Yum! Brands Serves Up Sweet-and-Sour Earnings

Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM  ) reported fiscal 2014 first-quarter earnings after the bell today that beat on the bottom line, but missed analysts' revenue targets. Yum! Brands is the parent company of popular fast-food joints including Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC. The company has struggled with declining sales in China in the prior quarters.

Source: The Motley Fool.

For the period ended March 22, Yum! Brands posted a profit of $0.87 per share, up from earnings of $0.70 during the same quarter a year ago. This was $0.02 better than analysts had expected. However, revenue of $2.7 billion came up slightly short in the first quarter. Wall Street was looking for earnings per share of $0.85 on revenue of $2.8 billion in the period.

Nevertheless, sales in China were a bright spot for the company, as sales in Yum! Brands China division increased 17% during the quarter. This was underscored by same-store sales growth of 9%.

"Given the strength at both KFC and Pizza Hut, we expect to open at least 700 new restaurants in China this year as we further capitalize on our leading position in the number-one retail opportunity in the world," said David Novak, CEO of Yum! Brands. Shares of Yum! Brands were trading higher by more than 3% as of 5:30 p.m. on this news.

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