Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Sunday, January 21st. They currently have $94.00 price objective on the restaurant operator’s stock.
According to Zacks, “Yum! Brands’ strategic transformation plan to drive growth, efforts to boost the domestic business coupled with various digital initiatives undertaken, bode well. In fact, the company has performed quite well in the domestic and many key international markets. Following China business spin-off, Yum! Brands’ endeavors to drive growth by employing greater focus on the development of its three iconic global brands, increasing its franchise ownership, and creating a leaner and more efficient cost structure. Shares of Yum! Brands outpaced the industry over the last year. The company also saw positive revisions in 2018 earnings over the last 60 days. Increased focus on bold restaurant development is likely to drive growth going forward. Yet, macroeconomic concerns and negative currency translation raise concern.”
Several other equities research analysts have also issued reports on YUM. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a buy rating and issued a $80.00 price target on shares of Yum! Brands in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Stifel Nicolaus started coverage on shares of Yum! Brands in a report on Monday, October 2nd. They issued a buy rating and a $88.00 price target on the stock. Robert W. Baird reissued a hold rating and issued a $78.00 price target on shares of Yum! Brands in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Barclays boosted their price target on shares of Yum! Brands from $74.00 to $78.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Finally, Oppenheimer reissued a buy rating and issued a $85.00 price target on shares of Yum! Brands in a report on Monday, October 30th. Fourteen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $82.26.
Shares of Yum! Brands (YUM) traded up $0.11 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $77.88. 3,108,012 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,120,565. Yum! Brands has a fifty-two week low of $62.85 and a fifty-two week high of $86.93. The company has a market capitalization of $26,309.10, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.55, a P/E/G ratio of 1.86 and a beta of 0.93. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -1.49, a current ratio of 1.66 and a quick ratio of 1.65.
Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 8th. The restaurant operator reported $0.96 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.16. Yum! Brands had a net margin of 22.80% and a negative return on equity of 17.27%. The business had revenue of $1.58 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.59 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.79 earnings per share. Yum! Brands’s revenue was down 16.4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts anticipate that Yum! Brands will post 3.3 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 9th. Investors of record on Wednesday, February 14th will be given a dividend of $0.36 per share. This is an increase from Yum! Brands’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.30. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, February 13th. This represents a $1.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.85%. Yum! Brands’s dividend payout ratio is 31.66%.
Yum! Brands declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Friday, November 17th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.50 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, CEO Brian R. Niccol sold 1,104 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.37, for a total transaction of $90,936.48. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 5,509 shares in the company, valued at approximately $453,776.33. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Brian R. Niccol sold 927 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.46, for a total transaction of $77,367.42. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 5,270 shares of company stock worth $438,570. 0.65% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Raymond James & Associates raised its holdings in Yum! Brands by 2.5% during the 4th quarter. Raymond James & Associates now owns 200,304 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $16,347,000 after purchasing an additional 4,939 shares during the last quarter. Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky raised its holdings in Yum! Brands by 17.2% during the 4th quarter. Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky now owns 230,750 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $18,832,000 after purchasing an additional 33,800 shares during the last quarter. HBK Investments L P bought a new stake in Yum! Brands during the 4th quarter worth about $504,000. Two Sigma Investments LP raised its holdings in Yum! Brands by 12.2% during the 4th quarter. Two Sigma Investments LP now owns 1,493,059 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $121,849,000 after purchasing an additional 161,857 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Two Sigma Advisers LP raised its holdings in Yum! Brands by 1.8% during the 4th quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP now owns 1,998,081 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $163,063,000 after purchasing an additional 34,500 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.23% of the company’s stock.
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Yum! Brands Company Profile
YUM! Brands, Inc is engaged in restaurant business. As of December 31, 2016, the Company operated or franchised over 43,500 restaurants in more than 135 countries and territories operating under the KFC, Pizza Hut or Taco Bell (collectively the Concepts) brands. The Company operates through three segments: The KFC Division, which includes the operations of the KFC concept around the world; The Pizza Hut Division, which includes the operations of the Pizza Hut concept around the world, and The Taco Bell Division, which includes the operations of the Taco Bell concept around the world.
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