Have the Golden Arches Lost Their Shine?

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McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) warned last month that its same-restaurant sales would be down, and they were; the fight for diners interested in its hamburger offerings has taken its toll.

Sales at established restaurants worldwide fell 1.9 percent in January, a steeper drop than expected. According to Reuters, analysts polled by Consensus Metrix had forecast a drop of 1.1 percent. The results look particularly bad when compared to last year’s figure; a strong run last year produced a 6.7 percent gain in same-restaurant sales in January 2012.

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But the lackluster economic growth has hurt even McDonald’s. While the chain has  traditionally done well during periods of economic hardship — during 2008 it was one of just two companies on the Dow Jones Industrial Average to see its stock soar — diners spent cautiously this past month…

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