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Uncle Carl is Back: This time with McDonald's

February 25, 2022

Most people like and know Carl Icahn as the corporate activist famous for numerous activist campaigns dating back decades.

Wall Street will certainly remember him from his 2013 on-air argument with Bill Ackman, it was made for TV action.

But this time he’s back and after Mcdonald's in regards to the treatment of the pigs they use in their restaurants. He’s asking them to change the crate procedure with pigs, which has been addressed already according to McDonald’s. The interesting thing is that he allegedly only owns 200 shares of the company which is rare for an activist as they usually hold larger stakes and push for change as majority holders.

It really has not done much to the stock but it’s worth a look to see regardless it drew some support from a much larger shareholder in Norway’s pension fund, KLP - they hold $72 million in McDonald's via bonds and equity.

However, the stock seems to not have been affected much by his comments and more by the overall market pressure we’re seeing across all markets.

Happiness mentions are steady at +63% positive and have remained steady on that over the last 3-years so it’s hard to say whether or not this campaign by Icahn is going to hurt or help the Company, at least at this point.

Now, there is the issue of rising food costs as most restaurants have been hit by this but their Q42021 earnings were strong and they discussed that exact topic on the call.

Let’s look at some numbers on the name:

  • US comparable sales increased 13.8% for the year - highest US annual comparable sales ever reported
  • Dividends are very strong: currently $5.25
  • EPS for fourth quarter 2021 was $10.04 (crushing the 2020 number)

Now, technically speaking, the stock is in a potential pullback with a measured move on the stock that puts price potential at $220-$225. Combine that with the current global situation we find ourselves in with Russia & Ukraine and it’s safe to say this is hands-off for a while.

So, while Uncle Carl might have some ideas on how to make some change at McDonald’s I don’t think it is going to do much considering the strong demand the brand has globally.

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