McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, July 25th.

According to Zacks, “McDonald’s shares outpaced the industry year to date. The company has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last 4 quarters and estimates are stable ahead of its Q2 earnings release. Notably, increased focus on refranchising will cut the company’s capital requirements and facilitate EPS growth and ROE expansion in the long run. Meanwhile, growing guest count remains McDonald’s top priority and it is undertaking various sales and digital initiatives to this end. Focus on delivery, enhancement of digital capabilities, and accelerated deployment of Experience of the Future restaurants in the U.S should drive growth too. In fact, global comps at McDonald’s have been positive over the past seven quarters. 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.”

A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Raymond James Financial, Inc. reaffirmed a market perform rating on shares of McDonald’s Corporation in a research note on Monday, July 24th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of McDonald’s Corporation from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. Argus reiterated a buy rating and issued a $175.00 price objective (up from $158.00) on shares of McDonald’s Corporation in a report on Saturday, July 22nd. Longbow Research reiterated a neutral rating on shares of McDonald’s Corporation in a report on Saturday, July 22nd. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reiterated a buy rating and issued a $167.00 price objective (up from $153.00) on shares of McDonald’s Corporation in a report on Friday, July 21st. Twelve analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-three have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $162.16.

McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) traded down 0.08% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $157.76. 2,595,695 shares of the stock were exchanged. The firm has a market capitalization of $127.78 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.82 and a beta of 0.70. McDonald’s Corporation has a one year low of $110.33 and a one year high of $159.98. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $155.41 and a 200 day moving average price of $141.89.

McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The fast-food giant reported $1.70 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.62 by $0.08. McDonald’s Corporation had a net margin of 21.00% and a negative return on equity of 264.89%. The firm had revenue of $6.05 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.96 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.45 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that McDonald’s Corporation will post $6.54 EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 18th. Investors of record on Friday, September 1st will be given a $0.94 dividend. This represents a $3.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.38%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 30th. McDonald’s Corporation’s payout ratio is currently 61.54%.

In other news, insider Douglas M. Goare sold 17,286 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $158.50, for a total transaction of $2,739,831.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CFO Kevin M. Ozan sold 25,322 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $158.50, for a total value of $4,013,537.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 24,039 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,810,181.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 69,938 shares of company stock valued at $11,033,009 over the last three months. 0.24% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in MCD. Orrstown Financial Services Inc. raised its stake in shares of McDonald’s Corporation by 17.2% in the second quarter. Orrstown Financial Services Inc. now owns 709 shares of the fast-food giant’s stock valued at $108,000 after buying an additional 104 shares during the period. Proficio Capital Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of McDonald’s Corporation by 87.8% in the first quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 740 shares of the fast-food giant’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 346 shares during the period. Vigilant Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of McDonald’s Corporation by 9.4% in the first quarter. Vigilant Capital Management LLC now owns 977 shares of the fast-food giant’s stock valued at $127,000 after buying an additional 84 shares during the period. Zions Bancorporation increased its position in shares of McDonald’s Corporation by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 1,069 shares of the fast-food giant’s stock valued at $130,000 after buying an additional 6 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Thomas J. Herzfeld Advisors Inc. bought a new position in shares of McDonald’s Corporation during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $131,000. 68.20% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About McDonald’s Corporation

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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