Burger King (NYSE:BKC) has lost some royal subjects. Despite reporting a quarterly profit, shares fell 3.5% on Friday. What knocked the king down?

Adjusted earnings rose 61% to $0.29 a share from last year. This excludes certain charges from both periods such as lease termination expenses and IPO-related costs. Same-store sales rose 4.4% worldwide and 4.8% in the United States and Canada. The latter benefitted from a later closing time -- management instructed franchises to stay open until at least midnight -- and a new breakfast menu.

It's a very positive earnings report. Going forward, the company will benefit from higher royalty fees as franchises renew and from its latest promotion with "The Simpsons Movie." It is a mystery why the share price fell, but I have my own reservations about the company.

Changes such as staying open later, offering a breakfast menu, and making premium products available merely match what competitors such as McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) and Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM), with well-known names such as KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell, have been doing for years. Burger King also has an ambitious expansion plan. The real test will come as it ramps up opening new stores over the next few years. It must be able to maintain its momentum on a large scale, continue to improve, and distinguish itself from its fast-food competitors.

Although the restaurant's margins continue to expand, its average sales, at $1.3 million, are still far behind Mickey D's.

Burger King's trailing price-to-earnings ratio is 31; McDonald's is 29. For my money, I'd rather have a piece of the leader at a relatively lower price than a piece of the one playing catch-up.

Related Foolishness:

Fool contributor Lawrence Rothman is happy to receive feedback, and promises to read it when not being wrestled by his three children. He doesn't have any positions in the companies mentioned.