Yum! Brands Inc., owner of the Taco Bell and KFC dining chains, will buy back as much as $1 billion in additional shares amid rising sales and profit this year.
The restaurant operator joins other consumer companies looking to reward shareholders. Procter & Gamble Co. and Starbucks Corp. increased stock buyback programs yesterday, while Nike Inc. boosted its dividend by 17 percent. Louisville, Kentucky-based Yum has this year repurchased $815 million of common stock at an average price of $66 a share, according to a statement.
Yum rose 1.1 percent to $71.89 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 22 percent this year.