Yum Brands Inc (YUM): Today's Featured Services Winner

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Yum Brands ( YUM) pushed the Services sector higher today making it today's featured services winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.3%. By the end of trading, Yum Brands rose 74 cents (1.1%) to $68.32 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2.7 million shares of Yum Brands exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.2 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $66.85-$68.45 after having opened the day at $67.44 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $67.58. Other companies within the Services sector that increased today were: Newlead Holdings ( NEWL), up 63.4%, Seanergy Maritime Holdings ( SHIP), up 44.3%, FreeSeas ( FREE), up 35.6%, and Excel Maritime Carriers ( EXM), up 35%.
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YUM! Brands, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates quick service restaurants in the United States and internationally. Yum Brands has a market cap of $30.34 billion and is part of the leisure industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Yum Brands a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Yum Brands as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the negative front, American Learning ( ALRN), down 19.8%, General Employment ( JOB), down 11.1%, DS Torm ( TRMD), down 8.8%, and Finish Line ( FINL), down 8.3%, were all laggards within the services sector with Scripps Networks Interactive ( SNI) being today's services sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the services sector could consider iShares Dow Jones US Cons Services ( IYC) while those bearish on the services sector could consider ProShares Ultra Short Consumer Sers ( SCC).

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