Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Thursday morning. The brokerage currently has $170.00 price objective on the fast-food giant’s stock.

According to Zacks, “McDonald’s Q2 adjusted earnings of $1.73 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 6.8% and rose 19% year over year (y/y). Total revenue of $6.05 billion beat the consensus mark by 1% but fell 3% y/y due to the impact of refranchising. The company recorded the 8th consecutive quarter of global comps growth. In fact, McDonald’s grew sales and guest counts in each of its top nine markets, for the first time since 2008. Meanwhile, shares of the company outpaced the industry year to date. Notably, McDonald’s is trying to reinforce its position worldwide via various sales and digital initiatives. Also, increased focus on refranchising is expected toreduce its capital requirements, thereby facilitating EPS growth and ROE expansion in the long run. Yet, higher costs along with currency headwinds may hurt profits while a soft industry backdrop in the U.S. and macroeconomic concerns in some parts of the world might limit sales growth.”

A number of other research firms have also weighed in on MCD. Credit Suisse Group reissued an outperform rating and issued a $170.00 price objective (up previously from $165.00) on shares of McDonald’s Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. Robert W. Baird set a $170.00 price objective on shares of McDonald’s Corporation and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. Stephens reissued an overweight rating and issued a $155.00 price objective on shares of McDonald’s Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. Morgan Stanley reissued an equal weight rating and issued a $162.00 price objective (up previously from $150.00) on shares of McDonald’s Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein set a $180.00 price objective on shares of McDonald’s Corporation and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and twenty-four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. McDonald’s Corporation has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $161.74.

Shares of McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE MCD) opened at 155.85 on Thursday. McDonald’s Corporation has a 1-year low of $110.33 and a 1-year high of $159.98. The stock has a market cap of $127.03 billion, a PE ratio of 25.51 and a beta of 0.70. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $153.88 and a 200 day moving average of $138.34.

McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The fast-food giant reported $1.70 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.62 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $6.05 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.96 billion. McDonald’s Corporation had a net margin of 21.00% and a negative return on equity of 266.50%. The company’s revenue was down 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.45 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that McDonald’s Corporation will post $6.52 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 18th. Investors of record on Friday, September 1st will be issued a $0.94 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 30th. This represents a $3.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.41%. McDonald’s Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 61.54%.

In related news, EVP Jerome N. Krulewitch sold 11,755 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $158.38, for a total value of $1,861,756.90. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 11,755 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,861,756.90. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO Kevin M. Ozan sold 25,322 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $158.50, for a total transaction of $4,013,537.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 24,039 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,810,181.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 54,363 shares of company stock valued at $8,615,125 in the last quarter. 0.24% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Oakworth Capital Inc. boosted its position in shares of McDonald’s Corporation by 7.7% in the first quarter. Oakworth Capital Inc. now owns 4,977 shares of the fast-food giant’s stock worth $645,000 after buying an additional 355 shares in the last quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. boosted its position in shares of McDonald’s Corporation by 18.9% in the first quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. now owns 92,407 shares of the fast-food giant’s stock worth $11,977,000 after buying an additional 14,662 shares in the last quarter. Wealthfront Inc. boosted its position in shares of McDonald’s Corporation by 4.9% in the fourth quarter. Wealthfront Inc. now owns 27,042 shares of the fast-food giant’s stock worth $3,292,000 after buying an additional 1,275 shares in the last quarter. Chesley Taft & Associates LLC boosted its position in shares of McDonald’s Corporation by 0.3% in the first quarter. Chesley Taft & Associates LLC now owns 34,485 shares of the fast-food giant’s stock worth $4,470,000 after buying an additional 115 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund bought a new position in shares of McDonald’s Corporation during the fourth quarter worth approximately $3,273,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 67.55% of the company’s stock.

McDonald’s Corporation Company Profile

McDonald’s Corporation (McDonald’s) operates and franchises McDonald’s restaurants. The Company’s restaurants serve a locally relevant menu of food and drinks sold at various price points in over 100 countries. The Company’s segments include U.S., International Lead Markets, High Growth Markets, and Foundational Markets and Corporate.

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Analyst Recommendations for McDonald`s Corporation (NYSE:MCD)

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