Stock analysts at Stifel Nicolaus began coverage on shares of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) in a research note issued on Monday. The brokerage set a “buy” rating and a $88.00 price target on the restaurant operator’s stock. Stifel Nicolaus’ price target points to a potential upside of 19.05% from the stock’s previous close.

A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on the company. Mizuho started coverage on Yum! Brands in a research note on Thursday, June 8th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $74.00 price objective for the company. BidaskClub cut Yum! Brands from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 10th. Bank of America Corporation reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $78.00 price target (up previously from $72.00) on shares of Yum! Brands in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $75.00 price target on shares of Yum! Brands in a report on Thursday, June 15th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of Yum! Brands in a report on Monday, July 3rd. Thirteen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, thirteen have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Yum! Brands currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $79.89.

Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) opened at 73.92 on Monday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $75.77 and its 200-day moving average price is $71.80. The firm has a market capitalization of $25.49 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.62 and a beta of 0.81. Yum! Brands has a 12 month low of $59.57 and a 12 month high of $78.14.

Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The restaurant operator reported $0.68 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.61 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $1.45 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.42 billion. Yum! Brands had a negative return on equity of 24.95% and a net margin of 16.76%. The company’s revenue was down 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.75 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that Yum! Brands will post $2.81 earnings per share for the current year.

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In related news, CFO David W. Gibbs sold 8,336 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $74.00, for a total value of $616,864.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 39,664 shares in the company, valued at $2,935,136. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. 0.65% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Yum! Brands by 2,392.9% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 20,053,997 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,281,452,000 after purchasing an additional 19,249,564 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley increased its position in Yum! Brands by 82.4% during the first quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 4,757,237 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $303,987,000 after buying an additional 2,148,751 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its holdings in Yum! Brands by 208.6% during 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. bought a new position in Yum! Brands during the second quarter valued at about $104,149,000. Finally, Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. bought a new position in Yum! Brands during the second quarter valued at about $102,713,000. 72.06% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM)

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