Retirement Systems of Alabama raised its stake in shares of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) by 3.1% in the 4th quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 464,734 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after purchasing an additional 14,132 shares during the quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama’s holdings in Yum! Brands were worth $37,927,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other large investors also recently made changes to their positions in YUM. Calton & Associates Inc. bought a new position in Yum! Brands during the 4th quarter worth $102,000. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Yum! Brands during the 3rd quarter worth about $117,000. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new stake in Yum! Brands during the 4th quarter worth about $140,000. Americafirst Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in Yum! Brands by 107.6% during the 3rd quarter. Americafirst Capital Management LLC now owns 2,392 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $176,000 after acquiring an additional 1,240 shares during the period. Finally, Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC acquired a new stake in Yum! Brands during the 3rd quarter worth about $190,000. 73.23% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other Yum! Brands news, CEO Brian R. Niccol sold 945 shares of Yum! Brands stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.90, for a total transaction of $75,505.50. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 10,785 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $861,721.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Brian R. Niccol sold 2,294 shares of Yum! Brands stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.90, for a total transaction of $194,760.60. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 10,160 shares in the company, valued at approximately $862,584. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 5,270 shares of company stock valued at $438,570 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.65% of the company’s stock.

Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) opened at $77.77 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $26,309.10, a PE ratio of 26.29, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.86 and a beta of 0.93. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -1.49, a quick ratio of 1.65 and a current ratio of 1.66. Yum! Brands, Inc. has a 12 month low of $62.85 and a 12 month high of $86.93.

Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 8th. The restaurant operator reported $0.96 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80 by $0.16. The business had revenue of $1.58 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.59 billion. Yum! Brands had a negative return on equity of 17.27% and a net margin of 22.80%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 16.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.79 EPS. equities research analysts expect that Yum! Brands, Inc. will post 3.3 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Yum! Brands declared that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Friday, November 17th that permits the company to buyback $1.50 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the restaurant operator to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 9th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, February 14th will be paid a dividend of $0.36 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, February 13th. This represents a $1.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.85%. This is an increase from Yum! Brands’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.30. Yum! Brands’s payout ratio is 31.66%.

A number of analysts have weighed in on YUM shares. BMO Capital Markets increased their price target on Yum! Brands from $77.00 to $80.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Jefferies Group increased their price target on Yum! Brands from $66.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Oppenheimer reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $85.00 price target on shares of Yum! Brands in a report on Monday, October 30th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Yum! Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $94.00 price target for the company in a report on Sunday, January 21st. Finally, Barclays reiterated an “equal weight” rating and set a $84.00 price target (up from $79.00) on shares of Yum! Brands in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. Fourteen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $82.26.

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Yum! Brands Profile

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM)

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