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10 Best Stocks for 2012: The Results Are In

Find out how our experts' picks fared in last year's contest

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No. 9: Arcos Dorados

Arcos Dorados ARCOQ4 Return: -22%
Total Return:
Josh Brown

The good news is that Arcos Dorados (NYSE:ARCO) — the largest McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) franchisee in the world, operating primarily in Latin America — has enjoyed double-digit gains since mid-November.

The bad news is that the company’s shares still shed over 20% in the past three months, putting them more than 40% in the red since January.

The stock reached a high over $22 in early February then began the downward slide as growth slowed. Not-so-hot consumer spending in Brazil and an unfavorable currency exchange weighed on the bottom line in the first quarter, when Arcos suffered a brutal 28% year-over-year drop in net income.

Plus, when 2012 kicked off, Arcos expected at least double-digit earnings growth. That was then lowered to a range of 8% to 10% … and then lowered again to between 3% and 5% growth.

Hopefully, that trend will head in the opposite direction in 2013.

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