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 / Updated  / Source: Reuters

Maybe fewer people are lovin' it.

In the dry prose of corporate press releases, McDonald's posted weaker-than-expected quarterly revenue on Thursday because of "negative comparable guest counts."

Translation: customers are giving the Golden Arches the cold shoulder.

McDonald's has posted disappointing sales for five straight quarters, hurt by weak demand and intense competition from rivals such as Wendy's and Burger King.

The company has roughly seven times the sales of Wendy's and Burger King combined. But it has been slower than these rivals in tempting diners with limited-time specials and promotions.

Efforts such as tweaking menus and changing management have not been successful. New menu items, in particular lattes, smoothies, salads and wraps, have slowed McDonald's service in a business where hyper-competitive drive-through times are measured in seconds.

McDonald's also switched its value-oriented "Dollar Menu" to the "Dollar Menu & More" in November with slightly higher prices. But the program didn't draw customers despite heavy marketing.

- Reuters