Starbucks, Chipotle Mexican Grill and YUM Brands in Highly Competitive Situations

It’s another good day for Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) after the restaurant chain offered optimistic comments at an investor conference. Meanwhile, Yum Brands’ (NYSE:YUM) Taco Bell unit, which has been losing out to Chipotle’s higher-quality, more expensive fare, says it’s thinking about revamping its menu to better compete with Chipotle. CMG shares recently traded at $346.80, up $5.68, or 1.67%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $213.06 to $352.63.

Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ:SBUX): India discards a rule that had prohibited foreign single-brand retailers from operating stores without a local partner. Global companies, including Starbucks, can now make a more organized thrust into the Indian market, while further steps toward liberalization could buoy the economy. SBUX shares recently traded at $47.03, up $0.21, or 0.45%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $30.75 to $47.28.

Yesterday, Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) announced yesterday that it will expand its KFC fast-food chain into seven more countries across Africa this year, adding 100 new stores. The restaurant company added that it expected to double the number of KFC outlets in Africa to 1,200 by 2014. In 2011, KFC outlets were opened in Zambia, Ghana, and Kenya. This year, Yum will invest $74 million in building stores in Angola, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Angola, Zimbabwe, Congo, and Madagascar. YUM shares recently traded at $61.01, up $1.3, or 2.18%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $46.27 to $60.45.

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