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McDonald's Sees Profit Topping Estimates

McDonald's expects its fourth-quarter earnings from continuing operations to top analyst estimates, as December same-store sales rose 7.2% globally.

The Oak Brook, Ill., fast-food giant said it expects to earn $1 a share. The estimate includes 61 cents a share from continuing operations, and a gain of 39 cents a share for the spinoff of Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Analysts, on average, were expecting McDonald's to earn 58 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call. Analysts estimates tyipically exclude one-time gains and earnings from discontinued operations.

McDonald's said strong sales of breakfast offerings and the new chicken Snack Wrap helped boost sales in its restaurants in December.

Fourth-quarter U.S. same-store sales rose 6.9% in December, putting growth in the fourth quarter at 5.9%.

Europe's December same-store sales climbed 8.2%, leading to fourth-quarter same-store sales growth in the region of 7.3%.

McDonald's plans to release its fourth-quarter results on Jan. 24. The company plans a webcast at 11:30 am New York time that same day.

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