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mcdonald's corporation dividend growth prospects

By Jose P Lopez 


McDonald’s Corporation, a renowned leader in the fast-food industry, stands as a focal point for investors seeking both stability and growth in their portfolios. Renowned for its iconic Golden Arches, McDonald’s not only promises a quick meal but also offers potential financial sustenance through its dividends. In this comprehensive analysis, we will explore the factors influencing McDonald’s dividend, offering insights that reflect the company’s financial strength and the outlook for future growth.


Assessing the Safety of McDonald’s Dividend

Dividend safety is paramount for investors, especially those relying on dividends for a significant portion of their income. McDonald’s has established itself as a Dividend Aristocrat, having increased its dividend annually for more than 25 consecutive years, which speaks volumes about its dividend reliability .

  1. Stable Payout Ratio: The payout ratio of McDonald’s stands at 52.18%, indicating that the company pays just over half of its earnings as dividends. This level suggests a careful balance, maintaining enough retention for growth while rewarding shareholders.
  2. Consistent Earnings Performance: McDonald’s Corp has demonstrated impressive financial growth in recent years, with its earnings escalating by an average of about 25.40% annually, surpassing a notable proportion of its global competitors. Moreover, the company has achieved a 5-year EBITDA growth rate of 9.70%, outperforming a significant portion of its global competitors. This robust financial performance is further supported by its noteworthy diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $11.56, reflecting the company’s capacity to generate significant profits and maintain stable dividend payments .
  3. Dividend Coverage: McDonald’s has a dividend coverage ratio of 1.84, indicating a strong ability to cover its dividend payout. This figure is 11% higher than the 5-year average of 1.66, highlighting the company’s consistent capacity to meet its dividend obligations.


Exploring Dividend Growth Prospects

McDonald’s not only aims to sustain its dividends but also seeks to grow them, a sign of a thriving business with a forward-looking approach.

  1. Historical Growth Trends: Over the past decade, McDonald’s dividends have shown impressive growth, with a consistent annual increase of around 7.60% over the last five years. This trend offers a positive outlook for potential growth continuation.
  2. Recent Increases: The recent hike of approximately 10% in its dividends demonstrates McDonald’s confidence in its financial health and its commitment to shareholder value 3 . Currently the company is raising it’s dividend at almost three times the rate of inflation! 
  3. Underlying Business Strength: The growth rate is backed by McDonald’s strategic expansions and innovation in menu offerings, which continue to attract a global customer base and drive revenue growth. The company stands to benefit from the automation revolution. Anyone who has been to a McDonald’s lately knows that this is not your dad’s fast food. Ordering is already highly automated, and actual food production may be next. Robotic innovations such as “flippy” the robo cook could help the business grow its profit margins by leaps and bounds. 


Calculating Forward-Looking Indicators

Beyond current metrics, looking into forward-looking indicators helps in understanding the potential trajectory of McDonald’s dividends.

  1. Market Expansion and Innovation: McDonald’s persistent expansion into new markets and continuous innovation in service delivery are pivotal for future revenue streams, bolstering the case for ongoing dividend increases.  Just over the last few years, the corporation has launched a whole new brand, with strong initial success. 
  2. Economic Resilience: The fast-food industry, led by giants like McDonald’s, often shows resilience in varying economic climates, supporting stable and potentially growing dividend prospects. In an economy where the middle class is under ever greater economic pressure, McDonald’s still represents an affordable treat. 



The analysis of McDonald’s dividend safety and growth prospects illustrates a compelling narrative of stability and potential. With a robust financial foundation, consistent dividend growth, and strong cashflows, McDonald’s represents not just a culinary staple but also a potentially lucrative component of an investment portfolio. Investors seeking a blend of income and growth may find McDonald’s an appetizing choice, indicative of its well-maintained and promising dividend profile.

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