Dec 29 2011 10:21 AM
Companies that make tangible products - such as food, machinery, automotive, steel etc - store raw materials needed to make these products. These raw materials are generally referred to as inventories.
For example a company that makes pizza will have vegetables, cheese, oil etc as inventory. A company that makes computers will have monitors, hard drives etc as inventories.
() are generally used to denote negative numbers. Could you please point out where you saw those, so I can make sure its the right interpretation.