(By Balachander) Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) announced authorization to buyback up to $1 billion of common stock and also declared a dividend of $0.335 per share.
The $1 billion in additional share repurchases of the company's shares is authorized through May 31, 2014.
Year-to-date, Yum! Brands has repurchased $815 million of shares at an average price of $66.
The quarterly dividend will be distributed February 1, 2013, to shareholders of record at the close of business on January 11, 2013.
Yum! said its first priority with the operating cash it generates is to invest in high-return global growth opportunities.
Over the past five years, the company has returned $5.7 billion of cash through the combination of share repurchases and dividends.
Louisville, Kentucky-based Yum! Brands operates quick service restaurants in the United States and internationally.
As of October 09, 2012, the company operated 38,000 restaurants in 120 countries and territories under the KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell brands.
The stock, which has been trading in the 52-week range of $52.54 to $74.44, added 0.84 percent to trade at $71.71 on Friday.