Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) released its Q4 2017 earnings report before opening bell this morning. Yum Brands earnings amounted to 96 cents per share on an adjusted basis on $1.58 billion in sales. Analysts had been expecting 80 cents per share on $1.59 billion in revenue. In the year-ago quarter, Yum Brands reported $1.89 billion in revenue and adjusted earnings of 80 cents per share.
On a GAAP basis, Yum Brands earnings rose to $1.26 per share on 83 cents per share in Q4 2016. The fast food chain operator also recorded a charge of $434 million or 30 cents per share in connection with the repatriation of cash under the tax reform bill.
Total system sales were up 4% year over year, including a 6% increase at KFC, 3% increase at Taco Bell and 1% at Pizza Hut, excluding the extra week. Global same-store sales grew 2% year over year in Q4 2017, including a 3% increase in KFC,, 1% at Pizza Hut, and 2% at Taco Bell. Analysts had been expecting a 2.4% increase in total same-store sales and a 2.0% increase in KFC same-store sales. The Street was looking for a 2.8% increase in same-store sales from Taco Bell.
“As we close the first full year of our transformation, I am very proud of the progress we are making towards becoming a more focused, more franchised and more efficient company that generates more growth,” Chief Executive Officer Greg Creed said in a statement on the Yum Brands earnings release. “As we move forward into 2018, we are particularly excited about our investment in ‘Easy’ with our new partnership with Grubhub.”
During Q4 2017, Yum Brands opened 730 net new units, representing growth of 3%. The fast food chain operator also refranchised 896 restaurants, of which 685 were KFC locations, 144 were Pizza Hut restaurants, and 67 were Taco Bell locations. In connection with the refranchising, Yum recorded refranchising gains amounting to $752 million. The company also repurchased 7.5 million shares for $588 million in Q4.
Following the Yum Brands earnings release, the company’s stock jumped by more than 1% in premarket trades, climbing as high as $81 per share.