Shares of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) have been assigned a consensus rating of “Buy” from the twenty-five ratings firms that are currently covering the firm, Marketbeat reports. Twelve investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation, twelve have issued a buy recommendation and one has given a strong buy recommendation to the company. The average 12 month price objective among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $80.81.

Several brokerages have weighed in on YUM. Robert W. Baird raised their price target on Yum! Brands from $78.00 to $83.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, November 3rd. CIBC raised their price objective on Yum! Brands from $80.00 to $85.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, September 8th. Zacks Investment Research cut Yum! Brands from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. Cowen restated a “buy” rating and issued a $85.00 price objective on shares of Yum! Brands in a research note on Friday, September 8th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co restated a “buy” rating and issued a $80.00 price objective on shares of Yum! Brands in a research note on Monday, October 2nd.

Shares of Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) traded up $0.26 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $82.30. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 4,271,650 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,606,039. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -1.55, a quick ratio of 1.41 and a current ratio of 1.42. The firm has a market capitalization of $27,646.96, a P/E ratio of 29.30, a PEG ratio of 2.29 and a beta of 0.89. Yum! Brands has a fifty-two week low of $62.36 and a fifty-two week high of $84.29.

Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The restaurant operator reported $0.68 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $1.44 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.39 billion. Yum! Brands had a negative return on equity of 17.19% and a net margin of 18.51%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.09 earnings per share. analysts expect that Yum! Brands will post 2.81 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 8th. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 15th were given a dividend of $0.30 per share. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.46%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, November 14th. Yum! Brands’s dividend payout ratio is currently 37.04%.

Yum! Brands declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Friday, November 17th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.50 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, CEO Brian R. Niccol sold 927 shares of Yum! Brands stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.46, for a total transaction of $77,367.42. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Brian R. Niccol sold 3,588 shares of Yum! Brands stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.90, for a total value of $286,681.20. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 15,075 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,204,492.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 8,833 shares of company stock valued at $711,907. 7.38% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its position in shares of Yum! Brands by 7.5% in the third quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 977,808 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $71,976,000 after buying an additional 68,329 shares in the last quarter. AXA increased its position in shares of Yum! Brands by 0.9% in the third quarter. AXA now owns 176,344 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $12,980,000 after buying an additional 1,559 shares in the last quarter. Wagner Bowman Management Corp boosted its stake in shares of Yum! Brands by 11.3% in the third quarter. Wagner Bowman Management Corp now owns 25,022 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,841,000 after acquiring an additional 2,543 shares during the last quarter. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Yum! Brands in the third quarter worth approximately $190,000. Finally, GSA Capital Partners LLP acquired a new stake in shares of Yum! Brands in the third quarter worth approximately $2,444,000. Institutional investors own 73.91% of the company’s stock.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM)

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