Today, 3:07 PM
- McDonald's (MCD +1%) says it will begin table service in Germany as part of its transition to a modern burger company under new CEO Steve Easterbrook.
- Customer orders will be placed at digital kiosks or via waiters with tablets.
- The company has been active in the U.S. over the last month with an antibiotic policy change and by testing new initiatives - including a simplified menu and all-day breakfast.
- Shares of McDonald's cracked the $100 level in early March, but have sauntered along in a tight $95-$98 range since then.
Today, 9:23 AM
- McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) will test all-day breakfast in at least one U.S. market, tips Janney Capital.
- The development could put some pressure on fast-food rivals, although it's unclear how the restaurant chain will free ups it griddle for orders from a full menu (breakfast and lunch/dinner).
- MCD +0.4% premarket.
Mon, Mar. 23, 3:24 PM
- The Barron's 400 has regularly beaten the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) since its 2007 launch, writes Chris Dieterich, and also powers the Barron's 400 ETF (NYSEARCA:BFOR), which has topped the S&P 500 by nearly 500 basis points since starting in June 2013. BFOR is up 6% YTD, more than double that of the S&P 500.
- Among those added to the index during last week's twice-yearly rebalancing were Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG), American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), and Ameriprise Financial (NYSE:AMP).
- Among those dropped were McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), and IBM.
- A "ruthless" quantitative security-selection method screens for growth, value, and cash flow, and filters further with other factors such as diversification.
Mon, Mar. 23, 10:47 AM
- Hedge fund player Glenview Capital Management thinks McDonald's (MCD +1.3%) could unlock close to $20B in value with a REIT, according to reports.
- Larry Robbins of Glenview has given his view on splitting McDonald's into two companies in talks at conferences earlier this year.
- As is typically seen with REIT chatter, shares of McDonald's have perked up today on the new mention by Glenview.
Thu, Mar. 12, 4:15 AM
- KFC (NYSE:YUM) and others may face pressure from consumer and environmental groups to change how its poultry are raised after McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) announced it would only source chickens raised without antibiotics identified as important to humans.
- Both McDonald's and Yum are stepping up efforts to win back diners lured away by chains such as such as Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) and Panera Bread (NASDAQ:PNRA), which boast antibiotic-free meats.
- Chicken stocks also took a hit yesterday on concerns that the push to remove antibiotics from hatcheries could raise costs or that inaction could crimp demand.
- Previously: Chicken stocks hit by antibiotic concerns (Mar. 11 2015)
- Previously: McDonald's unveils menu sourcing initiatives (Mar. 04 2015)
Mon, Mar. 9, 1:34 PM
- Shares of McDonald's (MCD +0.9%) are holding themselves up in positive territory, despite the company's report on a lackluster U.S. performance in February.
- Investors may be taking heart in a strong statement by the company that it will reassert itself as a modern, progressive burger company.
- Retail analysts have made the point in the past that McDonald's has ceded burger market share as it pivoted to a healthier and broader menu in an attempt to compete with fast-casual chains.
- A quick glance at the success of Pinnacle Foods' Hungry-Man business (Q4 earnings call transcript) and Wendy's with its giant-sized hamburgers indicates counter-trend initiatives are working in some pockets of the food industry.
- Previously: McDonald's misses Feb. comp mark as U.S. disappoints
- Previously: Restaurant peers nab U.S. customers from McDonald's
Mon, Mar. 9, 8:28 AM
- McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) appears to have lost market share during February in the U.S.
- Black Box Intelligence estimates that comparable-store sales in the restaurant industry rose 2.1% in February vs. the 4% decline reported earlier by McDonald's for the month.
- The deceleration across the industry was strongly influenced by a 5.8% drop in New England due to a harsh winter month, while McDonald's cites broader promotional pressure.
- Within the burger sector, Sonic reported a sizzling 11.5% comp for its FQ2 which included all of February and didn't mention any promotional headaches.
- Retail analysts think Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) and Jack in the Box (NASDAQ:JACK) have converted some loyal McDonald's customers - while on a smaller scale the higher-end burger concepts at Five Guys, Habit Restaurants (NASDAQ:HABT), In-N-Out Burger, and even Shake Shack (NYSE:SHAK) have had an influence.
- An even deeper dive into breakfast traffic has concluded Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) has taken some coffee-on-the-go share.
- Previously: McDonald's misses Feb. comp mark as U.S. disappoints
- MCD -1.21% premarket to $95.95 after shares floated over the $100 level last week.
Mon, Mar. 9, 8:07 AM
- McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) announces global comparable store sales fell 1.7% in February versus -0.3% consensus estimate.
- U.S. comps were down 4.0% during the month.
- The company did not blame weather for the weak U.S. performance, but says "ongoing aggressive" competitive activity in the sector took a toll.
- Europe comps +0.7% as an overall solid performance was dragged down by Russia.
- The Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa comp was -4.4% as the company continues to struggle to gain traction in Japan. A shift in the Chinese New year into the month was a positive factor.
- MCD -1.40% premarket to $95.77.
Sat, Mar. 7, 10:13 AM
- A powerhouse quarter of improved comps and widened margins is in the books for the restaurant industry as investors look forward to see if the trend extends.
- The industry is in a growth phase with eating and drinking establishments adding 58.7K jobs in February on a seasonally adjusted basis to mark the biggest monthly gain since December of 2012.
- The early read on Q1 traffic is favorable (ex-weather), although chains could see some wage inflation pressure and innovation outlays with differentiated concepts popping up at Habit Restaurants (NASDAQ:HABT), Zoe's Kitchen (NYSE:ZOES), Shake Shack (NYSE:SHAK), and a host of others.
- Major digital initiatives at chains such as Panera Bread (NASDAQ:PNRA) and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) also have the potential to be disruptive.
- A few screens to pick through the restaurant stock menu are listed below.
- Lowest forward P/E ratio: McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), Ruth's Hospitality (NASDAQ:RUTH), and Cracker Barrel (NASDAQ:CBRL).
- Lowest price/free cash flow ratio: Ruby Tuesday (NYSE:RT), Nathan's (NASDAQ:NATH), Jack in the Box (NASDAQ:JACK).
- Dividend yield +3%: DineEquity (NYSE:DIN), Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI), McDonald's, and Arcos Dorados (NYSE:ARCO).
- Top YTD performers: Jack in the Box (JACK), Wendy's (NASDAQ:WEN), Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC), El Pollo LoCo (NASDAQ:LOCO).
- PEG ratio below 2.00: Chuy's Holdings (NASDAQ:CHUY), Ruth's Hospitality, Krispy Kreme Donuts (NYSE:KKD), Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ:CAKE), Brinker International (NYSE:EAT), Denny's (NASDAQ:DENN), Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD).
- Short ratio below 2%: Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM), Jack in the Box (JACK), Chipotle (NYSE:CMG), DineEquity, Bloomin' Brands (NASDAQ:BLMN), Denny's (DENN), McDonald's (MCD).
- Previously: Restaurant stocks continue hot streak (Feb. 24)
Fri, Mar. 6, 8:03 AM
- A light bulb has gone off with some large retail chains such as Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX) which have hiked low-level wages in order to improve employee retention rates.
- The math as compiled by Bloomberg is pretty compelling: The average retail sales worker makes $21,140 a year, while it costs $3,400 in training costs to replace them. At a high turnover rate it becomes more economical to lift wages.
- The development is interesting to economists pondering the future impact of Wal-Mart's (10% of all retail sales in the U.S.) new wage structure on U.S. unemployment rates.
- Related stocks: YUM, MCD, KR, TGT, SHLD, HD, WBA, LOW, GPS, JCP, BLMN.
Thu, Mar. 5, 8:29 AM
- A deeper dive into the Beige Book notes indicates some wage pressure is being seen in the U.S. at low-level positions, notes Bloomberg.
- The revelation could explain the round of minimum wage hikes over the last month - most notably at retail giant Wal-Mart.
- Analysts note that even a minor lift at the bottom of the wage structure puts some pressure that ripples up the chain.
- Beige Book: "A staffing firm in the Chicago District reported some companies were also willing to raise rates for unskilled workers to reduce turnover, and contacts in the Atlanta District noted increasing entry-level wages."
- Fast-food chains could be the next domino to fall.
- Previously: Beige Book takes note of oil prices and dollar (Mar. 04 2015)
- Related stocks: MCD, SONC, JACK, WEN, QSR, YUM, PZZA.
Thu, Mar. 5, 7:49 AM
- Piper Jaffray downgrades McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) to a Neutral rating from Overweight.
- Analysts with the firm see a long road before ambitious management initiatives start to pay off.
- Shares of the restaurant operator moved 13% off their December lows in cracking back into triple digits this week.
- MCD -0.75% premarket to $99.75.
Wed, Mar. 4, 10:34 AM
- McDonald's (MCD -0.4%) formally announces it will only source chickens raised without antibiotics identified as important to humans.
- The company also sets a policy to stop buying milk from cows treated with artificial growth hormones.
- Shares of McDonald's have been see-sawing around the $100 mark most of the week - a level a lot of traders see as significant.
- Previously: McDonald's to buy antibiotic-free chicken
- Previously: McDonald's hits triple digits again (Mar. 02 2015)
Wed, Mar. 4, 10:11 AM
- McDonald's (MCD -0.5%) will stop buying chickens raised with human antibiotics in a gradual process, according to a report from Reuters.
- An announcement by the company is expected later today.
- The development could be a "tipping point" in the poultry industry, notes industry insider Jonathan Kaplan.
- Shares of chicken-focused Pilgrim's Pride (PPC -1.5%) are lower - while Tyson Foods (TSN -1%), Sanderson Farms (SAFM -0.6%), and Hormel (HRL -0.6%) could all be impacted by a heightened focus on the use of antibiotics with livestock.
- Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD -1.7%) is also on watch as a company that buys a fair amount of chicken from suppliers.
Wed, Mar. 4, 6:48 AM
- RBC Capital upgrades McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) to Outperform from Sector Perform.
- The investment firm lifts its price target on the restaurant operator to $115 from $93.
- Sentiment has turned more positive on McDonald's without the company reporting any new sales numbers. A new CEO and reports on activist investors have been part of the story.
- MCD +0.39% premarket to $100.13.
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