The Drag on Yum! Brands Earnings

Print Email

Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 results before markets opened on Thursday. For the quarter, the fast-food restaurant operator posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.79 on revenues of $2.02 billion. In the same a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.68 on revenues of $1.98 billion. Fourth-quarter results also compare to consensus estimates for EPS of $0.74 and $2.09 billion in revenues.

For the full year, Yum reported revenues of $4.2 billion and adjusted EPS of $2.45, compared with revenues of $4.36 billion and EPS of $3.18 in 2015. Consensus estimates called for EPS of $2.43 on revenues of $6.38 billion.

The company refranchised 232 stores in the fourth quarter for a gain of $64 million. At year’s end, 93% of the company’s stores were franchised.

Revenues were light both for the quarter and for the year, and that will likely keep investors from making any big moves on the stock in Thursday’s session. Results from Pizza Hut dragged on decent gains at KFC and Taco Bell.

The company completed its spin-off of Yum China Holdings Inc. (NYSE: YUMC) in November, and quarterly and annual results have been adjusted accordingly.

The KFC division saw sales rise 8% for the quarter and 7% for the year on a constant currency basis. Same-store sales rose 3% for the quarter and 3% for the year.

Sales at Taco Bell rose 12% for the quarter and 6% for the year. Same-store sales rose 3% for the quarter and 2% for the year. Margins improved to 29.3% (up 4.5 points) and operating profit rose by just 11% for the year after a 27% jump in the fourth quarter.

In the Pizza Hut division sales rose 2% in the quarter and 2% for the year. Same-store sales fell 2% in the quarter and 1% for the year. Operating margin rose 9.0 points in the quarter to 36% and 4.8 points for the year to 33.3%.

CEO Greg Creed said:

2016 was a landmark year for Yum! Brands. Not only did we complete the spin-off of Yum China as an independent and powerful growth company, but we also launched a new multi-year strategic transformation of Yum! Brands. By being more focused, more franchised and more efficient, we will strengthen and grow our KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands around the world, creating significant long-term value for all our stakeholders.

In the fourth quarter, Yum repurchased 12.5 million shares with a total value of $1.1 billion at an average price of $89 per share. For the year, the company repurchased 58.8 million shares worth a total of $4.9 billion at an average price of $83.

In premarket trading on Thursday, shares traded up about 0.1% to $66.59, in a 52-week range of $46.43 to $66.88. The consensus 12-month price target for the stock is $67.83.