Yum Brands disappoints on Pizza Hut weakness

The operator of the Pizza Hut and KFC brands warned Thursday the coronavirus outbreak in China could hurt its results this year.

Yum Brands said the deadly virus will be a "headwind" on its financial performance. China accounts for 27% of KFC's sales and 17% of Pizza Hut's sales. It gets revenue from Yum China, A SPIN OFF which licenses the KFC and Pizza Hut brands - THAT WARNED WEDNESDAY that the coronavirus outbreak could result in an operating loss in the first quarter. It haS shut nearly a third of its stores in China.

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weakness at Pizza Hut continued to weigh on the company's fourth quarter earnings. The chain's comparable sales fell much more than analysts expected, and the company warned there's potential for what it called "choppiness" at Pizza Hut over the near term. It's struggling to maintain its market share amid rivalry from Domino's Pizza and food-delivery apps.

BUT KFC and Taco Bell continued to do well. Yum's overall profit rose but fell short of expectations.

Shares dropped roughly 5% in early trading Thursday.