Brokerages forecast that Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) will announce $1.61 billion in sales for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Seven analysts have provided estimates for Yum! Brands’ earnings. The lowest sales estimate is $1.51 billion and the highest is $1.67 billion. Yum! Brands reported sales of $2.02 billion in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a negative year-over-year growth rate of 20.3%. The company is expected to issue its next quarterly earnings report on Thursday, February 8th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Yum! Brands will report full year sales of $1.61 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $5.81 billion to $5.97 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts anticipate that the company will post sales of $4.78 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $4.45 billion to $5.19 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that cover Yum! Brands.

Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The restaurant operator reported $0.68 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $1.44 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.39 billion. Yum! Brands had a negative return on equity of 17.19% and a net margin of 18.51%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.09 EPS.

Several equities research analysts have recently commented on YUM shares. Jefferies Group lifted their target price on Yum! Brands from $66.00 to $75.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. BMO Capital Markets lifted their target price on Yum! Brands from $77.00 to $80.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Oppenheimer reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $85.00 target price on shares of Yum! Brands in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Cowen reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $91.00 target price on shares of Yum! Brands in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Finally, Mizuho set a $74.00 target price on Yum! Brands and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Twelve investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twelve have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $80.95.

In other Yum! Brands news, CEO Brian R. Niccol sold 927 shares of Yum! Brands 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 transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Brian R. Niccol sold 3,588 shares of Yum! Brands stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.90, for a total value of $286,681.20. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 15,075 shares in the company, valued at $1,204,492.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 9,937 shares of company stock worth $802,843. Corporate insiders own 0.65% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Teachers Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Yum! Brands by 25.7% in the 2nd quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 556,212 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $41,026,000 after purchasing an additional 113,582 shares during the period. New England Private Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Yum! Brands in the 2nd quarter valued at about $272,000. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. raised its stake in shares of Yum! Brands by 1.7% in the 3rd quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. now owns 144,519 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $10,636,000 after purchasing an additional 2,411 shares during the period. Amalgamated Bank raised its stake in shares of Yum! Brands by 54.9% in the 2nd quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 40,846 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $3,013,000 after purchasing an additional 14,473 shares during the period. Finally, Wagner Bowman Management Corp raised its stake in shares of Yum! Brands by 11.3% in the 3rd quarter. Wagner Bowman Management Corp now owns 25,022 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,841,000 after purchasing an additional 2,543 shares during the period. 73.68% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Yum! Brands (NYSE YUM) opened at $81.53 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $27,480.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 47.68, a PEG ratio of 2.01 and a beta of 0.91. Yum! Brands has a 52 week low of $62.36 and a 52 week high of $84.29. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -1.55, a current ratio of 1.42 and a quick ratio of 1.41.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 8th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 15th were given a $0.30 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, November 14th. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.47%. Yum! Brands’s dividend payout ratio is currently 70.18%.

Yum! Brands declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Friday, November 17th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.50 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

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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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