McDonald's (MCD) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Thursday. They currently have $196.00 target price on the fast-food giant’s stock.

According to Zacks, “McDonald’s shares outpaced the industry in the past year. Notably, growing guest count remains McDonald’s top priority and it is undertaking various sales and digital initiatives to this end. Increased focus on delivery, enhancement of digital capabilities, and accelerated deployment of Experience of the Future restaurants in the United States should drive growth too. Efforts to attract customers in International Lead & High Growth Markets also bode well. In fact, global comps at McDonald’s have been positive over the past eight quarters. Meanwhile, augmented focus on refranchising will cut the company’s capital requirements and facilitate EPS growth and ROE expansion in the long run. Yet, high labor costs and currency headwinds might keep profits under pressure. Also, political and economic unrest in some parts of the world and a not so enticing U.S. restaurant space might restrict sales growth.”

MCD has been the subject of a number of other research reports. ValuEngine lowered shares of McDonald's from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, December 1st. Goldman Sachs Group set a $180.00 target price on shares of McDonald's and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed an outperform rating and set a $170.00 target price on shares of McDonald's in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their target price on shares of McDonald's from $175.00 to $180.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Friday, October 13th. Finally, Longbow Research raised shares of McDonald's from a neutral rating to a buy rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $154.05 to $183.00 in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Nine equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $179.68.

McDonald's (MCD) traded up $1.55 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $176.12. 3,687,427 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,860,000. The company has a quick ratio of 1.27, a current ratio of 1.28 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -8.17. McDonald's has a 1 year low of $119.82 and a 1 year high of $176.64. The company has a market cap of $142,660.00, a PE ratio of 25.41, a PEG ratio of 2.75 and a beta of 0.67.

McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The fast-food giant reported $1.76 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.75 by $0.01. McDonald's had a net margin of 24.19% and a negative return on equity of 216.45%. The firm had revenue of $5.75 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.75 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.62 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 10.4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts anticipate that McDonald's will post 6.53 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, VP James R. Sappington sold 8,046 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $165.00, for a total value of $1,327,590.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 15,739 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,596,935. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Stephen Easterbrook sold 171,577 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $168.32, for a total transaction of $28,879,840.64. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 49,778 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,378,632.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.24% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. TRUE Private Wealth Advisors boosted its stake in McDonald's by 85.1% in the 4th quarter. TRUE Private Wealth Advisors now owns 2,527 shares of the fast-food giant’s stock worth $434,000 after purchasing an additional 1,162 shares during the period. Moller Financial Services acquired a new position in McDonald's in the 4th quarter worth $417,000. Cibc Bank USA boosted its stake in McDonald's by 3.6% in the 4th quarter. Cibc Bank USA now owns 11,557 shares of the fast-food giant’s stock worth $1,990,000 after purchasing an additional 397 shares during the period. Naples Global Advisors LLC boosted its stake in McDonald's by 10.0% in the 4th quarter. Naples Global Advisors LLC now owns 15,318 shares of the fast-food giant’s stock worth $2,637,000 after purchasing an additional 1,390 shares during the period. Finally, Mitsubishi UFJ Asset Management UK Ltd. acquired a new position in McDonald's in the 4th quarter worth $4,216,000. 67.30% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About McDonald's

McDonald’s Corporation (McDonald’s) operates and franchises McDonald’s restaurants. The Company’s restaurants serve a locally relevant menu of food and drinks sold at various price points in over 100 countries. The Company’s segments include U.S., International Lead Markets, High Growth Markets, and Foundational Markets and Corporate.

Analyst Recommendations for McDonald's (NYSE:MCD)

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