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Pete Najarian: McDonald’s is an ‘Absolute Buy’

Thursday, 8 Mar 2012 | 1:36 PM ET

McDonald’s saw its shares drop in mid-day trading Thursday after the fast-food chain reported global sales that missed estimates, but “Fast Money” trader Pete Najarian isn’t selling — instead, he sees an opportunity.

“This is an absolute buy,” Najarian said.

McDonald’s reported a smaller-than-expected rise in February sales at established restaurants around the world, thanks to weakness in Europe, Asia/Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Sales at restaurants open at least 13 months rose 7.5 percent globally. Analysts were expecting a gain of 7.7 percent.

However, Najarian pointed out that Europe had the “coldest winter in 50 years” and Japan also had heavy snow.

“What if by chance the weather is a little bit better in Europe, and we’re already getting into the spring here,” he said. “To me, this is the best opportunity to finally get into McDonald’s."

Trader Stephanie Link agrees.

“It’s such a great, quality company,” she said. “On the weakness, it’s pretty attractive.”

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She said the growth is overseas, but pointed out the company is doing better in the United States. Same-restaurant sales in the U.S. jumped 11.1 percent, better than the approximate 8 percent gain analysts expected.

However, trader Steven Weiss sees things differently. He thinks the company is expensive and would trim his position.

“Tell me one restaurant company that’s been able to put up these kinds of comps for the period of time that McDonald’s has,” he said. “It’s unprecedented. It can’t continue.”

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Trader disclosure: On March 8, 2012, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Najarian is long AAPL; Najarian is long C; Najarian is long WFC; Najarian is long INTC; Najarian is long YHOO; Najarian is long JOYG; Najarian is long COP; Najarian is long PEP; Najarian is long HPQ; Weiss is short AAPL puts; Weiss is long JPM; Weiss is long GMCR; Weiss is long HPQ; Weiss is long TBF; Weiss is long QCOM; Weiss is long BRCM; Weiss is short FCX; Weiss is short ANR; Stutland Volatility Group is market maker holding hedged positions in VIX futures and options; Stutland is short TLT puts; Stutland is long TIPS; Stutland is GE long stock and short calls; Stutland is NLY short put spread; Stutland is DBA long stock and short calls; Stutland is short DIA puts;

For Willie Williams
No disclosures

For Toni Sacconaghi
Bernstein currently makes a market in the following companies AAPL / Apple Inc, DELL / Dell Inc.
Accounts over which Bernstein and/or their affiliates exercise investment discretion own more than 1% of the outstanding common stock of
the following companies HPQ / Hewlett Packard.

For Andy Barish
(MCD) I, Andy Barish, certify that all of the views expressed in this research report accurately reflect my personal views about the subject security(ies) and subject company(ies). I also certify that no part of my compensation was, is, or will be, directly or indirectly, related to the specific recommendations or views expressed in this research report.

For Whitney Tilson
T2 Partners is long HHC

CNBC.com with wires.

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