Jim Cramer was absolutely delighted when McDonald's earnings delivered a major happy meal to Wall Street on Thursday. The best part? Cramer thinks this is the start of a major McDonald's comeback.
"It is only just beginning and while I don't like to chase stocks that are up eight points and trading at their 52-week highs, I think the pinions are in place for a multiyear move," the "Mad Money" host said. (Tweet this)
In Cramer's perspective, the big turnaround for McDonald's is all about new CEO Steve Easterbrook. He took the reins just seven months ago and decided to start fixing the fundamentals. He focused on its difficult menu, costly mistakes and long lines at the drive-through.
Easterbook emphasized that McDonald's would go back to its core mission and sell inexpensive, good tasting food that is convenient and consistent.
But behind the scenes, Easterbrook pulled off what was viewed as an impossible move — he got the support of its franchises. That's vital because they run the actual stores every day.
Once the franchises were excited, they added more workers, started cleaning up better and contributing more money. That prompted better results and higher energy to pick up the pace from the franchises.
"In the end, Easterbrook knows that food retailing is a psychological game," Cramer said. (Tweet this)
Cramer was also impressed with McDonald's international business, which was overlooked. The company had a shocking comeback in China, with same-store sales rising 26.8 percent, bringing it back to where it was two years ago, before all the bad publicity.
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The good news? Cramer thinks this is just the beginning of a major turn for McDonald's in China.
"I have been a fan of Easterbook ever since he came in, because he knew things were broken, and he knew he had to get it right fast," Cramer said.
The ultimate key was to fix the fundaments. Now that he's got that in place, it's all about the experience to bring the company back to its nostalgic place it was years ago.