McDonald’s – The Giant’s Next Step Forward

-by Sung

The Golden Arches of McDonald’s help light up the night in 119 countries, guiding hungry people to the counters or their drive-through services. Since its conception in 1940 by the two McDonald brothers in California, the burger fast food restaurant has evolved into the world’s largest fast food chain, with over 33,000 locations worldwide. It even has one inside the Louvre.

It’s everywhere.

Without a doubt, it is one of the most recognizable brands in the world.

McDonald’s stocks went public in 1965 with the price of $22.50 per share. By the end of the first day’s trading, the price had soared up to $30. The stock prices reached a peak in January 2012 with the price of $100 per share. This was when the company, despite the ban on fast-food meals containing free toys in San Francisco, announced that the toys will stay, albeit with a price of additional 10 cents.

Since then, the price of stock has dropped to $86.86 per share (as of Friday, November 2, 2012). The stocks have been in decline since the beginning of 2012, even with the Olympics sponsorship. In October 2012, Reuters reported McDonalds to have its worst quarterly restaurant sales growth in nine years.

The company, however, has a lot planned for the winter and the following year. It has recently released Angus CBO(Cheddar, Bacon and Onion) burger on October, delaying the launch of McRib, the burger with a cult-like following, till December. McRib burgers, part of McDonald’s yearly autumn release, have proven to boost sales because of its limited window.

The competition in Asia between fast-food corporations is intensifying, and McDonald’s is responding accordingly. In April 2011, it was announced that the corporation is aiming to open 700 new stores in China by 2013. The company’s future looks promising, and it will be interesting to watch how McDonald’s grows during the winter into next year.

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