Earnings Preview: Yum! Brands, Inc. And VMware, Inc.

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Earnings Preview: Yum! Brands, Inc. And VMware, Inc.
By Yum! Brands, Inc. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Two very different companies will likely dominate earnings news after the market closes on Tuesday afternoon. Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) and VMware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW) are set to release their earnings after 4PM EST. both companies are growers, but one is consistently looking to the home market to buffer earnings, while the other concentrates its efforts on the outside world to the same end.

Yum! Brands earnings on the way

Analysts are looking for earnings of 84 cents per share in first quarter earnings from Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) by consensus. The consensus revenue estimate, garnered from a Businessweek survey of 21 analysts following the KFC owner, is at $2.8 billion for the first quarter. In the same three months of 2013 Yum showed earnings of 70 cents per share on revenue totaling $2.5 billion.

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The big moves at Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) in the first quarter of 2014 took place far away from Louisville. Of the firm’s three big brands KFC has the strongest international presence, and the fast food chain’s performance in China has a massive effect on perception of the company. Last year health concerns saw a drop in consumption in the far east. Today’s report is expected to show massive growth in the area, in response to efforts from the company.

Yum is supposed to be one of the big growers in the restaurant business right now, and any failure to perform this afternoon could see the company’s stock suffer. The stock is trading at just under 33 times 2013 earnings, well above the 18 times earnings that industry giant McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) trades at.

VMware Inc. moderates high expectations

Similar in some ways sits VMware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW). The desktop virtualization software provider has huge expectations priced into its stock price, and any failure to achieve may hurt the firm’s stock massively as reactionary selling kicks in. The company has already warned that poor returns may be evident in the first months of the year, however, and that may mitigate any possible downside.

Analysts surveyed by Businessweek are expecting the company to show earnings of 79 cents per share by consensus. The 41 analysts following the company were expecting it to record earnings of $1.4 billion in this afternoon’s report. The company’s stock has been performing well through 2014, gaining more than 18% since January 1.

VMware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW) is doing its best to offer companies a way to enter the cloud computing revolution. The company has outperformed other companies in the same business, such as IBM, in the last year as its range of services attract in a different crowd of enterprise users. Massive growth is expected from the enterprise software group in the coming years, however, and with competition in the area growing, VMware is still in a risky position.

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