McDonald's (MCD) Raised to Buy at 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 morning. The firm currently has $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.”

Several other equities analysts have also weighed in on MCD. Credit Suisse Group set a $170.00 price objective on shares of McDonald's and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, September 20th. Longbow Research upgraded shares of McDonald's from a neutral rating to a buy rating and upped their price objective for the company from $154.05 to $183.00 in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Telsey Advisory Group reiterated an outperform rating and set a $180.00 price objective (up previously from $170.00) on shares of McDonald's in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Stifel Nicolaus began coverage on shares of McDonald's in a report on Monday, October 2nd. They issued a hold rating and a $160.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Robert W. Baird restated an outperform rating and issued a $170.00 target price on shares of McDonald's in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Nine equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-six have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $179.68.

McDonald's (MCD) opened at $176.12 on Thursday. McDonald's has a fifty-two week low of $119.82 and a fifty-two week high of $176.64. The firm has a market cap of $142,660.00, a PE ratio of 25.41, a PEG ratio of 2.78 and a beta of 0.67. The company has a current ratio of 1.28, a quick ratio of 1.27 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -8.17.

McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 24th. The fast-food giant reported $1.76 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate 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 for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.75 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.62 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 10.4% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts forecast that McDonald's will post 6.53 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vantage Financial Partners Ltd. Inc. bought a new position in shares of McDonald's during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $322,000. Horan Capital Advisors LLC. bought a new position in shares of McDonald's during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $104,000. Phocas Financial Corp. bought a new position in shares of McDonald's during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $107,000. Proficio Capital Partners LLC grew its position in shares of McDonald's by 0.7% during the 2nd quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 745 shares of the fast-food giant’s stock valued at $117,000 after acquiring an additional 5 shares during the period. Finally, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Holdings Co. Ltd. grew its position in shares of McDonald's by 219.2% during the 3rd quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Holdings Co. Ltd. now owns 830 shares of the fast-food giant’s stock valued at $130,000 after acquiring an additional 570 shares during the period. 67.30% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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McDonald's Company Profile

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.

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