McDonald's on Friday gave a first-quarter earnings outlook above analysts' expectations, citing strength of new U.S. products such as Snack Wrap chicken sandwiches and growth in Europe and Asia.
The world's largest restaurant company also reported a rise of 8.2% in March sales at restaurants open at least 13 months. Four analysts, on average, had been expecting a rise of 3.6%, according to research notes.
“The management is very good,” David Palmer, senior restaurant analyst at UBS, told CNBC. “These guys are gaining market share rapidly in the U.S. and Europe – and there’s nothing special going on in terms of the industry.”
McDonald's said it expects first-quarter earnings of about 62 cents a share. That view includes a 1 cent a share benefit from foreign currency translation and reflects a tax rate of about 30%.
Analysts, on average, had looked for a profit of 57 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.
Shares of McDonald's rose 1.6% to $47.37 in early electronic trading.