Yum! Brands forecasts strong expansion overseas

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Yum! Brands Inc.'s stock (YUM) is trading higher as the owner of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut is forecasting more rapid restaurant growth outside the U.S. along with a turnaround for Taco Bell in the U.S.

Yum Chief Financial Officer Rick Carucci said Tuesday that healthy profit growth is expected in China, thanks to new restaurants and revenue growth at established stores.

The company on Monday reported a 30 percent increase in fourth-quarter profit.

Taco Bell enters breakfast arena

Taco Bell accounts for more than half of Yum's U.S. profit. But the chain was hurt by a now-dropped lawsuit that questioned the beef content in its tacos. Yum Chairman and CEO David C. Novak says Taco Bell's sales turned positive late in the quarter.

Yum shares are up $1.81 at $65 in morning trading Tuesday.

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