Yum! Brands Target of Unusually High Options Trading (YUM)

Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Thursday. Traders bought 8,029 put options on the stock. This is an increase of 1,102% compared to the typical volume of 668 put options.

In related news, CFO David W. Gibbs sold 4,318 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.56, for a total value of $347,858.08. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 39,396 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,173,741.76. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Brian R. Niccol sold 3,588 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, November 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.90, for a total value of $286,681.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 15,075 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,204,492.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 12,231 shares of company stock valued at $997,604. 7.38% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in YUM. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Yum! Brands during the 3rd quarter worth $117,000. Cerebellum GP LLC purchased a new position in shares of Yum! Brands during the 4th quarter worth $140,000. Americafirst Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Yum! Brands by 107.6% during the 3rd quarter. Americafirst Capital Management LLC now owns 2,392 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $176,000 after purchasing an additional 1,240 shares during the period. Sun Life Financial INC grew its holdings in shares of Yum! Brands by 19,991.7% during the 2nd quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 2,411 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $178,000 after purchasing an additional 2,399 shares during the period. Finally, Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC purchased a new position in shares of Yum! Brands during the 3rd quarter worth $190,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.70% of the company’s stock.

Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) opened at $86.20 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $29,050.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 50.41, a PEG ratio of 2.07 and a beta of 0.91. The company has a current ratio of 1.42, a quick ratio of 1.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -1.55. Yum! Brands has a twelve month low of $62.85 and a twelve month high of $86.34.

Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The restaurant operator reported $0.68 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.67 by $0.01. The business 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 company’s revenue was down 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.09 EPS. research analysts predict that Yum! Brands will post 2.81 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 9th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, February 14th will be issued a dividend of $0.36 per share. This is a boost from Yum! Brands’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.30. This represents a $1.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.67%. Yum! Brands’s dividend payout ratio is currently 70.18%.

Yum! Brands declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Friday, November 17th that allows the company to buyback $1.50 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the restaurant operator to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

Several research analysts recently commented on YUM shares. Nomura increased their price objective on Yum! Brands from $85.00 to $89.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Cowen restated a “buy” rating and issued a $91.00 target price on shares of Yum! Brands in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Oppenheimer restated a “buy” rating and issued a $85.00 target price on shares of Yum! Brands in a report on Monday, October 30th. Stifel Nicolaus started coverage on Yum! Brands in a report on Monday, October 2nd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $88.00 target price for the company. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a “buy” rating and issued a $80.00 target price on shares of Yum! Brands in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Twelve research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, thirteen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $81.68.

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About Yum! Brands

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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