Drive-thru window 10-K reading…

February 27, 2009

With literally hundreds of 10Ks coming across the screen this week, it’s hard to spend too much time on any one. Instead, I find myself looking for a quick snack — something tasty and satisfying enough to help get me through the next batch of filings — the equivalent of a Big Mac and full-HFCS (it’s only real sugar in Mexico or Europe!) Coke from the drive-thru window.

Which brings me to the 10K that McDonald’s (MCD) filed on Wednesday. There were lots of interesting things in the filing. But among the things that caught our attention was the popularity of the Bacon Roll in the UK, despite the oddly named “brown sauce” that’s a featured ingredient. (Sorry — but brown sauce just doesn’t sound like something particularly tasty!) Still, the tidbit that really jumped out was this: “Open communication and transparency is especially important to European consumers.” I’ve added the emphasis, but what does that mean exactly? That Americans prefer not to know what they’re stuffing into their mouths? I mean c’mon: we don’t have something called brown sauce on our McD’s menus!

On Thursday, Coca-Cola (KO) filed its 10K which included this new Eureka statement: “Recent developments indicate that the United States economy is in recession and that the global economy is experiencing a slowdown.” We’re guessing that they’re picking up on the December announcement by the National Bureau of Economic Research that the US economy officially entered a recession in January 2008. The odd thing, however, is that Coke doesn’t mention the economy again in the nearly 160-page long filing, including what impact it may have. Perhaps they’re just waiting for the NBER to issue their next report!

Both were new disclosures at major consumer products companies — one might even call them bellwether indicators for consumer spending — and both were the about as nutritious as a visit to the drive-thru window.

Image Source: Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

Posted in: Disclosures

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