So I'm watching the latest KFC commercial. Apparently, KFC stands for Kitchen Fresh Chicken. The late Colonel Harland Sanders must be spinning is his grave; that is, if he wasn't plenty tired already from the humiliation of that butter-churn touchdown dance a few football seasons ago.

Keep in mind, that this was the same company that went to the KFC moniker because of the unhealthy implications of its original Kentucky Fried Chicken. Fans of fried foods may be simmering with this temporary marketing makeover, but I'm guessing the state of Kentucky is pretty miffed as well.

This is especially funny given that KFC's parent is based in Kentucky. Yes, Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) is a Louisville staple. The Louisville slugger also had no qualms about ditching its Taco Bell Chihuahua, or discontinuing certain specialty pies at Pizza Hut. Fast-food fancy can move pretty fast, and the bottom line is that Yum! knows how to make the bottom line work.

Last night the fast-food giant wrapped up the year by posting a healthy 13% growth in earnings on $8.4 billion in revenues. Watching its waistline, the still-leveraged company has worked its debt down to $2.1 billion while also buying back shares.

Working three distinctive fast-food concepts -- along with A&W and Long John Silver's -- Yum! enjoys the crutch of diversification. It's not married to the burger like a McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) or Wendy's (NYSE:WEN). It's not tied to the rise and fall of pizza like Domino's or Papa John's (NASDAQ:PZZA).

Seems like just yesterday Yum! was being spun off by PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP). Silly name, good business. The company looks to earn at least $2.27 a share this year, which would be another 10% spurt in profits for a true global powerhouse. You can't argue with results. Like Kitchen Fresh Chicken, it's what is inside that counts.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz hates the fact that he can't always count on finding popcorn chicken at his local KFC. He does not own shares in any companies mentioned in this story.

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