Standard & Poor's on Monday downgraded McDonald's Corp. corporate credit rating to A-minus from A, and said plans to return $8.5 billion in cash to shareholders this year are a negative for its credit metrics. "While we see credit and cash flow benefits from refranchising, lower capital spending and cost reductions, these are largely offset by our current assumption that absent specifics on longer term financial policy, the company will return much of this cash to shareholders and credit measures will not return to the low-2x area," the rating agency said in a statement. The action comes after McDonald's unveiled a turnaround plan that disappointed investors by failing to mention food or menu changes, sending shares lower in early trade. McDonald's has about $15 billion in long-term debt, according to FactSet.
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