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Yum! Posts Better-Than-Expected Sales: Hot Trends

Brittany Umar

03/12/13 - 09:04 AM EDT

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Popular searches on the Internet include Yum! Brands (YUM) after the company reported first-quarter same-store sales that fell 20% in China, better than predictions of a 25% drop.

Yum's better-than-expected sales come as the company tries to redeem itself after it was found that former chicken supplier Liuhe Group supplied chicken loaded with antibiotics. Yum! has worked to improve its reputation by pledging to impose stricter requirements on its suppliers and boosting its advertising efforts. The company also said it eliminated more than 1,000 small producers from its list of suppliers.

The company, which owns brands like KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, saw 51% of its revenue in 2012 come from China. Yum! is the biggest Western fast-food operator in China, with 5,300 restaurants in the country.

Yum! plans to open 700 new restaurants in 2013 alone.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) is trending as the U.K. Serious Fraud Office launches an investigation into Autonomy, which HP acquired in 2011.

The investigation comes on top of a probe on behalf of the U.S. Justice Department into Autonomy, which Hewlett-Packard accused last year of misrepresenting results before selling the company for $10.3 billion. HP alleges that about $200 million of Autonomy's revenue was improperly represented. HP later booked an $8.8 billion write-down pertaining to the buyout in 2012.

PokerStars is another popular search. Rational Group, parent company of online poker Web site PokerStars, seeks to purchase the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J.

The company is facing opposition to the purchase from the American Gaming Association, which is urging state regulators to reject the bid. According to the AGA, the bid would result in the "integrity of the gaming industry being gravely compromised," calling PokerStars a "business built on deceit, chicanery and the systematic flouting of U.S. law." The AGA claims the Web site has criminal ties.

PokerStars settled a case alleging money laundering, bank fraud and illegal gambling last year. Although the company admitted no wrongdoing, it paid $547 million to the U.S. Justice Department and $184 million to overseas poker players.

On Wednesday, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission will decide whether to let the AGA participate in PokerStars' licensing hearing.

The Atlantic Club has been struggling for years, having nearly shut its doors for good two years ago. If PokerStars succeeds in its attempt to purchase the casino, it would mark the first time a solely-online gambling company owned an American casino.

The chatter on Main Street (a.k.a. Google, Yahoo! and other search sites) is always of interest to investors on Wall Street. Thus, each day, TheStreet compiles the stories that are trending on the Web, and highlights the news that could make stocks move.

-- Written by Brittany Umar.

Brokerage Partners