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Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Upset tummies in the food sector?

December 8, 2009

mcd1Check out sluggish results in the U.S. food sector.

Fast food giant McDonald’s and Kroger, the largest U.S. grocery chain, saw shares decline 2.5 percent and 10 percent, respectively, after reporting weak results.

McDonald’s said same-store sales at its U.S. restaurants slipped 0.6 percent in November, marking the second straight monthly decline. Following Yum Brands’ recent weaker-than-expected sales, it was the latest sign that the fast-food sector that had performed well through most of the recession was weakening.

Rising unemployment has begun to take a noticeable bite out of sales, particularly at breakfast — where McDonald’s leads the industry.

Kroger reported a much lower-than-expected quarterly profit and cut its full-year forecast as it feels pressure from falling food prices and stepped up competition.

Not everything was dark at the dinner table.

Chicken producer Sanderson Farms posted a quarterly profit compared with a year-ago loss as it benefited from higher poultry prices and lower feed costs. To wash that news down, alcoholic beverage maker Brown-Forman posted a higher quarterly profit and raised its outlook for the current fiscal year.

Also in the basket:

P&G’s Lafley retiring; CEO McDonald to be chairman

Diedrich accepts Green Mountain’s $290 mln bid

EBay and Craigslist square off in Delaware Court

(Reuters photo)

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