Shares of the world's largest restaurant company rose in pre-market trading following the announcement.
Four Wall Street analysts' estimates ranged from increases of 2.5% to 4.4%, according to research notes.
Same-store sales, which track sales at restaurants open at least 13 months, rose 3.1% in the U.S. In a statement, McDonald's said its breakfast menu and late-night hours contributed to that gain.
In addition, the company said new grilled and honey-mustard versions of its chicken Snack Wrap helped boost performance in its flagship market.
In Europe, McDonald's No. 2 market, same-store sales rose 5.9% as restaurants in France and Germany benefited from seasonal menus.
In McDonald's Asia-Pacific business, same-store sales rose a sharp 12.3%. The hamburger chain said performance was strong in Japan and China, where the Chinese New Year holiday fed demand. McDonald's has been working aggressively to boost its performance in China, a market it has targeted as a major growth opportunity.