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Yum 1Q Profit Up 73% On Continued Strength In China, US

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Yum Brands Inc.'s (YUM) first-quarter earnings improved a better-than-expected 73% as results for the fast-food chain continued to benefit from strong growth in China, as well as improvements in the U.S. The parent company of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut has staked much of its future on emerging markets, especially China, where its Pizza Hut and KFC chains are booming in urban areas. China's rising food and labor costs, as well as signs of an economic slowdown, have put Yum at risk of losing its overseas edge. But robust same-store sales growth there in the fourth quarter proved momentum remains. For the first quarter, China continued to post double-digit same-store sales growth, up 14%, while operating profit rose 14% prior to currency changes. In November, Yum said it is separating its India business into its own standalone segment, a strong indication of its interest in expansion there, given that the only other international market it breaks out is China. Yum's domestic business has struggled, appearing to take a backseat to its international efforts. But though it sold off two smaller domestic chains last year, Yum has said it expects to make a comeback in the U.S. this year, with Taco Bell undergoing a major revamp and Pizza Hut showing same-store sales growing at year's end. U.S. same-store sales growth in the latest period rose 5% as operating earnings were 27% higher. Yum posted a profit of $458 million, or 96 cents a share, up from $264 million, or 54 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding special items, earnings rose to 76 cents from 63 cents. Revenue increased 13% to $2.74 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a profit of 73 cents a share on revenue of $2.7 billion. World-wide restaurant margin improved 1.2 percentage points to 18.6% for the quarter. Shares closed Wednesday at $72.94 and were down 1.3% after hours. Through the close, the stock was up 24% so far this year. -By Ben Fox Rubin, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3108; ben.rubin@dowjones.com

Stock News for Yum (YUM)
DateTimeHeadline
03/25/201516:30:00Yum! Brands Inc. Declares Quarterly Dividend of $0.41 Per Share
03/24/201512:15:00Yum! Brands’ World Hunger Relief Effort with Global Spokesperson C...
03/20/201515:08:11Additional Proxy Soliciting Materials (definitive) (defa14a)
03/20/201515:02:37Proxy Statement (definitive) (def 14a)
03/17/201520:41:39Dividend Growth Checkup - Part II
03/17/201510:08:02Why Yum! Brands, Inc. Stock Jumped 12% in February
03/17/201508:00:00Pizza Hut® Celebrates Basketball's Biggest Weekend with Backwards...
03/16/201511:14:00KFC Named One of Vietnam’s “100 Best Places to Work”; Only Quick...
03/12/201515:15:00Yum! Brands Recognizes ‘Volunteers For Hope’ Across The Globe
03/12/201506:30:59Wall Street Breakfast: South Korea Next To Jump On Easing Bandwagon
03/12/201504:15:08KFC under pressure from MCD's antibiotic-free push
03/10/201508:01:57Restaurant Brands International: A Stock To Watch In 2015
03/07/201510:13:36Diving into restaurant stocks
03/06/201508:03:30Wage hikes at large retail chains may pay off
03/03/201514:13:00Taco Bell Celebrates First Graduate of Innovative Online High...
03/03/201512:30:00KFC Named Most Trusted Quick-Service Restaurant Brand in India...
03/03/201500:13:49Dividend Update - February 2015
03/02/201514:10:36Amended Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4/a)
03/02/201513:46:36Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
03/02/201513:29:17Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)

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