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Stock Analysis: McDonald's Corp. (MCD)

Linked here is a detailed quantitative analysis of McDonald's Corp. (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. Its restaurants serve a varied, yet limited, value-priced menu in more than 110 countries around the world.

Fair Value: I consider 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 discount to 1.), 2.) and 3.) above. If I exclude the high and low valuations and average the remaining two, MCD is trading at a 16.7% discount. MCD earned a Star in this section since it is trading at a fair value.

Dividend Analytical Data: In this section I consider five factors, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:
  1. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15%
  2. Dividend Growth Rate
  3. Years of Div. Growth
  4. 1-Yr. > 5-Yr Growth
  5. Payout 15% of avg.
MCD earned three Stars in this section for 1.), 2.) and 3.) above. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15% means that dividends grew on average in excess of 15% for each consecutive 4 year period over the last 10 years (1999-2002, 2000-2003, 2001-2004, etc.) I consider this a key metric since dividends will double every 5 years if they grow by 15%. MCD has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1937 and has increased its dividend payments for 32 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)? 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 both of the available Stars in this section. The NPV MMA Diff. of the $46,431 is in excess of the $2,500 minimum I look for in a stock that has increased dividends as long as MCD has. MCD's current yield of 3.57% exceeds the 3.17% estimated 20-year average MMA rate. .

Other: MCD is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat and a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index. McDonald's competes in the global fast food industry, where it has a very strong international brand. As the global economy continues to slow in 2009, its shares are viewed as a defensive play, with the $2.00/share annual cash dividend as an additional attraction. MCD is recession resistant, but not recession immune. Risks include higher food costs; poor customer acceptance of new menu offerings; competitive discounting; and considering MCD's substantial international business - exchange rate risk.

Conclusion: MCD earned one Star in the Fair Value section, earned three Stars in the Dividend Analytical Data section and earned two Stars in the Dividend Income vs. MMA section for a net total of six Stars. Since my scale tops out at five, this quantitatively ranks MCD as a 5 Star-Strong Buy.

Using my D4L-PreScreen.xls model, I determined the share price could increase to $150.35 before MCD's NPV MMA Differential fell to the $3,000 that I like to see. At that price the stock would yield 1.33%.

Resetting the D4L-PreScreen.xls model and solving for the dividend growth rate needed to generate the needed $3,000 NPV MMA Differential, the calculated rate is 3.5%. This dividend growth rate is significantly below the 15.5% used in this analysis, thus providing a large margin of safety. MCD has a risk rating of 1.75 which classifies it as a medium risk stock.

MCD has done quite well during this economic downturn. It was one of the few blue-chip companies to finish up in 2008. With is most recent double-digit dividend increase, MCD has found a place in most every dividend investor's portfolio. I recently increased my position in MCD to 4% of my income portfolio. For additional information, including the stock's dividend history, please refer to its data page.

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 (4.0% of my Income Portfolio).

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