McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD) is the world's largest company in the restaurant industry. As of Oct. 27, 2015, McDonald's has a market capitalization of $105.14 billion. McDonald's started off as one restaurant in 1940, but since then, it has become the world's leading global food service retailer. It has over 36,000 locations in over 100 countries and serves approximately 69 million people on a daily basis. If you were able to purchase 100 shares of McDonald's common stock during its initial public offering (IPO), that investment would be worth over $8 million today. Moreover, you would be receiving a quarterly dividend of 85 cents per share, or over $60,000 per year.

History of McDonald's

Dick and Mac McDonald opened McDonald's Bar-B-Q in San Bernardino, California, in 1940. By 1948, McDonald's operated as a self-service drive-in food service retailer. McDonald's had over 700 restaurants across the United States by 1965. Ray Kroc, an American businessman, joined the company in 1954 and opened up his first McDonald's in Des Plaines, Illinois, on April 15, 1955. Ray Kroc intended to sell Multi-Mixers to Dick and Mac during his visit to McDonald's in San Bernardino. However, his epiphany to become a franchising agent paid off.

McDonald's Rise to the Top

McDonald's dates its founding to the first opening of a franchised restaurant by Ray Kroc. McDonald's celebrated its 10th anniversary by initiating its first public stock offering at $22.50 per share. After its first day as a publicly traded company on April 21, 1965, the stock had soared to $30 per share, and its owners became millionaires.

McDonald's stock has enjoyed healthy gains since 2003. As of Oct. 27, 2015, McDonald's stock price has increased by 672.06% since Jan. 1, 2003. McDonald's hit an all-time high in October 2015 after reporting positive comparable store sales growth and an earnings per share (EPS) that was up 28% year over year. Additionally, as of Sept. 30, 2015, based on trailing 10-year data, McDonald's had an average annual revenue growth rate of 7.4%, an EPS without nonrecurring items growth rate of 13.3% and a free cash flow growth rate of 9.2%. With McDonald's growth and blue-chip status, the stock shows no immediate signs of slowing.

Present-Day Value From a McDonald's Corporation IPO Investment

If you were lucky enough to purchase 100 shares of McDonald's when it was at $22.50 on its IPO date, you would have only spent $2,250. Based on McDonald's closing stock price on Oct. 27, 2015, the investment would be worth $8.3 million. Additionally, you would have owned over 70,000 shares of McDonald's common stock after its stock splits. Since its IPO, McDonald's has split its stock 12 times and paid out a 2% stock dividend. A stock split is a corporate action in which a company increases its shares outstanding, while simultaneously decreasing its dollar value per share by the same multiple.

McDonald's had its first stock split in 1966, which was a three-for-two stock split. Therefore, those 100 shares would have become 150 shares after the stock split. Thereafter, it announced a 2% stock dividend in 1967, which would have given you an extra three shares. After five more three-for-two stock splits and six more two-for-one stock splits, you would have owned 74,360 shares.

In addition to the investment increasing due to the growth of McDonald's share price , you would have also received income from its cash dividends. McDonald's has been paying out quarterly dividends, without interruption, since 1976; moreover, it has increased its dividend for 38 consecutive years. Therefore, it is included in the exclusive group of dividend-paying stocks known as the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats. McDonald's paid out an annual dividend per share of $3.28 during the 2014 fiscal year; if you had kept all those shares of McDonald's, you would have received $243,900 just in dividend payments.

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