McDonald’s Takes a Big Bite Out of Earnings

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McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) reported its most recent quarterly results before the markets opened on Wednesday. The burger chain said that it had $1.97 in earnings per share (EPS) and $5.16 billion in revenue, which compares to consensus estimates of $1.89 in EPS and revenue of $5.17 billion. In the fourth quarter of last year, the company said it had EPS of $1.71 on $5.34 billion in revenue.

During the most recent quarter, global comparable sales increased 4.4%, reflecting positive comparable sales across all segments. Systemwide sales increased 5% in constant currencies.

In terms of its segments, McDonald’s reported as follows:

  • U.S. comparable sales increased 2.3%, driven by growth in average check resulting from both product mix shifts and menu price increases.
  • International Lead segment comparable sales increased 5.2%, reflecting positive results across all markets, primarily driven by the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia.
  • High Growth segment comparable sales increased 4.8%, led by continued strong performance in Italy and the Netherlands and positive results across most of the segment.
  • Foundational markets’ comparable sales increased 7.1%, reflecting positive sales performance in Japan and across all geographic regions.

The golden arches did not offer any guidance in the report. However, consensus estimates call for $1.84 in EPS and $4.92 billion in revenue for the first quarter.

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

Our performance in 2018 was strong, driven by the Velocity Growth Plan with broad-based momentum across each of our global segments. We continued to transform our business by making substantial progress on modernising our restaurants and offering more convenience, choice and value to our customers. We’ve now achieved 14 consecutive quarters of positive global comparable sales and our customers rewarded us with more visits in 2018, helping us to achieve two consecutive years of global guest count growth for the first time since 2012.

Shares of McDonald’s were last seen up about 3% at $187.31, in a 52-week range of $146.84 to $190.88. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $195.77.

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