Shares of McDonald's Corp. slipped 0.6% in premarket trade Thursday, after Piper Jaffray downgraded the fast-food restaurant giant, citing concerns about valuation following the recent run up in the stock price. Analyst Nicole Miller Regan cut her rating to neutral from overweight, while maintaining her price target at $97, which is 3.2% below Wednesday's closing price of $100.25. The stock, a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, has surged 13% from Jan. 28 through Wednesday's close, compared with a 5.3% gain in the Dow. "Strength behind this move, in our opinion, may be attributed to industry buzz around likely strategies to be deployed by new management as well as the prior changing of the guard (i/e, new CEO) announcement itself," Regan wrote in a note to clients. "However, our industry conversations suggest the number and relative complexity of forthcoming initiatives may lead to a longer-than-expected recovery." She believes the stock will likely remain range-bound over the coming year.
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