McDonald’s Takes a Big Bite Out of Earnings

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McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) released its most recent quarterly results before the markets opened on Tuesday. The golden arches said that it had $1.73 in earnings per share (EPS) and $6.05 billion in revenue, which compares with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters of $1.62 in EPS and revenue of $5.96 billion. The second quarter of last year reportedly had EPS of $1.45 and $6.26 billion in revenue.

Global comparable sales increased 6.6%, reflecting positive guest counts in all segments. In the United States, comparable sales increased by 3.9%, while the International Lead segment comparable sales grew 6.3%. The High Growth segment comparable sales increased 7.0%, and the Foundational Markets & Corporate segment comparable sales grew 13.0%.

Systemwide sales increased 8% in constant currencies, due to strong comparable sales performance and restaurant expansion.

During the second quarter, McDonald’s also returned $1.8 billion to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends.

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

We’re building a better McDonald’s and more customers are noticing. Our relentless commitment to running great restaurants and keeping the customer at the center of everything we do is generating broad-based strength and momentum across our entire business.  For the quarter, we delivered our strongest global comparable sales and guest count results in more than five years.  We’re now introducing our Velocity Growth Plan accelerators in more restaurants around the world, bringing meaningful benefits to more customers through digital, delivery and our Experience of the Future.

Shares of McDonald’s traded up 4.4% to $158.51 just after Tuesday’s open. The consensus analyst price target was $162.58, and a 52-week range now is $110.33 to $159.62.