Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Yum China Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:YUMC) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Yum China Holdings, Inc. is a licensee of Yum! Brands primarily in mainland China. The company have rights to KFC, China’s quick-service restaurant concept, Pizza Hut, casual dining restaurant brand and Taco Bell. Yum China Holdings, Inc. is based in Shanghai, China. “

Several other equities research analysts also recently commented on the stock. Citigroup Inc. started coverage on shares of Yum China Holdings in a research report on Monday, September 18th. They set a buy rating and a $51.00 target price for the company. Morgan Stanley reissued an overweight rating and set a $41.00 target price on shares of Yum China Holdings in a research report on Friday, July 7th. Deutsche Bank AG downgraded shares of Yum China Holdings from a buy rating to a hold rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $34.72 to $36.61 in a research report on Thursday, July 6th. Bank of America Corporation reissued a neutral rating and set a $41.60 target price on shares of Yum China Holdings in a research report on Sunday, July 30th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. boosted their target price on shares of Yum China Holdings from $35.00 to $43.00 in a research report on Thursday, July 6th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Yum China Holdings presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $42.35.

Yum China Holdings (NASDAQ YUMC) traded up $1.64 on Friday, reaching $41.81. 3,313,941 shares of the company’s stock traded hands.

Yum China Holdings (NASDAQ:YUMC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 5th. The company reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.56 by ($0.04). The company had revenue of $2.04 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.98 billion. Yum China Holdings had a net margin of 10.84% and a return on equity of 30.55%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.52 earnings per share.

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Yum China Holdings announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Thursday, October 5th that permits the company to repurchase $550.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to purchase up to 3.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a special dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 21st. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 30th will be given a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 29th.

In other Yum China Holdings news, insider Angela Ai sold 17,678 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.05, for a total value of $761,037.90. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Danny Tan sold 2,124 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.84, for a total transaction of $88,868.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 41,986 shares of company stock valued at $1,686,687 over the last ninety days.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Yum China Holdings by 28.7% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 27,306,495 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,076,695,000 after purchasing an additional 6,087,048 shares in the last quarter. Comerica Securities Inc. purchased a new position in Yum China Holdings in the second quarter valued at about $251,000. Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its stake in Yum China Holdings by 40.9% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 3,514,169 shares of the company’s stock valued at $138,564,000 after acquiring an additional 1,020,928 shares during the last quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia boosted its stake in Yum China Holdings by 17.7% in the second quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 29,956 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,180,000 after acquiring an additional 4,500 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Whittier Trust Co. of Nevada Inc. boosted its stake in Yum China Holdings by 10.5% in the second quarter. Whittier Trust Co. of Nevada Inc. now owns 8,865 shares of the company’s stock valued at $350,000 after acquiring an additional 845 shares during the last quarter.

Yum China Holdings Company Profile

Yum China Holdings, Inc is a restaurant company. The Company’s segments include KFC, Pizza Hut Casual Dining, and All Other Segments, including Pizza Hut Home Service, East Dawning, Little Sheep and Taco Bell. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had over 7,500 restaurants in China. Its restaurant base consists of various restaurant concepts.

Analyst Recommendations for Yum China Holdings (NASDAQ:YUMC)

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