McDonald’s posts surprise sales gain

CHICAGO — McDonald’s Corp. posted a surprise gain in U.S. same-store sales last month after a decline in October as the world’s largest restaurant chain increased advertising for less expensive items.

Sales in the United States increased 2.5 percent in November, the Oak Brook, Ill.-based company said Monday in a statement. Analysts projected a drop of 0.6 percent, the average of 14 estimates compiled by Consensus Metrix. Global sales rose 2.4 percent while analysts anticipated a gain of 0.2 percent.

McDonald’s, which has about 14,100 U.S. stores, has been pushing its Dollar Menu to attract budget-minded Americans. The Big Mac seller, which named Don Thompson chief executive officer in July, is trying to keep pace with Burger King Worldwide Inc. and Yum Brands Inc.’s Taco Bell, which have been promoting new food and value items this year.

“You saw McDonald’s going on TV and pushing a lot more value” in the U.S. last month, Peter Saleh, a New York-based analyst at Telsey Advisory Group, said in an interview. “The numbers in the U.S. were particularly strong.”

McDonald’s rose 1.1 percent to $89.41 at the close in New York. The shares have fallen 11 percent this year.

In November, U.S. sales were fueled by breakfast and value items, as well as the chain’s new Chedder Bacon Onion sandwiches, McDonald’s said in the statement. Thompson has said the company will have a stronger new menu presence next year compared with 2012.

Sales increased 1.4 percent in Europe and rose 0.6 percent in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Analysts projected a gain of 0.1 percent and a drop of 0.9 percent, respectively, according to a survey by Consensus Metrix, a researcher owned by Wayne, New Jersey-based Kaul Advisory Group.

McDonald’s October comparable-store sales fell 1.8 percent globally, the first monthly decline in nine years. Sales at U.S. locations slid 2.2 percent that month.

Saleh said the company’s focus on its Dollar Menu is “not good news for margin.”

McDonald’s U.S. company-owned restaurant margin narrowed to 19.8 percent in the three months ended Sept. 30 from 21.1 percent a year earlier, according to company filings.

Same-store sales fell 3.1 percent in Japan last month. Comparable, or same-store, sales are considered an indicator of a company’s growth because they include only older restaurants.

There are more than 34,000 McDonald’s restaurants worldwide, about 80 percent of which are franchised.

More in Herald Business Journal

Boeing marks the start of 777X production at Paine Field

It took tax breaks and union concessions to land assembly of the company’s new jetliner in Everett.

Amazon says it received 238 proposals for 2nd headquarters

Forty-three U.S. states, D.C., Puerto Rico, three Mexican states and six Canadian provinces want HQ2.

Amazon leases a southwest Everett warehouse for deliveries

The Seaway Center building is not as big as one of the company’s more typical fulfillment centers.

Health-care consumers need to take the lead, so get smart

David Russian, CEO of Western Washington Medical Group, writes our third essay about fixing health care.

JCPenney partners with EvCC, WSU to assist students

Earlier this month, JCPenney partnered with the Career Service Centers at Everett… Continue reading

Re/Max Elite adds two agents in Lynnwood

Jenelle Dent and Lori DaSilva have joined Re/Max Elite as agents at… Continue reading

Register for Marysville Tulalip Business Before Hours event

The Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce holds its next Business Before… Continue reading

Wells Fargo donates $2,500 to Edmonds Center for the Arts

Edmonds Center for the Arts has received a grant of $2,500 from… Continue reading

More business, more competition for Everett kidney dialysis center

Nonprofit Puget Sound Kidney Centers sees large for-profit competitors enter state market.

Most Read