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McDonald’s To Stop Reporting Monthly Same-Store Sales Data

()  McDonald’s Corp. plans to stop reporting monthly same-store sales results as new Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook works to revive growth at the world’s largest fast-food chain.

The company will provide same-store sales for June with its second-quarter earnings report, then cease providing the data monthly, Heidi Barker, a spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. Results for May will be reported on June 8, she said. The company will continue providing quarterly comparable-store sales.

McDonald’s is struggling to turn around its business after 11 straight months of declining global comparable-store sales. Easterbrook, who took the helm in March, announced aturnaround plan earlier this month that includes reorganizing the company’s leadership, cutting costs and returning cash to shareholders. The change in sales reporting is meant to help McDonald’s focus on its longer-term performance, Easterbrook said when he announced the shift at an investor conference Wednesday morning.
Macdonald's Restaurant In London

“The monthly reporting just lends itself to more volatility, and I think investors focus on short-term issues,” said Jack Russo, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co. “It’s a good move. Quite honestly, it’s kind of long overdue.”

The shares rose 0.2 percent to $98.66 at the close in New York. McDonald’s has climbed 5.3 percent this year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Restaurants Index has gained 13 percent.

Peers’ Practice

McDonald’s major restaurant-industry peers, such as Yum! Brands Inc., Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and Starbucks Corp., don’t provide monthly same-store sales updates.

Starbucks also stopped reporting some comparable-store sales data as it attempted a turnaround in the late 2000s. Just three weeks after Howard Schultz returned as CEO in 2008, the coffee chain said it would no longer provide the figures. The move was part of a push to focus on customers and “create long-term growth and long-term value for our shareholders,” Schultz said at the time.

Retailers also have ceased providing monthly results in recent years, with Macy’s Inc. discontinuing the practice in 2013 and J.C. Penney Co. stopping last year.

McDonald’s, which has about 36,000 restaurants worldwide, said sales at stores open at least 13 months fell 0.6 percent in April. They dropped 2.3 percent in the U.S.