The stock has badly trailed the broader market in the past 12 months, falling 2 percent while the Dow, Burger King, and Wendy's are up 12 percent, 57 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively. Shifting consumer tastes and a strong dollar have weighed on the stock.
But Monday, signs of hope emerged in the form of less bad news.
The fast-food giant reported comparable sales losses that were better than expected in both the U.S. and abroad. In a case of "bad news is good news," McDonald's said sales in the United States were down 1 percent versus an expected 2.3 percent decline. Global sales also came in negative, down half a percent. This marks the 12th straight month of declines for Mickey D's.
But could the better-than-expected losses signal a turnaround for the company?
"There's no reason, in my opinion, to own this stock at all," said David Seaburg of Cowen and Company. "You look at October [comparable sales] and they beat expectations, but they are still losing significant share—especially in the U.S. where they are underperforming industry trends by roughly 480 basis points."
Seaburg added Wall Street is expecting McDonald's to come back into positive comp territory in January 2015, something he doesn't see as likely. "They are going to have to show meaningful sales momentum in order for that to occur and there is nothing really pointing to the fact that they are going to get there," he said. "Stay away from the stock."
And according to Todd Gordon of Tradinganalysis.com, McDonald's is also in trouble from a technical standpoint.
"[McDonald's] is facing problems from two ends. Domestically there is a push to healthier eating, and internationally we have a U.S. dollar rally. Being that McDonald's derives 60 percent of earnings from overseas, [the U.S. dollar rally] is going to create a headwind as they bring those earnings back."
Gordon also added that the stock is getting his with a one-two punch of resistance. "You have a long-term downtrend resistance line that is matching up with the 200-day moving average right around that $96 per share level," Gordon said. "With the strengthening dollar and with McDonald's below that level I think it's a sell."
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