McDonald's (MCD) Q4 Earnings Likely To Reflect Comps Growth

McDonald's Corp. (MCD - Free Report) is set to report its fourth-quarter 2017 numbers on Jan 30, before the bell.

Last quarter, the company pulled off a positive earnings surprise of 0.57%. In fact, McDonald's earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last four quarters, with an average beat of 5.21%.

Notably, shares of the company have returned 41.4% in the past year.

McDonald's Corporation Price

McDonald's Corporation Price | McDonald's Corporation Quote

We expect the company’s solid comps growth to drive quarterly results. Meanwhile, though increased focus on refranchising is likely to boost earnings, it may have an adverse impact on revenue growth in the quarter.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter’s earnings is pegged at $1.59, representing a year-over-year increase of 10.4%. The same for revenues is projected to be $5.3 billion, down 12.8% from the prior-year quarter.

Comps Growth Does Not Guarantee Revenue Growth

Global comps at McDonald’s have been positive for the last nine quarters, a trend that is likely to continue in the fourth quarter as well. This appears to be the result of the company’s strategic efforts to boost sales.

In order to boost comps in the United States, McDonald’s has been increasingly focusing on growing guest traffic. In this regard, the company is striving to achieve operational excellence, innovate, offer a value menu and roll out more limited-time offerings.

Despite these efforts, a challenging restaurant environment may cause a decline in revenues in the U.S. segment. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the U.S. segment revenues is pegged at $1.96 billion, reflecting a year-over-year decline of 3.7%.

Coming to High-Growth Markets, comprehensive focus on new products, alongside growth across the delivery, value and breakfast platforms are yielding results. However, political and economic unrest are likely to somewhat hurt sales.

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