McDonald's annual meeting: Arrests outside, cool confidence inside

McDonald's (MCD) annual meeting is in full swing outside of Chicago.

Outside over 100 protesters have been arrested, but inside the building the tone from execs is cool confidence.

The company acknowledges some weakness in sales growth, but points to building momentum in the current quarter.

Management is defiant that the restaurant chain has made significant moves to improve the healthiness of its menu. Yogurt in Happy Meals is the latest example.

A question from a shareholder on the potential of a stock split is brushed aside as a plan that doesn't add value.

On menu innovation, CEO Donald Thompson says a "couple of things" are coming down the pipe.

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Comments (12)
  • glf4mny
    , contributor
    Comments (464) | Send Message
    "McDonald's (MCD) annual meeting is in full swing outside of Chicago.Outside over 100 protesters have been arrested"


    Too bad, so sad, I'm glad. If the want to be heard then they should buy a few shares of MCD and attend the meeting inside.
    22 May 2014, 10:28 AM Reply Like
  • Rubygreta
    , contributor
    Comments (587) | Send Message
    One share is $100. They don't have it.
    22 May 2014, 11:42 AM Reply Like
  • Michael Bryant
    , contributor
    Comments (7235) | Send Message
    Okay, so (MCD) had $5.5 billion in net income (revenue - all of their current expenses). It employs 440,000 people. If all the employees earned $7.25 minimum wage (which I doubt), they would need to pay an added $7.75 an hour, or $7 billion ($7.75 * 40 * 52 * 440,000). Okay, so they won't have enough to pay $15 an hour. all employees make the minimum wage? If no (very likely), (MCD) wouldn't need as much extra money to pay $15 an hour. So instead of arguing that we can or can't do it, how about putting some actual numbers. After all, math can't lie. Humans can and do.


    Note, I do think $15 is extreme, and we should adjust the minimum wage gradually. Or just set the minimum based on the minimum need to buy food, have decent but not great shelter, and other necessities. Alcohol is not a necessity.
    22 May 2014, 11:46 AM Reply Like
  • JD in NJ
    , contributor
    Comments (1634) | Send Message
    To my mind, part of the problem is that the lines in the discussion over minimum wage are heavily clouded. There are at least two broad classes of worker we need to consider:


    1) The kind of worker I got used to when I was a young man, which was a kid working for the Summer or after school. Their expenses are low, they don't have a family, and want some spending money. These young people would love to make more, but it's hard to make a case that they need it.


    2) The more recent style of out-of-work more mature folks who have found themselves unable to find jobs in their former field due to changes in the economy. These people have adult expenses, may have a family, and certainly need cash to cover bills and food. These people need more money, but if they are competing directly with type ones it is rather hard to make a case that what they do for the company calls for it.


    The bigger picture is one of an economy with companies that make plenty of money without needing quite so many workers to do it as they used to. People who aren't knowledge workers are becoming a bit redundant in terms of what they can actually do for a decent living. Just wait until we have automatic order kiosks and burger flipping robots. Given that the kitchen staff already just has to listen for buzzers and perform specific tasks, that is not far off.
    22 May 2014, 12:06 PM Reply Like
  • phxcrane
    , contributor
    Comments (763) | Send Message
    If the media bothered to actually check the back ground of the protesters they would find few who work for McDonalds. A lot of them are paid union organizers. And since its In Chicago probable a few mafia thugs.
    22 May 2014, 02:08 PM Reply Like
  • gjg49
    , contributor
    Comments (520) | Send Message
    At the annual meeting some woman gave an impassioned plea to Don Thompson to stop marketing to her kids. She finished by saying that MCD needs to eliminate My wife just checked out that site. One look will tell you that MCD has nothing to do with that site.
    MCD is a lightening rod for "interesting" people with all kinds of agendas--some of which are highly questionable.
    22 May 2014, 05:53 PM Reply Like
  • Larry Smith
    , contributor
    Comments (3188) | Send Message
    If the economy were better, all this would be a non-issue. I believe our President said his number one priority in his second administration was creating jobs. I am still waiting for his first proposal that will create "private sector" jobs.
    22 May 2014, 04:10 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Bryant
    , contributor
    Comments (7235) | Send Message
 haven't heard, private sector jobs have risen every month. The problem is that the public sector cuts jobs nearly as fast as the private sector creates them. Thus, the net unemployment stays about the same.


    But you wanted smaller government right. So you are getting what you paid for.
    22 May 2014, 05:03 PM Reply Like
  • Larry Smith
    , contributor
    Comments (3188) | Send Message
    Exactly what program or proposal that the President has initiated is responsible for those job gains, none. Where are jobs being created, oil and gas drilling, which the President hates, retail, and services. Here is a quote from the April employment report.


    "Employment gains were widespread, led by job growth
    in professional and business services, retail trade, food services and drinking places, and construction."


    Retail, food services and drinking places are not high paying jobs.


    Here is another quote


    "The civilian labor force dropped by 806,000 in April, following an increase of 503,000 in March. The labor force participation rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 62.8 percent in April. The participation rate has shown no clear trend in recent months and currently is the same as it was this past October. The employment-population ratio showed no change over the month (58.9 percent) and has changed little over the year. (See table A-1.)"


    So somewhere between 58% and 62% of adults are working. Note that they state, the employment-population ratio is little changed over the last year.


    Lastly, public sector is not cutting jobs, here is the quote from the April report


    "Employment in other major industries, including manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, changed little over the month."


    And the March report.


    "Employment in government was unchanged in March. A decline of 9,000 jobs in federal government was mostly offset by an increase of 8,000 jobs in local government, excluding education"


    We don't need smaller Government, just better Government.
    23 May 2014, 09:32 AM Reply Like
  • zev57
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
    The protesters are all paid by the Service Union and the follower of Saul Alinksy would picket outside the owner's homes and threaten the family.


    These are thugs. They are not employees of McDonalds and the public has to know this and has to meet their tactics with similar tactics perhaps picketing the union hall and the union bosses.


    This thuggary worthy of Hitler and Stalin.
    22 May 2014, 09:56 PM Reply Like
  • JD in NJ
    , contributor
    Comments (1634) | Send Message
    Hitler and Stalin? You forgot Pol Pot.
    22 May 2014, 10:32 PM Reply Like
  • Uain53
    , contributor
    Comments (1808) | Send Message
    If I was a loser trust funder....
    I could live with 20 others in a 2 bdrm apartment and get a minimal stipend for food and dope money to be a professional "protester".


    Then bug out to spend my summer at Grandpa/ Grandma/ Mummy/ Daddy's place in Coast of Maine, Martha's Vinyard, Nantucket, Cape Cod, Montauk, Cape May, Kiowa, Hilton Head, etc. etc, etc. ... and that is just on the East Coast.
    22 May 2014, 11:34 PM Reply Like
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