Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) reached a new 52-week high during trading on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $103.06 and last traded at $103.08, with a volume of 28733 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $101.50.

Several equities research analysts recently commented on YUM shares. Zacks Investment Research raised Yum! Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $103.00 price target for the company in a report on Saturday, January 12th. Citigroup cut their price target on Yum! Brands from $104.00 to $103.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, April 4th. Goldman Sachs Group cut Yum! Brands from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and cut their price target for the company from $83.00 to $76.00 in a report on Friday, January 11th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut Yum! Brands from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $94.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Tuesday, March 19th. Finally, Mizuho cut Yum! Brands from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $84.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, March 20th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $95.21.

The company has a market capitalization of $31.61 billion, a PE ratio of 32.59, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.09 and a beta of 0.55.

Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 7th. The restaurant operator reported $0.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.97 by ($0.57). Yum! Brands had a negative return on equity of 14.19% and a net margin of 27.11%. The business had revenue of $1.56 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.57 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.96 EPS. Yum! Brands’s revenue was down 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts predict that Yum! Brands, Inc. will post 3.81 EPS for the current year.

In other news, CFO David W. Gibbs sold 1,531 shares of Yum! Brands stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.54, for a total value of $152,395.74. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 41,345 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,115,481.30. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Greg Creed sold 32,502 shares of Yum! Brands stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $94.31, for a total value of $3,065,263.62. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 38,119 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,595,002.89. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 98,922 shares of company stock valued at $9,384,824 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.63% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in Yum! Brands by 2.4% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 21,595,217 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,985,033,000 after purchasing an additional 496,648 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its holdings in Yum! Brands by 6,899.3% in the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 5,916,798 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $64,000 after purchasing an additional 5,832,264 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its holdings in Yum! Brands by 5.1% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 5,459,185 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $496,295,000 after purchasing an additional 264,177 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp boosted its holdings in Yum! Brands by 2.0% in the fourth quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 3,931,459 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $361,380,000 after purchasing an additional 78,678 shares during the period. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in Yum! Brands by 7.2% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 3,883,831 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $356,348,000 after purchasing an additional 260,681 shares during the period. 75.01% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM)

YUM! Brands, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, develops, operates, and franchises quick service restaurants worldwide. It operates in three segments: the KFC Division, the Pizza Hut Division, and the Taco Bell Division. The company operates restaurants under the KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell brands, which specialize in chicken, pizza, and Mexican-style food categories.

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