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CNN reports that the investor class has high hopes for McDonald's this week as it prepares to release its Q4 sales and earnings numbers, which are expected to reflect a sense that new CEO Steve Easterbrook has been making progress since he took the job less than a year ago and declared he wanted to turn McDonald's into a "modern progressive burger company."

According to the story, "Easterbrook owned up to many of the big problems facing Mickey D's -- most notably a stale menu that did little to excite the taste buds of its customers. Many burger gourmands were shunning McDonald's in favor of places like Five Guys, Smashburger and Shake Shack.

"So Easterbrook quickly made some changes. It added some new burgers -- such as the Maple Bacon Dijon and Pico Guacamole -- and gave diners more choices so they could customize the sandwiches." And, of course, there was all-day breakfast, seen as long overdue and seen as holding enormous appeal to patrons.
KC's View:
Maybe it is just my abiding McDonald's skepticism showing, but I think it is way too early for pundits to be describing McDonald's as a "great American comeback story," as some are. There remain questions about the possible impact of too-deep discounts and too-unhappy franchisees ... and I'm still not persuaded that the food is better is any sort of tangible way.