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Yum forecasts 10% jump in EPS for '09

LOUISVILLE Ky. Yum! Brands Inc., parent to Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut and other quick-service brands, said this week it expects per-share earnings to increase at least 10 percent in 2009 and reiterated its prediction for a 12-percent jump for the current year.

The guidance, which will be detailed at an analyst conference on Dec. 10, excludes special one-time items, the company said. If the growth targets are met in 2009, it would mark Yum’s eighth consecutive year of double-digit earnings-per-share growth.

In 2007, Yum earned $1.68 per share, and on average, analysts expect the company to earn $1.90 this year.

So far in the company’s current fourth quarter, through Nov. 26, U.S. systemwide same-store sales increased 2 percent across all of the company’s brands, Yum reported. Quarterly trends through Nov. 30 in mainland China show a year-to-year same-store sales gain of 4 percent. In Yum’s other international markets, through Nov. 3, same-store sales rose 4 from a year ago, the company said.

Worldwide, Yum and its franchisees operate more than 35,000 restaurants.

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