McDonald's Comes in Flat After Earnings Beat

Chris Lange

McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) reported its fourth-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Monday. The company posted $1.44 in earnings per share (EPS) and $6.03 billion in revenue, versus consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for $1.41 in EPS and revenue of $5.99 billion. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $1.31 and $6.34 billion in revenue.

Note that this is one of the first Dow companies reporting this week, with more on the way.

This past year was a transitional time for McDonald’s in which it focused on the key elements of turning around the company. So far this has been relatively successful, with shares returning about 7% from this time last year. In the coming year, McDonald’s is looking to further strengthen its position and long-term sustainable growth.

During the fourth quarter, global comparable sales increased 2.7%. This consisted of comparable sales of 2.8% for the International Lead segment, 4.7% in the High Growth segment, 11.1% in Foundational Markets and finally 1.3% in the United States.

At the same time, consolidated revenues decreased 5% (3% in constant currencies), due to the impact of refranchising and consolidated operating income increased 5% (7% in constant currencies).

Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s president and chief executive, commented:

Throughout 2016, we worked diligently to lay the groundwork for our long-term future. We focused on driving changes in our menu, restaurants and technology to deliver an enhanced McDonald’s experience for our customers around the world. We applied the necessary rigour and discipline to strengthen the Company and our financial performance. Our efforts yielded a more streamlined and focused organisation that generated solid fourth quarter and full year results, including our strongest annual global comparable sales growth since 2011 along with record franchisee cash flows in many of our major markets. I am confident that we’re on the right path as we pursue our goal of being recognised by our customers as the modern, progressive burger company.

Shares of McDonalds closed Friday at $122.26, with a consensus analyst price target of $128.52 and a 52-week trading range of $110.33 to $131.96. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was relatively flat in early trading indications Monday morning.