Monday, October 15, 2007

The Golden Arches Are Shining

The freight train that is McDonalds (MCD)just keeps rolling.

McDonald's shares finished up 1.2% Friday after the company said it now expects Q3 earnings to come in at 89 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had expected the company's earnings to come in at 77 cents a share.

They also said that same-store sales, rose 5.9% during September, with overall sales rising 11.5%. Sales were driven by strong increases in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, where same-store sales rose 12% and overall sales jumped by 20.4%.

For the quarter, McDonald's same-store sales rose 6.9%, with overall sales up 11.8%.
In the U.S., same-stores sales were up 3.5% in September and 5.1% for the quarter. Overall sales rose 4.3% for September and 5.9% for the quarter. Earnings will be released 10/19.

What is happening is that McDonalds is becoming a very user friendly place. From great coffee to burgers to salads, to breakfast to free WIFI (in the UK, US soon) to new comfortable seats, playgrounds for the kids and a host of healthy (and tasty) menu items, McDonalds now offers something for almost everyone out there. They have gone from the peddler of Big Macs to offering healthy foods and quality drinks. All that served fast and efficiently for busy people. When you look at shares, you have to be encouraged as McDonald's isn't even done yet in the beverage department. Coming soon are lattes, cappuccinos and smoothies in 2008.

McDonalds recently announced a 50% increase in the dividend, a share repurchase program and if you are a shareholder (my kids are) it is definitely a "the best is yet to come" scenario. Right now this company is firing on all cylinders.

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