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Yum Brands (YUM) earnings Q4 2019 miss estimates

Vehicles wait in line at the drive through lane of a Yum! Brands Inc. Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Taco Bell restaurant in Lockport, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Yum Brands on Thursday reported quarterly earnings that fell short of analysts’ expectations.

Shares of the company slid more than 2% in premarket trading.

Here’s what the company reported, compared with what Wall Street was expecting based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $1, adjusted, vs. $1.13 expected
  • Revenue: $1.69 billion, vs. $1.66 billion expected
  • Same-store sales: 2%, vs. 2.3% expected

Taco Bell’s parent company reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $488 million, or $1.58 per share, up from $334 million, or $1.04 per share, a year earlier.

The company’s minority stake in Grubhub negatively impacted earnings per share by 5 cents. Grubhub struggled in 2019 as fierce competition with DoorDash, Uber Eats and Postmates put pressure on its business.

Excluding refranchising gains and other items, Yum earned $1 per share, missing the $1.13 per share expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.

Net sales rose 9% to $1.69 billion, topping expectations of $1.66 billion. The company reported same-store sales growth across KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell of 2%. Yum announced in January that it would be adding a fourth brand to its portfolio: Habit Restaurants, which owns the Habit Burger Grill.

Pizza Hut was once again the laggard during the quarter. The pizza chain saw same-store sales decline by 2%. KFC’s same-store sales increased by 3%, and Taco Bell’s grew by 4% in the fourth quarter.

On Wednesday, Yum China, which was spun off in 2016, warned that the Wuhan coronavirus will likely “materially affect” its 2020 sales and profits. The Chinese licensee of KFC and Pizza Hut said it could report an operating loss in the first quarter. China is KFC’s largest market by systemwide sales.

Yum China has temporarily closed about a third of its restaurants in the country, and those still open have seen sales drop dramatically. Same-store sales during the Lunar New Year holiday fell by 40% to 50% from a year ago. In response, Yum China has rolled out “contactless delivery” so customers do not have to engage with employees to pick up their food from a restaurant.

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