Russian Stocks Tumble – Yandex (NASDAQ:YNDX), QIWI (NASDAQ:QIWI), Mechel (NYSE:MTL), Lukoil (OTCMKTS:LUKOY)

Shares of Yandex (NASDAQ:YNDX) and other major Russian stocks trading in the West, including their American ADRs, fell on the escalating political and military crisis in the Ukraine.

Yandex (NASDAQ:YNDX) , Russia’s largest search provider, fell 13.79% to $32.33 in afternoon trading.

QIWI (NASDAQ:QIWI), an online payment systems provider, plunged 16.26% to $39.05.

Mining company Mechel (NYSE:MTL) fell 7.37% to $1.76.   Lukoil (OTCMKTS:LUKOY), an integrated oil & gas company, fell 5.85% to $51.22.    Mobile Telesystems (MTL) lost 7.93% to $15.85.

In Other News

Yum Brands Inc. (NYSE:YUM) trades lower Monday, suffering a similar fate as the broader market, but its loss is likely limited in part by a largely positive Barron’s weekly feature. Wall Street is underestimating the earnings growth Yum’s retooling of its menus and operations will produce, Barron’s says.

The more appealing aspect of Yum is its expanding presence in the emerging markets, especially China. Yum generates more than half its sales and 35% of profits in China and now operates nearly 4,600 KFCs and more than 1,200 Pizza Huts there, more than double the store count of its largest rival, McDonald’s (MCD), Barron’s details.

Then came a state TV report in late 2012 that found excessive antibiotic use among two of Yum’s chicken suppliers. The backlash was strong, and came amid intensifying competition from local and foreign rivals.

As a result, Yum’s stock has not been this cheap since the recession, Barron’s says. Its shares have trailed the market significantly, up 13% in the past year versus the S&P’s 23% gain. At $73.79, Yum shares currently trade at 17.9 times 2015 earnings, above the S&P 500’s price/earnings ratio of 14.3, but significantly less than the 50% premium it typically commands, making it attractive for investors who have long coveted the stock. The stock could rise 15%, to $85.

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