Why Yum! Brands Couldn't Stomach Q3 Earnings

Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) released its third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Wednesday. The firm said that it had $0.80 in earnings per share (EPS) and $1.34 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates that called for $0.94 in EPS and $1.34 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had $1.04 in EPS and $1.39 billion in revenue.

Worldwide system sales, excluding foreign currency translation, grew 8%, with KFC at 8%, Pizza Hut at 7% and Taco Bell at 7%.

KFC total revenues decreased 7% year over year to $609 million, with an operating profit of $270 million. Same-store sales grew 3%. The KFC Division opened 411 gross new restaurants in 52 countries as well.

Pizza Hut total revenues increased 5% to $241 million, with an operating profit of $86 million. Same-store sales were flat. The Pizza Hut Division opened 205 gross new restaurants in 43 countries for this quarter.

Taco Bell total revenues decreased 5% to $489 million, with an operating profit of $161 million. Same-store sales increased 5%. The Taco Bell Division opened 67 gross new restaurants in 13 countries.

The company did not offer any guidance in the report. However, consensus estimates call for $1.17 in EPS and $1.65 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter.

Note that CEO Greg Creed will be stepping down from his role at the end of the year. Creed commented on earnings and his departure:

Following a very strong first half of 2019 and in line with our expectations, third-quarter results were consistent with our long-term growth model. We delivered system sales growth of 8%, with same-store sales of 3% and net-new unit growth of 7%, led by continued strong performances at KFC International and Taco Bell. We’re rapidly approaching the end of a truly historic year. 2019 will not only mark the completion of our 3-year transformation of Yum!, but it will also mark the end of my tenure as Yum! CEO. I couldn’t be prouder of the progress that our teams around the world have made to become more focused, more franchised and more efficient; all while accelerating global growth.

Shares traded down about 9% at $99.99 Wednesday morning, in a 52-week range of $85.81 to $119.72. The consensus price target is $120.32.