McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) released its earnings report for the three months April-June 2013 this morning before the market opened in New York. The company showed earnings of $1.38 per share for the second quarter of the year on revenue totaling $7.08 billion. On Friday’s market the company’s shares closed the day at $100.27.


Analysts following McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) into this morning’s earnings release were looking for earnings of $1.41 per share from the fast food giant on revenue totaling $7.1 billion. In the same three month period of 2012 the company earned $1.32 on revenue of $3.2 billion.

Sluggish Movement From McDonald’s

Though McDonald’s shares have gained more than 13 percent so far in 2013, the company has lagged the growth of the wider market and some of its major competitors. Since the start of the year shares in Burger King Worldwide Inc (NYSE:BKW) have appreciated by close to 20 percent, while shares in The Wendy’s Co (NASDAQ:WEN) have risen by more than 21 percent.

McDonald’s is doing better than its biggest competitor, however. Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) shares have gained just 8.5 percent since the year began. That company’s high valuation, and the expectations that go with it, have weighed on its stock price in 2013. The biggest problem for McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) has been Europe.

European Worries

The economy of Europe is, if anything, getting worse. Despite green shoots in Japan and North America, Europe simply isn’t growing. The continent was one of the most significant drags on the fast food chain’s first quarter earnings report. Sales in North America are also a problem for the company, which is struggling with the current depression as much as any other consumer facing corporation.

Investors are clearly nervous about the company’s exposure to macroeconomic problems going forward, though there are other less predictable headwinds that might negatively effect the company.

Legal Trouble

McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) has always been a major target in the fight for healthier eating. The company has managed to avoid most of the problems associated with the anti-obesity campaign, but it may not be able to do so for much longer.

Some states and cities, like New York, have taken healthy eating campaigns to a legislative level, imposing higher taxes on certain products or banning them outright. Should this trend take hold in the United States, McDonald’s will suffer grievously. The likelihood of this happening is near impossible to estimate, however, making it an ineffable risk factor for investors.