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McDonald's Corporation (MCD) Dividend Stock Analysis

January 12, 2012 | About:

Linked here is a detailed quantitative analysis of McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: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 33,144 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 two 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 only 2.) above. The stock is trading at a slight discount to its calculated fair value of $101.21. 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 two 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 two Stars in this section for 1.) and 3.) above. A star was earned since the free cash flow payout ratio was less than 60% and there were no negative free cash flows over the last 10 years. MCD earned a star for having an acceptable score in at least two of the four Key Metrics measured.

Rolling four-year Div. > 15% means that dividends grew on average in excess of 15% for each consecutive four-year period over the last 10 years (2001-2004, 2002-2005, 2003-2006, etc.) I consider this a key metric since dividends will double every five years if they grow by 15%. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1976 and has increased its dividend payments for 35 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 two 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 $4,791. This amount is in excess of the $500 target I look for in a stock that has increased dividends as long as MCD has. If MCD grows its dividend at 15.0% per year, it will take three years to equal a MMA yielding an estimated 20-year average rate of 3.6%. MCD earned a check for the Key Metric 'Years to >MMA' since its three years is less than the five-year target.

Memberships and Peers: MCD is a member of the S&P 500 and a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index and a Dividend Champion. Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) with a 2.0% yield, Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ:SBUX) with a 1.5% yield and Wendy's/Arby's Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:WEN) with a 1.5% yield.

Conclusion: MCD earned one star in the Fair Value section, earned two stars in the Dividend Analytical Data section and earned one star in the Dividend Income vs. MMA section for a total of four stars. This quantitatively ranks MCD as a 4-Star Strong stock.

Using my D4L-PreScreen.xls model, I determined the share price would need to increase to $220.90 before MCD's NPV MMA Differential decreased to the $500 minimum that I look for in a stock with 35 years of consecutive dividend increases. At that price the stock would yield 1.2%.

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 7.6%. This dividend growth rate is lower than the 15.0% used in this analysis, thus providing a significant 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 global fast food industry. The company enjoys unrivaled scale advantages and substantial international growth opportunities. MCD is the largest position in my dividend growth portfolio. Its strong price appreciation has made it difficult to lower its overall allocation with purchases of other stocks. Even though MCD is trading below my fair value price of $101.21, my over-allocated position prevents me from buying additional shares at this time.

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 (6.3% of my Dividend Growth Portfolio). See a list of all my dividend growth holdings here.

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