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4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nyse  >  McDonald's Corporation    MCD

Delayed Quote. Delayed  - 01/20 10:00:49 pm
122.26 USD   +0.07%
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McDonald's Corporation : Economic Woes Hamper McDonald's February Sales

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03/08/2012 | 08:47pm CET

--Global same-store sales rise 7.5% in February; below analysts' expectations

--McDonald's says conomic issues are impacting 1Q operating income growth

--Shares drop 3.4% to $96.94; day's worst performer in DJIA and S&P 500

(Updates with additional information throughout.)

 
   By Annie Gasparro and Melodie Warner 
   Of  
 

McDonald's Corp. (MCD) says its underwhelming sales growth in February could hinder its profit this quarter, as economic uncertainty in Europe and higher food costs in the U.S. curb consumers' appetitze for spending.

McDonald's shares were down 3.4% to $96.94 Thursday when the company reported that its global sales at restaurants open at least 13 months rose 7.5% in February, below the 8.15% same-store sales increase analysts surveyed by Consensus Metrix were expecting.

"The current operating environment includes persistent economic uncertainty, austerity measures in Europe and commodity and labor-cost pressures, particularly in the U.S.," McDonald's said in a statement. "These challenges are expected to impact the company's first-quarter operating income growth."

Over the past few years, McDonald's has been able to boost guest traffic and sales faster than most of its competitors as its increasingly diverse menu--ranging from value offerings to higher-margin products like blended-ice drinks--and growing global operations help it manage through the tough economy. McDonald's stock reached all-time highs in 2011--above $100--and was one of the highest performers of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, up 31% for the year.

Yet Thursday, it's stock drop made it the day's worst performer of both the Dow industrials and the S&P 500.

McDonald's said in January it expects commodity costs this year to rise 4.5% to 5.5% in the U.S. and 2.5% to 3.5% in Europe, with the most pressure in the first half of the year. As a result, it will likely push menu prices up--a sensitive issue for restaurants these days, given continued penny-pinching among consumers.

In addition to the economic headwinds, added pressures from foreign-currency translation and extra expenses are weighing on McDonald's profit outlook this year. The company said in January it estimates currency exchange will reduce its earnings by 16 cents to 18 cents a share this year, driven by a weaker euro, while it will also incur higher spending from a franchisee convention, the London Summer Olympics and technology initiatives this year.

The bright spot of its latest sales data is at home. In February, McDonald's U.S. same-store sales rose 11.1%, topping analysts' growth estimate of 8.59%, reflecting strong demand for its new Chicken McBites popcorn chicken and Filet-O-Fish promotions.

In Europe, same-store sales grew 4%, short of the analysts' forecast for a 6.64% increase. McDonald's attributed the shortfall to severe winter weather in certain markets.

The Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region posted a 2.4% increase while analysts projected an 8.11% rise. Strong Australia sales were somewhat offset by Japan and the shift of the Chinese New Year to January.

McDonald's February system-wide sales rose 9.4%, or 9.7% in constant currencies.

-By Annie Gasparro and Melodie Warner, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2244; annie.gasparro@dowjones.com

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Financials ($)
Sales 2016 24 590 M
EBIT 2016 8 210 M
Net income 2016 4 738 M
Debt 2016 25 579 M
Yield 2016 2,95%
P/E ratio 2016 22,41
P/E ratio 2017 19,79
EV / Sales 2016 5,17x
EV / Sales 2017 5,68x
Capitalization 101 530 M
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Consensus
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Buy
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 32
Average target price 129 $
Spread / Average Target 5,1%
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Managers
NameTitle
Stephen J. Easterbrook President, Chief Executive Officer & Director
Enrique Hernandez Non-Executive Chairman
James R. Sappington Executive VP-Operations and Technology Systems
Kevin M. Ozan Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
Andrew J. McKenna Chairman-Emeritus
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