This excerpt taken from the MRVL 10-Q filed Jun 8, 2006.
Because we do not have significant long-term commitments from our customers, we must estimate customer demand, and errors in our estimates can have negative effects on our inventory levels, sales and operating results.
Our sales are typically made on the basis of individual purchase orders rather than long-term purchase commitments. In addition, our customers may cancel or defer purchase orders. We have historically placed firm orders for products with our suppliers up to sixteen weeks prior to the anticipated delivery date and typically prior to receiving an order for the product. Therefore, our order volumes are based on our forecasts of demand from our customers. This process requires us to make multiple demand forecast assumptions, each of which may introduce error into our estimates. If we overestimate customer demand, we may allocate resources to manufacturing products that we may not be able to sell when we expect or at all. As a result, we would have excess inventory, which would harm our financial results. Conversely, if we underestimate customer demand or if insufficient manufacturing capacity is available, we would forego revenue opportunities, lose market share and damage our customer relationships. On occasion, we have been unable to adequately respond to unexpected increases in customer purchase orders, and therefore, were unable to benefit from this increased demand.
Our future success depends in significant part on strategic relationships with customers. If we cannot maintain these relationships or if these customers develop their own solutions or adopt a competitors solutions instead of buying our products, our operating results would be adversely affected.
In the past, we have relied in significant part on our strategic relationships with customers that are technology leaders in our target markets. We intend to pursue and continue to form these strategic relationships in the future but we cannot assure you that we will be able to do so. These relationships often require us to develop new products that may involve significant technological challenges. Our customers frequently place considerable pressure on us to meet their tight development schedules. Accordingly, we may have to devote a substantial amount of our limited resources to our strategic relationships, which could detract from or delay our completion of other important development projects. Delays in the development could impair our relationships with our strategic customers and negatively impact sales of the products under development. Moreover, it is possible that our customers may develop their own solutions or adopt a competitors solution for products that they currently buy from us. If that happens, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially harmed.