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SunTrust Lovin' McDonald's, Says Investors Are Being 'Paid To Wait' For A Turnaround

SunTrust Lovin' McDonald's, Says Investors Are Being 'Paid To Wait' For A Turnaround
  • Shares of McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD) have gained more than 8 percent year-to-date.
  • Jake Bartlett of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey sees further upside in the stock as he initiated coverage with a Buy rating and $117 price target.
  • Bartlett noted many initiatives in place could drive "solid" same-store sale gains and improved operating results.

Shares of McDonald's recently reached a new 52-week high of $102.30, making the company one of the few bright spots in the volatile market. In fact, the Dow component is higher by more than 5 percent from three months while the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSE: DIA) has lost nearly 5 percent.

Jake Bartlett initiated coverage of McDonald's as the company's management team, especially CEO Steve Easterbrook, have a track record for successful organizational turnarounds.

Related Link: Why McDonald's Is A Top 10 Idea For Bank Of America

Bartlett continued that Easterbrook could improve the brand's perceptions by using its "playbook" from the UK. The executive oversaw a turnaround in McDonald's UK business and the analyst suggested that the same "playbook" is already underway in the US and will be successful: 1) fixing operations, 2) "disruptive" marketing, 3) deliver on brand promises (i.e organic beef), 4) re-imagining the business, and 5) building new sales layers and help the company see "solid" same-store sales gains and improved operating results.

Bartlett added that McDonald's began shedding market share in the US beginning in 2012 and has continued ever since. At the same time, hamburger quick service restaurant peers and other "fast casual" peers have been gaining shares. The company is now testing new national value offerings, including a "Lovin' Value Menu," which should help the company regain its once "dominant" value proposition.

Finally, Bartlett suggested that McDonald's investors are being "paid to wait" for a turnaround through "healthy" cash returns. The analyst is estimating the company to return $22.7 billion from 2015 to 2017 – a figure that is higher than the $20.7 billion the consensus estimate is calling for.

Latest Ratings for MCD

Nov 2019UpgradesNeutralBuy
Nov 2019MaintainsBuy
Nov 2019MaintainsNeutral

View More Analyst Ratings for MCD
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Posted-In: Dow Jones Jake Bartlett Lovin' Value MealAnalyst Color Initiation Restaurants Analyst Ratings General Best of Benzinga


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