Gradient Investments LLC Reduces Stock Position in Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM)

Gradient Investments LLC decreased its holdings in Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUMGet Rating) by 13.1% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 1,331 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock after selling 200 shares during the quarter. Gradient Investments LLC’s holdings in Yum! Brands were worth $158,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in YUM. Rafferty Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Yum! Brands in the fourth quarter worth approximately $424,000. Equitable Holdings Inc. raised its stake in Yum! Brands by 7.8% during the 4th quarter. Equitable Holdings Inc. now owns 1,763 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $245,000 after acquiring an additional 127 shares during the period. Ensign Peak Advisors Inc raised its stake in Yum! Brands by 240.8% during the 4th quarter. Ensign Peak Advisors Inc now owns 143,230 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $19,889,000 after acquiring an additional 101,198 shares during the period. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in Yum! Brands by 1.7% during the 4th quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,422,634 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $197,548,000 after acquiring an additional 24,334 shares during the period. Finally, Sequoia Financial Advisors LLC raised its stake in Yum! Brands by 20.7% during the 4th quarter. Sequoia Financial Advisors LLC now owns 9,245 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,284,000 after acquiring an additional 1,584 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.18% of the company’s stock.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

A number of research firms have commented on YUM. Argus cut shares of Yum! Brands from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 17th. Citigroup decreased their target price on shares of Yum! Brands from $148.00 to $145.00 in a research note on Thursday, July 21st. Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on shares of Yum! Brands from $146.00 to $142.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, July 18th. Robert W. Baird set a $146.00 price objective on shares of Yum! Brands in a research report on Tuesday, July 19th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein assumed coverage on shares of Yum! Brands in a research report on Wednesday, September 7th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $144.00 price objective on the stock. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat, the stock has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $137.93.

Insiders Place Their Bets

In other Yum! Brands news, VP David Eric Russell sold 4,454 shares of Yum! Brands stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.52, for a total transaction of $527,888.08. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 17,266 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,046,366.32. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. In other Yum! Brands news, VP David Eric Russell sold 4,454 shares of Yum! Brands stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.52, for a total transaction of $527,888.08. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 17,266 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,046,366.32. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 1,215 shares of Yum! Brands stock in a transaction on Friday, August 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.30, for a total transaction of $143,734.50. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 1,233 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $145,863.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.37% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Yum! Brands Stock Performance

YUM stock opened at $115.72 on Friday. The firm has a fifty day moving average price of $117.08 and a 200 day moving average price of $116.96. Yum! Brands, Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $108.37 and a fifty-two week high of $139.85. The firm has a market cap of $32.93 billion, a PE ratio of 23.19, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.13 and a beta of 1.03.

Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUMGet Rating) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The restaurant operator reported $1.05 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.08 by ($0.03). Yum! Brands had a net margin of 22.17% and a negative return on equity of 15.45%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.16 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Yum! Brands, Inc. will post 4.54 EPS for the current year.

Yum! Brands Dividend Announcement

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 9th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 29th were paid a dividend of $0.57 per share. This represents a $2.28 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.97%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, August 26th. Yum! Brands’s payout ratio is 45.69%.

Yum! Brands announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Monday, September 12th that authorizes the company to buyback $2.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the restaurant operator to purchase up to 6.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

Yum! Brands Company Profile

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YUM! Brands, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, develops, operates, and franchises quick service restaurants worldwide. It operates through four segments: the KFC Division, the Taco Bell Division, the Pizza Hut Division, and the Habit Burger Grill Division. The company operates restaurants under the KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and The Habit Burger Grill brands, which specialize in chicken, pizza, made-to-order chargrilled burgers, sandwiches, Mexican-style food categories, and other food products.

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

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