Global fast food giant McDonald's just can't seem to catch a break. After seeing revenue drop for the past six straight quarters, the company recently ranked dead last in a survey of American consumer satisfaction. But according to Deutsche Bank managing director Karen Short, McDonald's isn't broken at all, and there's one thing investors are missing when it comes to the company.
Shares of McDonald's have struggled to gain momentum in recent months, with the stock heavily under-performing competitors like Wendy's, Jack in the Box and Shake Shack year-to-date. Short, who has a buy rating on McDonald's and a $120 target, told CNBC the company was her "top pick in the restaurant space." Her price target is about 25 percent higher than the stock's current levels.
Short's bullish thesis centers on the notion that the McDonald's brand still carries significant weight. According to Short, Wall Street investors are somewhat blind to the viewpoint of the rest of the country.
In an interview on CNBC's "Fast Money," Short characterized the Street's view as "myopic" and said investors and analysts only "represent 1 percent of the population, and so our views are not reflective of the American population broadly."
According to Short, not every child in America "has the option to eat at Shake Shack from a financial point of view."
Shake Shack is just one competitor that's sprung up in an increasingly crowded burger field. As McDonald's tried to keep up with competition, Short said, the company "lost their way."
"They tried to over-complicate their menu, and move away from things that were their core competency," she said. "And that wasn't working with consumers."
But new management and measures such as improved premium offers, a restated value message and all-day breakfast options could turn the company around, she said, adding that McDonald's is "kind of moving back to the basics."
Regarding the consumer survey put out by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which ranked McDonald's in last place with a score of 67 out of 100, Short said the dire results could actually be a good thing. "I think it tends to be a lagging indicator," she said. "My view is it can't get worse."