McDonald’s Outlines Its Big Bet

McDonald’s has been meandering near all-time highs for most of the last year, bucking the trend of other restaurant chains pinched by inflation. Despite its strong performance, some investors are concerned about how the company plans to continue its run into the future. 🤔

Today, the company revealed its big plans at its investor day. 

Let’s start with the company’s restaurant count, which currently sits at just over 40,000 worldwide. While that may seem like a large footprint already, McDonald’s is looking to enter its fastest period of growth in company history. It’s targeting an expansion to 50,000 restaurants by the end of 2027, ramping up to 1,000 gross openings across the U.S. and International Operated Markets in 2027. 🍟

In addition to expanding its footprint, it’s also looking to use Google Cloud technology to improve its operations beginning next year. Its strategic partnership with Google Cloud will connect the latest cloud technology and apply generative AI solutions across its global restaurants. Not only is this expected to improve wait times and the overall customer experience, but it should also drive further satisfaction among its crew members. 🤖

In business terms, a bigger footprint means more potential sales. And more efficiency in its operations means higher margins. Combine the two, and you’ve got very happy shareholders.

Additionally, it’s looking to squeeze more gains out of its loyalty program. Although it currently has one of the world’s most extensive customer loyalty programs at 150 million users, it’s looking to expand that to 250 million 90-day active users by 2027. 📱

Overall, the company is simply expanding on its 2019 “Accelerating the Arches” strategy, which aims to maximize marketing, commit to the core of the business, and double down on the three Ds (delivery, digital, and drive-thru). 

This graphic we shared on social earlier in the day sums up the plan well. 👇

One takeaway from this graphic is that many investors thought McDonald’s had far more locations than it currently does. However, as long as the company can continue to deliver slow and steady growth, along with a healthy dividend and share buyback, investors are likely to remain happy.

$MCD shares were up marginally on the day but remain just below all-time highs. 🤏

Musk Threatens Tesla’s AI Ambitions

The primary bull case for Tesla is that it’s not an automobile company but a technology one. Part of the reason it’s able to command such a high valuation relative to its peers is because of that technology’s potential business impact way down the line, especially as it introduces newer developments like artificial intelligence (AI).

However, that bull case is facing an unlikely opposition…from Elon Musk himself. 🤦

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AT&T Suffers Major Outage

Those who work at AT&T today did not have a great day, but those who use their services had a pretty good excuse to chill out at work today. That’s because the telecom giant experienced a nationwide cellphone outage that impacted tens of thousands of its customers today. 📵

While the nation’s largest carrier said it restored wireless service to all impacted customers by midday, no reason has been given for the outages. With T-Mobile and Verizon’s networks unaffected, regulators quickly questioned whether AT&T experienced a hack or other cyberattack. 📡

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Investors Are Losing Trust

It’s been a rough eighteen months or so for real estate investment trusts (REITs), with higher interest rates giving investors alternative sources of yield and pressuring commercial real estate’s asset values. Unfortunately for Medical Properties Trust (MPT), that pain continues today, with its shares falling back to their Great-Financial-Crisis lows. 😬

The medical-related real estate property operator revealed to investors that one of its tenants, Steward Health Care System, is roughly $50 million behind in rent payments. As a result, MPT will take a $225 million noncash charge to write off rent receivables and other items. 

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$LUNR Reaches A “Tipping Point”

One of the top stories in the market over the last 24 hours has been Intuitive Machines’, which trades under the ticker symbol $LUNR. 📻

The space exploration company’s Nova-C cargo moon lander known as “Odysseus” became the first privately developed spacecraft to land on the lunar surface. It was also the first U.S. spacecraft to soft-land on the moon in over 50 years. 🌝

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