McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) announced results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016.

“McDonald’s brand and business is built on offering delicious food and beverages through unmatched convenience and compelling value,” said McDonald’s President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook. “The turnaround plan we announced last year is grounded in enhancing these critical customer-driven elements, and I’m pleased to report that our turnaround is taking hold. The ongoing investments we’re making in running great restaurants and delivering what matters most to our customers are beginning to yield sustained positive results. For the quarter, we generated higher sales, revenues and operating income in constant currencies across all business segments.”

First quarter results included:

  • Global comparable sales increase of 6.2%, which benefited from one additional day due to leap year
  • Consolidated revenues decrease of 1% (increase of 3% in constant currencies)
  • Consolidated operating income increase of 28% (33% in constant currencies), partly due to comparison against the prior year’s strategic charges of $195 million
  • Diluted earnings per share of $1.23, an increase of 46% (51% in constant currencies), which includes comparison against the prior year’s strategic charges totaling $0.17 per share. Excluding the impact of these strategic charges, earnings per share in constant currencies increased $0.26 or 26%
  • Return of $4.5 billion to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends. This brings the cumulative return to shareholders to $20.3 billion against our targeted return of about $30 billion for the three-year period ending 2016

In the U.S., first quarter comparable sales increased 5.4%, fueled by the ongoing popularity of All Day Breakfast and the introduction of McPick 2 – a branded national value platform. Operating income for the quarter rose 15%, reflecting higher sales-driven franchised margins, comparison against the prior year’s strategic charges, and higher gains from restaurant refranchising. Looking ahead, the U.S. business remains focused on finalizing its long-term value platform, investing in core menu enhancements and simplifying restaurant operations to deliver an outstanding customer experience.

Comparable sales for the International Lead segment increased 5.2% for the quarter, led by strong performance in the U.K., Australia and Canada as strong execution of core menu, compelling value and convenience strategies continued to resonate with consumers. First quarter operating income increased 12% (18% in constant currencies), driven by higher franchised margin dollars. The segment delivered strong results despite ongoing economic and competitive headwinds in France and Germany.

In the High Growth segment, first quarter comparable sales increased 3.6%, led by strong comparable sales performance in China and positive performance across various other markets, including Russia. In the Foundational markets, first quarter comparable sales rose 11%, primarily due to sales recovery in Japan. Quarterly operating income increases for both segments reflected comparison against the prior year’s strategic charges and recovery from the prior year’s impact of the 2014 supplier issue – both of which negatively impacted China and Japan’s results in first quarter 2015.

Steve Easterbrook concluded, “Last week, McDonald’s came together for our biennial worldwide convention to galvanize around the actions we’re taking to be recognized by our customers as a modern and progressive burger company. I came away energized by the talented franchisees, suppliers and employees from around the world who are working to strengthen the fundamentals of running great restaurants to build strong and sustainable momentum. While there is still work to be done, we are on the right path to make even greater progress. I am confident that our continued efforts will deliver meaningful long-term value for all stakeholders into the future.”

Results for the quarter benefited from stronger operating performance and comparison to the prior year’s strategic charges of $195 million. Excluding the impact of these strategic charges, earnings per share in constant currencies increased $0.26 or 26%.

Foreign currency translation had a negative impact of $0.04 on diluted earnings per share for the quarter. (Original Source)

Shares of McDonald’s Corporation are up nearly 2% to $128.26 in pre-market trading. MCD has a 1-year high of $129.80 and a 1-year low of $87.50. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $124.47 and its 200-day moving average is $116.27.

On the ratings front, MCD has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on April 20, Suntrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Jake Bartlett maintained a Buy rating on MCD, with a price target of $145, which represents a potential upside of 15.3% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on April 18, Robert W. Baird’s David Tarantino reiterated a Hold rating on the stock and has a price target of $122.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Jake Bartlett and David Tarantino have a total average return of 1.1% and 6.6% respectively. Bartlett has a success rate of 46.2% and is ranked #2076 out of 3823 analysts, while Tarantino has a success rate of 50.0% and is ranked #800.

The street is mostly Bullish on MCD stock. Out of 18 analysts who cover the stock, 11 suggest a Buy rating , 6 suggest a Hold and one recommends to Sell the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $131.00, which represents a slight upside potential from current levels.