Yum! Sales Top View on China Strength

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (TheStreet) --Yum! Brands (YUM) met quarterly profit expectations on Tuesday as continued strong performance in China drove year-over-year revenue growth of more than 14%.

The parent company of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut said late Tuesday it earned $383 million, or 80 cents per share, in its fiscal third quarter, up 7.3% from a year-earlier profit of $357 million, or 74 cents a share. Excluding one-time items, earnings came in at 83 cents per share, in line with analysts' consensus call. Analysts typically exclude one-time items when forecasting earnings estimates.

Total revenue jumped 14.3% to $3.27 billion, from $2.86 billion, topping the $3.1 billion analysts had called for.

Even so, investors bid Yum shares 2.1% lower in afterhours trading though the stock closed the regular session 2% higher at $49.44.

On the back of another strong quarterly performance in China and emerging markets, Yum reiterated its full-year earnings-per-share forecast for growth of at least 12%.

The company said worldwide system sales grew 6% in the quarter, prior to foreign currency translation, including 29% in China and 8% at Yum Restaurants International (YRI). System sales in the U.S. declined 3%.

Same-store sales -- or sales at stores open at least one year, a closely watched metric in the restaurant industry -- grew 19% in China and 3% at YRI, and declined 3% in the U.S.

-- 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 @miriamsmarket.

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