McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) reported a 5.2% drop in its first-quarter profit, just missing Wall Street views as U.S. sales continued to lag behind.
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The fast-food giant said Tuesday its earnings checked in at $1.2 billion, or $1.21 a share, compared to $1.27 billion, or $1.26 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue climbed 1.4% to $6.7 billion, while expenses jumped 2.3%.
Analysts were looking for a slightly stronger report, forecasting per-share earnings of $1.24 and revenue of $6.72 billion.
McDonald’s grappled with tepid sales in the U.S. last year amid increasing competition, particularly from “fast casual” restaurants like Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG). The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company said it is focused on “stabilizing key priority markets” such as the U.S., Germany, Australia and Japan.
In the latest period, global sales at restaurants open for at least a year improved 0.5%, even as domestic traffic declined. McDonald’s said it will reevaluate menu choices in the U.S., where same-store sales were down 1.7%.
“For the long term, we are focused on more effectively leveraging consumer insights to guide our global growth priorities of optimizing our menu, modernizing the customer experience and broadening accessibility to brand McDonald’s,” CEO Don Thompson said in a statement. “We are intent on pursuing initiatives that will strengthen our relationship with our customers to reignite our business momentum.”
Comparable sales in Europe rose 1.4% on strength in the U.K., France and Russia. The Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa segment logged a 0.8% increase in same-store sales.
Shares of McDonald’s ticked 53 cents higher, or 0.5%, to $100.20 in pre-market trading. The stock has gained 2.7% so far this year.