Yum Brands first-quarter earnings top expectations on KFC and Taco Bell sales

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Greg Creed, CEO, Yum Brands

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

The parent company of fast-food franchises KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut reported first-quarter earnings Wednesday that beat Wall Street’s expectations.  

Yum Brands shares rose by less than 1% in premarket trading.

“First-quarter results were a solid start to the year, reflecting particular strength at the KFC division and Taco Bell U.S.,” CEO Greg Creed said in a statement. “With this quarter, we have a healthy foundation to help us achieve our 2019 guidance.”

Here’s what the company reported compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Adjusted earnings per share: 82 cents vs. 81 cents expected
  • Revenue: $1.25 billion, matching expectations
  • Same-store sales: up 4%, vs. 2.66% increase expected

On an unadjusted basis, Yum’s first-quarter net income slid 39% to $262 million, or 83 cents per share, from $433 million, or $1.27 per share, a year earlier. Yum’s roughly 3% stake in Grubhub shaved 5 cents off of its earnings per share during the quarter.

Excluding refranchising gains, a tax expense on special items and other items, Yum earned 82 cents per share, topping the 81 cents per share expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.

Net sales dropped 9% to $1.25 billion, which was in line with expectations. The company reported worldwide same-store sales growth of 4%, beating Wall Street’s estimates of 2.66%. Sales at Pizza Hut stores open at least a year were flat during the quarter. KFC reported same-store sales growth of 5%, while Taco Bell’s same-store sales increased by 4%.

Yum opened 310 net new stores during the quarter ended March 31.

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