Those who thought the demise of McDonalds was nigh have been proven wrong. Canada elected a brand new prime minister for the first time in nearly a decade. Facebook at Work has gained a lot of likes from the Royal Bank of Scotland. The National League Championship Series (NLCS) between the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs did huge numbers for Major League Baseball and TBS. And Yahoo’s NFL streaming experiment generated big business for the website.
These are the five global business headlines from last week.
1. McDonald's Stock Beats All Expectations
For about two years now, there has been talk about how the end of McDonald’s was coming soon. It was believed that millennials relish in healthier food, even if it’s more expensive. This means McDonald’s was off the radar of the biggest demographic in the United States today. Well, the iconic fast-food chain has proved everyone wrong, and has shown that its turnaround strategy is working very well.
McDonald’s released its third-quarter earnings on Thursday, and it was the best quarter in about two years. Its quarterly earnings and revenues beat estimates and had snapped a poor streak of sales contractions at established stores in the U.S.
Soon after the report was released, its stock reached an all-time high. During the morning trading session, McDonald’s shares soared seven percent to a whopping $110. Overall, its earnings jumped to $1.40 a share, up from $1.09 last year and up from $1.27 estimated earnings.
On an international level, sales at restaurants with their doors open at least 13 months rose four percent, while U.S. stores climbed 0.9 percent due to its breakfast. Both defeated the projections of 1.9 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.
"Third quarter marked an important step in the Company’s global turnaround — the reorganization of our business from a geographically focused structure to business segments that combine markets with similar characteristics and opportunities for growth."
McDonald’s has done a number of things over the past year to improve its reputation. Some of the moves consist of reducing its antibiotics in its meat, the gradual introduction of cage-free eggs, more automation in the restaurants and healthier menu options.
Despite everyone’s cynicism, McDonald’s has been doing very well.
2. Canada Has a New Prime Minister
Speaking of successful turnarounds, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau was able to unseat Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Canada’s 42nd election.
After being written off during the summer and performing horribly in the debates, Trudeau turned his campaign around in the final two weeks of the grueling 78-day campaign and was able to form a majority government. The Prime Minister-designate garnered 184 seats in the House of Commons, while the Tories received 99 seats. Thomas Mulcair’s New Democratic Party fell from the Official Opposition into third place and landed just 44 seats.
Trudeau ran on a campaign of legalizing marijuana, running budget deficits for most of his term, bringing in 25,000 Syrian refugees and growing the Canadian economy "from the heart outward." This seemed to resonate with Canadians as they were fed up with the way Harper was running the country for close to 10 years.
“You can appeal to the better angels of our natures, and you can win while doing it. We beat fear with hope, we beat cynicism with hard work, we beat negative, divisive politics with a positive vision that brings Canadians together.”
The Great White North will now have a Liberal Prime Minister for four years. The Conservative Party will begin seeking a new leader (many say it’ll be Jason Kenney). The NDP will start question Mulcair’s leadership. The Bloc Quebecois will also search for a new leader and maintain the status quo. Green Party leader Elizabeth May will be the sole MP from her party.
Voter turnout was 68 percent, the largest since 1993.
3. Facebook at Work Gains Humongous Likes
Facebook has launched the beta Facebook at Work, the social network juggernaut’s answer to LinkedIn, Yahoo’s Yammer and Google for Work, and it’s gaining in popularity in Europe.
It was reported that the Royal Bank of Scotland will adopt Facebook at Work for its 30,000 employees by March of next year, and eventually to all of its employees by the end of 2016.
This will prove a major win for Facebook as the company attempts to integrate the popularity of the social media outlet with its enterprise technology, which will inevitably establish a brand new market. Facebook doesn’t charge companies to use the new service, but it does plan to do so in the future.
The Royal Bank of Scotland isn’t the only business experimenting with Facebook at Work. Heineken, Century21 and French Lagardere are just some of the 300 companies testing out the new service.
"I’m excited about how bringing people together from all across the bank through Facebook At Work can help all our employees do their job better – whether it’s being able to find answers to customer queries much faster or helping us come up with bright new ideas."
Facebook at Work’s objective is to improve communications within a business, but many experts say it will definitely challenge and perhaps even overtake LinkedIn’s network of professionals.
How does it work? Well, it’s pretty much a rudimentary and more secured fortress version of Facebook. Users are signed in to a Work network and workers can follow each other to see updates posted by other users in their work life. It’s no different than Facebook.
However, not all businesses can take advantage of the new service because it’s still in beta mode.
4. MLB's NLCS Does Huge Numbers in Ratings
It may not have been a result the Chicago Cubs were looking for, but television executives are certainly celebrating after it was announced the National League Championship Series (NLCS) did huge numbers in the TV ratings.
The New York Mets and Cubs combined for 7.9 million viewers on TBS, which is the largest audience on the network since it began to broadcast postseason baseball in 2010. Also, the audience was up 55 percent from last year’s American League Championship Series (ALCS) between the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles, two small-market teams.
According to the data, Games 3 and 4 led all of the television ratings.
Despite the sweep, the NLCS was a memorable one because of the Mets’s Daniel Murphy hitting a home run in six consecutive postseason games and the Cubs’s Kyle Schwarber hitting the most postseason home runs for a 23-year-old. Moreover, Cubs fans had been waiting a very, very long time for a championship, while Mets fans want to escape the shadow of the Yankees as being the city’s No. 1 baseball franchise.
We will have to wait and see if TBS and MLB can carry the momentum into the World Series. The Mets and Royals will face off Tuesday night. One large market team versus one small market team should certainly be exciting.
5. Yahoo's NFL Streaming Experiment Works
Yahoo and the NFL may have revolutionized the way armchair spectators consume their sports.
On Sunday, the two entities broadcast a game between the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars from London’s Wembley Stadium to consumers’ smartphones, tablets and computers in addition to their local television. How did it fare? Let’s just say it was a success.
It was announced that more than 15.2 million viewers went online to watch the livestream of the football game. The free broadcast had actually gained a larger audience than an average Monday Night Football game, which usually generates 13.5 million, but lower than an average Thursday Night Football game, which brings in more than 17 million eyes.
A majority of the streaming audience was from the United States, but about one-third came from other countries. The average viewership per minute was high when compared to live-streaming standards, but low when looking at NFL TV standards.
Nonetheless, most view this NFL streaming test as a success, and the league said it was "thrilled with the results."
"We took a game that would have been viewed by a relatively limited television audience in the United States and by distributing it digitally were able to attract a global audience of over 15 million viewers."
Yahoo, meanwhile, paid about $20 million for the rights to the NFL game and had sold all of the ads for the broadcast to more than 30 advertisers.
The technical reviews were mixed: some say it was a perfect stream, while others reported connectivity difficulties. Yahoo had sent out more than 8.5 petabytes of data (one million gigabytes) during the three hour and 15-minute game to viewers.
McDonald’s stock has returned to glory and shareholders are chowing down more Big Macs as a result. The Great White North will now have another Trudeau on their hands for at least four years. Will employees be distracted by Facebook as companies introduce Facebook at Work? The National League Championship Series garnered big numbers for TBS and the MLB. And Yahoo is celebrating a touchdown after its NFL streaming experiment drew big numbers.
What is your opinion on this week’s business headlines? Let us know in the comments section below.