McDonald's (MCD) Jan. Comps Fall More than Expected as Key APMEA Segment Turns Soft

February 8, 2013 9:06 AM EST
Investors are not lovin' McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) Friday following an update on January sales results.

The fast-food giant reported a 1.9 percent drop in comparable-store sales for January. The number compares with consensus estimates calling for just a 1.1 percent drop.

In its most recent quarter, McDonald's reported a modest 0.1 percent gain in comps, while total comps in 2012 rose 3.1 percent.

Leading the drop in January was its Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) segment. Largely expected to be a key growth area for McDonald's, APMEA saw a 9.5 percent drop in comps last quarter. By comparison, U.S. comps rose 0.9 percent, the only positive segment to report. The Street was looking for a 5.8 percent drop.

U.S. comps rose 0.9 percent with the Street seeing a 0.3 percent drop, and European comps fell 2.1 percent versus estimates calling for a 0.1 percent gain.

To be fair, McDonald's was going up against tough competition: itself. Comps in the same period last year rose 6.7 percent, with APMEA adding-in about 7.3 percent of growth.

McDoanld's effort in the U.S. to shift to more of a value-meal scheme appears to be paying off. The company said sales were, "driven by a balanced offering of premium, core and compelling value options, including the addition of the new Grilled Onion Cheddar burger to the Dollar Menu."

Shares are down 0.2 percent into the open.

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