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Author: TMFTardior Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 711  
Subject: Re: Buffett buying YUM?? Date: 2/12/2000 7:59 PM
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mickdog,

Yes, I conceded that insolvency would probably have been a way off for YUM if they had not begun divesting. I'm not sure that it would not have been inevitable, but your point is absolutely correct. I would have done better to have discussed equity instead. I apologize again.

As far as cash flow goes, well, they wouldn't have been free cash flow positive either last quarter or last year, had it not been for facility net action gains. They have gone back and forth over the last couple of years, however, so, depending on when you bought, they may have had positive free cash flow. I'm not sure I'd call it 'strong'.

I'm also not as sanguine about international expansion as management seems to be. While they touted 39% growth in operating earnings internationally, sales were not so great. Total system international sales for the year grew 10%, while company sales were flat (amid divestiture, so flat means some growth). Not sure how management get 15-20% operating revenue growth out of that--once divestiture ends, anyway. If the company has any chance of reaching 15-20% international growth, it will be driven by expansion. That will means a constant fight against capital expenditures, ergo free cash flow problems.

You're right to say that foreign expansion is their big--really only--hope for increasing their revenue stream. I think that it's still something of an open question. In any case, next time, I'll discuss international expansion. It is essential to their success.

PZZA, huh? No debt there, and I personally prefer their pizza to Pizza Hut. Still, more low-margin restaurant stocks? You don't like to make life easy on yourself, do you? ;)

Thanks for the great response, and Fool on!
BrianZ
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