Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



McDonald's Gets Its Groove Back

That didn't take long. Just a month after suffering its first drop in comparable sales in nine years, McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) returned to growth in November.

Global sales bounced back, improving from a nearly 2% decline the month before to notch a 2.4% increase this time. The positive trends between October and last month also showed up in all three of the company's sales regions:


October Results 

November Results 

United States






Asia/Pacific, Middle East, Africa



Source: McDonald's financial filings.

Analysts were expecting total growth of about 0.1%, with global results projected to be hit by another fall in U.S. sales. The national restaurant industry has been in a bit of a funk, after all. And even Chipotle (NYSE: CMG  ) turned in a an uncharacteristic 5% sales gain in Q3 and warned that cautious consumers could hurt results.

But instead of back-to-back drops, McDonald's delivered a healthy 2.5% bump in U.S. revenue. That has to have the new head of the company's U.S. division, Jeff Stratton, breathing a little easier. He took the reins just after domestic sales tanked, amid warnings of a depressing new normal in the global competitive environment.

Yet the monthly sales report wasn't uniformly positive. The most disappointing figure was the sub-1% sales rise in McDonald's Asia/Pacific region. That compares poorly with the 8.1% jump in the year-ago quarter and points to a longer-term trend of cooling sales in that region. McDonald's Asia/Pacific market is the company's worst-performing area so far this year. But the company isn't alone there. Competitor Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM  ) just warned about softer sales in China, too, and said it expects Q4 sales growth to be negative in the country, after logging a whopping 21% gain in Q4 of last year.

Monthly sales figures aren't the best judge of business performance, as they can be volatile and dominated by short-term factors. In November, for example, McDonald's benefited from the limited-time offering of its cheddar bacon onion sandwich. The company's December results should enjoy a similar bounce as the uber-popular McRib sandwich returns for its yearly run on the menu.

Still, McDonald's turned in a solid report with improvements across all regions. And, given October's terrible numbers and the leadership change in November, a lot was riding on this month's report. A return to growth at McDonald's means investors don't have to worry that the bottom is falling out from under the company's domestic sales. In the U.S and overseas, McDonald's still has it.

More expert advice from The Motley Fool
After making investors rich in 2011, McDonald's has been one of the worst-performing blue-chip stocks this year. Our top analyst on the company will tell you whether you should be worried by this trend, and he'll shed light on whether McDonald's is a buy at today's prices. Click here now to read our premium research report on the company.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2147450, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/21/2016 8:23:58 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,145.71 -16.64 -0.09%
S&P 500 2,141.16 -0.18 -0.01%
NASD 5,257.40 15.57 0.30%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/21/2016 4:01 PM
MCD $113.93 Up +3.36 +3.04%
McDonald's CAPS Rating: ***
CMG $411.94 Up +6.84 +1.69%
Chipotle Mexican G… CAPS Rating: ****
YUM $86.97 Up +0.77 +0.89%
Yum! Brands CAPS Rating: ****