McDonald’s Corporation has reported flat sales in July at established restaurants around the world, its worst performance in more than nine years and a sign that a weakening global economy was hitting discretionary spending among mainstream diners.
Analysts polled by Consensus Metrix expected a gain of 2.3 per cent at restaurants open at least 13 months.
Shares of the world’s largest hamburger chain fell more than 2 per cent to $87.01 in early trading. The results marked the first time since April, 2003, that same-restaurant sales did not rise.
“We’ve grown used to seeing McDonald’s weather bad economies, so this is a bit of a surprise,” RBC Capital analyst Larry Miller said.
Just two weeks ago, McDonald’s said it had expected July same-restaurant sales to rise, but not as much as the 3.7 per cent gain reported in the second quarter.
The flat result suggested that sales significantly decelerated in the days after McDonald’s issued same-restaurant sales guidance on July 23.
“Sales trends are decelerating at a quicker-than-expected pace,” Oppenheimer and Co analyst Brian Bittner said in a client note.