- Revenue surged 14% year-over-year to $6.69 billion, surpassing estimates of $6.52 billion and $6.58 billion from different sources.
- Adjusted earnings per share rose to $3.19, an increase of 19% from the previous year, beating analysts’ expectations of $2.98 and $3.
- Global systemwide sales, including company-owned and franchised restaurants, went up by 11%.
- Same-store sales saw an increase of 8.8%, which was higher than the anticipated 7.79% and 7.8%.
Factors Influencing The Growth
CEO and President Chris Kempczinski attributed the positive results to the evolving macroeconomic conditions that were consistent with the company’s projections for the year. Highlighting their commitment to delivering value and convenience, Kempczinski mentioned the significant boost in the U.S. market. This can be attributed to:
- Higher menu prices
- Revamped marketing strategies
- Increase in digital and delivery orders
With the launch of its ‘As Featured In Meal’ campaign in August, McDonald’s showcased meals that made appearances in movies and TV shows. The company’s sales growth during the 2008-2009 financial crisis also provides a historical context for its resilience. On average, U.S. sales growth was 3.4%, and in Europe, it was 6.9%.
Digital Sales and Strategy
Systemwide digital sales, encompassing app-based, delivery, and kiosk sales, reached $9 billion in the six primary markets. This impressive figure accounts for 40% of total sales, showing an increase from the Q2 digital sales of $8 billion. Kempczinski emphasized McDonald’s growing dominance in the digital space, highlighting the challenges competitors face in emulating this success.
Market Dynamics and Consumer Behavior
Although McDonald’s stock has fallen by nearly 3% year-to-date, it fares better than YUM! Brands with a decline of around 7%. However, it lags behind Restaurant Brands International, which has seen an uptick of approximately 2% year-to-date. Interestingly, despite a slight traffic decline from low-income consumers earning $45,000 or below, McDonald’s continues to attract middle and high-income consumers. Analyst David Tarantino from Baird suggests that during times of macroeconomic uncertainties, McDonald’s often witnesses an increase in foot traffic.
The company’s strategy for California, anticipating a minimum wage rise for fast-food workers to $20 an hour, also garners attention. McDonald’s envisions this as an opportunity to enhance its market presence in California, as CEO Kempczinski believes the company is better poised than competitors to navigate this change.
Global Sales Performance
The international sector showed promising results. The internationally operated markets division reported a same-store sales growth of 8.3%, bolstered by robust demand in countries like the UK, Germany, and Canada. Additionally, the international developmental licensed markets segment, including heavyweights China and Japan, registered a same-store sales growth of 10.5%.
Future Outlook and Announcements
McDonald’s has scheduled an investor update for Dec. 6. The meeting is expected to shed light on the 2024 outlook, including more details on its accelerated development plans. One significant point of discussion will be the new drive-thru-only location in Fort Worth, TX. The company envisions a strategy focusing on smaller restaurant footprints without dining rooms. CFO Ian Borden emphasizes that the broader economic scenario aligns with the company’s expectations for the year.
While the earnings call did not mention the impact of weight loss drugs, known as GLP-1s, it’s worth noting that quick-service restaurants, like McDonald’s, are less affected by such factors. Two reasons stand out:
- The segment’s higher exposure to low-income consumers who might not opt for GLP-1s out-of-pocket.
- The pronounced international presence in areas where obesity rates are significantly lower, and specific weight-loss drugs, like Wegovy, are either not approved or unavailable.
With a strong performance in Q3, McDonald’s continues to establish its dominance in the fast-food industry. Their strategic focus on digital sales, combined with their adaptability to market changes, sets the tone for future growth. For a deeper dive into the financial world, visit Bloomberg. The integration of digital platforms into its operations indicates a forward-thinking approach that resonates with the evolving preferences of its consumer base.