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An Early Preview of McDonald's Earnings

Dan Caplinger
April 18, 2013

On Friday, McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) will release its latest quarterly results. The key to making smart investment decisions on stocks reporting earnings is to anticipate how they'll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever surprises inevitably arise. That way, you'll be less likely to have an uninformed, knee-jerk reaction that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.

McDonald's is the sole restaurant chain in the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI), and its golden arches have been a ubiquitous part of American culture for more than half a century. But fast food is big business, and McDonald's has to face many of the same pressures as more traditional industrial members of the Dow. Let's take an early look at what's been happening with McDonald's over the past quarter and what we're likely to see in its quarterly report.

Stats on McDonald's

Analyst EPS Estimate


Change From Year-Ago EPS


Revenue Estimate

$6.59 billion

Change From Year-Ago Revenue


Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters


Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Will McDonald's finally get its growth up this quarter?
Analysts have been resolute in recent months about their views on McDonald's earnings, adding a penny per share to their estimates for the just-ended quarter and keeping full-year 2013 estimates unchanged. The stock has been hitting new all-time highs, rising 13% since mid-January.

At first glance, it's hard to understand why the stock has been doing well. Same-store sales have been dismal lately, with declines both in January and February marking a big reversal from a nine-year string of rising comps that ended last fall. Yet as the company comes out with new product offerings geared toward healthy-eating trends, investors have been reassured that McDonald's is taking steps to control the damage and get back into the gro