McDonald's is slipping after taking a big hit from the new tax law

  • McDonald's reported fourth-quarter earnings ahead of Tuesday's opening bell.
  • The fast-food giant took an earnings hit from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,but outperformed on an adjusted basis.
  • The company plans to spend billions in 2018 to update its stores.
  • Watch the stock trade in real time here.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act hit McDonald's in the fourth quarter, and was the cause for earnings that came in below Wall Street's expectations on Tuesday. Shares of the fast-food chain are down 0.73% at $176.46 apiece in early trading Tuesday.

McDonald's reported earnings of $0.87 a share, missing the $1.60 that was expected by a wide margin. The miss was due to a one-time $0.84 per share cost associated with the new tax law. On an adjusted basis, McDonald's reported earnings of $1.71, topping estimates of $1.59.

10 money-saving fast-food hacks:

10 money-saving fast-food hacks
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10 money-saving fast-food hacks

Restaurant: McDonald’s

Hack: Order two four-piece nuggets instead of one six-piece. It’s cheaper, you get more nuggets and you get more sauces. Score.

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Restaurant: McDonald’s

Hack: Order a McDouble without the ketchup and mustard but with lettuce and Big Mac sauce. You'll pay for the Big Mac taste for the price of a McDouble.

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Restaurant: Chipotle

Hack: Order half of one protein and half of another kind (like chicken and steak). You’ll almost always get more than half of each and end up with up to 1.5x the protein in your burrito or bowl for the price of a normal portion.

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Restaurant: Arby’s

Hack: Order two junior roast beef sandwiches instead of one regular classic. You'll end up with more meat for a lower price.

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Restaurant: Jamba Juice

Hack: Substitute any ingredient in any smoothie for the same price. If you’re craving a smoothie with non-fat yogurt instead of mango, or extra strawberries instead of blueberries, customize it to your liking without any extra charge. It will save you more than being charged for creating your own smoothie from scratch.

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Restaurant: Jack in the Box

Hack: Order two Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers and combine them into one for a much cheaper version of a Bacon Ultimate Cheeseburger. 

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Restaurant: McDonald’s

Hack: Order a sausage McMuffin off of the dollar menu but ask for the sausage to be substituted with egg—an egg McMuffin for a dollar.

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Restaurant: Any pizza place

Hack: When you call to order delivery, ask if there were any orders that weren’t delivered—the pizza place will often give you those orders for a discounted price (perfect if cold pizza is your thing.)

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Restaurant: Subway

Hack: Order a Double Steak and Cheese Sub instead of the Philly Cheese Steak Sub—you’ll get the same sandwich at a normal foot-long price.

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Revenue came in at $5.34 billion, which was higher than the $5.23 billion expected by analysts. Comparable sales were up 4.5%, in line with expectations.


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"We served more customers more often, achieved our best comparable sales performance in six years, gained share in markets around the world and made tremendous progress with growth platforms such as delivery, mobile order and pay and Experience of the Future," CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a statement.

Chief financial officer Kevin Ozan said McDonald's would be investing $2.4 billion in 2018, focused primarily on remodeling existing locations to match its "Experience of the Future" plans that update stores with touchscreen kiosks and other modern updates.

Read about the new Dollar Menu items here.

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