Statements that are not historical facts, including the projections of earnings per share, sales, industry demand, market conditions, commodity prices, currency translation, farm income levels, margin levels, investments in product and technology development, new product introductions, restructuring and other cost reduction initiatives, production volumes, tax rates and general economic conditions, are forwardlooking and subject to risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the statements. The following are among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in or implied by the forward-looking statements.
Our financial results depend entirely upon the agricultural industry, and factors that adversely affect the agricultural industry generally, including declines in the general economy, increases in farm input costs, lower commodity prices, lower farm income and changes in the availability of credit for our retail customers, will adversely affect us.
A majority of our sales and manufacturing take place outside the United States, and, as a result, we are exposed to risks related to foreign laws, taxes, economic conditions, labor supply and relations, political conditions and governmental policies. These risks may delay or reduce our realization of value from our international operations.
Most retail sales of the products that we manufacture are financed, either by our joint ventures with Rabobank or by a bank or other private lender. Our joint ventures with Rabobank, which are controlled by Rabobank and are dependent upon Rabobank for financing as well, finance 40% to 50% of the retail sales of our tractors and combines in the markets where the joint ventures operate. Any difficulty by Rabobank to continue to provide that financing, or any business decision by Rabobank as the controlling member not to fund the business or particular aspects of it (for example, a particular country or region), would require the joint ventures to find other sources of financing (which may be difficult to obtain), or us to find another source of retail financing for our customers, or our customers would be required to utilize other retail financing providers. As a result of the recent economic downturn, financing for capital equipment purchases generally has become more difficult in certain regions and in some cases, can be expensive to obtain. To the extent that financing is not available or available only at unattractive prices, our sales would be negatively impacted.
Both AGCO and our finance joint ventures have substantial account receivables from dealers and end customers, and we would be adversely impacted if the collectability of these receivables was not consistent with historical experience; this collectability is dependent upon the financial strength of the farm industry, which in turn is dependent upon the general economy and commodity prices, as well as several of the other factors listed in this section.
We have experienced substantial and sustained volatility with respect to currency exchange rate and interest rate changes, including uncertainty associated with the Euro, which can adversely affect our reported results of operations and the competitiveness of our products.
Our success depends on the introduction of new products, particularly engines that comply with emission requirements, which requires substantial expenditures.
Our production levels and capacity constraints at our facilities, including those resulting from plant expansions and systems upgrades at our manufacturing facilities, could adversely affect our results.
Our expansion plans in emerging markets, including establishing a greater manufacturing and marketing presence and growing our use of component suppliers, could entail significant risks.
We depend on suppliers for components, parts and raw materials for our products, and any failure by our suppliers to provide products as needed, or by us to promptly address supplier issues, will adversely impact our ability to timely and efficiently manufacture and sell products. We also are subject to raw material price fluctuations, which can adversely affect our manufacturing costs.
We face significant competition, and if we are unable to compete successfully against other agricultural equipment manufacturers, we would lose customers and our net sales and profitability would decline.
We have a substantial amount of indebtedness, and, as a result, we are subject to certain restrictive covenants and payment obligations that may adversely affect our ability to operate and expand our business.
Further information concerning these and other factors is included in AGCO’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017. AGCO disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements except as required by law.