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Zhongpin's Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: HOGS

Our debt to total capital at June 30 was 50.5%. Our net debt to total capital was 42.7%, subtracting cash and cash equivalents from both total debt and total capital. Interest coverage for the second quarter 2012 was 3 times on net interest expense, and interest coverage for the six months of 2012 was 2.9 times on net interest expense.

We are nearly at the limit of our debt leverage and interest coverage, so we have a little financial flexibility remaining should we need it. It’s important to understand that we intentionally adapt that to be sure that we can finance the Company’s expansion in the next 12 months, even if the credit markets tighten. So our financial flexibility is in tact.

Next is an update on our stock repurchase program. In the third quarter of 2011, the Board of Directors increased the authorized amount of our stock repurchase program to $40 million under the repurchase program through March 31, 2012. Zhongpin has purchased a total of 3.2 million of its shares in the open market for $36.2 million, including sales commissions. After Chairman Zhu issued this Non-binding Going Private Proposal on March 27, 2012 the Company’s Board of Directors suspended the repurchase program. So there were no shares repurchased in the second quarter of 2012.

Next is our guidance for the year 2012. We are maintaining our previous guidance. Our guidance for 2012 is based on several assumptions that include Continuation of China's policies designed to stimulate domestic consumption and economic growth. Average hog prices in China are expected to decrease about 15% to 20% in 2012 from 2011, based on the assumed forecasted trend for the supply of live hogs and the increasing cost to raise hogs.

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