McDonald's ups price of Double Cheeseburger over $1

LOS ANGELES Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:53pm EST

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LOS ANGELES Nov 25 (Reuters) - In a widely anticipated move, McDonald's Corp (MCD.N) said on Tuesday it will raise the price of its flagship Double Cheeseburger to $1.19 and introduce a new "McDouble" burger to its Dollar Menu on Dec. 1.

The McDouble will have two beef patties and one slice of cheese -- one fewer cheese slice than the Double Cheeseburger -- and will retail for $1.

The prices mentioned are McDonald's recommended prices, franchisees may price the items differently.

Analysts earlier this month predicted the swap following meetings with McDonald's executives.

The popularity of McDonald's Dollar Menu has helped the company outperform most of its rivals amid a sharp economic downturn.

Raising the price on the Double Cheeseburger should help the company's franchisees protect their profits from rising costs for meat and other key ingredients.

Restaurant companies have been carefully raising prices for fear of alienating cash-strapped consumers, who in many cases can prepare healthy meals at home for less money than it costs to eat out.

Shares in McDonald's closed up $1.30, or 2.3 percent, to $56.81 on the New York Stock Exchange and were unchanged in extended trade. (Reporting by Lisa Baertlein; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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