$MCD: Nope, We're Not Lovin' It

Takeaway: Our bearish thesis on MCD remains in play.

Editor's note: Hedgeye analyst Howard Penney has basically been the sole bear on McDonald's this whole year. And he's been dead right. Some interesting stats: MCD is down -5.5% since Penney made his short call earlier this year on April 25th. For comparison's sake, the XLY (Consumer Discretionary) has risen almost +20% since then. The S&P 500 is up over +14%. It's hard to beat being right on the short side in a red-hot bull market.


$MCD: Nope, We're Not Lovin' It - mcd1


Here's a snippet from a report he sent out earlier this afternoon.


“Looking ahead to 2014, the U.S. is intent on rebuilding its underlying business momentum by strengthening key elements of customer service and leveraging the breadth of menu choices across all dayparts and value tiers.”

- McDonald’s November Press Release


We found the above quote to be quite interesting.  In October, McDonald’s spoke of strengthening its underlying business momentum in 2014.  In November, however, the talk has shifted to rebuilding its underlying business momentum in 2014.  As we have been calling out for the greater part of 2013, MCD has issues in its underlying core business that management must address.  The fact that management finally acknowledged it needs to rebuild its U.S. business momentum is a positive; but it is not a solution...


...Overall, November marked another disappointing month for MCD, as the company missed muted global same-store sales estimates.  The U.S. was once again a major source of disappointment, as the company attributed the weak comparable sales to the competitive environment and flat industry traffic trends.  To be clear, this suggests that MCD is losing market share in the U.S. and, we contend, they have been for a while.


Despite the temporary uptick in two-year trends, our bearish thesis remains in play.  With the street looking for 7% EPS growth in 2014, we continue to believe there is disconnect between investor’s expectations and the company’s fundamentals.  Until we see a legitimate change in company operations or strategy, we fail to see how MCD will be able to hit the street's current 2014 EPS target. 


Would you like to learn more about Hedgeye Research? Click here.


Another French Revolution?

"Don't be complacent," writes Hedgeye Managing Director Neil Howe. "Tectonic shifts are underway in France. Is there the prospect of the new Sixth Republic? C'est vraiment possible."

read more

Cartoon of the Day: The Trend is Your Friend

"All of the key trending macro data suggests the U.S. economy is accelerating," Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough says.

read more

A Sneak Peek At Hedgeye's 2017 GDP Estimates

Here's an inside look at our GDP estimates versus Wall Street consensus.

read more

Cartoon of the Day: Green Thumb

So far, 64 of 498 companies in the S&P 500 have reported aggregate sales and earnings growth of 6.1% and 16.8% respectively.

read more

Europe's Battles Against Apple, Google, Innovation & Jobs

"“I am very concerned the E.U. maintains a battle against the American giants while doing everything possible to sustain so-called national champions," writes economist Daniel Lacalle. "Attacking innovation doesn’t create jobs.”

read more

An Open Letter to Pandora Management...

"Please stop leaking information to the press," writes Hedgeye Internet & Media analyst Hesham Shaaban. "You are getting in your own way, and blowing up your shareholders in the process."

read more

A 'Toxic Cocktail' Brewing for A Best Idea Short

The first quarter earnings pre-announcement today is not the end of the story for Mednax (MD). Rising labor costs and slowing volume is a toxic cocktail...

read more

Energy Stocks: Time to Buy? Here's What You Need to Know

If you're heavily-invested in Energy stocks it's been a heck of a year. Energy is the worst-performing sector in the S&P 500 year-to-date and value investors are now hunting for bargains in the oil patch. Before you buy, here's what you need to know.

read more

McCullough: ‘My 1-Minute Summary of My Institutional Meetings in NYC Yesterday’

What are even some of the smartest investors in the world missing right now?

read more

Cartoon of the Day: Political Portfolio Positioning

Leave your politics out of your portfolio.

read more

Jim Rickards Answers the Hedgeye 21

Bestselling author Jim Rickards says if he could be any animal he’d be a T-Rex. He also loves bonds and hates equities. Check out all of his answers to the Hedgeye 21.

read more

Amazon's New 'Big Idea': Ignore It At Your Own Peril

"We all see another ‘big idea’ out of Amazon (or the press making one up) just about every day," writes Retail Sector Head Brian McGough. "But whatever you do, DON’T ignore this one!"

read more