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Yum! Brands Reports Quarterly Beat as KFC Sales Rise

Yum! Brands reported fourth quarter earnings and revenue ahead of analyst estimates though revenue from Taco Bell and Pizza Hut fell year-over-year.
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Shares of fast food conglomerate Yum! Brands  (YUM)  were rising premarket Thursday as the company reported fourth quarter results that topped analyst estimates. 

The Louisville, Kentucky-based restaurant company reported fourth quarter revenue of $1.743 billion and earnings of $1.15 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $1.719 billion and earnings of $1.01 per share. Revenue declined 2% year-over-year in the quarter, but that decline included a 3% headwind due to a 53rd week of reporting in 2019.

Shares of Yum Brands were rising 0.32% to $105.07 in the premarket session Thursday. 

The company, which operates the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell fast food brands, saw mixed results across its different franchises.

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Pizza Hut sales fell 5% year-over-year to $3.41 billion while Taco Bell sales declined 3% to $3.67 billion in 2020. However, sales at KFC rose 1% to $7.81 billion in 2020. 

"Yum! enters 2021 a stronger company primed to profitably grow system sales this year and beyond. Despite the challenges of 2020, our full-year results demonstrated our resilience and validated the strategies we put in place during the transformation of Yum!," said CEO David Gibbs.

Those strategies included focusing on leveraging scale and reinforcing Yum!'s growth model by accelerating investments in digital sales and tech to enhance the customer experience. 

Digital sales rose 45% year-over-year to $17 billion in 2020, a record for the company. 

Last week, the company announced Taco Bell will be partnering with Beyond Meat to test a new plant-based product next year.