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LOUISVILLE, KY-Boosted by strong sales at KentuckyFried Chicken, Yum! Brands Inc. reported that itsdomestic same-store sales increased 6% for its sixthsales period ending June 11, beating analyst estimatesof 4%. These numbers represent the company’s strongestresults in three and a half years, according to PeterOakes, a senior research analyst with Piper Jaffray &Co.

According to the restaurant operator, Kentucky FriedChicken same stores sales jumped 12% compared to thesame period last year. “A Buffalo Boneless Wingsvalue-priced promo boosted the results,” Oakesexplains. Similarly, Taco Bell posted increased salesof 7%, while Pizza Hut was flat.

Despite the strong domestic performance, Yum! Brandsis not changing its previous guidance of 56 cents pershare for the second quarter, and Oakes is notchanging his estimate for the year. The EPS jumps to59 cents to 60 cents when the gain of $17 million fromthe IPO of the company’s Poland/Czech Republic jointventure.

Yum! Brands’ International Division same-store salesincreased 11%, while sales for the China Divisionincreased 2% versus last year. China Division salescontinue to be negatively impacted by a supplierproblem that caused a scare among the Chinese people.

“For the first time, management acknowledged it ispursuing a financial recovery from its seasoningsupplier,” Oakes notes. Yum operates more than 33,000 units in 100 countries.

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