) finally showed signs of normalizing as it registered a 2.6%
growth in the same-store sales in May. In the U.S., the figure rose
by 2.4%. Prior to May, McDonald's had failed to register a sales
gain of more than 1% for five consecutive months in the U.S. Last
few months had been tough for the world's largest fast food chain
since the results had come on top of a high base. A warmer winter
last year had resulted in better-than-expected sales.
With the onset of summers, the sales growth was naturally going
to improve. Comparable sales, or same-store sales, is an important
measure to gauge a restaurant's performance since it only includes
the restaurants open for more than a year and excludes the effect
of currency fluctuation. While this is certainly a positive
development, it still highlights the same problem McDonald's has
been facing for a while: not generating high enough sales despite a
greater emphasis on lower priced items such as the Dollar Meal.
It's no secret that McDonald's margins are getting hurt due to
an increased dependence on value meals. Margins of the
company-operated stores shrank 90 basis points to 17.8% in 2012
and dropped further to 16.2% in the first quarter. ((
)) Although it can vary from one chain to another, restaurants
generally need a comparable sales growth of ~3% in order to offset
the rise in commodity, labor and occupancy costs. Therefore, the
margins could continue to remain under pressure if McDonald's fails
to improve from here. While the figure of 2.4% in the U.S.
isn't bad, it is not worth boasting either. Even the American
economy is in a modest condition right now, so the macroeconomic
environment cannot be solely blamed for the tepid sales
See full analysis for McDonald's Corporation
Although this industry has always been competitive, McDonald's
is at a disadvantage since it doesn't have much scope to expand
nationally. Some of the other restaurant chains such as Taco Bell,
Dunkin' Donuts and even Chipotle are expanding to regions where
they have traditionally had a low presence.
McDonald's has 14,000 restaurants in the U.S. compared to 5,700
for Taco Bell and 7,500 for Dunkin'. The former plans to add 2,300
new stores within the next eight years while the latter aims to
double the store count in the U.S. to ~15,000 by 2020. Thus,
McDonald's sales could get hurt since the newer restaurants
generally have a novelty factor associated with them. For example,
Dunkin' Donuts has no presence in California presently, so when it
opens its store in the nation's largest state in a year or two, it
is likely to be met with some excitement. This in turn could drive
away some of the customers of McDonald's to newer names.
we have a $96 price estimate for McDonald's, which is about
5% lower than the current market price.
a Company's Products Impact its Stock Price at Trefis