MCD - McDonald's Corporation

NYSE - NYSE Delayed Price. Currency in USD
+2.24 (+1.03%)
At close: 4:00PM EDT

220.51 -0.20 (-0.09%)
Pre-Market: 5:56AM EDT

Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close218.47
Bid220.51 x 800
Ask221.26 x 900
Day's Range218.73 - 220.79
52 Week Range156.56 - 221.93
Avg. Volume2,940,840
Market Cap167.617B
Beta (3Y Monthly)0.35
PE Ratio (TTM)28.99
EPS (TTM)7.61
Earnings DateOct 21, 2019 - Oct 25, 2019
Forward Dividend & Yield4.64 (2.12%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-08-30
1y Target Est232.25
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • Market Shrugs off Pessimistic Reading of Fed Minutes

    Market Shrugs off Pessimistic Reading of Fed Minutes

    Although the retail sector is lagging, key stocks are thriving, while fast food stocks are posting slow and steady gains.

  • Dow Jones Today: Let’s Make a Deal

    Dow Jones Today: Let’s Make a Deal

    Stocks rallied Wednesday after President Donald Trump implied he's open to making a deal with China on trade, but gains were capped by the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's July meeting.Source: rafapress / Those minutes revealed that some of the central bank's governors pressed for a cut of 50 basis points last month, but they were obviously out-voted as the Fed proceeded with a reduction of just 25 basis points. What put a lid on today's upside for equities were comments that the July rate cut was not necessarily a precursor for more reductions."In their discussion of the outlook for monetary policy beyond this meeting, participants generally favored an approach in which policy would be guided by incoming information and its implications for the economic outlook and that avoided any appearance of following a pre-set course," according to the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 10 Marijuana Stocks to Ride High on the Farm Bill Currently, Fed funds futures are pricing in another 65 basis points of rate cuts this year, indicating there is room for markets to be left disappointed by the U.S. central bank.Still, the Nasdaq Composite notched an impressive gain of 0.90% today while the S&P 500 settled higher by 0.82%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tacked on 0.93% amid broad-based strength in the blue-chip index. In late trading, 29 of the 30 Dow stocks were higher. Dow Winners GaloreWhile the Fed minutes may have lacked the punch investors were hoping for, there were some solid earnings reports (non-Dow stocks) out of the retail sector that gave market participants reason to be the oft-discussed recession is a long way from materializing. On that note, Nike (NYSE:NKE) was the Dow's best performer today with a gain of 2.83%.Sticking with consumer cyclical fare for a moment, McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) rose 2.25% after SunTrust analyst Jake Bartlett opined that the company's current Buy One, Get One (BOGO) for $1 promotion won't be a drag on profits. He's got a "buy" rating and $240 price target on McDonald's.The analyst's "research shows that McDonald's new offer is less promotional than its two for $5 mix-and-match deal that the company has cycled through in recent years--meaning McDonald's isn't meaningfully lowering the bar on prices in a way that would force rivals to discount as well," according to Barron's.I'm not saying it's all clear to wade into the energy sector, but it is encouraging to see more positive action out of oil giants Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX), both of which traded higher today on the back of some bullish analyst chatter.BMO analyst Daniel Boy said Exxon and Chevron, the two largest U.S. oil companies are the "lowest risk" names and best of breed in the energy patch. Specific to Chevron, that's the second time in a matter of days an analyst has been cheery on the company.Shares of Boeing (NYSE:BA), the Dow's largest component, added 2.49% today on news that the company is looking to fill hundreds of temporary jobs related to getting the 737 MAX passenger back in the air. Wall Street is hoping that will happen by the end of this year and if it does, Boeing shares likely move higher. DJIA Bottom LineIt's easy to get wrapped in the aforementioned Fed "disappointment," if it can really be called that. Additionally, it's easy (and warranted) to be skeptical of President Trump's comments on deals with China because recent history shows this situation is fluid.Maybe what investors should be honing in on is the likelihood of recession. Look at Target (NYSE:TGT) earnings. That stock surged over 20% today on volume that was nearly seven times the daily average because it guided higher. Companies like Target don't guide higher when recessions are right around the corner.Todd Shriber does not own any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Marijuana Stocks to Ride High on the Farm Bill * 8 Biotech Stocks to Watch After the Q2 Earnings Season * 7 Unusual, Growth-Oriented REITs to Buy for Your Portfolio The post Dow Jones Today: Let's Make a Deal appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • A year after $50M investment, PerkSpot expands its office (PHOTOS)
    American City Business Journals

    A year after $50M investment, PerkSpot expands its office (PHOTOS)

    PerkSpot, a Chicago-based startup that makes an HR tech platform, recently expanded its River North office as it gears up to nearly double its staff in the coming months.

  • 3 Blue-Chip Dividend Stocks to Buy as Bond Yields Fall & Global Worries Rise

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  • United Airlines brings in new partner to help reach eco-skies goals
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    McDonald’s ‘Buy One, Get One’ Promotion Won’t Tank Its Stock, Analyst Says

    McDonald’s stock has climbed in 2019, but some investors are worried that the fast-food giant’s latest promotion will mark a return to painful discounting in the sector. Don’t count on it, says SunTrust.

  • Bloomberg

    Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Is an Economic Indicator

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Strong economies and tight labor markets put strains on fast-food companies. How can they remain profitable when wages are rising? The social media frenzy over the new chicken sandwich at Popeyes shows the success of one classic play: introduce an iconic new menu item, and charge more for it.At $3.99, the item is asking a bit more from customers than Chick-fil-A’s competing sandwich does – but apparently it’s not asking too much. It has been so popular that restaurants are selling out of food. The New Yorker magazine declared on Tuesday: “The Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Is Here to Save America.” If there's a new chicken sandwich king, we can thank the strong consumer economy.The fast-food industry is very responsive to consumer tastes and budgets because it's so huge and price-competitive. When times are bad, fast-food companies don't have to worry about rising food or labor costs, but at the same time their customers are on a tighter budget, so value menus and promotions might be the order of the day. But when times are good it's a different matter. Consumers are still choosing fast food because they're looking for a deal, but as companies struggle with rising food and labor costs, their margins are getting squeezed. Raising prices on existing menu items can help maintain profit margins, but go too far and consumers might revolt. A different kind of "inflation" is introducing new product offerings (at higher prices) to woo existing or new customers.Perhaps it's no surprise that the two iconic burgers in the fast-food industry -- Burger King's Whopper and the McDonald's Big Mac -- were both introduced during times of low unemployment like we have today. The Whopper came first in 1957, in a year when the unemployment rate dropped as low as 3.7%. Burger King's co-founder noticed that a rival establishment was selling well with a bigger burger, and he sought out to imitate it.The Big Mac owes its success to a particularly entrepreneurial McDonald's franchisee in Pittsburgh. Jim Delligatti came up with the idea in his Pittsburgh restaurant as a way of increasing sales. In 1967, with the national unemployment rate also below 4%, what later became known as the Big Mac was born in Pittsburgh. It went national a year later.It's a somewhat similar story for the Six Dollar Burger from Carl's Jr and Hardee's. In the late 1990s Carl's Jr was a stagnant franchise getting squeezed by McDonald's and Burger King at the low end and by higher-priced fast casual concepts. The Six Dollar Burger -- priced at $3.95 -- was a way of offering a premium product that still offered fast-food speed and value. It rolled out in what turned out to be the last month when America still thought the late 1990s boom might continue, in August 2001.The fast-food industry also suffered some blowback from its profit-inflating strategies in the late 1990s. In 1993 McDonald's promoted a "Dino-sized" value meal in response to the opening of the movie “Jurassic Park.” It became such a hit that super-sizing was born. That led to a super-sizing arms race throughout the industry for the rest of the decade, leading to surging fast-food profits in the late 1990s … coinciding with a growing obesity crisis. After public outcry in response to the documentary "Super Size Me," McDonald's phased out super-sized portions in 2004.These two dynamics -- the fast-food industry's need to find a new source of profits in a good economy with growing cost pressures, and the industry's reputation as a bad actor in the obesity crisis -- provide the backdrop for the product launches the industry has produced this year. Before the Popeyes sandwich came the splashy announcements from the industry about menu items featuring Beyond Meat or Impossible products. In addition to not being real meat and hence having the veneer of health-consciousness, Beyond Meat products aren't cheap.The Popeyes chicken sandwich isn’t trying to be bigger or cheaper; the hook is really about trying to be a better chicken sandwich than Chick-fil-A's by featuring a brioche bun, a full layer of pickles, and either a spicy Cajun spread or mayonnaise. While the nearest Chick-fil-A to me sells its chicken sandwich for $3.49, the Popeyes one is 14% higher at $3.99.The economy’s good times can’t go on forever, but some booms give us a gift that lasts: the Whopper, the Big Mac, the Six Dollar Burger -- and now, perhaps, the Impossible Burger and the Popeyes chicken sandwich.To contact the author of this story: Conor Sen at csen9@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Philip Gray at philipgray@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Conor Sen is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a portfolio manager for New River Investments in Atlanta and has been a contributor to the Atlantic and Business Insider.For more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • McDonald’s embraces podcasts for brand-building
    American City Business Journals

    McDonald’s embraces podcasts for brand-building

    In light of the popularity of “investigative” podcasts such as “Serial,” companies such as McDonald’s are embracing them as another brand-building avenue.

  • MarketWatch

    Home Depot, Apple Inc. share gains lead the way, but Dow flat

    DOW UPDATE The Dow Jones Industrial Average is flat Tuesday morning with shares of Home Depot and Apple Inc. seeing positive gains for the index. The Dow (DJIA) is trading at 26,136, unchanged from yesterday's close.

  • 3 Dividend Stocks Perfect for Retirees
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    3 Dividend Stocks Perfect for Retirees

    Royal Dutch Shell, Costco, and McDonald's provide excellent opportunities for income-seeking retirees.

  • 3 Top Restaurant Stocks to Buy in August
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    3 Top Restaurant Stocks to Buy in August

    Investors should take a closer look at how these companies are growing.

  • Motley Fool

    CBS and Viacom Finally Tie It Off

    After years of deliberation, the merger is finally approaching a close, and the entertainment world gets a little smaller.


    Companies That Embrace Sustainable Investing See Their Sales — and Stocks — Rise

    NYU professor Tensie Whelan is bridging the gap between people focused on sustainability and those focused on financial metrics. Her methodology offers a way to measure the real financial impact of investing in sustainable practices.

  • Dunkin' Brands' Shares Gain Nearly 30% YTD: More Room to Run?

    Dunkin' Brands' Shares Gain Nearly 30% YTD: More Room to Run?

    Several sales-building efforts, unit expansion and increased focus on refranchising are favoring Dunkin' Brands' (DNKN) revenue and earnings growth.

  • These 2 Stocks Are the Real Winners in the Food Delivery Wars
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    These 2 Stocks Are the Real Winners in the Food Delivery Wars

    If you're looking to profit from the food-delivery boom, there's a better way to play it than the delivery stocks themselves.

  • Why Jimmy John's 'doesn't trust' third-party delivery apps like Grubhub, Uber Eats
    Yahoo Finance

    Why Jimmy John's 'doesn't trust' third-party delivery apps like Grubhub, Uber Eats

    Jimmy John's is doubling down on its "freaky fast" delivery promise — and is refusing to work with food delivery giants like GrubHub, Uber Eats, and Postmates.

  • Dunkin' Brands, IBD Stock Of The Day, Tests Buy Point With This Highly Bullish Signal
    Investor's Business Daily

    Dunkin' Brands, IBD Stock Of The Day, Tests Buy Point With This Highly Bullish Signal

    Dunkin' Brands is IBD Stock Of The Day. It's testing a buy point, with a tasty chart offset by so-so earnings. Starbucks and other restaurants are stock market leaders.

  • Olive Garden website glitches during Lifetime Pasta Pass promotion
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    Olive Garden website glitches during Lifetime Pasta Pass promotion

    Olive Garden's Never Ending Pasta Pass sold out "instantly." But some fans experienced glitches.

  • McDonald's Corp (MCD) Q2 2019 Earnings Call Transcript
    Motley Fool

    McDonald's Corp (MCD) Q2 2019 Earnings Call Transcript

    MCD earnings call for the period ending June 30, 2019.

  • Motley Fool

    Jack in the Box Keeps Growth on the Menu

    The fast-food chain outperformed last quarter, but still got smoked by some rivals.

  • Zacks Earnings Trends Highlights: Macy???s, Amazon, McDonalds, Caterpillar, CSX Corp., Borg Warner

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  • Retail Weakness & Consumer Spending

    Retail Weakness & Consumer Spending

    Retail Weakness & Consumer Spending

  • Benzinga

    These Traders Would Stay Away From McDonald's For Now

    On CNBC's "Trading Nation," Mark Newton of Newton Advisors and Quint Tatro of Joule Financial spoke about McDonald's Corp (NYSE: MCD). Newton said the Relative Strength Index in McDonald's is near 80.

  • The 8 Best Cash Cow Stocks to Buy for Stable Returns

    The 8 Best Cash Cow Stocks to Buy for Stable Returns

    [Editor's note: "The 8 Best Cash Cow Stocks to Buy for Stable Returns" was previously published in March 2019. It has since been updated to include the most relevant information available.]One of the most popular investment strategies is to focus on fast-charging growth companies. The appeal, of course, is that you can get in on the ground floor of a paradigm-shifting industry. But remember the adage cash is king. The most dependable stocks to buy are usually what people call "cash cows."While no one will criticize sharply rising growth metrics, cash flow represents a business' lifeblood. A weakened cash position can lead to severe problems further down the road, even with strong growth. No matter how viable an organization, it must find a way to keep the lights on. That's why some of the best investments also feature consistent free cash flow.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsAnother reason to look at a company's money outflows as opposed to strictly its income statement is flexibility. Simply put, well-financed operations have more options. They can choose to put money to work through key investments, or to expand operations. * 15 Growth Stocks to Buy for the Long Haul And if the worst happens, and the underlying industry hits a recession, cash cows can better weather the storm. Because of this dynamic, you'll want to at least peek at the cash flow statement for your target investments.Below are the eight best cash cow stocks to buy now: McDonald's (MCD)I'm going to make a confession straight off the bat. I don't understand why people eat at McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), particularly those who do so regularly. Admittedly, they make great coffee and their French fries are to die for, but the rest of it? Not quite so appetizing.Source: Shutterstock Nevertheless, I don't need to understand a phenomenon to recognize that it's working. Moreover, those who are looking primarily for reliable stocks to invest in should seriously consider MCD stock.Last year, the iconic fast-food company generated nearly $5.6 billion in cash flow from operations. In their most recent reported quarter, MCD produced earnings per share of $1.97, in-line with analysts' average estimate.Additionally, McDonald's enjoys consistent FCF every year, offering invaluable confidence in a rising, but unpredictable market. Plus, MCD pays out a 2.20% dividend yield, which management should have no problems sustaining. Aflac (AFL)We often say that there are two guarantees in life: death and taxes. In reality, we should add a third, which is random events that conspire to ruin your day. Whether it's a massive accident or a debilitating illness, stuff happens. When it does, Aflac's (NYSE:AFL) insurance products can help you or your family recover financially.Source: Shutterstock It's amazing how much a relatively common occurrence, such as a broken leg, can add up to serious out-of-pocket expenses. Just for the consistent demand, AFL should be on most people's list of stocks to buy. And as you might expect, Aflac enjoys robust cash flows from operations. * 15 Growth Stocks to Buy for the Long Haul AFL is one of those conservative stocks to buy that have performed well in the markets. On a year-to-date basis, shares are up 16%. Better yet, Aflac pays out a 2% dividend yield. Steady growth and passive income? AFL is too good to ignore. Paychex (PAYX)If you're asked to come down to the human resources department, chances are, it's for unpleasant reasons. Nevertheless, HR plays a crucial role as it deals directly with a company's most valuable asset: people. You can never go wrong with experts in this field, which is why Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) is a consistent winner.Source: Shutterstock But another factor boosting PAYX is their product flexibility. Despite their big-name brand, they offer scaled solutions for virtually any organization. From tiny businesses with a lone employee to major, multinational firms, PAYX can tailor-fit an effective, efficient platform. That will come in handy over the next few years as new businesses focus on agility rather than brute size.As you might expect, Paychex features a healthy balance between growth and cash flows; PAYX is up 18% year-over-year. Activision Blizzard (ATVI)The video game sector offers some of the best stocks to invest in. Thanks to gaming culture and tournaments going mainstream, this is an industry that will perpetually rise higher. Over the longer-term, this presents a viable tailwind for Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI).Source: Shutterstock Admittedly, though, the ride in ATVI hasn't been an easy one. While its YTD performance is pretty much flat, shares have gyrated severely multiple times. Investors have an understandable concern that they're buying into ATVI near at or near its highs. Moreover, Activision has suffered significant competition; namely, Epic Games' "Fortnite." * 15 Growth Stocks to Buy for the Long Haul Still, I'm not worried. In terms of first-person shooting games, ATVI is still the king. Its "Call of Duty" series is legitimately a cash cow. Furthermore, Activision's financials have consistently demonstrated rising cash flow from operations. That might take a hit this year due to the competitive environment.However, don't count out ATVI. Not only can Activision leverage its own strengths in shooter games, "Fortnite" mania may be peaking. Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL)Out of all the cash cow stocks to buy, Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) stands alone. One of the chief reasons why is due to the company's prevalence across multiple lucrative markets. From laptops to cloud computing to driverless-vehicle technology, GOOG disrupts any sector it wishes.Source: Shutterstock \ But the biggest reason I like Alphabet is that it dominates the internet. I realize that it's a tired argument because everybody has mentioned it. That doesn't mean, though, that the argument is any less valid.For instance, we all know that Google is the most popular search engine, but the gap between first place and second-ranked Bing is a whopping 66%!Moreover, Google is the unquestioned leader of mobile and tablet search engines with a 93% market share. In order to get anything done online, you essentially must go through Alphabet. And if your company doesn't rank well on Google, you're dead in the water. Philip Morris International (PM)On the surface, it appears big tobacco firms like Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) face a double-whammy.Source: Taber Andrew Bain Via FlickrFirst, Americans are smoking cigarettes at a significantly reduced rate. Also, the under-18 crowd isn't taking up the habit like prior generations had. Second, the vaping market has exploded in popularity thanks to its cleaner platform.I don't think it's over for Philip Morris. For one thing, several markets, including the eastern Mediterranean and Africa, have witnessed a lift in smoking rates. That, of course, suits PM perfectly, which is the international arm of the iconic tobacco firm. PM stock has rebounded this year. On a YTD basis, shares have gained nearly 26%. * 15 Growth Stocks to Buy for the Long Haul Second, PM is intently focused on IQOS, which is a type of vaporizer. What makes IQOS distinct from the vaping competition is authenticity. PM understands the nuances that smokers are looking for, and they seek to replicate that experience in a digital platform.Best of all, Philip Morris is a cash-rich organization. That provides substantial confidence in the company's generous 5.4% dividend yield. Gilead Sciences (GILD)Thanks to an unpredictable political environment, and an extremely-competitive atmosphere, several pharmaceuticals have underperformed this year. Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) is no exception, with GILD shares having gained only a little less than 3% YTD under choppy conditions.Source: Shutterstock But in the long run, I don't expect this pressured situation to continue. Earlier this year, Gilead announced positive results from a late-stage clinical trial of a rheumatoid arthritis drug. Additionally, management is looking forward to developing iterations of its HIV drug, Biktarvy. GILD could develop an injectable version of Biktarvy for patients who are resistant to the drug.If nothing else, GILD belongs on your list of stocks to buy thanks to its cash position. Even under a challenging environment, Gilead managed nearly $12 billion in operating cash flow last year. The company is more than stable enough to continue supporting its dividend yield, which currently stands at 3.9%. BCE (BCE)As Canada's biggest communications firm, BCE (NYSE:BCE) essentially has a moat. In this day and age, no one can survive without internet access. As such, BCE leverages extensive broadband and wireless networks that have a value north of $4 billion. The company's broadband footprint extends out to 9.2 million locations, and it offers LTE wireless coverage for almost every Canadian.Source: Shutterstock These impressive stats finally have started to translate into market success. So far this year, BCE shares are up 17%. * 15 Growth Stocks to Buy for the Long Haul Shares have grown slowly and steadily since the beginning of the year, suggesting the worst of the volatility is behind it. Second, BCE's revenues have steadily increased over the past three years, and we're on pace for a fourth. Finally, BCE offers a generous 5.15% dividend yield, which the company can support.Last year, the telecom firm had $5.8 billion in operating cash flow, and $2.6 billion FCF. Unless Canadians suddenly stop using the internet, you can trust BCE.As of this writing, Josh Enomoto did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 15 Growth Stocks to Buy for the Long Haul * 5 More Cloud Stocks With Plenty of Potential * 5 Clean Energy ETFs to Buy for 2019 The post The 8 Best Cash Cow Stocks to Buy for Stable Returns appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • MKM Partners Initiates Buy Ratings on 3 Popular Restaurant Stocks

    MKM Partners Initiates Buy Ratings on 3 Popular Restaurant Stocks

    The restaurant industry typically has razor-thin profit margins, but one analyst sees plenty of return potential in three popular chains. MKM Partners’ Brett Levy (a 3-star analyst according to Tip Ranks) initiated Buy ratings on Outback Steakhouse parent Bloomin’ Brands, McDonald’s, and Papa John’s Pizza. All have interesting stories behind them, and each presents a different case for investors. Levy lays out a clear bull case for each stock. Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. (BLMN)Best known for its chain of Outback Steakhouse restaurants (whose signature ‘Bloomin’ Onion’ dish gives the parent company its name), Bloomin’ recently beat its Q2 earnings expectations by 2.8%, reporting EPS of 75 cents. It was the fourth quarter in a row that BLMN had reported an earnings beat, although Levy notes that the company’s annual sales have been steady in the range of $3.5 to $4.5 billion for the past several years, and says, “Posting in-line results or even modest beats versus a long-term growth profile won't be enough to impress investors.”Levy sees the company making the necessary changes, however, and positioning itself to improve those annual sales numbers. He writes, “Bloomin' Brands' top strategic priorities consists of improving sales through store remodels and relocation, enhanced menu through a focus on value, enhanced promotions, and superior in-store execution… At the same time the company is focusing on growing segments of the restaurant industry, including take-out growth, delivery expansion, and a new multi-branded loyalty program.”In line with his approval of BLMN management’s forward plans, Levy started coverage on this stock with a Buy rating and a $20 price target. BLMN currently sells for $16.78 and has a 30% upside based on the $21 average price target. The stock’s Moderate Buy consensus rating is derived from 6 buys, 1 hold, and 1 sell assigned in the past three months. It is worth noting here that even Bloomin’s lowest price target, $18, implies an upside of 7%; even those analysts hedging their bets on the restaurant chain believe it has potential for growth. McDonald’s Corporation (MCD)The early innovator in the fast food industry has long been a staple of the stock market. And while founder Ray Kroc was notoriously close-fisted, the company has a history of generously rewarding investors. The stock has shown consistent gains over the last three years, is up 23% year-to-date, and the dividend, while yielding a modest 2.11%, pays out a lucrative $4.64 annually due to the high share price. It’s no wonder that Mickey Ds would draw the attention of a stock analyst opening coverage of the restaurant sector.In his note on McDonald’s, Levy writes, “McDonald’s valuations continue to test new highs, but the company has continued to produce strong and consistent results, outpacing other highly franchised global concepts. We believe the combination of strong domestic and international sales growth is sustainable and when coupled with strong cash flow generation and consistent returns to shareholders, is supportive of a premium valuation...”McDonald’s is the strongest of the stocks in this article, with a Strong Buy from the analyst consensus, based on 17 buys and 5 holds given in the last three months. MCD shares are currently trading for $219, and have a 4.5% upside based on an average price target of $229. Levy’s price target, $250, suggests room for a substantially higher 13% upside. Papa John’s International, Inc. (PZZA)It’s no secret that Papa John’s Pizza has been hurting in the past year. From founder and now-former CEO John Schnatter’s mouthing-off problems, to basic issues like menu and product quality and franchisee relations, Papa John’s has faced a series of challenges that have impacted the bottom line. To underline the trouble, starting in Q3 of last year the company reported three quarterly losses in a row.That is starting to change with Q2, as PZZA has just reported its first quarterly profit in a year. The $8.4 million in net gains for the quarter was less than Q2 2018, but still a dramatic improvement from losses, and the 28 cent adjusted EPS was a welcome boon for investors. The company’s new CEO, Steve Ritchie, described Q2 as, “our third quarter of sequential improvement…” and said of the turnaround efforts, “I’m not going to say that we are out of the woods. But the franchisees do have confidence that we have a strong brand and new leaders.”Analyst Levy, in examining PZZA, noted three key points in the company’s strategy: “Greater value focus and new marketing initiatives [they have taken on Shaquille O’Neal as brand ambassador]; Fostering a better relationship with franchisees, including financial assistance; and, Bringing new operational and strategic talent, including the recent appointment of activist investor and Starboard Value CEO Jeff Smith as chairman.”He goes on to say, “Papa John's is implementing a return to basics, back to its ‘Better Ingredients, Better Pizza (BIBP)’ motto, but a turnaround is never easy... The case for buying Papa John's isn't made solely on easy comparisons from recent operating struggles. Rather, a new collaborative approach across the entire company and a willingness to bring new products and ideas could potentially result in a fundamentally led stock performance recovery.” PZZA gets a Buy rating from Levy, who quips that, in the pizza business, “it’s better to be early than late.” His price target of $55 indicates confidence in a 21% upside.Overall, Papa John’s has a Moderate Buy rating based on an even split – 3 buys and 3 holds given in the last three months. The stock sells for $45, and the average price target matches Levy’s at $55.Visit TipRanks’ Analysts’ Top Stocks page to find out what else is trending in today’s markets.