SOURCE: Paragon Financial Limited

Paragon Financial Limited

April 17, 2012 08:20 ET

The Restaurants Industry Starting to Heat Up

The Paragon Report Provides Stock Research on McDonald's Corporation and Yum! Brands

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Apr 17, 2012) - The Restaurant Industry has started to heat up. The National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI), which tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. Restaurant Industry, was at 101.9 in February. This makes it the fourth consecutive month the RPI has been over 100. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Restaurants Industry and provides equity research on McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD) and Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM). Access to full reports can be found at:

"Buoyed by continued gains in national employment and an extra day in February as a result of Leap Year, a solid majority of restaurant operators reported positive same-store sales and traffic results," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the National Restaurant Association. "In addition, restaurant operators are bullish about sales growth in the months ahead, while their outlook for the economy remains cautiously optimistic."

"Perhaps the most positive indicator is the optimistic outlook for staffing levels in the months ahead," Riehle added. "Only seven percent of restaurant operators expect to reduce staffing levels in the next six months, the lowest level in nearly eight years."

Paragon Report releases regular market updates on the Restaurants Industry so investors can stay ahead of the crowd and make the best investment decisions to maximize their returns. Take a few minutes to register with us free at and get exclusive access to our numerous stock reports and industry newsletters.

McDonald's Corporation recently announced global comparable sales growth of 7.5% in February. System wide sales for the month increased 9.4%, or 9.7% in constant currencies. McDonald's February sales results reflect the benefit of about three percentage points from an extra day due to leap year. Performance by segment was as follows: U.S. up 11.1%, Europe up 4.0%, and Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa up 2.4%.

Yum! Brands Inc. Board of Directors declared a dividend of $0.285 per share of common stock. The quarterly dividend will be distributed May 4, 2012, to shareholders of record at the close of business on April 13, 2012. In September 2011, Yum! Brands Inc. increased its quarterly dividend 14% to $0.285 per share. Yum! Brands Inc. has increased its dividend each year at a double-digit percentage rate since initiating a dividend in 2004.

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