An 18% Raise?

This is a personal question. Assuming you work for someone, or some company, my question is simple – What kind of raise did you get this year? And what is your track record of accomplishments over the past year that justified that raise?

Here is what the typical worker, and even executive and management have been experiencing:

“To a large extent, 3 percent pay raises have become the new norm in corporate America,” Sandra McLellan, North American Practice Leader for Towers Watson said in a statement. “We haven’t seen variation from this level for many years.”

Now we all know CEO's are worth much more than the average worker. So when I first saw this headline, ‘McDonald's CEO Easterbrook gets 18% raise', I was inclined to pass over it and go on to more important news items, like the most recent Kayne West rant.

But my eyebrow began to twitch. I had to go look at what McDonald's has done for investors to justify an 18% raise.

The new CEO, Steven Easterbrook, formerly the company's chief brand officer, took over in March of 2015 – less than a year ago.

A recent Marketwatch.com article by Tess Stynes states “During his tenure as CEO, Mr. Easterbrook has embarked on a turnaround effort to reinvigorate the company's weak sales.

In January, McDonald's posted its best U.S. quarterly sales in nearly four years, driven by all-day breakfast, in the strongest indication that Mr. Easterbrook's rebuilding initiatives have been gaining traction.

Okay, but recent quarterly revenue of the company did not post best sales in four years. In fact, overall revenue is down 3.5% from a year ago.  Earnings did show an improvement over the past two quarters, but they are merely back to the levels of a year and a half ago.

Did investors get a healthy dividend increase to reward them for staying with the stock, through three and a half years of sideways movement, meaning no net gain, in the stock price? The dividend increase, since Mr. Easterbrook became CEO, works out to 4.7%. Okay, that's something for investors.

Three and a half months ago the stock did finally jump 20%, but the annualized net gain since the start of the sideways trading range in 2011 works out to only 7.5% a year – less than the 8% annual general market gain assumed by many who do IRA/401k/pension retirement planning.

I didn't see any SEC filings over the past few years to indicate how much McDonald's stock he owns. He certainly hasn't bought any, nor has any other executive in McDonalds. Meanwhile, quite a number of VP's, officers, and other insiders have sold significant quantities of the stock (to be fair, this is often part of the compensation, but when absolutely no insiders are buying the stock of their company, it makes you wonder).

So he has not encouraged other insiders to take a chance on McDonald's future. He has not increased his holdings, if he has any, since becoming CEO. Revenue has decreased, earnings are back to year-ago levels, dividends have increased a whole 4.7%. But we can now buy an Egg McMuffin anytime of the day. That seems to be the primary accomplishment that justifies an 18% raise.

I used to like their coffee. It was Newman's Own Organic coffee. Now if Mr. Easterbrook brought that back, I'd tell the board to give him another 18%.

Of course, there's much more you need to know and many more stocks you can capitalize upon each and every day.  To find out more, please click on the following link: www.markettamer.com/seasonal

By Gregg Harris, MarketTamer Chief Technical Strategist

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Gregg Harris is the Chief Technical Strategist at MarketTamer.com.

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MarketTamer is not an investment advisor and is not registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Further, owners, employees, agents or representatives of MarketTamer are not acting as investment advisors and might not be registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or the Financial Industry Regulatory.


This company makes no representations or warranties concerning the products, practices or procedures of any company or entity mentioned or recommended in this email, and makes no representations or warranties concerning said company or entity’s compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, regulations promulgated by the SEC or the CFTC. The sender of this email may receive a portion of the proceeds from the sale of any products or services offered by a company or entity mentioned or recommended in this email. The recipient of this email assumes responsibility for conducting its own due diligence on the aforementioned company or entity and assumes full responsibility, and releases the sender from liability, for any purchase or order made from any company or entity mentioned or recommended in this email.


The content on any of MarketTamer websites, products or communication is for educational purposes only. Nothing in its products, services, or communications shall be construed as a solicitation and/or recommendation to buy or sell a security. Trading stocks, options and other securities involves risk. The risk of loss in trading securities can be substantial. The risk involved with trading stocks, options and other securities is not suitable for all investors. Prior to buying or selling an option, an investor must evaluate his/her own personal financial situation and consider all relevant risk factors. See: Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options. The www.MarketTamer.com educational training program and software services are provided to improve financial understanding.


The information presented in this site is not intended to be used as the sole basis of any investment decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the investment needs of any particular investor. Nothing in our research constitutes legal, accounting or tax advice or individually tailored investment advice. Our research is prepared for general circulation and has been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive or obtain access to it. Our research is based on sources that we believe to be reliable. However, we do not make any representation or warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy of our research, the completeness, or correctness or make any guarantee or other promise as to any results that may be obtained from using our research. To the maximum extent permitted by law, neither we, any of our affiliates, nor any other person, shall have any liability whatsoever to any person for any loss or expense, whether direct, indirect, consequential, incidental or otherwise, arising from or relating in any way to any use of or reliance on our research or the information contained therein. Some discussions contain forward looking statements which are based on current expectations and differences can be expected. All of our research, including the estimates, opinions and information contained therein, reflects our judgment as of the publication or other dissemination date of the research and is subject to change without notice. Further, we expressly disclaim any responsibility to update such research. Investing involves substantial risk. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results, and a loss of original capital may occur. No one receiving or accessing our research should make any investment decision without first consulting his or her own personal financial advisor and conducting his or her own research and due diligence, including carefully reviewing any applicable prospectuses, press releases, reports and other public filings of the issuer of any securities being considered. None of the information presented should be construed as an offer to sell or buy any particular security. As always, use your best judgment when investing.