Yum Reports Lower Profit

Yum Brands Inc. (YUM) Monday reported lower quarterly net income as costs for stock- based compensation hit results, but earnings excluding one-time items exceeded Wall Street estimates.

Net income for the fourth quarter fell 4 percent to $226 million, or 77 cents per share, from $235 million, or 77 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding stock-based compensation expense, Yum earned 81 cents a share.

On that basis, Wall Street analysts had expected the company to report earnings of between 77 cents and 79 cents per share with an average view of 78 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates. Yum itself had forecast a profit before special items of 78 cents a share.

Yum shares rose 1.4 percent to close at $51.17 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock trades at roughly 17.5 times analysts' average 2007 earnings estimate, compared with a multiple of about 18.4 for companies in the Dow Jones U.S. restaurants and bars index.