McDonald's (MCD) is currently held by ten Covestor models - it's the eighth most popular stock among managers.
The market has rewarded the company's consistent growth since the 1970's with a steadily rising stock price. Over the past ten years MCD has outperformed the S&P 500 by more than 200%, and since 1990 the stock has outpaced that index by more than 600% - and that's without accounting for its dividend (currently over 3%).
Clearly one of the secrets to McDonald's international success is adapting its core offering and marketing message to each locale it operates in. For example, on the company's last conference call with analysts, CEO Don Thompson commented on how McDonald's is responding to economic weakness in certain regions:
Now shifting to Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa or APMIA, comp sales were up 0.9% for the quarter and operating income increased 1% in constant currencies. Across this region, we are seeing fragile consumer confidence in Australia, Japan’s uneven recovery, and an economic slow down in China.
We are positioning our markets appropriately in this environment with strong value platforms to build traffic. And we will complement these platforms with average check builders that include new food news and brand extensions.
One of these new foods that produces 'brand extension' for McDonald's in Australia is a lamb burger, with the meat locally sourced in New Zealand. And here's how they're marketing it... consistent with the great sense of humor in Oz (click to enlarge):
That one might not go over so well in the American Heartland.