Where Does McDonald's Go From Here?
Most of the media, too busy giving us the chapter and verse of McDonald's quarter -- in other words, all the information readily available in the press release -- neglects to touch upon McDonald's strategic adjustments going forward.
After all, McDonald's is not going to just sit there looking stupid. They are going to try to do something new -- and that could determine (for better or worse) the course of coming quarters.
But in any article called "McDonald's Profit Declines as World Economy Weakens," The New York Times merely reviews the readily apparent.
The Wall Street Journal, by happy contrast, casts its gaze forward, talking about how the troubles are "pressuring the chain to `crank up' its marketing and promote value."
This holds opportunity and risk. Margins are already contorting and advertising and lower-priced items might accentuate the trend. Advertising is always a bit of a crapshoot, so pay close attention to coming campaigns and other marketing efforts -- but McDonald's has a long and reliable history in switching to a value focus.
All in all, McDonald's had a disappointing quarter -- but stands a good chance to get it right. Track marketing and discounting initiatives specifically, something you wouldn't know to do from reading much of the media.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.