McDonald's Oct restaurant sales fall, first in 9 years
The world's largest hamburger chain last month signaled that October sales were on the decline. Resurgent rivals like Burger King Worldwide Inc (BKW.N), Wendy's Co (WEN.O) and Yum Brands Inc's (YUM.N) Taco Bell are luring U.S. diners with revamped menus, low-priced food and catchy advertising.
McDonald's U.S. market share losses "seem to have accelerated in recent months," Jefferies & Co analyst Andy Barish said in a note to clients.
The renewed competition and weak economy are presenting challenges for new chief executive Don Thompson, who took over on July 1.
Edward Jones analyst Jack Russo said October sales also were hurt because the month had one less Saturday and one less Sunday compared with October 2011. McDonald's sells more on weekends.
Russo said he expects McDonald's to respond with even more promotions in November, but he also said Superstorm Sandy, which hit the U.S. Northeast at the end of October, was likely to weigh on November sales.
Many U.S. restaurant companies, including investor favorite Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG.N), have reported cooling demand as diners get more frugal with every dollar.
But there are exceptions...