Will McDonald’s Hit New High Following Strong Q1 Report?

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McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) reported its first-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Tuesday and saw its shares reach for a new all-time high. Although revenues took a step back from last year, comparable sales and earnings were able to drive shares higher in Tuesday’s premarket.

The company posted $1.47 in earnings per share (EPS) and $5.68 billion in revenue, which compares with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters of $1.33 in EPS and revenue of $5.51 billion. In the same period of last year, McDonald’s said it had EPS of $1.23 and $5.9 billion in revenue.

Global comparable sales increased 4.0%, reflecting positive comparable sales in all segments. In the United States, first-quarter comparable sales increased 1.7% and the International Lead segment increased 2.8%, each building on strong prior-year results that benefited from the launch of All Day Breakfast. Comparable sales for the High Growth segment increased 3.8%, led by China. Foundational Markets & Corporate segment comps rose 10.7%.

McDonald’s returned $1.6 billion to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends, in connection with its target to return between $22 billion and $24 billion to shareholders for the three-year period ending 2019.

Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s president and CEO, commented:

Our efforts to build a better McDonald’s are yielding meaningful results with continued positive momentum and a strong start to 2017 that includes positive comparable sales across all segments, higher global guest counts and enhanced profitability. There’s a sense of urgency across the business as we take actions to retain existing customers, regain lapsed customers and convert casual customers to committed customers. We’re continuing to build a more personalized and enjoyable visit, which delights customers with the taste and quality of our food and offers the highest level of convenience, in order to gain traffic in an increasingly competitive industry and deliver profitable growth for our System and shareholders.

Shares of McDonald’s closed Monday up 0.6% at $134.23, with a consensus analyst price target of $135.70 and a 52-week trading range of $110.33 to $134.76. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was up 2.5% at $137.60 in early trading indications on Tuesday.