The Hamburger Economy: McDonald's Sales Up, Again (MCD)(WMT)

McDonald’s cannot be stopped with an elephant gun. The huge food chain announced November same store sales rose 6.2%. Premium coffee and promotional games seemed to be big contributors. US sales were up 5.1%. In Europe the figure was 8.4%.

McDonald’s shares now trade near $44, a multiyear high.

Whether chicken sandwichs and coffee sales are an adequate explanation is really not clear. When the largest company in a field grows faster then competition, a large number of things must be going right. McDonald’s is still the premier brand, and, unlike Wal-Mart, it does not appear to have too many stores. Its basic offerings are not much different that Burger King.

Whatever it is, it works. Some bright analyst at a brokerage might make a name for himself by crafting a better explanation for the success.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own shares in companies that he writes about.