McDonald's again defies the skeptics

McDonald's Corp. (MCD) chief executive Jim Skinner today vowed to keep prices at the world's largest restaurant chain as low as they are currently, cementing a big advantage the company has over its rivals.

"Our pricing power is not what it was," said Skinner today on the company's earnings conference call. "Right now we are holding the line on pricing."

McDonald's, which last raised prices in October 2008, has weathered the economic downturn better than most U.S. companies, and the third quarter was no exception.