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Topic: Growth Stocks

Buy for growth & possible spin-off

MCDONALD’S CORP. $44 (New York symbol MCD; Conservative Growth Portfolio, Consumer sector; Shares outstanding: 1.2 billion; Market cap: $52.8 billion; WSSF Rating: Above average) is now thinking about selling or spinning off its struggling Boston Market chain, which operates 620 rotisserie chicken restaurants in 28 states.

Meanwhile, McDonald’s earned $0.61 a share in the fourth quarter of 2006, excluding a $0.39 gain on the Chipotle sale and share exchange. That’s 29.8% more than the $0.47 it earned in the year-earlier quarter.

Strong demand for new products, including a chicken wrap and a new coffee blend, helped increase December same-store sales in the United States by 6.9%. Same-store sales rose 8.2% in Europe, and 4.8% in Asia.

McDonald’s is a buy.

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