Fast-Food Stocks Unharmed by “Living Wage” Protests


Fast-food workers across seven U.S. cities went on strike today in protest of the low wages their fat-cat employers pay them. Workers at McDonald's, Wendy's and other chains are demanding a "living wage" - considered $15 an hour.

The bad publicity doesn't cast the fast food giants in a favorable light. But Wall Street was un-swayed by the protests.

Fast-food stocks actually prospered today. McDonald's ( MCD ) shares were up 0.6%. Burger King ( BKW ) performed even better, rising 1.5%. Only Wendy's ( WEN ) failed to gain any traction, finishing flat.

Perhaps investors weren't convinced that the protesters had much of a case. Many fast-food employees currently earn minimum wage, $7.25 an hour. It seems unlikely that McDonald's and Wendy's will suddenly more than double their salaries.

A spokesman for the National Restaurant Association told NPR that raising wages to $15 an hour would have a "severe impact" on fast-food business, where profit margins are allegedly tight. McDonald's, by the way, earned $5.5 billion in profit last year. Burger King earned $117 million, while Wendy's earned just $7 million.

Wherever the living-wage protests go, it appears the unwanted publicity stemming from them won't have much of an impact on the share prices of fast-food stocks.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: BKW , MCD , WEN

Wyatt Investment Research

Wyatt Investment Research

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