McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) probably wishes every year was a leap year. The company reported that global same-store sales fell 1.5% year-over-year in February, all because 2012 was a leap year and McDonald’s got to count the extra day.
The difference is not small. The company said the calendar shift cost it 3.2% of sales, which means that same-store sales would have grown 1.7% but for the lack of February 29.
U.S. sales fell 3.3%, not including the leap year effect, but were only flat when the calendar shift was accounted for. European sales dropped 0.5%, but rose 2.7%, excluding the leap year effect. Sales in the company’s Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) region fell 1.6%. APMEA sales rose 1.5% excluding the calendar shift.
The company’s CEO said:
While February’s results reflect difficult prior year comparisons, we remain confident in the fundamental strength of McDonald’s business. We have the operating experience to manage through the current challenging environment and the right strategies in place to grow the business for the long term.
While the raw numbers look bad, investors are not scared. Shares are up 1.4% in premarket trading, at $98.50 in a 52-week range of $83.31 to $100.44.