CHARLOTTE, N.C. (TheStreet) — Hundreds of US Airways (LCC) employees are in Washington, lobbying members of Congress to support a planned merger with American (AAMRQ), despite opposition from the Justice Department.
Supporters do not, however, include leaders and members of the International Association of Machinists, the largest union at US Airways, representing about 3,500 mechanics and 5,800 fleet service workers.
“I think it raises a red flag with members of Congress when the largest labor group is not involved with the lobbying,” said Bill Wise, president of IAM Local 1725 in Charlotte.
The Justice Department’s 57-page complaint opposing the merger focuses on protecting consumers by preserving the low fares offered on some one-stop routes by US Airways. But it doesn’t mention that US Airways earns lower revenue per available seat mile on comparable routes than bigger competitors do, and that it compensates for lower revenue by paying its employees less than their peers at bigger rivals. Many employees were to receive contract improvements triggered by the merger: US Airways has estimated the gain in employee compensation at about $400 million annually. The biggest beneficiaries would be US Airways pilots. Pilots from both US Airways and from the former America West — the two airlines merged in 2005 — have below-industry standard contracts. East pilots have had bankruptcy contracts since 2003. For them, a merger means a new contract that over six years would provide $1.6 billion worth of benefits, including pay raises of 13% to 35% over existing rates and lump sum payments around $10,000 each. But US Airways mechanics and fleet service workers are looking to make contract gains through negotiations, which have been stalled since their two contracts became amendable 21 months ago on Jan. 2, 2012. IAM members, primarily fleet service workers, picketed Friday at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Talks have been delayed by the airline’s merger efforts and by a failed effort by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to organize the mechanics. That effort began late in 2012 and ended in August, when the Teamsters lost a representation election .
Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Own Right Now: Universal Truckload Services Inc (UACL)
Universal Truckload Services, Inc., incorporated on December 11, 2001, is engaged in providing transportation services to shippers throughout the United States and in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The Company’s over-the-road trucking services include both flatbed and dry van operations and it provides rail-truck and steamship-truck intermodal support services. It also offers truck brokerage services, as well as full service international freight forwarding and customs house brokerage services. The Company provides truckload transportation and related services for a range of general commodities over irregular routes using dry and specialty vans and un-sided trailers, including flatbed, drop deck, and specialty. In December 2013, the Company announced that it has completed acquisition of Westport Axle Corporation.
The Company primarily operates through a contractor network of agents and owner-operators who provide the Company with approximately 3,100 tractors and approximately 3,000 trailers. At December 31, 2011, the Company had approximately 565 agents. The Company conducts its operations through its wholly owned operating subsidiaries under the brand names, such as Universal Am-Can, Ltd., Mason & Dixon Lines, Inc., Louisiana Transportation Inc., Mason Dixon Intermodal, Inc., Economy Transport, Inc., Great American Lines, Inc., Universal Logistics Solutions, Inc., Universal Logistics Solutions International, Inc. and Cavalry Transportation, LLC.
The Company provides services in three categories, such as truckload services, brokerage services and intermodal support services. The Company transports a range of general commodities, including machinery, building materials, paper, food, consumer goods, automotive parts, furniture, steel and other metals. During the year ended December 31, 2011, its truckload operations represented 60.5%, of its operating revenues.
The Company provides primari ly broker freight to third-party transportation providers th! rough its agent network at times when the Company generates more freight business than it can service with its available owner-operators. The Company offers full service international freight forwarding and customs house brokerage services, as well as third-party logistic services. During 2011, its brokerage services represented 24.8%, of its operating revenues. Its intermodal support services are primarily short-to-medium distance delivery of rail and steamship containers between the railhead or port and the customer and drayage services. During 2011, its intermodal support services represented 14.7% of its operating revenues.
The Company’s agents provide the primary interaction with its shippers. They generate freight shipments and also provide terminal and dispatch services for the owner-operators and are an essential source for recruitment of new owner-operators. The agents use a company-provided software program to list available freight procured by the a gent, dispatch owner-operators to haul the freight and provide all administrative information necessary for it to establish the credit arrangements for each shipper. The owner-operators are individuals who own, operate and maintain one or more tractors that they either provide drivers, or drive themselves. The Company’s owner-operators provide it with approximately 3,100 tractors. Owner-operators also may own trailers that they provide the Company in addition to their tractor and driving services. As of December 31, 2011, its owner-operators provided approximately 3,000 trailers, which represent over 50% of the trailers the Company use in its business.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Universal Truckload Services (Nasdaq: UACL ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
- [By Sean Williams]
What: Shares of Universal Truckload Services (NASDAQ: UACL ) , a North American provider of trucking and logistics solutions, jumped as much as 12% after receiving an upgrade from BB&T Capital Markets.
Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Own Right Now: Ambarella Inc (AMBA)
Ambarella, Inc., incorporated on January 15, 2004, is a developer of semiconductor processing solutions for video that enable high-definition (HD), video capture, sharing and display. The Company combine its processor design capabilities with its video and image processing, algorithms and software to provide a technology platform. It sells solutions into the camera and infrastructure markets, with approximately 27 million system-on-a-chips (SoCs) shipped since our inception. In the camera market, its solutions enable the creation of video content for wearable sports cameras, automotive aftermarket cameras, Internet Protocol (IP), security cameras, digital still cameras (DSCs), telepresence cameras, camcorders and pocket video cameras. In the infrastructure market, its solutions manage IP video traffic, broadcast encoding and IP video delivery applications. In 2012, the Company released its Wireless Camera Developers Kit. In 2012, it also launched S2 SoC, which enables Ultr a High-Definition IP security cameras.
The Company sells its solutions to original design manufacturers (ODMs), and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), globally. In the camera market, its video processing solutions are designed into products from OEMs, including Robert Bosch GmbH and affiliated entities, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and Woodman Labs, Inc., doing business as (d/b/a) GoPro, or GoPro, who source its solutions from ODMs, including Ability Enterprise Co., Ltd., Asia Optical Co. Inc., Chicony Electronics Co., Ltd., DXG Technology Corp., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. and Sky Light Digital Ltd. In the infrastructure market, its solutions are designed into products from OEMs, including Harmonic Inc., Motorola Mobility, Inc. (owned by Google, Inc.) and Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, who source its solutions from ODMs, such as Plexus Corp.
The Company’s image signal processing architecture, known as Amba Clear, incorporates advanced algorithms to convert raw senso! r data to high-resolution still and high-definition video images concurrently. Image processing algorithms include sensor, lens and color correction, demosaicing, which is a process used to reconstruct a full color image from incomplete color samples, noise filtering, detail enhancement and image format conversion.
The Company’s HD video processing architecture, known as AmbaCast, incorporates advanced algorithms for motion estimation, motion-compensated temporal filtering, mode decision and rate control. It supports all three compression profilesbaseline, main and highas specified in the H.264 standard. Its solutions for the broadcast infrastructure market allow OEMs to offer both the H.264 and MPEG-2 encoding formats.
The Company test and verify its algorithms on its architectural model prior to implementing algorithms in hardware. Its advanced verification methodology validates its approach through simultaneous modeling of architecture, algorithms and the hardware itself.
The Company’s SoC designs integrate HD video processing, image processing, applications processing and system functions onto a single chip, delivering video and image quality with features, including advanced wireless connectivity. In addition, its SoCs integrate mixed signal (analog/digital) functionality and high speed interfaces required for interfacing to advanced high-speed CMOS sensors and industry standard interfaces, such as USB 2.0 and HDMI 1.4. Its A7L SoC, which it introduced in September 2011, is fabricated in edge 32 nanometer (nm) process technology and integrates AmbaClear and AmbaCast technology.
Software Development Kit for Connectivity
The Company’s video streaming technology enables the camera’s image to be previewed on a smartphone. To enable this functionality, end customers deploy its Wireless Camera D eveloper’s Kit, or the Kit, which enables the design of ca! meras tha! t combine still photography and Full HD video with wireless video streaming to smartphones. The Kit is available for its A7L SoC product family, providing full 1080p60 HD video with photography and low power consumption.
The Company competes with CSR Plc, Fujitsu Limited, HiSilicon Technologies Co., Ltd., Texas Instruments Incorporated, Canon Inc., Panasonic Corporation, Sony Corporation, Novatek Microelectronics Corp., Sunplus Technology Co. Ltd., Intel Corporation, Magnum Semiconductor, Inc, Texas Instruments Incorporated, Broadcom Corporation, NVIDIA Corporation, Qualcomm Incorporated and Samsung.
- [By MONEYMORNING]
Back in August, we said that specialty microchip maker Ambarella Inc. (Nasdaq: AMBA) would be a major beneficiary of the UHDTV surge and predicted the stock could double in just over two years.
- [By MONEYMORNING]
Of course I’m talking about wearable tech. And Ambarella Inc. (Nasdaq: AMBA).
Thanks to its extreme-sports “helmet cams,” Ambarella is a leader in the wearable-technology category. And the company’s stock has more than doubled since we first talked about it back in August.
- [By MONEYMORNING]
We’re talking about the Santa Clara, Calif.-based Ambarella Inc. (Nasdaq: AMBA), whose video-chip technology is finding its way into security cameras, automotive cameras, and the “wearable” video cams the “extreme sports” crowd uses to record their often-breathtaking exploits.
Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Own Right Now: Freescale Semiconductor Inc (FSL)
Freescale Semiconductor, Ltd. provides embedded processing solutions for automotive, networking, industrial, and consumer markets worldwide. The companys embedded processor products comprise microcontrollers, such as ultra low power, low end 8-bit, and 32-bit products with on-board flash memory, which provide the digital logic or intelligence for electronic applications; single-and multi-core microprocessors; and applications processors with embedded memory, and special purpose hardware and software for multimedia applications. It also offers wireless connectivity products for low power wireless communications functionality; communications processors that perform tasks related to control and management of digital data, and network interfaces; and radio frequency (RF) devices, which consist of power transistors, amplifiers, receivers, and tuners for amplifying RF signals. In addition, the company provides analog, mixed-signal, and power management integrated circuits (ICs ) that include switches, power management devices, battery and motor control devices, CAN/LIN network transceivers, and signal conditioners that perform audio processing, backlight management/control, power management, and charging functions; sensors comprising pressure, inertial, magnetic, and proximity sensors, which act as an interface between an embedded system and external environment; and cellular products consisting of baseband processors, power management ICs, and RF subsystems. It sells its products to original equipment manufacturers, distributors, original design manufacturers, and contract manufacturers through its direct sales force and distributors. The company was formerly known as Freescale Semiconductor Holdings I, Ltd. and changed its name to Freescale Semiconductor, Ltd. in April 2012. The company was incorporated in 2006 and is headquartered in Austin, Texas. Freescale Semiconductor, Ltd. is a subsidiary of Freescale Holdings L.P.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Shares of Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL) were also up, gaining 15.56 percent to $17.67 after the company beat street estimates on its fourth quarter report.
- [By Alex Planes]
The Internet of Things is about to get a little smaller. Make that a lot smaller — so small you could put it on a pill and become a thing on the Internet yourself. Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL ) unveiled a new ARM Holdings (NASDAQ: ARMH ) -based microcontroller chip last month, dubbed the Kinetis KL02, that has everything necessary on board to produce, track, record, and analyze the essential information that device creators might need in a package smaller than your pinky toenail. That’s it over to the left — all 1.9 millimeters by 2 millimeters of it.
- [By Evan Niu, CFA]
What: Shares of Freescale (NYSE: FSL ) have skyrocketed today by upwards of 12% after the semiconductor specialist posted first-quarter earnings results.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Own Right Now: Pioneer Exploration Inc (PIEX)
Pioneer Exploration Inc. (Pioneer) is an exploration-stage company. The Company is primarily engaged in the acquisition and exploration of mining properties.
As of August 31, 2012, the Company has not generated any revenue. As of August 31, 2012, the Company does not have any manufacturing facilities, operations, suppliers, products, or customers.
- [By Peter Graham]
Small cap stocks Metrospaces Inc (OTCMKTS: MSPC), LEEP INC (OTCMKTS: LPPI) and Pioneer Exploration Inc (OTCMKTS: PIEX) have been getting some attention lately due to either promotions or share trading activity. Unfortunately, there are still unanswered questions about these three “dark horse” stocks which make it more difficult for investors and traders alike to evaluate. With that in mind, let’s try to shine the light on what we know about all three small caps:
Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Own Right Now: Lowe’s Companies Inc.(LOW)
Lowe’s Companies, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a home improvement retailer in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The company offers a range of products for maintenance, repair, remodeling, home decorating, and property maintenance. It provides home improvement products in the categories of appliances, lumber, paint, millwork, building materials, lawn and landscape products, flooring, rough plumbing, seasonal living, tools, hardware, fashion plumbing, lighting, nursery, outdoor power equipment, cabinets and countertops, home organization, rough electrical, and home fashion, as well as boards, panel products, irrigation pipes, vinyl sidings, and ladders. The company also offers installation services through independent contractors in various product categories. Lowe’s Companies serves homeowners and renters primarily consisting of do-it-yourself customers and do-it-for-me customers; and commercial business customers, who work in the construction, rep air/remodel, commercial and residential property management, or business maintenance professions. As of August 15, 2011, it operated approximately 1,725 home improvement stores in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The company also offers its products through electronic product catalogs and Lowes.com. Lowe’s Companies, Inc. was founded in 1952 and is based in Mooresville, North Carolina.
- [By Paul Ausick]
Other stores offering special weekend pricing are home improvement giants The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) and Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW). In fact, this is virtually the home improvement stores’ real Black Friday weekend. Both Home Depot and Lowe’s hire thousands of seasonal employees for their Spring selling season, and just as the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas holiday season is a make or break for many retailers, this time of year really is make-or-break time for these two giants.
- [By Bloomberg]
Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images Housing starts in the U.S. were little changed in February after declining less than previously estimated a month earlier, indicating the home-building industry is stabilizing after bad winter weather curbed construction. The 0.2 percent decrease to 907,000 homes at an annualized rate last month followed a revised 909,000 pace in January, figures from the Commerce Department in Washington showed Tuesday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey called for a 910,000 rate after a previously reported 880,000 in January. Warmer temperatures, a pickup in demand during the spring selling season and limited housing supply may help fuel further gains in new residential construction. The outlook for the industry later this year depends on whether hiring picks up enough to overcome higher mortgage rates and home prices. “We will see improvement as the year goes on and weather improves,” said David Sloan, a senior economist at 4cast in New York and the top-ranked forecaster of starts in the last two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “The pace of increase will be fairly moderate. It suggests we’re going to get respectable economic growth, but maybe not a strong acceleration.” Estimates of 82 economists surveyed by Bloomberg ranged from 792,000 to 986,000. The February pace was the slowest in four months. Another report showed consumer prices rose 0.1 percent in February for a second month, according to the Labor Department. More than half the increase was due to higher food costs. Stock-index futures held earlier gains after the figures, with the contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index maturing in June rising 0.4 percent to 1,857.4 at 8:43 a.m. in New York. Building Permits Permits filed for future projects increased 7.7 percent to a 1.02 million pace in February, the most since October and reflecting a surge in applications for apartment-building construction. One-family home-building permits
Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Own Right Now: Abby Inc (ABBY)
Abby, Inc., incorporated on December 11, 2000, is an exploration-stage company. The Company is in the business of natural gas exploration. On September 17, 2010, the Company acquired the Westrose property gas concession option from Mitchel Vestco Inc. As of November 30, 2010, the Company had completed Phase One of its exploration program. As of November 30, 2010, it had not generated any revenues.
The Westrose Property
The Westrose property is located in Alberta, Canada. The property consists of 640 acres. As of August 22, 2011, the Company had not commenced any exploration or work on the concession.
- [By Peter Graham]
Last Friday, small cap stocks Cambridge Heart, Inc (OTCMKTS: CAMH), Abby Inc (OTCMKTS: ABBY) and Grillit Inc (OTCMKTS: GRLT) surged 176.92%, 71.2% and 24.07%, respectively. Of course, that was last week and today is a new trading week. So what should investors and traders alike be prepared for this week with these three small caps? Here is a closer look to help you decide on an investing or trading strategy:
Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Own Right Now: Holcim Ltd (HOLN)
Holcim Ltd (Holcim) is a Switzerland-based holding company that specializes in the manufacture, distribution and marketing of building materials. The Company operates four business segments, including Cement, Aggregates, Other construction materials and services, and Corporate. The Cement segment is engaged in the development of cement and comprises clinker and other cementitious materials, among others. The Aggregates business segment includes crushed stone, gravel and sand. The Other construction materials and services business segment comprises ready-mix concrete, concrete products, asphalt, construction and paving, and trading, among others. Additionally, other construction materials and services segment provides environmental services, including waste management, among others. The Corporate segment is engaged in holding activities and general management. It operates through subsidiaries in Asia Pacific, Latin America, Europe, North America, Africa and Middle East regions . Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Sofia Horta e Costa]
Holcim Ltd. (HOLN) lost 0.9 percent to 68.15 francs in Zurich. Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit cut its rating on the world’s largest cement maker to underperform, similar to a sell recommendation, from neutral. Merrill Lynch cited the company’s exposure to emerging markets.
Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Own Right Now: Garmin Ltd.(GRMN)
Garmin Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, designs, develops, manufactures, and markets global positioning system (GPS) enabled products and other navigation, communication, and information products for the automotive/mobile, outdoor, fitness, marine, and general aviation markets worldwide. The company offers a range of automotive navigation products, and various products and applications designed for the mobile GPS market; GPS enabled handheld products for hunters, hikers, geocachers, outdoors enthusiasts, cyclists, and golfers; dog tracking systems; tracker systems; and training assistants for athletes. It also provides handhelds, network products and multifunction displays, fixed-mount GPS/chartplotter products, instruments, fish finders, radars, autopilots, VHF radios, marine networking products, and sounder products. In addition, the company offers GPS-enabled navigation, VHF communications transmitters/receivers, multi-function displays, electronic flight instrumen tation systems, automatic flight control systems, traffic advisory systems and traffic collision avoidance systems, terrain awareness and warning systems, instrument landing system receivers, surveillance products, audio panels, and cockpit datalink systems. The company?s sells its products through a network of independent dealers and distributors, as well as through original equipment manufacturers. Garmin Ltd. was founded in 1990 and is based in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.
- [By Louis Navellier]
A year ago shares of electronics company Garmin (GRMN) was rated a “strong sell.” Now that everyone has a smartphone with an accurate GPS, demand for Garmin’s satellite-based navigation systems had pretty much evaporated. But management has turned this company around by developing devices for the sporting markets used by hunters, hikers, cyclists, and golfers. Garmin also started selling things like dog tracking systems and expanded its offerings for the marine and aviation markets.
- [By Daniel Kline]
There are a number of watches and wearables already available. Fredric Paul wrote about the many companies that showed wearables at the 2014 Consumer Electronic Show on Broadcom’s blog. He pointed out that companies ranging from fashion brands including Skechers (NYSE: SKX ) to technology companies including Magellan and Garmin (NASDAQ: GRMN ) (among many others) were all showing off wearables.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Shares of Garmin (NASDAQ: GRMN) got a boost, shooting up 8.54 percent to $51.20 after the company reported upbeat fourth-quarter earnings.
Signet Jewelers (NYSE: SIG) was also up, gaining 16.93 percent to $92.69 after the company announced its plans to acquire Zale for $21.00 per share.
- [By Paul Ausick]
Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2013 results before markets opened Wednesday. For the quarter, the GPS equipment maker posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.76 on revenues of $759.7 million. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.68 on revenues of $768.5 million. The quarterly results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.62 and $712.78 million in revenues.
Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Own Right Now: Avago Technologies Limited(AVGO)
Avago Technologies Limited engages in the design, development, and supply of analog semiconductor devices with a focus on III-V based products. Its product portfolio comprises RF amplifiers, RF filters, RF front-end modules, ambient light sensors, light emitting diodes, low noise amplifiers, mm-wave mixers, optical finger navigation products, diodes, fiber optic transceivers, serializer/deserializer ASICs, motion control encoders and subsystems, optocouplers, and optical mouse sensors. The company?s products are used in cellular phones, consumer appliances, data networking and telecommunications equipment, enterprise storage and servers, renewable energy and smart power grid, factory automation, displays, optical mice, printers, voice and data communications, keypad and display backlighting, backlighting control, base stations, storage area networking, in-car infotainment, lighting, motor controls, power supplies, and optical disk drives applications. It markets its produ cts through a network of distributors and its direct sales force worldwide. The company sells approximately 6,500 products to original equipment manufacturers of wireless communications, wired infrastructure, industrial and automotive electronics, and consumer and computing peripherals markets. Avago Technologies Limited was founded in 2005 and is based in Singapore.
- [By Mani]
Avago Technologies Ltd (NASDAQ:AVGO) should benefit from the robust LTE market in China in the first half of 2014. The company is seeing order strength from low-end, mid, and high-end segments primarily from bands 38-41.
- [By Paul Ausick]
Avago Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: AVGO) has a Sterne Agee price target of $65.00 and closed on Friday at $51.65 in a 52-week range of $30.57 to $54.54. The upside potential is 25.8%. The Thomson Reuters consensus estimate for fiscal 2014 earnings per share (EPS) is $3.34 and the 2015 EPS estimate is $3.81. The 2015 price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio works out to 13.56, and Sterne Agee sees a “secular tailwind” for the stock from a variety of drivers. The stock was trading down about 5% in premarket trading Monday morning.
- [By Lee Jackson]
Avago Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: AVGO) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire LSI for $6.6 billion in cash. LSI shareholders will receive a cash payment of $11.15 for each LSI share. The strategic move was aimed to diversify Avago’s existing business line from wired infrastructure, wireless and industrial businesses to the storage chip market to boost revenues in the face of industry consolidation and challenging macroeconomic conditions. Investors are paid a 1.9% dividend. Merrill Lynch has a $60 price target, the same as the consensus target. Avago closed Thursday at $51.44.
- [By Dividends4Life]
Avago Technologies Limited (AVGO) engages in the design, development, and supply of analog semiconductor devices with a focus on III-V based products. December 11th the company increased its quarterly dividend 8.7% to $0.25 per share. The dividend is payable December 31, 2013, to stockholders of record on December 20, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.2%.
Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks To Own Right Now: Yum! Brands Inc.(YUM)
YUM! Brands, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a quick service restaurant company in the United States and internationally. It develops, operates, franchises, and licenses a system of restaurants, which prepare, package, and sell various food items, as well as operates Chinese casual dining concept restaurants. The company?s restaurants specialize in chicken, pizza, and Mexican-style food categories. It operates approximately 37,000 restaurants in 110 countries and territories under the KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell brands, as well as approximately 450 casual dining concept restaurants in China. The company was formerly known as TRICON Global Restaurants, Inc. and changed its name to YUM! Brands, Inc. in May 2002. YUM! Brands, Inc. was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky.
- [By Ravagadus]
The breakfast wars are heating up nicely in the form of a three-way challenge between McDonald’s (MCD), Yum Brands (YUM) Taco Bell and Starbucks (SBUX). The fight is on to lure unsuspecting customers from One Breakfast table to another.
- [By Bloomberg Businessweek]
Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images The days when fried chicken was synonymous with a certain white-haired southern gentleman are over, at least in the U.S. A new champion has claimed KFC’s long-held chicken crown: Chick-fil-A. The change atop the leaderboard appears undisputed: Yum Brands (YUM), which owns KFC and has for years prided itself as “the leader in the U.S. chicken [quick-service restaurant] segment,” removed that very phrase from the company’s most recent annual report. Source: www.chick-fil-a.com Anyone in the northern half of the U.S. is likely scratching her head and wondering why she hasn’t seen Chick-fil-A outlets opening in the neighborhood. Last year Chick-fil-A only had about 1,775 U.S. stores to KFC’s 4,491, and most are in the South. Yet in dollar terms the Colonel is coming up short even with that much larger footprint: Chick-fil-A’s 2013 sales passed $5 billion, while all of KFC’s U.S. restaurants rang up about $4.22 billion, according to Technomic. And that’s with zero dollars coming in to Chick-fil-A on Sundays, when every restaurant is closed. What Chick-fil-A lacks in store count, it makes up for in traffic. Each restaurant made about $3.2 million in 2013, more than three times as much as the average KFC at $938,000. Average sales at KFC restaurants have remained largely unchanged over the past decade, while they have climbed steadily at Chick-fil-A. Same-store sales climbed by more than 3.6 percent at Chick-fil-A last year; KFC’s fell by 2 percent. KFC hit its U.S. peak by store count around 2004, when it had more than 5,500 restaurants-over four times the number of Chick-fil-A locations-and claimed 46 percent of the fast-food chicken market. But over the past decade the gap between the two narrowed as KFC closed stores and Chick-fil-A added more. Now, KFC’s storefront advantage is just 2.5 times more than its rival, and Chick-fil-A plans to chip away with more than 100 new locations opening this year. (A representat
- [By Bloomberg Businessweek]
Alamy McDonald’s (MCD) may recently have struggled to lure customers, but it still does far more business at each location than rival burger chains. The average McDonald’s restaurant in the U.S. drew $2.6 million in revenue last year. Average sales for No. 2 chain Burger King (BKW): $1.2 million, according to data from its largest franchisee, Carrols Restaurant Group (TAST). What accounts for this more-than-a-million gap? “Everything from marketing and site selection to product initiatives and franchisee selection have been historical factors,” said Nick Setyan, vice president in charge of equity research at Wedbush Securities, in an email. Here are four factors that drive higher sales volumes at McDonald’s: 1. McDonald’s gets more customers during off-peak hours. Look no further than the strength of its breakfast business relative that of Burger King, says Darren Tristano, executive vice president at restaurant consultancy Technomic. Egg McMuffin is part of the fast-food vocabulary in a way Burger King can’t match. And beverage and snack offerings such as McCafe and wraps have helped increase McDonald’s sales between meals. The dramatic impact from off-peak business explains why chains such as Taco Bell (YUM) are entering the battle for morning customers, while others such as Starbucks (SBUX) are seeking more afternoon and evening business. 2. The power of the Happy Meal. McDonald’s has the largest share of kids meal sales in the fast-food industry and gets about 10 percent of total sales from Happy Meals, the most commonly advertised child-oriented fast-food item on television. Burger King, meanwhile, is still trying to win back “parties with kids and seniors and women,” said Josh Kobza, Burger King’s chief financial officer, at a conference last year. One way to do that: “We got rid of the creepy king character that tended to scare away women and children.” 3. McDonald’s has an edge on efficiency. Despite recent operational challenges at McDonald’s,
- [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images From a new player in the fast food market cleverly attacking the leader’s mascot to a social giant bringing out its inner shutterbug, here’s a rundown of the week’s smartest moves and biggest blunders in the business world. Twitter (TWTR) — Winner There are limitations inherent with Twitter, and the 140-character cutoff is just scratching the surface. Twitter’s had its monetization challenges because it’s not as interactive with multimedia, but that’s taking a step in the right direction this week with the hashtag hasher sprucing up its offerings for shutterbugs. Twitter will now allow Twitter users to tag fellow users in photographs. Twitter will also let someone include as many as four photographs in a single post. We live in visual times, and while Vine and Twitter’s original photo platform are decent, it’s great to see the dot-com darling take things up a notch. King Digital Entertainment (KING) — Loser There are tens of millions of Candy Crush Saga players on any given day, but apparently most of them would rather be matching candy pieces than buying into the game’s developer. Game creator King Digital Entertainment went public at $22.50 on Wednesday, and unlike many of the dot-com darlings that have pulled off blazing IPOs, the market spat the Candy Crush maker out. The stock opened lower and closed its first day of trading down 16 percent, at $19. It was easy to see this coming. Many key performance metrics had peaked at King during last year’s third quarter. Oculus — Winner Few figured that Facebook (FB) would rush into any big-ticket purchases after its $19 billion deal for Whatsapp, but then the social networking leader announced the purchase of Oculus for $2 billion. Oculus is a virtual reality headwear maker that started drawing attention as a Kickstarter campaign. Critics have pointed out that the backers of that crowdfunding campaign that raised $2.5 million on Kickstarter will get nothing out of this deal.