Taco Bell parent Yum Brands tops earnings estimates fueled by U.S. sales growth

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A Taco Bell location in New York.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Yum Brands on Wednesday reported quarterly earnings that crushed analysts’ expectations as U.S. consumers returned to its restaurants.

Shares of the company rose less than 1% in premarket trading.

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Here’s what the company reported compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $1.07 adjusted vs. 87 cents expected
  • Revenue: $1.49 billion vs. $1.45 billion expected

The company reported fiscal first-quarter net income rose to $326 million, or $1.07 per share, from $83 million, or 27 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Yum earned $1.07 per share, topping the 87 cents per share expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.

Net sales rose 18% to $1.49 billion, beating expectations of $1.45 billion. Global same-store sales rose 9% in the quarter as the company faced comparisons to last year’s first quarter, when Covid-19 began hurting demand.

KFC’s same-store sales grew by 8%. On a two-year basis, its same-store sales were flat. The fried chicken chain’s international sales are returning at a slower pace, hurt by extended lockdowns in some countries. Its U.S. division, however, reported two-year same-store sales growth of 11%.

Pizza Hut’s same-store sales climbed 12% in the quarter. On a two-year basis, its same-store sales declined 1%. About 3% of its locations were temporarily closed during the first quarter, dragging down its same-store sales growth. Pizza Hut’s U.S. division reported 8% same-store sales growth on a two-year basis, while the international division saw same-store sales shrink by 7% in the same time.

Taco Bell reported same-store sales growth of 9% compared with the year-ago period and 10% on a two-year basis.

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