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In the News: Priceline, Jeep, Walmart and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 9, 2012 09:06 AM

In the News

Priceline to buy Kayak.

Chrysler recalls Jeeps over faulty airbags.

Walmart faces probe in India.

Axe sponsors comedy tour.

Boeing is on track to outsell Airbus for first time in six years.

Diageo finally reaches deal for stake in United Spirits.

GM stake becomes a challenge for re-elected President Obama as Chevrolet finds a home in Russia.Continue reading...

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Fast Food Slows Down as McDonald's, Wendy's Take a Hit

Posted by Dale Buss on November 8, 2012 02:17 PM

Turns out that consumers around the world can't and don't just keep simply trading down in their eating habits as incomes and economies keep slowing or remain sluggish. Many just stop going out to eat altogether. Exhibit A: McDonald's just reported its first monthly decline in same-store sales from year-to-year, for October, since 2003, when the company in general was struggling.

This result — a 1.8-percent dip in global revenue at "same-store" restaurants open at least 13 months — reflects broadly on the state of the global economy, because if there's one thing that unites us as a species, it's eating cheap and fast food. Yet even though it's been promoting lower-priced menu items, McDonald's relevant revenues in October fell by 2.2 percent in both the United States and Europe, and by 2.4 percent in the region encompassing Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

It isn't clear how much of the bad number may reflect some kind of general slump in the fast-food proposition, in any market. But the European result isn't that surprising because the continent is sliding into recession again because of eurozone woes and consumers' loss of confidence that politicians and bankers can fix them. Cooling in China is one big reason for the drop in the Asian region.

So the U.S. results might raise the most eyebrows at McDonald's headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill. Three potential factors include McDonald's lack of recent "new product news" in the U.S., "an uptick in competition in the U.S.," and a drag from Hurricane Sandy, said Sterne Agee analyst Lynne Collier. Speaking of that competition, Wendy's reported higher revenues at "same" stores but lower profits mostly for accounting reasons. Its third-quarter increase of 2.7 percent in revenue at restaurants open at least 15 months — the sixth straight quarter of such growth — was welcome in view of the chain's concerted efforts to move a bit upscale with higher-quality ingredients and menu items.Continue reading...

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In the News: Dow, Zynga, BBC and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 24, 2012 09:00 AM

In the News

Dow Chemical to slash 2,400 jobs and close 20 plants.

Zynga cuts staff and kills some games.

BBC investigating staff members in Jimmy Savile sex scandal as New York Times public editor calls for scrutiny of incoming CEO, ex-BBC exec Mark Thompson.

AT&T reports slower growth in new customers.

American Airlines expands route network.

Apple finally unveils its new smaller iPad as advertisers and publishers contemplate utility of new model.

BAE faces pressure after collapse of EADS deal.Continue reading...

chew on this

McDonald's CEO Has High Hopes for McRib and Cheddar Bacon Onion Sandwiches

Posted by Dale Buss on October 22, 2012 02:23 PM

As global economic bellwethers go, McDonald's sales results probably rank right up there with oil prices and consumer-confidence measures. So its shareholders, analysts and executives aren't exactly lovin' it when the company reports lackluster results, as it did for the third quarter.

The fast-food leader reported weaker-than-expected earnings for the period as it battled a weak global economy and accommodated more budget-minded consumers from Europe to China. Both sales and profits fell during the quarter, a rarity for McDonald's.

Of course, McDonald's results aren't directly synonymous with the status of the world's appetite for quick fare. The stronger dollar hurt international sales too. Also, competitors in many markets have been upping their game lately, including both Burger King and Wendy's in the United States, and the new strains from rivals also are reflected in McDonald's results.Continue reading...

logo-a-gogo

Wendy's New Logo Leads Transformation for Brand

Posted by Dale Buss on October 11, 2012 02:06 PM

Customers will notice something different about Wendy's starting in March: A new logo that updates the pig-tailed, red-haired "Wendy" in the brand's first revamp of its iconic brand face in 29 years.

Yes, in the tradition of Betty Crocker and Aunt Jemima, Wendy — the name comes from the daughter of late founder Dave Thomas — gets a smoother new 'do and more stylish freckles. It's the first logo change for Wendy's since 1983 for the Dubin, Ohio-based fast food brand, and just the tip of the iceberg for changes coming to the burger chain, which last year dethroned Burger King for #2 spot in America.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: BP, Activision, Huawei and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 11, 2012 09:04 AM

In the News

Activision goes bigger with Skylanders line extension and marketing effort.

AIG pays $1.7 billion for ING Malaysia.

ANA conference poised to set attendance record.

Android robot is a hit with 3-D printers.

Audi and BMW starting to leave behind Mercedes-Benz in global premium-auto race.

BAE in play for U.S. buyers as report says EADS merger failed because of discord among participating European governments.

BP moves closer to overall settlement of Gulf spill as Louisiana blames company for perma-sheen.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Yum! Brands, ING, Yahoo and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 9, 2012 09:03 AM

In the News

Yum! Brands third quarter earnings report is being closely watched.

Barclays to buy ING online assets.

Yahoo's Marissa Mayer urged to repurchase stock, profiled in New York magazine.

AT&T shares network with IBM to lure more customers to the cloud.

Amazon veers more into advertising.

American Airlines loses traffic over operational issues.

Apple asked by Taiwan to blur satellite image as Samsung spat dings brand perception.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: JPMorgan, Ikea, Nokia and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 10, 2012 09:03 AM

In the News

Coursera roars into BRIC countries with online classes.

ESPN introduces campaign that focuses on value of Monday Night Football.

Facebook HQ gets a Main Street.

Goldman Sachs escapes U.S. charges in mortgage crisis.

Ikea values its brand at $11 billion.

JCPenney reports loss, raising more questions about strategy.

JPMorgan Chase outlines damages from "London Whale" trading blunder.Continue reading...

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