GrubHub (NYSE: GRUB) stock popped 37.6% in February, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. Shares climbed following strong fourth-quarter earnings results and news of a partnership with Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM) -- the company that owns restaurant chains including Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell.
GrubHub's December-ended quarter saw revenue climb roughly 49% and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) rise roughly 61% -- impressive results that put a nice cap on a great fiscal year. Gross full-year food sales conducted through the company's platform climbed 20% year over year to reach $3.8 billion, and active diners jumped 77% compared to the prior year to reach 14.5 million.
In addition to impressive quarterly and full-year earnings performance, GrubHub also revealed a promising new partnership with Yum! Brands. The deal will see KFC and Taco Bell use GrubHub as their exclusive online ordering and delivery portal, and GrubHub will help promote Yum!'s restaurants on its platform. Per the deal, Yum! will also buy a $200 million stake in GrubHub.
This news was followed by the announcement of another partnership -- this time a data-sharing agreement with FourSquare. The revealing of the FourSquare deal was once again followed by a double-digit stock pop, and shares continued to climb through the month.
GrubHub is guiding for sales between $910 million and $960 million, representing year-over-year sales growth of roughly 37% at the midpoint. Meanwhile, the midpoint of the company's guidance has net income falling roughly 23%, but that's an unfavorable comparison because the company's fourth-quarter 2017 results benefited from one-time tax benefits.
GrubHub is priced for big growth, trading at roughly 63 times this year's expected earnings, but the company appears to be making some smart moves in order to continue its rapid expansion. The deal with Yum! has the potential to expand overall awareness of GrubHub's platform and be a long-term sales driver, and the company has been building its business through acquisitions and a network of partnerships -- having also signed agreements with Yelp and Facebook. These deals could help reduce competitive threats posed by companies including Amazon and Uber.
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