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Strength Seen in Yum China (YUMC): Can Its 5.5% Jump Turn into More Strength?

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Yum China Holdings (YUMC - Free Report) shares rallied 5.5% in the last trading session to close at $56.08. This move can be attributable to notable volume with a higher number of shares being traded than in a typical session. This compares to the stock's 1.3% loss over the past four weeks.

Yum China's rally is buoyed by optimism regarding the company’s strategic initiatives to accelerate network expansion, drive sales growth and boost profits. Positive investor sentiments were witnessed on its refreshed "RGM 2.0" strategy launch during the 2023 Investor Day in Xi'an, China. The company plans to reach 20,000 stores by 2026 and target a high-single-to-double-digit CAGR for system sales and operating profit, along with double-digit EPS CAGR from 2024 to 2026. The company also aims to return approximately $3 billion to shareholders through quarterly dividends and share repurchases over the same three-year period, effectively doubling the shareholder return of the past three years.

This restaurant operator in China is expected to post quarterly earnings of $0.69 per share in its upcoming report, which represents a year-over-year change of +40.8%. Revenues are expected to be $3.06 billion, up 14.1% from the year-ago quarter.

While earnings and revenue growth expectations are important in evaluating the potential strength in a stock, empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements.

For Yum China, the consensus EPS estimate for the quarter has remained unchanged over the last 30 days. And a stock's price usually doesn't keep moving higher in the absence of any trend in earnings estimate revisions. So, make sure to keep an eye on YUMC going forward to see if this recent jump can turn into more strength down the road.

The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>

Yum China belongs to the Zacks Retail - Restaurants industry. Another stock from the same industry, Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG - Free Report) , closed the last trading session 0.2% higher at $1,936.12. Over the past month, CMG has returned 3.5%.

Chipotle's consensus EPS estimate for the upcoming report has remained unchanged over the past month at $10.42. Compared to the company's year-ago EPS, this represents a change of +9.6%. Chipotle currently boasts a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).

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