McDonald’s Corporation (MCD): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock?

McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) is a favorite of many investors, because let's be honest, it's easy to envision this company asserting its fast food dominance through 2050. Let's see what the company's richest investors are doing.


At the moment, there are many metrics investors can use to track their holdings. A pair of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top fund managers can outpace the broader indices by a superb margin (see just how much).


Equally as useful, positive insider trading sentiment is another way to analyze the stock market universe. There are a number of stimuli for a bullish insider to cut shares of his or her company, but just one, very clear reason why they would buy. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this strategy if "monkeys" understand where to look (learn more here).


Furthermore, it's important to analyze the newest info for McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD).


McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD)

What does the smart money think about McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD)?


Heading into Q3, a total of 44 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 2% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money's sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes meaningfully.


When using filings from the hedgies we track, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, managed by Michael Larson, holds the largest position in McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD). Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust has a $977.4 million position in the stock, comprising 5.5% of its 13F portfolio. On Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust's heels is Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, which held a $629.1 million position; 1.6% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other hedge funds that hold long positions include Ken Fisher's Fisher Asset Management, Natixis Global Asset Management's Harris Associates and D. E. Shaw's D E Shaw.


As aggregate interest spiked, certain money managers were breaking ground themselves. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, managed by Michael Larson, established the largest position in McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD). Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust had 977.4 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Jim Simons's Renaissance Technologies also made a $629.1 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new MCD investors: Ken Fisher's Fisher Asset Management, D. E. Shaw's D E Shaw, and Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson's Adage Capital Management.

How have insiders been trading McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD)?


Bullish insider trading is particularly usable when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last half-year time frame, McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 6 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).


We'll also take a look at the relationship between both of these indicators in other stocks similar to McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD). These stocks are Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI), Burger King Worldwide Inc (NYSE:BKW), Tim Hortons Inc. (USA) (NYSE:THI), Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG), and Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM). All of these stocks are in the restaurants industry and their market caps are closest to MCD's market cap.

Company Name
# of Hedge Funds
# of Insiders Buying
# of Insiders Selling

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI)
21
0
3

Burger King Worldwide Inc (NYSE:BKW)
14
0
0

Tim Hortons Inc. (USA) (NYSE:THI)
23
0
0

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG)
28
0
3

Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM)
32
1
6

Using the returns shown by our analyses, average investors should always keep one eye on hedge fund and insider trading activity, and McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) is an important part of this process.


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