Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM), which owns KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell stores, today raised its quarterly dividend from $0.285 to $0.335, an annual hike of about 18%. The annual dividend rate rises from $1.14 to $1.34, for a dividend yield at today’s opening price of $67.81 of 1.7%.
Yum Brands still trails McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD), which pays an annual dividend of $2.80 for a yield of 3%. Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) pays an annual dividend of $0.68, for a yield of 1.4% and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) pays no dividend at all.
Yum’s CEO noted that this is the eighth consecutive year that the company has raised its dividend by a double-digit amount and that the dividend had more than doubled in the past five years. He also noted:
Our first priority with the operating cash we generate is to invest in high-return global growth opportunities. In addition to investing in future growth, Yum!’s consistent performance and substantial free cash flow generation allows us to return significant cash to our shareholders through a meaningful quarterly dividend and share buybacks.
The company’s shares are up about 0.1% at $67.90 in the late afternoon in a 52-week range of $47.15 to $74.44.