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.
Tue, Mar. 3, 8:00 AM| Tue, Mar. 3, 8:00 AM | Comment!
Mon, Mar. 2, 12:49 PM
- Shares of McDonald's (MCD +1.4%) hit $100 for the first time since last July as investor interest in the global restaurant company continues to pick up.
- Earlier today, a sizzling read on FQ2 comps from Sonic was another strong sign that customer traffic in the fast-food sector has re-energized.
- Investors are betting with a new CEO at the helm, McDonald's can take back some market share lost to Sonic, Wendy's, Burger King, and other burger chains.
- Previously: Blazing comp tipped by Sonic for FQ2
Thu, Feb. 26, 7:11 AM
- McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) is catching the eye of analysts after breaking out with a 10% move over the last month to threaten the $100 level again.
- Earlier in the week, Janney Montgomery Scott lifted its same-store sales forecast on MCD on its view the broad rise of traffic in the restaurant industry will include the chain.
- Investors also see a more active board and new CEO as positive factors for the company.
- McDonald's improved its U.S. comp during Q4, but lost market share to most major fast-food chains.
- Previously: Restaurant rally leaves Golden Arches behind (Feb. 18 2015)
- MCD -0.3% premarket.
Wed, Feb. 25, 7:36 AM
- Labor groups in Europe have accused McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) of skirting around paying €$1B ($1.1B) in taxes by sending revenue through Luxembourg.
- The European Commission has been asked to investigate the company.
- It's a fairly common procedure in Europe for U.S. fast-food chains to use a royalty payment system in order to lower their tax rates.
Tue, Feb. 24, 10:53 AM
- Restaurant stocks are out-performing market averages again as more chains report improved comparable-restaurant sales growth.
- The read on Q1 is that pricing and traffic trends are strong, despite what some broad measures of overall consumer confidence show.
- The $2 gas benefit is believed by analysts to have had a greater impact on restaurant spending than other areas of retail.
- Gainers include Luby's (LUB +4.9%), Cosi (COSI +5.4%), Rave Restaurant Group (RAVE +4.5%), Texas Roadhouse (TXRH +2.4%), Krispy Kreme Dougnuts (KKD +2.8%), Popeyes Louisian Kitchen (PLKI +1.7%), Bob Evans Farms (BOBE +1.1%), Darden Restaurants (DRI +1.4%).
- Even McDonald's (MCD +0.8%), which trailed the Q4 comp average in the sector by a wide margin, is out ahead of the S&P 500.
- Previously: Cracker Barrel +4.1% after traffic accelerates and guidance lifted
Thu, Feb. 19, 9:28 AM
- Shares of McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) are on watch after Wal-Mart announces a broad increase in hourly wages for its U.S. workers.
- The two companies have been the largest targets of labor protests over the last year over their wage policies.
- Fast-food chains Wendy's (NASDAQ:WEN), Burger King (NYSE:QSR), and Taco Bell (NYSE:YUM) have also seen more demonstrations than the remainder of the sector.
Wed, Feb. 18, 10:46 AM
- Restaurants stocks are out-performing as a group after Jack in the Box, Qdboa, Tim Hortons, and Burger King all reported comparable-restaurant sales momentum this week.
- The recent round of earnings from the sector has confirmed analyst predictions of a benefit from lower gas prices in the U.S.
- The developments have also made the recent performance by McDonald's ((NYSE:MCD) -0.2%) look even more anemic.
- Previously: Let's talks $2 gas (Nov. 29 2014)
- Previously: Restaurant sales show sharp increase in January (Feb. 11 2015)
- Leading gainers: Jack in the Box (NASDAQ:JACK) +6.0%, BJ's Restaurants (NASDAQ:BJRI) +3.6%, Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) +2.6%, Texas Roadhouse (NASDAQ:TXRH) +2.2%, Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) +2.1%, Luby's (NYSE:LUB) +2.0%, Wendy's (NASDAQ:WEN) +1.5%, Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ:CAKE) +1.4%, Nathan's Famous (NASDAQ:NATH) +1.3%, Ark Restaurants (NASDAQ:ARKR) +1.3%.
Sat, Feb. 14, 10:13 AM
- Craft soda is starting to become a trend to watch closely, according to industry insiders.
- Though still accounting for only ~1% of the total U.S. soda market, major retail chains have increasingly been willing to bet on local craft brands in store aisles.
- The craft craze is old news for the beer industry where coming-of-age millennials buy craft/local beers at a 50% higher rate than brand-loyal older generations. Fading stars such as Budweiser and Bud Light are testament to the impact of the millennial paradigm.
- The craft influence in coffee hasn't been lost on Starbucks which has strategically deployed trucks on college campuses in an effort to win over students.
- Despite the progressive reputation of Starbucks, analysts think new upstarts such as Craft (subscription) and Cups (app) have a shot of gaining influence with the Indie-minded millennial crowd on "customization" and pricing.
- What to watch: An increase in M&A activity in the beverage sector is expected as major companies strategically pick off more local craft brands to incubate.
- Craft beer watch: BUD, OTCPK:SBMRY, TAP, OTCQX:HEINY, SAM, BREW, STZ, OTC:BIBLF, OTCPK:BRBMF.
- Craft coffee watch: GMCR, SBUX, JVA, SJM, KRFT, DNKN, QSR, MCD.
- Craft soda watch: PEP, KO, MNST, COT, DPS, OTCQB:JSDA, REED, SODA, FIZZ.
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