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McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) competes with Wendy’s (NASDAQ:WEN) and Burger King (BKC) in the fast food market, and with Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) in the specialty coffee market. We currently have a Trefis price estimate of around $74 for McDonald’s stock, about 5% above the current market price of around $70.

Trefis members have created forecasts for two key drivers of McDonald’s stock over the last week: (1) Number of Company Operated Restaurants and (2) Number of Franchised and Affiliated McDonald’s Restaurants. The member forecasts suggest that Number of Company Operated Restaurants will trend slightly higher than the Trefis forecast, while Number of Franchised and Affiliated McDonald’s Restaurants is mostly in line. These projections suggest a combined upside of around 1% for McDonald’s stock.

Franchisee Rent and Fees constitute around 63% of the $74 Trefis price estimate for McDonald’s stock. In comparison, Company Operated Restaurants form around 8%. McDonald’s’s stock is quite sensitive to (1) Number of Company Operated Restaurants and (2) Number of Franchised and Affiliated McDonald’s Restaurants. Below are charts showing recent estimates created by Trefis members for the two drivers in detail.

1. Number of Company Operated Restaurants

The average of forecasts for Number of Company Operated Restaurants created by Trefis members indicated a projected decrease from around 6,287 in 2010 to 6,016 by the end of the Trefis forecast period, compared to the baseline Trefis estimate of a decrease from 5,962 in 2010 to 5,602 by the end of the Trefis forecast period. The member estimates imply an upside of 2% to the Trefis price estimate for McDonald’s stock. In the past, Number of Company Operated Restaurants has decreased from 8,173 in 2005 to 6,262 in 2009.

You can drag the forecast trend-line above to express your own view, and see the sensitivity of McDonald’s stock to Number of Company Operated Restaurants.

Our complete analysis for Number of Company Operated Restaurants is here.

2. Number of Franchised and Affiliated McDonald’s Restaurants

The average of forecasts for Number of Franchised and Affiliated McDonald’s Restaurants created by Trefis members indicated a projected increase from 27,202 in 2010 to around 29,276 by the end of the Trefis forecast period, which is pretty much in line with the baseline Trefis estimate of an increase from 27,221 in 2010 to 29,341 by the end of the Trefis forecast period. The member estimates imply a small downside to the Trefis price estimate for McDonald’s stock. In the past, Number of Franchised and Affiliated McDonald’s Restaurants has increased from 22,593 in 2005 to 26,216 in 2009.

You can drag the forecast trend-line above to express your own view, and see the sensitivity of McDonald’s stock to Number of Franchised and Affiliated McDonald’s Restaurants.

Disclosure: No positions

Source: McDonald’s Benefits More From Franchises Than From Its Own Restaurants