Yum's First-Quarter Income Slides as Coronavirus Carves Into Profit

Yum Brands misses Wall Street's first-quarter earnings expectations.
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Yum Brands  (YUM) - Get Report missed Wall Street's first-quarter earnings expectations Wednesday after the owner of the Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut restaurant chains saw the coronavirus pandemic carve into profits.

Shares were down nearly 1% to $87.50.

The Louisville, Kentucky-based company reported net income of $83 million, or 27 cents a share, down from $262 million, or 83 cents, a year earlier. Adjusted earnings came to 64 cents a share, falling short of FactSet's consensus of 67 cents. 

Restaurants have shut their dining areas and switched to delivery and take-out ordering in response to social distancing requirements.

In March, the company acquired the Habit Restaurants and as a result of the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on Habit’s results through March 31, as well as general market conditions, Yum recorded a $107 million after-tax impairment charge, reflected as a special item of roughly 35 cents a share. 

Revenue totaled $1.26 billion, up slightly from $1.25 billion a year ago, and edged out analysts' calls for $1.22 billion. 

Same-stores sales fell 7% compared with consensus for a 6.8% drop. KFC was down 8%, Pizza Hut slipped 11% and Taco Bell same-store sales rose 1%.

Yum operates about 50,000 restaurants globally.

"First-quarter results reflect two different realities," CEO David Gibbs said in a statement. "We began the year with momentum across many of our businesses, however as the quarter progressed we were heavily impacted by the unfortunate spread of COVID-19." 

Last month, Yum said it borrowed $525 million under its revolving facility as a precautionary move to preserve financial flexibility in light of the current uncertainty in the global markets resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.