China Data Signals Slowing Economy – Commodities Update – Oil, Iron Ore, Gold, Nickel, Copper

Copper lead most industrial metals lower after factory and retail-sales data signaled further slowing in China, the world’s biggest user.

Copper in London fell as much as 1 percent, while aluminum, nickel, lead and tin also declined. Industrial-output growth in China was the weakest in August since the global financial crisis, while investment and retail sales moderated, figures released Sept. 13 showed. Factory data due today from the U.S., the second-biggest metals user, will probably indicate activity in August slowed from the previous month, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

“The Chinese data over the weekend came in worse than expected,” Daniel Hynes, an analyst at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., said by phone from Sydney. “It’s not surprising the base metals are weaker on the back of it.”

Copper for delivery in three months on the LME fell to as low as $6,770.75 a metric ton, the lowest intraday level since Sept. 11. Prices were down 0.5 percent at $6,804 a ton by 3:16 p.m. Hong Kong time, poised for the lowest close since June 19.

In New York, the December-delivery contract dropped 1 percent to $3.077 a pound, while in Shanghai the metal for delivery in November fell 0.4 percent to close at 48,380 yuan ($7,877) a ton.

Industrial output in China rose 6.9 percent from a year earlier in August, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Sept. 13. That’s down from 9 percent in July and the slowest pace outside the Lunar New Year holiday period of January and February since December 2008, based on previously reported figures compiled by Bloomberg.

On the LME, lead fell 0.6 percent to $2,110 a ton, while aluminum declined 0.4 percent to $2,020.50 a ton.

Vale’s View

Iron ore may rise to as much as $100 a ton by the end of the year because of declining inventory at ports, Vale Chief Executive Officer Murilo Ferreira told reporters on Sept. 12 in Beijing. Some producers are reducing exports given current prices, Ferreira said. China is the world’s largest buyer.

In China, there’s mounting evidence locally-mined supplies are starting to drop, Morgan Stanley’s Crane wrote. Output, when adjusted to show the equivalent of 62 percent content, fell 13 percent between April and July year-on-year, he said.

“Market participants appear split on the floor price,” Australia & New Banking Group Ltd. analysts including Mark Pervan wrote in a report today. While some are “thinking the resilience of Chinese iron ore supply will see prices fall below $80 a ton, while others firmly believe domestic output can’t sustain current price levels for much longer.”

Expanding Glut

Iron ore prices are unlikely to recover as the global surplus expands, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a Sept. 10 report. The bank reduced its price forecast for the final three months of 2014 by 10 percent to $90, and also reduced full-year estimates for 2016 and 2017.

The structural nature of the surplus and a weak demand outlook in China make a recovery in prices unlikely, Goldman analysts Christian Lelong and Amber Cai wrote in the report. The global glut will more than triple to 163 million tons in 2015 from 52 million tons this year, and widen further to 245 million tons in 2016 and 295 million tons in 2017, it said

Oil Supply

Brent fell to $96.27 a barrel after settling at its lowest level since June 2012 amid concern global fuel consumption is slowing while output climbs. West Texas Intermediate crude sank 1 percent to $91.34 today, after slipping 0.6 percent Sept. 12. The International Energy Agency cut its global oil-demand forecast for 2015 last week.

Russia’s ruble slid as much as 0.5 percent to 37.0380 per dollar, a record low, before trading at 37.985. The euro bought 49.2745 rubles, the most since Sept. 1. The Micex Index climbed 0.2 percent in Moscow.

Copper for three-month delivery on the London Metal Exchange fell to $6,802.75 a metric ton, following last week’s 2 percent retreat. Lead dropped 0.6 percent to $2,108 a ton.

Gold for immediate delivery increased 0.4 percent to $1,234.98 an ounce after closing last week at $1,229.65, the lowest since Jan. 9.

Palladium climbed 1.3 percent to $848.50 an ounce.


2014-08-13 Reuters Gold Poll

Reuters quarterly interviews analysts to gather their gold price prediction. We have collected the forecasts made in 2014 and conclude that the sentiment has stabilized but the expectations for 2015 remain low.

THOMSON REUTERS 2014 Avg Gold Price Prediction 2015 Avg Gold Price Prediction No of Analysts interviewed
Q1 Poll Jan 2014 $1,235 37
Q2 Poll Apr 2014 $1,278 $1,250 28
Q3 Poll July 2014 $1,277 $,1250 31

 Nickel Falls a Fifth Session Amid China Slowdown Signals

Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) — Nickel and aluminum fell for a fifth session in London as industrial metals declined after factory and retail-sales data added to evidence of a slowing economy in China, the world’s biggest consumer. Copper slid.

Chinese industrial-output growth in August was the weakest since the global financial crisis, while investment and retail sales moderated, figures showed. Factory data due today from the U.S., the second-biggest metals user, will probably indicate activity in August slowed from the previous month, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

“Weak Chinese data weighed on base-complex prices,” RBC Capital Markets Ltd. said in a note today. Commodities slumped to the lowest level in more than five years.

Copper for delivery in December lost 0.8 percent to $3.081 a pound by 8 a.m. on the Comex in New York.

The metal for delivery in three months fell 0.4 percent to $6,808 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and lead touched the lowest price since June. An index of the six main metals traded on the LME slid the most since March last week.

Industrial output in China rose 6.9 percent from a year earlier in August, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Sept. 13. That’s down from 9 percent in July and the slowest pace outside the January-February Lunar New Year holiday period since December 2008, based on previously reported figures compiled by Bloomberg.

“Prices may well weaken further,” William Adams, an analyst at Fastmarkets.com in London, said in a note today. “We saw last week a combination of weakness and bouts of scale-down buying, and we feel we may see more of the same this week, especially in those metals that have seen strong price gains in recent months.”

Copper stockpiles monitored by the LME fell 0.1 percent to 156,375 tons, daily data showed. Orders to take the metal from warehouses rose to 40,250 tons on bookings in New Orleans and are up 40 percent in three sessions, the most since April 2013.

Tin and zinc declined in London.

China’s Cooling Economy Hits Shipping Sector / Copper

The growth  numbers are astounding – for the United states – but for china are said to be a ” cooling’. The result will be a decrease in imports of the goods that need ships to carry iron ore , coal and copper.

The BDI = Baltic Trade index fell  March 2014
Baltic Dry Index (BDI)    -127   1453 Rates

BCI

(Cape index)

BPI

(Panamax index)

BSI

(Supramax index)
INDEX

2600

-445

1102

-2

1159

+10

SPOT 4 TCE AVG (USD)

20472

-4602

8872

-13

12118

+104

YESTERDAY (USD)

25074

8885

12014

YEAR AGO (USD)

4989

9105 9440

 

Spot 4 TC Average = The Average Value of the Four Main Shipping Routes applicable for each of the 3 types of Ships BDI=The Weighted Composite Index of BCI/BPI/BHMI

Wednesday – and that took down recent gains that had stretched back more than a week.

Here is Bloomberg’s story

China Data Show Economy Cooling

By Bloomberg News Mar 13, 2014 12:36 AM PT

Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Customers browse clothing inside a store in Wuhan, China.

Customers browse clothing inside a store in Wuhan, China. Close

Close
Open

Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/BloombergCustomers browse clothing inside a store in Wuhan, China.

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China’s industrial-output, investment and retail-sales growth cooled more than estimated in January and February, signaling an economic slowdown that makes the government’s 2014 expansion target harder to reach.

Factory production rose 8.6 percent in the two-month period from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said today in Beijing, the weakest start to a year since 2009. Retail sales advanced 11.8 percent, the slowest pace for the period since 2004, while the 17.9 percent increase in fixed-asset investment was a 13-year low for the months.

Hong Kong stocks fell and copper extended declines following the data, which came two hours after Premier Li Keqiang indicated he was confident the nation would meet what he said was a flexible growth target of “about” 7.5 percent. The slowdown may test the Communist Party’s commitment to give market forces a bigger role in the world’s second-largest economy while confronting overcapacity, debt and pollution.

“This is a very fast deceleration,” said Yao Wei, China economist at Societe Generale SA in Hong Kong, ranked as the most accurate forecaster of China’s gross domestic product by Bloomberg. “This is really beyond the tolerance of the Chinese government. As a result, I think they will cut the required reserve ratio quite soon or do some easing.”

Such a reduction could happen “within a few days” if the government wants to achieve 7.5 percent expansion, Yao said.

Stock Markets

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (SHCOMP) fell 0.7 percent at 3:16 p.m. local time after rising as much as 0.6 percent earlier in the day. The Shanghai Composite Index, which pared gains after the reports, closed 1.1 percent higher.

China combines data for industrial output, retail sales and fixed-asset investment for January and February, citing distortions from the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday, whose timing differs each year.

Factory-production growth compared with the 9.5 percent median projection of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News and a 9.7 percent advance in December. Retail sales were projected to rise 13.5 percent. They increased 13.6 percent in December.

The median estimate for fixed-asset investment growth was 19.4 percent, after a 2013 full-year pace of 19.6 percent and 21.2 percent in the first two months of last year.

‘Dramatic Slowdown’

“The fairly dramatic slowdown is unusual in Chinese economic history of the last decade” and today’s figures are “shockingly weak,” Dariusz Kowalczyk, senior economist and strategist at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong, said in a note. “It points to a major deceleration of momentum in the beginning of 2014.”

Previously released data for February showed exports unexpectedly plunged by the most since the global financial crisis, producer-price deflation deepened and credit growth trailed estimates.

Data today from the statistics bureau also showed that the value of homes sold fell 5 percent from the same two months a year earlier. That compared with an almost doubling in sales in the first two months of 2013.

China Lodging Group Ltd. (HTHT), a Shanghai-based hotel-chain operator, said its occupancy rate dropped to 90 percent in the fourth quarter from 92.1 percent a year earlier, mainly due to a “soft and still recovering” economy, according to a March 11 statement.

Flexible Target

“Since we say the GDP growth target is about 7.5 percent, ‘about’ means it has a certain degree of flexibility,” Li said at a press briefing in Beijing today after the end of the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress, referring to gross domestic product. “A bit higher or a bit lower, we have a level of tolerance here.”

The government cares more about jobs and ensuring people’s livelihoods rather than the pace of growth, Li said.

Credit Agricole’s Kowalczyk said Li’s highlighting of the “soft nature” of the target “will give him some flexibility to absorb the current slowdown without automatically reaching for stimulus measures as he would have in the past.”

China was able to realize last year’s economic targets without using short-term stimulus measures, Li said today. “Why will we be unable to do so this year?” he asked.

Li said earlier this month that pollution is a major concern, pledging to “declare war” on smog and close coal-fired furnaces. The country will reduce emissions and impose a ceiling on energy consumption, Li said in his work report to the NPC.

Weaker Yuan

The yuan has weakened about 1.4 percent against the dollar this year, while the benchmark money-market rate this week touched the lowest level since March 2013. Yuan trading in Hong Kong’s offshore market trimmed gains to 0.07 percent following today’s data, after rising as much as 0.23 percent earlier.

China’s seven-day repurchase rate rose today, halting a five-day decline, after the central bank stepped up draining of excess cash from the financial system. The rate climbed 28.5 basis points to 2.51 percent as of 2:49 p.m. local time.

“Premier Li will have to allow further policy easing,” said Liu Li-Gang, head of Greater China economics at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Hong Kong, estimating the data suggest growth about 7 percent. “It is perhaps the time” for the central bank to contemplate cutting interest rates or banks’ reserve requirements, since it’s unclear if China can sustain easier conditions in money markets and a weakening of the exchange rate, Liu said

 

 

AMP Portfolio Overview : Higher Stock Prices Are Set In Place

The Apprentice Millionaire Portfolio ( available from amazon.com) sets three criteria in selecting investments :

In order

1) forecast for the economy THEN

2) select the sectors to benefit from that forecast And Finally

3) in your own and the Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts, select the stocks that will do best in the selected sectors.

So, first ascertain :

Where are the most important economies ( U.S. and China ) headed in the next 12 to 36 months ?

China’s economy showed fresh signs of resilience in August, with key trade data pointing to a sustained strengthening in global demand for goods from the country.

Exports continued to gather steam, rising 7.2% in August from a year earlier, according to data released Sunday by the General Administration of Customs. This was up from a 5.1% rise in July and a contraction of 3.1% in June. Imports rose 7.0% from a year earlier in August, down from 10.9% in July.

The overall picture was of a Chinese economy benefiting from progressive strengthening of demand in the U.S. and other key export markets. China is also continuing to stock up on raw materials for its industrial sector. “China’s back,” said Stephen Green of Standard Chartered Bank. “It won’t be a strong recovery but it’s increasingly clear we’ve bottomed.”

AND the reason is U.S. growth leading to increased demand for products from China.

One sector that benefits is shipping because that increase will be moved by ships.


AFP/Getty ImagesEnlarge Image

China’s trade surplus strengthens in August on strong exports driven by U.S. demand.

August’s trade numbers are the latest in a series of positive data releases, after overseas sales and factory output in July showed signs of improvement.

There are still some questions surrounding the sustainability of the current upswing.

Rising wages and a stronger currency dent the competitiveness of China’s exports. Beijing’s recent moves to slow lending growth — after years of credit-fueled economic expansion — could curtail investment and imports.

Still, two months of stronger data has increased optimism that the government will be able to hit its full-year target for gross domestic product growth, which stands at 7.5%. It also reduces the chances that leaders will introduce a major new stimulus policy.

Economists have responded to the signs of strengthening by edging up their growth forecasts. J.P. Morgan now expects 7.6% year-on-year growth in the third quarter, up

their growth forecasts. J.P. Morgan now expects 7.6% year-on-year growth in the third quarter, up from a previous forecast of 7.4%, which points to an acceleration from 7.5% growth in the second quarter.

China’s trade surplus widened, with the difference between exports and imports growing to $28.5 billion in August, up from $17.8 billion in July, marking its highest level since January.

Build Your Portfolio On A Solid Foundation : All You Need To Succeed – in 500 pages of Investing Strategy and Selections


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Stock Market Magic:

Building Your Apprentice

Millionaire Portfolio

 All you need to succeed in today’s stock market [Paperback]

Jack A. Bass (Author)

5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews) | Like 1678

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All You Need To Succeed – in 500 pages of Investing Strategy and Selections


Stock Market Magic: Building Your Apprentice Millionaire Portfolio 2012: All you need to succeed in today's stock market

Available at http://www.amazon.com

Stock Market Magic:

Building Your Apprentice

Millionaire Portfolio

 

 All you need to succeed in today’s stock market [Paperback]

Jack A. Bass (Author)

5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews) | Like 1678

Price: $28.95 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping

All You Need To Succeed – in 500 pages of Investing Strategy and Selections


Stock Market Magic: Building Your Apprentice Millionaire Portfolio 2012: All you need to succeed in today's stock market

Available at http://www.amazon.com

Stock Market Magic: Building Your Apprentice Millionaire Portfolio 2012: All you need to succeed in today’s stock market [Paperback]

Jack A. Bass (Author)

5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews) | Like 1678

Price: $28.95 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping

Macau Is Hot For These Entertainment Stocks

Official Logo of Galaxy Macau

Official Logo of Galaxy Macau (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By George Leong, B.Comm. for Profit Confidential

Gambling is akin to trading, but with much more risk of failure. Everyone knows Las Vegas as the gambling capital of the United States, but Macau is hot and growing. Macau is designated a special administrative region of China, which means the area has the backing of the Chinese government for the purpose of casino development.

Attracted by abundant wealth and the appetite for risk and money in China and Asia, there has been a rapid move by the major casinos to establish and expand their presence on the island of Macau, China, which is the world’s largest gambling market, known in the gambling world as the “Monte Carlo of the Orient.”

I have visited this former Portuguese colony, which is located some 38 miles from Hong Kong, and there is an obvious push to build more high-end casinos, especially those integrated with hotel, retail, and casino operations. The market is primarily the China and Asia tourist market.

Much of the newer major development is along the Cotai strip in Macau, which will add to the original gambling establishments in the city.

The Cotai strip area is bustling with people armed with money to spend, and if the expansion plans are on target, it will inevitably make Vegas seem sedate in comparison.

In March, gross revenues in the Macau casino sector came in around $3.9 billion, up 25.4% year-over-year. (Source: Garlitos, K., “SLM Holdings Continue to Hold Top Revenue Spot in Macau,” CalvinAyre.com, April 3, 2013, last accessed May 9, 2013.)

The prospects for Macau, China are enormous; I’m betting on that, and so are some of the world’s largest casino operators.

Two of the major players expanding their presence in Macau are Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE/LVS) and China-based Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited (OTC/GXYEY).

In the first quarter, Las Vegas Sands attributed its strong growth in part to its expansion in Macau, where the company’s four Cotai strip properties attracted a record 14 million visitors. The company is a major player on the Cotai strip, which is attracting even more major players. The company’s subsidiary Sands China Ltd. reported a 39.3% year-over-year jump in net revenues to $2.0 billion in the first quarter, while earnings surged 63.3% year-over-year.

Speculating On Gambling    

But the company that I feel has excellent prospects is Galaxy Entertainment because of the fact that it’s an Asian-based company. The company is on an aggressive expansion path. Currently, it has two core properties—Galaxy Macau and StarWorld Hotel and Casino.

Galaxy Entertainment’s expansion plans are aggressive. The current development includes doubling the size of Galaxy Macau by the middle of 2015, and there are plans to launch Phase 3 and 4 at Galaxy Macau, to be completed between 2016 and 2018.

Two smaller casino players in the Macau China casino scene are Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ/WYNN) and MGM Resorts International (NYSE/MGM).

 

Apple : Manufacturing Slows ?

English: The logo for Apple Computer, now Appl...

English: The logo for Apple Computer, now Apple Inc.. The design of the logo started in 1977 designed by Rob Janoff with the rainbow color theme used until 1999 when Apple stopped using the rainbow color theme and used a few different color themes for the same design. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

AAPL : NASDAQ  $448

Foxconn, the largest electronics manufacturer in the world, has implemented a recruitment freeze.

The suspension in hiring for China‟s largest private sector employer is the first such move since the 2009 downturn, and some believe it highlights weakening demand for some Apple products. “Currently, none of the plants in mainland China have hiring plans,” said Liu Kun, a company spokesman. Hiring has reportedly stopped for the iPhone and iPad production lines at the company‟s largest and second largest plants.

The move comes on the back of a Nomura research report that said, “In January, Apple supply chain-related names generally delivered a slowing sales momentum due to the sluggish shipments of MacBook, iPhone 5 and iPad during the holiday season.” Apple did not comment on the changes at Foxconn, but CEO Tim Cook said last week, “We don‟t have the word „limit‟ in the Apple vocabulary…I see a [smartphone] market that‟s
incredible to be in. Maybe one of the best markets of all time.”

However, an external recruiter in China said that Foxconn‟s demand for worker this year was as low as that in 2009. Workers‟ tenure at the company is less than 13 months on average, according to a person close to the company. The Financial Times said this suggests that headcount at Foxconn could fall by tens of thousands if it stopped hiring for a month and its turnover of workers remained as high as last year.

The Need To Succeed – in 500 pages of Investing Strategy and Selections


Stock Market Magic: Building Your Apprentice Millionaire Portfolio 2012: All you need to succeed in today's stock market

Available at http://www.amazon.com

Stock Market Magic: Building Your

Apprentice Millionaire Portfolio :

All you need to succeed in today’s stock

market [Paperback]

Jack A. Bass (Author)

5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews) | Like 1678

Price: $28.95 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping

YUM Reports

English: kfc of china

English: kfc of china (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

UPDATE: Yum! Brands’ fourth-quarter earnings release is out.

the company reported adjusted earnings of $0.83 per share in Q4, slightly ahead of expectations of $0.82.

Revenues came in at $4.15 billion, also just above estimates of $4.12 billion.

The company said same-store sales in China were down 6 percent in the quarter, partly due to a probe into KFC by the Shanghai FDA.

The company also said it doesn’t see itself achieving earnings growth in 2013.

Below are highlights from the press release:

  • China Division KFC same-store sales turned sharply negative during the last two weeks of December as a result of adverse publicity from the poultry supply situation.
  • Worldwide system sales were flat, prior to foreign currency translation.
    • Worldwide system sales growth was 5%, excluding the 2011 divestiture of LJS and A&W, the 53rd week impact and the acquisition of Little Sheep, including 7% in China, 7% at YRI and 3% in the U.S.
  • Same-store sales grew 3% at YRI and 3% in the U.S. Same-store sales declined 6% in China.
  • Worldwide restaurant margin increased 0.1 percentage point to 14.4%.
  • Worldwide operating profit grew 6%, prior to foreign currency translation. Operating profit grew 10% at YRI, declined 5% in China and declined 5% in the U.S.
    • Excluding the 53rd-week impact, worldwide operating profit grew 11%, including 15% at YRI and 5% in the U.S.

Below are sections on the China situation, the 2013 outlook, and comments from the CEO:

CHINA UPDATE

KFC sales in the last two weeks of the fourth quarter were significantly impacted by the intense media attention surrounding an investigation by the Shanghai FDA (SFDA) into poultry supply management at Yum! China. The investigation was prompted by a report broadcast on China’s national television (CCTV), which aired on December 18, 2012. The report showed that a few poultry farmers were ignoring laws and regulations by using excessive levels of antibiotics in chicken. Regrettably, some of this product was purchased by two poultry suppliers of KFC China. The investigation caused further media attention, including social media commentary, and this negatively affected consumer perceptions of poultry safety, and KFC in particular.

On January 25, 2013, the SFDA concluded its investigation and released its recommendations. We appreciate their thorough and diligent review. The SFDA identified issues and provided “Supervisory Recommendations” to Yum! China to strengthen our poultry supply chain practices including refined voluntary self testing procedures, improved reporting and communications and enhanced supplier management. Ourteam in China has taken a comprehensive review of our current system and is in the process of incorporating all of the SFDA’s recommendations. We have always recognized the importance of building a world-class supply chain in China, which is why we have implemented a wide range of quality assurance and testing practices over the years above legal and regulatory standards. The SFDA’s recommendations will further strengthen those practices. The SFDA did not bring a case against Yum! China and no fine was assessed.

The past seven weeks of media attention have been intense and negative towards the KFC brand image. Even though this is a very disappointing setback, we are more committed than ever to continue to strengthen our efforts, restore the confidence of our customers and win back their brand loyalty. To that end, the China team will soon be launching a brand reputation quality campaign to re-assure consumers of our high quality food, along with aggressive marketing plans.

2013 OUTLOOK

We are confident the YRI and U.S. businesses will deliver annual operating profit growth consistent with our ongoing growth model. Given current uncertainties related to KFC sales in China, it is difficult to confidently forecast our overall financial performance. We have made the assumption that KFC China same-store sales will improve as the year progresses and will be positive in the fourth quarter. With these assumptions, we estimate a mid-single digit EPS decline in 2013 versus prior year, excluding Special Items. This includes an expectation for a significant decline in EPS performance in the first half of the year followed by EPS growth in the second half.

The first quarter for our China business includes only the months of January and February and is highly impacted by consumer spending during the Chinese New Year holiday. The timing of this holiday changes each year. This year it is important to note that while the timing impact of Chinese New Year is neutral to our first quarter, there is a significant negative impact to January sales and a corresponding significant benefit to February sales due to the timing of this week-long holiday. We expect that the underlying performance of our China business will remain relatively unchanged for the balance of the first quarter, with a same-store sales decline of approximately 25% for January and February combined (China’s first quarter).

DAVID NOVAK COMMENTS

David C. Novak, Chairman and CEO, said, “We delivered full-year 2012 EPS growth of 13% or $3.25 per share, excluding Special Items. This marks the 11th consecutive year we delivered at least 13% growth, which puts us in an elite group of high-growth companies. We also take satisfaction with our record level of international development in 2012 which lays the foundation for future growth and makes Yum! a leader in emerging market development. With new-unit development at the core of our growth model and the continued rapid expansion of the consuming class overseas, we believe our opportunity for long-term growth has never been better.

“We are obviously proud of our track record of achieving double-digit EPS growth, and I am as confident as ever we can deliver this performance over the long term. However, as a result of adverse publicity from the poultry supply situation in mid-December, China KFC sales experienced a sharp decline. Due to continued negative same-store sales and our assumption that it will take time to recover consumer confidence, we no longer expect to achieve EPS growth in 2013.

“Although we cannot predict how long it will take to restore sales, we are steadfast in our belief that the power and popularity of the KFC brand in China will ultimately drive a full sales recovery. Having weathered other storms in the past, we know that our brands are resilient. As a result, we will stay the course with our target to develop at least 700 new units in 2013 in China to lay the foundation for future growth, and will not let this event detract from our unparalleled China growth opportunity.

“Our growth strategies are unchanged, in China, Yum! Restaurants International, India and the U.S. With our category-leading brands and outstanding people capability, I’m confident we will bounce back strongly and restore our track record of double-digit EPS growth in the years ahead.”

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