YUM! Brands, Inc.’s (YUM - Free Report) subsidiary, Pizza Hut, has extended its agreement with the NCAA, which commenced in 2016. Per the deal, Pizza Hut will continue to be the Official Pizza of the NCAA through the 2020-2021 academic year. Currently, YUM! Brands has the rights to all 90 championships for games like basketball, hockey, bowling, fencing, baseball and beach volleyball.
This year, Pizza Hut also became the Official Pizza Partner of the NFL. Pizza Hut’s chief marketing officer, Zipporah Allen, said that “Pizza and sports are a perfect match. From the Men's Final Four and College World Series, to the NFL Draft and Super Bowl, we're looking forward to feeding the passion and excitement of all sports fans at every level.”
The extension of the agreement will continue to boost the company’s top-line performance. In first-quarter 2018, Pizza Hut revenues totaled $251 million, up 8% on a year-over-year basis. Comps were up 1% against the year-ago quarter’s decline of 3% and preceding quarter’s increase of 1%.
Advanced Digital & Delivery Services to Drive Growth
The digital wave has hit the U.S. fast casual restaurant sector. More and more restaurants are deploying technology to enhance guest experience. Yum! Brands is also not far behind in the race as the company is continuing with its transformation process toward a single point-of-sale system in the United States.
In fourth-quarter 2017, Yum! Brands announced a partnership with online food delivery platform, Grubhub, to improve online sales and delivery from its restaurants. The company has started integrating all KFC and Taco Bell restaurants with Grubhub in the first quarter.
This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company’s shares have gained 7.3% in the past year, outperforming the industry’s 1.1% rise.
Better-ranked stocks worth considering in the same space include Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. (TAST - Free Report) , Papa Murphy's Holdings, Inc. (FRSH - Free Report) and Wingstop Inc. (WING - Free Report) . All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Carrols Restaurant, Papa Murphy's and Wingstop earnings for 2018 are expected to grow a respective 70%, 153.3% and 13.5% on a year-over-year basis.
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