The Gates Foundation isn't apparently lovin' McDonald's (MCD) these days.
The Gates Foundation Asset Trust, which handles the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's investments, has liquidated its position in the fast-food company, according to Bloomberg News. The foundation sold 10.9 million shares valued at $1 billion at the end of September, while also selling $914.2 million in Coca-Cola (KO) stock and $765.9 million in Exxon Mobil (XOM) shares.
The $42.3 billion foundation states that its investment philosophy is to consider issues beyond corporate profits, taking in mind the types of values that drive its work. The foundation, whose goal is to help "all people no matter where they live to have the chance to live a healthy, productive life," said it won't invest in corporations whose profits are tied to activities that the Gates find "egregious," such as tobacco companies.
The Gates Foundation and McDonald's didn't immediately return requests for comment.
McDonald's has come under fire in the past year on a number of fronts, ranging from its high-calorie meals to low wages for its workers. At the same time, the fast-food company has suffered from months of lagging results, prompting the company to name a new CEO last month.
While ousted chief executive Don Thompson tried to reenergize the company with new menu items and improved customer service, the chain has lost customers to so-called fast-casual restaurants such as Chipotle (CMG). Labor advocates, meanwhile, have targeted the chain and its rivals with strikes, calling attention to the problem of low-paying fast-food jobs that leave workers struggling to make ends meet.
Exxon Mobil, meanwhile, was also dumped by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, which sold its $3.7 billion investment amid slumping oil prices. That caused Exxon to report sharply lower fourth-quarter revenue and profit.
Coca-Cola, meanwhile, is also struggling with negative trends, given consumer worries over sugary drinks, prompting some to shift to healthier beverages.
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