McDonald's Corporation(NYSE:MCD) faced a downgrade by Lazard Capital Markets analyst, Matthew DiFrisco on Monday, who felt that tough competition may obstruct sales growth.
Matthew has cut his Buy Rating on McDonald’s to Neutral since he is expecting a key sales figure will shrink 1.8% in the last three months of 2012 with a sluggish start in the year 2013. The reduction at revenue at restaurants open at least a year, a crucial measure of the health of a restaurant’s health, implies that McDonald’s is losing share in the US whereas fast-food trends are gradually weakening in a number of important global markets.
After years of surpassing its competitors, McDonald’s has struggled lately with its long-time competitors Wendy’s and Burger King, who have revamped their menus and introduced new advertising campaigns. Meanwhile, new items on the menu boost the sales growth of Taco Bell. Customers are increasingly visiting the fast-casual food chains like Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera that offer better quality food at little expensive rates.
To rev up the sales figures, CEO of McDonald’s, Don Thompson has revealed that the company will focus on value by emphasizing on its Dollar Menu.
Matthew feels that the abrupt termination of the head of McDonald’s US business operations earlier this month has indicated that the company is planning on bringing bigger changes, especially in terms of promotions.
Matthew has cut down his per-shares profit prediction for the year 2013 from $5.95 to $5.74.
Earlier this month, McDonald’s had reported lower demand and tougher competition for the poorer sales. Even though the decline is legendary for the largest restaurant chain the world, it was not unexpected. Analysts have been tempering expectations and downgrading their stocks ratings since months.
David Tarantino of Baird has maintained an Outperform rating on McDonald’s. He has said that Baird is being cautiously positive that better trends can come out as McDonald’s surpasses a wall of challenges in the upcoming months.
Shares of MCD are down 1.11% to $86.08.