An issue of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) debt rose 1.2% against its face value during trading on Friday. The high-yield debt issue has a 3.875% coupon and will mature on November 1, 2020. The bonds in the issue are now trading at $103.75. Price moves in a company’s debt in credit markets often predict parallel moves in its stock price.

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on YUM. Argus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $88.00 price target (up from $80.00) on shares of Yum! Brands in a research report on Wednesday. BMO Capital Markets restated a “market perform” rating and issued a $77.00 price target (up from $66.00) on shares of Yum! Brands in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Yum! Brands from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. Barclays PLC restated an “equal weight” rating and issued a $74.00 price target (up from $72.00) on shares of Yum! Brands in a research report on Friday, August 4th. Finally, UBS AG raised their price target on Yum! Brands from $76.00 to $83.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, August 4th. Fifteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twelve have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $78.98.

Yum! Brands, Inc. (YUM) opened at 75.83 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $26.14 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.13 and a beta of 0.82. Yum! Brands, Inc. has a 1-year low of $59.57 and a 1-year high of $77.13. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $75.03 and a 200 day moving average price of $69.89.

Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 3rd. The restaurant operator reported $0.68 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.61 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $1.45 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.42 billion. Yum! Brands had a negative return on equity of 24.95% and a net margin of 16.76%. Yum! Brands’s quarterly revenue was down 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.75 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Yum! Brands, Inc. will post $2.82 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Brian R. Niccol sold 1,471 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.64, for a total value of $106,853.44. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 6,712 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $487,559.68. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Brian R. Niccol sold 1,487 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.82, for a total value of $109,770.34. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 6,719 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $495,996.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 11,294 shares of company stock valued at $833,488. 7.38% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in YUM. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Yum! Brands by 2,392.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 20,053,997 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,281,452,000 after buying an additional 19,249,564 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley raised its stake in shares of Yum! Brands by 82.4% in the first quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 4,757,237 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $303,987,000 after buying an additional 2,148,751 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its stake in shares of Yum! Brands by 208.6% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 2,625,400 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $167,763,000 after buying an additional 1,774,600 shares in the last quarter. Pioneer Investment Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Yum! Brands during the second quarter valued at $104,149,000. Finally, Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Yum! Brands during the second quarter valued at $102,713,000. 73.98% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Yum! Brands

YUM! Brands, Inc is engaged in restaurant business. As of December 31, 2016, the Company operated or franchised over 43,500 restaurants in more than 135 countries and territories operating under the KFC, Pizza Hut or Taco Bell (collectively the Concepts) brands. The Company operates through three segments: The KFC Division, which includes the operations of the KFC concept around the world; The Pizza Hut Division, which includes the operations of the Pizza Hut concept around the world, and The Taco Bell Division, which includes the operations of the Taco Bell concept around the world.

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