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Analyst: McDonald’s is set to keep cooking

Key Points
  • Kalinowski Equity Research upgrades McDonald's to buy from neutral
  • The fresh-beef initiative is helping drive store traffic
  • McDonald's is planning to lay off workers as it slims down its corporate structure

Shares of Mcdonald's hit a 4-month high Thursday as Kalinowski Equity Research named the burger chain its top restaurant-stock pick. The firm raised McDonald's to buy from neutral with a target price of $191.

The call comes nearly one month after McDonald's rolled out a domestic fresh-beef initiative, which analyst Mark Kalinowski thinks is helping lead to better U.S. same-store sales trends.

In a note to investors, Kalinowski said: "Based on our channel checks, we believe that McDonald's U.S. same-store traffic has turned positive over the two-month period encompassing April-May 2018. This follows a negative traffic period in Q1 2018."

Kalinowski: McDonald's is top restaurant-stock pick

On Thursday's "Halftime Report" trader Joe Terranova said "technically speaking I think today is a day you could say it's beginning to break out."

The stock shot up more than 4 percent after The Wall Street Journal reported McDonald's is slimming down its corporate structure and laying off workers in an effort to reduce expenses by $500 million by the end of 2019. The price gain of the fast-food giant added about 48 points to the Dow, outpacing all Dow gainers.

Shares of McDonald's are down 2 percent this year and 11 percent higher over the past 12 months.