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In July 2016, we reported that Starbucks could someday become bigger than the current largest restaurant chain in the world, McDonald’s.

Now, it looks like that could happen sooner than expected.

Fortune reported Tuesday that Mark Kalinowski, an analyst with financial holding company Nomura, picked the Seattle-based coffeehouse chain as his top restaurant stock for the new year. While he doesn’t think Starbucks will outgrow McDonald’s in 2017, Kalinowski said it could easily happen in the next four or five years.

“We believe that it is only a matter of time before Starbucks overtakes McDonald’s as the largest market cap restaurant stock,” he said.


RELATED: This chart shows the actual cost of McDonald’s menu items

Kalinowski said Starbucks’ growth has been consistent over the past several years; it’s poised to expand its worldwide store count by more than eight percent by the end of the fiscal year, according to Financial Times. If the trend continues through 2021, it will likely be the first restaurant chain in decades to dethrone the Golden Arches.

Starbucks is currently worth about $79 billion, while McDonald’s is worth more than $98 billion.

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