Yum Brands (YUM) earnings Q4 2022

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.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Yum Brands on Wednesday reported quarterly earnings and revenue that topped analysts’ expectations, fueled by strong same-store sales growth at Taco Bell.

Overall, the restaurant giant saw strong U.S. demand for its food, but weak sales in China once again weighed on KFC’s and Pizza Hut’s results. After the Chinese government relaxed its zero Covid policy, a wave of new outbreaks has hit the country, hurting recovery for Yum and other restaurant companies, like Starbucks.

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

  • Earnings per share: $1.31 adjusted vs. $1.26 expected
  • Revenue: $2.02 billion vs. $1.92 billion expected

Yum reported fourth-quarter net income of $371 million, or $1.29 per share, up from $330 million, or $1.11 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding expenses tied to its decision to exit Russia and other items, the company earned $1.31 cents per share.

Net sales rose 7% to $2.02 billion. The company’s global same-store sales increased 6% in the quarter, driven by diners’ strong appetite for Taco Bell.

Taco Bell, which is typically the strongest performer in Yum’s portfolio, reported same-store sales growth of 11%, beating StreetAccount estimates of 6.7%. Most of the Mexican-inspired chain’s locations are in the U.S., although it’s been expanding internationally in recent years.

KFC fell short of Wall Street’s expectations as weak performance in China weighed on its results. The fried chicken chain reported same-store sales growth of 5%, just shy of estimates of 5.4%. Excluding China, its largest market, KFC’s same-store sales increased 9%.

Weak sales in China also hurt Pizza Hut’s fourth-quarter performance. The pizza chain’s global same-store sales ticked up 1%, but its international same-store sales fell by 1%. Pizza Hut’s U.S. same-store sales rose 4%, a sign that consumers have recovered from last year’s pizza fatigue after over-ordering pies during Covid lockdowns.

The Habit Burger Grill, Yum’s latest addition, said sales at locations open at least a year shrank 1% in the quarter. However, its system sales, which tracks transactions at all of the chain’s restaurants rather than at only locations that have been open 12 months, climbed 12%, thanks to Yum’s rapid expansion of the chain.

Shares of the company rose less than 1% in premarket trading.

Read the full Yum Brands earnings report here.

Image and article originally from www.cnbc.com. Read the original article here.

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