Yum shares jump on sweetened profit forecast; UPS reportedly considering Louisville for new $65M project; and new Jack Daniel’s video is virtual reality

A news summary, focused on 10 big employers; updated 10:11 p.m.

YUM reported a big increase in second-quarter profit on a rebound in its big China unit, and raised its forecast for core operating profit growth for the full year. Shares surged 4.6% to $89.65 in extended trading on the report, which was released after markets closed.

For the period ended June 11, Yum reported earnings of $339 million, or 81 cents a share vs. $235 million, or 53 cents a share, a year ago, according to MarketWatch. Excluding costs related to the planned separation of the China business and other items, profit rose to 75 cents a share vs. 69 cents.

Revenue, which includes franchise and license fees, fell 3% to $3.01 billion. It was the third consecutive quarterly decline. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had projected 74 cents a share on $3.09 billion in revenue.

Greg Creed

In its forecast, the Louisville-based fast-food giant said it now expects 14% growth from a year ago; the earlier forecast had been a smaller 12%. In a statement, CEO Greg Creed cited a rebound of its China business during the first half of the year. “I’m particularly pleased with the continued sales momentum at KFC China, which delivered better-than-expected same-store sales growth of 3% (MarketWatch and press release).

UPS is reportedly considering Louisville for a new $65 million 180,000-square-foot vehicle packaging facility with automated sorting equipment. But the shipper also is eyeing Jacksonville, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn., and Miami-Dade County. The project emerged in an application UPS filed with Miami-Dade seeking tax incentives to locate it in the northwest part of the county (Atlanta Business Chronicle). UPS is Louisville’s biggest private employer, with 22,000 workers at its Louisville International Airport hub.

AMAZON has passed an important threshold for invented holidays: It’s not the only one celebrating Black Friday in July after Tuesday’s second annual Prime Day. Rivals are rolling out their own multi-day versions: Macy’s is holding a Black Friday in July sale through Sunday, while Best Buy is throwing an identically named sale on July 22 and 23. “It’s an arms race,” said Moody’s retail analyst Charlie O’Shea (Los Angeles Times). The retailer sold more than 600 items per second during the 24-hour event held exclusively for Prime subscribers (Inc.) U.S. customers bought more than 14,000 Lenovo laptops, 23,000 Roomba cleaning robots, 24,000 Vivere double hammocks, and 200,000 headphones, among other deals. Globally, shoppers bought a million pairs of shoes (Time). Full Prime Day news coverage. What’s good for Amazon is good for the Louisville area: It employs 6,000 workers at distribution centers in Jeffersonville, and in Bullitt County’s Shepherdsville.

BROWN-FORMAN‘s Jack Daniel’s division today unveiled a 360-degree virtual reality video promoting the brand on its 150th anniversary at festivals this summer, including this weekend’s Chicago Open Air; and Lollapalooza, July 28-31, also in Chicago; and September’s Life is Beautiful in Las Vegas. Viewers will be supplied with Gear VR Goggles (Baller Status). Jack Daniel’s also announced the official opening of Barrel House 1-14 and the reconstructed Motlow House in its corporate hometown of Lynchburg, Tenn., as part of its anniversary celebration. Barrel House 1-14 was originally built in 1938 as one of many locations at the distillery where whiskey was left to mature in white oak barrels. The Motlow House was home to Lem Motlow, proprietor of Jack Daniel’s and nephew to the brand’s namesake: Jack Daniel (press release).

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