Yum! Brands announced FY12 EPS and gave game-changing guidance on FY13 that is leading us to capitulate on our long YUM idea. 


Stepping Back From YUM


In advance of tomorrow’s earnings call, we are stepping back from our long YUM thesis.  While our initial analysis, released in November 2013 as a Black Book, was sound, the chicken supplier issue was clearly unforeseeable.  With hindsight, our mistake was defending the stock at that point, rather than taking a more prudent approach.  The reasoning behind our decision was that the government’s investigation had ceased, the stock price had declined quite dramatically, and sentiment seemed to be setting up for a strong contrarian position on the long side over the long-term TAIL duration.



Growth Story Intact, Comp Sales the Big Issue in 2013


The important component of the YUM press release was the commentary from David Novak, the Chairman and CEO.  Important points regarding China:

  • Due to continued negative same-restaurant sales, mgmt not expecting EPS growth in FY13
  • Growth strategies unchanged, globally.  Still aiming for 700 new units in China this year
  • Same-restaurant sales declined 37%, including 41% at KFC and 15% at Pizza Hut

That the company is not revising its growth targets could mean that management’s confidence in the long-term prospects of its China business is high but, given the data in the press release, we think that the bottoming process could take several quarters. 


Our Black Book, which was published the week before YUM’s analyst day, included a sum-of-the-parts-analysis suggested a value of $88 per share.  On December 6th, during the analyst day presentation, management suggested a value of between $80-90.  As of now, it is much more difficult to value this stock.  Following the call tomorrow, we expect to have a better idea of how the business should fare over the coming quarters and years.



Howard Penney

Managing Director


Rory Green

Senior Analyst



Did the US Economy Just “Collapse”? "Worst Personal Spending Since 2009"?

This is a brief note written by Hedgeye U.S. Macro analyst Christian Drake on 4/28 dispelling media reporting that “US GDP collapses to 0.7%, the lowest number in three years with the worst personal spending since 2009.”

read more

7 Tweets Summing Up What You Need to Know About Today's GDP Report

"There's a tremendous opportunity to educate people in our profession on how GDP is stated and projected," Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough wrote today. Here's everything you need to know about today's GDP report.

read more

Cartoon of the Day: Crash Test Bear

In the past six months, U.S. stock indices are up between +12% and +18%.

read more

GOLD: A Deep Dive on What’s Next with a Top Commodities Strategist

“If you saved in gold over the past 20 to 25 years rather than any currency anywhere in the world, gold has outperformed all these currencies,” says Stefan Wieler, Vice President of Goldmoney in this edition of Real Conversations.

read more

Exact Sciences Up +24% This Week... What's Next? | $EXAS

We remain long Exact Sciences in the Hedgeye Healthcare Position Monitor.

read more

Inside the Atlanta Fed's Flawed GDP Tracker

"The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNowcast model, while useful at amalgamating investor consensus on one singular GDP estimate for any given quarter, is certainly not the end-all-be-all of forecasting U.S. GDP," writes Hedgeye Senior Macro analyst Darius Dale.

read more

Cartoon of the Day: Acrophobia

"Most people who are making a ton of money right now are focused on growth companies seeing accelerations," Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough wrote in today's Early Look. "That’s what happens in Quad 1."

read more

People's Bank of China Spins China’s Bad-Loan Data

PBoC Deputy Governor Yi says China's non-performing loan problem has “pretty much stabilized." "Yi is spinning. China’s bad-debt problem remains serious," write Benn Steil and Emma Smith, Council on Foreign Relations.

read more

UnderArmour: 'I Am Much More Bearish Than I Was 3 Hours Ago'

“The consumer has a short memory.” Yes, Plank actually said this," writes Hedgeye Retail analyst Brian McGough. "Last time I heard such arrogance was Ron Johnson."

read more

Buffalo Wild Wings: Complacency & Lack of Leadership (by Howard Penney)

"Buffalo Wild Wings has been plagued by complacency and a continued lack of adequate leadership," writes Hedgeye Restaurants analyst Howard Penney.

read more

Todd Jordan on Las Vegas Sands Earnings

"The quarter actually beat lowered expectations. Overall, the mass segment performed well although base mass lagging is a concern," writes Hedgeye Gaming, Lodging & Leisure analyst Todd Jordan on Las Vegas Sands.

read more

An Update on Defense Spending by Lt. Gen Emo Gardner

"Congress' FY17 omnibus appropriation will fully fund the Pentagon's original budget request plus $15B of its $30B supplemental request," writes Hedgeye Potomac Defense Policy analyst Lt. Gen Emerson "Emo" Gardner USMC Ret.

read more