McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) same-store sales flagged in November. Is it time for investors to say no to further helpings of the burger chain's shares?

The fast food giant's same-restaurant sales in the U.S. dipped 0.6% in November. Worldwide, same-restaurant sales increased 0.7%. For the month, overall sales increased 10.1% (or 2.3% in constant currency).

Starting to get worried? Take a deep breath and count to 10. Mickey D's sad-sounding November turnout may not be that surprising. Black Friday bombed for most retailers, as folks went out to shop but demanded rock-bottom deals. Though November generally revealed a wary, tightfisted consumer mind-set, McDonald's may be better-positioned for such lean times than many of its competitors.

This year, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Target (NYSE:TGT), and (NASDAQ:AMZN) have made headlines for launching brutal price wars well before the holiday season began. Apparently, even the fast food industry is on a similar warpath. Burger King (NYSE:BKC) and Yum! Brands' (NYSE:YUM) Taco Bell are reportedly slashing prices to try to take a big bite out of McDonald's. Mickey D's CEO Jim Skinner seems unruffled, noting that his company is "focused on growing market share with a disciplined pricing strategy."

In addition, don't forget that McDonald's latest earnings faced tough comparisons to its year-ago quarter. The company has been weathering the recessionary storm well, making it harder and harder to keep looking so impressive as its successes stack up. Last November, its comps jumped an amazing 7.7%. But October 2009 was less impressive: U.S. comps fell 0.1%, though worldwide same-store numbers jumped 3.3%.

So far, though, the trend in 2009 has been solid:

McDonald's Same-Store Sales Growth

Sept 30, 2009

June 30, 2009

March 31, 2009




One month of lackluster comps in an ugly consumer environment shouldn't derail long-term investors. True, they should gird themselves for those more comparisons in a difficult consumer spending climate. But let's not forget that McDonald's has burned naysayers who get caught up in near-term pessimism, too.

Given McDonald's historical success in battling back recessionary malaise and delivering impressive growth, as well as nice extras like its 3.6% dividend, investors should see the Golden Arches' weak near-term stock price as an appetizing opportunity -- not a reason to bail. is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Wal-Mart is an Inside Value pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool has a disclosure policy.