Talking Numbers

Not even a $12 hamburger can save McDonald's

Not even a $12 hamburger can save McDonald's

Would you pay $12 for a McDonald's hamburger? In Switzerland, at least, that's now a possibility.

McDonald's is now selling "The Prime", a burger designed by Swiss chef and TV host Rene Schudel. At 180 grams (a little more than 6 oz.), The Prime's beef patties are the equivalent of the amount found in two Big Macs and sells for 10.90 Swiss francs, roughly $12.30.

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McDonald's isn't going to roll out The Prime in the United States anytime soon. But, are higher-priced burgers the way to go for a company with a stock down 3% for the past year and with recent global same-store sales falling?

Steve Cortes, founder of Veracruz TJM, is not a fan of investing in McDonald's stock. He sees higher prices ahead for the company but not necessarily for its customers.

"I think the fundamentals are getting tougher for this company, particularly its input costs," says Cortes. He notes that the PowerShares DB Agriculture ETF (the DBA), which tracks an index of agricultural commodities, is up 16% year-to-date.

"Everything from coffee to cattle to wheat has been absolutely soaring so far in 2014," says Cortes. "That is great news for farmers but's not great news for franchisees of McDonald's."

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Steven Pytlar, Chief Equity Strategist at Prime Executions, is more optimistic about McDonald's short-term prospects based on the stock's technicals.

"The charts are telling a bit more of a positive story in the very near term than the fundamentals," says Pytlar. "Obviously, it's been in a downtrend since April. But, since January, we've actually seen a higher low and a higher high form. And, that's important because a downtrend is defined by lower highs and lower lows."

Pytlar believes the recent change in trend is now setting its target for resistance at $99 per share (the stock traded at $96.26 as of Thursday). "If we can move through that, we probably go back and test the old highs at about $104," says Pytlar.

That $104 level may see some added resistance, according to Pytlar.

"If the fundamental picture is deteriorating," says Pytlar, "we could certainly see heavier selling pressure at $104 again, forming technical what then would be a double top. But, that might be getting a little ahead of ourselves."

To see the full discussion on McDonald's with Cortes on the fundamentals and Pytlar on the technicals, watch the video above.

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