This excerpt taken from the HAS 10-K filed Mar 9, 2005.
Forward-Looking Information and Risk Factors That May Affect Future Results
From time to time, including in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and in our annual report to shareholders, we publish "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These "forward-looking statements" may relate to such matters as anticipated financial performance, business prospects, technological developments, new products, research and development activities, liquidity, and similar matters. Forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a safe harbor for forward-looking statements. These statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking words or phrases such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "expect," "intend," "looking forward," "may," "planned," "potential," "should," "will" and "would" or any variations of words with similar meanings. We note that a variety of factors could cause our actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed or anticipated in our forward-looking statements. The factors listed below are illustrative and other risks and uncertainties may arise as are or may be detailed from time to time in our public announcements and our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, such as on Forms 8-K, 10-Q and 10-K. We undertake no obligation to make any revisions to the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K or in our annual report to shareholders to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of the filing of this report.
Volatility of consumer preferences and the high level of competition in the family entertainment industry make it difficult to maintain the long-term success of existing product lines or consistently introduce successful new products. In addition, an inability to develop and introduce planned new products and product lines in a timely manner may damage our business.
Our business and operating results depend upon the consumer appeal of our family entertainment products, principally games and toys. Our failure to successfully anticipate, identify and react to consumer preferences in family entertainment could have a negative impact on our revenues, profitability and results of operations.
A decline in the popularity of our existing products and product lines or the failure of new products and product lines to achieve and sustain market acceptance could result in reduced overall revenues and margins, which could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. Our continued success will depend on our ability to redesign, restyle and extend our existing family entertainment product lines in ways that capture consumer interest and imagination and to develop, introduce and gain customer interest for new family entertainment product lines. However, consumer preferences with respect to family entertainment are continuously changing and are difficult to predict. Individual family entertainment products generally, and high technology products in particular, often have short consumer life cycles. Not only must we address rapidly changing consumer tastes and interests but we face competitors who are also constantly introducing new products that compete with our products for consumer purchasing. The challenge of developing and offering products that are sought after by consumers is compounded by the trend of children "getting older younger," meaning that at younger and younger ages our products
compete with the offerings of video game suppliers, consumer electronics companies and other businesses outside of the traditional toy and game industry.
In addition to designing and developing products based on our own brands, we seek to fulfill consumer preferences and interests by producing products based on popular entertainment properties developed by other parties and licensed to us. The success of entertainment properties released theatrically for which we have a license, such as STAR WARS or DISNEY related productions, can significantly affect our revenues. In addition, competition in our industry can lessen our ability to secure, maintain, and renew popular licenses to entertainment products on beneficial terms, if at all, and to attract and retain the talented employees necessary to design, develop and market successful products based on these properties. The loss of ownership rights granted pursuant to any of our licensing agreements could have a material adverse effect on our business and competitive position.
We cannot make assurances that:
In developing new products and product lines, we have anticipated dates for the associated product introductions. When we state that we will introduce, or anticipate introducing, a particular product or product line at a certain time in the future those expectations are based on completing the associated development and implementation work in accordance with our currently anticipated development schedule. Unforeseen delays or difficulties in the development process, or significant increases in the planned cost of development, may cause the introduction date for products to be later than anticipated or, in some situations, may cause a product introduction to be discontinued. Similarly, the success of our products is often dependent on the timelines and effectiveness of related advertising and media efforts. Television programming, movie and DVD releases, comic book releases, and other media efforts are often critical in generating interest in our products. Not only our efforts, but the efforts of third parties, heavily impact the launch dates and success of these media efforts. When we say that products or brands will be supported by certain media releases, those statements are based on our current plans and expectations. Unforeseen factors may delay these media releases or even lead to their cancellation. Any delay or cancellation of planned product development work, introductions, or media support may decrease the number of products we sell and harm our business.
Our business is seasonal and therefore our annual operating results will depend, in large part, on our sales during the relatively brief holiday season. Further, this seasonality is increasing, as large retailers become more efficient in their control of inventory levels through quick response inventory management techniques.
Sales of our family entertainment products at retail are seasonal, with a majority of retail sales occurring during the period from September through December in anticipation of the holiday season, including Christmas. This seasonality is increasing, as large retailers become more efficient in their control of inventory levels through quick response inventory management techniques. These customers are timing reorders so that they are being filled by suppliers closer to the time of purchase by consumers, which to a large extent occurs during September through December, rather than maintaining large on-hand inventories throughout the year to meet consumer demand. While these techniques reduce a retailer's investment in inventory, they increase pressure on suppliers like us to fill orders promptly and thereby shift a significant portion of inventory risk and carrying costs to the supplier.
The limited inventory carried by retailers may also reduce or delay retail sales, resulting in lower revenues for us. Additionally, the logistics of supplying more and more product within shorter time periods increases the risk that we will fail to achieve tight and compressed shipping schedules, which also may reduce our sales and harm our financial performance. This seasonal pattern requires significant use of working capital, mainly to manufacture or acquire inventory during the portion of the year prior to the holiday season, and requires accurate forecasting of demand for products during the holiday season in order to avoid losing potential sales of popular products or producing excess inventory of products that are less popular with consumers. Our failure to accurately predict and respond to consumer demand, resulting in our underproducing popular items and/or overproducing less popular items, would reduce our total sales and harm our results of operations. In addition, as a result of the seasonal nature of our business, we would be significantly and adversely affected, in a manner disproportionate to the impact on a company with sales spread more evenly throughout the year, by unforeseen events, such as a terrorist attack or military engagement, that harm the retail environment or consumer buying patterns during our key selling season, or by events that interfere with the shipment of goods, particularly from the Far East, during the months leading up to the holiday purchasing season.