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McDonald's April Same-Store Sales Rise 4.8%

McDonald's famous french fries.
Charles Rex Arbogast
McDonald's famous french fries.

McDonald's said Tuesday same-store sales rose 4.8% in April, boosted by strength in sales in Japan and China as well as extended hours, breakfast, and local menu offerings.

Same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least 13 months, are a key measure of retailer and restaurant performance since it counts growth at existing stores rather than at newly opened ones.

The results were in line with Wall Street Estimates, and McDonald's shares were up 11 cents at $49.61 in morning trade.

The stock has gained 11.9% this year, compared with a 5.5% rise in the Dow Jones restaurants and bars index.

In a research note, Banc of America Securities analyst Andrew Barish said McDonald's shares were a good bet given the difficulty that other restaurant chains are facing due to weakened consumer spending.

"We continue to find the predictability and visibility of (McDonald's' earnings per share) and cash flow appealing in this generally challenging restaurant sales environment," Barish wrote.

Same-store sales were up 3.5% in both the U.S. and European market, but the biggest regional gain was in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region, which saw same-store sales rise by 10.3%.

Total sales for all McDonald’s restaurants worldwide increased 9.6% for the month.

In the U.S., sales were helped by strong demand for Happy Meals, breakfast items and the chicken Snack Wrap sandwich.

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