News Column

McDonald's, Stung by October Sales decline, Gets Upgrade

Dec. 7, 2012

Emily Bryson York

McDonald's

McDonald's Corp., which has come under fire since its report in October that U.S. same-store sales declined 2.2 percent, was upgraded Friday by Janney analyst Mark Kalinowski.

The upgrade, from neutral to buy, was "based on the possibility of improving same store sales trends as 2013 progresses and gradually improving year-over-year comparisons." Kalinowski added that he believes "that investors are more prepared today than they were in September for the tough sales comparisons."

Based on 28 franchisee responses, Kalinowski now expects November same-store sales in the U.S. to increase 1.7 percent. He noted that his estimate is high, compared to a Consenus Metrix estimate of a 0.8 percent decline, which he cited in the report.

The October results were the company's first monthly sales decline in more than nine years. The slip for the Oak Brook-based burger giant came as Wendy's and Burger King showed quarterly sales improvements. Both competitors have struggled in recent years.

Though the decline at McDonald's was only based on one month of sales, many analysts believe the world's largest restaurant chain is likely to encounter problems until early 2013. The October sales report was followed by the abrupt resignation of U.S. president Jan Fields, a company veteran.

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(c)2012 the Chicago Tribune

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