Based on these results, Nomura-Instinet analyst Mark Kalinowski raised his same-store sales estimate for the company by 270 basis points, saying he expects the metric to be up 0.8 percent for the quarter. Wall Street's consensus estimate is that comparable sales will be down 1.1 percent.
"We believe that a focus on value and beverages, as well as the Big Mac line extension promotion, served McDonald's well during a challenging time for the restaurant industry in general during Q1," Kalinowski wrote in a research note Thursday.
McDonald's has a high bar to top. In the same quarter last year, the chain's same-store sales rose 5.4 percent. The company also had one less day in the quarter because of Leap Day last year.
"Any number in positive territory should be viewed as a victory for the Golden Arches heading into less difficult comparisons over Q2 to Q4," Kalinowski said.
Nomura-Instinent polled the same domestic franchisees about second quarter 2017 and, in aggregate, they expect same-store sales to be up 2.2 percent.
Here's how their estimates break down by geographic zone for the second quarter: