McDonald’s Dividend Increase Another Sign Turnaround Is Working: CEO

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Fast-food giant McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) announced Thursday morning that it is raising its quarterly dividend by 6% ($0.05) to $0.94 per share ($3.76 annualized). At the current dividend rate of $0.89 per share, the company’s dividend yield is 3.05%. The new rate is payable December 15 to shareholders of record on December 1.

McDonald’s noted that it has raised its dividend every year since paying its first dividend in 1976. In addition, 2016 represents the final year of the company’s three-year, $30 billion cash return to shareholders target. Through August, the company returned a cumulative $26 billion and is on track to complete the remaining amount by the end of the year.

CEO Steve Easterbrook said:

I’m encouraged by the meaningful progress we’ve made against our turnaround plan and energized by the opportunities that lie ahead. Today’s dividend increase reflects the strength and stability of our cash flow and our continued focus on driving long-term value for all stakeholders.

McDonald’s plans to release third-quarter results before markets open on October 21. Analysts expect earnings per share (EPS) of $1.49 and revenues of $6.29 billion. In the same period last year, the company reported EPS of $1.40 and revenues of $6.62 billion.

For the full year, analysts estimate EPS at $5.56 on sales of $24.42 billion, significantly better than EPS of $4.98 last year, but lagging behind 2015 revenues of $25.41 billion.

The stock traded up about 0.6% in the late morning on Thursday, at $115.87 in a 52-week range of $97.13 to $131.96. The consensus 12-month price target is $129.09.