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Is McDonald’s Now Cheap Enough To Buy After Earnings?

In the last few months, I’ve written two separate articles telling you to avoid McDonald’s stock until its cheaper…

Today, I give an update after it released its latest earnings and answer – Is McDonald’s Now Cheap Enough To Buy After Earnings?

You can read the past articles in full using the links above.

But if you don’t want to; here’s a quick recap before we get to today’s update.

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On July 27th, 2020 McDonald’s released its most recent quarterly report that sent its shares falling by 2.2%.

Why?

Because its quarterly results weren’t good.

Here are some of the highlights (lowlights) from the release.

Revenue fell by 30% in the 2nd quarter of 2020 to $3.77 billion.

This compared to revenue in the 2nd quarter 2019 of $4.901 billion.

The fall in sales was blamed on coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions worldwide.

Net income fell 68.2% to $482.8 million in the 2nd quarter of 2020 from $1.52 billion in the 2nd quarter of 2019.

And McDonald’s also announced that it now plans to close around 200 restaurants in the US.

None of this is good.

And McDonald’s may not be out of the woods with coronavirus cases still rapidly expanding in the US and worldwide.

But should you take advantage of this drop in share price to buy its shares now?  Let’s find out.

How Profitable Is McDonald’s?

On an operating profit basis McDonald’s produced an average operating profit margin of 33.3% per year every year over the last 10 years.

This is fantastic.

I look for any company to produce above 10% margins on a consistent basis to consider as an investment.  And McDonald’s is 3.33X this level.

What about its FCF/Sales?

Over the last 10 years McDonald’s FCF/Sales is 17.8% on average every year.

Again, this is fantastic.

I look for companies to produce FCF/Sales at higher than 5% on a consistent basis.  And McDonald’s crushes this number too.

Both operating profit and free cash flow are important because they help show you the true profitability of the company.

The more profitable a company is, the higher its value goes over time.  And the more money it can spend on innovations and serving customers.

I estimate that far fewer than 5% of all public companies on Earth surpass my minimum thresholds for the 2 metrics above on a consistent basis… This means McDonald’s is a great operating business.

But you likely already knew that.  What about its valuation?

Is McDonald’s Undervalued?

As a conservative investor I want to recommend solid, safe, and relatively low risk 

With markets still near their all-time highs as of this writing most great operating businesses like McDonald’s are overvalued…

And it is too.

  • Its current P/E is 26.4.
  • Its current P/CF is 20.
  • And its forward P/E is 35.1.

I look for companies to sell at ratios below 20 on these metrics to consider the investment undervalued.

These metrics show that McDonald’s is overvalued right now by a decent margin.

Because of this, I recommend you stay away from buying its stock right now…  Even after its fall due to poor quarterly numbers.

Put McDonald’s on your watchlist and be patient enough to wait to buy it when you can get it at a cheaper price.

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From Article #2 Linked Above

This thesis to buy McDonald’s when it’s cheaper continued to play out on November 9th, 2020 when it released its most up to date quarterly earnings report.

Revenue fell 2% in the year-to-year quarterly period to $5.4 billion.

While operating income rose 5% in the year-to-year quarterly period to $2.5 billion.

And earnings per share rose 11% in the year-to-year quarterly period to $2.35 per share.

These stellar results led McDonald’s shares to rise 6.2% the Monday after it released this info.

Which unfortunately means it’s still too expensive to buy.

Its P/E is now 33.3.

Its P/CF 26.6.

And its forward P/E is 26.5.

For this reason of its continued overvaluation – leading to a lower margin of safety and more risk owning its stock – I still recommend you buy McDonald’s – but only when it’s cheaper.

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This thesis to avoid McDonald’s until its cheaper continued to play out after it released its most up to date quarterly earnings on January 28th, 2021.

  • Global Same Store Sales fell 1.3% in the year-to-year quarterly period.
  • Revenues fell 2% in the year-to-year quarterly period to $5.31 billion.
  • Operating profit fell 7% in the year-to-year quarterly period to $2.14 billion.
  • And earnings per share fell 12% to $1.84 per share in the year-to-year quarterly period.
  • For the full year 2020 global same store sales fell 7.7%.
  • Revenues fell 10% to $19.21 billion.
  • Operating income fell 19% to $7.32 billion.
  • And earnings per share fell 20% to $6.31 per share.

Like many businesses worldwide, 2020 and the pandemic hurt McDonald’s.

This is both from the initial closures of the locations.  And after reopening as well due to lower traffic count and people eating at home more.

But because of how powerful McDonald’s and its competitive advantages are, its shares still eked out at a 6.87% gain in the full year 2020.

Unfortunately, because profits fell while its shares rose a bit, it’s still too overvalued to buy it though.

Its P/E is now 33.2.

Its P/CF is 25.1.

And its forward P/E is 24.6.

I urge you continue waiting and being patient to buy McDonald’s until its cheap enough to do so… Because if you do, it will be less risky… And it will also mean you should expect to earn higher returns going forward.

Until then, use the following links to some of our recent articles to learn other ways to protect yourself and your investments in these uncertain times.

Disclosure – Jason Rivera is a 13+ year veteran value investor who now spends much of his time helping other investors earn higher than average investment returns safely. He does not have any holdings in any securities mentioned above and the article expresses his own opinions. He has no business relationship with any company mentioned above.

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