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The McRib May Be McDonald’s Hail Mary

Brought back for the holidays, can it save McDonald's?


Can the popular McRib sandwich help turn around McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD)? That’s the hope in the wake of the firm’s declining sales numbers.

The popular fast-food chain has been challenged on a number of levels. The continuing weak economy, combined with aggressive competition, has McDonald’s facing its most difficult time in years. It reported lower earnings than expected in Q3, and for the first time since 2003, it said established-store sales decline in October.

Still, can the McRib sandwich turn things around in Q4? This time it’s coming back around the holidays, and because it usually gets a lot of attention, McDonald’s is counting on it to improve the company’s sale numbers. The sandwich also may cost less for the chain because pork prices are at their lowest since November 2010.

McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson said in his Q3 earnings call that the new Cheddar Bacon Onion sandwich and the reintroduction of the McRib, combined with an emphasis on Dollar Menu advertising, will give the company a chance to reestablish growth.

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