Arcos Dorados: 3 Billion USD Value Vs. 1.8 Billion USD Market Cap

About: Arcos Dorados (ARCO)
by: Security Analysis

Investors seemed disappointed with Arcos Dorados' Q2 2017 results: A net loss of -0.02 USD per share vs. a profit of 0.21 USD per share in Q2 2016 was booked.

With a strong EBITDA and revenue performance however, investors should be happy.

Arcos Dorados is well on its way to deserve a 3 billion USD market valuation (+65% upside).

Arcos Dorados (ARCO), the largest operator of McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the world's largest McDonald's franchisee, reported decent Q2 results. However, Mr. Market was not so happy and sent the stock 4% lower after the earnings release, before recovering to -1.6% at the close.

Arcos Dorados IPO Source

The figures

While Arcos Dorados reported a net loss during Q2 2017 compared to a net profit during the same period last year, its underlying performance was strong.

Revenue and EBITDA from Brazil (Arcos most important division) saw some nice improvements.

Brazil '000 000 Q2 2016 Q2 2017(constant currency growth only) Growth %
# of restaurants 884 910 +2.9%
Revenue 309.4 USD 325.6 USD +5.2%
EBITDA 30.5 USD 42 USD +37.7%
EBITDA Margin 9,9% 13,8% +392 bbp

Keep in mind that these figures were achieved, despite a still soft consumer environment in the country. Brazil is still going through a tough recession.

NOLAD (the Northern Latin America Division) & SLAD (the Southern Latin America Division) also performed strongly, but saw their EBITDA margins decline slightly due to higher food & packaging costs and payroll expenses that were not completely offset by higher prices.

Management prefers to keep volumes high and doesn't want to scare consumers away by increasing prices too much in the short term. A strategy that I support.

NOLAD '000 000 Q2 2016 Q2 2017(constant currency growth only) Growth %
# of restaurants 516 515 -0.2%
Revenue 88.2 USD 99 USD +12.2%
EBITDA 7.8 USD 8.7 USD +11.5%
EBITDA Margin 8.9% 8.7% -20 bbp
SLAD '000 000 Q2 2016 Q2 2017(constant currency growth only) Growth %
# restaurants 382 366 +1%

191 USD

245.7 USD +28.6%
EBITDA 15.6 USD 18.9 USD +21.15%
EBITDA Margin 8.2% 7.7% -50 bbp

The Caribbean division, which includes Venezuela also delivered a significantly better result.

Caribbean '000 000 Q2 2016 Q2 2017(constant currency growth only) Growth %
Restaurants 353 349 -1.1%
Revenue 98.7 USD 142.8 USD +44.7%
EBITDA 1.5 USD 13.5 USD +822.5%
EBITDA Margin 1.5% 9.4% +790 bbp

If you're an Arcos Dorados investor, you should already know by now that Arcos Dorados has the exclusive rights to own, operate and franchise McDonald's restaurants in 20 countries and territories in Latin-America. These countries include Argentina, Aruba, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curaçao, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guadalupe, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, St. Croix, St. Thomas.

Arcos Dorados Q2 2017 results Obviously, these countries and regions pose some risks: politically, socially and currency wise.

The above mentioned figures exclude any currency translation, but currency translations normally do have a materially important impact on the business, and the impact can vary widely from quarter to quarter.

I excluded the currency impact in the tables above to give you a better view of the performance of the underlying business. To see the full figures click here.

Balance sheet remains decent

While Arcos Dorados doesn't have a small amount of debt (626 million USD), its net debt for the quarter stood at 389 million USD due to a strong cash position of 237 million USD.

Chart ARCO Net Financial Debt (Quarterly) data by YCharts

Net debt/EBITDA was at 1.4, a strong improvement from the 1.7 at the end of 2016. Total leverage was at 4.05, below the required 4.25, as stated in the covenants of the Master Franchise Agreement.


Arcos Dorados has proven that it can successfully operate and execute, even when times get tough. Not so long ago, Arcos net debt was at ~760 million USD, today it's at 389 million USD.

I expect the company to continue to deleverage, while growing its number of restaurants (+42 during the last twelve months).

At a price to sales valuation of 0.62, Arcos Dorados can hardly be called an expensive stock. Mother company McDonald's is valued at 5.3 times its sales, while competitor Yum Brands (YUM) is valued at 7.7 times its sales.

Chart ARCO PS Ratio (TTM) data by YCharts

If Arcos Dorados were to be valued at ~1 times its sales, it would have a market cap of 3 billion USD, which I consider a fair price for the company as of now.

Disclosure: I am/we are long ARCO. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: This should not be considered professional investment advice. Always do your own research.