NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Investors looking for great returns often complain about the perceived lack of value in the market, even as the Street focuses its attention on momentum growth stories. Although McDonald's (MCD - Get Report) may not be sexy as Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) or Starbucks (SBUX), there's been an overreaction to the company's presumed demise.
Yes, weak same-store sales and slower traffic have hurt McDonald's bottom line. But there's no evidence to support the drumbeat from analysts citing poor margins. It's not like McDonald's fourth-quarter earnings results were impressive. As with less-than-stellar performances from Yum! Brands
(YUM) and Coca-Cola
(KO), McDonald's absolute performance was not that far off from expectations. And with the stock down 2% so far on the year, these shares are once again on the value menu.
[Read: Stephanie Link: The Case for Coke]
With reported revenue growth of only 2% year over year and missing consensus estimates, I won't pretend that McDonald's ended the year on a strong note. Same-store-sales (comps, or the performances of stores open for at least one year) registered at just 0.1% and continue to be the main impediment to growth.
This wasn't much of a surprise, however. Save for Chipotle, the entire consumer discretionary space has struggled this earnings season, including so-called "recession-proof stocks" like Wal-Mart
(WMT). In that regard, as with Wal-Mart, McDonald's management has dealt with issues (I won't say distractions) regarding what many believe to be poor wages for the company's frontline workers.
[Read: Cramer: My Momentum Monsters]