After-hours gains also came as a result of Yum! lifting its full-year profit growth forecast "to at least 12% based on the continued strength of our international businesses," CEO David C. Novak said. That would translate to earnings of at least $2.83 a share, excluding items, for the year. That's in line with the current average analysts' view, according to Thomson Reuters data. Yum! booked a 10.5% jump in second-quarter earnings to $316 million, or 65 cents per share, compared with year-earlier earnings of $286 million, or 59 cents a share. Total revenue rose 9.7% to $2.82 billion from $2.57 billion a year ago.
In an effort to draw more customers, Taco Bell said earlier this month it will offer free Wi-Fi at all of its U.S. restaurants by 2015 in a move that echoes that of restaurant giants McDonald's ( MCD) and Starbucks ( SBUX). Just 40 Taco Bell restaurants offer the complimentary service now. The fast-food chain will also outfit its stores with TV screens airing programs from Restaurant Entertainment Network, a content providing service already employed by Denny's ( DENN), Arby's, Wendy's ( WEN), Carl's Jr and Hardee's, according to a report in The Independent. Programs will feature content on music, lifestyle, entertainment and sports.
Deutsche Bank analysts had a hold rating on Yum! shares, and said it expects comps to fall around 1.3% in the U.S., with steeper drops at Taco Bell following the now-dropped lawsuit. The firm expected comps in China to rise 9% in the quarter but "even with very strong comps, we are expecting high food and labor inflation to continue to weigh on China margins." -- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Miriam Reimer. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/miriamsmarket. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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