Yum! Stock Lands Bull Note on Heels of Dividend Declaration

This is the third year of dividend increases for Yum!

Assistant Editor
May 15, 2020 at 10:37 AM
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The shares of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) are down 0.9% to trade at $82.51, after the fast food corporation's board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of 47 cents per share of common stock, which represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis with a yield of 2.3%. The dividend is set to be distributed to shareholders on June 12.

YUM has had a volatile run since bottoming out amid the broad-market crash in mid-March. The shares have managed to slightly recover, however, and now sport a 23% quarterly gain. Further, capturing this week's pullback looks to be the 40-day moving average. 

Stifel was quick to hand out an upgrade to "buy" from "hold" and hike its price target to $95 from $87, though heading into today the remaining covering analysts were not so optimistic. Of the 21 in coverage, 15 brokerages sport a "hold" while one carries a "strong sell."

Looking toward the options pits, the equity sports a 50-day put/call ratio of 1.78 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio ranks in the 86th percentile of its annual range, suggesting a bigger-than-usual appetite for long puts of late.

Echoing this, YUM's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.97 sits in the 75th annual percentile. In other words, short-term options players have rarely been more put-biased. Additionally, the security's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 42% is in the 35th percentile of its annual range, meaning options players are pricing in relatively low volatility expectations right now. 


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