Nomura Weighs in on Two Restaurant Stocks: Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) and McDonald’s Corporation (MCD)

Analyst Mark Kalinowski of Nomura expressed his positive views on Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) and McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) following earnings reports from both. The analyst highlights an impressive increase in Starbucks’ loyalty members for the quarter, which represents a catalyst for the stock. Meanwhile, success of McDonald’s All Day Breakfast and other turnaround initiatives resulted in better than expected same-store sales growth, reinforcing the company as his 2016 top pick in large cap restaurants. Mark Kalinowski has a 76% success rate recommending stock with an average return of 11.5% per recommendation.

Starbucks Corporation

Kalinowki weighed in on Starbucks following its Q2:16 report last Thursday. The company posted results in line with the analysts’ expectations, such as EPS of $0.39, same-store sales growth for the in the Americas of 7%.

Most notably, the analyst points to impressive numbers of the company’s loyalty program, where the company has been ramping up promotion efforts to generate new members. The analyst states, “We like the fact that loyalty program memberships in the U.S. meaningfully accelerated during the March quarter,” pointing to an increase of 900,000 loyalty members in Q2 vs. an increase of 700,000 members for the six months ended December 2015. The analyst also notes that this increase is likely to continue into Q3, having a positive impact on earnings due to increased member spend. He explains, “Starbucks has stated in the past that such members tend to spend double what its non-member customers spend, so we view the accelerated rate of signups during fiscal Q2 as a potential driver (all else equal) for same-store sales starting with the June quarter (fiscal Q3).”

The analyst maintains his buy rating on the company with a $70 price target. According to TipRanks, out of all the analysts who have rated the company in the past 3 months, 75% gave a Buy rating while 25% remain on the sidelines. The average 12-month price target for the stock is $70.40, marking a 22% upside from where shares last closed.

McDonald’s Corporation

The analyst also commented on McDonald’s after the fast food giant released Q1 earnings. The company posted better than expected EPS of $1.23, above the analyst’s predictions of $1.17 and “robust” U.S. same-store sales growth of 5.4% compared to his 4.6% projection. Similarly, worldwide same-store sales grew 6.2% compared to his 4.3% estimate, causing him to raise his FY2016 and FY2017 EPS guidance. The analyst attributes the Q1 earnings win mainly to the success of the All Day Breakfast and the McPick 2 promotion, and expects the addition of more menu items going forward.

The analyst maintains his Buy rating on the company and raises his price target to $142 from $138. He states, “Shares of MCD remain our large-cap restaurant stock pick for 2016.” According to TipRanks, out of all the analysts who have rated the company in the past 3 months, 60% gave a Buy rating, 5% gave a Sell rating, and 35% remain neutral. The average 12-month price target for the stock is $132.82, marking a 6% upside from current levels.

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