The stock price of McDonald’s reached an all-time high at $113.96 per share after the world’s largest hamburger fast-food restaurant operator posted strong financial results for the third quarter.
The company’s financial performance prompted Wall Street analysts to raise their price target for the stock.
McDonald’s 3Q financial results
McDonald’s reported that its earnings for the third quarter increased 28% (44% in constant currencies) to $1.40 per diluted shares. Analysts expected the company to deliver earnings of $1.28 per share based on data compiled by Thomson Reuters.
According to the company, its strong earnings were partly due to a benefit from comparison to last year’s increase in tax reserves related to certain foreign tax matter.
McDonald’s said its revenue was $6.61 billion, lower than its $6.98 billion revenue in the same period last year. However, it was higher than the$6.40 billion expected by analysts. The company beat the sales estimate of analysts for the third consecutive quarter.
In a statement, McDonald’s President and CEO Steve Easterbrook said, “Consumers have more choices than ever about where to dine, and our operational growth-led turnaround is focused on appealing to customers in the areas that matter most to them – great-tasting, high-quality food, convenience and value.”
Mr, Easterbrook added that he was encouraged by the operating performance of the company this quarter. He also expressed confidence in McDonald’s fundamental strength and ability to drive initiatives that are focused on delivering great benefits to customers.
During the quarter, McDonald’s returned $3.1 billion capital to shareholders through a stock buyback and dividend distribution. The company already returned $7.1 billion capital to shareholders year-to-date. Its target was to return $8 billion to $9 billion this year.
Wall Street shows confidence in McDonald’s turnaround strategy
The decision of Wall Street analysts to revise their price target for the shares of McDonald’s showed their confidence in the company’s turnaround strategy.
Piper Jaffray analyst Nicole Miller Regan issued the highest price target on McDonald’s to $130 per share. She has an Overweight rating on the stock.
Ms. Miller believes that McDonald’s has several catalysts and expects the company to continue to executive its strategic plan and leverage its economic advantage. She noted that the company’s comparable same-store sales continued to benefit from “technology broadly, day-part platforms, menu/marketing innovation, and ultimately pricing power.”
David Palmer, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, increased its price target on McDonald’s stock to $120 per share. He reiterated his Outperform rating on the stock.
Jason West, an analyst at Credit Suisse, raised his price target to $118 per share and reiterated his Outperform rating on the stock.
UBS analyst Keith Signer increased his price target to $122 per share and maintained his Buy rating on the stock.
JP Morgan analyst John Ivankoe increased his price target to $117 per share and reiterated his Overweight rating on the stock.