical Systems, warranties will be void if such instruments and accessories are used, and a programmed memory chip inside each instrument is designed to prevent the instrument from being used for more than the prescribed number of procedures to help ensure that its performance meets specifications during each procedure, these measures may not prevent the use of unauthorized or unapproved instruments and accessories by our customers. In addition to potential reductions to our revenues and market share, sales of unauthorized instruments and accessories by third parties may create safety and health risks to da Vinci patients and could cause negative publicity for us if these products cause injuries and/or do not function as intended when used with the da Vinci Surgical Systems, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows.
NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENTS AND INTRODUCTIONS MAY ADVERSELY IMPACT OUR FINANCIAL RESULTS.
We develop and introduce new products with enhanced features and extended capabilities from time to time. We may introduce new products that target different markets than what our existing products target. The success of new product introductions depends on a number of factors including, but not limited to, timely and successful research and development, regulatory clearances or approvals, pricing, competition, market and consumer acceptance, the effective forecasting and management of product demand, inventory levels, the management of manufacturing and supply costs, and the risk that new products may have quality or other defects in the early stages of introduction.
We invest substantially in various research and development projects to expand our product offerings. Our research and development efforts are critical to our success, and our research and development projects may not be successful. We may be unable to develop and market new products successfully, and the products we invest in and develop may not be well-received by customers or meet our expectations. Our research and development investments may not generate significant operating income or contribute to our future operating results for several years, and such contributions may not meet our expectations or even cover the costs of such investments. In addition, the introduction or announcement of new products or product enhancements may shorten the life cycle of our existing products or reduce demand for our current products, thereby offsetting any benefits of successful product introductions and potentially leading to challenges in managing inventory of existing products.
Our products are subject to various regulatory processes, and we must obtain and maintain regulatory approvals in order to sell our new products. If a potential purchaser believes that we plan to introduce a new product in the near future or if a potential purchaser is located in a country where a new product that we have introduced has not yet received regulatory clearance, planned purchases may be deferred or delayed. We have in the past experienced a slowdown in demand for existing products in advance of new product introductions and may experience a slowdown in demand in the future as well. It is also possible that a new product introduction could cause downward pressure on the prices of our existing products or require us to change how we sell our products, either of which could have material adverse effect on our revenues.
If we fail to effectively develop new products and manage new product introductions in the future, our business, financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows could be materially adversely impacted.
WE EXPECT GROSS PROFIT MARGINS TO VARY OVER TIME, AND CHANGES IN OUR GROSS PROFIT MARGINS COULD ADVERSELY AFFECT OUR FINANCIAL CONDITION OR RESULTS OF OPERATIONS.
Our gross profit margins have fluctuated from period to period, and we expect that they will continue to fluctuate in the future. Our gross profit margins may be adversely affected by numerous factors, including:
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