BTIG cautious on McDonald's as traffic remains challenged

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BTIG cautious on McDonald's as traffic remains challenged
Credit: © Reuters.

BTIG kept its Neutral rating on McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) shares in a note Wednesday, saying that its franchise checks suggest traffic remains challenged despite heavy discounts.

The firm recently conducted its latest round of McDonald's franchise checks to gauge current sales trends, plans to reignite traffic in the U.S., franchise sentiment and their thoughts following the worldwide convention in Spain two weeks ago.

"Our checks suggest that softness in January and February was widespread and has largely persisted into the spring, but with trends more varied among operators in March and April to date," said BTIG.

"While the company is leaning into menu innovation, digital (loyalty) growth, and value bundles to recover traffic, we don't expect a sustained traffic improvement in 1H24, and believe that discounting could be a theme for the balance of this year," analysts at the firm added.

As a result, BTIG is trimming its first-quarter comparable sales estimates and sees more normalized same-store sales and limited earnings upside.

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