Yum!, Regeneron, Seagate Tech, Temple-Inland Among 52-Week High Stocks Today

Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM): Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) CEO, David Novak, has managed to turn millions of Chinese into ardent fans of Kentucky-style ‘finger-lickin good’ chicken, Barron’s reports. In fact, KFC is now by far the largest fast-food chain in China. Pizza Hut has also been a big hit in the Middle Kingdom. In all, Yum garnered an estimated 45% of its $12.5B in revenue from China last year and 42% of its operating profit. Novak continues to search the world for growth opportunities, and he has plenty in his sights. It starts with China, which is growing at a nearly 30% annual clip. Novak also is looking for serious sales in India. He is also ramping up in Africa, Russia and Thailand. The shares closed at $63.68, up $0.83 or 1.32% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $46.34 to $63.44.

Regeneron Pharmaceut (NASDAQ:REGN): As reported previously, BofA/Merrill upgraded Regeneron to Buy from Neutral. The firm upgraded shares based on positive survey results fro Eylea. Price target raised to $105 from $74. The shares closed at $88.88, up $3.34 or 3.9% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $33.40 to $86.15.

Seagate Technology. (NASDAQ:STX): Last week, Seagate Technology announced that its Board of Directors has approved an increase to its quarterly cash dividend from 18c per share to 25c per share, an increase of 39%. The increase is effective with the dividend payable on March 1 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on February 15. The shares closed at $20.89, up $0.12 or 0.58% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $9.05 to $21.00.

Temple-Inland Inc. (NYSE:TIN): Deutsche Bank believes comments in the press release by International Paper (NYSE:IP) and Temple-Inland (NYSE:TIN) announcing the extension of the Justice Department review strongly suggest that the deal will ultimately be consummated. However, Deutsche notes the deal has encountered greater than expected scrutiny from the Justice Department, and adds that corrugated box plants seem the most likely divestiture targets to gain approval. The shares closed at $31.89, up $0.21 or 0.66% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $19.03 to $31.92.

Thomas & Betts Corp. (NYSE:TNB): ABB (NYSE:ABB) and Thomas & Betts (NYSE:TNB) announced that both companies’ boards of directors have agreed to a transaction in which ABB will acquire Thomas & Betts for $72 per share in cash or approximately $3.9B. The acquisition price represents a 24% premium to Thomas & Betts’ closing stock price on Jan. 27 and a 35% premium to the volume weighted average stock price over the past 60 trading days. The transaction is subject to approval by Thomas & Betts shareholders as well as to customary regulatory approvals, and is expected to close by the middle of 2012. The shares closed at $71.31, up $13.36 or 23.05% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $37.51 to $61.88.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com