Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) – Analysts at Jefferies Group increased their Q1 2018 earnings per share estimates for Yum! Brands in a research note issued on Friday. Jefferies Group analyst A. Barish now forecasts that the restaurant operator will post earnings of $0.78 per share for the quarter, up from their prior estimate of $0.72. Jefferies Group has a “Hold” rating and a $75.00 price objective on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Yum! Brands’ Q2 2018 earnings at $0.79 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $0.88 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $3.29 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $3.83 EPS.
A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on YUM. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Yum! Brands from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. Barclays lifted their price target on shares of Yum! Brands from $74.00 to $78.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $85.00 price objective on shares of Yum! Brands in a research report on Monday, October 30th. Mizuho set a $74.00 price objective on shares of Yum! Brands and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, UBS Group reaffirmed a “positive” rating and issued a $89.00 price objective (up from $83.00) on shares of Yum! Brands in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Fourteen research 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 stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $81.96.
Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 8th. The restaurant operator reported $0.96 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80 by $0.16. The company had revenue of $1.58 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.59 billion. Yum! Brands had a net margin of 22.80% and a negative return on equity of 17.27%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 16.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.79 earnings per share.
Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Calton & Associates Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Yum! Brands during the 4th quarter worth about $102,000. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Yum! Brands in the 3rd quarter valued at about $117,000. Trustcore Financial Services LLC acquired a new position in Yum! Brands in the 4th quarter valued at about $118,000. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new position in Yum! Brands in the 4th quarter valued at about $140,000. Finally, Advisory Services Network LLC grew its stake in Yum! Brands by 54.2% in the 4th quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 1,921 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $157,000 after buying an additional 675 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 73.55% of the company’s stock.
In other news, CEO Brian R. Niccol sold 927 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The shares were 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 1,104 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was 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 $453,776.33. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 4,325 shares of company stock worth $363,065 over the last 90 days. 7.38% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Yum! Brands declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Friday, November 17th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.50 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 9th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, February 14th will be paid a dividend of $0.36 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, February 13th. This is a positive change from Yum! Brands’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.30. This represents a $1.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.82%. Yum! Brands’s payout ratio is currently 31.66%.
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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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