Yum Brands Beats Expectations As Sales Rise

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Yum Brands Inc. on Wednesday beat Wall Street sales and earnings expectations in the fourth quarter and said its China division system sales rose 7% in the quarter and worldwide system sales grew 6%. Yum said it earned an adjusted 68 cents a share in the fourth quarter, up from 61 cents in the year-ago period. Sales reached $3.95 billion, down slightly from $3.99 billion a year ago, the company said. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of 67 cents a share on sales of $2.69 billion. The company added more than 2,300 restaurants globally in 2015, and said it expects to open nearly 2,400 restaurants this year. "We are confident in our ability to deliver 10% operating profit growth in constant currency in 2016," the company said in a statement. Yum shares fell 1.6% in late trading Wednesday after ending the day up 0.2%.

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