What to Expect When McDonald’s Reports Tuesday Morning

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McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) is scheduled to release its third-quarter financial results before the markets open on Tuesday. The consensus forecast calls for $2.21 in earnings per share (EPS) and $5.49 billion in revenue. In the same period of last year, the fast-food giant said it had EPS of $2.10 on revenue of $5.37 billion.

McDonald’s continued to deliver on its shareholder capital return ambitions with an 8% dividend hike in September. The new quarterly dividend of $1.25 per share, part of its Velocity Growth Plan driving long-term value, is close to a 2.4% yield. On top of that outyielding the 30-year Treasury, this marked the 43rd consecutive year that McDonald’s has raised its dividend. This is one of 11 dividend hikes in September too big to ignore.

Also in September, Beyond Meat announced that McDonald’s will be testing a new plant, lettuce and tomato (PLT) sandwich using Beyond Meat’s patties in some restaurants in Canada. The new PLT sandwich, which the company said was without artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, will be priced at C$6.49 plus tax and will be sold in 28 restaurants in southwestern Ontario.

McDonald’s already sells vegan burgers in some European countries, but this will be a big move for North America. The real question is whether a successful Canadian test run could be repeated in the United States, McDonald’s biggest market and the ultimate goal for imitation-meat companies.

Excluding Monday’s move, McDonald’s had performed more or less in line with the broad markets, with its stock up over 17% year to date. In the past 52 weeks, the stock was up closer to 25%.

A few analysts weighed in on McDonald’s ahead of the report:

  • Stephens has a Buy rating with a $230 target price.
  • BTIG Research has a Buy rating and a $240 price target.
  • Piper Jaffray’s Buy rating comes with a $226 price target.
  • SunTrust Banks has a Buy rating and a $240 price target.
  • MKM Partners has a Buy rating and a $250 price target.
  • Credit Suisse rates it as Outperform with a $236 target.
  • DZ Bank has a Hold rating with a $220 target price.

Shares of McDonald’s traded up about 0.5% to $209.62 Monday morning, in a 52-week range of $166.19 to $221.93. The consensus price target is $232.44.


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