McDonald's beat their earnings and revenue forecasts Friday morning, with EPS coming in at $1.23 per share, in line with estimates. Revenues came in at $6.55 billion, edging the $6.54 billion estimate.
So, what does this tell you? Shares of MCD jumped 2% after the earnings report. Usually when a company reports earnings exactly in line with what they forecast, without any excess, they sell off. Shareholders get bored very quickly.
Instead, shareholders seem satisfied. But McDonald's is different. Jim Cramer likened McDonald's to a technology company, and that's just about what it has become. When you go into McDonald's you see order screens. You see timers. You see microwaves and automatic cookers. There are less employees and more machines.
By the same token, McDonald's streamlines costs to almost laser precision. That pink chicken goo that they make their chicken nuggets with is a perfect example. That goo enables McDonald's to engineer its food costs, by using virtually 100% of the chicken's non-bone parts.
Call it more bang for their cluck.
McDonald's also gives monthly sales reports between earnings, something no other company does. How do they do that? They do it by having a stranglehold on their supply chains and cost monitoring nearly as precise as IBM's. If you think about it, McDonald's is a technology company.
So if McDonald's is turning to technology and shying away from human capital, what does it say about our future?
First off, it means they will require labor of lesser quality. Button pressers and switch flippers. Secondly, it means that there is zero hope of them getting my coffee right the first time in the future.
Evolving labor technology may therefore have an impact on how people are hired. Everybody has a Facebook it seems, but not everybody has a resume. See what I did there?
I do. But maybe it's not as bad as we think. If you think about it, a resume is the most boring representation of ourselves that we can offer somebody. When you meet somebody at the bar, do you say "I'll email you my resume?" Probably not.
Instead, you tell people to Facebook you. You say, "follow me on Twitter" and you exchange phone numbers. Those are the real ways to get to know a person. Think of them as rolling resumes. Journalists already use this strategy. Your blog is your rolling resume and your virtual writing portfolio. It's what sets you apart from everybody else.
In the same way, your Facebook and Twitter and blogs [Oh my!] give a glimpse into your real life. It's the real you. So, doesn't it make sense that your potential employer would want to see what you've been doing lately, and not what you did in 2004?
Therefore if McDonald's shareholders demand a glimpse into the underlying company's activity on a monthly basis, it's possible that every company will eventually be doing this. In the same way, employers might eventually want to see blogs from all of us, to see what we're doing, what we're thinking, and who we are. It's not that outlandish to assume that eventually, everybody who has hiring potential will need to have a website. I mean we all have one already. It's called our Facebook page.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.