Yum Brands Inc. maintained its full-year adjusted earnings forecast Friday, helped by strong performances from its Yum Restaurants International business and operations in China.
The restaurant operator _ whose brands include Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC _ anticipates 12 percent growth in earnings per share for the year, excluding special items. It posted 2008 earnings of $1.96 per share, which would imply a 2009 profit of about $2.20 per share.
Chairman and CEO David Novak said in a statement that the company's performance has benefited from favorable commodity costs, a lower tax rate and improved productivity.
Yum anticipates 10 percent growth in earnings per share for next year.
On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters forecast earnings per share of $2.16 per share for 2009 and $2.38 per share in 2010, implying year-over-year growth of 10 percent.
The company has more than 36,000 restaurants in more than 110 countries and territories.
In morning trading, Yum shares fell $1.04, or 3 percent, to $34.09.