NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Yum! Brands Inc (YUM) are gaining, up 1.76% to $91.60 in early market trading Friday, after analysts at JPMorgan Chase raised its rating and price target on the restaurant group this morning.
The firm upgraded the parent company of KFC and Taco Bell to "overweight" from "neutral" with a higher price target of $108 from $83.
JPMorgan analysts said they see greater potential for Yum! Brands spinning off its operations in China.
The firm wrote in a note, "Yum China is maturing and funding all of its own growth, and in our opinion doesn't need Yum's balance sheet in any way. In fact the segment is run very independently from the global brands ex-China."
Louisville, Ky.-based Yum! Brands is a quick service restaurant company based on number of system units, with over 39,000 units in more than 125 countries and territories.
The company develops, operates, franchises and licenses a worldwide system of restaurants, which prepare, package and sell a menu of priced food items.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates YUM BRANDS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate YUM BRANDS INC (YUM) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."