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Does Yum China Holdings Inc (NYSE:YUMC) Generate Enough Cash?

Saundra Reilly

If you are currently a shareholder in Yum China Holdings Inc (NYSE:YUMC), or considering investing in the stock, you need to examine how the business generates cash, and how it is reinvested. What is left after investment, determines the value of the stock since this cash flow technically belongs to investors of the company. I will take you through YUMC’s cash flow health and the risk-return concept based on the stock’s cash flow yield, using the most recent financial data. This will help you think about the company from a cash perspective, which is a crucial factor to investing.

View our latest analysis for Yum China Holdings

What is Yum China Holdings’s cash yield?

Yum China Holdings’s free cash flow (FCF) is the level of cash flow the business generates from its operational activities, after it reinvests in the company as capital expenditure. This type of expense is needed for Yum China Holdings to continue to grow, or at least, maintain its current operations.

The two ways to assess whether Yum China Holdings’s FCF is sufficient, is to compare the FCF yield to the market index yield, as well as determine whether the top-line operating cash flows will continue to grow.

Free Cash Flow = Operating Cash Flows – Net Capital Expenditure

Free Cash Flow Yield = Free Cash Flow / Enterprise Value

where Enterprise Value = Market Capitalisation + Net Debt

Along with a positive operating cash flow, Yum China Holdings also generates a positive free cash flow. However, the yield of 3.26% is not sufficient to compensate for the level of risk investors are taking on. This is because Yum China Holdings’s yield is well-below the market yield, in addition to serving higher risk compared to the well-diversified market index.

NYSE:YUMC Net Worth September 3rd 18

Does Yum China Holdings have a favourable cash flow trend?

Can YUMC improve its operating cash production in the future? Let’s take a quick look at the cash flow trend the company is expected to deliver over time. In the next few years, the company is expected to grow its cash from operations at a double-digit rate of 16.0%, ramping up from its current levels of US$1.10b to US$1.28b in three years’ time. Furthermore, breaking down growth into a year on year basis, YUMC is able to increase its growth rate each year, from 1.7% in the upcoming year, to 10.4% by the end of the third year. The overall picture seems encouraging, should capital expenditure levels maintain at an appropriate level.

Next Steps:

Although its positive operating cash flow, and high future growth, is appealing, the low free cash flow yield is unattractive. This is because you would be better compensated in terms of cash yield, by investing in the market index, as well as take on lower diversification risk. Keep in mind that cash is only one aspect of investment analysis and there are other important fundamentals to assess. I suggest you continue to research Yum China Holdings to get a better picture of the company by looking at:

  1. Valuation: What is YUMC worth today? Is the stock undervalued, even when its growth outlook is factored into its intrinsic value? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether YUMC is currently mispriced by the market.
  2. Management Team: An experienced management team on the helm increases our confidence in the business – take a look at who sits on Yum China Holdings’s board and the CEO’s back ground.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: If you believe you should cushion your portfolio with something less risky, scroll through our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.