McDonald's sales at existing restaurants grew at the slowest pace since 2003, but one analyst still expects the fast-food company's shares to climb higher.
In September, comparable sales rose 0.7 percent in the U.S., 3 percent in Europe and 0.1 percent in the region that includes Asia and the Middle East.
The company's earnings were also hit by a stronger dollar, which decreased the value of overseas sales. (Read more: McDonald's Beats on Sales, Misses on Profit.)
"I think the U.S. is where we were surprised the most on the same-store sales front as well as the margin front, so I think that's weighing on the shares a little bit," said Matt DiFrisco, an analyst at Lazard Capital Markets.
Although sales are down so far in October, DiFrisco told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" that the number is "in line" with September's data after taking into account calendar shifts that decrease the number of weekend days. While DiFrisco is concerned about the negative sales trend, he said the slowdown is already factored into most analysts' models.
DiFrisco has a "buy" rating and a $104 price target on McDonald's shares.
"They're looking for more momentum to push the same-store sales, and the other brands have greater catalysts," he said.
Yum Brand's advertising campaign for its Taco Bell chain is one such catalyst.
DiFrisco questioned how much more McDonald's U.S. location remodeling effort, which is in its early stages, could increase comparable sales like renovations did for European sales.
"Right now it's not showing that it's lifting their comps above their peers even though they're still spending on remodeling their U.S. stores," the analyst said.
—By CNBC.com's Katie Little; Follow Her on Twitter @katie_little
—Reuters contributed to this report
CNBC Data Pages:
- Dow 30 Stocks—In Real Time
- Oil, Gold, Natural Gas Prices Now
- Where's the US Dollar Today?
- Track Treasury Prices Here
Lazard Capital Markets makes a market in McDonald's securities.