Though mostly in line with expectations, McDonald’s (MCD) just delivered disappointing third-quarter earnings that showed stagnant revenue yet again. A meager 2.4% increase in the top line this quarter followed a disappointing 0.9% increase last quarter.
You simply can’t keep growing as a business without sales growth moving higher. MCD has managed to keep profits humming along, but with earnings projected to grow in the low single digits in the next two quarters, it’s going to be hard for investors to find much hope in this fast food giant.
Sure, MCD pays a nice 3.4% dividend, and just increased its payout yet again. But the mere 5% increase in payouts was a bit of a downer for investors expecting higher dividend growth — and perhaps a sign that the company isn’t incredibly confident about future profits and wants to stay conservative.
You could do worse than an 8% gain since January with a nice dividend … but you could have done much better, too. Now that MCD has recovered a bit from its post-earnings decline, investors should sell and move on to a better option.