You can't say we didn't warn you.
Over the past few months, we've taken a lot of shots at McDonald's
Last night, the world's largest restaurant operator -- by far -- posted a 2.4% decline in January comparable-unit sales. Even more troubling, the rest of the world's McDonald's eateries fared worse than the domestic ones. Only Latin America saw an uptick in comps.
This comes on the heels of the burger-flipping giant's first quarterly loss in its 37-year public history. The company clearly has a lot of work to do. Repositioning a fading brand is never easy, and it's even harder in the middle of a price war. Will McDonald's really go away?
As bad as last year was, the company still produced $2.9 billion in cash from operations against just $2 billion in capital expenditures. While McDonald's claims $10 billion in debt, it's still producing supersized greenery. With prime real estate to fall back on, is McDonald's really worth less than its stated book value?
The market thinks so, at least right now. So, as easy as it has been to take shots at Mickey D's in the past, maybe it's time for the value investor to ponder the Extra Value Meal. Sure, it will take more than a coat of fresh gold paint to restore the arches to their former glory, but consider the potential upside.