Should We Support Food Stamps for Fast Food?

Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM), the fast food giant behind Taco Bell and KFC, is pushing to have food stamp benefits useable at their restaurants. With the company’s revenue falling 7.9 percent last year, Yum is looking to get a piece of the multi-billion dollar pie that is the food stamps consumer market.

Food stamp use has been on the rise since the economic downturn in 2008, with over 45 million Americans using the program in August. SNAP, one of several food benefits programs nationwide, alone distributed $64.4 billion to food stamps users.

There is a bit of opposition to fast food restaurants accepting food stamps, most of them related to health. As a result, 3 of the 4 states Yum approached have declined, and Ohio will not make a decision until 2013 at the earliest. Until then, large supermarkets such as Safeway (NYSE:SWY), Kroger (NYSE:KR), Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM), and Supervalue (NYSE:SVU) will likely continue to see most of the food benefit money.

Here’s how popular fast food companies are trading:

  • Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM): YUM shares recently traded at $53.17, down $1.34, or 2.46%. Its market capitalization is $24.48 billion. They have traded in a 52-week range of $46.27 to $57.75. Volume today was 2,565,167 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 4,331,410 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 20.86, while trailing earnings are $2.55 per share. The company pays a dividend of $1.14 per share for a dividend yield of 2.10%. About the company: Yum! Brands, Inc, owns and franchises quick-service restaurants worldwide. The Company develops, operates, franchises and licenses a worldwide system of restaurants which prepare, package and sell a menu of food items. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  • Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY): SWY shares recently traded at $18.38, down $0.16, or 0.86%. Its market capitalization is $6.30 billion. They have traded in a 52-week range of $15.93 to $25.43. Volume today was 8,238,490 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 6,157,740 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 12.42, while trailing earnings are $1.48 per share. The company pays a dividend of $0.58 per share for a dividend yield of 3.00%. About the company: Safeway Inc. operates a retail food and drug chain in the U.S. and Canada. The Company also has a network of distribution, manufacturing, and food processing facilities. Safeway’s retail operations are located in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, the Chicago metropolitan area and the Mid-Atlantic region, British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba/Saskatchewan. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  • The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR): KR shares recently traded at $21.82, down $0.05, or 0.23%. Its market capitalization is $13.03 billion. They have traded in a 52-week range of $20.53 to $25.85. Volume today was 4,078,941 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 6,216,960 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 11.36, while trailing earnings are $1.92 per share. The company pays a dividend of $0.46 per share for a dividend yield of 2.10%. About the company: The Kroger Co. operates supermarkets and convenience stores in the United States. The Company also manufactures and processes some of the foods that its supermarkets sell. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  • Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM): WFM shares recently traded at $63.24, down $1.86, or 2.86%. Its market capitalization is $11.31 billion. They have traded in a 52-week range of $45.96 to $74.45. Volume today was 1,313,443 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 2,081,500 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 32.77, while trailing earnings are $1.93 per share. The company pays a dividend of $0.40 per share for a dividend yield of 0.60%. About the company: Whole Foods Market, Inc. owns and operates a chain of natural food supermarkets in the United States. The Company’s stores provides full range of merchandise, featuring products that are free of artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors, preservatives, and added chemicals. Whole Foods also develops, produces, and markets nutriceuticals and nutritional supplements. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  • SUPERVALU Inc. (NYSE:SVU): SVU shares recently traded at $7.23, down $0.29, or 3.86%. Its market capitalization is $1.53 billion. They have traded in a 52-week range of $6.26 to $11.77. Volume today was 3,815,846 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 6,188,890 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 54.36, while trailing earnings are $0.13 per share. The company pays a dividend of $0.35 per share for a dividend yield of 4.50%. About the company: SUPERVALU Inc. operates a chain of supermarkets and pharmacies primarily in the United States. The Company also provides supply chain services, which includes wholesale distribution and related logistics support services. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

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