Yum To Return $6.2 Billion To Shareholders Before Completing China Split

Yum Brands Inc. said it plans to return $6.2 billion to shareholders before the separation of Chinese operations, expected to be complete by the end of 2016. The company will discuss separation plans during its annual investor conference, taking place on Thursday. November same-store sales declined 3% year-over-year in its China division, including 9% at Pizza Hut Casual Dining. Yum is reiterating its fourth-quarter China division same-store sales guidance of flat to 4% with positive same-store sales growth at KFC and a decline at Pizza Hut. The company also confirmed its full-year 2015 outlook for flat to low-single-digit earnings per share growth. Yum forecasts 15% annual growth after the separation and expects to be 96% franchised by the end of 2017. Yum shares are down 7.6% for the past three months. The S&P is up 4.9% for the same period.

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