NEW YORK (TheStreet) --McDonald's (MCD) - Get Free Report was upgraded to "outperform" from "neutral" today at Baird. The firm cited an appealing entry point, improving consumer sentiment, top-line momentum, and a more attractive business model as the reasons driving the call.
Tuesday afternoon's CNBC "Fast Money Halftime Report" panel debated the Oak Brook, IL-based fast food chain in response to today's upgrade.
"There has been a nice recovery in an executive management strategy that has clearly changed, I wonder though if it's attractive to the dividend yield. For me, it's fairly valued, and I don't know if I get too excited here," Virtus Investment Partners Chief Market Strategist Joe Terranova said.
Terranova remains more interested in other companies within the food space including PapaJohns International (PZZA), Domino's Pizza (DPZ), and Jack in the Box (JACK).
Despite the company's success through its all-day breakfast campaign, Najarian Family and Advisors Office Co-founder Jon Najarian is not a buyer.
"I don't think the all-day breakfast is enough to pull against the higher wages that they're going to have pay. Yeah, they'll have ways to address some of those issues, but overall I think they're going to suffer," Najarian explained.
Lebenthal Asset Management CEO Jim Lebenthal emphasized better opportunities elsewhere.
"Frankly, you can find higher yields in similar-quality stocks. Look, we can all agree that this is a fabulously run company, it's a great brand, but it's going to have issues with the price," Lebenthal noted.
Convinced that the Fed will raise rates on September 21, Short Hills Capital Partners CIO Stephen Weiss believes dividend stocks, like McDonald's, won't be as effective.
"I think you get more bang for your buck in other sectors like financials and tech." Weiss said.
Shares of McDonald's were higher during mid-afternoon trading on Tuesday.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates the stock as a "hold" with a ratings score of C+.
McDonald's strengths such as its solid stock price performance, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins are countered by weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow and generally higher debt management risk.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: MCD
TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this article's author.