Yum Brands Inc. (NYSE:YUM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Yum! Brands China division posted flat comps in second quarter of 2016 after recording positive comps in the last three quarters, suggesting that a complete recovery will take more time. Moreover, sales in China, especially Pizza Hut Casual Dining, continue to decline. Additionally, slowdown in some of the emerging markets has been denting the company’s top-line growth. Estimates too have been going down ahead of the company’s third-quarter 2016 earnings release. Nonetheless, the company’s efforts to revive the U.S. business along with various sales and digital initiatives bode well. Moreover, the company has mostly positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. However, negative currency translation remains a concern given the company’s significant international presence.”

Several other analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Citigroup Inc. upped their price objective on Yum Brands from $88.00 to $96.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, September 9th. Robert W. Baird restated a “neutral” rating and set a $92.00 price objective on shares of Yum Brands in a research note on Wednesday, September 7th. BTIG Research restated a “hold” rating on shares of Yum Brands in a research note on Sunday, September 4th. Bank of America Corp. restated a “hold” rating on shares of Yum Brands in a research note on Sunday, July 17th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a “buy” rating on shares of Yum Brands in a research note on Sunday, July 17th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $88.94.

Shares of Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM) opened at 88.81 on Monday. Yum Brands has a 1-year low of $64.58 and a 1-year high of $91.99. The stock has a market capitalization of $34.63 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.77 and a beta of 0.81. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $89.33 and a 200-day moving average price of $84.26.

Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 13th. The restaurant operator reported $0.75 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.01. Yum Brands had a return on equity of 213.02% and a net margin of 10.97%. The business had revenue of $3.01 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.07 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.69 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Yum Brands will post $3.69 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider Tracy L. Skeans sold 1,793 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, July 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $90.02, for a total value of $161,405.86. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Roger G. Eaton sold 53,518 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, September 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $91.72, for a total value of $4,908,670.96. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 245,736 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $22,538,905.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 7.38% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Advisory Services Network LLC raised its stake in shares of Yum Brands by 9.2% in the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 1,292 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $107,000 after buying an additional 109 shares in the last quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Yum Brands by 10.4% in the second quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC now owns 1,325 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $110,000 after buying an additional 125 shares in the last quarter. Zions Bancorporation raised its stake in shares of Yum Brands by 17.1% in the first quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 1,508 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $121,000 after buying an additional 220 shares in the last quarter. Signature Estate & Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Yum Brands during the second quarter valued at about $130,000. Finally, Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. raised its stake in shares of Yum Brands by 637.5% in the second quarter. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. now owns 1,652 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $137,000 after buying an additional 1,428 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.14% of the company’s stock.

Yum Brands Company Profile

YUM! Brands, Inc (YUM) is engaged in restaurant business. The Company develops, operates, franchises and licenses an across the world system of restaurants, which prepare, package and sell a menu of food items, primarily through the three concepts of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell (the Concepts). YUM operates through four segments: YUM China (China Division), which includes all operations in mainland China; The KFC Division, which includes all operations of the KFC concept outside of China Division; The Pizza Hut Division, which includes all operations of the Pizza Hut concept outside of China Division, and the Taco Bell Division, which includes all operations of the Taco Bell concept.

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