McDonald’s shares are up fractionally today after the fast-food giant reported strong earnings that beat the Street’s expectations. Same-store sales at its restaurants worldwide rose 4.2%, with notable outperformance overseas in Europe and Asia. A strong finish to the quarter in March also helped, particularly in the U.S., where comps jumped 4.2% in the month – even outpacing the March gain at its Asian restaurants.
While the company is serving up its “Happy Meals” to eager customers, its profits are providing many “Happy Returns” for its shareholders.
Now trading at just over $70 a share, McDonald’s is currently the only Dow component trading at a historic high.
Despite significantly underperforming the Dow since the market’s March 2009 low (McDonald’s is up just 35% vs. the Dow’s 70% gain), it is the best stock in the Dow since the index’s all-time high back in October 2007. In fact, during that 2.5-year period, just 7 of the 30 Dow stocks have made money for their stockholders, with McDonald’s shares leading the way (up 23%). By comparison the Dow is still DOWN 21% since its high on October 9, 2007.
Other gainers since the Dow’s all time high:
- McDonald’s +23%
- Wal-Mart +20%
- IBM +9%
- Microsoft +4%
- Home Depot +4%
- Walt Disney +3%
- Hewlett-Packard +3%
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