FINANCE

McDonald’s Q4 and full year income up

BY CSA STAFF

Oakbrook, Ill. — McDonald’s Corp. said net income for the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, 2010, rose 2.1% to $1.24 billion from $1.22 billion a year earlier.

Revenue increased 4% to $6.21 billion in the fourth quarter from $5.97 billion a year earlier. Global same-store sales rose 5% in the quarter, reflecting increases of 4.4% in the United States, 3.4% in Europe and 5.5% in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa division.

For the full year, McDonald’s reported net income of $4.95 billion, up 9% from $4.55 billion in fiscal 2009. Revenue rose 6% to $24.07 billion in 2010, compared with $22.74 billion a year earlier.

McDonald’s chief executive Jim Skinner said that the company would take much of its cash flow and deploy it in 2011 for capital expenditures related to upgrading and reimaging restaurants around the world, a key long-term initiative for the brand.

“In 2011, we plan to invest about $2.5 billion of capital — roughly half dedicated to opening approximately 1,100 new McDonald’s restaurants and the other half allocated to investing in our existing locations, including reimaging,” Skinner said.

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Now hiring: .com readies for 2011 launch

BY CSA STAFF

Target plans to launch its new website before the 2011 holiday season as is looking for people to join the Target talent community as it builds a best-in-class multichannel shopping experience. That’s according to the retailer’s website interesting openings are listed along with dozens of testimonials of people who already work for the company.

“Use your skills, experience and talents to be a part of groundbreaking e-commerce initiative as we launch our new Target.com website and continue to lead the explosive mobile retail experience,” is the pitch used on the site. To view available positions and read transcripts from those already employed by the company, click here.

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Target offering unbeatable combination, so far

BY CSA STAFF

Target has never claimed to have the lowest prices, but it might want to rethink that strategy now that it has the benefit of its REDcard loyalty program.

A recent monthly pricing study conducted by Credit Suisse shows that Walmart still has the lowest prices, but indicates the gap is narrowing and that on basket of 60 items it is now at the lowest level in three years. More specifically, Target’s price gap with Walmart narrowed from 4% in November to 3.7% in December. Target’s prices decreased sequentially by 0.4% compared with Walmart’s 0.1% decline. The kicker here is that those who shopped atTarget and used their REDcard to take advantage of the 5% Rewards discounts actually would have paid less at Target than at Walmart. That finding is similar to research conducted by Citigroup which look at holiday toy pricing.

According to Credit Suisse, “while 2010 proved to be a challenging year in consumables pricing and unit demand, we believe concerns over Walmart’s aggressive pricing strategy turned out to be overblown. Our survey results indicated Walmart’s average pricing gap relative to competitors in both Dallas and Chicago narrowed to its lowest level in nearly three years.”

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