McDonald's fails to lift sluggish sales
McDonald's Corp yesterday reported another sluggish month of sales at established restaurants, results that suggest the famed hamburger chain is losing US market share to rivals.
The fast-food chain, the world's largest by revenue, has struggled for more than a year to significantly increase monthly sales, hindered by slack demand and intense competition for the business of budget-conscious diners.
November's biggest disappointment came from the United States, where monthly sales at restaurants open at least 13 months fell 0.8pc, versus the 0.3pc gain expected, on average, by 14 analysts polled by Consensus Metrix.
"McDonald's US trends imply a rare period of share losses," RBC Capital Markets analyst David Palmer said in a client note.
Wall Street initially expected the chain's fortunes to turn this past spring because its results would be compared with weak monthly numbers starting in the spring of 2012.
But McDonald's executives recently signaled that weakness would continue in the fourth quarter amid stiff competition and halting global economic growth.
Chief executive Don Thompson, at the helm of McDonald's for more than a year, has switched top management and shaken up menus to boost sales and profits. Still, analysts said the chain appears to be losing out to rivals at all meal times except breakfast.
Sales in Europe, which just edges out the US as the top generator of revenue, rose a higher-than-expected 1.9pc.
Shares of the Illinois-based company were down 1.1pc ($95.73) in midday trading. (Reuters)