In recent years, the world’s biggest hamburger chain has diversified its menu with more healthful and cheaper offerings. Still, some analysts attributed the restaurant chain’s recent struggles to weakness in the global economy and rising cultural concerns about obesity.
R.J. Hottovy, global director of equity research at Morningstar, cited intensified competition from rivals such as Wendy's and Burger King Worldwide as helping to pressure McDonald’s margins.
“What you’re seeing is more competition from some of its, you know, peers that have lagged the company in the past couple of years,” the analyst noted. “And you really are dealing with a choppy consumer spending environment.”
Hottovy said there was “excitement” building around McDonald’s new menu offerings that would help support the stock. However, he warned that rising food prices could take its toll on margins next year.
“We do have some caution based on more difficult comparisons that show up in the fourth quarter, as well as the threat of higher food costs that are going to pay out early next year,” he said.
—By CNBC.com’s Javier E. David
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Neither analyst cited in this story owned McDonald’s, though S&P Capital IQ did perform some paid services for the company.