Monday, March 30, 2015

McDonald's Corporation (MCD) Dividend Stock Analysis

Linked here is a detailed quantitative analysis of McDonald's Corporation (MCD). Below are some highlights from the above linked analysis:

Company Description: McDonald's Corporation is the largest fast-food restaurant company in the world, with about 35,000 restaurants in 119 countries.

Fair Value: In calculating fair value, I consider the NPV MMA Differential Fair Value along with these four calculations of fair value, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

1. Avg. High Yield Price
2. 20-Year DCF Price
3. Avg. P/E Price
4. Graham Number

MCD is trading at a premium to all four valuations above. When also considering the NPV MMA Differential, the stock is trading at a slight discount to its calculated fair value of $99.07. MCD earned a Star in this section since it is trading at a fair value.

Dividend Analytical Data: In this section there are three possible Stars and three key metrics, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

1. Free Cash Flow Payout
2. Debt To Total Capital
3. Key Metrics
4. Dividend Growth Rate
5. Years of Div. Growth
6. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15%

MCD earned one Star in this section for 3.) above. MCD earned a Star for having an acceptable score in at least two of the four Key Metrics measured. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1976 and has increased its dividend payments for 38 consecutive years.

Dividend Income vs. MMA: Why would you assume the equity risk and invest in a dividend stock if you could earn a better return in a much less risky money market account (MMA) or Treasury bond? This section compares the earning ability of this stock with a high yield MMA. Two items are considered in this section, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

1. NPV MMA Diff.
2. Years to > MMA

MCD earned a Star in this section for its NPV MMA Diff. of the $737. This amount is in excess of the $500 target I look for in a stock that has increased dividends as long as MCD has. The stock's current yield of 3.5% exceeds the 2.47% estimated 20-year average MMA rate.

Peers: The company’s peer group includes: Yum! Brands, Inc. (YUM) with a 2.1% yield, Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) with a 1.4% yield and The Wendy's Company (WEN) with a 2.0% yield.

Conclusion: MCD earned one Star in the Fair Value section, earned one Star in the Dividend Analytical Data section and earned one Star in the Dividend Income vs. MMA section for a total of three Stars. This quantitatively ranks MCD as a 3-Star Hold stock.

Using my D4L-PreScreen.xls model, I determined the share price would need to increase to $112.62 before MCD's NPV MMA Differential increased to the $500 minimum that I look for in a stock with 38 years of consecutive dividend increases. At that price the stock would yield 3.0%.

Resetting the D4L-PreScreen.xls model and solving for the dividend growth rate needed to generate the target $500 NPV MMA Differential, the calculated rate is 2.1%. This dividend growth rate is slightly lower than the 3.7% used in this analysis, thus a negligible margin of safety. MCD has a risk rating of 1.25 which classifies it as a Low risk stock.

MCD is the dominant brand in the increasingly challenging global fast food industry. The company enjoys unrivaled scale advantages and international growth opportunities, particularly in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The company is currently facing several challenges including slow economic growth in Europe and Asia, satisfying the Millennial generation who prefer healthier foods, competitors aggressive price promotions, exchange rate volatility and negative press.

The company continued its struggles in first quarter 2015. Earlier this month the company announced sales at stores open at least 13 months in the U.S. fell 4% in February compared to the prior year. Globally, the same metric slipped 1.7%. Steve Easterbrook took over the reins as CEO on March 1. His goals include getting the order right every time and countering negative publicity with positive news. The menu will likely see several changes, including a reduction in the number of offerings. MCD’s menu has expanded to over 100 items, which has slowed service and increased errors.

As a result of its strong price appreciation over the years, MCD is one of the largest positions in my dividend growth portfolio. MCD is trading below my calculated fair value price of $99.07, its debt to total capital and its free cash flow payout are slightly above my maximums. For now, I will wait for a more opportune time before adding to my position.

Disclaimer: Material presented here is for informational purposes only. The above quantitative stock analysis, including the Star rating, is mechanically calculated and is based on historical information. The analysis assumes the stock will perform in the future as it has in the past. This is generally never true. Before buying or selling any stock you should do your own research and reach your own conclusion. See my Disclaimer for more information.

Full Disclosure: At the time of this writing, I was long in MCD (5.1% of my Dividend Growth Portfolio). See a list of all my dividend growth holdings here.

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