NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Since reaching a high of $83.58 two months month ago, shares of Yum! Brands (YUM) have fallen more than 13%. At around $73 currently, shares are off nearly 4% for the year to date.
But the company wants to get investors excited again and recently boosted its dividend 11% to 41 cents per share from 37 cents. This now puts the forward yield at 2.25% compared to the average yield of 1.77% for all of the companies in the S&P 500.
Here are other reasons Yum! should whet your appetite.
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This is the tenth year in a row Yum!, whose restaurants include KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, has increased its dividend by a double-digit percentage rate -- one of the longest streaks on the market. For Yum! to raise its dividend given the struggles in markets like China is an encouraging sign about the company's underlying strength.
More importantly, a dividend increase signals the confidence management has about the company's future. Over the past five years Yum! has delivered roughly $6 billion back to shareholders in buybacks and dividends.
Beginning in January, Greg Creed, currently CEO of Taco Bell, will take over as CEO of Yum! Brands. Given the success of Taco Bell, Creed seems like a logical choice. His "outside the bun thinking" spawned the creation of Doritos Locos Tacos, which has become one of the fastest-growing new products in the history of fast food. Yum!'s ability to differentiate itself from rivals including McDonald's (MCD) , Burger King (BKW) and Wendy's (WEN) will be key to its long-term growth.