Yum Brands Sales Rise 6%, Outlook Reaffirmed

Yum Brands Inc. (YUM), the parent company of fast-food chains KFC, Taco Bell (search) and Pizza Hut (search), Thursday said sales at U.S. restaurants open at least a year rose 6 percent in the latest 4-week period and stood by its second-quarter earnings forecast.

Wall Street analysts expected an overall rise of about 4 percent, according to research reports.

U.S. same-store sales, a key retail measure, rose 12 percent at the KFC (search) chicken chain, climbed 7 percent at Taco Bell, and were flat at Pizza Hut.

Yum shares slipped 7 cents to $52.35 on the New York Stock Exchange (search).

Yum has nearly 34,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries.

Sales in China were hurt after the company pulled some products from its KFC restaurants there at the end of March. Yum discovered the products contained a dye banned from use in food because of concern it could lead to an increased risk of cancer.

Yum is seeking money back from its China supplier over the dye problem and added that any financial recovery would be included in third-quarter and fourth-quarter results.

Yum forecast second-quarter earnings of 56 cents per share, excluding the impact of a possible one-time gain from the initial public offering of its Poland/Czech Republic joint venture. That business, called AmRest, trades on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (search).

Including the gain from the IPO on April 27, the company expects earnings in a range of 59 cents to 60 cents per share.

Reuters Estimates listed the average analyst second-quarter earnings expectation at 56 cents per share.

U.S. same-store sales rose 5 percent in the second quarter, the company said.