The company named with an exclamation reported succulent fourth-quarter and year-end results last night, right around dinnertime. OK, maybe "succulent" isn't the right word for the owner of such fare as KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, A&W, and Long John Silver's, but the results were good, anyway.
Worldwide revenue at the fast-food chain heated up 12% in the fourth quarter and for the full year, to $7.7 billion by year-end. Ongoing operating earnings rose 5% in the quarter ended December, and a caloric 19% for the full year.
Acquisitions of A&W and Long John Silver's added significant sizzle to domestic revenue, which grew 11% in 2002, but same-store sales at Taco Bell also rose a zingy 7%. The company plans to convert more locations into multibranded, combination restaurants, at times using its new acquisitions because combined restaurants have superior economics to standalones.
Driven by KFC and Pizza Hut, international revenue grew 11% last year, while operating profits jumped 17%. Cooking hot to McDonald's
Chairman and CEO David Novak said, "The best year any business can have is when you beat your financial plan and set the table for future growth. 2002 was that kind of year for Yum! Brands." Management projects "at least" 10% earnings growth in 2003 and beyond, meaning at least $2.00 in earnings per share this year. The $24 stock trades at a P/E of 13.