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Why McDonald’s missed its fourth quarter expectations

McDonald’s recently released its quarterly and full-year earnings report, revealing a mixed set of results. The quarterly same-store sales, which stood at 3.4%, fell short of expectations, partly due to ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.

In the United States, same-store sales saw a 4.3% increase, largely meeting predictions but trailing behind the company’s recent strong performances. For example, in Q4 2022, U.S. same-store sales surged by over 10%, marking significant growth compared to 2019. CEO Chris Kempczinski anticipates a continuation of this trend throughout the remainder of the year, characterized by what he refers to as “normalized growth.”

McDonald’s is facing challenges in the U.S., particularly with declining transactions among lower-income consumers earning $45,000 and below. Kempczinski suggests that these consumers may be choosing to prepare meals at home due to more favorable grocery prices compared to dining out. The company aims to reconnect with these customers throughout the year.

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