McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “McDonald’s shares outpaced the industry in the past year. Notably, growing guest count remains McDonald’s top priority and it is undertaking various sales and digital initiatives to this end. Increased focus on delivery, enhancement of digital capabilities, and accelerated deployment of Experience of the Future restaurants in the United States should drive growth too. Efforts to attract customers in International Lead & High Growth Markets also bode well. In fact, global comps at McDonald’s have been positive over the past eight quarters. Meanwhile, augmented focus on refranchising will cut the company’s capital requirements and facilitate EPS growth and ROE expansion in the long run. Yet, high labor costs and currency headwinds might keep profits under pressure. Also, political and economic unrest in some parts of the world and a not so enticing U.S. restaurant space might restrict sales growth.”

Several other research analysts have also weighed in on the company. Robert W. Baird reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $170.00 target price on shares of McDonald's in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $180.00 target price on McDonald's and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 19th. UBS Group set a $170.00 target price on McDonald's and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $175.00 target price on McDonald's and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $175.00 target price on McDonald's and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Ten investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. McDonald's currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $179.28.

Shares of McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) traded up $1.30 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $174.98. The company had a trading volume of 4,130,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,920,000. The company has a current ratio of 1.28, a quick ratio of 1.27 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -8.17. McDonald's has a twelve month low of $119.82 and a twelve month high of $175.78. The firm has a market capitalization of $141,730.00, a PE ratio of 25.25, a PEG ratio of 2.75 and a beta of 0.67.

McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 24th. The fast-food giant reported $1.76 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.75 by $0.01. McDonald's had a negative return on equity of 216.45% and a net margin of 24.19%. The business had revenue of $5.75 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.75 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.62 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 10.4% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts predict that McDonald's will post 6.53 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Stephen Easterbrook sold 171,577 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $168.32, for a total transaction of $28,879,840.64. Following the sale, the insider now owns 49,778 shares in the company, valued at $8,378,632.96. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP James R. Sappington sold 8,046 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $165.00, for a total value of $1,327,590.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 15,739 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,596,935. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.24% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Proficio Capital Partners LLC raised its holdings in McDonald's by 0.7% during the second quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 745 shares of the fast-food giant’s stock worth $117,000 after acquiring an additional 5 shares in the last quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC raised its holdings in McDonald's by 0.4% during the second quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC now owns 1,288 shares of the fast-food giant’s stock worth $197,000 after acquiring an additional 5 shares in the last quarter. Highland Private Wealth Management raised its holdings in McDonald's by 0.3% during the second quarter. Highland Private Wealth Management now owns 2,182 shares of the fast-food giant’s stock worth $335,000 after acquiring an additional 6 shares in the last quarter. Winch Advisory Services LLC raised its holdings in McDonald's by 0.4% during the second quarter. Winch Advisory Services LLC now owns 1,598 shares of the fast-food giant’s stock worth $245,000 after acquiring an additional 7 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Valmark Advisers Inc. raised its holdings in McDonald's by 0.3% during the second quarter. Valmark Advisers Inc. now owns 2,381 shares of the fast-food giant’s stock worth $365,000 after acquiring an additional 8 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 67.30% of the company’s stock.

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About McDonald's

McDonald’s Corporation (McDonald’s) operates and franchises McDonald’s restaurants. The Company’s restaurants serve a locally relevant menu of food and drinks sold at various price points in over 100 countries. The Company’s segments include U.S., International Lead Markets, High Growth Markets, and Foundational Markets and Corporate.

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