Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Tuesday. The firm currently has a $84.00 target price on the restaurant operator’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 12.01% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Yum! Brands’ second-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings per share of $0.68 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 11.5% and rose 21% year over year (y/y). Total revenue of $1.45 billion fell 4% year over year but topped the consensus mark by nearly 3%. Notably, 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, more efficient cost structure, bodes well. In fact, its shares have outpaced the industry ever since the separation. Increased focus on bold restaurant development should also drive growth. Yet, continual underperformance of Pizza Hut U.S. division, macroeconomic concerns and negative currency translation raise concern.”

Other research analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Cowen and Company reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $75.00 price objective on shares of Yum! Brands in a report on Tuesday, April 25th. BMO Capital Markets assumed coverage on Yum! Brands in a report on Friday, April 21st. They set a “market perform” rating and a $66.00 price objective on the stock. Citigroup Inc. increased their price objective on Yum! Brands from $67.00 to $71.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 11th. Instinet reissued a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 price objective on shares of Yum! Brands in a report on Sunday, May 28th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “buy” rating and set a $75.00 price objective on shares of Yum! Brands in a report on Thursday, June 15th. Fourteen investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, thirteen have issued a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $78.64.

Yum! Brands (NYSE YUM) traded down 0.87% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $74.34. The company had a trading volume of 768,717 shares. Yum! Brands has a 12 month low of $59.57 and a 12 month high of $91.99. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $74.01 and a 200-day moving average of $68.62. The company has a market capitalization of $25.89 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.72 and a beta of 0.82.

Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The restaurant operator reported $0.68 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.61 by $0.07. Yum! Brands had a negative return on equity of 24.95% and a net margin of 16.76%. The company had revenue of $1.45 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.42 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.75 EPS. The business’s revenue was down 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Yum! Brands will post $2.81 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, CFO David W. Gibbs sold 8,125 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.83, for a total transaction of $559,243.75. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 39,181 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,696,828.23. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Brian R. Niccol sold 1,487 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $73.82, for a total value of $109,770.34. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 6,719 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $495,996.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 11,083 shares of company stock valued at $775,868 in the last 90 days. 0.65% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of YUM. Fox Run Management L.L.C. bought a new position in Yum! Brands during the first quarter valued at approximately $1,029,000. Town & Country Bank & Trust CO dba First Bankers Trust CO increased its position in Yum! Brands by 3.8% in the first quarter. Town & Country Bank & Trust CO dba First Bankers Trust CO now owns 5,215 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $333,000 after buying an additional 191 shares during the period. Atria Investments LLC increased its position in Yum! Brands by 24.1% in the first quarter. Atria Investments LLC now owns 8,630 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $551,000 after buying an additional 1,676 shares during the period. Parametrica Management Ltd bought a new position in Yum! Brands during the first quarter valued at approximately $311,000. Finally, Prospera Financial Services Inc increased its position in Yum! Brands by 30.8% in the first quarter. Prospera Financial Services Inc now owns 21,624 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,382,000 after buying an additional 5,089 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.75% of the company’s stock.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM)

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