BEIJING, March 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Yongye International, Inc. (NASDAQ: YONG), a leading agricultural nutrient company in China ("Yongye" or the "Company"), today responded to a recent post on the Seeking Alpha website. Although the author of the Seeking Alpha post (the "Author") claims to have no position in Yongye's stock, his attacks on the Company are typical of commentators who either have a short position or are working with those who do. Thus, he relies on innuendo and loaded questions rather than any factual basis for his false and defamatory attacks. At the very least, the Author drew conclusions based on an inadequate knowledge and misunderstanding of the Company. Because we do not want his misunderstandings to confuse our investors and others who follow the Company, we provide the following factual clarifications of the matters raised, and confused, by the Author.
Sales in Hebei Province
The Author says that his experience tells him that the Company's sales figures must be false because sales from Hebei province for a particular quarter fluctuated over the last few years. Our sales figures are, in fact, accurate. The fluctuations that we experienced resulted from variable buying habits exhibited by our previous distributor in that province (whose customer list and related customer relationship we recently acquired). Our distributors' buying habits are their business. The bottom line is that we enjoyed strong sales in Hebei during the past several years and, other than his guess work, the Author has no basis to say otherwise.
Once again making allegation by innuendo, the Author suggests that our sales figures must be lies because our sales force is not large enough to support our sales figures. The allegation bespeaks a misunderstanding of the Company and its business. The primary job of the Company's sales force is managing 25 provincial level and Hebei sub-provincial level distributors and helping them with training over 700 county level distributors who manage relationships with over 24,000 independently-owned, Yongye-branded retail stores. Yongye branded stores were existing agriculture stores in local villages. As such, no stores needed to be "opened." These are existing stores recruited to join the Company's distribution network. In addition to selling Yongye's products, these stores also carry other agriculture products such as seeds, pesticides, and fertilizers. The store recruiting work is primarily driven by thousands of staff from the Company's various levels of distributors.
The Author says that we must be lying about our production because we claim to have increased production at a time when we decreased the number of manufacturing personnel. Once again, the Author has only innuendo and no facts to support his defamatory charges. Yongye's manufacturing is not labor intensive. In addition, we rely increasingly on contract workers, which gives us economic flexibility and allows us to manage labor costs. We think that is a good thing.
Names of Distributors
Employing one of the favorite tactics of the short sellers, or those who conspire with them, the Author notes that we do not name our distributors and then suggests that the fact that we seem to be hiding something evidences our bad faith and "might" indicate that there is "a chance" that our distributors are related parties. Our decision not to publicize those names is for competitive reasons, and there is nothing wrong with it. We provide those names to our auditors to be used for their audit procedures on the financial statements. Once again, the facts, not the Author's clever innuendo, are important.
Previous Hebei Distributor
The Author says that as a result of a transaction with our largest distributor then, that distributor came to own more than 5% of our stock and should have, but did not, make the proper SEC filing, implying that the distributor was owned by a related party. Our Hebei distributor was not owned by a related party. Also, it is the responsibility of the greater-than-5% owner to make the filing. The Company discloses all of its distributors to its auditors, on a quarterly basis as part of the Company's audit and review procedures. This is a basic audit area covered by our auditors, who has signed off the financial statements. All related party transactions are properly disclosed in the Company's SEC filings and there was no significant related party transaction in 2010.
The Yongye Group
Finally, the Author presents, in very confusing fashion, the various companies in the Yongye Group and suggests from the existence of multiple companies that there must be some sort of conflict of interest. The fact is that the Mr. Zishen Wu, the Company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer owns other companies. That is not a secret. The website "www.china-yongye.com" is the website of Yongye Group, listing all the businesses and management teams of all the Yongye Group businesses. Yongye International's business is focused on Shengmingsu products and has no conflict with the other businesses under the Yongye Group name. Yongye International has a separate management team. Mr. Wu spends almost 100% of his time on Yongye International.
We hope that these facts will address any fears or concerns that are raised by the Seeking Alpha Author's innuendo and loaded questions. We encourage anyone who has real questions about our businessto contact us.
About Yongye International
Yongye International is a leading agricultural nutrient company headquartered in Beijing, with its production facilities located in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China. Yongye produces and markets two lines of organic nutrient products: a liquid nutrient product which is sprayed on plants and a powder nutrient product which is added to animal feed. Both products are sold under the brand name "Shengmingsu," which means "life essential" in Chinese. The Company's patented technologies and formulas allow it to create products that increase crop yields and improve the health of livestock. The Company sells its products primarily to provincial or regional level distributors, who then channel those products to a carefully selected network of over 24,000 independently owned, Yongye branded stores or directly to rural farmers and government farms in China. For more information, please visit the Company's website at http://www.yongyeintl.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains certain statements that may include "forward-looking statements." All statements other than statements of historical fact included herein are "forward-looking statements." These forward-looking statements are often identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "believes," "expects" or similar expressions, involving known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, they do involve assumptions, risks and uncertainties, and these expectations may prove to be incorrect. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of a variety of factors, including the risk factors discussed in the Company's periodic reports that are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available on the SEC's website (http://www.sec.gov). All forward-looking statements attributable to the Company or persons acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by these risk factors. Other than as required under the securities laws, the Company does not assume a duty to update these forward-looking statements.